U.S. Consulates General Urge Caution in Three Mexico States

The United States Consulates General in Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Nuevo León said Friday night that the U.S. government has received uncorroborated information that Mexican criminal gangs may intend to attack U.S. law enforcement officers or U.S. citizens in the near future in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosi.

The information is being distributed to all U.S. government employees in the three states.

Link to news story.

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Mexican gunmen fire across border at U.S. highway workers

By Adriana Gómez Licón / El Paso Times

Mexican gunmen opened fire on U.S. road workers 25 miles east of Fort Hancock, Texas, about 10:30 a.m., said Arvin West, sheriff of Hudspeth County.

County employees were working on the Indian Hot Springs Road, a county road that runs almost adjacent to the western Texas-Mexico border.

They heard three to four rounds of shots coming from the Mexican side and departed the area.

West did not say how many workers were there, but he said they were not injured. The Texas Department of Public Safety said troopers escorted the workers and their equipment out of the shooting scene with no injuries. They did not know how many road workers were repairing the Indian Hot Springs Road at the time.

West said his sheriff’s office and the Texas Ranger Division were investigating the shooting. West said drug smugglers use that area to traffic narcotics and appeared to have fired their guns to scare the road workers away.

No Hudspeth County officials, beside Sheriff Arvin West, are commenting on the cross-border gunfire. Border Patrol officials in the Marfa, Texas, sector said the Texas Department of Public Safety spotted a vehicle on the Mexican side.

“We did respond after we were notified by DPS,” said spokesman Bill Brooks. But Border Patrol is not investigating.

“There is no beefing up anyway,” he said.

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Another Day, Another Mexican Mayor Assassinated

This is the third Mexican mayor murdered so far in 2011.

OAXACA, Mexico (AP) — The mayor of a remote mountain town in southern Oaxaca state was shot to death Thursday, the third municipal leader to be slain in Mexico in a week.

Oaxaca state prosecutor Manuel de Jesus Lopez said authorities were investigating possible motives in the latest killing, which occurred when Mayor Luis Jimenez Mata was visiting the state capital.

His largely Indian town of Santiago Amoltepec has been locked in a decade-long land dispute with a neighboring town that has resulted in about a dozen deaths.

More than a dozen of Mexican mayors were killed in 2010. The country has about 2,440 mayors.

Many of the slayings were allegedly linked to organized crime, but there was no immediate evidence in the Oaxaca case. Most of the killings occurred in northern Mexico.

So far this year, three mayors have been killed. The mayor of the small central Mexico town of Temoac was shot to death Monday, and the body of a northern mayor was found riddled with bullets Friday.

Link to article.

…and number four:
And in other news, the mayor elect of Mártires de Tacubaya, Oaxaca, Artemio Tomás Jiménez Baños, was assassinated yesterday afternoon.

Fulano is beginning to think it would be easier if each morning the Mexican government published in the federal register the names of those Mexican mayors who survived the night. Might be a shorter list.

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First Mexican Mayor of 2011 Murdered

…and the year is only one week old.

Saul Vara Rivera

Authorities in northern Mexico found a bullet-ridden body Friday that matches the description of the mayor of a town near the Texas border who disappeared two days ago.

An ID card was found on the body with the name of Mayor Saul Vara Rivera, and the body matches his description, prosecutors in northern Coahuila state said in a statement. The statement added that the body was found in the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon.

Vara Rivera is the mayor of the town of Zaragoza, located southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas. He has a wife and three sons.

Link to news article.

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The Redhead

Gabriela Elizabeth Muñiz Tamez

Gabriela Elizabeth Muñiz Tamez, age 31, known as “La Pelirroja” (The Redhead) was arrested on July 6, 2009 on charges of kidnapping and extorting shopkeepers in the southern part of Nuevo Leon state, whose capital is Monterrey.

On December 27 four guards were taking Muñiz Tamez from Topo Chico prison to Monterrey’s University Hospital when they were intercepted on the road by a squad of criminals, who managed to free her without firing a shot. The guards escorting her are being held for questioning about the Monday night escape.

This morning, her body was found hanging from a bridge in Monterrey.



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Family of Slain Mexican Activist Flees to U.S.

Link to article.

Ciudad Juarez – The husband, surviving children and grandchild of Marisela Escobedo, an anti-crime activist gunned down Dec. 16 in front of the Chihuahua state governor’s palace, have fled Mexico for the United States, Chihuahua officials said.

The late woman’s spouse declined Chihuahua’s offer of support and protection for 4-year-old Rubi, the granddaughter of Marisela and daughter of Rubi Marisol, whose 2008 murder spurred her mother’s crusade for justice, state government Secretary-General Graciela Ortiz told reporters.

Two days after Escobedo was slain in Chihuahua city, husband Jose Monge Amparan’s lumber yard in Ciudad Juarez was burned down. Jose’s brother, Manuel Monge, turned up dead a day after the arson attack.

Marisela Escobedo led numerous protests in Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, and in the state capital, to demand justice for her murdered daughter.

The 52-year-old woman was fatally shot Dec. 16 by one of the three men who approached her and initiated an argument as she was picketing in front of the state governor’s palace in Chihuahua city.

[Fulano’s comment: Has anyone noticed how many Americans go to Mexico to flee the law, while many Mexicans go to the US to flee the lawless?]

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A Dangerous Journey through Mexico

The following are excerpts from a report on human rights violations against immigrants in Mexico.

Nancy, 24 years old, Salvadoran

My name is Nancy, I am Salvadoran and I was kidnapped from April 13 to June 22, 2009. I was in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, staying in the supposed shelter of a woman nicknamed “the mother” who tried to pass for a nun so that we would trust her and fall into her trap. Some large trucks arrived there that were like moving vans and they grabbed me and 83 others… they took us up to Reynosa, in the state of Tamaulipas, and on the road we passed checkpoints of the national Migration Institute and Federal Police who saw how we were traveling and even so they did nothing, they merely took the money that was given to them as a bribe to keep silent.

The kidnappers told us to pay attention so that we would see that they had paid for everything. One of the men began to bother us women and sexually abuse us. then, one of our male companions got angry and tried to defend us, but he couldn’t because they raped him too and then they beat him to death…two of the women with me were released because they were able to pay the ransom so they turned themselves in to the immigration agents in Reynosa. They told the agents everything that had happened and then the agents themselves sold the women back to the Zetas.

They came to the house and then they were killed and their bodies were placed as an offering on the altar of the Santa Muerte (Saint Death). The kidnappers made all of us kneel in front of the altar with the two women’s bodies there to ask for forgiveness from the Santa Muerte.

During all of this time, three Mexican men, who were the bosses, would often come to look for the women that were there so that they could sexually abuse us. the three of them raped me several times. They also proposed that I work for them. They told me that I should go to El Salvador and bring people to them, that nothing would happen to me because they had worked everything out. First I told them yes as a way to be set free and to be able to lodge a complaint, but later I got scared and I told them no. So then I had to wait for my aunt to be able to get the money together so that I could be released. Fifteen days after she deposited the money that they asked for, they set me free.

[Fulano’s note: The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have made demand on Mexico to investigate the kidnapping of 50 Central Americans from a train in Mexico on December 16. At first, Mexico denied the event occured, but 18 witnesses have come forward so far. You can read more here.]

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The Suffering Continues

Last Friday, Fulano blogged about Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, who was murdered in front of the state government building in Chihuahua while protesting the government’s failure to prosecute the murderer of her daughter.

Well, things have gotten worse. Much worse. The day after her murder, her brother-in-law, Manuel Monge Amparán, was found dead on the streets of Ciudad Juarez hours after he was kidnapped by a squad of hitmen from his lumberyard, who then set fire to it with gasoline.

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Rosarito Policeman Killed

Last night at 7:00 PM, four Playas de Rosarito policemen were eating at a taco stand in colonia Constitución when a dark colored Cherokee SUV opened fire with an automatic rifle. Luis Alfonso Vargas Reyes, a police officer and Juan Carlos Duran, a civilian who was eating at the taco stand were killed. The killers got away.

Link to article is Spanish.

….and let us not forget the sage advice from a BajaNomad:

Hey I just spent 3 days last week in Rosarito Beach at the Hotel. Had dinners there and Ensenada. “ALL’S WELL” in both places. Take all the usual precautions and just enjoy Baja, PLEASE. The usual precautions haven’t changed since I was 20 years old in 1966 when I first started going down and it was..”so dangerous” down there….

The bad guys are not looking for you. They’re looking for their partners in crime. Just don’t get in the way.
KASHEYDOG posted on 10-13-2010 at 12:29 AM

“Don’t get in the way” you say, Kasheydog? Yeah, well that’s the trick, isn’t it? When will these morons tell us how to not get in the way….other than staying out of Mexico?

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Five Bodies Found Near Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco)

Rocky Point, Mexico — Police in Baja California have discovered the bodies of 5 men by the side of a road near Rocky Point.

Police say all 5 men were killed by a single gunshot to the head.

So far none of the men have been identified but officers say they are all between the ages of 20 and 40 and were all dressed in expensive clothes.

Police say the bodies were found due to an anonymous tip.

So far no suspects have been identified.

Link to English article.

Link to Spanish article.

Later reports from the family of the dead are saying they were killed for an “adjusting of accounts” among organized crime gangs.

…and the hits just keep right on coming.

Donald Trump, Jr., the son of The Donald Trump, was in Hermosillo last week meeting with the governor of Sonora,  Guillermo Padrés Elías. Trump said he represents a group intrested in investing in tourist facilities in Puerto Peñasco.

Link to article.

No mames, Donald.

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