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The Wounded Eagle: Volume 4
The Wounded Eagle: Volume 4
The Wounded Eagle: Volume 4
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The Wounded Eagle: Volume 4

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The fourth and last volume of a multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing the Mexican Drug War in 2012
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents the third volume of his non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico. Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years. The work contains news articles which were summarized, translated and rewritten along with original reporting for a detailed snapshot of one of the most violent periods in Mexican history.

PublisherChris Covert
Release dateFeb 1, 2014
The Wounded Eagle: Volume 4
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Chris Covert

Chris Covert currently lives in Oklahoma City and writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and BorderlandBeat.com. His articles have also appeared on FrontPageMag.com, TheTruthAboutGuns.com and NewsRealBlog.com Chris has written sports and business news for Oklahoma daily newspapers. He has also worked as a mechanic, a machinist and a bookkeeper, and has been self employed. Chris Covert was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1954. He served briefly in the US Army as a tank driver. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma. Chris is currently writing his third novel, set in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the mid 1980s. His latest non-fiction work is tentatively scheduled for release late 2013 to early 2014.

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    The Wounded Eagle - Chris Covert

    The Wounded Eagle:

    Three Years in the Mexican Drug War, 2010-2012

    Volume Four: 2012

    By Chris Covert

    Copyright 2014 Chris Covert

    Smashwords Edition, License Notes

    This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

    Table of Contents

    Part One: Mexican Mayhem, Massacres, Shootouts and Busts

    Chapter 1 January 2012

    Chapter 2 February 2012

    Chapter 3 March 2012

    Chapter 4 April 2012

    Chapter 5 May 2012

    Chapter 6 June 2012

    Chapter 7 July 2012

    Chapter 8 August 2011

    Chapter 9 September 2012

    Chapter 10 October 2012

    Chapter 11 November 2012

    Chapter 12 December 2012

    Part Two: Politics, Editorials and Interviews

    Chapter 13 January 2012

    Chapter 14 February 2012

    Chapter 15 March 2012

    Chapter 16 April 2012

    Chapter 17 May 2012

    Chapter 18 June 2012

    Chapter 19 July 2012

    Chapter 20 August 2012

    Chapter 21 September 2012

    Chapter 22 November 2012

    Chapter 23 December 2012


    This is the fourth and final volume of Mexican drug war news in the The Wounded Eagle series, this time covering all of 2012.

    Politics dominated the news in Mexico in the early going, starting with a brush with what had been termed a structural famine caused by a two year drought in the Mexican sierras, continuing with the presidential elections which ended up putting Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) back into power after a 12 year absence, and ending with a small peek into what the victorious PRI had in mind in the name of reforms, especially in the area of security.

    With the election campaign starting at the end of March and ending in July and the national election day, a news blackout took place, known as Article 41 measures, which disallow incumbents in governments from releasing news which could be construed as using the offices of government for political purposes. During that blackout, however news, did leak out.

    Two of the three bloodiest incidents in the history of the Mexican drug war took place in May. The first over a three week period involved a series of gunfights between rival drug gangs, and them and security forces in Sinaloa state. The death toll during that period ended up at 57 dead.

    Later that same month, 49 people were butchered and dumped in Cadereyta in Nuevo Leon on May 13th. It was first assumed that the dead were Los Zetas judging by the messages left at the scene, but it was later found that that nearly all were innocents who were picked up at random and killed, then dumped.

    The return of the PRI brought with it changes in the security landscape including a top down press blackout enforced by the new Mexican interior ministry, and a plan to return Mexican military troops back to the barracks. However, beyond the scope of this document, that plan would be eventually modified. Mexican military troops are still very much in counternarcotics operations in Mexico. And because of the press blackout, no news gets released about that Mexico's military is doing.

    One final note: The lawsuit field against former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon was filed by a Miami, Florida based international law firm which at the time, had no apparent ties of any kind to Mexico. It would later emerge that at least one of the partners in the firm was politically linked to Zedillo's predecessor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari. The lawsuit seeking justice for the 45 victims of the 1997 Acteal massacre was nothing more than bareknuckle Mexican politics to be played out in an American federal court..

    Notes on Translation:

    Spanish have been edited from Spanish style to English as much as possible. All Mexican organization, government and news publications names in Spanish have been italicized, while geographical names, proper names and street and colony names have not. The text also departs from the common practice in English language publications on the border referring to neighborhoods using the Spanish colonia. The text refers to those as districts, colonies and neighborhoods. I have tried where appropriate to refer to ranches as a formal part of the the name inasmuch as the formal name was not referred to in the original news items. The sole exception is the ejido.


    I wish to thank Fred Pruitt of Rantburg.com and Alex Marentes of BorderlandBeat.com for providing a platform for this endeavor. I want to thank Jenifer Sawitski for her help in editing at least some of these stories, and Chivis Martinez of BorderlandBeat.com for her tough friendship. Finally, I wish to thank the people in my day job at Wright Welding & Machine, Bo, Harry, Dave, Stanley and others, for patiently listening to me prattle on endlessly about the Drug War in Mexico.

    Part One: Mexican Mayhem, Massacres, Shootouts and Busts

    Part One includes a feature we eventually named More Mexican Mayhem, which wound up being a compilation of drug and gang related murders in the northern more tier of Mexican states, Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. Sources indicated could include La Polaka, Tiempo, El Mexicano, El Imparcial, El Porvenir, Milenio and Proceso. Only one source is indicated per item, but news included in the compilations could have been from any of the others. All items were translated and rewritten.

    January, 2012

    31 die in prison riot in Tamaulipas

    Source: SDP Noticias, Mexico city, Distrito Federal


    (Accessed January 5th, 2012)

    As many as 31 inmates may have been killed in a prison riot in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas Wednesday afternoon, according to Mexican news reports.

    News reports say the Centro de Ejecucion de Sanciones (CEDES) prison in Altamira municipality, immediately north of Tampico was the location of the riot that started at about 1700 hrs. Tamaulipas government officials have yet to release an official version.

    Reports also say an estimated 30 inmates were wounded in the riot.

    The area in southern Tamaulipas has recently been a flashpoint of fighting between Los Zetas criminal gang and criminal groups allied with the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels.

    More then 40 armed suspects have been killed or executed in southern Tamaulipas state and northern Veracruz state since just before Christmas. Previous Mexican press reports credit a massive buildup of Mexican army troops in northern Tamaulipas state with the increase of violence south, as criminal groups seek refuge from near constant harrassment by Mexican security forces

    Mexican security forces bag 9 bad guys

    Source: El Sol de Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Zacatecas


    (Accessed January 13th, 2012)

    A gunfight between Mexican security forces in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, ended up in several separate gunfights killing nine armed suspects, according to Mexican news accounts.

    The confrontation began in Fresnillio, Zacatecas state's second largest city and then spread to several other municipalities on roads leading to the neighboring states of San Luis Potosi and Aguascalientes.

    Apparently security encountered a convoy of armed suspects, which prompted a pursuit and running gunfight in Fresnillo. A total of six armed suspects were killed in that clash.

    The remaining suspects presumably split up into two groups, one fleeing for San Luis Potosi to the east and to Aguascaliente to the south. During the pursuits and exchange of gunfire -- which wended its way through Enrique Estrada, Calera, Morelos, Zacatecas and Guadalupe municipalities -- federal security forces put up four roadblocks attempting to capture the suspects. Criminal groups presumably aligned with the group under pursuit also put up roadblocks attempting to thwart the pursuit and aid the escape of the suspects, this according to an account published on the website of El Diario de Coahuila Thursday evening.

    An additional three more armed suspects were killed in those subsequent encounters.

    One Policia Federal Preventativa agent was wounded in the gunfights, but is expected to survive his wounds.

    Zacatecas state has in the past been known as a Los Zetas stronghold, but it probably not the case any more as rival gangs and a reinforced and reinvigorated federal effort has led to the killing and capture of several operatives in the area.

    January 17th, 2012

    5 bad guys die in Zacatecas

    Source: El Sol de Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Zacatecas


    (Accessed January 17th, 2012)

    A total of five armed suspects were killed in Zacatecas Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Mexican news accounts.

    A Policia Federal unit encountered an armed group in Guadalupe municipality early Wednesday morning in the village of Martinez Dominguez on a road to Trancoso. Four armed suspects were killed in the gunfight.

    No federal personnel were wounded in the exchange of gunfire. Agents seized four rifles and some ammunition in the aftermath.

    In Zacatecas Tuesday, the capital of Zacatecas state, one armed suspect entered a hospital to obtain treatment for gunshot wounds sustained in a firefight between Mexican Army personnel and an armed group Monday afternoon in Saltillo, Coahuila, some 150 kilometers to the northeast.

    In that battle four armed suspects were killed following a brief pursuit, ending in a gun battle when suspects dismounted their vehicles and attempted to hold off Mexican troops in the garage of a residence.

    The suspect seeking treatment later died, while his companion was detained.

    Zacatecas is considered Los Zetas territory, except that since early last summer their power has been reduced owing to the increased presence of Mexican federal security forces in the region and several counternarcotics operations.

    The encounter at Guadalupe is but one example of the problems Los Zetas face in retaining control in the state.

    January 18th, 2012

    Mexican IX Region commander kicked upstairs

    Source: La Nocion, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua


    (Accessed January 18th, 2012)

    By Chris Covert

    The commander of the Mexican IX Military Region was appointed to a staff post in Mexico City, to be replaced by General de Division Roberto de la Vega Diaz, according to Mexican news accounts.

    General Marco Antonio Gonzalez Barreda was appointed Inspector General and Comptroller of the Army and Air Force and will likely move to Distrito Federal.

    General Gonzalez Barreda oversaw security operation dubbed Laguna Segura since late October of last year. That operation is still ongoing.

    A recent press press report said that intentional homicides were down significantly in the region, possibly as a result of the tightened security. Laguna Segura was instituted to deal with jurisdictional difficulties since the La Laguna region is astride two states, Durango and Coahuila.

    The La Laguna region includes the twin cities of Gomez Palacio, Durango and Torreon, Coahuila, as well as Ciudad Lerdo. La Laguna is a critical east west road, the most northerly contiguous east west road system in Mexico. A portion of Mexico Federal Highway 40 running from the port of Mazatlan, Sinaloa to Durango city in Durango state was recently completed to four lanes to aid in commercial traffic in the north.

    General de la Vega has held command of the Mexican 35th Military Zone in northern Guerrero, the 41st Military Zone in Puerto Vallarta, and was military attache in Bolivia.

    January 23rd, 2012

    15 die in fighting in Guerrero state

    Source: Milenio, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon


    (Accessed January 23rd, 2012)

    A total of 15 individuals were killed in a 24 hour period in Guerrero state, according to Mexican news accounts.

    At about 2200 hrs in the village of False Carral in Atoyac de Alvarez municipality unidentified armed suspects entered a number of residences and shot the occupants. Press reports do not indicate the reasons for the shootings. Reports do say between six and 10 armed suspects did the shooting.

    The dead include Lazaro Pineda Mayo, 62, Rogelio Ramirez Ramos, 43, Cristobal Hernandez Valle, 42, Diego Pinzon Mora 40, and Jose Rios Lacunza, all of False Corral. Also dead were Hector Radilla Bello, 42 and Carmelo Hernandez Radilla, 45, from the village of La Fonseca, as well as Ruben Ramirez Martinez and Miguel Angel Hernandez Vazquez, both from the village of Los Organos in Benito Juarez municipality.

    Wounded in the shootings were Eduardo Duran Coden, 38, Vladimir Perez Ibarra, 13, and his brother, Eduardo Perez Ibarra, 18, Francisco Javier Garcia Gomez, 55, and Leobardo Dorantes 38.

    At around the same time in San Marcos in the Costa Chica region, police officer Cirenio Sanguilan Aquino and Juan Carlos Barcenas Villasana, 19 were shot and wounded by armed suspects while attending a party.

    In Acapulco, three unidentified dead bodies were found inside a vehicle Saturday.

    Atoyac de Alvarez has been known in the past as a hotspot for armed radical activities and is the home of the Maoist Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR) group that is still operating in the area. It is also the same municipality where 17 individuals were massacred allegedly by Guerrero state police operatives. The massacre, known as the Aguas Blancas Massacre has been used by the EPR as the cause of war against the Mexican Army.

    January 24th, 2012

    20 die in northern Mexico

    Source: La Polaka, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua


    (Accessed January 24th, 2012)

    A total of 20 individuals were killed in drug and gang related murders in northern Mexican states, including a police commander in Juarez Sunday morning.

    A Juarez municipal police commander was shot to death in Juarez Sunday. Jose Luis Ruelas was visiting relatives at a residence near the intersection of calles Santiago Blancas and Miguel de la Madrid in Paseos del Alba colony when armed suspects abducted him, shot him to death and then left his body at the residence.

    *-- In Chihuahua city, three unidentified men were shot to death at a residence near the intersection of calles Miguel Aleman and Avila Camacho in Diaz Ordaz colony. An unidentified female was wounded in the shooting.

    *-- One unidentified youth was shot to death and three others were wounded in a shooting in Aldama city.

    *-- An unidentified man was found shot to death outside his residence in the Oasis de Ciudad Juarez colony in Juarez.

    *-- Another police officer was shot to death in Juarez Saturday. Francisco Javier Ramirez Perez was found shot to death aboard his vehicle near the intersection of calles Manganeso and Karl Marx in Mexico 68 colony.

    *-- An unidentified man was shot to death in Chaveña colony on Calle Libertad.

    *-- Two men were shot to death Saturday in Chihuahua city. Eusebio Javalera and Jesus Saul Bujanda were shot inside the Villa Verde liquor store in Nombre de Dios colony.

    *-- Two unidentified men were shot to death Monday in Chihuahua city. The first victim was shot near the intersection of calles Comunidad and Libertadores in Unidad colony and the second near the intersection of Industrias and Guadalupe Juarez.

    *-- An unidentified youth was found tortured and beaten to death in Nuevo Lardo Monday. The victim was found near the Benito Juarez memorial on Avenida Reforma. A message left at the body was signed by Los Zetas.

    *-- Two men were shot to death and a third was wounded in an intergang firefight in Juarez Monday. The first shooting took place when armed suspects dismounted a Dodge Neon near the intersection of calles Bernardo Balbuena and Camilo Cien Fuegos, shooting Gabriel Mares, 41, to death. As the shooters attempted to flee the scene, they were intercepted by another armed group on Avenida Ejercito Nacional who then shot one unidentified individual to death and wounded another.

    *-- An unidentified man in his 20s was shot to death in Juarez Monday. The shooting took place near the intersection of calles Montes de Oca and Primera in Papalote colony.

    *-- Four unidentified youths were shot to death and another three were wounded in a shooting in Juarez Monday. The shooting took place near the intersection of calles Guinea and Rodesia where armed suspects entered two different residences and started firing their weapons.

    Mexican Army bags 4 bad guys in Saltillo

    Source: El Diario de Coahuila, Saltillo Coahuila


    (Accessed January 24th, 2012)

    A total of four armed suspects were killed in a gunfight in Saltillo, Coahuila Monday, according to Mexican news reports.

    The brief exchange of gunfire took place near the intersection of bulevars Luis Donaldo Colosio and Venustiano Carranza, in Ramos Arizpe colony at around noon.

    The gunfight was preceded by a brief pursuit by a Mexican Army unit. The suspects had apparently abandoned their vehicles to seek shelter inside the garage of a residence.

    One Mexican soldier was wounded in the firefight.

    8 die in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

    Source: None, lost

    By Chris Covert

    A total of eight men were shot to death in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon early Wednesday morning, according to Mexican news accounts.

    The shootings took place near the intersection of calles Aramberri and Martin de Zavala near Zona