Thursday, February 14, 2013



Note: Pax Sinaloa? Tough police chief?

Juárez now ranked 19th most violent city
By Lorena Figueroa \ El Paso Times
Posted: 02/08/2013 02:20:17 AM MST

After previously being classified as the most violent city in the
world, Juárez has again eluded that title as the number of homicides
dipped last year.
Juárez is now ranked 19th on a list of 50 deadly cities worldwide in
2012, according to a new report from the Citizens Council for Public
Security and Criminal Justice, a Mexican think tank.

The rankings were released Thursday. Atop the list are San Pedro
Sula, Honduras; Acapulco, Mexico; and Caracas, Venezuela.
Acapulco, which ranked second, has been torn by drug gang violence in
the past couple of years. Recently, a gang of armed, masked men burst
into a rented home in the Mexican resort and raped six Spanish tourists.

The report's rankings were based on 2012 murders per 100,000 residents.
The organization describes Juárez as the "most relevant case" for its
significant drop in homicides.
Juárez was classified as the most violent city in the world in 2008
through 2010. The city was second in 2011.
In 2010, Juárez had a rate of 229 homicides per 100,000 residents. In
2012, the homicide rate dropped to 56 per 100,000 residents, a
decrease of 76 percent, the report says.
"Juárez has had in the last 14 months a true drop in the incidence of
homicides, because the authorities, somehow, began carrying out their
obligations for which we elected them and pay them to do," the
citizens council for public security's president, José Antonio
Ortega Sánchez, wrote in the report.

Chihuahua Gov. César Duarte said, "Juárez is a national example,
because the progress in security has been possible because of the
three government-level collaboration and the participation of Juárez
In January, he said, there were only 26 murders in Juárez, the lowest
number of homicides reported in a month in the past five years and a
drop of 90 percent from the count in January 2011, when there were
269 murders.
City Manager Héctor Arcelus added that Juárez is very different now
from October 2010, when Major Héctor Muguía took office.
He said the city was able to reinforce its public safety efforts to
reduce violence and crime through the work of Police Chief Lt. Col.
Julián Leyzaola Pérez and investment in social programs and community
Arturo Valenzuela, a coordinator for Mesa de Seguridad -- a group of
civilians working on security issues in Juárez -- said that the
report's homicide rate for the city is inaccurate and the city should
be ranked lower.
"Just in the last six months we have had rates of less than 50
murders per 100,000 (residents). Last month, it was of 20 (homicides
per 100,000 residents)," he said.
Although there are still problems with violence and security,
Valenzuela said, there has been progress in Juárez.
The report also mentioned Chihuahua City, which earned the 32nd place
on the list with 43.5 murders per 100,000 residents. Last year's
report ranked the city in ninth place with 83 murders per 100,000
Despite a decline in homicides and crime, the U.S. government
recently warned its citizens about the risks of traveling to Juárez
and Chihuahua City.
In a new travel warning issued in November, the State Department
describes both cities as places of "special concern" and cautioned
against nonessential travel to the cities.
Valenzuela considered the State Department's warning as unfair and
said Juárez should be eliminated from the alert.
"There are other U.S. cities that are more violent than Juárez, and
Mexico doesn't discourage Mexicans from going," he said.

The citizens council for public security ranked New Orleans as the
17th place in the list of most violent cities in the world with 56.13
homicides per 100,000 residents, narrowly beating out Juárez.

Lorena Figueroa may be reached at; 546-6129.

Note: not AZMEX, yet anyway, but a look at how things and agendas work.

Weapons seizure in Yemen shines light on Iran's attempts to
destabilize region
By Catherine Herridge
Published February 08, 2013

A recent shipment of weapons intercepted in Yemen, including surface-
to-air missiles, shows Iran's determination to further destabilize
the region, according to the head of the House Intelligence Committee.
"This new chapter is, with the chaos that you see in Northern Africa,
with what you see happening in Yemen, is to escalate arms flow,"
Republican Rep. Mike Rogers told Fox News. "Why? They're feeling the
pressure of sanctions, they're feeling the pressure of international
isolation because of their pursuit of nuclear weapons."
Video of the weapons shipment, posted to YouTube this week by the
Yemen Embassy in Washington, D.C., for the first time revealed the
scope and sophistication of the weapons intercepted in late January.
A Yemeni military source tells Fox News the shipment included
circuits, wires and nearly 200 explosive packages for improvised
explosive devices, remote detonators, military binocular and what
were described as Iranian man-portable, infrared-guided surface-to-
air missiles. Known as "Manpads," the missiles can bring down
civilian aircraft.
The weapons -- bound for a Shia insurgent group that has called for
an end to the small U.S. military presence in Yemen -- were hidden
inside a metal tank on a fishing vessel that was intercepted as part
of a joint U.S.-Yemen operation.
At a Jan. 29 briefing, Defense Department spokesman George Little
described the operation:"The dhow was observed operating erratically
and low in the water and ventured into Yemeni waters, so a routine
boarding was conducted. Arms were discovered, and we had crew
statements that indicate that the point of origin was Iran."
Beyond Yemen, a new British report by investigators with Conflict
Armament Research concludes Iran has been expanding its footprint in
Africa by secretly supplying unmarked ammunition to fuel regional
The report, called "The Distribution of Iranian Ammunition in
Africa," describes Iran's role in the Sudan as "sustained and
potentially escalating" with large-scale shipments -- as well as
technical help to produce weapons.
Separately, Fox News is told that a suspected Israeli air strike on a
Sudanese warehouse in October was linked to Iran's weapons smuggling
operations. The explosion destroyed some 40 percent of the Yarmouk
munitions plant near the capital Khartoum. At the time, Israel did
not confirm nor deny a bombing.
While Tehran denies involvement, there is now strong evidence,
presented publicly this week, that a July bus bombing in Bulgaria
that killed five Israeli tourists was the work of Hezbollah -- one of
Iran's proxies. Both Rep. Rogers and outside analysts believe the
smuggling of weapons and the uptick in plots linked to Hezbollah also
reflect the fact that Iran's longtime partner Syria is under
pressure, and the regime may ultimately fall, depriving the Iranians
of a key ally.

Read more:

Note: and then there this one.

Changes being made to prevent court escapes
February 08, 2013 5:15 PM

A "very unusual set of circumstances" led to a prisoner escaping from
the Municipal Court building last month, city officials told
reporters at a press conference Friday.

On Jan. 22, while in handcuffs, shackles and wearing a red jail
jumpsuit, 28-year-old inmate Raul Dominguez escaped from a secure
area of the Municipal Court building, where he had been arraigned on
five counts of criminal trespass and one count of theft and
trespassing. He was one of 10 prisoners brought to Municipal Court
that day.

City spokesman Dave Nash and Municipal Court administrator Angela
Grady explained Friday that Dominguez had apparently hidden under the
van used to transport prisoners from the county jail to Municipal
Court while it was parked in a secured area of the courthouse.

When officers realized one of the inmates was missing, one of the two
Municipal Court officers assisting with the transport backtracked to
look for him. The second officer secured the remaining nine
prisoners, but then also stepped away from the van.

When that happened, they said, Dominguez crawled out from under the
van and fled the secured area through a fire escape door. The door
was equipped with a push bar for fire safety purposes and designed to
open only after a time delay. However, the door was not functioning
correctly, which is what allowed Dominguez to get out of the security
area unnoticed.

"While this type of incident is extraordinarily rare at the Yuma
Municipal Court, it is the type of incident we can and must make sure
never happens again," said presiding Municipal Court Judge Douglas
Stanley. "I thank God that nobody was seriously injured, or worse, in
this event. We have put measures in place to address some of the
factors that may have facilitated this escape and are prepared to do
whatever it takes to ensure the safety of this community."

Nash said two investigations into the escape are ongoing: a criminal
probe by the Yuma Police Department and an internal administrative
investigation by the city of Yuma.

Grady added that at the direction of Judge Stanley, the court already
has made several procedural changes intended to prevent another such
escape from happening. There has not been an escape from the current
Municipal Court building since it was constructed 14 years ago, back
in 1999.

"The escape that occurred from Municipal Court on Jan. 22 is one that
the judges, officers and staff of this court take very seriously,"
Grady said. "We assure you that there has been, and continues to be,
an exhaustive administrative review of the policies and procedures in

In addition to repairing the door — which had been broken for at
least six months — Grady said Municipal Court officers will no longer
be allowed to transport more than five prisoners at a time.

Other changes already made include:

• Municipal Court officers will no longer transport prisoners between
the jail and Municipal Court if they have a felony pending, have
resisted arrest or have an immigration hold.

• Municipal Court officers have new procedures to follow regarding
the number of prisoners who can be placed in the elevator at any one

• The court is working on a comprehensive review and update of
policies and procedures concerning transportation of prisoners to and
from the jail and security in the courtrooms.

Judge Stanley also asked City Administrator Greg Wilkinson to furnish
additional personnel to help with paperwork processing, in order to
allow more prisoners to appear via audio-video feed for their court

Yuma Municipal Court shares the audio-video connection with other
municipalities in the county. The combination of having to sign off
for Wellton and Somerton and a full schedule of trials scheduled in
the afternoon on the day of the escape contributed to the decision to
transport 10 prisoners from the jail to appear in Municipal Court.

Grady said Municipal Court is currently waiting for the results of
the administrative investigation regarding the escape and are
prepared to take any correctional actions it deems necessary. That
completed report could be presented to Judge Stanley within the next

Sgt. Leanne Worthen of YPD was also at Friday's press conference and
spoke with reporters about the criminal investigation into
Dominguez's escape. She said that once captured, he faces additional
charges of escape, theft of means of transportation, aggravated
assault and armed robbery.

Worthen said Yuma police have received two reports of possible
sightings of Dominguez in Mexico since his escape: one in Algodones
and the other in San Luis. She said that warrants have already been
issued for Dominguez's arrest so "if he is contacted in the future by
law enforcement in some capacity, those warrants are in place for
immediate arrest."

Dominguez also faces felony charges of burglary and theft pending in
Yuma County Superior Court. That warrant carries a $250,000 bond,
while the warrant on the set of charges stemming from the escape has
a $1 million bond.

At about 12:10 p.m. the day of the escape officers were dispatched to
the area of 350 W. 16th St. for a report of a man, who was later
identified as Dominguez, wearing a prisoner uniform and leg shackles
running in the area. The man later fled that area in a white 2002
Mazda minivan he had carjacked.

Although originally wearing a red prisoner uniform and leg shackles,
Dominguez changed his clothing to a white T-shirt and tan pants.

At about 2 p.m., the minivan was found at County 9th St. and the
levee road by U.S. Border Patrol, and Dominguez was spotted making
his way toward Mexico on foot.

Read more:

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