Mexican Drug War

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Mexican Children Learn to Take Cover in Drug Prohibition War

Location: 
Acapulco, GRO
Mexico
Mexican officials are teaching school children how to dive for cover if they come under fire from gangs fighting over the Pacific beach city of Acapulco as drug prohibition violence reaches deeper into everyday life. At a drill in an Acapulco primary school this week, instructors used toy guns that simulated the sound of real gunfire. "Get down, let's go!" shouted an instructor as children threw themselves on the ground in classrooms and the playground and then crawled toward safety, burying their heads in their hands.
Publication/Source: 
MSNBC
URL: 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40571896/ns/world_news-americas/

Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed more than 30,000 people, including more than 9,000 this year. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Ciudad Juarez
Wednesday, December 1

In Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, a town official said that residents have begun to return to the town nearly a month after being forced to flee by groups of marauding gunmen thought to belong to the Zetas Organization. Army operations are ongoing in the area. The area has been hard hit by fighting between the Zetas Organization and their former employers, the Gulf Cartel.

Friday, December 3

In Morelos, authorities arrested a 14-year old boy accused of beheading and mutilated his victims while operating as a cartel assassin. Edgar Jimenez, aka "El Ponchis," was taken into custody as he attempted to fly to Tijuana, with the eventual goal of fleeing to San Diego, where it has been said he is originally from. He stands accused of operating as part of a unit of assassins which included his 19-year old sister. It has also been alleged that he cut off the heads of his victims and mutilated their genitals.

Saturday, December 4

In Ciudad Juarez, at least 16 people were murdered across the city. In one incident, four municipal police officers were shot and killed after being ambushed by cartel gunmen using automatic weapons and traveling in at least three vehicles. This brings the number of police killed in the city this year to 136, 61 of whom were members of the municipal police.

In another incident, six people were gunned down when armed men stormed an auto-repair shop.

Sunday, December 5

In Ciudad Juarez, four people were killed when armed men simultaneously attacked two drug rehabilitation centers, marking the latest in a series of bloody attacks on rehab facilities in the city.

In Tamaulipas, soldiers freed 16 hostages after shooting dead two gunmen near Ciudad Victoria.

Monday, December 6

In Ciudad Juarez, six people were killed in the city. Among the dead was Erika Elizabeth Silva Rivera, 31, a state investigator assigned to work sex crimes. A female partner of hers was wounded in the attack. In another incident, a bound man was shot dead and his body set aflame.

Tuesday, December 7

In Ciudad Juarez, five people were killed in the city. One incident was a triple homicide at a body shop. This brings the number of murders in the city to 2,932 for the year. About 7,300 people have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez since January 2008.

Total Body Count for the Week: 102

Total Body Count for the Year: 9,507

Read the previous Mexico Drug War Update here.

Mexico

Teenage Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Hitman Is a U.S. Citizen

Location: 
Mexico
The floppy-haired 14-year-old turned, like any other modern teen, to YouTube to make his confession. But unlike a typical 8th-grader, Edgar Jimenez confessed to beheading people for Mexican Drug Traffickers for the price of $2,500 each. Mexican authorities nabbed the "hit boy" known as "El Ponchis" at an airport; he was en route to Tijuana, where he and his teenage sister were planning to sneak into San Diego. Why? He's an American citizen.
Publication/Source: 
The Atlantic Wire (DC)
URL: 
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/Teenage-Cartel-Hitman-Is-a-US-Citizen-6081

2010 Nobel Prizewinner Mario Vargas Llosa Calls for Legalization of Drugs

Location: 
Vargas Llosa said, "Drugs have to be legalized and all the huge sums of money that currently are invested in their repression, should be put into treatment, prevention and education, as has been done for example in the case of tobacco, with great success."
Publication/Source: 
PODER (FL)
URL: 
http://www.poder360.com/dailynews_detail.php?blurbid=10123

Drug Gang Reportedly Sets Fire to Juárez Kindergarten

Location: 
Ciudad Juárez, CHH
Mexico
A school in Colonia San Antonio was supposedly torched because school staff refused demands for payment made by drug gang extortionists. Classes were canceled indefinitely.
Publication/Source: 
El Paso Times (TX)
URL: 
http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_16794608?source=most_viewed

Ghost Towns: Ciudad Juarez Residents Flee New Homes to Escape Drug Prohibition War Violence

Location: 
Ciudad Juárez, CHH
Mexico
Across the border from El Paso, Texas, a mass exodus triggered by a murderous prohibitionist war for drug trafficking routes into the United States has left huge swaths of Ciudad Juarez uninhabited, rocking Mexican home builders and gutting the large industrial city of its upwardly mobile working class. Residents are fleeing many towns along the Mexican border, but the migration is perhaps most acutely felt in Juarez, which until recently was among Mexico's fastest-growing cities, its industrial jobs attracting immigrants from across the country and Central America.
Publication/Source: 
AOL News (US)
URL: 
http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/ghost-towns-ciudad-juarez-residents-flee-new-homes-to-escape-dr/19733204/

Bodies of Two Americans Found in Mexican Mass Grave

Location: 
Palomas, CHH
Mexico
The bodies of 31-year-old Camerino F. Corral and 27-year-old Lorenzo Renteria, both of Deming, New Mexico, were among 20 victims found in a mass grave in drug prohibition war-plagued Mexico.
Publication/Source: 
The Houston Chronicle (TX)
URL: 
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7322736.html

WikiLeaks: US Has Lost Faith in Mexico's Ability to Win Prohibitionist Drug War

Location: 
Mexico
WikiLeaks cables show the US has lost confidence in the Mexican army's ability to win the country's prohibitionist drug war, branding it slow, clumsy and no match for "sophisticated" narco-traffickers. Classified diplomatic information released by WikiLeaks also reveals a growing sense of alarm within Mexico's government that time is running out in the battle against organized crime and that it could "lose" entire regions. The memos detail blunders in the fight against drug traffickers and a desperate search for a new strategy to save President Felipe Calderón's administration from a bloodsoaked fiasco.
Publication/Source: 
The Guardian (UK)
URL: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/02/us-mexico-drugs-war-wikileaks

Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed more than 30,000 people, including more than 9,000 this year. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

just another drug smuggling tunnel -- how many more?
Friday, November 26

In Tijuana, the Mayor-Elect said he will replace police chiefJulian Leyzaola. Leyzaola, who took office in December 2008, was widely praised by the US and Mexican governments for his efforts to root out corruption in city police forces and for his efforts against cartels. Leyzaola has also been accused of police brutality and human rights abuses, and the state human rights ombudsman has said that Leyzaola personally participated in beatings of suspects accused of killings police officers. Several officers accused of corruption have said they were tortured by men under Leyzaola's command.

On the border between Tijuana and San Diego, authorities discovered a half-mile tunnel and seized some 20 tons of marijuana. It is the second such discovery in the past month. Eight people were arrested, three of them on the American side of the border.

Saturday, November 27

In Ciudad Juarez, police arrested a leader of the Aztecas gang who stands accused of being a key player in the violence in the city. Arturo Gallegos, 32, aka "El Farmero" is accused of being involved in 80% of the killings that have taken place in the city since August, including the murder of two US consulate employees, the murder of five federal police officers, and the massacre of 14 students at a house party. He is also suspected of being involved in drug trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion. The Aztecas gang works for La Linea, the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel.

Monday, November 29

In Palomas, Chihuahua, 20 bodies were discovered buried at a ranch. Soldiers discovered the site after being tipped off by several recently captured cartel members. Mexican news sources later reported that at least one of the dead had been identified as a US citizen.

In Meoqui, Chihuahua, a female police chief was gunned down. Hermila Garcia, 36, was ambushed by gunmen as she drove through the center of town. Several women have taken police chief positions in northern Mexico recently, as many potential male candidates are frightened that they will be assassinated.

Tuesday, November 30

In Michoacan, police arrested a suspected leader of La Familia Michoacana. Jose Alfredo Landa, 37, was thought to be in charge of LFM operations in the city of Morelia. Three other individuals were arrested and an AK-47 was seized, along with more than two dozen property titles and other documents that had come from various extortion plots he was involved in.

In Ciudad Juarez, ten people were murdered in several incidents in the city. This brings the monthly death toll to approximately 194 for the November, making it the second least violent month of 2010. According to El Diario, a local newspaper, 2,887 people have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez in 2010 as of December 1.

Total Body Count for the Week: 167

Total Body Count for the Year: 9,405

Read the previous Mexico Drug War Update here.

Mexico

Mexican Drug Traffickers Kills Woman Who Took Police Chief Job Men Didn't Want

Location: 
Meoqui, CHH
Mexico
Hermila Garcia, 38, who became the top law enforcement officer in the town of Meoqui only two months ago, was killed as she drove to work. Her death has left some wondering if it wasn't a warning from the drug traffickers to other women, like Marisol Valles Garcia, 20, a student who became police chief of Praxedis, in the Juarez valley, also in the state of Chihuahua, home to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's most violent drug war city.
Publication/Source: 
Sify News (India)
URL: 
http://sify.com/news/mexican-drug-gang-kills-woman-who-took-police-chief-job-men-didn-t-want-news-international-kmcnObhigbi.html

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