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

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#1295 Nov 7, 2010
Gulf Cartel Leader Killed in Matamoros Gunbattle

MATAMOROS, MEXICO (AP)- Mexican security forces killed reputed Gulf cartel boss Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, one of Mexico's most wanted drug lords, in a spectacular, hours-long gunbattle Friday in the northern border city of Matamoros, officials said.

Cardenas Guillen, also known as "Tony Tormenta" or "Tony the Storm," is the brother of imprisoned former leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen and is believed to have run the powerful cartel along with Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez.

Federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire said Cardenas Guillen died in a clash across the border from Brownsville, Texas that also claimed the lives of three gunmen and two marines. A reporter with a local newspaper also died in the shootout.

Cardenas Guillen has been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges and U.S. authorities have offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the 48-year-old's arrest. Mexican authorities had offered a $2 million reward.

His death is blow to Mexico's second-most powerful cartel and a major boost to President Felipe Calderon's war on drug cartels.

Cardenas Guillen's brother, Osiel, led the Gulf cartel until his arrest by Mexican authorities in 2003. Osiel Cardenas Guillen was extradited to the United States in 2007 and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Texas court in February.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Gulf-Car...
Madison

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#1296 Nov 8, 2010
Violence erupts in Juárez after alleged hit man slain

By Adriana Gómez Licón
El Paso Times
11/08/2010

The slaying of an alleged hit man may have set off a string of drug cartel attacks this weekend in a poor neighborhood of southeast Juárez.

Different shootings, including a massacre of seven, and a kidnapping unfolded Saturday in the city plagued by violence. Two of the attacks occurred in Carlos Castillo Peraza, a neighborhood of dirt roads and unfinished homes protected with wood pallets.

Many residents feared the attacks erupted because of the killing of Juan Manuel Escobedo, 42, known in the neighborhood as "El Mouse." Escobedo, who police previously tied to the Juárez drug cartel, is not the suspected target of the recent massacre of 15 people in Horizontes del Sur, also nicknamed "El Mouse."

Gunmen opened fire on Escobedo's SUV on Friday about 8:30 p.m. in the Carlos Castillo Peraza neighborhood.

Police found Escobedo dead on the street next to his yellow SUV with Oklahoma license plates. His passenger, 28-year-old Guillermo Hernández Escamilla, was also wounded and transported to the hospital, where he died an hour later.

Saturday afternoon, Escobedo's neighbors celebrated the yearly fiesta of San Judas Tadeo.

Many of the partygoers were aware of Escobedo's death. They did not want to be identified by name, fearing retaliation.

Some people said Escobedo had a shop where he sold used merchandise.

Although the party's ambience Saturday was pleasant with music and a band of tribal dancers, or matachines, the neighborhood turned violent
a few hours later.
In the evening, armed men arrived in two vehicles to a family party and killed seven people, Chihuahua state police said. Four of the victims appeared to have been siblings because they shared the same paternal and maternal last names of Puentes García.

Juan Martín, 33, Eduardo, 32, Valentín, 26, and Carlos Puentes García, 29, were gunned down along with José Inés Flores García, Valentín Puentes Hernández, 52, and an unidentified man. An eighth victim remained hospitalized Sunday, Chihuahua state police said.

Only 30 minutes after the massacre, gunmen killed two men and kidnapped another in nearby Parajes de San Juan neighborhood. Police have not identified the men.

Vladimir Tuexi, spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general, acknowledged the attacks gained intensity this weekend in those areas of southeast Juárez but said no more information was available.

"Right now, there is nothing we can disclose about what is happening there," he said.

Federal police had arrested Escobedo, the hit man whose killing apparently triggered the violence, earlier this year on suspicion of killing six drug addicts on June 16 at a rehabilitation center and orchestrating 14 murders in 2009.

Police took Escobedo into custody on June 24 after a routine checkpoint in the same neighborhood of Carlos Castillo Peraza. Police found marijuana and weapons in the vehicle Escobedo was driving. That vehicle also had Oklahoma license plates.

It is not clear when, why and under what conditions police released Escobedo. Federal police did not return calls Sunday.

In other parts of Juárez, violence continued during the weekend, killing at least 24 people.

Two police officers were killed Sunday morning in the parking lot of a mall. Blanca Jessica Martínez Puentes, 22, and César Augusto Martínez Hernández, 25, were on duty at the time gunmen attacked them, said Chihuahua state police.

A 45-year-old man, Julián Espinoza Estrada, was stoned to death Sunday in Barreales, a small town in the Juárez Valley.

A dismembered body was found Saturday morning in south Juárez. Police found three black bags: one with the head of an unidentified man, another one with the arms and legs chopped off and a third one with the torso.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/juarez/ci_16552140
Madison

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#1297 Nov 8, 2010
Mexican Authorities Release Information About Gunbattle

MATAMOROS - The Mexican Navy has released information about a series of gun battles in Matamoros over the weekend.

The leader of the Gulf Cartel, Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas-Guillen also known as Tony Tormenta was killed during a three hour battle in Matamoros.

The battle involved 150 marines, 3 military helicopters and 17 military vehicles.

Four of Cardenas' gunmen, 3 marines, a local reporter, and a soldier were all killed in that battle. At least 46 other people were also killed in several other shoot-outs in the city.

Experts say the violence in the gulf coast area of Mexico is likely to rise as people battle to fill the spot at the top of the cartel.

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

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#1298 Nov 9, 2010
Mexico Police Nab Alleged Sinaloa Cartel Associate

November 09, 2010
Associated Press

World
Mexico Police Nab Alleged Sinaloa Cartel Associate

Published November 09, 2010
| Associated Press
Print Email Share Comments (0) Text Size MEXICO CITY -- Police arrested a reputed Sinaloa cartel associate Monday who is suspected of plotting with one of Mexico's most wanted drug lords to smuggle eight tons of marijuana into the U.S. by the end of this year.

Manuel "The Sow" Fernandez Valencia was taken into custody after a 20-minute standoff between police and gunmen, according to a statement by federal police.

The statement did not report any gunfire or casualties during the confrontation. It said seven other men suspected of working for the cartel were detained with Fernandez Valencia.

Police said Fernandez Valencia worked closely with cartel capo Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman smuggling drugs into the United States. He has been wanted for extradition to the U.S. since 2009 on charges of trafficking heroin and cocaine, and the two met at least five times recently, police said.

Guzman and Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, who authorities say control the Sinaloa cartel, are Mexico's two most notorious fugitives, with a $2 million reward offered for information on their whereabouts.

Police said Fernandez Valencia was courted by the leaders of the rival Beltran Leyva cartel in 2007, but he chose to remain with Guzman.

In August, his son Marcial was slain in Culiacan, apparently because the killers mistook him for Guzman's son. One drove a white Ferrari and the other a white Lamborghini. Police said intelligence indicated Guzman called Fernandez Valencia personally to apologize and vow to find the killers.

Monday's arrests come on the heels of the death of reputed Gulf cartel leader Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, also known as "Tony Tormenta" or "Tony the Storm," one of a string of high-profile kingpins who have been captured or killed by security forces stationed throughout the country to battle drug traffickers.

More than 28,000 people have been killed in drug violence since President Felipe Calderon launched his national assault on organized crime in late 2006.

Also Monday, the mayor of Juan Rodriguez Clara, a small town in southern Veracruz state, was kidnapped and killed, along with two others. Mayor Gregorio Barradas Mirabete, his deputy Omar Manzur and Angel Landa Cardenas were forced into a blue Hummer around 4:30 p.m. Their bodies were later found, near Tuxtepec, in neighboring Oaxaca, with a written warning apparently left by an unspecified drug gang.

Officials were investigating the deaths. The region has been wracked by drug violence, land disputes and other feuds.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/11/09/mexic...
Madison

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#1299 Nov 9, 2010
Showdown south of the border

November 8, 2010
by: Anita Vogel

It must have been like a scene out of a movie just south of the border in Matamoros, Mexico, a stones throw from Brownsville, Texas. A three hour shootout that ended with the death of the leader of a major drug cartel, was something officials say was the culmination of a six month investigation.

As the head of the powerful "Gulf Cartel" 48-year-old Antonio Cardenas Guillen, nicknamed Tony Tormenta, was considered one of Mexico's top drug kingpins. It took more than 600 members of the Mexican Navy, 17 vehicles and three helicopters to take him out.

Cardenas is the fourth big get for the Mexican government in the last year, following the killings and or arrests of three other major drug figures from several other Mexican cartels.

"I think you are seeing the signs of destabalizing of major Mexican drug cartels," says Robert Bonner, former DEA Administrator. "I think the Mexican government is starting to get the upper hand," added Bonner, " but they need a lot of support from the US government and I think it's appropriate that we support our neighber Mexico, " he said.

And behind the scenes, U.S. intelligence officials say we are giving Mexico support in the form of intelligence sharing. Specifically the Drug Enforcement Agency and the CIA have been working closely with their counterpart agencies in Mexico to make sure they have the technology and the training to bring down the big drug leaders like Cardenas.

But these victories do not come without a price. Just after the shootout, banners hung by suspected hit men from a rival area gang called the Zetas, could be seen hanging from bridges and overpasses. The signs had messages gloating over Cardenas's demise, that many feared also meant more violence was on the way.

The Zetas gang are made up of renegade members of the Mexican Military who broke away from the Gulf Cartel. They are known to be especially brutal, practicing beheadings and kidnappings. With the Gulf Cartel now weakened in Northeastern Mexico, the Zetas will likely tighten their grip of power and fear.

Following the death of Cardenas, President Obama called Mexican President Felipe Calderon to reaffirm U.S. support for Mexico's efforts to stamp out the drug trade, but behind the scenes officials say, don't look for the U.S. to add any boots on the ground.

http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/11/08...
Madison

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#1300 Nov 9, 2010
Suspect in Mexico killing arrested.

11/09/2010

BISBEE — A Mexican man who allegedly killed a 16-year-old girl in Naco, Sonora, was recently arrested in Phoenix and turned over the authorities in Mexico, according to press releases issued over the weekend.

Julian Aguirre Palacios, nicknamed “El Pollo,” 33, originally from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, is accused in the death of Clarissa Urrea. Her decaying body was discovered on Sept. 18 along a stream located near Luis Romo Mitre Street in Naco, Sonora.

http://www.svherald.com/content/news/2010/11/...
Madison

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#1302 Nov 9, 2010
Mexican President "It's a war"-Americans warned

Kimberly Dvorak
San Diego County Political Buzz Examiner.
November 9th, 2010

Nearly 30,000 people have been brutally murdered since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels in 2007. This number is greater than the loss of military life in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

So far President Calderon has deployed more than 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police officers to Mexico’s 18 states where the drug cartels are known to operate. The thrust of the cartel violence often pits low-income peasants against one another in order to give drug lords access to the best smuggling routes into America.

Many leaders in Mexico accuse the U.S. of doing nothing to stop America’s growing drug addiction and experts have pointed to the fact that 80 percent of the world’s drug consumption is inside the land of the free and home of the brave.

Mexican authorities also contend that once the drugs are sold throughout America, the money and weapons flow south -continuing the perpetual cycle of drug cartel violence- leaving a Mexican citizenry to pick up the pieces with little to no end in sight.

As a result of the escalating violence, the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros (a city that borders Brownsville, Texas) issued a warning to U.S. citizens living in Tamaulipas. The warning came after a week of intensified warring between cartels that continues to become more brazen in the metropolitan area along the U.S./Mexico border.

The Consular office told U.S. citizens that there were some changes in personnel security policies issued by the U.S. government in Matamoros and Americans are urged to follow the new state guidelines.

U.S. government officials said that due to the constant violence reported in Matamoros and the consular district, the security office of the Consulate General has restricted personal travel outside of residential areas between midnight and 6:00 am for all U.S. personnel and their families.

In addition to recommending Americans travel only during the day, Consulate officials told Americans to have alternate escape routes planned and that they should be prepared to take evasive action at any time while traveling in Mexico.

"U.S. citizens in the consular district of Matamoros should consider adopting such restrictions by themselves to travel and in any case must remain alert and aware of your surroundings at all times,” the Consular said.

Over the weekend another drug cartel kingpin was killed along with 20 others in a gun battle that raged for hours, while the death is a notch in President Calderon’s drug-war belt, it is little comfort to those who reside in Mexico.

It’s been the case in the past few years that once a major cartel leader is killed more violence ensues as rival gangs fight for routes and cartel hierarchy scrambles to gain control of their organization.

Many in Mexico hoped America’s new President, Barrack Obama, would provide change in the way the U.S. dealt with its drug addiction, but unfortunately it’s been business as usual on both sides of the drug-war border.

http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz...
Mexican

Los Angeles, CA

#1303 Nov 9, 2010
I AM A CHICANO PALESTINIAN ACTIVIST SINCE 1972 IN THE EAST L.A., CA, REGION, BUT REMAINS IN SOLIDARITY WITH ALL OPPRESSED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD.
AT PRESENT DATE I AM DOING RESEARCH ON THE DISCRIMINATION OF CHICANOS/CHICANAS BORN IN THE U.S WHO WERE DELIVERED BY MIDWIVES. THIS KIND OF ABUSE BY THE HOME SECURITY APPARATUS IS STILL "ALIVE AND WELL" TODAY AGAINST THE U.S. BORN SPANISH SPEAKING COMMUNITIES AT-LARGE..
IT SO HAPPENS THAT I LIKE MANY OTHER ETHNICS OF COLOR, WERE DELIVERED BY A MIDWIFE,...PARTICULARLY BROWN PEOPLE ALONG THE U.S./ MEXICO BORDER FROM SAN DIEGO, CA. TO MY BIRTHPLACE OF BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS.
WHEN I ATTEMPTED TO OBTAIN A PASSPORT TO GO VISIT MEXICO, I WAS "PUT ON HOLD" ON MY APPLICATION FOR A PASSPORT. I WAS ASKED BY THE IMMIGRATION OFFICE OF HOME SECURITY TO PRODUCE "OTHER" MORE DETAILED DOCUMENTS THAN I HAD ALREADY SENT THEM.
EVENTUALLY I WAS ABLE TO OBTAIN MY PASSPORT, BUT THIS EXPERIENCE LEFT ME WONDERING IF THIS WAS ANOTHER PLOT OF THEN PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH'S "DE JURE" ("LEGAL") CULTURAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS?!
IN ORDER FOR ME TO WRITE AN "EXPOSE", I NEED DOCUMENTED STATISTICS OF ANYONE OF COLOR WHO HAS HAD SIMILAR PROBLEMS WITH THIS DILEMMA.
ALSO, THERE IS NO DOUBT CAUCASIAN PEOPLE WERE ALSO DELIVED BY MIDWIVES,...I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES TOO.
I AM A FORMER NEWS JOURNALIST AND COLUMNIST FOR SEVERAL BLACK OWNED AND SPANISH LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS. I ALSO CO-FOUNDED IN THE EARLY 1990sTHE FIRST BLACK & CHICANO RADIO PROGRAM AT LOS ANGELS BASED PACIFICA'S KPFK 90.7FM; "THE TEAM OF TACOS & GRITS".
ANYONE WANT'S TO CONTACT ME ABOUT THIS ISSUE AT HAND, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DO SO.
THANK YOU.
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

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#1304 Nov 11, 2010
Letter: Mexican cartel offers to dissolve itself

Posted 11/11/2010
E. Eduardo Castillo,
Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — A letter purportedly signed by a major Mexican drug cartel offers to dissolve the gang if the government promises to protect citizens in the western state where it is based, authorities said Wednesday.
Prosecutors said they couldn't immediately verify the letter's authenticity -- or the offer's sincerity -- but stressed the federal government does not negotiate with drug cartels.

The one-page letter allegedly signed by "La Familia Michoacana" drug cartel was dropped in the streets of some mountain towns in the western state of Michoacan on Tuesday, according to the Michoacan bureau of the federal Attorney General's Office. It also showed up as a banner above an overpass and was sent as an e-mail to reporters.

The missive claims La Familia wants to protect Michoacan and its residents and says the group will disband if federal police promise to act honestly and fight to the death to defend the state.

"We have decided to retreat and return to our daily productive activities if the federal and local authorities ... promise to take control of the state with force and decision," read the letter, dated November 2010. "If the government accepts this public commitment and lives up to it, La Familia Michoacana will dissolve."

Federal officials, however, say the cartel itself has victimized Michoacan with kidnappings, extortion, hundreds of murders, decapitations and drug trafficking. Last year, they say, the gang unleashed a spasm of violence in which at least 18 police officers were killed. Last week, in response to the arrest of two members, the gang set ablaze trucks to block entries to the state capital and sprayed a shopping mall with automatic-weapons fire, the state attorney general's office said.
(continued)

http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/I...
Madison

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#1305 Nov 11, 2010
Coast Guard On Alert Over Mexican Violence

Reported by: Camaron Abundes

PORT ISABEL - No matter the conditions the U.S. Coast Guard is on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico.

They say the increase in violence in Mexico has them on alert.

"You just never know what you're going to come across," says Lt. Mickey Lalor.

Lt. Lalor and his crew patrol the waters looking for anything out of the ordinary.

The crew normally looks for fishermen who cross the international boundary, or help with rescue missions. Sometimes they run into drug or human smugglers.

"As we strengthen our border throughout the nation on land, it makes the maritime environment more appealing," says Lt. Lalor.

He says his crew is ready if the gulf becomes a smuggling hot spot.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/Coast-Gu...

Madison

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#1306 Nov 11, 2010
Residents Flee From Ciudad Mier

Reported by: Lisa Cortez

CIUDAD MIER, MEXICO - New video on youtube shows hundreds of families packing up and leaving Ciudad Mier.

The city was evacuated after a threat by the cartels.

The town across from Roma just west of Miguel Aleman now looks like a ghost town.

No one in the streets, not even the mayor and other city leaders stayed.

People began evacuating after the cartel warned they would begin killing residents if they didn't.

The town has an estimated population of about 6,000 people.

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

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

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#1307 Nov 13, 2010
Gunmen in Mexico's drug war getting younger

By Colleen Long,
Associated Press
Posted 11/13/2010

MEXICO CITY — Mexican police on Friday detained a minor accused of working as a gunman for a drug cartel after shocking videos and photos surfaced online of fresh-faced boys mugging for the camera with guns and corpses.
One video, briefly posted on YouTube, showed a youth, apparently in his teens, confessing to working for a branch of the Beltran Leyva cartel. While the authenticity of the video could not be determined, cartels in Mexico frequently post such interrogation videos to expose their rivals' crimes.

The youth tells an unseen questioner that his gang was paid $3,000 per killing.

"When we don't find the rivals, we kill innocent people, maybe a construction worker or a taxi driver," the youth is heard saying.

Pedro Luis Benitez, the attorney general of central Morelos state, told a local radio station Friday that police had detained a minor who allegedly worked as a gunman for a drug cartel and were looking for another. He did not say whether the minor who was detained or the one being sought had appeared online.

While Benitez did not give the age of the suspects, he implied they were young enough to be playing with toy guns.

"It is easy for them (criminals) to give them a firearm, making it appear as it if were a plastic weapon and that it is a game, when in fact it is not," Benitez said.

Local media reported police were seeking a 12-year-old killer nicknamed "El Ponchis," but there was no confirmation of that from prosecutors.

President Felipe Calderon, who launched the offensive against cartels in 2006, acknowledged several months ago that "in the most violent areas of the country, there is an unending recruitment of young people without hope, without opportunities."

Suspects under 18 are prosecuted in a separate legal system for youthful offenders for most crime in Mexico. But there are growing calls for both that and the nation's overcrowded adult prison system to be revamped.
(continued)

http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/I...
Madison

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#1308 Nov 13, 2010
Mexican Boy, 12, Wanted in Gruesome Cartel Killings

November 12, 2010
The Sun

A sadistic drug-gang hitman is wanted for carrying out a series of horrific killings in Mexico -- and he's only 12 years old.

The boy -- known only as El Ponchis, or The Cloak -- is suspected to be the paid executioner for a cartel locked in a war for control of the lucrative cocaine trade. He is believed to have tortured and slaughtered dozens of gangland enemies.

The boy's trademark murders involve slitting the throats of victims with a deep cutting technique known as Degollar, which leaves the head hanging by a thread, and grisly videos circulating on the Internet show victims having their throats slashed.

Another clip shows him battering a man with a club bearing the initials SPC, short for South Pacific Drug Cartel.

The youthful killer, whose name is not known, was picked for his psychopathic brutality and child-like devotion to gang bosses. He works with a group of women called the Chavelas, believed by some to be his sisters.

"We understand El Ponchis works under the command of Julio Jesus Radilla, a drugs head in the State of Morelos," a Mexican army spokesman said. "El Ponchis, who is active in the town of Jiutepec, was identified during an investigation as the paid executioner of Radilla's enemies."

The SPC is allied with another cartel called The Zetas to fight for control of cocaine supply routes.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/11/12/mexic...
Madison

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#1309 Nov 14, 2010
Officials try to deter kids from cartels.

11/14/2010
By Wren Abbott
Nogales International

NOGALES — Two men carry a teenage boy and lift him into an empty barrel. As a young girl watches and screams, they pour gasoline over the boy and toss in a match.

It’s a dramatization created by the U.S. Border Patrol to scare high school kids away from drug smuggling. According to Border Patrol spokesman David Jimarez, agents have shown the film to 5,000 Nogales and Rio Rico high school kids since May as part of “Operation Detour.” The effort is the Border Patrol’s response to a problem officials along the U.S.-Mexico border have noticed in the past few years: drug cartels seem to be targeting younger recruits.

“It’s easy for them to be recruited by the cartels,” Santa Cruz County Metro Drug Task Force Commander Lt. Jerry Castillo said.“Can you imagine a kid that has nothing and all of a sudden here’s 100 bucks or here’s a cell phone or here’s some type of reward from these guys?”

In 2008, Castillo’s task force arrested 99 male juveniles and 16 female juveniles for possession or possession with intent to transport marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamine. Juveniles made up 25 percent of all arrests for those crimes. In 2009 and 2010, those numbers declined slightly.

Castillo said juveniles hold every role within smuggling operations, serving as crossers, drivers and lookouts.

“We need to assume they’ll be prosecuted as adults,” Chief Deputy Attorney General Tim Nelson said.“It ruins their life if they’re caught, and risks it if they’re not.”

Attorney General Terry Goddard said during a recent visit to the Santa Cruz County Boys and Girls Club that teenagers and young adults who get involved with the cartels can’t simply disassociate themselves.

“It’s kind of a one-way street once you get involved,” he said.“A combination of coercion and threats and actual violence is standard.”

Boys and Girls Club Director Vicki Barton said that kids participate in after-school programs at the club, which include role-playing and other anti-gang examples.

Castillo and the sheriff’s office speak to kids and their parents about the danger of involvement with cartels.

Castillo said he doesn’t believe that risk factors such as poverty or negligent parents determine which young people get swept up in organized crime.

“I think it’s still a choice,” Castillo said.

IN MEXICO

Young killers

Videos and photos are surfacing online of fresh-faced Mexican boys mugging for the camera with guns and corpses. One video, briefly posted on YouTube, showed a youth, apparently in his teens, confessing to working for a branch of the Beltran Leyva cartel. While the authenticity of
the video could not be determined, cartels in Mexico frequently post such interrogation videos to expose their
rivals’ crimes.

The youth says his gang was paid $3,000 per killing.

“When we don’t find the rivals, we kill innocent people, maybe a construction worker or a taxi driver,” he says.

Pedro Luis Benitez, attorney general of central Morelos state, told a radio station Friday that police had detained a minor who allegedly worked as a gunman for a drug cartel and were looking for another.

While Benitez did not give the age of the suspects, he implied they were young enough to be playing with toy guns.

“It is easy for them (criminals) to give them a firearm, making it appear as it if were a plastic weapon and that it is a game,” Benitez said.

President Felipe Calderon has said,“In the most violent areas of the country, there is an unending recruitment of young people without hope, without opportunities.”

Suspects under 18 are prosecuted in a separate legal system for youthful offenders for most crime in Mexico. But there are growing calls to revamp that.

http://www.svherald.com/content/news/2010/11/...
Madison

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#1310 Nov 14, 2010
In a drug war-ravaged city, priests offer spiritual support, guidance

by Armando V. Durazo
El Paso Times
11/14/2010

JUAREZ -- The fight against evil starts here.

Every morning before the sun rises, the Rev. Francisco Lopez goes to the gym, prays afterward and gets ready to do battle.

He prays that the day will be different, that God is still on his side, that good will win and that order triumphs over chaos.

But so far, evil is taking the battle to his doorstep.

Lopez is of one 120 Catholic priests who offer comfort, inspiration and salvation to the victims of a vicious drug war, a war that has made Juárez one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

For the priests of Juárez, death is never far away. And for every death, there must be a religious service -- Catholic or not.

Since the drug war began in 2008, more than 6,900 people have died violently. This year alone, more than 2,700 have been murdered -- some in the most grotesque ways.

While the government fights back with weapons and thousands of federal police and soldiers, faith is the only weapon the priests use.

"The devil is loose in Juárez," Lopez said. "The devil is winning territory."

Lopez and other priests said that there is a "limpia," a cleansing, taking place in the city of 1.3 million and that a new society will emerge from the turmoil.

In the meantime, they will continue to bury victims and offer absolution -- tasks that are becoming more difficult.

Jose Rene Blanco, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Juárez, knows that the job of his priests is challenging, draining and emotional. He, too, has felt the enemy up close.
Blanco offered a funeral Mass to 15 young people shot and killed Jan. 30 at a birthday party.

"To be there with them was painful," Blanco said of the service that drew relatives and friends. "They showed their pain. It was terrible suffering."

The massacre of the young people also drew international attention and the condemnation of Mexican President Felipe Calderón, who described the attack as the "cowardly murder of a group of young people."

Since that attack, others massacres with similar numbers of victims have taken place in Juárez. The latest occurred on Oct. 25, when 14 young people were killed at another birthday party. Bishop Renato Asencion Leon presided over those services.

Even with victims falling so quickly in the drug war, priests say this is God's will and only he can bring an end to it.
(continued)

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_16606056
Madison

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#1311 Nov 14, 2010
Juárez club-goers killed while watching Pacquiao-Margarito match

by Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times
11/14/2010

A shooting attack at a Juárez nightclub at about 1 a.m. early this morning left five people dead and three injured, officials said.
According to Mexican police, an armed band led by an unidentified woman entered the Desesperados club in the La Cuesta neighborhood and began firing at club customers.

People at the club had gathered to watch the televised boxing match between Manuel Pacquiao, a congressman in the Philippines, and Antonio Margarito, a native of Mexico. Pacquiao won the fight.

Before the attack, there was chatter on a YouTube video page about the Juárez drug cartel wars, suggesting that gang rivals could be at clubs watching the game.

The three injured customers were transported to hospitals for treatment.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_1660...
Madison

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Since: Dec 06

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#1312 Nov 15, 2010
Gunmen Kill 5, Wound 9 in Ciudad Juarez Bar

November 14, 2010
Associated Press

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- Gunmen burst into a bar called "Desesperados" in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and opened fire on Sunday, killing five people and wounding nine others, authorities said.

Assailants also killed the state's prisons director and his son in a second attack in the area, which has turned into a deadly battleground for warring drug cartels.

Gunmen opened fire on the vehicle carrying Chihuahua prison director Gerardo Ortiz and his son in Chihuahua city, the state capital, located south of Ciudad Juarez. The state's prisons used to be the site of frequent battles between gangs, but deaths in such disputes had appeared to decline over the last year.

Authorities offered no motive for the attack in the "Desesperados" -- or "The Desperate Ones" -- bar early Sunday. The nine wounded were listed in serious condition at hospitals in Chihuahua state, were Ciudad Juarez is located, according to state prosecutors' spokesman Fidel Banuelos.

More than 4,000 people have been killed in Ciudad Juarez in drug-related violence in the last two years, giving the city one of the highest murder rates in the world.
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http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/11/14/gunme...
Madison

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#1313 Nov 15, 2010
An Entire Village Flees Mexican Drug Violence

by NPR Staff

November 14, 2010 The devastating drug wars ravaging Mexico have escalated to a new and disturbing level. Violence between rival cartels has forced the population of an entire town to flee for their lives, a refugee movement unseen in the country since the Mexican Revolution. Host Liane Hansen speaks with NPR's John Burnett about a Mexican border town where nearly all of the residents have fled in the wake of drug cartel violence.
(continued)

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Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

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#1314 Nov 16, 2010
Mexico: 10 kidnapped migrants freed by navy.

MEXICO CITY (AP)— The Mexican navy says it has freed 10 migrants including a 7-month-old infant during a raid in the cartel-infested northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

A statement from the navy says its agents traced a cell phone call from one of the hostages to a house in the Gulf coast city of Altamira. There they freed five men, four women and a baby who had been kidnapped by an armed gang.

http://www.svherald.com/content/associatedpre...
Madison

“Enforce our Immigration Laws!”

Since: Dec 06

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#1315 Nov 18, 2010
Global oil services firm manager killed in Mexico.

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP)— Mexican authorities say a manager for the international oil services firm Weatherford has been kidnapped and killed in a Gulf coast city.

Veracruz state Attorney General Salvador Mikel says gunmen abducted Francisco Ruiz Palacios in front of the company’s offices in Tihuatlan on Tuesday. He was found shot to death Wednesday outside the city.

Mikel says the 36-year-old Ruiz was a billings manager. Weatherford has a drilling contract with Mexico’s state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos.

Mikel says investigators have no suspects and have not determined a motive.

A Weatherford spokeswoman in Houston, Texas, Christine Mathers, declines to comment on the kidnapping, but says “we deeply regret the loss of our employee.”

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