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SOURCE FOR CALIFORNIA, NATIONAL & GLOBAL BREAKING NEWS
More Americans shot in Mexico
By Michael Webster:
Investigative Reporter May
8, 2008 11:30 PM PDT Revised May 10, 2008 3:00 PM PDT
were shot and wounded on Thursday as they were leaving the
Arriba Chihuahua nightclub in the ProNaF tourist zone in the
violent Mexican border city of Juárez. The shootings were
apparently deliberate attempts on Americans. They were targeted,
not just random bystanders caught up in the wave of violence
that has recently engulfed Juárez, Mexican authorities said.
The wounded were identified by
police as Juan Manuel Contreras Machado, 32, Luz Elena
Velazquez, 27, Jorge Jimenez, 21, and Alejandro Vazquez, 26.
Mexican police confirmed that all four wounded are Americans and
live in the border city of El Paso Texas.
Police said the victims were taken
to hospitals in both Juárez and El Paso. Thomason General
Hospital in El Paso confirmed that Vazquez and Jimenez are being
treated there and are in stable condition.
are wondering when the Bush administration is going to raise the
travel alert to its highest level "travel warning," for American
travelers to Mexico? How many American citizens are going to
have to be shot, killed or kidnapped before the American
government move to prevent needless deaths and issue the proper
"travel warning," for Americans?
At the scene of the shooting,
investigators found nine 9 mm bullet casings and a green
Chevrolet Malibu with Chihuahua plates that had four gunshots in
its side windows and windshield.
Since the start of the year, more
than 250 people, including several law enforcement officers,
have been killed in Juárez alone, in a war between the rival
Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels. Since the beginning of this
year more than 3500 people have been murdered in Mexico in what
authorities blame on the Mexican cartels and their criminal
gangs and para-military forces. Officials
claimed the rising death toll showed that criminals were
panicking about the clampdown.
Last month, and only after
pressure from the American press the U.S. State Department
updated its travel alert for Mexico warning U.S. tourists about
the ongoing violence in Mexico, including the drug battles in
Juárez and other border cities. The alert, which is less serious
than a "travel warning," advises visitors to travel during the
day, avoid traveling alone and stick to well-known tourist
zones. The four shot Americans where in that well-known zone. In
fact it happened in downtown Juarez and within a very short
distance from downtown El Paso Texas.
More than 50 people
died in several separate incidents of related Mexican drug
cartel crime in Mexico in the last few days, with the most gruesome attack by cartel para-military members, occurring in the southern Guerrero state.
In Ciudad Juarez, despite a huge army
deployment in the violent city across the border from El Paso,
the Juárez police
director, the No. 2 man on the city's police force, was shot and
killed early Saturday as violence continues to rock the city of
more than 1 million, officials said.
Officials said Juan Antonio Roman Garcia, 54, was gunned down
shortly before 2 a.m. near the intersection of Grosella and
Manuel J. Cloutheir, which is close to his home.
Reaction to the killing was swift from the head of the police
department, Guillermo Prieto Quintana, who said he was saddened
by the slaying of Roman Garcia, cautioned all police officers to
be careful while working and during their off-duty hours.
Mexican drug hit men killed a senior police officer.Gunmen with assault rifles shot Saul Pena, who was due to be
named one of city's five police commanders, as he left police
"It seems they were waiting for him," said police spokesman
Jaime Torres. "They shot him with AK-47s in the back, the
stomach and the leg. He died in hospital this morning."
Berenice Garcia Corral was executed by killers who went into her
private home garage as she was parking her car. She was the
commander of the Juarez sub-office of the state of Chihuahua's
Att'y. Gen's. Sexual Crimes unit and also 2nd in command of the
State Investigative Agency.
The El Paso Times reported late
Saturday a gunbattle on the Avenida Juárez tourist strip left
two men dead and wounded five others, including three bicycle
police officers, as part of a resurgence of violence in Juárez.
The violence, continued Friday
with in an attempt on the life of a Juárez police commander and
his bodyguards. In Juárez, there were five other separate
homicides as of 8 p.m. Friday.
Chihuahua state police identified the men killed on Avenida
Juárez as German Padilla Zavala, 27, and Oscar Luis Zapien
Police officials said the bicycle officers were responding to
a fight and the sound of gunshots when they came under fire.
Pablo Lozoya, Felipe Martinez Peralta and Mercedes Medina Ortega
were in stable condition Friday morning at a Juárez hospital.
Police also said a 78-year-old man, who was sitting with his
family in the back seat of a car, was grazed by several shots
that struck the vehicle. Investigators found more than 35
bullets casings at the scene.
Friday morning, Juárez police commander Jose Roberto Ortiz
Enriquez, who heads the Barbicora station, and two bodyguards
survived an attack while riding in a patrol truck that was
intercepted by shooters in a pickup, causing the bullet-riddled
police vehicle to crash into a traffic-light pole, police
officials said. The three were hospitalized in stable condition.
Also in Juarez, a private security guard in a bar was found dead
an hour after being taken away by commandos. Still in another
event, two city police officers in a parked patrol unit suffered
bullet wounds from a drive by shooting by unknown persons.
In a barrage of
more than 70 shots were fired in a roadway shooting that killed
two men Lorenzo Juárez Aguayo, 29, and Agustin Damian Navarrete,
38, and wounded another along Avenida Vicente Guerrero in Juárez,
Chihuahua state investigators reported.
The men were in a gray Crown
Victoria and had just left a horse race track when they were
followed by a white van, whose occupants fired multiple shots;
they received multiple gunshot wounds investigators said. Juan
Verdugo, 21, who was in the back seat of the car, was wounded
and taken to a Juárez hospital in undisclosed condition.
The lifeless bodies of three more men were found on different
streets in Juarez. All dead from stab wounds, beat to death
Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz on Friday asked that federal and
military forces do more and change strategies to stop the
bloodshed, which is linked to a war across Mexico between
government forces and drug-trafficking groups.
"To us, it
appears evident that organized crime has learned the routine of
the army. Its regular patrol routes, the hours it patrols and
has designed strategies to evade" military operations, Reyes
Ferriz said in a statement.
afternoon, a father and son were killed in a hail of 67 bullets
along a street in Palomas, across the border from Columbus,
N.M., Chihuahua state police said.
Arnoldo Carreon Renteria, 57, and his son Damian Arnoldo Carreon,
25, were shot while getting into their pickup truck.
Luna County Sheriff Raymond Cobos said that the men were
believed to be Palomas residents and that his deputies were on
alert to make sure violence did not spill over into the U.S.
In Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, a "heavy caliber"
car-to-car gunfire assault killed a lawyer, his wife and a third
adult and left the dead couple's minor daughter gravely wounded.
Casas Grandes Mexico is some 125 mi. SW of Ciudad Juarez.
Chihuahua, Sonora & Sinaloa experienced extreme violence as
seventeen persons were executed, seven of whom were state and
city police officers. At Parral, Chihuahua, two city police
officers were shot and killed just two blocks away from the
police station when they tried to stop subjects in a "camioneta"
(read either p/u truck or SUV).
In Nogales, Sonora, a shootout between city police and "presumed
criminals" resulted in four deaths, one of them an agent. Three
persons were arrested and a woman relative of the thugs was
later killed in Hermosillo in what was believed to be a
follow-up event to those deaths.
The partially burned bodies of two men were found inside bags
in Cajeme; one of them had had his legs cut off.
"Ministerial" agent Jose Manuel Pena Lopez was driving a vehicle
in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, when he was shot and killed by subjects
riding a motorcycle. And Miguel Angel Santa Cruz Armendariz, the
state's Ministerial Police investigations coordinator was
riddled by gunfire.
In Navolato, Sinaloa, the body of a beheaded man was found with
a message on a tag board. Three other crimes presumable linked
to organized crime took place in the states of Chiapas,
Tamaulipas and Durango. Meanwhile, four police
officers were killed in an ambush in the northern state of
Sinaloa and a local media report said another two local police
officers had also been killed.
Rival factions of the local
Arellano Felix drug cartel in Tijuana on the Mexico-California
border fought each other with rifles and machine guns in the
early hours of the morning, police said.
Fourteen bodies lay in pools of
blood, strewn along a road near assembly-for-export maquiladora
plants on the city's eastern limits. The corpses were surrounded
by hundreds of bullet casings and many of the victims' faces
A 15th body was found close by
after the victim apparently tried to walk away before collapsing
dead. Eight other men were wounded and taken to a local hospital
where two more cartel members were shot dead by Tijuana police.
In the El Refugio section of Tijuana the body of a man was
found inside a vehicle and wrapped in a blanket (note: this is a
typical sign that an execution has been committed); the vehicle
was left parked in front of a children's playground.
Heavily armed men killed at least
16 people, all members of a ranchers' association, in two
different massacres in southern Mexico, Mexican media said.
Some 40 men riding in luxury vehicles and wearing uniforms of an
elite police squad shot nine people dead in the town of Petatlan
in the state of Guerrero, El Universal newspaper
reported. And a group toting automatic weapons killed seven
people in the town of Iguala, also in Guerrero.
Reforma newspaper said the ranchers were holding a
meeting in Iguala and at least two of the sons and other
family members and employees of the
association's state leader, Rogaciano Alba, were killed in the
attack. Alba himself has survived two other attacks in the past,
The newspapers did not say what could have triggered the attacks
but well-armed drug traffickers are active in Guerrero, a poor,
mountainous state on the Pacific coast home to the Acapulco
beach resort. Clashes over land rights or local politics are
also common in Guerrero.
The number of dead in the war against narcotraffic already
exceeds three thousand five hundred. On average, 205 members of
the different factions have died on a monthly basis between Dec.
2006 and April of this year. In contrast, the monthly average of
U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq is around 100.
President Felipe Calderon has warned that the narco-war would
bring with it an elevated cost in human lives, but the
specialists in the matter point out that the level of violence
was underestimated. The president of the "CNDH" (Mex. Natn'l.
Commission on Human Rights), Jose Luis Soberanes, warns that the
capacity of the State has been surpassed and that more forceful
means are due.
Since December 2006,
President Felipe Calderon's Federal Government has deployed
36,000 military troops and thousands of police around the
country in an operation aimed at clamping down on Mexican drug
cartels and other organized crime. Many local and state
officials think more troops are needed and feel like the troops
are losing the battle.
The Mexican drug cartel
violence has plagued the country since before he took office.
Just in March of this year, the Mexican government sent more
than 2,500 soldiers and federal police officers to curb the
violence in the border city of Juárez. Killings slowed for a few
weeks after the arrival of federal forces but appear to have
recently resumed. Now many Mexicans believe the cartels have the
upper hand and are continuing the horrible global drug business
that terrorizes many Mexican families.
For related articles go to:
Mexico Attorney General’s office
Mexican Military officers
The president of the "CNDH"
(Mex. Natn'l. Commission on Human Rights), Jose Luis Soberanes
Juarez police Dept.
U.S. State Department
The National Association Of
Former Border Patrol Officers
El Paso Times
The San Diego
Luna County Sheriff's Office
Dana Point, CA. / (949) 240-2000 or (800) 241-3333
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