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Mexico: Progress reported in arrest of major players in Sinaloa and Gulf drug cartels

Written by M3Report

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March 23, 2009

M3Report
 Saturday 3/21/09

El Universal Mexico City) 3/20/09
The Mexican Army dealt a new setback to the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, with the arrest of his son, Vicente Zambada Niebla, known as "El Vicentillo." He is one of the principal operators of the criminal organization and in charge of the cartel's financial network. Zambada Niebla, wanted by the DEA since 2003, has a pending order of detention for extradition to the US. He was captured with five of his associates Wednesday morning in Mexico City.

One of the others arrested was Yanet Deyanira Garcia Cruz, financial administrator of the Gulf cartel. At the time of her arrest, she had two suitcases containing 10 million pesos [about 700,000 dollars US ] and 930 dollars in US currency.
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Mexican President Felipe Calderón announced personally the capture of Sigifrido Najera Talamantes, aka "El Canicon," the man believed responsible for the attacks against the US Consulate [ M3 report 10/13/08] and the offices of Televisa [M3 report 1/7/09], both installations in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. He was also sought for the torture and murders of nine military men in the same state. The arrest was made in Saltillo, Coahuila state, after investigative work by the Mexican Army. Calderon assured that Najera is the leader of the gang that carried out the crimes.
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The head of the Bank of Mexico, Guillermo Ortiz Martinez, said the subject of security also has had a role in the depreciation of the peso. "In past months the subject of security, which has been prominent as regards the image of Mexico in the world, evidently has had repercussions in the behavior of investments, a subject to which the President of the Republic referred to at length yesterday," he said. In addition, the influence of the dependency of Mexico on the US economy, principally in the manufacturing sector, plays a role.
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Sunday 3/22/09

Frontera (Tijuana, Baja California) 3/21/09

Within a 24-hour period, 10 apparent narco-murders took place in Sinaloa state. Seven of the victims were found in the municipality of Mocorito. Some were wearing military type uniforms and all died by automatic weapon fire. The other three murder victims were found separately in other parts of the state, all with multiple gunshots.
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Durango state also registered multiple homicides with the discovery of seven burned bodies some 10 miles from Durango City, the state capital. The bodies had been incinerated by using tires as combustible material.
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El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City) 3/21/09

A total of 81 undocumented immigrants, among them three minors, were detained in the states of Tlaxcala and Veracruz, the Mexican Secretary of Public Security reported Saturday. Those arrested were from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru.

El Universal (Mexico City) 3/21/09

Another article pointing out the comparison between Mexican government armament and that of organized crime said that government enforcement forces, including the military, are ill-equipped to confront criminal groups. The criminals have sophisticated and up-to-date technical weapons and their militant branches - like Los Zetas - have special training. These observations were pointed out by David T. Johnson, the US Department of State Assistant Secretary for international narcotics enforcement in an address before legislators on the Merida Initiative.
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La Voz de la Frontera (Mexicali, Baja California) 3/21/09

Mexican Army troops in Mexicali, responding to an anonymous tip, discovered a storehouse for marihuana in a family home. The family, a mother, father and two children served as a cover for the drug storage facility. Soldiers seized 1,925 kilos of marihuana and also some firearms. The parents were arrested and the kids were turned over to a child protection unit. [photo relates ]


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La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 3/21/09

An item logged in on 3/20 at 5 p.m. was headlined: "National Police reported that 16 homicides occurred yesterday"
Another one, logged in at midnight ( 0000 hrs. 3/21 ): "Attack causes three dead in the capital"
Finally, one at 9 a.m. 3/21: "One gangster dead and one police officer wounded after shootout in Zacatecoluca"
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La Hora (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 3/21/09

A quite long special report titled "Immigration reform could come about" ends by listing the following proposals of "pro-immigrant" groups as a minimum objective:
1. The immediate suspension of all roundups in workplaces and homes.
2. Provide a legal path to persons who already reside in the United States without migratory authority.
3. Speed up the process for obtaining permanent residence for all persons who have requested it.
4. Creation of a National Integration Program for Immigrants.
5. Dismantling the border fences on the southern border of the United States and restoring civil rights in the border communities.
6. The humanitarian protection programs for refugees and political asylum applicants must be strengthened.
7. Evaluate the creation of a Guest Worker Program for the purpose of connecting available workers outside the United States with available jobs.
8. Substantially elevate the social and economic living standards in the countries which generate emigrants.
9. Modify the commerce and development programs which the United States has promoted in Latin America.
The foregoing article was followed by the offer, "You can express your opinion," and a reader (perhaps already in the U.S.) added the following commentary:
"What the U.S.A. needs to do is to open its borders and let anyone who wants to come in to do so, and give papers to everyone who sets foot on the border. That way all Latin America would be happy. And in ten years Latin America would disappear because we would all be here and this country would disappear because of our birth rate and our corruption." [for the actual commentary in Spanish: www.lahora.com.gt/notas.php?key=46107&fch=2009-03-20
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El Diario en Linea (Chihuahua) 3/21/09

"Nine people from Ciudad Juarez, caught illegally in the US, suffered abuses after their arrest and confinement in the Hidalgo County Detention Center in Lordsburg, New Mexico sometime during the period between April 7, 2005, and November 6, 2008." [This statement from the news source was not attributed to anyone.] The story continues that 19 other people from the state of Chihuahua suffered abuses by the "jail authorities" of the Center who required body searches of the detainees, according to a report by the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations (SRE). As those affected were not confined for charges of violence, drugs or arms, authorities had no right to that type of search, indicated the SRE. The office is arranging for a law firm to file a suit to negotiate collective compensation. They have only until April 14, 2009, to present the case and the SRE does not know the whereabouts of many of those affected as they have not responded to a summons.
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Monday 3/23/09

La Prensa Grafica (San Salvador, El Salvador) 3/22/09

El Salvador's National Police recorded thirty-seven homicides occurring between Friday and early Sunday; they also reported they had no one in custody in relation to these crimes. More than a third of the cases took place in the department [read: state] of San Salvador. The daily average of homicides for January & February was twelve.
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El Universal (Mexico City) 3/22/09

An analysis by Mexico's Auditoria Superior de la Federation [approx. equiv. US GAO ] reveals that lack of vigilance and coordination with Federal Preventive Police (PFP) at ports of entry on Mexico's southern border has resulted in only one in four migrants who enter without documents being detained by Mexican Immigration (INM). The auditing office emphasized that in five of the nine ports of entry in the south, there was a lack of security as well as an absence of tourist information units and of health and fiscal inspection of goods passing into Mexico. With this analysis it is determined that the entry of the undocumented into the country is the result of lack of vigilance at regular ports of entry as well as having "informal" points of crossing.
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Headline: From vagrant to narco hired killer in only 3 months. The position of hired gun is at the third level within criminal organizations, but aspirants must first pass through positions as informants and recruiters. At an average age of 24 years, young men can stop washing cars or being street vendors and become hired-guns for the drug cartels. Only three months, approximately, are required to climb the criminal pyramid. An analysis of the Secretary of Federal Public Security (SSP) explained the speed with which young men build a career in the drug cartels and how the criminal organizations promote a "narco counterculture" that presents work in the gang as synonymous with success and self-improvement. Cartels pay between two and five thousand pesos [$140 - &350 US] weekly to those who work as informants, known in the narco jargon as halcones, estacas, puntos, patrullas, postes or ventanas, [hawks, stakes, points, patrols, posts or windows]. Their function is to report whatever movements in their area of responsibility, according to the March report from SSP. Those who demonstrate higher aptitudes become hired killers with salaries of about 10,000 pesos [$700 US] weekly. The narco counterculture is also based on social connections.
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Cambio de Michoacan (Morelia, Michoacan) 3/22/09

Two armed encounters between hit-men and active police that took place Sunday are connected and were carried out by presumed Zetas, the militant branch of the Gulf cartel. The first assault happened when a police commander, returning to the State Judicial offices was killed by gunfire from another vehicle. In another gunfight, the police returned fire and killed one of the attackers.
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A legal immigrant from the US, returning to Mexico for a brief visit to renew his voter registration for the April elections, was met by his brother and family at the airport in Morelia. Stopping at a gas station, they were caught in crossfire between police and an armed group, resulting in the US resident being injured from shattered window glass from his brother's car that cut his face and hands. After the smoke cleared, he had to be treated for "hypertension" as well as his superficial, but bloody, injuries. In a brief interview with the press, he said, "I'm not coming here again. This is why no one wants to come, this is getting very ugly."
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National Association Of Former Border Patrol Officers
Visit our website: http://www.nafbpo.org
Foreign News Report

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis.

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