Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mexico man 'dissolved 300 bodies'

Even by Mexican crime standards this is horrific.

A man arrested by Mexican police says he disposed of 300 bodies for a drugs gang over the past decade by dissolving them in chemicals.

Santiago Meza, called the "stew maker", said he was paid $600 (£440) a week to dissolve the bodies of murdered rival gang members in caustic soda.

He was presented to the media by the Mexican army after being arrested on Thursday near the city of Tijuana.

Over 700 people died in the US border city last year in an ongoing drugs war.

The Mexican army says it believes Mr Meza's claims are true.

"They brought me the bodies and I just got rid of them," Mr Meza told journalists at a construction site where he disposed of the bodies over a 10-year period. "I didn't feel anything."

The 300 corpses were said to belong to murdered rivals of Mexican drug kingpin Teodoro Garcia Simental, who is battling for control over drug trafficking routes through Tijuana, after defecting from the powerful Arellano Felix cartel.

Mr Meza was quoted by AP news agency as saying that he "would apologise" if he could speak to relatives of the victims.

Mexico's drug violence has surged and grown more gruesome in recent years, particularly in the northern border cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.

Also on Friday, two human heads were found inside coolers near police stations in the central Guanajuato state, officials said. The heads were accompanied by a note threatening allies of the "La Familia" drug cartel.

Drug-related violence claimed 5,700 lives across Mexico last year, more than double the number of victims in 2007.

BBC NEWS | Americas | Mexico man 'dissolved 300 bodies'

Friday, January 23, 2009

Several injured in Matamoros prison riot | matamoros, injured, prison - Breaking News - Brownsville Herald

The first prison riot on BOTG in several years. It is interesting that prisioners have guns, and would rather use them to kill each other and settle gang scores than escape. Go figure?

MATAMOROS - At least two people are dead and dozens are injured during a riot at a Matamoros prison.

A Mexico City news agency says the riot started this morning at Centro de Readaptacion socieal (Cereso) de Matamoros, located in the community of Santa Adelaida on the out-skirts of Matamoros.

The riot began at 9 a.m. when a fight broke out between a group of inmates armed with guns. An hour later, authorities had not been able to enter the prison. At the time prison director Pedro Benavides said no one had been killed in the shooting.

The Brownsville Herald has learned two inmates are dead and 36 others were hurt. Their injuries are unknown.

Relatives of the inmates have been outside the prison, waiting to learn about the fate of their loved ones.

Several injured in Matamoros prison riot | matamoros, injured, prison - Breaking News - Brownsville Herald

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heads Found In Ice Box As Police Battle Drug-Related Violence In State Of Chihuahua

More beheading. More police officers killed. Not a good start to the new year.

Three heads have been found in an ice box in a town in Mexico, near its border with Texas.

Mexican troops are fighting a drugs war

They were found about 30 miles from Ciudad Juarez, in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua, the state that sees most of the country's brutal drug violence.

A headless body was also found dumped in a dirty canal a few miles away and officials said the body might belong to one of six policemen kidnapped over the weekend.

Mexican police and soldiers are battling a wave of drug-related violence across the country, particularly in northern border areas, with more than 5,300 killed last year.

Four of the officers' heads were found earlier.

Hitmen cut off Commander Martin Castro's head and left it in an ice cooler in front of the local police station.

Statement from Mexican officials

On Monday, the head of a police chief was found in another ice cooler.

The police commander was abducted on Saturday, along with five other police officers and a civilian, only five days after starting his job.

"Hitmen cut off commander Martin Castro's head and left it in an ice cooler in front of the local police station," said state justice authorities.

Six bodies in police uniforms bearing signs of torture and gunshot wounds were also found on Monday, officials said.

The federal government two years ago launched a clampdown on drug-related violence, involving the deployment of around 36,000 troops across the country.

Mexico: Heads Found In Ice Box As Police Battle Drug-Related Violence In State Of Chihuahua | World News | Sky News

Mexico violence felt in North Texas

To imagine that Mexico can collapse into narco-anarchy and it will not effect the USA is naive in the extreme. Expect to see much more of this north of the border in the coming years.

The violence south of the border is staggering, and it's crossing the border and spreading fear in some North Texas homes with ties to Mexico.

The daily headlines in Mexico's newspapers are a bloody wake up call. The death tolls are rising every day. More than 5,500 murders were reported in 2008, and more than 1,600 of those were in Juarez just south of El Paso.

There were also more than 1,000 kidnappings, 65 of which ended in death.

As the violence grows, so are the numbers of North Texans who are being touched by the crimes.

"Thank God we are a poor family," said Jose Galvez, a North Texas resident. "We don't have the things in old Mexico that would make somebody be interested in taking somebody."

Galvez said he checks on his family in Mexico every month. His relatives have never been a target, but he said the violence hits close to home.

"It breaks you because these are people that you know, not necessarily relatives, but people you talk to," he said.

Extortion is at the center of many of the kidnappings and violence.

"I have known of at least three families where one of their loved ones has been taken," Galvez said. "And luckily, in those two cases, the loved one has been returned."

News 8 tried to reach victims, many expressed concerns of being targeted once again.

Meanwhile, Galvez said the gangs are doing their homework.

"They study and they know each of the family members," he said. "They are looking for ways or people that would have something valuable that they can exchange in return."

History professor John Chavez, from Southern Methodist University, said Mexico's crackdown on drug cartels has fueled even more crime.

"Those who used to be employed by the cartels are losing work, illegal work, and they are consequently becoming common crooks," he said.

Innocent families with no ties to the drug war have been targets, which has led some with money to buy safety across the border in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.

"Even some in the middle class and the upper class in Mexico are moving temporally to the U.S. side," Chavez said.

The United States and Mexico are keeping an eye on the violence, and Galvez said he is as well.

For now, he is holding back on visiting his relatives.

"You want to go see them," he said. "It hurts because you don't know what you are going to encounter."

Mexico violence felt in North Texas | Texas Cable News | | News for Texas | Local News: TV