Monday, April 21, 2014

Mexican Senate passes kidnapping penalty of 140 years

Guadalajara -
On its first day back at work after a 10 day Holy Week recess, Mexico's Senate today approved a bill raising the maximum penalty for kidnapping to 140 years in prison. Although many members had not yet returned from their holiday, a quorum sufficient to conduct business was present.

The vote was 61 in favor and 22 against. The measure now moves to the lower legislative chamber, the Cámara de Diputados.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Peña Nieto administration sues four Mexican states over education reforms

Oaxaca's governor quickly signals he'll comply

Guadalajara -
Mexico's federal government today filed a complaint with the nation's highest tribunal, demanding that the states of Chiapas, Michoacán, Oaxaca and Sonora be forced to comply with education reforms passed by heavy congressional majorities in September 2013.

The mandamus action, submitted to Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court, alleges that officials in those states have failed and refused to bring state education codes into compliance with the new standards, and in some instances have substantially rewritten the standards to their own liking.

Federals, Michoacán militias reach deal on disarmament

But the parties already disagree on what it means

Guadalajara -
The Federal Security Commissioner for Michoacán announced Monday that an agreement has been reached with the state's thousands of citizen militiamen, in response to Mexico City's demand that they lay down their weapons or face arrest. But the 436 word "disarmament" deal is subject to interpretation, and claims of victory made by both sides yesterday suggest that not everybody is on the same page.

On Apr. 3 Mexican Secretary of Government Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong and Security Commissioner Alfredo Castillo said the autodefensas or policías comunitarias would no longer be permitted to operate on their own, and warned that those who refuse to hand over their arms would "face the consequences." Mexico says it will disarm citizen militias.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Texas executes Ramiro Hernández Llanas, over protests

U.S. death penalty litigation tracks a new course - now it's all about the chemicals used

Guadalajara -
For the second time this year the state of Texas has executed a Mexican national in its Huntsville death chamber, despite protests from this country, Amnesty International and other organizations.

Ramiro Hernández Llanas, 44, was pronounced dead shortly after 6:00 p.m., the appointed hour for executions in Texas.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Michoacán militias reject federal call to disarm

Self-defense leader warns that Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel have now entered the state

*Updated Apr. 9*
Guadalajara -
Last week Mexican Secretary of Government Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong and the Federal Security Commissioner for Michoacán, Alfredo Castillo, said that the country's hundreds of citizen militias, known here as autodefensas or policías comunitarias, would be disarmed. The process began over the weekend, sooner than expected, and militias throughout the state have made it clear that they won't go quietly. Mexico says it will disarm citizen militias.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mexico's Vicente Fox, never short of words on any topic

"There are people who, like fine wine, mature and develop well, constantly learning and doing things better. Then there are people and there are wines which go in the opposite direction." - Vicente Fox

Guadalajara -
Former Mexican National Action Party (PAN) president Vicente Fox, who held office from 2000-2006, was interviewed by a national press source last week and once again used the opportunity to advance his arguments for worldwide drug legalization.

Fox has a plan on who should run narcotics enterprises, too: Mexican drug traffickers.

"Forgiveness is the greatest of human virtues," Fox said in a wide ranging interview. "We should pardon them. Those drug capos are going to change, once the product is regulated. They're going to begin to say to themselves, ' Why am I risking my hide, when I can turn a buck legally, even though, sure, I'll have to pay high taxes.' "

Friday, April 4, 2014

DEA tells Congress, Mexican drug cartels hard at work in Colorado and Washington

Legalization path will have "devastating consequences for the country" - U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.)

Guadalajara -
In testimony before a congressional subcommittee this week which has been widely quoted by the Mexican press, U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart said new laws in Colorado and Washington permitting the possession and consumption of cannabis for recreational and medicinal purposes have quickly attracted the attention of Mexican drug traffickers.

Leonhart appeared Wednesday before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, and left no doubt about her feelings on cannabis decriminalization in the U.S. and its impact on Mexico's 88 month old drug war.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mexico says it will disarm citizen militias

Guadalajara -
At a joint press conference this afternoon, Mexican Secretary of Government Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong and the Federal Security Commissioner for Michoacán, Alfredo Castillo, announced that the country's hundreds of citizen militias, known here as autodefensas or policías comunitarias, will be disarmed.

The officials set no time table for the process, but Castillo said that those who refuse to hand over their arms "will face the consequences."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In Querétaro, Mexican troops kill key Templarios boss

"These guys have a way of coming back to life" - Michoacán militia leader

Enrique "Kike" Plancarte (left) and Servando Gómez, a/k/a "La Tuta" . . . one down, one to go

Guadalajara -
Federal security forces yesterday killed Enrique "Kike" Plancarte, one of two remaining leaders of Michoacán's vicious Los Caballeros Templarios drug cartel. The 43 year old organized crime boss was said to be the Templarios' financial manager.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Guerrero citizen militia claims U.S. citizen Harry Devert was murdered by regional drug cartel, but offers no proof

Guadalajara -
U.S. motorcyclist and adventurer Harry Devert has been missing for more than two months. He was last heard from on Jan. 25, supposedly headed for the Pacific coast town of Zihuatanejo in Guerrero state, due south of the Michoacán capital of Morelia, along Mexico's famous Costa Grande. Devert was aboard a green Kawasaki with New York tags. Brazil was his final destination. Mexico opens investigation into U.S. citizen missing in Michoacán, as long silence grows increasingly ominous.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bruce Beresford-Redman's bizarre bid to escape Mexican justice - in Los Angeles

MGR News Analysis

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
Mexican criminal trials tend to be long, drawn out affairs. Former Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman's is no exception, as it plods along in this Riviera Maya resort at a snail's pace. No one has a clue when the trial judge might get around to delivering a verdict, despite the fact that the crime being prosecuted occurred almost four years ago. They don't say mañana in this country for nothing.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

El Chapo Guzmán's takedown: strategy or serendipity?

Fiction writers are already hard at work

Guadalajara -
When former Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán finally met The Man in the Pacific coast city of Mazatlán early on Saturday morning, Feb. 22, more than a decade after he had escaped from a Mexican high security prison in January 2001, both this country and the U.S. took quick advantage of the moment to engage in a bit of self-adulation, praising the "high level of coordination" between their respective law enforcement agencies. Now two Mexican marines who claim to have personally taken Guzmán into custody that day say it was all nothing more than a case of very good luck.

Mexican high court tosses leftist lawsuit challenging PEMEX reforms

Guadalajara -
The full chamber of Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court this afternoon rejected a lawsuit filed by senators of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) last December, which sought to block legal reforms opening PEMEX, the national oil company, to private capital investment and foreign technical participation.

The 11 member court voted 8-3 to deny a petition filed by three PRD senators, who contended the internal structure of PEMEX could be modified only if a citizen plebiscite had so authorized. The court began debate on the case Tuesday and finished today.

Memo to Boeing CEO: Cancel Mexico's Dreamliner order

Purchase of a half billion dollar jet raises questions in a land where the minimum wage is $5 a day

Guadalajara -
In the past six weeks Mexico has reported that its sputtering economic engine nearly stalled in 2013, posting the worst results seen since 2009, and that the country is losing rather than creating real jobs. On Tuesday it followed with an encore: January 2014 was more of the same.

With those thoughts and more in mind, a grass roots citizens movement hopes to cancel the nation's purchase of what will be the most expensive executive aircraft in the world: a half billion dollar Boeing 787 Dreamliner scheduled to be delivered to president Enrique Peña Nieto in 2015.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Quintana Roo governor in the crosshairs over "fascist" anti-protest law

A brewing "Caribbean fascism" in Q.R. state, opponents argue

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
Roberto Borge Angulo, the 34 year old Institutional Revolutionary Party governor of Mexico's most southeastern state, has quickly backed away from a bill which easily cleared the PRI controlled state legislature on Monday. Borge's deft sidestep took opponents by surprise, since the proposed "Social Order Law" was his political brainchild, they claim.

The controversial legislation would give authorities the power to shut down any march, demonstration or public protest which "interferes with the delivery of any service or disrupts the peace or tranquility of any community or impedes the activities or human rights of other persons."