NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS
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Foreign News Report
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.
La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 9/9/10
Mexican journalism on way to “extinction”
The threat of organized crime has put Mexican journalism “on the way to extinction,” with “devastating self-censuring” and 22 news reporters assassinated during the presidential term of Felipe Calderon, reported the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), a nonprofit organization promoting worldwide journalistic rights. Their report denounces the violence and corruption in the context of “systematic impunity” that is “destroying local journalism.” After four years of investigation, the CPJ concluded that “Mexico is one of the world’s most lethal countries for the press and one of the worst on matters of investigation and prosecution of crimes against journalists.” CPJ’s full report, in English, can be accessed at http://cpj.org/reports/2010/09/silence-or-death-in-mexicos-press.php.
El Universal (Mexico City) 9/10/10
Confusion over “La Barbie” case
The arrest of the major narco boss, Edgar Valdes Villarreal, alias “La Barbie,” has resulted in politically oriented arguments about his arrest. The government maintains that a thorough investigation resulted in the operation in which he was arrested, while political opponents say the arrest was simply the result of a lucky traffic stop. Another version is that he turned himself in. Now the Attorney General’s office reports that, since his lawyer wasn’t present when La Barbie made statements in front of the cameras, those statements are not legally valid. Meanwhile, US Ambassador Carlos Pascual assured that the operation was carried out efficiently by the Federal Police without any arrangements by the US. Whether an extradition request by the US is contemplated has not yet been announced.
Police State or nation of law?
[Editorial:] Yesterday, in a new round of discussions about security, President Felipe Calderon attacked judges because they set presumed criminals free simply “because the lack of a comma” in the proceeding. The statement reveals the president’s concept about due process in the context of the fight against crime. The president demanded that the statements of the accused only have value when they are made before a judge. He also advised that penal reform is not, per se, the solution for the violence we are presently experiencing. “The transformation of the justice penal system will not resolve the matter of violence.” These statements reveal the president’s conviction that the conventions, the guarantees, are dispensable facing an emergency situation like the present one. From this perspective, it is understandable because the axis of his security policy is centered on only one of the three principles that assure order and justice in civilized populations: the police.
During the present administration, more than 200 billion pesos have been invested in professionalizing the federal police and in providing major resources to the Armed Forces, which is not wrong. But at the same time, there has been a nearly absolute negligence in the building of a Public Ministry [public prosecution branch] capable of constructing reliable, credible and convincing investigations. The departments of justice continue being, as in all of Mexico’s history, political more than judicial instruments. This deficiency is even more serious in the Mexican context, since the Public Ministry has the exclusive authority, the monopoly, to initiate the penal process.
Few are the judges who have engaged in the crusade against crime. Many have opted to wash their hand of it as if the threat of the criminal underworld were a bundle that could be hidden. The certainty is that the three wheels of justice –police, prosecutors and judges — are not well oiled; there is no way to wage an efficient battle against crime. To only expand the police and military aspect leads, eventually, to barbarism which is just what the criminals are criticized for. The main lesson of the past four years is that, without investment or reforms in judges and prosecuting offices, the fight against organized crime can only result in nonproductive brutal force.
Either the justice system is reconstructed or our society will succumb in the face of arbitrary police government.
El Financiero, El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City); El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 9/10/10
Leaky Reynosa prison
At least 85 inmates of the Cedes prison in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, escaped and are at large in the border area across the river from Texas. Just last April, 12 escaped from the same prison.
US bureaucracy too slow for him
Dallas, Texas (Notimex) – A Mexican immigrant slipped past the security around the house of George W. Bush in Dallas and knocked on the door with hopes that the ex-president could help him expedite his application for citizenship. News sources didn’t report if anyone answered the door. Ricardo Pereira, a resident of a shelter for vagrants and homeless people, was only described as an “immigrant” without further reference to his legal status.
El Debate (Sinaloa state) 9/10/10
Narco received 15,000 arms from US
Mexico D.F. – According to a study by the Trans-Border Institute of the University of San Diego, between 2005 and 2009, Mexican drug cartels received 15,000 arms coming from the US. The report points out that despite the efforts of both countries to stop this traffic, a significant increase in military rifles and ammo has been the trend. In May 2010, the Mexican government reported that of the 75,000 firearms seized in the past three years, 80% or 60,000 came from the US, mainly Texas, Arizona and California. The principal firearms seized in Mexico that were purchased in the US were semiautomatic AK-47 rifles and AR-15 clones of Romanian manufacture imported to the US despite an embargo of such assault rifles.
Excelsior (Mexico City) 9/10/10
Violence in Mexico doesn’t affect the US border: US Ambassador
US Ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, explained that the problem of organized crime violence taking place in the northern border of Mexico has not affected the southern border of the US. “If there is an impact of crime and drug trafficking from Mexico to the United States it is not exactly on the border, it is in hundreds of cities in the United States where the drug traffic has extended, impacting the youth influenced by drugs, ” he explained. He considers that the lower impact of violence on the southern border with Mexico is also due to the major presence of the Border Patrol as the 17,000 agents of the last administration has increased now to 26,000.
El Financiero (Mexico City) 9/11/10
LULAC honors undocumented 9/11 victims
San Diego, California (Notimex) – This September 11, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) remembered those undocumented aliens who worked in the Twin Towers in Manhattan and perished during the terrorist attacks nine years ago. “Let us keep a moment of silence to remember our brothers and sisters who have not been remembered today by this nation,” urged Julie Contreras, LULAC’s national commissioner for migration affairs. “We remember and pray for all those who died on that tragic date for our country, but let us remember especially those who will not be remembered by our government,” she said.
INM attends those repatriating
So far this year, the Mexican immigration service (INM) has attended to the needs of 253,000 of their countrymen repatriated from the US. Of those, 9,415 were minors. The repatriation services include food, communication, medical services, transport and employment options. These services have also been extended to 2,577 non-Mexicans, mainly Central Americans.
La Jornada (Mexico City) 9/11/10
Recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton observed that Mexico was becoming like Colombia in the ’80s. Official Mexico took exception to that. Mexican cartoonists have since had some fun with her observation. In this one titled “Hillary’s precision,” she says, “They’re right, Mexico isn’t like Colombia 20 years ago. It’s more like California, Arizona and New Mexico 162 years ago.”
La Cronica de Hoy (Mexico City) 9/12/10
Calderon rules out use of UN, blames troubles on US
President Felipe Calderon considered an eventual use of United Nations’ peacekeeping “blue helmets” as “out of place” for assisting Mexico in regaining security, while lamenting that the US does little to stop the “irresponsible sale” of arms. “It seems out of place to me, the truth is it’s not only a problem of force and patrol, because the strength of the Mexican [armed forces] is truly a convincing force,” the president said. Calderon maintains that part of the problem comes from the US, caused by the consumption of drugs in that country and now “exacerbated by a sale… an irresponsible sale of arms in the United States.” Calderon continued, “when the ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ was abolished in 2004, the sales of … every kind of assault weapon expanded like never before. Just in my time in office, we have seized nearly 85,000 arms, 50,000 of them assault rifles, more than 7,000 grenades and something like 9 million cartridges.” When asked about the role of the US, the president said, “I’m really not seeing that they’re doing much in the way of stopping arms. Yes, there has been more activity from some authorities. From the Arms and Tobacco Agency (sic), etc., but the fact is that if there had not been the flow of arms from the United States to the Mexican criminals (…) we would not have the rate of violence that we have now.”
La Jornada (Mexico City) 9/12/10
“Right arm” of narco Arturo Beltran Leyva arrested
Mexican Navy troops arrested Sergio Villarreal Barragan, alias “El Grande,” a principal leader in the Beltran Leyva drug cartel. Villarreal, arrested today in the state of Puebla, is described as the “right arm” of cartel leader Arturo Leyva Beltran. His position in the cartel is said to be the equivalent of the level of recently arrested narco, “La Barbie.” His arrest is considered a major blow by the federal government.
-end of report-