Apparently, they believe it is he inside the cabin up there, which would be a relief. Yesterday still the wait at El Chaparral was ninety minutes coming into Mexico as Mexican authorities checked vehicles, there was also a search of a Hotel in the Zona Centro by the PEPOS and reports were coming in from El Mexicano that yes he was in Rosarito Beach. So let's hope it is him in Big Bear.
On Monday, Mayor Bustamonte and Chief Alberto Capella held a press conference in the face of the rising number of executions in Tijuana and said that statistics show there is no rise in crime in Tijuana. Chief Capella insisted that these recent murders involve drug dealers and that people not involved in this activity (or "good" people) should not be worried. Mayor Bustamonte stated there was no crisis in the city and requested that the media focus on the results of the accomplishments and projects of city hall - the "20 Ayuntamiento". In addition, the men made a comparison of drug and weapon seizures and arrests presently to past years. There was no mention of the attacks we looked at against police officers, some of these not having to do with trafficking but with armed robbery..So far, there have been no comments underneath this article which was a surprise:
No hay alza de crimenes, aseguran autoridades
Picking up where we left off from last blog, Frontera noted last week from 02/04 - 02/10 there were twelve homicides in Tijuana and also updates the arrests, traffic injuries and fatalities and car thefts - 30 of those last week:
Suman 12 homicidios en la semana en Tijuana
Going back to Sunday:
- In the Tecate region, the driver of a passenger bus was shot to death by two men after they assaulted and robbed the bus:
Matan pasajeros a chofer en asalto
- Sunday in Rosarito Beach on the surface at least seemed quiet - we were in town buying a wash machine (there went the Catalina weekend) and nothing appeared out of the ordinary. Except in the Canon de Rosarito the body of US citizen John Ryan Bell found, shot twice in the head, once in the arm. Bell had a criminal record in the States for possession of firearms, theft, drugs and resisting arrest. Gosh, I wonder what he was doing down here? Sarcasm intended:
Asesinan a norteamericano en Rosarito
- Sunday evening in colonia Mariano Matamoros one man killed and two others injured in a shoot out which the PGJE is attributing to a crime of passion. A small discussion of homicide rates under the article you might want to read:
En otro ataque, matan a tiros a un hombre
- Also on Sunday in colonia Obrera (Primera Seccion) armed gunmen storm a house and kill two people:
Ejecutan a 2 en la Obrera
So, is it okay if people are being blown away inside of their homes instead of on the streets ? Is that more acceptable ?
The past two days so far have been quiet, but there have been kidnappings in Mexicali and Ensenada, with arrests. We'll also take a look at what Zeta magazine is calling Ensenada - a paradise for the narcos, and hopefully a look at the plight of journalists in Zacatecas. I have to go do the laundry.
|From AFN: Today in the Zona Rio|
Monday, Tuesday and partially into Wednesday it looked as though the shootings had stopped. Then early this afternoon, around 2PM one vehicle attacked by gunmen in the Zona Rio killing the victim, a young man. Witnesses describe a woman and a man as the shooters driving a black Ford Explorer. No arrests yet despite a heavy police mobilization throughout the area. Many comments here regarding the condition of "security" in Tijuana, hardly any are favorable:
Asesinan a un joven en su auto
- USBP seized more than four million dollars worth of mota on 02/12 from a panga on the surfline at Ponto Beach in Carlsbad, three people were arrested:
Decomisan mas de 4 millones de dolares en mariguana
Where is it all coming from? Well, obviously Mexico. Specifically, Zeta magazine is fingering Ensenada who they call the paradise of the narcos. Here are highlights from that two week old article:
Zeta states that from Ojos Negros to La Trinidad, a complete drug plantation area; the constant drug seizures without detainees, in the corridor from El Rosario to La Bufadora to the port are a reflection of the impunity with which traffickers move along the coast of Baja California. This territorial extension has made the municipality of Ensenada as the maritime and air drug trafficking center - the largest in the state. The largest two thorns in the side of the authorities who represent major problems are "El Cepillo" and "El Ruso".
By sea, air and land the municipality of Ensenada in Baja California has become one of the main routes for drugs coming from Sonora and Sinaloa, final destination:USA. The most active areas of criminality are: Valle de Trinidad, San Quintin, San Vincente and Ejido Leandro Valle .
Reports from the State Board of Public Security of Baja California indicate that although there is a presence of Michoacan , CAF cartels and some of the Beltran Leyva group, domination is held by the Sinaloa cartel and people who formerly worked under El Nacho Coronel. This information is based on confessions of detainees.
From 01/11 - 01/18/2013 the Mexican Army made three seizures of drugs which were abandoned, two of these were: 12 kilometers SE of the city a vehicle located with 30 packages of dope, 8 miles NW of San Quintin 6.9 kilos of mota and crystal in another vehicle.
Divers, fishermen and boat" specialists" wishing to remain anonymous and who know the area were interviewed by public officials indicated people from Sonora and Sinaloa have moved into the coastal areas of Baja California to practice piracy.
One of the divers interviewed by Zeta said there is plenty of money to be made - from La Bufadora to Camalu, the going rate to transport dope is about twenty thousand dollars per trip. Twenty thousand dollars.
Zeta asks: How frequent are these trips?
Answer: About three per week. an average load on a pange is three to four tons, in some cases, even more.
Zeta remarks: That's a lot of drugs and alot of money...
Answer: Yes, it's a lot - mostly what is moved is mota.
On 01/23/13, a Marino patrol (SEMARNAT) located 107 kilometers west of Ensenada a package of mota floating on the ocean weighing 28 kilos. On 01/26/13 due to a citizen's complaint, bales of mota found floating in the vicinity of Punta Banda. In that case, a small boat was also seized with 10 packages aboard.
These types of SEMAR seizures are constant - but usually no arrests are made. On 10/10/12, 27 kilometers SW of Ensenada, 283 packages of mota plus seven bags of the white powder substance phenacetin (used to mix with cocaine) found floating in sea.
(Some reports from other sources indicate that these bales of dope are purposely thrown off the vessel, and then another boat or panga is supposed to pick them up and continue the journey.)
Moving to air traffic, from 01/04 - 01/25/2013 twelve clandestine airstrips were destroyed by the Military - three of those in Mexicali, nine in Ensenada:
01/04/13: 35 mi SE of Valle de la Trinidad, one airstrip 350X6 meters destroyed.
01/12/13: 11 kilometers SW of Valle de Trinidad, one airstirp 600X5 meters destroyed.
01/13/13: 32 kilometers E of San Quintin, one airstrip 700X10 meters destroyed.
01/15/13: 13 miles SW oif San Vicente, one airstrip 600X8 meters destroyed.
01/17/13: 12 kilometers S of Ejido Leandro Valle, one airstrip 400X5 meters destroyed.
01/19/13: Near to the town of Leandro Valle 10 packges of mota and airplane fuel seized.
01/21/13: 6 miles SE of Valle de la Trinidad, one airstip 400X6 meters destroyed.
01/22/13: 28 miles S of Valle de Trinidad, one airstrip 400X6 meters destroyed.
01/25/13: 34 miles S of Valle de Trinidad, one airstrip 400X6 meters destroyed.
In Mexicali, airstrips destroyed SE of the Port of San Felipe, NW of Ejido Alberto Mota and W of Ejido Alberto Oviedo Mota.
In 2013, Zeta states this number of airstrips destroyed (12) is actually below the average. From 12/2006 through 12/2012 the total amount of airstrips destroyed by the Mexican Army was 2,738, or an average of 456 per year or an average of 38 per month.
And, according to fishermen in the area, there is no constant watch of the fishing docks - so Zeta finds the seizures by SEMAR this year less than flattering. The local fishermen named areas which deserve special attention and apparently are not receiving it: El Barril, Bahia Calamajue, Bahia Guadalupe, Punta Final, San Luis Gonzaga, San Felipe, Puerticitos, Morro Santo Domingo, El Tomatal, Punta Cano, Punta Diablo, Punta blanca, Faro San jose, Santa Catarina, Punta Canoas, Puerto San Carlos, Aqua Blanca, Punta San antonio, Punta Baja, El Rosario, Valle Tranquilo, El Socorro, Santa Maria, Punta Azufre, Molina Viejo, Camalu, Jaranillo, Erendira, Santo Tomas, Arbolitos (PuntaBanda), Ensenada and Puerto Nuevo just to name a few.
Arrival of narcotics by sea would be at Bahia Asuncion and Isla de Cedros, also NW of Punta Colonet and other smaller islands in the immediate coastal are of San Quintin. And of course, the Sea of Cortez serves as a port of entry of narcotics coming from Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur. Narcotics from Colombia and Ecuador use the Pacific Ocean and international waters to find landfall in Baja California.
Zeta covers the "strategies" used and the operations of criminal groups which is well known:
Air traffic moves fast - in ten minutes airplanes land, unload, refuel and fly out. Ten minutes. Because these airplanes don't show up on the radar for any period longer than ten minutes, they are difficult to detect. Trucks are waiting to pick up the merchandise and move out - this is well synchronized. The projected average of these drug planes are three flights per week - in other words, 200 thousand kilos of dope coming in every third trip. Narco pilots are able to land in areas up to 150 meters long - so the airstrips don't necessarily have to be sophisticated
Zeta states that according to intelligence reports from the Ministry of Defense there are landowners in the Valley de Guadalupe who cooperate with organized crime and in some of these cases searches of their property have been made. Although the names of these individuals are known to the authorities and provided by Zeta, no arrests have ever been made because the prosecutors have never issued arrest warrants. Campesinos or workers in the area described to Zeta how they are hired on mostly in the valleys of Ojos Negros and La Trinidad. They are hired to plant vegetables, which are really mota and are paid 500 pesos a day for periods ranging from 7 to 10 days. That's a lot of money for a campesino.
And finally, the local dealers:
The criminal group associated with land and sea transport and retail distribution in Ensenada has been known to the authorities since 2010 and handles the merchandise for not just the Sinaloa cartel - but for others and for other cell groups. The head of this group is Ramon Valencia aka El Cepillo. His accomplices are Rodolfo Olivera who is primarily a Sinaloa operator and Angel Almarez aka ""El Chino" who is the retail operator in Ojos Negros. El Chino also is responsible for arrival of aircraft not only in Ensenada, but in other areas of the state. He is believed to be in control of the drug trade between Mexicali and Tijuana and a close associate of the former lieutenants of the CAF. Zeta notes authorities maintain surveillance on other relatives and business partners who have already been arrested and released several times. Zeta names ranch owners and ranches in the area who are believed to also be accomplices.
In the urban areas, it is Raul Velasco Gabriel Montano aka "El Ruso", Salvador Serrano Parra aka "El Chapito", Efrain and Esteban Contreras and Jose Alfredo Zepeda Flores who have been identified by the Ministry of Public Security of the leaders of the fourteen cell groups. The control centers for this network in Ensenada are: Ejido Chapultepec, Lomas de San Fernando, Porticos, Valle de Real, El Sauzal, Valle Verde, Zona Centro, San Quintin, Colonia Popular 89, Arcoiris, Fraccionamiento Mar, El Bajio, Pedras Negras, Fraccionamiento Mexico, Colonia Hildago, Costa Bella, Maestros, Gomez Morin, Benito Juarez, Popular 1 y Chabingo.
As you can see, this is clearly deeply organized by air, by sea, by land and covers rural and urban Ensenada.
In terms of the homicides which occurred in Ensenada between 10/12 and 01/13, Zeta states the authorities are looking at "El Ruso" as a suspect - although he vanished from Ensenada after being shot a second time on 01/09/13 and two suspects, Tovar Castro and Castro Flores believed to be related to (in a business sense) the drug dealers who were killed on 09/17/98 at the Rancho El Rodeo (El Sauzal) massacre where nineteen members of three families were killed in a dispute over money owed for drugs.
"Paraiso del narco"
I'd have to say, that sounds bigger than the Cruise Ship business.
El Vigia de Ensenada
Justice In Mexico