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

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012

Alleged gun-runner for Sinaloa Cartel arrested in Mexicali

Ricardo Rosales Ramírez, also known as "El Nene," was arrested in Mexicali's Valle del Alamo neighborhood. Rosales Ramírez, 35, is suspected of running guns to the Sinaloa Cartel, officials said.

Authorities also said they had seized in a vehicle crossing the border 9,400 cartridges, five guns and telescopic rifle sight.

Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump. Second story, El Mexicano (PDF).

General says only 0.5% of those detained by military get sentenced

Gen. Alfonso Duarte Mújica, commander of the Second Military Zone, said Tuesday in Tijuana that only 0.5% of those detained by the military are being sentenced nationwide. He noted that of 58 people arrested at a giant marijuana farm in southern Baja California, only one remains in prison. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Gen. Gilberto Landeros Briseño laments release of those tending to huge marijuana farm.

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012

Chula Vista resident gets 25-year sentence in drug tunnel case

Chula Vista resident Fernando Javier Alarid received a 25-year sentence in U.S. federal court in the case of a drug tunnel discovered in the Otay Mesa area on Nov.2, 2010. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Alleged Zetas member linked to slaying of bus passengers captured

Alleged Zetas member Enrique Aurelio Elizondo Flores, 35, also know as "El Árabe" or "El Güero", was captured Jan. 20 in Nuevo León state. Officials said the Nuevo Laredo native was linked to 75 killings, including the slaying of bus passengers in Tamaulipas state. Story in Frontera (PDF). Terra story. Story, El País. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Monday, Jan. 30, 2012

5 killed in Tijuana home during party, including 13-year-old U.S. boy; at least one victim linked to organized crime; 5 arrested later

Four men and a 13-year-old boy who attended San Ysidro Middle School were executed during a party at a Tijuana home Saturday night by three gunmen dressed in black, officials told Tijuana media. While El Mexicano reported that the party was for the birthday of the 13-year-old, the U-T San Diego reported on its Jan. 31 front page that the boy, a U.S. citizen, was attending the party of a cousin. The gunmen separated males from females at the party and took the males into the kitchen, where they executed them, authorities said. The gunmen carried automatic weapons, officials said. The killings took place in the Tres de Octubre neighborhood between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.; around 11 p.m., police saw three cars with armed men maneuver quickly into a residential property in the Aztlán neighborhood of Rosarito Beach. State police entered the home and arrested Hugo Francisco Sánchez Lucero, 56; José Valentín Vázquez Serrano, 31; Juan Carlos Pérez Hernández, 28; Juan Carlos Pérez Santos, 37; and Javier Ramírez de la Cruz, 33. Ramos de la Cruz was the only person wounded in the confrontation, officials said; El Mexicano said he was hit in the calf. Seized in the home were a 9mm submachine gun; two or three AK-47s; and an AR-15 rifle, Tijuana media reported.
Killed in the Tres de Octubre neighborhood were Ulysses Castrejón Beltrán, 13; his grandather, Hipólito Beltrán Ríos, 55; his uncle, Daniel Alberto Cabrera Bengochea, 27; Edgar Pérez Martínez, 36; and Fernando Meléndez García, 31. Cabrera Bengochea is the brother of Omar Cabrera Bengochea, a former Tijuana policeman arrested in January who allegedly worked for Alfredo "El Aquiles" Arteaga. Arteaga allegedly works for the Sinaloa Cartel. Officials said Raydel "El Muletas" López Uriarte, detained in 2010, said he had worked with Omar Cabrera Bengochea.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, U-T San Diego. Jan. 31 story on boy, U-T San Diego.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, Jan. 31: Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante says slayings at party do not mean large-scale violence is coming back to city, adding that municipality is "armored" against criminal activity. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, Feb. 1: Military officials say the slayings were an act of revenge having to do with local drug sales and that the perpetrators likely also once worked for El Muletas. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Feb. 25: Three arrests made in case.

Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012

Ciudad Juárez force of former Tijuana police chief Julián Leyzaola is being targeted

3 officers killed in 2 days; 8 killed this month

A criminal group has vowed to kill a Ciudad Juárez policeman a day, saying the city's police chief is backing rival groups.
Three Ciudad Juárez police were killed Friday and Saturday while they were in defenseless situations and not responding to any particular crime. Story, El Mexicano.
Same story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump. Eight have been killed this month. Story, Frontera (PDF).
On Wednesday, a message from the New Juárez Cartel said a uniformed policeman would be killed every day if Leyzaola continued to support rival organizations such as the Sinaloa Cartel.
Leyzaola is credited with having helped reduce the number of killings in Tijuana dramatically; many police in defenseless situations in Tijuana also were being picked off at one point. When Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante came into office in December 2010, he opted for a new police chief; Leyzaola was hired some months later by Ciudad Juárez.
Leyzaola has been lauded by Tijuana's business community and others for his results; others complain that his force engaged in human rights violations in his efforts.
Last week, the author of the controversial Cicuta (Hemlock) column in Tijuana's El Mexicano newspaper reported that a group of business leaders planned to go to Juárez in late February to help Leyzaola celebrate his birthday. The Cicuta column (PDF).
Update, Jan. 30: Cicuta column says many of the business leaders now plan not to go to Juárez.
Ciudad Juárez putting police up in hotels to protect them from assassins.

2 detained in kidnapping case in Mexicali

Two alleged members of La Familia de Michoacán were arrested in Mexicali in connection with a November kidnapping there. A woman was kidnapped Nov. 28 as she arrived at work; she was freed Dec. 22 after her family paid a ransom, Frontera reported. Story, Frontera (PDF).