Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mexico's Supreme Court issues landmark rulings on limits of public referendums, rejecting call for repeal vote on PEMEX energy reforms

Former PRD national chair Jesús Zambrano, December 2013: "We're not going to just stand around with our arms crossed. We're going to keep working to throw out the energy reforms."

Guadalajara -
Mexico's highest appellate tribunal, the Supreme Judicial Court, today closed the door forever on continuing political efforts to undo dramatic energy reforms approved by the nation in December 2013.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Campaign photo with most wanted couple in Mexican puts ultra Left politician in unwanted spotlight

José Luis Abarca and María Pineda Villa, both sporting AMLO shirts, May 12, 2012

Guadalajara -
While Mexican prosecutors scour the countryside for the former mayor of Iguala, Guerrero and his wife, a 2012 campaign photo of two time presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador with the most loathed couple in the nation is causing more than a little grief for fellow leftist politicians across the country.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On eve of national police vetting deadline, Zacatecas will fire almost half of its 2,000 state and local officers

Guadalajara -
Tomorrow is the absolute deadline for completion of police trustworthiness evaluations at the federal, state and local levels, a process which began in January 2009 under former National Action Party president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. That deadline was extended at least three times by Mexico's federal congress, the last on Oct. 29, 2013. Mexican senators seek another delay in police vetting.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mexico hints at imminent break in search for the 43

Guadalajara -
Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam conducted a press conference late this afternoon and suggested that authorities may be close to recovering the remains of 43 college students who disappeared 31 days ago and are presumed dead.

Karam said the government's new information came after the arrest of four members of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, who he claimed had "taken custody of a large number of the students" after their detention by corrupt police in Iguala, Guerrero on Sept. 26.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"*

MGR's view

Chilpancingo de los Bravo, Guerrero -
Radical student groups staged further violent demonstrations in this capital yesterday, and promised to continue doing so until 43 missing college students "are returned to us alive." An estimated 300 students sacked and looted retail establishments, including Wal-Mart and others. Some national chain stores have closed their doors, and are being protected by state and federal police units.

The left wing teachers' union Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores de la Educación en Guerrero (CETEG) said "the students' struggle is our struggle," but denied having participated in the events.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Los Zeta executioner linked to Canadian's 2011 murder in Oaxaca is arrested in Cancún

From cartel death squad to private security contractor

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
In December 2011, Ximena Osegueda Magana, 39, and her boyfriend Alejandro Honorio Santamaria, 38, went missing in a remote area of Oaxaca state.

Several weeks later their bodies were unearthed along a beach near Huatulco. Ximena, an aspiring linguist, was a Ph.D. candidate in Romance Languages at the University of British Colombia. She had already earned an undergraduate and a master's degree at McGill University.

Family ties, nepotism suggest nothing has changed in Iguala

"If the government continues repressing rural school students, the people will have the last word"

*Updated Oct. 30*
Iguala de la Independencia, Guerrero -
Twenty-five days after the mayor of this town and his wife vanished from public view, whereabouts yet unknown, many here say nothing will ever change.

Thirty days after 43 college students were kidnapped by corrupt police and cartel executioners, there is an unspoken consensus that Iguala's black history will continue uninterrupted, no matter who is in charge.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Guerrero Governor Ángel Aguirre quits under mounting political pressure

His support collapses under the weight of the missing students case, still with no clues at one month

*Updated Oct. 25*
Guadalajara -
Guerrero Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero announced late this afternoon that he would resign from his post within the next few days.

The move came almost a month after 43 college students were kidnapped in Iguala by teams of corrupt local police and cartel executioners on the payroll of Guerreros Unidos, a violent organized crime group which controls much of the state. The students, who disappeared Sept. 26, are believed to have been brutally murdered within hours. But their whereabouts remain unknown. Mexican A.G.: "Mary of the Angels" and her husband were "brains" behind Iguala executions, kidnappings.

Bloody Tamaulipas remains far from subdued

Guadalajara -
At least 19 gunmen were killed by Mexican security forces Tuesday in three separate incidents in the border towns of Matamoros and Río Bravo, Tamaulipas, national defense authorities have reported.

In each case, Marines and Federal Police on patrol were fired upon by unidentified assailants, according to government spokesmen. Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel have long waged a war for control of the violent state's lucrative drug trafficking routes, which lead into Texas.

Mexican A.G.: "Mary of the Angels" and her husband were "brains" behind Iguala executions, kidnappings

Concern about sabotage of a political event was their motive

Facebook sweethearts . . . but now with declining Friends

Guadalajara -
In nationally televised press conference last night Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam said the former mayor of Iguala, Guerrero and his wife gave the orders which resulted in the killings of six persons in that city on Sept. 26, and the disappearance of 43 college students who may have been executed just hours later. Mexican priest: 43 college students were "burned alive."

Karam laid full blame on mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, both of whom vanished from sight Sept. 30. Abarca was stripped of his credentials earlier this month and expelled from the far left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), the predominant political force in Guerrero. Prosecutors say they believe he is still in the country.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mexican Supreme Court issues rulings on PEMEX reforms challenge, military court jurisdiction

Guadalajara -
In important back to back legal rulings today, Mexico's highest tribunal, the Supreme Judicial Court (SCJN), further defined the authority of military courts martial in one case, and in another ruled on a pending demand that energy reforms approved by the nation in December 2013 and which took effect Aug. 12 must be subjected to a special citizen referendum in June 2015.

Mexican priest: 43 college students were "burned alive"

"The government knows the truth about all this, and has since the very beginning" - Fr. Alejandro Solalinde

Guadalajara -
Well known Mexican priest and human rights advocate Alejandro Solalinde Guerra will tell federal investigators for the nation's attorney general later today that 43 college students kidnapped by local police in Iguala, Guerrero on Sept. 26, and turned over to sicarios belonging to the violent Guerrero Unidos drug cartel, were burned alive by their executioners after being placed upon a wooden pyre.

The story is in accord with prevalent rumors since the students vanished more than three weeks ago.

Ten days before deadline for nationwide police vetting, federals seize local departments in Guerrero, Edomex

A six year plan to clean up corrupt police forces is still not over

Guadalajara -
Mexican Federal Police and army troops have taken over policing duties in 12 counties in Guerrero and one in Edomex (the state of Mexico), National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido García announced Sunday.

More such substitutions are expected, as municipal and county authorities prove themselves unable to enforce the law and contend with widespread drug cartel infiltration.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Arrest of Guerreros Unidos boss brings few answers in case of missing students

Guadalajara -
Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murrillo Karam said Friday that the detention by federal authorities of Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado, allegedly the highest in command of the violent Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, would "open a new route to get to the truth" about the disappearance of 43 college students in Iguala on Sept. 26, an event which continues to dominate headlines and political agendas throughout the nation.

Casarrubias was taken into custody Thursday night near Toluca, capital of the State of Mexico (EDOMEX), bordering the Federal District.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guerrero "paralyzed"; Acapulco targeted by anarchists

Radical students, labor unions promise more state wide violence as they gather in famous resort

Chilpancingo de los Bravo, Guerrero -
Almost three weeks after 43 students disappeared in the southwestern Mexico state of Guerrero, the administration of Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero is facing monumental problems this evening.

Aguirre announced today that 16 of Guerrero's 81 counties had "suspended all activities" in an effort to avoid confrontations with thousands of persons flooding the state in search for the missing college attendees, who were detained by Igual municipal police the evening of Sept. 26. Presumably,"all activities" means law enforcement operations of any type which might lead to further violence with protesters, who are growing increasingly impatient with fruitless federal and state government searches for their loved ones.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Guerrero's Gov. Aguirre says 43 missing students "may yet turn up alive" - but Mexico's A.G. rebukes him

Leftist links to organized crime hinted at in violent Guerrero state

The governor was vilified by demonstrators in Mexico City on Wednesday

Guadalajara -
In statements unlikely to help his credibility, embattled Guerrero Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero said today that 43 students who vanished after being detained by Iguala municipal police late on Sept. 26 could still be alive.

"There are plenty of reasons to believe they could still turn up alive. For that reason, we've renewed our search for them," Aguirre added.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"Ghost Gunners" of Guadalajara may have supplied weapons used in murder of Jalisco federal deputy

Mexican drug cartels take advantage of controversial U.S. firearms technology

Guadalajara -
The receiver of a weapon is that portion which houses operating parts such as the trigger mechanism, converting it into a usable firearm. Without a receiver, neither a handgun nor a long gun can discharge a projectile.

Under American law the receiver for all practical purposes is the firearm itself, as opposed to other components such as the barrel, stock or hand grip. Any weapon manufactured and sold commercially in the United States, or lawfully imported from another country, must contain a serial number on the receiver. But it is not illegal in the U.S. to home manufacture a weapon, including a receiver which has no identification. The process is easy and relatively cheap, and may already have been adopted by organized crime in Mexico's second largest city and in neighboring Michoacán state to avoid firearms tracking, according to authorities here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Guerrero prosecutor: Iguala student protesters were killed by cartel executioners, aided by corrupt police

Gov. Aguirre hints at resignation

Guadalajara -
Guerrero state prosecutor Iñaky Blanco Cabrera told a press conference yesterday that a group of student protesters fired upon the night of Sept. 26-27 in the city of Iguala were killed on the direct orders of the leader of Guerreros Unidos, a powerful drug cartel which controls much of the Pacific Coast state. He admitted some municipal police officers actively participated in the murders.

Six persons died during the incident, but more than 40 others vanished after being taken into custody and have not yet been located. Late last week 28 mutilated and incinerated bodies were found in six concealed graves near the village of Pueblo Viejo on the outskirts of Iguala, and there is suspicion some or all could be the remains of those who were detained, which included members of a football team traveling in a bus from Chilpancingo, the state capital. Blanco said that an unidentified witness claims to have seen 17 students in custody at Iguala police headquarters the evening of Sept. 26, from where they disappeared a short time later.

U.S. national murdered in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta -
An American citizen was murdered here late Saturday or early Sunday, police have reported.

The body of John Lennox Douglas, 57, was found by a passerby outside his home in Colonia El Cerro about 9:30 a.m. yesterday. He had been gagged and bound with an electrical extension cord, and was dressed only in boxer shorts when discovered.

Authorities said Douglas was originally from Florida, but had lived in Vallarta for several years.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Jalisco governor: arrests in murder of federal deputy

Guadalajara -
At a public appearance this morning Governor Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz confirmed that "suspects are in custody" in connection with the Sept. 23 kidnapping and execution of Jalisco PRI congressman Gabriel Gómez Michel and his assistant. Their burned bodies were found in a vehicle in neighboring Zacatecas state less than 12 hours later. Jalisco congressional deputy found murdered.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jalisco judges: just one step below traffic cops for perceived corruption

Guadalajara -
Mexico amended its famous constitution of 1917 in 2008, requiring the nationwide implementation of "oral trials" - a process which must be completed by 2016. An oral trial is one where witnesses to a crime must appear in open court in the presence of a judicial officer and testify under oath, subject to direct and cross examination by a public prosecutor and defense attorney. They are intended to function as criminal proceedings in Anglo-American jurisdictions have for centuries, although in this country there are no juries. The new uniform code of criminal procedure is an outgrowth of the 2008 constitutional amendments. Yucatán about to get a major legal facelift with "oral trials".

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SEDENA reports capture of Héctor Beltrán Leyva, one of Mexico's most wanted drug capos

The last meal at Mario's

*Updated Oct. 3*
Guadalajara -
Mexico's national defense department (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional) has reported the probable detention of drug kingpin Héctor Beltrán Leyva by federal security forces.

SEDENA said DNA tests are being carried out to confirm his identity.

U.S. Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi's defense does a 180, as House committee puts the full court press on Mexico

Defendant's mother testifies to his bizarre statements after arrest

Guadalajara -
In an unusual hearing, a subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee heard testimony in Washington this morning from several witnesses in the case of Marine reserve Sgt. Andrew Paul Tahmooressi, who is on trial in a Tijuana federal court for the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Tahmooressi was arrested on Mar. 31, 2014 after entering Baja California state at the San Ysidro crossing, south of San Diego. He and his attorneys and supporters, which include many on Capitol Hill, have attributed events to the sergeant's "confusion" and poor road signage near the international frontier.