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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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    Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

    Once the most trusted person to El Chapo, Dámaso López aka “El Licenciado”, has been extradited to the United States,  just in time for the September trial of Joaquín Guzmán, aka El Chapo.  

    Dámaso López  was airlifted to the U.S. out of Juarez.

    The relationship began when Damaso Lopez assisted Chapo in his prison break, from Puente Grande Prison in Jalisco.  Lopez was the chief of security at the prison, and helped Chapo set up a network of corruption during his incarceration. 

    Then in 2001, according to Mexican authorities, he planned for and allowed the capo to escape.  

    It has been speculated that talks have been in the works for months and a deal was agreed upon between the U.S. and Damaso, as well as his son, Damaso Lopez-Serrano, aka “Mini Lic,”who gave himself up to the U.S. in 2017. 

    It appears talks began in depth in  2017.  An interpreter was requested at that time and an indictment was initiated in  December, 2017.

    Damaso's lost a power struggle war with Chapo’s sons and Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada, which placed his son in danger of being killed and ultimately he gave himself up.  Reportedly, Damaso was aided by El Mencho in the clash.  The rupture between the Lopez and the Guzman occurred after the kidnapping of the Chapo’s sons in a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta at the hands of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación aka CJNG  in August 2016.  

    Damaso Sr., if there is a trial, will be tried in Virginia on trafficking and money laundering charges.

    If Sr. is one of the cooperators in the trial of El Chapo, he undoubtedly would be, one of the most powerful tools against El Chapo.

    PGR Presser

    Alberto Elías Beltrán, in charge of the PGR's office, said that  López  is a potential "key witness" in the trial against Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, capo of the Sinaloa Cartel.

    "According to the Government of the United States, Damaso 'L' is potentially a key witness against Joaquín Guzmán Loera, considered the main leader of a criminal group operating in the state of Sinaloa. "

    "This extradition is essential for both the US and Mexican authorities, for the testimonial contribution that can be obtained in relation to Joaquín Guzmán Loera and demonstrates the cooperative relationship between both Governments, particularly in regard to the exchange of information, "he said in a message to the press."
    Unsealed indictment:

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    Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Milenio

    Decriminalization of marijuana

    The Second Chamber granted amparo for 3 people in order to obtain the seeds to cultivate and consume their own marijuana for recreational purposes; it is a "wake-up call" for Congress to legislate on the issue. 
    by Rubén Mosso

    The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation opened the door for three citizens to legally acquire, for only one occasion, before the Cofepris [Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk], marijuana seeds in drugstores or in an establishment destined for the production of authorized medicines with derivatives of cannabis. 

    Eduardo Medina Mora, president of the Second Chamber said that this ruling is a "wake-up call" for the Congress of the Union to legislate on the issue. 

    "The sentences we issue in this Supreme Court must have a practical effect and be obviously deferential to reality ... I believe that the issue of behaviors that are prohibited in the General Law of Health regarding marijuana, should not be addressed from an exclusive or basic personal liberties point of view, but from a perspective of public policy.

    "I think that these type of guidelines and restrictions should not be imposed from a seat of jurisdiction, but in any case, through the design of public policy of the work that falls to the Legislative Power, the foregoing without ignoring that the sentences issued by the Supreme Court, those that it has issued and that we are broadcasting today, are a wake-up call for the subject to be addressed and dealt with in a comprehensive manner in the corresponding headquarters, this is in the Congress of the Union."

    The chamber unanimously approved the plan of Minister Joao Fernando Franco Gonzalez Salas, who proposed protecting Zara Ashley Snap Hartman, Maria Teresa Cecilia Autrique Escobar, and Fernando Ramos Casas. 

    Snapp Hartman said they will try to meet with the authorities that will form the new government headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, because the retired minister Olga Sánchez Cordero, who is shaping up to be named Secretary of the Interior in the next administration, "has an opportunity in this topic" and it is extremely important. 


    "It requires real regulation of the market that includes production, distribution and sale and export; what we are seeing internationally is that many countries are moving in that direction," said Zara Ashley. 

    The plaintiffs had already obtained the protection of justice to cultivate and consume marijuana for recreational purposes, but claimed that they could not get the seeds legally. 

    With this pronouncement from the Second Chamber, that amounts to eight ministers (four in the First Chamber) in favor of granting amparos to consume marijuana for recreational purposes. 

    In this case, the amendments to the General Health Law published in the Official Gazette of the Federation were analyzed on June 19, 2017, specifically article 235 bis23, in which the design and execution of the Ministry of Health's obligation was established that regulate the medicinal use of drug derivatives of cannabis in any of its varieties.

    And Article 29024 in which the possibility of importing narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, products or preparations that contain them, including pharmacological derivatives of cannabis of any of its varieties, within the national territory seeds can be acquired legally. 

    The draft of Minister Franco mentions that in terms of article 236 of the General Health Law, the defendant authority is in a position to issue a special permit for acquisition or transfer so that the plaintiffs acquire the necessary seeds to carry out the activities by those that have been protected. 

    In the amparo under review 1163/2017, Minister Franco details that since the reform of Article 290 of the General Health Law, it is possible to obtain an authorization to import into the national territory narcotics, psychotropic substances, products or preparations containing them, including the pharmacological derivatives of cannabis of any of its varieties.

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    Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat from Proceso by Julio Scherer García

    This interview took place in 2010, El Mayo is now 70 years old. Since his name is lately prominent  in the El Chapo case I thought a revisit may be due;

    Ismael Zambada Garcia, aka "EL Mayo", one of the most wanted drug lords in the world, was interviewed at an undisclosed location, somewhere in the Sinaloa's hills, by the founder of the Mexican magazine, Proceso, Julio Scherer. 

    This is an extract of the interview, and a picture in which the face of the drug lord can be seen for the very first time since the 70's. (He's the one with the baseball cap, below the R letter stands for Reporter, and the M, stands for Mayo)

    R-I asked the Capo about Vicente "Vicentillo"

    M- He is my son, the first of five, I call him "mijo". He is also my compadre.

    R- Zambada continued with his personal account:

    M- I got my wife, five women, 15 grandsons and one great-grand son. They, the six of them (the women), are here, at the ranch, daughters of the bush, just like me. the bush is my home, my family, my protection, my land, the water I drink. The land is always good, the sky, is not.

    R- I don't understand.

    M- sometimes the sky won't give us any rain.

    R- There was a silence which I choose to broke the only possible way I could: Vicente?

    M- I don't want to talk about him right now. I don't know if he is in Chicago or in New York. I know he was in Matamoros however.

    R- I have to ask you...  talking about your son, do you live his extradition with such remorse that it tears into your fatherly love?

    M- Today I'm not talking about "mijo". I cry for him.

    R– Do we start recording?


    R- I got a lot of questions, (I insisted, already drained).

    M- Some other day, you got my word on that.

    R- As I was observing him. He stands up over 6ft tall and he posses a fortress-like body, far from a barely pronounced gut. He wears a green tee-shirt buttoned up to the neck and his denim blue jeans keep the straight line of the well ironed clothes. He covers himself with a baseball cap and a mustache.

    M- I have read all your books, and you don't lie (he tells me).

    R- I stare at the Capo, his lips tightly close.

    M- All of them lie, even Proceso lies. Your magazine is the first, informs more than the other magazines, but also lies. 

    R- Can you site a case for me?

    M- you talked about a wedding that didn't even existed.

    R- Chapo's wedding?

    M- You even gave up details of that wedding.

    R- Sandra Avila talked about a party she went and in which also Chapo was present.

    M- I knew about that party, but it was an exception in Chapo's life. If him or me were to exhibit ourselves that way, they would have had captured us already.

    R- Have you ever felt the army too close to you.

    M- Yes, four times, but Chapo has more.

    R- How close?

    M- Up in the sky, over my head. I escaped into the bush, of which I know his branches, the rivers, the stones, everything, if I keep myself quiet for a minute, or I'm careless, they could catch me, like they once did to Chapo. In order for us to meet today, I came from far away. And as soon as we're done, I will go away.

    R- Are you afraid to be captured?

    M- I feel panic of being behind bars.

    R- If you get caught, would you end up with your life?

    M- I don't know if i would have the arrests (balls) to kill myself. I want to think, yes, I would kill myself.

    [R-I found out the Capo is careful with his words. He uses the term "arrests", and not the classic slang.  Zambada carries the bush in his body, but possesses his own confinement. His sons, his families, his grandsons, his son's and grandson's friends, all of them like to party. They frequently go to clubs and public places and the Capo can't come with them. He tells me that for him, there are no birthday parties, the celebrations, and the cakes for the kids, the happiness of the quinceaneras, the music, the dancing]

    R- Is there any moment for tranquility in you?

    M- I'm always afraid

    R- Always?

    M- Always

    R- Will you finally get arrested?

    M- Any time now, or may be never.

    [R- Zambada is 60 years old and he got started in the drug trafficking business at 16. 44 years had passed which it gives him a great advantage on his today's prosecutors. He knows how to hide away, he knows how to escape and he is loved among the men and women where half of him lives, and half of him dies]

    [R- There hasn't appeared any traitor yet, he suddenly expresses to himself]

    R- How did you get started into the narco traffic business? His answer makes me smile.

    M- Just because.

    R- Just because?

    R- Just because? I ask again.

    M- Just because, (he answers again).

    [R- There is no way in to that conversation and I keep myself to my own ideas: The narco as an irresistible and pitiless magnet that follows the money, the power, the yachts, the airplanes, the women, own and of others with the big houses and buildings, the jewels as colorful marbles to play with, the brutal impulse that leads to the summit. In the capacity of the narcotraffic exists, terrified without any horizon. The capacity of crushing.

    Zambada doesn't ignore the prosecution the government has unleashed to capture him. That's their right and duty. However, he despises the army's barbaric actions. The soldiers, he says, brake doors and windows, they penetrate into the intimacy of the homes, they plant and spread terror. In this unleashed war they find immediate response to their actions. The result is the number of victims that grow. The capos are their targets, even though they are the unique figures of past times].

    R- And what are they? I ask.

    [R- Zambada responds with a fantastic example]

    M- Let's say one day I decide to gave myself up to the government so they can execute me by fire squad. My case should be an example, a lesson to everybody. They execute me and euphoria explodes, but while days pass by, we would find out that nothing has changed.

    R- Nothing after the fall of the Capo?

    M- The problem with the narco, it wraps millions of people up. How to dominate them? and about the captured, dead and extradited Capos, their replacements are out there already.

    [R- To Zambada's judgment, the government came to late to this war and there is nobody who can solve in days, the problems generated in years. With the government, infiltrated from the bottom up, time did it's "job" within the heart of the system and the corruption grew it's roots in the country. To he president, his collaborators cheat on him. They are liars and they inform him about advances that there are not true in this lost war]

    R- Why is it lost?

    M- The narco is within the society, rooted like the corruption

    R– And what do you do now?

    M– I work in agriculture and livestock farming, but if I can do a "business" in the united states, I do it.

    R- I was pretending to dig in about the capo's fortune and I choose to use the Forbes magazine to get this topic into our conversation, I stared to his yes, faking to be anxious, "did you know that Forbes magazine includes Chapo among the biggest millionaires in the world?"

    M- That's foolish.

    [R- I had on my lips the following question, now superfluous, but I couldn't contain it anymore]

    R- Could you figure in the Forbes list?

    M- I already told you, that's foolish.

    R– Is very well known your friendship with El Chapo Guzman and it couldn't bring any attention the fact that you could had been waiting for him outside of the Puente Grande prison the day he escaped. Could you tell me in which way did you lived that particular story?

    M– "El Chapo" Guzmán and I are friends and compadres and we call each other on the phone frequently. But that story never existed. It's another lie they are trying to pin on me. Like the invention about me planning a hit on the President. I would have never thought of that.

    R– Zulema Hernandez, Chapo's mistress, told me about the corruption prevailing in Puente Grande and about the way that corruption made it easier for Chapo to escape. Do you have any knowledge about what went down that day and how things were developing?

    M– I know that there was no bloodshed, only one dead. I don't know anything else.

    R- With an unexpected question, Zambada surprises me:

    M- Are you interested in Chapo?

    R- Yes, of course.

    M– Would you like to see him?.

    R- I came to see you.

    M- Would you like to see him?.

    R- Of course.

    M- I'm going to call him, may be you could see him.

    [R- Our conversation comes to an end. Zambada, standing up, walks under the sun's plenitude and again, he surprises me]

    M-How about a picture?

    [R- I felt an absolutely unexplained heat inside of me. The picture was the proof the authenticity of the encounter with the capo.  Zambada called one of his bodyguards and he asked him for his hat, he put it on. It was white of fine quality]

    M- How do you like it?

    R- That hat it's so bright, it takes the personality off of you.

    M- What about the cap?

    R- I think so.

    R- The bodyguard aimed with the camera, and shoots.......

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    By Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

    Due to the government’s recent production of discovery, of over 117k recordings and thousands of pages of documents, the defense in the case of El Chapo is asking the court for a continuance.

    The influx of this recently produced material, must be reviewed in preparation of the scheduled September 5th trial.
    “Just like any other person, Joaquín deserves a fair trial.  The government’s conduct - whether intentional or inadvertent - deprives him of that right,” says lead defense, Eduardo Balarezo.

    Balarezo filed the request for continuance last Friday.

    In total, so far, the government has provided, according to the government, more than 320,000 pages of documents and thousands of intercepted and recorded audio communications and dozens of videos.

    On the day before of the last status conference, June 25, 2018, the government filed another discovery notice, the nineteenth, informing Mr. Guzmán that it was producing intercepted wire communications, intercepted electronic communications, documents related to drug seizures, statements of the defendant and a video related to a drug seizure.

    Filing below in full

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Milenio

    June 9, 2018
    By: Jorge Becerril

    Mexican gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed a female U.S. citizen as she dined at a popular taco restaurant in Mexico City. The two gunmen rode up on a motorcycle and stopped in front of the business and began shooting. The intended target was a man who was injured but survived the attack. 

    The murder took place on Saturday early morning at an upscale taco restaurant in the ritzy Miguel Hidalgo section of Mexico City, information released by Mexico City’s Attorney General’s Office revealed (PGJDF).  

    The woman died after being shot outside the taqueria restaurant ''El Califa''  in Paseo de las Palmas, near Sierra Gamón, in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood of Mexico City on July 7, 2018. "El Califa"is part of a chain of popular upscale taco restaurants. 

    The two gunmen were reportedly attempting to kill a 46-year-old man who was the doorman at a swanky bar in the Polanco neighborhood. 
    However, stray bullets also struck the 27-year-old woman who was leaving the restaurant with her husband and another couple, the information from PGJDF revealed.  The woman’s identity has been confirmed as:  Tatiana Mirutenko, a U.S. citizen. The two couples were eating tacos after spending time at a nearby local bar.

    The authorities claim that the victims left a bar in the area, where they argued with other people, who followed them to the taquería on a motorcycle and attacked them with bullets.

    The body of the young woman was lying on the floor, in front of the door of the restaurant, where the authorities found irrigated 11 caps percussion; while the aggressors managed to escape to the State of Mexico.

    The victim was treated by Red Cross paramedics, who confirmed the death at the scene, due to a gunshot wound to the head, and transferred the 46-year-old man to a hospital.

    CDMX Procurator's Office (@PGJDF_CDMX) July 7, 2018:

    The Attorney General's Office of the capital reported that it initiated an investigation folder for the murder and the injuries and that it has already notified the diplomatic representation of the United States for the notification of relatives of the young woman to whom the body will be delivered once the proceedings have been completed. .

    "Investigators began the protocol of collaboration with authorities of the State of Mexico, with the purpose of arresting the accused and submitting them to the corresponding criminal process to avoid impunity," said the unit. 

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: TeleSur

    June 9, 2018
    Part 2, below from Milenio

    Mexico's president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is open to the idea of selling opium for pharmaceutical use, a senior aide said on Wednesday.

    The move would be a sign of the deep changes the next government is considering over the U.S.-led ''war on drugs'' approach.

    "Why not sell it to pharmaceutical companies?" said Olga Sanchez Cordero, a former Supreme Court judge who is the incoming president's pick to run the Interior Ministry.

    She said the next president, a 64-year-old former mayor of Mexico City, supported a public consultation on the possibility of regulating opium and decriminalizing marijuana.

    Sanchez said the newcomers were also exploring decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use, saying it no longer made sense for Mexican authorities to engage in a violent struggle against the drug when Canada and several U.S. states have already adopted more lenient policies.

                                            Lisa Sanchez                    Olga Sanchez Cordero

    "What are we thinking? Tell me.  We are killing ourselves. Really, why keep on killing when most of North America is decriminalizing?" she told  "W Radio".

    Sanchez said any such move would be in parallel to rehabilitation programs and strict punishments for anyone selling drugs to children.

    To legally grow and export opium poppies for painkillers, Mexico first would need authorization from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a United Nations body.

    Lopez Obrador, who takes office in December, upturned Mexico's political status quo in the July 1 election with more than half the country voting for him. His coalition will have a majority in Congress, projections show, ending 89 years of rule by just two parties.

    He did not take a clear stance on decriminalizing drugs before the election, but says he will try out new approaches to tackling Mexico's violence, including possible amnesty for some cartel employees.

    In Mexico, the battle for control of heroin production and trafficking is held partly responsible for the country's record levels of violence, which involved nearly 30,000 murders last year.

    Regulation of opium poppy farming for morphine production is a model used in Turkey and India, among other countries.

    Lisa Sánchez , director of the civil association United Mexico Against the Crime (MUCD), applauded that the ex- member of the Supreme Court,  Olga Sanchez Cordero, who has spoken out in favor of the legalization of the planting, harvesting and recreational use of the marijuana . 

    In an interview with Carlos Puig for Milenio Television , Lisa Sánchez stressed that Sánchez Cordero "is someone who understands the subject, who has the evidence, and who proposes it in conjunction with other actions", among which is:  "a transitional justice plan plus an amnesty plan . " 

    The director of MUCD considers that the amnesty proposed by López Obrador during his campaign- and legalization of marijuana should go hand in hand.   

    "They have to go together, because an amnesty without a regulatory change of an illicit economy the size of drugs is doomed to fail, " said Lisa Sanchez .

    "If you make an amnesty for the growers, for the producers , even for those small merchants who are  victims of the "cam" (when the organized crime groups forcibly recruits growers), they could access certain benefits, to certain amnesties, but if you do not remove that incentive of illegality from those markets, those amnesties will hardly work, " she stressed. 

    The proposal of Sánchez Cordero: 

    Proposed by López Obrador as his Secretary of the Interior, Sánchez Cordero told AFP in June that, if the standard-bearer of Morena won the elections, she would seek the decriminalization of marijuana for its use and work through " transitional justice ", a series of special legal mechanisms that can be activated after systematic violations of human rights in a country.

    Here part of the interview she gave to the AFP:

    -How is the amnesty going to work for perpetrators of crimes?

    I am thinking of a law with reduction of sentences for informants that will lead us to true and accurate information, collated, such as the locations of some of the disappeared.

    I believe that there will be no material or human or economic resources that we can allocate to the location of the disappeared, which in the black figure could be many.

    -Who would you include the amnesty?

    To the victims of forced labor. (organized crime groups forcibly recruit growers). There are many many young people  and if they do not  accept the forced labor they just kill them. Either they go with them and do their bidding or they kill them and/or  disappear them.

    We have a generation of young people who are the disappeared, especially young men, disappeared, most of them from 15 to 21 years old. We have had at least 18 years of losing a generation of young people. We can not continue like this.

    - How do you convince a tempted boy to walk away from  the easy money of a life of crime?

    We are going to offer him school, a culture of peace, to lay down his arms.  It should suit him to have another future, that his immediate future may be to want to have a Hummer , but that  immediate future  does not end there.

    -There are areas such as the Sierra de Guerrero where people devote themselves to poppies and complain that there is no other industry to work in.

    We have to start thinking about the decriminalization of drugs. So it goes. In an over all policy of decriminalization of drugs. Obviously starting with marijuana.

    -Only the marijuana ?

    Marijuana for recreational use and the derivitives.  I'm going to propose to Andrés Manuel at the time, the decriminalization of marijuana in planting, harvesting, transport , medicinal and recreational use.

    In terms of the poppy, it is convenient as Afghanistan has done. Opiates are  highly valued for pharmaceuticals and for medicinal use as legal drugs especially in trauma cases and compassionate end of life care.

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    Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat material from LaCornica and Zeta

    Below:The journalist Ricardo Balderas reports that a commando entered a farm and fired at its inhabitants, in the Francisco I. Madero neighborhood. 

    A group of heavily armed individuals entered a building, on a farm,  where a meeting was taking place and fired leaving seven people dead.

    Upon arrival of municipal and state policemen, they found 5 women and 2 men killed by gunshot.

    The farm located in Colonia Francisco I. Madero, Tlaquepaque, is now under the protection of the authorities, the number of fatalities was confirmed by the Tlaquepaque Police. 

    Inside the building were located .223 caliber shells used by the AR-15 weapon, as well as 7.62 of AK-47 known as a goat horn, in addition to 9mm casings and a 40-millimeter handgun.

    The perpetrators fled aboard a Scape-type truck in gray, with plates from the State of Mexico and tinted windows, whose occupants were wearing balaclavas [ski-masks]; They fled to 8 de Julio Avenue.

    The municipality of Tlaquepaque, in the metropolitan area of ​​Guadalajara, has become one of the hot spots of the war between the Cartel Jalisco New Generation,  and the splinter group of that organization, called "Nueva Plaza", headed by Carlos Enrique Sánchez Martínez. “El Cholo” or  “El 20”.

    During the first quarter of the year,  there were almost 800 murders in the metropolitan area of ​​the capital of Jalisco and only in the first days of July there have already been about forty more homicides, in a violence that the authorities have not been able to stop.

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    Posted by Char for Borderland Beat from La Opinion 

    Facing protests and outrage over the deaths of three film students, the Jalisco state authorities blamed the events - and later ones that have occurred Guadalajara, the country's third largest city - on a deadly dispute between the powerful Cartel Jalisco New Generation Cartel and an antagonistic CJNG splinter cell, named “Nueva Plaza”.

    The leader of Nueva Plaza, according to the authorities, is Carlos Enrique Sánchez, aka 'El Cholo', 38 years old. He is accused with multiple antecedents of violence and capable of being released from jail with great secrecy, He did not stay in prison, not even when charged for the murder of a rival.  When arrested Sanchez had one million pesos.  

    Neither the judges nor the state prosecutor (whose head, Luis Carlos Nájera, recently suffered an attack and resigned) has explained, how 'El Cholo' managed to achieved his freedom, after he killed a man in Tlaquepaque in 2007 who tried to defend a woman the scoundrel was arguing with.

    Only eight years later, he was arrested in an operation against drunk driving and because he was driving half-drunk with cash and drugs, according to a press release issued by the state attorney's office. He spent a few days in the Preventive Prison of Guadalajara and then left prison: presumably for lack of evidence.

    Since that time, the whereabouts of 'Cholo' is not very clear. The state government had not spoken of him again, until the death of the three film students who were dissolved in acid. Then the prosecutor said it was the CJNG that confused the boys with people from Nueva Plaza, a cartel who are in dispute with CJNG, ever since "El Mencho" put a price on El Cholo’s head in March of 2017.

    [After the split, a new operator of the CJNG emerged, identified as El 2, who has the task of eliminating Carlos Enrique Sánchez "El Cholo" and take control of the plaza in the municipalities of Guadalajara, Tonalá, San Pedro Tlaquepaque and Tlajomulco of Zúñiga. Among the alleged collaborators of El 2 are El Karton, El Padrino, El Pipo and El Tortas.]

    "The problem in Jalisco is that there is a significant presence of organized crime groups without any state strength" said Orlando Camacho, general director of Mexico SOS. "The local government has dismissed the numbers of violence, the perception of insecurity in the day to day while its interventions against delinquency have been delayed and opaque."

    According to local press reports, the rupture between El Mencho and El Cholo, who was his trusted enforcer hitman,  was due to the latter assassinating a man with the nickname "El Colombiano", financial operator of the CJNG, whjo was killed on March 10 during a shootout that occurred in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Puerto Vallarta.

    El Cholo then became independent and he formed Plaza Nueva with other CJNG criminals.

    Governor Aristóteles Sandoval recently acknowledged that criminal groups and, particularly the CJNG, include training experts from Colombia, Venezuela and "other parts of the world".  This move was to expand their power and protect the territory they dispute with Nueva Plaza and others, after the weakening of the Sinaloa Cartel by the extradition of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.

    Diego Gabriel Mejía - another of the leaders of Nueva Plaza - was arrested with four other men: the Colombian Brayan Hernán Almario; Miguel Ángel Goche Fernández; Hugo Israel Palomera and José Jonathan Cárdenas Sánchez. The police also secured weapons and two vehicles.

    For three years, Mejía has been imprisoned; However, a CJNG cartel commander received information that he had already been released, so he ordered a group of men to watch his house known as "La Cabaña", where the film students were confused with rivals from the CJNG. The rest is history.

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Proceso

    July 12, 2018 Puebla, Puebla

    In a video circulating on social networks, alleged members of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) warn of a "cleaning" in the municipalities of the so-called Red Triangle of this entity.

    Armed men, dressed in dark colors, hoods and masks, warn that they will act against alleged thieves, specifically huachicoleros, ie hydrocarbon thieves whom withdraw products from clandestine sources who are  operating in the municipalities of Tlacotepec, Palmar de Bravo and Esperanza.

    One of the subjects, who appears to be the leader, reads a statement where he mentions nicknames such as "El Miki", "El Chimbombo", "El Chinamite", "El Cochiloco", as well as a commander of the threatened group whom he does not  name. He then warns that they had already sent a message to this group, although he does not specify what kind of warning.

                                  Saúl de los Santos de Jesús, "El Fosil"  now in Prison in Veracruz

    This video appeared after the arrest of Saúl de los Santos de Jesús, brother of "El Bukanas", leader of Los Zetas Sangre Nueva, who was operating in that same area.

    On June 28, Saúl was arrested by federal forces in the municipality of Aculco, Veracruz, when he was traveling in a car with license plates from the State of Mexico.

    During a review he was found a 9.62 x 39 millimeter firearm with a magazine supplied with 25 useful cartridges. He was secured and was put at the disposal of the Federal Public Ministry.

    Saúl, brother of "El Bukanas'', one of the most wanted criminals by the Federal Police and by the authorities of the state governments of Puebla and Veracruz, had imposed upon him the precautionary measure of preventive detention and then justified to  comply with the order of apprehension for the crimes of kidnapping and organized crime.

    Saúl had been killed by the State Government, since according to the authorities he had been killed during a confrontation between elements of the Secretariat of the Navy and criminals, which occurred on July 27, 2017 in the municipality of Vicente Guerrero, Puebla. (miracles happen? a resurrection? )

    Roberto de los Santos de Jesus, alias ''El Bukanas'', is said to be the leader of a gang that operates mainly in the limits of Puebla and Veracruz, dedicated to the theft of hydrocarbons, theft of trains, kidnappings, among other crimes. So far this dangerous criminal has not been arrested.

    This would confirm the incursion of the CJNG in the zone where groups linked to Los Zetas de Veracruz control the huachicoleo, theft of trains, assaults to loaded trucks  and other criminal activities, among them the kidnappings.

    The group calling itself Cartel Segura Puebla assured that it is here to "support", because they are fed up with criminal organizations from outside trying to take control; Governor Antonio Gali Fayad minimized the event and video claiming the group was trying to create panic; and assured that work has been done for safety.

    Through a video shared on Facebook (and Twitter) by the account " Puebla No Avanza ", we see a men with long arms weapons, although only one of them speaks .

    Note: You can check out the Video by going to the link (fairly incoherent w muffled speech)

    In the message, they address Pueblo's Governor  Gali Fayad , to whom they let him know that they are already " hasta la madre ", but they are here "to support him". In addition, they are  fed up with people from outside of Puebla wanting to take control, suggesting that they would clean up the area of  criminals extranjeros. (people from outside the area).

    They go against the outsider huachicoleros:

    However, they did not detail the names of those people or specify what they will do to "support" the State Government of Puebla.

    It is noteworthy that the video was published on Tuesday, although last Sunday, a video was also posted, although in this case the armed individuals identified themselves as members of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG).

    In the content, one of the members says that the Triangulo Roja (Red Triangle)  huachicoleros have not understood the threats, naming some leaders as "El Pinky", and "Cochiloco", among others, to whom they sent a message to go for them to their homes.

    He added that they will initiate a cleanup of fuel thieves , rapists and assailants of public transport.

    "We will go for you dogs, we will clean the area [...] and now a message directly for the one in charge [...] we are the Jalisco New Generation Cartel," he concluded.

    Governor of the State of Puebla 

    For his part, Gali Fayad in an interview after a tour of the Casa de Alfeñique , said that it is "rare" for self - defense groups to leave after the election.

    He also indicated that there are no reasons for a huachicolero cleanup, stating that the state government has worked on the prevention of fuel theft, while pointing out that his administration has secured almost 8 million liters of illegally produced gasoline , as well as having recovered more than 3, 500 vehicles used for this activity.

    However, according to data from Pemex , in the first five months of this year, in Puebla were located 1,025 clandestine outlets , being the state with the highest number of cases nationwide.

    "The government of the state, if anything has worked, is succeeding on the issue of maintaining security, " argued  Governor Gali Fayad.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @Diario_Cambio on Twitter | diario.cambio1 on Facebook

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    Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

    A young woman using the name of @ loba_indomable "tuitera” who tweets narco news and at risk situations in the northern area of Tamaulipas, says she has been threatened death through her telephone. 

    She reports that she was contacted by the people of Juan Gerardo Treviño Chávez, aka "El Huevo" through ATT number 8282813827 from Cadereyta Nuevo Leon. Treviño reportedly has family in Cadereyta. "Huevo Treviño" is the leader of the Northeast Cartel aka CDN.  CDN is the Treviño faction of the Zetas Split, the second faction is Old School Zetas.

    Below is a tweet from Loba saying that “this is what he said he will with me for reporting what is happens in Nuevo Laredo”.  There is a link to an article about the decapitation death of La Nena of Laredo, a blogger who was murdered in 2011.  The article includes image at top.

    Marisol Macías Castañeda, also appearing as Maria Elizabeth Macías Castro in media reports and known for her online name "NenaDLaredo" or "La Nena De Laredo,” was a blogger and editor-in-chief for Primera Hora in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

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    Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat for Zeta Tijuana

    After  07:00 hours on Tuesday, July 10, two drones were directed to  fly over the house of the Secretary of Public Safety of Baja California, Gerardo Sosa Olachea, located in the Los Laureles neighborhood, in Tecate, near the road to Cove.

    Shortly before 07:30 hours witnesses could see when the devices descended on the property, which at that time was occupied only by the family housekeeper.

    The headquarters  of the State Preventive Police (PEP) received two reports regarding the drones, first, of the drones  flying over and the second indicating that in the house of Sosa Olachea they had located at least one of the drones equipped with camera and audio. In this device, fastened with adhesive tape,  were two fragmentation grenades that failed to  detonate when they descended.

    Failed to detonate 
    When the two grenades landed  in his yard, the Secretary of Public Security of the State, Gerardo Sosa Olachea, having just exited  his home in Tecate, was about to enter his car, to attend a meeting in Tijuana with the Consul of the United States , Sue Saarnio.

    After the attack the area was cordoned off, the explosive devices remained in the possession of the National Defense Secretariat for investigation. The drones will be reviewed by the Cybernetic Police of the SSPE in an attempt to know the origin and the route that it followed until reaching the airspace of the official's house.

    Although the drones are medium capacity, and require that the person who manages them is close to the perimeter of flight, no one was apprehended.  In fact, it assumes that the attackers fled when they observed that the grenades did not activate.

    Sosa Olachea told ZETA that he has not received threats since he took office in October 2017, but he presumes that the attack could have come from the drug cartels "to which we have hit with many seizures. Confiscations that are constant, drug dealing, laboratories located in Tecate and Rosario.”

    For reasons of the investigation carried out by the Attorney General of the State and the Ministry of Public Security, with the intervention of SEDENA regarding  the explosive devices, Sosa Olachea reserves the name of the cartel of which they suspect, since he said, he does not want to put them on alert.

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    Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat from Zocalo...thank you BB Fren

    After a bus received gunfire, during a shootout that broke out Tuesday in Nuevo Laredo, a driver drove the unit with several passengers, from the conflict, to the safety of  Monterrey.

    Unit 5248 of the company Enlaces Terrestres Nacionales (ETN) arrived at midnight at the company's headquarters located in Churubusco and Miguel Aleman, safeguarding the passengers.

    This morning the authorities of the General Prosecutor's Office and the Monterrey Police inspected the bus.

    According to a police source, the events occurred on Monday afternoon at Reforma Avenue, in Colonia Concordia in Nuevo Laredo, where the bus passed through the site where a shootout was occurring. 
    The bus received at least six impacts, four on the front windshield and two on the sides.

    After being shot at, passengers were seized by hysteria, who asked the driver not to stop driving.

    "That bus arrived two hours late, it arrived at 12 o'clock at night, when, that's what the driver told us, they were shot when they left Nuevo Laredo," said an employee, who did not want to identify himself.

    The same employee stressed that the authorities of the Attorney General of Nuevo Leon took reporting cognizance of the facts.

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    Posted by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from:

    By: Jesse Chase Lubitz  June 9, 2018
    Additional Material from Universal, MND, El Horizonte

    Extortion is believed to have been behind a night of violence Saturday in three municipalities in Nuevo León in which 15 people were killed. Twelve of the victims died in attacks on bars and cantinas. Ten people were wounded as suspected organized crime gangs launched attacks on six bars.

    Three more people were assassinated in the municipalities of Cadereyta and Linares. More attacks followed in Juárez, Monterrey and Apodaca.

    The offensive began just before 10:00pm Saturday at a bar in front of the central bus terminal in Monterrey. It was followed almost immediately by another at a bar some 400 meters away.

    State Security Secretary Bernardo González said yesterday the motive for the attacks appeared to be extortion by organized crime. There will be increased state police presence in the city center of Monterrey in response, he said.

    González called on municipal governments to continue working together in coordination to combat crime. He said those efforts have paid off in a reduction in homicides. June saw the least number of homicides recorded so far this year.

    The Nuevo León Attorney General's Office reported that four of the six people who died at the Rancho Viejo bar in the municipality of Juarez were identified and two were murdered at the Bohemios bar on the border between Guadalupe and Apodaca.

    The four victims in Juárez are José Eduardo Soto Luna, 38; Darío Moreno Lugo, 58, and Misael Alejandro Rodríguez Cervantes, 23, all were customers of the establishment, in addition to the waitress Neyda Yazmín Paz Méndez, 19 years old.

    The two deceased in Bohemios were identified as Francisco Javier Montoya Turrubiates, 25, and Ovidio Servando González Bernal, no age determined; They were both customers.

    The gunmen allegedly used .40 and .9 millimeter pistols in the assaults.

    So far, the authorities have as a main line of investigation to an organized crime group that would claim the payment of an extorsion fee or "piso" to the bars which were attacked, according to the Secretary of Public Security of Nuevo León, Bernardo González

    Meanwhile, yesterday morning, the authorities found a "narco manta " in the Puerta de Hierro neighborhood west of Monterrey, which  referred to the attacks. In the message, one of the groups refers to the alleged support they receive from state police. A total of 3 threatening "Narco Mantas" were found around town hanging from bridges; responsibility claimed by Cartel de Noreste and a cell calling themselves Cartel Indepe de Santa.

    Official silence: 

    In spite of the demands of the citizens of Nuevo León, for the violence that left 15 executions related to organized crime between Saturday and Sunday -12 in armed attacks to six bars-, Governor Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, "El Bronco", has kept silence on the issue; however, he has been active on social networks promoting the independent cause.

    The Governor  has not appeared in public events since he returned to the state government, on July 2, when the six-month license granted by the local Congress for the presidential campaign expired.

    "Within a week of the election, I remain firm in my decision to change the attitude of Mexicans. It is not easy, it is a battle against an old system that does not want to let citizens take the reins of this country.

    "But in spite of that, we will continue to be an example in Nuevo León that an independent government works hand in hand with the citizens, do not you?" Said the governor in one of his last messages on social networks.

    On Sunday, while the media gave broad coverage to the attacks on bars, "El Bronco" published on its Facebook its reflections on the electoral process.

    The same attitude has been maintained by the Secretary General of the Government, Manuel González Flores, who commented yesterday: "We are sure that this week will be unforgettable for all. Full of successes and goals to fulfill. You can!".

    Former Presidential Candidate and current Gov of the State of Nuevo Leon: "El Bronco".

    Six of the victims were killed at the Rancho Viejo restaurant and bar. The prosecutor’s office has attributed the shooting to organized crime. Police have not made any arrests yet and they are not sure if the incidents were linked.

    Fifteen people were left dead and nine wounded on Sunday night, after a series of attacks in and around the northern Mexican city of Monterrey. Twelve were killed in attacks at six bars, a man and a 14-year-old boy were shot in their car, and another man was killed in a fight between rival gangs after leaving a private party.

    The attacks came just two days after the transition team of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s incoming government announced a plan to reduce crime in the country, which includes offering amnesty for certain drug war crimes, Reuters reported. 

    The plan, which they dubbed “transitional justice,” aims to create more lenient policies: 

    For example, it proposes reducing jail time and forming truth commissions to investigate disappearances and extrajudicial killings. The government also promises to grant reparations for victims, focus on the causes of poverty, and work to get kids out of areas with drugs by providing scholarships. 

    “It’s an integrated public policy,” Olga Sanchez, Lopez Obrador’s proposed interior minister, told Reuters, explaining that the goal is to “pacify the nation.”

    The amnesty program will be focusing on individuals from vulnerable social groups such as youth and rural farmers. The New Republic points to two studies that reveal how such groups are targeted more than others by organized crime. You can access New Republic here: AMLO

    The first was conducted by the Mexican Senate in 2012 and found that eight out of ten federal prisoners for drug crimes had not finished high school. The second, by Mexican NGO, Equis, showed that the number of women prosecuted for drug crimes had doubled between 2015 and 2017. 

    In an attempt to distinguish highly violent criminals from impressionable youth, only individuals who are willing to go through a rehabilitation process and attend sessions with victims can take part in the amnesty program. Murderers and torturers will not be allowed to participate.

    This new approach is a response to the steadily increasing rates of murder, kidnappings, and forced disappearances in Mexico since the war on drug-trafficking began in 2006 under then president, Felipe Calderon. 

    The homicide rate has been rising since 2015, with 2,948 murders in May 2018, according to monthly data collection from the Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Publica and collated by Mexico Crime Report. 

    In most of Monterrey, reported homicides increased by between 1.9 percent and 57 percent between 2016 and 2017, depending on the district, according to the US Bureau of Diplomatic Security Mexico Crime and Safety Report 2018.

    The military, which was deployed to patrol the streets under Calderon, has only added to the violence. In 2017, Human Rights Watch had received almost 10,000 complaints of abuse by the army since 2006.

    Lopez Obrador’s proposal seeks to remove a significant portion of the military from patrolling the streets and put resources into professionalizing the local police.

    The new administration will also form an office of the Sub-Secretary of Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and Attention to Victims, to conduct the truth commissions and then pass on information to federal and state prosecutors, according to The New Republic. There will then be an independent federal prosecutor that is not linked to the executive branch and therefore can make decisions free from political biases.

    This “transitional justice” style of governance has already been used in Colombia and Guatemala. In Colombia, the program enrolls former FARC members in educational and rehabilitation programs that allow them to reintegrate into civilian life and it seems to have been successful.

    The New Republic points to a former militant with the M-19 guerrilla organization who ran in the Progressive Movement party in Colombia’s recent presidential election. He came in second place, suggesting that the general public is open to allowing these individuals back into the community. 

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: El Mundo Digital

                                                                     Andres Ulloa Márquez
       "El Parajo":  Identified as the main generator of violence in the state capital city of La Paz, BCS
                         His arrest was announced by the Ministry of the Interior in Mexico City

    As a result of intelligence, investigation and field work, elements of the Intelligence Division of the Federal Police, in coordination with State and Municipal authorities of the government of  Baja California Sur, captured Andrés  "N", alias "El Pájaro" , identified as one of the main objectives in the state and generator of violence in the state.

    This person is designated as alleged coordinator of illegal activities for the criminal group of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, dedicated to the sale and distribution of drugs in Baja California Sur, particularly in the municipality of La Paz, where he was responsible for the plaza.

    According to the investigations, the detainee maintained his operations center in two buildings located in the vicinity of the municipality of La Paz, for which a simultaneous operation was deployed in compliance with search warrants granted by the corresponding judicial authority.

    Andrés "N", was secured at an address of the Colonia Pueblo Nuevo, without the special forces that participated in the operation having to fire a single shot.

    At nearly the same time  Ernesto "N", identified as a collaborator of Andrés "N", was arrested in a building located in the Zona Centro.

    At the time of their arrests secured were:  2 short weapons, two chargers, 21 useful cartridges, 142 packages of a white powder with the characteristics of cocaine, 63 packages of apparent ice/ crystal meth as well as 13 packages of apparent marijuana.

    During the actions, the accused were read their rights and their human rights were respected as they were made available to the Agent of the Public Ministry of the Federation.

    It is important to note that later Andrés "N", "El Pajaro", was linked to the process and was given preventive detention, while for Ernesto "N", the ministerial authority will determine his legal status.

    Manelich Castilla Craviotta, Commissioner General of PF announced the capture of Ulloa Márquez .

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    Posted  by Char for Borderland Beat  from Altavoz

    Culiacán, Sin.- One of the people who died during a fierce confrontation in the municipality of Badiraguato, between two groups of drug traffickers of the Sinaloa Cartel, is supposedly Aureliano Guzmán Araujo, aka El Pelón or El Guanito, who is the son of Aureliano Guzmán Loera, alias El Guano, brother of drug trafficker Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán.

    The confrontation was recorded yesterday afternoon around 18:00 hours on one of the main streets of the municipal capital of Badiraguato.

    Neighbors and police reported that two armed groups that had been pursuing each other,  from one of the communities nearby, a  confronted each other there.

    It was on one of the main streets and when dozens of motorists and people passed by, when the confrontation arose.

    The incident caused panic among the people, many of whom threw themselves to the ground and remained there until the shooting ceased.

    During the seizure of the place, police and military arrived, who also confronted the groups of assassins, who carried assault rifles AK-47 and Barret caliber 50’s.

    The confrontation lasted several minutes and at the end of which the death of one person was reported, as well as three other injuries, including a woman and a soldier.

    Police reported that the person who died could be Aureliano Guzmán Araujo, alias El Pelón, who is the son of "El Guano", brother of El Chapo Guzmán.

    According to information from federal authorities, El Guano maintains a dispute over the control of the Sinaloa Cartel against his nephews known as  "Los Chapitos", wjho are the sons of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán.


    According to the Sinaloa newspaper who last year wrote,  that Aureliano  was responsible for the killing of You Tuber “El Pirata”.  Reportedly he used a gold plated AK47.

    The attack was at a popular plaza "Urbano Tres Ríos" .  Three died in the attack.

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    OP/ED by DD for Borderland Beat

    There can be no doubting that a major shift has taken place in Mexican politics.  

    Andrés Manuel López Obrador (better known by his initials as AMLO) is no longer one of the four candidates for President of Mexico, he is President Elect AMLO.  Some are calling his election a "landslide".  I think it is bigger than that - it was a 'Tsunami'.  He won by over 53% of the vote, twice as many as his nearest competitor, the Pan candidate, and the PRI candidate only got 14%.  

    A map showing his election victories state by state drives home the immensity of his victory.  Moreno is the party that AMLO created just 4 years ago and it's color is purple.

    In a sea of maroon lies a single, small island of blue: Guanajuato, the only state in Mexico where Andrés Manuel López Obrador didn’t win the popular vote in Sunday’s presidential election.
     (looking at this might keep Trump awake at  night or it might give him something to dream about)

    Winning the popular vote in all but one state and the mandate it will give him in office is not the only thing that will give him the power to achieve his goals.   Moreno and his political allies called "Together  We Will Make History" coalition picked the right name for their coalition.  In addition to all their wins, thanks to the coalition  for the first time the Mexican parliament has parity between men and women.

    They will hold 303 of 500 seats in the lower house of the federal Congress and 70 of 128 in the Senate.  They won 4 of the 7 Governor's seats that were on the ballots as well as  congressional majorities in 12 states and countless mayoral and other municipal positions.

    That means for the first time in 24 years, the president of Mexico will have a legislative majority.

    The Morena-led coalition’s main congressional opposition will come from the For Mexico in Front alliance — which is led by the National Action Party (PAN) and nominated Ricardo Anaya for the presidency — but its capacity to spoil AMLO's  agenda will be limited by having just 140 of the 500  and 38 or the 128 seats in the Senate.  

    While there is no doubt that a range of factors contributed to the PRI’s fall from grace (winning only 14% of Presidential vote) , perhaps one reason— with which the party’s name has also far too often been synonymous — outweighs all others: "corruption."

    One of the victories that surprised me the most was Moreno winning in Mexico state Atlacomulco, the birthplace of President Enrique Peña Nieto and a political cradle of other noted Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) politicians.  But more importantly it is the home base of a informal group of oligarchs and extremely wealthy elites known simply as the "Atlacomulco Group" that have dominated PRI (and thereby Mexican politics) and much of the Mexican economy for decades.  (a good discussion of who is in the group and what they have done is in the BB story here).  (you can bet the government contracts awarded to members of this group will be examined for being illicit or illegal).  The UN has accused Grupo Atlacomulco of working against human rights in Mexico, by arguing against implementing human rights guarantees to groups such as criminals and women.

    Most people think of bribery when they hear the word corruption, but bribery is peanuts compared to the corruption involved in  illicit and illegal contracts, cost overruns, contracts for "ghost projects", and other shenanigans that the Atlacomulco Group have engaged in.  (when AMLO  is asked how he will get the money for all the social programs on his agenda, he answers that he will get if from rooting out corruption.

    Example;  When the govt. issues a contract to a oligarch to build a toll road that should pay for itself in 7 or 8 years but the oligarch is authorized to collect all the tolls for the next 40 years.  We are talking billions of dollars from these sweetheart deals.  As AMLO says "there is money out there and where there is money there is corruption and we will examine all those contracts for cronyism and corruption).

    election night at the plaza
    more supporters pour into plaza
    AMLO waves at croud on victory night
    There are several answers to that question.  Some pundits (including here on BB) have said that some of the citizens were "frustrated" with the current government because of the ongoing violence and corruption.  I think that is an understatement.  "some" was 30 million voters who were "furious", not "frustrated".  They wanted  and demanded a change.

    Surprisingly the Trump factor did not have much influence on the election.  According to exit polls despite Trumps derogatory rhetoric against Hispanics in general and Mexicans more specifically, The Wall, and Trumps treatment of immigrants attempting to migrate to the US, Mexicans seemed to ignore him in their decisions on voting (with the exception of thousands of Mexican-Americans who drove or came to the border and crossed the border to vote for AMLO).


    Without a doubt the candidate, AMLO, was the biggest factor in the Tsunami that swept across Mexico on July 1.  Most people outside of Mexico probably know that Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is the Mexican politician who ran for President twice before but this year won.

    But they don't know much about the man himself or how much he is loved by much of the population.  His description of himself and who he is was wrapped up in these simple promises he made to the people in his victory speech on election night;  "I will never lie to you, I will never steal, and I will never betray the Mexican people".

    Even his non supporters and critics acknowledge his honesty.  One pundit who has been critical of AMLO's policies said;  

    “I don’t like his authoritarian streak and confrontational style.” But, he added, “he seems to me to be an honest man, which is a lot to say in these parts.”

    “There has been nobody like him in modern Mexican politics,” political analyst Jesús Silva-Herzog Márquez has said.  . “What is happening here is not normal.”  At least part of what Silva-Herzog was talking about was the bond AMLO had built with the "the people".   Most of the crowds that would engulf him seemingly everywhere he went were poor and many living in poverty and some in extreme poverty.  When asked why the supported him the most common answers were "honest,” “tenacious,” and “of the people.”

     To give an idea how broad and deep his election was and that it wasn't just poor uneducated people consider this;  Lopez Obrador got 30 million votes in the election;  This is much more than any contemporary president.  Pena Nieto six years ago got 19 million. Calderon around the same, 18 million in 2006 and Fox got 15 million in 2000.

    During the campaign there was a lot of media and pundit's fear that if AMLO  won the election the Mexican economy would crater.  (what with him being a socialist and progressive)  But he is also a pragmatist.  In the 2006 and 2012 election campaigns he did not court the business community.  This time he did and he promised that  he will respect the autonomy of the Central Bank, keep the country’s books balanced and inflation under control, and not raise taxes. But he has also insisted there will be no U-turn on his commitment to “put the poor first.”  Three days after the election AMLO met in a 3 hour closed door session with the most powerful business organizations in Mexico.

    Attendees at that meeting were the President of Mexico Grupo, President of Banomex, Chairman of Televisa and Carlos Slim along with other equally prominent and powerful business men.

    Some pundits have written that AMLO is seeking to drag Latin America’s second largest economy back into the past. His response to them : “If this horror we’re living now is what they want to give us in the future, the past is preferable,” AMLO told one recent rally.

    His persuasive powers must have worked because after the meeting Reuters wrote that "Mexico's business chiefs praised Obrador after a prickly campaign.  The encounter between the powerful CCE (Business Coordinating Council) business lobby and Lopez Obrador comes as markets took the election of the self-styled radical in stride. At a news conference, CCE director Juan Pablo Castanon and Lopez Obrador said their meeting was characterized by certainty and trust.

    The money markets must have liked the outcome of the election because the first week after the election the Mexican peso had it's best week in 6 years on the currency exchange markets.   The peso’s value against the greenback increased by 3.92% last week, its greatest single-week gain since December 2011.  The 3.92% surge also made the Mexican peso the best performing emerging nations currency last week.  Living in Mexico but my income coming from the US I watch the currency markets very closely.  I think they are a better harbinger of the economic health of an economy than the stock markets.  (to the reader who posted a comment here on BB the week before the election that he had "unloaded all his pesos" and bought dollars and euros.  you have my condolences)

    The entire election may best described as emotional and not political.  The people were less interested in his policies than their firm conviction that he is a good man who can fix a broken government. 

    AMLO supporter tears of joy.  The people love him.

    The son of shopkeepers, López Obrador grew up in the waterlogged plains of the southeastern state of Tabasco.  Even though he is considered an outsider (by the political elite) AMLO has been a politician all of his adult life.

    His political career began in the 70's when he joined PRI, the only significant political party in Mexico at the time.   He became an organizer for PRI and soon joined a faction within PRI that disagreed with leadership and worked to reform PRI from within. 

    AMLO IN THE 80'

    One of his supporters remembers when she was in a group of volunteers he was organizing in Tabasco that as the meeting closed he told the group (mostly college kids) "Do not try to buy anyone's vote,  We don't do that"  She remembers that in  casual conversation when the meeting was over someone asked him what his plans and ambitions were working for PRI.    He told the group that "one day I will be President of Mexico".  AMLO's core of supporters (in today's lexicon his "base") that have been loyal to him for 30 or 40 years was born and has grown from meetings such as that one.

    When PRI began to adopt neo-liberal  policies of globalism and neglecting the needs of the people AMLO left PRI in the late 80's and helped found the PRD party He was the PRD candidate in the 2006 and 2012 elections .  In 2014 after the horrific tragedy involving what came to be known as the missing 43 (students from a teachers school that were disappeared and murdered) and no one in the opposition stood up to PRI for it's dastardly cover=up of what really happened AMLO got disgusted with all political parties and left PRD.  He felt all the parties were corrupt.  So he decided that he would create his own party that would only be accountable to him.  So Morena was born and in just 4 years it swept him into the Presidency.  Unheard of in politics. 

     The president-elect is no orator or political showman, but he does exude authenticity and conviction in a country where most politicians are assumed to be cynical opportunists.  One of those convictions is his self-confidence in his power of persuasion.

    One of his aides tells a story which illustrates that self-confidence.  During his campaign they were traveling by car to an event in a small town out in the middle of nowhere in a torrential rain and the car had flat tire.  AMLO got out of the car and flagged down a Volkswagen Beetle with 2 men in it and asked for ride.  They had been following his every move since the start of the campaign.  He knew they were spies for one of his rivals.  His aide asked if he thought it was a good idea and was safe for him to be commuting with spies from the opposition.  AMLO responded "It is no problem.  They are just human beings and someday they will come over to our side."  And he rode off with spies  to the campaign event.  (he didn't say but I guess the aide got out in the downpour of rain and changed the tire and proceeded to the event). 

    He has promised the people that he will lead  Mexico’s deepest transformation since its 1910 revolution but without the violence.  His entire platform as a candidate has consisted of 3 basic core principles;  Root out corruption in government; reduce violence; and reduce poverty, especially among farmers and agricultural workers.  He firmly believes those 3 goals are interrelated.

    Obrador was criticized during the campaign for not disclosing details of how he was going to achieve his goals.  In the last 12 years he has visited every municipality (like counties in US) in Mexico at least twice visiting with community leaders, business people, organizations of farmers, teachers, bankers, and just about any group that would sit down with him and discuss their ideas for solutions to the problems in their communities. Real grass roots feedback.  So he has a vast amount of knowledge or problems and possible solutions. 

    What most people don't know is that he has teams of experts with knowledge of corruption, violence, and poverty combing Mexico for months before the election doing much the same thing.  His plan is to sit down with the teams and with his knowledge and their input develop the details before he takes office on Dec. 1.

    There is no one single simple solution to any of the 3 goals he want to achieve.  There will be many approaches and plans implemented.  His proposed Secretary of the Treasury has already drawn up a plan to help eliminate corruption government purchasing.  It will be based on a model much like the retail giant Amazon uses.   A data base will be established for vendors that sell to the govt. (they will be vetted) and prices negotiated by a dept in the Treasury.  Any governmental entity that wants to make a purchase must go through the procedures set up in that Amazon model where the the agency will have options of what company to purchase from (price is already set).  The purchase application will be examined and if approved the purchase will be monitored to ensure that the purchase is used as set forth in the application.  Currently there are millions of dollars lost through "kickbacks", "ghost companies", diversion of materials from one project to another, etc.

    He has already promised more modest proposals such as cutting his salary in half.  Continuing to live in his modest house and turning the "official residence of the President" Los Pinos into a public park for the people to enjoy.  He wants to eliminate or greatly reduce the pensions of high government officials.  Currently when a member of Congress leaves his position in Congress and retires he receives a pension equal to his salary in Congress even if he has only served one term.

    He also pledges to sell off the presidential planes and helicopters  and take commercial flights instead and use the proceeds to help the poor.   Asked by an interviewer during the campaign what he would do if his flight was delayed on the way to a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, he replied: “I will be late.”


    I'll start with the elephant in the room, amnesty.

    Probably the most frequent criticism of AMLO is the claim that he is going to give amnesty to the cartels and the cartel capos and all the killers.  I have followed AMLO's campaign even before it was a official campaign.  And everything I can find that he has said since he became the front runner in the campaign and it was obvious he was going to win and I have never seen a statement from him that he would give amnesty to cartel leaders. 

    What I have seen is he has said repeatedly that everything is on the table.  Taken in context   Andrés Manuel López Obrador floated the idea of an amnesty for drug cartel kingpins, saying he wanted a dialog on the drug war.  At the time (Dec. 2017) he said that political maneuvering had already begun for the 1 July 2018 presidential election, but none of the parties or potential candidates had made curbing the violence a central plank of their platform.  As he said he wanted to create a dialog about reducing violence.  “If it is necessary … we will talk about granting amnesty so long as the victims and their families are willing,” he said.  

    He later told reporters: “We’ll propose it. I’m analyzing it. What I can say is that we will leave no issue without discussion if it has to do with peace and tranquility.”  He certainly succeeded in creating a dialog when all the other candidates didn't want to talk about reducing violence because it was such a difficult problem to solve.  

    Out of that dialog he wanted to create came a proposal that would offer amnesty for those that were incarcerated for less serious crimes that did not involve violence.   Many of those had received sentences that were disproportionate to the the crime for which they were convicted. 

    I said earlier that he firmly believes that his 3 basic agendas, reducing corruption, reducing violence and reducing poverty are inter-related.  A study done a couple of years ago showed that 85% of inmates in prison had not completed high school.   

    Many of those low level offenders that would receive amnesty would have to meet certain conditions or they would would go back to jail.  One of those conditions would be that would enroll in a similar to a program that would be offered to "nini's" (young people not in school and without a job.)

    AMLO calls the program “becarios sí, sicarios no” (scholars yes, assassins no).  Many "ninis" drop out of school because of poverty and they needed to work to help support their families and then they couldn't get a job or if the did it didn't last long and they were unemployed and couldn't find another.  Others dropped out not because of poverty but just because they knew there were no good jobs for them in the labor market so why continue in school.  All of those "ninis" are prime targets for recruitment by the cartels.  A big labor pool for the cartels.

    AMLO is proposing a massive social program to grant scholarships, grants, or stipends to finish high school, enroll in trade schools or universities to young people without a job and to those freed from prison under his amnesty plan for low level offenders.  And they would be guaranteed a job on completion of the program.   He thinks the business community will work with him for some jobs in the private sector (several leaders in the business community  have agreed to apprenticeship programs) and some jobs are currently with the government.  

    He is also pursuing an idea of creating some new govt. jobs through some programs similar to FDR's programs created during the Great Depression of the 1930's  like the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) and WPA (Public Works Administration).  One proposal is for reforestation of the thousands of acres decimated by illegal logging.  It is estimated that it would take 14 million trees and 7 years to reforest  those acres.  If some of it was in native trees for logging and some fruit trees to benefit the farmers, all the better. 
    It would provide lots of jobs and pay for itself in time.  

    The program AMLO calls “becarios sí, sicarios no” would hurt the cartels by reducing their labor pool from which they recruit.  It would help the economy and help reduce poverty by providing jobs. It is part of a framework that he believes is necessary to fight crime and violence.  His philosophy is that you can't fight violence with violence.  It just creates more violence, arguing that the drug war needs to be approached with a framework that includes a broader understanding of the problem.

    Another example of building that framework are his plans to help farmers and the agricultural  industry.  

    "Why do people grow poppies? Because they have nothing to eat," he said. "You can't fight violence with violence; this is an evil that we have to fight by doing good, and by creating economic growth, jobs and wellbeing." lfredo Acedo, spokesman for the National Union of Autonomous Regional Organizations (UNORCA), a confederation of campesino (farmer) groups has said that guaranteed prices and other kinds of support for rural producers proposed by Lopez Obrador could be key to fighting drug trafficking.  "He's been very clear, we have to resolve poverty and marginalisation, and that in itself will fix the problem of organized crime and drug trafficking to a large degree," he said.  "If the campesinos who grow opium poppies or marijuana, or work with drug trafficking in some other way, if the government offered them programs that guarantee their harvests will be bought and stored for fair prices that guarantee them subsistence - of course, they will stop working with drug traffickers


    Even his supporters recognize it will take time to accomplish his goals of reducing corruption, lessening violence and alleviating poverty and question whether he can do it in a six year term.  One answer he gives is I already have my cabinet in place and we will start working on Dec. when I am sworn in.  I start my day at 6AM with a meeting of my security team to work on violence issues.  Then I work a 16 hour day.  That is the equivalent to 2 days work for normal people.  So at the end of my 6 year term I will have worked the equivalent of 12 years.    

    He plans to pay for all these programs by reduction of corruption.  Several studies have shown that Mexico loses up to 10% of GDP to corruption.   AMLO says recovering that or even a big part of it will pay for his programs without any tax increases.  He says "there's a lot of money out there and where there is money there is corruption and we will find it."

    Lopez Obrador's many years spent seeking the Presidency were not motivated by seeking to acquire power, but to go down in History as having been a good President of Mexico.  There have only been a few that left that legacy. 

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    Posted by Char for Borderland Beat from Sinaloa Press

    Violence rips in Sinaloa as “Chapitos” war against  “Guanos”  for control.

    During the last hours 11 people have been found or executed, the majority in the state capital, among the victims is a woman.

    There were 8 dead in the city of Culiacán and 3 in  Sinaloa de Leyva.

    In the early hours of Wednesday,  the body of a man wrapped in blankets was located by the International Highway Mexico 15, at the height of El Limón de Los Ramos

    Later another man was found in the Derivadora Dam of the Culiacán River, he was half naked, and he had visible marks of torture, his hands handcuffed and with a shot to the head.

    Later a person was found inside an abandoned house in Lomas de Guadalupe, the body was in an advanced state of decomposition so it was not identified and it was not possible to determine the precise cause of his death.

    In the afternoon, two men were attacked with bullets with AR-15 rifles when they arrived at the Mariscos El Pelón, located on the road to Sinaloa, at the height of the Hidalgo colony, one body was inside the vehicle in which they were traveling and the another inside the establishment.

    Also in Culiacán, the bodies of three young persons, two men and one woman, were located  in the Cañadas sector, their hands were tied and their faces covered with duct tape. One of the bodies was half naked.

    And in the community of Ruíz Cortinez, belonging to the municipality of Sinaloa, three bodies were located inside a vehicle abandoned by a dirt road next to farm.

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    Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from La Silla Rota


    Despite the degree of corruption and insecurity, the governor-elect advised that the armed forces will not be on the streets, only in exceptional cases


    Xalapa, Ver.- For Cuitláhuac García Jiménez, Veracruz experienced two transitions in recent years marked by corruption and insecurity, to the extent that it is necessary to declare the state a "humanitarian crisis" in order to create a savings and spending program for victims.

    In addition, the governor- elect says the violence will not be faced with the Armed Forces, except in exceptional cases in which he will ask for the help of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

    It is 4:30 p.m. in a liaison office of Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (MORENA) in Xalapa. The elected leader gets ready for an interview with LA SILLA ROTA and at the same time organizes with four collaborators -no older than 30 years- his next event on the agenda, a talk with Sara Ladrón de Guevara González, rector of his alma mater, the Veracruzana University (UV). 

    Already settled in an office decorated with photographs of his meetings - always taken by the hand of López Obrador - Cuitláhuac sits behind a desk to talk about the challenges he will face starting December 1, 2018. The images on the walls foretell a close link of the state with the federation. 
    With that point of view, García Jiménez plans to work on two words that were the common denominator during his tours throughout the country: "insecurity and corruption".

    We are going to punish acts of corruption to put officials before the authorities.

    There were corruption issues in this administration - the governor-elect is asked - LA SILLA ROTA documented the case of PAN state leader José Mancha Alarcón, who was benefited with more than 70 million pesos from state works. How do you assess this case in this government? 

    I am going to be respectful of the authority that each power has. The prosecutor's offices and soon the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor will have to investigate the case; if they are not the investigating bodies, then ORFIS [Entidades de Fiscalización Nacional], depending on the resources up to the ASF [Auditoría Superior de la Federación]. According to rule of law; it is the investigating prosecutors who put the presumed culprit before the judge and the judges determine the evidence (...) They will have to act.

    Your party member, Senator Rocío Nahle Garcia, says she will seek investigation of the José Mancha case, what will you do? 

    The legislative branch does have the authority to go and denounce and seek public officials (...) it will remain in their hands. 

    With this subject you are learning that you should not repeat this in your government, ie give contracts to officials?

    No, that will not happen in my government, there's no way. We will sanction it if there is something like that. And we are going to put it before the authorities. If the issue is already being aired in the media, how is it possible that the Prosecutor - Jorge Winckler Ortiz - does not take up any line of investigation in the face of such facts? 

    Kidnapping and extortion hurt population at large

    According to the official numbers, between January and May of 2018 there have been 604 murders, 28 femicides and 64 kidnappings. What are the consequences of this problem that you have seen in the towns?

    The crimes committed against the population at large have increased, which are extortion and kidnapping (...) That's why the first thing demanded of me in this new campaign was to attack insecurity.

    Taking into account that this phenomenon directly affected society, because there were murders in the streets, in schools, in churches, and a particular case, in prisons, what is your technical diagnosis? 

    The diagnosis obviously has to do with the figures. We have to analyze why kidnapping and extortion are particularly triggered in Veracruz. These crimes are not done by the gang that is dedicated to drug trafficking, it is another type of gang that is also organized, that studies the victim very well, that spends resources to commit his or her end and also does it by region. One of the strategies - in my government - is to regionalize the crimes in order to detect the modus operandi of these gangs and also analyze how they have penetrated the police commanders in those regions (...) Of course there has to be complicity, that's why these groups act with such nerve, doing their crimes even in the light of day, at any time, and with as much impunity as possible. 

    Armed Forces will not be in the streets except in exceptional cases

    Will the Army and the Navy continue to be in the streets?

    No. When I talk about coordination, it is not that, I refer to issues of effectiveness in combating crime and sharing information. Only in exceptional cases can we request the assistance of the Armed Forces, I will not have exceptions. In case crime exceeds the state forces I am going to request it, and I have all the confidence, because I know that the supreme command, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of the Republic, will never use it to repress. 

    The next Secretary of Security must withstand the gunshots of criminals, it will not necessarily be the military.
    The City Council of Xalapa - governed by MORENA - appointed an Obrador associate as head of the Municipal Police. Will they resort to a similar measure? In this government there was also an initiative that the Secretary of Security position would be occupied by a Navy command? What do you consider? 

    I respect the decisions of the mayor, what he looked for was someone who had knowledge, there you can't come at in an improvised way. I think that was the main thing, and obviously someone you trust. Security is not easy. On the other question, it does not necessarily have to be with someone from the Armed Forces or some ex-military man; not to exclude it or say that this should be the profile, I think that what should prevail is the professionalism of the person who occupies the position, but above all that it doesn't get corrupted because it's the first place the criminals will look to intimidate with gunshots. In my case, it will be like that.

    Prosecutor Jorge Winckler was made a fool of for investigating caciques linked to crime
    As a candidate for governor, you resumed a journalistic investigation that revealed the Secretary of Public Security, Jaime Téllez Marié, as a Zetas informant: you also pointed to PAN militants from the north of the state for being linked to organized crime. Have you identified these type of cases?

    We are going to urge the Prosecutor's Office to investigate the García Guzmán family -related to the former Duarte comptroller, Ricardo García Guzmán- society indicates that they have these ties.

    I am going to urge members to assess the prosecutor's own act. Why have the signs of these public figures not been acted upon? I wouldn't want to think that there is an electoral agreement; that I help you with electoral services but do not investigate me. The prosecutor of surname Winckler is being made a fool before certain people (...) Why has it been so disregarded with cases like García Guzmán; and towards the south with the Tronco Family; with Vicente Benítez -former associate of Javier Duarte - with Gregorio Gómez -the PAN-PRD ex-candidate in Poza Rica? If Congress determines that the prosecutor has been complicit, negligent, or inept, he will have to be removed through political trial.

    Declare humanitarian crisis and attract funds to identify remains of graves

    You already had a reconciliation with groups of relatives of the disappeared in a conservatory organized in Xalapa. Among the demands of the victims, mentioned was a lagging behind in the identification of remains. La Silla Rota documented the case of the graves in La Gallera, where we showed that the Prosecutor's Office left the area and left human remains and clothing that families consider a means to identify their own. How will you act on the issue of missing persons and what will be the priority of your government? 

    One of the pretexts of the current authorities is that there is no money for research studies, which are expensive, but I think, the current ruling class doesn't want to give up certain privileges in order to get money over there. That is why to rectify that, in an urgent manner, an additional budget be attended to that problem, declaring a humanitarian crisis in order to attract funds where the corpses that already exist can be identified. That is going to be the objective of raising a state of emergency that will have to be supported by the congress, in order to say "well, before it was spent on this, now it goes to the attention of the victims, including the identification of corpses." Yes, where to cut money, for example, we could remove the privilege of high officials traveling by plane and save at least 50 million pesos, this would be made available to the State Search Commission and the creation of a bifunctional fund, that captures money from other sides to be saved, like the one that is used in the FONDEN [Fideicomiso Fondo de Desastres Naturales]. You could take money from section 3000 of the public administration, which refers to general services, where there is another paragraph that refers to "other services", only there are 685 million that can be redirected to that fund.

    Reporters want to know what happened to their murdered colleagues 

    You have set your stance on murdered journalists and you have mentioned the creation of a Specialized Commission. It is not clear to us if it will be proposed through the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the creation of a Specialized Prosecutor's Office, or if it will be backed by the State Commission for the Protection of Journalists (CEAPP).

    We would have to see how effective the performance of the CEAPP has been, and ask journalists if they are satisfied with the versions that exist concerning the murders and disappearances of journalists. If the consensus is that they are not, we will have to act and look for other mechanisms.

    Many reporters want to know the truth of what happened to their colleagues. Usually a reporter would disappear and then he would appear dead and everyone would say 'he was on bad terms.'
    There is the case of photojournalist Rubén Espinoza, in which it was said that he was at a party and who knows what he was doing with a prostitute and that even drugs could have been brought; always about the dignity of the reporter, implying that he was talking to the mob and collecting from them. It is necessary to clean the image of several of them and to fix it, and because of that incident it was not investigated more.

    Feminicides are a record in Veracruz, municipal women's institutes must be reinforced 

    For Cuitláhuac García the femicides "are already record in Veracruz" and in April 2018, the entity that will be governed by García starting December 1 will be positioned at the highest national level.

    "The issue of alerts (gender) would be useless if there is not a willingness on the part of the government to act on it. The actions recommended by many feminists and civil organizations concerning attacks on women are not carried out. The Special Prosecutor's Office is not acting forcefully," said the interviewee.

    As part of a diagnosis of this problem, García mentioned the lack of a budget for prevention programs, with financial support from the Veracruz Institute for Women (IVM). 

    "We see that the IVM receives around 16 million pesos a year, but we have 212 municipalities, that equitably distribute that budget. Each municipality would have around 5 thousand 500 pesos monthly. What institute can work with that budget?," he criticized.  

    "With that you do not pay the salary of a single person, much less a prevention program. The municipalities were abandoned, in that sense, (the state government) was not given a budget to strengthen their municipal institutes for women nor was it done through the IVM. We are going to give them a budget so that the women themselves defend in a preventative manner the actions against their gender."

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    Posted by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: USNWR

                 Central Americans Fleeing Violence and Political Unrest Await Processing on Mexico's
                                   Southern Border with nothing more than what they are wearing.
    By: Ioan Grillo
    Mexico’s Own Refugee Surge:
    Tapachula, Mexico:  Yesica Cashpal had been celebrating Father's Day with her husband and two young children in their home in El Salvador when there was an ominous knock at the door from local gang members. Speaking to her husband, the gang members demanded they be able to utilize the house to stash drugs and weapons. When he refused, they became angry and said they would tell their boss and there would be consequences.

    Comparing U.S. Detention Policies to Other Countries:

    Cashpal, 24, knew the gang's threats were not idle; they had killed dozens in the area and three years ago murdered her very neighbor, leaving his body for hours in the sun while people were too scared to call the police. So the same night as the threat, the family abandoned their home and headed north with little more than the clothes they were wearing.

    "They kill children, women, older men, youths," Cashpal says, hugging her son and daughter outside a church shelter in this humid city in southern Mexico. "When they killed my neighbor it was traumatic … everybody was looking while there were flies around his body, dogs licking the blood."

    While many Salvadorans head to the United States, Cashpal has stayed here in Mexico, where she has begun the process of applying for refugee status. She says the family members had no money to travel further and are concerned about the reports of harsh treatment of refugees by U.S. authorities.

    Their application is one of a surging number in Mexico amid criminal violence and political turmoil in several countries across Latin America.

    In 2017, there were more than 14,000 refugee claims in Mexico, up from 2,000 in 2014, according to the United Nations refugee agency, or UNHCR. This year there will likely be more still, says a Mexican official who handles the requests and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    President Donald Trump has complained that Mexico is not doing enough to stop the wave of people heading through its territory toward the Rio Grande. "Mexico does nothing for us," he said during a recent meeting of his Cabinet. "They encourage people, frankly, to walk through Mexico and go into the United States."

    By taking on thousands of refugees, however, Mexico is relieving the burden on the overloaded U.S. courts. Mexico also detains large numbers of undocumented Central Americans who are not applying for refugee status here, and deports them back to their home countries.

    In fiscal year 2017, Mexico deported more than 94,000 Central Americans – even more than the 74,000 deported from the United States in the same time, according to figures from the Migration Policy Institute cited by the newspaper Reforma.

    Violence by gangs such as the Mara Salvatrucha drives many of the refugees from their homes in Central America's Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. But there has also been a wave of political turmoil, with bloody crackdowns on protesters in Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela over the past year. The top source countries of refugees arriving in Mexico are now Honduras, followed by Venezuela and then El Salvador, according to the UNHCR.

    Luis Andara, 57, fled his home in Nicaragua and is applying for refugee status in Mexico, saying he has been targeted for his family links to the political-military apparatus, while he himself is not a government supporter. "I got stuck in the middle," he says, standing in a river outside the church shelter and scrubbing himself down with soap. "I was followed and I was beat up badly, I was thrown from a 7-meter bridge. … My hand was separated from the arm, hanging from a little bit of flesh."

                           June 25, 2018  Tapachula, Mexico Photo: Alejandro Cegarra for USN&WR

    Sonya Matamoros holds her son outside of the Casa Belen shelter for migrants. The mother of four says she fled Honduras with her family when her brother-in-law was killed in front of her husband by members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang. 
    Free to Go in Mexico:

    In the United States, many refugees are kept in detention while their claims are processed, which can take months or even years. In Mexico, refugee claimants are left free, as long as they don't leave the state. "Here they treat you like a migrant, like a human. In the United States, they treat you like a criminal," says Elid Turcio, 38, who first applied for asylum in the United States but was rejected and is now applying in Mexico. He fled Honduras after his brother and parents were murdered by a drug trafficking gang.

    U.S. courts deny the majority of asylum claims from Central Americans, rejecting 79 percent of those from El Salvador and 78 percent of those from Honduras between 2012 and 2017, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. In contrast, Mexico approved 64 percent of refugee claims from Salvadorans and 50 percent of those from Hondurans last year, according to the UNHCR.

                                    Detention Facility /  Immigrant "Shelter" in McClellan Texas

    U.S. courts demand that refugees show they are persecuted by the government or are targeted for being from a vulnerable minority, and generally do not accept those who are fleeing gangsters. This position was hardened by a June 11 ruling by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "Asylum was never meant to solve all problems – even all serious problems – that people face every day all over the world," Sessions said.

    Can a Single Country Stop the Flow of Refugees?

    In contrast in Mexico, refugee claims are usually only refused if there is not enough evidence of the threats themselves or if the claimant has a serious criminal record, explains an official from the Mexican Refugee Commission.

    Many of the refugees arriving in Mexico sneak into the country from Guatemala,  walking over the hills or crossing one of the rivers, before making their application. In the Guatemalan border town of Tecun Uman, oarsmen charge about $1.30 to cross into Mexico on a raft built with tractor tires, and all day rafts full of people can be seen.

    Most are local residents who go into Mexico to do their shopping, an informal cross-border commerce that has long been tolerated. Migrants and refugees move among them. They then can travel by bus to the larger city of Tapachula, although Mexican immigration officials run sporadic checkpoints on the road.

    The entry of refugees and migrants has swelled Tapachula, with makeshift barrios emerging on the outskirts. The center is bustling with people from across the globe, not only from Latin America but as far afield as Africa. David Eca, 33, came from the Congo, where he says his father had been murdered in political violence. Flying to Ecuador, he traveled by land through South and Central America and aims to reach the United States and apply for asylum there.

    Those seeking refuge in Mexico are not given work permits while their applications are processed, and many rely on charity while some beg for money. Others work without papers, toiling in coffee fields or construction sites. One pickup truck arrived by the church shelter to take a group to work for the promise of 150 pesos, or about $8, for the day.

    Mexico's Own Violence:

    Mexico also has its own serious problems of criminal violence, which can be as bad as in the countries people have run from. In 2017, journalist Edwin Rivera fled Honduras after threats but was then murdered in Veracruz, Mexico. Cartels here have also kidnapped large groups of Central Americans to demand ransom money, pressuring them to call family members they have in the United States. In the run-up to the July 1 national elections, more than 100 candidates or party militants were murdered.

    "Mexico is not safe for those who flee violence," Doctors Without Borders said in a June 26 statement. "The impossibility of getting asylum in the United States would leave tens of thousands in a situation of extreme vulnerability."

    Alongside refugees and migrants looking for work, some criminals also slip into southern Mexico without papers.   There are currently more than 100 foreigners in Tapachula's prison out of a total population of about 900. Most are undocumented Central Americans, including members of the rival Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs, says public defense lawyer Luis Del Rosario.

    The presence of Central American gang members also makes refugees concerned they could run into members of the same mobs they are fleeing. Turcio, who ran from Honduras, says he avoids the center of Tapachula so he is not seen by anyone connected to the drug trafficking gang who murdered his family.

    Some others in the city, however, are less tolerant. Restaurant owner Angel Brindis says the Mexican government should work harder to stop foreigners entering who come to commit crimes rather than work, and has had to defend himself from robbery and assault on various occasions. "They come outside the business, drugged up or drunk, looking for problems," he says. "They hold up stores with knives and guns, they demand money from people walking by."

    "We can't be indifferent about Central Americans. On the contrary, we have to give them the same respect and attention that we want for ourselves," he says. "It is like if Mexicans go to the United States, we want respect. We have to start here". Luis Del Rosario says he labors for a fair treatment for all the defendants, whatever the nationality.

    Cashpal, the Salvadoran refugee, says she has received warm treatment in Mexico. When her family arrived at the river, the oarsman took pity on them, providing free transit and money for the bus.

                     Fear has followed her, but she says her faith gives her the strength to keep going.

    "I trust in God that everything will be all right," she says. "But tomorrow, we don't know if we are going to wake up alive or what."

    Ioan Grillo is a journalist and writer based in Mexico City. He is the author of "Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields and the New Politics of Latin America.

    Check out my last Ioan Grillo Post for BB from Dec 13, 2017 HERE

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Cafenegroportal

    July 13, 2018
    By: Omar Daniel Baez

    Elements of the Secretariat of National Defense , SEDENA, located a stash of illicit substances in the mountain area of the municipality of Badiraguato , where were hidden 139 kilograms of opium gum and 750 grams of heroin and ready for commercialization and transport.

    The Command of the 9th Military Zone, reported that the military elements were making a tour in the community of Tameapa, located 25 kilometers from the municipal seat, when they detected a storage and /or processing area / clandestine lab with lots and lots of illicit chemical substances.

    Continuing the exploration in the area, they found a few meters away, several containers hidden among the shrubs that had inside the packages of gum of opium .

    To extract a kilogram of this drug requires harvesting at least one hectare of poppy, however, a single seed pod can be cut up to three times, depending on the size.

    The price of opium gum can vary from 10,000 to 20,000  pesos, depending on the area, the season and the scarcity of the product, so this seizure could represent between 1.3 and 2.7 million pesos. 
    ( lets say average 2,000,000 P = $100,000 USD )

    In the collection center they also secured 750 grams of heroin, inside a plastic bag,  which,  according to the latest report of the UN World Drug Report can reach a price of up to $60,000 USD  dollars.

    In addition, they located: 550 liters of acetone, 150 liters of sodium carbonate, 80 liters of acetic anhydride, 8 liters of hydrochloric acid, and another 262 liters of miscellaneous substances distributed in several drums and metal jars of different sizes.

    And about 21 kilograms of  other miscellaneous solid substances and white powders in plastic bags, all these products apparently used for the manufacture of synthetic drugs.

    Secured :

    • Approximately 60 liters of an unknown transparent liquid, distributed in 60 1 liter glass bottles. c / u

    • Approximately 150 kilograms of apparently sodium carbonate, distributed in 6 packages of 25 kg. c / u

    • Approx. 160 liters. of an unknown liquid, distributed in 8 drums with a capacity of 20 liters. c / u

    • Approximately 10 liters of an unknown amber liquid, distributed in 2 drums with a capacity of 20 liters. c / u

    • Approximately 20 liters of an unknown amber colored liquid, contained in 1 drum with a capacity of 50 liters.

    • Approximately 550 liters of apparently acetone, distributed in 11 drums with a capacity of 50 liters. c / u

    • Approximately 8 liters of apparently hydrochloric acid, distributed in 8 glass jars with a capacity of 1 lt. c / u

    • Approximately 2 kilograms of an unknown substance, contained in 1 metal can with a label with the label "acetyl chloride".

    • Approximately 2 kilograms of an unknown white powder, distributed in 2 plastic bottles with a capacity of 1 kg. c / u., without label.

    • Approximately 80 liters of apparently acetic anhydride, distributed in 4 drums with a capacity of 20 liters. c / u

    • Approximately 12 liters of an unknown substance, distributed in 3 glass jars with a capacity of 4 liters. c / u

    • Approximately 500 grams of an unknown white powder, contained in 1 plastic bottle with a capacity of 1/2 kg.

    • Approximately 290 grams of an unknown white powder, contained in 1 plastic bag.

    • Approximately 16 kilograms of an unknown white powder, contained in 16 plastic bags with a capacity of 1 kg. c / u

    • Approximately 750 grams of a brown substance, with characteristics of heroin in a plastic bag.

    Likewise, military personnel intensified the ground reconnaissance in the area, locating in the vicinity of the collection center, hiding in a trough 139 kilograms of opium gum, proceeding to make available to the corresponding authorities the secured drugs and chemicals.

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    Posted by DD from material at Concentrado Noticias
    Thanks again Tu Fren for the tip. 

    PRI Meade slandering Nestora in debate with AMLO. 

    The PRI slandered Nestora Salgado, must pay a fine of 322 thousand pesos

     The Special Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Branch of the Federation determined that the PRI slandered Nestora Salgado while she was a candidate (and now elected) to the Senate, with a spot during the campaign  for which the Tribunal set a fine of 322,400 pesos against the party. .

    "It was determined that, in the spot, the PRI implicitly attributed the crime of kidnapping to the now elected candidate to the Senate and the false fact that she was released due to failures in the police, even though it had access to official documents for verification of the true information "said the Chamber.

     The resolution came from a complaint by Morena against the PRI, for disseminating the promotional "Delincuentes V2", noting that with it they had affected the image of the candidate, causing people to believe that she was a criminal who enjoyed impunity for a failure in the police, and that she had links with organized crime.

     During the campaigns, the PRI and its candidate, José Antonio Meade, accused  Nestora Salgado, ex-leader of the community police of Olinalá, Guerrero, of being a kidnapper. The issue of her nationality  was also questioned  because she had lived in Washington state for a number of years and had acquired US citizenship while there.  As a citizen of the US she would not be qualified to serve in the Senate.  
    On July 9, electoral counselor Benito Nacif Hernández reported that Senator-elect Nestora Salgado had handed over the certificate of nationality issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), to show that she renounced her American nationality.

    The irony of PRI having to pay a fine of $322,000 pesos for slandering Nestora is that she was a little fish in a big pond.  PRI was not trying to keep her from winning a seat in the Senate, they were trying to attack AMLO by accusing (falsely) that the Moreno (AMLO's party) candidates were criminals.  

    Strike three for PRI.  





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    Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

    He was once the police commander of Nuevo Laredo police, before joining the ranks of  Cartel del Norteste  aka CDN.   He is one of the leaders of the cartel along with Huevo Treviño.  His name is Martin Rodríguez Barbosa, aka “El Cadete”.

    Now he is one of the most wanted in Tamaulipas, with a reward offered of 2M MPs.

    Rodríguez is suspected of being responsible for the March attack on the Mexican Marines that resulted in the death of a family hit in the crossfire.

    The family were driving home to Their El Nuevo Progreso neighborhood,  when  they were shot to death from a Marina helicopter overhead.   

    Inside a blue Buick were the bodies of Nellely Aidé Ruiz Martínez, 28, of her daughter Chelsea Abril Rojas Ruiz, 6 years old and Kenya Azul Rojas Ruiz, 4 years old, as well as her husband, Efraín Rojas Santos, 25 years old.

    While the government blames the deaths on Rodríguez, citizens and family,  are also blaming the Marina who prevented first responders from reaching the vehicle to aid the family.  When the car was reached the father was still alive but subsequently died.  The family says if timely aid was administered he would have survived.

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    Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat WSB Atlanta

    Beheaded a 13 Year Old girl with special needs

    OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. - An Alabama 13-year-old found dead in a wooded area last month was beheaded after she saw two men stab her grandmother to death, an investigator testified Thursday.

    The grisly details of Mariah Lopez’s slaying came out during the preliminary hearing of Yoni Martinez Aguilar, reported.

    Aguilar, 26, and Israel Gonzalez Palomino, 34, are each charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Lopez and her 49-year-old grandmother and legal guardian, Oralia Mendoza.

    Palomino is also charged with possession of methamphetamine.

    Members of the middle schooler’s family wept as investigator Stacy Rutherford testified about the details Aguilar, who was Mendoza’s live-in boyfriend, gave in a statement following his June 14 arrest.

    According to, Aguilar told detectives that Mendoza was involved with the Sinaloa cartel, considered to be the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organization.

    Rutherford testified that the defendant told investigators that he, Palomino, Mendoza and a woman named Leticia Garcia traveled June 2 to Norcross, Georgia, where they picked up a quarter kilo of meth for the cartel. Along the way, something went wrong and Palomino became suspicious that Mendoza and Garcia, who was also tied to the cartel, might be setting him up, Aguilar said in his statement.

    WAAY in Huntsville reported that Rutherford testified that sometime after the group returned to Huntsville, Palomino learned that Mendoza had removed the SIM card from her cellphone. He also found a text she sent during the drug run to Georgia, in which she asked an unknown woman to pick up her granddaughter, who was with Palomino’s wife, because she feared that she and her granddaughter were in danger.

    Early on June 4, the men woke Mendoza at their Huntsville home and told her that they were taking her and Lopez, who had special needs, somewhere safe.   Rutherford testified that they were instead taken to Moon Cemetery, located about 15 miles southeast of the city of Owens Cross Roads.

    Palomino and Mendoza argued in the cemetery about the drug deal and Palomino stabbed the grandmother multiple times, leaving her for dead, Aguilar told investigators.

    Lopez, who witnessed her grandmother’s slaying, was taken to a wooded area about 2½ miles from the cemetery, where Aguilar said Palomino forced him to kill the girl.

    Rutherford testified that Aguilar told investigators he was holding the knife when Palomino grabbed his arm and moved it back and forth in a “sawing motion,” with which the girl was beheaded.

    Aguilar said he participated in the slayings out of fear.

    “He said he was fearful of Israel,” Rutherford testified, according to

    The men left the teen’s body where she was killed and stopped to clean Palomino’s car, the detective said.

    Mendoza was reported missing two days later by worried relatives, WAFF in Huntsville reported last month. Lopez’s body was found the following day.

    Madison County investigators released information describing the items the body was clothed in: red pajama pants with gingerbread men on them, as well as a pink undershirt and black tank top. The news release also indicated that the young victim had a cerebral shunt.

    Lopez’s mother -- who is also Mendoza’s daughter -- showed up at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office a short time after the description was released and told investigators that the body might be that of her daughter, Sheriff’s Office officials said. Dental records provided a positive identification a week later.

    Mendoza’s body was found at the cemetery June 15, after Aguilar gave his statement to investigators. She was also identified through dental records, Sheriff’s Office officials announced June 27.

    Aside from Aguilar’s alleged confession, investigators have collected physical evidence they say links the men to the slayings -- including the suspected murder weapons. reported that Rutherford testified one knife was found under Palomino’s mattress and the other was found under Aguilar’s mattress.

    Despite the men’s cleanup efforts, blood was also found in Palomino’s car, the investigator said.

    Both men’s cellphones also “pinged” in the area of the killings during that time frame, the news site said.

    The slayings shocked the community, particularly those at Challenger Middle School, where Lopez was a student. The school’s Parent Teacher Association last month set up a memorial account to help her family pay for her and her grandmother’s funerals.

    “No one is prepared to lose a child or other relative at such young ages,” a statement from the PTA said. “With the untimely passing of two family members, one can imagine the mounting costs of funeral and burial expenses that the family faces in addition to the unparalleled grief that is felt as well.”

    The “Mariah Lopez and Oralia Mendoza Memorial Account” was established at Wells Fargo, with donations set to go directly to the funeral home.

    “Anything in excess of those costs will be given to the immediate family to assist with other expenses and needs,” the PTA statement said.

    Lt. Donny Shaw, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, last month credited the community with helping to quickly bring the search for Lopez’s and Mendoza’s killers to an end.

    “For a murder where there were no indications, no witnesses, nothing to lean on when we began with it, the Hispanic community, the partners, the media, we’ve been able to do a phenomenal thing in just a little over seven days by coming to the arrests of two individuals,” Shaw told WAFF.

    Both Aguilar and Palomino are being held without bail in the Madison County Jail. Palomino is also being detained on a hold for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    His preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday.

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Milenio

                                                       Jesús Contreras Arceo, "Canasto"

    By: Ignacio Alzaga  July 15, 2018

    The PGR captured, without firing a single shot, Jesús Contreras Arceo, 'Canasto', allegedly in charge of operating the finances of the criminal organization. He is also identified as one of the leaders of the Jalisco Cartel Nueva Generación.

    The detainee was wanted by the United States government, which intends to prosecute him for money laundering and drug trafficking , particularly for the distribution of large shipments of methamphetamine. He faces charges for using the illicit proceeds of drug trafficking for the financing and operation of the CJNG.

    Without firing a single shot, staff of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) made the order of provisional detention for extradition purposes in the state of Querétaro.

    Contreras Arceo "Canasto" is accused in the Virginia Court of producing, introducing and distributing large quantities of methamphetamine to the United States . According to the investigations, he imported ephedrine and other chemical precursors of Asia.

    Derived from cabinet and field work, elements of the AIC, attached to the General Directorate of International Police Affairs and Interpol, complied, without the use of violence or harm to third parties, accomplished the capture order.  They did so based on the order issued by a District judge specialized in the Accusatory Criminal System in Mexico City.

    Contreras Arceo is required by the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Virginia , to be prosecuted for his probable responsibility in crimes against health, operations with resources of illicit origin and criminal association.

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    Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Uniobregon

                       Saturday Night Massacre: El Buen Pastor Church, Ciudad Obregon, Sonora

    Ciudad Obregon, Sonora  July 14, 2018

    A man was riddled with bullets and killed before the altar of a church, where he tried to take refuge with his son in his arms when he was persecuted by his aggressor with a rifle who shot him several times in front of the crowded church congregation with no regard for the child or the gathering of about 40 people. 

    In an attempt to flee his assailants, Victor Alejandro "N", got out of his car and entered  the church of El Buen Pastor with a child in his arms where he was murdered last evening while the people calmly waited for the beginning of the mass at 7:00 pm in the parish of The Good Shepherd, located in the Casa Blanca neighborhood.  He was screaming: " No ! Not my my child ! "

    The man, identified as Victor Alejandro" N ", " El Piloto ", 40 years old, while running with his 4-year-old son in his arms, asked his aggressor not to harm the child; he wished to deliver his child to his grandmother who was awaiting the Mass. 

    The people who were inside the parish were astonished and terrified, some took shelter when they heard the shots, others hit the floor between the pews, some crawled and hurt  their knees, according to witnesses. 

    "The mass had not yet started, the father, ie the priest,  was coming into the temple to celebrate the evening mass from the back when gunshots rang out  so he did not get out of the car because of what was happening, the police came and the people left," said a neighbor. 

    According to neighbors of the sector, the man was persecuted from the streets in his vehicle by the attackers, an armed commando aboard a van or truck. The vehicle of Víctor Alejandro "N". had several bullet shots.

    The people of Colonia Casa Blanca who were in the church confirmed that with the man, in addition to the child that he was carrying, had two other young girls  with him and that when he entered the temple the girls managed get to his mother, apparently the grandmother of the minors. 

    Several people approached the dead man and rescued the child to protect him and try to reassure him.

    Minutes later the place arrived elements of different police corporations, who evicted people from the church and cordoned off the area waiting staff of Expert Service, Forensic Medicine and the Public Ministry agent.

    According to information gathered, Víctor Alejandro "N", in May 2016, had suffered an attack, an attempted murder at the Banamex branch, on California and Guerrero streets of this city, after attending the burial of his wife, who was also killed on May 4, 2016. 

    Murdered Singer Valentín Elizalde with his ex-wife Beatriz Robles, also murdered in 2016 while married to Victor Alejandro. Valentín Elizalde was murdered in 2006 shortly after a concert appearance in Reynosa along with his manager and driver.

    He was married to Beatriz Berenice Borbolla Robles, 28, ex-wife of Valentín Elizalde; she was murdered in Cajeme on May 4, 2016. On May 6, 2016, Víctor Alejandro and his companion José Luis were shot and wounded when they followed the funeral procession of Beatriz Berenice Borbolla Robles.

    The parish of The Good Shepherd has a fence but not brick yet laid and it is just under construction. It is located on Cima street between Casa Blanca Boulevard and Jesus Garcia, where there are also dozens of shops and homes. 

    The man, 40 years old, known as "The Pilot", resides in the Hidalgo colony and was an aviator pilot. The victim was identified as Víctor Alejandro, nicknamed "El Piloto", who, according to state authorities, was a criminal target and had a criminal record for the crime of rape.

    He is also linked as a pilot aviator for the criminal group "El Chapo Trini", and received orders from a criminal nicknamed "El Telcel" and "El Vaquero".

    The authorities of the Attorney General of the State of Sonora, who took the case, claimed not to have details of the incident.

    This happened around 7:00 pm yesterday, and it was added to the list of 15 homicides of this month of July, and to 104 of the year. 

    On Thursday, when another act of armed aggression occurred during a busy time in a commercial plaza, in front of visitors and consumers.

    Before the crime recorded in the church of El Buen Pastor, the Bishop of Cajeme, Felipe Padilla Cardona, planned to present today at 12:00 a message transmitted live from the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. 

    The prelate will give his position through the portal of the Bishopric from Mexico City, where he is heading the annual pilgrimage accompanied by faithful from Cajeme and other points of Sonora. 

    Note: Anyone with more inside info please comment !