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

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#474 Apr 5, 2010
BP Agents Recover Marijuana after Chase

Last Update: 4/04

DONNA - A chase in Donna ended with two people being arrested and nearly 400lbs of drugs confiscated.

The chase and bust happened yesterday afternoon when agents chased a Pontiac Grand-AM in Donna. The chase ended at the intersection of Moodie and FM 493. The suspect’s vehicle hit an SUV.

In total, 370lbs of marijuana were confiscated.

No injuries were reported.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/BP-Agent...
Madison

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#476 Apr 5, 2010
Mexican drug cartel honcho finally faces sentence

The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO

A man who helped make Mexico's Arellano Felix family one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels is to be sentenced on drug charges, 16 months after he was extradited from Mexico.

Jesus "Chuy" Labra faces between five and 40 years in prison when he's sentenced Monday in a San Diego federal court after nearly a decade of legal wrangling.

In October he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 100 kilograms of marijuana and at least 100 grams of cocaine.

Money laundering and racketeering charges were to be dropped at the sentencing.

Labra was arrested while watching his son's soccer game in Tijuana in 2000, but it took more than eight years to extradite him to the U.S.

http://www.pe.com/ap_news/California/US_Mexic...
Madison

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#477 Apr 5, 2010
Guards Detained for Questioning After Mexican Jailbreak

REYNOSA, Tamaulipas, Mexico - Mexican authorities have detained 31 prison guards for questioning in connection with a jailbreak in Reynosa.

According to officials with the Mexican attorney general's office, 13 inmates escaped when armed men stormed the prison Friday.

The men arrived in 10 cars and exchanged gunfire with guards. We’re told three prisoners were shot to death in the raid. But it's unclear who killed them.

This is the second mass jailbreak in less than two weeks in Tamaulipas. Last week, 40 inmates escaped from a prison in Matamoros.

The prison director was under investigation, and 50 employees were held for questioning in that jailbreak.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Guards-D...
Madison

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#478 Apr 5, 2010
Mexican Health Officials Cracking Down on Sale of Antibiotics

BROWNSVILLE - Mexican health officials plan to crack down on the sale of antibiotics without a prescription.

People have always needed a prescription to get certain drugs, like Vicodin or morphine. Last week, health officials in Mexico announced new procedures will require patients to provide a valid prescription from a Mexican doctor for antibiotics.

Officials didn’t provide many details about the plan.

Jose Luis Salazar fills all his prescriptions south of the border. His elderly parents also get their medications from Mexico.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS met him in Brownsville, as he was headed across the border to get medicine.

"It's cheaper to go across to buy the drugs across in Mexico,” Salazar tells us.

He says he usually takes a prescription, but in the past, he hasn't always needed it.

“No problem. They'll give them to you. People want to sell,” he tells us.“They don't want to lose their business."

Laura Gonzales is studying to work in the medical field. She says U.S. buyers won't notice the changes after long.

Salazar adds he isn't worried in spite of the latest announcement.

"They're still going to sell it,” he tells us.“I mean, it's Mexico... Everything goes over there."

Legally, Mexican doctors are already told not to honor foreign prescriptions.

U.S. consulate officials warn sometimes pharmacies alert police when someone buys drugs without a legal prescription. The punishment for the crime can be up to 15 years in jail.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Mexican-...
worlds deadliest city

Los Angeles, CA

#479 Apr 5, 2010
Despite the presence of 8,000 troops and federal police in Ciudad Juárez, 4,600 people have been killed there in two years. It’s the world’s deadliest city outside a war zone — more dangerous as a place to live than the Iraqi city of Fallujah in its darkest days of 2005, before US-led troops moved in to take the city back from insurgent forces.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/lead...
Madison

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Since: Dec 06

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#480 Apr 6, 2010
2 children killed in Mexico border state shootout.

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AP)— A shootout in northern Mexico between soldiers and suspected drug cartel gunmen killed two children and wounded five of their relatives who were caught in the crossfire, the latest in a string of deaths of bystanders in the nation’s drug war.

The 5- and 8-year-old brothers were traveling in their family’s car when the gunbattle broke out on a highway near the border city of Nuevo Laredo, the Tamaulipas state government said in statement Sunday night. The statement corrected an initial government report that only bystander was killed in the confrontation Saturday night.

Two suspected gunmen were also killed.

“We ran and tried to hide in the brush, but they kept shooting,” said Maria Guadalupe Delgado Castillo, an aunt of the dead children.

She sobbed as she waited outside the Nuevo Laredo General Hospital where her relatives were being treated. One family member was shot in the stomach and the other four had less severe injuries.

The state government said 11 family members were in the car, which it described as an “all terrain vehicle” similar to the ones in a convoy of drug cartel suspects. The statement did not say which side fired the bullets that struck the family’s car.

The army had no comment.

Innocent people have increasingly been caught in the crossfire of Mexico’s gang battles, from waitresses killed in bar shootings to doctors ducking for cover as gunmen burst into emergency rooms to finish off rivals.

Saturday’s shooting was the second time in less than a month that bystanders were killed battles between soldiers and gangs sweeping northwestern Mexico.

Two university students were killed in the crossfire of a shootout between gunmen and soldiers outside the gates of their campus on March 19 in the city of Monterrey in Nuevo Leon state.

Military patrols and checkpoints have repeatedly come under fire in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, where armed gangs have raised roadblocks in the middle of cities and around army bases in a bold new tactic to impede security operations.

Mexican authorities say a split between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas gang, is fueling the violence in the region.

http://www.svherald.com/content/news-mexico/2...
Madison

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#481 Apr 6, 2010
Suspect in drug case slain in Juárez

By Adriana Gómez Licón
El Paso Times
Posted: 04/06/2010

EL PASO -- A man wanted in El Paso in the drug-dealing case of a federal employee has died.

Federal prosecutors last week dismissed the indictment against Hugo Alberto Flores Colmenero, a U.S. citizen. They said they discovered that he died Feb. 24.

Flores Colmenero died in a violent attack in central Juárez. Hitmen shot him 14 times, Chihuahua state officials said. They did not release his name to the media, but family members later identified him.

Flores Colmenero was the fifth suspect identified in the case of Customs and Border Protection employee Martha Alicia Garnica. Flores Colmenero had faced charges of conspiracy to smuggle more than 200 pounds of marijuana from Mexico into the United States.

Federal officers arrested Garnica, 43, after raiding her East Side home in November. She faces charges of drug trafficking, smuggling undocumented immigrants and bribing a public official. Garnica remains in jail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Mesa denied her bond in November.

Garnica is scheduled to go on trial June 28 with her new attorney, Kathleen Smith. Russell Aboud represented Garnica up until late February.

Prosecutors said Flores Colmenero headed the drug conspiracy before Garnica took over last summer. Flores Colmenero gave orders such as "go small on the first crossing attempt," prosecutors' witnesses testified. He also used words such as "motita," which is slang for marijuana, in phone conversations with the CBP officer who helped prosecutors build the case.

The actions were never officially attributed to Flores Colmenero because he was identified after Garnica's bond hearings. But before the government unsealed his indictment in late January, witnesses for the prosecution talked about a drug trafficker whose brother was killed Aug. 17 at the Seven & Seven bar in Juárez.

The Chihuahua state attorney general's staff identified one of the victims of that shooting as 45-year-old Francisco Flores Colmenero. He shared the same last name as Hugo Alberto Flores Colmenero, who was identified as a defendant in Garnica's case a month before his death.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_14826953
Madison

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#482 Apr 6, 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/juarez/ci_14821062...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

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#483 Apr 6, 2010
Tornillo anticipates influx of students: New port of entry, Juárez violence cited

By Aileen B. Flores
El Paso Times
Posted: 04/05/2010

TORNILLO -- The Tornillo Independent School District is bracing for a spike in student enrollment as construction of a new international port of entry continues and Mexican residents fleeing violence in Juárez move into the small community.

District Superintendent Paul Vranish said the recent construction of a high school in Tornillo will allow the district to comfortably grow along with its student body.

"We aren't desperate for space right now, but knowing that sooner or later we're going to need it, we planned for the future," he said.

The new $14.5 million building has updated technology and modern architecture. The campus has two gyms, an energy management system, more than 15 classrooms, a library, and four computer labs that will be completed next month, said Raymond Cobos, the district's facilities director.

The new high school opened in February and has about 325 students. A total of 1,384 students are now in the school district.

Vranish said the construction of a new campus will also allow the district to accommodate more children in its other schools.

The previous high school building is now home to Tornillo Junior High School, the old junior high campus now houses Tornillo Intermediate School, and the old intermediate campus is now part of Tornillo Elementary School.

Trustee Bertha Brew, a lifelong resident of Tornillo, said her community has seen continuous growth. She said the town has gone from one where everyone knew everyone else to a town with many strangers.

State Rep. Chente Quintanilla praised the school district's initiative to prepare for future growth.

He said one recent reason for a spike in growth is an influx of Mexican families moving to the area to escape the problems of violence in the Juárez region.

Quintanilla said the construction of the new Tornillo-Guadalupe port of entry is also an economic driver for the far east El Paso County area.

Along with the port's construction, a municipal management district will be built in a desert area adjacent to Tornillo. Quintanilla said a commercial area will be developed on 1,300 acres there.

"This will bring a lot of good to Tornillo," he said.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_14824984...
Madison

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Since: Dec 06

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#484 Apr 6, 2010
Man's body found with signs of beating, torture in Juárez

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

EL PASO -- Mexican authorities are investigating the killing of a man whose body was found early today in Juárez.
Police said they found the man's body in Downtown Juárez between Globo and Miguel Allende streets. It appeared the man was beaten to death, and his body showed signs of torture.

An identification card for a Michigan-based construction firm was found on the body with the name of Eduardo Cazarez Revelo. However, police have not confirmed the man's identity.

See Tuesday's El Paso Times for more details.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_14822889
Madison

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Since: Dec 06

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#485 Apr 6, 2010
Border Patrol Confiscates 3 Drug Cargos

Border Patrol agents seized 1,233 pounds of marijuana in three separate cases.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010
By: LAREDO SUN

LAREDO, Tx.- Border Patrol agents seized 1,233 pounds of marijuana in three separate cases, with a street value of 986,000 dollars.

In the first case, immigration officers detected several men crossing into the United States near El Cenizo, and each of them carried suspicious packages.

When law officials drew near, the subjects dropped the bundles and escaped by swimming to the Mexican side, abandoning a combined cargo of 111 pounds of pot.

In the second case, federal agents arrested the driver of a truck with a trailer that arrived at one of the inspection boothes on mile 29 and highway 35.

A trained canine gave alert towards a suspicious U-Haul that caused inspectors to send it to secondary.

As agents inspected more thorough, they located 12 packages containing 887 pounds of marijuana, that led to the arrest of the driver, who was turned over to the DEA.

The third case, took place in the Zapata area when Border Patrol officials detected 5 men that had just crossed into the United States illegally.

Each one of the subjects carried a bundle, so agents decided to confront them but the men dropped the packages and began running through the field until they arrived to the riverbank to cross swimming into Mexico.

They abandoned 15 packages with a total of 235 pounds of marijuana.

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

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Since: Dec 06

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#486 Apr 6, 2010
Repeated Offender Arrested Again

Gilberto Navarro, 40, was sent to the County Jail, where it may seem that it is his home since he has been there so many times.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010
By: LAREDO SUN

LAREDO, Tx.- Police Department officials arrested a man in the Jarvis Plaza on drug possession of heroine. This makes the 37th time the subject has been arrested for diverse crimes.

Gilberto Navarro, 40, was sent to the County Jail, where it may seem that it is his home since he has been there so many times.

Police spokesman, Joe Baeza, stated that patrolmen were conducting a surveillance through the downtown area when they received a call to report a person that was playing cards and selling drugs in the Jarvis Plaza, on Matamoros and Juárez.

When officers arrived, they detained Navarro after people accused him as the culprit. When officers searched him, they found 7 doses of heroine that seemed prepared to be sold.

Navarro has a long criminal history for such crimes as drug possession, burglary of a house and businesses.

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

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Since: Dec 06

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#487 Apr 6, 2010
Man Arrested for False Documents

In the most recent case, a man from Guanajuato, México, arrived on the Gateway to the Americas bridge where he declared himself to be an American citizen.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010
By: LAREDO SUN

LAREDO, Tx.- People without legal documents to cross into the United States try to fool Customs inspectors with false declarations, but end up incarcerated.

In the most recent case, a man originally from Guanajuato, México, arrived on the Gateway to the Americas international bridge where he declared himself to be an American citizen, born in Dallas, Texas.

The agent attending this man noticed he was suspicious and decided to send him to secondary. When officials verified the subjects finger prints through the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT), they confirmed that this person was a not an American citizen, and his real name was Rodolfo Alba González, 26.

This person has an immigration record that indicates he was deported to Mexico on February 18th of this year for not having legal documents to enter the United States.

His legal situation has become even more complicated because Customs authorities decided to turn him over to a Federal Prosecutor where he may face a Federal Court.

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

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Since: Dec 06

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#488 Apr 6, 2010
CBP Officers Seize $468,000 in Methamphetamine

BROWNSVILLE - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge seized approximately $468,000 worth of methamphetamine.

The drugs were discovered in a white 1996 Ford Ranger trying to enter the United States on Sunday.

The driver was identified as a 22-year-old Matamoros resident. During a secondary inspection, CBP officers found 24 packages hidden within the back wall of the Ford Ranger.

We're told the package had a combined total weight of 14.15 kilograms (31.2 pounds) of methamphetamine.

CBP officers referred the matter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for further investigation.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/CBP-Offi...
Madison

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#489 Apr 6, 2010
Two Arrested,$816,000 in Cocaine Seized

BROWNSVILLE - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Gateway International Bridge discovered cocaine valued at $816,000 hidden within a Honda Odyssey.

On Monday, CBP officers inspected a gray 1999 Honda Odyssey. The 31-year-old driver and his 37-year-old passenger were both identified as Matamoros residents.

Officers found 10 packages hidden within the Odyssey. The packages contained a total of 25.5 pounds of cocaine.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $816,000. CBP officers turned the narcotics, driver, passenger, and vehicle over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for further investigation.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Two-Arre...
Madison

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#490 Apr 6, 2010
Convicted Kidnapper Escapes From State Prison

DILLEY, TX - State prison officials say a man convicted of kidnapping in Hidalgo County and another man escaped from prison earlier today.

Twenty-one-year-old Jose Bustos-Diaz and 27-year-old Octavio Ramos Lopez were last seen during an inmate check at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Briscoe Unit, near San Antonio, earlier today. During a second check the inmates were missing.

Authorities say the two are believed to have fled on foot through a cut fence.

Lopez, who was convicted in Hidalgo County, was serving 20 years for two counts of aggravated kidnapping and 12 years for possession of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

Bustos-Diaz is serving a 35-year sentence for a Harris County murder.

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

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#491 Apr 6, 2010
Tip Leads to Weapons Raid

DONNA - Donna police are sorting through a stash of guns and ammunition discovered early this morning.

A tip led police to a house in south Donna off Hutto Road. Officers tell us they've been doing surveillance on the house for a couple of weeks.

After getting permission from the homeowner, police went behind a fence to a storage shed. That's where they found weapons and ammunition.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS was the only station there, as police took 10 high-powered rifles and a couple of handguns from the shed.

We watched as they also detained the homeowner for questioning. Officers are still talking to him this afternoon.

Donna Police Chief Ram De Leon says he's glad these dangerous weapons are off the streets.

"We're going to notify ATF so all of these weapons can be run, and we can find out if the weapons have been used in any homicides. You never know," he tells us.

The ATF and the Hidalgo County sheriff are working with Donna police on the investigation. Detectives say it's too early to say whether the weapons are connected with any other crimes.

That's a question they'll be working to answer in the coming days.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Tip-Lead...
Madison

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#492 Apr 7, 2010
Mexican 'Assassin Teams' May Target U.S. Law Enforcement, DHS Warns

By Joshua Rhett Miller
April 6,2010
- FOXNews.com

Law enforcement officers in west Texas are on guard following an alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security warning of retaliatory killings for a recent crackdown on the Barrio Azteca gang.

Law enforcement officers in west Texas are on guard following an alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security warning of retaliatory killings for a recent crackdown on the Barrio Azteca gang.

David Cuthbertson, special agent in charge of the FBI's El Paso division, said the paramilitary-style gang has an "open policy" to kill its rivals and may turn its sights toward local law enforcement officers.

"[They] are extremely cold-blooded and aggressive," Cuthbertson told FoxNews.com . "The killings are done really without thought and any kind of remorse."

Citing uncorroborated information, Homeland Security issued an Officer Safety Alert on March 22, advising lawmen in the El Paso sector to vary their routes to and from work and to wear body armor while on duty. The alert also suggested that officers' relatives pay closer attention to unusual activity in the area.

"The Barrio Azteca gang may issue a 'green light' authorizing the attempted murder of [law enforcement officers] in the El Paso area," the alert read. "Due to the threat, it is recommended that [law enforcement officers] take extra safety precautions."
The Barrio Azteca gang, which formed in Texas prisons in the 1980s, is a brother organization to the Aztecas gang in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the epicenter of Mexico's violent drug war, Cuthbertson said.

He said members of the gang's "assassination teams" are thought to work for very small monthly fees. One official from the Drug Enforcement Administration has said Aztecas have been known to kill for as little as $100. Since 2006, drug violence across Mexico has claimed nearly 18,000 lives.

Eduardo "Tablas" Ravelo, the reputed boss of Barrio Azteca members living in Juarez, remains on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, and the FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest. He and other Barrio Azteca gang members serve as hitmen for the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug trafficking organization -- also known as the Juarez cartel -- and are responsible for several killings, according to the FBI.
(continued)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/04/06/mexican-...
Madison

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#493 Apr 7, 2010
Chihuahua governor wants Valley of Juárez protection

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times
Posted: 04/07/2010

In light of insistent pleas from residents, Chihuahua Gov. Jose Reyes Baeza is asking Coordinated Operation Chihuahua to extend its patrols to the Valle de Juárez.

Baeza announced Tuesday that he planned to increase the state police presence in the Valley of Juárez communities, which have come under attack during the past two years by elements of organized crime.

Today, Baeza will meet with officials from law enforcement agencies and the army that make up the joint operation created to protect against drug violence.

"There is a group of criminals that is trying to take over the Valley of Juárez, and we are not going to allow this," Baeza said. "We are going to intensify the presence of Coordinated Operation Chihuahua so that residents there can again feel safe. We cannot allow this group to continue terrorizing the people.

"We need to help these communities whose police officers have been overwhelmed," Baeza said.

The governor did not identify the group he referred to, but residents have complained of murders, arsons, extortions and robberies by armed groups that work for drug cartels. Valley of Juárez includes a string of largely agricultural communities, including Guadalupe, Praxedis, El Porvenir and San Isidro, across the border from El Paso and Hudspeth counties.

The Carrillo Fuentes and Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman cartels are fighting over the smuggling corridor next to the Rio Grande. The Carrillo Fuentes cartel has controlled the corridor for more than a
decade.
Hundreds of residents have fled to Juárez, El Paso and other places to escape the drug violence.

Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West said he sent extra deputies to the border area to monitor the situation after Valley of Juárez residents received anonymous warnings last week to flee because their villages were going to be burned.

Members of the cler gy from Texas who work across the border said that Mexican senior citizens are among the hardest hit in Valley of Juárez, and that some residents who can't cross the border because they don't have passports have fled to nearby mountains.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_14833710
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

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#494 Apr 7, 2010
10 alleged kidnappers arrested in Juárez

By Marisela Ortega Lozano
El Paso Times
Posted: 04/06/2010

JUAREZ -- State police and the Mexican army on Monday arrested 10 people suspected in at least six kidnappings in Chihuahua City.
Police said the suspects were holding one of their victims, an unidentified man who was tied up and gagged, in a stash house in the Praderas del Sur neighborhood in south Juárez. The man was rescued unharmed.

The suspects said they worked for the leader of a kidnapping ring, a man between 45 and 50 years old nicknamed "El Chago" or "El Boss," who poses as a livestock farmer, a police spokesman said.

The alleged leader supplied the weapons to carry out the kidnappings.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_14829626

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