Monday, May 31, 2010

6 decapitated bodies located throughout Durango

In various parts of the municipalities of Lerdo and Gómez Palacio the decapitated bodies of six people were discovered. Two of the bodies were identified as those of the 2 missing police officers, José Refugio Olivas Cereceros and Sebastián Moreno Castro of the Dirección de Seguridad Pública Municipal de Gómez Palacio. In Juárez, Chihuahua 3 youths in a car were killed by gunmen while another man was hunted down and shot. Tamaulipas saw 2 traffic police officers killed in two separate attacks.

And, in Taxco, 6 more bodies have been raised from the mine that was used as a mass grave, including the body of recently kidnapped David Bravo Mota who was the director of the Cereso de Iguala Penitentiary.

In the town of Tepic, Nayarit, a gun-battle lasting over 20 minutes between 2 rival gangs left 2 gangsters dead and hundreds of residents traumatized as they fled for cover. The fight occurred over a distance of 5 miles as the two gangs chased each other in the streets. After the battle the fleeing gangsters left behind 5 bullet-ridden SUVs, 4 of which were armoured.

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Prison Warden murdered

In less than a week, another prison warden was kidnapped and decapitated, this time in Morelos. Luis Navarro Castañeda, the director of the Atlacholoaya Penitentiary in Morelos, was kidnapped Saturday and his decapitated head, bearing a written message from the South Pacific Cartel, was discovered at the local hospital. His body parts were subsequently discovered in various locations of the city. Another body was also discovered in Miacatlán.
A mass grave containing from 20 to 28 bodies has been discovered in the community of San Francisco Cuadra in the municipality of Taxco de Alarcón, Guerrero. The army had received an anonymous tip leading to the discovery. Another body was discovered in the trunk of an abandoned car on the Cocula-Iguala federal highway while 2 other bodies were found in Nogales, Sonora. A group of 4 youths were shot in Mexico City yesterday, in the Iztapalapa neighbourhood. This makes 7 shootings in the last two days in Mexico City (with the 3 men shot in Condesa, 2 of them dead).

This brings the count to 4426 (7064) for 2010.

And, last, the ex-director of Interpol-Mexico, Rodolfo de la Guardia, is now being charged with money laundering for the Beltrán-Leyva brothers.

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


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Saturday, May 29, 2010

178 Monterrey cops let go

The mayor of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Fernando Larrazabal, fired 178 municipal police officers as part of his campaign to clean up the city police force. After a series of 5 "confidence" tests (which include drug testing, financial checks and the polygraph) 118 officers opted to resign with benefits while the other 60 were fired outright.

The bodies of 4 men and a woman were found in an abondoned car in the municipality of Ecatepec (near Mexico City). All the bodies had signs of torture and a message directed towards the La Familia Michoacoana drug cartel. In Condesa, the trendy section of Mexico City, 2 men were found shot to death inside their vehicle.

In Navojoa, Sinaloa, the bodies of 2 ministerial police agents were discovered (they had been reported missing since the 25 of May). In Los Mochis, Sinaloa, the son of the former Academic Coordinator for the Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Lucio Tarín, was found executed. A unidentified man was discovered shot to death in Culiacán while another unidentified body was discovered on the outskirts of town. Discovered in 3 plastic bags were the remains of 3 bodies in Colima and in Manzanillo a gunman was killed by the police. In Zeutla, Guerrero, the bodies of 2 unidentified men were also discovered plastic bags.

Finally, 14 people were killed yesterday in Juárez and in the Valle de Juárez. The dead included 5 men shot at noon as they bought lunch at a mobile burrito stand near the Zaragoza bridge, apparently the 5 were murdered in front of soldiers and the soldiers did nothing.

This latest killing frenzy of 30 brings the yearly total to 4,406 (6988)

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mayor of Cancún arrested on drug and corruption charges

The Mayor of Cancún, Gregorio Sánchez, was arrested by Federal Police last Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to commit drug crimes and of money laundering. This arrest followed the May 10 extradition of Mario Ernesto Villanueva, the state's former governor, to U.S. authorities on charges of helping transport more than 200 tons of cocaine to the USA. Villanueva was mayor of Cancún from 1990-92.

Municipal police officers of the city of Nezahualcóyotl, who asked to remain anonymous, have complained that they are being asked for weekly money "quotas" by their superiors from between 20 USD to 300 USD depending on their job function...if they do not pay they are fired. They claim that the police commanders and the Director of Security, Victor Alejo Muñoz, garner at least 25,000 USD.

In the municipality of Gustavo A Madero, Mexico City, the head of police, Miguel Ángel Mancera states that nearly 160 police officers have been fired under his administration (3 years so far) for various offences. Yesterday, in this same municipality, a ministerial police officer, Victor Manuel Rangel Cabrera, was riding on his motorcycle with his wife and 4 year old son. He struck a Taxi and the family fell to the ground. In a fit of rage, Rangel drew his pistol and shot the taxi driver dead. Rangel is currently under investigation for homicide.

In the rich section of Monterrey, San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, one of the leaders of the Beltrán Leyva splinter groups, Pedro Roberto Velázquez Amador (La Piña) was shot and killed during a confrontation with the military which lasted 15 minutes. Six other gunmen escaped despite the lock down that the military had applied to the neighbourhood. Velázquez was an ex-police officer from San Pedro Garza García who had been working for the cartels.

In other parts of Nuevo León, 215 state police officers have been removed from duty in the last 2 months by the state Secretary for Public Security, Luis Carlos Treviño Berchelmann, while 150 Federal Police officers have arrived to assist in policing the frontier of Nuevo León with Tamaulipas. The 215 police officers included 15 officers who refused to attend calls for assistance, in one case, in a barrio that had reports of gunfire.

Another penitentiary director has disappeared, this time in Guerrero. The director of "Cereso de Iguala", Daniel Bravo Mota as well as a psychologist, Igancio Suástegui Pérez, have both disappeared last Monday while on their way to eat at a local restaurant.

There were another 17 murders yesterday, bringing the yearly total to 4357 (5357). Among these was another lawyer, this time in Durango, 32 year old Armando Baca. Baca's murder brings to a total, in the last 2 years alone, 25 lawyers who have been murdered.

Seven people were killed in Juárez, including 2 who were executed in the Plaza de Los Toros as well as a campaign worker for the PRI while painting a slogan on a building. As well, the 4th police officer killed this week in Juárez was also gunned down. Two other state police officers were executed in the city of Chihuahua. Officer Javier Villalobos and Officer Fabiola Sosa were killed by gunmen in a parking lot. Five other people were also killed in the state of Chihuahua, 2 others in Sinaloa, 2 in Sonora, and 2 more in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Family executed in Sinaloa

In the municipality of Cosalá 6 family members were executed while in Culiacán 3 other people were killed 2 of the bodies were discovered in an SUV and another body of a woman was discovered in the San Lorenzo canal, riddled with bullets.

Ex-police officer, Jesús Sosa Ahumada, died yesterday from his wounds sustained by an attack last Sunday. He was a former police officer for the municipality of Guasave. In Matamoros, Tamaulipas, 2 persons are reported killed as were 2 others in Sayula, Jalisco while Morelos, Coahuila, Durango and Sonora each reported one killing.

Meanwhile, the slaughter in Juárez refuses to let up with another 9 killings added to the list. This includes a police officer who was gunned down by at least 10 shots when he stopped a speeding car to issue a ticket. Another Chihuahua state police officer was also murdered, homicide detective, David Servando González Varela, was shot on his way to work. Apparently, the poor quality of the equipment issued to the police did not help, as his gun failed to fire when he tried to defend himself (as a former police officer, I can assure you that that is a very frightening scenario). The local newspaper, El Diario, notes that 38 police officers have been killed this year in Juárez as of today while 67 police officers were killed in the entire year of 2010.
With the 25 added yesterday, the total for 2010 now stands at 4340 (5340) with an average of 30 (37) per day.

For a map of the killings: click:


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

60 gunmen attack town

At least 16 vehicles carrying 60 gunmen attacked the border-town of El Porvenir (near Ft Hancock, Texas), resulting in 2 police cars being burned and 2 people killed last Sunday night. Officials stated that the gunmen were armed with various high calibre rifles including .50 Barret and several hand grenades.

And, from Molly Molloy of Frontera List: In Juárez there were 8 killings yesterday with one incident that saw three lawyers shot in front of the office of the Federal Attorney General (the PGR state delegation) in Juarez with one dying while another man was taken to the hospital. Also, group of four young people (3 men and a woman) were selling candy on the street as part of their work for the Rehab Center "Liberacion" in the Hacienda de la Torres neighborhood. It is common for the inmates/patients of a center to sell stuff to help pay for their care. They were "hunted down" and shot. Three of them died from bullet wounds to the head and were found along the streets of the neighborhood. The fourth victim survived and was taken to the hospital. El Diario mentions 3 rehab center attacks in 2009. In June, 5 people identified as members of the Mexicles gang were killed in a rehab center in La Chaveña; on Sept 2, 17 people were shot to death in the rehab center Casa Aliviane; and on Sept 15, 10 people were murdered in a center called Anexo de Vida. The article does not mention the attack on the CIAD #8 rehab center on August 13 2008 where 9 people were gunned down during a prayer meeting.

The governor of the state of Nayarit, Ney González announced that he is replacing all his upper staff in the police forces because of their ineffectiveness in combating the rise in violence in the city of Tepic, especially the gun-battles and executions that are taking place on the streets on an almost a daily basis.

And, in Monterrey, Nuevo León, the entire municipal police department was ordered to remain in their barracks so every officer can be subject to "confidence tests" (5 various tests which include the polygraph, drug testing and income means test). This involves 594 police officers and 14 commanders. In the last 6 months, 180 police officers have been fired on corruption-related charges and the army has documented several instances where the police agency has been infiltrated by agents of the Los Zetas cartel. The police officers were given a chance to quit the force prior to undertaking the exams without financial penalty...up to 30 officers chose this route.

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


Justice in Mexico report

May report in pdf format available here:
A plain text summary is pasted below...

Dear Justice in Mexico Subscriber,

On behalf of the Trans-Border Institute (TBI) at the University of San Diego, I'm pleased to send you our May 2010 news report from the Justice in Mexico Project.  Here are a few highlights:

• Ejecuciones surpass 4,000 for 2010, with Chihuahua and Sinaloa still hardest hit

• President Calderón meets with Obama administration in Washington

• Influential PAN leader kidnapped from his ranch in Querétaro

 •Mexican Senate passes law on military’s role in public security operations and kidnapping bill

• Questions of Mexican government “collaboration” with Sinaloa cartel raised

Also, as always, remember that our monthly reports, as well as our latest drug violence maps, are available on our project website ( You can also view regular updates on rule
of law and security issues in Mexico on our blog and RSS feed ( Also, our database of crime indicators can be accessed on the TBI website (

Hawaii County Council committee discusses resolution in support of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition


The Big Island News blog has posted a video of the committee discussion from the Hawaii County Council regarding a resolution in support of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Councilman Greenwell proposed the resolution, and it was supported by Councilwoman Naeole-Beason. Ultimately it received a "negative recommendation" with a 7-2 vote. Still, I think this is the first time a local council has proposed a resolution in support of LEAP.

Here is a draft copy of the resolution itself. (I can't seem to find the final version, but I don't think any substantial changes were made from this draft.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mexican narcos control Latin America

The US state department has stated that Mexico drug trafficking organisations now control both Central America and South America with a marked presence in every country including innocuous Belize. Edgardo Buscaglia confirmed this assessment when he delivered his report on organized crime to the United Nations "Internacional Estratégico de Control de las Drogas 2010".

The continuing attacks on police forces left 2 Federal Police officers dead in Nuevo León. Kidnapped last Friday, the bodies of the 2 officers were discovered in the municipality of China, Nuevo León. As well, 3 Federal Police agents were wounded as they were patrolling Ciudad Juárez in their car. Eight people in all were victims of homicide yesterday in Juarez, including two Boy Scouts, ages 18 and 21, who were pursued and shot from a moving vehicle as they traveled along Hwy 45 south of the city en route to Juarez. Another victim was hit by a car as a group of criminals were fleeing after robbing a store. The robbers were being chased by federal police and the driver of the car was shot and hit a pedestrian who also died.

In the city of Chihuahua, a group of gunmen killed a person behind the "California Bar" while the bodies of 4 men were found in "Los Arcos" district of the city of Chihuahua. In Tepic 2 other men were discovered shot to death and in Jalisco the torched bodies of a man and a woman were found while a young male was discovered dead in Coahuila.

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


Police officer and his drug-detection dog missing

A Federal Police agent, Jorge Vega García, and his drug-detecting canine have been missing since last Sunday. Officer Vega García and his specially trained canine went missing as he drove from Los Mochis, Sinaloa to Nogales Sonora.

In Sinaloa 3 people including a woman were executed. The body of the woman, Christina Valdez Sandoval, 26 years old, was discovered in the municipality of Los Mochis while the body of Carlos Luque was found in a car in Guasave and an unknown male in the town of Elota.

The city of Chihuahua reported 9 more killings, including one woman. The city of Durango saw a driver shot to death and his three female passengers wounded by an assailant with a high powered weapon while San Miguel Totolapan, Guerrero had another execution, Claudio Padilla García. Tampico, Tamaulipas saw 2 gunmen die after an altercation with an army patrol. A subsequent search of their vehicle revealed high powered rifles and 3 grenades. In Zacatepec, Morelos a patron was thrown out of a bar and then gunned down in the street. Near Acapulco the body of a woman was discovered and Tabasco also had one execution.

All in all, there where 18 killings added to the yearly total which now stands at 4271 (5271).

On another note, being Canadian is not something to boast about all the time, and comments by Louise Paquette-Neville, the IRB member remind me of this. In a recent Toronto Star article she is quoted as saying (with respect to refugee claims by Mexicans):

“There is a presumption that, except in situations where the state is in complete breakdown, the state is capable of protecting its citizens,” wrote Louise Paquette-Neville, the IRB member who denied Gutierrez’s claim.

What is odd is that Paquette-Neville's own government contradicts her statement through the various travel advisories given to Canadian citizens not to travel to various parts of Mexico because it is unsafe and their safety cannot be guaranteed. Odd because, although the 2nd largest income for the country is tourism, Mexico cannot even guarantee the safety of those coming to visit the country regardless of guaranteeing the safety of its own citizens. This is something of which Ms Paquette-Neville would be aware, if the honorable IRB member undertakes a modicum of research. She would quickly realise that Mexico is NOT capable of protecting its citizens, especially in cities like Juárez, Reynosa and even wealthy Monterrey and even complete states like Sinaloa, Durango, Tamualipas, Michoacán, Sonora, Guerrero, Oaxaca or Chihuahua.

IS there a "tipping point" of states that need be ungovernable before Ms Paquette-Neville changes her uniformed opinion? 5 states?...oops already there, 10 states...getting close, or !?!?! OR maybe a number of deaths...10,000? 20,000? how about close to 25,000 in 3 years (the homicide rate of Mexico is higher than many truly failed states in the same time-period, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Chad, or the DRC

Do not just take my word for it, Ms Paquette-Neville, how about the word of the family of one of the most powerful, politically connected men in Mexico, Diego Fernández de Cevallos who was recently kidnapped, and who have asked the government to stop "helping" them, that it will only make matters worse. If a ruling family, that is closely tied into the current government, has no faith in the State's ability to protect them, then why would Ms Louise Paquette-Neville, the IRB member, apparently unenlightened about anything Mexican, rule different?

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


Sunday, May 23, 2010

"He does what the governments doesn't do for us"

Jamaica is a rough place. 2.7 million people and 1,500 homicides. That's a higher homicide rate than Baltimore... but lower than Baltimore's Eastern District. It's also dangerous for police, with 5 official line-of-duty deaths per year (though I suspect many more police die in less official ways).

Jamaican police are known to kill a lot of people, probably between 150 and 300 each year. Now that's getting tough on crime! Too bad it doesn't work.

Now I've never been to Jamaica and don't know what I'm talking about. But here's my take: You got the drugs. They're illegal. So you got the drug lords. They got the money. And then you got the government. But they don't do much at all for the poor folk. So the drug lords hand out money and are pretty popular in certain parts. The drug lords are also linked to politics.

As Amnesty International puts it:
Gang leaders use the vacuum left by the absence of the state to control huge aspects of inner city people's lives -- including the collection of "taxes", allocation of jobs, distribution of food and the punishment of those who transgress gang rules.
Police? They're in the middle. They probably don't go into certain neighborhoods and many are bought off. But every now and then police do the right or wrong thing and get caught up in crime or trying to fight crime.

The latest is that police are trying to get a drug lord, Christopher "Dudus" Coke. He's wanted in the U.S. But this "don" isn't going down without a fight. The Harder They Come, baby (I just never get tired of Toots and the Maytals singing "Sweet and Dandy"): A police station torched. Gun battles. Barricades. A government offering to bus people to safety. A Prime Minister saying violence will not be tolerated.

Of course lot of the people will fight for Dudus. Or, as one woman said, "We haffi support all a man like that because him a do what the Government naa do fi wi."

[abrasive sound of scratching needle-on-record]

Say what?! As Professor Harriott, political sociologist at the University of the West Indies puts it:
The women would have enumerated those benefits, being safe from rapists, etc. Plus there are other traditional benefits like free light, etc, so there are tangible benefits. ... It is a communal thing and there is a common identity -- one benefits simply by being a member of the group.... There are privileges and obligations, one of which is to protect. If the don makes money and doesn't let off, then the contract is broken. As long as the don upholds his end, there will not be a problem.
Ah, that's my language. I just knew that ivy league education was good for something. But it's not as fun as my girlfriend:
Inna this area we feel safe, because man from outside and even dem whey live ya cyaan come in and rape we.... If any rape a gwaan, a when we go out a road and man try a thing. Up ya so nuh come een like a place like over Seaview [Gardens] where them don't have no don in charge and everybody do as them like. Up ya so we have a one man who run things and when anybody bruk the rules, we report him and the boss deal wid him.
Yesssss. Exactly. Does she know the money is drug money? Of course a little of that goes on... "Lickle a dat gwaan, but dem man dey nuh mek much money offa dem things dey." No they don't.

I want to go to Jamaica. I won't understand a word!

Cartoon from the Jamaica Observer

P.S. Jamaica is not going to win the war on drugs either.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Failed state... no, failing state... yes.

The war on drugs, whether waged by Mexico and/or the US, is ripping apart the social and moral fabric of the countries that participate. People have no respect for the intrusive, police-state mechanisms that the government(s) employ to catch/kill dealers, users and more often than not, innocent bystanders.

Organized crime, which is a blight on any society, uses this ever widening rift between the police and the community to its advantage, exploiting the growing distrust between the community and its police to operate freely in a blackmarket that more and more citizens are now regarding as "justified" because they have lost faith in the police and the regulatory mechanism of the government (at any level). 

Drugs is merely a wedge for organized crime to separate the good citizens from good police and from good government. And, in Mexico, we can see that displayed each and every day with no sign that the government is aware that it is not only losing the "war" on drugs but the hearts and souls of its citizens. 

Ripping is too gentle a word, maybe disintegration is more apt.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mick Jagger Calls for Drug Legalization

In a very interesting interview segment with CNN's Larry King, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger says that governments should consider testing the legalization of all drugs as a way to combat drug market violence.

Check out the video:

5 police officers arrested for spying

An army patrol in Santa Catarina, Nuevo León, stopped 2 police cars that were following them as they were conducting raids on the cartels. The police officers had cell phones with them, which is prohibited because of the widespread use of them to contact the drug gangs. All five police officers were arrested and charged with spying on the military and aiding organized crime.

Gunmen aboard 10 vehicles ambushed Coahuila State Police as they were responding to a call in Torreón. The police officers were able to call for back-up and a gunfight ensued over a period of 40 minutes that left 5 dead (2 of them police officers) and 5 gunmen arrested.

In Durango, police discovered 5 bodies, all with signs of having been tortured, while 6 dismembered corpses were discovered near El Sauz, Chihuahua, 5 men and one woman. There were 2 more killings in Sonora, 4 in Jalisco, 2 in Nayarit and a body of a youth was discovered in Michoacán, his hands tied and rolled up in a carpet.

All told, yesterday was a particularly vicious day with 54 killed, bringing the yearly total to 4236 (5236).

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Police surrender their town

The police force of La Unión, Guerrero resigned en masse yesterday after an attack on the police headquarters by a group of armed men that left 2 officers gravely wounded last Saturday. After the force of 6 police officers quit, leaving only the Director of Security in charge and his assistant, the mayor of La Unión requested the state police to take over policing the municipality. In nearby Taxco, about an hours drive west of Acapulco, a group of police officers were attacked by 3 men who then took the officer's weapons, uniforms and police equipment.

Elsewhere, in Tamaulipas, armed gunmen shot up a Federal Police station in the municipality of González which left one dead and 2 wounded. And, in Chihuahua, 8 men were executed in the capital city one of whom was the uncle of a PRI candidate. Nine people were killed in Juárez yesterday as was a police commander this morning.

The current breakdown of the killings for 2010 is a follows: 26 soldiers, 234 police officers, 123 decapitations, 270 instances of torture, 239 women and 3726 men so far....

And, for a bit of good news, French police officers are training the state of Baja California police officer members on techniques for detecting fraudulent documents.

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


LEAP contest results in newspaper mention

A while ago we held a contest to give away three copies of Transform's book, "After the War on Drugs, Blueprints for Regulation." Readers were asked to suggest politicians or law enforcement officials who were open minded but who may not have thought about the unintended consequences of drug prohibition.

Based on reader suggestions, I sent the book and some LEAP materials to three contest winners, including Mayor Ross Forrest of Lake Cowichan, British Columbia. Today I learned this ended up generating a mention for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition in the local newspaper, the Lake Cowichan Gazette:
Responding to a package of information sent to council from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group that hopes to legalize drugs, council decided to at least consider their point of view, and to review the material.

“I don’t want to hide this stuff from you,” Mayor Ross Forrest said, of having received the package, complete with a DVD that both councillors Bob Day and Tim McGonigle were interested in watching.
A big thank you to the blog reader who made this suggestion in the first place. They wanted to remain anonymous, but I feel it's important to thank them publicly.

Update: please note this is a pre-scheduled post, written last night.

Monday, May 17, 2010


The El Paso Times reports on the mutilated bodies found yesterday in Juarez: the decapitated bodies of three men were found wearing only women's underwear. One of the men was a municipal policeman. The mutilated men appeared to have their ankles bound by tape and had on a bra and women's underwear. Police said two signs with threatening messages were left at the scene (

On the same story, El Diario reports (from unofficial sources) that the slogan written on the bodies of the victims said "this is for those who continue not believing..." This was the same message that appeared in early 2008 on the list of police officers killed or slated to be killed that appeared on the police memorial in the early days of the increased violence in the city. The bodies also were reported to have the heads of pigs and scorpions marked on them. The scorpion is a symbol long used to indicate the Juarez cartel ( Thanks to Molly Molloy for this.

In other Mexico there were 7 killings in Chihuahua, 5 each in Tamaulipas and Durango, 1 in Michoacán, 3 in Cuilicán as well as 3 in Mazatlán, Sinaloa one of whom was a US resident, Gregorio Gámez Aispuro.

Yesterday afternoon a Federal Police convoy, in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán, was attacked by gunmen that left 1 police officer and 2 civilians wounded.

There was 22 killings added to the total which is now at 3976 (4976) for the year.

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings


Sunday, May 16, 2010

High level politician missing

The stakes in Calderón's drug war have been raised yet again (as if they were not high enough with the average of 38 killings a day). An important PAN political leader and power-broker and ex-senator, Diego Fernández de Cevallos, has disappeared after he drove to his home in the municipality of Pedro Escobedo near the state capital Querétaro. His Hummer was discovered with its door open and blood in the interior. Mayors and chiefs of police have been targeted throughout Mexico but now with highlevel politicians in the gunsights of the narcos, is Calderón finally going to re-think his strategy?

There were 35 killings yesterday, including 4 police officers and one ex-police chief and his wife.

In Nombre de Dios, Durango 6 people were killed including 2 police officers on patrol, while in Torreón, Coahuila gunmen entered the cantina, "Bar Juanas VIP", and gunned down 8 and wounded another 19 (this attack is similar in nature to the one on 31 of January when gunmen shot up the bar "El Ferrie", killing 10 and wounding 15 others). According to police sources, there were several reports of gunfire throughout the city before the attack on the bar, diversions created to occupy the police in other locations so that the massacre could take place unimpeded.

In Sinaloa 6 more men were murdered as were 2 police officers in Guerrero, one in Tlalchapa and the other in La Unión (as well as 2 other police officers wounded). Jalisco had 3 executions, Chihuahua had 2 and Nuevo León one.

For a map of the killings: click: Narco-killings 


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Peace Officers Memorial Day

Today is Peace Officers Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day to remember the men and women who gave their lives to protect their fellow citizens and uphold the rule of law.

Here's footage from the 2008 candlelight vigil organized by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mayor and his son assassinated

José Mario Guajardo Varela, the mayor of Valle Hermosa, Tamaulipas and his 21 year old son, Luis Mario Guajardo, were gunned down by 2 gangsters in their mid 20's. The gunmen had gone to Guajardo's office and asked for him, after Guajardo identified himself he was shot as was his son Luis as he rushed to assist his father. The 2 killers shot and killed another employee, Fernando Treviño, as they fled the establishment. Police later gathered 22 shell casing from 9mm rounds at the scene.

In the last 24 hour period, a dozen people have been murdered in Chihuahua alone, including a member of the State Attorney's office as well as 2 State Police officers. On a hillside outside of Chihuahua 3 decapitated bodies were discovered while Sinaloa had 6 more killings and Nuevo León 5, Guerrero 2 as did Durango.

All in all there were 31 more killings added to the 2010 count, which now stands at 3901 (4901).


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Britain's New Prime Minister Thinks Drugs Should Be Legal | Stop the Drug War (DRCNet)

Britain's New Prime Minister Thinks Drugs Should Be Legal | Stop the Drug War (DRCNet)

I am really optimistic about the Lib/Con coalition in the UK. According to Stop the Drug War:
He probably won't admit it now, but Britain's new prime minister thinks drugs should be legal. David Cameron, whose Conservative Party (the Tories) ousted Labor in last week's election, told the UK paper The Independent that the United Nations should consider legalization. He also wanted Britain to revive its former practice of providing heroin maintenance for addicts, and to open safe injection sites too.

According to The Independent, which did the interview in 2005 when Cameron was vying for the Conservative's leadership spot, Cameron favored "fresh thinking and a new approach" toward British drug policy, adding "we have to let 1,000 flowers bloom and look at all sorts of treatment models."

Cameron started off well as a parliamentarian, initially backing the government's downgrading of cannabis (marijuana) penalties from schedule B to C. But as a tabloid-driven hysteria over marijuana in the UK unfolded, Cameron (and The Independent) did a foolish about face. Still, Cameron's past comments are on the record, and his personal instincts on the issue at least seem to be good ones.

I am not going to hold my breath waiting for the Tories to roll out legalization proposals, Cameron's past statements notwithstanding. But Labor under Gordon Brown was abominable on the drug issue, so whatever left-leaning Britons may miss about the former Labor government, they likely won't miss the drug policy. If Cameron does want to do something about this, Britain's Transform Drug Policy Foundation has a "Blueprint for Regulation" report ready and waiting.

Another Forensic Specialist killed in Chihuahua
Shot 7 times as he ate breakfast in a small local cafe, Zoe Xhayke Lara Sanchez was killed this morning in Chihuahua. He was an instructor of the Center of Penal and Forensic Studies.

Also in the news, Insurance companies (international and local) operating in Mexico have declined to provide insurance to those who work in war-zones, specifically pilots, journalists, and police officers. For Mexico, these companies explicitly stated that war-zones include such areas as the city of Juárez, Chihuahua, the city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas and the city of Torreón, Coahuila.

A special joint operation by government military and police forces in Culiacan, Sinaloa, resulted in the capture of Griselda López Pérez, the wife of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán Loera, leader of the Sinaloa cartel (and member of the Forbes billionaire list).

And, of course, the killings continue in their relentless pace, with 7 bodies discovered in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua one of whom was a minor (this occurred despite the presence of over 5 thousand soldiers, 2600 federal police and another 3000 local police, a combined enforcement effort of nearly 11,000...I hope President Obama reflects on this as he continues on the worn-out path laid down for him by his predecessors, meeting force with force is just not working, it's like punching water). Nuevo León saw 5 more killings, while Chihuahua saw 3 more, Michoacán 2 and another in Sinaloa.

This brings the total to date to 3870 (4870) with the additional of 24 yesterday. For those of you wondering, this leaves the average, per day killing rate for 2010 at 29 (38)... more than one per hour now.

I have asked before, but I will ask again: WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?
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