Category: Breaking News

Mexican columnist is stabbed 21 times in front of family, underscoring deadly risks faced by journalists

(LOS ANGELE TIMES) — By Kate Linthicum

Carlos Dominguez was waiting at a traffic light in the northern Mexico border city of Nuevo Laredo with his son, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren when men armed with knives flung open the car door.

Dominguez, a 77-year-old opinion columnist who had worked as a journalist for nearly four decades, was stabbed 21 times, according to Mexican authorities. They said he was attacked by at least three men who remain unidentified and at large.

The killing Saturday afternoon underscores the lethal risks faced by journalists in Mexico and the growing wave of violence gripping the nation.

Officials said they were investigating to determine whether the attack was connected to Dominguez’s work. He wrote frequently about politics, organized crime and occasionally their intersection — a perilous beat in a country that was second only to war-torn Syria in the number of journalists killed last year.

Eleven journalists were slain across Mexico in 2017, with no culprits arrested in most of those cases. Dozens of reporters have fled the country or gone into hiding.

In the Gulf Coast state of Tamaulipas, where Nuevo Laredo is located, 15 journalists have been killed since 2000, according to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission. The commission, an independent government watchdog, has sent investigators to Nuevo Laredo to look into Saturday’s attack.

The organization Reporters Without Borders said it believed Dominguez was targeted because of his controversial columns.

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Mexico travel warning: U.S. urges citizens to avoid 5 Mexican states

(USA TODAY) — The State Department has issued a new, strict “do not travel” advisory for U.S. citizens regarding five Mexican states because of violent crime and gang activity.

While the State Department has long recommended travelers exercise “increased caution” in Mexico in general because of widespread homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery, the new warning elevates the five states to level 4, the highest level of potential danger.

The advisory, issued Thursday, puts the states of Tamaulipas on the U.S. border and Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero on the Pacific coast on the same level as war-torn countries like Syria, Yemen and Somalia.

The states have long been plagued with drug cartel activity like trafficking routes or the cultivation of drug-related crops.

Turf wars between rival drug cartels have torn apart Tamaulipas, and Sinaloa is home to the cartel of the same name. Michoacan was so dominated by a drug cartel that vigilantes took up arms in 2013 to drive them out.

Homicides skyrocketed in Colima in recent years due to the growth of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, and the state now has Mexico’s highest homicide rate, with 83.3 killings per 100,000 residents, according to figures from the first 11 months of 2017.

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Weekend violence kills 18 in western Mexico

(ENCA) — LOS CABOS – At least eighteen people were killed in weekend violence on Mexico’s west coast, authorities said.

The bloodshed came after 30 people were killed and seven more suffered gunshot wounds over two days of drug trafficking-fueled violence in Chihuahua state.

In rural areas of Guerrero state, people opposed to a proposed dam attacked a village during a festival, sparking a series of clashes that left 11 dead, a state police spokesman said.

The state, home to popular beach destinations such as Acapulco, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, is also one of the poorest states in Mexico and among the hardest hit by organized crime.

In addition, navy forces clashed with suspected hitmen late Saturday, killing seven of them in San Jose del Cabo in Baja California state, officials said.

More than two dozen more people were killed in the Chihuahua state just ahead of the weekend.

Thirty were killed on Thursday and Friday in the northern state, which borders the US, while another died Saturday of serious injuries.

Carlos Huerta, the spokesman for the local prosecutor’s office, said the violence was due to attacks by the rival Juarez and Sinaloa cartels.

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Mexican journalist executed while watching son’s Christmas pageant

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

A group of unknown gunmen stormed a Mexican elementary school’s Christmas pageant and executed a veteran journalist watching his son’s performance.

The murder took place at the Aguirre Cinta elementary school in the southern city of Acayucan, Veracruz, Revista Proceso reported. Longtime journalist Gumaro Perez Aguilando had gone to the school to see his son’s Christmas pageant when a team of gunmen walked up to him and opened fire in front of other parents and students.

Perez Aguilando covered the crime beat at various local news outlets and was a key editor of La Voz Del Sur. He was physically assaulted in 2012 for gathering information at a courthouse, Proceso reported.

Aguilando’s murder is the to 83rd strike the Mexican press, where more than 12 have been murdered in 2017 alone. The International Press Institute has labeled Mexico as the most dangerous place for journalists worldwide edging out Iraq and Syria.

As Breitbart Texas has reported, the murder of journalists in Mexico carries no real consequences. While human rights activists and journalists have previously called out the Mexican government for its inaction in addressing crimes against reporters and for the lacking security conditions, the usual promises made by the Mexican federal government appear to not have been kept. In many cases, violent drug cartels, or at times, corrupt public officials are the suspects behind most of the attacks.

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Mexico ranked deadliest country for journalists, says international press institute

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

A press freedom organization has ranked Mexico as the deadliest country for journalists, overtaking Iraq and Syria for the highest number of reporters who lost their lives while practicing their craft. On the day the report was published, gunmen murdered another journalist in Mexico.

A new report by the International Press Institute labels Mexico as the most dangerous place for journalists, citing the government’s lacking efforts to protect them.

The murder of journalists is “an attack on the fundamental human right to share and receive information and on democracy itself,” IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said.

According to the IPI, since 2006, when the country started a new security strategy to fight drug cartels, 79 journalists have been murdered. In 2017, there were 13 that IPI accounted for with four targeted directly for their work. On the day the report was published, a team of gunmen murdered Gumaro Perez Aguilando as he attended his son’s Christmas Festival in Veracruz.

According to IPI, none of the recorded cases have been solved. As Breitbart Texas reported in 2017, cartel gunmen targeted various journalists including Miroslava Breach, an investigative reporter from Chihuahua, who uncovered deep connections between key members of the Juarez Cartel and local politicians.

Also in 2017, cartel gunmen murdered respected journalist Javier Valdez from Culiacan, Sinaloa. The slain journalist founded the news outlet Rio Doce and covered cartel violence for several years.

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6 bodies found hanging from bridges in Mexico tourism hotspot

(NEWSMAX) — Six bodies were found hanging from bridges Wednesday in Mexico’s Baja California, a region known for its pristine beaches and popular with foreign tourists, authorities said.

Grisly killings were once rare in the country’s tourism hotspots but have risen in recent years as organized crime has grown.

The bodies were discovered along highways leading to international airports in La Paz, San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, nicknamed the Los Cabos area.

It is a massive international Pacific resort area popular with Americans, Canadians and Europeans.

The bodies were spread across three bridges, two on each, the local prosecutor said. The victims have not yet been identified.

A total of 409 people were murdered in the area from January through October — more than double for all of 2016.

Drug gangs are fighting over routes on which they move drugs to the United States, as well as over turf on which they sell drugs to tourists from overseas.

More than 196,000 people have been killed in Mexico since late 2006 when the federal government launched a controversial military-led antidrug offensive.

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Cartel gunmen leave human heads at Mexican TV station

(BREITBART) — Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) continues spreading bloodshed and death threats after gunmen left two human heads outside of the Televisa TV station in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

A Mexican federal law enforcement source confirmed to Breitbart Texas that the gunmen left ice chests with human remains in various parts of Jalisco.

While the case left in front of the TV station did not contain any cartel threats against reporters, Mexican authorities suspect the group is looking to get attention for recent violent acts after they threatened a local police chief close to the governor and a local judge. The chest left at the TV station contained two human heads.

“Jesus Humberto Boruel Neri, number 1202, here I leave you these heads, let’s see if you go public, not like on Sunday 19-11-17 when we threw grenades and you hid it,” one of the recovered messages said. “You know that deals have to be kept or do you want us to remind you why you are there and who put you there.”

Law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart Texas that Boruel is one of the top leaders of the state police, and at one time, was the bodyguard of current Governor Aristoteles Sandoval. During his time as a bodyguard, Boruel was arrested for his alleged role in the murder of a man in Tlaquepaque, but was later released for a lack of evidence. In another part of the city, authorities found another ice chest with a message for a local judge: “[expletive] Judge Molina, you are next.”

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Mexican border city suffers 60 cartel murders in November

(BREITBART) — REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — The raging cartel violence in this border city resulted in 60 murders in November.

Rival factions of the Gulf Cartel continue their fight for control of drug trafficking territories and access to Texas. The 60 victims include military and police officers killed in shootouts as well as innocent civilians killed in the crossfire.

Breitbart Texas has been tracking the murders and executions that have been taking place in Reynosa since early May. At that time, two rival factions of the Gulf Cartel went to war for territorial control. Since May, the violence has left more than 324 victims. The fighting followed the death of former regional leader Juan Manuel “Toro” Loiza Salinas, a ruthless cartel boss who terrorized Reynosa for almost two years until he was gunned down by Mexican Marines.

After El Toro’s death, another Gulf Cartel commander named Petronilo “Panilo” Moreno Flores claimed control of the city. However, a faction claiming to be relatives and followers of the late leader led by Luis Alberto “Pelochas” Blanco Flores and Toro’s nephew Humberto “Betillo” Loza Mendez, who also went by the name of Alberto Salinas, have been fighting against Panilo’s forces.

The fighting resulted in fierce gun battles where convoys of gunmen clash along the city’s main avenues, those firefights have killed not only gunmen but also police officers and military personnel tasked with keeping the peace. The firefights also led to various innocent bystanders being killed or wounded by stray bullets.

The fighting between cartel forces also manifested itself in a dramatic increase in kidnappings and executions. As Breitbart’s Texas has reported, cartel gunmen have resorted to incinerating the bodies of their victims as well as to using shallow pits to dump the bodies of their rivals.

The most recent casualty took place on Friday early morning when a State police officer died in a gun battle. A squad of state cops was responding to a call of help from military forces who had been battling a team of gunmen. Two cartel gunmen also died during that clash in the Jarachinas Sur neighborhood.

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Homicides have hit a new high in Mexico — but that’s not the only sign of growing insecurity

(BUSINESS INSIDER) — By Christopher Woody

The number of homicides in Mexico has risen steadily over the past three years, particularly in areas where drug-related crime is high.

While much of the violence is related to organized crime, the Mexican government has been criticized for its heavy-handed response, which has led to some high-profile cases of abuse.

The country’s deteriorating security situation promises to play a significant role in the presidential election next year.

Mexico’s 2,764 homicide victims in October is the most recorded in any month over the last 20 years, according to data collected by the country’s federal government.

The new data puts 2017 on pace to be the most violent year in Mexico since the government began releasing homicide data in 1997.

Federal data also showed that 2,371 homicide investigations, which can include more than one victim, were opened in October — the highest monthly total over the past two decades.

The 23,968 homicide victims reported though October this year are nearly 27% more than the 18,895 recorded over the same period last year.

This year’s total through 10 months was almost 55% more than the 15,480 recorded over the same period in 2015.

Mexican federal data may in fact undercount the number of homicides in the country, however.

Civil-society groups have suggested that state governments, which submit crime data to the federal government, may misrepresent or manipulate the number of intentional killings.

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Tijuana murder rate spikes from cartel violence

(BREITBART) — by Robert Arce

The murder rate in the Mexican border city of Tijuana spiked with a record-breaking number of murders. The number of murders climbed as drug cartels battle over control of key drug trafficking routes and the control of the lucrative street-level drug distribution business in the region. The escalating violence in the large border city can be attributed primarily to the hostilities between the Sinaloa Cartel and their one-time ally, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG).

In recent days, the number of murders in Tijuana for the year surpassed 1,500 after the city saw six murders in a seven-hour period, local news outlets reported.

The murder victims included one man who was shot inside a home. Two other men who were also wounded but survived the attack. In a separate case, three different victims were left throughout the city — all showing similar methods of torture and murder. The victims had all been shot in the head, had their hands and feet tied, and were wrapped in blankets. The last murder dealt with the discovery of a severed human leg. That victim’s body has yet to be found.

The escalating number of murders in Tijuana surpassed 1,500 well before the end of the year. This reveals a dramatic spike when compared to the previous record-setting year in 2016 when only 910 were recorded. According to the San Diego Tribune, the 2016 figure had been alarming at the time since it had broken the 2008 record of 844 murders.

As the cartel-fueled turf-wars continue to rage, the spike in murders places Tijuana as one of the leading cities in homicides for 2017. According to Frontera.Info, the spike in murders is fueled by the turf wars between cartel-connected gangs who handle the street level distribution of drugs. Another reason behind the spike in violence deals with Tijuana being one of the main drug trafficking areas that fuel the U.S. drug market in California. The city also serves as a hub for distribution into other major cities throughout the nation.

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