Apr 15, 2008

Online alleged narco dialogue and U.S. alert for travel to Mexico

Mexican soldiers set up checkpoints in Juarez. (Photo by Norte de Ciudad Juarez)

Copyright (C) 2007, 2008 Peace at the Border, Peace Books

Author's book in Spanish Cosecha de Mujeres available at
and other outlets

Alleged online dialogue by drug dealers, their allies and opponents at http://youtube.com/watch?v=KR7rXiSrBzU&feature=related

Another interesting web site is at www.narconews.com

U.S. Embassy issues alert for travel to Mexico
By Kelly McKenzie
Violence caused by warring drug cartels and the Mexican army crackdown prompted the U.S. State Department to alert Americans about these conditions along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Mexican border hot spots include Juarez, Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo. Juarez is across the border from El Paso County, Texas (estimated population 750,000), and Sunland Park, New Mexico. Ironically, the city of El Paso has been rated third safest city in the United States for several years in a row.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio "Tony" Garza issued the alert April 14, and stated that "violent criminal activity fueled by a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the lucrative narcotics trade continues along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Attacks are aimed primarily at members of drug trafficking organizations, Mexican police forces, criminal justice officials and journalists. However, foreign visitors and residents, including Americans, have been among the victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region."
In Juarez, Mexico, a city of 1.5-1.75 million, more than 200 people have been killed execution style since Jan. 1. In the entire state of Chihuahua, more than a dozen city and state police have been killed as a result of suspected drug violence.
The Mexican army, sent earlier in March to crack down on the drug violence, has detained Juarez police in possession of drugs and unauthorized weapons. Over the past few days, police reported finding bags filled with marijuana abandoned in the streets, and speculated that people were getting rid of evidence that might be used to arrest them.
Mexican military officials also issued a statement confirming that soldiers carried out a commando-style raid of a drug dealer's funeral (Gerardo Gallegos) in Villa Ahumada, a small town south of Juarez along the Panamerican Highway.
Officials said Gallegos died during the April 8 shootout with the military at Hidalgo de Parral, Chihuahua. The army reported 14 deaths in that encounter, but Chihuahua state officials disputed the number and said only six people were killed.
During the raid, the military rounded up and detained numerous suspects, including the town's police chief, Hector Adrian Barron Barron.
Mexican federal officials have cautioned the Chihuahua community about drug dealers who impersonate police and soldiers in attempts to hide their identities and discredit legitimate law enforcement efforts.
Since 1993, since the Carrillo Fuentes organization took control of the Chihuahua drug corridor, an estimated 2,500 to 2,800 men have been killed and disappeared, with police at all levels implicated in many of the hits.
Last month, Mexican federal authorities unearthed 36 bodies at a cartel safe house in Juarez, including the bodies of three females, two of them a baby and her mother.
"An international tribunal should consider trying drug lords and complicit officials for crimes against humanity," says El Paso journalist Diana Washington Valdez, author of the The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women.