Wednesday, May 18, 2011

AZMEX UPDATE 2 18-5-11


Note: couple of interesting reports, and further down, a town fights

Border Patrol recovers 1,700 pounds of pot near Ajo
The Associated Press | Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:13 am

More than 1,700 pounds of marijuana has been recovered in the desert
in southwest Arizona.
The U.S. Border Patrol said Wednesday that agents found an abandoned
vehicle loaded with marijuana Monday southeast of Ajo.
Agents recovered 86 bundles of marijuana dumped by smugglers. The
vehicle and the pot were turned over to the Drug Enforcement

No luck in search for alleged murder victim
By the Nogales International
Published Tuesday, May 17, 2011 6:58 PM CDT

The search for the body of a drug smuggler purportedly killed by
bandits west of Tubac has so far come up empty.

Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies and Border Patrol agents had
combed a rugged area between Interstate 19 and Arivaca Road after an
alleged marijuana smuggler told authorities Sunday that he was part
of a group of drug mules robbed at gunpoint by border bandits, who
then killed one of his cohorts and forced him to bury the body.

But Sheriff Antonio Estrada said Tuesday afternoon that search teams
had been unable to find the grave. "Our people gave up on it
yesterday, but Border Patrol was going to check a couple locations
that they felt might match the description of what this witness
said," Estrada said.

Estrda said the alleged witness is in Border Patrol custody. The
Border Patrol's Tucson Sector did not immediately respond to a
request for information on the case.

Narcos hang banners in Hermosillo & Navojoa Things continue to be
increasingly unsettled in Sonora & Sinaloa.


Direct message to the 60 Battalion of Esperanza
Banners appeared, two in Hermosillo and two Navojoa.
In the case of Hermosillo were placed in the main boulevards, with a
message addressed to a Colonel of Infantry Battalion 60 based in
Esperanza, Municipality of Cajeme, where they alert and warn state
officials what could happen in the State unless is done to change

The message referred to Colonel Carlos Mederos Sanchez allegedly
protecting an organized crime group that allegedly wants to control
the state, according to the anonymous message from the authorities
not to act the situation could be complicated in the future in the

Displayed banners in Sonora: Lieutenant Colonel accused of protecting
members of Los Zetas

Several banners appeared during the afternoon yesterday and early
today in different parts of Sonora, all addressed to Lt. Col. Carlos
Sanchez Mederos, who is accused of protecting the Zetas.
The blankets were not signed by anyone, all agreed they wanted the
departure of the Lieutenant Colonel , said his group also committed
abuses in the population.

One of the banners was placed in a spectacular location against the
Santa Fe College in the city of Navojoa.

Full text:

Note: Vicente gets it wrong from the start. Major production, and
growing consumption.

Vicente Fox: 'We do the work for the U.S. in war on drugs'
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 22:13 SUN / DAILY
Chiapas, Chiapas
tarea-a-eu-en-lucha-antidrogas&catid=88:nacional&Itemid = 306

He said that Mexico is not a country of consumption or production,
transit only
Former President Vicente Fox Quesada restated that it is urgent to
change the government's strategy in the fight against organized crime
and drug trafficking to the cost of the violence in the country, "to
be doing the work for America. "
The former president stressed the need for new schemes to address
violence, triggered by the drug cartels.
"I'm on this line, we have to come up with new ideas, we are having
the very expensive issue of violence, in some way to give the task to
the United States we are not a country of consumption, we are not a
country of production, simple and simply in transit to that country,
"he said.
For doing the task to them (United States) are facing this problem,
so I think you have to find new strategies to address this issue, I
emphasize the PAN.
Vicente Fox took part in San Cristobal de las Casas in the 5 th
Congress of the International Association of Meeting Professionals
International, Mexico chapter.
Around the recent demonstration for peace and against violence, led
by the poet Javier Sicilia, the Guanajuato politician said that all
public expression should be welcomed, heard and heeded.
"Citizenship is being expressed and this is what brought us our
democracy, freedom to think, to manifest and in this case on the
issue of violence, " he argued.

Note: too good not to pass on, the Mexican people will fight back,
especially have they have weapons. Had to take these from the police
to do it. courtesy of

Mexico town barricades itself against cartel-backed loggers in rare
challenge to drug gangs
| Borderland Beat Reporter Gari
By Alexandra Olson,Gustavo Ruiz,
The Associated Press

CHERAN, Mexico — Masked and wielding rifles, the men of this mountain
town stand guard at blockades of tires and sandbags to stop illegal
loggers backed by drug traffickers. Their defiance isn't just about
defending their way of life; it's one of the first major challenges
to the reign of terror unleashed by Mexico's drug cartels.

The indigenous Purepecha people of this town surrounded by mountains
of pine forests and neat farmland took security into their own hands
last month after loggers, who residents say are backed by cartel
henchmen and local police, killed two residents and wounded several

"There is no fear here," said one young man, defiantly peering out
between a red handkerchief pulled up to his dark eyes and a
camouflage baseball cap riding low over his brow. "Here we are
fighting a David-and-Goliath battle because we are standing up to
organized crime, which is no small adversary."

Nearly all residents in the town of 16,000 in the southwestern state
of Michoacan spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity because of
safety concerns.

Such revolts have occurred frequently in indigenous communities in
Mexico where locals have demanded more autonomy, accusing the
government of neglect and corruption. Since the Zapatista rebellion
of the 1990s, many towns in Chiapas remain near-autonomous entities
with their own security rules.

The Cheran rebellion is one of the few examples of a town standing up
to drug cartels since President Felipe Calderon launched his
crackdown on organized crime in late 2006, sparking a national wave
of violence that has killed at least 35,000 people. Most Mexicans are
too frightened to openly fight back against gangs that have
terrorized the country with beheadings and massacres. Some towns in
northern Mexico have emptied as cartels move in.

The rebellion in Cheran caught the attention of the federal
government, which deployed troops and federal police last week to
patrol the outskirts of the town.

Illegal loggers have for years cut down thousands of acres (hectares)
of trees that the Purepecha depend on for log cabins, traditional
medicine and resin collection. Less than two years ago, the loggers
started showing up with caravans of armed men that the townspeople
believe belong to La Familia, a drug cartel based in Michoacan.

"La Familia has the heaviest presence in the zone. Everything
indicates that it's them because they have the biggest presence, but
we can't say for sure," said David Pena, a lawyer who has been
representing the community in negotiations for protection with the
federal government.

Disputes over communal woods — between those who want to log
indiscriminately and those who subsist on forest products — has long
been a source of conflict in southwestern Mexico. The federal
government has stepped up efforts against deforestation, conducting
raids and shutting down illegal sawmills.

But rogue loggers have become more violent as they align themselves
with drug cartels, said Rupert Knox, a Mexico researcher at London-
based Amnesty International, which has investigated the crisis in

Illegal logging has gone hand-in-glove with criminal gangs. They have
moved into that sphere and controlled it with extreme brutality and
corruption of local officials," Knox said.

The animosity came to a head in Cheran when residents captured five
illegal loggers on April 15 as their truck attempted to smuggle out
illegally harvested wood.

Two hours later, a convoy of armed men rumbled into the town to free
the detained loggers, accompanied by local police, according to Pena
and Amnesty International. One Cheran man was shot in the head and
remains in a coma. But the townspeople, through force of numbers,
managed to drive out the gunmen.

In apparent reprisal, loggers shot and killed two Cheran men and
wounded four others who were patrolling the woods on April 27.

Angry Cheran residents stormed the local police headquarters, seizing
18 guns. They swiftly barricaded the town, piling sandbags and tires
beneath plastic tents at several checkpoints along the main road.
Young men with rifles keep track of residents venturing out and
question anyone trying to get in.

"We want peace and security," reads a banner hanging over a pile of
logs at one blockade.

Classes have been suspended at the town's more than 20 schools, which
draws students from neighboring communities because both Spanish and
the Purepecha language are taught. Instead, young boys hang out at
the barricades, covering their faces with handkerchiefs and
pretending to patrol with plastic toy guns.

"Everything is paralyzed out of fear that this gang might attack the
children," said a soft-spoken man wearing a white bandanna and a
black wool cap at a checkpoint.

The municipal police dissolved itself. Mayor Roberto Bautista Chapina
reported the guns stolen but has otherwise stayed out of the dispute,
trying not to inflame tensions. He said the Cheran men attacked the
police chief and grabbed his gun.

Community leaders and Interior Department representatives met Tuesday
in the state capital of Morelia and agreed on a long-term security
plan, Pena said. The government promised to set up two bases outside
the town for army troops and federal and state police, who will
patrol the hills and forests and meet weekly with Cheran leaders.
Residents will be allowed to keep protecting the town on their own.

The illegal logging has affected 80 percent of Cheran's 44,500 acres
(18,000 hectares) of forest, Pena said. In some places, that means
patches of trees have been cut down; in others, whole woods have

Already, Cheran had struggled to maintain its way of life. More than
40 percent of its residents have immigrated to the United States over
the years, according to the government. Remittances have replaced
farming and resin sales as Cheran's main source of income.

Still, customs are fiercely guarded. Many people live in log cabins
topped by red-tiled roofs. The women maintain the traditional dress
of a wrapped cotton skirt and brightly colored satin blouse.

Cheran's men say the barricades won't come down until they overcome
this latest threat to their traditions.

"This fight is not for a month or a year. It's for life," said the
soft-spoken man in the white bandanna. "We don't believe there will
be a quick solution."

He hopes other communities will be inspired to fight back against
organized crime.

"We think it's difficult but not impossible," he said. "If they can
start with Cheran, cutting down the forests, they will continue with
other communities. And if the communities don't organize, in the end,
they will destroy everything that for us is life."

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