Category Archives: Crime

Migrant activist found beaten near Mexico City

AP – A U.S. border rights activist has been found on the outskirts of Mexico City, after he sent a chilling Facebook live message saying he was stranded and people were trying to kill him. A Mexican federal official said the person found beaten was Hugo Castro. He is a member of the migrant defense group Border Angels.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2017-04-19/missing-migrant-activist-found-beaten-in-mexico

Mexico’s arrest of 2 former governors fails to satisfy anti-corruption critics

Ex-Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte was captured at a Guatemalan seaside resort.
Ex-Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte was captured at a Guatemalan seaside resort.

By Jude Webber / Financial Times

President Enrique Peña Nieto hailed the arrests of two fugitive former governors from Mexico’s ruling party within a week as a “convincing message” about the state’s commitment to fight corruption, which is often seen as a bigger problem for the country than Donald Trump’s threatened renegotiation of Nafta.

The detention of Javier Duarte, who is accused of bankrupting the southern state of Veracruz before absconding last year, and of Tomás Yarrington of the northern state of Nuevo León, who enjoyed state-assigned bodyguards for part of his five years on the run from money-laundering and drugs charges, are undeniable advances, analysts say. 

But the number of other former senior officials still wanted, and the slow progress in arming a new anti-corruption system with a prosecutor to lead the fight against the country’s endemic graft, suggest a lack of political will to match the rhetoric, critics say. 

The timing of Mexico’s arrests — ahead of a key gubernatorial election in the State of Mexico in June that the ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) must win to remain afloat in the July 2018 presidential polls — looks expedient in a country where a corruption scandal over the president’s wife’s house decimated his popularity. 

“The evidence that they are really moving forward and determined to attack the problems at the root is just not there,” says Juan Francisco Torres Landa, who heads Mexico United Against Crime, a non-governmental organisation. 

https://www.ft.com/content/b37e6f92-240a-11e7-8691-d5f7e0cd0a16

Another journalist gunned down in Mexico

LAT – Another journalist has been killed in Mexico — the fourth in just six weeks. Authorities said reporter Maximino Rodriguez Palacios was shot dead outside of a shopping center Friday in La Paz Rodriguez, 72, wrote about politics and crime for a news organization called the Pericu Collective. He had previously worked as a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

Friday’s shooting is the latest in a string of violent attacks on journalists in Mexico that has claimed four lives since March 2 and has left several others wounded.

http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-journalist-murder-20170415-story.html

Nearly $1 million in drugs seized at Nogales

Arizona Republic – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $1 million in smuggled drugs at the U.S-Mexico border crossing in Nogales last week, officials said Monday. Border agents arrested five U.S. citizens and two Mexican nationals in separate attempts to smuggle drugs into the United States from Mexico.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2017/04/17/nearly-1m-worth-drugs-seized-us-mexico-border/100582608/

Number of missing people in Mexico rises to 30,000 in 2016

In this March 2017 file photo, a volunteer searcher digs into the earth at a clandestine grave site in Colinas de Santa Fe, in Mexico's Veracruz state. (Felix Marquez/AP)
In this March 2017 file photo, a volunteer searcher digs into the earth at a clandestine grave site in Colinas de Santa Fe, in Mexico’s Veracruz state. (Felix Marquez/AP)

By Lizbeth Diaz

The number of people in Mexico disappearing under suspicious circumstances, often related to drug violence, rose to 30,000 by the end of 2016, the National Human Rights Commission said on Thursday.

At the start of 2013, shortly after President Enrique Pena Nieto took office, the Mexican government reported there were 26,000 so-called “disappeared” people.

The Commission said the number of “disappeared” had risen to 30,000, with the drug-ridden northern state of Tamaulipas registering 5,563 missing, the highest state total.

It said six of Mexico’s 32 federal entities failed to respond to its enquiries on the number of missing persons.

The Commission also said it had accounted for 855 mass graves across Mexico over the last decade, finding 1,548 corpses, the large majority of which were male. Just over half of those bodies have been identified, it added.

Well over 100,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico over the last decade.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-idUSKBN1782XN

Report says violence cost Mexico 18% of GDP last year

Members of a search group carry the coffin of Pedro Huesca as they walk to a cemetery in Veracruz, Mexico, on March 8. Huesca, a police detective, disappeared in 2013 and was found in a mass grave. His remains were among more than 250 skulls found over the past several months in what appears to be a drug cartel mass burial ground on the outskirts of the city of Veracruz, prosecutors said. (Felix Marquez/AP)
Members of a search group carry the coffin of Pedro Huesca as they walk to a cemetery in Veracruz, Mexico, on March 8. Huesca, a police detective, disappeared in 2013 and was found in a mass grave. His remains were among more than 250 skulls found over the past several months in what appears to be a drug cartel mass burial ground on the outskirts of the city of Veracruz, prosecutors said. (Felix Marquez/AP)

EFE

Violence cost Mexico the equivalent of 18 percent of the gross domestic product in 2016, a year when the homicide rate rose, the 2017 Mexico Peace Index report said Tuesday.

The cost of the violence amounted to 25,000 pesos ($1,335) per person last year, Mexican Institute for the Economy and Peace coordinator Patricia de Obeso told EFE.

The violence is “a tax on the country’s security” that all citizens pay and that comes to more than a month of pay for the average Mexican worker, De Obeso said.

The cost is even higher in states like Colima, where it came to 66,500 pesos ($3,555) and Guerrero, where it totaled 53,600 pesos ($2,865) per capita, the researcher said.

The report’s authors factored direct costs, such as government spending on the armed forces and business spending on security, and indirect costs, including the effect of crime on public perceptions and the loss of a breadwinner for a family.

Society must decide “if the investment we’ve made in the past 10 years in directly fighting drug trafficking … in containing violence, has really had an impact” or whether citizens must ask themselves “what we should be investing in to improve the level of peace,” De Obeso said.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/04/violence-cost-mexico-18-its-gdp-last-year-report-says.html

2017 on track to be one of Mexico’s deadliest year

NPR – Murder is on the rise in Mexico. Ten years after the government launched its war on drugs and sent the military to combat cartels, homicides are at levels not seen since the height of that offensive. The violence is widespread, but it remains most prevalent in a few hard-hit towns and cities.

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/04/04/522621303/with-murders-on-the-rise-2017-on-track-to-be-one-of-mexicos-deadliest-years

So many journalists killed, newspaper shuts down

Washington Post – The job of a journalist has become so dangerous in the nation that one Mexican newspaper owner has decided he is no longer willing to take on the risk. In a front-page letter published Sunday with the massive headline “Adios!” the owner of Norte, a newspaper in the Mexican border city of Juarez, announced it would be ending its print publication as a result of the ongoing violence against journalists, killings that often go unpunished.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/03/so-many-journalists-have-been-killed-in-mexico-this-year-that-a-newspaper-is-shutting-down/?utm_term=.4cd5ee1cfbcc

El Chapo arrest sparks homicide surge

USAToday – Last year’s capture of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán led to a surge in homicides in Mexico as cartel leaders fought to fill the vacuum created by his arrest. Mexico’s homicide rate for the year spiked to 21.3 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, a steep rise from 17.5 in 2015 that rivals record numbers earlier in the decade, according to a report released Friday by the Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/03/31/el-chapo-guzman-arrest-sparks-homicide-surge-in-mexico/99833240/

Mass grave with 10 bodies found in Colima

UPI – Gov. José Ignacio Peralta Sánchez of Colima said at least 10 bodies were found in a mass grave near the town of Queseria on the border with Jalisco. Peralta Sánchez said that though it is unclear in which state jurisdiction the bodies were found, authorities need to establish not only in which state the bodies were recovered, but where the killings were committed.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/03/30/10-bodies-found-in-mass-grave-in-Mexico/5661490875896/