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Rolly


Apr 20, 2009, 8:40 AM

Post #1 of 34 (10537 views)

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Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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I haven't reported recently on the drug wars here because nothing much has changed -- shoot outs, murders, beheadings, terror continue largely unabated.

For a full background of the war in this area read here.

Some recent events of note:

The head of the jail in Gomez Palacio and 11 officers have been arrested and are awaiting trial for arranging an escape of 5 drug gangsters.

In Torreón the authorities busted an auto body shop which was engaged in armor plating vehicles for Los Zetas. Also found were a bunch of heavy weaponry.

This morning's Torreón newspaper reports that prostitutes can no longer be found working the streets at night. They are too afraid.

The restaurant association says business is off by more than 25%, and many restaurants are now open only on weekends.

In addition to the drug wars, common crime is also on the up swing due to the tanking economy. Bank robberies, car thefts, store holdups and home invasions are all way up. My friend Gloria's tienda on my street has been robbed three times recently.

Rolly Pirate



La Isla


Apr 21, 2009, 1:01 PM

Post #2 of 34 (10424 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Rolly, thanks for sending us this update. It's very scary, especially with the details you've provided about how the drug wars are affecting life for the average person in Torreón. ¡Cuídate mucho!


Rolly


May 27, 2009, 10:57 AM

Post #3 of 34 (10147 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Another month has gone by which saw a short pause in violence (flu fears?), but troubles are back big time.

Across the river in Torreón, 302 cops have been fired. Some failed drug tests, some refused to take the tests, others for kidnapping, robbery and assault. The federal government sent in 150 federal police to help fill the void until the next academy class graduates.

This morning the body a newspaper reporter was found. He had been taken from his home at gun point last night.

Here in Lerdo, a young man was gunned down on the street in front of his home and in front of his mother. The Zetas had demanded $50,000 pesos from the family or one of their sons would be killed. The family was slow getting the money together, so they killed the son. Now the family has closed their business, and they are moving away. The police have done nothing despite its being common knowledge who the bad guys are and where they are living -- everyone is too afraid to take any action.

Rolly Pirate


Rolly


Jan 10, 2010, 9:56 AM

Post #4 of 34 (9423 views)

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Re: Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Figures just released show that violence spiked in Lerdo and Gómez Palacio in 2009 to 301 homicides. The figure is triple the 99 murders in 2008. The statistics from the Forensic Medical Service show that 90 percent of the homicides last year were related to organized crime. Most murders were committed using firearms. In 2008 homicides related to organized crime accounted for 70 percent, and in that year, besides the use of firearms, there were several beheadings.

In Torreón killings were also on the rise last year; there were 159 homicide. In 2008 there were 80.
The population of Lerdo+Gómez is less than half that of Torreón, yet the murder rate is almost twice as high on our side of the river. To me, this says the heavier presence of the army and federal police in Torreón has made a big difference in where the Zetas like to operate.

Rolly Pirate


Reefhound


Jan 10, 2010, 11:40 AM

Post #5 of 34 (9383 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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I wonder if this "war" would be handled differently if all this killing was being done in the name of Allah rather than money?


Demonio

Jan 10, 2010, 12:41 PM

Post #6 of 34 (9372 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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I posted a link to this L.A. Times news story in another thread, but thought it would be useful to post it here too for those who missed it. The region of Mexico you live in Rolly is certainly a hot spot of violence. Sometimes innocent bystanders get caught in a wrong place, wrong time situation. Having been born and raised in south-central Los Angles, I know how it feels to live constantly watching ones (and each others) back. It's unfortunate that many believe that all of Mexico is dangerous when those of us who travel there a lot or live there know that it is not. That said, it's wise to stay informed and be vigilant.


"What we've got here is a failure to communicate."


Rolly


Jan 10, 2010, 1:13 PM

Post #7 of 34 (9362 views)

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Re: [Demonio] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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In this area last year, there were about 400 murders attributable to the Zetas. This is a drop in the bucket compared with what is happening near the border. Nevertheless, it is still unnerving to those who live here.

Rolly Pirate


Demonio

Jan 10, 2010, 1:38 PM

Post #8 of 34 (9351 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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In this area last year, there were about 400 murders attributable to the Zetas. This is a drop in the bucket compared with what is happening near the border. Nevertheless, it is still unnerving to those who live here.

As a comparison, there were 314 homicides in Los Angeles (a city of some four million people) in 2009. If 400 murders is a drop in the bucket, the words "Houston, we've got a problem" come to mind.



"What we've got here is a failure to communicate."


esperanza

Jan 10, 2010, 1:42 PM

Post #9 of 34 (9347 views)

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Re: [Demonio] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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According to an article in Sunday's (January 10) La Voz de Michoacán, there were 69 drug-related killings in Mexico during the 24-hour period from Friday, January 8 through Saturday, January 9. Sixty-nine. Of those, 26 were killed in the border state of Chihuahua. It's the highest one-day total since Calderón took office.




http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Rolly


Jan 10, 2010, 1:44 PM

Post #10 of 34 (9346 views)

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Re: [Demonio] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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The number of drug-related murders near the border run into the thousands.

Yes, we have a problem.

Rolly Pirate


smokesilver

Jan 11, 2010, 9:36 AM

Post #11 of 34 (9210 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Houston we have a problem here NOB as well. Many, if not most, of homicides here are NOT reported as drug related. How does anyone know that they aren't?


Demonio

Jan 11, 2010, 11:15 AM

Post #12 of 34 (9187 views)

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Re: [smokesilver] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Houston we have a problem here NOB as well. Many, if not most, of homicides here are NOT reported as drug related. How does anyone know that they aren't?

In the States most, if not all municipalities, counties and states, are blessed with trained police agencies that conduct professional criminal investigations. Homicides receive the most thorough scrutiny of all. Small agencies not capable of conducting an adequate homicide investigation defer to county police agencies or the FBI if a federal offense is involved. There are federal guidelines pertaining to reporting crime including causal factors and related issues. Houston do we have a problem in the States? You bet! But, it's a different problem. Drugs and alcohol certainly play a significant role in NOB crime, but in a much different way. While some poo butt gang bangers may battle over turf, consumption is usually the related issue. Some drug crazed asshole committing a crime to get enough for the next fix, etc. In Mexico, mafia style executions, government corruption, mass murder and outright lawlessness is an out of control problem not seen NOB. Organized crime is no longer a blatant issue in the States. They've become sophisticated enough to operate under the radar and the general population is at least spared the violence seen in Mexico. The devastation of drug, tobacco and alcohol addiction and indirect economic hardship suffered by Joe Blow because of organized crime is another thing.

By the way, I'm not implying problems NOB are less significant -- only of a different nature. And, that because of professional law enforcement practices and reporting guidelines, they have a pretty good idea of what's going on and thus how to police it.



"What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

(This post was edited by Demonio on Jan 11, 2010, 11:29 AM)


esperanza

Jan 11, 2010, 11:22 AM

Post #13 of 34 (9185 views)

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Re: [smokesilver] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Smokesilver, there's a big difference (IMHO) between the following scenarios:

1. Joe Anonymous, an up-and-coming actor, cruises down a Los Angeles street looking for his dealer so he can buy some cocaine. When Joe spots the guy, he hops out of the car to make the buy. Unbeknownst to Joe, the dealer he's talking to owes his supplier several thousand dollars. The supplier shows up just as Joe is paying for his drugs and shoots at Joe's dealer--and misses, hitting Joe instead. Joe's dealer flees with the money and the drugs. The shooter flees as well, to escape the police. Joe dies on the street. Yes, it's a drug-related homicide, although it might not be reported as that in order to save Joe's reputation.

2. In Morelia, the Zetas and La Familia are battling over territory for transporting marijuana through Michoacán and on to the north. Both cárteles have secret (and not-so-secret) connections in local, state, and federal government as well as connections with the police department and the Mexican army. The territory itself is worth tens of millions of dollars to whichever group controls it. Winning means that one of the two cárteles will be, at least temporarily, the Big Dog in Michoacán. On a given night, members of the two cárteles battle it out on a residential street in Morelia. When the gunfire stops, police find more than 1000 spent AK-47 cartridges in the street. Buildings are pitted with bullet holes, cars of innocent citizens are riddled with bullets. Neighbors cower crowded into their bathrooms, the most secure places in their homes. Two of the opposing gang members are killed and five more are seriously injured. The police are unable to find any of the perpetrators. Both cárteles claim victory. Yes, it's a drug-related homicide. But it's a drug-related homicide with ramifications for not only the cárteles, but also for every branch of government and every level of the police department and the army.

The difference, again IMHO, is the magnitude of the single incident in Michoacán vs the minimal incident in LA. When every level of government and law enforcement in a country is involved, the problem is much larger and much more complex than a simple deal-gone-bad in the USA.




http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Ustlach


Jan 11, 2010, 11:40 AM

Post #14 of 34 (9165 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Three of the murders you refer to happened during that time period here in Hermosillo, Sonora. Of greater significance to me is that they occurred within walking distance of my house, in the very Soriana Plus parking lot, where I go, frequently, to shop.

I recently took out a trial subscription to one of the local newspapers. I thought it would help my Spanish. All it did was burst my bubble of ignorance about drug related violence, and all the other manslaughter that occurs here right under my unassuming nose.

When my three month trial subscription expired, I did not renew it. Ignorance is bliss.

And it was not the occasional report of drug related violence in town that disturbed me so. I have no fear of going to Soriana to shop. It was the constant, virtually daily reports in the paper of the horrific traffic accidents occurring everywhere in town that caused me to shake in my loafers, killing and maiming far more people than the drug wars. Driving here is a nightmare for me, far more dangerous than anything I have ever willingly done in my life.

Fortunately I can walk to the Soriana. Driving would mean taking irresponsible risk.


richmx2


Jan 11, 2010, 1:08 PM

Post #15 of 34 (9138 views)

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Re: [Demonio] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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There's a difference too, in that "drug related homicides" are considered those related to the seller, and not the buyer. If we really were looking at "drug related" violence, we'd need to include the yin-yangs that kill people driving irresponsibly, those that pop their wife because they're going through withdrawal, those that beat their kids to death under the influence (or just neglect them to death), etc.

I'd venture that an honest accounting of "drug related" deaths would show a much higher toll among users than among vendors. And that's not even calculating the death toll caused by the actions of the banking establishment that is running on laundered funds.


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


ken_in_dfw

Jan 11, 2010, 4:15 PM

Post #16 of 34 (9086 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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I generally agree with your assessment, Esperanza. There has been a qualitative difference in the type of drug-related violence in the U.S. versus in México.

That said, the difference is dissolving. By that, I mean that your scenario #2 is becoming more and more prevalent here in the U.S.

As this level of crime begins to hit home, I can't help but wonder what my compatriots here in the U.S. who have crossed México off their travel lists for fear of drug crimes will have to say when the FBI and DEA agents are literally busting down the door across the street. This last link is to an article that appeared in the Dallas Morning News this past Saturday, Jan. 9. Here is a snippet:

"Ovella Thompson awakened that Wednesday morning to the sound of federal agents breaking down the door at a crème-colored brick home across the street. Their search warrant alleged that Bernabe, an illegal Mexican immigrant, used the Garland "stash house" near Lake Ray Hubbard to store methamphetamine, vehicles, cash and ledgers documenting his business dealings..

"Twenty miles away, at approximately the same minute, a young father named Rafael awakened in his Love Field-area home and pulled back the curtains to watch federal agents bust into a house across the street and arrest Bernabe.

"You could hear the cops screaming," recalled Rafael, who asked that his last name not be used. "Who could have known? He and his wife have kids. He looked like a normal guy."

"Bernabe, at age 34, is anything but a normal guy.

"Although he has pleaded not guilty to drug charges, federal investigators say he exemplifies how Mexican drug cartels have extended their operations to the retail level in the United States.

"Once upon a time, the cartels were content to stay in Mexico and wholesale their drugs to Americans willing to smuggle them across the border to reap huge profits on the streets of large U.S. cities.

"Now, the cartels are vertically integrating their "companies" in much the same way oil companies expanded from drilling to refining to selling gasoline on street corners early in the 20th century.

"Dallas is a hub for drugs just like American Airlines uses Dallas as its hub for air travel," said Phil Jordan, a retired agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Texas."

I don't have any answers. Legalizing pot is one thing. But some of the stuff these guys are selling turns whole populations into craven zombies. On the other hand, we all know how Prohibition worked in the U.S. and the "War on Drugs" is really going swell, isn't it?

What I do know is that people in both México and the U.S. are going to have to get over their fears and work together to douse the fires that are spreading in both houses. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "We must hang together, or we shall all most assuredly hang separately."


Rolly


Mar 6, 2010, 4:40 PM

Post #17 of 34 (8642 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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This one is so bazaar and unnerving that I hesitated to even post it, but...

It's not clear just were the Lerdo policeman was killed. What is known is that his headless body was dumped near the police academy on the main drag with a sign warning that the Chief would be next. Then one of the killers stood by the side of the street waving the officers head at passing motorists. He fled before the police arrived.

Rolly Pirate


Rolly


Oct 10, 2010, 6:08 PM

Post #18 of 34 (7375 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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After a fairly calm summer, things have heated up big time here in Lerdo.

Last week the city police captured a Zeta guy. That set off a rash of vengeance killing by Los Zetas.
Six officers have been killed. One was tortured and then dragged to death behind a truck.
Another was killed in his own home.
Today 40 officers resigned saying they could not protect themselves and their families.

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Oct 10, 2010, 7:47 PM)


chinagringo


Oct 10, 2010, 6:16 PM

Post #19 of 34 (7366 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Rolly:

I believe that I saw an article in one of the online Mexican newspaper where they said something about setting up roadblocks in and around Torreon and Gomez Palacio to prevent the bad guys from getting into town. There was something about trouble brewing in Lerdo?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Rolly


Nov 24, 2010, 5:24 PM

Post #20 of 34 (6490 views)

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Re: Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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I have a friend who drives a taxi in Torreón. We had lunch recently in Gómez Palacio.
I asked him if Los Zetas were a problem for him. He hesitated for a bit,
then said he does what he must to feed his family.
I wanted to pursue that, but it was obvious that he didn't want to go there.
Just now I got word that he can no longer drive his taxi into Gómez -- orders of Los Zetas.
Violation of their rules means death.
Again, I would love to ask questions, but...

Rolly Pirate


Brian

Nov 24, 2010, 5:35 PM

Post #21 of 34 (6486 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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Rolly wrote " I have a friend who drives a taxi in Torreón. We had lunch recently in Gómez Palacio.
I asked him if Los Zetas were a problem for him. He hesitated for a bit,
then said he does what he must to feed his family."

"En este pinche país no haces lo que quieres sino lo que puedes"

In this fucking country, you don't do what you want but what you can.

El Infierno


(This post was edited by Brian on Nov 24, 2010, 5:45 PM)


Reefhound


Nov 24, 2010, 5:49 PM

Post #22 of 34 (6475 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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You think he was threatened because he was seen having lunch with you? Our curiosity ain't worth getting him killed. Leave him be. The cartels probably have guys whose job is to do internet research.


Rolly


Nov 24, 2010, 7:40 PM

Post #23 of 34 (6447 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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I failed to make the point clear: ALL taxis from Torreón have been order to stay out of Gómez.
It's nothing personal for my friend or for me.

Rolly Pirate


RickS


Nov 24, 2010, 7:46 PM

Post #24 of 34 (6443 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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A little enlightenment por favor..... what do the Los Zetas have against taxi drivers from Torreón?


Rolly


Nov 24, 2010, 8:03 PM

Post #25 of 34 (6434 views)

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Re: [RickS] Drug Wars in Lerdo -- Update

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I wish I knew.

Rolly Pirate
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