Thursday, October 25, 2012



Note: Of particular interest to folks in AZ. Re: AZMEX UPDATE
21-10-12 for original story. From this update, looks like
accommodations with the incoming PRI administration already taking

Blog: On Arizona-Sonora border, reporters see bunkers, meets smugglers
El Sol de Caborca
Mexican soldiers showed reporters last week bunkers on a ranch
northwest of Sonoyta, just south of the Arizona border.
1 hour ago • Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star

The comandante wanted to show some Sonoran reporters what Mexico's
Army is doing just south of the Arizona border. So he took five of
them on a tour last week that offered insights into the state of play
on the border around Sonoyta, Sonora, the border town across the line
from Lukeville, Ariz.

It's been a hot area for drug-war activity in the last months, as
I've detailed in stories and blog items.

About seven miles northwest of Sonoyta, they went to the ranch of a
local plaza boss known as El Memo, whose real name is Adelmo Niebla
González. El Memo was arrested Sept. 6 in Sinaloa. At his ranch,
soldiers showed the reporters bunkers where they'd discovered more
than three tons of marijuana in packages a couple of weeks before.

In a detailed Sept. 8 press release, Mexico's Ministry of Public
Safety said Niebla González's regional gang, Los Memos, had been
fighting with other smuggling groups to keep them out of this desert

The soldiers also took the reporters to a house only about four miles
northwest of Sonoyta, a place known as a gathering point for the
smugglers tasked with backpacking drug loads across the border.

Reporter Azucena Mazón, of El Diario de Sonora, said the group of
soldiers and reporters surprised the group.

"When the commander got down, one young man got scared and the
commander told him not to run because we were only passing through,"
she wrote me in Spanish. "And when we got down, the guys were
relaxed, drinking beer. Everybody talked and told us their plans."

In her story, Mazón quotes a 16-year-old telling the soldiers that
he's still clean and hasn't crossed yet. As he talks, he stirs a pot
of beans for the group of 18 males there, ages 16 to 50.

When the commander tells them they should go back to their home
states of Sinaloa, Guanajuato and Jalisco, some say there's no work
back home, so they'd rather stay and carry loads, even if it means
they've got one foot in jail already. Besides, one notes, October is
a nice cool month for crossing loads.

Note: The original story from Ms. Mazon

Adults and Children wait their turn to 'burrear' (drug mule)
Details Published on Tuesday 23 October 2012,
Written by Azucena Mazon / El Diario de Sonora

They say the lack of jobs in their hometowns forces them to "work"
mixed up in drug trafficking, even though they know they have one
foot in jail.

Crammed in houses located in suburbs near the border town of Sonoyta,
dozens of men from under 16 to adults 50, wait their turn to load up
their suitcase with 25 kilos of unnerving and venture into the
wilderness to cross into the United States .

Aspiring "burrear" leave their families in towns of Sinaloa,
Guanajuato, Jalisco and the same state of Sonora and launched
specifically to narcotics trafficking marijuana even if they know the
risk of being caught by the military in the case of land Mexican and
Border Patrol when they have crossed the line into the United States.
Only in the Sonoran Desert ejido located 10 kilometers northwest of
the town of Sonoyta, easy evidence when youths and adults come as
aspiring "burreros" and stay in small overcrowded homes where they
remain until the day they are advised to pack their bags and they
will cross with up to 25 kilos of marijuana. So José Juan and Roberto
of 34 and 36 years, came from Culiacan, Sinaloa who reported having 4
and 2 children who leave for up to two months in the "grip pull" and
"pull any wool" to send to his family. The two candidates are
accompanied by other 14 men, eight of them also of Sinaloa, three
from Guanajuato and one from Altar Sonora, who surprised by the visit
of SEDENA and provides some data. Everyone lives in a blue concrete
house with two rooms with mattresses on the floor and a bunk, there
is also a kitchen where you prepare beans to eat at noon. Among men
who are prepared to walk through the desert to cross with the "load"
is a 16, who calls himself Francisco, from Mazatlan, Sinaloa and who
prepares the pot of beans when two officers asked if he had already "
pull ", to which the child responds that he is still" clean "and
allows removing his shirt to show them that does not have the marks
left by the heavy backpack straps that stay for days. "I'm clean, I
have not gone, I'm looking to pull over here and while I'm taking
care of this meal, I think are Beans", stirring it. Outside the
house a military leader who does tours of the area advised them that
they think twice before venturing into inhospitable desert and
invites them to go back to their homes with their families. Some say
no go returning to their land because there are no jobs and they
prefer to risk, as they also say that there are hundreds of men
looking for the same thing, but in advance know they have one foot in
jail. Another youth interviewed and who said it is not his first time
crossing with drugs and says October is good to do this kind of work
that helps them weather it better in the desert. In another room of
the house are thrown three backpacks and a stereo with three CDs and
over an old bookcase, two candles lit for St. Jude. Besides this
ejido in the Sonoran Desert there are other villages in this region
where houses serve as hostels where they are given an opportunity to
aspiring "burreros" to remain as they start working.
As a complement to this activity in the main streets of Sonoyta, is
easy to detect the places where they sell canvas backpacks with
compartments, camouflage pants, caps and containers for storing
water. While local grocery trade and upturns in sales recorded after
the arrival of groups of people who buy up to 3 thousand pesos of
food and beverage cans ( about $230 USD )

CBP seizes cocaine, nearly half a ton of marijuana
October 23, 2012 3:38 PM
Two Mexican citizens were arrested after allegedly attempting to
smuggle almost $750,000 worth of illegal drugs into the United States
during two separate incidents recently at the San Luis Port of Entry.

The first incident happened Friday morning. According to a news
release from Customs and Border Protection, CBP officers at the San
Luis port of entry referred Ramiro Ramirez-Aguirre, 43, of San Luis
Rio Colorado, Son., for a more thorough inspection of the tractor-
trailer carrying a load of ceramic floor tiles that he was driving.

After an X-ray inspection and a CBP narcotics detection canine alert
to the presence of drugs in the shipment, CBP officers located nearly
945 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $472,000. The drugs and
tractor-trailer were seized.

The tile not used to conceal drugs was returned to the carrier.
Ramirez was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's
Homeland Security Investigations.

The second incident happened Monday morning when 52-year-old Nestor
Martinez-Noriega, of San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., was attempting to
enter the US in a Dodge truck.

CBP agents became suspicious of Martinez-Noriega, and ordered him
into a secondary inspection area where a working dog detected the
possible presence of contraband in his vehicle. After searching the
truck, agents allegedly found over 30 pounds of cocaine worth about

The drugs and vehicle were seized. Martinez-Noriega was turned over
to ICE agents.

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