Thursday 12 January 2012

Latest news on Guerrero students and the drug war

La politica es la politica will post periodic English language translations  sourced from the Americas Mexico Blog.

The following come from press reports in English and Spanish:

Guerrero Students: Dismissed state attorney general says Human Rights Commission report is "biased"

Former Guerrero state attorney general Alberto López Rosas called the report released yesterday by the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH)--regarding the violent event that killed two Ayotzinapa normal school students-- "biased".

"It is not certain that the shots that took the lives of two students (Gabriel Echeverria de Jesus and  Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino, on Dec. 12) came from west to east (where state police were), but more likely they were from north to south (where the  Federal Police were). "The report is cut off from reality, biased: it has no consistency," he said.

Guerrero Students: Congress members meet with students

The legislative committee investigating the murder of two students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa and of a gas station worker met with a group of normal school students who demanded a prompt response to their request for the impeachment of the governor of Guerrero, Angel Heladio Aguirre Rivero.

Francisco Moreno Merino (PRI), chairman of the Working Group, informed the students that their petition is being analyzed by the apropriate authorities of the Chamber of Deputies, and the results of their study will released in the coming days."

Guerrero Students: Rights Commission criticizes both federal and state authorities for lack of police cooperation in the Ayotzinapa case

"One of the main obstacles faced by the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) in their inquiries into the murder of two students from the  Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, which occurred on December 12, is the lack of cooperation from police forces state and federal regulations.

This was stated by the first inspector-general, Luis Garcia Lopez-Guerrero, who noted that, despite this, within one or two months the team investigating the case will be able to send its definitive conclusions to the Attorney General's Office (PGR) so that it can proceed against those responsible for what happened.

"One of the irregularities that we saw is that the federal Public Security Secretariat (SSP) have not responded to our requests for information in a timely manner. In addition, the scene was not preserved as the protocols require," the official said in an interview with La Jornada."

Mexican Army says it has arrested 1,908 aggressors since May 2007

Lots of statistics on drug war "success" are being issued by the Mexican government this week. Let's see, in over four years, that's less than 500 "aggressors" per year or less than 40 per month.

The Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) has arrested 1,908 people in armed clashes with drug traffickers  between May 2007 and  September18, 2011, the latest available date for federal statistics. The arrests, the agency said, were in response to acts of aggression against the Mexican Army."

The number of poor in Mexico increased to 52 million between 2008 and 2010

The lack of adequate food and the difficulty of 28 million Mexicans to purchase the basic food basket was the factor that most influenced the increase in poverty, which increased to 52 million people between 2008 and 2010. This is despite the fact that one out of two pesos that the government spends in this area is allocated to food support programs."

Mexico Secretary of Interior says, "The country is not at war, nor can one speak of an armed conflict"

Hum? How does this line up with statistics released today by the Attorney Generals Office that there were 12, 903 deaths between January and the end of September, 2011,which could put the total for the year at 17,294. The official total for 2010 was 15,273. That would mean a 13.3% increase in deaths.

We are reminded, once again, of the advice to "take out the 'not'" when politicians speak of supposed realities.

"Mexico is not at war and it does not meet the criteria of international law for an armed conflict. derived from the national strategy for public safety and combating organized crime groups,” the Interior Minister, Alejandro Poire, said while inaugurating the Forum on Security with Legality, in Xalapa, Veracruz.

He said that the federal government has developed a comprehensive and repsonsible strategy to strengthen  the rule of law throughout the country, to ensure that all citizens can fully exercise their rights and freedoms and also, of course, to bring all offenders to justice.

He rejected criticism about individual rights being violated by the armed forces in fighting organized crime, and noted that the abuses documented by the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) are minimal and are the exception, not the rule.  Poiré reported that, according to the CNDH report, from 2007 to 2011 5,814 complaints were received against elements of the Secretariat of National Defense. He said that in only 90 cases was sufficient evidence found to make a recommendation, which represents 1.5 percent of total complaints. In the case of the Navy Department recommendations have only issued in 1.8 percent of cases.

The head of domestic government affairs also refuted the arguments that rates of insecurity and violence have soared when federal forces are present in regions where state and local governments have asked for support. He said, to the contrary, "thanks to the intervention of federal forces in joint operations, there has been a significant and specific reduction in violence and insecurity in those regions where our actions have achieved greater operational maturity."

He said that between 2010 and 2011 in Tijuana, Baja California, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, there have been decreases of  87 percent and 70 percent, respectively, in the incidence of homicide, and the regions of Veracruz and Laguna region, similar declines have been registered  in the commission of crimes.

47,512 drug war deaths during during Calderon's presidency

The statistics for 2011, as noted by El Universal, only include through September. If the average rate of 4,301 deaths per quarter continued, the total for all twelve months of 2011 would be 17,294. This would put the five year total at 51,816. The official total for 2010 was 15,273. That would mean a 13.3% increase in deaths in 2011 over 2010.

The Mexico Attorney General Office released statistics today on the number of deaths related to "presumed criminal rivalries" from December 2006 to September 2011. The total given is 47,512. The breakdown is as follows: in
•             December 2006 - 62
•             2007 - 2,826
•             2008 - 6,858
•             2009 - 9,614
•             2010 - 15,273
•             2011 - 12,903 (through September)

While the Attorney Generals Office states that there has been an 11% decline in deaths from 2010 to 2011, the 2011 data only includes up until September.

For the nine months of 2011, the states with the highest number of deaths were Chihuahua (2,276), Guerrero (1,533), Tamaulipas (1,153), Sinaloa (1,100), Veracruz (538), Baja California (250).

The municipalities with the highest number of deaths were Ciudad Juarez (1,206), Acapulco (795), Monterrey (399), Culiacan (365), San Fernando (292), Tijuana (183) and Veracruz city (155)

Two human heads and burned stationwagon found in Mexico City

Mexico City police this morning found two human heads a few meters from a burned station wagon outside the Santa Fe Mall (an upscale area in western Mexico City.) Inside the vehicle, a Honda CRV, two bodies were found. Also, a message, written on fluorescent pink construction paper was left.

Judge halts South Carolina immigration lawsuit pending outcome of challenge to similar Arizona law

"A federal judge in South Carolina has halted a lawsuit over the state's tough new immigration law pending the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on a similar challenge in Arizona.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel issued the order Monday after receiving requests to do so from both federal prosecutors and attorneys representing South Carolina. The federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union last year sued South Carolina, challenging the constitutionality of the new law." read more

Missouri schools would be required to verify immigration status of students under new proposal -

Missouri could be the next battleground in a nationwide fight over tougher immigration laws.

State Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee’s Summit Republican, is sponsoring a bill that would mandate that all public schools verify the immigration status of enrollees. It also would require law enforcement officers to check immigration status on all stops when they have reasonable cause, and create a state misdemeanor for not carrying proper citizenship documentation."

Anti-Immigration Group Makes South Carolina Ad Buy

"Anti-immigration group NumbersUSA announced on Tuesday that it will spend at least $100,000 on advertising before the South Carolina Republican primary on Jan. 21 in an effort to tie high unemployment levels to legal immigration."

Feds to Unseal Some of Case in Arizona Agent Killing

ABC News: "Prosecutors have agreed in principle to unseal some of the case against people accused of killing U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry more than a year ago near the Arizona-Mexico border. The Arizona Daily Star reports that six news organizations argued in a Dec. 19 court filing that the docket and all records in the case should be unsealed. The news organizations argued that the public has a right to inspect the records of the case and attend any criminal trials that might come out of it." read more

The Michoacán Debacle: Fault Lines Ahead of the Mexican Presidential Election

A good, clear explication of the election turmoil in the Mexican state of Michoacán and how it may foreshadow the coming presidential election

Upsidedownworld: "On December 28, Mexico’s Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) annulled the recent mayoral election in Morelia, Michoacán, as the ugly fallout to the state’s gubernatorial and local elections in November continues. Opposition parties have called for the rest of the results to be thrown out as well – an unlikely prospect – amid a slew of controversies that hint at turmoil to come in this year’s presidential race.

Ostensibly, the elections in Michoacán represented another significant victory for the PRI, with the party’s Enrique Pena Nieto a strong favorite to take the presidency on July 1. However, they also illustrated all too well the difficulty of holding fair elections in a region of the country plagued by corruption and organized crime."

Mexican Businesses Pitch In to Counter Violence in Monterrey

I confess and make mea culpa that we woke up late,” said José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, the chief executive of Femsa, one of the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottlers and a big Mexican retailer.

Mr. Fernández and other business executives are now in the thick of efforts to recover Monterrey's peace. Their companies helped design the advertising image and campaign for the new state police force, and they are staffing recruiting booths and a call center. They are also paying part of the cost of government redevelopment plans, injecting money into community groups and sponsoring school programs." read more

Guerrero Students: Teachers group seeks impeachment of Guerrero governor; warns that criminal groups may seek to repress students

The dissident teachers organization which is spearheading the impeachment petition against the governor Angel Aguirre Rivero also warned, at a press conference today, of the possibility that organized crime groups are being used to suppress the Ayotzinapa normal school students.

The leadership of the State Coordinator of Education Workers of Guerrero (CETEG) announced a mass march for February 2 in Mexico City, that they are asking the student community of the Rural Normal School to head. ...  The march will express rejection of those who propose the closure of the Normal School.

"We are clear that the problem of repression is not only a problem for them, but also for ourselves and everyone; because of this we are making an appropriate demand for the impeachment of the governor," Minervino Moran, press secretary of the group, explained.

The press conference was also attended by the secretary general of the national  group, CETEG, Gonzalo Ocampo Juarez, who said  "This will be a fight between two fires, in which our main demand is the impeachment of the governor of Guerrero." He added that the preliminary report of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) strengthens the impeachment petition, which will also be presented to the Interior Ministry in order to try to expedite the procedure.

Minervino Moran also said that Saturday there was an act of pressure from a group of people linked to organized crime against the rural normal school students, which needed to be reported promptly. "We presume that in this situation crimal groups can be used to repress social movements; that is something that worries us, because it is a way to exert repression indirectly," he said. He said the march in support of the governor on January 5 illustrates that groups with power can move to try to quell the social movement, which represents a very negative signal for the state."  

Guerrero Students: Guerrero governor tells his followers, "If you want to help me, don't make marches."

"Guerrero's governor, Angel Aguirre Rivero, denied that his government was encouraging the community's rejection of  the normal school students and he launched an appeal to all sectors of Guerrero society to exercise prudence, common sense and non-confrontation, considering that it doesn't benefit anyone to deepen the differences.

"What I ask them (my followers) is much prudence, and if they want to help me, it is not by marching, or demonstrations, which were valued, but I think it's best to let the institutions that are doing their jobs determine the outcome" he said. The governor added that the state and federal prosecutors, are jointly analyzing the investigation related to the death of the two normal school students on 12 December in the Highway of the Sun.  "This is in order to  proceed accordingly against public servants that may have to be punished," Governor Aguirre Rivero said." Spanish original

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