Saturday, March 31, 2012



Note: 8 Galil and 7 M4's? Rocky Point, Son

Weapons delivered to Penasco police
Details Posted on Friday, March 30, 2012 7:20
Written by Azucena Mazon / El Diario
Puerto Penasco

With an investment of 390 thousand pesos Subsemun resources were
dedicated to arms to elements of Public Safety in Puerto Peñasco.

The armament consists of 15 semiautomatic and automatic weapons
caliber 5.56 x 45, Gali model and M4 were delivered to local agents
by Mayor Alejandro Zepeda and public safety director Lazaro Hernandez

There the police commander said Lazar Hernandez that such weapons
will be used only by members who met the requirements issued by the
Department of Defense and the State Government to pass through the C3
and approve the special training course.
In presenting the weapons the mayor Alejandro Zepeda said that
besides equipment and training this year police stations were
rehabilitated and new units were delivered, and wage increases.
Asked officers to follow all instructions and use these weapons
responsibly, only when some event arises that threatens his life.

Feds seize more than 10K rounds of ammo
(March 30th, 2012 @ 3:18pm)

NOGALES, Ariz. -- Federal authorities in southern Arizona say they've
seized more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition from a tractor-trailer
headed to Mexico.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nogales Port were
screening travelers Thursday night.

A 47-year-old Mexican man driving a big rig claimed he lost the key
to one of the locked compartments officers wanted to search after a
canine team alerted to the presence of ammunition.

Officers forced open the locked compartment and discovered the
ammunition in a mixture of 9 mm, and .38- and .45-caliber rounds.
Also found were 63 magazines including an assortment, such as those
used in AK47 assault rifles and high-capacity magazine drums.

The driver was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. His name
wasn't released.

Friday March 30, 2012

Army personnel returned arms to the Municipal Police Mocorito, after
the alleged incident for inspection for evidence of links to the
clashes that have occurred in the municipality.

With this, the police returned to their normal duties after the
military gave their approval and their weapons returned last night
because they could not see that there were irregularities in them.

Staff of 42 Infantry Battalion disarmed Mocorito Municipal Police
after a confrontation in which two soldiers were injured, although
not established the link between the two.

Yesterday, General Moses Melo Garcia told the media that disarmament
was a routine check to see if the weapons of law enforcement officers
were being used by members of organized crime groups.

During the inspection, the director of the Municipal Police, Manuel
Tavarez Soto, was transferred to the facilities of the 42 Infantry
Battalion to answer questions from the military. However, according
to Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez, he was released from the afternoon of
yesterday, found no irregularities against him.

This morning, the newly installed military personnel in the
municipality of Mocorito to start enforcement work.

Five Juárez officers slain may have been set up
By Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera and Lourdes Cardenas \ El Paso Times
Posted: 03/30/2012 12:00:00 AM MDT

JUAREZ -- The five Juárez police officers shot and killed Wednesday
night might have been set up by other officers who might have been
working for drug cartels, authorities said Thursday.
"One of the lines of investigation is related to the possibility that
the officers were set up from inside the department," said state
prosecutor Jorge Gonzalez Nicolas. "This is a hypothesis, but it is
not a secret that in many cases hit men receive information from
somebody close to the victims."
The officers -- three men and two women -- were shot and killed at a
party by several gunmen. Two other officers were taken to a hospital.
One of them is in stable condition, and the other one is still
fighting for his life, said Juárez Police Chief Julián Leyzaola.
All of the officers were off duty when they were they were surprised
by the gunmen.
According to the state prosecutor's office, 26 casings normally used
by AK-47s and six casings from a 9mm were found in the home where the
attack occurred.
The officers killed were identified as Brenda Angelica
Ulloa, 28; Maria del Socorro Romero Olague, 34; Juan Manuel Rodríguez
Ceballos, 35; Blas Alfredo Barrera Debora, 46; and Martin Graciano
Ayala, 43.
The slayings are the deadliest attack on police officers since
Leyzaola became police chief in March 2011. This is also the first
time prosecutors said that infiltration of the police department by
criminals is being investigated.
On Thursday, Juárez Mayor Héctor "Teto" Murguía refused to answer
questions about any possible ceremony to honor the fallen officers.
"We will see," he said.
He also refused to discuss any future strategies to protect the lives
of other polices officers, who last month were taken to heavily
guarded hotels for their protection. The officers were sequestered
after eight of them were killed in January while on duty, and a narco
banner said one officer would be killed every day unless Leyzaola
The banner accuses Leyzaola of favoring one cartel over another. The
Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels have been battling each other for
control of the drug-trafficking in the area. Since 2008, about 9,400
people have been killed.
The police were taken out of the hotels without notice three weeks ago.
"We are not going to discuss our further security strategies,"
Murguía said.
He said officers should avoid gathering in groups for their own safety.
"We have evidence that when officers let down their guard, when they
party as it happened yesterday, they are attacked," he said.
Murguía complained that a law doesn't allow officers to take their
weapons home.
"They (police officers) have all the right to have a good time, but
now they are the target of criminals, and they can't be caught off
guard," Murguía said.
So far this year, 18 officers have been killed.
Murguía spoke about the issue during an event to announce a new phase
in the city's overall strategy to reduce crime. At the news
conference, he and Leyzaola called the police officers "brave and
misunderstood" (valientes e incomprendidos).
"It is true that there were some bad elements that were not respected
by society, but it is also fair to recognize that our police today
are giving the most precious thing they have: their own life for the
peace of this city," Leyzaola said.
Murguia and Leyzaola stressed that there is an ongoing reduction of
all types of crime in the city, and they said that criminals are
being isolated.
"Before we had 2,000 crimes per month; now we have around 800,"
Leyzaola said. "It is true that we are not going to end
delinquency ... that would be utopia, but we are certain and
confident that we are going to isolate criminals."
Earlier in Washington, D.C., the assistant secretary of state for the
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs said
that local and state law enforcement agencies in Mexico are
infiltrated by organized crime and that Juárez remains the most
dangerous city in the world.
"These kinds of comments drive away investments," said Murguía.
He also invited business owners, journalists and public officials to
visit Juárez.
He said Juárez is not the most dangerous city in the world. He said
it could be in the top five.
And the U.S. consul in Juárez said that the warning against U.S.
citizens traveling to Juárez continues.
"The are some indications that crime has declined," Thomas G. Rogan,
U.S. consul. "But it is still necessary to wait for more improvements
before visiting the city."
On Thursday, the modest green house on Colonia Oasis Revolución where
the officers were killed remained almost unchanged.
No police line protected the house. Thick streaks of dried up blood
could still be seen on the small, paved porch. Several crushed cans
of beer and bottles of wine coolers were spread throughout the
grounds. Three AK-47 bullet casings and a pair of sunglasses were
forgotten by the state's forensic team.
Neighborhood resident Carlos Medina identified the officer who owned
the house as Eva Austorga Mendoza, 26, who has lived there for almost
20 years.
Medina said Austorga lived with her mother, daughter and son. Most of
the family left almost a week ago to visit their family in Pachuca in
the state of Hidalgo. Her daughter goes to elementary school and her
son is 2 or 3 years old, he said.
Her whereabouts was unclear Thursday.
Medina said it was the first time Austorga had organized a get-
together with other officers. One neighbor who preferred not to be
identified said the party began about 3 p.m. The officers were
outside her home listening to music. Two uniformed officers stopped
by at some point to drink a beer, he said.
The neighbor said he was afraid to approach Austorga after she became
a police officer about 2åyears ago and had not talked to her very
much since then. But Medina said Austorga was a kind person and a
good mother.
"Everybody says things about police officers, but not all officers
are like that," he said.
Medina said he wasn't home when the attack took place but still
managed to see a police car drive away with the two wounded officers.
The violence had left his mother very afraid, he said.
Another neighbor who preferred not to be identified said she had
known Austorga for 10 years and had expressed concerns when she
learned Austorga was joining the police force.
"We felt very sad. We didn't want her to join because of the
violence," she said.

Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera may be reached at; 546-6129.
Lourdes Cardenas may be reached at; 546-6249.

Friday, March 30, 2012

AZMEX I3 30-3-12

AZMEX I3 30 MAR 2012

Sierra Vista contractor fined $450,000; others got jail time
Probation for AZ man in illegal hiring case
Jacques Billeaud The Associated Press | Posted: Friday, March 30,
2012 12:00 am | Comments

A Southern Arizona contractor who pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring
illegal immigrants was sentenced to probation Thursday in the first
case in the state in which authorities pursued criminal charges
instead of just fines against an employer in an illegal hiring case.
Ivan Hardt, owner of Sun Dry Wall & Stucco Inc. of Sierra Vista, was
sentenced in Tucson by U.S. District Judge Raner Collins to one year
of probation for the misdemeanor conviction.
Hardt, 49, also had pleaded guilty last year to the misdemeanor
charge and a felony charge of conspiring to harbor illegal
immigrants, but the felony charge will be dismissed if he pays the
government $450,000. That figure consists of $225,000 to cover
proceeds that the company received during the time the illegal
immigrants were employed there and another $225,000 to settle a civil
dispute with the government over its payment to its legal and illegal
Hardt's attorney, Michael Piccarreta, said his client has already
paid $300,000 and plans to square up the debt before an October
The March 2007 bust of Hardt's business represented a new approach by
federal authorities in Arizona that focused on criminal cases against
company officials. Some violators viewed the previous strategy of
seeking only civil penalties as the cost of doing business.
Now, people who hire illegal immigrants could face jail time, which
authorities hope will be a stronger deterrent.
"No one would want to go through what Mr. Hardt has been through in
the last five years," Piccarreta said. "And I think the sentence is a
reflection that he accepted responsibility and immediately took steps
to make sure that that would never happen again. He also had a severe
financial penalty."
Piccarreta said the violations occurred when Arizona's construction
boom was still in effect and employers such as Hardt had difficulty
finding enough workers to cover all their contractual obligations.
Hardt's sentence should serve as a warning to other employers, said
Matthew Allen, chief of investigations for U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement in Arizona.
"Hiring unlawful workers not only fuels illegal immigration and
perpetuates a shadow economy, but it negatively impacts job
opportunities for our nation's lawful workforce," Allen said in a
written statement, noting that immigration agents will continue to
work with prosecutors to investigate and prosecute such cases.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for Arizona, which prosecuted the case,
had no immediate comment on Hardt's sentence.
Hardt had no previous criminal record and he and his office manager
have since attended classes held by federal immigration authorities
in an effort to ensure that his business is following immigration and
employment laws, Piccarreta said.
Authorities alleged that Sun Dry Wall & Stucco underreported its
number of employees to federal inspectors and that some workers were
found to have fraudulent work documents.
They also said the company's management was constantly on the lookout
for undercover immigration agents and that the company's president
and one of its foremen used two-way radios to communicate about the
whereabouts of immigration agents. If officers were coming,
supervisors would move the illegal workers to another site, or tell
them to hide.
Of the eight people from Sun Dry Wall & Stucco who were charged in
the case, six have pleaded guilty.
Office manager Carol Hill was sentenced to two months in jail and
three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy
to harbor illegal immigrants and knowingly hiring at least 10 illegal
immigrants. Her plea deal said she knew those employees were illegal
immigrants when she hired them.
Jose A. Gutierrez Tapia, the foreman in charge of stucco crews,
pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring at least 10 illegal immigrants and
was sentenced to two months in jail and three years of supervised
Three other company employees pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
knowingly hiring and employing illegal immigrants. Two were sentenced
to three years of probation, while the third was sentenced to time
served and 60 days of home confinement with electronic monitoring.
Copyright 2012 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read more:

AZMEX I3 29-3-12

AZMEX I3 29 MAR 2012

AZ man to be sentenced in illegal hiring case
Associated Press |
Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2012 2:01 am | Comments

A southern Arizona contractor who pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring
illegal immigrants is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Tucson.
Ivan Hardt, owner of Sun Dry Wall & Stucco Inc. of Sierra Vista,
faces up to six months in jail for the misdemeanor conviction.
He also pleaded guilty last year to a felony charge of conspiring to
harbor illegal immigrants, but sentencing on the felony conviction is
set for Oct. 29.
The 2007 bust of Hardt's business represented a new approach by
federal authorities in Arizona that focused on criminal cases against
company officials.
Some violators viewed the previous strategy of seeking only civil
penalties as the cost of doing business.
Now, people who hire illegal immigrants could face jail time, which
authorities hope will be a stronger deterrent.

Read more:

Note: interesting story, but much of it doesn't ring true.
Especially the "guards" taking them across the river.

'Man without country' wins illegal reentry case
March 28, 2012 10:59 PM
Jared Taylor, Twitter: @jaredataylor

McALLEN — Had Robin Whiteley worn long sleeves that day in March
2011, he may still be a free man in Mexico.

But the kidnapping that ensued may have dealt him a new chance at
regaining status to live in the United States — something he has only
known since birth, just to have it taken away following a felony drug
conviction more than a decade ago.

A jury found Whiteley, 38, not guilty of illegal reentry this week
following a trial that stretched over three days before Chief Judge
Ricardo Hinojosa in a McAllen federal courtroom.

Adopted by his Texan parents from Juarez, Mexico just two days after
his birth in 1974, Whiteley says he knows little of life south of the
Rio Grande — except on the stints following each of his five
deportations from the United States.

He has no Mexican birth certificate or identification, but a 2000
drug conviction classified him as an aggravated felon.

Prior to the conviction, Whiteley never obtained U.S. immigration
status beyond permanent residency — marking him as eligible for
deportation. He has reentered the U.S. six times since his first

His last trip back in April 2011 was the first since his legal
troubles began that did not end with another conviction. Now his
lawyer said Whiteley will ask the Board of Immigration Appeals to
reconsider his first deportation order or allow him apply for asylum
in the U.S., after he proved duress at his illegal reentry trial.


Whiteley testified in his own defense during his trial, telling the
jury of what led to his kidnapping and what he called a forced
reentry into the United States.

Whiteley was at a downtown Reynosa café surfing the Internet on March
28, 2011. He would drop in to Internet cafes and email his family
almost every day, telling his mother that he was still OK, even if he
lacked the paperwork to legally work in Mexico and had been working
odd jobs while renting a room from a distant friend of a friend.

Two men who Whiteley claimed were from the Gulf Cartel confronted him
as he left the Internet café. They told him to get in a van.

The men noticed his tattoos and asked if he worked with the Zetas or
another gang.
"I didn't know what was going on," he testified.

They rode for about 15 minutes until they arrived at a two-story
house surrounded by a concrete wall. Whiteley didn't know where he
was. Inside, scores of other migrants were huddled in rooms under
guard by a handful of men armed with pistols and assault rifles.

The men ordered Whiteley to empty his pockets. He had about $400 in
cash, a cell phone and a photocopy of his birth certificate with him.
And then he was told to sit down and wait.

Steel bars were on the windows and the doors were padlocked shut.
"There was no way for us to get out," he said. "It was so crowded to
where people were sitting in closets."

Whiteley asked when he would be able to leave. He wanted to know what
was going to happen .
"They told me not to worry and to go sit down," Whiteley said. "They
told me 'Don't worry. We will tell you when the time comes. Just sit

So he waited with the others, wondering what was to come.


Whiteley said he spoke with some of the other people locked in the
stash house. Many claimed they were on buses heading toward the
United States, but were kidnapped and taken there before they arrived
at the border. "We didn't know what was going on or how we would
leave this place," he said.

Whiteley said he does not speak Spanish well, but he managed to learn
that many of the people were not from Mexico. Many were from other
Central American countries, looking to cross into the United States.

Days passed, and more migrants were forced into the house. A new
victim entered and kept asking the guards why he was put in the
house, Whiteley said. They told the man to sit down.
"He was real anxious," Whiteley testified. "He was real mad about
being there."

The man paced through the room as Whiteley sat on the floor with the
others. He wouldn't calm down. He told a guard that he was hungry.
The guard told him to sit with the others and shut up.

Nighttime fell, and the man took a 6-inch shard of broken glass from
a window, Whiteley said. The man quietly approached an armed guard
from behind and jabbed the glass into one of his armpits, cutting
him open. "He pulled it back and was trying to get him on his
neck," Whiteley said.

The guard screamed for help. Other guards came and tackled the rogue
kidnap victim. They dragged him up the stairs to the master bathroom
on the house's second floor.

One of the guards entered with two wooden beams tied together into a
paddle. The man's screams echoed through the house, Whiteley said.
"You could hear them hitting this guy with the board," he said. "He
was screaming and then they stopped."

A few minutes passed. The guards left the man in the bathroom. The
man tried to emerge from the bathroom, asking the other migrants for
help, to no avail.
"We were scared and told him to go back inside," Whiteley said. "He
kept screaming 'Help me! Help me! Help me!'"

The man kept sobbing in the bathroom. Eventually, the guards
returned. One carried a concrete block. "You could hear them
hitting him again and hitting him again and again and again with the
board," Whiteley said. "Then they hit him with the cinder block."

Hours passed. The beating continued through the night. The guards'
boss — a man they called "Gordo" — came into Whiteley's room and
shined a flashlight across the faces of each person inside. He told
them he would shoot whomever he stopped his flashlight upon.

"I didn't know if they were going to kill us or what they were going
to do," Whiteley testified. "All I could think about was whether I
was going to live or die."

But the guard didn't shoot. One of his underlings told him to spare
their lives, that they didn't help the man who attacked the guard.

Night turned to day, and the beating continued. Eventually the man's
cries ceased.

A guard announced he was dead.


Days passed until the guards handed Whiteley a cell phone and told
him to call his mother. They demanded that she send $600 via Western
Union to them within the next 30 minutes.

Whiteley reached his mother, Lora, and she sent the money from a
supermarket near her home in Lufkin. "I had about 30 minutes and I
had to go to Western Union," Lora Whiteley testified. "He called and
asked if I sent it and I said I did."

Lora Whiteley would not hear from her son again until he was detained
by U.S. Border Patrol agents several days later.

Chief Judge Hinojosa asked Whiteley whether the money was to pay the
guards to smuggle him into the U.S. — something he denied throughout
the trial.
"I did not pay anybody to take me to the United States. I did not
solicit anybody to take me to the United States," Whiteley testified.

But he was forced to go back to the U.S. anyway, he said.

Whiteley was rounded up with a half dozen others and taken to a shack
near the Rio Grande at dusk, he said. He didn't know where he was.
The guards led the group to the river and ordered them to cross. All
he had was the clothes on his back, he said.

The guards led the migrants across in a raft. They hid in the bushes
near the northern banks of the river until before sunrise. What they
did not know was Border Patrol agents had been watching them with
infrared cameras for several hours.

The migrants' guide told them to go atop a levee and run as fast as
they could. And then the agents moved in with SUVs and all terrain
"I came to the point where I couldn't run anymore," Whiteley said.

An agent asked Whiteley where he was from in Spanish. He responded in
English that he didn't know. "How can you not know where you're
from?" the agent responded, somewhat incredulous, Whiteley
testified. "I just started laughing and said it was a long story."

Mexican federal police raided the stash house where Whiteley was kept
weeks after he was forced to leave. Officers rescued 68 migrants who
said they'd been kidnapped off buses heading to Reynosa. The victims
told police their captors claimed to be with the Gulf Cartel.

Officers seized several pickup trucks and a BMW sedan, all with
gunshot damage, as well as an AK-47 and a pistol.


Illegal reentry cases such as Whiteley's rarely go to trial — fewer
than five dozen out of more than 23,000 people. And even fewer have
positive outcomes for the defendant.

Of the 23,047 illegal reentry cases prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys
nationwide in a yearlong period ending March 31, 2011 — the most
recent statistics available — only two ended with not guilty
verdicts. (Another 625 were dismissed and a judge acquitted five
others; the other 97 percent of cases ended with guilty verdicts.)

Jurors returned Monday evening with a not guilty verdict — something
of a surprise in the courtroom, said Whiteley's lawyer, Nigel J. Cohen.

Despite the acquittal, Whiteley remains in limbo. Winning the illegal
reentry case does means he is not flagged for deportation. He can ask
an immigration judge to grant him asylum to stay in the U.S., given
that he won his trial based on duress — that he was forced to make
the illegal reentry.

Cohen said he also would ask the Board of Immigration Appeals to
reverse Whiteley's previous deportation order following his felony
drug conviction.

Cohen said his client was in the process of arriving Wednesday at the
Port Isabel Detention Center.
"It's still a pretty long road ahead," Cohen said.

After he's been lost in the labyrinth of U.S. immigration law for
more than a decade, Whiteley's appeal and asylum request aren't
guarantees he will be able to legally live in the only country he's
ever known.

But for the first time in years, he may have found a path out of the


AZMEX I3 27-3-12

AZMEX I3 27 MAR 2012

Note: Like AZ, sizes of groups increasing once again.

More than 50 held in raid on immigrant stash house in Weslaco
March 26, 2012 7:40 PM
Elizabeth Findell
The Monitor

WESLACO — More than 50 people are in custody and an unknown number of
others escaped after fleeing from a home in Weslaco on Monday
morning, said police spokesman J.P. Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said officers responded about 10 a.m. to a report of
suspicious people at a residence at 806 S. Missouri St. When police
arrived, people began fleeing from the house, including one in a
vehicle. Officers began chasing them.

"Then more people started dumping out of windows and the door and
more and more people began fleeing out," he said. "Further
investigation revealed it was a stash house for illegal immigrants."

With the assistance of Border Patrol, officers arrested more than 50
people, according to Rodriguez. The driver of the vehicle escaped to
Mexico, but authorities seized the 1995 blue Chevrolet Suburban he
was driving.

Rodriguez said officers found little inside the house other than
evidence of many people crammed into it. "Conditions were really
bad inside — there was some rotten food, there was no furniture," he
said. "It just looked like, basically, an abandoned house where a lot
of people were staying."

The individuals arrested remain in the custody of Border Patrol and
the situation is under investigation. Rodriguez praised neighbors in
the area for being vigilant and said the incident drew help from
nearly all personnel. "Even the chief of police was out there
chasing down guys," he said.

Note: far south of Mexico

Rescued 77 undocumented Central Americans and Asians
Organización Editorial Mexicana
March 23, 2012
El Heraldo de Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. - The Ministry of Security and Civil
Protection (SSyPC), in coordination Agency, rescued 77 people from
Central America and Asia for alleged human traffickers, being
transported in inhumane conditions aboard three trucks. The seizure
took place in the Ejido Plan de Ayala of Tuxtla Gutierrez.

After receiving a citizen complaint, state uniformed preventative
SSyPC moved to St. Augustine campus of the Ejido Plan de Ayala of
this city, where they observed a vehicle type white ranger, where
shots were fired from firearms, ran away to an unknown destination.

At the scene, state police obtained the assurance preventive three
the first 350 Ford three ton cab type redilas red license plates
silver and DC-81478, Ford 150 second cabin and white redilas-
registered DC-67599 both of State of Chiapas and a unit type Ford
Pick Up 125 WJ69730 license plates the state of Tamaulipas.

Rescatan a 77 indocumentados centroamericanos y asiáticos
Organización Editorial Mexicana
23 de marzo de 2012
El Heraldo de Chiapas

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chis.- La Secretaría de Seguridad y Protección
Ciudadana (SSyPC), en coordinación Interinstitucional, rescató a 77
personas de origen centroamericano y asiático de presuntos
traficantes de humanos, al ser transportadas en condiciones
infrahumana a bordo de tres camiones. El aseguramiento se realizó en
el Ejido Plan de Ayala de Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

Luego de recibir una denuncia ciudadana, uniformados estatales
preventivos de la SSyPC se trasladaron al predio San Agustín del
Ejido Plan de Ayala de esta ciudad, donde se percataron de un
vehículo tipo ranger de color blanco, desde donde se realizaron
disparos de armas de fuego, dándose a la fuga con rumbo desconocido.

En el lugar, policías estatales preventivos lograron el aseguramiento
de tres vehículos, el primero marca Ford 350 tipo tres toneladas
cabina roja con redilas plateada y placas de circulación DC-81478, el
segundo Ford 150 cabina y redilas blancas con matrícula DC-67599
ambas del Estado de Chiapas y una unidad Ford Tipo Pick Up 125 con
placas de circulación WJ69730 del Estado de Tamaulipas.

Thursday, March 29, 2012



Note: Depending outcome of July election, coming to Mexico next?

Published: 03/29/2012 10:32 By: SUN
Mexican police very infiltrated by narco: US

The state and municipal police in Mexico are heavily infiltrated by
organized crime, said Thursday the U.S. undersecretary of state for
international narcotics trafficking, William Brownfield.

In an awards committee hearing of the House, William Brownfield said
the state and local police give the perception that they are part of
the problem not the solution, but said that in terms of "the federal
forces have overcome that," .

Brownfield progress attributed to the emphasis that U.S. cooperation
through the Merida Initiative has been training and debugging of the
federal forces during the past three years and began a period in 2011
to train more state and local agents .

Response to a question from Rep. Adam B. Schiff on the killing of
five policemen on Wednesday night in Ciudad Juarez, a day after they
left the hotel where they stayed for protection since last month,
Brownfield said that intimidation is "obviously a lot of the problem."

Army to Disarm Mocorito Municipal Police and the 'encuartela'
The Army disarmed and moved to barracks in Guamúchil all Mocorito
municipal police, including the director of the force, official
sources confirmed
Northwest / Writing
03.29.2012 | 10:02 a.m.

Guamuchil. - The Army disarmed and moved to barracks in Guamúchil all
Mocorito municipal police, including the director of the force,
official sources confirmed.

The officers of all mocoritenses receiverships were informed that
they had to report to the municipal police headquarters in the county

The soldiers lready in place, the officers were disarmed and boarded
trucks for movement to Guamuchil, the military headquarters.

The director of the force, Manuel Tavarez, left in his own vehicle,
guarded by soldiers.

Pirtleville man arrested in shooting
By Trisha Maldonado
& Bruce Whetten
Douglas Dispatch
Published/Last Modified on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:00 PM MDT

A Pirtleville man has been arrested on charges of endangerment,
aggravated assault and disorderly conduct with a weapon following an
altercation Saturday night in Douglas.

Officers from the Douglas Police Department secure the scene
following a shooting incident that began on International Ave. and
ended at the intersection of First Street and B Ave Saturday night. A
Pirtleville man has been arrested in the incident. Trisha Maldonado/
Douglas Dispatch

According to Sgt. Mark Wilkinson of the Douglas Police Dept. shortly
after 6 p.m. Douglas Police Officers responded to the 900 Block of
International Ave. reference shots fired.
Upon arrival officers discovered there had been a physical
altercation at the residence involving a weapon.

The investigation revealed two males arrived at the residence in a
Jeep Cherokee; one of them armed with a firearm. When the armed man
confronted one of the residents, a fight ensued just outside the
home. During the struggle, a shot was fired missing the victim later
identified as Ismael Laprada.

A chase ensued resulting in the 2005 Black Hummer crashing into the
Jeep Cherokee near the intersection of First and B Ave. Despite being
damaged the Cherokee managed to leave the scene while the Hummer
remained at the scene.

Laprada was later transported to the South Eastern Arizona Medical
Center where he received medical attention for his injuries from the

Sgt. Wilkinson said Douglas Police detectives later identified one of
the suspects as Erick Parra, 32, of Pirtleville. The second suspect
has been identified and his arrest is pending, Wilkinson said.

On Thursday night, March 22, officers from Immigration Custom
Enforcement (I.C.E.) and the Douglas Police Department executed a
search warrant in the 900 block of Seventh Street. The S.W.A.T. team
from the Cochise County Sheriff's Office assisted in the execution of
the search warrant. Upon entering the residence officers found 164
pounds of marijuana.

I.C.E. Public Information Officer Amber Cargile said no arrests have
been made and the investigation is continuing.

Note: Two guys carrying 310 lbs,??

Pot estimated at $293,000 seized
March 28, 2012 6:27 PM
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Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized nearly 600 pounds of
marijuana valued at $293,000 in three incidents Tuesday.

According to Agent Spencer Tippets of the Yuma Sector Public Affairs
Office, Wellton Station agents patrolling south of Gila Bend detected
two sets of footprints traveling through the desert.

Agents caught up to two suspects who were carrying a combined 310
pounds of marijuana. Tippets said the suspects, both Mexican
nationals, were apprehended and processed for removal. The seized
marijuana was valued at $155,000.

In the second incident, Wellton Station agents assigned to Camp Grip,
Yuma Sector's forward operating base, seized two bundles of abandoned
marijuana weighing 66 pounds and valued at $33,000.

Tippets said the bundles were first spotted from a helicopter by an
Air Interdiction agent. A search of the area turned up no suspects.

While there was no way of knowing how long the bundles had been
there, Tippets said, since there was a helicopter involved, it would
have been easier to locate any suspects had there been any still in
the area.

In the third incident, Yuma Station agents patrolling near County
12th Street and the Colorado River observed three individuals
carrying large backpacks.

"The agents were so quick in responding to the area," Tippets said,
"as soon as (the drug smugglers) realized agents were headed their
way, they dropped their backpacks and split" back to Mexico.

Tippets said agents secured the area and discovered the backpacks
were filled with 211 pounds of marijuana worth $105,000.

Read more:

2 men arrested in Phoenix murder-for-hire case
by Martha Maurer/KTAR and Associated Press
(March 28th, 2012 @ 2:10pm) Policy >>

PHOENIX - Two men are in custody and Phoenix police say they're
searching for a third suspect in connection with an alleged murder-
for-hire plot.

Phoenix police say 19-year-old Javier Angel Aguayo is being held on
suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault,
stalking and drug charges.

"It was a road rage incident in which Aguayo pointed a gun at the
victim," said Phoenix Police Sergeant Tommy Thompson. "Aguayo then
conspired with the other individuals to kill her."

They say 19-year-old Ricco Susanno Monge is being held on suspicion
of aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Police say they're still looking for 20-year-old Jeremie Jose

They say a woman was shot and wounded on Feb. 16 and told authorities
that she knew her attacker. According to Thompson, Aguayo fired at
the woman numerous times and actually hit her five times.

"It's safe to say that this is a rare case that you would have a
suspect go to such length to track down and actually plan an
assassination," he said.

At the time of the shooting, police say the woman was set to testify
in an aggravated-assault trial in which Aguayo was the defendant.
Authorities say Aguayo faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Five Juárez police officers killed at party (updated)
By Lourdes Cardenas / El Paso Times
Posted: 03/29/2012 08:54:05 AM MDT

Five Juárez police officers, including a police commander, were shot
and killed at a party Wednesday night -- the deadliest attack on
police officers so far this year. (Special to the Times)

USA Today: On border, peaceful US side torn by Mexican strife
Five Juárez police officers, including a police commander, were shot
and killed at a party Wednesday night -- the deadliest attack on
police officers so far this year.
Officials said gunmen burst into a party and gunned down the officers
about 8:15, said Juárez police spokesman Adrian Sanchez Contreras.
Two other officers were wounded and were listed in serious condition,
officials said late Wednesday.
"They are working right now in an operation in the entire city to
find those responsible," Sanchez Contreras said.
None of the victims were identified Wednesday night.

A police spokesman said that about 18 police officers have been
killed in Juárez this year.
The incident on Wednesday night was believed to be the single
deadliest attack on law enforcement in Juárez since a car bomb
exploded in downtown in 2010.

Earlier this month, Juárez Police Chief Julián Leyzaola said police
will not be intimidated by violent attacks against police officers.
"Those who might think that police officers are going to back off or
quit their jobs are wrong," Leyzaola said in a written statement.
"We are going to double up our job to serve and protect the people of
Juárez," Leyzaola added.
Sixty-five Juárez police officers had been slain since October 2010.

In January, several narco-banners were place in the city accusing
Leyzaola of favoring one of the drug cartels over the other and
threatening to kill a police officer each day.

Eight officers were killed in various street shootings before police
took shelter in heavily guarded hotels. Authorities also began
allowing officers to take their firearms home with them off-duty.
Some police had claimed they were sitting ducks because they had not
been allowed to take their weapons home with them.

Leyzaola had said in January that the threats against police officers
had been coming from the New Juárez Cartel.
The New Juárez Cartel was first mentioned in banners that appeared in
September after Mexican authorities had arrested the alleged leaders
of La Linea organization.
The attacks on police officers are a continuation of the brutal
violence that has a firm grip on the city of 1.3 million. The city
has suffered a drug cartel war that has claimed the lives of about
9,400 people since hostilities began between the Juárez and the
Sinaloa drug cartels. They are fighting for power and control of
lucrative drug routes into the United States.

Lourdes Cardenas may be reached at;
9150546-6249. Times reporter Daniel Borunda contributed to this report.



Internal memo shows ATF rank and file don't trust the brass
By Maxim Lott
Published March 26, 2012

Top leaders at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, already
under fire from lawmakers in the wake of the "Fast and Furious"
debacle, also get harsh marks from the men and women who serve under
them, according to an internal survey.

An ATF memo obtained by reveals that rank-and-file
workers at the beleaguered federal agency, where whistleblowers who
first alerted lawmakers to the "gun-walking" scandal say they were
threatened or even punished, don't trust the agency's leaders.

"A key area in which ATF fell short was leadership," the e-mail from
ATF Headquarters, describing the results of the internal survey,
reads. "Most troubling were responses to the question – 'My senior
leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity.'"

Just 44 percent of ATF employees said that their leaders maintained
such standards last year, according to the Partnership for Public
Service, the non-profit that administers the annual survey to
government employees.

On "leadership effectiveness" in general, ATF scored a 40.5, placing
the agency nearly last among government agencies, at 215th out of 228
agencies surveyed. That rating was the first since the "Fast and
Furious" scandal broke, and it is down 10 percentage points from the
year before.
Asked by about the survey, ATF spokesman Drew Wade
acknowledged the Fast and Furious scandal has taken a toll on morale.

"The controversies plaguing ATF over the last year have weighed
heavily on the morale of employees and their faith in senior
leadership," Wade said. "Mistakes were made."

But he said ATF leadership is working hard to change.
"Acting Director [B. Todd] Jones has put new leaders in place in new
positions to enhance the quality of leadership and take ATF in the
right direction. The new leadership team is working hard to earn
[the] trust again of employees," Wade said.

Vince Cefalu, an agent who helped expose the "Fast and Furious"
scandal, said it is "too soon to tell" whether ATF will turn things
around. For now, he says, the survey results don't surprise him.
"Guess I and [the other whistleblowers] weren't the only disgruntled
malcontents, were we?" he said, sarcastically referring to what he
believes were attempts to marginalize him and others who came forward.

Cefalu says his own situation is a case study in ATF dishonesty. The
ATF attempted to fire Cefalu last year, after the "Fast and Furious"
scandal broke, but so far has been unable to do so because Cefalu has
accused them in court of retaliating against a whistleblower. Now, he
said, he is given no assignments. "I am sitting in Lake Tahoe
drawing $150,000 [a year from ATF] to do absolutely nothing," he said.

Others at ATF who took the survey told that ATF's
treatment of whistleblowers affected the ratings they gave. "I gave
them a low rating," said an ATF manager who spoke to on
condition of anonymity.

"In the midst of the Fast and Furious investigation... [ATF
leadership] sent a letter to Senator [Charles] Grassley [R-Iowa],
saying 'these whistleblowers are lying,'" he explained. "There's no

He added that while ATF says it has now replaced old leadership with
new players, the old leaders never get fired. "Where are we, 15, 16
months outside of Brian Terry's murder? Nobody's been held
accountable for anything," he said, referring to a border patrol
agent who was killed with an illegal weapon that was allowed to enter
Mexico as part of operation Fast and Furious.

The problem goes deeper than Fast and Furious, he added.
"When a manager gets caught in an unethical or unlawful act, the only
'punishment' that comes with it is a taxpayer-funded move. You'll
retain full pay, full benefits, and we'll pay to move you, usually to
headquarters in DC."

ATF scores well in some other aspects of the employee survey. In
"pay," it rates eighth out of all 228 agencies. The average salary
for an ATF employee is $96,370 per year.
"Our pay and our benefits are good," a special agent, who spoke to on condition of anonymity, said. "Some people work for it
and earn it, and others not so much."

He added that in his experience, more than half of the agency's
leadership was "more problem than solution." "They're abusive, self-
serving characters," he said.

Despite their grievances, the agents interviewed by Fox expressed
hope that the bureau will get its act together. "I think there is an
air of, 'we want to get better,'" Cefalu said. "They haven't
implemented anything yet, but the initial steps are transparent and

Cefalu and the special agent interviewed said that Tom Brandon, the
new deputy director at ATF, is held in high regard by field agents.
"I think he will try to change things," the special agent said.
"Whether he will have the ability, due to the culture here, is
anybody's guess."

Read more:



Family demands to know if weapons used to kill ICE agent could have
been seized before they crossed into Mexico
By William La Jeunesse
Published March 29, 2012

In this undated photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) on Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011 is seen ICE Special
Agent Jaime Zapata. Zapata, on assignment to the ICE Attache in
Mexico City from his post in Laredo, Texas, died Tuesday Feb. 15,
2011 when gunmen attacked the agents' vehicle as he and another agent
drove through the northern state of San Luis Potosi.

The family of a murdered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
agent is demanding to know if U.S. agencies could have seized the
weapons used to kill him before they crossed the border into Mexico.
Amador and Mary Zapata also believe their son Jaime, who was only in
Mexico for 9 days before his death, was not adequately trained for
his assignment, a trip on one of Mexico's most dangerous roads in a
$160,000 armored Suburban.
"We want to find out the truth," Amador Zapata said from the living
room of his Brownsville, Texas home. "Who thought of this program?
How come they let those weapons go – when they knew who had bought
them? How come they let them go through the border – without trying
to stop them? That's what we want to know."

Family members of ICE special agent Jaime Zapata receive his body at
the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport Friday, Feb.
18, 2011 in Brownsville, Texas. U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement said Agent Jaime Zapata died Tuesday after assailants
opened fire on his vehicle as he drove from Monterrey, Mexico, to
Mexico City. (AP Photo/The Brownsville Herald, Paul Chouy)

The Zapatas had four sons employed by ICE, the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement Agency. Jaime, the second oldest, was gunned down
while driving from Mexico City to Monterrey last February by
assassins for the Zeta cartel. The guns used to kill him were
purchased in Texas.
"I don't know anything now that I didn't know the first day," said
Mary Zapata, surrounded by photos and memorabilia associated with her
son's life. "I expected them (ICE supervisors) to sit with us and
give us a report. This is what we have so far. We do not know."
The Zapatas hired former Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Martinez and
Ray Thomas, a south Texas litigator, to find out the facts.
"The family would like answers. The family would like closure," said
Martinez. "We don't know if this is a gun walking operation but there
is circumstantial evidence that there was."
Martinez is referring to two guns found February 15, 2011 at the
murder scene in Mexico.
One was purchased in August 2010 near Houston on behalf of accused
drug dealer Manuel Gomez Barba. The other in October 2010 by a Dallas
trafficking ring that included Otilio Osorio, his brother Ranferi and
their neighbor Kelvin Morrison.
According to the indictment, Barba began sourcing weapons through
straw buyers in June 2010. He took custody of some 70 weapons through
February 2011, readily informing the buyers their guns were being
bought on behalf of the Zeta cartel.
Barba, who erased gun serial numbers on his kitchen table, took
delivery of the weapon used to kill Zapata on August 20. In October,
the ATF recorded a phone call in which Barba talked about smuggling
and obliterating serial numbers of his guns. Using that evidence, ATF
obtained a search warrant and arrested him four months later, the day
before Zapata was killed.
Barba however was already an accused felon in a 2006 drug case and
was arrested again June 18, 2010 by the DEA for dealing
methamphetamine. Initially detained without bond, agents released him
in July after he agreed to become a snitch. Barba set up a drug buy
which allowed the DEA to arrest two others. In October, he pled
guilty but remained free awaiting sentencing. During that time, he
was allegedly running guns and under ATF investigation. As an accused
felon, Barba was prohibited from possessing a firearm. The ATF
executed its search warrant of Barba on October 8.
Martinez believes the agency may have acted sooner. The ATF says no.
"What the family needs to know is the weapons that Barba was having
straw purchased for him were all purchased in May, June and August
before we even knew who Barba was," said Gary Orchowski, ATF Acting
Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Field Division.
The second gun used against Zapata was smuggled by a ring responsible
for 207 weapons. From June 2010 through February 2011 the Osorio
brothers and six other men began to acquire firearms from Dallas area
gun stores.
According to ATF management logs, agents first observed a member of
the ring buy four AK-47 style weapons from a dealer on July 29 but
did not maintain surveillance. The next day, Morrison bought another
weapon that later showed up in August along with 21 other guns on
their way over the border, including two bought by Ranferi Osorio.
Documents show that in September 2010, the ATF in Dallas traced more
crime weapons back to the ring. In November, Morrison and the Osorio
brothers illegally provided 40 firearms to an ATF informant, and in
January, one of the group told a gun dealer he wanted to buy a large
purchase of assault rifles. Morrison himself bought 24 guns, each
time swearing on a federal affidavit the guns were all for himself.
Martinez claims the ATF could and should have intervened earlier,
potentially preventing the sale or export of the gun that killed Zapata.
The Dallas ATF chief Robert Champion denies his office 'walked guns'
or knowingly allowed guns to go south as in Operation Fast and
Furious. However he did admit to the Dallas Morning News in March
that his agents could have arrested the Morrison and the Osorio
brothers three months earlier that he did – when they delivered the
40 guns to the informant without serial numbers.
"I know people will criticize us for not taking these guys down
immediately," Champion told the paper. "But we weren't sure what they
were up to."
Also he said, the ATF was doing what the DEA had requested.
"This wasn't our case at this point," Champion said. "We were
protecting an investigation that DEA had in Laredo with ATF down there."
The Zapatas say the agency's priorities are misplaced.
"Weapons do not have an expiration," said Mary. "It isn't like
they're good for a week and they're done. They'll be there for
generations to keep on killing."
So far, Martinez has filed a Freedom of Information request for
documents on the case. It was denied, as was his appeal.
He is also trying to find out why Zapata was driving the armored SUV
on Highway 57, a notorious road linking Monterrey and Mexico City
after only nine days in the country. He doesn't believe Zapata had
received the proper evade and escape drivers training or was informed
the vehicle's door locks automatically opened the moment the car was
placed in park.
Returning from Monterrey, Zapata and his partner Victor Avila were
sandwiched by two SUVs and forced off the road by attackers from the
Zeta cartel. Placed in park, the door locks opened allowing gunmen to
hit Zapata 6 times and Avila twice. Once the ICE agents secured their
vehicle, the gunman fired 90 rounds but none penetrated the car.
"We understand there is a written directive for agents not to be on
that road because it is dangerous," said Martinez.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012



Slain border agent's family 'sickened' by revelations
by Mackenzie Weinger -
Mar. 28, 2012 04:05 PM

The family of the U.S. Border Patrol agent killed in connection with
Operation Fast and Furious said it "is sickened" to learn that law
enforcement agencies were not sharing information that could have
possibly closed the investigation early and spared his death and
other bloodshed.

"The Terry Family, like most of America, is sickened to read the
latest revelations relating to ATF's error-plagued and misguided Fast
and Furious Investigation," the family of slain agent Brian Terry
wrote in a statement. "It is beyond our comprehension that U.S.
federal law enforcement agencies were not talking with one another."

The Los Angeles Times reported last week it had obtained documents
showing that the law enforcement agencies were not coordinating their
respective investigations. The ATF released the alleged gun
trafficker Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta in May 2010 in the hopes he
would bring them two drug lords, who were actually brothers and FBI
informants, Eduardo and Jesus Miramontes-Varela. After Celis-Acosta
was arrested in Feb. 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported the ATF
learned that the brothers were secret FBI informants.

"One can only imagine that if the FBI, DEA and U.S. Attorney
personnel had only shared their information with ATF agents that the
Miramontes brothers were FBI informants, [then] the entire Fast and
Furious debacle could have been avoided," the family wrote.

"With this single piece of information, ATF could have chosen not to
proceed with Operation Fast and Furious, which ultimately put almost
2,000 assault weapons into the hands of some of the most dangerous
criminals in North America. Had this simple piece of information been
shared among the different federal law enforcement agencies in
Arizona, some 200 Mexican citizens would not have had to lose their
lives in needless violence and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry
would still be alive," they said.

The operation attempted to investigate drug cartels and weapons
traffickers but ended up supplying them with weapons. Investigators
lost thousands of firearms, and many of these weapons crossed the
border into Mexico. Terry was shot in December 2010 with guns linked
to Operation Fast and Furious.

The Arizona Republic is a member of the Politico Network.

Read more:



Mexico's drug killings soar above US figures
By Diana Washington Valdez \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted: 03/28/2012 08:51:52 AM MDT

Based on the Times' calculations, the U.S. had 2,049 drug-related
homicides during those four years, or 0.66 for each 100,000 of
population. During the same period, Mexico had 30,858 drug-related
homicides, or 27.4 per 100,000 population. (Times file photo)
From 2007 to 2010, Mexico had nearly 15 times more drug-related
murders than the United States, according to an El Paso Times analysis.
Based on the Times' calculations, the U.S. had 2,049 drug-related
homicides during those four years, or 0.66 for each 100,000 of
population. During the same period, Mexico had 30,858 drug-related
homicides, or 27.4 per 100,000 population.

Mexico began reporting drug-related homicides in 2007 during
President Felipe Calderón's administration, referring to them as
"executions," a term officials used whenever they attributed deaths
to the drug-cartel wars.

In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation compiles
drug-related murder statistics through its Uniform Crime Reporting
Program. The
FBI defines this category as "murders that occurred specifically
during a narcotics felony, such as drug-trafficking or manufacturing."

Mexico's drug-related homicides averaged 46 percent of its total
67,053 homicides during 2007-2010. In the U.S., only 3.6 percent of
the country's 55,867 homicides were classified as drug-related,
according to law enforcement reports.

For this analysis, the Times used figures from the FBI's Uniform
Crime Reporting Program, the United Nations Crime and Drug Control
Office, Mexico's federal Public Security Secretariat and the census
offices of both countries.

El Paso sociologist Cheryl Howard said there may be significant
caveats that make the figures from both countries incomplete.
"The figures for both seem awfully low," Howard said. "One of the
problems may be how each country defines and reports its 'drug-
related' homicides."

The Uniform Crime Reporting Program relies on local jurisdictions to
provide accurate statistics, and the motives for many homicides each
year are unknown.
In the Mexican government's case, the Instituto Nacional de
Estadistica y Geografia, or INEGI, also relies on local jurisdictions
to submit complete and accurate information.
Mexico's drug-related homicides rose dramatically after Calderón
announced the government's crackdown against the cartels in late 2006.
There might have been more total homicides (93,505) during President
Carlos Salinas' administration of 1988 to 1994, but the government
did not indicate how many of those were related to drugs.

Unlike Mexico, the United States saw dramatic reductions in its
yearly average of drug-related homicides over a 22-year period from
1988 through 2010. Highlights from these years include:
1,243 average yearly drug homicides in 1988-1995.
681 yearly average in 1999-2003.
541 yearly average in 2004-2010.

The fluctuations appear to reflect changes within the drug syndicates
and a gradual decline in U.S. homicides.

In El Paso, the number of homicides peaked between 1991 and 1996,
when they averaged 45 a year, before settling during the past decade
into an average of 16 a year. Police did not indicate how many of
them were drug related.

El Paso has been ranked as one of the safest cities for its size in
the U.S. since 1997.
In contrast, Juárez -- the epicenter of Mexico's drug-cartel wars --
has reported more than 9,400 homicides since 2008, and authorities
say about 80 percent are drug related.
Compared with Juárez, El Paso and its vicinity have not seen much in
the way of drug-related homicides.

George McNenney, a former special agent in charge of the then-U.S.
Customs Service in El Paso, said there are reasons why U.S. drug
homicides may be down.
The mayhem and slaughter in Juárez magically stops as soon as one
crosses the border.
"Those involved in the (U.S. drug trade) began to understand that
murders are bad for business," McNenney said. "As newer, more
business-savvy people started to take over, and the need to control
certain 'puntos' (meaning narcotics distribution points) became less
violent, they wanted to have the least amount of 'heat' from law
enforcement authorities as possible."

McNenney, a veteran drug investigator, worked in Florida during the
Miami "Cocaine Cowboys" era of the 1970s and 1980s.
"There were no rules other than the brutal control of the trade and
the 'punto' -- whatever it took," McNenney said. "This is why you had
shootouts with many dead in the middle of the day in a major mall in
a suburb of Miami."

Eventually, U.S. anti-drug agencies, including the Drug Enforcement
Administration, managed to disrupt crime organizations that were
contributing to high levels of violence in Florida and in U.S. cities
The U.S. crackdown shifted the cocaine trade in this country to
Central America and Mexico, enabling the Mexican drug cartels to
expand their distribution networks in the U.S. while battling each
other back home in Mexico for ultimate power.
"When it comes to El Paso, it is important for the Mexican narcotics
traffickers to keep El Paso 'safe and low key,' so as not to draw
attention to themselves," McNenney said. "This, however, is not the
case in Juárez and many other parts of Mexico where the traffickers
are violently asserting control over their areas."

McNenney said what is happening in Mexico is similar to what happened
in Colombia, which was under total control of the traffickers until
the Colombian government decided to tackle the problem with help from
U.S. authorities.

James Kuykendall, a retired DEA official in South Texas, said it is
difficult to tell which homicides in Mexico are drug related because
the Mexican government is notorious for not investigating most murders.

Mexican officials have a different point of view.
"We have in place a number of measures to reduce organized-crime
related violence in particular, and violence in general," said
Ricardo Alday, spokesman for the Mexicam Embassy in Washington, D.C.
"Measures include, among others, actions on law enforcement
(strengthening security and justice institutions), social development
and political reforms."
Mexico has captured, arrested or disabled 22 of the 37 most-wanted
criminals in the country, Alday said, and 143,476 weapons have been
confiscated, 66 percent more than in the previous two administrations

"The number of federal police in Mexico has increased from 6,500
officers in 2006 to 36,000 in 2011," Alday said, "and the country is
purging and strengthening its federal police through training and
equipment, as well as through strict vetting procedures."

Mexican officials also said that places hit hard by the violence,
such as Juárez, Tijuana and Tamaulipas, received additional resources
to help reconstruct the social fabric, in addition to receiving
support from the army and federal police.

Kuykendall said the U.S is just beginning to notice the violence in
"The drug homicides and kidnappings in Mexico have been going on for
years, except we're just now paying attention to them," Kuykendall said.

The Mexico Evalua (Mexico Evaluates) Observatory recently released a
study that found 80 percent of all serious crimes in the country,
such as homicides, go unpunished.

"In the United States, we investigate because we care about these
things," said Kuykendall, who wrote a book ("O Plata o
Plomo?"/"Silver or Lead?") about the 1985 slaying of DEA Special
Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in Mexico.
After the 1999 FBI-Mexico "Operation Plaza Sweep," it was the U.S.
government and not Mexican officials that indicted suspected drug
kingpin Vicente Carrillo Fuentes in connection with six of the nine
bodies the FBI unearthed on ranches in South Juárez.

The Carrillo-Fuentes organization currently is battling the Joaquin
"Chapo" Guzman organization for the right to control the Juárez-El
Paso smuggling corridor, a fight that's killed more than 9,400 people
in Juárez since rivalries broke out in 2008.

Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at;

Fwd: Geopolitics with Robert D. Kaplan: With the Focus on Syria, Mexico Burns


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From: "Stratfor" <>
Date: March 28, 2012 10:49:07 AM MST
Subject: Geopolitics with Robert D. Kaplan: With the Focus on Syria, Mexico Burns
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With the Focus on Syria, Mexico Burns

While the foreign policy elite in Washington focuses on the 8,000 deaths in a conflict in Syria -- half a world away from the United States -- more than 47,000 people have died in drug-related violence since 2006 in Mexico. A deeply troubled state as well as a demographic and economic giant on the United States' southern border, Mexico will affect America's destiny in coming decades more than any state or combination of states in the Middle East. Indeed, Mexico may constitute the world's seventh-largest economy in the near future.

Certainly, while the Mexican violence is largely criminal, Syria is a more clear-cut moral issue, enhanced by its own strategic consequences. A calcified authoritarian regime in Damascus is stamping out dissent with guns and artillery barrages. Moreover, regime change in Syria, which the rebels demand, could deliver a pivotal blow to Iranian influence in the Middle East, an event that would be the best news to U.S. interests in the region in years or even decades. Read More »

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Note: seems to be some significant confusion about the numbers.
Arms issues also addressed.

The war on drugs in Mexico has left 150 000 dead: US
The statement was made after meeting with his counterparts Guillermo
Galvan and Peter Mackay
El Sol de Morelia
March 28, 2012
OEM-Informex and EFE

Mexico City, DF. - Violence between criminal organizations leaves
150,000 deaths a year in every country in the Americas, clarified the
secretariats of Defense and the Navy.

This clarification they gave both agencies after the Secretary of
Defense United States, Leon Panetta, said that in Ottawa, Canada,
which - according to figures provided by officials of Mexico, a total
of 150,000 people have died in the war against drug trafficking in
that country.

The confusion occurred after the Secretaries of Defense, Guillermo
Galvan, and the Navy, Francisco Saynez, talked with their
counterparts in the United States and Canada, Leon Panetta and Peter
Mackay, respectively, during the First Trilateral Meeting of Defence
Ministers North America.

Panetta, during a press conference after the meeting, said that
"obviously one of the serious threats that are facing North, Central
and South America are the drug cartels and drug trafficking that is

"The danger here is on several fronts. Number one is the tremendous
violence. I think the numbers that Mexican officials 150.000
mentioned are those who have died by violence mainly between cartels
in Mexico," he added.

Panetta and Mackay said during a news conference that Mexican
representatives were offered a "detailed" report on the war on
organized crime in that country.

In a statement, the Secretaries of Defense and the Navy reported that
"about the killings reportedly occurred by violence between criminal
organizations, participants in this Trilateral Meeting discussed
around 150 000 cases in the Americas to year, and not just those
observed in the case of Mexico. "

"As is public knowledge, the Federal Government has reaffirmed its
commitment to repeatedly to transparency and accountability in
security. Based on this commitment we assembled a database of public
consultation, which has been reported extensively by the media and
allowed a better understanding of the characteristics of the criminal
phenomenon in our country, "they said.

The defense ministers of Canada, Mexico and the United States used
their first trilateral meeting to discuss in depth the fight against
drug trafficking, which they described as one of the main threats to
security in the region.

Both the host of the first Trilateral Meeting of Ministers of Defence
of North America, the Canadian Minister Peter MacKay, as U.S. and
Mexican counterparts, Leon Panetta and Guillermo Galvan said at the
end of the summit on drugs "is a serious threat" to throughout the

Gen. Galván, who traveled to Canada with his Secretary of the Navy,
Admiral Mariano Francisco Saynez Mendoza said that "the fight against
organized crime and drug trafficking is the highest priority for

Galvan also sought indirectly the illegal flow of weapons from the
U.S. to Mexico, where they are used by criminal organizations in the
fight against Mexican security forces and rival gangs.

"We try to follow the principle of shared responsibility. No doubt
what each country does or does not do has a direct impact on others,"
said the Mexican military.

The United States has been criticized for arms trafficking to Mexico
of high power, but Panetta said Washington is doing everything
possible to stop the flow.

"Our security forces are doing everything they can to try to stop the
movement of weapons. It is difficult but we are focusing on this
effort. We're focusing, along with Mexico and Canada, in confronting
these cartels, to ensure that we pursue and take them to justice,
"said Panetta.

Meanwhile, Mackay said the three countries do not live in isolation
and that "drug trafficking, weapons, if it is a problem for Mexico it
is a problem for Canada."

"We have more than one million Canadians who travel each year to
Mexico and a number have a second home in Mexico. This is a shared
problem. And what you see here today is a desire of the three
countries to confront head on the problems, "said Canadian Defense

"General Galvan gave us a detailed picture of the seriousness of the
challenge facing Mexico. What we do today in a more formal way is to
confront human trafficking, drugs and weapons across our borders," he

The three countries also agreed on the summit of Ottawa as a
"historic meeting" agreed to institutionalize meetings of their
defense ministers.

"We enthusiastically support the proposal of Minister Peter Mackay to
institutionalize our dialogue and meet on a regular basis," said Gen.

Monday, March 26, 2012



Note: Locals will find some of their conclusions a bit dubious.
Especially the "net zero".

Cover Story: Despite Calls for Fencing-In the Border, U.S. Sticks
with Surveillance and Comms on Southwest Borders
Mar. 22, 2012 - 06:45PM | By Keith Button |

A team of researchers from Princeton University calculates that the
security of the border between the U.S. and Mexico is better than
ever. But with more cameras being erected, and more aircraft and
agents patrolling the border, U.S. analysts caution that intelligence
sharing among agents and dispatchers must continue to improve if this
trend is to continue. On top of that, doubters outside the Obama
administration are yet to be convinced these high-tech solutions make
more financial and strategic sense than attempting to block the
entire border with fences.

The Obama administration has stuck by its high-tech approach and
resisted calls, sometimes voiced by presidential campaigners, to
build physical fencing along the entire nearly 2,000-mile southwest
border. In March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security announced
it would begin rushing more patrols and equipment to the southwest
border partly to make up for delays in developing the now-cancelled
Secure Border Initiative network, a proposed virtual fence of camera
towers and communications equipment. The steps included assigning
1,000 more border patrol agents to the southwest, increasing
intelligence analysis and expanding unmanned Predator aircraft
surveillance along the Mexican border, for a total of $600 million in
additional spending.

In addition, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency plans to
add more unmanned aircraft to the border surveillance fleet of 127
manned aircraft and four unmanned airplanes. DHS and CBP have also
deployed additional "non-intrusive" inspection equipment to the
border area, including mobile surveillance systems, remote video
surveillance systems, thermal imaging systems, radiation portal
monitors and license plate readers.

DHS is not backing off its focus on technology over physical walls,
although barriers have been erected along some stretches of the
border. When DHS cancelled its SBInet contract with Boeing in January
2011, it announced it would continue to build the virtual fence with
less expensive, commercially available equipment, including unmanned
aircraft, thermal imaging devices, backscatter units, mobile radios
and remote video surveillance systems.

Ever since, ISR companies have been trying to catch the eye of DHS
officials with equipment they promise can scan more terrain or link
border patrol agents with dispatchers and each other more
effectively. Two of the companies are ITT Exelis with its GNOMAD (for
Global Network On the Move — Active Distribution) mobile satellite
communications network, and Northrop Grumman with its optionally
piloted Fire Scout aircraft.

GNOMAD provides connections to commercial Ku-band satellites from
moving vehicles anywhere in the world, said Ross Osbourne, senior
business development manager at ITT Exelis. The nearly flat antenna
can be mounted on top of a minivan or SUV — extending radio
communications or computer connections to border patrol agents out of
reach of radios or cell coverage.

GNOMAD costs $300,000, compared with at least $500,000 for competing
systems, and is less conspicuous than parabolic dish systems that
have been used on U.S. Army vehicles, Osbourne said. A backpack-
portable version of GNOMAD, weighing less than 50 pounds, is under

For overhead border surveillance, Northrop says Firebird has big
advantages. It can carry up to five sensors at a time, which makes it
more cost effective than flying multiple aircraft with fewer sensors.
It can be converted from its manned to unmanned mode in the time it
takes to refuel, said Rick Crooks, Northrop's program director for
Firebird. In piloted mode, it can be flown through commercial
airspace without the special permission the Federal Aviation
Administration requires for unmanned aircraft — a process that can
take months or years, Crooks said.

Last year, Doug Massey, head of Princeton University's Mexican
Migration Project, reported that net migration from Mexico had
reached zero for the first time in 60 years.

Policymakers and presidential candidates have argued about whether
U.S.-Mexico border security is best served by physical fences or a so-
called virtual fence, utilizing cameras and other ground and airborne
sensors. Another point of contention is which approach — the virtual
equipment currently in place or the partial physical fencing along
the border — is responsible for the net-zero immigration.

For the nearly 2,000-mile border, in some locations a physical fence
can serve as a good tool for limiting illicit cross-border traffic,
but in other locations, fencing doesn't make sense, said Christopher
Wilson, program associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow
Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

"Building a 10-foot fence on top of a several thousand foot mountain,
for instance, is not helpful. If someone is willing and able to climb
the mountain, they will also be able to climb the fence," Wilson said.

Vanda Felbab-Brown, a foreign policy fellow at the Brookings
Institution, said a virtual fence has several advantages over the
physical fence.

"The problem with the [physical] fence is, it's surmountable — it can
be overcome," Felbab-Brown said. It also causes problems for border
communities — preventing wildlife migration, including bats that
pollinate crops; denying water access to farmers along the Rio Grande
River portion of the border; and disrupting trans-border communities
whose economies rely on commerce from cross-border flow, she said.

"The technological virtual border has turned out [to be] surprisingly
effective. And the amount of detection that can be attributed to the
visual sensors and other sensors that are around the border is
great," Felbab-Brown said. "I think the claims of the security
benefits of the physical fence are questionable, and the costs are
very real."

Determining what factors or policies have led to the net-zero
migration from Mexico is difficult, Felbab-Brown said. Besides the
two fence concepts, violence in Mexico against potential border
crossers, the economic downturn in the U.S. and the increasing
opportunities in Mexico have all played a role, she said.

The U.S. economy was probably the main factor, Wilson said. "A large
part of it was, we saw a huge change happen in the flow of
unauthorized immigrants after and during the financial crisis in the
U.S. So as there were fewer employment opportunities in the U.S.,
there was less of a magnet for Mexicans to pick up and move to the
United States in search of a good job," he said.

POINTS OF ENTRY While most people tend to think about border threats
in terms of drug tunnels and armed bands roaming through the desert,
the fact is that illicit traffic is more likely to come into the U.S.
through ports of entry than between them, Wilson said.

The most important places to apply intelligence-gathering technology
are the ports of entry, Wilson said, pointing to examples such as
license plate readers, trusted traveler programs and analytical
approaches to identifying low- and high-risk traffic.

Trusted-traveler programs free up resources to focus on higher-level
risk individuals or situations, Wilson said. SENTRI, or the Secure
Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection, is the U.S.
Customs and Border Protection's trusted-traveler program that allows
pre-approved, low-risk travelers crossing the Mexican border to
access dedicated commuter traffic lanes, which expedites their
crossing. Free and Secure Trade, or FAST, is a similar program for
commercial truck drivers.

DHS is focusing on a "risk segmentation" concept, separating high-
risk and low-risk pools of individuals for analysis, Wilson said. The
department has hired consulting companies, including the firm of
former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration head Robert Bonner, to
create risk-analysis models.

"The idea is, you're not just trying to identify the guy with drugs
or something worse, in the case of terrorism, trying to cross the
border," Wilson said. "But you're also trying to facilitate the flow
of people that you know aren't presenting that sort of a risk."

DHS also seeks to increase the amount of information known regarding
individual border crossers to help establish a risk level for each
crosser, Wilson said. Examples of this include the trusted traveler
programs, fingerprinting every illegal immigrant picked up at the
border and accessing data compiled by other agencies or by the
Mexican government.

DHS reported in October that it had started operating a new Border
Intelligence Fusion Section, partnering with the Drug Enforcement
Administration and the Defense Department. With the fusion
initiative, the agency stores and synthesizes available Mexican
border intelligence from federal, state, local and tribal agencies at
the El Paso Intelligence Center. The goal is to create a common
intelligence picture.

DHS also reported efforts with Mexico to build an interoperable cross-
border communications network to coordinate law-enforcement issues.

"Mexican authorities are keen to share intelligence with the United
States regarding organized crime and any potential terrorist
threats," Wilson said. "They are less interested in calling up their
American counterparts to let them know where a group of migrants are
seeking to cross the border."

Mexican authorities are more likely to cooperate and share
intelligence when the U.S. shows that it is targeting migrant-
smuggling rings instead of individuals looking to better support
their families, he said.

How well the Mexican and U.S. governments cooperate on intelligence
sharing is largely unknown because Mexico doesn't want to appear to
be compromising its national security, Felbab-Brown said. Meanwhile,
U.S. officials, especially at the local level, are often reluctant to
trust their Mexican colleagues because of problems with deep,
persistent corruption and chance of information leaks to criminal

But there is a lot of information-sharing between the two sides,
including intelligence acquired from ISR sensors on the U.S. side and
transferred to the Mexicans, she said. Increasingly, the U.S. is
handing over technology to the Mexicans, including unmanned aircraft
to be flown out of Mexico.

"We also know that a great deal of intelligence that has enabled hits
against the drug-trafficking groups has come from the U.S," including
phone intercepts, Felbab-Brown said. Most of the intelligence-sharing
and technology transfers are focused on drug-trafficking groups, and
not on people flows, she said.