A Border Fence within Mexico Causes Controversy
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Foreign News Report

El Porvenir (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon) 2/15/08

(note: on 2/13/08 we reported about the plan by the Mayor of San Nicolas to build a fence along a creek which divides the cities of San Nicolas and Guadalupe, suburbs of Monterrey. San Nicolas wants to keep thieves from Guadalupe from constantly coming across the creek to rob them. What follows is a section of an op/column by Antonio Mendieta commenting on the opposition to the fence by the Mayor of Guadalupe and others.)

"Those damned people sure holler a lot..... There's already fences fences everywhere. Don't pay attention to the demagogues. Guadalupe itself has several "colonias" (read: neighborhoods) surrounded by fences to protect themselves from criminals. The same thing applies to Monterrey and even in Santa Catarina and Juarez. To say nothing of San Pedro. As to the American fence, they could say a Mass if they wish, but the gringos, besides the fact that they have a right to build it, are correct in doing so, and if we had the money we would already have built one bordering Guatemala and Belize. Or not ?"


El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City; part of "O.E.M.", a nationwide newspaper chain) 2/15/08

1. A total of two hundred twenty-nine "undocumented immigrants" from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala were found stuffed under a false bottom cover in a tractor trailer at dawn Thursday. The find took place at a regular inspection point on a highway in Chiapas along the Pacific coast. The group included 52 women and three children. On top of the false bottom over the people being smuggled was a number of boxes with bananas.
According to the "INM" (Mex. immigr.) 57,494 immigrants without papers were detained in Chiapas, Mexico's southernmost state, in 2007.

2. In a press conference at the end of his recent visit to some U.S. cities, Mexico's President Calderon said that during his trip to the U.S. he had contact with staff members of all the U.S. presidential candidates, though not with the candidates themselves. He also expressed his pleasure that the most radical and less thoughtful voices on sensitive issues such as immigration are not the ones which are now in the latter stages of the party elections.
"I see in the main contenders of the two parties important opportunities to generate a much more objective, much more rational, much less emotional dialogue which allows us to deal with and find solutions to the immigration issue."


El Universal (mexico City) 2/15/08

1. (note: there has been fairly wide coverage and remarks about President Calderon's recent visit to the U.S.; a report of such an example follows)
(item headline "Trip to the United States revives rejection of migrants"
In a letter to President Calderon, Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo pointed out "If (Calderon - you) wish to change governmental policies, apply your efforts to the laundry list of Mexican problems instead of getting involved in the domestic politics of the United States."
At the same time, Tancredo's letter presented a catalog of the "infractions" Calderon committed in openly expressing his opinion about the immigration problem and which ranged from involving himself in U.S. domestic issues and up to the alleged "expansionist designs" of the Mexican government.

2. (note: part of today's litany of violence) - The state of Chihuahua had two executions in Parral and an assault on a police officer in the the "Juarez ranch". In Chilpancingo, Guerrero, a 72 year old man was riddled by gunfire and, in Cutzmala, a 19 year old met the same fate. Then, in Durango, Maximino Perez died from five shots. Jalisco added three more executions to the list, two in Guadalajara and one in nearby Zapopan. (note: the Jalisco dead from an article in El Informador today)

Diario (Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Casas Grande editions, Chihuahua) 2/15/08

1. After the shootout in Juarez (reported by us yesterday), Mex. military personnel went to the area, specifically to a house at Rancho Las Cabras St. # 3202, in Colonia Pradera Dorada, Juarez. The thugs had left but they left behind:
- two .50 caliber anti-aircraft "cop killer" guns, capable of trespassing concrete and steel armor
- 25 shoulder weapons - 15 of them assault rifles -
- 5 pistols
- 7 fragmentation grenades
- 3,493 rounds of ammo
- 142 loader clips; 14 bullet-proof vests; 13 other black vests; 8 radios; 5 vehicles (3 of them with Sinaloa plates; one had (U.S.) New Mexico plates FXH693). The house has 3 stories and a 13' tall surrounding wall. (note: the photo attached to this report shows some of that arsenal)
And in Buenaventura, Chihuahua (south of Nuevo Casas Grande), anonymous reports lead to a search of another house. That one yielded:
- Seven AR 15; eight AK47; an HK-223 high power G3 rifle
- Nine thousand rounds of ammo and ten tear gas grenades
- Thirty-one silencers for automatic weapons
- Eight vests and eight shirts with "AFI" logos (Mex. fed. investigations agency)
- Fifteen sets of handcuffs; seven black helmets "level IIIA", plus other uniform and cartridge belt items.

2. From 2003 to 2007 there have been 224 murders, 168 suicides and 54 riots inside Mexican jails. Most murders ( 67) took place in the Distrito Federal (Mexico City metro area) together with the state of Mexico, followed by Sinaloa (34), Tamaulipas (32) and Chihuahua (24) .
Overcapacity and struggles for internal control are said to be the main causes. Criminologist Jose Luis Miasi said that what happens inside a prison is nothing more than a reflection of society.

La Cronica de Hoy (Mexico City) 2/15/08

The "Federal Judicature" counselor, Elena Diaz de Leon, revealed yesterday that there are death threats by organized crime against 25 federal judges and magistrates, mostly in Mexico's northern border area states of Baja California, Tamaulipas, Sonora, Chihuahua but also in Guerrero and Michoacan.

La Voz de la Frontera (Mexicali, Baja California) 2/15/08

Yesterday two more bodies of executed men were found in Tijuana, bringing the current string up to eight in 72 hours. The sixth victim has been definitely identified as a police officer; he not only had a "narcomessage" written on his body but had also been beaten so that his jaw had been broken and his teeth had been knocked out. His neck was "grooved" all the way around and he'd been shot in the head.
The seventh victim had the same style neck groove or furrow, severe bruises on the face and body due to beatings, and his right index finger had been cut off and was taped to the tag board on his body with the usual narco threat message. The eighth body was shot with a .45 in his right eye. The killers left no message that time. Speculation is that at least one of the last two victims is also a police officer.

El Heraldo (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) 2/15/08

Someone stole thirty-three Honduran passports from their Consulate in Houston, TX. They discovered this in October but didn't get around to reporting it until last month. An investigation has been fruitless and some officials claim the passports were "lost", not stolen.

Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 2/15/08

During a meeting with members of the Guatemalan Congress, David Barrientos, head of the "Department of Firearms and Ammunition Control" of Guatemala stated that their calculation is that there are 250,000 (two hundred fifty thousand) illegal firearms in Guatemala and that the country has no control mechanisms in that regard.

El Tiempo.com (Colombia) 2/15/08

In Maicao (note: far northern Colombia, near the Caribbean) police seized almost two metric tons (1,937 kilos) of cocaine camouflaged in 47 packs in a tractor trailer at a parking lot.
Last Jan. 19th, another camouflaged load of a ton and a half was seized in a "fast boat", waiting to be taken to a fishing vessel for later transfer to a Central American country and from there to the U.S.
-end of report