Sunday, May 22, 2011


AZMEX UPDATE 21 MAY 2011 Mucho stuff

Citizen self-defense multiply
José Gil Olmos

Faced with the inability of municipal authorities, and even the
federals, to apprehend criminals, control the attacks and kidnappings
that have soared in the last two years, community members, producers
and entrepreneurs in the municipalities of Ocuituco, and Tetela
Ocoxaltepec Volcano, all in Morelos, citizens decided to form self-
defense groups. They say they only follow the example of communities
of Guerrero, Chihuahua and Michoacan, which has long had their own
security forces. He explains: "We are not policemen," so the narco
"we're not involved."

VOLCANO TETELA, MOR., May 21 (Process) .- From the top of Pumpkin
Hill sighted people of Morelos and Puebla built on the slopes of
Popocatepetl. From there, a watchtower overlooking the entire
environment while listening to your radio low frequency that is used
to communicate with their peers, especially when a villain lurking in
the area.

"If criminals are organized, we do too," says the watchman, who goes
by the code Zorro. In his observation post waves a flag that
symbolizes national unity and the patriotic sense of organization.

Fox released a warning: "We now know that the bitch is fierce and we
will not crack." Along with other locals, entrepreneurs and producers
of peaches and avocado, it is part of the city of self Lightning,
which since September last year operating in the high Morelos.

The residents were organized to acquire the necessary technology to
install its operations center, which includes a radio antenna
installed at the peak of the hill to get a better reception. Thanks
to this infrastructure, the organization has a coverage that goes
beyond the state.

As in Morelos, where crime rises every day at the inability of the
authorities in other towns like Cheran, Michoacán, in the regions of
the coast and the mountains in Guerrero, and LeBaron, Chihuahua, also
There are vigilante groups such as Lightning.

Extract from the report published in the 1803 edition of Proceso
magazine, already in circulation.

Note: several dots not quite connecting yet.

Florida man arrested on weapons charge
May 20, 2011 9:23 PM
By LAURA B. MARTINEZ, The Brownsville Herald

A Florida resident accused of trying to smuggle assault rifles and
handguns into Mexico from the United States has waived his
preliminary examination before a federal judge.

Placido Molina Jr., 25, of Okeechobee, Fla., appeared Thursday before
U.S. Magistrate Ronald G. Morgan, who set bail at $50,000. Ten
percent, or $5,000, is needed to post bond.

An order regarding his release states that Molina must meet several
conditions, including surrendering his passport, avoiding contact
with the individuals linked to the case, submitting to monitoring and
agreeing to home confinement.

Molina was arrested May 14 at the Gateway International Bridge in
Brownsville where officials allege that he attempted to smuggle into
Mexico three AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, two AK-47 automatic rifles,
two semiautomatic handguns, nine assorted rifle magazines and three
assorted handgun magazines.

He reportedly was stopped in the southbound lane at the bridge.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said Molina, when asked,
denied he was taking any weapons or large amounts of money into Mexico.

Officers said they found the weapons and ammunition in the trunk of
the 2003 Ford Taurus Molina was driving.
According to federal court documents, the weapons were wrapped in
plastic and aluminum foil and hidden among clothes and other items.

Molina reportedly told officers he bought the weapons and magazines
in Florida and had driven to Brownsville with plans to cross the
international bridge en route to the state of Guerrero, Mexico,
located in the country's southern region along the Pacific coast.
Acapulco is in Guerrero.

According to court documents, Molina stated he knew it was illegal to
take weapons and ammunition across the border.

Note: looks like at DOJ-DHS press release

Federal grand jury indicts more in gun ring
May 20, 2011 9:25 PM

A second indictment returned this month by a federal grand jury in
Dallas regarding a gun trafficking ring upped the number of suspects
from three to eight.

The ring is implicated in the illegal purchase of weapons, removing
serial numbers and smuggling the arms to Mexico.

The case includes the suspect tied to one of the weapons traced to
the slaying of ICE Special Agent Jaime J. Zapata in Mexico Feb. 15,
public records show.
The new indictment, returned May 4, supersedes the earlier one dated
March 23 and contains 21 counts. Still named as defendants are
brothers Ranferi Osorio and Otilio Osorio and neighbor Kelvin Leon
Morrison, all of Lancaster.

New defendants include Angel Pablo Monroy, Rosendo Quinones, Luis
Carbajal, Eder Talamantes and Kevin Bueno, the federal court record
All are being held without bail.

Attack on ICE agents
U.S. and Mexico officials have said that Brownsville native Zapata, a
special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. and fellow
Special Agent Victor Avila of El Paso were attacked by a squad of hit
men — "sicarios" — with the Zetas criminal organization while
traveling on official business in the state of San Luis Potosí. The
agents were riding in a U.S. government-owned SUV with diplomatic
license plates.

Zapata was killed and Avila was seriously injured.
More than 80 rounds from AK-47s were found at the scene, U.S.
officials have said.

Three months earlier
Months before the attack, a confidential informant in the Dallas area
for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(ATF) had arranged a meeting with individuals who had firearms to
transport from Dallas to Laredo, public records obtained by The
Brownsville Herald show. The meeting reportedly occurred in early

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents had asked if ATF could
have the informant take guns from Dallas to Laredo for an
organization that DEA was investigating, according to an affidavit by
an ATF agent on Feb. 27.
"According to the agents in Laredo, DEA Dallas and DEA Laredo had an
open investigation into the Zetas DTO (drug trafficking organization)
who is actively trying to acquire firearms unlawfully in the United
States for shipment into Mexico. The organization is also moving drug
proceeds from Mexico to the United States for this very purpose," the
affidavit states.
"The meeting was arranged related to an investigation of Los Zetas, a
notoriously violent and ruthless drug-trafficking organization," a
statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice March 1 says.

Controlled operation
On Nov.9, 2010, the informant met the individuals who had the
firearms at Interstate 35 in Lancaster so that federal agents could
monitor them dropping off the weapons to the informant for movement
to Laredo and ultimately to Mexico, the court records show.

Several large bags containing 40 weapons were unloaded from a vehicle
used by the Osorios and Morrison to the informant's vehicle, the
records say.

ATF and DEA kept the informant under surveillance until a vehicle
stop in Laredo. The firearms were seized before they were taken into
Mexico, the federal records state.
The weapons included 12 Romarm 7.62 pistols, Model Draco C, a total
of 18 7.62 rifles, six 223 rifles, three 9 mm rifles, Model 995, and
one .410 shotgun.

The weapon
The Department of Justice said March 1 that "Mexican officials
recently seized three firearms that were used in the deadly shooting
on Feb. 15, 2011, of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
agent. One of the firearms recovered was traced by ATF to Otilio

The weapon was a Romarm-Cugir, model Draco, 7.62 pistol, with an
obliterated serial number. The serial number was restored, and ATF
traced it to Osorio who allegedly purchased it Oct. 10, 2010.

Federal officials say they kept the informant under surveillance at
all times.
Court records indicate that this weapon was not among the arms seized
in November.

Note: KHRR CH 40 in Tucson. As noted before, more kidnappings and
home invasions than ever reported. Extensive coverage on KTAZ in Phx
also. Don't know about the claim of "random", also rather unusual
to lift someone in Tucson and then go to Phx. An endorsement of Pima
county law enforcement?

Phoenix Police catch suspected kidnappers
Posted: May 20, 2011 5:09 PM
Updated: May 20, 2011 9:18 PM

Suspect : Luis Alberto Cervantes
Suspect: Gabriel Luz-Hernandez
Reporter: Claire Doan
Web Producer: Marissa Pasquet

PHOENIX / TUCSON (KGUN9) - Two men have been arrested after holding a
man against his will in Phoenix, according to police.

According to Phoenix Police, 20-year-old Luis Alberto Cervantes and
20-year-old Gabriel Luz-Hernandez, targeted the victim while he was
driving on a Tucson road.

Police said the two suspects, along with three others, ran him off
the road and took him out at gunpoint; then they covered his eyes and
bound his hands with duct tape, threw him in the trunk and drove him
to a house in Phoenix, where they held him captive for hours.
"They tied me up all day in the bathroom. Sitting on the toilet,
that's where they kept me," the victim recalled.

Police said the suspects contacted the family and demanded a ransom
of $10,000. The victim's sister contacted the local Telemundo
television station for help, and an individual there alerted the
Phoenix Police Department about the situation. Her husband was en-
route to Phoenix to pay the ransom with cash and a car title. "I
told them, 'Yes, please don't do anything to my brother. I have the
money. I have the title. Just tell me where you want to meet,'" said
the victim's brother-in-law.

Phoenix Police's Home Invasion Kidnapping Enforcement squad
(H.I.K.E.) made contact with the brother-in-law before he arranged to
meet up with the suspects at a restaurant on 2300 block of West
Thomas in Phoenix. Officers safely rescued the victim, even though
the suspects were armed with semi-automatic guns.

"When they opened the door to the other car where the money was,
police showed up and arrested them both," the victim recalled.

Both Cervantes and Luz-Hernandez were taken into custody without
Police say that both suspects admitted their involvement in this
crime, and that Luz-Hernandez made admissions about another armed
robbery committed in Phoenix.
The suspects have been charged with kidnapping, extortion, weapons
violations, and armed robbery.

The victim sustained minor injuries. It's not clear at this time why
the victim was targeted.

Giffords' office will host 3 lawmakers on border tour
Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 12:00 am | Comments

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office will take three out-of-state
legislators on a tour of southeastern Arizona's stretch of the U.S.-
Mexico border this weekend.
Reps. John Barrow, D-Ga., Jason Altmire, D-Pa., and Tim Holden, D-
Pa., will visit the Douglas area in Cochise County on Sunday,
according to a news release from Giffords' office.
They will visit the Douglas Port of Entry, meet with Immigration and
Customs Enforcement officials to hear about anti-smuggling operations
and meet with ranchers who live east of Douglas in the corridor where
rancher Robert Krentz was killed in March 2010, a news release from
Giffords' office says.
The congressmen, who, like Giffords, belong to the Blue Dog
Coalition, will also get the latest information on the human-caused
Horseshoe 2 Fire burning in the Chiricahua Mountains. Ultralight drug
smuggling will also be discussed.
Giffords, D-Ariz., proposed a bill last year that would create
stiffer penalties for people caught smuggling drugs via ultralights.
That bill passed the House in a 412-3 vote, the release says.
The tour is part of a continued effort by Giffords to familiarize
legislators from around the country about the impacts the unsecured
border has on the United States, Pia Carusone, the congresswoman's
chief of staff, said in the news release. Earlier this year, her
office hosted Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, on a border tour.
Giffords is in a Houston hospital recovering from being shot in the
head in January during a political event in Tucson.

Note: have to wonder why this guy wasn't in jail.

Border agents arrest child rapist in Douglas
by Ben Backhaus - May. 20, 2011 06:41 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team
Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a convicted child
rapist at a border passage in Douglas on warrants for failing to
register as a sex offender.

The man, whom officials identified as a 34-year-old U.S. citizen from
Phoenix, was attempting to enter the United States through the
Douglas port pedestrian processing area. CBP officers discovered the
man was convicted of three counts of rape of a child in Seattle in
Nov. 2002.

A records check also revealed the man had multiple warrants for
failure to register as a sex offender and for escape of community

The man was arrested and turned over to the Douglas Police Department
for extradition.

Special units rescue Tucson man held for ransom, Phoenix police say
May. 20, 2011 01:53 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

A Tucson man who was run off the road and held for ransom was rescued
this week by Phoenix police, with the help of a media organization,
authorities said Friday.
Police were tipped off Wednesday by a news crew that had been
contacted by the kidnapping victim's sister, Sgt. Steve Martos of
Phoenix police said.

The victim's brother-in-law was en route from Tucson to Phoenix on
Wednesday to pay the ransom when the Police Department's Home
Invasion Kidnapping Enforcement team interceded and helped devise a
plan for him to meet the abductors at a restaurant near 23rd Avenue
and Thomas Road, Martos said.

The police team, assisted by a Special Assignments Unit, rescued the
man, who authorities said was bound with duct tape covering his eyes
and bounding his hands.

The two suspects were taken into custody without incident. Police say
Luis Alberto Cervantes, 20, and Gabriel Luz-Hernandez, 20, were armed
with handguns at the time of their arrest; they were each booked on
kidnapping, extortion, weapons violations and armed robbery.

The victim, identified only as a 21-year-old man, was driving in his
vehicle when he was run off the road, put into the trunk of a car and
taken to a house in Phoenix, Martos said. He suffered minor injuries
and has since returned to Tucson with his sister and her husband,
authorities said.

Trailblazing Border Patrol agent takes command of Nogales station
17-year veteran holds many 'first female' honors in the organization
Fri, 05/20/2011 - 23:08

Leslie M. Lawson's more than 17 years with the Border Patrol have
seen her posted to places far and wide, including California, Puerto
Rico, Vermont and Washington, D.C. (Mexico City Photo/U.S. Border
Nogales International

NOGALES — Leslie Lawson has been blazing a leadership trail for
women in the U.S. Border Patrol almost since she graduated from the
Border Patrol Academy in 1994.
In 1998, she became the first female supervisory agent at the Ramey
station in Puerto Rico. In 2001, she was promoted as the station's
first woman patrol agent in charge. The following year, she was named
the first female assistant chief patrol agent in charge of the Border
Patrol's Swanton Sector, which covers northern Vermont, New
Hampshire and part of the New York-Ontario border.

Now, after additional stints in high-level agency positions in
Washington, D.C. and Mexico City, Lawson has been tapped as the first
woman to permanently lead the Border Patrol's largest outpost, the
Nogales station. In a statement issued this week, the Border Patrol
said she would take over management of the station in early July from
Sabri Dikman.
Dikman, Michael Hyatt and Thomas Rudd are among the agents who have
taken turns leading the Nogales station on an interim basis since
long-time station chief Al White was reassigned last June.
Lawson was "transitioning" and not immediately available for
comment, the Border Patrol said. But the statement announcing her new
assignment said, "She brings more than 17 years of experience and
leadership to the position, including time spent in the field, at
headquarters and on foreign assignments."
The Border Patrol could not immediately provide the number of women
patrol agents in charge at its 139 stations, but Steven Cribby, a
spokesman for the agency in Washington, D.C., said that of the Border
Patrol's 20 sectors, three are led by women.
In all, approximately 5 percent of the 20,736 Border Patrol Agents
nationwide are women, Cribby said.
In 2006, following her stints at the Ramey and Swanton stations,
Lawson was promoted to associate chief at Border Patrol headquarters
in Washington, D.C. While there, she co-led a national workgroup
examining methods to improve the Border Patrol's recruitment and
retention of women. As a result of that effort, she was named
Outstanding Advocate for Women in Law Enforcement in 2010 by Women in
Federal Law Enforcement, a professional association based in
Arlington, Va.
Reaching out to women and other under-represented groups is a key
component of the Border Patrol's recruitment strategy, Cribby said.
The Border Patrol has specific marketing campaigns aimed at
recruiting women, and has developed contacts with women's colleges
and advocacy groups as it tries to boost their numbers.
"Diversity and inclusion are a priority in the highest ranks of CBP
(U.S. Customs and Border Protection) and DHS (the Department of
Homeland Security)," Cribby said.
Prior to joining the Border Patrol, Lawson served as a part-time
customs inspector with the U.S. Customs Service, and as an
immigration examiner with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Her first assignment after graduating the Border Patrol Academy in
1994 was at the Chula Vista Station in California, where she was
promoted to senior patrol agent in 1997.
Since 2009, Lawson has been the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
She holds a masters of science in Criminal Justice from Michigan
State University.

Tucson Sector border agents seize ton of pot in 24-hour span
Fri, 05/20/2011 - 23:14

This vehicle, containing approximately 1,887 pounds of marijuana, was
discovered concealed in brush after Border Patrol agents near Ajo
spotted it traveling off-road with its headlights off. (Photo
courtesy of Customs and Border Protection)

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TUCSON — Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized a combined total
of approximately 2,211 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents
over the past 24 hours. The marijuana has an estimated value of $1.1
On Thursday night, Sonoita station agents observed a vehicle driving
off-road near a checkpoint on State Route 83. The vehicle sped off in
an effort to evade arrest and two subjects later fled the vehicle on

Responding agents discovered 324 pounds of marijuana inside the
abandoned vehicle and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter
arrived to assist the agents with the apprehension of the vehicle's
driver, a 17-year-old male from Mexico, and his passenger, a 21-year-
old male also from Mexico.
Records checks revealed the vehicle had previously been reported
stolen through the Pascua Yaqui Police Department. Both subjects are
being prosecuted on federal drug charges.
Early Friday morning, Ajo atation agents using surveillance
technology detected a vehicle driving off-road with its lights out.
Agents on the ground found the vehicle abandoned and concealed in the
brush with assistance from a CBP helicopter and the Horse Patrol
Unit. The vehicle contained approximately 1,887 pounds of marijuana.
The vehicle and marijuana were seized for processing.
The Border Patrol regularly adapts and shifts resources to mitigate
smuggling activity. Using a mix of technology and specialized units
such as helicopters and horses allows for increased response times in
remote and rugged terrain.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the
Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments
towards establishing a secure and safe border environment and
improving the quality of life throughout the communities in the state
of Arizona.
The Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community. Report
suspicious activity by calling toll free 1-877-872-7435.
All calls will be answered promptly and callers will remain anonymous.
A man who allegedly shot at two Bureau of Land Management agents will
now appear in Cochise County Superior Court in early July.
Tracy Levi Thibodeaux is charged with two counts of attempted murder
and two counts of aggravated assault with a rifle against Tim
Rinehart and Mark Brunk on June 5 of last year.
A Rule 11 mental competency review hearing was supposed to be held on
Friday in Division 3 court, but it has been rescheduled for July 1.
Jonathon Shacat • Herald/Review

Note: more than a few graves out here.

No luck in search for alleged gravesite
By Jonathan Clark
Nogales International
Published Friday, May 20, 2011 11:29 AM CDT

The search for the body of a drug smuggler purportedly killed by
bandits west of Tubac has so far come up empty, casting doubt on an
alleged witness' harrowing account of hijack and murder.

Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies and Border Patrol agents 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. The bandits
killed one of his cohorts who tried to flee, the man said, and then
let him go after forcing him to bury the body.

But Sheriff Antonio Estrada said Thursday his deputies called off
their search after they were unable to find the grave. "We backed
off a couple days ago because we couldn't find the locations that he
seemed to remember," Estrada said.

The Border Patrol searched a bit longer, combing a few additional
areas that might have matched the man's account. But spokesman Mario
Escalante said agents had also come up empty.

"We did continue the search but were unable to find anything," he

Asked if the lack of evidence shakes his confidence in the alleged
witness' story, Estrada said, "It does, obviously." "We hope
that it is not true, because we don't want to have people buried out
there," he said, adding that he also doesn't want anyone to get
away with committing a crime and concealing the evidence.

However, with the search now over, the best chance of finding a
possible grave is if Border Patrol agents come across it during their
routine patrols, Estrada said.

Mexican police catch Gulf drug cartel leader
by MARK STEVENSON / Associated Press
Posted: 05/21/2011 09:19:24 AM MDT

Suspects Gilberto Barragan Balderas, center, Eduardo Mejias
Gonzalez,... (AP Photo / Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican federal police captured a leading member
of the Gulf drug cartel Friday at what appeared to have been his
birthday party, authorities said.
Gilberto Barragan Balderas "is considered one of the main leaders of
the Gulf Cartel" and is the subject of a $5 million reward by the
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said Ramon Pequeno, head of
anti-drug operations for the federal police.
Barragan Balderas was allegedly in charge of the cartel's operations
in Miguel Aleman, across the border from Roma, Texas. Police captured
him at a party at a ranch near another border city, Reynosa, which is
across from McAllen, Texas.
Police said the party was apparently in honor of Barragan Balderas'
May 19 birthday. Two alleged associates were also arrested in the
raid, which also netted an assault rifle and three pistols.
No formal charges had been filed against any of the suspects.
Barragan Balderas, 41, is wanted on drug trafficking charges in the
United States under a 2008 indictment.
A DEA statement says he was "responsible for obtaining advanced
notice regarding the movement and locations of military and state
police patrols and mobile checkpoints, thus protecting shipments of
cocaine and marijuana for the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas" before the
two gangs split in 2010.
The Gulf and Zetas cartels are now bitter rivals, and federal police
said one of Barragan Balderas' "duties was to defend territory in
Tamaulipas against attacks by the rival Zetas."
The Zetas have also been expanding into other territories in Mexico
and engaging in a series of turf battles with gangs other than the Gulf.
On Friday, the attorney general of the north-central state of
Zacatecas said at least 10 people were killed in a gunbattle
apparently involving the Zetas and a rival front of gangs known as
the "United Cartels."
"I say at least 10 people, because witnesses say that the gunmen,
before they left ... took away other bodies," Attorney General
Arturo Nahle told a local television station.
Gunmen left 11 vehicles at the scene of the confrontation in the
remote town of Florencia de Benito Juarez. Six of the vehicles were
bulletproofed, officials said.
The United Cartels is believed to be an alliance between the Gulf,
Sinaloa and the La Familia cartels, to form a common front against
encroachments by the Zetas.
Also Friday, Mexico's federal security spokesman said homicides in
the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez have dropped from an average
of 11 a day in October to about four a day in April.
Alejandro Poire attributed the drop to the deployment of thousands of
federal police and efforts by local prosecutors. But he added that
"the problem is not 100 percent solved."
More than 6,000 people have died the past two years from drug-related
violence in the city, which sits across from El Paso, Texas.
Despite the bloodshed, the state legislature is scheduled to award
the city the title of "Heroic" Ciudad Juarez on Saturday in
recognition of the city's participation in the 1910-17 Mexican
The killings extend throughout various parts of Mexico. On Friday,
police in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero reported they found the
decpitated bodies of four men in the township of Tecpan de Galeana,
about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Acapulco.
Also Friday, President Felipe Calderon met with a delegation of U.S.
lawmakers led by Rep. Connie Mack, a Florida Republican who is
chairman of the House subcommittee on Western Hemisphere affairs.
Calderon's office said in a statement that the president stressed
"the importance of combatting ever more firmly and efficiently
weapons trafficking and money laundering," two elements that Mexico
says fuel the bloody drug war that has cost over 35,000 lives since
late 2006.
He also "stressed the importance of fully recognizing the
contributions that Mexican migrants make to the U.S. economy and

Mexican President Calderón highlights successes in Juárez
by Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera \ El Paso Times
Posted: 05/21/2011 11:50:06 AM MDT

Mexican President Felipe Caldern Speaks Friday at the inauguration of
a... (Special to the Times)
JUAREZ -- Timing his most recent visit to Juárez on Friday to
coincide with the 100th anniversary of an important historic battle
in the city, Mexican President Felipe Calderón took advantage of the
celebratory mood to underline the federal government's achievements
in the past year.
Calderón's fourth visit to Juárez since the beginning of the wave of
violence now hammering the city comes one year after the launch of
the federal program "Todos Somos Juárez," which has poured more than
$250 million into the city in an attempt to restore the city's social
"It's easy for a politician or a governing official to make promises.
Even easier for a candidate to make promises. What's difficult is to
fulfill those promises. That's why I'm happy to say that we gave our
word, we made a commitment, and we have lived up to it," Calderón said.
Some agreed with him; others did not.
Arturo Valenzuela, secretary of the Medical Citizen Committee and a
member of Juárez's Security Worktable, said law enforcement and the
judicial system have seen important improvements since Calderón's
last visit.
"The justice system was completely collapsed during the previous
(state) administration. After we spoke with the president,
(Chihuahua) Gov. César Duarte put his team to work and with a lot of
effort turned around the justice system," he said.
Calderón's agenda Friday included attending the inaugurations of a
new methane gas extraction plant, a technical university in a poor
Western neighborhood and a new museum honoring the Mexican
revolution. All three benefited in some way from federal money.
Mónica Salazar, a 20-year-old student who attended the inauguration
of the new Technological University of Ciudad Juárez in Anapra, said
she was happy to see the government invest in education. "This type
of support is good for the city, specially for such an isolated area
like this one. It's important to help the city move forward," she said.
But security is still lacking, she said. "In terms of security, I
think things are still the same. We're tired of turning our
televisions and seeing more crimes everyday. We can't even go out and
have fun because something can happen to us out there."
Others agreed.
"I don't know if violence has diminished by where (Calderón) lives,
but things remain the same here," said Ignacio Martínez, a
maquiladora worker who lives in Anapra.
During his speech at the new campus, Calderón underlined the drop in
the number of homicides since October, which reached 359 violent
deaths and became the most savage month for the city since 2008. Last
month, the number of violent deaths -- 142 -- was the lowest since
beginning of the violence.
Despite the drop in homicides within the city, last month the state
of Chihuahua reported 374 slayings, the highest number of violent
deaths in any other state in Mexico, according to an analysis from
Mexican newspaper Milenio. With 1,402 homicides, April was one of the
bloodiest months for the country.
The number of other major crimes documented by Mexican authorities --
such as extortions, kidnappings and auto theft -- continues at the
same alarming levels as last year.
This morning, Calderón will attend a congressional session in Juárez
to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Juárez, which led
to the resignation of then-President Porfirio Díaz. He will also
watch a military parade in Downtown Juárez.
Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera may be reached at; 549-6129.

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