Over the weekend: Migrant traffic from Central America slowing; shootout near Texas border

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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.

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Saturday 10/9/10

El Diario de Juarez (Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua) 10/8/10

Mayor says governor abandoned Cd. Juarez

Upon stepping down from his position, Jose Reyes Ferriz, the mayor of Ciudad Juarez during its most violent period, said that the state’s governor left the beleaguered city alone to defend itself.  The mayor said Chihuahua Governor Jose Reyes Baeza put his personal interests and “political passions” first and left the residents of Cd. Juarez alone to face its problem of insecurity.



El Imparcial (Hermosillo, Sonora) 10/8/10

Mexican violence similar to terrorism: secretary of federal police

The Mexican Secretary of Public Security, Genaro Garcia Luna, recognizes that organized crime has taken violent actions having major social impact, similar to those used by terrorist groups.  He says that for this reason, Mexico will maintain actions to combat the situation.  Garcia Luna said that while there is not actual terrorism in Mexico, there have been actions by some whose criminal profile has high social impact that resembles terrorism. 



El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City) 10/8/10

Tamaulipas gunfight results: Mexican Army 6, thugs 0

Six criminal “pistoleros” lost their lives in a shootout with the Mexican Army Friday in the municipality of Guerrero, Tamaulipas, near the border with Texas.  One soldier was wounded.  The military, on routine patrol, spotted a vehicle hidden in the underbrush and on attempting to inspect it, were met by gunfire from the six occupants.  That decision cost the six their lives, 7 rifles, ammo clips, a grenade launcher, and their Dodge Ram.



El Universo (Guayaquil, Ecuador) 10/8/10

Specter of massacre slowing migrant traffic

The massacre of 72 South and Central American migrants in Mexico’s northern state of Tamaulipas is giving many aspiring migrants second thoughts about transiting Mexico en route to the US.  The migrants now fear, more than ever, the narcotraffickers and extortion by corrupt Mexican police.  A representative of one of the Mexican non-government shelters serving migrants passing through the country reported that they are accustomed to receiving at least 40 people per night and now they are only receiving between 10 and 15.  They estimate that previous monthly average traffic of 1,800 has diminished to 542 in the past month. 



El Tiempo (Bogota, Colombia) 10/8/10

10 tons of marihuana seized

Colombian anti-narcotics police seized 10 tons of marihuana in bundles from storage on a farm near Lejanias in the department [state] of Metas.  The operation resulted in dismantling one of the largest storage areas of the revolutionary forces, FARC.



Caracol Radio (Bogota, Colombia) 10/8/10

Coca eradicators ambushed by contaminated explosives

A team of 12 Colombian government workers engaged in eradicating illegal coca plants in the department [state] of Bolivar were ambushed by FARC guerillas using explosive devices, described as mines, contaminated with fecal matter.  All members of the team were wounded, four of them gravely, and one of those later died of his injuries complicated by infection caused by the contaminated mines.



Sunday 10/10/10

El Universal (Mexico City) 10/9/10

Another mayor-elect assassinated

The mayor-elect of the village of Martires de Tacubaya, Oaxaca, was assassinated Friday evening by unknown assailants.  Three days ago, another official recently elected to the legislature was abducted from his home in Zimatlan, some 20 miles south of Oaxaca city, the state capital.  His whereabouts are still unknown.



El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City) 10/9/10

Mexican Army seizes shipment of marihuana in Oaxaca

An elite unit of the Mexican Army seized a load of 186 packets of marihuana hidden in a small boat in the port city of Juchitan, Oaxaca.  The total weight of the load was 443 kilos [977 lbs].  Sounds of gunfire led the Army to the boatyard where the load was found with the aid of a molecular detection device.  No arrests were reported.



La Cronica de Hoy (Mexico City) 10/9/10

Bolivian press “in mourning” because of law affecting freedom of expression

The Bolivian press today declared itself “in mourning” because of the enactment of a law against racism promoted by President Evo Morales.  The press considers the new regulation a threat to the freedom of expression.  This Saturday, the majority of the newspapers carried a black ribbon on the front page as a sign of mourning after Morales approved the rule without having taken into account criticism of two articles of the law that establish sanctions, including the shutting down of media, for publishing what the president considers “racist ideas.”  The National Association of  Journalists (ANP) issued a communique saying the two articles cut off freedom of expression and were passed without listening to the “clamor” of the press.  “The Parliament, complying submissively to political guidelines, delivered a hard blow to democracy, ignoring the [protests throughout the country] (…) and ignoring the requests of 24 international organizations,” lamented the ANP.

President Morales defended the regulation insisting that, “you can’t have freedom of expression to practice racism,” and assured that all the journalists that oppose the law “appear to be racists.”



Excelsior (Mexico City) 10/9/10

Mafia State

Opinion column by Francisco Garfias

The lengthy chat with General Oscar Naranjo Trujillo, chief of the Colombian National Police, came to its end.  In the air there had remained the assertion made minutes earlier by this man, considered a police officer of excellence, before the small group of journalists listening to him: “If we don’t combat narco traffic, it will take the system from us.” 

Statements by Gerardo Ruiz Mateos during his tour of Paris in February 2009 immediately return to this reporter.  The then Secretary of Economy said the same, but with other words: “If Felipe Calderon does not enter the fight against organized crime, the next president of Mexico will be a narcotrafficker.”

The reaction at that time was one of hilarity and ridicule.  No one is laughing today at Naranjo Trujillo’s statements.

In the chat with the Mexican journalists that extended more than two hours, the Colombian general defined the “Mafia State” as one which has its own spokesman and legal patrimonial possessions.  But also that which frees the sons of capos from judicial burden; that which exercises an invisible violence.  “The deaths in a Mafia State are not seen because they hide them or tolerate them,” he specified.

But General Naranjo, whose intelligence work shows that the Colombian State has scored convincing successes like the dismantling of the structures of the Medellin and Cali cartels, also warns that when the State confronts the narco head on, the organized criminals try to transmit, through blind violence, the perception that they are stronger than the State.

The general was not expressly referring to Mexico’s case, but rather to his experience in Colombia.  But it doesn’t take much imagination to see therein portrayed our reality.  In this “narco war” — as it was officially baptized in Los Pinos [equiv. White House], although it was then corrected — there are more than 28,000 deaths.

Discouragement is spreading in the population; fear, resignation.  The perception is spreading that there is neither when nor how to overcome the narcos.  “It is difficult to convince the ordinary citizen (of which there is progress) with so many deaths on the streets,” Naranjo states.

The Colombian Police official, nevertheless, considers that the “whole world” has been unfair to the Mexican government.  “Never has there been so much done to pursue crime,” Naranjo stressed.  And then he insisted: to pursue crime signifies securing democratic values. 



Milenio (Mexico City) 10/9/10

Grenade attack wounds police officer in Monterrey

Another grenade attack against a police facility in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, left one police officer wounded.  According to reports, a pedestrian passing by a police watch station Saturday night pulled a grenade from his clothing and tossed it at the officer on duty.  The explosion gravely wounded the officer and the grenade tosser fled on foot escaping in the confusion.



El Universo (Guayaquil, Ecuador) 10/9/10

Ton of cocaine seized at airport

Quito – A routine inspection at the airport in Ecuador’s capital city resulted in the seizure of a bit over a ton of cocaine destined for Holland.  Mateus, a sniffer dog, zeroed in on several cartons containing sheets of fiberboard under which were double bottoms containing packages of cocaine.  Two men were arrest in connection with the shipment, an Ecuadorian, Marco Efren Burgos Castillo, and an Austrian, Lippl Manfred.  The total weight actually exceeded a metric ton by 5.471 kilos.



Monday 10/11/10

El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City) 10/10/10

A call to protect migrants

Mexico City – “On crossing our country, the migrants seeking to find the American dream encounter the Mexican nightmare,” affirmed Hector Pedraza Olguin, a federal legislator, in exhorting the head of Mexican immigration (INM) to bring about a revision of policies, programs and actions to protect the human rights of those migrants crossing through Mexican territory.   



-end of report-

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