Thursday, February 11, 2010

Change of Tactics and a cleansing (again)

President Calderón finally made a visit to Ciudad Juárez and promised funding for schools, infrastructure and social services to support those in need and the youth who are falling prey to the narcos. After nearly 4,000 murders in this city under his presidency, Calderón has finally seen that more soldiers, more police, more guns etc is not the way to combat the scourge of poverty that supports the powerbase of organized crime. The youth need to see hope, they need to see opportunities that are provided by the state government as opposed to the opportunities offered (or forced by) the powerful crime syndicates.

Meanwhile, in Baja California the Attorney General has promised another cleansing of crooked, corrupt cops that have been revealed through the arrests of El Teo and his gang members. Apparently all levels of police are affected by the insidious tentacles of corruption (Federal, State and Municipal police) with some receiving up to 60,000 USD per month to cooperate and protect organized crime.

And what would this posting be without an update on the killing. At least it is a low number “only” 14 were killed yesterday with the total at 1167 for 2010 and the daily average still at 29. Torreón, Coahuila is still in a killing mood with 2 dead and 5 wounded, while a police sub-commander was killed while driving on patrol in the city of Aguascalientes. Tijuana, despite the high profile arrests had 7 killings and Sinaloa 4 more.


  1. Don't like to sound like the cynic however, I'll believe it when I see it is my present mantra, that being Calderon promises.
    As far as cleansing corrupt cops, there will just be another one to take their place.
    When I went to Tijuana, way back in 1970, I had to give a Mexican police officer 20 dollars to let me go and drive out of there as I'd been drinking.

  2. First half here then second half next post down as only 4,096 characters can be accepted.

    Calderon Told: Enough
    War on Drugs:


    JUAREZ -- Anger, fear and skepticism received Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Juarez on Thursday.

    Testimonials of leaders in the city where more than 4,500 people have died in the past two years had the same theme: enough with the violence.

    Calderon, his wife, Margarita Zavala, and seven members of his Cabinet were surrounded by hundreds of heavily armed soldiers and police officers.

    At the Cibeles convention center, business, religious and education leaders complained about the brutality of the drug war, human-rights violations by the military, unemployment and increasing taxes.

    The massacre that killed 15 people, mostly teenagers on Jan. 30, triggered Calderon to visit the deadliest city in Mexico for the second time in his administration. He sent his condolences to the families of the victims and mentioned ambiguous changes in the strategy to fight organized crime. The military presence will continue in the border city.

    "It pains me as the president of the nation what's going on," Calderon said.

  3. Some relatives of those killed in the massacre showed their backs to the president during his speech. Angry and upset, four mothers of the victims killed in the birthday party massacre refused to attend a private meeting with the president earlier at the community center Casa Amiga.

    At one point, Luz Maria Davila Garcia, who lost her teenage sons in the mass attack, interrupted a speech by Chihuahua Gov. Jose Reyes Baeza Terrazas and bypassed security to talk to Calderon face to face.

    Davila Garcia, 43, wanted Calderon to retract a remark he made two days after the massacre, in which he said preliminary investigations revealed the fight between the Sinaloa and the Juarez cartels gangs sparked the attack.

    "I cannot tell you, you are welcome, because for me, you are not," she told Calderon. "I want justice, not only for my two sons, but for the rest of the children."

    Calderon did not retract the statement, but he said he understood and apologized if it offended them.

    "They were model kids, athletes, students, good students and good children, like we would want all our children to be," Calderon said during his remarks.

    The government, including the president, has not done everything it can to coordinate different corps, he said.

    "Mistrust, political differences that exist have been an obstacle to make an efficient job," Calderon said. "We are all responsible. I also assume the responsibility that the federal executive carries."

    Calderon, flanked by the secretary of state, health, education and public safety, among others, said four areas need to be revised in the government's battle against organized crime.

    They are a revision of the criminal code, improved daily law enforcement operations, improved education and health and use of better technology for police.

    Calderon said Mexico's 9-1-1 emergency telephone number is not working properly, which has caused emergency responses to fail. He also said keeping an eye on infiltration and corruption among the military and federal police was part of the new strategy.

    Calderon said the federal government has to deal with the growing problem of extortions and kidnappings, which have plagued Juarez and other parts of the country.

    Before and after Calderon spoke, Juarez mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz addressed the 500 in attendance.

    During his talk, he was met with boos and screaming "miente," which translates to "he lies."

    "The result of this meeting should not be a cry for war," Reyes Ferriz said.

    After Reyes Ferriz said there were Juarenses who have stayed in the city to confront the battle, people booed him and said he does not live in Juarez, but in El Paso.

    El Paso Mayor John Cook sat at the first row and talked to some Juarez leaders before the president's visit.

    People warmly received Gov. Baeza Terrazas who said political campaigns in Mexico should not get in the way of the discussion of the drug war.

    Calderon's visit also came less than a week after Baeza Terrazas proposed to make Juarez temporarily the capital of the state. Chihuahua City is the capital. The legislators will vote on the move today.

    High-school and college students protested outside the convention center during the meeting.

    One of the protesters was Chihuahua state representative Victor Quintana Silveyra. Quintana Silveyra accuses the military of many human-rights violations, such as torture and kicking residents out of their homes. He is the human-rights commissioner for Chihuahua's Congress.

    "This is a visit that arrived 5,000 dead people late," he said. "After a lot of unheard calls, Calderon comes to Juarez."

    Soldiers and federal police sealed off the neighborhood Villas de Salvarcar, where the birthday party massacre occurred, and prevented reporters from going inside Thursday morning.

    Officials said Calderon visited with some of the families of the victims around noon at the community center in the area.

  4. Spending on infrastructure will prove no more effective against drug crime than spending on police and soldiers. Just look at the US, where the cities most damaged by drug crime also boast some of the highest per student spending in the world. Re-legalization is the only solution.

  5. The more there is of something the less valuable it becomes, including people's value of other people.

    The surest way to bring on mass poverty (and deforestation, plant and animal extinction, pollution, human rights abuses, etc…) is to explode the population.

    But just like drug prohibition is a religion to some people, so is the ignorance that does its best to force others' personal reproductive decisions.

    Imagine Mexico only had 100 people. If someone killed 5 of them, there'd be an uproar, chances are they all knew each other, chances are they all did something useful.

    Now imagine Mexico has far more people than it can feed, clothe, or house, AND more are passing through from other countries looking for resources of their own.


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