Mexico's Drug Cartel Violence is This...

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#1028 Aug 14, 2010
Mexican police say 5 suspects hacked up officer

MEXICO CITY (AP)— Mexican authorities said Friday that police in Ciudad Juarez captured five alleged drug gang members suspected in the killings of two federal officers, including one whose bodies was hacked to pieces.

One of the suspects is also believed to have acted as a lookout in the July 15 car-bomb attack on police that killed an officer and two other people, said Luis Cardenas Palomino, regional security chief for the federal police.

He described the five men as members of the La Linea gang, which works for the Juarez drug cartel. He alleged they killed two federal officers last week in Ciudad Juarez and then hacked up one of the bodies.

In the Pacific coast state of Michoacan, police found the bodies of six people in two locations, authorities said Friday.

Prosecutors said the bodies of four males, including two teenagers, were found Thursday with their hands and feet bound inside a car in the town of Tepalcatepec. All had been shot to death.

Minutes earlier, police in Tepalcatepec found the body of a man and a woman alongside a road, prosecutors said.

More than 28,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against drug traffickers in late 2006, sending thousands of troops and federal police to drug hot spots.

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#1029 Aug 14, 2010
Mexico finds 14 remains in independence hero urns

MEXICO CITY (AP)— Researchers found 14 sets of remains in urns holding the heroes of Mexico’s 1810-1821 independence movement rather than the 12 originally reported to be there, authorities said Friday.

Experts who spent more than two months studying the skeletal remains said all 14 were determined to belong to founding fathers — and one founding mother. There are just more of them than expected.

“Undoubtedly there are 14 bodies there. There’s no doubt about that,” Education Secretary Alonso Lujambio said.

The two “unknown heroes” turned out to be Pedro Moreno and Victor Rosales, both of whom died fighting Spain in 1817 in western Mexico. While hardly unknown, they were less famous than independence leaders like Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende.

Jose Manuel Villalpando, coordinator of this year’s bicentennial festivities, said the confusion over the number of those buried apparently started in 1925, when urns holding the remains were sealed in crypts at the Independence monument.

The two lesser-known independence activists were put in urns, but there names were not included in inscriptions on the monument as Hidalgo, Allende and 10 others were.

Many of the urns were sealed and their contents were not visible when soldiers removed them with pomp and ceremony from the monument in May.

A thorough study of the remains was necessary, because of fears the bones may have been jumbled or mislabeled during the 19th and early 20th centuries when they were stored at Mexico City’s metropolitan cathedral.

But experts said the forensic characteristics of the remains coincided with the historical figures and their manner of death.

The independence heroes will be honored at a military ceremony and parade Sunday and the urns will be taken from Chapultepec Castle to the National Palace, where they will be put on display.

After that, Moreno and Rosales may finally get what Mexico’s national anthem promises those who defend their country:“a tomb of honor for them.”

All of the remains will be put back in the Independence monument in 2011.

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#1030 Aug 14, 2010
Two suspects arrested in connection with Juárez car bomb

By Aileen B. Flores
El Paso Times

Mexican authorities said Friday they have arrested two men in connection with the deadly car bombing last month that killed three people.

Officials said the two suspects were among five hit men for the Juárez drug cartel that were arrested Thursday.

The two suspects in the car bombing reportedly told police they participated in the bombing and acted as lookouts.

The car bombing took place July 15 and apparently was aimed at federal police. The explosion killed a federal agent, a paramedic and man used as a decoy to lure officials to the site.

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#1031 Aug 14, 2010
Weeding out corruption among Mexican police critical to ending violence

Maggie Ybarra
El Paso Times

EL PASO -- The cross-border drug trade that continues to fuel violence in Juárez can be extinguished by weeding out corruption among Mexican police, Gil Kerlikowske, head of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said today.
Kerlikowske was one of the speakers at the 7th Annual Border Security Conference at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The former police commissioner of Buffalo, N.Y., spoke to about 300 people. He warned them that the drug trade "threatens the security of borders and threatens the social fabric of all our areas."

"We must reduce that illegal market if we have any long-term chance of reducing that trafficking," he said.

But reducing that market also means reducing corruption among Mexican law enforcement officials, and that "will truly be an international challenge," Kerlikowske said.

Adelanto, CA

#1032 Aug 14, 2010
Our politicians have their fingers dirty with the drug cartels. We are a corrupt nation. Soon there will be even more killings in the streets. Obama and Bush wanted everyone to think the mexican gangs and killings is part of the norm. It is not. The police chief of Los Angeles California said he will not uphold the law when it comes to illegal aliens. We are a country going down even faster than ever before.

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#1033 Aug 14, 2010
Mexican cartel blockades streets in Monterrey

14 August 2010

Police in Mexico say members of a drug cartel blocked off at least 13 major roads in Monterrey on Saturday.

Drivers were dragged out of their vehicles by armed men and their cars used to cut off the roads in the north-eastern city.

The blockade happened after a shootout between the Mexican army and alleged members of a drug cartel, in which four people were killed.

Police say the cartels blockade the streets as a show of force.

Security forces said the shootout happened in the south of the city, when soldiers on patrol chased two armoured cars they deemed suspicious.

One of the armoured cars crashed and its occupants opened fire on the soldiers.

Four of them were shot as they tried to flee on foot, a fifth escaped.

Local media say one of those killed was the man known as El Sonrics, the alleged leader of one of Mexico's most powerful and violent drug cartels.

El Sonrics is said to have taken over as leader of Los Zetas in Monterrey after soldiers captured Hector Raul Luna Luna in June.

Monterrey, the richest city in Mexico and its industrial capital, has seen a sharp increase in crime since Los Zetas extended their operations there.

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#1034 Aug 15, 2010
Five Alleged Cartel Members Captured

CIUDAD JUAREZ - Mexican authorities say they've captured 5 people in connection with the murders of two federal police officers. One of those officers was cut apart after he was murdered.

Police say they are all members of the La Linea Gang who work for the Juarez Cartel.

One of the suspects is also believed to have taken part in the bombing of a federal officer last month.

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#1035 Aug 15, 2010
Investigators Say Suspect Was Smuggling Weapons To Cartels

Reported by: Erica Proffer

PHARR - Police now say a man shot by officers following a chase on Friday was smuggling weapons for the cartels.

Investigators found four high powered assault rifles inside the pick-up following a chase.

They say the 28-year-old Mexican national who was driving, was smuggling them to the cartel.

The chase started after Immigrations and Customs Enforcement tipped police about the man.

The suspect led authorities on a short chase which ended in a crash.

Following the pursuit officers were forced to open fire on the suspect for unknown reasons.

Investigators say the weapons found in his truck were going to the cartels.

The suspect will be charged once he is released from the hospital.

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#1036 Aug 15, 2010
Police dispatch: Cartel members may seek rivals in El Paso

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times

EL PASO - Members of the Sinaloa drug cartel may be in pursuit of rivals belonging to the Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel in El Paso, according to El Paso Police Department dispatchers today.
Dispatchers sent a couple of messages over the city police radio asking police to be on alert for such an encounter in West El Paso.

The dispatchers mentioned someone nicknamed "El Carnicero" (the butcher).

Police spokesman Det. Mike Baranyay was not immediately available.

The Sinaloa cartel is led by Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman.

The Carrillo Fuentes cartel, led by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, employs members of the Aztecas and Barrio Aztecas gang for many of its street-level operations. Barrio Aztecas members are in El Paso and Aztecas members are in Juárez.

The cartel wars in Juárez have claimed nearly 1,700 lives this year.

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#1037 Aug 16, 2010
Report: Chihuahua has highest number of Mexico drug war murders

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times

Chihuahua and five other states account for most of the murders in Mexico attributed to the drug wars, according to the just-released "2010 Mid-Year Report on Drug Violence."
The University of San Diego Trans-Border Institute is the host of the Justice in Mexico Project's report by several academics.

Between January and June, Chihuahua state had the highest number of slayings (1,665), and Sinaloa state had the second highest number of deaths (1,221), according to the report.

The authors of the report also said it is difficult to verify the Mexican government's claim that 90 percent of all murders since the drug wars began in December 2006 are drug-related because officials will not release detailed data about the victims.

Researchers for the report relied on official statistics, plus a database compiled by Mexico's Reforma newspaper.

Recently, two federal government agencies reported significantly different figures for the country's death toll. For example, the Mexican Center for Research and National Security (CISEN) reported about 28,000 deaths, compared to the federal Attorney General's Office (PGR) figure of 24,826.

The drug violence in Juárez raged on through early today. Mexican authorities said six people died after armed hit men struck at a home party at Lucha Esfuerzo and Jose Reyes Estrada. The victims ranged in age from 19 to 47; three of them died at the scene and the others died later at the hospital.

Police said the hit men had returned a second time to the same place to kill a man they were looking for and missed in the earlier attack at about 2 a.m. today.

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#1038 Aug 17, 2010
Alleged Juárez trafficker extradited in U.S.; 51 die in Juárez

By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times
Posted: 08/17/2010

EL PASO -- A suspected Juárez drug trafficker appeared in U.S. District Court in El Paso on Monday after being extradited from Mexico even while rampant bloodshed continued in Juárez.

Felipe Dominguez Vargas is purported to be a "cell head" running a drug-trafficking ring that smuggled heroin, cocaine and marijuana into El Paso County to be distributed throughout the United States, a DEA spokeswoman said. It was unclear what cartel Dominguez worked for.

Dominguez, a Mexican citizen, was arrested in Juárez by Mexican authorities in November.

On Aug. 10, Mexico's attorney general's office, or PGR, extradited Dominguez and handed him over to the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at the PGR airplane hangar at the Mexico City airport, officials said.

The DEA said Dominguez made his initial appearance in federal court Monday morning in Downtown El Paso. He waived a detention hearing. He faces six counts of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and marijuana. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

In Juárez, street shootings and other violence continued Monday after a bloody weekend. There had been nine homicides as of Monday evening.

Fifty-one people were slain between Friday and Sunday, a police spokesman said. There were 24 homicides on Sunday, making it one of the deadliest days of the year.

In one incident on Sunday afternoon, gunmen fired 100 rounds, killing four people and wounding seven others in an attack on a party at a house in colonia Industrial. All but two of the victims were women. State police said the dead were Karla Ivete Anguiano Terrazas, 16; Citlali Anahi Castañeda Castañeda, 24; an unidentified man; and an unidentified woman.

It was the second massacre after a shooting killed five people at another party at about 1 a.m. Sunday. In another attack on Friday, two members of the state Cipol police were killed when their patrol truck was fired upon.

Authorities said investigators were still trying to identify many of the victims from the weekend and that there was a backlog of homicide cases.

Government and federal law enforcement officials will be meeting in Mexico City to come up with strategies to diminish the number of killings. More than 1,850 people have been slain this year in Juárez compared with 1,484 homicides through August of last year.

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#1039 Aug 17, 2010
Mexico's Drug War Hits Historic Border Cantinas

by John Burnett
August 16, 2010

Mexico's drug cartel war has killed more than 28,000 people in four years, but some of the collateral damage has not been as noticeable. A trio of famous, Prohibition-era cantinas in Mexican border cities, having survived more than 80 turbulent years, are in deep trouble.

On a recent weekday, a headline in Mexico's El Diario newspaper screams: "Juarez is the Center of the Country's Narco-War." That can't be good for business at the Kentucky Club, a venerable saloon that's been here since 1920, three blocks from the international bridge that connects Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas.

"Actually, in these times, the wave of violence here in Juarez is tremendous," says Raul Martinez, who has been the doorman at the Kentucky Club for 25 years. "Before, we had to turn people away, we were so full —$10 or $20 wouldn't get you in. Now, I wish we had customers."

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#1040 Aug 17, 2010
Under threat from Mexican drug cartels, reporters go silent

Journalists know drug traffickers can easily kidnap or kill them — and get away with it.

August 16, 2010
By Tracy Wilkinson,
Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Reynosa, Mexico — A new word has been written into the lexicon of Mexico's drug war: narco-censorship.

It's when reporters and editors, out of fear or caution, are forced to write what the traffickers want them to write, or to simply refrain from publishing the whole truth in a country where members of the press have been intimidated, kidnapped and killed.

That big shootout the other day near a Reynosa shopping mall? Convoys of gunmen whizzed through the streets and fired on each other for hours, paralyzing the city. But you won't read about it here in this border city.

Those recent battles between the army and cartel henchmen in Ciudad Juarez? Soldiers engaged "armed civilians," newspapers told their readers.

As the drug war scales new heights of savagery, one of the devastating byproducts of the carnage is the drug traffickers' chilling ability to co-opt underpaid and under-protected journalists — who are haunted by the knowledge that they are failing in their journalistic mission of informing society.

"You love journalism, you love the pursuit of truth, you love to perform a civic service and inform your community. But you love your life more," said an editor here in Reynosa, in Tamaulipas state, who, like most journalists interviewed, did not want to be named for fear of antagonizing the cartels.

"We don't like the silence. But it's survival."

An estimated 30 reporters have been killed or have disappeared since President Felipe Calderon launched a military-led offensive against powerful drug cartels in December 2006, making Mexico one of the deadliest countries for journalists in the world.

But a ferocious increase in violence, including the July 26 kidnapping of four reporters, has pushed the profession into a crisis never before seen, drawn renewed international attention and spurred fresh activism on the part of Mexican newsmen and women.

The United Nations sent its first such mission to Mexico last week to examine dangers to freedom of expression. On Aug. 7, in an unprecedented display of unity from a normally fractious, competitive bunch, hundreds of Mexican reporters demonstrated throughout the country to demand an end to the killings of their colleagues, and more secure working conditions.

Few killings are ever investigated, and the climate of impunity leads to more bloodshed, says an upcoming report from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

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#1041 Aug 18, 2010
Women reportedly recruited for cartel killings

by Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times

An alleged hit man told Mexican federal police that beautiful young women are working as killers for the Juárez drug cartel.
"They have to look good to deceive our opponents," Rogelio Amaya Martínez said in a videotaped interview by Mexico's Ministry of Public Safety. Amaya, 27, is one of five men arrested Thursday in Juárez and accused of being a cartel hit squad that killed two federal police officers in separate attacks earlier this month.

Amaya, who appears relaxed in the video while answering questions from a woman off screen, said there are 20 to 30 women working as sicarias, or hit women. El Universal newspaper in Mexico placed the video online.

The female assassins range in age from 18 to 30, and they work alongside men in cells of La Linea, as the Juárez drug cartel is known, Amaya said. A recruiter selects the women, he said.

Cells are assigned to different jobs - such as halcones (lookouts), hit squads and extortionists - and operate independently. The hit women are trained to use rifles and handguns and sometimes accompany their male counterparts.

"They have carried out various jobs," Amaya said, making a reference to murders. "They work like any other hit man." Amaya said the women are young and attractive to better fool their targets.

Women in Juárez have been previously accused of being part of kidnapping rings, often assigned to keep watch on captives. Women have also held roles as recruiters, transporters and leaders of drug-smuggling cells.

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#1042 Aug 18, 2010
Juárez gunmen kill two police officers

by Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times

Two police officers were shot and killed this afternoon in Juárez.
The officers were in a patrol vehicle when they were shot by gunmen who fired from a moving vehicle about 3 p.m. on Avenida Gomez Morin, a police spokesman said. After the officer driving was shot, he lost control and the patrol vehicle crashed into a tree. The officers were assigned to prison transport duties.

A police spokesman said 32 city police officers have been murdered in Juárez this year.

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#1043 Aug 18, 2010
Mexican mayor found dead 3 days after kidnapping

Aug. 18, 2010
Associated Press

MONTERREY, Mexico - The kidnapped mayor of a northern Mexican town was found dead Wednesday, extending a rash of deadly attacks on political figures in an area besieged by drug gang battles.

Santiago Mayor Edelmiro Cavazos' body was found near a waterfall outside his town, a popular weekend getaway for residents of the industrial city of Monterrey, said Nuevo Leon state attorney general Alejandro Garza y Garza.

Police have not determined a motive, but the assassination bore the hallmarks of drug cartels waging vicious turf battles in northeastern Mexico: Cavazos' hands were bound and his head was wrapped in tape.

Garza y Garza suggested it was a drug gang hit, saying Cavazos participated in state security meetings and was "showing his face in the fight against organized crime."

However, Cavazos had not made any dramatic security decisions since taking office in November 2009, said Jorge Santiago Flores, the local president of the mayor's National Action Party. He said it remains a mystery why anyone would want to kill Cavazos.

"He was a very kind person. He was a man who worked a lot in the community and always helped those in need, donating medicine and helping people who asked," Flores said.

Cavazos, 38, was kidnapped from his home Sunday night by 15 armed men wearing uniforms from a defunct federal police force, a tactic frequently used by Mexico's drug gangs.

Garza y Garza said the gunmen arrived in seven vehicles with police patrol lights. When Cavazos and his security guard went to see what was going on, the assailants forced them into the cars.

The security guard was driven around for about 15 minutes and released unharmed by the side of a road, Garza y Garza said. The guard then reported the kidnapping to police.

President Felipe Calderon, who belongs to the National Action Party sent his interior secretary, Francisco Blake Mora, to Nuevo Leon for a security meeting with the state government.

Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina said he would press for more federal soldiers and police in the state.

The region been besieged by drug gang fighting, including a new war between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas gang of hit men.

Mexico's drug gang violence has surged since Calderon intensified the fight against traffickers in late 2006, deploying thousands of troops and federal police to root out cartels from their strongholds.

More than 28,000 people have since been killed in the country's drug war. The government says most are victims of cartel infighting. But assassinations of police, government officials and politicians have also increased.

In June, gunmen ambushed and killed the leading gubernatorial candidate for Tamaulipas state, which neighbors Nuevo Leon, a week before the elections. A mayoral candidate in Tamaulipas was killed in May.

A total of 191 soldiers have been killed fighting drug gangs between December 2006 and Aug. 1, 2010, according to a list of names on a wall of a Defense Department anti-narctotics museum. Reporters saw the list Wednesday during a tour of the museum - the first time the government has made the number public.

Forty-three of the soldiers killed were officers.

Last week, the government said 2,076 police have been killed since December 2006.

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#1044 Aug 18, 2010
Mexico drug violence also hitting churches, prelate says

From Krupskaia Alis, CNN
August 17, 2010

Mexico City, Mexico (CNN)-- As one of the highest officials in the Mexican Catholic Church, Monsignor Victor Rene Rodriguez has been receiving the alarming reports from all over the nation.

His priests are telling him they are being constantly threatened, extorted and abused by drug traffickers.

"Sometimes threats don't materialize," Rodriguez said. "But in cases where priests haven't obeyed the drug traffickers' demands, churches have been damaged, priests attacked, and, in a few cases, even killed."

Monsignor Rodriguez is the secretary general of the Mexican Conference of Bishops and the Bishop of Texcoco. He says some fellow bishops have opted for canceling early evening masses to protect parishioners from the drug violence.

Rodriguez points to states like Chihuahua, the most violent in Mexico. Of the 28,000 drug-related deaths in the last four years, 40 percent have happened in this border state. In Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, more than 100 pastors have reported threats, and extortion has become all too common.

About 90 percent of Mexico's total population of 110 million people describe themselves as Catholic. In fact, Mexico has the second largest population of Catholics in the world. But the threats are affecting evangelical churches as well.

The Rev. Jose Raul Murillo, head pastor at the Faith in Jesus Christ Apostolic Church in Juarez, says pastors are falsely accused of siding with certain gangs.

"They threaten us," he said. "They accuse us of siding with La Linea [drug gang] or La Familia [rival gang]. They also tell us,'You have to cooperate with us or we will kill you.' "

Monsignor Rodriguez also says priests are forced to minister to drug traffickers.

"They give the orders," he said. "They say,'We will pick you up. We need you to minister.' And there have been cases where a priest has been unable to go to perform a baptism ritual or a first communion and his church has suffered the consequences."

The families of priests are being threatened as well, Rodriguez said.

The Mexican Catholic Church has adopted several measures to minimize the risks to priests caused by drug violence. For example, priests are being asked to always wear clothing that identifies them as religious people and to restrict trips to remote areas.

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#1045 Aug 19, 2010
In Mexico, Journalists Are Becoming an Endangered Species

By Matt Sanchez
August 18, 2010

Evaristo Ortega Zárate, a journalist in Veracruz, Mexico, was an ace at reporting details. He covered rival drug traffickers, criticized the inaction of local authorities and investigated politicians. Thanks to his efforts, his paper, Espacio, grew from a local weekly to a statewide presence.

But the focus of Ortega's writing changed this year.“They’ve arrested us,” he wrote in a desperate text message.“They have made us get into a police car.”

And those were the last words he wrote. Like dozens of other Mexican journalists in recent years, Evaristo Ortega Zárate simply vanished.

The life of a journalist has never been easy in Mexico, a country noted for its one-party rule, corruption and lawlessness. But in recent years, since President Felipe Calderon challenged the control of drug cartels that “sought to rule the nation,” practicing journalism has become a deadly occupation.

The numbers vary according to the source, but roughly 70 journalists, photographers, editors and producers have been killed in the last decade in Mexico, in what Reporters Without Borders calls, "the Western Hemisphere's deadliest country for the media."

The deadliest place in the world to get a quote remains Iraq, where 140 journalists have been killed since 2003, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a nonprofit that tracks violence against journalists worldwide.

But in many ways the streak of violence south of the Rio Grande is even more disturbing. At the height of the war in Iraq, journalists were often killed in sporadic crossfire, homicide bombings and inconclusive murders. And the number of journalists who have been killed has plummeted – from 32 in 2007 to four last year – as the war has wound down.

But in Mexico, the violence is almost never random. Druglords meticulously target journalists for execution, and the method is often very personal. Journalists have had their throats slashed and their bodies dissolved in acid; they've been dismembered and tortured by having a message carved into their bodies; they've been set on fire and they've been buried alive, head first.

Even the bullet to the head has been anything but straightforward: The body of reporter José Bladimir Antuna García's had a note attached to it that read:“This happened to me for giving information to the military and writing what I shouldn't have. Check the texts of your articles well before publishing them. Yours faithfully, Bladimir." It is not known whether Bladimir himself was forced to write the words before he died.

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#1046 Aug 19, 2010
Mexico Under Siege

Business Heads Plead as Drug Gangs Terrorize Wealthy City

AUGUST 19, 2010

MONTERREY, Mexico—A surge of drug violence in Mexico's business capital and richest city has prompted an outcry from business leaders who on Wednesday took out full-page ads asking President Felipe Calderón to send in more soldiers to stem the violence.

The growing violence in Monterrey, long one of Mexico's most modern and safe cities, is a sign that the country's war against drug gangs is spreading ever further from poorer battlegrounds along the border and into the country's wealthiest enclaves.

Residents opened their newspapers Wednesday morning to find the ads taken out by Mexican business leaders, begging the government to send more military into the city. "Enough already," said the notice that ran in national and local papers, criticizing what it said was a slow response of police against "criminal bands that in every act look to establish a new boundary of terror."

Later that day, the body of Edelmiro Cavazos, mayor of the Monterrey suburb of Santiago, was found beside a highway. Mr. Cavazos had been abducted Sunday night, the latest in a string of attacks against politicians in Mexico's north.

His killing is another incident in a terrifying spell for Monterrey residents that began Saturday when armed gangs set up more than a dozen roadblocks on key boulevards of the city, paralyzing traffic for hours. The next day, a grenade was lobbed at the offices of an important television broadcaster. On Tuesday night, grenades were also hurled at several small businesses on the city's outskirts.

Mexico's War on Drugs
Review key events in the fight to break the grip of Mexico's drug cartels.

View Interactive
.Mexico's Drug Killings
Nearly 23,000 people have died in drug-related violence since 2006, according to the government, with northern border states experiencing the worst of the violence.

View Interactive
.More photos and interactive graphics
."The security environment in Monterrey has turned, in just a few months, from seeming benevolence to extreme violence," U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual said at a recent conference on drug trafficking in El Paso, Texas.

Monterrey is only the latest sign of mounting problems in Mexico's war on organized crime. The official toll since President Calderón took power in December 2006 is more than 28,000, according to government figures through July. Mr. Calderón recently acknowledged the government's inability to check the violence with brute force alone and has invited lawmakers to debate measures such as legalizing drugs.

The brutality of the conflict is escalating. Alleged gang hit men broke into the home of a Chihuahua state policeman this week and strangled to death his 4-year-old brother, authorities said. Across the country, mutilated and decapitated bodies turn up virtually every day, sometimes hanging from bridges.

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#1047 Aug 19, 2010
Mexican drug cartels are not listed as official terrorist organizations

by Hugh Holub
Aug. 17, 2010

The degree of drug cartel violence that is destroying civil society in Mexico is a serious threat to the Mexican people, the Mexican government and the United States.

Just out of curiosity I looked up the list of what are considered “terrorist organizations” and much to my surprise, the Mexican drug cartel gangs are not listed.

Wait a minute !

People armed with automatic weapons that massacre people daily, assassinate journalists, post threats on bridges of police officers they will kill, that leave piles of heads of the police officers they kill on the side of the road, and use vast quantities of money gained from selling illegal drugs to corrupt the Mexican society sounds like…terrorists?

The drug gangs in Mexico are terrorist organizations.

They are doing to Mexico what the Taliban did to Afghanistan. The only difference is the Taliban claim some twisted religious justification for their murder and mayhem, while the drug gangs are in it just for the money and power.

People running around with automatic weapons shooting up other people is not just organized crime. It is a threat to the very ability of Mexico’s cities, states and federal government to govern their country. How much of Mexico has already been taken over by Mexico’s drug terrorists? How much of the Mexican side of our border is now under the direct control of the Mexican drug terrorists?

And we have drug cartel scouts sitting on OUR hills and mountains now.

The blame for not stopping this is not solely Mexico’s fault.

Every drug dealer and drug user in the United States that uses or sells drugs grown in, processed in, or transported through Mexico is contributing to the violence and death in Mexico and the United States.

We need to start looking at the smuggling of drugs into the United States as a terrorist act, with equivalent penalties. Selling Mexican drugs in the US is also aiding and abetting terrorism in Mexico.

Mexico is way behind the curve in trying to crack down on its terrorist drug gangs, and there isn’t much the United States can really do to help President Calderon’s efforts. We give the Mexican government more guns…they end up being sold to the drug cartels.

But we sure can drive the message home inside our country that if you smuggle Mexican sourced drugs into the US or sell Mexican sourced drugs in the US you are an accomplice to murdering thousands of Mexican citizens. You are also a terrorist.

We must decide that we will not tolerate for one second drug terrorists crossing our borders and killing our people.

Anyone we catch out in the desert with a backpack full of drugs and/or an automatic weapons should be considered a terrorist drug smuggler and dealt with accordingly. Instead of jailing them in a US prison filled with gangs linked to Mexican terrorist organizations…render them to a CIA detention facility in Eastern Europe.

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