A 4th Mexican Mayor Slain By Drug Cartels this Fall as the Cartel violence escalates …

State Attorney General Alejandro Garza y Garza

MONTERREY, Mexico – Gunmen killed a town mayor near the drug-plagued industrial city of Monterrey, authorities said Friday, the fourth mayor in northern Mexico to be murdered in little more than a month.

Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas was gunned down late Thursday along with one of his personal employees in the town of Doctor Gonzalez, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon state Attorney General’s Office said.

Eliseo Lopez Riojas was killed as he was picking up equipment from the mayor’s house, and a white car waiting outside started firing. Investigators found 19 shells from two different weapons at the scene.

Drug gangs warring for territory and smuggling routes in northern Mexico have increasingly targeted political figures in the region, though the attorney general said there were aspects of the crime uncharacteristic of gangs.

“The act, in terms of waiting for the mayor outside his house … is not a very common tactic for organized crime,” state Attorney General Alejandro Garza y Garza. “So we’re not ruling out any line of investigation.”

Garza Y Garza said he was unaware of any threats against the mayor.

Two police officers had been taken in for questioning about the killings, though Garza y Garza said they were not under arrest.

Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina

In a short press conference Friday, Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina said soldiers stationed in his state had achieved some successes combating organized crime.

“We will not give up this fight,” Medina said.

President Felipe Calderon condemned the attack and sent his condolences to the family as his government reiterated its commitment to the security of all Mexicans. The government has attributed the spike in violence in the border states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas to a breakup between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas.

Monterrey-area mayor Edelmiro Cavazos

Monterrey-area mayor Edelmiro Cavazos was kidnapped in August and his body dumped three days later. Seven police officers who authorities said were paid monthly salaries by the Zetas gang were arrested in connection with that killing.

It was followed two weeks later by a fatal attack on Mayor Marco Antonio Leal Garcia in Hidalgo, a town in violence-plagued Tamaulipas.

Hooded gunmen shot to death Mayor Alexander Lopez Garcia in the town of El Naranjo in San Luis Potosi state on Sept. 8. The methods used in all three slayings were similar to those used by Mexico’s drug cartels.

In June, gunmen killed the leading gubernatorial candidate in Tamaulipas state.Mayor Marco Antonio Leal Garcia in Hidalgo

More than 28,000 people have been killed by drug-related violence since Calderon launched his attack on drug cartels in late 2006.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=11715222

Nuevo Leon, Mexico: 8 Hours, 13 Executed, 6 Kidnapped from Hotels, and 18 Injured

Despite the unanimous demand of citizen leaders urging the Governor of Nuevo Leon to act after Wednesday’s wave of narco violence left a record of 13 dead, six people kidnapped from two downtown hotels and 18 people injured, the State Government of Nuevo Leon recommended: Carry on, Go about with life as Normal. Perhaps he should have added: And try not getting shot while doing it.

http://jacqui.instablogs.com/entry/nuevo-leon-mexico-8-hours-13-executed-6-kidnapped-from-hotels-and-18-injured/#ixzz10SfVePlr

Army soldiers walk by the body of a man lying in the street in Acapulco, Mexico, Thursday Sept. 23, 2010. Authorities say seven people were killed in a shootout between rival drug gangs. (AP Photo/Bernandino Hernandez)

Cartel Shootout Leaves 7 Dead in Acapulco

Mexican authorities say seven people were killed in a shootout between rival drug gangs in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco.

Guerrero state investigative police director Fernando Monreal says gunmen used grenades and automatic rifles to attack a house in a residential area of Acapulco on Thursday.

The state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, has become a drug cartel battleground.

Authorities on Wednesday found the decapitated bodies of two men inside a car abandoned in the community of Kilometro 30, near Acapulco.

Nationwide, more than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown against drug traffickers.

Mexican Drug Cartel Violence Spills Over, Alarming U.S. Citizens

TUCSON — Sgt. David Azuelo stepped gingerly over the specks of blood on the floor, took note of the bullet hole through the bedroom skylight, raised an eyebrow at the lack of furniture in the ranch-style house and turned to his squad of detectives investigating one of the latest home invasions in this southern Arizona city.

A 21-year-old man had been pistol-whipped throughout the house, the gun discharging at one point, as the attackers demanded money, the victim reported. His wife had been bathing their 3-month-old son when the intruders arrived.

“At least they didn’t put the gun in the baby’s mouth like we’ve seen before,” Sergeant Azuelo said. That same afternoon this month, his squad was called to the scene of another home invasion, one involving the abduction of a 14-year-old boy.

This city, an hour’s drive north of the Mexican border, is coping with a wave of drug crime the police suspect is tied to the bloody battles between Mexico’s drug cartels and the efforts to stamp them out.

Since officials here formed a special squad last year to deal with home invasions, they have counted more than 200 of them, with more than three-quarters linked to the drug trade. In one case, the intruders burst into the wrong house, shooting and injuring a woman watching television on her couch. In another, in a nearby suburb, a man the police described as a drug dealer was taken from his home at gunpoint and is still missing.

Tucson is hardly alone in feeling the impact of Mexico’s drug cartels and their trade. In the past few years, the cartels and other drug trafficking organizations have extended their reach across the United States and into Canada. Law enforcement authorities say they believe traffickers distributing the cartels’ marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs are responsible for a rash of shootings in Vancouver, British Columbia, kidnappings in Phoenix, brutal assaults in Birmingham, Ala., and much more.

United States law enforcement officials have identified 230 cities, including Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston and Billings, Mont., where Mexican cartels and their affiliates “maintain drug distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors,” as a Justice Department report put it in December. The figure rose from 100 cities reported three years earlier, though Justice Department officials said that may be because of better data collection methods as well as the spread of the organizations.

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has asked for National Guard troops at the border. The Obama administration is completing plans to add federal agents along the border, a senior White House official said, but does not anticipate deploying soldiers.

The official said enhanced security measures would include increased use of equipment at the ports of entry to detect weapons carried in cars crossing into Mexico from the United States, and more collaboration with Mexican law enforcement officers to trace weapons seized from crime scenes.

Law enforcement officials on both sides of the border agree that the United States is the source for most of the guns used in the violent drug cartel war in Mexico.

“The key thing is to keep improving on our interdiction of the weapons before they even get in there,” said Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security and the former governor of Arizona, who will be testifying before Congress on Wednesday.

Familiar Signs

Sergeant Azuelo quickly began to suspect that the pistol whipping he was investigating was linked to a drug dispute. Within minutes, his detectives had found a blood-spattered scale, marijuana buds and leaves and a bundle of cellophane wrap used in packing marijuana.

Most often, police officials say, the invasions result from an unpaid debt, sometimes involving as little as a few thousand dollars. But simple greed can be at work, too: one set of criminals learns of a drug load, then “rips” it and sells it.

“The amount of violence has drastically increased in the last 6 to 12 months, especially in the area of home invasions, “ said Lt. Michael O’Connor of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department here. “The people we have arrested, a high percentage are from Mexico.”

The violence in the United States does not compare with what is happening in Mexico, where the cartels have been thriving for years. Forbes recently listed one of Mexico’s most notorious kingpins, Joaquin Guzmán, on its list of the world’s billionaires. (No. 701, out of 793, with a fortune worth $1 billion, the magazine said.)

At times, the police have been overwhelmed by the sheer firepower in the hands of drug traffickers, who have armed themselves with assault rifles and even grenades.

Although overall violent crime has dropped in several cities on or near the border — Tucson is an exception, reporting a rise in homicides and other serious crime last year — Arizona appears to be bearing the brunt of smuggling-related violence. Some 60 percent of illicit drugs found in the United States — principally cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine — entered through the border in this state.

The city’s home-invasion squad, a sergeant and five detectives working nearly around the clock, was organized in April. Phoenix assembled a similar unit in September to investigate kidnappings related to drug and human smuggling. In the last two years, the city has recorded some 700 cases, some involving people held against their will in stash houses and others abducted.

The state police also have a new human-smuggling squad that focuses on the proliferation of drop houses, where migrants are kept and often beaten and raped until they pay ever-escalating smuggling fees.

“Five years ago a home invasion was almost unheard of,” said Assistant Chief Roberto Villaseñor of the Tucson Police Department. “It was rare.”

Web of Crime

Tying the street-level violence in the United States to the cartels is difficult, law enforcement experts say, because the cartels typically distribute their illicit goods through a murky network of regional and local cells made up of Mexican immigrants and United States citizens who send cash and guns to Mexico through an elaborate chain.

The cartels “may have 10 cells in Chicago, and they may not even know each other,” said Michael Braun, a former chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Elizabeth W. Kempshall, who is in charge of the drug agency’s office in Phoenix, said the kind of open warfare in some Mexican border towns — where some Mexican soldiers patrol in masks so they will not be recognized later — has not spilled over into the United States in part because the cartels do not want to risk a response from law enforcement here that would disrupt their business.

But Mrs. Kempshall and other experts said the havoc on the Mexican side of the border might be having an impact on the drug trade here, contributing to “trafficker on trafficker” violence.

For one thing, they say, the war on the Mexican side and the new border enforcement are disrupting the flow of illicit drugs arriving in the United States. The price of cocaine, for instance, a barometer of sorts for the supply available, has surged.

With drugs in tighter supply, drug bosses here and in Mexico take a much harder line when debts are owed or drugs are stolen or confiscated, D.E.A. officials said.

Although much of the violence is against people involved in the drug trade, law enforcement authorities said such crime should not be viewed as a “self-cleaning oven,” as one investigator put it, because of the danger it poses to the innocent. It has also put a strain on local departments.

Several hours after Sergeant Azuelo investigated the home invasion involving the pistol whipping, his squad was called to one blocks away.

This time, the intruders ransacked the house before taking a 14-year-old boy captive. Gang investigators recognized the house as having a previous association with a street gang suspected of involvement in drug dealing.

The invaders demanded drugs and $10,000, and took the boy to make their point. He was released within the hour, though the family told investigators it had not paid a ransom.

“You don’t know anybody who is going to pay that money?” the boy said his abductors kept asking him.

The boy, showing the nonchalance of his age, shrugged off his ordeal.

“No, I’m not scared,” he said after being questioned by detectives, who asked that his name not be used because the investigation was continuing.

Growing Networks

Not all the problems are along the border.

The Atlanta area, long a transportation hub for legitimate commerce, has emerged as a new staging ground for drug traffickers taking advantage of its web of freeways and blending in with the wave of Mexican immigrants who have flocked to work there in the past decade.

The Atlanta area, long a transportation hub for legitimate commerce, has emerged as a new staging ground for drug traffickers taking advantage of its web of freeways and blending in with the wave of Mexican immigrants who have flocked to work there in the past decade.

Last August, in one of the grislier cases in the South, the police in Shelby County, Ala., just outside Birmingham, found the bodies of five men with their throats cut. It is believed they were killed over a $450,000 debt owed to another drug trafficking faction in Atlanta.

The spread of the Mexican cartels, longtime distributors of marijuana, has coincided with their taking over cocaine distribution from Colombian cartels. Those cartels suffered setbacks when American authorities curtailed their trading routes through the Caribbean and South Florida.

Since then, the Colombians have forged alliances with Mexican cartels to move cocaine, which is still largely produced in South America, through Mexico and into the United States.

The Mexicans have also taken over much of the methamphetamine business, producing the drug in “super labs” in Mexico. The number of labs in the United States has been on the decline.

While the cartel networks have spread across the United States, the border areas remain the most worrisome. At the scene of the pistol-whipping here, Sergeant Azuelo and his team methodically investigated.

Their suspicions grew as they walked through the house and noticed things that seemed familiar to them from stash houses they had encountered: a large back room whose size and proximity to an alley seemed well-suited to bundling marijuana, the wife of the victim reporting that they had no bank accounts and dealt with everything in cash, the victim’s father saying over and over that his son was “no saint” and describing his son’s addiction problems with prescription drugs.

A digital scale with blood on it was found in a truck bed on the driveway, raising suspicion among the detectives that the victim was trying to hide it.

The house, the wife told them, had been invaded about a month ago, but the attackers left empty-handed. She did not call the police then, she said, because nothing was taken.

Finally, they saw the cellophane wrap and drug paraphernalia and obtained a search warrant to go through the house more meticulously.

The attackers “were not very sophisticated,” Sergeant Azuelo said, but they somehow knew what might be in the house. “For me, the question is how much they got away with,” he said. “The family may never tell.”

All in all, Sergeant Azuelo said, it was a run-of-the-mill call in a week that would include at least three other such robberies.

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” Detective Kris Bollingmo said as he shined a light through the garage. “The problem is only going to get worse.”

“We are,” Sergeant Azuelo added, “keeping the finger in the dike.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/us/23border.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano dodges questions from U.S. Senate while delaying implementation of “the Anti-Border Corruption Act”

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) may be getting tired of prodding Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano. He’s been dealing with her bureaucracy since spring on the issue of Mexican border security.
On Thursday, Pryor nudged again. [This issue is deadly serious, however, Pryor’s concern is purely political. After two years the Obama Administration continues on a reckless of course of “open borders” and “selective law enforcement”. The question is why has the Senate not acted …. the Country needs more than “gentle” political “nudges” that fo nothing more than provide political cover to the man in charge of Homeland Security Oversight]
As chairman of a subcommittee of the Department of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Pryor sent Napolitano a letter requesting she answer a series of questions surrounding corruption of U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) agents.
In July, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed Pryor’s legislation, the Anti-Border Corruption Act, to help prevent rogue border agents from being hired or retained. It requires the Custom and Border Protection agency to give polygraph tests to all applicants for law enforcement positions. The requirement has to be implemented within two years, providing the agency time to hire and train examiners. The bill also requires the agency to initiate background checks on all backlogged employees within six months.

In an April letter to a group of senators that included Pryor, Napolitano wrote: “We are engaged in a thorough review of the issues raised . . . and a long-term solution to ensure that we root out corruption and effectively prosecute those who threaten our country.”

She added, “We are also assessing our integrity policies to ensure they include adequate background and checks on CPB employees.”

The Department of Homeland Security did not return phone calls Thursday about Pryor’s new letter to Napolitano.

Internal corruption cases have escalated in recent years. Since 2003, there have been 129 corruption arrests of CBP officers. Last year, there were 576 allegations of corruption. Many centered on drug smuggling.
In his letter to Napolitano, Pryor cited that President Obama signed a bill into law on Aug. 13 that would provide emergency supplemental appropriations to hire more border security agents.
“In that vein, I remain concerned about the failure to conduct polygraphs on new hires, as well as the growing periodic reinvestigations backlog,” Pryor wrote.
He wants Napolitano to clarify the link between the background check measures and the current investigations by Sept. 21. Pryor’s is the sole signature on the letter.
“As we increase the number of agents patrolling our borders, we need to be confident that these men and women have been thoroughly screened and are fully committed to protecting our country,” Pryor told Politics Daily. “If we don’t seal the cracks in our hiring process now, we risk wasting taxpayer dollars and creating a false sense of security.”

Border Corruption: Drugs Now, Dirty Bombs Next?

While there are many complicated problems along the U.S.-Mexico border, one piece of the puzzling crisis is corruption.

Sadly, Mexican drug cartels are corrupting U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at startling rates.

Internal corruption cases have escalated in recent years. Since 2003, there have been 129 corruption arrests of CBP officers. Last year, there were 576 allegations of corruption.

A recent hearing by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ad Hoc Subcommittee on State, Local and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration highlighted the issue.

One person gained employment as a border inspector specifically to smuggle drugs. The person imported more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana to the United States and received more than $5 million in bribe payments. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy.

Another case included two CBP officers in Brownsville, Texas, who assisted an illegal-immigrant and narcotics-smuggling organization. A search of one of the officer’s houses yielded $85,250 in cash.

The main reason for such cases? Failure to properly screen potential employees.

Such dangerous cracks in the agent-screening process concern Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), chairman of the subcommittee. He says it allows drug cartels to infiltrate this country’s law enforcement. Pryor has introduced legislation — the Anti-Border Corruption Act — to curb such crime.

“We need to clamp down on this now,” Pryor said. “By my estimates, it is already out of control, but it’s really about to get out of control if we’re not careful.”

The legislation includes a more rigorous system of polygraph testing. Pryor’s bill would require such tests of all applicants for law enforcement positions.

During the March hearing, which Pryor was the only senator to attend, CBP officials said that fewer than 15 percent of job applicants receive a polygraph test, even though standing policy states everyone should be examined. Sixty percent of those who do receive a polygraph test are deemed not suitable for hiring. “These tests are a critical part of the screening process to weed out bad apples,” Pryor said.

Every five years CBP employees are required to undergo a background check. Currently, there is a backlog of 10,000 cases. That number will nearly double by year’s end. Pryor’s legislation would require the CBP to eliminate the current employee background check backlog within six months.

The problem isn’t just polygraph tests, however. Pryor says there should be drastically improved coordination between the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has received a letter from the Senate stating that the Senate wants better sharing of information and prevention of duplicative investigations. They cited a memo dated Dec. 16, 2009, from the DHS Inspector General’s office that claimed jurisdiction over corruption investigations currently being carried out by the Customs and Border Protection Internal Affairs.

“My message to DHS is clear: either fix your problems voluntarily, or I will make sure you do it by law,” Pryor said.

If Napolitano doesn’t address the issue, Pryor said he will move to put the bill into law because border security is a national security issue. Today, drug smuggling, he says; tomorrow, dirty bombs.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/28/border-corruption-drugs-now-dirty-bombs-next/

Mexican Mob Beats Two Alleged Kidnappers To Death in Asencion – 17 Year Old Girl Is Still Missing

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Mexican authorities say a mob has beaten two alleged kidnappers to death in the northern border state of Chihuahua.

Chihuahua state prosecutors’ spokesman Arturo Sandoval says dozens of angry people in the town of Asencion beat the two men Tuesday until federal police intervened.

Sandoval says officers put the men in their patrol car but the crowd blocked them from leaving and the men died of their wounds inside the car.

Residents shouted at the federal officers and held signs that read “We are tired, fed up with kidnappings, no more kidnappings in Asencion.”

Local state lawmaker Alejandro Lebaron says the two men and three others are suspected in the kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl from Asencion.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/21/1836122/mexican-mob-beats-2-alleged-kidnappers.html

Mexican Drug Cartel Violence. Young Woman Murdered - Mutilated By Cartel

Mexican Newspaper Surrenders To Drug Cartels: Tell Us What We Can Print – Give Us A Truce

Mourning the Death of Diario de Juarez newspaper photographer Carlos Santiago

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — The largest newspaper in Ciudad Juarez asked the border city’s warring drug cartels Sunday for a truce after the killing last week of its second journalist in less than two years.

In a front-page editorial, El Diario de Juarez asked the cartels what they want from the newspaper so it can continue its work without further death, injury or intimidation of its staff.

“Leaders of the different organizations that are fighting for control of Ciudad Juarez: The loss of two reporters from this publishing house in less than two years represents an irreparable breakdown for all of us who work here, and, in particular, for their families,” the editorial said.

“We ask you to explain what you want from us, what we should try to publish or not publish, so we know what to expect.”

Crime scene investigators remove the body of photojournalist Luis Carlos Santiago

It was the newspaper’s second front-page editorial since gunmen attacked two El Diario photographers Thursday — one a new employee and the other an intern. One died and the other was seriously wounded as they left for lunch in Mexico’s most dangerous city.

In 2008, a crime reporter for El Diario was slain outside his home as he was about to take his daughters to school.

The editorial Sunday said drug gangs in the city across from El Paso, Texas, are the de facto authorities, and criticized both the Chihuahua state government and President Felipe Calderon for their lack of protection for journalists.

“We don’t want to continue to be used as cannon fodder in this war because we’re tired,” Diario’s editor, Pedro Torres, told The Associated Press.

He said the staff felt great rage, helplessness and despair after burying new employee Luis Carlos Santiago, 21, on Saturday.

“Burying the body does not bury the impunity or pain,” Torres said. “There is a feeling of great anxiety and impotence surrounding this situation.”

Reporter Armando Rodriguez - Protesting Violence Against Reporters Prior To His Murder

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog group, said in a recent report that at least 22 Mexican journalists have been killed since December 2006, when Calderon intensified a crackdown on drug cartels by deploying tens of thousands of troops and federal police across the country.

At least eight of the journalists were killed because of their reports on crime and corruption, the group said.

Mexican journalists are increasingly under siege from drug cartels seeking to control the flow of information, and many media outlets, especially in border areas, have stopped covering the drug war.

Until Sunday, El Diario was not one of them.

“Even in one of the places where violence is worst … El Diario was still doing a lot of good reporting on crime,” said Carlos Lauria, a CPJ senior coordinator. “The fact that they’re giving up is really bad. It’s an indication that the situation is out of control.”

In a front-page editorial Friday, El Diario said journalists have nowhere to turn for protection because of the inability of Mexican security forces to solve most attacks on the media.

Drug violence the past two years has killed nearly 5,000 people in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million people.

http://www.cleveland.com/world/index.ssf/2010/09/what_should_we_not_publish_mex.html

Drug Cartel Violence. Young Woman Murdered - Mutilated By Cartel

Drug cartel suspected in massacre of 72 migrants – Bodies of 58 Men and 14 Women Found Stacked Atop One Another

Ecuadorean Survivor Luis Fredy Lala Pomavilla

A Mexican drug cartel massacred 72 Central and South American migrants within 100 miles of the U.S. border that they were trying to reach, according to an Ecuadorean survivor who escaped and stumbled wounded to a highway checkpoint where he alerted marines, official said Wednesday.

The marines fought the cartel gunmen at a ranch in the northern state of Tamaulipas on Tuesday, a battle that left one marine and three suspects dead. They found the bodies of 58 men and 14 women in a room, some piled on top of each other.

The Ecuadorean migrant told investigators that his captors identified themselves as members of the Zetas drug gang, said Vice Adm. Jose Luis Vergara, a spokesman for the Mexican Navy. Authorities believe the migrants were from Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil and Ecuador.

It is the biggest massacre to date in Mexico’s drug war and the most horrifying example yet of the dangers faced by immigrants trying to get to the U.S.                      

Cartel Beheadings In Baja

“It’s absolutely terrible and it demands the condemnation of all of our society,” said Alejandro Poire, the government’s security spokesman.

Authorities did not say why the gang killed the migrants. Mexico’s drug cartels frequently kidnap migrants and threaten to kill them unless they pay fees for crossing their territory. Sometimes, gangs contact relatives of the migrants in the U.S. and demand they pay a ransom.

The bodies were discovered Tuesday when Marines manning a checkpoint were approached by a wounded man who said he had been attacked by gang gunmen at a nearby ranch. Officials said he identified himself an illegal migrant and said that he and other migrants had been kidnapped by an armed group and taken to the ranch in San Fernando, a town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Brownsville, Texas.

11 of 16 Bodies Dumped In Tijanana By Cartek Killers

The scale of the massacre of migrants appeared to be unprecedented even by the gruesome standards of Mexican drug cartels.

It was unclear if all 72 were killed at the same time — or why. A federal official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said investigators believe the victims were killed within recent days.

The Navy said it dispatched aircraft to check out the man’s report and when the gunmen saw the marines, they opened fire and tried to flee in a convoy of vehicles. One marine and three of the suspects were killed in the shootout.

Navy personnel seized 21 assault rifles, shotguns and rifles, and detained a minor.

The youth, who was apparently part of the gang, was handed over to civilian prosecutors.

It was the third time this year that Mexican authorities have discovered large masses of corpses. In the other two cases, investigators believe the bodies were dumped at the sites over a long time.

The Massacre of Gubernatorial Candidate Rodolfo Torre

In May, authorities discovered 55 bodies

in an abandoned mine near Taxco, a colonial-era city south of Mexico City that is popular with tourists.

In July, investigators found 51 corpses in two days of digging in a field near a trash dump outside the northern metropolis of Monterrey. Many of those found were believed to have been rival traffickers. But cartels often dispose of the bodies of kidnap victims in such dumping grounds.

The region has been besieged by a turf battle between the Zetas and their former ally, the Gulf cartel.

Mexico’s drug violence has surged since President Felipe Calderon dispatched soldiers and federal police to root out drug traffickers from their strongholds in northern Mexico and along the Pacific coast.

More than 28,000 people have been killed in drug-gang violence since the offensive.   http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/08/25/international/i124927D76.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0xfC1J6eD

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: