Mexico Pursuing Vanished Victims of Its Drug Wars

June 24, 2013

Monterrey-Nathaniel C. SheetzThe New York Times, 6/22/2013

Rosa González cannot shake the memory of the state investigator who was too afraid of reprisals to take a full report, the police officer who shrugged when the ransom demand came, the months of agonizing doubt and, most of all, the final words from her daughter before she disappeared. “I am giving you a hug because I love you so much,” her mentally disabled daughter, Brizeida, 23, told Rosa hours before she was abducted with her 21-year-old cousin after a party more than two years ago.

In thousands upon thousands of cases, the story may well have ended there, adding to the vast number of Mexicans who have disappeared. Unlike those in other Latin American countries who were victims of repressive governments, many of Mexico’s disappeared are casualties of the organized-crime and drug violence that has convulsed this nation for years. But here in Nuevo León State, prosecutors, detectives, human rights workers and families are poring over cases together and in several instances cracking them, overcoming the thick walls of mistrust between civilians and the authorities to do the basic police work that is so often missing in this country, leaving countless crimes unsolved and unpunished.

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Nuevo Leon Will Not Release Capo’s Nicknames Nor Cartel’s Names (Spanish)

March 22, 2013

escudo nuevo leonProcesso, 3/21/2013

Nuevo Leon will not release detainees’ nicknames nor the names of the cartels they worked with.

The state government will suspend the old practice that publicly presented detainees to the press as trophies. Instead, they will now release newsletters and  photographs to news outlets.

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In Nuevo Leon a Civil Police Force Replaces the Military [in Spanish]

September 17, 2012

Reforma, 9/16/12

While Nuevo Leon is suffering from the worst wave of violence in its history, the military is leaving the streets of Monterrey and is being replaced by a new civilian police force called the Fuerza Civil which was created by the state’s governor Rodrigo Medina last year.  There will be an 80% reduction in military presence, and they are recruiting many new police officers.

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Mexico Magazine Printing Plant Raided, Burned

August 1, 2012

Huffington Post, 7/31/2012

An official in the Nuevo Leon state prosecutors’ office who was not authorized to speak on the record says the attack targeted a plant run by the DIPSA company in the city of Monterrey. It handles work for the Proceso news magazine as well as society and gossip publications.

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Unidentified bodies become legion in Mexico, highlighting poor police training, technology

July 23, 2012

The Washington Post/The Associated Press, 7/23/2012

After police found 49 dismembered bodies strewn on a Mexican highway leading to the Texas border, it took the army just a week to parade an alleged drug trafficker before journalists as the man who purportedly oversaw the body dump.

Yet two months after the grisly discovery in Nuevo Leon state, authorities have not identified a single victim.

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Two newspapers attacked with grenades [in Spanish]

July 11, 2012

El Universal, 7/11/12

In Nuevo Leon an explosive was launched against, “El Mañana” and in Monterrey two grenade attacks were launched against two of  “El Norte’s” offices.   The front of the newspapers buildings suffered the most damages.   The Observatory for the Processes of Public Communication of Violence has said that this is proof that the state cannot guarantee safety for the press.   Neither the newspapers directors nor the authorities have reported any casualties.  Members of the Federal Police and the Army have cordoned off the areas while looking for clues as to which types of explosives were used.  This is the second such attack that, “El Mañana” has suffered this year.

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Police Find 49 Bodies by a Highway in Mexico

May 13, 2012

The New York Times, 5/13/12

Forty-nine mutilated bodies were found dumped along a highway on Sunday near Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city, according to officials.

The security spokesman for the state of Nuevo León, which includes Monterrey, said that it would be difficult to identify the victims — 6 women and 43 men — because their heads, hands and legs had been cut off. It was not immediately clear when the people were killed; the bodies already showed signs of decay, officials said. A message left near the scene suggested that the extremely violent Zetas drug cartel was responsible.

The bodies were found less than a week after officials authorized extending the army’s presence in Nuevo León and the neighboring state of Tamaulipas until the end of November. President Felipe Calderón began sending federal troops to fight organized crime syndicates in many parts of the country when he took office in 2006; violence related to the drug cartels and the crackdown on them has claimed more than 50,000 lives, most of them in states like Nuevo León near the American border.

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