Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mexico's war on drugs no match for corruption

Another amazing story from our southern neighbor. Truly amazing stuff goes on down there. No wonder Latino's like "Magical Realism", it more closely resembles life down there.

Mexican journalist Olivier Acuna had been reporting on organized crime for eight years when a group of men ambushed him near his home, held a gun to his head, forced him into a car and sped him away.

He says the men put a hood on him, pushed his head to the floor and hissed: "We're going to kill you, son of a bitch, and dump you in a field. How we kill you depends on how you cooperate."

They interrogated him about a local murder by binding his face until they crushed his nose, trussing up his body and sitting on it while forcing water into his mouth from a tank.

Then they handed him to police, who jailed him.

Acuna has now spent a year in prison in Sinaloa state in western Mexico on what human rights lawyers say are trumped up homicide charges typical in a country where crooked police chiefs, judges and business leaders use their power to protect drug bosses who get rich smuggling drugs to the United States.

Print Story: Mexico's war on drugs no match for corruption on Yahoo! News

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Two dead, 2 wounded in attack by border bandits -

Ho, hum. Just another case of assault weapon wielding camo-clad dope runners fighting with each other five miles inside the border. Two dead, two wounded. No line on the shooters. (Probably back in Old Mexico by now drinking Tecate.)

Two dead, 2 wounded in attack by border bandits -

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gunmen ambush soldiers: One man dies, another hurt

The narco-thugs are becoming even more brazen. Now they are assassinating Army regulars in cold blood. No wonder Mexicans are willing to risk life and limb to leave!

Unknown attackers ambushed two officers in the Mexican Army Intelligence Service in the southwest part of the city, killing a captain and injuring a colonel, officials said Thursday.The attack occurred near 7 p.m. Wednesday night as the two Army officers were driving on the highway to the airport near its intersection with Avenida Dr. Mier.

Civil authorities identified the deceased as Capt. Agustín Moisés Salazar, but did not give the officer’s hometown. Meanwhile, the injured colonel was taken to a military hospital in Mexico City. His name was not released.

A rare official report of the attack came from Nuevo Laredo city police, who responded to the initial call about reports of gunfire in the area. Officers said they arrived to find a Ford Explorer with Veracruz license plates crashed into the fence of a school building.

Inside, according to the police report, officers found the two soldiers. The driver was dead, and his injured passenger was in the front seat next to him.

Laredo Morning Times - Gunmen ambush soldiers: One man dies, another hurt

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Unarmed police in Tijuana receive wave of death threats

Considering the horrible reputation the Tijuana police have it's hard to feel too sympathetic with them.

I was personally robbed by the Tijuana police. They stopped my taxi, had me dump my pockets out, took about $100 in Pesos before letting me continue on my way. There was not even a pretext of any crime having been comitted. The taxi driver was sadly apologetic, I have never figured out if he was in on the scam.

Police in the violent border city of Tijuana have received a wave of death threats on their radios since soldiers sent to restore order in the city took their guns away, officials said Monday.

President Felipe Calderon sent 3,300 soldiers and federal police to Tijuana last week to hunt down drug gangs. The soldiers swept police stations and took officers' guns for inspection on Thursday amid allegations by federal investigators that a corrupt network of officers supports smugglers who traffic drugs into the United States. > News > Mexico > Tijuana & The Border -- Unarmed police in Tijuana receive wave of death threats

Friday, January 05, 2007

State legislator gunned down in Acapulco

State legislator gunned down in Acapulco

Hmm. The war is expanding. First other drug dealers, then police, then reporters, now politicians. Ugly.

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- A Mexican state legislator was gunned down in the center of Acapulco on Thursday on his way to an interview at a radio and TV station, city officials said.

Jorge Bajos Valverde, a member of the ruling National Action Party, was shot several times by assailants who stepped out of a white van blocking his path, said Gloria Mendez, a spokesman for Acapulco's Public Safety Department.

She said he died instantly and the motive for the attack was unknown.
Although a conservative, Bajos Valverde had defended Guerrero State Gov. Zeferino Torreblanca, of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, in several recent interviews.
In the last two years, Acapulco has been a hit by a wave of execution-style killings blamed on rival drugs gangs fighting over lucrative smuggling routes and a budding local drug market.

Bodies found in shallow grave in western Mexico

January 6, 2007 - 10:05AM

A forensic worker pulls out a body from a mass grave in the city of Uruapan, The bound and gagged bodies of nine people have been found in a shallow grave in violence-plagued Mexico City, where President Felipe Calderon kicked off his crackdown on drug trafficking.

An anonymous call sent police to an abandoned warehouse yesterday in Uruapan, 290 kilometres west of Mexico City in Michoacan state.

There, officials removed a loose section of flooring and discovered the mass grave, said Magdalena Guzman, a spokeswoman for the state prosecutors' office.

State officials yesterday found the bodies of three men and one woman, their feet and hands tied together and their mouths covered with tape.

The bodies of five other men were uncovered today.

All were in advanced stages of decomposition, indicating the victims were killed some time ago.

Guzman said the female victim had been identified by family members as 29-year-old Perla Soledad Almanza Rodriguez. No suspects were in custody.

Last month, Calderon sent 7,000 troops to his native state of Michoacan.
Uruapan itself has been the site of some of the most brutal slayings in Mexico, including a September 6 attack in which gunmen dumped five severed human heads onto a bar dance floor.
Drug gangs are blamed for more than 2,000 murders nationwide in 2006 and have left a particularly bloody trail in Michoacan and in the northern border city of Tijuana, where more than 300 people were slain last year.

Tijuana police stayed off of patrols today after soldiers sent by Calderon to crack down on drug gangs and corruption there seized most of their guns for inspection.
Tijuana Public Safety Secretary Luis Javier Algorri said that without arms it was too dangerous for the force of 2,000 police to patrol the streets of the city where 13 officers were shot dead last year.

"This is an unfortunate situation because it leaves agents defenceless and does not allow them to serve the community," Algorri said in a news conference.
Calderon sent 3,300 soldiers and federal police into Tijuana on Tuesday to hunt down drug gangs.

The soldiers swept police stations and took police guns for inspection yesterday amid federal investigators' allegations that a corrupt network of officers supports smugglers who traffic drugs into the United States.
Today, soldiers monitored those leaving and entering Tijuana, while federal and state police manned checkpoints within the city limits

The federal attorney general's office also said officials had arrested seven alleged kidnappers in the border city of Mexicali and freed three of their victims.

Opposition politicians have expressed doubt that Calderon's highly publicised campaign will have much of an impact.

Calderon took office on December 1, promising to crack down on drug gangs and other organised crime. His predecessor, Vicente Fox, also designated thousand of agents to fight drug trafficking, arresting several alleged kingpins during his six-year term.
But those actions appeared to spark more violence as other traffickers battled to take over the smuggling routes of those killed or detained.

Bodies found in shallow grave in western Mexico - World -