UPDATE: Review of Judge Bolton’s Decision begins here: The Immigration Debate: The Arizona Law – Judge Bolton’s Decision (Part 1)
Mexico to press ahead with vote despite slaying
By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ
Associated Press Writer
Mexican politicians vowed to press on with elections despite the assassination of the leading candidate for governor of a border state, urging frightened citizens to vote and show they are not intimidated by drug cartels threatening the country’s democracy.
Gunmen ambushed Rodolfo Torre’s campaign caravan Monday less than a week before he was expected to win the governor’s race in Tamaulipas, a state torn by a turf battle between two rival drug cartels. Four other people were killed: three of the candidate’s bodyguards and a state lawmaker.
President Felipe Calderon called the attack an attempt by drug gangs to sway Sunday’s elections for governors and mayors in 12 states. He warned that cartels want “to interfere in the decisions of citizens and in electoral processes.”
But the attack emptied streets in Ciudad Victoria, the Tamaulipas state capital where Torre was killed. Heavily armed federal and state police patrolled in caravans. Some parents rushed to pick up their children from schools.
“I am not going to vote because there is a lot of fear. The tension is very strong,” said Maria Pilar Villegas, a convenience store clerk who said she was on the phone with her sister when she saw the news of the assassination on television. “I got chills when I saw the TV.”
Torre, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is the first gubernatorial candidate assassinated in Mexico in recent memory. He is the highest-ranking candidate killed since Luis Donaldo Colosio, also for the PRI, was gunned down while running for president in 1994.
Torre’s death was the biggest setback yet for the elections. Corruption scandals, threats and attacks on politicians have raised fears for months that Mexico’s powerful drug cartels are buying off candidates they support and intimidating those they oppose.
Calderon’s government did not say which gang was suspected in Torre’s assassination or why he would be targeted.
Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, has become a battleground between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas gang of hit men.
Drug cartels operate in many countries throughout Latin America, including Colombia, Brazil, Central America, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Mexico, Afghanistan and South Asia. Some cartels are even establishing themselves in U.S. cities like New York, Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Diego.
The Gulf Cartel (Spanish: Cártel del Golfo) is a Mexican drug cartel based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The cartel is present in 13 states with important areas of operation in the cities of Nuevo Laredo, Miguel Alemán, Reynosa and Matamoros in the northern state of Tamaulipas; it also has important operations in the states of Nuevo León and in Michoacán. The Gulf Cartel traffics cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin across the U.S.-Mexico border to major cities in the United States. The group is known for its violent methods and intimidation, and works closely with corrupt law officials and business people in Mexico and the United States.
Aside from earning money from the sales of narcotics, the cartel also imposes “taxes” on anyone passing narcotics or aliens through Gulf Cartel territory. The cartel is also known to operate protection rackets, extorting money from local businesses, and to kidnap for ransom money.
Los Zetas is a criminal organization in Mexico dedicated mostly to international illegal drug trade and other organized crime activities. This drug cartel was founded by an elite force of assassins from Mexican Army deserters and is now integrated by corrupt ex-federal, state, and local police officers, as well as ex-Kaibiles from Guatemala.
This group of highly trained gunmen was first hired as a private mercenary army for Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. Since the arrest of the Gulf Cartel’s leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillen, as well as other events, the two entities became a combined trafficking force, with the Zetas taking a more active leadership role in drug trafficking. Since February 2010 Los Zetas have gone independent and became enemies of its former employer/partner, the Gulf Cartel.
The Juárez Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Juárez), also known as the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, is a Mexican drug cartel based in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas. The Juárez Cartel controls one of the primary transportation routes for billions of dollars worth of illegal drug shipments annually entering the United States from Mexico. Drug lords from contiguous Mexican states have forged alliances in recent years creating a cartel that sometimes is referred to as ‘The Golden Triangle Alliance’ or ‘La Alianza Triángulo de Oro’ because of its three-state area of influence: Chihuahua, south of the U.S. state of Texas, Durango and Sinaloa. The Juarez Cartel is a ruthless, dangerous drug trafficking organization that has been known to decapitate their rivals and mutilate their corpses and dump them in public to instill fear not only to the general public but to local law enforcement and their rivals, the Sinaloa Cartel.
Gangs have staged bold attacks on security forces, ambushing military patrols and setting up blockades near army garrisons.
Leaders of the PAN and the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, had said they could not find anyone to run for mayor in some towns in Tamaulipas because of drug gang intimidation. PAN and PRD leaders have insinuated that the PRI has ties to drug gangs in the state, noting that the party has had no trouble fielding candidates in towns where other politicians are too scared to run.
The PRI, which has long governed Tamaulipas, has dismissed such talk as tired campaign tactics.
Tamaulipas Gov. Eugenio Hernandez said he didn’t know of any threats against Torre, a doctor who had served as the state’s health secretary. Hernandez said Torre didn’t express any fear when the two met Sunday to watch the World Cup game between Mexico and Argentina.
“We couldn’t see this attack coming at all,” Hernandez said in an interview with Milenio television.
Torre, 46, was heading from Ciudad Victoria to the border city of Matamoros to accompany the PRI’s mayoral candidates in the closing of their campaigns Monday.
Jorge Luis Navarro, president of the Tamaulipas state election institute, said the vote would go forward.
PRI national leader Beatriz Paredes urged supporters to go the polls. “Nothing is going to intimidate us,” she said in a statement. There was no announcement on who the PRI candidate would be.
The PAN and the PRD said they would suspend campaigning by their own gubernatorial candidates in Tamaulipas.
“They are not going to intimidate us. We are going to continue until Sunday with the same intensity,” said Jose Francisco Olvera, the PRI candidate for the central state of Hidalgo.
The PRI, which ruled Mexico for 71 years until losing the presidency in 2000, is hoping that a strong showing in Sunday’s elections will put it on the path to regain the presidency in 2012.
Polls had indicated that Torre would easily win the election in Tamaulipas.
The conservative PAN has formed uncomfortable alliances with the PRD to oust the PRI from several states, though not in Tamaulipas.
That alliance, however, was sorely tested by the worst corruption scandal of the election.
Cancun mayor Gregorio Sanchez, of the PRD, was arrested last month for allegedly protecting two brutal drug cartels, forcing him to drop his campaign for governor of Quintana Roo state. His leftist party has dismissed the allegations as a political ploy by Calderon’s government.
Drug gang violence has rocketed since Calderon deployed thousands of troops and federal police across the country in 2006 to wage an all-out battle against cartels. Some 23,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence.
George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, said Torre’s assassination would keep many voters home, but he expected the situation would only benefit the PRI.
“The … climate of fear will dampen voter turnout on Sunday, which will help the PRI because they have the best political machine,” he said.
Gregorio Linares, a waiter an at upscale restaurant where Torre and other politicians were frequent customers, said the city was growing accustomed to violence. Two months earlier, a shootout between soldiers and gunmen had erupted near the restaurant. But he said Torre’s death would only encourage him to vote for the PRI’s new candidate.
“It’s our duty,” he said.
U.S. death toll and national security
U.S. authorities are reporting a spike in killings, kidnappings and home invasions connected to Mexico’s cartels, and at least 19 Americans were killed in 2008. Also, more than 200 Americans have been killed in Mexico since 2004.
For the U.S. Joint Forces Command, in terms of worst-case scenarios, Mexico bears some consideration for sudden collapse in the next two decades as the government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. The Joint Forces Command are concerned that this internal conflict over the next several years, will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state, and therefore would demand an American response based on the implications for homeland security alone. In March 2009, the United States Department of Homeland Security said that it is considering using the National Guard to counter the threat of drug violence in Mexico from spilling over the border into the US. The governors of Arizona and Texas have asked the federal government to send additional National Guard troops to help those already there supporting local law enforcement efforts against drug trafficking. The call for National Guard on the border greatly increased after the 2010 murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, possibly at the hands of Mexican drug smugglers.
McAuley’s World Comments
Bribery, extortion, threats of violence, corrupt or fearful politicians and police. They exist on both sides of the border.
President Obama is willing to sacrifice the security of the United States in his attempt to bolster his ratings and garner votes in November’s elections.
The Arizona Law is not “about” racial profiling, the law is a law enforcement tool in a “life and death” struggle against the world’s largest and best armed criminal enterprises.
How dare the Obama Administration continue to play the race card?
With the Obama Administration’s policies and the Federal Government’s willingness to allow “Sanctuary Cities” to exist, the men who murdered Rodolfo Torre could well be hiding safely, today, in Phoenix or San Francisco or Los Angeles.
How dare anyone pretend that Arizona’s Law is being designed to harass and demean Hispanics in Arizona. The Law confirms that the standard law enforcement tool, granting Law Enforcement Officers the right to ask suspects to identify themselves and prove who they are, is a basic necessity in the war against the Mexican cartels.
The law’s detractors pretend that Law Enforcement personal have been waiting for just such a law, waiting for a law like this so they can “harass individuals out for ice cream with their families”.
Have you no shame? Is your head in the sand? Don’t you read the reports produced by your own Federal Agencies?
FBI: Burgeoning gangs behind up to 80% of U.S. crime: Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members
responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-01-29-ms13_N.htm
MS-13 gang seen as growing threat: By DAVID McLEMORE / The Dallas Morning News
PHARR, Texas – Shortly after midnight in late September, a Texas National Guard soldier with night-vision equipment spied four figures slipping through the brush and alerted Border Patrol agents. The men were arrested, and one in particular stood out for the extensive tattoos across his face, body and arms.A fingerprint check showed Santos Chileno-Gomez, a 23-year-old Salvadoran, had been deported for an assault on a Long Island, N.Y., police officer. His lengthy criminal record – and the tattoos – labeled him as a member of Mara Salvatrucha 13, a vicious international street gang that federal authorities call one of the most violent in the U.S. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/102906dntexMS13.2e3e193.html
CRS Report for Congress MS-13 The Emerging Transnational Gang Threats http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/94863.pdf
Remarks As Prepared For Delivery By Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden At The Ceremony For The Phoenix OCDETF Strike Force: http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2009/09/093009-speech-doj-ogden-remarks-multi-agency-arrests.html
Directors Remarks at The SouthWest Border Violent Crimes and Arms Trafficking Summit: http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2009/06/063009-speech-atf-ad-melson-remarks-firearms-summit.pdf
GANGS AND CRIME IN LATIN AMERICA: Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony : April 20, 2005 Wednesday: CAPITOL HILL HEARING TESTIMONY
COMMITTEE: HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
TESTIMONY-BY: CHRIS SWECKER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR – FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Statement of Chris Swecker Assistant Director – Criminal Investigative Division Federal Bureau of Investigation
Committee on House International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
April 20, 2005
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today about the FBI’s efforts to combat gangs in the United States, including Latin American or Hispanic gangs, such as MS-13.
Gangs and other criminal enterprises, operating in the U.S. and throughout the world pose increasing concerns for the international law enforcement and intelligence communities. Today, gangs are more violent, more organized and more widespread than ever before. They pose one of the greatest threats to the safety and security of all Americans. The Department of Justice estimates there are approximately 30,000 gangs, with 800,000 members, impacting 2,500 communities across the U.S. The innocent people in these communities face daily exposure to violence from criminal gangs trafficking in drugs and weapons and gangs fighting amongst themselves to control or extend their turf and their various criminal enterprises.
Gangs from California, particularly in the Los Angeles area, have a major influence on Mexican-Americans and Central American gangs in this country and in Latin America. Hispanic gangs in California have separated into two rival factions, the Nortenos, which are primarily found in Northern California, and the Surenos, found to the south and predominantly in the urban areas surrounding Los Angeles. A rivalry exists between these factions, which had its genesis in the California Department of Corrections during the 1960’s, when the Nuestra Familia (Nortenos) prison gang formed to oppose the Mexican Mafia (Surenos) prison gang. Today, the Mexican Mafia, and other Hispanic prison gangs, such as the La EME in southern California, the Texas Syndicate (T/S, Syndicato Tejano), and the Mexikanemi (EMI, Texas Mexican Mafia) remain powerful both in prison and on the street. and most Hispanic gangs in California align themselves under the Nortenos or the Surenos. Hispanic gangs aligned under the Nortenos will generally add the number 14 after their gang name, while gangs aligned under the Surenos will generally add the number 1 3 ( i.e., MS-13).
The migration of MS-13 members and other Hispanic street gang members, such as 18th Street, from Southern California, to other regions of this country, has led to a rapid proliferation of these gangs in many smaller, suburban and rural areas not accustomed to gang activity and related crimes. Additionally, the deportation of MS-13 and 18th Street gang members from the United States to their countries of origin is partially responsible for the growth of those gangs in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala. and Mexico, although the precise of this responsibility is unknown…..
–Arrest – 41,747
–Information/Indictments – 19,560
–Convictions – 19,166
–Disruptions – 846
–Dismantlements – 253
–Title Ills – 1,460
–Undercover Operations – 109
CENTRAL AMERICAN AND MEXICAN GANG ASSESSMENT: USAID http://www.usaid.gov/locations/latin_america_caribbean/democracy/gangs_assessment.pdf
PRESIDENT OBAMA – When you let ICE refuse to process referrals from Arizona – this is what you are disrupting:
Mr. Morton this is what you are refusing to do ….. refusing to cooperate with this program.
Taking Back the Streets: ICE and Local Law Enforcement Target Immigrant Gangs
Center for Immigration Studies
Immigration law enforcement has been a key ingredient contributing to the success of criminal gang suppression efforts in many jurisdictions across the United States. Since 2005, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested more than 8,000 gangsters from more than 700 different gangs as part of a special initiative known as Operation Community Shield. This effort has produced incalculable public safety benefits for American communities, despite being criticized periodically by immigrant and civil liberties advocates that are consistently opposed to all immigration law enforcement.
Local governments and law enforcement agencies that shun involvement in immigration law enforcement are missing an opportunity to protect their communities from criminal immigrant gang activity. Policymakers should take further steps to institutionalize partnerships between state and local law enforcement agencies and ICE in order to address gang and other crime problems with a connection to immigration.
Immigrant gangs: 1). are considered a unique public safety threat due to their members’ propensity for violence and their involvement in transnational crime. The latest national gang threat assessment noted that Hispanic gang membership has been growing, especially in the Northeast and the South, and that areas with new immigrant populations are especially vulnerable to gang activity. 2). A large share of the immigrant gangsters in the most notorious gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Surenos-13, and 18th Street are illegal aliens. Their illegal status means they are especially vulnerable to law enforcement, and local authorities should take advantage of the immigration tools available in order to disrupt criminal gang activity, remove gang members from American communities, and deter their return. Once explained, these measures find much support, especially in immigrant communities where gang crime is rampant.
El Paso’s Barrio Azteca Gang One Of The Most Dangerous In Nation
by Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter: Feb 7, 2008 9:00 PM MST
El Paso’s Barrio Azteca gang are some of the most dangerous in the country even though, Javier Sambrano, El Paso police spokesman, said “There have been some people arrested. They are associated or members of that MS-13 but we really haven’t seen any activity”. But according to other El Paso law enforcement there are gangs in El Paso including MS-13 members.
“They are very active they have over 2,000 members according to the El Paso police department,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez believes the Azteca’s are attracted to El Paso because of the accessibility to drugs from Mexico, and he said members tend to be active drug dealers.
Federal authorities point to the Mexican drug cartels who are ultimately responsible for border violence by having cemented ties to
street and prison gangs like Barrio Azteca on the U.S. side. Azteca and other U.S. gangs retail drugs that they get from Mexican cartels and Mexican gangs. Mexican gangs run their own distribution networks in the United States, and they produce most of the methamphetamine used north of the border. They have even bypassed the Colombians several times to buy cocaine directly from producers in Bolivia, Peru and even Afghanistan. These same gangs often work as cartel surrogates or enforcers on the U.S. side of the border. Intelligence suggests Los Zetas They’re known as “Los Zetas have hired members of various gangs at different times including, El Paso gang Barrio Azteca, Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, MS-13, and Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos to further their criminal endeavors. Dangerous Mexican Cartel Gangs
Public corruption, greed, fear …… follow the money in your community. Identify those at fault, those who are willing to turn a blind eye or to work fore these criminal enterprises ……. vote them out of office and insist on their prosecution.
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Police have arrested five men accused of dozens of murders, including two mass killings at drug treatment centers in this northern Mexico border city.
Police say the men were members of the Sinaloa cartel, a violent gang entrenched in a brutal turf war for control of drug routes to the United States.
The men are accused of 45 different executions in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most violent city. They were arrested by law enforcement agents during a routine street patrol, according to a statement released Friday by federal police.
Shooting Leaves Three U.S. Embassy Employees Dead in Mexico
These represent the latest deaths in the cartel drug wars, which Mexico is fighting with little success.
(CIUDAD JUAREZ / SALEM) – A shooting at the American embassy left two American citizens dead, as well as a Mexican national. All worked at the U.S. Consulate.
The shooting happened Saturday afternoon, near the Santa Fe International bridge. This is the connection between Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.
The driver, 35-year old Lesley A. Enriquez, was shot in the head. Her husband, 34-year old Arthur H. Redelfs, was shot in the neck and arm. The couple’s one-year old baby, in the back seat of the vehicle, was not harmed in the shooting.
Mexico offers armored cars, security details for candidates after candidate killed
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico is offering to provide candidates with bulletproof vehicles and bodyguards following the assassination of a politician running for governor in the northern state of Tamaulipas.
Assistant Interior Secretary Roberto Gil says the government decided to tighten security for gubernatorial candidates and some mayoral contenders after gunmen killed Rodolfo Torre and four of his companions.
Gil says the increased security has been given to those politicians who asked for it, after a government review.
He said Thursday that few such requests have been received.
Voters will elect the governors of 12 of Mexico’s 31 states on Sunday.
Review of Judge Bolton’s Decision: The Immigration Debate: The Arizona Law – Judge Bolton’s Decision (Part 1)
A comprehensive review and analysis of Judge Bolton’s erroneous decision.
Read why the Judge was wrong – compare “Congressional intent” with the Judge’s reasoning.
With these PDF documents:
DOJ Memo 04/02/2010
The actual Immigration Statutes that should have “controlled” the Judge’s decision.
Official Web Sites of: DOJ / DHS / LESC / NSEERS / FBI
What does Congress “mandate” be done and by whom?
Also See: Mexican Police Help Murder Their Own Mayor – Edelmiro Cavazos, Santiago, Mexico (08/20/2010)
Following the latest slaying, President Calderon said that “Mexico’s very democracy is under threat”.
Filed under: Arizona Immigration Law, ICE, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Luis Donaldo Colo, Rodolfo Torre's Assassination, The assassination of Luis Donaldo Colo Tagged: | Arizona's Law, Drug Cartels, Human Trafficking, ICE, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Luis Donaldo Colo, Mexican Drug Cartels Threaten Mexican Democracy, Rodolfo Torre, The Assassination of Luis Donaldo Colo, The Assassination of Rodolfo Torre