Category Archives: Mexico/Central America

January 15, 2018

Violence in Tijuana keeps spiraling: 1,744 homicides in 2017, officials say

“The federal government not only doesn’t send money, it’s no longer participating in operations.”

After spiking to unprecedented levels last year, the bloodshed in Tijuana has continued at an unrelenting pace in the first days of the new year as two powerful drug trafficking organizations battle for control of the city’s lucrative street drug sales: The long-established Sinaloa cartel and a newer, aggressive group known as the cartel Nueva Generación Jalisco, often abbreviated as CJNG.

As homicides soared to unprecedented levels across Mexico in 2017, Tijuana registered one of the steepest increases in the country. The tally for the year was a record 1,744 homicides — almost double the record of 910 homicides set in 2016, according to figures from the Baja California Attorney General’s Office.

“The main issue right now with the power struggle is Sinaloa and the CJNG battling for street dealers, narcomenudeo,” said an official with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, speaking on condition that he not be named. “You have got to understand, the money that they make in Tijuana, that’s as much as crossing the border” with smuggled drugs.

Though bullets have struck innocent bystanders, the killings have been largely targeted and carried out in the city’s impoverished and working class neighborhoods, authorities say. Close to 90% of the victims are low-level operatives in the local drug trade, they say.

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January 14, 2018

62 assassinations in 10 days in Guanajuato

Irapuato, León and Celaya have been the worst hit by the wave of violence.

After recording unprecedented levels of violence last year, Guanajuato has suffered a bloody start to the new year.

There were 62 homicides in the state in the first 10 days of 2018, or on average, one murder every four hours. Men, women, teenagers and children are among the victims and many of the deaths are the result of domestic violence.

Around 40% of the cases occurred in Guanajuato’s three largest municipalities, where almost half of the state’s residents live.

Irapuato is the worst affected, recording 11 homicides in the first 10 days of the year. The municipality’s death toll rose further yesterday after four men were shot and killed in a mechanic’s workshop by a group of armed men at around 4:20pm.

The municipalities of León and Celaya are the next worst hit, recording seven homicides each as of Wednesday. In total, 17 Guanajuato cities have recorded homicides in 2018.

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January 9, 2018

11 dead after gun battle erupts outside Mexican beach resort (Video)

Another 30 members of the local police, which had been authorized by state officials to operate in the small town, were arrested in the operation.

The aftermath of a gunfight on the outskirts of the Mexican seaside resort of Acapulco that pit residents of a small town against members of a local, self-appointed community police force has left 11 dead, state officials said on Sunday.

The exchange of gunfire took place in the farming community of La Concepcion, just south of Acapulco, after elements of the community police detailed a young man for disorderly conduct during town festivities early Sunday morning.

Eight local residents were killed in that exchange.

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December 30, 2017

Jalisco congressman murdered in Tomatlán

The longtime politician had registered last Wednesday to run for a second term as mayor.

A longtime Jalisco politician was shot and killed this morning in his native Tomatlán.

Democratic Revolution Party Congressman Saúl Galindo Plazola was traveling on federal highway 200 when he was attacked by gunfire at about 9:00am, local police said.

He was rushed to the regional hospital but died en route.

Galindo was mayor of Tomatlán from 2013 to 2015 and had registered yesterday to seek another term in next year’s elections. In November 2015 he was named a deputy in the state Congress, where he was head of the justice commission.

The current mayor of Tomatlán declined to speculate about the motive for Galindo’s killing but acknowledged that crime was up in the municipality.

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December 28, 2017

Using Billions in Government Cash, Mexico Controls News Media

The government’s influence over the media goes well beyond the advertising spigot, with officials sometimes resorting to outright bribery. In Chihuahua, the former governor spent more than $50 million on publicity, officials say, in a state saddled with huge public debts. Yet that was just the official figure.

Running a newspaper, radio station or television outlet in Mexico usually means relying on a single, powerful client that spends exorbitant sums on advertising with a simple warning: “I do not pay you to criticize me.”

That client is the government of Mexico.

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars a year in government money on advertising, creating what many Mexican media owners, executives and journalists call a presidential branding juggernaut capable of suppressing investigative articles, directing front pages and intimidating newsrooms that challenge it.

Despite vowing to regulate government publicity, Mr. Peña Nieto has spent more money on media advertising than any other president in Mexico’s history — nearly $2 billion in the past five years, according to government data compiled by Fundar, a transparency group. It found that his administration spent more than twice the generous media budget Mexican lawmakers allotted it for 2016 alone.

And that is just the federal money.

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December 23, 2017

6 bodies found hanging from bridges near Mexican resort

Violent crime has spiked in Baja California, particularly around the once-peaceful resort of Los Cabos visited by millions of foreign tourists every year. Los Cabos police chief Juan Manuel Mayorga was shot dead last week.

The bodies of six men were found hanging from three different bridges near the Mexican tourist resort of Los Cabos on the Baja California peninsula on Wednesday, local authorities said.

The authorities did not give details on what happened to the men, but drug gangs often hang the bodies of their murdered victims in public to intimidate rivals. Drug gang violence is set to make 2017 Mexico’s deadliest year in modern history.

Two bodies were found on a bridge in Las Veredas, near Los Cabos International Airport, and two on a different bridge on the highway between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, local prosecutors said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the prosecutors said two further bodies were found on a third bridge near the airport.

An official from the prosecutor’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the bodies of the men had been hung from the bridges.

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December 22, 2017

Mexico Has Deadliest Year On Record, Deploys Military To Streets

In Mexico, 97% of all homicides are never solved.

Mexico’s deadly drug war continues to tear the country apart as Mexican officials project that 2017 will be the deadliest year in the nation’s history since the government started releasing crime records two decades ago.

The Mexican government projects that by the end of 2017, over 27,000 will have died as a result of the violence that is fueled by drug cartels, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Key takeaways from Dallas News’ report:

The violence from Mexico’s drug war has become so bad and security has declined so rapidly that the government approved on Friday the use of the military on streets.

Twenty-seven of Mexico’s 32 states — including areas that are popular tourist destinations like Cabo San Lucas and Cancun — reported having major drug violence in 2017.

A top contributing factor in the explosion of violence is the “kingpin” strategy, which goes after the top leaders in the drug cartels. When the leadership is taken out it creates “dangerous power vacuums filled by smaller, more bloodthirsty groups that target everything and everyone, from siphoning fuel from pipelines to kidnapping Mexico’s middle class and wealthy for ransom.”

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December 7, 2017

More than 3K Human Bone Fragments Found in Mexican Border State Killing Field

Authorities in Coahuila confirmed the discovery of more than 3,000 human bone fragments in a cartel killing field and incineration site. The remains were found in the southwestern part of the state; an area where the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas fought for years.

The discovery was made earlier this month by members of the human rights organization, Group Vida, trying to find answers for the thousands of victims missing in Coahuila. According to information released by the state attorney gneral’s office, based on the accounts of various locals, the group carried out a search in the San Antonio Del Alto community near Matamoros, not far from the border with Durango.

During their search of the area, the group discovered 3,000 bone fragments believed to be human, a metal drum, and multiple bullet casings, authorities revealed. The discovery of the drum points to a longstanding practice by drug cartels where they use 55-gallon drums to incinerate human remains.

While Coahuila has historically been considered to be under the influence of Los Zetas–Durango is considered to be controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel.

The discovery comes a little over a year after as Breitbart Texas reported, another search by human rights groups yielded close to 3,500 bone fragments in a rural area north from where the most recent discovery was made.

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December 5, 2017

The Left Sets Honduras on Fire

Socialists rampage through the country after an apparent election loss.

Hillary Clinton’s favorite Central American was back in the news this week, as Honduras painstakingly counted ballots in front of international observers and tried to discern, with utmost transparency, the winner of the Nov. 26 presidential election.

Amid the tension, left-wing candidate Salvador Nasralla cried fraud and called for an uprising. Soon, like a bad centavo, pro-Chávez Honduran former President Manuel Zelaya turned up in the midst of one angry mob.

Recall that in 2009 Mr. Zelaya was kicked out of the country, with the support of his own party, for violating the constitution. Mrs. Clinton, who was then secretary of state, tried and failed to force Honduras to take Mr. Zelaya back. Last week he was seen again, wearing his signature cowboy hat and leading a bunch of hooligans trying to break into the warehouse where the electoral authorities had stored ballots and tally sheets from around the country for counting. The raid did not succeed, but the incident captured the spirit of Zelaya-Nasralla politics.

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November 30, 2017

Mexico promised affordable housing for all. Instead it created many rapidly decaying slums

The best of modern progressive civilization—government, private firms, international organizations—teamed up to build homes for 20 million people in Mexico. Over $100 billion later and its a disaster.

Sixteen years ago, Mexico embarked on a monumental campaign to elevate living standards for its working-class masses.

The government teamed with private developers to launch the largest residential construction boom in Latin American history. Global investors — the World Bank, big foundations, Wall Street firms — poured billions of dollars into the effort.

Vast housing tracts sprang up across cow pastures, farms and old haciendas. From 2001 to 2012, an estimated 20 million people — one-sixth of Mexico’s population — left cities, shantytowns and rural ranchos for the promise of a better life.

It was a Levittown moment for Mexico — a test of the increasingly prosperous nation’s first-world ambitions. But Mexico fell disastrously short of creating that orderly suburbia.

The program has devolved into a slow-motion social and financial catastrophe, inflicting daily hardships and hazards on millions in troubled developments across the country, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found.

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