Immigrants Fear Deportation to Northern Mexico

A group of 21 undocumented immigrants being held in New Mexico is asking not to be deported to Mexico through the northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila or Tamaulipas, where they fear they could become victims of organized crime, the El Paso Times reported.

The group, detained at the Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia, said in letters written to the immigrant-rights group, No More Deaths, that they feared falling prey to violence, extortion or forced recruitment by the Zetas drug cartel, the Times said.

A No More Deaths news release said the detainees are asking to be deported through the Mexican state of Sonora and have called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for help, the paper reported.

“They’re not asking not to be deported,” said Sally Meisen Helder, a volunteer with No More Deaths. “The immigrants asked us to intervene to avoid being deported along the Texas and New Mexico borders because their feeling is that it’s all Zetas territory.”

One member of the group said in a letter that he had been deported before through Texas and was kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by local police when he returned to Mexico, the Times said.

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Mexico To Texas: No Asustar A Los Turistas, Por Favor

SAN ANTONIO (June 8, 2011)–Mexico is asking Texas officials to tone down travel warnings that broadly discourage tourists from crossing the border because of violence. 

Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, the head of Mexico’s state-run tourism board, was in Austin Wednesday to meet with Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade and law enforcement officials.

Mexico wants Texas to stop portraying the entire country as unsafe in travel bulletins.
A spring break advisory issued in March cautioned Texans against traveling even to such popular resort as Cancun because of crime. 

Lopez-Negrete said travel to places such as violent Ciduad Juarez is obviously unsafe and said travelers should also use “common sense” when crossing into border cities such as Reynosa or Nuevo Laredo, but he said major resort destinations in the country remain safe.

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Canadian Man Murdered In Puerto Vallarta

Len Schell

A 62-year-old former Penticton resident has been stabbed to death in his Puerto Vallarta home in an apparent robbery, and police are searching for two men in connection with the crime.

Len Schell, who moved to the Mexican resort town at least six years ago to open a satellite TV company, was stabbed at least 25 times, a Puerto Vallarta police spokesman told The Province on Wednesday.

Schell’s Mexican wife — Elba Louisa Ruiz Castro, 45 — was out running an errand when Schell was murdered in their home in the upscale neighbourhood of Lirios on May 30.

More than $12,000 in Canadian and U.S. currency was missing from the safe in the home. Ruiz told authorities only she and Schell knew the combination.

Schell worked on a cash-only basis.

From evidence at the crime scene, it appears Schell was stabbed, then forced to open the safe, then stabbed fatally.

“There were two men who came to the house one day before,” Puerto Vallarta police spokesman Adan Leiba said in Spanish.

“They asked many questions. They are the only suspects at this moment,” said Leiba.
Two sets of bloody footprints were found at the scene.

He said Ruiz was dropping off her children at their school at the time. She followed a trail of blood to their second-floor bedroom, where she found Schell’s body.

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From Another Mexico Message Board

[From the PUNTA BANDA COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD]

My intent for this post is not to diminish the fact that all of Baja California has not seen all the violence that the mainland has experienced in the past 4 1/2 years. I am in Monterrey Mexico right now and I have visited this city no less than 50 times in the past ten years. Monterrey sits right on the path from southern Mexico to the Texas border. This city is the third largest in Mexico. Monterrey is under siege with violence that it’s residents have never seen or thought possible.I have friends here that I would call and go out to dinner but that has stopped. Going out at night and being in certain areas of the city even during the day is not something anyone would feel safe doing.

I have worked in all of the border towns from Ciudad Acuna to Matamoros along the Texas border investigating murders and kidnappings. You could not pay me enough to go back there again. On occasion the cartels were involved in the murders I have investigated but there is also something going on in Mexico you must be aware of and this includes Baja. The amount of kidnappings and extortion are at an all time high and they are happening in your own backyard. Most victims of these crimes will not report the crime to the police in that there is no trust with the authorities and if the people who commit these crimes found that the authorities were contacted then you had better move out of the area in fear of harming other family members. These are not cartel members committing these crimes. These are people that may live across the street from you.

I guess what I am trying to get across is that Baja could be affected just like what the mainland is going through right now and it could happen fast. If and when it does I will pack the family up and move back in a heartbeat. There are things that no one will hear about that happens in Ensenada or Northern Baja.

Living here as long as I have I do not feel safe driving the toll road at night. I have first hand knowledge of what has happened on that road recently and you will not read that in the Reader or the Tribune. You would if they caught wind of it.

Enjoy what we have now which is relative peace. I am not trying to scare anyone but I want those of us that live here to be informed about all of Mexico and what is currently going on. I suggest you check out www.borderlandbeat.com and educate yourself to problems that are affecting the country you are living in and how and if this could affect us here.

Be informed and don’t think for a minute that what is going on in other parts of Mexico couldn’t happen here. God help us if it does.

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Three U.S. Citizens Recently Murdered In Baja California

Authorities insist Americans not targeted
By Amy Isackson and Vicente Calderón
Tijuana, June 2, 2011
 

Three U.S. citizens have been murdered in Baja California in the last month in three separate incidents. U.S. consular officials in Tijuana have confirmed the victims’ identities and citizenship.
All three victims are male and were shot to death, two just a few hundred yards form the San Ysidro border crossing and the third in a Rosarito neighborhood.
 

In the first case, 26-year-old Antonio Acevedo was shot and killed on April 30th in Colonia Aztlan, on Rosarito’s northern edge. Acevedo, a San Diego native, was employed by Elite Security in San Diego and often worked as a guard at baseball and football games at Petco Park and Qualcomm stadium. 

Acevedo’s family said “Tony” had taken his two children to the movies, in Rosarito, on April 30th, to celebrate El Dia del Niño, or Children’s Day, an annual Mexican holiday. Acevedo was driving from the theater back to his in-law’s home in Colonia Aztlan, at about 11:30 pm., when he was ambushed. Mexican authorities say Acevedo was hit in the thorax and head. His two children escaped unscathed. Acevedo was driving a 2001 gray Dodge Durango with California license plates. 

Baja California officials’ investigation is ongoing and has not been make public. Though, Baja California’s Assistant Attorney General in charge of Rosarito told Tijuanapress.com that he is almost certain that Acevedo’s death is a case of mistaken identity, that drug traffickers confused Acevedo with a rival. 

Acevedo’s Facebook page says he lived in San Diego, once attended Southwest High School and had worked for Elite Security since May 2008. His profile photograph shows him with two children and a woman at the beach. 

An employee at Elite Security would only say that he heard that the investigation into Acevedo’s death is ongoing. The employee said the company’s president, who is the only one who can speak to the press, was out of the country. 

The second victim, David Garcia, was shot outside the Pueblo Amigo Hotel at 5:30 p.m. on May 3rd. In a press release, Baja California’s Attorney General’s office, described the victim only as between 30 and 35-years-old, obese, with light brown skin. Authorities said the man had been shot in the chest, arms and stomach and there were 10 9mm bullet casings left at the scene. 

Mexican authorities have not publically identified the victim. However, U.S consular officials confirmed his name and that Garcia was a U.S. citizen. 

Baja California’s assistant Attorney General for Organized Crime, Fermín Gomez, told Tijuanapress.com that his office is analyzing a video that shows Garcia in the hotel’s casino shortly before he was killed. Pueblo Amigo, a multi-story white building, anchors the shopping center by the same name. It sits at the entrance to the Sentri fast-pass lanes at the San Ysidro border crossing and is owned by Tijuana’s former mayor Jorge Hank Rhon. 

Finally, 27-year-old Artemio Gonzalez, Jr. was killed on May 22nd in the parking lot of Bar Dubai, a popular upscale dance club. It is also just a stone’s throw from the San Ysidro border crossing and a few blocks from Pueblo Amigo. Mexican authorities said Gonzalez was shot in the thigh, chest, neck and stomach and that they found 12 bullet casings at the scene. 

A law enforcement official, that would not give his name because he is not authorized to talk to the press, said, a few minutes before the shooting, a man accompanying Gonzalez had a verbal exchange with another group of young people in the parking lot. The official said the men in that group beat Gonzalez’s companion’s head with the butt of a gun. Gonzalez tried to intervene but was shot and killed. 

The law enforcement official said Gonzalez’s companion, also a U.S. citizen, ran to the San Ysidro border crossing. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, spokeswoman Jackie Wasiluk confirmed that a 25-year-old U.S. citizen arrived at the crossing at 5:00 a.m. on the morning of May 22nd. She said he had a visible head injury and that a CBP agent tended to him and called the paramedics. 

Wasiluk said San Diego Police and San Diego Fire and Rescue responded and took the man to a San Diego hospital. 

The circumstances and motives in these three cases remain unclear. Nevertheless, it does not appear that the victims’ nationality was a factor in their murders. U.S. and Mexican authorities emphasize that Americans are not targeted in Baja California. For example, nationality was not the motive in the murder of two American citizens waiting to cross the San Ysidro border in early April.

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The Strange Death of Father Salvador Ruiz Enciso

The Rev. Salvador Ruiz Enciso was last seen Sunday, May 22, 2011 but authorities were not alerted until two days later, the AG’s office said.

His assistant, Ana Karla Bermudez Renteria, said personnel at Divino Rostro church in Tijuana grew concerned when Ruiz Enciso did not show up Monday to officiate at Mass. People from the church went to the priest’s residence, where they found a mess and no sign of Ruiz Enciso, she said.

Bermudez, who has known Ruiz Enciso since he arrived at Divino Rostro three years ago, described him as calm, respectful and friendly, while the priest’s secretary told authorities that he rarely left the parish without telling someone.

Also missing is money from the church collection plate and a 2000 Ford Explorer owned by the parish.

Later, police determined that a burned body found May 23, 2011 on bulevar 2000 near the La Encantada bridge belonged to the missing priest. The Archbishop of Tijuana, Rafael Romo Munoz, urged police to investigate.

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American’s Home Cleaned Out By Thieves in Rosarito

Link to article in Spanish.

May 9, 2011 – A 70-year old American was troubled and surprised when he arrived at his home in Mexico and discovered that during the week thieves had practically emptied the property.

Upon arriving at his home located in the Mision del Mar I subdivision, Duane Raymond Mooney, who also resides in California, found his home without security lights, completely in the dark and that the door locks had been broken.

But in the interior of the home, his surprise was even greater. He lost two 29-inch plasma TV’s, a slot machine, a microwave oven, dinnerware, appliances, clothes and shoes, personal accessories, women’s clothes, cleaning supplies, various tools and two walkie talkies.

As if that was not enough, the American discovered that his automatic garage opener had also disappeared. When the police arrived, he told them he had no idea who robbed his property, and in spite of the search by the police, it was not possible to identify those responsible.

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Mayor of Tijuana Gets a New Armored Car

The city of Tijuana has purchased a new armored car for its mayor, Carlos Bustamante. The car, a Ford Expedition, cost the city 1,098,000 pesos, or approximately 93,000 dollars. It replaced the armored car purchased in 2008 for former mayor Jorge Ramos. Purchase of the new armored car was approved on January 12, 2011.

On February 28, 2011 in a radio interview on KNX 1070, Mayor Bustamonte said Tijuana was safe for tourists.

Bustamonte says Tijuana is safe.

Just to put things in perspective, the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, does not use an armored car and can be seen many mornings riding his bicycle on Venice Blvd.

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