#Narconoia Update: Mar. 21, 2014

Danny Benavides
Traces of Reality
March 21, 2014


The situation in Michoacán has taken a turn for the worse, unfortunately. Despite the arrests of several leaders and henchmen of the monstrous Caballeros Templarios, recent infighting among vigilante groups — including allegations of murder levelled against Hipólito Mora Chávez (a prominent autodefensas figure), and several arrests of other vigilantes — has thrown the Tierra Caliente region into disarray.

Now that the strength of the Templarios has been dealt heavy blows, Mexican military and federal police have turned on the recently “legalized” self-defense units and seeks to delegitimize, disarm, and disband them.

The oft-employed strategy of using one cartel against another is again on display in Michoacán, and the future of Mexico hangs by a loosening thread.


Caballeros Templarios criminality reaches into San Diego, sinks to new despicable low

Mexico drug cartel makes more dealing iron ore via E. Eduardo Castillo @ Associated Press/Yahoo News

Child Organ Harvesting And Trafficking-Linked Arrest Made In Mexico via Olga R. Rodriguez @ Associated Press/Huffington Post [absolutely disgusting to see the revolting violence committed by these wretched cartel savages]

Caballeros Templarios: Human organ trafficking, and using organs in rituals? via “Chivis” Martínez @ Borderland Beat [more information and analysis from the great Chivis]

Lead Defendant in Airport Drug Scheme Involved with Cartel: Prosecutors via Lauren Lee, Paul Krueger and Christina London @ NBC 7 San Diego [Templarios operating through the San Diego International Airport]

Advances against Michoacán’s organized crime soured by autodefensas fragmentation and the arrest of vigilante figurehead

With friends like these, can Mexico find justice? via Dudley Althaus @ Global Post [Michoacán's vigilante crusaders increasingly viewed with suspicion as violence drives a wedge between the autodefensas]

Mexico’s ties to vigilante groups unravel via Alfredo Corchado @ Dallas Morning News

Facebook ‘Courage for’ Page versus the Knights Templar’s Cartel via Andrés Monroy-Hernández @ Global Voices [a noteworthy analysis of the role social media occupies for activists in the midst of Mexico's drug war]

Mexico charges civilian militia leader with murder @ Associated Press/Al Jazeera

Mexico to draw line on vigilantes via Mark Stevenson @ Associated Press/Yahoo News

Vigilantes Say Mexico Government Persecuting Them @ Associated Press/ABC News ["We are reaching a point at which we no longer need them," the article quotes a federal official as saying... Demonstrating the government's absurd distortion of reality]

Mora’s Attorney Lays Out Defense Strategy – La Ruana is “Ghost Town” After Mora’s Arrest via “DD” @ Borderland Beat [great article featuring remarks by figures in the self-defense movement and others]

Self-Defense Council Asserts Its Position via Francisco Castellanos J. @ Proceso/Mexico Voices [translated by Jane Brundage]

Mexican vigilantes who ousted Knights Templar cartel could bring new violence via Jo Tuckman @ The Guardian

After Losing in Court, Hipolito Mora’s message from prison: “Don’t lay down arms” via “Chivis” Martínez @ Borderland Beat [it is dumbfounding to see the government of Mexico try using Mora as a patsy to neutralize the autodefensas while placing him in a dangerous situation locked up among scores of cartel members]

Mexico Drug War-Michoacán: Hipólito Mora Remanded to Prison – “It Is Betrayal!” Mora Shouts @ Proceso/Mexico Voices [translated by Jane Brundage]

Attack Shows Fractures in Mexico’s Guerrero Vigilantes via Michael Lohmuller @ InSight Crime [tension between factions of vigilantes is dangerously close to completely boiling over]

Government corruption on both sides of the border, and other news items from the Constitution-Free Zone

Juarez authorities searching for 2 men who escaped prison via Lorena Figueroa @ El Paso Times [two "La Línea" hitmen from Juárez Cartel climb out of prison with ropes?]

After immigrants attacked, CBP chief apologizes, Reps. Cuellar and Castro chime in, civil rights attorney slams Border Patrol via Ildefonso Ortiz @ The Monitor

Arming U.S. Agents in Mexico Stalling Trade Agreement via Julián Aguilar @ Texas Tribune [a particularly interesting story for residents of Laredo, Texas]

Mexico Government Borders on Failed, Narco-State – Javier Sicilia via Enrique Mendoza Hernández @ Zeta Magazine/Proceso/Mexico Voices [translated by Jillian Droste]

War of Words Between Sen. Dianne Feinstein and CIA Is Empty Rhetoric via Bill Conroy @ NarcoNews [Conroy is always in-depth and on-point]

Guatemala’s Underworld ‘Patriarch,’ Lorenzana, Extradited to US via Steven Dudley @ InSight Crime

Mexico loses second security official in 2 months via Tracy Wilkinson @ The Los Angeles Times [once is happenstance, twice is coincidence...]

Déjà vu in Mexico: Declassified Documents on the First Time Mexico “Killed” “El Chayo” via Michael Evans @ Unredacted: The National Security Archive [how the government of Calderón seized political advantage of the takedown of El Chayo in order to justify military aid from the U.S.]

Man, The State and War Against Drug Cartels: A Typology of Drug-Related Violence in Mexico via Irina Alexandra Chindea @ Small Wars Journal [academic work; informative analysis of datasets, a bit of a dry read]

Mexican authorities bungled case of slain journalist, group says via Tracy Wilkinson @ The Los Angeles Times [how incompetence, inaction, and chilled speech makes Mexico especially dangerous for journalists]

Government Officials Pose Biggest Threat To Journalists In Mexico, Report Says @ EFE/Fox News [another report from Agencia EFE to add a bit to the above article]

At Border Security Expo, companies keep eyes on lucrative U.S. market via Cindy Carcamo @ The Los Angeles Times [border communities continue to suffer injustice, poverty, and crime -- but the Military-Industrial-Security Complex keeps raking in the corporate welfare with surveillance systems, drones, armored vehicles, and more]

ACLU checkpoint aims to inform travelers of rights via James Staley @ Las Cruces Sun-News [bravo to the ACLU!]

Federal government seeks extradition of ex-Tamaulipas governor via Mark Reagan @ The Brownsville Herald [yet another government official taking bribes from cartels]

At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South via John Burnett @ NPR [a fascinating read worth your time]

One Month After Drug Lord El Chapo Guzman’s Arrest, Narcotics Business Continues With No Change via Dolia Estevez @ Forbes [did you expect something else?]