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February 2023


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Tag: Ciudad Juarez

Weekend Series on Crime: Life and Death in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

El Paso Named Safest City in U.S., Just Across Border from Drug-Torn Ciudad Juarez

Steve Neavling

 Oh, the difference a border can make.

While Ciudad Juarez in Mexico is tied up in a drug war that has claimed  10,000 lives in the past five years, its border town, El Paso in the U.S., was ranked the safest place in the country with a population over 500,000 for the third year in a row by CQ Press, which compiles FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, according to Fox News.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano credited President Obama’s increased border measures for the reduction in crime.

“Whenever people tell me the border is unsafe, I say ‘well, what about El Paso?’”

Mexican Journalists Vow To Keep Reporting

ciudadBy Allan Lengel

The bad news is that members of the Mexican media are getting murdered, kidnapped and threatened  by drug cartels. The good news is that the journalist have vowed to continue reporting on the drug war,  according to the Washington Post.

The Post reported that a young photo journalist from El Diario de Juarez was gunned down last Thursday in a busy mall parking lot.

On Sunday, the paper published a front page-editorial saying:

“We don’t want to see more dead. We don’t want to see more wounded nor do we want to be intimidated. It is impossible for us to do our job under these conditions. Tell us, then, what you expect from us, as a newspaper?”

“This is not a surrender. This is about a truce with those who have imposed the force of their law in this city, so that you will respect the lives of those who dedicate themselves to the job of informing the public.”

Pedro Torres, the top editor said, according to the Post:

“No, we will keep on doing the same work as always. We have not changed at all. It is an intolerable situation. But we do not want to give up. We will continue”

Mexican Drug Dealers Use Car Bomb For First Time

Mexico border mapBy Allan Lengel

As if the drug war in Mexico wasn’t violent enough.

Now, the drug dealers, for the first time, have resorted to a car bomb in Mexico in the drug war, the El Paso Times and the Associated Press reported.

Mayor Jose Reyes  Ferriz of Ciudad Juarez said traffickers set a deadly car bomb trap at a busy intersection  that killed three people on Thursday night in his border town including a federal policeman, a medical technician and a man dressed in a fake police uniform, the El Paso Times reported.

Ferriz said he feared some officers might quit the force out of fear of running into booby traps and ambushes, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

FBI Says Ranking Mexican Gang Member No Easy Find

Eduardo Ravelo in 1998 photo/fbi photo

Eduardo Ravelo in 1998 photo/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

The FBI knows  Mexican gang member Eduardo Ravelo — who may have had a hand in the recent murders of three people linked to the U.S. Consulate in Mexico — is no easy find.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Ravelo — on the FBI’s Top Ten Fugitives — probably had his fingerprints altered and plastic surgery on his face. He is listed as a captain in the Barrio Azteca, a gang that carries out contract murders for  the Juarez drug cartel, which is believed to be responsible for the spiraling murder rate in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

“Except for his dark eyes, federal officials doubt he looks anything like his 12-year-old FBI most wanted photo — round face, trim mustache and a scar along his cheek,” the Times wrote.

The Times reports that the FBI believes the 42-year-old lives in  Ciudad Juarez, which borders El Paso, and regularly crosses into Texas.

“He’s a butterfly, a moth,” Samantha Mikeska, an FBI special agent leading the hunt for Ravelo told the Los Angeles Times. “He takes care of his people and that keeps him under the radar.”

To read more click here.

Mexican Drug Traffickers Kill 10 Students on Way to Get Scholarships

Mexico border mapBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The ugly byproduct of Mexico’s drug war reared its head Sunday in the worst of ways: 10 students on their way to get government scholarships were murdered at a roadblock in the state of Durango apparently set up by drug traffickers, the Tribune Newspapers reported. Half the victims were 16 or under.

The news service reported that the gunmen opened fire and tossed grenades after the youths in a pick up truck apparently did not honor the road block.

The Tribune reported that the dead included three girls 8, 11 and 13.

Meanwhile,  authorities on Monday captured a suspect in the March 13  U.S. consulate shooting in Ciudad Juarez, a town that borders El Paso,  Tex., the Tribune reported.  The man is a leader of the the Barrio Azteca gang, which carries out executions for the Juarez drug cartel.

Mexican authorities made the arrest, acting on a tip from the FBI, the newspaper service reported.


Feds and Locals Rounded Up Gang Members to Try and Get Info on Mexican Consulate Murders

el paso map istock
By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — U.S. law enforcement started to flex its muscle Thursday in an attempt to find out who killed three people last Saturday who were tied to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The Associated Press reported that more 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officers conducted a broad sweep in El Paso on Thursday, and picked up suspected members of the Barrio Azteca gang, hoping to get intelligence on who was responsible for the killings. El Paso borders Ciudad Juarez, regarded as one of  the most dangerous cities in the world because of its high number of drug related murders.

“The El Paso law enforcement community has come together today to locate Barrio Azteca members as part of a major intelligence collection effort in an attempt to generate leads into Saturday’s Juarez murders,” FBI Special Agent Andrea Simmons said, according to the Associated Press.

To read more click here.


FBI Has Not Ruled Out Mistake in Identity of Murder Victims Tied to U.S. Consulate in Mexico

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON – The FBI said Tuesday night that it had not ruled out the possibility that three people with ties to the U.S. consulate were murdered Saturday in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez as a result of a mistake in identity.

But special agent Andrea Simmons, an FBI spokeswoman for the El Paso Office, emphasized that there was no evidence to suggest that —  only that it wasn’t being ruled out.

“We don’t know,” she said. “It’s pretty early in the investigation. Nothing has been ruled out.”

She said Monday that the three victims appeared to be targets of the gunmen. But she said there’s no indication at this point they were targeted because of their ties to the consulate.

The Mexican government said Monday it suspects the Aztecas street gang and the drug organization La Linea may have had a hand in the shootings, according to the El Paso Times. Both are linked to the Juarez Drug Cartel.

Some media outlets have reported that officials have not ruled out the possibility that the drug traffickers were trying to send a message to the U.S.

Simmons mentioned that in January more than a dozen teens at a party in Juarez were murdered in what turned out to be a mistake in identity.