Mexico's Drug Cartel Violence is This...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#454 Apr 3, 2010
5 gunmen killed in shootout with Mexican soldiers.

MEXICO CITY (AP)— Five gunmen died in a shootout with soldiers in the border city of Reynosa early Friday, the latest of a series of clashes between troops and alleged drug traffickers in northeastern Mexico, authorities said.

The confrontation took place in a residential area of Reynosa, Tamaulipas state authorities said in a statement. The city is across the border from McAllen, Texas.

Assailants on Tuesday set up roadblocks near army garrisons and opened fire on checkpoints in several cities of the northeastern states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, setting off shootouts that killed 18 attackers and wounded one soldier.

The attacks are occurring as the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, the cartel’s former hit men, fight over control of northeastern Mexico. Experts say drug lords are trying to get military patrols out of the way of their bloody battle.

Elsewhere in Mexico, at least 12 people were killed in drug-related violence Thursday and Friday.

In the border city of Tijuana, across from San Diego, California, police on Friday found the bodies of three men who had been shot to death in a residential area, state prosecutors said in a statement.

Also Friday, authorities in Nogales, across the border from the Arizona town of the same name, said they were investigating the death of a man who had been shot in the head and his body later burned up inside a car.

Farther south, police in Morelia, capital of the western state of Michoacan, found the mutilated bodies of two men who had been shot to death. A “Z” was carved on their bodies, an apparent reference to the Zetas, prosecutors said.

The Zetas, based in the border state of Tamaulipas, across from Texas, have been involved in bloody confrontations with the Michoacan-based La Familia drug cartel.

Drug-related violence in Mexico has claimed more than 18,000 lives since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon first launched a nationwide crackdown on drug traffickers, beginning with Michoacan, his home state.

http://www.svherald.com/content/2010/04/02/5-...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#455 Apr 3, 2010
Police: Border agent shoots man near Rio Grande.

LAREDO, Texas (AP)— A Border Patrol agent shot and killed an unarmed man on the banks of the Rio Grande following a struggle, authorities said Friday.

Border Patrol agents found several men carrying five bundles of marijuana, weighing about 260 pounds (118 kilograms), onto the river bank in Laredo near a residential neighborhood late Wednesday night, said Laredo police spokesman Joe Baeza Jr.

The men scattered when the agents approached. An agent caught up with one of the alleged smugglers, and the pair struggled in the brush before the agent shot the man once in the chest, Baeza said.

“The paramedics tried to revive him, but he was already gone,” he said.

Investigators do not believe the man, a Mexican citizen in his 30s, was armed, Baeza said.

Border Patrol officials confirmed the shooting but would not release other details on Friday including any information about the agent or to say whether he was still on patrol.

Authorities are working with the Mexican consulate to notify the man’s family before releasing his name, but he is believed to have previously been apprehended by Border Patrol while allegedly trafficking drugs into the United States, Baeza said.

The other men who allegedly crossed the Rio Grande Wednesday night escaped by swimming back across the river into Mexico, he said.

While Border Patrol agents occasionally get into physical confrontations with illegal immigrants, shootings remain very rare.

Two agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, shot an unarmed illegal immigrant, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, in 2005 near El Paso. Aldrete later said he was trying to surrender, though the agents claimed Aldrete was brandishing a gun.

The agents were convicted in federal court of assault with a dangerous weapon, lying about the incident and violating Aldrete’s constitutional rights. Aldrete was later arrested on drug trafficking charges, and the agent’s case became a contested part of the debate on border security.

Ramos and Compean went to prison but had their sentences commuted by former President George W. Bush in early 2009.

http://www.svherald.com/content/2010/04/02/po...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#456 Apr 3, 2010
A Million Dollars in Cash are Seized in Laredo

Spokeswoman Maru de la Paz, stated that the money was hidden in a secret compartment of a Ford F-350 company truck.

Saturday, April 03, 2010
By: LAREDO SUN

LAREDO, Tx.- Sheriff's Department officials confiscated a million dollars in cash as they continued a similiar investigation that occurred last week.

Spokeswoman Maru de la Paz, stated that the money was hidden in a secret compartment of a Ford F-350 company truck.

Sheriff deputies confiscated half a million dollars from a vehicle last week and now this cargo of a million dollars that is suspected as illegal activity.

De la Paz mentioned that investigations are underway and arrests are expected soon. Sheriff Cuellar indicated that this money will serve the department well, with better equipment and obtain better security in this community.

http://www.laredosun.us/notas.asp...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#457 Apr 3, 2010
MEXICO UNDER SIEGE

Mexico drug gangs turn weapons on army

In northern states this week, gunmen fought troops and sought to confine some to their bases by cutting off access and blocking roads. The aggression shows they are not afraid to challenge the army.

By Tracy Wilkinson
April 2, 2010

Reporting from Mexico City - Drug traffickers fighting to control northern Mexico have turned their guns and grenades on the Mexican army, authorities said, in an apparent escalation of warfare that played out across multiple cities in two border states.

In coordinated attacks, gunmen in armored cars and equipped with grenade launchers fought army troops this week and attempted to trap some of them in two military bases by cutting off access and blocking highways, a new tactic by Mexico's organized criminals.

In taking such aggressive action, the traffickers have shown that they are not reluctant to challenge the army head-on and that they possess good intelligence on where the army is, how it moves and when it operates.

At least 18 alleged attackers were killed and one soldier wounded in the fighting that erupted Tuesday in half a dozen towns and cities in the states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, the army said, topping off one of the deadliest months yet in a drug war that has raged for nearly 3 1/2 years.

The U.S. Consulate in Monterrey issued a warning to Americans who might be traveling in northern Mexico for the Easter break, citing the sudden outbreaks of gun battles in Nuevo Leon and neighboring states.

Traffickers previously have fought with army patrols, but the attempt to blockade garrisons came after weeks of an intense, bloody power struggle between two rival organizations, the Gulf cartel and its erstwhile paramilitary allies, the Zetas, to control the region bordering South Texas.

Part of the strategy of Tuesday's assaults may have been to prevent the army from patrolling, to give the drug gangs a freer hand in their fight against each other.

"This really speaks to the incredible organization and firepower that the drug-trafficking organizations have managed to muster," said Tony Payan, a border expert at the University of Texas at El Paso. "These are organizations that are flexible, supple and quick to react and adapt. They no doubt represent a challenge to the Mexican state."
(continued)

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#458 Apr 3, 2010
More Deadly Attacks

MEXICO - In Reynosa, five gunmen were killed in a shootout with soldiers yesterday.

In Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, 18 people are dead after assailants set up roadblocks near military checkpoints and opened fire.

Elsewhere in Mexico, three men were found shot to death in Tijuana yesterday.

In Nogales, a man's body was found. He had been shot in the head and his body was later burned up inside a car.

In Morelia, two men's bodies were found. The letter "Z" had been carved into one of the mutilated bodies. Officials believe that was an apparent reference to the Zetas.

Drug-related violence in Mexico has claimed more than 18,000 lives since December 2006.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/More-Dea...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#459 Apr 3, 2010
Journals of Texas Students Reveal Horrors Across the Border

By Joshua Rhett Miller
- FOXNews.com

Journals of elementary school students reveals the violence near a Texas border town.

The journals of second-grade students in a tiny Texas border town reveal the very real horrors just across the Rio Grande River, a teacher told FoxNews.com .

Duvy Torres, a teacher at Benito Martinez Elementary in Fort Hancock, Texas, said her students "constantly" recount tales of murder, fear and intimidation suffered by their relatives in El Porvenir, Mexico, a town of roughly 10,000 just across the border.

One student recently recalled a murdered relative who was buried in a shallow grave, she said. Other journal entries vividly describe burned homes in El Porvenir and orders from the drug cartel operating in the area that residents leave the town by Sunday or face kidnapping or death.

"They draw the pictures and they're so graphic," Torres told FoxNews.com on Saturday. "These are 7-year-old kids talking like this. I'm at the point where the less I know, the better off I am."

Torres said three new students were enrolled in the school's second grade just last week alone. Their relatives came into Fort Hancock seeking asylum and refuge from the ongoing drug cartel-related in the Mexican town.

"They know their kids are safe here," Torres said. "That's why they're kids are here. There is no more law in El Porvenir."

Despite the ongoing threats, Torres said the safest place for the school's 190 students is the classroom.

"There's no doubt," she said. "If there's going to be violence [in Fort Hancock], it's going to be at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning."

Still, Torres said contingency plans need to be established in case something does go horribly wrong, such as a kidnapping. She called for a color-coded alert system, much like the one utilized by the Department of Homeland Security.

"There needs to be a plan in the scenario that something does go wrong," she said. "There is no plan. Get something in place."

Fort Hancock Schools Superintendent Jose Franco said increased patrols have been instituted in the district's three schools, including Benito Martinez Elementary. Security cameras have also been added.

"Pretty much the whole perimeter is covered," Franco told FoxNews.com , adding that the increased surveillance will continue when schools return from Easter break on Tuesday. And he sees no end in sight.

"Is this thing going to be over in a year? I don’t think so," he said. "But our staff is on really, really high alert."

Reports of the worsening situation in Fort Hancock have reached neighboring school districts, including Fort Davis Independent School District. Officials there, Franco said, did not want one of its baseball teams traveling to Fort Hancock due to safety concerns.

Instead of those life and death worries, Franco said students should be focused instead on adolescent matters like their prom, extracurricular activities and their coursework.

"We're trying to keep it business as usual," he said. "But parents are concerned. Parents are calling to see what we’re doing to keep our community safe."

Franco called for additional federal aid to help offset the ever-growing costs of providing extra security at the town’s schools.

"[The federal government] helped create it," Franco said, referring to the pervasive fear throughout the community. "And we're pumping all this money into Mexico to fight this war."

Torres, meanwhile, said she's confident her students will be able to overcome the climate of fear.

"Our kids are smart," she said. "And they’re going to be successful – if they make it."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/04/03/journals...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#460 Apr 3, 2010
Nightclub shooting kills 7 in Mexican Gulf state

AP
MEXICO CITY

MEXICO CITY (AP)— A shootout between rival gangs at a nightclub left seven people dead in a Mexican Gulf coast city besieged by drug-related battles, while rumors of gunfire prompted people to ...

MEXICO CITY (AP)— A shootout between rival gangs at a nightclub left seven people dead in a Mexican Gulf coast city besieged by drug-related battles, while rumors of gunfire prompted people to flee a street fair where singer Jenni Rivera had been about to perform.

Five men and two women were killed late Friday in the shootout between rival gangs at the nightclub in Tampico, the state government of Tamaulipas said on its Web site.

It gave no other details, and nobody was available for comment Saturday at the offices of the Tamaulipas state Public Safety Department or the prosecutors' offices.

Also Friday evening, thousands of people fled a fair in Tampico amid reports of a shooting just as Mexican star Jenni Rivera was about to perform, the daily newspaper Reforma reported. Reforma said security forces evacuated the crowd.

It was unclear if a shooting actually occurred.

On her Twitter page, Rivera said the crowd began fleeing three seconds before she got on stage. She said she didn't hear gunfire but "saw many people running."

"My security ... shouted at me not to go up and they pulled me and covered me," Rivera wrote. "Everyone on my team is OK."

Rivera said 18,000 people had shown up to hear her sing. Her publicist did not return telephone and e-mail requests for comment.

Mexico's brutal drug-gang violence has spread recently to Tamaulipas, a state that straddles Texas in the north and the Gulf of Mexico farther south. Authorities blame much of the violence on a bitter split between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas drug gang.

At least 15 people were killed throughout the state Friday, capping a bloody week in which cartels attacked military positions and threw up roadblocks around army garrisons.

Five gunmen died early Friday in the latest shootout with soldiers in Reynosa, a Tamaulipas city across the border from McAllen, Texas.

On Friday night, armed men stormed a prison in Reynosa and killed three inmates, the state government said on its Web site. The gunmen arrived in 10 cars and exchanged gunfire with prison guards, the statement said.

The government said order has been restored at the prison but gave no other details.

Security at many Mexican prisons is notoriously poor. On occasion, drug gangs have easily entered prisons to free allies, either because guards are too frightened to put up a fight or because they have been paid off.

Elsewhere in Mexico, four people were kidnapped Friday night in the resort city of Acapulco and released an hour later when their captors realized they had targeted the wrong people, the Guerrero state Public Safety Department said in a statement Saturday.

The four included three tourists from Mexico City who had traveled to Acapulco on vacation for Easter week, the statement said. One was a 16-year-old boy.

South of Acapulco, the bullet-ridden bodies of three men were found dumped on the side of the highway between the towns of San Jose and Caridad, the safety department said.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/04/03/night...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#461 Apr 4, 2010
Border drug war: Violence wears on Valley of Juárez residents

By Maggie Ybarra
El Paso Times
Posted: 04/04/2010

IN THE VALLEY OF JUAREZ -- José Morales says he knows his options are to get out or die.

Morales, 47, is one of thousands of people living in fear in the Valley of Juárez.

Some residents are trapped in the small colonias because they do not have the money to relocate or the documents to enter the United States. They have been left behind to run stores or sell goods while the economy crumbles around them and drug-cartel violence claims more lives.

Some, like Morales, have chosen not to leave.

He said he sent his wife and son to stay with relatives in the U.S., but he has remained in the colonia of El Porvenir to protect the 60-year-old hardware store started by his grandparents.

El Porvenir is about 40 miles east of Juárez in a sparsely populated part of Mexico. Fewer than 18,000 people live in the low-income communities between El Porvenir and Juárez, but the area has become a place of rampant death threats and murders.

In March, more than 50 people died violently in the Valley of Juárez. About 180 homicides occurred in Juárez during that time.

Morales said it has become increasingly difficult to run his store, La Ferreteria Y Carpinteria, because about half of his customers have fled the town. Across the border from the valley are Texas towns stretching from San Elizario to Fort Hancock.

Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West recently said that Mexicans crossing into the U.S. were abandoning El Porvenir because criminal organizations had posted notices near the center of the colonia, ordering the residents to get out. The notices said people had 30 days to vacate or their families would be kidnapped or killed.
(continued)

http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_14817146
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#462 Apr 4, 2010
New adversary in U.S. drug war: Contract killers for Mexican cartels

By William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, April 4, 2010

CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO -- A cross-border drug gang born in the prison cells of Texas has evolved into a sophisticated paramilitary killing machine that U.S. and Mexican officials suspect is responsible for thousands of assassinations here, including the recent ambush and slaying of three people linked to the U.S. consulate.

The heavily tattooed Barrio Azteca gang members have long operated across the border in El Paso, dealing drugs and stealing cars. But in Ciudad Juarez, the organization now specializes in contract killing for the Juarez drug cartel. According to U.S. law enforcement officers, it may have been involved in as many as half of the 2,660 killings in the city in the past year.

Officials on both sides of the border have watched as the Aztecas honed their ability to locate targets, stalk them and finally strike in brazen ambushes involving multiple chase cars, coded radio communications, coordinated blocking maneuvers and disciplined firepower by masked gunmen in body armor. Afterward, the assassins vanish, back to safe houses in the Juarez barrios or across the bridge to El Paso.

"Within their business of killing, they have surveillance people, intel people and shooters. They have a degree of specialization," said David Cuthbertson, special agent in charge of the FBI's El Paso division. "They work day in and day out, with a list of people to kill, and they get proficient at it."

The special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in El Paso, Joseph Arabit, said, "Our intelligence indicates that they kill frequently for a hundred dollars."

The mayor of Juarez, José Reyes Ferriz, said that the city is honeycombed with safe houses, armories and garages with stolen cars for the assassins' use. The mayor received a death threat recently in a note left beside a pig's head in the city.
(continued)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#463 Apr 4, 2010
Why are beheadings so popular with Mexico's drug gangs?

By Tim Johnson
McClatchy Newspapers

CUERNAVACA, Mexico — The preferred form of cruelty by drug cartel henchmen is to capture enemies and behead them, a once-shocking act that has now become numbingly routine.

Since March 22, authorities have come across four separate grisly scenes of beheaded bodies, in one case with several heads placed neatly in a row.

Dozens of people have been decapitated in recent months, most of them apparently members of rival drug gangs locked in turf battles over narcotics routes, betrayals of loyalty and territorial influence.

One morning earlier this week, four bodies were thrown on a sidewalk along a service road of radiator shops and garages abutting the main highway leading from Mexico's capital through this city to the south and on to Acapulco, the Pacific beach resort. One of the bodies was missing its head.

As is usual in drug-related beheadings, a sign was left next to the bodies. It was addressed to Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a Mexican-American drug trafficker known by the nickname La Barbie because his light complexion makes him look like Ken, the companion of the Barbie doll. "Here are your homosexuals," the note began. "This will happen to all the traitors and those who support you."

Within hours, government workers had carted away the bodies and scrubbed the scene nearly clean of bloodstains. Locals declined to talk.

Decapitations by drug cartels in Mexico first began in 2006, and that year armed thugs swaggered onto the white tile dance floor of the Sol y Sombra discotheque in Uruapan, a town in Michoacan state, and dumped five heads from plastic garbage bags.

The blood-curdling act shocked Mexico, and evoked images of Islamic terrorism half a world away.

"These guys are copying the methods of al Qaida (terrorists)," said Jorge Chabat, a criminal justice expert at the Center for Research and Teaching of Economics in Mexico City. He said the Mexican drug lords saw Internet video of beheadings of hostages captured by Muslim extremists in Iraq and Pakistan, and adopted the tactic themselves, down to the posting of video on the internet.

Decapitations emerged alongside another gruesome tactic — dumping the bodies of rivals in vats of acid. Cartel goons have moved away from that method, however.

"Dissolving the bodies in acid didn't bring them the same spectacular results," said Arturo Arango Duran, a security consultant in Monterrey, the industrial and business hub in the nation's north, referring to media coverage. "This is all part of a plan to use publicity to control territory through terror."
(continued)

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/04/01/91481/b...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#464 Apr 4, 2010
Texan Arrested for Drug Possession

Patrick Ockletree was sent to the County Jail on federal charges of drug trafficking.

Sunday, April 04, 2010
By: LAREDO SUN

LAREDO, Tx.- A Manor, Texas resident was arrested by federal agents for transporting almost 3 kilos of methamphetamine and 6 1/2 kilos of cocaine en a mini van.

Patrick Ockletree, 27, was sent to the County Jail on federal charges of drug trafficking. According to reports, the subject was driving a 1999 Plymouth mini van when he arrived at the inspection booth on interestate highway 35.

A trained canine gave alert that sent the van to secondary. Federal agents then detected a cargo of methamphetamines and cocaine that was hidden in a secret compartment.

When Ockletree was interrogated, he admitted transporting the narcotics but he thought it was marijuana. He also mentioned that he was to receive a payment of 2,500 dollars to deliver the drugs to Austin, Texas.

http://www.laredosun.us/notas.asp...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#465 Apr 4, 2010
Man Arrested for Human Smuggling in Laredo

Border Patrol agents arrested a man that intended to lead a group of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

Sunday, April 04, 2010
By: LAREDO SUN

LAREDO, Tx.- Border Patrol agents arrested a man that intended to lead a group of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

Alejandro Martínez was arrested on federal charges of human smuggling after officials detected a group of people crossing through río Bravo.

Air and ground units arrived on the scene and detained 9 people, all Mexican natives. Martínez was identified as the groups guide and admitted that he would receive 25 dollars per person.

The subject was arrested just two weeks ago when he transported 12 undocumented immigrants.

http://www.laredosun.us/notas.asp...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#466 Apr 4, 2010
Deceased Person is Identified

Wednesdays confrontation between a federal agent and an illegal immigrant resulted in the death of a 36 year old Mexican.

Sunday, April 04, 2010
By: LAREDO SUN

LAREDO, Tx.- The deceased person in Wednesdays confrontation between a federal agent and an illegal immigrant resulted being a 36 year old Mexican.

Authorities have not revealed the identity of the deceased, however they do know that he had a criminal history, he had been arrested for smuggling drugs.

The person's body was sent to the county morgue so Dr. Corine Stern may perform an autopsy, to determine the exact cause of death.

The deceased received a bullet wound to the chest from a Border Patrol agent, with whom he scuffled after being caught on the riverbanks with drugs, in south Laredo.

Reports indicate that Border Patrol agents detected two men crossing drugs from Mexico. The officers decided to intervene and as they drew near, one of the officers had difficulties with one of the subjects and during the scuffle, the agent shot the subject.

The subject died almost instantly and although Fire Department paramedics arrived, there was nothing they could do for him.

The case is being investigated by FBI agents because a law official was involved. The Mexican Consulate General in this city was also notified.

http://www.laredosun.us/notas.asp...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#467 Apr 5, 2010
Magazine interview: Mexican druglord fears jail.

MEXICO CITY (AP)— One of Mexico’s most famous drug lords said in a rare interview published Sunday that he lives in fear of getting caught and believes the military has closed in on him four times.

“I’m terrified of being incarcerated,” Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada told the Mexican news magazine, Proceso, adding that he would even contemplate suicide if he was about to be caught.“I’d like to think that yes, I would kill myself.”

Zambada and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who authorities say control the Sinaloa cartel, are Mexico’s two most-notorious fugitives, with a $2 million reward offered for information on their whereabouts.

Zambada offered to meet with Proceso founder Julio Scherer, saying he always wanted to meet the journalist. He gave specific directions on when and where the interview would take place, the publication said.

The magazine offered no other explanation of why a kingpin would give an interview after a lifetime on the run. It is almost unheard for Mexican drug suspects to speak to the media while still free.

The offices of Calderon and the Attorney General said there would be no immediate comment on the interview.

The magazine published the interview along with an outdoor photograph of Scherer with the mustachioed Zambada, who wore a baseball cap that cast a shadow over his eyes and had his arm around the journalist. Only brush can be seen in the background.

Zambada said he had felt the army closing in on him four times and that soldiers had gotten close to Guzman even more often.

“I fled into the countryside. I know the vegetation, the rivers, the rocks, everything,” Zambada said.“I’ll get caught if I get complacent, careless, just like El Chapo.”

But he insisted that the drug trade would continue unabated even if he was arrested.

“When it comes to the capos, jailed, dead or extradited — their replacements are ready,” Zambada said.

Guzman, who escaped prison by hiding in a laundry truck nearly a decade ago, has made Forbes magazine’s lists of wealthiest and most-powerful people.
(continued)

http://www.svherald.com/content/2010/04/04/ma...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#468 Apr 5, 2010
Nightclub shooting kills 7 in Mexican Gulf state.

MEXICO CITY (AP)— A shootout between rival gangs at a nightclub left seven people dead in a Mexican Gulf coast city besieged by drug-related battles, while rumors of gunfire prompted people to flee a street fair where singer Jenni Rivera had been about to perform.

Five men and two women were killed late Friday in the shootout between rival gangs at the nightclub in Tampico, the state government of Tamaulipas said on its Web site.

It gave no other details, and nobody was available for comment Saturday at the offices of the Tamaulipas state Public Safety Department or the prosecutors’ offices.

Also Friday evening, thousands of people fled a fair in Tampico amid reports of a shooting just as Mexican star Jenni Rivera was about to perform, the daily newspaper Reforma reported. Reforma said security forces evacuated the crowd.

It was unclear if a shooting actually occurred.

On her Twitter page, Rivera said the crowd began fleeing three seconds before she got on stage. She said she didn’t hear gunfire but “saw many people running.”

“My security … shouted at me not to go up and they pulled me and covered me,” Rivera wrote.“Everyone on my team is OK.”

Rivera said 18,000 people had shown up to hear her sing. Her publicist did not return telephone and e-mail requests for comment.

Mexico’s brutal drug-gang violence has spread recently to Tamaulipas, a state that straddles Texas in the north and the Gulf of Mexico farther south. Authorities blame much of the violence on a bitter split between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas drug gang.

At least 15 people were killed throughout the state Friday, capping a bloody week in which cartels attacked military positions and threw up roadblocks around army garrisons.
(continued)

http://www.svherald.com/content/2010/04/03/ni...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#469 Apr 5, 2010
Church targeted in Mexico violence: Residents rush to put out fire after attempted arson

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times
Posted: 04/05/2010

A group of armed men tried to burn down a Catholic church in the Valley of Juárez after warnings for everyone to leave.

A watchman for the church located in El Porvenir, Chihuahua, Mexico, across the border from Fort Hancock, said the armed commandos tried to break down the structure's large wooden front door near midnight Friday.

After the armed men failed to open the door, they poured gasoline on the front and started a fire before leaving.

Neighbors who got wind of what was happening rushed to put out the fire at the Church of Nuestra Señora del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús. No one was available to comment Sunday for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ciudad Juárez.

Federal agents were deployed to the village to keep an eye on the church during Easter services. The Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office was on alert and had extra patrols in the Fort Hancock area to prevent any violence spillover at the border.

A number of communities in the Valley of Juárez have come under attack in recent months by warring drug cartels.

"I am worried about my relatives who still live there," said Gloria Garcia, a Kansas City resident, who has in-laws in the Valley of Juárez. "They are burning houses there every week, and now they tried to burn down the church in El Porvenir.

"It's not just the drug cartels anymore," she said. "Some people are taking advantage of the violence to commit other crimes, such as killing people out of revenge over things that have nothing to do with drug-trafficking, or to frighten people away so they can steal their property."
Residents complained that authorities are not doing anything to prevent the murders and arsons. Chihuahua state officials said federal agents and a helicopter were dispatched to keep an eye on things.

Authorities said the bodies of a teenage boy and another young man riddled with bullets were found Saturday in the cemetery at El Sauzal, which also is in the Valley of Juárez.

"According to my relatives and neighbors, some of the killings and kidnappings were never reported," Garcia said.

During the past two months, unknown people have been systematically burning businesses and homes in the Valley of Juárez.

Last week, anonymous messages on the Internet and banners warned residents in Guadalupe and Praxedis Guerrero to leave the area by Easter Sunday because the worst was to come.

Some residents said they heard unconfirmed rumors that a jailed drug dealer who works for the Carrillo Fuentes cartel threatened to have the villages destroyed if Mexican authorities did not set him free.

The West Texas border region near the Rio Grande is considered a strategic drug smuggling corridor.

During the past two years, the Carrillo Fuentes and Joaquin "Chapo" Guzmán cartels have waged a bloody battle for control of the Mexican border region, from Palomas, across the border from Columbus, N.M., to El Porvenir.

Many Mexican citizens fleeing the violence have taken refuge in places such as Socorro, Tornillo, Fabens, San Elizario, Horizon City, El Paso, Sunland Park, Deming and Chaparral.

Others, like Garcia's in-laws, are trapped because they cannot leave their homes.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_14821059
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#470 Apr 5, 2010
Police, not military, to lead efforts in Juárez

By Adriana Gómez Licón
El Paso Times
Posted: 04/05/2010

Starting today, Juárez will do away with its militarized strategy and instead rely heavily on the federal police, Mexican officials said.

The Mexican army will not withdraw from the violence-plagued border city, said Enrique Torres, a spokesman for Coordinated Operation Chihuahua.

Instead, they will carry out specific operations to combat drug trafficking, Torres said. Soldiers patrolling the streets in Jeeps will no longer be a familiar sight.

"Now, basically all you will find is federal and local police," he said.

The presence of federal police will dramatically increase in the heavily-guarded city, where at least 4,800 people have been killed since 2008.

Throughout April, 1,900 federal police officers will be deployed by the Mexican government to Juárez, increasing the federal corps to 4,500.

The government will also strengthen local and state police by adding 3,000 officers. Of those, 2,800 will be municipal police and 200 will be state police.

Some U.S. officials have criticized the militarized plan implemented by Mexico's President Felipe Calderón in various cities.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled with a high-level delegation to Mexico City about two weeks ago. Clinton said they discussed the role of the military and suggested that patrolling the street was "not what militaries train to do."

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who also traveled to Mexico, said the country needed a strategy beyond the military to solve
drug cartel violence in cities such as Juárez.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual became the first diplomat to criticize Calderón's strategy.

During an October visit to El Paso, Pascual said the government should strengthen local law enforcement and de-emphasize the use of the military.

Torres said the change of scheme does not mean soldiers will never respond to a crime scene, but it will not be their main role as it has been during the past two years.

Mexico's plan, announced by the Secretary of the Interior last week, is to turn over public safety duties first from the army to the federal police. Afterward, the government wants to give civilian law-enforcement operations back to the local and state police.

Meanwhile, the federal police will coordinate their local counterparts out of a new command center in Juárez.

"This change is necessary to make the job more efficient and to give the city a better response," Torres said.

Calderón deployed about 7,000 soldiers to the violence-torn border city during the past two years. Soldiers were responding to fires, massacres, drug busts and arrests.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_14821062
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#471 Apr 5, 2010
Times Q&A: Fort Hancock on edge, not living in fear of drug violence

By Ramon Bracamontes
El Paso Times
Posted: 04/05/2010

EL PASO -- For decades, Fort Hancock -- a tiny farming community about 60 miles east of El Paso -- was known as a Texas powerhouse in six-man football after winning five state championships between 1986 and 1992.

Today, the town is getting noticed for a different reason: It is directly across from El Porvenir, Chihuahua, Mexico, a lawless town in the Valley of Juárez that is overrun by the drug cartels. The town, according to officials from both sides of the border, does not have any semblance of a police force.

Directly across the Rio Grande from El Porvenir is Fort Hancock, which has a population of about 2,000.

The Fort Hancock Independent School District superintendent is Jose Franco. He graduated from Fort Hancock High School in 1979. He began coaching and teaching there in the mid-1980s and was the defensive coordinator for several of the six-man football teams that won state championships.

As the school's superintendent since 1999, it is his job to educate and protect the town's children. For the past two years, he has kept one eye on his schools and their performance, and one eye on the deadly violence that is playing out within yards of Fort Hancock.

Q Has the violence in the Valley of Juárez had an impact on the school district?

A Yes, we have beefed up security, and we are a lot more cautious about letting people come onto the school grounds. We have added security cameras and there is only one entrance to the school that is open. In the past, in this small community, exes would walk up and watch practices. We don't allow that anymore. Everyone has to check in at the office.

Q Mexico's census agency has reported that thousands of residents have fled the Juárez area. Has there been an increase at your schools?

A Yes, we have had an influx of students coming from Mexico. The number changes, but luckily none of our students have been injured or killed. Some of their immediate family members have been affected though; some students have lost their parents, an uncle or an older brother.

Q As a long-time member of the Fort Hancock community, have you seen a change in the community because of what is happening across the Rio Grande? Is the community afraid of the violence?

A I don't think that we have reached the plateau of real fear in this community. But the people who live here, who were at one time or another involved in this type of drug activity are scared. On the nights when I stay in town I still see people out till 10 at night. We let people use the school grounds for exercise and they still use the basketball courts and the walking areas.

Q Is there much talk in the town or at the schools about crossing into El Porvenir?

A We tell our students not to go over. We really caution them about going across, but some of them still have their grandparents over there. They go over there on Friday after school and don't come back until Sunday night. We talk to them about it, but there is nothing we can do to stop them. The ties between the two towns is there.

Q It has been reported that the violence in the towns in the outskirts of Juárez is worse than in the city, is that true?

A Yes, it is real bad out there. Just last week they took an elderly gentleman's eyes out with an ice pick. That shows how rough it is. There is no form of police in Porvenir; no one wants to be one because they are all getting killed. Outside of Juárez, there is no law enforcement, no soldiers, nothing. Everyone who was a police officer either gets threatened or shot.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_14821053...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#472 Apr 5, 2010
Violence in Mexico Keeping Travelers Out During Holiday Weekend

Reported by: Erica Proffer
Last Update: 4/04

U.S.- MEXICO - It was suppose to be a week of worship. Instead, it was a week of violence along Mexico's border towns.

There were numerous shootings reported in cities from Nuevo Laredo to Tampico. The bloodiest was in Reynosa.

In the last two days, suspected cartel members stormed into a Reynosa prison. Ten trucks, armed with men, shot at prison staff. Three people were killed.

Friday morning, five people were killed in a gun battle between the Mexican military and suspected cartel members.

"It's a disappointment that we can't cross the border anymore without having to worry. We don't even cross it," said Mary Barrientos, a woman who traveled to the Valley.

Barrientos and her daughter Samantha are from Dallas. They say it’s a tradition for them to come to the Valley for Holy Week and cross into Mexico, but not this year.

The amount of cars passing on this side of the border was relatively calm today. Law enforcement continues to be alert.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Violence...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

Location hidden

#473 Apr 5, 2010
Bodies of Two Men Found Along the Banks of the Rio Grande

Last Update: 4/04

MIGUEL ALEMAN, MEXICO - Two men were found dead close to the American border.

The Tamaulipas government confirms the bodies of two men were found on the banks of the Rio Grande River this morning.

It happened in Miguel Aleman, México, near Roma.

We're told the men died from a knife injury.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Bodies-o...

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Immigration Reform Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Possible shutdown, health care quagmire awaitin... 16 min Aponi 8
Has Donald Trump Already Failed Us? 17 min freebird 4,109
News Trump might not sign spending bill if no fundin... 24 min tomin cali 6
News Under Trump, ICE arrests soar for migrants with... 29 min Chilli J 140
News San Francisco power outage affects about 90000 ... 32 min Wildchild 1
News AG Sessions: Trump Sympathetic but Dreamers Are... 35 min Wildchild 1
News Trump blasts 'super liberal Democrat' in Georgi... 44 min Red Crosse 30
News Global backlash grows against Trump's immigrati... 1 hr huntcoyotes 3,678
More from around the web