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IN Mexico, our Monuments shows government' corruption

Discussion in 'Political Humor' started by Rafael Norma, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Rafael Norma

    Rafael Norma Active Member

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    A helicopter crew member from the US Office of Air and Marine flies over the Rio Grande. The helicopters patrol day and night searching for drug and people smugglers. Photograph: John Moore/Getty



    The Zetas are, accordingly, a brand new form of cartel – paramilitary, insurgent, ruthless and, unlike Guzmán, at war with the state rather than ready to do business with it. While Guzmán belongs to the old system of paternalistic capitalism, Los Zetas were born of the free market, with perfect understanding of the opportunist new forces that pertain in the supposedly “legal” economy. The Zetas operate hotels in Acapulco and Yucatan, they run prostitution and people-trafficking rackets, they run an oil exportation business into the energy hub of Houston, Texas.

    They have all but taken over the smuggling of migrants from Central America into the US along the new crossing points of the Rio Grande valley. In October 2010 one of the worst massacres of the entire narco war had nothing to do with drugs. At a farm in the San Fernando region of Tamaulipas, the bodies of 72 people were found – all Central Americans aiming to cross into the US, who were summarily killed for, it seems, failing to pay extra extortion money.

    While Guzmán nurtured his terrain and loyalty like a feudal lord beloved by his people, Los Zetas rule by brute, brazen terror. While the name of Guzmán is on everybody’s lips throughout Sinaloa and terrain under his control, sometimes in fear, often in praise, it is striking how in cities such as Ciudad Victoria and Veracruz – fortresses of the Zetas, entirely under their control – the cartel’s name is never breathed nor whispered.

    During spring 2011, mass graves were found containing 167 bodies of those who had previously disappeared from all over Mexico, over weeks and sometimes months. Families of the missing were obliged to arrive at the morgue in Matamoros, on the border opposite Brownsville, Texas, give their DNA and hope in vain that they would not be matched to their lifeless loved ones. The authorities surmised that the victims were passengers on long-distance buses hijacked by the Zetas, and the people aboard press-ganged as part of a recruitment drive. The dead were, it was assumed, those who did not want to join as runners or whatever for the narco soldiers.

    Most had been shot, but some were incinerated alive; women had been violated before being murdered. Most appalling and ominous, though, is that the vice-like grip of the Zetas on their territory means that these executions and mass burials had been carried out in open country, the byways heaving with bodies, without a word leaking out to police, authorities or military with a mind to investigate, nor any member of the public prepared to report them. Not even the bus companies, even though the unclaimed baggage of the dead was piling up at the terminus in Matamoros.

    While Chapo will give generously to the church, mothers’ day, local schools, the Zetas are more brutal in their accounting. There’s an adage in Mexico that while Guzmán enjoys a good lunch with the politicians, and they come to an arrangement over what to do, the Zetas call the politicians and tell them what to do. The politicians obey, because they know the Zetas know where they live and their children go to school.

    While the old-guard narcos might do business over lunch or in smart hotels, the new guard control the internet. The Zetas post their atrocities on YouTube, by way of recruitment posters; it is a matter of conjecture whether they got the idea from al-Qaida – recently inherited by Islamic State (Isis) – or the other way around. Patrick Cockburn, author of a recent book on Isis, reports that a recent video claiming to show a beheading by the jihadist group was in fact not their handiwork at all: it was shot in Mexico, an execution by the Zetas.

    While the mafia old guard might hide a body in the concrete of a flyover, the new organisations make their brutality as public as possible. As the chief forensic examiner for the police in Tijuana, Hiram Muñoz, puts it so eloquently, as he searches for meanings and messages in the mode of mutilations: “The difference is this: in what I would call normal times, I kill you and make you disappear. Now, they are shouting it, turning it into a grotesque carousel around their territory. In normal conditions, the torture and killing is private, now it is a public execution using extreme violence, and this is significant.”
     
  2. Rafael Norma

    Rafael Norma Active Member

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    A member of an evangelical church dressed as angel holds a sign which reads, Chapo Guzman, Jesus Christ loves you during a demonstration against violence in the city of Ciudad Juarez. Photograph: Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

    No cartel silences the press quite like the Zetas: while atrocities in Sinaloa and Ciudad Juárez are reported by the press, with tacit cartel approval, in Tamaulipas, those of the Zetas are not. The editor of a newspaper in Nuevo Laredo, Heriberto Ramon Cantu, explains frankly how he was taken for a drive by the Zetas, who said they expected total silence on their affairs. When Cantu was considering one potential news report, he was told that his staff working on it would be kidnapped and executed if he did.

    The Zetas also began a new phenomenon: “cleansing” entire communities from territory they claimed. In November 2010, they rampaged through the town of Ciudad Mier and expelled most of its population in a blaze of gunfire and explosions, so that the people had to flee to Ciudad Alemán on the border opposite Roma, Texas. Two months later, the Zetas stormed into Alemán on what seems to have been a punitive raid, shooting wildly at civilians.

    By the time of Guzmán’s arrest, the cartel map had reached a point at which former sworn enemies had formed a loose alliance called Carteles Unidas, or Todos Contra Los Zetas – everyone against the Zetas.

    Guzmán’s arrest earlier this year provoked fanfares of triumphal rhetoric from the governments of Mexico and the US (which seeks his extradition) and law enforcement agencies all over the world, heralding another blow against organised crime in their “war on drugs”. The US Department of Justice hailed a “landmark achievement”. But all Mexico has done, actually, was to capture the last, and key, man with whom it can do business in the underworld of narco-trafficking – indeed, the man it has been doing business with all along.

    Mexico’s only strategy with any hope of bringing an end to the carnage is to re-establish the pax mafiosa of old. To engineer a deal in alliance with the Sinaloa cartel and its allies, based on the old system in which politicians, police, army and the cartel know their place – and the Zetas are defeated. This is the belief also of the makers of an extraordinary new film – shown at the South by South West festival in Texas and a documentary festival in Sheffield earlier this year, soon to screen more widely – by British director Angus MacQueen and his Peruvian colleague Guillermo Galdos. The two set out to find and interview Guzmán a year before his arrest, and very nearly did so. They did, at least, become the first reporters to penetrate his fiefdom, and come within his immediate ambit, family and inner circle. To make The Legend of Shorty, they began with the methamphetamine distribution network in Chicago, well under Chapo’s control, and negotiated their way, perilous step by perilous step to Sinaloa, via Guzmán’s cocaine and meth-packing operation in Tijuana. Eventually the directors were flown, by a Guzmán aide, into El Chapo’s heartland, months before his arrest.

    The director of the US DEA, Anthony Placido, had told MacQueen and Galdos straight-faced that America and Mexico were together engaged in “the biggest manhunt ever” and “relentless pursuit” of Guzmán. The biggest manhunt ever, mounted over 13 years, had failed where two journalists succeeded in a matter of months.

    Though they never met him, MacQueen and Galdos found Guzmán in exactly the place anyone would have guessed he was: his own terrain. They learned that actually, he is not that short - El Chapo was just a name his mother gave him when he was little, and yes: they even got to interview Guzmán’s mother. They visited the mountaintop terrace he calls Heaven, where he took his breakfast – and three times were so close to their prize interview that they were summoned to film it – but Guzmán did not show.

    MacQueen and Galdo found people talking openly about Guzmán’s official stature in the region, about “governors who have lunch with him, politicians and police who work for him”. Tellingly, loyal peasants relate how Guzmán chartered aircraft to take their children to the state capital for medical treatment, like a good old-school mafia don. Even more cogently, as they drive through Guzmán’s heroin poppy fields, MacQueen and Galdos are waved through at police road blocks, once it is known that they are moving across ground on Guzmán’s authority. Members of Guzmán’s security team inform them: “The soldiers here are cool. They let us work, and they get their chequitos” – their little cheques.

    Anabel Hernández believes Guzmán was arrested for show – to live in jail in comfort and help with the business from inside, as he did before. “He was too close to the present war,” MacQueen thinks. “I believe there was a deal, it would make sense for the new president [Enrique Peña Nieto] to bring Chapo in and work with him against the common enemy, the Zetas.”

    But so far, says MacQueen: “The test of whether the arrest of Chapo Guzmán has made any difference is to say to the dealers and addicts in the US: ‘Has the price gone up?’ Unless it has, there’s no change. We asked – and it hasn’t. It’s business as usual.”

    The Legend of Shorty will be shown on Film4 in November





    http://www.theguardian.com/society/...r-on-drugs-hidden-story-joaquin-guzman-war-us
     
  3. Rafael Norma

    Rafael Norma Active Member

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  4. Rafael Norma

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  5. Rafael Norma

    Rafael Norma Active Member

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    #She_Tweeted_Against_the_Mexican_Cartels. #They_Tweeted_Her_Murder.
    http://tinyurl.com/leyovla @nytimes @WSJ @WashingtonPost
    Twittericide

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    No newspaper dares to publish the truth about the drug lords in Tamaulipas. Those who break the silence on Twitter and Facebook are marked for death.

    MEXICO CITY—She was a crusading Twitter journalist in a bastion of organized crime who chose a photograph of Catwoman as her online avatar and christened herself Felina. Like a comic-book avenger, her alter ego defied the forces of evil in her real-life Gotham of Reynosa, a border city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas located a short drive from McAllen, Texas. Tamaulipas is notorious as a state caught in the iron grip of organized crime. Extortion, kidnappings, shootouts, arson, bodies excavated from arid pits, all of this happens in Tamaulipas, practically on a daily basis, but hardly any of it gets reported because of a media blackout the cartels decreed four years ago that is as strictly enforced as martial law after a coup.

    Two rival drug cartels in Tamaulipas, the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, have final say over what gets printed or broadcast in the local media. By necessity the people of the state increasingly have turned to social media to share information about organized crime and its infiltration of the government. They are referred to as citizen journalists and have received international attention for their innovative use of sites like Facebook and Twitter to defy the imposition of the blackout.

    Felina was an administrator for Valor por Tamaulipas (which means Courage for Tamaulipas), the most popular citizen news hub in the state, with more than 100,000 followers on Twitter and over half a million on Facebook. A sampling of the site’s content varies from the sensational to the specific. There are photos of young teenagers holding military-grade firepower with captions or comments that identify them as members of organized crime. There are posters of missing persons and news alerts about violence that are timely and specific: “At 10am there were isolated gunshots heard coming from Unidad Obrera”; “Since 12:25a.m. Explosions and machine gun fire at Cañada/Fuentes, and pickup trucks passed at high speed on 20th Street”; “In Balcones sector 2 white Ford pickup with 3 armed Men on Everest Street and Seventh.” Soldiers at the Mexican army base in Reynosa also post news alerts to the site about violent confrontations between the army and the narcos.

    Felina posted under the handle @Miut3 and was best known for her posts of danger alerts that pinpointed the location of violent incidents in real time. People sent her bits of information as a way for them to resist the hegemony of the cartels. She also wrote posts pleading with victims of crime not to remain silent, to file a police report even if it meant having to brave reprisals. She would post emergency telephone numbers as a way to try to help.

    Understandably the narcos wanted to know the real identities of Felina and her compañeros at Valor por Tamaulipas. A year and a half ago, a cartel had hundreds of leaflets distributed throughout Tamaulipas offering a reward of 600,000 pesos (about $48,000 at the time) for anyone who would divulge the names of the site’s administrators. At around the same time there were videos posted online of executions of individuals alleged to be contributors to the site. The founder shut it down and left the state, hoping that time away would diminish the danger. But when Valor por Tamaulipaswent back online the situation only intensified: The number of followers to the site quadrupled and the threats resumed.

    A cartel had hundreds of leaflets distributed throughout Tamaulipas offering a reward of $48,000 for anyone who would divulge the names of the site's administrators.

    On Oct. 8,Valor por Tamaulipas received the following tweet: “We’re coming very close to many of you watch out felina.” The sender’s account was a shell but the message had the feel of authenticity. It was one in a series of posts that arrived on the same day. Each had an exasperated tone, demanding to know why the supposed generosity of the narcos toward people of low income went unreported, and why the focus on the Gulf Cartel but nothing on the crimes of soldiers and police? The concluding message defamed the site’s administrators as liars and threatened war on each of them by name, or at least by handle: “This is for you bandolera, felina, valor and all the rest who make things up.”

    The founder of Valor por Tamaulipas, whose identity remains unpublished, said the need for secrecy had become greater than ever before. But he said Felina could not be convinced to alter her behavior to account for the increased danger. In a post on the site the founder described her as someone “who moved heaven and earth” for anyone in need. Her activity as a citizen journalist had fed into a larger vision of building a supportive community in Tamaulipas. She raised money; she organized blood donations, and helped people find affordable housing and free medical care. She listened but did not heed warnings from her peers that by raising her public profile in the community she risked being discovered. The founder removed Felina as an administrator after one last argument about helping someone in need of orthopedic shoes.

    Felina nevertheless continued to post a high volume of news alerts to the site at the hashtag #ReynosaFollow. Until early in the morning of Thursday, Oct. 16, when this message from Felina @Miut3 was posted:

    # reynosafollow FRIENDS AND FAMILY, MY REAL NAME IS MARÍA DEL ROSARIO FUENTES RUBIO. I AM A PHYSICIAN. TODAY MY LIFE HAS COME TO AN END.

    The next message, sent moments later, is supposedly her warning friends and family not to make the same mistake she did, using social media to report on organized crime, because “there is no point.” The message after that is a warning to her followers and to three prominent citizen journalists that the cartels “are closer to us than you think.” The last message sent from Felina’s account is not written but rather consists of two photos: in the first, a middle-aged woman keeps her hands folded in front of her and looks directly at the camera; in the second the same woman is lying on a dirty floor with a coup de grace bullet wound in the face. The founder of Valor por Tamaulipas confirmed that the photos are of Felina. Twitter has since shut down her account.

    How was Felina’s identity discovered?S
    She may have been kidnapped, at first, for another reason completely. staff at the Tierra Santa Clinic in Reynosa witnessed armed men riding in two pickup trucks pull into the parking lot and kidnap Del Rosario at between the hours of 10 and 11 a.m. after she had completed her shift last week. She was kidnapped along with another physician and a nurse.

    The motive, according to a report in Zócalo Magazine, was revenge for the death of a 4-year old boy whose teenage parents had brought him to the clinic for treatment that morning. According to the report, Del Rosario administered a dose of Diazepam to treat the boy for a seizure and complications ensued, leading her to have him transferred to a hospital, and he died en route. But when the kidnappers went through the doctor’s cellphone, according to the Zócalo story, they saw her Twitter account, realized she was Felina, and executed her. With her cellphone, they were able to terrorize her followers with the photos and messages.

    The founder of Valor por Tamaulipasdisputes this version of events and has characterized it as disinformation. Meanwhile, fellow citizen journalists who knew her personally have had to change their cellphone numbers and delete old correspondence with her for fear the cartel will use it to track them down.

    The state prosecutor’s office in Tamaulipas confirmed that a Dr. María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio was reported kidnapped on the day before the photos and messages were posted to Felina’s Twitter account. Officially the case remains a kidnapping because, according to the coroner’s office, the body of the woman in the photographs has yet to be recovered.

    The founder of Valor por Tamaulipasposted a statement on the site expressing grief at the loss of “an angel who gave everything, her life, her future, her safety and peace, she gave it all for the good people of our state.”

    “Today Miut3 ceased to report,” the founder said. “But what the criminals don’t know is that Miut3 is part of our soul and she will never permit us to surrender to organized crime. She will never surrender, and how disappointed she would feel knowing that a single one of all those whom she helped were to succumb.”

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  6. Rafael Norma

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    #Translator=#Traitor
    @SEGOB_MX @lopezobrador_ #Ayotzinapa @prdmexico @nytimes @WashingtonPost @hrw @aimexico

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    @CartonCalderon: @epn #has_a_little_house, #like_this…,
    http://tinyurl.com/leyovla
    http://tinyurl.com/qdn8rwp

    #CORRUPTION @pridehoy @nytimes @WashingtonPost @WSJ


    …#like_This, #And_Like_This…


    #With @pridehoy, #The_Rich->#Poor; #the_Poor->#Asshole; #theAsshole->#Politician; #Al_Politico->#RICH





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    $aving @EPN @pridehoy @CCQ_PRI @nytimes @TheTimes


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    @CartonCamacho: #IGotTired #From_Right_To_Left: #Stan_Laurel_and_Oliver_Hardy
    http://tinyurl.com/leyovla
    @reformacom @nytimes @WashingtonPost @WSJ @pridehoy @PGR_mx

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    #Trying_To_Rest: #Procura_Descansar
    http://tinyurl.com/leyovla
    @PGR_mx: ( #Perujo) #INSTEAD_OF_LAMBS, #GRAVES @nytimes @lemondefr @WashingtonPost



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