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

 

Mexican Army Kills 25: Army’s Firefight with Zetas Cartel in Monterey, Mexico

Former Presidential Candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio: Assassinated 03/24/1994, Tijuana, Baja California

MONTERREY, Mexico — Soldiers killed at least 25 suspected cartel members Thursday in a raid and gunbattle in a Mexican state near the U.S. border that has become one of the most dangerous battlegrounds in the country’s drug war.

A military aircraft flying over Ciudad Mier in Tamaulipas state spotted several gunmen in front of a building, according to a statement from Mexico’s Defense Department.

When ground troops moved in, gunmen opened fire, starting a gunbattle in which 25 suspected cartel members died, according to the military. The statement said two soldiers were wounded.

Authorities rescued three people believed to be kidnap victims in the raid, according to the statement. The military said troops seized 25 rifles, four grenades, 4,200 rounds of ammunition and 23 vehicles.

Earlier, a military spokesman said the gunmen were believed to be on a property controlled by the Zetas, who started out as a gang of drug assassins but have since evolved into a powerful cartel.

Some local media reported 27 suspected cartel members were slain, citing unnamed police officials.

Violence has surged in northeastern Mexico this year since the Zetas broke ranks with their former employer, the Gulf cartel, resulting in a flare-up of drug violence in Tamaulipas.Last week, marines discovered the bodies of 72 Central and South American migrants believed to have been gunned down by the Zetas after refusing to work for the cartel, in what may be the deadliest drug gang massacres to date. The migrants’ bodies were discovered at a ranch about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the U.S. border in Tamaulipas.

Five days later, the mayor of the Tamaulipas town of Hidalgo (Marco Antonio Leal Garcia), bordering Nuevo Leon state, was ambushed and killed in his car in an attack that also wounded his four-year-old daughter.

In June, gunmen ambushed and killed the leading candidate for state governor a week before regional elections. And in May a mayoral candidate in Tamaulipas was assassinated.

Drug violence has claimed more than 28,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon intensified a crackdown on cartels after taking office in late 2006.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090300773.html

Hidalgo Mayor Mayor Marco Antonio Leal Assassinated by Cartels 08/30/2010

Cartel Member Killed in Firefight

Over the weekend, 17 people were injured in four separate bomb attacks in Tamaulipas in just 24 hours.

The explosions appeared to target places connected with an investigation into the killing of 72 foreign migrants whose bodies were found on a ranch in the state on 25 August.

The 58 men and 14 women were from South and Central America. They had been trying to reach the US, and were believed to have been killed by members of the Zetas gang.

Shortly after the grim discovery of their bodies, Roberto Suarez, the detective leading the investigation into the mass slaying, went missing, along with a police officer he was travelling with.

The rising violence has led to growing criticism of President Felipe Calderon’s military crackdown on Mexico’s drug gangs. Opposition groups say the crackdown, which began three and a half years ago, has done nothing to stop the flow of drugs to the US.

In his state of the union address on Thursday morning, the president admitted the violence was worsening but defended his approach, saying the cartels were being weakened.

“The capture or killing of important criminal leaders has made the crime organisations more desperate,” Mr Calderon said.

“It is an ever more bloody war between organised crime groups fighting for territory, markets and routes.”

Mr Calderon insisted the fight had to go on.

Rodolfo Torre Canto: Gubernatorial candidate assassianted by cartels

“If we want a safe Mexico for the Mexicans of the future, we must take on the cost of achieving it today,” he said.

More than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since Mr Calderon ordered the army and federal police to fight the cartels in 2006.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11173279

 

 

List: Mexican Election Campaign Killings

June 28, 2010

Rodolfo Torre Cantú – Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate for governor of Tamaulipas.
Enrique Blackmore Smer – local representative and general coordinator of Rodolfo Torre Cantú’s campaign.
Rubén López – member of Rodolfo Torre Cantú’s entourage.
Gerardo Sotero – escort for the gubernatorial candidate.
David Castelo – escort for the gubernatorial candidate.
Dante Quiroz – escort for the gubernatorial candidate.
Aurelio Balleza – escort for the gubernatorial candidate.
Alejandro Martínez – Rodolfo Torre Cantú’s private secretary.

Mayor Edelmiro Cavazos of Santiago Kidnapped & Murdered 08/18/2010

June 26, 2010

Pedro Brito Ocampo – National Action Party (PAN) manager in the Guerrero state municipality of Heliodoro Castillo. His body, found in an abandoned house, had 40 gunshot wounds.

June 19, 2010

Jesús Manuel Lara – 48 year-old Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) mayor of Guadalupe Distrito Bravo, Chihuahua, died in a house in the Santa Teresa neighborhood of Ciudad Juárez when a group of gunmen burst in and shot him.

May 21, 2010

Jorge Rogelio Ortega Ortega – Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) associate helping with the political campaigns, gunned down by heavily armed men riding in a Ranger pickup.

May 13, 2010

Mario Guajardo Varela – National Action Party (PAN) candidate for mayor of Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, his son, Luis Mario Guajardo Adame, and an employee named Fernando Treviño, were executed by three hitmen inside an agricultural supply store.

March 17, 2010

Sótico Silvestre López – Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) manager in San Andrés Huaxpaltepec, a municipality on the coast of Oaxaca, was gunned down by a group of assassins.

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010_06_01_archive.html

Former Senator & Mexican Presidential Candidate Fernández de Cevallos Kidnapped from his home 05/15/2010

 

Juan Antonio Guajardo Anzaldua, Former mayor of Rio Bravo, 2 AFI Agents assassinated 

A memorial of flowers and candles took up yards of sidewalk Friday near the bullet-riddled cafeteria where a former mayor who had promised to rid this city of drug corruption was gunned down the previous day. Juan Antonio Guajardo Anzaldua, a father of four, would have turned 49 on Friday. He was shot dead at 5:38 p.m. Thursday at his family-owned restaurant, along with two bodyguards and three other people.

Four decapitated bodies hung from bridge in Cuernavaca, Mexico

Hector Beltran Leyva

CUERNAVACA, Mexico — The decapitated bodies of four men were hung from a bridge Sunday in this central Mexican city besieged by fighting between two drug lords.

A gang led by kingpin Hector Beltran Leyva took responsibility for the killings in a message left with the bodies, the attorney general’s office of Mexico state said in a statement.

The beheaded and mutilated bodies were hung by their feet early Sunday from the bridge in Cuernavaca, a popular weekend getaway for Mexico City residents.

Cuernavaca has become a battleground for control of the Beltran Leyva cartel since its leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed there in a December shootout with marines.

Mexican authorities say the cartel split between a faction led by Hector Beltran Leyva, brother of Arturo, and another led by Edgar

Aturo Beltran Leyva

 Valdez Villareal, a U.S.-born kingpin known as “the Barbie.”

The message left with the bodies threatened: “This is what will happen to all those who support the traitor Edgar Valdez Villareal”

Authorities said the four men had been kidnapped days earlier. The family of one of the men reported the abduction to police.

In western Mexico, police found the body of a U.S. citizen inside a car along the highway between the Pacific resorts of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo.

A report from Guerrero state police said the man was shot to death and had identification indicating he was from Georgia.

Death of Aturo Beltran Leyva

The U.S. Embassy could not be reached to confirm the man’s identity.

Police said they had no suspects and had not determined a motive.

Guerrero state has been wracked by drug-gang violence, including the strife within the Beltran Leyva cartel. There have also been a series of deadly carjackings this year along highways in the state.

Mexico has seen unprecedented gang violence since President Felipe Calderon stepped up the fight against drug trafficking when he took office in December 2006, deploying thousands of troops and federal police to cartel strongholds.

Edgar Valdez Villareal

Since then, more than 28,000 people have been killed in violence tied to Mexico’s drug war.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/08/22/general-lt-drug-war-mexico_7868957.html?boxes=Homepagebusinessnews

Nineteen bodies found in Mexico mine shaft

11 of 16 Bodies Dumped Along The Roadside In Tijuana

Police in Mexico say they have found at least 19 bodies in an abandoned mine shaft in Hidalgo, near Mexico City.

The security forces said they found the decomposing remains after a tip-off from two alleged members of a drug cartel they had arrested on Friday.

The two men also named nine police officers who they say worked for their cartel, Los Zetas.

The nine have been arrested and are being questioned, while police continue to search the area for more bodies.

They say the two alleged cartel members told them there were more human remains at at least four other locations in the area.

Since President Felipe Calderon came to power four years ago, more than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico.

And while turf wars between rivalling drug cartels have been particularly fierce in the north of the country, mass graves are also  increasingly being discovered in other states.

In May, police found 55 bodies in an abandoned mine near Taxco, in Guerrerro state.

And on Sunday, four decapitated bodies were found hanging from a bridge in the affluent central city of Cuernavaca.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11066631

Why The US Needs To Secure Its Borders: Organized crime takes control in parts of Mexico

By Jane Bussey, McClatchy Newspapers Sun Sep 14, 6:00 AM ET

MORELIA, Mexico — As helicopters circled overhead, trucks carrying Mexican army troops lurched through the colonial streets of this provincial capital to a central plaza, where a grenade had been discovered near the cathedral.

Law-enforcement agents cordoned off the plaza and removed the grenade. But the latest attempt at intimidation in Michoacan , the state where Mexican President Felipe Calderon first dispatched the military to confront the Mexican drug cartels, appears to have succeeded.

Fear of the drug gangs pervades this city about 200 miles west of Mexico City .

“Don’t go to Aguililla or to Tepalcatepec or to Coalcoman!” is the warning Victor Serrato , president of the State Commission on Human Rights in Morelia gives visitors. There is a risk of abduction, mistreatment or worse, he said.

Paracuaro , which human rights experts considered a “safe” town, turned out not to be. Not long after this reporter and a photographer sat down at a restaurant interview a local resident about drug violence, two police officers arrived and sat down — only to rush off when they spotted the visitors. We took the hint and quickly left town.

Gruesome gangland-style murders and targeted assassinations of law-enforcement officers have claimed headlines in what Mexicans now refer to as war.

The chilling reality of Mexico is the mounting evidence that organized crime has become the de facto power in parts of the country, and local authorities can no longer protect citizens and impart justice.

” Michoacan is one of the states where you feel most the breakdown of the social fabric because of this criminal activity,” Serrato said.

“These cartels, which previously were dedicated to the narcotics business, have now turned to control a whole other series of activities,” he said. “They are demanding payoffs not only from owners of illicit businesses, but what is more serious, they are demanding them from people who sell clothing in markets or the owners of small restaurants.”

The winnings from the trafficking of illegal cocaine, marijuana and other drugs are on view in Uruapan : There are luxury car dealerships, stores selling expensive furniture and homes that locals say belong to drug traffickers, distinguished by having no windows facing the street and thick walls on all sides and strings of electrified wires atop the walls.

Violence between competing drug gangs reached a peak in 2006, when drug commandos knows as the Zetas tossed five severed human heads on a night club floor in Uruapan , some 290 miles west of Mexico City . But there is no sign that the bloodshed has ended. In the last week in August, the state was the site of four gangland killings and the abduction of Uruapan’s town council secretary, Maribel Martinez , who was snatched after the attended an evening mass. Her bodyguards were wounded.

“This happens all the time: killings, kidnappings, robberies, rapes,” said Morelia college student Francisco Paredes , putting on a brave face. “I was afraid, not any more.”

Life in some parts of Mexico is part Colombian-style violence, part Al Capone’s Chicago in the 1920s, and part civil war, although the gangs are not fighting for any cause beyond self-enrichment.

Despite the 2,673 deaths in the violence through mid-August — more than in all of 2007, life goes on. Some 14,000 people recently ran a Mexico City marathon; “12 Angry Men” played to packed audiences in Mexico City in August and Wal-Mart Mexico opened 14 stores in June.

But Mexicans in Michoacan and other parts of the country, described in dozens of interviews the growing sense of despair that organized crime has moved beyond just drug trafficking to kidnapping and extortion of ordinary people, overwhelming law enforcement with their spoils of crime, estimated at $25 billion to $40 billion annually.

Like Michoacan , residents in Tamaulipas , which borders the U.S., say that drug cartels control widespread intelligence-gathering networks, for example paying waiters to keep tabs on whether diners are talking about drug gangs or spotters in small towns to report on visiting outsiders. The majority of kidnappings go unreported.

A number of wealthy Mexicans have started to make plans to move to the U.S. because of the rising incidence of kidnapping and extortion.

A poll taken in June showed 53 percent of Mexicans thought drug gangs were winning the war and only 24 percent believed the government had the upper hand.

What’s worse, security analysts agree that while the military can reduce the open violence, soldiers can do little to weed out the spread of organized crime into civilian institutions. That effort requires coordination with law enforcement and justice institutions.

Increasingly political leaders and officials are speaking openly of the threat to the country’s democratic government.

On Aug. 23 , Beatriz Paredes , leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party , lashed out at Calderon’s government over the rising violence.

“There are risks of this becoming ungovernable above all because the rule of law is being weakened by rising crime and public insecurity,” she said.

Paredes echoed Guillermo Valdes , the head of the government’s intelligence organization CISEN, who framed the issue as a threat to democracy. Drug traffickers are attempting to take control of the government, he told foreign reporters recently.

It’s too early to call Mexico a failed state. The federal government retains enormous power, and Calderon pledged in a radio message on Aug. 25 that the insecurity problem was “a cancer that we are going to eradicate.”

But there are some states that are failing to protect their citizens from the slaughter.

On the same day Paredes was criticizing the Calderon government, Jose Reyes Baeza , the governor of Chihuahua, faced down an angry crowd in the town of Creel demanding an explanation for the absence of police protection on Aug. 16 , when drug commandos stormed a dance hall, gunning down and killing 13 people, including an infant.

Despite the 40,000 troops Calderon has deployed — including 6,500 in Michoacan — safety and security still elude residents in zones where drug lords and their heavily armed commandos fight among themselves, battle the military and wage a low-intensity war of intimidation on the population.

“People are at the breaking point,” said Serrato of the Michoacan human-rights commission.

(Bussey reports for the Miami Herald .

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20080914/wl_mcclatchy/3042653

%d bloggers like this: