El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Posts Tagged ‘drug war

NPT Drug War: Suddenly, the border exists, and everyone’s writing and broadcasting about us

On and off, major news organizations such as television network news and major papers like the NY Times write and broadcast stories about the border. In the past week, the LA Times, New York Times, CBS and many others have written and broadcasted about the Drug War and the violence in Juarez and Mexico. Somehow, the old adage, just make sure the name is spelled correctly, doesn’t seem like much comfort:

CBS News: The War Next Door

LA Times: The war we gave Mexico

Time Mag: “One of the world’s most militarized borders.”

NY Times: ‘We could still rescue ourselves.’

LA Times: Columbus’ view on the ‘bloody brawl’

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 3, 2009 at 10:28 am

NPT Capitol: Shapleigh: 10,000 have moved from Juarez to El Paso as Drug War pushes into U.S.

So far, 10,000 Mexican nationals have moved from Juarez to El Paso in order to escape the drug war, which is increasingly reaching up into America, said state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh this morning.

Shapleigh was speaking to the committee on Transportation and Homeland Security, a committee he sits on in the Texas Senate.

Shapleigh spoke about the resignation of the Juarez police chief earlier this month, after cartels threatened to kill one police officer every 48 hours. After his resignation, cartels put posters up along Juarez’s main highways declaring they would now kill the mayor within 48 hours. Shapleigh, citing press reports, said the mayor of Juarez has since moved to El Paso.

According to Shapleigh, in addition to the 10,000 Juarez residents living in El Paso, 140,000 Americans live in Juarez and 4,000 El Pasoans commute from north to South everyday.

Shapleigh called the situation “serious” and would require an “appropriate and measured response” from the state of Texas as the drug violence was beginning to reach right “up the transportation corridors” (I-10, I-35) to places like Phoenix and Atlanta. As such Shapleigh said the committee needed daily updates on the situation in Mexico. Shapleigh offered to prepare such a brief, providing clips from Mexican national dailies for his fellow committee members.

While Chairman John Carona did not ostensibly take Shapleigh up on the offer, or admit the graveness of the situation, he praised Shapleigh as the Senate’s “expert on these issues.”

Shapleigh’s remarks were the last thing discussed by the committee before it adjourned.

–Ben Wright


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 25, 2009 at 10:19 am

NPT Capitol: Moody probes McCraw over “spill-over” violence

moodyYesterday, state Rep. Joe Moody, who sits on the Border and International Affairs committee, probed Steve McCraw, director of Gov. Rick Perry’s Office of Homeland Security, over the reality of Mexican drug war violence spilling over into the U.S.
–Ben Wright


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 24, 2009 at 11:29 am

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NPT Juxtapose: In Mexico, who can you trust?

From the Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2009: Mr. Fasci thinks the gangs are trying to goad the police into a crackdown that would generate antipathy for the authorities and the army. “We’re not going to fall for it,” he says. Neither will the Mexican government call off the soldiers. Mexico has no choice but to deploy the army to do what corrupt and inefficient state and local police forces can’t, says Mr. Fasci. And the protests are likely a sign the military is having success pressuring the drug gangs, say officials.

From NPT, Oct. 16, 2008, Human rights official decries military takeover, abuses in Juarez: Last year, 20 violations of human rights were reported to the Chihuahua State Commission of Human Rights. This year, since the arrival of the military to Juarez, more than 250 violations – including torture, robbery and kidnapping – have been reported.

From NPT, May 1, 2006, Of Juarez and the “Dirty War” in Mexico: A draft of an unprecedented report by Mexico’s government on the nation’s “dirty war” of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, published on The National Security Archive Web site, shows that during the administrations of Presidents Diaz Ordaz (1964-1970), Echeverria (1970-1976) and Lopez Portillo (1976-1982) hundreds of Mexican citizens — uncounted innocent civilians as well as armed militants — were murdered or “disappeared” by military and security forces. Thousands more were tortured, or illegally detained, or subjected to government harassment and surveillance.


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 21, 2009 at 11:30 pm

NPT: “Urban legend” pleads guilty in drug kidnapping case

Fun with juxtaposition:

silverstrereyesU.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes in this NPT story: When a Spanish language radio reporter asked about what El Paso authorities can do about the number of kidnappings on both sides of the borders, Reyes snapped, “These claims of kidnappings have not been confirmed.

“We need to deal in facts and not in urban legends that have been promulgated here in our community.”

News release from FBI yesterday: Some of you might be interested in attending a 2pm scheduled plea of Ricardo Calleros-Godinez today. He was arrested by the FBI and ICE for kidnapping a person in early 2008. The victim of the kidnapping is serving a 15-year sentence on state charges. This will take place in Judge Garney’s court at the federal courthouse.

There has been much debate and speculation in some El Paso media outlets about the issue of kidnappings (or the lack thereof). This is one drug-related kidnapping that we know happened and was worked. Please note that the FBI is the only federal agency that has jurisdiction to work kidnappings and is the only federal source for accurate kidnapping information. We are certainly concerned if kidnappings are occurring and no one is reporting them to us. We encourage all citizens and entities to report such serious crime information to us.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm