Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Border Patrol arrests 6 suspected smugglers
February 19, 2013 6:42 PM

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested six suspects Sunday evening
who allegedly were carrying a total of 528 pounds of marijuana.

According to Agent Kyle Estes of the Yuma Sector Public Affairs
Office, at about 9 p.m., agents using night vision equipment
discovered a group of subjects carrying large backpacks near Gila Bend.

Agents apprehended the group and seized the narcotics they reportedly
were carrying. Five of the men were Mexican nationals; a sixth was a
citizen of Honduras.

The marijuana had an estimated value of $264,000.

Yuma-area residents can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and
Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report
suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.

Read more:

Former Customs officer found guilty on drug charges
Published/Last Modified on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:33 AM MST
Douglas Dispatch

A former Customs and Border Protection Officer from Douglas has been
found guilty of drug charges.

Luis Vasquez, 33, was found guilty by a federal jury last Thursday in
a Federal Court room in Tucson.

Evidence showed that on at least two occassions, Vasquez, along with
other members of the conspiracy, used his position as an inspector at
the Douglas port of entry to allow over 1,200 pounds of marijuana
into the United States from Mexico without inspection.

He was found guilty on all counts, including conspiracy to import
marijuana, unlawful importation of marijuana, conspiracy to possess
with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with the intent to
distribute marijuana.

The convictions carry a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment, a
$5,000,000 fine or both.

Vasquez is currently in the custody of the United States Marshals
Service while awaiting sentencing, which will be on April 29.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and
Border Protection and Office of the Inspector General and the Douglas
Police Department.

Note: Diversion?
CCSO assists in bomb threat at port
By Bruce Whetten
Douglas Dispatch
Published/Last Modified on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:33 AM MST

In the span of 12 hours late Saturday, early Sunday the Cochise
County Sheriff's Office assisted other law enforcement agencies in
two different incidents one of which was a bomb threat at the Douglas
Port of Entry.

According to Carol Capas of the CCSO, on Saturday February 16 at
approximately 5:15 p.m., the Cochise County Sheriff's Office was
advised that a Border Patrol agent had a vehicle stopped on Highway
191 and East Justin Street in Sunsites with two occupants inside.

Capas said the Border Patrol advised that the 1988 Oldsmobile was
reported stolen and they requested back-up assistance until
Department of Public Safety units could arrive.

Upon arrival the DPS Officer conducted a wants and warrants check on
the female driver and male passenger. As the results were being
received, the male subject fled the scene on foot causing law
enforcement officers to pursue him.

Additional Sheriff's Deputies arrived in the area to help with the
search along with DPS canine units, U.S. Border Patrol Units and a
fixed wing aircraft also from Border Patrol.

The subject was not located and the search was suspended from the
Sheriff's Office around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Capas said Border Patrol
units remained in the area tracking the subject throughout the night.

Around 2:18 a.m. Sunday the Cochise County Sheriff's Office was
contacted by the Douglas Port of Entry to assist with a possible bomb
that was heading their way.

Capas said port officials advised that they had received a call from
an anonymous female stating that a vehicle would be traveling
northbound into the United States through the port and it had a bomb
under the back seat.

Port Administrators advised that the information they received
appeared to be credible and they requested assistance from the
Sheriff's Office Bomb technician.
The Sheriff's Office bomb tech responded to the area and also
requested assistance from the Pima County bomb squad.

After arriving at the Port of Entry the staff advised that a 2005
Nissan Altima was coming northbound through the port being occupied
by a male and female along with their children.

Port officials stopped the vehicle and closed the north and
southbound lanes until the vehicle could be checked and cleared of
any explosive device.

Bomb technicians checked the entire vehicle and were unable to locate
anything suspicious.

The call was cleared and the port reopened at approximately 4:20 a.m.

Note: 249? 20k? Just wait until the PRI gets rolling.

Report: Mexico disappearances constitute 'crisis'
Associated Press report
Posted: 02/20/2013 02:35:47 PM MST

MEXICO CITY (AP) - A Human Rights Watch report released Wednesday
calls Mexico's anti-drug offensive "disastrous" and cites 249 cases
of disappearances, most of which show evidence of having been carried
out by the military or law enforcement.
The report says the enforced disappearances follow a pattern in which
security forces detain people without warrants at checkpoints, homes
or workplaces, or in public. When victims' families ask about their
relatives, security forces deny the detentions or instruct them to
look for their loved ones at police stations or army bases.
Human Rights Watch criticizes former President Felipe Calderon for
ignoring the problem, calling it "the most severe crisis of enforced
disappearances in Latin America in decades."
While the report acknowledges that current President Enrique Pena
Nieto inherited the problem, it says he should act urgently "in cases
where people have been taken against their will and their fate is
still unknown."
Mexico's Interior Department, which oversees domestic security,
declined to make an immediate comment about the report.
A civic organization released a data base late last year that it said
contained official information on more than 20,000 people who had
gone missing in Mexico over the previous six years.
In posting the date base on its website, Propuesta Civica, or Civic
Proposal, said the information was collected by the federal Attorney
General's Office during Calderon's recently ended administration.
The missing include police officers, bricklayers, housewives,
lawyers, students, businessmen and more than 1,200 children under age
11. They are listed one by one with such details as name, age, gender
and the date and place where the person disappeared.
Among the examples cited by Human Rights Watch is evidence suggesting
that marines detained about 20 people in three northern border states
in June and July of 2011. Though it denied abducting the victims, the
Navy later acknowledged it had contact with some before they
The report also says security personnel sometimes work with
criminals, detaining victims and handing them over to the gangs. The
report cites incidents in which investigators used information
collected in a case to pose as kidnappers and demand ransom payments
from the victims' families.
Authorities frequently fail to take even the most basic investigative
steps, such as tracing victims' cellular phone or bank records, and
often rely on investigations carried out by the victims' relatives,
the report adds.
Human Rights Watch recommends include that the Mexican government
take concrete steps to change security procedures, including issuing
new rules that require that detainees be taken immediately to
prosecutors' offices, and not be held at military bases or police

Note: "However, robberies of corner groceries and other small
businesses went up considerably, mainly because owners could not
afford to pay for private security, Donjuan Callejo said."

Juárez residents still don't feel safe, study says
By Lorena Figueroa \ El Paso Times
Posted: 02/20/2013 12:06:22 AM MST

Although high impact crimes such as homicides and kidnappings have
dropped drastically in Juárez during the past year, the city still
has a problem with violence, experts say.
Other crimes such as small-business robberies, homicides involving
women and human rights violations have gone up in the same period,
reaching alarming rates, according to the results of a new report on
the quality of life in Juárez.
The report from the organization Así Estamos Juárez, which will be
released Thursday at a public event in Juárez, looks at human and
civil rights, the economy, civil involvement and the city's
infrastructure for 2012.
This is the second time since 2011 that the organization, which forms
part of
Plan Estratégico de Juárez, will publish the findings of more than
800 indicators from those areas based on government and nonprofit
organization data, as well as interviews with residents.
"Our objective is to evaluate the quality of life in Juárez, where we
stand to and how well or bad we did from the year before," said
economist Erika Donjuan Callejo, from Así Estamos Juárez, who
coordinated the report.
In the latest study, the lack of security was again the number one
concern for Juárez residents; however, residents felt safer in 2012
than in 2011, according to the report.
Donjuan Callejo explained that the feeling derives from the lower
number of high impact crimes reported in the city during the past year.

In 2012 there were 748 homicides, a fraction of the 2,015 slayings
recorded in 2011 and the 2,218 recorded in 2010.
Kidnapping went down last year to 97 from 110 in 2011. There were
only 27 extortion reports in 2012, down from 67 the previous year,
according to the report.
Robberies of chain convenience stores also dropped from 2,409 in 2011
to 812 in 2012.
However, robberies of corner groceries and other small businesses
went up considerably, mainly because owners could not afford to pay
for private security, Donjuan Callejo said.

Those crimes went up from 322 in 2011 to 1,389 in 2012, according to
the report.
Other crimes that have not had as much media attention recently, such
as female homicides, have gone up at alarming rates, Donjuan Callejo
"The rate of femicides in the last years are much higher than in the
'90s or early 2000s, when they made headlines in the national and
international media," she said.
According to the report, the slaying of women in 2009, 2010 and 2011
-- the last year available -- were, respectively, 163, 275 and 203.
In contrast, a decade before there were fewer than 40 homicides of
women, the data show.
The report says human rights violations and discrimination cases went
up, respectively, 11.6 percent and 5.2 percent last year from 2011.
The report also mentioned that the economy of Juárez recuperated, but
at a slow pace. Employment in the maquiladora industry grew from
178,454 jobs in September 2011 to 190,031 in September 2012.
Donjuan Callejo said that, although it is a positive step, it is
still far from the employment level in 2007, when almost 218,000
people worked at maquilas.
Border crossings between Juárez and El Paso are at lower levels.
Commercial vehicle crossings, for example, were 270,605 through
August 2012, down from almost 332,000 the previous year, the report
The report mentioned that Juárez residents in 2012 had a higher sense
of security than in the previous year, which led them to spend more
time in public places instead of at home.Ê
They also felt they were living in a better economy and said they
were proud of living in Juárez, Donjuan Callejo said.
However, she said, there was less civic involvement and people are
still indifferent as to what the government does.
Lorena Figueroa may be reached at; 546-6129.

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