Autoridades trasladan a Apatzingán a integrantes de autodefensas detenidos

April 16, 2014

prisonCNN Mexico, 4/15/14

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública (SSP) de Michoacán trasladó este martes a 20 personas relacionadas con grupos de autodefensas al Centro de Readaptación Social (CERESO) de Apatzingán, procedentes de diferentes reclusorios del país.

En un comunicado, la dependencia estatal refirió que esta acción forma parte de los 11 puntos acordados el lunes entre autoridades y líderes de autodefensas de la región de Tierra Caliente, en la entidad michoacana.

Entre los acuerdos para darle una solución legal a la operación de los grupos de civiles armados en Michoacán, se estableció que a partir del 11 de mayo los integrantes de autodefensas que no se sujeten a los puntos pactados, podrán ser detenidos y consignados ante los tribunales.

Este martes, la SSP Michoacán detalló que las personas trasladadas desde diferentes centros federales de detención (en Veracruz, Estado de México y Tamaulipas) a Apatzingán, están recluidas junto con otras 35 personas relacionadas con grupos de autodefensa michoacanos.

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Are U.S. Companies More Willing To Play Along With Mexico’s Corruption Culture?

April 16, 2014

money laundering -- dollar billsReuters, 4/15/14

Citigroup (NYE:C) disclosed Monday that it had found another case of fraud in its accounts-receivable program at Banamex, its Mexican unit, involving a supplier to Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex. In a teleconference, the bank’s chief financial officer, John C. Gerspach, did not reveal the identity of the supplier, but citing Pemex sources, the Mexican press identified it as Evya, a Mexican oil service company.

Gerspach reported that the breach involved less than $30 million in costs to Citigroup. He added that the supplier was in the process of paying back Citigroup and the bank expected “full restitution.”

According to its website, Evya,  based in the southeastern state of Campeche, is a “100% Mexican company” that provides engineering and maintenance services. Between 2003 and 2014, Evya signed 84 contracts with Pemex. The Mexican press identified brothers Francisco Javier, Luis y Roberto Camargo Salinas as Evya’s owners.

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Vigilantes to disarm in Mexico’s Michoacan state

April 16, 2014

m16 gun closeupLA Times, 4/15/14

The Mexican government has set a date for the so-called self-defense militias in the troubled western state of Michoacan to dissolve and account for their weapons, a move that does not necessarily signal the end of the vigilante movement.

Alfredo Castillo, the administration’s point-man for Michoacan state, said in a series of interviews Tuesday that the militias had agreed to disband by May 10.

Those who want to continue patrolling the towns of Michoacan will have to become part of a new statewide rural police force, Castillo said. All current militia members, however, will be allowed to keep their weapons, regardless of whether they join the police force, as long as they register them with the army and keep them at home, he said.

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Cartel violence ramps up in Mexican border state of Tamaulipas

April 15, 2014

tamaulipasDallas News, 4/14/14

In the troubled state of Tamaulipas, authorities are bracing for widening conflict that in recent days has left more than 30 people dead and, in this city bordering Texas, led to a spate of kidnappings and extortion. The mayhem comes as residents were just beginning to talk of an unusual lull in violence.

But in recent weeks, four to five people a day have been kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo, and extortion is on the rise, U.S. law enforcement authorities said. They attributed the rising insecurity to the renewed power of the Zetas drug cartel, with ties in the Dallas area. At least eight of the kidnapped victims are Americans, some with links to organized crime, the authorities said.

On Friday, Mexico’s attorney general, Jesús Murillo Karam, said plans for a security operation were underway to restore calm in the state, which analysts and officials say is poised for future foreign investment as a result of a landmark energy reform announced in December.

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Sen. Klobuchar pressing Mexico on heroin cartels and sex rings

April 15, 2014

mexican drugsStar Tribune, 4/15/14

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar is pressing Mexican law enforcement authorities to acknowledge responsibility for spiking numbers of heroin and sex-trafficking incidents that increasingly are ravaging neighborhoods and families across the United States — including Minnesota.

In a series of meetings in Mexico City, Klobuchar is joining North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Cindy McCain, wife of Arizona Sen. John McCain, in urging the Mexican government to intensify its work on both sex trafficking and the illegal movement of heroin into the United States.

“One of the things we can acknowledge when we’re meeting with them is that we have our own issues on this,” said Klobuchar in an interview from Mexico. “We’re not just telling them, ‘Do this or do that.’ We are saying we have our own issues.”

The domestic heroin crisis is escalating rapidly, particularly in the Midwest. Hospital emergency department visits for heroin in the Twin Cities nearly tripled from 2004 to 2011. The number of heroin deaths in the metro area has tripled since 2011, to 63 last year.

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Autodefensas registrarán sus armas y se desmovilizarán

April 15, 2014

Guns by Flickr user barjackMilenio, 4/14/14

Autoridades federales y locales, así como pobladores de la zona de Tierra Caliente, en Michoacán, incluyendo grupos de autodefensas, alcanzaron este lunes 11 acuerdos en materias de legalización, coordinación, desmovilización, diálogo, protección, compensación y soluciones legales, que deberán cumplirse al 10 de mayo próximo, informó la Secretaría de Gobernación (Segob).

En un encuentro coordinado por la Comisión para la Seguridad y el Desarrollo Integral de Michoacán, se lograron dichos acuerdos que pretenden dispensar la situación en los municipios más conflictivos de la región, detalló la dependencia en un comunicado.

De esta forma, se acordaron cuatro puntos en materia de legalización y coordinación: abrir la posibilidad de que aquellos pobladores que lo deseen, puedan incorporarse a la Policía Rural Estatal para que puedan brindar protección a sus comunidades de manera legal; ampliar el proceso de inscripción a los Cuerpos de Defensa Rurales de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (Sedena).

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Mexico bank regulator, Citigroup report second fraud at Banamex

April 15, 2014

banamexReuters, 4/14/14

Citigroup and Mexico’s bank regulator on Monday said they uncovered a second fraud at Citi’s local unit Banamex, as part of a wider investigation following the discovery in February of fraudulent loans to oil services company Oceanografia.

Mexico’s National Bank and Securities Commission (CNBV) said the investigation found another company with under $30 million in fraudulent loans.  Citigroup (C.N) in February said it found $400 million in bad loans at Banamex, Mexico’s No.2 bank by assets, made to Oceanografia and backed by apparently fraudulent invoices to state-owned oil company Pemex.

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Mexico: Homicides Decline Near Border, Report Says

April 15, 2014

m16 gun closeupNY Times, 4/14/14

Murders in Mexico declined in 2013, and they decreased significantly in several cities near the border with the United States, according to a new report from the Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego to be released Tuesday. Using preliminary police data, researchers identified a homicide decrease of about 16 percent, with some of the biggest drops in murders in Ciudad Juárez and Monterrey, notoriously dangerous cities that have recently calmed down as the war between criminal gangs and the government has declined in intensity. Still, experts warn, it is not clear whether the decline is attributable to an overall weakening of organized crime: The number of gun-related murders has held steady as other kinds of killing have declined, and homicides have sharply risen in states farther south.

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Mexico’s New Law to Combat Money Laundering to use “Kingpin” List

April 15, 2014

shutterstock_113478238AlJazeera, 4/15/14

Mexico has announced plans to fight money laundering by using “kingpin” lists like those issued by the United States, although unlike the public U.S. list, Mexico will make its registry confidential, a Mexican official said Monday. Alberto Elias Beltran, the official in charge of implementing a new money laundering law at the Finance Department, said the list will be made available only to authorities, anyone accused of money laundering and financial institutions.

“There could be a person who follows the procedure to be excluded from the list and we don’t want them to affect their reputation by making this list public,” Elias Beltran said. The criteria that will be used to put a person or a business on the list hasn’t yet been determined but the government hopes the first list will be ready by the end of April, he said.

Elias Beltran added that the list will be immediately sent to financial institutions that will have to “immediately suspend any operation or service being provided to those added to the list.” The law mainly bans those on the list from using Mexico’s financial system, including using current bank accounts or opening new ones, but it doesn’t currently provide for criminal charges against anyone, he said.

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The USA and Mexico hold Bilateral Talks on Human Rights

April 14, 2014

barbed wire fenceMexidata, 4/11/14

The United States and Mexico held the 6th round of the Bilateral Dialogue on Human Rights in Mexico City on April 3.  Mexico and the United States agreed to seek new opportunities to work together to protect and promote human rights.  Respect for human rights is a priority for both governments, which value their ability to maintain a frank, results-based and constructive dialogue on these issues.

The meeting covered a wide range of bilateral human rights issues, including developments and strategies in the field of human rights. Topics addressed included the prevention of torture and disappearances, military justice, human rights in the fight against terrorism, and violence against women and persons with disabilities.  In addition, each delegation presented views on freedom of expression and actions to protect journalists and human rights defenders.  They exchanged views on issues regarding the death penalty and consular notification. The human rights of migrants and those pertaining to vulnerable migrant groups were also addressed. The delegations discussed the value of improved cooperation at their shared border to reduce incidences of violence.

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