Tuesday 22 December 2015

Canadian Bruce Vigfusson dies in custody in Mexico

Canadian Bruce Vigfusson, 45, who has been in jail in Mexico since September, 2012, died at 6 pm on Monday, December 21, at the General Hospital in the northern city of Hermosillo, Sonora. He had been admitted to the hospital in Hermosillo on Sunday, December 20, at 2 pm.
Bruce Vigfusson

Mr. Vigfusson was serving a four and half year sentence for assault. He had lost one appeal, and was waiting on another.

On approximately August 28, 2012, in Hermosillo, Mr. Vigfusson was the victim of a home invasion by five men. He claimed from the beginning that the assault, which resulted in one of the assailants allegedly sustaining serious head injuries, was a matter of self-defense.

Mr. Vigfusson passed a note to his Mexican wife, Celia Valenzuela Amado, on Thursday, December 17, in which he complained that he was “feeling very bad”, that he was “very sick, can’t breathe”, and that “I think they are killing me.”

In the letter Mr. Vigfusson wrote that officials had been giving him injections, but that he wasn’t getting better, he was getting worse. He added that “they are not poisoning me so that I die,” but that “they are doing it to make me weak so that I can’t fight back.”

Mr. Vigfusson also expressed concern that, should he win his appeal, Mexican authorities would then owe him back wages, which they did not want to pay.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

ISIS' "threat to Mexico" becomes fuel for satire

Guillermo Farber, a Mexican journalist and humorist, has responded to news that ISIS has Mexico in its sights. Below is a translation from the Spanish, with the original English in italics. Farber essentially lists some of the horrors that the drug cartels, the security forces, and the general state of insecurity have already visited on Mexico.
ISIS? Drug cartel? 

Terrorism's fans

ISIS has put Mexico in its sights. Instead of frightening me, I’m curious to know what they can do to create "terror" among the Mexican population. It’s a challenge for them.

Are they going to set fire to a nursery?

Thursday 3 December 2015

In Michoacán, the unrest continues

The governor of the Mexican state of Michoacán, Silvano Aureoles, confirmed yesterday that the presence of armed groups – among them paramilitaries and criminals – has made it difficult for his government to maintain control over large areas of his state.
They want justice, and for an end to the violence

Only yesterday, armed men presumably linked to ‘Los Viagras’, a criminal gang, blocked roads in Michoacán.

In a recent interview, the governor said that ‘technically’ there was still conflict between paramilitary self-defense groups, known as autodefensas, and criminal gangs such as Los Viagras.

At times, security forces in Michoacán, as well as in other parts of Mexico, make a distinction between the two - at other times the autodefensas are treated like gangs themselves. On December 1, for example, the military detained two members of a self-defense force in Pinzandaro, within the Buenavista municipality in Michoacán. The result was that the local populace organized to demand their release, and briefly blocked the Apatzingan – Buenavista road with a vehicle and trailer.

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Want to surf Mexico? Be safe

Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman, two surfers from Western Australia, drove to Mexico from Edmonton in search of waves. But they disappeared after taking the ferry on Friday, November 20, from La Paz, Baja California Sur, to Topolobampo, Sinaloa. Then, on November 21, their burned-out Chevy van was found on a dirt road near an irrigation channel in Navoloto, Sinaloa. There were two bodies inside. Officials are awaiting DNA confirmation that the human remains are those of the surfers, both of whom were 33.
The burned-out van (Proceso)

We don’t have the details on who might have killed the surfers, but it is safe to say that the alleged murderers are no longer near the scene of the crime, and may not even be in Sinaloa. This part of Mexico is controlled by the Sinaloa cartel. Criminal activity is ‘approved’ by the cartel, which is one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world. News like this is the last thing the cartel, or the government, wants. Which is to say: whoever did this is now on the run.