Author Topic: Mexico  (Read 458601 times)


Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: AMLO's pension reform
« Reply #655 on: July 29, 2020, 06:28:37 AM »
Lopez Obrador Unexpectedly Moves to Safeguard Mexico’s Pension System
3 MINS READ
Jul 28, 2020 | 19:10 GMT

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s proposed overhaul to Mexico’s pension system will preserve investor confidence by maintaining the country’s current individual account system, while still addressing pressing concerns about the system’s long-term sustainability. On July 22, Lopez Obrador announced his proposed pension reforms, which the Mexican Congress will vote on when it reconvenes in September. The proposed changes to Mexico’s current pension system include doubling employer contributions over an eight-year period; increasing total contributions from 6.5 to 15 percent; limiting the commissions charged by Retirement Funds Administrators (AFOREs); and decreasing the number of years a worker needs to contribute to access a minimum guaranteed pension from 25 to 15 years, while increasing the number of such pensions by about 40 percent.

The overhaul will quell fears about Mexico reverting back to a defined benefits system. Lopez Obrador was a long-standing critic of Mexico’s pension system, which has been based on individual retirement accounts since the signing of landmark reforms in 1997. Over the years, the system had become a symbol of Mexico’s economic liberalization. But given Lopez Obrador’s previous criticisms and the need for funds to finance his government’s infrastructure projects, private sector leaders had feared he would seek to nationalize the pension system as Argentina did in 2008.

Latin American Pension Reforms

Across Latin America, politicians have been moving toward altering the defined contributions systems prevalent in the region. Chile recently voted to allow emergency withdrawals that will harm its individual accounts-based pension system. Peru and Brazil are also exploring changes to allow withdrawals that would hurt the long-term sustainability of their systems or create hybrid systems.

The timing of the announcement allows the Lopez Obrador administration to preempt more radical proposals that would have further hurt investor confidence in Mexico. Lopez Obrador’s hard-line supporters had floated several, more radical pension reform proposals, including the creation of a mixed system where low-income workers would be part of a separate “defined benefits” system. Some supporters had also pushed to nationalize current individual pension accounts.

The proposal could help repair Lopez Obrador’s relationship with the private sector, which has been steadily deteriorating since his more statist administration took office in December 2018. The pension reforms were designed with the input and approval of Mexico’s main business sector organization, the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE). The support by the business sector, unions and the leadership of Lopez Obrador’s party will also make it difficult for his hard-line supporters to oppose his reform proposal.

The proposal, however, is not problem-free as there are still legitimate concerns over the long-term impact of the increase in employer contributions on both formal employment and small businesses. The pension reforms also do not mitigate the risk of AFOREs being forced through legislation to invest in Lopez Obrador’s pet infrastructure projects.

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PEMEX losses deepen Mexico's financial woes
« Reply #659 on: September 02, 2020, 10:09:48 AM »
Pemex’s Losses Deepen Mexico’s Financial Woes
3 MINS READ
Aug 31, 2020 | 19:41 GMT

HIGHLIGHTS

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's failure to strengthen Pemex's finances and shore up domestic oil production will exacerbate Mexico's public finance woes from COVID-19.  On Aug. 24, Mexico's state-owned energy giant Pemex reported its lowest level of monthly crude oil production since 1979, with the company's July output totaling only 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) -- marking a 0.6 percent decline from June and a 4.5 percent decline from July 2019. Pemex was already struggling before the current COVID-19 crisis, seeing record losses during 2019 and the first half of 2020. Lopez Obrador's attempts to strengthen Pemex's bottom line and increase domestic oil production, however, will continue to fail without new private investment to help increase long-term production, as well as a business plan that forces Pemex to focus on the most profitable areas....

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's failure to strengthen Pemex's finances and shore up domestic oil production will exacerbate Mexico's public finance woes from COVID-19.  On Aug. 24, Mexico's state-owned energy giant Pemex reported its lowest level of monthly crude oil production since 1979, with the company's July output totaling only 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) — marking a 0.6 percent decline from June and a 4.5 percent decline from July 2019. Pemex was already struggling before the current COVID-19 crisis, seeing record losses during 2019 and the first half of 2020.


Lopez Obrador's attempts to strengthen Pemex's bottom line and increase domestic oil production will continue to fail without new private investment to help increase long-term production, as well as a business plan that forces Pemex to focus on the most profitable areas.

Mexico's current oil fields in the Gulf, such as Cantarell and Ku-Maloob-Zaap, are nearing the end of their productive life. Any substantive increase in production thus needs to come from new developments in either deep-water fields or the unconventional fields in northeastern Mexico, which Pemex does not have the resources or expertise to develop alone.

Other national oil companies, such as Brazil's Petrobras or Colombia's Ecopetrol, have engaged in strategies to get rid of unproductive assets and focus on their resources on most productive areas. These strategies have helped prevent both Petrobras and Ecopetrol's credit rating from being downgraded in recent years. Pemex's debt, meanwhile, was downgraded this year and last.

Lopez Obrador has relied on Pemex's revenue and resources to boost government spending, which has spread the company's already scarce resources thin by forcing its involvement in unprofitable activities. This has included placing Pemex in charge of building a new refinery in southeast Mexico and modernizing various other refineries.

Lopez Obrador's administration has also barred Pemex from partnering with private firms on long-term exploration projects, further accelerating the deterioration of the company's finances and profitability prospects.

Pemex will increasingly become a drag on Mexico's already stressed public finances, which will impede Lopez Obrador's ability to mitigate the fallout from COVID-19 ahead of 2021 midterm elections by robbing his government of a key revenue source.
Amid the fallout from the pandemic, Lopez Obrador is facing mounting pressure to revive the Mexican economy, which was in a recession even before the onset of the global health crisis. But this time, he Mexican government won't be able to rely on Pemex to shore up spending, especially in the absence of any tax reform that would enable the company to diversify revenues, and may be forced to redirect its scarce resources to keep Pemex afloat.

Pemex has long been a key financing source for the Mexican government, which is one of the main causes of the company's chronic underinvestment. Pemex's revenues currently make up around 10 percent of the federal government's total revenues.
The Lopez Obrador administration has provided Pemex with debt relief and even some subsidies in the hopes of giving the oil company some room to make more productive investments. But given the magnitude of Pemex's cashflow erosion, that money has instead been used to cover the company's current expenditures.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Lopez Obrador's administration has also not passed any meaningful fiscal stimulus packages, and has instead continued to fund its pet infrastructure projects that are already underway, including the $8 billion Dos Bocas refinery.


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« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 05:07:47 PM by Crafty_Dog »

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General Cienfuegos
« Reply #663 on: December 09, 2020, 07:00:41 AM »
The Curious Case of Mexican General Cienfuegos
The former defense minister is released in another loss for the drug war.

By Mary Anastasia O’Grady
Dec. 6, 2020 5:58 pm ET


Mexican Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos receives the Legion of Merit in West Point, N.Y., Nov. 16, 2018.
PHOTO: MSGT JOHN GORDINIER



At a West Point ceremony in November 2018, the U.S. Defense Department conferred the Legion of Merit on Mexico’s then-secretary of national defense, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos. Less than two years later, on Oct. 15, the retired Mexican four-star was arrested in Los Angeles on drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges.

A grand jury in the Eastern District of New York had handed up an indictment of Gen. Cienfuegos on Aug. 14, 2019, for crimes allegedly committed between December 2015 and February 2017. The indictment remained sealed until his arrest.

On Oct. 16, requesting a “permanent order of detention,” Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme alleged before the New York court that “while holding public office in Mexico, the defendant used his official position to assist the H-2 Cartel, a notorious Mexican drug cartel, in exchange for bribes.”

U.S. prosecutors insist they had what they needed to convict Gen. Cienfuegos, who was an active member of the Mexican military during the six years (2012-18) he held the cabinet-level post in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. But on Nov. 17, Attorney General William Barr dropped the case. The general was released and on Nov. 18 returned to Mexico, where the government has said it will investigate the charges. The odds of that happening are pretty long.


Chalk up one more loss for the futile, half-century-old U.S. war on drugs. In this case, the circular logic out of Washington is that keeping Mexico as a U.S. partner in fighting transnational crime trumps actual crime fighting. The good news for the drug-war bureaucracy is that its jobs program is secure.


Gen. Cienfuegos is innocent until proven guilty, and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s case against him, using intercepted BlackBerry Messenger communications that he supposedly sent to the capos, has provoked skepticism. Some are asking why a high-ranking government official, well-versed in intelligence, would recklessly risk a prestigious career.

On the other hand, institutional corruption is a problem in Mexico, while the American legal system guarantees the general due process. To remove the case to Mexico under pressure from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (a k a AMLO) reeks of cynicism on both sides of the border.

It is unclear if the DEA informed its counterparts—the Defense Department’s Northern Command, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Council and the director of national intelligence, to name a few—of the evidence against Gen. Cienfuegos and built consensus for his arrest.


The DEA may have sensed the risk of being overruled and decided it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. As one source close to diplomatic circles of both countries told me, “It’s hard to understand how the DEA would have gotten the green light to arrest him, and then the Justice Department would send him back to Mexico.”

Word around Washington is that some of the alphabet-soup bureaucracy was unhappy at being left out of the loop. But that was nothing compared with the outrage from Mexico’s military. While AMLO was initially blasé about a DEA bust of a former top official, he did not remain so when the army made its fury clear.

Mexico’s rules for the DEA inside the country require agents to share intelligence regularly with Mexican authorities. The Mexican military, it is said, felt humiliated and betrayed by what it saw as a violation of the spirit of engagement and cooperation between the two countries. At this AMLO sprang into action, sending a message, via his foreign minister, to the gringos that south of the border, trust had been broken. With extradition and Mexico’s willingness to allow DEA agents to remain in the country at risk, the general was set free.

The Pentagon may have played a role too. After two decades working to convince the Mexican armed forces to modernize the relationship between the two sides, there has been substantial progress. Joint field training exercises at U.S. Northern Command in Colorado, for example, demonstrate a shared sense of the importance of North American perimeter security. Was prosecuting the general worth losing all that?

AMLO has put the army at the center of many of his pet projects, from developing a new international airport to taking over management of the country’s seaports. Yet while it is also charged with combating the transnational crime ravaging Mexico, it has achieved very little. It would be nice to know why.

The Cienfuegos release was meant to salvage bilateral cooperation. But what sort of cooperation is it if Mexico’s priority is to bury this matter rather than get to the bottom of whether the general is guilty or was set up? The drug-war game of cops and robbers will return to the script but the case against Gen. Cienfuegos suggests a more serious problem is brewing.

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WSJ on AMLO
« Reply #664 on: February 01, 2021, 05:25:46 AM »
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador —a k a AMLO—has been known to bristle when critics liken him to the late Hugo Chávez. But the parallels between the spirit of Mr. López Obrador’s two-year-old government and that of the Venezuelan strongman’s in its early years are impossible to ignore.

Morena, AMLO’s party, launched an effort in the Mexican Senate in December to seize autonomy from the country’s central bank. The lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, will discuss the bill this week. The president seems to be backing off the idea, but if so it is only a tactical retreat.

AMLO is on a mission to complete what he calls “the fourth transformation” of Mexico, and he has to centralize power to do it. He has already wrested control of the Supreme Court, and last month he proclaimed that autonomous regulatory bodies like the federal antitrust commission and the office that provides transparency in federal contracts should be eliminated.


Ahead of the June midterm elections he is signaling that he is ready to buck the authority of two independent bodies charged with ensuring election fairness. Mexican democrats are in a fight for their political lives.

There are obvious differences between AMLO and Chávez. But when the history is written I suspect most of them will turn out to have been driven by economic constraints on the Mexican caudillo, not choice.

Chávez had control of Venezuela’s state-owned oil monopoly PdVSA when oil prices took off in the early 2000s. Awash in oil income, he was able to buy off opponents while spreading money around to create the illusion that the masses were getting richer. He had the resources to militarize his government, and Cuba had been infiltrating the barracks for decades.

AMLO’s world is one of moderated oil prices and a diversified economy. Revenues generated by Pemex, the state-owned, debt-laden petroleum company, are dwarfed by the boom in manufacturing and services born of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.


So AMLO can’t copy Chávez play by play. But his aspirations are hauntingly similar and so is his modus operandi.

Chávez was a demagogue and he used his television show—“Aló Presidente”—to bond with the man in the street against the Venezuelan establishment. AMLO uses his daily morning press conferences to the same effect—though he has been absent since his Covid-19 diagnosis a week ago.

His words sow resentment and division while justifying abuses of power in the name of corruption fighting. His critics are dismissed as elites—or “fifi” in his lexicon. There is no civil discourse.

Up to now he has used “legal” instruments like the anti-money-laundering Financial Intelligence Unit inside the Mexican Treasury to purge institutions of nonbelievers—including a Supreme Court justice and the head of the energy regulatory commission. Neither has been charged with a crime. He has also boosted the army’s role in the economy.

Morena controls the Senate, where the bill passed in December would obligate Banxico, Mexico’s central bank, to buy foreign-currency cash from Mexican banks.

Watchdogs on both sides of the border are alarmed. Cash is a nonissue for legally compliant financial institutions because they verify its origins and are able to ship it to correspondent U.S. banks.

Morena claims that the change in the law is necessary to ensure that migrants aren’t forced to change their dollars at disadvantageous rates. Yet Banxico reports that only about 1% of total remittances are cash.

It isn’t clear who Morena is trying to please by obligating the central bank to take cash dollars. But it is certain that passing the law would break a longstanding taboo in place to protect the monetary authority from becoming a tool for transnational criminal organizations to launder money. Who else walks into Mexican banks with suitcases full of unexplained cash?

Banxico says the law threatens its autonomy and its ability to do its job. In a Dec. 9 communiqué it said the draft legislation “would force the Central Bank to carry out high-risk active operations that may compromise” international reserves and “the compliance with the constitutional mandate to preserve the purchasing power of the National currency.”


Sharp criticism from the international financial community seems to have given AMLO second thoughts. He knows that if Mexico is marked a money launderer, the peso will hit the skids, and so will his presidency. His finance minister now says the government is working on an alternative idea for migrant cash transactions.

If he and Morena back off, it will be a small but important victory. Preserving Banxico’s autonomy may not be a sufficient condition to save Mexican pluralism from the Venezuelan fate, but it is a necessary one.

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Re: Mexico
« Reply #665 on: February 24, 2021, 05:24:07 AM »
Mexico’s Energy Conundrum
Winter storms were just the beginning.
By: Allison Fedirka
Last week, ice storms disrupted natural gas supplies to Mexico and so revived an existential question over how energy independent the country can and should be. But because Mexico’s independence is so often defined by its relationship to the United States, what started as an errant power outage quickly became a larger debate over the future of Mexico’s energy sector, infrastructure development and domestic politics as officials clamored for more energy self-sufficiency.

Their calls are hardly misplaced. State-run energy company Pemex has long focused primarily on oil, leaving the natural gas sector in a state of arrested development. What natural gas Mexico does produce is in decline. Modest deregulation has allowed for private investment and infrastructural improvement, but for now the country relies heavily on the U.S. to meet its natural gas needs. In fact, its northern neighbor accounts for about 70 percent of the natural gas consumed in Mexico, and 60 percent of the energy consumed by vital manufacturing hubs in the north is natural gas. Similarly, the U.S. meets nearly 75 percent of Mexico’s gasoline needs. (Though Mexico is an oil-producing country, it does not have the refining efficiency, ability or storage capacity to meet domestic demand with its own crude oil production.) In 2019, Pemex alone spent $14.75 billion on fuel imports; the country total is even higher once private importers have been factored in.


(click to enlarge)

Energy is a historically sensitive issue in Mexico. U.S. and British oil companies dominated the country’s oil industry during its infancy, and were put in check only in 1917, when Mexico’s new constitution stipulated that the national government had ownership over all subsoil – that is, resources. A series of taxes and other regulatory measures favoring Mexico ensued, until finally in 1938 President Lazaro Cardenas simply expropriated the assets of nearly all the foreign oil companies operating in Mexico. The move reflected years of festering discontent among Mexicans with how the oil industry operated in their country – how profits were being sent overseas, how investment was lacking, how production was low, and how poor Mexican industry workers were. Shortly thereafter, the government formed Pemex and has played an influential role in its operations ever since.

With a past like this, it’s easy to see why energy independence means more than just a best-practice of diversification. There’s an inherent wariness between the U.S. and Mexico, which lost a lot of its territory to the U.S. in 1848 and which fell victim to intermittent invasions and occupations by U.S. forces up until the start of World War I. Past energy disputes make Mexico even more uneasy. After the 1938 expropriations, the U.S. threatened to stop buying Mexican silver and its oil companies embargoed Mexican oil. Exports fell to half their volume in a handful of years. The issue was not resolved until Mexico agreed to pay $29 million in compensation to U.S. companies in 1942. Now as then, Mexico’s dependence gives the U.S. a ton of leverage. Current disagreements between the countries are plenty manageable, but this kind of leverage means Mexico has a hard time acting from a position of strength if an unmanageable conflict erupts. Energy security is thus highly politicized.

Value of Mexican Oil Exports by Destination
(click to enlarge)

It’s one thing to want independence, of course, and quite another to have it. Importing energy from other suppliers is simply not a viable option. Its proximity to the U.S. and its existing infrastructure make transport cheaper than from any other supplier. Higher prices on energy imports would drive up Mexico’s own production costs, making domestic markets more expensive and exports potentially less competitive.

In addition, the country’s state-owned oil company is in dire straits. Once the pride and joy of the country’s economy, Pemex is now a drain for the government. Crude oil production has been in decline since peaking in 2003, and the lackluster price of oil globally makes recovery difficult. Tax demands, mismanagement, barriers to reinvestment, pension plans and fuel theft have made Pemex operations inefficient and have left the company in debt to the tune of approximately $110 billion. The Mexican government has been pumping money in to keep the company afloat – and plans to provide another $3.5 billion this year – but has been unable to reverse its course.


(click to enlarge)

The administration of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is betting heavily on improving Mexico’s refining capacity. Its refineries are currently operating at 36.4 percent capacity, according to the energy office. (Lopez Obrador says Pemex refineries operate closer to 50 percent capacity.) Issues are due partly to supply and partly to the lack of upgrades. The Dos Bocas refinery project, for example, lies at the core of the government’s plans to solve the country’s refining shortcomings. Pemex owns the project, which will cost $31.3 billion over 20 years. The project’s potential value and return remain contested by members of the business community; those opposed believe the benefits are unrealistic. There is also concern over the lack of storage capacity for refined fuels.

Mexico City has meanwhile made modest policy attempts to improve its energy issues.
For example, it attempted to curb fuel imports by introducing a bill last December that significantly reduced the timeframe for related contracts. These measures were challenged in court, though, and their application was temporarily suspended under court orders.

The government also proposed major natural gas infrastructure projects. In the last quarter of 2020, it announced an infrastructure investment package worth $14 billion. Among the proposals is the Salina Cruz liquefaction project, which includes the expansion of pipeline networks and will account for $1.2 billion of the earmarked investment. While the Salina Cruz project has the domestic market in mind, two other liquified natural gas projects in the package mean to re-export LNG to Asia. These kinds of projects are designed to both stimulate economic recovery and signal to private investors that their money will be used wisely.

Mexico's Natural Gas
(click to enlarge)

The government can’t go it alone, so foreign direct investment will play a key role in helping Mexico build out its energy infrastructure. The problem confronting the government is that its hands-on approach to restructuring and revitalizing the domestic energy industry is off-putting to the very investors Mexico needs to attract. When he came to office, Lopez Obrador made several moves that discouraged investor confidence such as rewriting gas contracts, canceling electricity projects and taking steps toward ending subcontracts in the labor force. Other efforts, such as saving Pemex, have been viewed as superficial, moves that treat the symptom and not the disease. The chambers of commerce from Canada and the U.S. have both expressed concern over the growing role of the state in economic projects and warned that this could affect investment behavior going forward.

Mexico has a national imperative to break free of its energy dependence on the United States, in spite of the many obstacles that stand in its way. Even under the best of circumstances, they will be difficult to surmount any time soon.

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Re: Mexico
« Reply #666 on: May 18, 2021, 12:17:46 PM »
May 18, 2021
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Brief: Why Mexico's President Is Apologizing to China
It has a lot to do with trade talks with the United States.
By: Geopolitical Futures
Background: When it comes to U.S.-Mexican relations, the U.S. has the advantage in almost every way that matters. Mexico City has few options but to try to leverage trade, its proximity to the U.S., the significant Mexican diaspora in the U.S. and its relationship with Canada. As U.S. anxieties about China grow, however, ties with the Chinese could become a bargaining chip for the Mexican government.

What Happened: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador apologized on Monday for the 1911 racially motivated killing of hundreds of Chinese people in Torreon, Coahuila. He hosted a ceremony alongside the Chinese ambassador to Mexico, and specifically thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese scientists, diplomats and companies for their assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lopez Obrador’s comments coincided with the start of a two-day meeting among the U.S., Mexico and Canada on the disputes related to their trilateral trade agreement.

Bottom Line: It’s no coincidence that Lopez Obrador’s apology – and especially his expression of gratitude toward Chinese businesses – occurred at the same time as trade talks with Mexico’s northern neighbors. For its part, China welcomes the opportunity to grow its presence in the Western Hemisphere. How far Mexico is willing to go remains to be seen, and there’s a fine line between creating leverage with the U.S. and provoking an American backlash.

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Re: Mexico
« Reply #667 on: June 07, 2021, 09:50:03 PM »
 

Topic # 2:  Roberto Sandoval, Former Governor of Nayarit is Arrested in Nuevo Leon

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/roberto-sandoval-former-governor-of.html

 



Photo # 1: Roberto Sandoval Castañeda's taste for Pura Raza Española (PURE) horses led him to ally himself with drug cartels

Photo # 2: Roberto Sandoval Castañeda was governor of Nayarit from 2011 to 2017

 

The Story:

 

This Sunday, in the midst of the largest elections in the history of Mexico, the arrest of the former governor of the state of Nayarit, Roberto Sandoval, was reported in Linares, Nuevo León, who is accused of operations with resources of illicit origin. Sandoval was arrested with his daughter, Lidy Alejandra, who was also charged with the same crime. The operation to arrest the former governor and his daughter was led by agents of the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR), Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), Secretariat of the Navy (Navy), National Guard (GN), and the National Center Intelligence (CNI). According to information from journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva, Sandoval and Lidy, his daughter, were arrested at 5 in the morning this Saturday. When issuing the arrest warrant against Roberto Sandoval and Lidy, a federal judge considered that there is evidence, both in the common and federal courts, of the alleged connection of the former governor with people who have been detained abroad for crimes related to organized crime. Sandoval and his children, as well as his wife, have several arrest warrants against them, the last complaint against the family was made by the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) last March, since it established through different federal agencies of that state and its relatives a network of diversion of public resources and money laundering, during the years of his government (2011-2017).

 

During his administration, violence and insecurity linked to organized crime escalated dramatically so that at the end of his term there was talk that he had ties to drug trafficking. He was wanted in 194 countries after Friday, November 13, a Nayarit control judge accused him of the crimes of illicit enrichment, embezzlement and improper exercise of functions. But it is not the first time that accusations have been made against the former governor. Since May 17, 2019, the United States accused him of ties to drug trafficking in Mexico, having received bribes from the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), and froze accounts that the former state governor had in the US. That is why on February 28, the Secretary of State of the American Union, Mike Pompeo, reported that the Treasury Department included the former governor of Nayarit, in the list of people who committed acts of corruption, which in his case It was because of the links with criminal drug trafficking groups. In addition, he pointed out that neither Sandoval Castañeda nor his family can enter that country. Days later, Roberto Sandoval gave an interview to Radio Fórmula.

 

He said he was surprised by the determination of the neighboring country and clarified that for two years he has been in contact with the authorities of that country. In addition, he said that in 2016 he received a letter informing him about the suspension of his US visa until his situation was clarified, so he had already had time without visiting the neighboring country. He insisted that he was innocent of the accusations. In addition to diverting millions of pesos of public resources, the American Union pointed out that the former governor accepted bribes from the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, its financial arm "Los Cuinis" and the Los Beltrán Leyva Cartel. In the plot with drug trafficking and abuse of power, the Nayarit prosecutor, Édgar Veytia Cambero, alias “El Diablo” and personal friend of Sandoval Castañeda, was also involved. "El Diablo" was not only involved with organized crime, but also carried out land grabbing, threats, extortion, torture, femicide, kidnapping and forced disappearances in the state.

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Topic # 3:  “Tony Duarte” Lawyer Linked to Late Governor Aristoteles Sandoval & Defended Sinaloa Cartel Members Killed in Guadalajara

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/tony-duarte-lawyer-linked-to-late.html

 



José Luis Duarte Reyes, a lawyer and businessman linked to former governor Aristóteles Sandoval, was executed in a parking lot in Guadalajara, Jalisco

 

Synopsis:

 

José Luis Duarte Reyes, a lawyer and businessman linked to former governor Aristóteles Sandoval, was executed in a parking lot in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Although the state government assured that this election day has not had major incidents, Duarte Reyes was executed along with another man, while two more people were injured. resumably, the lawyer known as "Tony Duarte" was singled out for being a defender of members of the Sinaloa Cartel. According to the first reports, the businessman was attacked when he was in the vicinity of a parking lot of his property, located on Herrera and Cairo and Mayor streets of the Jalisco capital. Subjects aboard two vans fired up to 50 rounds around 9:30 am on June 5, according to police reports. The same state prosecutor, Gerardo Octavio Solís Gómez, went to the site. When Aristóteles Sandoval served as mayor of Guadalajara (2009-2012), Tony Duarte's daughter, Rocío del Carmen, worked as the Director of Parking. It should be noted that in September 2011, José Luis Duarte Contreras, Tony Duarte's son, was assassinated. The crime occurred in Puerto Vallarta. Other reports indicate that the lawyer had a criminal record for his probable responsibility in crimes of misrepresentation and fraud in the 1990s. The former Governor of Jalisco; Aristóteles Sandoval, close to Tony Duarte, was killed in a Puerto Vallarta bar in the early hours of December 18, 2020.

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Topic # 4:  Fresnillo, Zecatecas: Armed Confrontation Between Civilians and Police

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/fresnillo-zacatecas-armed-confrontation.html

 



 

Synopsis:

 

This Friday afternoon elements of the Investigative Police clashed with armed civilians in the Buenavista community of Trujillo. In the confrontation two alleged criminals died and an officer was badly injured. According to the security authorities, there was also one civilian arrested and another managed to evade the officers. The events were recorded on the way to the Leobardo Reynoso community, where the agents of the state prosecutor's office were shot at by armed people. Elements of the National Guard (GN) State Preventive Police (PEP) and from the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) arrived in support. While the shooting broke out, the inhabitants ran to their homes to get to safety. A helicopter from the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) also participated in the operation. Through breaches and dirt roads, an intense operation was deployed. Local residents reported that it is very recurrent in the area to see vehicles of armed civilians without any authority detaining them. In the end the forensics of the General Directorate of Expert Services took charge of what happened.

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Topic # 5:  Sanalona, Sinaloa: The Holy Death Highway for Fervent Worshipers

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/sanalona-sinaloa-holy-death-highway-for.html

 

 

 

The Story:

 

Every day it is populated with chapels and cenotaphs that are well visited. Tell me she doesn’t look tough as fuck...! boasts a young man dressed in black who sanctifies himself again and again before the Holy Death and offers her "I will idolize you all of my life by putting your image as many times as necessary for this place, because you have helped me and my friends." He assures that in addition to the six chapels that exist in less than 14 kilometers he will install more "every time my girl supports us, we reward her. We want people not to be ashamed and follow Holy Death, so we have to place her image everywhere." The street is gradually populated by chapels that together with the dozens of cenotaphs are part of the road landscape before the fervor that is increasing, by the road that leads to Tamazula, Durango and that is part of the Golden Triangle, the chapels are becoming an obligatory place to stop, some do it out of curiosity, others out of devotion. The cenotaphs and the Holy Death compete in the exaltations that are lived daily in those places, it’s a practice of challenge, there death is combined that is the physical representation of the transition that occurs when leaving life and the cenotaph where they are finally part of the world of the dead.

 

WITH STYLE

 

Chapels and cenotaphs compete in their structure, for example there is a cenotaph that emulates the Parthenon, an icon of ancient Greece. The replica of the crown jewel of Greek architecture is lost on the wild road, a few meters from the dam. Believers indicate that they have a perception of death as inevitable, so they do not consider it incorrect to establish conversations or practices in honor of the deity who is in charge of it. "I come to ask you to move away from all those negative vibrations that try to harm my destiny and my life ... just like that," details a fervent admirer of Holy Death. Police authorities and the Catholic Church itself assure that the followers of the Holy Death are people who live outside the law, but that to date in Sinaloa there are no statistics on how many criminals venerate the Holy Death. According to police authorities, they say that when they have searched the homes and vehicles of some criminals, statues, altars and other objects have been found that pay tribute to the Holy Death.

 

Holy Death is represented as a skeleton dressed in a dark robe that covers it from head to toe and that also has other elements. One of the chapels of the Holy Death that is at the road junction Sanalona-El Coyonqui, at that moment is being renovated, now, the seven different colors are being painted in reference to all kinds of requests. The painter says that he takes care of the place at the request of its owner "I come from a rehabilitation center, the boss supplies us with the paint and we are gladly painting, we do it little by little because there are many people who come." The colors are white to achieve peace, harmony and success. Red means love. Blue is to achieve success. Yellow means the solution to problems for all those who do not find the way out of what afflicts them. The golden color, allows economic tranquility. The "guardian" of Holy Death, at this moment, assures that lately the statues are being stolen. "People are stealing from the Niña, here they recently took the scythe of one of the images we have..." he details. He assures that lately people are going more to these places "we have to remove twice a day the candles, the flowers because the truth is they don’t fit, the truth is it’s unusual how men arrive, older males, everything, they come here."

 

HOMICIDE

 

In another of the chapels, precisely where about a month ago a man was murdered, the traces of the event are still present, blood sprinkled on the feet of the Holy Death, just like in the photograph of an individual who is on one side, give an account of what happened there. "We come to leave flowers in memory of the friend who killed him here, not even Holy Death saved him, the good thing is that it was at her feet," says an 18-year-old boy who has a huge tattoo on his left arm "The girl close to my heart." He points out that "Mahami N" was a friend of his brother and that obviously he knew him very well. While snooping inside the place, he takes out beer cans, even assures that they left a joint to the Holy Death. There are also bouquets of dried flowers, it seems that from that moment, this chapel is no longer as visited as the rest of them. "Since she doesn't smoke... I take the joint," she jokes. Another visitor says that he is Catholic, that he believes in the Virgin of Guadalupe and assures that she has done miracles for him, but that the Holy Death, fulfills another type of help. "I dare not ask the little Virgen of Guadalupe to help me in my "business", I always traverse in the jaws of danger ... afterwards I come to visit her, she’s fucking cool.

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Topic # 6: Gulf Cartel Boss Behind Mass Graves Sent to Prison in Mexico

Source:  https://www.breitbart.com/border/2021/06/06/gulf-cartel-boss-behind-mass-graves-sent-to-prison-in-mexico/

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

A former top-ranking leader with the Gulf Cartel responsible for a series of mass murders, clandestine gravesites, incinerations sites, and other gory methods of disposing of humans has been sentenced to more than 11 years in a Mexican prison. The cartel boss spent time in a U.S. prison in his early years and is known for an incident where he began crying in front of a judge. Known in the criminal underworld as El Pelochas, or Metro 28, Luis Alberto Blanco Flores climbed the ranks of the Gulf Cartel while surviving and taking part in a series of shifting alliances and betrayals. Those actions eventually led to him becoming a top regional boss before his latest arrest. This week, a sentencing tribunal handed down a term of 11 years and six months in prison following his conviction for aggravated extortion and engaging in organized criminal activity, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office revealed. According to authorities the crimes that led to Pelochas’ sentence took place during the summer of 2017. Breitbart Texas reported extensively on the criminal career of El Pelochas who became one of the leading Gulf Cartel figures between 2016 and 2018. During that period, he made a push to take control of the Reynosa faction and clashed with another top commander.

 

Breitbart Texas kept a record of the murders directly attributed to that power struggle with more than 500 murders taking place during that time. The murders included executions, assassinations, kidnapping victims, and casualties of the large-scale shootouts. One gruesome trend that grew during that time was the use of clandestine crematoriums and mass graves where Gulf Cartel members worked to dispose of the bodies of their victims and rivals. During the start of his criminal career, El Pelochas spent time in a U.S. prison. In August 2010, federal agents arrested him in the border city of Brownsville, Texas, and only charged him with one count of illegal re-entry. At the time of his initial hearing, the fearsome cartel leader began to sob as he was escorted into the Brownsville federal court and he saw his mother in the audience. El Pelochas was one of three cartel commanders who fled to Brownsville to hide from rivals who had been hunting them.

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Topic # 7:  GRAPHIC: Gulf Cartel Dumps Ice Chests with Body Parts in Border City in Mexico

Source:  https://www.breitbart.com/border/2021/06/06/graphic-gulf-cartel-leaves-ice-chests-with-body-parts-in-mexican-border-city/

 

 



 

Synopsis:

 

A group of gunmen believed to be with one faction of the Gulf Cartel left at least two ice chests filled with dismembered human body parts in the Mexican border city of Reynosa. Authorities recovered one of the ice-chests, while unknown gunmen absconded with the other one. The incident took place on Saturday afternoon when residents spotted two ice chests along the Monterrey-Matamoros highway near the Jarachina Norte neighborhood. The ice chests had been tied closed with a piece of rope. However, by the time authorities responded to the scene, the ice chests were gone. Authorities believe that a group of gunmen picked up the two ice chests before they arrived. Soon after, authorities responded to another location also along the same highway about a body left next to an ice chest. Authorities arrived to find a dismembered torso next to one ice chest that looked similar to one of the two that had been reported earlier in the day. While the male victim has not been identified, the current theory points to one of two rival factions of the Gulf Cartel leaving the gory crime scene as a message to their rivals. As Breitbart Texas has reported, two factions of the Gulf Cartel have been actively fighting for years over control of lucrative border areas in and around Reynosa.

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Topic # 8: "FOR EACH ONE OF US WE WILL KILL 2" FOR THIS REASON THE CJNG DECIDED TO HUNT DOWN THE POLICE

Source:  https://elblogdelnarco.com/2021/06/06/por-cada-uno-de-nosotros-les-mataremos-a-2-por-esta-razon-el-cjng-decidio-cazar-a-policia/

 



 

Synopsis:

 

It's a type of direct attack on officers rarely seen outside of the most gang-ridden nations in Central America and it represents the most direct challenge yet to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's policy of avoiding violence and rejecting any war against the cartels. The drug trafficking group has declared war on the government with the aim of eradicating the Tactical Group, because according to the criminal group, it unfairly treats its members. “They want war, they are going to have war and we have already shown them that we already have them located. We're going for all of you, ”says a professionally printed banner signed by the Jalisco cartel that appeared hanging in a building in Guanajuato in May. "For each member of our company (CJNG) that you send, two of your tacticians will be killed, wherever you are, at home, on patrols or fixed services," says the banner, referring to the cartel by its initials. Officials in Guanajuato, Mexico's most violent state, where the CJNG fights local gangs backed by the Sinaloa cartel, declined to comment on how many members of the elite group have been killed so far.

 

In the most recent case, state police publicly acknowledged that an officer was abducted from his home Thursday, killed, and his body dumped on a highway. Security analyst David Saucedo says there have been many cases. “Many other (officers) decided to defect. They took their families, abandoned their homes and are in hiding and on the run." He added that the "CJNG is hunting down the elite policemen of Guanajuato." It's hard to find the number of victims, but Poplab, a news cooperative in Guanajuato, said at least seven police officers have been killed on their days off so far this year. In January, armed men went to the home of a policewoman, killed her husband, dragged her away, tortured her and dumped her bullet-riddled body. Guanajuato has had the highest number of murdered police officers of any Mexican state since at least 2018, according to Poplab. Between 2018 and May 12, a total of 262 police officers have been killed, about 75 officers each year, more than are killed by gunfire or other assaults on average each year across the United States. The problem in Guanajuato has gotten so bad that the state government published a special decree on May 17 to provide an unspecified amount of funding for protection mechanisms for police and prison officials. "This is an open war against the security forces of the state government," Saucedo said.

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Mexico
« Reply #668 on: June 23, 2021, 11:47:33 AM »
June 23, 2021
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US-Mexico Border Security: A Modern Version of an Old Problem
It’s a geopolitical problem that often gets painted in political colors.
By: Allison Fedirka
U.S.-Mexico defense and security cooperation is a geopolitical conundrum. Geography dictates that the two countries must work together to address security concerns across their extensive shared border, among other issues. However, a host of constraints – many of which are permanent or endemic – surround this relationship. Such constraints limit the space in which cooperation can take place and the possibility for mutually acceptable solutions.

The United States and Mexico share one of the longest continuous and dynamic land borders in the world. There are 50 official crossings along the 1,900 miles of border between them. Before the pandemic, approximately $1 billion worth of trade crossed the border every day, with advanced manufactured goods often crossing back and forth multiple times. This movement of goods is vital for both countries’ economies. Mexican exports to the U.S. represent approximately 31 percent of its gross domestic product, and the four U.S. states that border Mexico (and rely heavily on migrant labor) account for 25 percent of U.S. GDP.

Commerce at the border is possible so long as the border is secure and stable. But more than that, a tranquil border – something that has generally existed since the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848 – was a geopolitical prerequisite for Washington to project power abroad. In other words, the absence of a major threat from the south freed up policymakers to allocate resources toward supporting and executing their foreign policy ambitions. (So important is border security that in World War I, Germany tried but failed to sow conflict between the U.S. and Mexico in hopes of bogging down the U.S. Army in North America.)

Rightly or wrongly, U.S.-Mexico border security tends to get lumped in with domestic politics – such that it obscures the real reasons border tensions are so difficult to resolve. The issue du jour, of course, is immigration, specifically Central American immigration via Mexico. (This issue predates the pandemic, but the associated economic and social deterioration of COVID-19 made it worse.) There is a consensus among the U.S., Mexico and Central American countries that the migration flows should be addressed, as should the underlying causes of migration. There is no consensus on how to do it. No country wants to assume the bulk of the responsibility for a solution where others have a say. The solution each country brings to the negotiating table often reflects the political necessities of the moment, painting a fundamentally geopolitical problem in political colors.

The underlying constraints that limit the intensity and the potential of U.S. and Mexican cooperation are a byproduct of a historical rivalry. The United States didn’t always dominate North America; it had to compete with Mexico for territory and foreign allies, especially in both of their early years.

They even fought a war with each other, after which Mexico lost large swaths of territory to the U.S. Equally scarring but often forgotten up north are the memories formed by a U.S. military invasion that ventured not only into the borderlands but into what is present-day Mexico City.

Subsequent U.S. interventions and invasions of Mexican territory reinforced Mexico’s sensitivity to and distrust of U.S. security forces. During the Mexican Revolution in 1910, Mexico was so unstable that the U.S., compelled as it was to stem any spillover into its territory, sought to block incoming weapons to Mexico that could add to the violence, including by occupying the port of Veracruz.

Then there was U.S. involvement in the Punitive Expedition of 1916-17. One of the leading figures vying for political power during the revolution was Pancho Villa, who actively tried to draw the U.S. into the conflict as a way to undermine Mexican state forces. After he attacked U.S. citizens and raided border towns, the U.S. Army sent as many as 12,000 soldiers into Mexico to search for Villa. And though the U.S. would withdraw them as WWI commanded more and more attention, the seeds of distrust in Mexico had been planted.

However unlikely an invasion from the north may be, the fear of subjugation is a defining feature of Mexico City’s border security strategy. Mexico is obviously not strong enough to unilaterally take on the U.S. alone, so its current strategy revolves around keeping U.S. security forces at as much distance as possible. But since security cooperation is in both of their interests, they have had to engage in a variety of ways to keep the border safe. Perhaps the most notable of which was the 2008 Merida Initiative, which established a cooperation framework between the U.S. and Mexico for combating transnational crime, drug trafficking and money laundering primarily through U.S. support to the judiciary. But even then, there are parameters in place to limit the physical presence of U.S. security officials in Mexico and to regulate how shared information is exercised and used. More recently, the Mexican government went further and passed legislation that restricts the operational tasks U.S. security and intelligence agents can engage in.

Geography also makes it difficult for Mexican security forces to cooperate with outside countries. Mountainous and desert terrain split Mexico into states that, during colonial times and early independence, were extremely isolated from the central government and needed to rely on their own resources and systems for governance and security. Over time, this contributed to power vacuums that have often been filled by criminal groups. Crises such as pandemics make it all the more difficult for the central government to reassert control.

The U.S. understands all these limitations, which is why the immigration issue remains so intractable. It’s also why the U.S. has begun to reengage with Central American countries more directly. Mexico will always be part of the equation, but there is only so much it can do given its financial constraints and its general (and understandable) aversion to U.S. security presence. It’s a contemporary version of a historical problem, one that calls into the question the very concept of national sovereignty.

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Mexico
« Reply #669 on: June 23, 2021, 11:49:12 AM »

 

CU’s El Betin Gunned Down in Street by Sicarios in Morelia, Michoacan
Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas: Cartel del Golfo Burns Captured Combatants
Reynosa, Tamaulipas: The Hunting of Innocent Civilians
Knights Templar Cartel joins CJNG to Form Michoacan New Mob Cartel
La Costa, Michoacan: CJNG Leaves Decapitated Heads and Message for El Abuelo (Graphic image Attached)
Chihuahua: Business Robbery, Crime With the Most Increase in Corral Administration
EXCLUSIVE: Los Zetas Cartel Builds Big Data Surveillance System on Mexican Border City
Mexican president vows to investigate deadly border shootings of innocent bystanders
 

 

Topic # 1:   CU’s El Betin Gunned Down in Street by Sicarios in Morelia, Michoacan

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/cus-el-betin-gunned-down-in-street-by.html

 



 

The Story:

 

El Betín was gunned down inside his car in the middle of the street on Sunday. El Betín is the brother of a Carteles Unidos plaza boss named El Seco in Apatzingán. El Betín also allegedly had financial ties to powerful Carteles Unidos leader Alberto Espinoza Barrón, "La Fresa" an infamous, high ranking former leader of La Familia Michoacana.

 

The Shooting

 

On the afternoon of Sunday, June 20 2021, a man known by the alias “El Betín” or “El Cocón” was driving in his purple Chevrolet Camaro on Periférico Paseo de la República street, in an area south of the city of Morelia, Michoacán. When El Betín reached the section of the street near the subdivision “Morelia 450” unknown assailants opened fire on him. No details are given about the appearance of the attackers nor if they were inside a vehicle at the time of the shooting. The vehicle and El Betín himself were riddled with bullets in the attack. The assailants then fled in an unknown direction. El Betín received serious gunshot injuries from the shooting. Witnesses to the attack called the emergency services line to report the incident. Paramedics were dispatched to the scene. El Betín was given basic first aid on site and rushed in an ambulance to a hospital however Betín succumbed to his injuries and died while he was being treated by doctors at the hospital.



 

Who is El Betín? How does he relate to Carteles Unidos?

 

Contra Muro reports that El Betín is the brother of Juan Manuel Montero Nambo, alias “El Seco”, who is alleged to be the Carteles Unidos plaza boss in charge of the town of Santiago de Acahuato, in Apatzingán municipality. El Betín has also allegedly been financially linked to Alberto Espinoza Barrón, alias “La Fresa” or 'The Strawberry'. La Fresa is a former lieutenant of the La Familia Michoacana. He is currently believed to be a major leadership figure within Carteles Unidos. Back in the 2000s-2010s, La Fresa is believed to have taken over the Morelia plaza after the death of “El Güero”. La Fresa was believed to be a financial advisor and right arm of Dionisio Loya Plancarte, alias "El Tío" and Nazario Moreno González alias "El Chayo", the leaders of La Familia Michoacana at the time.



La Fresa was arrested in December 2008 and was believed to be succeeded by Rafael Cedeño Hernández alias “El Cede” after Fresa’s arrest. El Cede was later famously arrested in 2009 while attending a baptism party for a baby born to a cartel member. With La Fresa having all these historic ties to the criminal underworld of Michoacán, Fresa is a very interesting character for El Betín to allegedly have direct financial ties to.

 

Who is his brother, El Seco?

 

Juan Manuel Montero Nambo, alias “El Seco” a native of the town of Acahuato, municipality of Apatzingán, Michoacán. He first came to the attention of the public in 2014 when an avocado farmer from Tancítaro came forward to authorities and revealed that two years prior, in November 2012, El Seco had kidnapped him and held him for ransom. The avocado farmer was only released by El Seco and his men because the farmer had promised he would sell some property he owned in order to afford the large ransom they were demanding. After his captors released him, the farmer made good on his promise, sold the property and delivered the money to appease El Seco. The farmer did not report the incident to police at the time because he was afraid of reprisals against his family.   



Juan Manuel Montero Nambo, alias “El Seco”

 

The farmer had chosen to come forward in 2014 because El Seco was believed to have fled the state and believed to be in hiding so he was unable to hurt the farmer’s family in retribution. When the Michoacán State Attorney General’s Office received this report from the avocado farmer, they began investigating the current whereabouts of El Seco.  They were able to locate him in the town of San Pedro Tlaquepaque, in the state of Jalisco. According to Vallarta Uno,  El Seco had been hiding out in Jalisco for the last 8 months because “he was hiding from another subject with whom he had problems in his state [Michoacán]”. El Seco was arrested by authorities and presented before a judge on charges related to the homicide of six people and the kidnapping of seven others.  In addition to the November 2012 avocado farmer kidnapping, El Seco is believed to be involved in the kidnapping and ransom of two women in Tancítaro, also in November 2012. One of the kidnapped women was released, presumably after payment was received while the other woman was later found dead.



El Seco after being apprehended by the PGR in 2014

 

El Seco is believed to be involved in the August 2013 kidnapping and subsequent murder of five people in Tancítaro. Only 3 remains of the five kidnapped were ever recovered. Those three remains were located in September, a month after they were kidnapped, in the Tepalcatepec river. El Seco is also suspected in the November 2014 kidnapping of 4 farmers in the city of Apatzingán. Those four farmers are still missing to this day, their whereabouts unknown.



El Seco after being apprehended by the PGR in 2014

 

Who was behind the hit on El Betín?

 

The cartel affiliation of the assailants who killed El Betín is currently unknown. There are no confirmed reports on who was behind the attack. It should be noted that Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) has previously threatened El Betín’s brother El Seco on social media. The CJNG is widely considered to be Carteles Unidos’s primary rival in the state of Michoacán. According to Letra Roja, in May 2021 the CJNG publicly named and threatened members of the Michoacán Police who they allege are working for El Seco and fellow Carteles Unidos member, El Tukan.

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Topic # 2:  Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas: Cartel del Golfo Burns Captured Combatants

Source: http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/monte-escobedo-zacatecas-cartel-del.html

 



 

A new video from the Mexican underworld has just surfaced online. For this broadcast hitmen from the Gulf Cartel (CDG), in alliance with the Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) are disposing of their adversaries with fire in an open field. An ominous message for the enemy is being spoken. While an enforcer is pouring a flammable liquid from a one gallon container onto a tight firewood stack. Beneath the mound of wood lies an injured Grupo Flechas combatant. Before their communique concludes the horrific screams of the immolated individual can be heard in the background.

 

Video translation is as follows:

 

Sicario #1: This will be the fate of everyone who wants to help out the Sinaloa enforcers. For those of you wanting to do a favor for the Sinaloa Cartel. As it is you owe us for that loss we took in Tepetongo. Little by little we are going to turn things around in our favor. I’m telling you this ahead of time so that you don’t find yourselves in disbelief afterwards. So you all know how Commander Fantasma takes care of things.

 

Sicario #2: Pay attention gentlemen. This is how the Sinaloa gunmen are being burned away. Because you guys are assholes and pieces of shit. You still owe us for that loss we had in Tepetongo. We are the absolute mob of Mr. Fantasma. This is an operation for Mr. Fantasma you fucks. The fucking towns of Monte Escobedo and Tepetongo belong to us.

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Topic # 3:  Reynosa, Tamaulipas: The Hunting of Innocent Civilians

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/reynosa-tamaulipas-hunting-of-innocent.html

 



 

The Story:

 

Last Saturday, the city of Reynosa was again a ghost town of desolate avenues and closed shops. Messages circulating on WhatsApp asking people not to leave their homes and alert their families that the nightmare had begun again. That day a caravan formed by trucks and sedan cars arrived in Reynosa from Río Bravo. Those who were part of the convoy toured four colonies in the east - Almaguer, Lampacitos, Unidad Obrera and Bienestar - shooting at the people they were encountering in their path. Construction workers, workers repairing the sewer, a young newly graduated nurse, an elderly person who walked under the burning sun (and who was shot in the throat), the owner of a grocery store and a customer who was shopping at the time he passed the hitmen's armed criminal cell. In total, 14 people whose lives were cut up on the chopping block at the whim of the murderers. The citizens of Reynosa have learned to live between shootings that are recorded almost every day, at any time. It is common for citizens to check their social networks before leaving home or work, in order to avoid war zones: roads in which persecutions are recorded, or vehicles are burned.

 

It’s not strange that civilians lose their lives by being caught in the crossfire of the groups that dispute control of that border city. But nothing like this had ever happened. The hunt for innocent people, without a criminal record or any relationship with organized crime. "Unpublished, unprecedented," said Attorney Irving Barrios. In April 2017, a former bodyguard who had become leader of the Gulf Cartel, Julián Manuel Loisa Salinas, El Comandante Toro, was killed by the Navy. Loisa was fleeing for the sixth time from an operation designed to stop him. On that occasion he couldn't escape. The truck in which he was fleeing crashed into a tree: he descended opening fire on the sailors. He was riddled on the spot. His death unleashed two days of chaos and extreme violence in Reynosa. His men burned shops, cars, buses, cargo trucks. There were 32 blockades in the city. The Gulf Cartel itself circulated audios ordering people not to leave their homes. There were versions that a group of Cyclones - one of the factions of the cartel - had been sent from Matamoros to take over the city, one of the main drug and migrant crossings: a kidnapping gold mine, "protection fee", hydrocarbon theft and extortion.

 

The command was assumed by Jesús García, El Güero Jessi. But other cartel leaders opposed: Alberto Salinas, El Betillo; Petronilo Flores, aka El Metro 100 or El Comandante Panilo; Lui Alberto Blanco, El Pelochas, as well as Juan Miguel Lizardi, nicknamed Miguelito 56. Between April and July of that year, 90 executions were recorded in Reynosa. There was talk of a hundred disappearances. Clashes between Los Metros (fraction of the CDG whose stronghold is Reynosa), Los Ciclones (armed wing created by Alfredo Cárdenas Martínez, El Contador) and Los Escorpiones (fraction created by Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, aka Tony Tormenta, and composed of ex-police officers) intensified. The internal struggle ended in a bloodbath that plunged Reynosa into darkness. El Betillo and El Güero Jessi were killed. El Pelochas and El Metro 100, arrested. His successors continued to be engaged in a struggle that has made Reynosa one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico - and with the greatest perception of insecurity.

 

In 2019, 140 inhabitants of Charco Escondido, just 20 kilometers from Reynosa, left their homes: the hitmen had entered the community to burn several homes: seven people from the same family were killed days later. In the middle of all that fire, the Northeast Cartel was also introduced into the area, commanded by a nephew of the bloodthirsty Z-40, former leader of the Zetas: Juan Gerardo Treviño, known as El Huevo. For years, the bodies of executed people have appeared on rural roads, as happened in May 2021 when six men in tactical vests were found with gunshots in the head, or as happened in August last year, when the heads of three "bodyguards" of Commander Maestrín (a lieutenant of Miguelito 56) appeared.

 

For years, blockades have been a daily thing, as happened last March, when Mayor Maki Ortiz could not reach the celebration for the 272 years of the foundation of the city because criminals had crossed vehicles and placed caltrops on various avenues. For years, in one of the main manufacturing and cross-border trade centers, classes have been suspended, shops close, people have equipped themselves in their homes: the streets become a cemetery. And yet, nothing similar to what happened this Saturday had never happened: hitmen hunting people in the streets: murderers who go through four colonies killing at random, without anything happening: without being persecuted, arrested, judged. The massacres are repeated. Violence in Mexico is out of control and the State is increasingly incapable of guaranteeing the security of citizens.

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Topic # 4: Knights Templar Cartel joins CJNG to Form Michoacan New Mob Cartel

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/knights-templar-cartel-joins-cjng-to.html

 



 

Synopsis:

 

The Knights Templar Cartel has separated from the United Cartels (CU) and joined forces with the Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) and now call themselves the Cártel Gente Nueva de Michoacán (Michoacán New Mob Cartel). The possible rupture between the Knights Templar and United Cartels came after the murder of a well-known owner of a steakhouse in the town of Coalcoman, who had alleged links with the criminal organization. It is believed that the hitmen behind the attack were from Cárteles Unidos, who in addition to murdering the owner Margarito Gálvez, also set fire to the restaurant with the victim inside. A crime that caused indignation because residents claimed that the man was honest and had no criminal activity, a fact that contrasts with the version of the reason for the rupture between the Michoacán cartels. The owner of the restaurant gained notoriety in 2019, when Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) ate at the restaurant during a visit to the state of Michoacán along with two other members of his cabinet.

 

The Knights Templar Cartel

 

The Knights Templar Cartel emerged in the state of Michoacán as an ally of the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS). And publicly announced its appearance in March 2011, originally it would replace the La Familia Michoacana (LFM) but over the years both groups followed each other in their own way. The original leaders of the Knights Templar were Enrique Plancarte aka El Kike Plancarte, Servando Gómez Martínez, aka La Tuta and José Antonio González aka El Pepe, who after the alleged death of the leader of the Michoacana Family, Nazario Moreno González aka El Chayo, the Madest Male and the Craziest One, in December 2010. Following after the break with Jesús Méndez Vargas, tried to take over the social base that The Michoacana Family captured in its beginnings. But most of its founders have been killed or arrested, which turned The Knights Templar into a very small cartel with a discreet presence which led it to be part of United Cartels to confront the CJNG. Unidos is an alliance of several small criminal groups such as Los Viagras and La Familia Michoacana, as well as some self-defense groups that have allegedly received support from the Sinaloa Cartel to combat the CJNG's attempts to take control of key coastal areas used to bring drugs to Mexico, as well as production territories in the mountains.

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Topic # 5:  La Costa, Michoacan: CJNG Leaves Decapitated Heads and Message for El Abuelo

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/la-costa-michoacan-cjng-leave.html

 



 

Synopsis:

 

The Cartel Jalisco New Generation released online a narco message directed at Juan Jose Farías Álvarez aka El Abuelo Farías. Their notice also included the heads of two decapitated males in a styrofoam cooler. The ascending CJNG is looking to assassinate him. El Abuelo is a controversial figure in Mexico. He’s been linked to the self-defense groups and the world of drug trafficking. In the city of Tepalcatepec he is received with praise and cheers by the townspeople. El Abuelo is a celebrity for some but for the Michoacán government El Abuelo is a criminal. Currently he’s the leader of the Tepalcatepec Cartel.

 

Narco message reads as follows:

 

This will be the fate of everyone who supports El Abuelo, El Torró, El Teto. Along with you Chopo Panzón, you’re next bitch. Jackass, jackass, jackass. Sincerely, CJNG

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Topic # 6:  Chihuahua: Business Robbery, Crime With the Most Increase in Corral Administration

Source:  http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/chihuahua-business-robbery-crime-with.html

 

   

 

The Story:

 

According to data from the Trust for Competitiveness and Citizen Security (Ficosec), during the administration of Governor Javier Corral Jurado the crime that increased the most was that of robbery without violence, while in the rest of crimes the variation is not very significant. “The truth is that the statistical behavior comparing the last three state administrations is very similar; There is not much to analyze, because it varies in some crimes, well, there are some that have gone down in this administration, but there are others that have gone up ”, explained Arturo Luján Olivas, director of the Ficosec Foundation. Regarding the investigation folders for business robbery without violence, the director of the association points out that in the administration from 2010 to 2016, a total of 7,805 folders were found, while the current administration, which ends in September, has registered 9,046, which corresponds to an increase of 27.6%. This is by comparing the first 55 months of each administration, to make a fair comparison, since it should be remembered that this last period of government has been shorter than the previous ones.

 

Regarding intentional homicide, it only increased 1% compared to the previous administration, since from 8,894 folders during the period of César Duarte, the figure increased to 8,990 in the Corral government. “Those 100 folders are a very small variation; but in what corresponds to victims there is a significant decrease, since in the previous administration there were 11,291 victims, while this administration has registered 10,198 deaths ”. The highest peak in this crime was registered in August 2020, with 247 folders, which compared to the most complicated month of the previous administration, which was January 2011, with 311 folders, shows a decrease of 20.5%. "Yes there is an important change, but we must also take into account that the figures are sometimes highlighted in folders and sometimes the victims must be highlighted, as a folder can have more than one victim." However, historically the month of January 2011 is not the highest, since in the Reyes Baeza administration, which was from 2004 to 2010, August 2010 had a total of 406 research folders; 39.1% more than the most violent month of the last administration.

 

“The rest of the crimes that we monitor, which is the robbery of a house with and without violence; business robbery with violence, vehicle robbery in its two forms, kidnapping and extortion, the numbers decreased; that means we can talk about an improvement.” As for the crime that decreased the most in the last 55 weeks, it is theft of a vehicle with violence, it has a decrease, in the comparison of administrations, of more than 82% in the investigation folders, while theft without violence also decreased up to 60% statewide. “Of course the decline is a good thing, although we will never be satisfied with the numbers around public safety; it would be wrong for us to affirm satisfaction with the numbers, but we are able to recognize that in hard data there is improvement in some crimes ”. Therefore, the head of the Ficosec Foundation points out that the crime trend has been downward, despite the fact that there are erratic months in terms of crime, however crime levels are still above the national average.

 

“In the last 12 months, which correspond from June 2020 to May 2021, the mobile homicide rate is 6.6 victims per 100,000 inhabitants; while the municipalities of Chihuahua bring a rate of 44 victims and Ciudad Juárez of 102 per 100 thousand inhabitants ”. Likewise, he pointed out that 45 of the 67 municipalities in the state are above the national average in terms of homicides; taking into account that there are municipalities where the rate must be for every 10,000 inhabitants, because the population is smaller. "It is not the same to speak of 20 homicides in Ciudad Juárez, to speak of 20 homicides in Cuauhtémoc, in Uruachi or any of the towns that are located in the mountainous area, which do not even reach 100,000 inhabitants."

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Topic # 7:  EXCLUSIVE: Los Zetas Cartel Builds Big Data Surveillance System on Mexican Border City

Source:  https://www.breitbart.com/border/2021/06/22/exclusive-los-zetas-cartel-builds-big-data-surveillance-system-on-mexican-border-city/

 



 

Synopsis:

 

Los Zetas Cartel checkpoints in the border city of Nuevo Laredo are linked to more than 100 forced disappearances–including the recent kidnapping of three U.S. citizens. The checkpoints exist with complete impunity and are part of a complex strategy to give the criminal organization more control by harvesting the data of those stopped at the roadblocks. Breitbart Texas consulted with U.S. law enforcement agents in Mexico who are working the case of a missing Texas family from earlier this month as they were traveling from a town in Nuevo Leon to the border city of  Nuevo Laredo. 39-year-old Gladys Cristina Perez Sanchez traveled with her 16-year-old son, Juan Carlos Gonzales, and her 9-year-old daughter, Cristina Duran, when they went missing. The current theory is the family encountered a cartel checkpoint. In 2021, authorities have documented close to 100 similar cases in and around Nuevo Laredo–prime Los Zetas turf.

 

Authorities from both sides of the border shared with Breitbart Texas exclusive information about a complex intelligence apparatus used by the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas to exert complete control of their territories. The region is under the cartel command of Juan Gerardo “El Huevo” Trevino Chavez. The cartel operation uses lookouts and informants placed in strategic turf locations. Those individuals call in suspicious vehicles or persons who then intercepted. The gunmen interrogate the disappeared about their identities, where they are traveling, and why. The gunmen also order motorists to unlock their cell phones and check their social media. The cartel operators reportedly can quickly clone a phone they deem suspicious for deeper data mining. The information is relayed to a central network of radio, phone, and database operators, similar to a 911 call center. Authorities share grave concern about how CDN-Los Zetas has created a database which mimics government ones loaded with property records, license information, and other contents.

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Topic # 8:  Mexican president vows to investigate deadly border shootings of innocent bystanders

Source:  https://www.borderreport.com/regions/mexico/mexican-president-vows-to-investigate-deadly-border-shootings-of-innocent-bystanders/

 



 

The Story:

 

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico’s president vowed to investigate the border shootings that left 19 people dead over the weekend, even as the latest homicide figures showed a rebound in killings nationwide. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said evidence indicated that 15 of the victims were innocent bystanders. The other four dead were suspected gunmen from a group that drove into the northern border city of Reynosa and opened fire indiscriminately. “Everything indicates that it was not a confrontation, but rather a commando that shot people who were not involved in any conflict,” López Obrador said. The government of Tamaulipas state, where Reynosa is located, said in a statement there was evidence the killings involved “organized crime,” which in Mexico is generally used to refer to drug cartels. Cartels in the Reynosa area have become increasingly involved in migrant trafficking or charging protection fees to migrant traffickers. Raymundo Ramos, who leads one of the state’s most active human rights groups, said he believed the killings were related to the June 6 elections that chose new mayors for Reynosa and most other Mexican cities and towns.

 

“This is clearly an act of post-electoral terror directed at the people of Reynosa, and probably a warning for the rest of the townships in Tamaulipas,” wrote Ramos. Drug gangs in Mexico rely heavily on intimidating or coopting local governments to extort money or gain protection from municipal police. Reynosa is located across the border from McAllen, Texas, and has been the scene of fighting between factions of the Gulf cartel. But those disputes usually target rival gunmen or security forces. The dead in the Saturday attack included taxi drivers, workers and a nursing student. On Monday, federal prosecutors said they were taking over the case, in which one suspect has been arrested. The Attorney General’s Office said the attack was “the result of territorial disputes between gangs from Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas and the cartels that operate in Reynosa.” Rio Bravo is located just to the east of Reynosa. Authorities are still investigating the motive, though in the past, drug cartels have sometimes used random killings of civilians to turn up the heat on rival gangs, or intimidate local authorities.

 

López Obrador pledged “a thorough investigation.” María Elena Morera, director of the civic anti-crime group Common Cause, said many people have become inured to such violence. “Mexicans have become accustomed to all these atrocities, without there being any real reaction,” Morera said. “In the face of so much violence, people prefer not to let the pain in, and turn away.” The killings Saturday in Reynosa, and the latest nationwide homicide figures, suggest that López Obrador’s “hugs not bullets” crime strategy is doing little to decrease killings. There were 2,963 homicides in May, the latest month for which figures are available, higher than May 2020 and well above the numbers that prevailed when López Obrador took office in December 2018. The government says homicides declined 2.9% in the first five months of 2021 compared to 2020, but that may be because January and February of this year were marked by Mexico’s worst coronavirus wave, when public activities were curtailed. “This is nothing,” Morera said of the drop. “It is as if you keep a patient in a coma and then say he’s doing very well.”

 

Tamaulipas Gov. Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca called the Reynosa victims “innocent citizens,” and said “Criminal organizations must receive a clear, explicit and forceful signal from the Federal Government that there will be no room for impunity, nor tolerance for their reprehensible criminal behavior.” García Cabeza de Vaca belongs to the rival National Action Party and is himself being investigated by the federal prosecutor’s office for organized crime and money laundering – accusations he says are part of plan by López Obrador’s government to attack him for being an opponent. Local businessman Misael Chavarria Garza said many businesses closed early Saturday after the attacks and people were very scared as helicopters flew overhead. On Sunday, he said “the people were quiet as if nothing had happened, but with a feeling of anger because now crime has happened to innocent people.” The attacks sparked a deployment of the military, National Guard and state police across the city.

 

The area’s criminal activity has long been dominated by the Gulf cartel and there have been fractures within that group. Experts say there has been an internal struggle within the group since 2017 to control key territories for drug and human trafficking. Apparently, one cell from a nearby town may have entered Reynosa to carry out the attacks. López Obrador has sought to avoid confrontations with drug cartels, at one point releasing a top trafficker to avoid bloodshed. He prefers to focus on addressing underlying social problems like youth unemployment. Earlier this month, López Obrador praised the drug cartels for not disrupting the June 6 mid-term voting, even though three dozen candidates were killed during the campaigns. “People who belong to organized crime behaved very well, in general, there were few acts of violence by these groups,” the president said. “I think the white-collar criminals acted worse.”

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