Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Town the Law Forgot

Great article about one of the small mini-cities in LA county that the Mexican mafia have taken over - lock, stock, and barrel. Literally. Here's what goes as political humor in LA these days:

In late December, at a holiday gathering at the City Club in downtown Los Angeles hosted by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Cota ran into Bell Gardens City Councilman Mario Beltran, who was perplexed to see Cota, a 29-year-old teacher, hobnobbing and being photographed with Villaraigosa and others.

“Who brought him here?” Councilman Beltran asked onlookers, some of whom are friends of Cudahy’s Vice Mayor, Osvaldo Conde, who is running for re-election. “You better watch out,” Beltran warned Cota, the bright-eyed challenger. “Conde will take care of you with his cuerno de chivo.”

Though Beltran was smiling as he tossed off some Mexican slang for an AK-47, Cota says he did not appreciate such talk. A witness, Maywood Mayor Sergio Calderon, a friend of Cota’s, says, “It was a joke, a tasteless joke.”

LA Weekly - The Town the Law Forgot

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cartels still intact; Gangland-style killings continue

The Mexican 'surge isn't working.

MEXICO CITY — President Felipe Calderón’s deployment of more than 20,000 soldiers and federal police in the drug war has reduced rampant violence in the areas where they were sent. But the narco cartels’ power remains virtually intact, and gangland-style killings have spiked in at least three states formerly immune from the menace, officials and drug experts say. Since Calderón launched the first arm of the anti-drug offensive on Dec. 7 — just days after his inauguration — soldiers have arrested hundreds of suspected traffickers, seized tons of cocaine and other drugs and destroyed thousands of acres of marijuana and heroin poppy fields, according to the government.

But only 94 people have been indicted so far, none of them top-ranking cartel members. Meanwhile, gangland-style killings have taken spread to the states of Aguascalientes in central Mexico, Oaxaca in southern Mexico and Campeche in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Earlier this month, suspected cartel hitmen gunned down four municipal police officers in the sleepy city of Aguascalientes. And on Tuesday, police there discovered a body dumped in a plastic bag with the message: “This is for mistreating the Family.”

Laredo Morning News

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two Mexican Police Arrested for Rape of American Tourist

That could ruin your whole vacation ...

The charges stem from the San Antonio woman's complaint to Mexican authorities that on the morning of Feb. 3, Santiago and Ramirez picked her up in downtown Piedras Negras and drove her around against her will before sexually assaulting her in a field.

The officers at first denied the incident and later changed their story to say they had consensual sex with the woman.

MySA.com: Mexico

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gunmen wound federal legislator, kill driver in Nuevo Laredo

Believe it or not this is NOT the same legislator as the story immediately preceeding it.

That one died (Jan 14 attack). This one was 'only' shot 6 times. Add legislators to the list of reporteres, police chiefs, police men and wealthy business owners who are being targeted by the drug gangsters.

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico -- Gunmen wielding assault rifles attacked a vehicle carrying federal Congressman Horacio Garza in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, wounding him and killing his driver on Monday, just one day after the government announced a sweeping crackdown on drug-fueled crime in the area.

Garza was in stable condition after suffering gunshot wounds to the neck, leg and shoulder in the attack, but his driver, Hector Morales Juarez, died at the scene on a roadway leading to the city's airport

Corpus Christi, TX - KRISTV.COM - Gunmen wound federal legislator, kill driver in Nuevo Laredo

Mexican Prosecutor Arrested in Gang Assassination of Congressman

Corrupt Mexican law enforcement implicated in assassinations. That's really nothing new, what is new is that the current President seems to actually be arresting and prosecuting people.

An assistant state prosecutor in Mexico was detained for questioning in an investigation into the killing of an opposition politician and four others, and the passing of information to drug traffickers.

In the border city of Nuevo Laredo, gunmen wielding assault rifles attacked a vehicle carrying a federal Congressman, wounding him and killing his driver just a day after the government announced a crackdown on drug crime in the area.


Prosecutors said an investigation into Resendiz Martinez revealed a gun that may have been used in the Jan. 14 killing of opposition politician Jaime Meraz Martinez. Meraz Martinez's wife, daughter-in-law and an employee of the opposition were also killed in the attack.

AP via WaPo story here.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monterrey deals with spike in violence

Wasn't NAFTA supposed to 'fix' Mexico?

SAN PEDRO GARZA GARCÍA, Mexico – From the shopping malls and the fashionable clothes of its residents, this could be any affluent U.S. suburb – University Park or Highland Park come to mind. Residents pride themselves on their American-style prosperity.

But in recent weeks, drug-related violence has shattered the tranquility, and the main targets are police. Seven police officers have been gunned down in Monterrey and its suburbs this year. Men with assault weapons killed two former police officers over the weekend.

Last year, 10 law enforcement officials were killed in the area, including five police chiefs. Among them was San Pedro's chief, Héctor Ayala Moreno. A top state investigator, Marcelo Garza Y Garza, was shot and killed as he walked out of church in San Pedro.

"One day you wake up and realize that your neighbors are not who you thought they were," said Denise Colyer, 22, a waitress at a Chili's here. "We thought we were immune from the violence, but we're surrounded by fear and drug traffickers."

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | World

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Assailants gun down 7 police in Acapulco

Wow. Even by Mexican standards this is a very bad day.

ACAPULCO, Mexico - More than a dozen armed assailants staged simultaneous attacks against two police stations in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco on Tuesday, killing at least seven officers.

The attacks took place before noon in two neighborhoods about nine miles north of the tourist zone, said Enrique Gil Mercado, special prosecutor for the attorney general's office in the state of Guerrero, which includes Acapulco.

Assailants gun down 7 police in Acapulco - Yahoo! News

Monday, February 05, 2007

Reporters risk death reporting on the drug cartels

Good overview on the plight of the press in the "Narco Democracy" south of the border. A nice turn of phrase I took from this article.

It was almost a year ago that three masked gunmen armed with grenades and assault rifles stormed into the newsroom at El Manana, a daily paper in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, killing one reporter and leaving a second paralyzed for life.

Goes on to detail the same things that fill this blog. Ends with this quote:

“This whole country is ruled by the drug traffickers,” one reporter says.

“Even the highest officials won’t cross them. So why should we journalists be exempt? Even the federal government can’t control them. The truth is, we have become a narco-democracy. Our country’s ruling elite is not its business class or its politicians but the drug lords.”

Media Life Magazine

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Border Standoff Rattles National Guard

Our gutless politicians continue to fail horribly to do the basics. Guard troops with orders not to shoot intruders? Response to this absurd situation? "Start training for hostage situations". We need a movie with Leslie Neilson as the head of Homeland Security to top this ...

DEL RIO, Texas -- A recent standoff between National Guardsmen and heavily armed outlaws along the Mexican border has rattled some troops and raised questions about the rules of engagement for soldiers who were sent to the border in what was supposed to be a backup role.

Six to eight gunmen -- possibly heading for Mexico with drug money -- approached a group of Tennessee National Guard troops at an overnight observation post Jan. 3 on the U.S. side of the Arizona-Mexico border. No one fired a shot, and the confrontation ended when American troops retreated to contact the Border Patrol. The gunmen then fled into Mexico.

But the incident made some National Guard commanders nervous enough to move up training dates for handling hostage situations. And some lawmakers have questioned why the rules prohibit soldiers from opening fire unless they are fired upon.

"Why would this be allowed to happen?" Republican Arizona state Rep. Warde Nichols said. "Why do we have National Guard running from illegals on the border?"

Border Standoff Rattles National Guard - Newsday.com