Category: Breaking News

Self-defense forces forming in Jalisco? ‘It’s time for the criminals to clear off and steal from somewhere else’

(MEXICO NEWS DAILY) — In the face of rising levels of crime in Jalisco there is evidence that self-defense forces have formed in the state capital.

People presumed to be residents of Guadalajara are using social media to recruit new members to vigilante groups to patrol the streets of neighborhoods plagued by crime, such as Jardines Alcalde, the newspaper Reforma reported today.

The attitude of the posts accompanied by the hashtag #YoSoyAutodefensaYaBasta (I’m a Self-Defense Member Enough Already) is one of open defiance and outright aggression.

“We already have 30 members in the self-defense group. It’s time for the criminals to clear off and steal from somewhere else. Whoever comes in, I’m ready and I don’t give a damn if I take a few bullets; I prefer that than them shooting someone in my family,” a presumed member of a self-defense group in Jardines Alcalde wrote.

“If you catch people red-handed, before you take action, send a message so that the others arrive in support to give them a good beating,” another presumed member said.

Other posts offer advice about applying for a firearm permit as well as how to use it and where to practice.

Although some social media users who have commented on the posts see the creation of self-defense groups as a radical measure, the majority defend the move as a last resort, citing the lack of protection provided by official security forces.

The president of a residents’ association in Jardines Alcalde told Reforma that the emergence of self-defense groups in the area is worrying, adding that municipal police are monitoring the situation.

Salvador Quiroz Nuño explained that local residents are fed up with crime and pointed out that while the residents’ group doesn’t support the actions of people who take law enforcement into their own hands, it doesn’t tell them not to.

Another self-defense group reportedly formed in the Alcalde Barranquitas neighborhood at the end of last year, where residents armed themselves with Tasers and pepper spray to ward off intruders.

In addition to high robbery rates, violent crime has also plagued Guadalajara and Jalisco in the first two months of 2018.

There were more than 120 homicides in the state in both January and February and 60 in the first week of March.


Authorities disband Tlaquepaque police

(MEXICO NEWS DAILY) — The municipal police force in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, has been disarmed and temporarily disbanded due to the suspected collusion of some of its officers with organized crime.

Federal Police, the army, the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) and the Jalisco state police jointly carried out an operation at 7:00am yesterday at the municipality’s main police station, located in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara.

Personnel from the state Attorney General’s office said the operation was connected to the discovery last week of eight bodies in an abandoned pickup truck in the Guadalajara neighborhood of Morelos.

The newspaper El Universal reported today that a list of names of municipal police officers who are allegedly on the payroll of a drug cartel was found among the possessions of one of the bodies. State authorities have neither confirmed nor denied the claim.

Jalisco Governor Aristóteles Sandoval, who last week warned of worsening insecurity in the state, announced the decision to disarm and suspend the Tlaquepaque police via social media.

“Doing this represents a forceful measure in the face of the insecurity the metropolis is suffering. We’re willing to act with full force until the last day [of this administration]. I know that I have the support of the people; we all want to live in peace . . .” he wrote.

Sandoval said that state police would take over policing duties in Tlaquepaque while municipal officers are at the police academy for training and reevaluation. State Attorney General Raúl Sánchez Jiménez later said that the intervention could last up to 30 days.

But in contrast with the government’s stated justification, the municipal government charged that the operation may be politically motivated.

Tlaquepaque Mayor María Elena Limón, who represents the Citizens’ Movement Party, was not informed about the operation prior to it taking place.

At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Limón said the local government had still not received any documentation about the state government’s actions nor had she heard from Governor Sandoval.

The mayor also said that if the state government doesn’t present evidence within three days to show that municipal police are infiltrated by organized crime, the real motive of the operation will become clear.

“If there are officers linked to organized crime we will be the first to take action to clean out our police but if, on the other hand, the investigation takes one or two weeks, I will understand that this action of the Jalisco government has political overtones and is seeking to influence the elections in July,” Limón said.


MURDER IN PARADISE How Mexico’s party hotspot Cancun has become one of the world’s murder capitals

(THE SUN) — THE Mexican tourist hotspot of Cancun is in the grips of a violent and growing crime wave that threatens to leave it a ghost town.

Violence has escalated to such an extent that the murder rate has doubled in the past year – with 169 killings recorded in the first half of last year alone.

Amid a thriving drug trade and widespread extortion, fear is rampant and most of the murders go unsolved.

Now, the situation is so dire that its multi-billion dollar tourism industry is under threat.

British journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy traveled to Mexico for SBS’s Dateline to investigate why so many murders are taking place.

“This is one of the most beautiful views in the world and we are the only people here,” Guru-Murthy said from Cancun’s main beach.

Later on, just before sunset, he found himself in the middle of a crime scene — a man had been gunned down in the sand. Four men had come in through a luxury hotel and attacked the man, who later died in hospital. And this was meant to be one of the safer places in the area frequented by tens of thousands of Brit tourist ever year.

Guru-Murthy was also shocked by the lack of police presence, with many tourists unaware of the gruesome sight just meters away.

“It’s as if the police don’t want anyone to notice. There’s minimum fuss and hardly any officers here,” he said.

While it’s the third shooting on the beach in Cancun this year, tourists are deliberately not told of the dangers.

Even when a well-known police commander, his wife and baby nephew were shot dead, nobody was arrested.

There are fears that Cancun is now on the brink of ruin and could face a similar demise as another well known Mexican resort, Acapulco.

This was once one of the world’s most glamorous locations but is now Mexico’s murder capital.



(BREITBART) — Violence continues to spiral in the once popular beach resort town of Acapulco, Guerrero. In one day, teams of gunmen carried out multiple executions and clashed with police forces, spreading terror among the tourists who still travel to the area.

The violence took place over the weekend as thousands of international tourists are expected to arrive at Mexico’s various beach resorts for the vacation season that includes Spring Break and Holy Week.

State authorities confirmed that they clashed twice with groups of gunmen, setting off a series of fierce firefights. Through a prepared statement, state police Pedro Almazan Cervantes claimed that no one was injured or killed and they managed to arrest two suspected gunmen. Almazan also stated that they would be performing various enforcement operations throughout the region.

The statements by state police make no mention of two cartel gunmen who were killed during the clashes and five others wounded. Authorities also made no mention of more than six vehicles that were set on fire during the shootouts.

Government officials have remained silent about more than a dozen murders in one day in the area. One of the first took place in the tourist area outside of the famed Krystal Hotel where cartel gunmen shot and killed an unidentified man as he was walking out of the building. Soon after, the bodies of two men were discovered along Miguel Aleman Avenue, the main roadway that leads to the city’s port. The two men were tied up and had been tortured.

Soon after that execution, cartel gunmen dumped the bodies of three other men tortured and left next to a poster-board, threatening public officials. Authorities also discovered the body of a man inside a car that had been set on fire. The bodies of three other men were discovered in the nearby resort town of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. The victims had all been tied up, shot, and left with another threatening cartel message.


Gunmen storm Cancun hospital, kill regional cartel boss

(BREITBART) — by Robert Arce

Cartel gunmen stormed a private hospital in Cancun and executed a regional Gulf Cartel boss being treated for medical problems while on release from prison.

The execution occurred at approximately 7:00 pm at the Grupo PlayaMex when a group of heavily-armed men entered the hospital and went directly to the patient room of the victim identified as Alfonso Enrique Contreras Espinoza, aka “El Poncho.” The gunmen also killed Contreras Espinoza’s wife who was visiting him. Their six-year-old daughter was unharmed, according to local media reports. An unarmed security at the bedside with the victim was also spared.

The state attorney general’s office revealed that Contreras Espinoza had been the “plaza boss” for the Gulf Cartel in Cancun prior to being jailed by the federal police on July 25, 2014, for weapons and explosives violations. Contreras Espinoza had been in charge of sale and distribution for the local market as well as extortion operations. Contreras Espinoza was previously accused of murder and attempted murder for an intentional fire set at a brothel in 2014 which resulted in five deaths, as reported by Noticaribe.

While waiting in custody for a trial, he was allowed to be released from prison for medical reasons since he had no previous arrests. Media reports indicate he checked himself into Grupo PlayaMex for an ailment to a leg and was a patient at the hospital for several weeks when he was murdered.


Tracking Mexico’s Cartels in 2018

(STRATFOR) — By Scott Stewart, VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor


Factional competition resulting from the breakup of large organized crime organizations continues to drive violence in Mexico.
The lucrative fentanyl trade, built on the backbone of methamphetamine and opiate smuggling networks, is furthering the expansion of criminal groups in Tierra Caliente.
While most cartel violence is directed at other cartels and the government, the widespread use of military-grade weapons raises the risk of collateral damage.

Since 2006, Stratfor has chronicled the dynamics of the organizations that make up the complex mosaic of organized crime in Mexico in the form of an annual cartel report. Back when this process began, the cartel landscape was much simpler, with only a handful of major groups to track. But by 2013, the splintering of the cartels into smaller factions had made it difficult to analyze them the same way. Indeed, many of the once-dominant umbrella groups, such as the Gulf cartel, have fragmented into several, often competing, organizations. In response, the focus of the analysis shifted to the clusters of smaller groups that emanate from a specific geographic area. Nevertheless, the organizations that arose in the Tierra Caliente region and in the states of Tamaulipas and Sinaloa remain on the radar.
2017 in Review

The dynamics outlined in last year’s cartel forecast have changed little over the past year. Organized crime organizations in Mexico remain heavily fragmented, and this fragmentation is driving most of the violence in the country. As noted, there really is no Gulf cartel anymore. Instead, localized gangs that arose from the remnants of that once powerful cartel are now at war with one another over control of the smuggling routes, retail drug sales and other criminal activity formerly monopolized by the group. This drove the heavy violence in Reynosa during 2017 and in other parts of the state of Tamaulipas. The violence spawned by the fractionalization also led to a record number of murders last year: 29,168, which surpassed the previous record of 27,213, set in 2011.


USA issues travel warning for Mexican resort town

(USA TODAY) — The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is prohibiting U.S. government employees from traveling to popular resort town Playa del Carmen.

The U.S. Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen in the state of in Quintana Roo will be closed “until further notice,” the embassy said in it alert.

The embassy said it had “received information about a security threat” on Wednesday. It did not specify what that threat is.

The alert, issued Wednesday night, says U.S. government employees have to cease traveling to the town “immediately” and “until further notice.”

The move comes after the Feb. 21 explosion on the ferry that links Playa del Carmen with the town of Cozumel. The incident injured 25 people, including two Americans.

On March 1, undetonated explosive devices were found by Mexico law enforcement on another tourist ferry. Both incidents are still under investigation. After that incident, the embassy prohibited U.S. government employees from using all tourist ferries.


518 pounds of methamphetamine discovered in meth lab in popular Mexican tourist town

(BREITBART) — by Robert Arce

A major cartel methamphetamine lab was discovered near the U.S.-Mexico border approximately 20 miles south of California in a Mexican resort city. Mexican authorities discovered the lab in Rosarito, a destination popular with U.S. tourists.

Elements of the State Preventative Police located the drug lab on March 1, 2018. The cartel facility was inside a separate section of a small shop that made decorative lamps. At least 235 kilos of meth (approximately 518 pounds) were discovered inside the shop which was being used to house the active drug lab.

Due to a large amount of meth located inside the shop, elements of the Mexican army and State Police arrived at the location to secure the crime scene until investigators could obtain the proper authorization to complete a search of the shop. The Mexican Army and State Police remained at the shop for several hours providing security. According to media reports, the location of the drug lab was next to a private school.

A total of three suspects were arrested including the suspected “meth cook.” Authorities revealed that the quantity of the meth seized was going to be distributed to the local drug distributors for street sales and the rest was heading north to the U.S. drug markets.


Mexico police charged with using death squad tactics on drug suspects

(THE GUARDIAN) — Police in Mexico’s corruption-plagued state of Veracruz set up units that used death squad-style tactics to abduct, kill and dispose of at least 15 people who they suspected of being drug cartel informers and drug runners, according to charges filed by state prosecutors.

The allegations filed against the former top police commanders in Veracruz show all the signs of the human rights abuses of Mexico’s notorious anti-guerrilla counterinsurgency campaigns of the 1960s and

Police in marked patrol cars picked up youths but never recorded their arrests. Instead they turned them over to specialized interrogation and torture squads working at the police academy itself, according to the indictment, and they were later killed and their bodies disposed of.

While individual groups of corrupt cops have been known to turn youths over to drug cartels in several areas of Mexico, the Veracruz state case is notable for the rank of those accused: the former head of state security and the leaders of at least two police divisions have been charged, suggesting that the disappearances were state policy under the former governor Javier Duarte, who is in jail facing corruption charges.

“This is the first time they have charged people in significant numbers and of significant rank and demonstrated that there was an organized, structured governmental apparatus that had an agreed-on, systemic method to carry out a policy of disappearing people,” said Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, a lawyer who specializes in human rights cases.

“The groundbreaking thing is that prosecutors built a case by demonstrating there was a whole governmental structure that was designed to disappear people,” he said.


Mexican cartel continues stockpiling military weapons in Mexican border city

(BREITBART) — PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Coahuila — The seizure of a large cache of military weapons at a rural area near Piedras Negras points to the dangerous cartel, known as Los Zetas continuing to arm themselves in order to continue terrorizing this region.

Recently, state authorities found an arsenal of weapons hidden by Los Zetas off a rural road near Piedras Negras, just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. The weapons included a .50 caliber rifle, a rocket launcher, six AK-47s and three AR-15s. Officials also seized 1,500 cartridges of different calibers. The officers also found vests and other tactical equipment. All of the seized items were turned over to federal authorities for further investigation.

State authorities found the arsenal as part of an intelligence-driven operation aimed at minimizing the violent capabilities of the cartel known as Los Zetas. The Los Zetas group known as Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) is the one that maintains its presence in Piedras Negras. The CDN is being challenged by other cartels as well as independent groups.

In recent months, groups of cartel hitmen carried out multiple executions that spread panic among the residents of this city. Although authorities arrested several of the hit men, state judge Maritza Gonzalez Flores continues to release them under the argument that there is no evidence tying them to the crimes, Breitbart Texas reported. The judge released numerous cartel-linked drug dealers under suspicious rulings.