Mexican Drug War

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Gunmen Kill Local Official, Son in Ciudad Juarez

Location: 
Ciudad Juárez, CHH
Mexico
Gunmen in the drug prohibition violence-ridden border city of Ciudad Juarez killed Rito Grado Serrano, regional president of the community of El Porvenira, and his son, Mexican officials said Sunday.
Publication/Source: 
The Associated Press
URL: 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j4DDT0mcUi3ZYunie0VOys6XzwpA?docId=9d585b17cd7c4224a1422f558944df78

Alleged Chat Between Mexican Congressman and La Familia Leader Leaked

Location: 
Mexico
A radio station broadcast what it described as a telephone conversation in which Mexican congressman Julio Cesar Godoy Toscano and one of Mexico's biggest drug prohibition lords, La Familia leader Servando "La Tuta" Gomez, express support for each other and discuss bribing a reporter. Godoy represents the western state of Michoacan, La Familia's stronghold. He already faces federal charges for allegedly protecting the drug trafficking organization but has immunity from arrest because he is a congressman.
Publication/Source: 
The Associated Press
URL: 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gd28_wg9v3v0XgAwqacXG8wY8hmg?docId=4f719874d25046f1a3cc00813518b99f

Cancel Your Mexico Plans: Authorities Release Travel Warning

Location: 
TX
United States
Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw issued a travel warning advising Texans that nobody should head to Mexico at this point. McCraw stressed the advisory due to the increased drug prohibition violence and threat from drug trafficking organizations.
Publication/Source: 
KENS (TX)
URL: 
http://www.kens5.com/home/Cancel-your-Mexico-plans-authorities-release-travel-warning-104961924.html

Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Expands Into Illegal Mining

Location: 
MIC
Mexico
A Mexican drug trafficking organization already raking in hefty profits trafficking drugs to the United States under drug prohibition has discovered a new business in the western state of Michoacan -- illegal mining.
Publication/Source: 
Reuters
URL: 
http://af.reuters.com/article/metalsNews/idAFN1328265720101014

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 28,000 people, the government reported in August. 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.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/culiacan-cathedral-200.jpg
Culiacan Cathedral, Sinaloa
Thursday, October 7

In Tijuana, President Calderon said that California's ballot measure to legalize marijuana represents hypocrisy in US drug policy. "For me, it reflects a terrible inconsistency in government policies in the United States,"  he said, referring to US demands that Mexico and other countries clamp down on production and trafficking.

Saturday, October 9

In Oaxaca, the mayor-elect of a small town was shot and killed . Antonio Jimenez Banos, 47, was due to become the mayor of the small coastal town of Martires de Tacubaya. He was shot in the head and chest as he returned home to his small farm. Eleven sitting mayors have been assassinated in Mexico this year, as well as several candidates and representative-elects.

In Ciudad Juarez, 12 people were killed in several incidents. In one incident, two prisoners inside the city’s main prison were killed during a prison riot between the rival Azteca and Mexicles gangs, which work for the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, respectively. At the same time, another riot occurred in a municipal prison. Soldiers responding to the incident confiscated an unknown quantity of weapons and drugs.

Sunday, October 10

In Ciudad Juarez, six people were killed. In one incident, a group of armed men shot dead three people outside an emergency room hospital. The three men were apparently attempting to flee and hide from the gunmen, but were gunned down just outside the building.

Monday, October 11

In Sinaloa, eight police officers were killed after their convoy was ambushed by gunmen. The officers were patrolling a highway about 50 miles outside of the state capital of Culiacan when they were attacked by a convoy of gunmen traveling in three or four vehicles and wielding automatic weapons. Mexican news sources have reported that three other officers were wounded in the attack. Sinaloa has long been at the heart of Mexico's drug trade. Marijuana and poppy is grown in the area and large-scale meth labs have been known to operate in the area.

In Ciudad Juarez, 14 people were killed across the city. The murders occurred despite immensely tight security in the city due to the arrival of President Calderon and a security summit with Mexican governors.

Tuesday, October 12

According to a Zapata County Sheriff, a Mexican investigator working on the recent Falcoln Lake shooting incident was beheaded. Rolando Flores was a member of the State police based in the city of Miguel Aleman, and was part of the team investigating the shooting of David Hartley, who has been missing since September 30th. Flores' head was reportedly found in a suitcase left outside a Mexican Army installation.

Total Body Count for the Week: 85

Total Body Count for the Year: 8,390

Read the previous Mexico Drug War Update here.

Mexico

Drug Traffickers Deliver Decapitated Head of Police Commander Investigating Falcon Lake Murder to Mexican Military

Location: 
Ciudad Miguel Aleman, TAM
Mexico
A Mexican police commander investigating the reported shooting of an American tourist on a border lake was decapitated and his head was found in a suitcase outside a Mexican Army base.
Publication/Source: 
Manila Bulletin (Philippines)
URL: 
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/281972/mexican-police-brass-beheaded

"Zetas" Drug Prohibition Gang Grows, Sows Fear in Mexico

Location: 
Mexico
A decade ago, they were a small group of elite Mexican soldiers who saw a chance to make a lot more money working as hitmen for powerful drug trafficking organizations. Today, the "Zetas" are the most feared gang in Mexico. Their vicious tactics, geographic reach and expansion into new illegal businesses presents a new kind of threat in a drug prohibition war that has already killed 29,000 people since late 2006.
Publication/Source: 
Reuters
URL: 
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69B3LZ20101012

Memorial Service Held for American Allegedly Shot by Drug Trafficking Organization

Location: 
TX
United States
The search continues for the body of a tourist, David Hartley, believed to have been killed on a Texas lake, which separates the United Stated from Mexico. Friends and family of Hartley held a memorial service for him, without his remains.
Publication/Source: 
KOLD (AZ)
URL: 
http://www.kold.com/global/story.asp?s=13305943

Drug Trafficking Organization's Hitmen Kill Eight Policemen in Mexico

Location: 
SIN
Mexico
A convoy of hitmen ambushed a group of traffic police patrolling a Mexican highway, killing eight officers in the latest strike against security forces. More than 2,000 police officers have been killed due to drug prohibition violence since Calderon took office.
Publication/Source: 
Reuters
URL: 
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE69A4Y620101011

Facebook Billionaires, Dr. Bronner's Kick in on Prop 19 [FEATURE]

The campaign to pass California's Proposition 19, the tax and regulate marijuana legalization initiative, is seeing some good-sized late donations, including contributions from Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Sean Parker. Meanwhile, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps heir David Bronner has kicked in tens of thousands more for a get out the vote effort in the campaign's final weeks. And they're not the only ones making sizeable late donations.

"Yes We Cannabis" fire truck tour supporting Prop 19
Prop 19 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of pot by adults 21 or older. It would also allow adults to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana and possess the harvested results. It would give cities and counties the local option to allow, tax, and regulate commercial marijuana sales and cultivation.

The initiative holds a four-point lead in the Talking Points Memo Polltracker average of the 13 polls taken on it so far this year. Prop 19 has 47.4% in the poll average to 43.2% against, with less than 10% undecided. Only three of the 13 polls have shown it losing, but with support under 50%, voter turnout and the undecideds will be critical in achieving victory.

Moskovitz has now contributed a total of $70,000 to Prop 19, while Parker has given $100,000 to a pro-Prop 19 fund controlled by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). David Bronner is giving $75,000 to Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) for a tour of college campuses designed to energize student turnout, and Washington, DC, activist and entrepreneur Adam Eidinger of Capitol Hemp Clothing and Accessories kicked in another $25,000 for the campus tour.

Those aren’t the only big contributions to the cash-strapped campaign, which, despite having raised more than $2.1 million so far, only had $67,000 in the bank as of September 30. But according to late filing reports, in the first few days of this month the campaign got $20,000 from Oakland cannabis entrepreneur Jeff Willcox, a $50,000 donation from Tiburon retiree Stephen Silberstein, $5,000 from Prescription Vending Machines, Inc., and $75,000 from Encino TV producer Kevin Bright. Not counting the Bronner, Eidinger, Parker, and Moskovitz donations, Prop 19 has raised $180,000 so far this month.

"More than any other initiative out there, Prop 19 will stabilize our national security and bolster our state economy," said Moskovitz in a statement explaining his support. "It will alleviate unnecessary overcrowding of nonviolent offenders in our state jails, which in turn will help California residents."

"These donations mean that these guys get it," said Stephen Gutwillig, DPA California director, referring to the Facebook cofounders. "They are members of a generation that has a consensus that the drug war is a massive failure and will never work. These donors have the means to do something about it. We're really thrilled that they're stepping up in the middle of this crucial campaign that is a bellwether in the struggle to create an exit strategy from this disastrous war on marijuana," he said. "Sean Parker and Dustin Moskovitz are pivotal to this work in this election cycle, and we hope in years to come."

DPA will use the money for get out the vote efforts, said Gutwillig. "We'll be focusing on getting young and black and Latino voters to the polls," he explained. "We don't have enough money to mount a TV ad persuasion campaign aimed at undecided voters -- that takes millions of dollars in California. But this is enough money to participate in getting reform-minded voters to the polls, reminding them that Prop 19 is on the ballot and making sure they vote between now and November 2."

If the pro-Prop 19 forces don't have the money for a TV ad campaign, they can take some solace in knowing that the opposition doesn't, either -- at least not yet. The main opposition group, Public Safety First, reported only $54,000 in the bank as of September 30. But the Prop 19 forces are waiting for -- not hoping for -- the other shoe to drop. A late, well-funded negative ad campaign in 2008 helped to defeat a sentencing reform initiative that had been leading in the polls up to that point.

"I'm calling up businesses like ours that I know are socially and environmentally conscious with a simple message, 'Just Say Now;' now is the time to step up support," said Bronner. "Prop 19 will free up police for fighting real crimes and stop renegade cannabis cultivation by gangs that are destroying our national parks. Cannabis prohibition, not the herb itself, has been ruining productive and upstanding citizens' lives with courts and jails for decades," he said.

"I was hoping to trigger more giving with our donation, and the Facebook guys helped, too," said Bronner. "This is just such an important moment; there is so much at stake. It's about being able to promote and get our message across. It's about cannabis, but it's also about freedom," he said.

"This has been pretty under-funded," said Bronner. "Richard Lee put in enough money to get on the ballot, and now it comes to getting out the youth vote. SSDP is well-positioned to drive that and already had a game plan. We're just powering that up," he said.

Late last week, Bronner and SSDP announced the "Sound the Alarm to Vote Yes on Prop 19" tour of California college campuses, complete with Dr. Bronner's promotional fire truck, now known as the "Yes We Cannabis Fire Truck." The tour kicked off in San Diego last weekend, and will crisscross the state in the three weeks until Election Day -- this weekend it will be in the Bay Area for SSDP's regional conference in San Francisco.

"Young voters are the primary victims of the drug war and logically the largest group of supporters of Prop 19," said SSDP executive director Aaron Houston. "We plan to register thousands of students in the next 10 days and help many first time voters develop plans for Election Day. Meshing good old fashioned one-on-one on college campuses with mobile alert technology sums up our strategy to turn out young voters," he added.

SSDP had already planned a get out the vote effort in conjunction with Firedoglake's Just Say Now campaign, but will now expand that effort thanks to the Bronner and Eidinger donations. "We are ramping up our outreach to even more students thanks to the surprise support," Houston said.

It's just three weeks from Election Day. The race is tight. The final push is on, the energy level is high, and late donations can help make the difference.

CA
United States

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