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#761
May 19, 2010
 
Drug cartels a top agenda item for US-Mexico talks

May 19, 2010

WASHINGTON - President Obama shuns talk of a "war on drugs." But when he welcomes Mexican President Felipe Calderón to the White House Wednesday, that nation's bloody fight with drug cartels - and its implications for U.S. security and immigration policy - will be a top agenda item.

The meeting comes as U.S. policymakers reassess the long-standing fight against the drug trade. Last week, with the death toll from Calderón's 3-year-old crackdown surpassing 23,000, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the brutality and barbarism in Mexico is "just beyond imagination."

But while she reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to helping Mexico disrupt the cartels, she questioned the traditional emphasis on interdiction: "We are nowhere near what I would consider to be an effective strategy."

With that backdrop, experts on drug policy will be watching the two-day Calderón visit for clues on Obama's approach to the drug trade.

The drug policy the Obama administration issued earlier this month calls for shifting emphasis toward addiction treatment and prevention as a way to stanch demand for drugs, though two-thirds of the $15.5 billion drug-control budget is still dedicated to law enforcement.

So, folks like John Walters, the U.S. drug czar under George W. Bush, are hoping to hear a sharp message from Obama when Calderón is at his side, such as: "We are going to destroy these mafias together, and we will not back down in the face of threats, and we will support the brave campaign of President Calderón.

"That would be enormously important politically, and it would be enormously damaging to the morale of the bad guys," Walters said.

Mexicans have long paid a high price in blood, corruption and instability for American's' appetite for illegal drugs.

The U.S. has intensified efforts to show solidarity in recent years. The state dinner honoring Calderón - only the second since Obama took office - is the latest example.

Calderón also will speak to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about trade and to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, a rare honor for a foreign leader.

Obama and Calderón are also likely to discuss Haiti, Iran, climate change, energy policy and two especially contentious issues: the new Arizona immigration law and a long-running dispute that has kept Mexican trucks off U.S. roads in violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/border/articl...

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#762
May 19, 2010
 
West Texas Hard Hit by Mexican Drug War

by: Will Ripley

EL PASO - The threat of cartel violence is forcing civilians along the border to take up arms.

The threat is also taking a toll on Texas Law Enforcement Officers in west Texas.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS traveled to El Paso where the violence there flared up several years ago.

Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carillo says he only has 8 officers.

He also says they have each been working several hours of overtime in order to keep this side of the border safe.

Carillo say, "We've been doing this for 5 years now. These guys are tired."

Of the violence, Carrillo says, "It still hasn't reached its peak."

Other surrounding counties are adding extra patrols to help calm the fears of their residents.

Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West says, "Where we used to run 1 or 2 officers per shift, now I’m running 4 or 5 officers per shift."

Mexico's hardest-hit state is directly across from west Texas.

More than sixty seven thousand have been killed in the state of Chihuahua since 2006.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/West-Tex...

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#763
May 19, 2010
 
Special Report: Armed and Ready

by: Will Ripley

HUDSPETH COUNTY - Sheriff Arvin West is telling ranchers and farmers to arm themselves. Just in case of cartel violence.

Joe Galvan owns a farm less than a mile from the border. He always keeps a .45 semi-automtic pistol with him.

He says he's on the lookout for drug smugglers.

"We need to protect ourselves," he says.

In Arizona drug smugglers have recently shot and wounded a sheriff's deputy, and killed a long time rancher.

"I feel like it's gonna happen here, and if it happens around me. I'm gonna stand my ground," says Galvan.

Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West says the shootings are a warning to everyone along the border.

"The possibility exists that it's gonna happen in Texas. I'd just as soon one of my ranchers live to tell the story and not have to fall prey to these ruthless gangs," he says.

Galvan says the violence is the new reality of life along the border. He's not taking any chances which is why he'll keep his gun in arms reach at all times.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Special-...

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#764
May 19, 2010
 
Mexico's Calderón Needs to Listen, Not Just Lecture U.S.

By Tim Padgett
May. 19, 2010

Nine years have passed since a Mexican President last addressed the U.S. Congress. That was Vicente Fox, just days before 9/11, after which al-Qaeda's horrors all but erased Mexico from Washington's foreign policy radar. But, surprise, our southern neighbor's problems refused to go away. While we were fighting off an Iraqi insurgency, Mexico's drug war morphed into a ghastly narcoinsurgency that threatens to spill over the Rio Grande. While we were dropping the ball on immigration reform, Mexico kept pouring undocumented workers into the U.S.

So perhaps we deserve some of the lecturing we're bound to get from President Felipe Calderón when he climbs Capitol Hill on Wednesday. He'll point out, as the Obama Administration has conceded, that much of the blame for Mexico's horrible narcoviolence lies with our insatiable demand for drugs and our lame-brained refusal in 2004 to renew a ban on assault weapons that are being smuggled into Mexico. He'll insist, rightly, that we comply with NAFTA and give Mexican trucks access to U.S. highways. And he'll rail at Arizona's hysterical new anti-immigration law, which allows police to detain anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant — and which critics call carte blanche for racial profiling of Mexicans and other Hispanics. "It opens the door to intolerance, hate and discrimination," Calderón said recently. "My government cannot and will not remain indifferent."
(continued)

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599...

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#765
May 20, 2010
 
Mexican town's police force quits after ambush.

MEXICO CITY (AP)— Most of a small Mexican town’s police force has quit after armed men ambushed and wounded two of their officers.

The resignation of six of the 11 municipal officers in La Union Monday evening comes after several other Mexican towns have seen mass police resignations because of cartel violence or threats.

State police in Guerrero, which La Union is located, said Tuesday that it has deployed 20 of its officers to patrol La Union until further notice.

The resignations came two days after their colleagues were ambushed and left La Union’s police force with five members: the chief, the deputy chief, an officer in charge of weapons logistics and the two wounded officers who are hospitalized.

Meanwhile, people in some Mexican towns have begun taking the law into their own hands.

In Mexico State, on the outskirts of Mexico City, authorities said Tuesday that residents of a town beat a man death on suspicion of robbing a young couple of 200 pesos (about $16) and a cell phone Monday.

The suspect and an accomplice allegedly held up the couple with a knife and what later was found to be a toy gun.

About 300 people pursued the two men, caught one and beat him so badly with sticks and fists that he died in an ambulance, officials said.

Also Tuesday, the federal police announced the capture of an alleged member of the La Linea gang in the border city of Ciudad Juarez who allegedly participated in the killing of 10 people.

Juan Padilla Juarez, 28, allegedly targeted rivals of the La Linea gang, which is allied with the Juarez drug cartel. He was captured Monday in Ciudad Juarez.

The Attorney General’s Office announced that a judge handed down a prison sentence of almost 22 years against Jaime Gonzalez Duran, also known as “The Hummer,” for money laundering and weapons possession. He had previously been sentenced to 16½ years on similar charges by another court. The sentences will not be served concurrently.

Gonzalez Duran is an army deserter who was arrested in the northern border city of Reynosa. He is allegedly one of the founding members of the Zetas, a band of cartel hit men believed responsible for massacres and beheadings.

http://www.svherald.com/content/2010/05/18/me...

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#766
May 20, 2010
 
Mexican general formerly tied to cartels is shot

MEXICO CITY (AP)— A retired general who was convicted and later cleared of aiding one of Mexico’s most powerful drug lords has been shot in the capital.

Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro was in intensive care at a military hospital Wednesday, city Attorney General Miguel Angel Mancera said.

Mancera did not give details of Tuesday night’s shooting in a central Mexico City neighborhood, though he said police had identified one possible suspect.

“We do not have the line of investigation absolutely defined,” Mancera told MVS Radio.“It could have been a direct attack on the general or it could have been a robbery. We are not ruling that out.”

Acosta, who reached the rank of brigadier general, was incarcerated in 2000 on charges of protecting former Juarez cartel leader Amado Carillo Fuentes, who had died three years earlier after botched plastic surgery.

But in 2007 a panel of judges overturned Acosta’s drug trafficking conviction and ordered him released, ruling that prosecutors failed to prove the alleged links to Carillo Fuentes.

In 2002, Acosta was accused of homicide in the disappearance of leftist activists and revolutionaries during the government’s so-called dirty war against dissent during the 1970s and 1980s.

A judge determined that Acosta was not responsible for the disappearances and the charges were dismissed.

http://www.svherald.com/content/2010/05/19/me...

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#767
May 20, 2010
 
Mexico arrests 11 suspects in migrant kidnappings

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP)— Police in northern Mexico say they have arrested 11 men who allegedly kidnapped migrants trying to reach the United States.

Prosecutors in the border state of Baja California say 8 suspects were captured Monday after they opened fire on police during a raid on a house where 17 migrants were held. An investigation led to the arrest of 3 more suspects Tuesday.

The migrants were freed. One police officer is recovering from a non-life-threatening wound suffered in the raid on a house near the city of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California.

Prosecutors said Wednesday the suspects confessed to having kidnapped at least 100 migrants and demanding $2,000 apiece for their release.

http://www.svherald.com/content/2010/05/19/me...

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#768
May 20, 2010
 
Juárez Feria falls victim to drug violence

By Adriana Gómez Licón
El Paso Times
05/20/2010

EL PASO -- The latest casualty in Mexico's drug war is Juárez's popular annual fair.

Juárez city officials said the escalating narco violence in the border city forced them to call off the Feria Expo, a monthlong tradition that dates back more than 35 years.

Juárez Mayor José Reyes Ferriz said the crisis of violence and economic conditions prompted the decision to cancel this year's summer fest.

The event, put together by the city, did not attract enough investment from event organizers in the country, officials said.

Many Juárez and some El Paso residents looked forward to the Feria every year. Hundreds of thousands attended the event.

The attendance numbers have ranged throughout the years from 200,000 to 600,000 people.

It was a family-oriented event that catered to all social classes with its affordable admission fees and its popular concerts. Juárez native Juan Gabriel and Mexican cultural icon Vicente Fernández have performed at the fair.

At the Chamizal Park fairgrounds in Juárez, right across the Bridge of the Americas and east of Downtown Juárez, people found dozens of mechanical rides, cultural booths and food vendors. In the early 1990s, the cockfighting arena, or palenque, attracted many visitors.

"It is an event catered to our citizens, to the people of Ciudad Juárez," said Guillermo Soria Magaña, director of the city's chamber of commerce. "What is worrisome is that they are taking away this service, this city attraction."
(continued)

http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_15122001

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#769
May 20, 2010
 
Sinaloa cartel seems favored in Mexico's drug war

Posted: 05/19/2010

Mexican President Felipe Calderon is in Washington on Wednesday for an official state visit. His battle against the violent drug cartels is high on the agenda.
Calderon has deployed 45,000 federal troops and police to combat the drug gangs. Yet in the midst of this crackdown, the Sinaloa cartel - the largest, oldest and richest in Mexico - appears to be flourishing.
(continued)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php...

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#770
May 20, 2010
 
Shootout erupts on Juárez street

By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times
Posted: 05/19/2010

A shootout lasting several minutes erupted on a Juárez street this afternoon.

Juárez police officials confirmed they began getting emergency calls about 1:30 p.m. reporting multiple gunshots that lasted for about five minutes in the area of Avenida de la Raza and Avenida Valentin Fuentes.

Unconfirmed reports stated the shootout involved federal police and gunmen.

The number of wounded had not been disclosed.

In other violence, a Juárez police officer was shot and killed in his car while leaving his home to drive to work at about 7:30 a.m. today. The officer, Cesar Rodriguez Prospero, was the morning shift coordinator at the Benito Juárez police district in the southern part of the city, police officials said.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_15118993

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#771
May 20, 2010
 
Shootout, police supervisor's slaying add to Juárez violence

By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times
05/20/2010

A shootout erupted in the middle of a busy avenue in Juárez on Wednesday afternoon, another day in one of the world's most dangerous cities while the presidents of Mexico and the United States met in Washington, D.C.

The shootout was part of a day that included the killing of a Juárez police supervisor, a triple murder and an announcement that Mexican federal police had arrested an alleged Juárez drug cartel member accused in 10 murders.

President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón are meeting in Washington to discuss economic issues, immigration and the drug war.

In Juárez, the drug war raged.

Federal police and gunmen were reportedly involved in a shootout about 1:30 p.m. in the bustling area of Avenida de la Raza and Avenida Valentin Fuentes in the central part of the city.

Juárez police officials said the gunfire lasted at least five minutes, causing a massive response by heavily armed federal police searching nearby neighborhoods while a helicopter flew overheard.

By Wednesday night, federal police officials had yet to release information about the encounter. Unconfirmed information stated gunmen attacked a hotel housing police. As a result, federal police arrested several suspects in a car and then they raided a house, rescued a man who had been kidnapped and arrested 10 people.
It was unknown whether there were any injuries.

Wednesday began violently with another deadly attack on police, attacks that have become increasingly common since the start of a war between the Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels in 2008.

The cartels frequently target law enforcement officers they believe are working for the rival side.

César Rodríguez Próspero had been in the Juárez police department for 12 years and was the morning shift coordinator at the Benito Juárez police district in the southern part of the city, department spokesman Jacinto Segura said.

About 7:30 a.m., Rodriguez was in his car when he was killed by gunmen who fired 43 rounds, state police said.

"He was leaving his home in uniform headed to work," Segura said.

About 11:30 a.m., gunmen with AK-47s killed three unidentified men on a street in the Melchor Ocampo neighborhood, Chihuahua state police said.

There had been at least six slayings by Wednesday evening, raising the year's death toll to about 980.

More than 5,240 people have been killed in the Juárez area since the cartel war began.

In related news, federal police arrested an alleged killer for La Linea, or the Juárez cartel, accused in 10 homicides. Juan Padilla Juárez, alias "La Paulina," was arrested Monday in the Bella Vista area near the downtown, officials said Wednesday.

Federal police alleged Padilla, 28, also provided weapons, communication devices and transportation for three types of cartel operatives.

The first group of operatives are known as "halcones" (falcons), or lookouts, whose job is keeping surveillance on targets and authorities.

The second group comprises the gunmen who carry out the killings. And the third group is composed of men who provide security during the attacks and other crimes.

Late Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Chihuahua state police found the mummified bodies of two women and three men in plastic bags in a stolen pickup on a road south of Juárez.

The unidentified bodies were apparently mummified by the desert climate.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_15122690

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#772
May 20, 2010
 
Suspect allegedly smuggled drugs in fake ice cream truck

Associated Press
Posted on May 20, 2010

MISSION, Texas (AP)- Mission police arrested a 34-year-old man who allegedly used a fake-labeled ice cream van to smuggle drugs and then tried to mail the marijuana.

Adan Toca is charged with possession of marijuana. He was in the Hidalgo County Detention Center on Thursday in lieu of $50,000 bail. Jailer Edna Ochoa says there was no listing for an attorney for Toca.

KRGV-TV reports Mission police on Tuesday arrested Toca at a post office after he allegedly appeared intoxicated and was carrying two boxes. Police confiscated 10 pounds of marijuana from the packages.

Sgt. Jody Tittle says Toca may have been using the fake ice cream-sale vehicle to avoid getting stopped. The van did not have a freezer.

Ochoa, during arraignment, said he's from Zacatecas, Mexico.

http://www.wfaa.com/news/crime/Suspect-allege...

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#773
May 21, 2010
 
Arrests may have link to 3 slain New Mexico men

By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times
05/20/2010

Sinaloa drug cartel members arrested after a shootout in Juárez could be linked to the murders of three New Mexico men kidnapped during a wedding earlier this month, Mexican federal police said.

Federal police officials on Thursday said a massive police response Wednesday afternoon resulted in eight arrests and the rescue of two kidnapped men, including a used-car salesman from El Paso held captive for 15 days. The salesman's name was not released.

Those arrested are three alleged members of the Aztecas gang and five alleged members of the Sinaloa cartel, officials said.

Aztecas are allied with La Linea, or Juárez drug cartel, in a turf war with the Sinaloa cartel, whose members in the region are known as the Gente Nueva, or new people.

Police seized a dozen AK-47s, a .223-caliber rifle, 10 handguns, 12 bulletproof vests, six vehicles and other equipment.

Officials said the incident started when Aztecas attacked a home in the 6000 block of Hermes, where Sinaloa cartel members were located. A stolen van was rammed into the house, and gunshots were fired at the building.

The attackers drove away but were spotted by federal police. Three alleged Aztecas were captured after a pursuit.

Federal police then went to the house on Hermes, where they confronted gunmen. Police arrested the alleged Sinaloa cartel members, seized 13 firearms and rescued a man, identified only by the moniker "El Pistolita" (the little pistol), who is apparently a member of La Linea who had been captive for eight days.

Using information received during the search, officers then raided a safe house supposedly used by La Linea in the 1600 block of Guadalupe Chavoya, where they rescued a 54-year-old car salesman who lives in El Paso, officials said.

Federal police said the Sinaloa group is suspected in several murders, including a double homicide Monday, the killing of two Cipol police officers apparently mistaken for members of La Linea and in the wedding abduction-murders.

"According to the first investigations, these subjects (Sinaloa cartel members) could be related to the homicide of four people kidnapped on May 7 at the doors of a church at Simón Barba and Valentín Fuentes streets," read an official statement.

Bridegroom Rafael Morales Valencia, his brother Jaime Morales Valencia and their uncle Guadalupe Morales Arriola were kidnapped by gunmen who burst into the wedding at El Señor de la Misericordia Catholic church in Juárez. The men were U.S. citizens from La Mesa in Doña Ana County. Three days later, their tortured bodies and a fourth man were found in the bed of a pickup.

Another man, Alonso Sotelo Corral, was fatally shot in the parking lot outside the church during the kidnapping.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_15128349

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#774
May 21, 2010
 
Mexico shootouts kill 2 police, 7 gunmen

The Associated Press
05/21/2010

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico -- Gunbattles between security forces and armed attackers have killed nine people in two states along the U.S. border, Mexican authorities said Thursday.

The Navy says four attackers died in a gunbattle between marines and members of the Zetas drug gang in the town of San Carlos, in the border state of Tamaulipas. The Navy said in a press statement that a convoy of vehicles opened fire on a marine patrol.

Marines detained four suspected gunmen-three of them Guatemalan citizens-and seized 14 rifles and over 3,600 weapons after the clash.

And in the state of Coahuila, two police officers and three gunmen are dead in a shootout in Torreon, prosecutors said.

In Ciudad Juarez, federal police detained an alleged gang member accused of participating in 11 killings.

Suspect Luis Humberto Hernandez allegedly belonged to the "La Linea" gang allied with the Juarez drug cartel. Police said Hernandez relied on a network of lookouts to locate his victims, usually members of rival gangs.

Also Thursday, federal police announced the capture of the Sinaloa cartel's alleged chief operator in Mexico state, outside the capital.

Suspect Jose Manuel Garcia was allegedly in charge of coordinating cartel activities with local officials.

Finally, federal prosecutors filed drug-trafficking charges against five prison guards at a Mexico City penitentiary who allegedly smuggled almost 48.5 pounds (22 kilograms) of marijuana into the facility aboard a van used to transfer inmates. The guards allegedly intended to sell the marijuana inside the prison.
More than 22,700 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since late 2006.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_1513...

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#775
May 21, 2010
 
Hit & Run Leads to Human Smuggling Ring Bust

by: Eddie Flores

SAN JUAN - A good Samaritan helps police bust up a human smuggling ring.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS was there as police rounded up 11 suspected illegal immigrants near I Road in San Juan.

The man suspected of transporting the illegal immigrants was also taken into custody.

Police say Servando Estrada followed the Ford Explorer the illegal immigrants were in after it was involved in a hit and run accident.

Estrada says,“When I started following the vehicle to help out and do whatever I could, that didn't happen. They took off and I said that's not right so this lady over here could be dead for all we know. So then I started following them and started honking my horn and they wouldn't stop. So as soon as they did here on I Road and frontage like about 15 to 20 illegals jumped out of the vehicle.”

San Juan police will now work on charges against the driver.

The woman in the car hit by the Ford Explorer was not hurt.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Hit-Run-...

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#776
May 21, 2010
 
Woman Searches For Grandkids After Their Mother Is Killed In Mexico

by: Polo Sandoval

ZAPATA - A woman we will call "Sally" says her daughter in law, 21-year-old Eva Ayrs crossed into Reynosa with her two children in February.

Two months later she was found murdered in Miguel Aleman.

She had been tortured, her body mutilated. The children are still missing.

Sally tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS she still grieves for Ayrs, and she's desperate to find her two grandchildren ages one and three.

Nailea and Samuel Lara are still missing in Mexico.

Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS it's hard to find the truth in these circumstances.

"There's been a lot of speculation, a lot of rumors from Mexico that perhaps the kids may have met the same result as the mother," he says.

Gonzalez says there's little he can do.

"It didn't happen in another county. It didn't happen in another state, it happened in another country," he says.

Sally is working with officials in Reynosa trying to find the two children.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Woman-Se...

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#777
May 21, 2010
 
Special Report: Mass Exodus From Mexico

by: Will Ripley

FORT HANCOCK - Hudspeth County Sheriff Deputy Keith Hughes spends his days and nights patrolling the town.

The streets are mostly empty. He says it's because people are afraid to leave their homes.

"It's no way to live. When you're on this side of the river. It's gotta stop," he says.

Across from Fort Hancock is El Provenir, Mexico. Soldiers stand guard, trying to keep the peace in a town terrorized by the drug cartels.

"We just had a mass exodus of a community. As soon as they threatened to kill 'em, people started moving out," says Sheriff Arvin West.

Sheriff West says cartel members took over the town of El Porvenir forcing it's residents to flee to Fort Hancock.

One teenager we spoke with tells us many of his friends had family members murdered.

Sheriff West tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS some of those who have fled Mexico are involved in the drug trade. He's afraid the cartel members will soon follow.

The sheriff's department used to run just one officer a day in the town. Now they have five per shift.

They've also worked out a plan to contain possible spillover violence.

It includes locking down schools, training teachers and improving communication between local and federal law enforcement.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Special-...

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#778
May 21, 2010
 
Arrests may have link to 3 slain New Mexico men

By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times
05/20/2010

Sinaloa drug cartel members arrested after a shootout in Juárez could be linked to the murders of three New Mexico men kidnapped during a wedding earlier this month, Mexican federal police said.

Federal police officials on Thursday said a massive police response Wednesday afternoon resulted in eight arrests and the rescue of two kidnapped men, including a used-car salesman from El Paso held captive for 15 days. The salesman's name was not released.

Those arrested are three alleged members of the Aztecas gang and five alleged members of the Sinaloa cartel, officials said.

Aztecas are allied with La Linea, or Juárez drug cartel, in a turf war with the Sinaloa cartel, whose members in the region are known as the Gente Nueva, or new people.

Police seized a dozen AK-47s, a .223-caliber rifle, 10 handguns, 12 bulletproof vests, six vehicles and other equipment.

Officials said the incident started when Aztecas attacked a home in the 6000 block of Hermes, where Sinaloa cartel members were located. A stolen van was rammed into the house, and gunshots were fired at the building.

The attackers drove away but were spotted by federal police. Three alleged Aztecas were captured after a pursuit.

Federal police then went to the house on Hermes, where they confronted gunmen. Police arrested the alleged Sinaloa cartel members, seized 13 firearms and rescued a man, identified only by the moniker "El Pistolita" (the little pistol), who is apparently a member of La Linea who had been captive for eight days.

Using information received during the search, officers then raided a safe house supposedly used by La Linea in the 1600 block of Guadalupe Chavoya, where they rescued a 54-year-old car salesman who lives in El Paso, officials said.

Federal police said the Sinaloa group is suspected in several murders, including a double homicide Monday, the killing of two Cipol police officers apparently mistaken for members of La Linea and in the wedding abduction-murders.
(continued)

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_15128349

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#779
May 21, 2010
 
Mexican Students Enrolling in U.S. Schools to Escape Violence

Reported by: Will Ripley
Reported by: Polo Sandoval

TORNILLO - Students from south of the border are fleeing to the United States and enrolling in U.S. schools. They’re trying to escape the violence, but they can’t escape the suffering.

Tornillo Independent School District Superintendent Paul Vranish is leading his district through a crisis. CHANNEL 5 NEWS traveled to the West Texas school district.

We learned a school counselor had to break some devastating news.

“She's gotta go over there one morning and tell a 15-year-old freshman girl,‘Your mother was killed today on the way to work,’" explains the superintendent.

“It's a bad thing. It's a sad thing."

The girl's mother was murdered in Mexico. Ongoing violence across the border has shattered many students' families.

“He lost his father and his uncle. We've had them lose cousins. We have them lose brothers,” Vranish tells us.“We had one of our students get gunned down. One of our students."

He says many students are traumatized, sad, and afraid they might be next.

“At what point do they not start becoming like school kids in Baghdad, Iraq,” asks Vranish.

Schools in nearby Fort Hancock are facing the same issues. Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West says students have fled the violence in Mexico and enrolled in U.S. schools.

“Well the number one concern is somebody being kidnapped,” he tells us.

Lt. Robert Wilson of Hudspeth County says suspicious vehicles were spotted following Fort Hancock school buses.

“The suspicions are that they were checking school routes and maybe where certain children were getting off,” Wilson explains.

Now officers are patrolling the schools.

The lieutenant says,“There have been some threats on some students and some teachers and people in the community."

Other school districts are alarmed at what's happening along the border. In nearby Culberson County, sheriff's deputies now escort school buses to all sporting events in Fort Hancock. Another district chose to cancel its games.

“It will be a common practice if this thing doesn't get resolved,” says Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carillo.

The Tornillo ISD superintendent says the worse it gets, the more his students are forced to cope.

“They shouldn't have to do this,” says Vranish.

He tells us it's a lesson in suffering children on the border should never have to learn.

All the students CHANNEL 5 NEWS approached while taping this story were too scared to go on camera. They said it would put their lives and their families' lives in danger.

Parents in Mexico are also turning to Valley schools to keep their children safe. Miguel Aleman, Mexico has seen its share of drug violence. The Mexican city sits across the border from Roma.

Parents that normally send their children to schools in Miguel Aleman are now sending their children to schools in Roma.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS caught up with one parent as she walked her 10-year-old to a Roma elementary school.

She spoke to CHANNEL 5 NEWS about a personal incident. She tells us a man she was living with was murdered. He was beheaded and his body was left on her front door steps. After the murder, she immediately enrolled her son in the Roma school district.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS discovered parents like her use a friend or family member's address on this side of the border in order to enroll their children in American schools. School officials across the Valley tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS that practice is happening more often.

Roma ISD spokesperson Ricardo Perez says, "We were expecting another decrease in enrollment but such is not the case. We had an increase of about 55 students from one year to the next."

Perez adds the two things may be responsible for their enrollment increase is migrant families moving back to the Valley and the growing danger across the border.

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

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May 22, 2010
 
'Immediate' US aid in drug war slow to help Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP)— The United States has spent a fraction of the $1.1 billion it promised Mexico between 2008 and 2010 to make “an immediate and important impact” on surging drug cartel violence, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

While President Barack Obama and Congress pledged strong, continued support to Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Washington this week, State Department spreadsheets provide the first definitive information about how the United States has — and hasn’t — spent the money pledged by President George W. Bush under the 2007 Merida Initiative.

The records show that in the third year of what was to be a three-year program, Washington is just starting to help Mexico fund its bloody battle. After bureaucratic tie-ups limited spending to $26 million in two years, cash began to flow this year, with $235 million projected by year end, and at least $331 million expected in 2011.

“The leaders of the Mexican military made the point (that) the house is on fire now,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said recently after meeting with military counterparts in Mexico.“Having the fire trucks show up in 2012 is not going to be particularly helpful.”

In Washington on Thursday, Calderon asked Congress for “more cooperation” and noted that his own government is sinking $10 billion a year into the battle. The United States has a moral obligation to help more, he argued.

“My neighbor is the biggest consumer of drugs in the world,” he said,“and everyone wants to sell drugs through my window.”

It was a tropical spring day in colonial Merida three years ago when Bush and Calderon laughed, slapped backs and announced unspecified intentions to “increase cooperation.” While the leaders made small talk, their advisers plotted out what Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon called an “urgent” aid package that could have “an immediate and important impact in the fight against organized crime.”

Since then, 23,000 people have been killed in Calderon’s battle against the cartels as Mexico waited for U.S. funds.

Obama has agreed to extend Merida at least one more year under a program called “Beyond Merida.” But it’s doubtful top government officials realize how little has been done.

Administration leaders often talk about how the U.S. has sent $1 billion to help Mexico.

Calderon told reporters this week:“We have received about $400 million.”
(continued)

http://www.svherald.com/content/2010/05/21/im...

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