Cancun killings linked to cartels: Body of Brigadier General found near Cancun

Cancun killings linked to cartels

The bodies of a retired brigadier general and two other men have been found near the Mexican resort of Cancun after a suspected drug cartel killing

The three, who were found dead in the back of a truck, were part of a protection team for Cancun’s mayor.

Authorities say they think the men were intercepted on a road near Cancun, then taken to a remote forest, tortured, and killed with a shot to the head.

Drug-related violence claimed more than 5,000 lives in Mexico last year.

Brig Gen Mauro Enrique Tello had only just become a security consultant, having retired from the army on 1 January.

The investigation is ongoing, but Cancun’s local prosecutor has already said that the nature of the murders and the

The funeral of Brig. Gen. Mauro Enrique Tello Quiñones

 identity of the victims points to a contract killing by a drug cartel, the BBC’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Mexico City.

The Mexican government, which depends on tourism income, will be determined to ensure that this is an isolated case, he says.

Drug-related violence in Mexico is soaring, as criminal gangs fight both each other and federal forces as they battle to control the immensely lucrative routes trafficking cocaine and other drugs from Colombia to the US.

But most of the violence has been to date been concentrated in Mexico’s Northern border cities.

Cancun, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has largely been spared.

President Felipe Calderon has vowed to destroy the cartels that make billions of dollars trafficking cocaine and other drugs to the United States.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7868853.stm

Warrior in Drug Fight Soon Becomes a Victim

Mexican General Seized, Slain in Cancun

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The funeral of Brig. Gen. Mauro Enrique Tello Quiñones
The general didn’t get much time. After a long, controversial career, Brig. Gen. Mauro Enrique Tello Quiñones retired from active duty last month and moved to this Caribbean playground to work for the Cancun mayor and fight the drug cartels that have penetrated much of Mexican society. He lasted a week.

Tello, 63, along with his bodyguard and a driver, were kidnapped in downtown Cancun last Monday evening, taken to a hidden location, methodically tortured, then driven out to the jungle and shot in the head. Their bodies were found Tuesday in the cab of a pickup truck on the side of a highway leading out of town. An autopsy revealed that both the general’s arms and legs had been broken.

The audacious kidnapping and killing of one of the highest-ranking military officers in Mexico drew immediate expressions of outrage from the top echelons of the Mexican government, which pledged to continue the fight against organized crime that took the lives of more than 5,300 people last year. Military leaders, who are increasingly at the front lines of the war against the cartels, vowed not to let Tello’s death go unsolved or unpunished.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/08/AR2009020802388.html

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4 U.S. Nationals Killed in Mexico Border City – Mexican Police Find 18 Bodies in Mass Grave

(AP) 

Bodies of Drug Cartel Victims In Abandoned Building

Four U.S. citizens were shot to death in separate attacks in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexican authorities said Monday.

Chihuahua state prosecutors’ spokesman Arturo Sandoval said Edgar Lopez, 35, of El Paso, Texas, was killed Sunday along with two Mexican men when gunmen opened fire on a group standing outside a house.

On Saturday, a 26-year-old U.S. woman and an American boy were slain shortly after crossing an international bridge from El Paso. Giovanna Herrera and Luis Araiza, 15, were shot to death along with a Mexican man traveling with them just after 11 a.m., Sandoval said.

Sandoval said authorities also identified a 24-year-old woman killed Friday inside a tortilla shop as Lorena Izaguirre, a U.S. citizen and El Paso resident. A Mexican man was also found dead in the store.

Sandoval did not provide any information about possible motive in any of the slayings.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed three of the killings but did not have any information about Izaguirre. He said officials had been in touch with the victims’ families but offered no other details.

Ciudad Juarez has become one of the world’s deadliest cities amid a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels. More than 2,000 people have been killed this year in the city, which is across the border from El Paso.

Also Monday, federal police said they arrested a U.S. man accused of being a member of the Aztecas gang, whose members work as hitmen for the Juarez cartel and operate on both sides of the border. Angel Martinez, 24, was arrested Saturday in Ciudad Juarez when he was traveling with another gang member, the department said.

Elsewhere, three city police officers were gunned down early Monday in a drive-by shooting as they patrolled the heart of Acapulco’s upscale tourist district, authorities said.

Another officer was wounded, according to a statement from the Public Safety Department in southern Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.

The officers were patrolling the Puerto Marques area around 1 a.m. when they were ambushed by suspects shooting assault rifles from inside a car, police said.

Violence continues to escalate in the Pacific resort city, days after Mayor Jose Luis Avila Sanchez warned people to stay indoors after dark. Ten other people were killed between Sunday and Monday around the area. Authorities also were trying to determine whether a burned corpse found in a car was the body of a Canadian businessman who disappeared last week.

Meanwhile, the remains of seven people were found Sunday in a mass grave in Nogales, on the Arizona border. Mayor Jose Angel Hernandez said a family walking near the site noticed what appeared to be part of a body sticking up in a riverbed. Officers recovered six bodies and a severed head in the grave. A seventh headless body was found nearby.

In the border city of Tijuana, state police seized more than 14 tons of marijuana in two vehicles at a house in the same neighborhood where gunmen killed 13 people at a drug rehab center 10 days ago.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/02/world/main7013430.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;6

50 bullets hit car with Texas plates in Juárez

By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times

Three people riding in a BMW with Texas license plates were killed in a shooting during the weekend in Juárez.

Chihuahua state police identified the victims as Guillermo Araiza Hidalgo, 23, Luis Carlos Araiza Hidalgo, 15, and Giovanna Herrera, 26.

A spokesman for the Chihuahua attorney general’s office on Sunday did not have information on whether any of the victims were El Paso residents or U.S. citizens.

Police said shooters fired 50 rounds from 9 mm and .223-caliber weapons, peppering the black 2001 BMW X5 with bullets during an assault late Saturday morning on the Juárez-Porvenir road. The vehicle was being driven by Guillermo Araiza. All three died at the scene.

Mexican Police Find 18 Bodies in Mass Grave

(AP)  In another grisly turn in Mexico’s drug war, police have recovered 18 bodies from a mass grave announced in a YouTube posting – a video saying the victims were from a tourist group kidnapped in Acapulco a month ago.

Authorities said they would resume their search Thursday for more remains at the burial site in Tres Palos, a town just south of the Pacific resort city.

Police did not yet know if the bodies found were from the 20 men abducted at gunpoint Sept. 30 while visiting Acapulco from neighboring Michoacan state, Fernando Monreal, investigative police chief for Guerrero state, said Wednesday night.

Officers began digging at the site early Wednesday after receiving an anonymous phone call alerting them to two bodies dumped on an empty lot.

Hours earlier, a video appeared on Youtube in which two men – their hands apparently tied behind their backs and answering questions from an unseen interrogator – say they killed “the Michoacanos” and buried them in the area.

The two bodies reported in the tip were found wearing the same clothes as the pair seen in the video and were lying on top of the mass the grave.

A sign left between the two men read: “The people they killed are buried here.” It was signed by Acapulco’s Independent Cartel, or CIDA – a little known drug gang that has been claiming responsibility for killings in the area over the last two months.

Monreal said authorities had not confirmed the identities of the bodies dumped on top of the grave.

In the video, the two men say they killed the “Michoacanos” in an act of revenge against La Familia, a powerful drug cartel based in Michoacan state.

The families of the 20 missing men, many of them related to each other, have said they were mechanics in the state capital of Morelia who each year saved up money to take a vacation together. Among those abducted was the 17-year-old son of one of the mechanics.

Guerrero state investigators say they corroborated that the men worked as mechanics and had no criminal records. Investigators also say they could find no evidence linking the men to any gang and have speculated the group may have been targeted by mistake.

Hundreds of the men’s relatives and friends have twice marched in Morelia to demand federal authorities investigate the case.

On Sunday, about 1,000 people marched to urge authorities to keep searching for their loved ones.

“To the people who have them, we ask them to have mercy on them, on us,” Katy Rodriguez, a niece of seven of the missing men, said in a message sent to the captors through the media.

The kidnapping was one of the biggest blows yet to Acapulco, which has seen an increase in drug-gang shootouts, beheadings and kidnappings. Even Acapulco Mayor Jose Luis Avila Sanchez recently urged residents to stay indoors after nightfall, an extraordinary pronouncement in a city where the economy is built on nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

Mass killings have become more frequent amid raging, drug-fueled violence in Mexico. In the most horrifying attack, 72 migrants were massacred in northern Mexico near the border city of Matamoros in August, apparently because they refused to work for the Zetas drug gang.

Videos like the new posting on YouTube have become a new dimension of terror to Mexico’s bloody drug war. Cartels are increasingly releasing video of kidnapped people admitting at gunpoint to crimes ranging from extortion to murder. It is often impossible to determine the veracity of confessions given under duress.

In the boldest case, a video emerged less than two weeks ago showing the kidnapped brother of Patricia Gonzalez, the former attorney general of northern Chihuahua state. In the video, the brother, Mario Gonzalez, says his sister protected a street gang tied to the Juarez cartel and was behind several murders.

Gonzalez, who had been kidnapped days earlier, made the statement while sitting handcuffed in a chair surrounded by five masked men pointing guns at him. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Patricia Gonzalez denied any links to drug traffickers and said she is sure her brother spoke out of fear.

Another video made by drug traffickers and released in July led to the arrest of a prison warden who allegedly allowed inmates allied with the Sinaloa cartel to temporarily leave the Gomez Palacio prison to murder rivals. The warden allegedly even lent the inmates guns and vehicles to carry out the killings.

The Zetas drug gang, a rival of the Sinaloa cartel, first drew attention to the prison scandal by kidnapping a local police officer and forcing him to describe the scheme on a video released on the Internet.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/04/world/main7021060.shtml

Gunbattle in Northern Mexico Kills 3 Bystanders

(AP)  Three bystanders died in the crossfire of a shootout between gunmen, police and soldiers in northern Mexico on Sunday.

The victims were a 14-year-old boy and two women aged 18 and 47, according to a statement by the prosecutors’ office in northern Coahuila state.

The statement said gunmen traveling in two vehicles opened fire on a convoy of federal police and soldiers in the city of Saltillo, Coahuila. The officers and soldiers returned fire.

It was not clear who fired the shots that killed the bystanders, but the state attorney general’s office said it was investigating and expressed condolences to the victims’ families.

“They are civilians who unfortunately died in the exchange of gunfire,” it said, describing a running series of confrontations between police and assailants who allegedly fired shots into the air to clear bystanders from their path at one point.

Mexico’s army, which has taken a leading role in combating drug gangs, has come under criticism for alleged indiscriminate use of force and firing on civilians.

Three gunmen also died Sunday in a separate shootout in another Coahuila city, Torreon.

Coahuila has been the scene of bloody turf battles between the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas drug gang.

In the border city of Ciudad Juarez, meanwhile, the death toll from a birthday party massacre late Friday rose to 14 after an 18-year-old male died of his wounds.

Nineteen people were wounded in the attack on two private homes where about four dozen partygoers had gathered for a teen’s birthday.

The dead identified so far were 13 to 32 years old, and the majority of the victims were high school students, a survivor said.

While investigators said they have not yet identified the perpetrators or a motive, police found 70 bullet casings from assault weapons typically used by drug gangs at the scene of the shootings. Cartel violence has killed more than 2,000 people so far this year in the city across from El Paso, Texas.

Drug gangs have increasingly attacked private parties that they believe members of rival gangs might be attending; other innocent partygoers are often killed in such attacks.

On Sunday, prosecutors in northern Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located, said they were searching for a man known only by his nickname, “The Mouse,” who was apparently the target of the gunmen.

The man was reportedly wounded in the Friday shooting, but has disappeared. Investigators said they believe he can shed light on who was trying to kill him.

Memorial services were held Sunday for some of the victims of Friday’s attack, and prosecutors said that guards had been provided to protect those services.

Friday’s attack recalled a similar massacre in Ciudad Juarez in January, when gunmen killed 15 people at a house party.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/24/world/main6987981.shtml?tag=mncol;lst;2

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

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

Mexican Police Chief DECAPITATED By Drug Cartel

11 of 16 Bodies Dumped By Cartel At Side Of Road In Tijanana

MONTERREY, Mexico — The decapitated body of the police chief of a northern Mexico town and the body of his brother were found inside the chief’s patrol truck Friday, authorities said. Hours earlier, gunmen killed a deputy police chief and his bodyguard in another part of Mexico’s north.

The body of Heriberto Cerda, the police chief in Agualeguas, was found on the bed of a patrol pickup truck, which was left on a dirt road in the nearby town of General Trevino. His head was on his lap, said a spokesman for Nuevo Leon state prosecutors who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

The body of the chief’s brother, Jesus Cerda, was found inside the truck, the official said. He didn’t say how Jesus Cerda was killed.

Nuevo Leon state secretary general Javier Trevino told reporters that Cerda and his brother had been reported missing Thursday.

The windshield and driver’s door of the patrol car had “C.D.G.,” an acronym for the Gulf drug cartel, written in blood, photos showed.

Drug Cartel Violence. Young Woman Murdered - Mutilated By Cartel

The border state of Nuevo Leon, where Agualeguas and General Trevino are located, has seen an upsurge in violence that authorities say is the result of a turf battle between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, the cartel’s former hit men.

The slayings came a day after Mexican marines on patrol in the Nuevo Leon town of Cerralvo came under fire after ordering a convoy of gunmen traveling in six vehicles to stop. Six of the assailants were killed.

Nearly 18,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an assault on cartels after taking office in December 2006.

In the northern state of Sonora, gunmen in a pickup truck fatally shot the deputy police chief and his bodyguard in the city of Nogales, which sits across the border from the Arizona city of the same name, authorities said Friday.

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

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