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Blog dedicated to the reporting of organized crime
on the border line between the US and Mexico.
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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from Riodoce

                                       Sedena secures small planes, sells them and re-seizes them:
                This plane seized in the 2008 Culiacan Operation was seized again in Venezuela in  2009

    By: Alejandro Monjardin Sept 20, 2017

    In 2008, a Cessna 210 registration XB-JSO , white with blue strips, was secured in a Culiacán International Airport hangar and nine years later, on Monday Sept 11, 2017 they found it with 400 kilos of cocaine abandoned in Guanajuato. SEDENA secures many small planes linked to narco trafficking, which are then recovered by their owners and ultimately reseized. There is one plane seized in 2008 that was , once again secured at the airport in La Palma, Navolato, Sinaloa in 2015.

    The aircraft was one of the 103 that the Mexican Army and the Attorney General's Office (PGR) seized in the hangars of the airport in February 2008. That year in Sinaloa, the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) was constantly deploying operations at aerodromes and airports as part of the strategy to combat drug trafficking. There are others that were seized prior to 2008.

    That day in February 2008, the Army took over all the hangars and the terminal in the hangar area of
    the Culiacan International Airport. After reviewing all aircraft; 103 planes, three helicopters and six hangars were secured by the PGR. In the review of databases, it has been found that at least 21 were returned to their owners , 7 were auctioned by 2009 by the Service of Administration and Property Disposal.

    400 Kilos of Cocaine and a Cessna 210 Abandoned in Guanajuato:
    it is theorized that "They" ran out of fuel
    Last Monday this same Cessna 210 was found in the municipality of San Felipe, Guanajuato along with a million dollar drug shipment. Inside there were 400 kilos of cocaine worth more than 50 million pesos, ( nearly $3 million USD ) the largest drug seizure made in that state.

    In the Mexican Aeronautical Registry of  Civil Aeronautics of the Secretary of Communications and Transportation, updated until 2015, the aircraft appears to be registered as insured status in Culiacan. The name of the last owner registers it as private.

    The discovery occurred at dawn in the Sierra de Lobos community of La Junta. The track; ie, airstrip is located on the border between the states of Guanajuato and Jalisco.

    According to the National Safety Commission, Sunday night the staff of the Federal Police was alerted by an anonymous call that a plane was on a flight in an irregular area and manner. The aircraft made an emergency landing at the aerodrome La Junta, apparently because it ran out of fuel and was left abandoned.

    When federal agents arrived, they did not locate any of the crew members. Inside the vehicle there were 356 packages of cocaine weighing 400 kilos. Until Friday, elements of the federal forces were maintained to safeguard the airfield and the plane that was still in place.

    The Guanajuato delegation of the PGR announced that they have opened investigations to the origin and destination of the aircraft as well as who is the owner of the aircraft and drugs.

    In 2008, the aircraft was listed in the preliminary investigation opened which was called: Operation Illicit Resources .AP / SIN / CLN / 178/2008 / MI, on charges of Violation of the Aeronautics Act, Violation of the General Aviation Act and Violation of the General Telecommunications Law. The Public Prosecutor of the Federation assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Procedure I "A", decreed securing the aircraft located in Culiacán, including the registration XB-JSO, on June 2, 2008.

    By August, no one had laid claim to the Cessna 210 and since the prosecution did not know the name and address of its owners, by edict, a social representative of the Public Ministry was called to take charge and the plane was determined to be claimed within  90 days or otherwise it would be deemed property of the Federal Govt .

    After due diligence, The Public Ministry reported that they had exhausted their efforts on the aircraft. The planes had not been declared unusable, and were turned over to the administration. All aircraft were available to the Delegation of Management Services and Disposal of Public Sector Assets under custody and supervision of the Army.

    Goods available to the Administration and Transfer Service when unclaimed, are sold at public auctions. In SAE auction catalogs from 2009 to 2016 the Cessna 210 with the registration XB-JSO does not appear.

    Between 2009 and 2015, at least five of the planes seized were returned to their owners through court-ordered amparos. District Judges considered that there were irregularities in the seizure procedure and ordered the return the aircraft.

    The plane was secured when the army kept operating at aerodromes and local airports to "clip the wings" of the aerial narco trafficking routes. The strategy of attacking the aerial fleet of criminal groups was directed by then commander of the Ninth Military Zone, Noe Sandoval Alcazar.

    A month earlier they had secured 15 aircraft at the aerodrome La Perla, 28 at the base La Luna and six at  Tapacal, all in the receivership of Villa Juarez, Navolato. At the La Perla base five small planes that had been secured were stolen and days later found on a ranch in the receivership of Villa Adolfo López Mateos, El Tamarindo, in Culiacan. The same day 46 other aircraft were seized at the Los Mochis Airport.

    Months later, the actual landing strips of the three airfields were released by the Feds and returned to operation , but all the planes seized remained available to the PGR.

    From Culiacán to Venezuela:

    In June 2009, the Bolivarian National Guard located a small plane and arrested a Sinaloan and two Venezuelans in the state of Zulia, Venezuela. The aircraft is a Cessna registration XB-JQF, which in February 2008 had been seized at the Culiacán airport.

    The arrested Mexican is Tirso Chimal Sánchez, originally from Guamúchil and accused of crimes of conspiracy to commit a crime, illicit trafficking in narcotic and psychotropic substances and the diversion and obtaining trafficking routes all to the detriment of the Venezuelan State. According to the accusations filed in the Criminal Accusation Room of the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela, the aircraft would be used to transfer drugs to Mexico.

    La Guardia reported that they received a call that referred to an aircraft flying low in the community Guaru Guaru, so they went to the place and located the Mexican plane on land, with the doors open. In the vicinity they observed three men that circulated in motorcycles, for which reason why they initiated a persecution until they were able to reach them.

    One of the detainees was the Mexican and the other two, Venezuelans Jovanny Ramón Rivas Rodríguez and Oswaldo José Rodríguez Jiménez.

    Chimal Sánchez had already been detained in Mexico City in 1999, when federal agents detected the take off of a light aircraft that followed an unusual route in Caborca, Sonora, whereupon they began an aerial chase and in Guamúchil they forced the pilot to land. Chimal Sanchez was traveling as a co-pilot of the aircraft in which they found marijuana.

    Confiscation, three years later:

    Another plane, with registration XB-KPA was also returned to its owners and in 2015 was resecured  during the operations that federal forces made after the second escape flight of Joaquin "El  Chapo" Guzman. The Cessna 210 aircraft was seized along with 12 other aircraft by elements of the Army, at the La Palma, Novalato, Sinaloa airport, located in Campo Berlin, at the Villa de Ángel Flores.

    With this siezure and that of a house in Colonia Miguel Hidalgo, in Culiacán, the Office of the Specialized in Investigation of Organized Crime initiated a preliminary investigation. That confiscation was part of the operations that were carried out in the state by the state in the wake of "El Chapo"s escape from the  Altiplano Prison, in July of that year.

    In the aerodrome a pilot named Héctor Ramón Takashima Valenzuela, the presumed private pilot at the service of "El  Chapo "was detained, who was also an active member of the PRI.

    Secured for the second time:

    By 2008, at least three of the light aircraft had already been seized. One of them is the registration plate XB-HCA, originally confiscated in April of the year 2000. The aircraft was located by members of the PGR, in the municipality of Caborca, Sonora. On a reconnaissance flight they detected a clandestine runway and the small plane. About a mile away was a camp, a pick-up truck, and agricultural machinery to level the land.

    Way back in August of 2004, they seized three small planes and a clandestine runway in Guasave.
    According to the PGR, the radars detected a small plane in the air space of San Felipe, Baja California, that took direction to Sinaloa. Days later federal elements investigated the destination of the small airplane and located a clandestine track and three aircrafts, in the town El Retiro, in Guasave.

    One of the light aircraft was the registration plate XB-XCB, seized again in 2008 in Culiacan.

    In Mocorito, way back in November 2005, the Army found a plantation of marijuana of 18 thousand square meters. A few miles from the field they found the Cessna  XB-HLW  along with marijuana residue, on an illegal runway. That plane was also confiscated at Culiacán airport three years later in the 2008 operation.

    In the Aeronautical Register, current up until 2015, these three airplanes appear with "secured " status.

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    Republished by Chivis from El Paso Times

    Juárez police said they arrested an alleged hit man for the Barrio Azteca gang suspected in 30 killings, including a triple homicide at a barbershop last week.

    The arrest took place after a shooting that killed three people and wounded another Friday outside a barbershop on Mesa Central street in southeast Juárez, police said.

    Oscar Ernesto A.G., alias "El Karin," was arrested following a car chase after witnesses told police that the shooters had fled in a white Chevrolet Malibu.

    Police said they found an AK-47 rifle, a .45-caliber handgun and about a pound of marijuana in the car.

    The 34-year-old man allegedly told police that he was a member of a gang hit squad and that the victims were in a rival group selling crystal methamphetamine out of the barbershop, a police news release states.

    Police said that the alleged gang member told police that he had taken part in the killing of more than 25 gang rivals this year.

    The Chihuahua attorney general's office said that the man is suspected in 30 homicides in Juárez and Chihuahua City, including the deaths of two police officers.

    In a separate case Saturday morning, police arrested a woman in west Juárez allegedly transporting three AR-15 rifles in a suitcase for the Azteca gang.

    The 19-year-old woman allegedly told police that her husband is a Barrio Azteca gang member and that the firearms were to be used in attacks on gang rivals in west and south Juárez.

    There have been more than 500 homicides in Juárez this year believed to be linked to violence over street-level meth sales.

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from El Debate

    The Coahuila Prosecutor's Office identified 37 victims who were assasinated and incinerated by Los Zetas between 2009 - 2012 in the CERESO state prison of Coahuila. Piedras Negras, Coahuila is on the US border of Texas.

    Sept 29, 2017: Saltillo, Coahuila.- The Coahuila Prosecutor's Office of the Disappeared have identified 37 victims who were murdered and burned by Los Zetas DTO inside the Piedras Negras penitentiary center, but have yet to identify at least 113 people, as reported yesterday Sept. 28 as reported by  the head of the investigative unit; José Ángel Herrera.

    "As a result of two stages of investigation, it has been possible to confirm the identity of thirty-seven people who were victims of the crime of disappearance of persons," Herrera said in a press conference.

    He also assigned the responsibility of 17 persons involved in these crimes, and about  21 arrest warrants were issued, of which only 17 have been complied with, while four are  pending.
    Information from Proceso:

    The head of the unit stressed that among the results of the investigation that took place on Monday, September 4, 2017: 13 people were arrested, of which only eight were imprisoned and  five of them confirmed members of the group "Los Zetas".

    Herrera also mentioned that the purpose of bringing criminal proceedings against those responsible, it is necessary to obtain 16 additional arrest warrants for the crime of the disappearance of persons.

    "Among the 37 victims identified is a family of seven members, including a woman and a minor," Herrera said.

    From late 2009 to September 2012, the Los Zetas criminal group has murdered and incinerated at least 150 people in the workshops of the Social Readaptation Center (Cereso) in Piedras Negras.

    The remains of the victims were put in bags and thrown in the channel of the river San Rodrigo. The authorities diverted the river bed to locate the remains in the bags that were thrown.

    However, "due to the floods caused by Hurricane Alex, the bags with human remains were washed away by the current and ended up in the Rio Bravo," said José Ángel Herrera.

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    Written for Borderland Beat by Otis B Fly-Wheel

    Subject Matter: Lola La Chata
    Recommendation: Read part 1 of this articlesee link

    Reporter: Otis B Fly-Wheel

    You have bewitched me, body and soul
    The quote above is from pride and prejudice, but never can it have been more accurate than Lola La Chata's effect on men of the time. It was her gift, she was not the most beautiful woman ever born, she was not a slim model figure, she did not come from noble family whose names meant something. But very few women have been able to bewitch men like she could.

    Apart from her husbands, many authority figures fell in love with her, as did a lot of other men who simply could not resist her charms. Dr Leopoldo Salazar Viniegra, whose arguments for the treatment of addicts led to the legalization of drugs in Mexico for a 6 month period, was the cause of hardship in her life but even he was bewitched by her and he wrote to her.

    "This, I must tell you for your own satisfaction, has not diminished my admiration for you. I consider you to be a perfect product of our time. For you, a drug addict is merely a good customer and nothing more. For me, he is an unhappy person dragged in the dust by civilization".

    "As it is, you as a drug dealer have had better luck than those of us entrusted with incorporating the addicts into active, social, and living people. You have accomplished a marvel, and this is a real compliment to your talent and ability, of knowing how to maintain position and gaining always the goodwill of the whole police force".

    "You are a dispenser of graft, a national emblem. No one every resists your bribes which, according to what I am told is very grand indeed. One thing is surely clear, you, old in the custom know how the business can produce even if sometimes the demands are heavy and excessive, with a little more bicarbonate in the heroin and a little more pressure on the client, you are able to make ends meet".

    In addition to your business ability, you have a very acute sense of psychology, you know the "when", the "how' and the "how much" of the bribe to be given; you know how to tell if the person involved has his teeth sharpened."

    He further expressed himself about her business acumen, " she has great skill in knowing what her clients want as well in knowing how to protect herself, she embodies the businesswoman who has matured in the highly competitive and political and informal economy, she created a plague of addicts , who I tried to help against the growing tide, like many prostitutes and street vendors , this uneducated mestiza from a poor family had few options in life."

    Lola and William Burroughs

    The American beat writer Williams S Burroughs travelled to Mexico to escape a drug charge in New Orleans, while in Mexico city he sought out drugs and prostitutes, both of which Lola could supply. William became bewitched by her and used her as a character in his books under the name Lupe, Lola or Lupita.

    Burroughs loved Lola's wild side and he found these behaviors together with her body an intoxicating mixture. Based on an actual meeting, in his book Red Night, Burroughs describes a rendezvous with Lola using a pseudonym as himself, Mr Snide.

    "He arrived at her warehouse which was guarded by a skull face pistolero (Otis: they are still doing that today), Lola La Chata sat in a huge wooden chair, three hundred pounds cut from the mountainous rock of Mexico, her graciousness underlining her power, she extended a huge arm, ah Mr Snide, El Puerco Particular, the private pig, she was shaking with laughter."

    He was paying homage to her, fascinated by her body and her physical presence. He based his written adventures on reality, he describes her as gracious because of her power and presence, her visible wealth and celebrated her as deviant and sexual, to Burroughs she was the essence of Mexican culture , an Aztec earth goddess who gave her clients packets of heroin from between her hugely well endowed breasts, and Burroughs viewed her chest as a site that nurtured his addiction for both the drugs and sexuality.


    As well as a long list of admirers, Lola also had enemies in law enforcement, particularly on the USA side of the border who were not so much inclined to be bribed by her. Harry Anslinger was a thorn in her side for most of her reign as drug trafficking queen. Anslinger believed in his own superiority and was a known racist often using racist language. He once put out an A.P.B that described a suspect to be arrested as a " ginger - colored nigger ", which enraged a lot of civil rights groups as well as others in the law enforcement community. He was also particularly against any woman who was employed in drug trafficking.

    Anslinger was also very much against the Mexican train of thought with regards to drugs and addicts. To him they were just criminals, and not people who deserved treatment by medical practitioners, and his assertions that drugs use was a crime and not a sickness, and fell out with doctors and their ideas on both sides of the border because of it.

    His influence with James E Ruffin who was Special Assistant to the USA Attorney General led to the conclusion that Lola's crimes were extraditable under the Supplementary Extradition Convention of July 1st, 1926, which stipulated that crimes and offences against the laws for the suppression of the traffic in and use of narcotic drugs were extraditable.

    It was decided that if Lola was caught north of the border, she would be arrested under the Harrison act, and tried for drug trafficking. The USA authorities had always underestimated her role, seeing her as a drug mule, that would personally deliver large loads of heroin, rather than the reality of her distancing herself from exactly that for self protection.

    As well as Anslinger, some from the law enforcement community who were working for her also turned against her. Captain Huesca de la Fuente emerged along side Lola as one of Mexico's major traffickers. He was Chief of the Anti-Narcotics squad in Mexico City and had been shaking down Lola for a long time. With legalization and Salazar supplying legal heroin, Lola and Huesca forming a drug trafficking triangle, the Mexican press outlet La Prensa exposed them to the the nation, at least those not involved in drug trafficking or law enforcement in the capital city who all knew all to well who and what the three did.

    The subsequent arrest of Huesca, and imprisonment of Lola and the open letter to Lola written by Salazar that opens part 2 of this article all served to alert the USA anti drug authorities that this problem was institutionalized in Mexico and was a political hot potato that had to be handled carefully so as to not upset diplomatic relations that were tender after the end of the Mexican Civil War.

    The pressure put on the Mexican Government by the United States did lead to her being arrested and she was imprisoned several times in the middle of the decade of the 40's. Even though Lola turned this to her advantage and those in the know, knew it would change little for her narco trafficking network, in that her ability to bribe, and the operational astuteness of her Lieutenants would assure that her business would suffer little if she were imprisoned.

    She was imprisoned in both Lecumberri and Islas Marinas prisons, anyone who is familiar with the Netflix series "Narcos" or the life of Pablo Escobar will know that he built his own prison for him to be housed in where he enjoyed nearly all the perks of being at liberty.

    While on Isla Maria Madre, and in the prison there, Lola did pretty much the same thing and turned it into her own establishment, building an airport so her children and other visitors could fly in to see her, and which later became the bona fide airport for the Island.

    The Prison at Isla Maria Madre where Lola was imprisoned

    Lecumberri Prison
    When Lola was imprisoned, her sophisticated network continued to work at full speed ahead, her contacts were flown in to her prison on Isla Maria and business conducted as usual, and she continued to supply heroin, morphine, marijuana and cocaine, it made no difference whether she was in prison or not, (Otis: this is something the USA law enforcement authorities today still have problems in understanding, apart from with El Chapo it seems).

    The fact that drugs were flowing into the USA from Mexico in ever greater numbers even with Lola in prison caused consternation in both the USA and Mexican law enforcement communities with their repeated attempts to arrest and imprison her. Avila Camacho made a presidential decree against her in 1945, and she successfully fought that off like swatting away a fly that was annoying her, a testament to her ability to retain influence among the powerful.

    With Lola in prison the USA authorities turned their gun sights on Dr Salazar and launched a waged campaign to discredit him and all the work he had done with addiction. Salazar had said that marijuana was not responsible for people wanting to commit crime and that it was not the cause of insanity in people who smoked it. This around the time USA was launching "reefer madness", and the hysteria around marijuana smoking that prevailed until just recently, when several states repealed State but not Federal law regarding marijuana possession.

    Salazar was the only one who knew that prison would not curtail Lola's activities, again he wrote about her " You are in spite of your popularity a factor of little importance in the vast network of drug trafficking, your stay in the penitentiary would only greatly increase the traffic therein, without really affecting the traffic outside as you would leave your deputies and temporary substitutes in charge. Moreover and above all, there are your colleagues who, while they do not sell quick lunches, have airplanes at their disposal and descend from the clouds with their infamous cargo". (Otis:La Senora de Los Cielos! many years before Armado Carillo Fuentes).

    As well as the airport on Isla Maria, Lola had a hotel built so her daughters could stay for extended periods, and Lola also received conjugal visits. She was released and returned to front her organization avoiding the police until they came for her for the last time in 1957.

    She was arrested at home, while processing heroin. She lived under heavy guard like El Chapo Guzman or El Mencho. the Police broke into her home and captured her along with one of her cohorts, Luis Oaxaca Jaramillo, in addition to 10 servants/bodyguards. The subsequent search of her home netted equipment for making heroin from opium, a large amount of cash and jewelry and weapons and ammunition.

    She was taken to jail again, and with a huge media circus present made one telling statement.
    "Yes ill talk, but first question all of the Police agencies, all they wanted to do was arrest me and get me out of the way, however don't implicate any more innocent people. I am the only one responsible for the narcotics traffic and business that I established".

    Her disassociation of the people arrested with her has been judged a strategic move to ensure that her Lieutenants could continue to operate with no repercussions. In attempting to protect the men that ensured her safety, she challenged the male dominated concept of Patriarchal society.

    She had confirmed that she was the Madrina of the organization, and was publicly open about the power she wielded in a field utterly dominated by men. After being found guilty she was sent back to Carcel de Mujeres and died of a heart attack in September of 1959. Over 500 people attended her funeral who were made up of fully one third Police officers. She was an enigma.

    Such was the importance she had in drug trafficking, La Prensa ran a series of articles in their newspaper announcing the " The end of drug trafficking in Mexico".

    Coming soon "La Nacha, Ignacia Jasso la viuda de Gonzalez"

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    Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat From Processo
    Los rastros del ataque en Ciudad Victoria. Foto: Especial

    MEXICO CITY (AP) - In three different operations in Victoria, Tamaulipas, state police captured 12 people allegedly involved in drug trafficking, homicides, criminal association, security offenses and weapons carrying.

    Seven of the detainees, according to local prosecution authorities, may be directly related to the killings and injuries of several people committed Saturday night in an event hall in the state capital. 

    Some of the Detainees. Fotos: Especial

    On Saturday night, during a graduation party in an event hall, four people were killed and five injured. Those responsible, who fled aboard a van, used handguns and heavy weapons.  

    Shortly after, the state security areas implemented the immediate actions and investigations that, hours later, lead to the arrests.

    In one of the detention areas, the likely perpetrators used tactical equipment and assaulted the uniformed men with weapons, and even threw spike strips at them.  

    In the three actions carried out in the Pajaritos and Naciones Unidas neighborhoods, parts of the PGJE and the SSP succeeded in arresting Nayeli Esmeralda "N", José Óscar "N", Edson "N"; Jenifer Yuled "N", Luis Enrique "N", Alan Guadalupe "N"; Víctor Fabián "N", Jorge Luis "N", Cecilia "N", José Luis "N"; and Juan "N" and Ramiro "N".

    From those arrested, three long weapons and one handgun, more than 20 magazines, more than a thousand cartridges, tactical helmets, military uniforms, tire punctures, more than 40 bags and a pot with marijuana-like grass were seized.

    According to investigations, the seized weapons were related to several homicides that were committed in the capital Tamaulipeca.

    It was also pointed out that, out of a group of seven detainees, three stated that they did have a direct involvement in the killing of four people and injuries at the Carol event hall in Victoria.

    Even in laboratory tests it was found that the weapons match the shells found in at least a dozen homicides committed in Ciudad Victoria.

    Among the core activities of the 12 captured are drug trafficking and extortion. Among them are two minors, one of them a pregnant 15 year old girl.

    The assassins allegedly committed homicides in the event hall because they were looking for a member of an opposing group, but, it turns out, he was not there.  

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    Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Procesoarticle

    Subject Matter: Carlos Arturo Quintana, El 80
    Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

    Reporter: Proceso Redaction
    After the kidnapping of Cipriano Escarcega, Director of Civil Protection of Carichi, on the morning of this Tuesday, State Police and elements of the Army mounted an operation in the Zona Occidente of this Municipality.

    The State Commission for Public Security, Oscar Aparicio Avendano, informed that the captors of Escarcega, father of Julio Cesar Escarcega Aranda, leader of the criminal group El Tigre, from La Linea in Cuauhtemoc - burned his house and his vehicles.

    Also, said the Commissioner, they killed a civilian identified as Cesar Alan Marquez Macias and injured a Municipal agent.

    Aparicio Avendano anticipated that tomorrow they will fly to Carichi, where Carlos Arturo Quintana, El 80, controls the North West zone. Quintana was the one who allegedly with his sicarios kidnapped Escarcega.

    He indicated that whenever there is an attack, the response of the counterpart is expected, especially in this case, because they took the father of El Tigre.

    The State Attorney Generals Office already has advanced lines of investigation and is determining which cartel carried out the attack, in a bid to avoid further clashes between the protagonists.

    He added, " as some local cartels are weakened, other groups try to enter their territories that were not effectively controlled, which causes the clashes with rival groups.

    According to Aparicio Avendano the operation was scheduled for San Juanito, in the municipality of Bocoyna, where the previous weekend registered a confrontation. The operation was not carried out due to a helicopter requiring repairs.

    Escarcega Aranda, whose nickname is El 109, is jefe of Los Tigres cartel, a splinter group from La Linea, since last March, after the execution of Cesar Gamboas "El Cabo" was executed and today controls Cuauhtemoc.

    The recent confrontation on Tuesday was between the groups of El 80 and El Tigre. In addition to the kidnapping mentioned, there were four other kidnappings, neighbours said that alleged followers of El 80 arrived in a caravan of 10 vehicles and entered two houses and took the inhabitants.

    In an interview with local media, the Attorney General, Cesar Augusto Peniche Espejel confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the armed confrontation was between people of El 80 and El Tigre.

    Before, he said, these criminal groups did whatever they wanted, but now they no longer have the alleged support of the authorities and a strong rearrangement is taking place. "We have to exercise the power of authority and we will gradually recover their lost capacities."

    He also insisted that they are on the right path because they can not make agreements with criminals.

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    by Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

    The U.S. government is really messing with El Chapo. 

    Prosecutors are sticking it to him in every way possible, and using every legal maneuver at their disposal, even when it is far from necessary and borders on the ridiculous. 

    I should say, when this case began, I did not much care about  the outcome.  I didn’t care about Joaquin El Chapo Guzmán, or his legal fate.  In fact, if ever there was a case that a drug trafficker's life sentence should end behind bars, when his dead cold body is carried out in a pine box, then this is that case.  That scenario would be poetic justice to many narco watchers.

    But then something greater than him became relevant.  The U.S. government began at “go” treating him as though he is the second coming of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. A terrorist of the highest.   It has been an education to this reporter that rights could be denied a person,  who according to our constitution is innocent until proven guilty. The 14th amendment to the US Constitution guarantees this to every person, immigrants included, “equal protection under the law.”
    Irrespective of the fact that he has been a well behaved, compliant  prisoner, with no infractions during his stay in “MCC” the federal jail in Manhattan, 10 South, he  has been stripped of every right and privilege afforded to each and every prisoner in our great nation, with the notable exception of terrorists.

    Which is why terrorists are typically  moved to Guantanamo Bay.

    The U.S. base on Guantanamo Bay is in a foreign territory and as such the U.S. Justice Department says that it is beyond the jurisdiction of any United States Court. Therefore, the government is not obligated to give the same legal rights and process as would apply in the American justice system.  Habeas Corpus is the big one, so they can be held for indefinitely without being charged with a crime.

    "Chapo the Super Capo"

    Guzmán has been denied  rights given to others, including the worse of the worst offenders in our society.  He is not even allowed phone visits, letters, from his wife, family or anyone.  Seems harsh, since phone calls and letters are monitored.  No press contact.
    He is not allowed contact visits with his attorneys.  That is huge, in preparation for his defense.  Perusing evidence, and videos with his defense team is imperative one would think.

    Any reasonable person understands that due to Guzmán’ history in Mexico of escape and persuasion certain precautions must be made, and it is acknowledged that a part of his escape plans were facilitated by those who visited him.   But, his treatment by the government goes far beyond and seemingly tampers with his rights.  It makes one  wonder how strong of a case the government truly has. 

    This week the government dug even deeper making new assertions of why they want Guzmán’ shackled when meeting with his attorneys.  

    Read further knowing this is not a joke.

    It is the contention of the government that Guzmán  may have attorney visits, but that he be shackled.  The reasoning is twofold, one is that the peanut sized capo  may harm himself or his attorney.  The other reason is outlined below:

    “One of the more specious claims raised in the Sept. 12 Decl. is that the BOP would need to relocate the “fire suppression systems.” Id. Presumably this relates to the government’s preposterous claim that Mr. Guzman could rip the sprinkler system piping from the ceiling during the contact counsel visit and cause a flood.”
    Yup. ‘Chapo the Super Capo’ is going to leap , high and rip out the sprinkler system causing a flood in the prison whereby he can escape.

    Noteworthy; it is the very same sprinkler system is installed in the interview booth currently used by Guzmán.


    Familiar chant

    As Guzmán attempted to settle into his new home in MCC 10 South, an all too familiar mantra  began coming from his corner.  The onslaught of prison condition complaints, immediately surfaced from Guzmán, his attorneys and his wife.  The complaints culminated with his declaration that he is being treated worse than any other prisoner being held in the United States “BOP.”

    Guzmán is the proverbial boy who cried wolf.  Seeing his barrage of complaints this go around, gives one a feeling of tedious familiarity. His incarcerations in Mexico were famously punctuated by his prison condition complaints.  Through his spokesmen, spearheaded by his attorneys and wife, he issued grievances against his treatment; his contention was his conditions were permeated by human rights violations. Sleep deprivation, denied extra blanket in freezing temperature, portable light stations outside his cell, interrupting his sleep every hour for a bed check, the playing of loud music, were factors he blamed on his onset of hypertension, his wife gave interviews expressing her concern that her husband was on the verge of death because of his prison conditions.

    Guzmán, became the first ever to successfully escape the maximum security prison Altiplano No.1. 

    As far as Mexican prisons go, Altiplano is comparatively a nice place to be incarcerated.  You can learn more about the prison by using this link. Link here 

    Subsequent to his recapture he was transferred to Juarez prison No,9 where his attorneys and wife began yet another a campaign for his return to Altiplano.  Among the complaints included were his loss of hair, they say due to stress and the onset of hypertension.  He filed with the court for permission to return to Altiplano.  He was granted an order by the court to return to the prison he initially pleaded to be removed from. 

    As fate was realized, Guzmán never returned to Altiplano, but explains his reaction when awoken in his Juárez prison cell for his extradition to the U.S. “Altiplano? He asked.  “No. Estados Unidos” he was told.  That was in January, 2017.

    Within two weeks a familiar monotony raised its head, when Guzmán began filing complaints with the court, along with his wife and attorneys becoming his mouthpiece in condemning the prison conditions he found himself subjected to. 


    I know I shook my head, groaning and wondering why he bothers.  Certainly conditions  in the United States must be a huge step  up from Mexico, and his human rights should survive unhampered with as the world watches the prosecution  of the World’s Most Powerful Drug trafficker.

    Then I learned about “SAMS” ["Special Administrative Measures"] and CMU’s used in the federal prison system.  A highly controversial issue among many civil and human rights groups.  The special conditions under which Guzmán is incarcerated falls under SAMS.

    “pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 501.3, which became effective on May 17, 1996, the Attorney General may authorize the Director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to implement "special administrative measures" upon written notification to BOP "that there is a substantial risk that a prisoner's communications or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury to persons, or substantial damage to property that would entail the risk of death or serious bodily injury to persons." The regulation provides that such notification to BOP may be provided by the Attorney General, "or, at the Attorney General's direction by the head of a federal law enforcement agency, or the head of a member agency of the United States intelligence community." These special administrative measures ordinarily may be imposed "may include housing the inmate in administrative detention and/or limiting certain privileges, including, but not limited to, correspondence, visiting, interviews with representatives of the news media, and use of the telephone, as is reasonably necessary to protect persons against the risk of acts of violence or terrorism."
    Only 49 persons are currently housed under SAMS.  Mostly terrorists both pre and post trial.  Guzmán  is the sole drug trafficking defendant.

    Judge Brian Cogan stated, “I understand it’s unusual, but the public history of the defendant is also unusual.“  and that sums up the judges lackluster, inadequate, commentary on why Guzmán is  being subjected to SAMS.   

    On Monday the attorneys who have represented Guzmán since his extradition was sent notice.  Guzmán hired a private, Eduardo Balarezo, and as of this week the previous attorneys are off the case.  However, the government wanted the outgoing attorneys to be advised that under no circumstances can they visit Guzmán.

    From letter sent Monday:

    “As you are no longer counsel of record, you also will not be permitted to conduct legal visits with the defendant, nor are you permitted to visit him under any other provision of the Special Administrative Measures [SAMS] under which the defendant is currently held.”
    Granted he probably won’t have the need to meet with his former attorneys, however that decision should be his right.  And in but 49 cases that would be his right.

    If one take into account all the restrictions and denials given Guzmán, it almost seems like there is an attempt to tamper with his mental health.  Because no one can take the claims of the government seriously, that they really fear he will escape.  If security is that weak, denying isn’t the answer, strengthening is.

    I have come to terms with it all, 

    I realize that it is not  the plight of Guzmán that is tugging at my heart strings, it is our system of law and order, jurisprudence, equality and our constitution.  

    Compromise in any fashion is compromise to the greatest system in the world.  We may not like Guzmán, for crimes we think he has committed, but surely we can separate that from protecting the integrity of our judicial system, the court and trial system used in our nation to administer law.  It must be protected, and strongly defended, no matter who is at the center of the issue.

    I have seen the list of evidence against Guzmán, and it is a strongest I have ever seen.  Tape recordings, documents, ledgers, video, endless list of cooperatives.  Why isn’t that enough for the government?  Why tamper with defendants’ rights, which may be grounds for appeal?  It makes no sense.  It comes across silly and pathetic.  And may backfire.

    In Mexico media some are saying the attorneys are satisfied with Judge Mann’s recommendation to have Guzmán shackled.  Borderland Beat reached out to lead attorney Eduardo Balarezo  to deny or confirm, he says “We’re just trying to get contact visits. I’m going to object to the shackles.”

    On September 15 Chapo’s  attorney letter states:

    It states that the government’s position is there is no way to accommodate contact atty visits. 

    From letter:

    One of the more specious claims raised in the Sept. 12 Decl. is that the BOP would need to relocate the “fire suppression systems.” Id. Presumably this relates to the government’s preposterous claim that Mr. Guzman could rip the sprinkler system piping from the ceiling during the contact counsel visit and cause a flood. As noted in the Schneider Declaration, the thick metal pipes in question run along the ceiling some 6 ½ to 7 feet off the ground. (Schneider Declaration at ¶8.) And as Your Honor’s clerk pointed out during the visit, that same sprinkler system is currently accessible to Mr. Guzman in his interview booth. (Id.)

    We are not in a position to provide evidentiary estimates regarding the cost of renovations.

    However, we note that the government has not provided the Court any documentation in support of its exorbitant estimate: no request for proposal; no breakdown of costs; nor contractor’s estimate.

    The one perhaps justifiable expense, replacing the outside door to the visiting booth with a secure door, hardly seems like a costly or time-consuming renovation. The MCC has made that renovation to the 3rd floor attorney visit area to permit non-SAMs SHU inmates to visit in the regular visit area.

    Having paid for this work in the past, the BOP surely could have included this estimate in the declaration. Further, the BOP cannot justify the impermissible burden on Mr. Guzman’s Fifth Amendment right to access to the courts and his Sixth Amendment right to participate in his defense on the grounds that providing contact legal visits would be costly. See Detainees of Brooklyn House of Det. for Men v. Malcolm, 520 F.2d 392, 399 (2d Cir. 1975) ( “Inadequate resources of finances can never be an excuse for depriving detainees of their constitutional rights.”).

    Among the more troubling statements in the Sept. 12 Decl. is that, only now, almost nine months after Mr. Guzman arrived in the District has BOP “begun to investigate” modifications to the existing counsel area on 10 South to accommodate contact legal visits.( See Sept. 12 Decl. at ¶7.

    This is despite the fact that the SAMs themselves expressly allow for contact visits, defense counsel initially raised this issue with the Court in April, and Your Honor alerted the government in May that defendants housed in 10 South will undoubtedly, like Mr. Guzman, be involved in “very complex cases” and the issue of contact visits is, and will be, a “recurring issue.” (See Dkt. No. 95, Exhibit B, at 27.) One can only conclude that the BOP has purposefully delayed making necessary modifications in an attempt to render the issue moot. Had the BOP addressed the structural inadequacies in the facility over 10 years ago, when Magistrate Judge Levy found that the noncontact attorney policy infringed upon the right to counsel and was an “exaggerated response to the government's security concerns” there would be no need to litigate the issue now. See Basciano v. Martinez, 2007 WL 2119908, at 8 (E.D.N.Y. May 25, 2007), report and recommendation adopted subnom. Basciano v. Lindsay, 530 F. Supp. 2d 435 (E.D.N.Y. 2008).

    Judge Mann’s order of September 27th :

    REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS as to Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera re [64] defendant's request for attorney contact visits. The Court respectfully recommends that the government be ordered to allow defendant to hold contact visits with his attorneys as soon as reasonably practicable, subject to reasonable security measures, including, at the option of the BOP, shackling defendant. Objections to R/R due by 10/11/2017. Ordered by Chief Mag. Judge Roanne L. Mann on 9/27/2017. (Proujansky, Josh)

    Letter from Government to defense attorney regarding SAMS of 10.3.17

    Letter: Reply from defense attorney to Government 

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from Debate

    Outskirts of Culiacan, Sinaloa Oct 1, 2016
    One Year Anniversary of Deadly Military Ambush by Narco Gunmen
    See BB Posts for Details of Ambush: Borderland Beat
    Oct 1, 2017

    Culiacán, Sinaloa: On the first anniversary of the ambush that left five soldiers dead and 11 seriously wounded, federal authorities have  responded with arrests and assurances, but have not succeeded in the arrests of all participants. Twelve months have passed since of the assault and Federal Authorities have detained only three people. The events near Culiacan against the armed forces began yet another wave of violence in Sinaloa. 

    The attack happened the night of September 30 and / or in the early hours of Oct 1, 2016 when a convoy of military personnel were transporting to Culiacan the alleged narco Julio Oscar Ortiz Vega, alias "El Kevin", who had been injured in a clash with soldiers in the town of Bacacoragua, Badiraguato.

    The versions of events released by the Attorney General's Office early that morning revealed trucks of heavily armed gunmen lie in wait for the soldiers while the Mexican Military personnel were on the way to the Espacios Barcelona and the gunmen attacked and rescued "El Kevin" from the Military; who was being transported toward the hospital in Culiacan by ambulance of the Red Cross.

    Seconds previous to the attack on the Military convoy and the ambush were captured with  cameras near  the north exit of Culiacán; but no one ever expected that.

    During the bloody ambush, a Mexican Military corporal named Cristian died, who was identified as one of the soldiers that had saved "El Kevin " from death in the initial clash with the Military in Badiraguato by providing medical first aid attention to him.

    The attackers, according to investigating authorities, used large caliber semi automatic Barret M82 rifles, grenades and automatic weapons.

     Commander of the Third Military Region, General Alfonso Duarte Múgica, said that those responsible for the Military ambush were non other than the sons of "El Chapo" Guzman Loera,  known as "Los Chapitos", but that statement that was quickly rescinded.  The Sinaloan capo, who is now extradited to the United States is in custody awaiting trial in New York: See Chivis's Post from earlier today.

    After these deaths, the authorities quickly responded with strong operations, such as those carried out in the Paredones and Mirasoles settlements and in Jesús María in Culiacán.

     At a special press conference where the alleged perpetrators were identified, the list of confiscated property included long arms, ranches, homes, armored vehicles, tractors, ATVs, a private clinic, high-caliber arsenal including grenade launchers, hundreds mobile phones, Rolex brand watches, and even animals: 12 thoroughbred horses, a cebu bull and a lion.

    At the time of my two posts last October it was thought that Aureliano Guzman Loera, "El Guano", older brother of "El Chapo" Guzman had ordered the bloody Military ambush specifically to "rescue" the wounded "El Kevin" back from the soldiers who were en route to the hospital with him. At the time
    some thought that "El Guano" was heading up the control of CDS in the absence of "El Chapo" and in the wake of the ongoing skirmishes between rival factions.

    Aureliano "El Guano" Guzman Loera
    Elder brother of "El Chapo" 
    However, it was on February 18, 2016 in a statement released from Sedena, that the  accused author of the deadly attack against the Military was said to be:  Francisco Javier "N", alias "Pancho Chimal", who had: "ordered and participated" in the aggression.

    This subject was also designated by federal authorities as: "likely responsible for controlling the sale, distribution and transfer of drugs to the United States."

    He was arrested in a special operation in Culiacán, in possession of two million pesos and two long arms. Later, Pancho Chimal escaped
    from the Aguaruto Prison outside of Culiacan but was killed in a gunfight with Marines in San Cayetano, north of Culiacan.  During his funeral procession through the streets of Culiacan bursts of automatic gunfire accompanied the parade of expensive SUVs and Pick ups.

    On June 10, the federal government revealed the detention of Jesus Rene "N", known as "El 20" or "El Rino", who was also accused of coordinating and participating in the ambush.

    A third person who had been found with a long weapon and various drugs was revealed to have been previously been part of the Municipal Police Force.  The federal government reported the capture and identification of Jorge Alberto "N" in  the La Rioja subdivision in Tijuana, California. It was in June 22, 2017 when General Duarte Mujica announced this new major arrest. 

    Jorge Alberto "N" was also linked to the events that happened that day, in addition to  drug trafficking to the US. His arrest "cured" the spirit of the Sinaloa military forces; the Military ambush of Sept 30 / Oct 1 2016 was seen from the heart of the government as one of the most cowardly coups against the militia. It was a new dimension in what the criminals were capable of when confronting the government.

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    Republished by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Remezcla

    by Freddy Martinez
    When Oswaldo Zavala talks about the US-Mexico drug trade, he does so with a desperation common to those who study it. Zavala, who was born in Ciudad Juárez and is an associate professor at CUNY Graduate Center, understands that most people may never read any of his ideas, published mostly in academia, and may also never take the time to investigate narcotráfico as much as he does. But that doesn’t stop him from trying to counter popular depictions of the US-Mexico drug trade whenever he can. Spend enough time with him, talk about the drug trade long enough, and, more likely than not, you’ll come to realize that most of what you know about it is a myth.
    Roberto Bolaño_Culture
    Roberto Bolaño

    I met Zavala recently at Caffe Reggio in Greenwich Village to talk about 2666, a posthumous, sprawling novel written by Robert Bolaño, the Chilean novelist many consider to be the greatest Latin American writer since Jorge Luis Borges. Divided into five parts, 2666 centers around Santa Teresa, a fictionalized Mexican city based on Ciudad Juárez. Published in the years before the 2006-12 surge in the city’s murder rate – when more than 100,000 people died – the novel connects five interrelated stories that riff on a central theme of violence. At its heart is an investigation into the femicide occurring in Santa Teresa, killings which were inspired by Ciudad Juárez’s own decade-long history of unsolved murders of women. Bolaño’s realistic depiction of narcos in 2666 gave Zavala a way to pick apart what he calls “narcocultura”— a string of sensationalist novels, telenovelas, music, and movies that imagine the narcos’ powers too broadly.

    Like Bolaño, whom he met one day in Paris, Zavala thinks narcos are misunderstood. The charismatic anti-hero – like Netflix’s Pablo Escobar – a macho man who keeps the state under his thumb, is written to entertain. There are more powerful criminals than Pablo, and they’re being overlooked because they seem ordinary. These men don’t carry around gold-plated AKs. Instead of showing chest, they button up, trading in snake-skin cowboy boots for freshly-shined Oxfords. They’re not caricatures of evil portrayed in movies like Sicario. Instead, he argues, the true jefes, those responsible for all the violence and in charge of the drug trade, are the politicians and businessmen of Mexico, who corrupt from the inside. “The myth is to believe that El Chapo, an uneducated farmer from Sinaloa, rules the world,” he told me. “I want people who hold real power to be in the most critical light.”
    “The myth is to believe that El Chapo, an uneducated farmer from Sinaloa, rules the world.”
    At the cafe, before we begin talking about 2666 and his own new book, La Modernidad Insufrible, Zavala tells me that the previous day he got a migraine so bad he was left bedridden. He considers these migraines to be a form of self-preservation, a way of forcing him to slow down and reflect. It makes you wonder about his health: is he too busy for his own good? There’s a natural authority in him that belies his age. He’s able to race through a long list of names and ideas, writers and philosophies to bolster any given argument. He speaks English just as confidently as Spanish and seems willing to learn any language it takes to make sure you’re not missing his point. After enough time, you get the feeling that he’s letting you in on a secret, pointing out a little-known truth of the drug trade that you shouldn’t have missed. It’s an idea that very few people believe, one that goes against nearly all the books, movies, and stories written before. But when he says it, nothing else seems plausible.

    I talked with Zavala about the drug trade and about how the novel 2666 depicts narcos. This interview has been edited and condensed from that conversation.
    Bolaño wrote 2666 in Spain as he was dying. He didn’t finish it completely, but it’s still considered a masterpiece — nowhere else is his brilliance so obvious. It depressed me to read him: here was clear evidence of genius, here were levels of poetry and story that I could never reach.It can depress me too in that same way, but I also feel very lucky to have read it. 2666 was a daring novel. It must have been a crazy thing to write. Imagine writing page 990 while knowing, as Bolaño did, that you’re fatally ill and that you don’t have much time. You’d want to spend time with your children, but the world is closing in on you. I don’t think most living writers in the 21st century would be capable of writing it. Not only because 2666 is an amazing piece of work, but also because of what it takes to write this when you’re dying. Think of all the time you’re neglecting your family. I have two children. I don’t think I could do it. I’d imagine that I’d want to spend every single second with my family, not writing a book — even if it’s a masterpiece. Writing it entails a commitment to art, to literature, to telling something about the world that you’re certain only you can tell. It required a tremendous sacrifice of time and love for Bolaño. It’s amazing to me, and it comes perfectly embedded in the actual writing.

    What made Bolaño want to sacrifice so much to write it?
    I think Bolaño was hoping to intervene with 2666, to bring forth his own take on not only the murders of women in Ciudad Juárez but also our own entire understanding of violence from slavery in the US to World War II. 2666 moves around the US, Latin America, and Europe as a way to pose the challenge to writers. “Will you take care of it all?,” Lotte asks Archimboldi at the end of the novel. What are you going to do about evil? Are you just going to write your stories, or are you going to intervene somehow? There’s a clear, direct challenge to intellectuals, writers, and readers to embrace a political, ethical attitude toward reality, meaning do not read this simply for fun, try to face the questions Bolaño’s putting forth: what are you to going to do about violence, about prejudice, about injustice, what are you going to do about the horrors of the 20th and now the 21st century? He doesn’t want you to end the novel entertained or rested or distracted by the writing but to end it forming a clear political, ethical consciousness.
    Politicians aren’t being corrupted by the narcos. Politicians assimilate narcos within official power.
    What political, ethical consciousness is Bolaño putting forth? What political meaning do you think a reader can find in 2666?
    Bolaño understood that drug trafficking in Mexico is not a matter of drug cartels threatening the Mexican state, meaning the government, but a matter of the state controlling the drug organizations. These organizations are built into the state, and many times they are indistinguishable from the state, not because these drug organizations buy the state and corrupt it from the outside as many people believe, but because the state contains the drug trafficking. Without the state, these drug organizations wouldn’t exist. We tend to believe the opposite: drug organizations come and penetrate and corrupt politicians, creating a narco-state. I think that’s an absurdity. The state, especially the Mexican state that’s been powerful historically and still very powerful today, has always been the superior force. So politicians aren’t being corrupted by the narcos. Politicians assimilate narcos within official power.

    What are the literary tools that Bolaño uses to show us this?
    One example is how he characterizes drug traffickers. There’s not a single character in 2666 who resembles the typical drug lord or narco trafficker that shows up in most other Mexican novels, ones like La reina del sur. There’s not a single drug trafficker who’s exotic or powerful. None of them display money or are violent bandits living outside civil society, challenging everybody, subduing police officers. None of that. Drug traffickers in Bolaño’s novels are either completely familiar to society or fully integrated into society — businessmen, politicians, people inside civil society, never outside.

    They’re harder to pin down because they look and seem just like us. Evil is invisible, more ambiguous.
    Yes, they’re invisible because most people wouldn’t suspect Bolaño’s narcos to be drug traffickers. If you imagine a drug trafficker, you tend to imagine somebody who looks like a criminal, not businessmen like 2666’s Pedro Rengifo, who has a lot of money and owns a milk company, a lechería, while distributing drugs. The drug trade is only a part of what these businessmen do.
    [In real life] evil is invisible, more ambiguous.
    Drugs traffickers are the most visible faces, easier to blame.
    Sure, they’re people who have a name and a face that we all want to condemn. They’re the only ones visible in the clandestine economy of drugs. But it’s also an economy that necessitates police and traffic schemes. For drugs to come across the border they need a way in. That usually involves bribing the police, Border Patrol, the military. And even when they get in, the drugs still need to continue to the cities of mass consumption like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. The drugs don’t just evaporate and suddenly show up in New York. There are larger schemes and traffic routes within the U.S. And nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody wants to talk about how is it that you can get high in New York when there’s mass surveillance done by the NSA and others. We all want to talk about the drug lords in Mexico. We want to talk about El Chapo, a guy who didn’t finish elementary school, who doesn’t even know how to send a video message from his cell phone, but suddenly he’s the guy we need to blame. It’s absurd. My agenda is to say that we’re choosing the wrong criminals.

    So how do telenovelas like ‘La reina del sur’ get it wrong? Are they trusting what they read in newspapers? Is most of what we read there untrustworthy?
    Yes, exactly, because most of what we know comes directly from the state. Most of the working knowledge journalists transmit to us comes from the state. Official sources have been effective in imposing a meaning and a sense of understanding about drug organizations. Just look at the simple fact that we all believe in cartels and that cartels are fighting for the plaza, for control of their territory, and that they’re immensely powerful and that they’re skilled and have intelligence capabilities that surpasses state intelligence agencies such as the NSA, or Centro de Investigación y Seguridad (CISEN) in Mexico. We believe this because it comes from the state. It didn’t come from original work of journalists in the field validating this information. It all comes from the state. Journalists apply official knowledge to what they see. They’re already conditioned by the state. The state has been successful in dominating and subduing our critical understanding of the drug trade.

    Considering the history of violence committed to journalists in Mexico, would you say you’re afraid? You’re giving people a closer view to the truth than most other writers and journalists.
    No, I’m not afraid at all. What I’m doing has to do more with conceptualizing power, violence, and drug trafficking in a more general way. When you do that, power doesn’t care because it’s told in a limited way. I write for academia for the most part. And when I write journalistically — for Proceso magazine, for instance — I don’t get in trouble because I don’t name names, even though I say important things about violence. It’s not that I shy away from accusing anybody in particular. It’s just that I don’t know that much. If I named names, then I would be in danger.
    “Most of the working knowledge journalists transmit to us comes from the state.”
    Bolaño also contradicts this official narrative. How was he able to look past it?
    What Bolaño did that I think is very original and innovative is that he broke away from this official narrative intuitively. I think a lot has to do with being outside, being in exile, living in Spain, and taking a distance from what was going on. I don’t think he had the literature to understand it completely. He didn’t have the right tools when he was finishing 2666 in 2001-02. He didn’t have access to the right books, ones written by people who are working critically on this issue. These books are fairly difficult to obtain, many of them written by sociologists whose books don’t circulate beyond Mexico. And, back then, many of the journalists who were challenging this official narrative weren’t well-known. Sociologists like Luis Astorga from UNAM and Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo from Colegio de México. Journalists like Ignacio Alvarado and Julian Cardona from Juárez, who are both brave and valiant. They truly challenge this official imaginary of drug cartels. But there are just a handful of people who truly understand the drug trade — against a vast majority of consensus. It’s amazing that Bolaño was able to conceive a different narrative all alone in Spain — simply by reading newspaper articles. The guy must have had a tremendous critical imagination to break from this official narrative. He tells a different story. In 2666, drug traffickers are businessmen, men who are the closest intimate friends of policemen and politicians in Santa Teresa, as he calls Ciudad Juárez. The drug trade is never a matter of drug cartels fighting for territory. The drug lords who appear in Santa Teresa are respected businessmen like Pedro Rengifo, compadre of Pedro Negrete who’s the chief of police. They’re completely inside the state, inside the government structures, inside the business elites. As opposed to the vast number of Mexican novels, telenovelas, and movies that show drug cartels fighting and killing each other, depicting narcos as terrible and able to subdue police and politicians, able to create a narco-state. The word narco-state pisses me off. It’s circulated everywhere. Is Mexico a narco-state? It’s a stupid question. Of course, it’s not a narco-state. It’s a fucking powerful state. It’s an evil, terrible political machine, not a narco machine. It’s a political machine that, among many other fucked things that it does, has control of the drug trade. To the point that it has made the drug trade its political servant, and it has given it political use and value. This idea that drug lords control Mexico only favors the state. If you believe that, then you’re doing a favor to the governing elites of Mexico who are the actual rulers of this shit that they unleashed.

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    Posted by Yaqui from: The Guardian

    Photo-Journalist Edgar Daniel Esqueda Castro
    By: David Agren, Mexico City, Oct 6, 2017
    Additional Info from: Proceso

    Today Mexican photo-journalist Edgar Esqueda Castro was found dead after abduction by armed men. Yesterday, Oct 5th, the group of armed men appeared to be agents of the State Ministerial Police. The 
     body of Edgar Esqueda was found Friday morning near the Ponciago Arraigo International Airport in the industrial city of San Luis Potosí, some 200 miles (350 kilometres) north of Mexico City, according to local media.

    Edgar Esqueda’s body, was half naked, showed signs of torture and his hands were tied behind his back. found in San Luis Potosí. Esqueda had previously received threats from authorities over photos he published of shootouts.

    The Mexican photo-journalist who was abducted at gunpoint from his home has been found dead, the seventh journalist to be killed this year in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers. Esqueda covered police and crime for the digital outlets Vox Populi SLP and Metrópoli SLP.
    Vox Populi SLP reported on its Facebook page that Esqueda’s hands had been bound and his body showed signs of torture.

    Crime Scene Cordoned off by PoliceTape
    near SLP Int"l Airport
    His family said he had been dragged from their home on Thursday morning by gunmen wearing police uniforms. The San Luis Potosí state attorney general’s office tweeted a statement saying its officers were not involved in any abduction.

    Jan-Albert Hootsen, representative in Mexico for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said Esqueda had told them that he had been threatened by investigators over photos he had taken of a shootout. He had also reported to the State Human Rights Commission and the State Attorney's Office. State officials told the Associated Press no lines of investigation were being ruled out. News outlets in San Luis Potosí confirmed that the photojournalist had reported the threats to the authorities.

    Thursday, at his home in Colonia Julian Carrillo, his family reports that Edgar Esqueda was taken by men: " who identified themselves as Ministerials after breaking the glass of a window to enter the house 
    on Calle La Fragua at 8:30 in the morning."

    His family filed a complaint at the PGR's office, where he was initially categorized as an "Illegal Deprivation of Liberty" and his case was assigned to the Prosecutor's Office of Kidknappings. The Prosecutor , Federico Garza Herrera, denied any wrong-doing or responsibility by any authorities, although it is known that the victim had filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission for specific threats by the Ministerials.

    "The state's Ministerial Police reports that no police action has been taken against a reporter from the capital city, who was removed from his home Thursday morning by alleged people who said they were from this corporation. The SME denied that it was its members who carried out this action ( sic ). The Office of the Attorney General of San Luis Potosí investigates these facts and supports the family of the victim in the procedures necessary for the location and closure.

    Reporters from several local media outlets went to the prosecutor, Federico Garza, and the governor, Juan Manuel Carreras López, to deliver a letter and demand a fast and effective action in the search for Esqueda Castro. Officials of the Ministerial Police admitted the existence of the complaint, but minimized the fact.

    "There is a first responder who covers a perimeter, it has to be respected not only by graphic reporters, but by all; they were trained ,the agents, to conduct themselves with education, with kindness and let them know that the perimeter of the crime scene is established by new law. Edgar Daniel's complaint was related to an exchange of different criteria, but he did not tell us about aggression or pushing, but rather a difference of opinion," state officials said.

    The Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) and the Article 19 Organization issued alerts to sue state authorities and federal authorities for the location of Edgar Daniel Esqueda Castro and  to  investigate the entrance to his home.

    "Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world. If the Mexican government is really committed to press freedom, as it claims, it must prevent kidnappings and murders of journalists, "said Alexandra Ellerbeck, coordinator of CPJ's North America Program.

    "In 2017, at least seven journalists  were killed  in retaliation for their work, according to the CPJ investigation, and CPJ is investigating the circumstances of another murder. CPJ has documented the disappearance of 14 journalists in Mexico, excluding Esqueda Castro. In May, journalist Salvador Adame Pardo was kidnapped from his home and executed in the state of Michoacán," the agency recalled.

    Meanwhile, the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists from the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) issued a statement: it regretted the murder of the journalist and demanded that "the competent authorities" carry out an immediate and effective investigation with those responsible for the crime.

    The Mechanism confirmed that at the end of last July it received a communication from the State Human Rights Commission informing them of the complaint filed by the journalist for acts attributed to agents of the Ministerial Police who, on at least two occasions, tried to cover up his work as a photographer of two incidents of violence, and that Edgar complained of being approached by municipal police that prevented him from performing his work and that they threatened him.

    “He was approached by five detectives on July 4th who threatened to take his camera and beat him up if he continued taking photos,” according to a statement by a federal agency responsible for providing journalists with protection. “They made him erase his  material and ran him off.”

    Esqueda was later confronted by state investigative police while covering another event July 13th  and was asked to show his ID – which was photographed – and was told by the officers that they would be watching him and his home, Mexican media reported.

    The officers also suggested – without presenting proof – that Esqueda might be using his work to pass along information to criminals, the Associated Press reported.

    According to the communiqué, the Mechanism requested information from the ECHR on the protection measures offered to the photographer and the agency responded that in addition to Esqueda Castro had filed a criminal complaint with the Attorney General's Office, the State's Ministerial Police Commissioner had "Accepted" the measures dictated by the agency in favor of the journalist.

    That is, the same body of authorities whose elements were identified as those who poured threats against the photographer, and were entrusted to provide protective measures.

    This morning, after confirming the finding of the body of Edgar Daniel, a group of journalists protested outside the Government Palace, with cards demanding justice for the murder of their partner.

    The journalist Everardo Ramírez criticized the deficiencies of the Mechanism of protection and the action of the different authorities since the photographer received threats and after his later deprivation of freedom.

    The reporters, photographers and cameramen who participated in the protest are terrified after the murder of Edgar Daniel and the violent events that have been reported in the state in recent months.

    Edgar Esqueda was the seventh journalist murdered in Mexico this year, according to CPJ. Four of those cases are confirmed to be related to the victims’ work as journalists.

    In March, the reporter Miroslava Breach was murdered as she drove her eight-year old son to school in the northern city of Chihuahua. The gunmen left a note saying: “For being a loud-mouth.”

    Soon afterwards, El Norte, the Ciudad Juárez newspaper she contributed to, closed down; explaining the decision, its editor Oscar Cantú Murguia said in a statement: “there are neither the guarantees nor the security to exercise critical, counterbalanced journalism."

    Javier Valdez, Gunned down with 12 Gunshots Outside his Office at Riodoce
    Culiacan , Sinaloa May 15, 2017
    Riodoce = 12 Rivers, One of Mexico's Best and Outspoken Journalists
    In mid-May, Javier Valdéz, one of the two founders of the Sinaloa's news-weekly Ríodoce, was pulled from his car as he left his office in the northwestern city of Culiacán and shot 12 times at close range. Both  journalists investigated drug cartel issues, though Valdez always expressed uneasiness with the confluence of political corruption and organized crime.

    As in many previous attacks on media workers in Mexico, both crimes remain unsolved and unpunished. Today, Friday,  around 100 people, most of them journalists, joined a protest in San Miguel Potosí. Some waved signs reading: “No more dead journalists” and “Am I next?”

    It continues being a matter of impunity,” said Javier Garza, a journalist in the northern city of Torreón.

    “After all the outrage over Javier Valdez’s murder, nothing is happening. Anybody thinking about killing or kidnapping a journalist will say: ‘If they didn’t do anything with a high-profile person like Javier Valdez, then they won’t do anything in other cases.”

    Mexico has registered 26,984 homicides in the first eight months of 2017, at 17 percent increase over the same period in 2016, according to government statistics.

    San Luis Potosí state has boomed economically with the arrival of automotive investments in recent years, but also been plagued by drug cartel violence.

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    chivis martinez for borderland beat republished from animal politico 

    With El Chapo having been arrested and extradited, the Sinaloa cartel reduces its presence in Mexico.   Data from the PGR reveals that the activity of that organization has decreased in the country.

    The cartel has gone from having a presence in eleven states, and now only operate  in seven and with less criminal cells in operation.

    The presence of the Sinaloa Cartel in the states of the country has been on the decline since the extradition to the United States of its leader, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, last January.

    In 2017, El Chapo’s organization lost its presence in the Mexican Pacific area, in states such as Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco, where it has surrendered territory to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG).

    The Sinaloa organization has also ceased operations in the Yucatan peninsula, according to information from the Attorney General's Office (PGR) regarding criminal organizations with operations in the country.

                                                          click on image to enlarge
    Where the Sinaloa cartel is still active is in northwest Mexico with presence in Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango, Coahuila, Baja California, Baja California Sur and Sonora.

    Sinaloa Cartel's activity using criminal cells also declined: since 2015 data revealed that El Chapo operated with up to ten criminal groups, but in the first four months of this year there are only records that the cartel has a relationship with seven cells: Los Artistas Asesinos, Gente Nueva, Los Cabrera, el Cártel del Poniente; and bands associated with El Aquiles, El Tigre and Del 28.

    Joaquin Guzman Loera was extradited to the United States on January 19, 2017 and is detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal prison in New York City.

    Prosecutors in charge of the case argue that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the capo in the United States for at least 17 separate crimes including money laundering, criminal conduct, and conspiracy to produce and distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana; as well as the use of firearms for the commission of drug offenses.

    The extradition of the capo took place after three arrests and two escapes of maximum security prisons, in 2001 and 2015.

    Federal officials have said that the extradition of the Chapo caused a reorganization in the leadership of the Sinaloa cartel; as well as the advance of other criminal organizations such as the CJNG which, as the official data shows, is already the criminal group having greatest presence in the country.

    The power of the Sinaloa Cartel diminishes by half

    The latest official records show, for the first time in 40 years, that the Sinaloa Cartel loses its presence in the country.

    But before his extradition to the United States, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman led the most powerful criminal organization, which managed to extend its influence to 24 of the country's 32 entities. So far, no other organization has operated in so many states and has long resisted the onslaught of the federal government to weaken it.

    With El Chapo Guzman, the Sinaloa Cartel was the first criminal organization to successfully participate and lead the trafficking of four drugs: marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

    NarcoData has recorded the progress of the Sinaloa Cartel in the country since its inception in the 1980s.

    In the beginning of the term of Enrique Peña Nieto, Sinaloa was the organization with more presence in the country but according to data of PGR, it has lost almost half of its area of ​​influence yielding ground in the western states of the country.

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    Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Riodoce

    The former governor of Tamaulipas, Eugenio Hernández Flores (2005-2010), was arrested Friday in Ciudad Victoria by the State Attorney General's Office, who filed an arrest warrant against him for embezzlement and money laundering.

    Through the alias Alberto Berlanga and the company GMC S.A. de C.V. of Altamira, Hernández Flores made a 2007 purchase transaction of $16 million pesos for a 1,600 hectare plot of land located in the Industrial Port of Altamira, which is property of the state, and actually valued at $866 million pesos.

    According to the agency in a press release, the purchase and sale transaction involved the companies Materials and Construction Villa de Aguayo, owned by Fernando Cano Martinez, alleged alias of Tomás Yarrington (predecessor of Eugenio in the government of Tamaulipas) and GMC, SA of CV of Altamira, property of Berlanga Bolado, ex-secretary of Public Works and Urban Development under Hernández Flores.

    Both the Cano and Berlanga construction companies became favorites for projects and for obtaining million-dollar contracts in order to carry out projects during the six year period of Tomás and Eugenio’s time in office.

    It should be recalled that both ex-governors face arrest warrants in the United States. While Yarrington is awaiting a ruling on his extradition in Italy, the US has also asked Hernández Flores to be tried in the United States.

    US Accusations

    Against the Mexican ex-leader, two arrest warrants are being filed in the United States, where he is accused of money laundering and facilitating illegal money transfer operations. In June 2015, the State Department reported that the Southern Court of Texas accused the PRI member of conspiring with monetary instruments along with his brother-in-law Óscar Gómez Guerra. The complaint was filed since May 27 of that year.

    The indictment included a $2 million USD confiscation notice on four properties, three of them located in McAllen and the other in Austin.

    Last August he obtained legal protection against any order of arrest, search, location, presentation or summons in relation to his September 2017 research file, with a set warranty of $6,500 Pesos.

    Hernández Flores is the successor of Tomás Yarrington who is currently imprisoned in Florence, after being captured on April 9th in Italy.

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    Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Noreste article

    Subject Matter: Cali Cartel, Narco's series on Netflix
    Recommendation: Read this article by BB reporter Chivissee link

    "The traffickers from Cali are seeing Narcos, and they are not happy about it. Narco's tells a bad version of the real events, that could lead to conflicts in real life".

    Reporter: Infobae
    "Netflix should be more responsible", assured the son of Pablo Escobar. "I don't know well what happened and the mistrust I read in the notices", he said in relation to the assassination of producer Carlos Munoz Portal, 37 years of age, who appeared dead in Mexico this past month while researching locations for the new series of Narco's. But later he added, " unfortunately Mexico is very violent place. If I was in Africa filming lions, it wouldn't surprise me if one of them killed me".

    Juan Pablo Escobar, changed his name to Sebastian Marroquin after the death of his father in 1992, has questioned the manner in which Netflix are recounting the narco trafficking history in Colombia and Latin America. "The narco traffickers in Cali are seeing Narco's and are not liking it. It annoys them that their names and their cities are being utilized to tell accounts of events that are not true. Their accounts of the history are bad and could create conflicts in real life", he advertised in the Daily Mirror.

    From his point of view, " nothing has changed" since the epoch when Pablo Escobar dominated the drug business, "except the names". "Now there is more narco trafficking and corruption", he affirmed. Marroquin not only questioned that Netflix had committed errors historically, but had also given out the wrong image of the capos of organized crime. " Every day I receive dozens of emails of youngsters from all over the world who say that they would like to be like Pablo Escobar because they have watched Narco's. It is dangerous that these television program's glorify the violence and paint narco traffickers as hero's", he said.

    Munoz Portal had a large history in cine making and for years has dedicated his time to the discovery of locations for making American films and series in Mexico. He was doing that when he was shot a rural road in the State of Mexico, close to the frontier with Hidalgo, one of the zones most affected by narco violence.

    "We are all sad at the death of Carlos Munoz Portal, a respected scouter of locations, and we offer our condolences to his family. The events even though they are unknown, the authorities are continuing to investigate what happened", affirmed Netflix in a communication".

    The body of Munoz Portal was found in his car, it was on an unnamed road in the community of San Bartolo Actopan, in the town of Temascalapa. He had multiple bullet wounds. The vehicle had been impacted against a cactus, it is thought that he had been killed after a car chase.

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from Riodoce

    Violent territory control shifts thousands of families again : Interactive Map

    By: Miriam Rodriguez of Riodoce
    Culiacan, Sinaloa
    NOTE: You MAY have to GO to the LINK to actually access the INTERACTIVE Version of the Map but we think it works now.

    Get to know "our ", ie, that of Riodoce's interactive map with information about people displaced by violence in 2017 in the Municipalities of  Concordia, San Ignacio and Badiraguato in the Sierras of the State of Sinaloa just so far this year in 2017.

    When you open the map you will find icons in red, which represent the inhabitants that have left their  villages and the icons in black represent the violent events that have marked the mountainous area, in chronological order.

    The control of the territory for the sowing and production of drugs by criminal organizations has generated violent acts that force the villagers to flee the place and the few productive options in the area like the mining have had to stop work, admitted the Secretary General of Government, Gonzalo Gómez Flores.

    From the first minute of January to the present, violent events in the mountainous area of the state have not stopped. According to the records of newspaper reports, only 26 violent events have been reported in the Concordia mountains so far this year, yet they are clashes, murders with torture and mutilations and assaults on the villages.

    In a geolocation exercise, violent events have been located in the villages where they occurred and coincided with each of the communities that have suffered the exodus of their inhabitants. The same happened in San Ignacio and Badiraguato.

    According to official figures reported by the Secretariat of Social Development of the Sinaloa government, in 2007 Concordia have displaced 977 settlers; in San Ignacio there are 208 displaced people and in Badiraguato 148 inhabitants of the mountain range fled.

    From Concordia, the inhabitants of the towns of Chirimoyos, La Petaca, Pánuco, El Coco, La Guayanera, Potrerillos, Mesa del Carrizal, Hacienda de Urías, El Encinal, Las Charcas and Santa Lucia fled.
    A Group of Families/ Friends hoping for a ride and preparing to walk out of their villages in the Sierras
    Once Again
    Just last Friday, September 22, 2017 in the community of Santa Lucia in Concordia, an armed group intimidated the villagers, robbed their homes and forced them to prepare food.

    In an interview, the Secretary General of Government, Gonzalo Gomez Flores, admitted that violent acts and the displacement of the inhabitants are related to the control of the territory that imposes organized crime to be able to plant and produce drugs.  "They intend to have the territory free for their activities, those related to organized crime. The planting and production, mainly, is what they control  that area for , " explained Gómez Flores.

    Yet Another Group of Displaced Citizens Walking out of the Sierras
    Meanwhile, Economic Development Secretary Javier Lizárraga Mercado admitted that mining groups have paused their operations in the mountains of Concordia due to the strong climate of violence that has also reached them through extortion and "collection of piso."

    The SEDESO registry numbers of 2017, indicate that in San Ignacio 59 families left the villages of Ajoya, El Sauz de Ajoya and Santa Apolonia. In that area, at least 10 murders have been reported so far this year.

    While in Badiraguato 37 families were expelled from Huixiopa and La Tuna, the old stronghold of "El Chapo Guzman", towns that in 2016 had also registered a strong displacement especially during the search for the now extradited capo but then fugitive, after his infamous escape from the Altiplano Prison. 

    According to the Social Development Secretariat of the Government of Sinaloa, the families of displaced people who have had to leave their homes this year have been supported by one thousand "dispenses ", ie supplies, mainly foodstuffs and 1440 pieces black tar corrugated roofing panels.

    Displaced from the Municipalities in the southern part of the State of Sinaloa so far in 2017 , the official numbers , ie : Concordia: 977 people = 200 families, San Ignacio: 208 people = 59 families, Badiraguato: 148 people = equaling 37 families.

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    The devastating murder of Mara Fernanda Castilla and reality of femicide in Mexico

    In the early hours of the morning of September 7th, Mara Castilla laughed, drank, with friends, shot glasses and beers, mixed drinks and cigarette smoke, bar stools, bouncers and waitresses, in low cut tops and heels, a blur of music and conversation. The intimate secrets and whispers in ears, and shouting voices over the pulsing soundtrack, the kind of night that defies age, and invites one to live in the moment, enjoy the youth, or deal with age.  Mara was 19.  

    She left alone, in the familiar, barely controlled chaos of those evenings, last call, last drink, last chance, last smoke, last night. There are moments outside clubs and bars, across Puebla, across Mexico, across the world, where the next few hours are decided.  Everyone must decide, where do I go now?  To go home with girlfriends, enjoy the night with your best friends, fall asleep on the couch, the next afterparty, the handsome stranger you met earlier, or the co worker/friend, who you suddenly want to know better.  

    Mara's choice was simple, easy, and leaves no room, one would think, for the kind of victim blaming we are so sickened to see in these cases, time and again. Mara went home alone. Too many drinks, or not enough, or maybe none, she headed home alone, using Cabify, an Uber like app, to take her home.  Taxi's are often considered less safe in Mexico for a variety of reasons, lack of oversight, ties to organized crime, and just general mistrust. Cabify, like Uber is extremely popular in many cities in Mexico.  Her driver arrived around 5:00 AM,  he would later be identified as, one Ricardo "N", or Ricardo Alexis.  
    Ricardo N, Alexis 

    Mara was missing for a week before her body was found on a highway, some 90 miles from Mexico City, thrown near a ravine like so many victims of violence, a white towel or sheet wrapped around her, her body showing obvious signs of trauma.  The towel was from a local motel, Motel Del Sur in Puebla.  Later investigations showed her driver Ricardo N entered Room 25, at 6:47 AM and left at 8:15 AM.  He obtained the towel from the hotel, and dropped off her body afterward, on a highway.  

    Surveillance shows the car did arrive at Mara's home, but she did not get out.  Only Ricardo N, arrested, on September 13, two days before Mara's body was found, knows what happened.  Mara was beaten, sexually assaulted, and murdered, allegedly by strangulation. It is not entirely known if this took place in the motel room, in the car, or somewhere else, unknown.  Blood was found in the motel room, according to investigators.  He has been charged with kidnapping, and is expected to be charged with femicide, rape, and robbery.

    There are a lot of variables in Mexico's legal system, mostly followed (by me), as it relates to organized crime.  In civil courts, at a state level, there is rampant inefficiency and corruption. Along with an often complex legal process, which leads to the release of criminals.  This case has become very visible in Puebla and throughout Mexico City, with protests, social media protests, and media coverage.  There is hope that the guilty will be punished.  There is hope he will never be released.  Prosectors are reported to be seeking a 60 year sentence. 
    Camera still of Ricard Alexis vehicle that morning

    Mexico, has a long, dark legacy of femicide, brutal violence towards women, based on certain cultural norms that both encourage the violence, and defends, or minimizes those who commit it.  There is a deep sense of victim blaming and misogyny that infects these cases.  The most known example, made infamous by television, movies, reporting, is the femicides of Juarez.  A ghastly killing frenzy of mostly marginalized women, who were brutalized, raped, murdered, many times thrown in mass graves, in desolate areas outside Juarez.  

    The full scope of the killings were never uncovered, though many of the dynamics were known. There were hundreds, if not thousands of these killings . They went unsolved, and unstopped, and undeterred for decades.  There were different generations of killers, there were different killers, there were different motivations.  There was complicity from elements of the Juarez Cartel, there was involvement by local politicos, and "Juniors", the affluent children of the Juarez elite.  

    It is a murky, ghastly story, and one that hasn't stopped, or changed much, though it has slowed down since the 90's and 2000's.  It happens other places, Baja California, in the midst of much violence has seen dozens of femicides this year, some connected to organized crime, many not.  There victims are sometimes prostitutes, sometimes maquiliadora workers, sometimes girls like Mara Castilla, who are not guilty of anything, though there is a rush to cast all victims as bad.  They were "just" prostitutes, or perhaps they were alleged to be unfaithful, or sexually active, or gay.  There is always a justification for the killing. There is always a sentiment that they deserved it.
    Screenshot of Cabify fare

    Baja California and Tijuana specifically have seen an increase in these kinds of killings, dozens per year, only a "small" part of the overall homicides, which are well past 1,000 this year, but dozens, still.  They are found in suitcases, in blankets, dismembered and disarticulated, and disregarded by society.  What we can do is this:

    Speak up.  Do not let people blame the victim in your presence.  Speak out against violence towards women, sexual and otherwise.  Do not disrespect the dead by justifying their death, in that they were sex workers.  Donate to causes, help bury the dead, through Go Fund Me, and other crowd sourcing venues.

    Mara's body was found in a sheet, grimly bearing the motel where she was likely murdered, alone, and bruised, her body lay by the highway.  She is not alone, and every death matters, every killing is too many.  There are hundreds like this every year, and the killers, the victimizers go unpunished with immunity, sometimes under the sheer strain of killings, that stain the streets of cities like Tijuana.

    Mara, from Xalapa, Veraruz, was attending college in Puebla.  She will never graduate, she will never marry, she will never dance, or laugh, or cry again.  It is in these actions that the devastation of death is realized, and than we multiply. Not by five, or ten, or twenty, but hundreds.  That is the reality, that is the devastation. Heartbroken and stained with the knowledge, photos of women I will never meet,  haunted, I write these words. 


    Animal Politico

    A timeline of Mara's death:

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    Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Milenio article

    Subject Matter: El Oso, Rey David Santiago Vargas, CDS, El Licenciado, Sons of El Chapo
    Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

    Rey David Santiago Vargas was captured in 2016, when he worked under the orders of El Licenciado, but he was set at liberty due to the case against him not being proven.

    Reporter: Ruben Mosso
    Elements of the Federal Police apprehended Rey David Santiago Vargas, El Oso, alleged operator of the Sinaloa Cartel under the orders of Ivan Archivaldo and Alfredo Guzman Salazar, sons of capo Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.

    The suspect had been captured in 2016 by the special forces of the Mexican Marines, at that time he worked under the command of Damaso Lopez Nunez, El Licenciado, who was detained in May of the present year in Mexico City, however, Santiago was set free under the law.

    El Oso was found in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora, and according to the primary reports he is responsible for coordination of the criminal cells that operate in the towns of Culiacan, El Dorado, Mezquitillo and Sanchez Celis, he was dedicated to surveillance of the authorities, as well as kidnapping, extortion and operations against rival groups.

    Yesterday, the elite group of the anti-drug division of the Federal Police, carried out the arrest warrant against Rey David. Authorities of the National Commission for Security confirmed that El Oso was detained in 2016.

    They confirmed his alleged responsibility for the crimes of carry of firearms for the exclusive use of the Army, and use of false documents, and had proceeded to find him and arrest him again.

    First Capture

    In October of 2016, elements of the Marines trapped Rey David Santiago in the waste ground of San Jose de Guanajuato, Sinaloa, who at that time was identified as the plaza boss in Baja California Sur and worked under the orders of El Licenciado.

    The Marines confiscated a 9mm firearm and diverse false documents. His location was discovered when Marines were patrolling the Mazatlan - Culiacan highway. The criminal group that worked under Santiago Vargas operated in Sinaloa and Baja California Sur, under the orders of El Licenciado.

    On the 2nd of May of this year, personnel of the Criminal Investigation Agency of the PGR, captured El Licenciado in Mexico City, he was designated as one of the new leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, who had helped El Chapo Guzman escape from the maximum security prison of Puente Grande in Jalisco in 2001, but this year had started a war with the sons of El Chapo that had left dozens of dead in Sinaloa.

    El Licenciado was found in the Nueva Anzures Colonia in the Miguel Hidalgo delegation, where soldiers, in support of the PGR achieved the capture of the capo. Damaso is originally from Sinaloa and was 50 years old at the time of his capture, he worked in the Puente Grande prison and after the escape of El Chapo rose up the ranks in the Sinaloa Cartel to be one of its leaders.

    After his detention, Damaso Lopez related to authorities that he had formed an alliance with the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion. He also said he was ready to come to an agreement with the United States, so that he could be extradited at the earliest possible date because of the fear he had of being assassinated in a Mexican prison.

    In July of this year, Damaso Lopez Serrano, El Mini-Lic, son of El Licenciado, was found in the USA by the DEA. The Federal authorities said that El Mini-Lic crossed the frontier line that divides Mexicali in Baja California and Calexico, California.

    Lopez Serrano and his father controlled the criminal cells known as Los Antrax and Los Montana, and maintained a dispute with Aurelio Guzman Loera, El Guano, brother of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, and with his sons, for control of the Sinaloa Cartel.

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    Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Milenio

    Pedro Payán, a member of ‘Los Aztecas’, caught the girls, promised them work, then drugged them and forced them to prostitute themselves in a hotel in Cd. Juárez between 2009 and 2012.

    Chihuahua- Pedro Payán Gloria, aka El Pifas , a member of the Los Aztecas gang, was sentenced to 430 years in prison "for sexually exploiting and depriving eleven women of their lives," indicated during the court hearing held in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

    The victims were drugged and forced to prostitute themselves at the Hotel Verde between 2009 and 2012, stressed the agent of the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Specialized Women's Office (FEM) to fully emphasize the guilt of Payán Gloria. 


    El Pifas and other individuals, several of them already sentenced to 697 years in prison due to these same events, threw the victims into a clandestine "cemetery" located in the Arroyo El Navajo, which is located in the Valley of Ciudad Juárez . 

    'El Pifas' y otros sujetos arrojaron los cuerpos de las 11 mujeres a un ‘cementerio’ clandestino ubicado en la zona del Arroyo El Navajo, de Ciudad Juárez.

    "Payán Gloria, together with other members of the Los Aztecas gang, recruited 11 women who were held captive at the Hotel Verde in Ciudad Juárez, where they were forced into prostitution," the MP agent said at the trial.

    With testimonial and scientific evidence, the investigator recorded that El Pifas actively participated in the recruitment of young women, who were promised employment, then drugged and forced to provide sexual services, selling drugs through threats and physical punishment.

    Each of the young women were made contact with in the historic center of the border city, where many women look for work, and take the bus to go to work or housing. On the way they were caught by the human and drug traffickers that operate in this area.

    ”After evaluating the evidence presented, the Court of Appeal finds sufficient components to convict, for which it issues the exemplary sentence that further establishes the payment of more than half a million pesos for repairing the damage," reported the WEF.

    It should be noted that on July 27th, 2015, five subjects belonging to the same gang were sentenced to 697 years in prison for the femicide of the 11 women and payment of more than 9 million pesos for damages.  


    Manuel Vital Anguiano, Edgar Jesús Regalado Villa, César Félix Romero Esparza, Jesús Hernández Martínez and José Contreras Terrazas, took advantage of the moment of violence in Ciudad Juárez to kidnap vulnerable women, due to their age and socioeconomic level, said the president of Court, Catalina Ruiz Pacheco.

    The victims were identified as: María Guadalupe Pérez Montes, Lizbeth Avilés García, Perla Ivonne Aguirre González, Idalí Juache Laguna, Beatriz Alejandra Hernández Trejo, Jesica Leticia Peña García, Deisy Ramírez Muñoz and Andrea Guerrero Venzor, Monica Liliana Delgado Castillo, Jazmín Salazar Ponce and Jessica Terrazas Ortega. 

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  • 10/12/17--00:11: Dismemberments in Poza Rica
  • Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Noreste article

    Subject Matter: CJNG, dismembered kidnapper and wife
    Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

    Around 8:30 pm two corpses were left dismembered on the corner of the Las Garzas and Flamingos roads in Infonavit Gaviotas, which provoked an intense mobilization of the police in a question of minutes on the part of elements of the Fuerza Civil assigned to the metropolitan zone.

    Various blocks were cordoned off and neighbours and were prohibited from moving within the zone to preserve any evidence, at the site of the discovery of the cadavers, there were the bodies of a woman and a man.


    The information circulating on social networks was that the persons were known as Carlos Hernandez "El Reptil" and his wife Esmeralda Zarate, who were kidnapped in Pozo de Agua Viva some days ago, which is in the Pozo Trece de la colonia of Poza Rica.

    A narco message was left with the body parts on which the following could be read.

    "Poza Rica free this happened to me x Extortioner and Kidnapper, the cleaning has started ATTE CJNG"

    The second narco message said " The cleaning continues with you PEPE PEPE: ( Pastor Zurdo (Tormenta), Cochiloco Panzas, Freddy, Francisco Serrano, La Zorra,  that is pertinent to (35Z) and Los Z, were are coming for, the rest of the message was hidden under a body part.

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    Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Debate


    According to data obtained through transparency no one has collected this money

    The $60 million pesos that the Attorney General's Office (PGR) has offered for the whereabouts of former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin ¨El Chapo¨ Guzman, who has been imprisoned in the United States since January 19, is the highest the federal government has allocated for one person; however, it has not been collected.

    Data from that plan provided to El Universal indicate that the present administration has been ineffective in finding the whereabouts of members of organized crime, victims of homicides, missing persons and the kidnapped.None of the 390 economic rewards announced since 2013, which total $976 million pesos, has been collected, according to information obtained via transparency.

    According to the PGR, this strategy to locate victims, members of organized crime and missing persons "was suspended indefinitely." The agreements that were published up to March are an extension of the contract that was held until December 2017, he said.

    The agency announced that it is in a phase of relaunching, with the objective of more efficiently providing resources. The document is expected to be published in the course of this month to publish the tender that will allow the plan to be reactivated.
    "We are working on the documentation that allows us to have everything ready to publish the bid again at the beginning of next year and be able to work from January to December 2018," he said.
    This contrasts with the previous period, 2006-2012, in which the department spent $ 50 million 832 thousand pesos in exchange for information that helped to detain eight criminals, among them Sergio Villareal Barragan,¨El Grande¨, former leader of the Los Beltrán Leyva Cartel; the leaders of La Línea, Luis Humberto and Ubaldo Rubio González, "El Monroroque", and two of those implicated in the kidnapping case of Silvia Vargas.

    The latest amounts, announced by the PGR now headed by Raúl Cervantes Andrade were to locate the perpetrators of the murders of journalists Javier Arturo Valdez Cardenas, Maximino Rodriguez Palacios, Miroslava Breach Velducea and the attackers of Sonia Córdoba Oceguera.

    The listings detail more than 80% of the rewards offered for information leading to the whereabouts of families and people kidnapped or deprived of freedom.

    Among them are the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, for whom $64.5 million pesos are offered for information leading to their whereabouts, as well as $1.5 million for data that allow the capture of their attackers, notes the agreement A / 087/14, published October 21st, 2014.

    It also offered rewards for the whereabouts of former PRI governors Javier Duarte de Ochoa of Veracruz and Tomas Yarrington of Tamaulipas who were detained by authorities in Guatemala and Italy respectively.  

    For the data that helped locate the Durango capo, Sergio Villarreal Barragan, "El Grande", arrested in 2010 in Puebla by members of the Navy, the PGR paid $30 million pesos.

    The program also led to the location and arrest of César Vicente Fabregat Ocampo in 2010, identified international money laundering organization leader. The authorities offered a bonus of $10 million pesos, which was collected in March of 2011.

    In 2010, the department disbursed $4 million pesos for information leading to Mario Alberto Zúñiga Serrano, lawyer of Casitas del Sur.

    Likewise, the Rewards Committee paid $3 million pesos for the information that led to the capture of Luis Humberto and Ubaldo Rubio González, El Monroroque, former members of La Línea.
    Under the same plan, $1 million 500 thousand pesos were given leading to the arrest of Jesus Armando Acosta Murillo, ¨El Mata¨ in June 2011.

    In turn, it paid $666 thousand pesos to two people who facilitated the arrest of Angel Cisneros Marín, "El Flaco", and Candido Ortiz, who took the life of young woman Silvia Vargas Escalera. The PGR is responsible for offering and delivering rewards, in a single payment or installments, to persons who provide useful information related to the investigations and inquiries that it carries out, as well as those that collaborate in the location and arrest of alleged offenders.

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    Body found found in oil drum in Chula Vista bay

    There is a slight chill, a hesitant breeze, as San Diego eases into fall, particularly along the bay, even as the sun hits it's brightest points of the day.  There are dozens of small boats, yachts among them anchored along the marina, off J Street and Marina Parkway, the park looks out onto the bay, a tranquil landscape amidst the gloom and steel of the industrial area surrounding it.

    A 55 gallon oil drum, weighted down with cement blocks, and a metal chain, was pulled out of the Bay, late yesterday afternoon.  Investigators on the scene say it may contain human remains, due to the smell emerging from the drum.  Family members of a recent missing person arrived on the scene, hoping for relief or closure, one way or another.  Authorities confirmed nothing else, as of today.

    For some who know, who read, who saw, who remember, there are shades of other bodies found in strange ways across San Diego, especially Chula Vista, Bonita, Eastlake.  They were found on golf courses, in parking lots, strangled and beaten in vans, with messages painted on the side.  They were found sometimes in plastic drums, acid singed remains of humans, carne asada roasted outside to cover the scent.  They were found with toothpicks, hundreds of them, around the body and face of the victim.  

    They were calling cards of Los Palillos, a former cell of CAF, in the era of Benjamin and Ramon, who fell out with Javier Francisco Arellano Felix, and his top lieutenant Jorge Briceno, "El Cholo", they moved into San Diego, and began operations.  They trafficked meth and marijuana to the mid west, and primarily kidnapped, tortured, and collected ransom for Arellano Felix members, affiliates and their families. 

    Don Balas son, Balitas was kidnapped, among others, including Eduardo Tostado, "El Mandil", who was rescued by the FBI. Sometimes they released their victims, many times not.  They were driven by not just profits, but revenge, for the death of Palillo, Victor Rojas, the brother of Jorge, who led Los Palillos. 

    They terrorized those hidden communities in the enclaves of the family members of Tijuana/Sinaloa connected families, and the San Diego police department, opening fire with automatic weapons during a high speed cheese and leaving two officers with severe injuries.  Eventually between 2007 and 2009 they were indicted, arrested, and in long lasting trials, all but a few given life sentences.

    Yet, some remember.  Perhaps this is not like that, a personal dispute, a crime of passion, an affair gone wrong, or a fight gone too far. Someone, for some reason placed limbs and body parts in a drum, and tried to conceal it forever beneath the dark green/blue waters of the Pacific. 

    A bloody frenzy of killing devours many in Tijuana, as CJNG and CTNG dispute the plaza.  Bodies are found in drums, in suitcases, thrown from bridges, in the trunks of cars, feet bound, mouth gagged, handcuffed in the lonely fields of San Quentin, bodies decaying in the heat.

    And in San Diego, one almost vanished into the murky depths of the ocean, who never talks, never reveals, conceals forever, a body, stuffed in a 55 gallon drum, sinking, slowly to the bottom, drowning it's secrets.  

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    Posted by DD Materials from Council on Hemispheric Affairs,   ABC News

     It seemed like any other day in the life of a 19-year old girl. On September 8, Mara Fernanda Castilla, a political science student had just been enjoying a night out with friends in the college town of Cholula, in the central state of Puebla. At around 5 am, she decided to use a Cabify car, a ride-sharing platform popular in Latin America, to get home safely. However, she never made it home and was reported missing by her sister a few hours later[i]. Following a week of investigations, the local Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that Castilla’s body had been found wrapped in a sheet at the bottom of a ravine, in the border between Puebla and Tlaxcala.

    The inquiries revealed that Cabify’s driver Ricardo Alexis had allegedly subdued her and took her to a motel, just blocks from Castilla’s home, where he later raped and strangled her.[ii] Security video footage shows that Alexis parked in front of Castilla’s home for several minutes without her exiting the car before heading to the motel.[iii] Her cellphone and clothes were also found at Alexis’ home in a small town in Tlaxcala[iv]. Alexis will now go to trial and if found guilty, he may face up to 85 years in prison; 60 of them for the crime of femicide.[v]

    Earlier this year, Castilla had protested the murder of Lesvy Osorio, another university student whose body was found on the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) campus in Mexico City. Castilla used the trending hashtag #SiMeMatan (if they kill me) on a May 5 tweet that read “#SiMeMatan it’s because I liked to go out at night and drink a lot of beer….”[vi]. Following Lesvy Osorio’s murder the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Mexico City shared through social media, even before the investigations were disclosed, that Osorio was an alcoholic and a drug user who was no longer studying at UNAM, and had been living out of wedlock with her boyfriend.[vii] It was precisely these kind of sexist comments that led #SiMeMatan to become a trending topic on Twitter to protest the use of the victim’s personal life as a way to justify their murder.

    The terms femicide refers to a crime involving the violent and deliberate killing of a woman.[viii] Both crimes have caused wide national outrage in a country where over 17,000 women were murdered between 2007 and 2014.[ix] In the state of Puebla alone, 82 femicides have been documented by NGOs so far this year, but only 58 of those crimes have been officially recognized by the state Public Prosecutor’s Office.[x] Feminist groups and other human rights organizations have also denounced that the state of Tlaxcala is home to powerful sex trafficking groups that operate at both national and international levels, which could be involved in this crime.[xi] This is the reason why, on September 17, thousands of women protested all across Mexico to request justice for Mara Castilla, as well as to demand an end to the growing number of gender-related crimes and the apparent indifference at all government levels.

    Victim blaming has been a constant in gender-related crimes in Mexico, as the initial response of Mexico City’s authorities after Lesvy Osorio’s murder show. It is not different this time. In an interview following Castilla’s homicide, the president of Madero University in Puebla, Job César Romero said that gender-related crimes were caused by “social decomposition and the current liberties that girls have to go out until very late…because they now have more autonomy to travel alone in their cars or in any other means of transport”.[xii] Social media has been a useful instrument in mobilizing against these crimes; however, it has also served to reveal the misogyny that permeates an important sector of Mexican society where men and women continue to blame the victims for the crimes that befall them.

    A relevant question that still remains is whether femicides are a cultural phenomenon or if they are related to a variety of structural aspects such as high levels of impunity and the inability to include a gender-perspective in the killing of women. It can be argued that the normalization of violence against women is still a prevalent characteristic within Mexican society. However, it also seems likely that other factors related to the administration of justice or the lack of gender-inclusive policies are responsible for the increasing number of gender-related crimes in Mexico.

    While Mara Castilla’s murder may become an emblematic case in the struggle against femicides, there are still hundreds of female homicides that remain invisible and unpunished. Additionally, the difference in the number of femicides that are reported by civil society organizations and the media, and the ones that are officially recognized by the local and national authorities, reveal at least two issues: the limited communication between the government and society, as well as the inadequacy and reluctance to apply a gender analysis into the investigation of women’s deaths.[xiii]

    For example, a significant number of murders of women are initially ruled as homicides.[xiv] Additionally, the indifference and sexist responses from the authorities, who respond that women probably ran away when the families bring their cases to their attention, represent important obstacles for the administration of justice in these cases. Even though Mexico has adopted innovative legislation that punishes gender-related crimes, the fact that several femicides are not considered as such does not help reduce the levels of impunity, nor to reduce the occurrence of these crimes.[xv]

    Although the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Puebla is asking for Ricardo Alexis to be charged with femicide, there are still important issues regarding this case that call into question the responsibility of other actors in the continuation of these crimes. It has been revealed that before joining the ride-sharing company Cabify, Alexis had been dismissed from Uber for violating security rules.[xvi] In addition, despite having been detained for gas pipeline theft, Alexis was able to prove that he lacked a criminal record, which he presented to Cabify to fulfil the eligibility requirements.[xvii] Cabify’s operating license has been revoked and there is an increasing distrust of the safety of ride-sharing services, as well as of the companies’ responsibility in the prevention of these horrendous crimes.[xviii]

    Facing the overwhelming increase in the number of femicides, civil society groups are demanding specific measures from the government. For instance, in addition to prioritizing the gender perspective and determining where Cabify’s responsibility lies, there is also the request to investigate whether this case can be linked to the human trafficking groups that operate in both Puebla and Tlaxcala.[xix] Moreover, there is a growing demand for the government to declare a gender alert– a mechanism that obliges authorities to implement measures that protect women’s’ rights and carry out in-depth investigations to solve acts of violence against women– at the national level and not only in the city of Puebla. 

    The prevalent victim blaming and the number of femicide cases that remain unresolved may not present a very positive panorama for women in Mexico. Gender alerts have been labelled as unhelpful and criticized for not solving the gender-violence problem. However, despite the shortcomings of this legal mechanism, the importance of analysing female homicides from a gender perspective should not be overlooked. It is a way to make authorities more accountable as well as to raise awareness within different societal sectors that a femicide crisis is taking place.


    The following material was taken from an AP story published by ABC.

    A Femicide Crisis is taking place and The Stare of Mexico is Ground Zero 

    The State of Mexico officially ranks second to the nation's capital with 346 killings classified as femicides since 2011, according to government statistics.  

    Before Mexico State, it was Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, that was notorious for killings of women, with nearly 400 slain there since 1993 and only a handful of cases resulting in convictions. Common to both places are marginalized, peripheral communities with high levels of violent crime, corruption and impunity.

     Deputy state prosecutor for gender violence crimes, Dilcya Garcia Espinoza de los Monteros,  said

    "This problem is difficult to eradicate because it is rooted in ideas that assume that we as women are worth less than men, that we as women can be treated like trash."
    In this Aug. 18, 2017 photo, relatives of murdered doctor and mother, Jessica Sevilla Pedraza, carry a framed portrait of her, a cross, and a box of mementos to be buried alongside her grave, as they arrive for Mass in Villa Cuauhtemoc, Mexico state. Pedraza had been shot in the head and decapitated, and the skin had been flayed from her skull. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

     Just like any other day, Dr. Jessica Sevilla Pedraza went to work at the hospital that morning, came home for a quick lunch and then left again. The plan was to see more patients, hit the gym and be back in time for her usual dinner with dad before he went to his night-shift job.

    Instead a hospital co-worker showed up at the family's door in the evening. She said a man had come in with a bullet wound in his leg and told doctors he had been with Sevilla when gunmen intercepted them, shot him and took off with the doctor in her own car.

    "Ma'am," the woman told Sevilla's mother, Juana Pedraza, "it's my duty to tell you that we cannot locate your daughter."

    Two days later Pedraza identified 29-year-old Jessica's body at the morgue. She had been shot in the head and decapitated, and the skin had been flayed from her skull.

    "I can't understand why," Pedraza said. "Why so much fury? Why so much hate?"

     Sevilla's gruesome death was part of a wave of killings of women plaguing the sprawling State of Mexico, which is the country's most populous with 16 million residents and surrounds the capital on three sides. The crisis of femicides — murders of women where the motive is directly related to gender — prompted the federal government to issue a gender violence alert in 2015, the first for any Mexican state, and has recently prompted outcry and protests.

     The government's classification of "femicide" allows significant room for interpretation, and many say the official figures are understated and unreliable. Violent crimes such as disappearances often go unreported and unpunished.

     Jessica Sevilla lived in Villa Cuauhtemoc, a small town surrounded by corn fields and empty lots outside the state capital, Toluca, with her parents, her four younger sisters and her 1-year-old son, Leon. The daughter of a truck driver and a shop owner, she went to college and became a doctor, cementing her place as the pride of the family. Her mother said whenever Jessica wasn't working or working out, she spent her time with Leon.

    Jessica's disappearance, on a Friday in August, set off a frantic 48 hours of searching by the family. Under the gender violence alert issued two years earlier, authorities are supposed to investigate any woman's disappearance urgently. But Pedraza said authorities told her to wait until Sunday afternoon.

    "And if she didn't come back (by then), I would have to come on Monday so they could start searching for my daughter," Pedraza said. "It was negligent, because otherwise we might be talking about my daughter being alive."

    Ana Yeli Perez, an attorney with the National Citizens' Observatory Against Femicide, said that sort of response is all too common.

    "Despite there already being tools that force public prosecutors to issue the gender violence alert, they refuse to launch investigations under the gender violence guidelines," Perez said.

    Femicides have been getting increasing attention elsewhere in Latin America as well. In Argentina, a coalition of activists, artists and journalists started a movement known as Ni Una Menos, or Not One Less, after a spate of killings. The name came from a poem about the killings in Ciudad Juarez by Mexican writer Susana Chavez, who herself was slain in 2011.

     "Ni Una Menos" has become a widely used hashtag on social media in many places as more women turn up dead — as in the case of 19-year-old Mara Castilla, who disappeared after using a ride-hailing service in the central Mexican state of Puebla. The driver was arrested after it was determined that he never dropped her off at her house. Thousands of people gathered in Mexico City to protest her murder.

    In Nezahualcoyotl, a group called Nos Queremos Vivas, or We Want to Stay Alive, sprung up after Valeria Gutierrez's murder. It has organized marches and a self-defense workshop at a high school where 70 percent of the students are girls.

    At one class, students threw punches and kicks on an indoor soccer court — and talked about learning to be afraid from a young age.

     "I don't feel safe. ... A woman cannot walk down the street freely because there are always people, men, who start harassing you, who try to touch you just because you're wearing shorts or tight jeans," said Monica Giselle Rodriguez, 15.

    "We want to help them prepare in case they have to defend themselves," martial arts instructor Cristofer Fuentes said.

    Jessica Sevilla's mutilated body was found on a highway about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from where she was last seen alive at a gas station in her red, brand-new Mazda. A week after the burial, Pedraza marched across town with family members carrying a stone cross to mark her grave. The murder remains unsolved.

    Pedraza raised her five daughters to be confident that they are equal to men and that nobody can hold them back. Now tasked with raising her grandson, Leon, she said she's focusing on the other side of the equation: Schools teach kids to read and write, but other values are instilled at home.

    "With little Leon, we have the idea that we are going to teach him how to be a man," Pedraza said. "You don't hit women. You don't insult them. If she can clear your plate, you can do it too. ... Equality and respect, above all."


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    Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Zetatijuana article

    Subject Matter: Nazario Cavazos de Luna, Big Papa
    Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

    Thanks to Yaqui for the heads up on this article

    Reporter: Carlos Alvarez
    The Criminal Investigation Agency of the PGR detained Nazario Cavazos de Luna, alias Big Papa, in Mexico City, alleged operator of the Cartel del Golfo and included in the most wanted list of the DEA.

    The PGR informed that the suspect was captured in a zone of Mexico City, without violence, with an arrest warrant that has an extradition order attached, moved by a Judge of the Sixth District of Federal Penal Processes.

    "The arrest of this individual was carried out in strict adherence to due process and at all times his rights were respected", said a PGR spokesman on the arrest of Nazairo Cavazos de Luna.

    The Federal Government had already carried out an operation to arrest de Luna, on one of his properties in the town of Bustamante, in the State of Nuevo Leon, but he managed to escape and relocate to the Capital.

    Cavazos is required by the Federal Court of the East District of Texas to be prosecuted for his possible responsibility of criminal association, money laundering and possession of firearms.

    The extradition warrant ranks him as an alleged operator of the Cartel del Golfo, in an alleged investigation by the DEA that dates back to 2012 and which led to one of his accomplices, Oscar Cantu Ramirez being captured in the United States.

    Cantu Ramirez stated, at the time, that he was commissioned by Cavazos to negotiate the purchase of marijuana and cocaine for sale and that he was in possession of money earned from drug trafficking to deliver it personally to de Luna.

    John Gottlob, a DEA Agent, testified that, " Big Papa" also employed a subject named Lauro Abel Grimaldo, to hire drivers to distribute the drugs throughout the United States.

    The alleged drug trafficker will be placed at the disposal of the Federal Judge who ordered his temporary detention, designated by the Committee for National Security.

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    Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Noreste article

    Subject Matter: Reynosa
    Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

    There have been numerous robberies of large amount of vehicles with extreme violence by armed criminals.

    Antagonistic criminal groups last night converted Reynosa into a battle field, in a day of violence that submerged the population into a night of chaos and terror with gun battles, road blocks and massive robbery of vehicles.

    Simultaneously during the contingency, which frightened the population for more than two hours due to the detonations of high powered rifles, roadblocks made with hi-jacked public transport services and foreign vehicles.

    At the same time, unidentified men threw hundreds to tyre puncturing spikes ( ponchallantas ) int into the streets affecting dozens of private vehicles that were stranded on avenues, boulevards and freeways.

    Authorities reacted by conducting ground and air patrols from 9pm, the official summary of detentions was not known since no pronouncements have been made by the authorities.

    Army and Navy personnel, in coordination with elements of the Federal, State and Ministerial Police, were travelling in convoy by various routes of the city trying to locate the groups of armed civilians, back by the air from helicopters of different corporations.

    Several trucks, some of them with bullet impacts in the bodywork and windshields, were confiscated by authorities when they were found abandoned in different places with the tyres pierced.

    As a prelude to the fighting, there were numerous mass robberies of vehicles with extreme violence by armed criminals. Also during the heat of the armed confrontations, several drivers were ripped from their vehicles.

    The fiercest confrontations were focused on the Vista Hermosa colonia, Villa Florida , where the confrontations lasted form more than an hour.

    Subsequently, the confrontations extended to the settlements of Campestre, Jarachina Sur, Puerta del Sol, Puerta Sur Bugambilias, San Valentin and Lomas Real, among other sectors.

    At the same time another series of clashes and blockades occurred in the eastern sector colonias such as Ernesto Zedillo, Lomas de Villar and Benito Juarez.

    Another blockade was registered at the Bronco Bridge, causing fear among customers of shopping malls of the area. Shoppers took refuge in cinema theatres and warehouses to avoid the gun fire.

    Otis: The following information does not form part of the article above.

    From Valor Por Tamaulipas
    Injured sicarios were dragged wounded from the battle fields, and were taken to local hospitals for treatment, some nurses were kidnapped to treat the wounded.

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    Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Processo
    see Mexico Prison Massacre Linked to Zetas Takeover

    Una columna de humo al interior del penal de Cadereyta. Foto: Xinhua 

    MEXICO CITY (AP) - Following the riot in the Cadereyta prison that left 17 people dead, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) expressed concern about the lack of adequate response from the authorities to address the problem in detention centers in Nuevo Leon, which has been warned by the commission before, and urgently demanded to restore order.

    In a statement, the Commission pointed out that Deputy Inspectors, in coordination with personnel of the State Commission on Human Rights, went to Cereso de Cadereyta to verify that the current situation is a result of violent acts, in order to verify that human rights of inmates and their families are not violated.

    In addition, according to the CNDH, precautionary measures have been issued in order to take necessary actions, provide information to the relatives of the inmates and give them appropriate treatment in accord with the law within authority of the penitentiary system.

    The agency mentioned that visitors met with officials from the Human Rights Directorate of the Undersecretary of Government, the Social Reintegration Directorate of the Prison Administration Agency and the institution itself, and contacted family members in order to check the treatment offered to them anytime there were groups of 5 people entering the penitentiary.

    "The reported results registered 17 inmates dead and 37 injured, whose status is confirmed by going to the University Hospital, where they are tended to," he said.

    He also said that the prison, which reports damages in technical areas and some dormitories, is protected within by guards and state civil force.

    The CNDH recalled that it has issued recommendations derived from violent acts in the state as well, "both in Apodaca and Topo Chico penitentiary centers, where 43 inmates were killed and 73 were injured, and in two incidents in a period of 4 months, 52 inmates died and 55 were injured. "

    Likewise, the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture in its Recommendation M-01/2016 reported on the violations in the three [prisons], including Cadereyta, "and which constitute a risk factor that generates situations such as which currently exist in this institution, where there is a similar history of violent events last March, resulting in loss of life of 4 people and 21 injured."

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    Posted by El Profe for Borderland Beat from InsightCrime
    See 17 Dead in Cadereyta Prison

                       At least 13 died in rioting at Cadereyta prison
    Written by James Bargent

    At least 13 people have died in a prison mutiny in north Mexico that some witnesses claim was a backlash against an attempted takeover of the prison by the Zetas, highlighting the criminal control and corruption that are pervasive in the penal system.

    Trouble at Cadereyta prison in the state of Nuevo Leon erupted when inmates took three guards hostage on October 10, reported AFP.

    The situation deteriorated into rioting, with around 250 inmates burning rubbish and mattresses and taking to the prison roof with banners denouncing alleged links between prison director Edgardo Aguilar Aranda and organized crime group the Zetas, reported EFE.

    Authorities confirmed that at least 13 inmates died in the clashes, with at least 8 more injured, two of them police officers. However, other reports suggest the number of injured stands at least as high as 25, while the number of dead could also rise.

    The authorities responded by sending in 60 police patrols to restore order and state Interior Secretary Manuel González Flores to negotiate with the inmates, according to EFE.

    Gonzalez told media that the rioting broke out over prison conditions. However, family members of the inmates say prisoners took action over a plan by the prison director to bring in Zetas members to assert control over the prison, a claim supported by a banner strewn across a wall declaring "We don't want a Z director," stated AFP.

    According to EFE's report, the prisoners behind the violence were connected to the Zetas' former parent organization and long-time enemies the Gulf Cartel.

    The incident is the second deadly prison riot of the year in Cadereyta, with four dying in disturbances in March.

    InSight Crime Analysis

    Mexico's prison system, like many in the region, is underfunded and overpopulated, a situation that has led to prisoners themselves controlling the insides of up to 60 percent of institutions, according to some experts.

    When prisoner rule is combined with rampant corruption, the conditions are ripe for organized crime to assert dominance, extorting inmates and controlling the flows of contraband.

    The Zetas in particular have proven adept at setting up internal criminal networks within prisons, most notably in the case of a penitentiary in the state of Coahuila, Piedras Negras. Investigations have revealed how the Zetas allegedly turned the prison into a base of operations. They used it to dispose of the corpses of an estimated 150 victims, and broke out over 130 inmates. They also manufactured uniforms, bulletproof vests, and modified cars inside the prison to hide drugs and weapons, all in complicity with state authorities.

    In another case, prison authorities at Gómez Palacio prison in Durango allegedly allowed Zetas inmates out of prison to carry out murders, including the massacre of 17 people in 2010.

    Former inmates speaking to Vice earlier this year detailed how Cadereyta has not previously been subjected to organized crime rule. However, following the protests in March, which were reportedly against new security measures, it is easy to see how striking a deal with the Zetas would be a tempting proposition for the prison director, allowing the authorities to bring new levels of control over unruly inmates, as well as providing riches to the corrupt officials that facilitate their activities.