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Jun 18, 2007 | 12:00 GMT

5 mins read

Mexico Security Memo: June 18, 2007

A Surge to Monterrey The June 14 announcement by Mexican Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna that he would send 1,600 Federal Preventive Police troops to Monterrey, in Nuevo Leon state, indicates that the federal government still considers the region a priority. The June 12 killing of a Nuevo Leon state legislator in Monterrey no doubt contributed to the decision to increase the federal security presence in the city. While the army and police continue to conduct operations targeting organized crime in the north, it is likely that the drug cartels will strike back elsewhere, such as farther north along the U.S. border, or farther south at police and army patrols in the states of Michoacan, Guerrero and Mexico. One state where cartel violence often generates headlines is Veracruz, where 300 police officers went on strike June 15 and participated, along with local residents, in a demonstration against violence. But the full extent of the violence there is likely under-reported; the striking policemen said they had received verbal "orders" not to report murders linked to drug cartels and that they often removed bodies from crime scenes before state officials arrived. Government officials around the country are essentially in a state of panic regarding the deteriorating security situation, so it is not unreasonable to conclude that other states are deliberately altering crime statistics as well. This, combined with threats from cartels to journalists who report on cartel crime, indicates that the actual level of violence in Mexico is probably much higher than is being reported. Local police strikes will force state officials to continue requesting more federal police, while further efforts by local governments to crack down on corrupt police officers will put additional strain on law enforcement. Despite these efforts, corruption will remain a fundamental problem associated with cartel violence; many of the police officers and government officials targeted in the killings likely either had refused to cooperate with the cartels or were killed for being on a rival cartel's payroll.
June 11
  • A drive-by shooting in Jimenez, in Chihuahua state, left two people dead and three wounded. Police said many witnesses refused to come forward.
  • Authorities in Ixtapaluca, Mexico state, announced the removal of 70 police officers and investigations involving 50 other officers on charges of corruption.
June 12
  • Gunmen shot and wounded a reporter from the Oaxaca daily newspaper Tiempo as he arrived at his home after work. The reporter said the men had been waiting for him as he arrived. Reporters Without Borders considers Mexico the most dangerous country for journalists in the Western Hemisphere.
  • A large group of armed men dressed in black abducted three people from a hotel along a highway in southern Durango state. A hotel staff member said there was a similar kidnapping at the hotel two days before.
  • Gunmen armed with high-powered rifles in Tijuana, Baja California state, killed one man and kidnapped two others, then later stole a semitruck trailer containing unknown goods.
  • The body of a man was found on the side of a highway near Aquila, in Michoacan state, shot at least six times, including twice in the head.
June 13
  • Government officials in Aguascalientes state announced a restructuring of state police forces and the disbanding of the special quick-reaction unit on charges of corruption. Officials hope to create a new unit in place of the disbanded one.
  • A man's body was found wrapped in a sheet in Acapulco, Guerrero state, and initial reports indicate that a note was found with the body, though authorities would not confirm.
June 14
  • A severed head was found in Tomatlan, Jalisco state, with several gunshot wounds. Police said they are trying to determine if the head is related to two human feet discovered June 11 in Guadalajara state.
  • Gunmen exchanged fire with police in San Luis Potosi state in the early morning, wounding one officer. Police detained four suspects following the gunbattle.
  • An unknown number of gunmen attacked two police officers sitting in a parked patrol car in the capital of Aguascalientes state, killing one of the officers and wounding the other.
June 15
  • The Mexican secretary of defense's office announced that soldiers in Torreon, Coahuila state, had detained 13 suspected Zetas, a cartel-linked militia formed by former army special forces.
  • Police in Tijuana, Baja California state, discovered the bodies of a man and a woman in a car in a residential area who had been shot several times. A note was found near the bodies.
June 16
  • A group of armed men shot and killed one man and wounded another in Turicato, Michoacan state, in an apparent targeted hit.
June 17
  • Three people were found dead in separate incidents in Sinaloa state. Police said the bodies all showed signs of torture and that the deaths are likely linked to narcotics trafficking.

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