Tagged: Chihuahua

Cartel attacks leave 6 Mexican border state cops dead, 8 wounded

(BREITBART) — by Robert Arce

A deadly April in Chihuahua has so far left six police officers dead and eight wounded in at least seven attacks.

The events required the State to deploy additional personnel to affected areas to quell cartel violence, according to local media.

On April 14, three separate attacks were recorded with the first occurring at 8:30 am in Valle de Zaragoza. Two ministerial police commanders of the State Attorney General’s Office (PGE) were ambushed on the Parral-Chihuahua highway while heading to training exercises. The two victims, identified as Commander Salvador Bárcenas Saavedra and Deputy Commander Ricardo Ruvalcaba González, were both assigned to the municipality of Parral.

According to media reports, the two police commanders attempted to repel the attack then flee but were outnumbered. During an ensuing chase, the two were murdered and their police vehicle torched.

The second attack occurred in Jiménez where a convoy of state police searching for the gunmen responsible for the earlier attack was shot at on the Parral-Jiménez highway. The head of security for State Security Commissioner Óscar Aparicio Avendaño was wounded.

The third event occurred in Álvaro Obregón in the municipality of Cuauhtémoc when cartel gunmen attacked municipal police officers outside the Pollo Bronco Restaurant. Local media reported that one officer was wounded a second died from his injuries. A cell phone video was later posted online, capturing the aftermath of the attack with one wounded police officer lying in the street and what appeared to be a long rifle abandoned several feet from him. The second officer appeared next to a marked police vehicle which had been parked in front of the restaurant.

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Mexican cartels pushing more heroin after U.S. states relax marijuana laws

(USA TODAY) — CHIHUAHUA, Mexico — As more U.S. states legalize the use of marijuana, Mexico’s violent drug cartels are turning to the basic law of supply and demand.

That means small farmers, or campesinos, in this border state’s rugged Sierra Madre who long planted marijuana to be smuggled into the United States are switching to opium poppies, which bring a higher price. The opium gum harvested is processed into heroin to feed the ravaging U.S. opioid crisis.

“Marijuana isn’t as valuable, so they switched to a more profitable product,” said Javier Ávila, a Jesuit priest in this region rife with drug cartel activities.

Laws allowing marijuana in states like Colorado, Washington and California are causing shifts in the Mexican underworld that have also led to increased violence as the cartels move away from its cash cow of marijuana to traffic more heroin and methamphetamines.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics show that marijuana seizures fell by more than half since 2012, while heroin and methamphetamine seizures have held steady or markedly increased.

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Cartel shootout in Chihuahua with 100 gunmen lasted eight hours before troops intervened

(BREITBART) — by Robert Arce

More than 100 gunmen took part in a series of large-scale shootouts between factions of the Sinaloa and Juarez Cartels in the border state of Chihuahua. The skirmish took place in a rural mountain area that went on for more than eight hours until state and federal authorities arrived.

The fighting occurred in the rural community of Uruachi where the 1,100 residents were left helpless as the local police force stood helplessly after being outgunned and outnumbered by the large cartel armies, El Diario de Chihuahua reported.

The convoys of gunmen taking part in the fighting that went on for hours were described as carrying high-powered rifles and wearing tactical gear. When the two rival armies clashed near the rural community, local police officers were rapidly overwhelmed, forcing them to back off and wait for state and military forces to arrive. According to statements made by local mayor Hacel Campos Rascon, authorities arrived eight hours after the shooting began.

According to the state attorney general and Breitbart law enforcement sources, the fighting took place between a group called Gente Nueva, who are part of the Los Salazar faction of the Sinaloa Cartel. Gente Nueva is currently led by Noriel “El Chueco” Portillo. The second group involved in this confrontation was led by César Daniel “H2” Manjarrez Alonso, whose organization is under the Juarez Cartel, also known as the Nuevo Cartel de Juarez (NCDJ).

Sources within the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office revealed to Breitbart Texas that the confrontation is believed to be in retaliation for the recent kidnapping of the chief of police of the community of Carichí, Cipriano “Pano” Escárcega Aranda, El Heraldo De Chihuahua reported. The local police chief is also the father of Julio César “El Tigre” Escárcega Murillo, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel faction called Gente Nueva del Tigre.

The kidnapping took place on October 3 when a convoy of at least eight trucks with 20 armed cartel gunmen led by Manjarrez Alonso stormed the house of the police chief. Despite a gun battle to rescue the police chief, the kidnappers were able to escape with their victim.

The Sinaloa and the Juarez Cartels are fighting over control of key smuggling routes to bring drugs and humans into the U.S. One of these areas being fought over is the remote home of the Tarahumara Indians, who live in the mountainous communities surrounding Uruachi.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)
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Mexican cartel shootout leaves 26 dead or wounded in latest violent clash

(THE GUARDIAN) — By David Agren in Mexico City

A battle between rival drug cartel factions in Mexico’s northern Chihuahua state left at least 26 dead and injured, officials have confirmed, in the latest series of violent incidents that have sent the country’s murder rate soaring.

Chihuahua state officials say the shootout occurred in the hamlet of Las Vargas, deep in the rugged Sierra Madre mountains, where the illegal drugs business has deep roots in the local community and economy.

Details were scant, but experts say that the security situation in Chihuahua has deteriorated in recent months as criminal groups squabble over the remains of the empire once controlled by Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

The shootout was just the latest atrocity in a wave of violence extending the length of Mexico, which has sent the country’s homicide rate soaring to levels not seen in two decades. It came after a weekend attack in neighboring Sinaloa, where a confrontation between accused cartel members and state security forces left 19 suspects dead and five police injured.

Mexico recorded 11,155 homicides over the first five months of 2017, according to federal crime statistics. May, meanwhile, was Mexico’s most murderous month since 1997, when the country started accumulating such statistics, with 2,186 homicides committed.

Analysts attribute the rising violence to a confluence of factors, including changing dynamics in the illegal drugs business. Mexican cartels are shifting focus in their smuggling operations to the US from marijuana to heroin, unleashing a wave of violence in the opium poppy-producing state of Guerrero that has left entire villages have emptied.

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Second Mexican journalist murdered in one week, Juarez cartel implicated

(BREITBART) — A Mexican cartel appears to be behind the murder of a respected journalist in the border state of Chihuahua. At the crime scene, cartel members left a note stating that the murder was due to her reporting.

On Thursday morning, unknown gunmen shot Miroslava Breach, a career journalist who worked as an editor for El Norte and most recently for La Jornada. According to La Jornada, Breach was leaving her home at approximately 7:15 a.m. on Thursday morning in the city of Chihuahua when she was fatally shot. At the crime scene, the gunmen left behind a poster board that read “por lenguona. Sigue tu Gobernador. El 80”. The message in the sign claims that the reporter was murdered for saying too much and that the state governor was next.

The message was signed by “El 80”, pointing to Carlos Arturo Quintana, a top leader within the Juarez Cartel (Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Cartel). As Breitbart Texas reported this week, Quintana’s gunmen are responsible for a fierce gun battle that killed at least 8 victims and spread terror and despair through the rural communities near Chihuahua. Quintana is wanted by the FBI as part of an ongoing federal case against him on multiple drug trafficking charges tied to the cartel.

Breach’s murder comes just days after Breitbart Texas reported that gunmen murdered Ricardo Monlui Cabrera, a journalist from Veracruz who was murdered as he walked with his wife.

As information about Breach’s murder began to be released, the Network of Journalists of Mexico’s Northeast (RPNM) expressed outrage for the apparent lack response by the Mexican government.

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About Drug Lord, the Life and Death of a Mexican Kingpin

Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and he vowed to do so if he became president of the United States. The wall, he argued, will stop the flow of drugs into the country as well as impede the illegal entry of people across the border. Whether Trump is right or wrong about the need for a wall is a matter of fierce debate that will only grow in intensity now that he is president.

What cannot be disputed, however, is that there is a huge amount of drugs coming across the border, no different than in the past. There is also a greater influx of people coming now from all parts of the world than ever before. Who are these people? What is their motive for entering the United States?

Another matter than is beyond dispute is that smuggling activities related to drugs and people are controlled by organized crime groups, and to some extent organized crime is controlled by agencies of the government of Mexico. Read more »

Introduction by the author

This book came about because of the kidnapping of an American newspaper photographer by a Juarez drug trafficker, a brutal and unprecedented event that caused an international scandal and brought about the downfall of one of the major drug traffickers of the time.

Until the kidnapping, I didn’t have much interest in the subject of drugs. Drug trafficking was part of the background noise of the El Paso-Juarez region where I worked as a reporter. It was low keyed even in its violence; it did not draw too much attention to itself. My journalistic work, which had begun for the El Paso Herald-Post in 1984, focused primarily on reporting on a political movement in northern Mexico that was challenging the entrenched one-party system that had ruled Mexico since 1929. Juarez, the largest city in the state of Chihuahua, was the scene of what today would be called a “color” revolution — a democratic movement that used tactics of non-violent resistance to achieve its goals. Such a revolution was unfolding only ten blocks south of the newspaper, just on the other side of the Rio Grande. Read more »

What the DEA had to say about Pablo Acosta

The following are highlights from a DEA report entitled The Pablo Acosta Organization, a report based primarily on investigations carried out by U.S. Customs Service agents in the Presidio, Texas, area:

There has been a continuous increase in the trafficking of Mexican heroin, cocaine, and marijuana into the United States from Mexico over the last few years. Many fields of opium poppies were found and destroyed in Coahuila and Chihuahua in 1984. However, the production of opium is expected to rise in 1985. Mexican opium is converted directly into heroin in Mexico and is usually smuggled across the southern border.

There has also been a noticeable increase in the smuggling of cocaine through Mexico, with significant quantities of cocaine produced in South America crossing the southwest border, and although the largest worldwide marijuana seizure to date occurred in the state of Chihuahua in November 1984, it is believed that there are major quantities still available. The amount of marijuana seized along the U.S.-Mexico border has more than tripled in the last year. Recent seizures of very high-grade marijuana tops suggests the existence of very large stockpiles still in Mexico. Read more »