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A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012

Group of 4, including a female cashier for the city government, arrested in recent Tijuana slayings, which included a dismemberment

     Four people, including a cashier for the Tijuana city government, were arrested by state police on suspicion of involvement in recent slayings, which included a dismemberment.

     Arrested following a vehicle chase of a Ford Explorer with California plates in the San Antonio de los Buenos district of the city were: Neftaly Pacheco Ruiz, 28, originally from Tijuana; Rosendo "El Chendo" Campos Zepeda, 35 años, a Michoacán native; Elia Alicia Nielsen Martínez, 21, of Tijuana; and Saúl "El Smiley" Zavala Castañeda, 30 años, of Michoacán.

     El Mexicano newspaper said Nielsen, in addition to being Zavala's girlfriend, was a cashier for the Tijuana city government.

     Media reported that guns were found in the possession of the Explorer's occupants. Pacheco had keys to two nearby cars, which had guns, drugs, a bulletproof vest and two masks, the paper said.

     Campos was identified as the group's leader.

      The gang is believed to have dismembered a body, leaving its head and extremities at a garbage dump in the Salvatierra neighborhood and the rest of the body near Rosarito. The gang also is suspected in the slaying of a car wash employee and of another person whose body was left in a garbage bag at Carretas Canyon.

Story, Frontera (PDF). Front-page story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

Former Tijuana policeman sought in kidnappings and slayings captured

He was believed to have worked for Arellano Félix cartel and had operated in Mexicali and Ensenada because El Gordo Villarreal conducted Tijuana kidnappings until his July 2011 capture

     Former Tijuana policeman Juan Diego "el Yeyo" Alcaráz
Muciño was captured by state police. He is believed to have been behind kidnappings and slayings perpetrated by the Arellano Félix cartel and to have been involved in protection schemes for small-scale drug dealers. He was caught on 16th Street in Colonia Libertad, Frontera reported (PDF).
     He had previously been captured in 2008, but released by a judge who said there was no evidence to hold him on the charge he had been arrested on. He was the alleged mastermind of the 2008 kidnapping of the owner of the "Súper Chivas" meat market in Mexicali; 15 of Alcaráz's alleged accomplices were arrested in that case. El Mexicano said his kidnappings took place in Ensenada and Mexicali because the Arellano Félix cartel had Armando "El Gordo" Villarreal doing that job in Tijuana. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Story of El Gordo's kidnapping operation; he was captured in July 2011.

Pot-filled Cessna seized in Trinidad Valley

      A Cessna with 347 kilos of marijuana was seized after it landed on an onion field in the San Matías community of the Trinidad Valley, Frontera reported. A Ford Bronco 300 meters away also was seized by the Mexican military. The pilot managed to escape. The plane had a hard landing and suffered some damage. Story, Frontera (PDF).

 

Monday, Dec. 17, 2012

     There was no Insecurity Barometer in Frontera's Dec. 17 paper. However, it was reported later in the week that Tijuana had reported 359 homicides for the year, a far higher total than that obtained by adding up the numbers in Frontera's weekly count.

Publication date Violent deaths in Tijuana by week according to Frontera's Insecurity Barometer
Dec. 10 6
Dec. 3 3
Nov. 26 6
Nov. 19 3
Nov. 12 4
Nov. 5 2
Oct. 29 1
Oct. 22 5
Oct. 15 no Insecurity Barometer
Oct. 8 2
Oct. 1 2
Sept. 24 2
Sept. 17 6*
Sept. 10 9
Sept. 3 0
Aug. 27 2
Aug. 20 4
Aug. 13 2
Aug. 6 0
July 30 3
July 23 1
July 16 4
July 9 2
July 2 page did not run
June 25 4
June 18 3
June 11 5
June 4 3
May 28 9
May 21 3
May 14 2
May 7 3
April 30 6
April 23 0
April 16 page did not run
April 9 6
April 2 7
March 26 1
March 19 3
March 12 0
March 5 9
Feb. 27 5
Feb. 20 2
Feb. 13 1
Feb. 6 1
Total 142 — does not include January, or weeks ending April 15, July 1 and Oct. 14

* The six deaths listed appear to be low as two stories mentioning seven violent deaths ran at the bottom of the page.

Crime news week ending Dec. 16
Crime news week ending Dec. 9
Crime news week ending Dec. 2
Crime news week ending Nov. 25
Crime news week ending Nov. 18
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Crime news week ending Jan. 14