Violence is spinning out of control is areas along the U.S. Mexico border and now drug cartels are sending a chilling message to police and soldiers in cities across Mexico: Join us or die.
The threat appears in recruiting banners that are hung across roadsides and in publicly posted death lists. Cops are receiving additional threats over their two-way radios. At least four high-ranking police officials were gunned down this month, including Mexico’s acting federal police chief.
Mexico has battled for years to clean up its security forces and win them the publics respect. But Mexicans generally assume police and even soldiers are corrupt until proven otherwise, and the honest ones lack resources, training and the assurance that their colleagues are watching their backs. Here, the taboo on cop-killing familiar to Americans seems hardly to apply.
Police who take on the cartels feel isolated and vulnerable when they become targets, as did 22 commanders in Ciudad Juarez when drug traffickers named them on a handwritten death list left at a monument to fallen police this year. It was addressed to “those who still don’t believe” in the power of the cartels.
Of the 22, seven have been killed and three wounded in assassination attempts. Of the others, all but one have quit, and city officials said he didn’t want to be interviewed.
Ciudad Juarez Police Cheif Resigns Amid Violence
The police chief of the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez has submitted his resignation following a string of killings that included some of his top officers, officials said on Sunday.
City spokesman Sergio Belmonte said Public Safety Director Guillermo Prieto would be replaced by a military officer on leave from the armed forces, but declined to release the name of the new police chief.
Murder rates have spiked this year in this city across from El Paso, Texas, and at least seven city police commanders were killed by hit men believed to be linked to drug cartels.
On Saturday, the bodies of a federal consumer-protection official and two other men were found in a car just hours after they were kidnapped by armed, masked men in Ciudad Juarez. The official had been strangled to death; the other two men have not yet been identified.
State spokesmen in Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located, did not offer any information on a possible motive in the killing.
Mexican Drug Gang Executes Eight
A heavily armed gang dragged eight men, including three local police officers, out of their homes in northern Mexico overnight and executed them with automatic weapons, officials said.
The murders in Villa Ahumada added to five recent killings in Ciudad Juarez, on the US border, and three others elsewhere in the state, are part of a rising wave of violence gripping Mexico, mostly related to the Government’s stepped up fight against drug trafficking.
In a brazen attack on Sunday (local time), heavily armed thugs in camouflage uniforms drove into Villa Ahumada in several pickup trucks and broke into several homes.
“The attackers were all dressed in camouflage, military-style uniforms,” the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
“They threatened the families (of the eight men) to keep them from talking.
“Then they murdered (the eight) with bursts of AK-47 rifles and handguns and fled to unknown whereabouts.”
It said the eight victims had not been identified although three of the men were local police officers.
Source – Read More
Time Magazine – Can Mexicos Drug Terror Be Stopped
Mexicans are accustomed to tales of crooked cops abetting drug-related killings. So this week’s announcement that a federal officer is among those charged with conspiracy in a drug-mafia hit on the nation’s acting police chief Edgar Millan caused little surprise south of the border. Mexican officials say the May 8 assassination was ordered by the Sinaloa drug cartel, and if convicted, the accused officer, Jose Montes, will join a long and infamous line of cops — including one of Mexico’s former anti-drug czars — who have moonlighted for the cartels.
Still, last week’s murder of Millan, one of the the highest-ranking police officials ever to be gunned down in Mexico, set a new benchmark in the Colombia-style drug carnage that continues to rage from Tijuana to Cancun. Mexico has already logged almost 1,200 drug-related killings this year — putting it well on track to break last year’s record of almost 2,500 — as an increasingly chaotic array of drug gangs fight one another for trafficking turf, and against any officials who dare to confront them.