Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’
Mexican Marine on guard outside a Veracruz police station
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
An entire municipal police force in Mexico has been disbanded as part of a campaign to root out corruption and improve security in the face of drug-related violence.
More than 900 officers in Veracruz-Boca del Rio are losing their jobs. The Mexican navy is taking over responsibility for law enforcement.
The move comes three months after 35 bodies were found dumped on a main road in the municipality, which includes part of the city of Veracruz…
Veracruz state governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa said the decision to disband the force was part of a national programme to reform the police.
“All those who belong to the now defunct Veracruz-Boca del Rio force can join the police again once they have past the tests of trustworthiness demanded by the national system of public security,” he said.
He did not say how long the navy would be in charge of policing the municipality, which is home to around 600,000 people and includes wealthy residential districts and popular tourist areas…
Corruption and infiltration of the police by criminals are among the biggest challenges Mexico faces in its fight against the cartels, says the BBC’s Ignacio de los Reyes in Mexico City.
As well as using troops to confront the gangs militarily, President Felipe Calderon has stressed the need to reform the police and judiciary as part of his strategy to restore public security.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when Mr Calderon began deploying the military to fight the gangs.
Anyone out there feel like spending your holiday in Mexico?
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
Soldiers in Mexico have seized $15.3 million in cash, believed to belong to the country’s most wanted drug lord, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman.
The security forces said they found the money when they searched a car in a well-to do neighbourhood of Tijuana, on the US-Mexico border. They said the money was being taken to a safe house used by Shorty Guzman and his gang, the powerful Sinaloa cartel.
It is the second largest cash seizure since Felipe Calderon became president.
Defence Ministry spokesman Gen Ricardo Trevilla said the find was made during a “surprise operation” in the Cumbres de Juarez neighbourhood of Tijuana, in Baja California state.
He said the soldiers found $15.35m in cash, 3kg of cocaine, four weapons, and jewellery inside the car…
He did not say what led the troops to the cash. No arrests were made.
No arrests were made? No idea who the car belonged to? No search of nearby houses?
Are we to think the drogas drop a car full of cash and coke blocks away from easy access?
Soldiers in Mexico have found 140 Central American migrants hidden in a lorry. The soldiers were searching the tractor-trailer for drugs when they came across a false wall behind which the migrants were hiding.
Two men were detained in connection with the find in the southern state of Chiapas.
Tens of thousands of migrants from Central America cross Mexico each year trying to get to the United States.
Many are discovered and sent back; others are forcibly recruited by drug gangs or killed.
Soldiers stopped the lorry at a routine checkpoint on the highway leading from Pijijiapan to Toniba in southern Chiapas state…They said the two Mexican drivers were unusually nervous when questioned.
A thorough inspection of the tractor-trailer revealed a hidden wall behind which the soldiers found 128 men and 12 women.
The migrants, who said they were from neighbouring Guatemala, were taken to the local prosecutor’s office in Arriaga.
These folks must have been packed into that hidden space like bundles of asparagus.
Guns, marijuana and cocaine seized during Operation Pipeline Express
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
At least 70 suspected drug smugglers with alleged ties to the powerful Sinaloa cartel have been arrested in Arizona, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
The massive take-down of the drug trafficking network in Arizona included arrests of Mexican and U.S. suspects who allegedly smuggled more than 330 tons of illegal narcotics a year through Arizona.
More than 20 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies were involved in the 17-month multiagency investigation called Operation Pipeline Express. Speaking at a news conference Monday in Phoenix, law enforcement officials said the organization was responsible for smuggling more than $33 million worth of drugs a month…
Officials say the ring, organized around cells based in the Arizona communities of Chandler, Stanfield and Maricopa, used backpackers and vehicles to move loads of marijuana and other drugs from the Arizona-Mexico border to a network of “stash” houses in the Phoenix area. After arriving in Phoenix, the contraband was sold to distributors from multiple states nationwide.
Law enforcement officials seized thousands of pounds of marijuana, cocaine and heroin in a series of raids. They also seized more than 100 weapons, including multiple assault rifles and ammunition.
Authorities say the organization has been around for at least five years. According to a news release, officials say they “conservatively estimate the ring has smuggled more than 3.3 million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into to the United States, generating almost $2 billion in illicit proceeds.”
Most folks who feel – as I do – that drug use should be decriminalized, managed through price-fixed clinics still have nothing but contempt for the slimy gangsters who run the import business for American habits and addiction.
Throw away the key.
Smart enough to skip the local meat
Contaminated meat in Mexico led to traces of the banned drug clenbuterol being found in urine samples given by more than 100 players involved in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in June, the world governing body’s medical chief has revealed. Of the 24 squads involved, 19 – possibly including England’s youth team – had several players showing the presence of clenbuterol but at concentrations lower than the prohibited level.
Positive tests for five players from the senior Mexico squad had alerted FIFA to a possible issue, and when four more positive tests emerged from the youth tournament the governing body decided to reanalyse all the 208 urine samples taken.
A laboratory in Cologne discovered the presence of the steroid in 109 of those samples – 52.4% – but most in concentrations lower than the banned level so they had not been reported. Clenbuterol is banned in farming in most countries but is used to speed up growth and increase muscle mass in cattle…
FIFA ordered meat samples to be collected from team hotels and 30% of these showed the presence of clenbuterol.
The Mexican government have made a number of arrests and closed down several slaughterhouses in recent weeks after being alerted to the issue, according to Mikel Arriola, an official from Mexico’s health ministry.
Mexico’s victorious under-17 team did not have a single adverse finding; after the positive tests for the senior players they were only allowed to eat fish and vegetables.
We actually buy a fair range of certified organic vegetables from Mexico. They ain’t coming from the Big Brands; but, generally, from farms owned and run by Mennonite communities.
Mexican meat? We have a couple of carnicerias in Santa Fe. My wife won’t let me prepare a recipe with meat from them. She’s probably right.
Oh, and the closing of slaughterhouses in Mexico? Looks good in the newspapers. Mail me a penny postcard when the Mexican government offers more than window dressing.
Several police officers in northern Mexico allowed a violent drug gang to hold kidnap victims in the local jail while ransom payments were being negotiated…
Four police officers from Juárez, a suburb of the city of Monterrey, are being held pending further investigation, said Jorge Domene, the security spokesman for Nuevo León state.
The scandal came to light this week when state and federal police freed two kidnapping victims from jail cells in Juárez. Investigators believe that the victims were abducted by the extremely violent Zetas cartel and that the officers were working for the Zetas, Domene said…
Domene noted that last weekend, the Nuevo León attorney general’s office detained 73 local policemen from a half dozen communities in the state who confessed to having performed various services for gangs, including spying, acting as lookouts, and carrying out killings and kidnappings…
The most scandalous case of prison corruption came to light in July 2010, when an investigation revealed that guards and officials at a prison in the northern city of Gómez Palacio had freed inmates belonging to a gang, lent them guns and sent them off in official vehicles to carry out drug-related killings, including the massacre of 17 people earlier that year.
The guards allowed the inmates to return to their cells after the killings so that they would be safe from reprisals, authorities said at the time.
“We have barely been in time to put the brakes on organised crime in the first stages, but in some towns, in some areas of the country, they have infiltrated authorities in a practically symbiotic relationship,” President Felipe Calderon said during a speech to members of the business community on Thursday.
With friends like these…
The old saw is as true as ever. Calderon’s speech is a farce. From here it sounds like he’s repeating truisms that the average 6th-grader could have presented as analysis of Mexico’s corrupt interrelationships between government, police and gangsters. 10 years ago. 20 years ago.
No “reforms” have been passed by their Congreso. State and local governments most often manage those relationships by bribery, kickbacks and protection payoffs – rather than by housecleaning and prosecution. Force of arms is the only solution attempted by the Calderon government. Half-measures at best.
Souvenir of Acapulco
Five severed human heads were found near an elementary school in Acapulco, Mexico, an area where some schools had already canceled classes because of lack of security.
The heads were found Tuesday inside a sack that had been placed inside a small wooden crate, the Guerrero state public security secretariat said…
Teachers this month held protests over threats they received, presumably from drug cartels. The calls threatened harm if teachers did not pay a portion of their salaries to the drug gangs…
Late last month, right at the beginning of the school year, teachers fled from about 75 schools after receiving threats. Administrators and other personnel also refused to go to work and many schools were left empty and padlocked from outside for two weeks.
I know that Mexico is a democracy and all sorts of constitutional forms rule jurisprudence, etc.. But, this level of barbarism justifies something like martial law.
Completely aside from all the understanding analyses of how that nation got to the point of criminal anarchy – questions of public safety and sanity have to prevail sooner or later. If that requires locking down the streets and going door-to-door, whatever, to drag these scumbags to trial and prison – it’s overdue!
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
At least 53 people were killed in a fiery attack at a casino in an upscale area of Monterrey, Mexico, government and emergency officials said…
Witnesses have told investigators that up to six people entered the Casino Royale and asked for the manager, according Adrian de la Garza, the state attorney general for Nuevo Leon.
When the manager refused, they set the building on fire, he said. It’s believed a solvent was used to start the blaze, possibly gasoline, de la Garza said…
Between 20 and 30 people were trapped in the casino by debris, said Cmdr. Angel Flores with the Green Cross…
Monterrey is the capital of Nuevo Leon…Nuevo Leon and the neighboring states of Coahuila and Tamaulipas have been the scene of clashes between organized crime groups. The Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas are vying for control of trafficking routes into the United States.
In November 2010, the federal government launched the Coordinated Operation Northeast, which involves sending more security forces to the area to tackle crime.
A tactic which obviously hasn’t had the effect of diminishing violence.
For generations we have been taking fish out of the ocean at a rate faster than they can reproduce. The problem is that there are fewer and fewer fish to meet an ever-increasing demand. The solution is simply to take less so that we can continue eating fish for a longer time.
Opponents of conservation, however, argue that regulating fishing will destroy jobs and hurt the economy–but they are wrong, and there are real-world examples that prove this. A scientific study published today by the Public Library of Science shows that protecting an area brings the fish back, and creates jobs and increases economic revenue for the local communities. I have seen it with my own eyes and, believe me, it is like a miracle, only that it is not–it’s just common business sense.
Cabo Pulmo National Park in Baja California, Mexico, was protected in 1995 to safeguard the largest coral community in the Gulf of California. When I dove there for the first time in 1999, I thought the corals were very nice, but there were not so many fishes, and I didn’t think the place was extraordinary. Together with Octavio Aburto and other Mexican colleagues we dove at many sites in the gulf, in a region spanning over 1,000 km. Cabo Pulmo was just like most other places I’d seen in the Gulf of California.
But the Cabo Pulmo villagers wanted more. They decided that the waters in front of their settlement were going to be a no-take marine reserve – fishing was banned with the hopes of bringing the fish back. They had a vision, and they succeeded in a way that exceeded all expectations, including mine.
In 2009 we went back to Cabo Pulmo to monitor the fish populations. We jumped in the water, expecting fishes to be more abundant after 10 years of protection. But we could not believe what we saw–thousands upon thousands of large fishes such as snappers, groupers, trevally, and manta rays. They were so abundant that we could not see each other if we were fifteen meters apart. We saw more sharks in one dive at Cabo Pulmo than in 10 years of diving throughout the Gulf of California!
Our research indicated that the fish biomass increased by 460% at Cabo Pulmo–to a level similar to remote pristine coral reefs that have never been fished. In contrast, all other sites in the Gulf of California that we revisited in 2009 were as degraded as ten years earlier. This shows that it is possible to bring back the former richness of the ocean that man has obliterated, but that without our dedication, the degradation will continue.
It seems like a win-win to me! The question is: how can we have more of these?
The question isn’t new – nor is the solution. Quick and responsible solution? Offer a collaborative between enviros and fishing fleets. A certain percentage of the time – especially if the fishing is based in local communities rather than international brigands – that collaborative solution is possible and succeeds.
No collaboration? That’s what we have governments for.