May 20, 2008
Juarez police official slain
Q&A Author interview by Kelly McKenzie
Q: The latest police official in Juarez was the director of operations, second in command after the police chief. Are drug dealers overpowering the security forces?
A: It's a bit more complex. It's not a matter of numbers only. First, we have a Juarez drug cartel that used to be united and no longer is. Chapo Guzman and the Carrillo Fuentes group used to work as one organization. Currently, Guzman is fighting the Carrillo Fuentes for control of the Chihuahua corridor. At the moment, it is a fight to the death.
Q: Are good cops being killed as a result of this war?
A: Again, it's more complex than that. Many police (city, state and federal) work for the cartels and operate their own crime cartels. Some cops are trying to do good, but it's hard for them to know who in their ranks to trust. Different cops work for different cartels and for different cartel factions. Many of the hits against cops are carried out by other cops who obey rival cartel bosses. This goes on from the highest levels on down. The Juarez police chief to be killed recently was at the top of a list of police to be killed, which unknown an person or persons left at the police memorial in Juarez earlier this year. Many of the city and state cops killed have served on the force for many years. That may be a clue. Right now, speculation is rampant that a new chief or deputy chiefs may be asked to resign or be replaced or moved around. Other cops, nealry 100, have quit the force. Such changes won't make much difference. The corruption is so extensive at a local and national level that it will take years for honest authorities to assume control.
Q: Is the Mexican army making a dent?
A: In Juarez, they certainly have turned up a lot of drugs and stash houses that the local cops never touched. But, I don't believe you can make a real dent until President Felipe Calderon decides to go after the corrupt politicians and high-level officials who protect the drug dealers. The drug lords are but one part of the equation. You arrest or kill off low-level operators, and others will come along to replace them. Nothing will change.May 6, 2008
A female police official is killed execution style in Juarez, Mexico
By Kelly McKenzie
JUAREZ, MEXICO -- Authorities reported Berenice Garcia Corral, a Chihuahua police official assigned to the sex crimes investigations unit, was killed execution style Monday night in front of her home.
Initially, Cmdr. Maria Castillo, a friend of Garcia's, was suspected of being the victim. (Castillo was appointed interim Chihuahua state first commander after First Commander Fernando Lozano Sandoval was injured by gunfire in a similar assault earlier this year).
The attack against Garcia occurred near midnight.
Witnesses reported seeing an armed group of people in a black Suburban and in a red vehicle at the time of the shooting.
Police said the victim was fired upon at least 60 times with an assault rifle.
Theories on who has killed about a dozen city and state police in Juarez this year range from a turf battle among corrupt police to dueling drug lords fighting for control of the lucrative border corridor.