Friday, April 16, 2010

Spy Games

Soldiers in Cancún, Quintana Roo, discovered highly sophisticated tracking equipment in an apartment in downtown Cancún. Equipment for tracing telephones, cell phones and radio transmissions, apparently from Israel, were located in an apartment owned by a former municipal council member, Manuel Vera Salinas (he was also a former police academy director). Records discovered in the unit indicated that politicians, business people and reporters were all being tracked by this clandestine spy operations center that was capable of intercepting, tracking and recording conversations.

Unfortunately, on the other end of the country in the city of Juárez, 10 Federal Police officers were arrested for extortion. They are being investigated for demanding money from businesses and street-sellers. In one case, a police officer was demanding 50,000 pesos per month from a street-seller selling pirated DVDs (that works out to about 4500 USD). The poor citizens of Juárez, if they are not being killed they are being preyed upon by either the criminals, the police or both.

Also in Juárez, activists say that the number of "femicides" (killing of women) has increased since the arrival of the army. In 2009 there were 184 femicides, the highest rate since 1993.

The business community in Acapulco, Guerrero is asking for government assistance to help improve the image problems that have plagued this resort area. The 30 murders last month during Spring Break and the recent international sensation of 6 people being gunned down on the main street of Acapulco (including a woman and her 10 year old and 8 year old children that she had just picked up from school) in broad daylight have the hotel owners fearing that they could lose business (there doesn't seem to be much concern for the death of the innocents nor of the 6 youths who had been stacked like cordwood near the main highway from Acapulco to Mexico City. They had their hands and feet bound and they were each executed with a single shot to the head, their ages were: 15, 16, 17, 18, 20 and 21).
Yesterday, 3 more police officers were gunned down, 2 in San Luis Potosí and the other one in Nuevo León while a gunbattle in Camargo, Tamaulipas left 4 dead. 

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