News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Countdown to May Day: The open borders circus returns

By Michelle Malkin • April 29, 2008 09:50 AM

On Thursday, the reconquista militants, illegal alien lobbyists and lawyers, multicultural mau-mau-ers, and assorted anti-border goons will turn out across the country for another May Day open borders spasm.

Los Angeles police are undergoing crowd control training to prevent a repeat of the Macarthur Park riots last year.

College students and Catholic priests will join the “Gran Marcha” to demand amnesty and non-enforcement of immigration laws.

In Madison, Wisconsin, illegal immigration apologists will protest Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney’s practice of notifying federal officials of jailed inmates’ immigration status.

Bay Area anti-war activists are riding the wave and will join open-borders groups to harass both recruiters and ICE agents. Because it’s all about sticking it to The Man.

In Chicago, open-borders exploiters will be bringing back poor Saul Arellano:

Labels: , , ,


Its future uncertain, barrier on the border going up quickly

Apr 28 03:13 PM US/Eastern

By EILEEN SULLIVAN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. fence along the Mexican border is less a wall than a stuttering set of blockades: half barrier, half gaps.

Americans are split pretty much the same way: half in favor, half against, passionate on both sides when it comes to the idea of erecting a wall to keep people from entering the country illegally.

It can seem a shaky foundation as the United States rushes to complete the fencing on nearly 700 miles of the border by the end of the year. That's when a new administration arrives in the White House with its own ideas about security, freedom, the 11 million illegal immigrants already here and the prospect of many more on the way.

Nearly half complete, the multibillion-dollar fence project stretches from the Pacific surf at Tijuana to the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville, Texas. The messages it sends are decidedly mixed.

For Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who wrote the legislation to build the fence, the message is simple: Don't sneak into America; we are taking control of our borders.

For others, the fence is inconsistent with a country founded by immigrants and priding itself on opportunity.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says it's simply a new law enforcement device, part of a multipronged crackdown on the flow of illegal immigrants. The government also has hired more border agents, stepped up enforcement nationwide and increased penalties for those who don't follow the law.

Labels: , ,


Calderon’s Latest U.S. Visit: More Macho Mexican Meddling

Memo From Mexico, By Allan Wall

Mexican president Felipe Calderon has just returned from a trip to the U.S.

Wait a minute! Didn’t Calderon visit the U.S. just two months ago?

Yes, he certainly did. I reported on his February hobnobbing with the American ruling class in this article and this blog entry.

If you keep up with Mexican news, you also know that it’s not like Calderon has nothing to do in Mexico. There’s an ongoing political crisis over the desperately-needed reform of Mexico’s state oil monopoly PEMEX. In fact, filibustering opposition politicians have seized the podiums in both federal legislative chambers, forcing other legislators to meet elsewhere.

But apparently Calderon felt his trip to the U.S. was so important that he had to leave Mexico. After all, he attended the fourth annual summit of the nation-merging SPP, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, which is not popular with everybody in Mexico either.

Of course, this year the SPP summit was not officially an SPP summit. It’s been renamed the "North American Leaders’ Summit". President Bush, President Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper converged in New Orleans earlier this week, Monday-Tuesday April 21-22nd.

On the agenda for Bush and Calderon: the re-opening of the New Orleans Mexican Consulate, which had been closed in 2002 for budgetary reasons. It’s now being re-opened due to the growth in the Mexican population there since Hurricane Katrina. i.e. because they are displacing African Americans from construction jobs.

Mexico could save a lot of money by shutting down a lot of consulates. But that’s not in the cards. Consulates are, after all, centers of pro-illegal agitation. Mexican diplomats are never reprimanded by U.S. officials for their political meddling, although it certainly doesn’t fall under the rubric of legitimate diplomatic activity.

In his remarks at the re-opening, with President Bush standing right there, Calderon actually said that, with the consulate back in operation,

"…we can guarantee that Mexicans who live and work in Louisiana and Mississippi have the support of the government of Mexico. My commitment is that wherever there is a Mexican, there also is the backing of the government of Mexico.

Labels: , ,


Mexican lawmakers end takeover of Congress

By Julie Watson
ASSOCIATED PRESS
12:43 p.m.
April 25, 2008

MEXICO CITY – Leftist lawmakers ended a 16-day blockade of Mexico's Congress on Friday after agreeing on a national debate they hope will lead to defeat of the president's energy reform bill.

The legislators have been camped out around the clock in both houses of Congress since Mexican leader Felipe Calderón presented a bill that would let the government's debt-strapped state oil company seek foreign help to boost sagging production.

Protesting legislators announced they had were ending their takeover of the congressional podiums and staging a rousing send-off for themselves, raising their fists and singing the national anthem before leaving the Senate chamber.

“We triumphed! We triumphed!” said Sen. Carlos Navarrete, senate leader of the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party, or PRD.

The leftists had demanded a 120-day national debate on the bill that they claim will lead to a sell-off of parts of the state-run monopoly, damaging national sovereignty. They finally settled for a proposal by other parties to hold it from May 13 to July 22.

Legislators did not give details of how the debate would be carried out.

Labels: , ,


Mexican official fired after report of missing BlackBerrys at U.S. summit

By Mark Stevenson
ASSOCIATED PRESS
9:24 a.m.
April 25, 2008

MEXICO CITY – A press aide at the president's office has been dismissed following allegations that he took BlackBerrys belonging to U.S. officials at a summit in New Orleans, an official said Friday.

Rafael Quintero Curiel acknowledged picking up the telephone and e-mail devices at the New Orleans summit involving the leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada this week, but said he thought they had been left behind and planned to return them.

The phones were recovered, according to White House Press Secretary Dana Marie Perino, who said she did not know if they contained sensitive information.

A Mexican government spokeswoman said Quintero Curiel had been dismissed from his year-old job coordinating logistics for reporters covering President Felipe Calderón's international trips. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she is not authorized to talk to the media about the case.

Labels: ,


Seized weapons linked to crimes throughout Baja

Rivals fight over 'control of region'
By Sandra Dibble
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 29, 2008

TIJUANA – Weapons seized after shootouts between rival gangs that claimed at least 13 lives have been linked to eight other high-profile crimes in Tijuana, Rosarito Beach and Ensenada, authorities said yesterday.

Those crimes include last month's killings of two Mexican migrant protection officers in Tijuana's Colonia Libertad neighborhood near San Ysidro, an assassination attempt in December on Rosarito Beach's police chief, and the November theft from Ensenada's morgue of the body of a drug trafficker killed during the Baja 1000 off-road race.

During a news conference yesterday in Tijuana, state law enforcement officials offered some new details about Saturday's gunbattles, the deadliest in recent years. Federal authorities have taken over the investigation because it involves organized crime. They offered no information.

Labels: , ,


13 people killed as rival gangs clash in Tijuana

By Sandra Dibble

UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

April 27, 2008

TIJUANA – A confrontation between rival criminal gangs left 13 dead and nine injured early yesterday in gunbattles that started along a major thoroughfare and continued near a private clinic where police exchanged gunfire with injured suspects.

The shootouts were among the fiercest the city has seen in recent years. They come amid a spike in violence along Mexico's northern border as drug gangs battle one another and face off against law enforcement agencies that have stepped up efforts against organized crime.

The dead appeared to be members of criminal cells linked to organized crime, but their identities were not revealed, nor would officials name any specific criminal organization, saying the investigation was continuing.

The injured included eight suspects and one federal police officer, authorities said; none of the injuries was life-threatening, they added. The suspects are in custody.

Labels: , , ,


Feud between Baja prosecutor, army general goes public

By Sandra Dibble

UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

7:44 p.m. April 23, 2008

TIJUANA – A simmering feud between Baja California's top prosecutor and an outspoken army general boiled over Wednesday as the general went public with allegations of police corruption in the state.

In an open letter published in the state's major daily newspapers, Gen. Sergio Aponte Polito named about three dozen municipal, state and federal police officials.

The general said they have been protecting immigrant smugglers, bank robbers, and worked as escorts for drug traffickers. He said agents with the state's anti-kidnapping unit in Tijuana had themselves conducted kidnappings, then negotiated the ransom.

The general said top Tijuana police officials with the previous mayoral administration – he did not name them – are constantly approaching the current police chief, a military lieutenant colonel on leave, offering to act as go-betweens with organized crime.

Labels: , ,


Baja police commander, bodyguards held on suspicion of extortion

UNION-TRIBUNE

7:37 p.m. April 22, 2008

TIJUANA – A top state police commander and his five bodyguards were being held on suspicion of extortion after a woman they detained outside their regular working hours accused them of demanding that her family pay $5,000 for her release.

Jose Angel Meza Valdez, commander of the Baja California Preventive Police in Tijuana, and five fellow agents were taken into custody in eastern Tijuana by members of the Mexican military Monday night.

A military communique said the six agents were arrested when soldiers responded to a complaint that a woman had been abducted by members of the State Preventive Police.

Meza, interviewed by reporters at a Tijuana military base, proclaimed his innocence Tuesday morning. He said the agents had detained a woman with packets of suspected cocaine, and they were taking her to an office of the Baja California Attorney General to confirm the content.

“It's not right that we risk our lives and then we don't receive even the least bit of support,” he said.

_____

Six Mexican agents held on suspicion of extortion

Labels: , , ,


Thousands protest Mexico energy reform plan

Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:56pm EDT

MEXICO CITY, April 27 (Reuters) - Thousands of people, some dressed in oil worker jumpsuits, protested a Mexican energy reform proposal on Sunday that leftists say is a veiled attempt to privatize the cherished state industry.

Decrying government plans to allow more private investment in state-run oil monopoly Pemex [PEMX.UL], protesters carried signs saying "This is a holdup" and showed pictures of President Felipe Calderon holding a gas pump like a gun.

Mexico is the world's sixth-largest producer of crude oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the No. 3 supplier of oil to the United States.

Police said some 15,000 people marched through central Mexico City to the massive Zocalo square, led by leftist firebrand Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost the presidency to Calderon in 2006.

Labels: , ,


El Paso among nation's worst in auto thefts

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 04/29/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

El Paso continued its slide into the top 30 worst cities for auto thefts last year though other large cities in the region did much worse, according to recently released rankings by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

El Paso was ranked No. 30 - compared with No. 51 in 2006 and No. 81 in 2005 - despite a decline in the number of vehicle thefts last year. Auto-theft investigators pointed out that larger decreases in thefts in other cities may have caused El Paso to move up in the listing.

El Paso police said there are links between auto theft rings in Albuquerque and the El Paso-Juárez area and that police have intercepted several vehicles stolen in Albuquerque brought south to be taken into Mexico.

Labels:


Mexicans riled by N.C. official's remark

MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

MEXICO CITY — Recent comments comparing illegal immigrants to prostitutes and drug dealers first inflamed the local Latino community, and now the anger has spilled into Mexico.

Mexican politicians and residents are calling Mecklenburg County, N.C., commissioner Bill James' statements — printed Friday in one of Mexico City's leading newspapers — an example of growing hostility against Latinos in the United States.

James, a Republican, made the comments during an April 15 commissioners meeting while discussing government contracts and whether illegal immigrants pay taxes. Near the end of the talk, Commissioner Norman Mitchell, a Democrat, referred to a recent Charlotte Observer article that mentioned that illegal immigrants paid taxes. James interjected that prostitutes and drug dealers also pay taxes. "Al Capone paid taxes," he said.

James said Thursday his comments were meant to show that immigrants, prostitutes and drug dealers all engage in illegal activity.

"You're breaking the law. You need to get right with the law," James said. "It doesn't have anything to do with whether your hair is blond, brown or black. It doesn't matter what your skin color is, your eyes, whatever."

The controversy over James' comments reached Mexico at a time of growing concern about anti-immigrant feelings damaging U.S.-Mexico relations.

What about the legislated attitude against US citizens in Mexico - can not own property, can not work, can not protest publicly? -mm

Labels: ,


Pickup jammed with 30 people crashes; 4 killed

Published: 04.28.2008

Corrected version. An earlier version said up to 60 people were in the truck

A man believed to be the smuggler of more than two dozen illegal immigrants who were killed or injured in a rollover crash in central Arizona was still at large Monday.

The pickup truck that the smuggler was driving was crammed with more than 30 people when it rolled over Sunday. Four were killed and 27 were injured, some critically.

Pinal County sheriff's spokeswoman Vanessa White said speed was the ultimate factor in the crash and that alcohol could have been a factor. Open beer containers were found on the passenger side of the truck.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office originally reported that as many as 60 immigrants were in the truck.

But federal officials said Monday that a little more than 30 were in the crash. A separate group of illegal immigrants unrelated to the pickup was found nearby during the investigation.

Labels:


Court backs photo ID for voters

Ind. argues law prevents fraud at polls

Gannett News Service

Published: 04.29.2008

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court in a fractured decision Monday upheld an Indiana law that requires voters to show a photo ID issued by the federal or state government.

Opponents had argued that the law, considered the toughest voter ID statute in the nation, places substantial practical and financial burdens on voters and is aimed at fixing a type of election fraud that rarely occurs.

The state said the law imposes minimal, if any, interference and increases public confidence in the integrity of the elections.

The court agreed. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony Kennedy wrote that because Indiana's ID cards are free, the inconvenience of getting one does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters' right to vote.

"States should have the ability to implement appropriate and constitutional steps to protect their electoral systems from fraud," Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter said.

Labels: ,


Legislature approves changes to employer sanctions law

The Associated Press

Published: 04.28.2008

The Arizona Legislature approved a proposal Monday aimed at correcting perceived flaws in a state law that prohibits employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

The proposed changes sprang from complaints by business groups that the law was unfair to employers whose operating licenses could be suspended or revoked for violations.

Business groups succeeded in getting the bill to narrow the employees to whom the law applies and to create protections for employers who make good-faith efforts to follow the rules. Even so, they don't think the state should have its own employer sanctions because they said cracking down on illegal hirings is the responsibility of the federal government.

"In terms of what the business community had to swallow to begin with, I think the clarifications that are in there are more than fair," said Ann Seiden, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one of several business groups that have sought to overturn the law.

The original law, which took effect in January, was intended to lessen the economic incentive for foreign workers to sneak into Arizona, the busiest illegal entry point along the nation's southern border. An estimated one in 10 workers in Arizona is an illegal immigrant.


Labels:


Napolitano vetoes bill on police role in immigration

The Associated Press

Published: 04.28.2008

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill to require city and county police agencies to have programs to confront federal immigration violations.

The proposal approved by the Legislature would have allowed local police agencies to meet the requirement to confront immigration violations in several ways.

Those ways included getting training for their police and jail officers, putting federal immigration agents in units within their departments or cultivating relationships with federal authorities.

Labels: ,


Arizona Border Patrol Agents Seize More Than $1.2 Million in Marijuana

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yuma, Ariz. – Border Patrol agents assigned to Wellton Station seized 79 bundles of marijuana in a smuggling load valued at over $1.2 million, Sunday night.

Approximately 8 p.m., agents patrolling in a remote desert area 25 miles southeast of Tacna, Ariz., found evidence of an illegal vehicle entry on a road leading north from the international boundary. Agents followed tire tracks for about 10 miles until they veered off-road in an eastbound direction. After tracking the vehicle for about a mile, the agents encountered a white Chevrolet Avalanche that had become stuck in soft sand. Agents approached the truck and discovered 79 bundles of marijuana inside the vehicle along with two sets of footprints heading in a northeastern direction.

At 9:45 p.m., a CBP Air & Marine helicopter pilot located the two fleeing subjects attempting to hide in some brush about a mile and a half from the vehicle. Border Patrol agents responded and apprehended the pair.

The two subjects were determined to be citizens and nationals of Mexico illegally present in the U.S. The white Chevrolet Avalanche was reported stolen out of Calexico, Calif.

The 79 bundles of marijuana had a total weight of about 1,518 pounds with an estimated street value of $1,214,296.00.

Labels: ,


$230,000 Worth of Marijuana Seized by CBP Officers at Arizona Port of Entry

Friday, April 25, 2008

San Luis, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting border security operations at the port of entry in San Luis, Ariz. arrested a 33-year-old man yesterday evening after finding 144 pounds of marijuana hidden throughout the vehicle he was driving.

“The smuggling organizations will use every imaginable concealment method in an attempt to get by us,” said Port Director William K. Brooks, “but our officers are up to the task as seen with yesterday’s failed smuggling attempt.”

At approximately 11 p.m. on Wednesday, a CBP officer working at the San Luis port of entry screening travelers applying for entry into the United States became suspicious of the Lawful Permanent Resident driver of a 1998 Ford Expedition and referred him to the vehicle secondary area for further inspection due to inconsistencies within the vehicle and his nervous behavior. Once in secondary, another CBP officer began the thorough inspection and discovered some more inconsistencies within the vehicle. A narcotic detector dog was then utilized and alerted to the vehicle confirming the probability of drugs. The officers subsequently discovered a total of 66 packages of marijuana throughout the vehicle.

The marijuana, weighed approximately 144 pounds, and has a street value estimated to be $230,000.

Labels: ,


CBP Agents Intercept Suspected Smuggling Boat Near San Diego Coast

Agents Arrest 17 Mexican Nationals, One Suspected of Smuggling
Monday, April 28, 2008

San Diego, Calif. – Early this morning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Marine Interdiction Agents arrested 17 Mexican nationals aboard a boat about 10 miles southwest of the San Diego coastline, near Point Loma.

The agents were on patrol today at 1 a.m. when they observed the 26-foot panga on radar. Agents used night-vision cameras to detect the vessel because it was not using navigation lights.

Agents approached the boat and found 13 males and four females, all of whom were wearing life vests and were uninjured. The agents then determined the 17 individuals were Mexican nationals and they were transported to a local Border Patrol station for processing.

The boat, which did not have any apparent registration markings, was seized by CBP. It is currently being stored as evidence at Naval Air Station, North Island.

After interviewing the group, Border Patrol agents suspect one subject to be responsible for the alien smuggling. The group is being held in Border Patrol custody pending further investigation.

Labels: , ,


$1.2 Million in Heroin Seized at Arizona Port of Entry

Friday, April 25, 2008

Nogales, Ariz. – Once again, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nogales port of entry have stopped a significant heroin-smuggling attempt by seizing nearly 27 pounds of the drug yesterday, arresting a 37-year-old Mexican man in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.

"We continue to see attempts at pushing heroin through the port of entry," said Port Director James Tong, "and once again, our officers have demonstrated their ability to detect and stop these attempts."

On Thursday, at approximately 7 p.m., a Mexican national from Nogales, Sonora driving a 1997 Dodge Caravan applied for entry at the Mariposa port of entry in Nogales. The vehicle was selected for an inspection and while the officers were searching the vehicle, they noticed discrepancies and called for a narcotics detection dog. When the dog alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle, they continued their search and found seven packages of heroin hidden inside a compartment built into the vehicle.

The weight of the heroin was close to 27 pounds, with an estimated street value of $1.2 million.

Labels: ,


Border Patrol Arrests Sex Offenders in Arizona

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tucson, Ariz. – Within the last week, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents have arrested two men in separate incidents within the Tucson Border Patrol Sector who had convictions for sex-related offenses.

On April 18, 2008 a Douglas Border Patrol agent apprehended a male subject who was illegally present in the United States. The subject’s fingerprint information was entered into the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Information System (IAFIS) where it was revealed that Domingo Marquez-Perez from Mexico, Mexico had an immigration and criminal history. Subsequent National Crime Information Center (NCIC) record checks stated that Marques-Perez had been previously arrested in North Carolina in 2005, for Statutory Rape 6 years of age or Older and Indecent Liberties with a Child. For this crime, Marquez pled guilty and was sentenced to 20 months in jail.

On April 22, 2008 a Border Patrol agent from the Wilcox Station apprehended a male subject, also illegally present in the United States. IAFIS and NCIC returns revealed that Juan Santana, a male subject from Michoacan, Mexico, had been previously arrested and convicted in Michigan for Criminal Sexual Conduct with Force or Coercion and was sentenced to 205 days in jail. Santana’s criminal history record also showed convictions for Carrying Concealed Weapons and Assault with Dangerous Weapons.

Labels: ,


Agents in Tucson Seize Close to Ton of Drugs Overnight

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tucson, Ariz. — Border Patrol agents assigned to the Casa Grande and Douglas Border Patrol stations successfully seized more than 1,700 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents on Wednesday.

While patrolling in a remote area early Wednesday morning, a Border Patrol agent assigned to the Casa Grande Arizona Border Patrol station performed a vehicle stop on a suspicious vehicle. Initially the driver refused to stop, but subsequently abandoned the vehicle and absconded into the desert. A search of the vehicle yielded ninety-nine bundles of marijuana weighing nearly 1,130 pounds with an estimated street value of $904,000.00.

In another incident, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Douglas Border Patrol station observed a vehicle traveling north from the international boundary in an area commonly used by human and narcotics smugglers. The driver refused to stop the vehicle, which had been reported stolen in Phoenix, Ariz. Border Patrol agents deployed a tire deflation device and successfully disabled the vehicle. Two individuals exited the vehicle and were able to abscond into Mexico. Border Patrol agents discovered several bundles of marijuana weighing more than 590 pounds with an estimated street value of $472,000.00.

Labels: ,


Gravel Truck Bust Nets Border Patrol Agents 2.5 Ton Drug Seizure

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Laredo, Texas – Border Patrol agents assigned to the Hebbronville station seized a shipment of marijuana Monday weighing more than 2 ½ tons.

Agents responded to reports of a suspicious tractor-trailer driving through a ranch north of Hebbronville. They soon spotted a truck matching the description given in the report and stopped it along a dirt road on the ranch.

While agents conducted an immigration inspection of the two occupants of the cab, a Border Patrol canine alerted agents toward the trailer, indicating the presence of hidden people or contraband.

The trailer was the type specially designed to haul bulk cargo such as dirt or gravel. At first glance, the trailer appeared to be carrying a full load of sand mixed with gravel. Upon closer examination, agents discovered cellophane-wrapped bundles buried under the sand and gravel.

Agents removed 309 bundles from the trailer. The bundles contained marijuana with a total weight of 5,793 pounds and an approximate street value of $4,634,400.

The marijuana, the truck and the two people were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Labels: ,


Border Patrol Agents Net More Than $1 Million in Contraband

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Del Rio, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Del Rio Sector seized over 1,100 pounds of marijuana in the last two days during checkpoint and river patrol operations.

During a routine immigration inspection at a Border Patrol checkpoint, Carrizo Springs Border Patrol agents were alerted by a service K-9 to the possibility of humans or contraband hidden in the trailer compartment of a tractor-trailer. A subsequent search of the trailer’s content led to the discovery of more than 700 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of nearly $650,000.00. The marijuana and tractor-trailer were seized. The driver, a United States citizen, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration pending criminal prosecution.

While on river patrol, Border Patrol agents assigned to Eagle Pass South Station responded to suspicious activity and discovered several abandoned burlap sacks. Further investigation led to the discovery of six individuals attempting to flee into Mexico. One subject was taken into custody, while the others were able to abscond into Mexico. A search of the burlap sacks revealed more than 300 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $260,000.00. The contraband and subject were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration pending criminal prosecution.

Labels: ,


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hard numbers: Illegal alien drunk drivers in North Carolina

By Michelle Malkin • April 19, 2008 09:12 AM

WRAL reports on a new statistical breakdown of illegal alien drunk drivers in North Carolina. It’s a blood-pressure-raising look at the deadly revolving door, catch-and-release, the deportation abyss, and the danger of sanctuary policies embraced by those sworn to defend and protect the public:

Labels: ,


Dean calls on McCain to denounce Tancredo

DNC boss wants repudiation of congressman's 'insulting remarks' about pope
Posted: April 19, 2008 12:10 am Eastern
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Sen. John McCain must denounce Rep. Tom Tancredo's exhortation to the pope to stay out of the illegal immigration debate in the U.S., says Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman.

"If John McCain is serious in his pledge to run a respectful campaign, he should immediately denounce Tom Tancredo's insulting remarks about Pope Benedict XVI," Dean said.

As WND reported, Tancredo – who vied for the Republican presidential nomination to make illegal immigration a priority issue – suggested in a House speech yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI is encouraging Latin Americans to come to the U.S. to bolster flagging membership in the Catholic Church.

Dean, in his open message to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, accused Republicans of exploiting the illegal alien issue.

"After years of failing to address immigration reform, the Republican Party has instead used the issue to scapegoat people to win elections," Dean Said. "If McCain believes, as he has said, that 'these are God's children,' he should not stand by silently as Tancredo or anyone else in the Republican Party continues using immigrants as scapegoats or playing politics with immigration legislation." Dean said the American people "don't want four more years of a President who will callously use issues to divide us rather than working to unite us."

Labels:


Tancredo to pope: Stop promoting amnesty

In House speech suggests pontiff trying to bolster church membership
Posted: April 18, 2008 3:40 pm Eastern
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Rep. Tom Tancredo – who vied for the Republican presidential nomination to make illegal immigration a priority issue – suggested in a House speech yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI is encouraging Latin Americans to come to the U.S. to bolster flagging membership in the Catholic Church.

The pontiff, asked by reporters on his flight to the U.S. Tuesday if he would address Hispanic immigration, said the U.S. must do "everything possible to fight ... all forms of violence so that immigrants may lead dignified lives."

Tancredo, a former Catholic, told House colleagues, "I would like to know what part of our lax immigration policy is considered 'violent.' I fail to see how accepting more refugees than any other nation while providing free health care, free education, free housing and free social service benefits to millions of illegal aliens in this country is any way 'degrading' to them or 'undignified.'"

Labels: , ,


Call renewed for pardons for border agents

'Once again, I am challenging President Bush to do what is right'
Posted: April 18, 2008 8:50 pm Eastern
WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie, the chief of the nonprofit and nonpartisan Project 21 and a columnist for WND, is renewing his call to President Bush to pardon two former U.S. Border Patrol agents who were convicted and jailed for shooting at a fleeing drug smuggler.

The call from Massie, whose Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community for nearly two decades, follows a guilty plea from Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, the smuggler in the case involving agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos.

Aldrete-Davila pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas, to drug smuggling and is to be sentenced in July.

Compean and Ramos are serving prison terms for shooting at the smuggler while he was running back to Mexico in 2005, Massie's statement noted. Aldrete-Davila conspired to smuggle marijuana into the U.S. twice after he was granted immunity to testify against the agents.

"It is time to prove that he [Bush] places the welfare of American communities and those men and women who risk their lives to protect them over the welfare of lying illicit drug smugglers," Massie said. "Pardon Ramos and Compean now, Mr. President!"

Labels: ,


When The Pope Speaks To The U.S. About Humanity, Is Mexico Listening?

Labels:


Tijuana doctors protest kidnappings, extortions

Doctors walk off jobs to protest Tijuana violence

UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
6:27 p.m. April 18, 2008
TIJUANA – Doctors walked off their jobs Friday to protest a rash of kidnappings and extortions that have plagued members of their profession in recent months.

Wearing white coats, more than 200 physicians converged at the state government offices demanding an audience with Gov. Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan.

“We are not living in peace, we are living with fear, and this is not healthy,” said Dr. Eric Rosenberg, an internist at a public hospital and head of Tijuana's Colegio Medico, the city's largest medical group with 800 members.

Staff remained on duty to attend to emergency cases at private and public hospitals across the city, Rosenberg said.

The protest came a day after the release of Dr. Fernando Guzman Cordero, the director of a federal hospital known as Clinica Uno del IMSS. He was kidnapped Tuesday.

“We are scared to wear this,” said Dr. Cesar Perez Acosta, pointing to his white coat. “It turns us into a target, when we go out we have to try to avoid calling attention to ourselves.

Organized crime groups dedicated to kidnapping have targeted different groups, including doctors, merchants and restaurant owners, said Victor Clark, director of the Binational Center for Human Rights.

Labels: ,


Mexico's Gulf cartel undaunted by military assault

Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:31 PM ET

By Robin Emmott

REYNOSA, Mexico (Reuters) - In one of its most audacious moves yet, Mexico's Gulf cartel drug gang this week openly advertised for army troops to desert and join it in a fight that has killed some 900 people this year.

The cartel's feared Zetas hit squad strung banners from bridges over main roads in the towns of Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo on the U.S. border offering well-paid jobs.

"The Zetas want you, soldier or former soldier. We offer a good salary, food and family care. Don't go hungry any longer," the ads read.

The cartel, based across the border from Texas, is Mexico's most violent gang in a war between rival drug smugglers that the army has deployed thousands of troops to try to quash.

"This shows how brazen, how arrogant they are, born of the huge profits that drug trafficking brings," said Steve Robertson, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent.

"They want to be known as the biggest and baddest, they aim to intimidate. Violence is their way of life," he said.

Labels: , ,


Fence is met with opposition

By Darren Meritz / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 04/19/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

Obviously, we're horrified by it," said Laurence Gibson, chairman of the El Paso group of the Sierra Club. "This is an ecological disaster. The Sierra Club's position against it is extremely strong and we're just really, really upset by it."

Officials with the El Paso sector of the U.S. Border Patrol confirmed Friday that about 3.75 miles of fencing is currently under construction on the east and west sides of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry and near the Camino Real Landfill.

Ramiro Cordero, a supervisory Border Patrol agent at the El Paso sector, said the fencing projects will use a post and rail design with wire mesh intended to create both a barrier for vehicles and a pedestrian deterrent.

Using the same design, the Department of Homeland Security has scheduled to begin early this summer a third stretch of border fence a little more than a mile in length, officials said.

Despite the controversy created since Congress approved funding for construction of a border fence and border security equipment, Cordero said he's heard only a limited number of complaints, even at a series of forums organized to share information on the project with the community earlier this year.

Labels: ,


'TechnoPatriots' use Internet to watch border for migrants

Group claims 160 sightings led to 118 apprehensions

ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN

Published: 04.19.2008

At least a couple of times a week, Ernie Kubr gets off the night shift and fires up his computer at his home in Nebraska so that he can watch for illegal immigrants trying to slip across the Arizona desert 1,400 miles away.

Kubr uses his mouse to pan with a video camera across desert trails, and stands ready to report anyone he sees to federal authorities in Arizona. He has spotted people twice since he started doing this in November, and "that makes it all worthwhile," even though none of them got caught.

"Sometimes it can be discouraging, but knowing that I'm attempting to do the federal government's job helps inspire me," said Kubr, who works at a manufacturing business in the Omaha area and belongs to an amateur border-watching group called the TechnoPatriots.

Self-appointed border-watchers are increasingly using remotely operated cameras to help catch people sneaking into the country. The cameras represent a high-tech twist on the usual practice of sitting in lawn chairs or pickup trucks close to the border.

Labels: ,


In bloody detail, Mexico illustrates risks for migrants

by Chris Hawley and Sergio Solache - Apr. 19, 2008 12:00 AM

Republic Mexico City Bureau

MEXICO CITY - One migrant gets his legs sliced off by a train's wheels. Another is shot by bandits on the Arizona border. Others are beaten and robbed by crooked Mexican police.

In a new effort to dissuade would-be border crossers, Mexico's top human-rights agency has published two comic books packed with tales about the horrors that migrants face. The tone is very different than previous government publications, which focused more on travel and safety tips.

One of the two Migrantes comics is aimed at Mexicans, while the other focuses on Central Americans traveling through Mexico on their way to the United States. The National Human Rights Commission began distributing 20,000 of them this month at migrant shelters and bus terminals.

"We could have made the stories a little softer, but the (commission) asked us to be very realistic," said Domingo Perea, editorial director of Comics and Visual Arts, the company hired to produce the comic books. "That was the intention, to discourage people from migrating."

Labels: ,


Friday, April 18, 2008

Open borders and the Catholic elite


By Michelle Malkin • April 18, 2008 11:09 AM

During his visit this week, the Pope has made repeated comments critical of immigration enforcement efforts–such as they are–in the U.S. His primary concerns are not the sovereignty and security of our country. Open borders benefit Catholic churches looking to fill their pews and collection baskets. The Vatican and American bishops, led by radical L.A. Cardinal Roger Mahony, have long promoted immigration anarchy and lawlesness. Their campaign continues:

Labels: , ,


Report From Occupied America (contd.):

Jamiel Shaw Gang Killing Enrages Los Angeles—Bratton, Villaraigosa Play For Time

By Brenda Walker

If there is anything that reveals America's moral rot stemming from the loss of law and borders, it is the protection of criminals to the endangerment of the public.

Among the violent crimes that devastate American families, there is a category that is completely preventable—those committed by illegal aliens. If the borders were defended as the Constitution requires, then the crimes done by foreigners residing unlawfully would have been avoided. If cities and states would desist from pro-crime sanctuary polices, many violent deaths could be averted.

Yet politicians from Los Angeles to Washington continue to balk at the basic responsibility of protecting law-abiding citizens from predatory foreigners. On the contrary—illegals are emboldened by liberal sanctuary policies that cut them extra slack to pursue violence, drug dealing and theft.

Los Angeles’ Special Order 40 has been making life easier for foreign criminals since 1979 when it was instituted by Chief Darryl Gates and the City Council. As Heather Mac Donald testified before a Congressional committee April 13, 2005, (Immigration and the Alien Gang Epidemic: Problems and Solutions):

“Sanctuary laws, present in such cities as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Austin, Houston, and San Francisco, generally forbid local police officers from inquiring into a suspect’s immigration status or reporting it to federal authorities. Such laws place a higher priority on protecting illegal aliens from deportation than on protecting legal immigrants and citizens from assault, rape, arson, and other crimes.

Labels: , , ,


White House defends NAFTA: 'There's nothing broken'

By Terence Hunt

ASSOCIATED PRESS

8:44 a.m. April 18, 2008

WASHINGTON – The White House on Friday vigorously defended the 14-year-old free-trade agreement among the United States, Mexico and Canada against sharp criticism from Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

“There's nothing broken. Why fix it?” said Dan Fisk, senior director of Western hemisphere affairs for National Security Council. He acknowledged the administration must do a better job of explaining the benefits of the agreement.

Both Clinton and Obama have threatened to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement to pressure Canada and Mexico to negotiate more protections for workers and the environment in the agreement. The accord has removed most barriers to trade and investment among the three countries.

NAFTA will be a major topic when President Bush joins Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderón in New Orleans on Monday and Tuesday for his fourth and final North American Leaders' Summit.

Labels: , ,


Takeover of Mexican Congress enters second week, causes country international embarrassment

By E. Eduardo Castillo

ASSOCIATED PRESS

2:42 p.m. April 17, 2008

MEXICO CITY – A weeklong blockade of Congress by leftist lawmakers not only is stalling urgent energy reforms – it's also getting downright embarrassing, Mexico's foreign minister said Thursday.

The administration of President Felipe Calderón showed signs of dwindling patience after congressional leaders were forced to withdraw an invitation for Indian President Pratibha Patil to address a session of Congress.

“Without doubt, it makes us look bad as a country,” Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa said.

Lawmakers opposed to the oil reform chained shut the doors of the Congress building, and their supporters blocked senators from entering an alternative hall where they have been meeting since their headquarters were taken over by opponents last week.

Labels: , , ,


Bodies of federal police agents discovered by rural Baja road

By Sandra Dibble

UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

8:33 p.m. April 17, 2008

TECATE – The tortured bodies of two Mexican federal police agents and a third man also believed to be a federal agent were discovered early Thursday by a rural road between Tijuana and Tecate, the Baja California Attorney General's Office reported.

The victims were members of the Federal Preventive Police. The two who were identified were Manuel Alejandro Arellano Figueroa and Guillermo Cahutle Hernandez, according to a written statement.

The agents had been missing since Wednesday, said a law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity late Thursday because the investigation was ongoing.

The agents had recently been sent from Mexico City to investigate organized crime, the source said.

Labels: , ,


Mexico agents arrest border police chief

By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ

A Mexican federal official says the police chief of the border city of Reynosa has been arrested for allegedly protecting members of the Gulf drug cartel.

The official says Chief Juan Muniz will be flown to Mexico City on Thursday to be questioned by organized crime investigators.

Muniz has been arrested by federal agents in Reynosa, across from McAllen, Texas, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the case.

Labels: , ,


91 Pilgrim's Pride workers face criminal charges in ongoing identity theft probe

DALLAS - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents worked through the night processing the more than 300 foreign national workers arrested yesterday at Pilgrim's Pride plants in five states who are suspected of committing identity theft and other criminal violations in order to obtain their jobs.

Of the 311 Pilgrim's Pride employees taken into custody during the enforcement action, 91 have been charged so far with criminal violations, including false use of a Social Security number and document fraud. The workers facing criminal charges have been turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. The remaining Pilgrim's Pride employees are being processed for removal on administrative immigration violations.

All of the individuals arrested during yesterday's operation were interviewed by ICE agents and health care professionals, assigned to ICE from the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Immigration Health Services, to determine if they had health, caregiver, or other humanitarian concerns, and to identify possible urgent medical needs. As a result of those interviews, 58 of the workers were processed and released on humanitarian grounds under supervision, pending future immigration proceedings.

Labels: , ,


Man shot by agents pleads guilty to drug smuggling

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 04/18/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

A man from Juárez at the center of a national controversy in the conviction and imprisonment of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents pleaded guilty to drug smuggling on Thursday in U.S. District Court in El Paso.

Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, 27, pleaded guilty to smuggling more than 100 kilos of marijuana in 2005.

Aldrete faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison and is scheduled for sentencing on July 16.

Former agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos are serving prison terms for shooting Aldrete from behind while he was running back to Mexico during a failed smuggling run near Fabens in February 2005.

Ramos and Compean were convicted of violating Aldrete's civil rights and of tampering with evidence for not reporting the shooting and because Compean picked up his shell casings. Their cases are on appeal.

"We waited for this time. We knew it would come. It's another step (in proving) my husband's innocence," Monica Ramos, the wife of Ignacio Ramos, said when she left the courthouse.

U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who has been criticized for the prosecution of Ramos and Compean, said in a news release that Aldrete was prosecuted because there was evidence.

Labels: ,


FBI says alleged Azteca led gang in El Paso

By Danie Borunda / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 04/18/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

A reputed Barrio Azteca gang lieutenant arrested last week was involved in an internal power struggle and at one point ran the gang's operations in El Paso, an FBI agent testified Thursday during a federal detention hearing.

Miguel Angel Esqueda, aka "Angelillo," is accused of racketeering, drug dealing and the extortion of local drug dealers by the collection of "taxes" estimated to have raised between $4,000 to $10,000 a month.

Esqueda, who is the 15th person charged in the ongoing Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) case, was denied bond by a U.S. magistrate judge.

"At the time (between 2004-2005), he was leader of the streets of El Paso and he issued orders and directives" to gang members, FBI agent Samantha Mikeska testified regarding Esqueda.

Mikeska said Esqueda and reputed gang capo David "Chicho" Meraz were backed by different factions within the gang and each was in charge of El Paso at different times.

"If David Meraz is a capo, he is the one directing the show, not an underling," Esqueda's lawyer Ray Velarde said, arguing his client should be granted bond.

Labels:


Hispanic lawmakers question sweeps

LAUREN PROPER

Published: 04.18.2008

A group of Hispanic state lawmakers called Thursday for a federal civil rights investigation of sweeps by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office that have led to arrests of dozens of illegal immigrants.

"There can be no disagreement with the fact that violations of people's rights are not acceptable and clearly unconstitutional," said Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix.

Accusing sheriff's officials of racial profiling, Miranda and other members of the group said at a news conference they had sent a letter asking U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate.

In recent weeks, sheriff's deputies and posse members have conducted what they refer to as saturation patrols in areas with large populations of illegal immigrants, drawing protests from immigrant rights advocates and civil rights groups.

Earlier this month, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon sent a letter asking the FBI and Justice Department to investigate the sweeps, ordered by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Members of the Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus, all of them Democrats, said Arpaio is using the patrols to grab election-year headlines.

Labels: , , , ,


Illegal worker arrested for ID theft

Arrest part of sheriff's illegal-hires crackdown

by Craig Harris - Apr. 18, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

A dairy worker, who authorities say spent the past six years working at a Laveen farm under a fake name, was arrested Thursday as part of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's crackdown on illegal workers.

The Sheriff's Office has made at least eight arrests this year since a new employer-sanctions law regarding illegal workers went into effect. However, no Maricopa County employers have been cited.

"We don't have enough evidence to hold any employers responsible yet," Arpaio said. "But we have cases in the hopper. We want to do the right thing. I am very pro-business."

The Legal Arizona Workers Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, gives the state authority to suspend or revoke the business license of any employer found to have knowingly or intentionally hired an illegal immigrant.

Labels: ,


Searchers look for migrant woman's body

Apr. 18, 2008 08:02 AM

Associated Press

TUCSON- Officials in Santa Cruz County are searching the hills west of Nogales for the body of a migrant woman from Mexico.

Lt. Raoul Rodriguez of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department says the mother of 21-year-old Mayra Pacheco-Arevalos of Michoacan told them she had died in her arms Tuesday night.

The woman told authorities she and her daughter crossed the border west of Nogales on Tuesday morning. When her daughter became sick, their guide left them in the rugged country alone.

The mother walked to a house in the Rio Rico area the next morning.

Labels: , , ,


Migrant-extortion plot earns coyote 31 years

by Michael Kiefer - Apr. 18, 2008 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

A man who ran a west Phoenix drophouse that extorted money from undocumented immigrants and held them hostage has been sentenced to 31 years in prison in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Arturo Nevarez Ugarte was one of two "coyotes" who went on trial on charges related to the September 2007 bust of a drophouse near 94th Avenue and McDowell Road.

He was arrested after several of his victims broke free from a locked closet, beat him unconscious with a curtain rod and escaped into the neighborhood to call police. Nevarez Ugarte, 34, was convicted in March on two counts each of kidnapping, extortion and armed robbery; he was sentenced April 11.

A second defendant, Sergio Guerrero Teran went to trial in April, but it ended in a mistrial because of juror misconduct. A new trial is scheduled for August.

According to Phoenix police Detective Alfredo Richard, drophouses are usually rented properties, and the smuggling operations are run so quietly that the neighbors are not aware of any unusual activity. The house in Nevarez Ugarte's case was in a rented single-family home in a residential area.

"This kind of incident affects an entire neighborhood," Richard said. "A drophouse isn't in a vacuum. The neighbors are affected when all these people come running out. The violence associated with it - handguns, shots fired - it's a strain on everyone."

Labels: , , ,


Appeals Court rules English-learner program deficient

by Mary Jo Pitzl - Apr. 18, 2008 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Next stop in the legal battle over the state's English-learner program: The U.S. Supreme Court.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said Thursday that in the wake of a denial from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, he intends to take the case to the nation's top court.

"Fundamentally, there's an issue of principle involved," Horne said.

It boils down to who should control the state's programs for teaching English to non-native speakers: The people, through their elected officials, or a judge, Horne said.

His comments came as the Appeals Court on Thursday denied state officials' request to reconsider its February ruling against the state's English-learner program. Horne, along with Republican legislative leaders, had asked the Appeals Court for an en banc review, in which a bigger appeals panel would review the case.

Labels: , , ,


Border Patrol Agents Seize 1,526 Pounds of Marijuana at Laredo Checkpoint

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Laredo, Texas – Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo North station seized a large load of marijuana Tuesday.

Agents working at the checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 conducted an immigration inspection of the driver of an 18-wheeler that drove up to the facility. A Border Patrol canine alerted agents to the trailer, indicating the possible presence of hidden narcotics or people.

Agents inspected the trailer and discovered a false compartment built into the front portion of the trailer. After opening the compartment, 127 cellophane-wrapped bundles were discovered.

The bundles contained marijuana with a total weight of 1,526.8 pounds and an estimated street value of $1,221,400.

Labels: ,


Border Patrol Agents in Texas Seize 1,434 Pounds of Marijuana

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Laredo, Texas – Border Patrol agents assigned to the Hebbronville station seized 1,434.8 pounds of marijuana very early today.

Just after midnight, a pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer drove into the Border Patrol checkpoint located on a Texas highway south of Hebbronville.

As an agent conducted an immigration inspection of the driver, a Border Patrol canine alerted toward equipment on the flatbed trailer, indicating the possible presence of hidden people or narcotics.

Agents searched the equipment and discovered 86 cellophane-wrapped bundles in a compartment located on the bottom of the machinery. The bundles had been covered with a layer of oily mud in an apparent attempt to conceal them.

The bundles contained marijuana with a total weight of 1,434.8 pounds and an estimated street value of $1,147,840.

The driver, the trailer and the drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This seizure was the second significant marijuana smuggling attempt thwarted by Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents within a six-hour period Tuesday night. Earlier in the evening, agents assigned to the Laredo North station seized 1,526.8 pounds of marijuana from a tractor-trailer at the Border Patrol checkpoint located on Interstate Highway 35 north of Laredo.

Labels: ,


CBP Officers Seize $900,000 Worth of Meth in California

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

San Ysidro, Calif. - A 24-year-old Tijuana man entering the United States was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers yesterday at the San Ysidro port of entry after they discovered methamphetamine hidden in the vehicle he was driving, officials announced today.

CBP officers encountered the driver of the 2002 Ford Explorer at about 9:30 a.m. as he waited in line for inspection. Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team (A-TCET) officers were conducting pre-primary roving operations when they targeted the vehicle and driver for inspection. Officers approached the driver and became suspicious when he exhibited signs of nervousness during questioning.

Upon examination of the vehicle officers discovered a non-factory compartment behind the passenger side front fender. Officers utilized a Human/Narcotic Detector Dog (HNDD) that alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from within the vehicle.

The driver and vehicle were escorted to the secondary area for further investigation.

During the secondary inspection, the vehicle was screened by x-ray imaging equipment that revealed anomalies behind both front fenders.

Officers extracted 40 wrapped packages of methamphetamine weighing almost 45 pounds from both side front fenders and firewall. Total street value of the narcotics is almost $900,000.

Labels: ,


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Unexpected Perspective From The Baja Big Fish Company

Memo From Mexico, By Allan Wall

Some people find it strange, and even objectionable, that I live in Mexico and write in favor of a stricter U.S. immigration policy.

For me, there is no contradiction. Nor do I consider my writings to be at all anti-Mexican. I just find the whole Open Borders business to be an incredibly hypocritical and destructive scam that hurts both Mexico and the United States.

Some of my previous articles relating to these perspectives:

As you might imagine, I receive plenty of interesting mail, both positive and negative, from a diversity of sources. I’ve gotten angry letters from Hispanic readers (here and here) and from a naturalized American citizen from Mexico. One letter writer told me to go back to Iraq and die. (I served there with my Texas-based National Guard unit). Some Americans have called me a traitor .

On the other hand, I’ve received letters from Mexicans who agree with me, and from a Mexican-American who says I’m not hard enough on Mexicans and Mexican-Americans!

I’ve also received mail from fellow gringos in Mexico. Not all of them are in agreement with each other. Some Americans in Mexico don’t really care about U.S. immigration policy or keep up with it, some support open borders, and others, like myself, are staunch restrictionists. After my article about the Gringo Colony of San Miguel, Mexico—I argued that it is in no way comparable to the Mexican invasion of the U.S.—I received some critical letters from an American resident there.

Labels: ,


Guatemala arrests senior Mexican drug hitman

By Herbert Hernandez

REUTERS

7:49 p.m. April 15, 2008

GUATEMALA CITYGuatemala said Tuesday it had captured a senior member of Mexico's powerful Gulf drug cartel, the latest sign that Mexican gangs are seeking control of Central American smuggling routes.

Daniel Perez, know as “Cheeks” and who is wanted in the United States, is believed to be the second in command of the Gulf cartel's vicious armed wing, the Zetas, who are fighting a gruesome turf war in Mexico with rival cartels.

Guatemala's interior ministry said Perez, a former elite Mexican soldier who helped found the Zetas in the late 1990s, was arrested last week in Guatemala City, accused of involvement in a shootout in March in southern Guatemala in which 11 people were killed.

The ministry said it called on the Mexican attorney general's office to identify Perez, who according to local media was posing as a Guatemalan car salesman.

Perez's arrest follows the seizure last week of over a ton of cocaine in Guatemala attributed to the Gulf cartel.

Labels: , , ,


Mexico protests snag government's oil reform plans

By Catherine Bremer

REUTERS

10:07 a.m. April 15, 2008

MEXICO CITY – Mexican leftists have stormed Congress and taken to the streets in a campaign that could force President Felipe Calderón to dilute his plans to allow foreign companies a bigger role in the oil industry.

Calderón had hoped to rush through a law this month to boost private investment in the oil sector to help Mexico seek new crude reserves in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

He has the backing of some opposition members in the divided Congress but a backlash of left-wing protests has now delayed a vote until after this month.

Even Calderón's conservative National Action Party, or PAN, admits the bill, which makes it easier for state oil firm Pemex to ally with private firms in the search for oil, will not be voted on before Congress breaks for the summer April 30.

Leftist lawmakers from the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, have seized the podiums of both houses of Congress and are even sleeping there to prevent a quick debate and vote on the bill.

_____

Mexican lawmakers shift sessions to alternate location as protests block chambers

By Mark Stevenson

ASSOCIATED PRESS

1:12 p.m. April 15, 2008

MEXICO CITY – Both houses of Mexico's Congress had to find new homes on Tuesday, avoiding a clash with left-leaning legislators who blockaded their chambers to hold off the president's energy reform bill.

Senate leader Santiago Creel said it was the first time in recent history that the body had been forced to hold sessions away from its ornate chambers. The last time the lower house abandoned its halls was in 1989, because of a fire.

Lawmakers from the leftist Democratic Revolution Party seized the podiums of both houses on Thursday and set up a round-the-clock protest of President Felipe Calderón's proposal to ease limits on private involvement in oil exploration and production.

The protesters say that will lead to selling off part of Mexico's state oil company and they demand a national debate on the bill before it is considered by Congress.

The Senate held a brief, largely symbolic session in a cramped auditorium just down the street from the Senate building. Creel said the move preserved the dignity of the Senate and “averted the risk of violence in the congressional chambers.”

Labels: , , ,


Gang robs US family of plane in Mexico

The Associated Press

April 15, 2008

Gunmen held up a family of U.S. tourists in Mexico on Tuesday and made off with their small plane, police said.

The robbers attacked the plane as the American couple and their two daughters, ages 6 and 8, were about to take off from a hotel airstrip in the Baja California beach town of Mulege.

Detective Juan Carlos de Jesus Jimenez said the thieves pulled a car in front of the six-seat Cessna Stationair, knocked out one of its windows and forced the tourists out at gunpoint. They then set fire to the car and flew off in the plane.

U.S. officials said they had heard reports about the incident but had not yet been in contact with the victims. The plane's identification number matched a craft registered to a company in Boise, Idaho.

Small aircraft are commonly used by Mexican drug cartels to smuggle narcotics.

Labels: , , ,


Convicted drug leader wants his bling back

01:29 PM CDT on Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Associated Press

McALLEN, Texas—Convicted Gulf Cartel captain Carlos Landin Martinez wants his bling back.

But the federal government says Landin bought the jewel-encrusted pendant of the patron saint of lost causes with drug money and so it’s theirs.

Neither side will budge, so it’ll be up to a South Texas jury to decide the case named United States of America vs. Two Pieces of Jewelry.

The pendant of the patron St. Jude—which he was wearing when he was nabbed by a federal agent—is 10 karats of gold studded with 128 diamonds, 36 emeralds and one ruby, hanging from a 24-inch 14-karat gold chain, valued at $12,400.

The portly middle-aged Landin, inexplicably nicknamed “el Puma,” was convicted on drug trafficking charges for collecting “pisos,” or taxes, from drug traffickers who wanted to use valuable smuggling routes controlled by the Gulf Cartel. They said Landin, a retired Tamaulipas state police investigator, was the Gulf Cartel’s No. 2 man in Reynosa, Mexico.

Labels: , , ,


Barrio Azteca leader found slain in Juárez

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 04/16/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

One of the reputed leaders of the Barrio Azteca gang was found slain in Juárez last month, FBI officials in El Paso confirmed this week.

David "Chicho" Meraz, 49, was a capo, or captain, within the gang's paramilitary-style hierarchy. Years ago, Meraz was head of the gang's operations in El Paso, according to investigators' court testimony that is part of the ongoing federal racketeering case against the gang.

"He was a known Barrio Azteca leader," said Special Agent Andrea Simmons, an FBI spokeswoman.

Meraz, a lifelong resident of El Paso, had not been named in the current indictment that has lead to the arrest of 15 gang members and associates.

On the morning of March 27, Meraz's body, which is decorated with numerous tattoos including the phrase "Perdóname Dios mió" (Forgive me, my God), was found in the parking lot of the Lienzo Charro Adolfo Lopez Mateos in Juárez, Chihuahua state police said. Meraz had multiple stab wounds, including a slash to the neck.

Simmons said the bureau would not comment whether Meraz's killing was linked to the current investigation.

The Barrio Azteca operates on both sides of the border, where it is involved in drug dealing and the collection of "taxes" from street-level drug dealers in El Paso. Members of the gang sought by U.S. authorities have been known to take refuge in Juárez.

Labels: , ,


Mexican troops arrest armed squad

Times staff

Article Launched: 04/17/2008 06:50:52 AM MDT

The Mexican army arrested an armed squad believed to have been guarding a wounded man at a Juarez hospital, federal authorities said Wednesday.

The group was in two vehicles, both with Texas plates, outside Poliplaza Medica hospital where they were allegedly providing security for Victor Jesus Jimenez Soto, who is recovering from a gunshot wound, officials said.

Soldiers seized two AK-47s, an AR-15 rifle, a handgun and more than 17 kilos of marijuana in three packs. Arrested with Jimenez Soto were Veronica Jimenez Serrano, Benjamin Verdugo Villalobos and Alfonso Leyva Carrasco. They were all arrested on drug and firearm charges.

Labels: ,