Category Archives: Security

Military execution highlights flawed security strategy

Amnesty International – Fresh video evidence, independently verified by Amnesty International, showing men dressed in Mexican military uniforms shooting a person dead during a security operation in central Mexico highlights the urgent need to stop the military from performing policing functions, Amnesty International said today as Mexico debates a bill that would allow the army to act as police.

U.S.-Mexico security cooperation is at risk

Washington Post – For much of their history, the United States and Mexico had a wary relationship and security cooperation was limited. But over the past two decades, as their economies have become more ­interdependent, the countries have developed an extraordinary level of collaboration in addressing terrorist threats and capturing dangerous criminals. Today, that partnership is at risk.

Cartels turn Acapulco into Guerrero’s Iraq

AcapulcoYahoo Finance – The idyllic Pacific coast town of Acapulco in Mexico’s Guerrero state once welcomed Hollywood stars and honeymooners, but the city has suffered a wave of bloody violence in recent years, as cartels and criminal groups battle for control. Since 2012, Acapulco, which has been called “Guerrero’s Iraq,” has been the most violent city in Mexico, and among the most violent cities in the world, with homicide rates above 100 per 100,000 people each year.

Rights groups say forced disappearances rising

TeleSur  -A number of human rights organizers and defenders say that forced disappearances are on the increase in Mexico. “Today we must say that (forced) disappearance occurs widely. In the past eight years we have documented more than 26,000 cases,” said Mario Patron of the Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights Center.–20150827-0002.html

Families of the missing say they have been stonewalled by Mexico officials

Women protest government inaction in finding missing women.
Women protest government inaction in finding missing women.

By Deborah Bonello / Los Angeles Times

A candle has been burning for almost a year in the modest front room of the tiny two-bedroom apartment that Guadalupe Reyes shares with her husband, Bernardo, and their 10-year-old daughter, Tania.

Next to the candle is a picture of their older daughter, Mariana. Her 19th birthday was this month, but the family hasn’t seen her since she left their house in a working-class area of the Tecamac municipality, in the state of Mexico, nearly a year ago. She went that day, Sept. 17, to a photocopy shop no more than a 10-minute walk away. After she had been gone an hour, her parents launched a frantic search that continues to this day.

They reported Mariana’s disappearance the next morning, but authorities suggested she had probably run off with her boyfriend.

About 25,000 people have gone missing in Mexico since 2006, according to estimates by the government and human rights groups. Not clear is how many of them may have been victims of foul play, but some fear that many are dead because of the high levels of violence since federal crackdowns against drug cartels that began that year.

Panel denied ability to question military in missing student case

BBC – Regional rights activists investigating the case of 43 missing students in Mexico say they have been unable to interview military personnel. They said soldiers who might have witnessed the students’ disappearance last September could only be questioned via a written questionnaire. The team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights chose not to do this.

Experts say officials remiss in disappearance of 43 students

A protester takes part in a march calling for justice for 43 missing students, on the six-month anniversary of their disappearance, in Mexico CityAP – Mexican authorities did not notify families of 43 college students who disappeared after a clash with police that some of the young men’s clothing was discovered shortly after they went missing, a group of independent experts said.

The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts also reported that security videos containing visual evidence might have been destroyed.

The group said it will issue a final report on Sept. 6, but wants its investigative mandate extended beyond that date.

Obama targets U.S.-Mexico border in heroin war; drug is serious threat

A pistol and 154 pounds of heroin worth at least $50 million are displayed at a Drug Enforcement Administration news conference in May. (AP Photo)
A pistol and 154 pounds of heroin worth at least $50 million are displayed at a Drug Enforcement Administration news conference in May. (AP Photo)

By Paul Bedard / Washington Examiner

Heroin use has skyrocketed 63 percent in the United States, sparing few towns, and now the Obama administration is pushing to stop the flow of the drug across the U.S.-Mexico border.

In announcing a $13.4 million war on heroin Monday, the president’s drug czar said the administration will try to plug the holes in the border through which crime gangs pour drugs.

But only 10 percent of the budget will be used for that purpose, the rest send to the five biggest drug markets in the country.

Michael Botticelli, director of National Drug Control Policy, said $1.3 million will be spent on the border control effort. “These funds will be used to enhance investigative efforts against large-scale transnational criminal organizations, reduce the flow of dangerous drugs (including heroin and methamphetamine) across the border, and prevent drug use in border communities,” he said.

Veracruz bar shooting leaves 6 dead, including reporter

WSJ – Gunmen attacked a bar in Veracruz early Thursday, killing six people, including a former television reporter and a reputed gangland boss. Investigators say Juan Santos Cabrera, until recently a Televisa reporter was having drinks with an alleged boss of the violent Zetas gang at a downtown bar in the city of Orizaba when five assailants fired on their table.

Activist who led search for Mexico’s missing 43 students is found dead

As violence surged in Guerrero in 2013, Miguel Angel Jimenez was among local leaders who formed community self-defense groups to take over security in areas where residents had long complained that the government wasn't doing enough.
As violence surged in Guerrero in 2013, Miguel Angel Jimenez was among local leaders who formed community self-defense groups to take over security in areas where residents had long complained that the government wasn’t doing enough.

By Catherine E. Shoichet / CNN

When he felt authorities weren’t doing enough to protect his hometown, he organized more than 100 women to police the streets.

When 43 students went missing in a controversial case that drew global attention to Mexico’s struggles with violence and corruption, he led search parties trying to find them.

And when more families in his state came forward reporting that their loved ones had disappeared, he organized searches for them, too.

Saturday night, investigators in Mexico’s Guerrero state say Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco was found dead inside a taxi he owned, with two gunshot wounds. Authorities haven’t said whether there are any suspects in the slaying.