Criminal Illegal Alien Deportees Blamed For Caribbean Crime Wave

By MIKE MELIA

Associated Press Writer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crime was horrifying enough – a nightclub owner, hacked to death with a machete, was found buried in pieces. But what really outraged people was that the accused killer had been deported from the U.S. to his native Grenada as a convicted felon.

As a foreign-bred criminal, the suspect never should have returned to the close-knit tropical nation, relatives of the victim and others said. Islanders called for more vigilance over deportees by the government, which says it needs help from Washington to handle the return of hardened convicts.

“I hope that my brother did not die in vain and something can be done to monitor these criminal deportees,” said Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, a sister of the nightclub owner, Michael Raeburn-Delfish.

The United States has deported thousands of convicted criminals to the Caribbean annually since 1996, when Congress mandated that every non-citizen sentenced to a year or more in prison be kicked out of the country upon release. In all, the U.S. is responsible for about three-quarters of the region’s returning criminal deportees, with the United Kingdom and Canada accounting for most of the other ex-cons arriving in the islands.

It’s a phenomenon that also afflicts many parts of Central America, where street gangs that grew out of Los Angeles spread to the region through massive deportations. Brutal and powerful, the “Maras” are blamed for rampant violent crime, extortion and more recently acting as enforcers for drug cartels.

In the Caribbean, governments say deportees are exacerbating crime in nations with high levels of violence such as Jamaica. On the smaller islands such as Grenada, once considered idyllic havens from gang violence, officials say the returning deportees are partly to blame for increasingly bold and sophisticated crimes and homicide rates soaring to record levels.

The United States is attempting to defuse tensions with island governments by exploring programs to help them reintegrate deportees. During a visit to Barbados in June, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. is no longer ignoring complaints that have topped the Caribbean’s diplomatic agenda for more than a decade.

U.S. officials say privately that the deportations cannot be blamed for the increase in violent crime, but declined to discuss the issue on the record, saying the U.S. does not want to hurt relations with Caribbean governments with which it cooperates on other issues.

The man accused in the machete attack in Grenada, Ronald Michael Phillip, 55, was deported from the United States on July 6, 2000, the day after leaving a state prison in Uncasville, Connecticut, where he had spent more than six years.

Island police know only the rough outline of his life abroad: Phillip moved overseas in 1986 and lived in Canada and Brooklyn, New York, before moving to New London, Connecticut. He was arrested in December 1993 on assault and drug charges.

But the officer who found Raeburn-Delfish’s severed head and limbs in three shallow pits on Sept. 5 said the nature of the murder led him to believe the suspect was a practiced killer.

“He had a level of experience with dealing with dead people or animals,” forensics expert Trevor Modeste said. “We don’t usually have crime like that. We don’t usually have planned and executed murders.”

Modeste said his suspicions were confirmed when Phillip, known locally as Ronald de Ally, boasted to police that he killed and buried two people in the United States who were never found.

Grenada police spokesman Troy Garvey said that claim has not been verified. Garvey said investigators’ focus is on solving Raeburn-Delfish’s slaying, but they will pass anything they learn about crimes in the U.S. to the appropriate jurisdiction.

Raeburn-Delfish was Phillip’s landlord, but no motive has been established in the slaying. Phillip, who is charged with murder, did not have an attorney at his first court appearance.

At the heart of the problem is the disparity of wealth between the United States, where migrants often learn their criminal ways, and their poor homelands, where jobs are scarce and police resources are limited. Moreover, islanders who often left their native lands as children return to countries they barely recognize, with no remaining family.

Jean Nemorin, 47, who returned to Haiti in 2008, more than three decades after he arrived in the United States with his family at age 11, said there is a stigma attached to people like him when locals learn of their criminal past, making it tough to find work or a place to live.

“I struggled to feed myself for the first six months,” Nemorin said. He declined to describe his conviction in the United States but said he is crime-free today, operating a moto-taxi in Port-au-Prince that he bought with money from relatives overseas.

The biggest impact has been in heavily populated countries like Jamaica, where deportees are suspected in several violent crimes each week, according to Leslie Green, an assistant police commissioner.

But smaller islands are increasingly leading the calls for help from Washington. A Grenada government spokesman, Richard Simon, said they lack the counseling, monitoring and housing services needed to absorb deportees with serious criminal records.

In Dominica, at least one criminal deportee is suspected in a recent pair of brazen, daylight robberies by masked men, Security Minister Charles Savarin said.

In St. Lucia, an island of 170,000 people that received 18 criminal deportees from the U.S. last year, Security Minister Guy Mayers said some of the convicts were apparently recruited into local drug rings that exploit their contacts from overseas prisons.

“We are not responsible for them becoming monsters,” Mayers said. “We need support to be able to rehabilitate these people.”

In 2007, the U.S. launched a pilot program managed by the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration to help reintegrate deportees. The $3 million project provided services including career counseling and housing assistance in Haiti, Guyana and the Bahamas.

U.S. officials say they hope that effort will be the starting point for a regional discussion, but no money has been assigned so far to keep the program going.

Island governments say the deportee issue will remain a sticking point with Washington until they see more action.

“I raise this with U.S. authorities every chance I get,” Mayers said.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/25/1841717_p2/caribbean-crime-wave-linked-to.html#ixzz10XkKpA1l

McAuley’s World Comment:

Under what theory are American taxpayers obligated to pay for the incarceration of a foreign national who commits a crime in his nation of origin … First, the individual enters the U.S. illegally, then they commit are caught and convicted of criminal activity in the United States. Then they serve the sentence prescribed by American Courts at the expense of American taxpayers before being returned to their Country of origin when they return to criminal activities …. Isn’t this a basic prerequisite of a civilized nation or government? To protect it’s citizens from the criminal element, foreign or domestic, within it’s borders?

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: Mexican Marines arrest presumed leader of Beltran Leyva Cartel – Sergio Villarreal Barragan taken into custody

Sergio Villarreal Barragan captured in Sunday raid officials say

Mexican marines captured Sergio Villarreal Barragan, a presumed leader of the embattled Beltran Leyva cartel who appears on a list of the country’s most-wanted fugitives, in a raid Sunday in the central state of Puebla, officials said.

The presumed capo known as “El Grande” did not put up any resistance when he was arrested along with two alleged accomplices, a Navy official told The Associated Press. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department policy, said federal officials would announce the capture shortly.

Mr. Villarreal appears on a 2009 Attorney General’s Office list of Mexico’s most-wanted drug traffickers and has a reward of just over $2-million for his capture.

He is listed as one of the remaining leaders of the Beltran Leyva cartel, whose top capo, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed in December in a raid by marines outside Mexico City.

Drug Cratel Violence. Young Woman Murdered & Mutilated By Cartel

Mr. Villarreal’s capture comes about two weeks after the arrest of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, or “The Barbie,” another alleged capo linked to the Beltran Leyvas.

The once-powerful Beltran Leyva cartel split following the death of Arturo — known as the “Boss of Bosses” — which launched a brutal war for control of the gang involving mass execution and beheadings in once-peaceful parts of central Mexico. The fight pitted brother Hector Beltran Leyva and Villarreal against a faction led by Edgar Valdez Villarreal. Hector Beltran Leyva remains at large.

Mr. Villarreal’s capture is the fourth major blow delivered to drug cartels by Mexico’s government in the past year. First came the death of Arturo Beltran Leyva on Dec. 16, 2009, then soldiers killed the Sinaloa cartel’s No. 3 capo, Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, on July 29. And on Aug. 30 federal police announced the capture of “The Barbie.”

Drug Cartel Victims - Decapitated Bodies Dumped in Plaza

More than 28,000 people have been killed in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a military offensive against the cartels soon after taking office.

In the central state of Morelos, police discovered nine bodies in clandestine graves Saturday in the same area where four more were recently found.

The Public Safety Department said in a separate statement that all 13 victims were believed to have been killed on the orders of “The Barbie” in his battle for control of the cartel.

Also Sunday, the military announced that it filed charges against four troops for the Sept. 5 shooting deaths of a man and his 15-year-old son along the highway linking the northern city of Monterrey to Laredo, Texas.

Authorities have said soldiers opened fire on the family vehicle when it failed to stop at a checkpoint, though relatives who were also in the car say they were shot at after they passed a military convoy.

The mother and wife of the two victims was also wounded in the shooting.

Cartel Violence - Decapitated Head Left in Plaza

A captain, a corporal and two infantrymen are in custody in military prison and have been charged with homicide, the Defence Department said in a statement.

Mexico’s military was already under scrutiny for this year’s killings of two brothers, ages 5 and 9, on a highway in Tamaulipas, a state bordering Nuevo Leon.

The National Human Rights Commission has accused soldiers of shooting the children and altering the scene to try to pin the deaths on drug cartel gunmen.

The army denies the allegations and says the boys were killed in the crossfire of a shootout between soldiers and suspected traffickers.

The scandal renewed demands from activists that civilian authorities, not the army, investigate human rights cases involving the military.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/mexican-marines-arrest-presumed-leader-of-beltran-leyva-cartel/article1704715/?cmpid=rss1

3rd Mexican Mayor Slain by Hit Men This Month – Bodies of Police Detectives Investigating Slaughter of 72 Migrants Found

3rd Mexican Mayor Slain by Hit Men This Month

Another Mexican mayor slain; Clinton angers Mexico by comparing it to Colombia decades ago

The third Mexican mayor in a month was slain by suspected drug gang hitmen on the same day the U.S. secretary of state raised hackles in Mexico by saying the country is “looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton and other U.S. officials pointed to Mexican drug cartels’ use of three car bombs, a tool once favored by cartel-allied rebels in Colombia, as evidence that the gangs “are now showing more and more indices of insurgency.”

While the Mexican government quickly condemned the killing of the mayor of the northern town of El Naranjo, it rejected the comparison with Colombia, where the Medellin drug cartel waged a full frontal assault on the state, endangering its very integrity with attacks on police, politicians and judges and terror attacks against civilians.

More worrisome to Mexican legislators, Clinton suggested the United States was looking to implement some type of Plan Colombia for Mexico and Central America, referring to a U.S. anti-drug program in which American special forces teams trained Colombian troops and U.S. advisers are attached to Colombian military units.

 
 
 

Edelmiro Cavazo Mayor of Santiago, Mexico - Kidnapped from Home & Assassinated By Cartel

McAuley’s World: As in Columbia, hundreds of Politicians and Police are in the pay of the Mexican Cartels.

The reaction was swift.

Mexico — which has suffered at least three U.S. invasions — has always rejected allowing American troops on its soil, except for a single symbolic presence: Mexico’s Senate has authorized a U.S. detachment to march in next week’s Bicentennial parade.

“Starting right now, we have to say this clearly. We are not going to permit any version of a Plan Colombia,” said Sen. Santiago Creel, a member of President Felipe Calderon’s National Action Party. “We cannot permit a Plan Colombia in Mexico.”

Sen. Ricardo Monreal of the leftist Labor Party said U.S. aid to Colombia hadn’t stopped drug trafficking there. “Whoever thinks Colombia is a cure-all, and if the United States thinks it is necessary to apply the same model to us they applied to Colombia, they are mistaken,” he said.

Plan Colombia has been widely credited for helping Colombia diminish the rebel threat…

Clinton made her statements Wednesday in Washington at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she said drug cartels are “morphing into, or making common cause with, what we would consider an insurgency in Mexico and in Central America.”

Clinton also suggested that “we need to figure out what are the equivalents” for Mexico and Central America of Plan Colombia, acknowledging “there were problems and there were mistakes, but it worked.”

Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias the "Barbie"

Mexican cartels are becoming increasingly violent — federal police reported Wednesday they had found four bodies in a clandestine grave linked to arrested U.S.-born drug hitman Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “La Barbie” — and are carrying out more attacks on government officials in Mexico.

Hooded gunmen burst into Mayor Alexander Lopez Garcia’s office in the northern Mexico state of San Luis Potosi on Wednesday and shot him to death.

President Felipe Calderon’s office issued a statement condemning the killing — the third mayor slain in less than a month — calling it a “cowardly and criminal” act.

There was no immediate information on the motive in the attack, but the style of the slaying resembles methods used by Mexico’s drug cartels.

On Aug. 29, the mayor of a town just across the state line in

Hidalogo Mayor Mayor Marco Antonio Leal Assassinated by Cartels 08.30.2010

Tamaulipas was shot to death and his daughter wounded. [Marco Antonio Leal Garcia, 46, was shot dead while he was driving his car, the source said. His four-year-old daughter was seriously wounded in the attack, the source said.] The mayor of Santiago, a town in the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon, was found murdered Aug. 18, a crime for local police officers allied with a drug gang are suspected.

The San Luis Potosi state prosecutors’ office said Lopez Garcia was killed by a squad of four hitmen. The rural township of about 20,000 people borders the violent-wracked state of Tamaulipas, where 72 migrants were massacred by drug gunmen in August.

On Wednesday, the Mexican government announced that marines had arrested seven gunmen suspected of killing 72 Central and South American migrants last month in the worst drug cartel massacre to date.

Four of the suspects were arrested after a Sept. 3 gunbattle with marines, and the other three were captured days later, spokesman Alejandro Poire said at a news conference.

Poire alleged the seven belong to the Zetas drug gang, but he gave no further details on their identities or what led to their arrests.

Investigators believe the migrants were kidnapped by the Zetas and killed after refusing to work for the cartel.

San Luis Potosi Central Square - City Hall in Background

The arrests “will help determine exactly what happened in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, and it’s a significant step toward ending the impunity surrounding assaults on migrants by organized crime,” Poire said.

An eighth suspect already was in custody. Marines arrested a teenager after a shootout with gunmen at the ranch the day they discovered the bodies. Three gunmen were killed during that battle.

A Twitter account linked to Calderon’s website said two youths aged 14 and 17 had also been detained for allegedly participating in the massacre, but offered no details. The president’s office was not immediately available to clarify the report.

In addition, marines last week found the bodies of three other men suspected of participating in the massacre after an anonymous caller told authorities where to find them. Officials say they have no information on who made the call, but in the past drug gangs have handed over suspects in especially brutal killings that draw too much attention.

Zetas Dump 12 Bodies Outside San Louis Petosi

A Honduran man who also survived the slaughter and is under police protection in Mexico later identified the three dead men as having been among the killers.

The latest arrests were announced one day after authorities found the bodies of two men believed to be those of a state detective and a local police chief who participated in the initial investigation of the massacre. [Prosecutor Roberto Jaime Suarez]

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wirestory?id=11589288&page=1

 

New Immigration Policy to Restrict Illegal Immigrant Deportations

ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton, seen here, wrote the Aug. 20 memo to Peter Vincent

Federal authorities have issued a new policy aimed at stopping deportation proceedings for some illegal immigrants, according to a memo issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The memo, which ICE released on Aug. 20, could affect up to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are married or related to a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has filed a petition on their behalf. Illegal immigrants with criminal convictions will not qualify under the plan. ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton wrote the memo to Peter Vincent, principal legal adviser and head of the agency’s removal operations.

The memo directs ICE attorneys to check cases of detained illegal immigrants for any “serious” or “adverse” factors weighing against dismissal, including criminal convictions, fraud, national security and public safety considerations.

“If no investigations … or serious adverse factors exist, the offices of chief counsel should promptly move to dismiss proceedings,” the memo reads. “Once the Field Office Director is notified, the FOD must release the alien.”

The change in policy could affect thousands of the estimated 17,000 pending removal cases. According to ICE data, nearly 40,000 immigrants obtained U.S residency status due to sponsorship of relatives who were legal residents in fiscal year 2009. By comparison, more than 393,000 illegal immigrants were deported during that same span.

Debris Left Along Cartel Controlled "Coyote" Trail

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, likened the change to a “free pass” for illegal immigrants, a characterization federal authorities denied.

 “Actions like this demoralize ICE agents who are trying to do their job and enforce the law,” Grassley told The New York Times. “Unfortunately, it appears this is more evidence that the Obama administration would rather circumvent Congress and give a free pass to illegal immigrants who have already broken our law.”

A Department of Homeland Security official told Fox News that the new policy was designed in July 2009 to improve docket efficiency.

Richard Rocha, ICE’s deputy press secretary, said the agency remains focused on removing foreign nationals who have criminal convictions.

Border Patrol Officer Wades Through Debris Left Behind On Coyote Trail

“This administration is committed to smart, effective immigration reform, prioritizing the arrest and removal of criminal aliens and those who pose a danger to national security,” Rocha said in a statement. “In 2010 to date, ICE has removed more than 150,000 convicted criminals — a record number. [McAuleys’ World: It is estimated that there are between 4 million and 6 million illegals present in the Unites States with criminal conviction histories] 

“ICE is not engaged in a ‘backdoor’ amnesty and has placed more people in immigration proceedings this year than ever before.  ICE has implemented a new policy to expedite the removal of criminal aliens and those who pose a danger to national security by ensuring these cases are heard.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/27/new-immigration-policy-halt-illegal-immigrant-deportations/

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