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The Wounded Eagle: Volume 4

The Wounded Eagle: Volume 4

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The Wounded Eagle: Volume 4

711 pages
8 hours
Feb 1, 2014


The fourth and last volume of a multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing the Mexican Drug War in 2012 and 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.

Feb 1, 2014

About the author

Chris Covert currently lives in Oklahoma City and writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for and His articles have also appeared on, and 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 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 and Alex Marentes of 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 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 Centro, where the victims were lined up and shot at least once in the back of the head. Reports say 20 9mm spent cartridge casings were found at the scene. The ages of the victims ranged from 15 to 35.

Local police made the discovery of the bodies while on routine patrol.

Reports say the victims had been kidnapped from throughout the city, gathered to the location and shot.

The method recalls a similar hit in Guadalajara in November when several individuals, presumably unrelated to organized or gang crime activity, were kidnapped over a brief period of time and then executed all at once.

That murder was performed in response to a similar hit against Los Zetas in Veracruz just weeks before by Los Matazetas group. That group was once thought by authorities to be a vigilante group, but it was later determined Los Matazetas were in fact affiliated with the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels.

Guadalajara at the time was considered a Sinaloa/Gulf territory. Monterrey as late as the summer of 2010 was considered disputed, but mainly Los Zetas territory.

Currently, both the Los Zetas and gangs allied with the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels have been hitting each other in response to the others' attacks throughout Mexico.

The last mass murder by either side was performed near the end of 2011, the year when 39 individuals were murdered in northern Veracruz state and southern Tamaulipas state.

Those hits were said by press reports to be the direct result of a massive redeployment of Mexican Army troops to northern border areas in Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and especially in Tamaulipas state. The tightened security had apparently forced organized crime gangs out of the north into previously unfamiliar territory.

January 28th, 2012

Mayhem in Monterrey

Source: Milenio, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

(Accessed January 28th, 2012)

A total of six individuals were murdered in drug and gang related violence in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.

One unidentified man in his 50s was shot to death in an area northwest of Monterrey. The victim was found near the intersection of Avenida Aztlan and Calle Augusto Gomez in Valle de Santa Lucia colony after being shot as he was sitting in his vehicle.

An unidentified man was shot to death in Monterrey, Wednesday afternoon. The victim had been pursued by armed suspects riding aboard a pickup truck. The victim was shot and killed near the intersection of calles Washington and Privada Colonial in Maria Luisa colony.

Two unidentified brothers were shot to death at their residence in San Nicholas municipality Wednesday. The victims were shot in Constituyentes de Queretaro colony by armed suspects who then fled aboard a vehicle.

A man was shot during an armed robbery in Monterrey Wednesday night. Wilfredo Urrutia Olmeda, 29, was a customer at the shop near the intersection of calles Las Palmas and Zapopan in Villa Dorada colony, when armed suspects committing a robbery shot and killed him.

An unidentified woman was found shot to death in Monterrey Thursday morning. The victim was found near the intersection of Heroes del 47 and Riva Palacio.

January 30th, 2012

5 die in Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas

Source: Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

(Accessed January 30th, 2012)

Four armed suspects and one Mexican soldier were killed in an armed confrontation in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas Saturday, according to a Mexican Army press release.

An army road patrol detachment was fired on on Bulevar Venustiano Carranza by armed suspects aboard a convoy of six vehicles. In the ensuing firefight, four suspects were killed by army return gunfire. It is likely an unknown number of armed suspects managed aboard the remaining five vehicles to escape the encounter, although the press report doesn't so state.

One unidentified Mexican rifleman was killed in the encounter, while five other soldiers were wounded.

In the aftermath, soldiers seized five rifles, 50 weapons magazines, 525 rounds of ammunition and one vehicle.

12 die in northern Mexico

Source: La Polaka, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua

(Accessed January 30th, 2012)

A total of 12 individuals were killed in ongoing drug and gang related incidents in northern Mexico including four inmates at the Achilles Serdan, Chihuahua CERESO.

Four inmates were killed and another seven were wounded in a prison riot Sunday morning in Chihuahua, Chihuahua.

The riot took place at the Achilles Serdan Centro de Readaptacion Social (CERESO) prison. The prison is only five kilometers due east of the capital. Reports are that inmates attacked guards with firearms and other weapons.

The Achilles Serdan prison is one of the most violent prisons in Mexico, the location of many riots in the past.

*-- An unidentified man was found shot to death in Juarez Sunday afternoon. The victim was found near the intersection of calles Cerro Grande and 38th in UP colony. Although the report doesn't specifically state it, the victim was apparently attacked by more than one armed suspect.

*-- A youth was shot to death in Juarez early Sunday morning. Jose Ruben Ayala Bautista, 17, died as he was taken to receive medical attention by his family. The shooting took place when the victim and his friends decided to build a bonfire. An armed suspect came up to the youth and shot him repeatedly in the head.

*-- An unidentified woman was found shot to death near Chihuahua, Chihuahua Sunday. The victim was found on kilometer 23 of the Chihuahua city to Juarez highway.

*-- An unidentified man was found shot to death in Juarez Sunday. The victim was found near the intersection of calles Jose Maria Pereyra and Libertad in Barrio La Chaveña.

*-- A man was found shot to death in Carborca, Sonora Sunday. Leopoldo de la Cruz Felix was found shot twice in the head aboard his wife's Chevrolet Avalanche near the intersection of avenida C and calle 19th in Lazaro Cardenas colony. Two .380 caliber spent shell casings were found in the truck. Cruz Felix was reportedly a local drug dealer.

*-- A man was found shot to death in Obregon, Sonora Friday night. Hernan Hernandez Navidad, 28, was found aboard a Toyota vehicle near the intersection of calles Chihuahua and Hidalgo in Centro colony. Several .40 caliber spent shell casings were found at the scene.

*-- Two men were found shot to death in Yecora, Sonora last Tuesday night. Benjamin Flores Mungarro, 26, and Claudio Anibal Buelna Encinas, 22 were found on a road leading to El Palmarito. Both men were shot several times with AK-47 and AR-15 rifles.

20 die in Jalisco state

Source: El Universal, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

(Accessed January 30th, 2012)

A total of 20 unidentified individuals,including three municipal police agents, were killed Saturday in Jalisco state, according to Mexican news accounts. Every individual killed or found dead was at the apparent hands of organized crime.

*-- At El Rancho La Estancia in Ejutla municipality, seven unidentified corpses were found in two graves. Four of the victims had been immolated, although reports do not say how any of the victims were killed. Ejutla municipality is south of the resort city of Guadalajara.

*-- In Lagos de Moreno municipality, three municipal police agents were shot to death. The police were on a road patrol aboard an official vehicle between the villages of Ixtle and La Mesa when they were killed. The officers had been bound by handcuff, beaten, then shot by armed suspects. Two of the trio died on the spot.

El Diario de Coahuila reported that the third officer managed to escape his attackers and was the target of foot pursuit which ended at a medical clinic. The armed suspects entered the clinic and killed the third officer.

Lagos de Moreno municipality is in the extreme northeastern part of Jalisco state, which borders Zacatecas state to the northwest and San Luis Potosi state to the northeast.

*-- In Guadalajara, a total of seven individuals were found murdered Friday and Saturday, including two in the Colinas de San Javier colony.

*-- In Ameca municipality, an unidentified man was shot to death at the bus station. Ameca is on Jalisco's western border with Michoacan state.

*-- Between San Miguel de Alto and San Julien municipalities two unidentified men were found dead on a road. San Miguel de Alto and San Julien municipalities are 20 kilometers southwest of Lago de Moreno, Jalisco.

Criminal groups appear to be shifting their turf fights from the northern border states to escape the reinforced Mexican military presence there to north central states such as Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi and central states such as Jalisco and Veracruz

5 die, 7 wounded in Torreon, Coahuila massacre

Source: Facebook

(Accessed January 30th, 2012)

Five unidentified individuals were shot to death and another seven were wounded in an attack in Torreon, Coahuila Saturday night, according to Mexican Spanish language reports.

The attack began at around 2215 hrs when armed suspects traveling aboard a sedan shot into a group of people near the intersection of Avenida Eva Samano and Calle Septima in Nueva Rosita colony.

Local police patrols and a Mexican Army detachment first to arrive on the scene found an unidentified woman and a child dead. Three other victims died while receiving medical treatment.

February, 2012

February 5th, 2012

9 die in Chihuahua city bar

Source: El Diario de Juarez, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua

(Accessed February 5th, 2012)

By Chris Covert

A total of nine individuals were shot to death and seven others were wounded in a shooting early Saturday morning in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, according to Mexican news accounts.

The shooting took place at the Far West bar near the intersection of calles Leandro Valle and Teofilo Borunda Norte in Santo Niño colony. At least 20 shooters burst into the bar at around 0130 hrs.

Two of the victims were women, one of which was a municipal police agent. El Diario de Juarez news daily identified the victims as Julio Alberto Barraza Flores, Marco Antonio Murga Rojas, Cesar Reyes Ocaña, Jorge Luis Rivera Mendoza, Rocio Zuñiga Sanchez, Fernando Rivera Castañeda, Elizabeth Zafiro Quintana, Jorge Luis Mendoza Rivera and Vicente Romero Cruz.

According to La Polaka news daily, the dead police agent was identified as Elizabeth Zafiro of Grupo Beta.

Five of the dead were identified as the norteño music group La 5th Banda. News reports characterized the number of spent rifle shell casings as in the hundreds.

The massacre is the worst single incident of violence in Chihuahua state against civilians in a year. Last summer, Chihuahua state and Mexican federal government officials made much of the fact that intergang and drug violence was on the decline, so much so a Policia Federal unit left Juarez, as well as one Mexican Army unit.

With this shooting and a number of others in recent weeks, it appears drug and gang related violence may well be on the upswing.

February 15th, 2012

2nd Saltillo top cop dies in 2 months

Source: El Diario de Coahuila, Saltillo, Coahuila

(Accessed Feb 15th, 2012)

For the second time in two months a Secretaria Seguirdad Publica (SSP) or police chief of Saltillo, Coahuila has been killed, according to Mexican news accounts.

Sergio Armando Sibeles Alvarado was shot to death Tuesday morning in front of his home in the Lomas de Guadalupe colony in the southwest quadrant of the city at about 0800 hrs.

Sisbeles Alvarado was only two months on the job after his predecessor, Emmanuel Almaguer Perez, was shot to death December 5th. Like Sisbeles Alvarado, Almaguer Perez was shot in front of his home, this time in the Magisterium colony of Saltillo.

Saltillo is the capital of Coahuila state, and has been the scene of a large number of shootouts between Mexican security forces and drug gang shooters.

Four armed suspects were killed last January 23rd in the Ramos Arzipe colony after they were cornered by a Mexican Army unit at a residence.

February 19th, 2012

Badanov's Buzzkill Bulletin

Source: Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, Mexico City, Distrito Federal

(Accessed February 19th, 2012)

Since February 13th Mexican Army units have seized or destroyed 12,093.6 kilograms of marijuana, 1,000 kilograms of unprocessed marijuana, 14 kilograms of opium gum, 19.8 kilograms of poppy seeds. eight kilograms of glass methamphetamine and MEX $154,862.00 (USD $12130.37) in cash.

*-- A Mexican Army unit of the 7th Military Zone on patrol arrested five unidentified individuals with firearms in Monterrey municipality February 13th. Included contraband seized were 10 rifles, 121 weapons magazines, 1,085 rounds of ammunition and 31 grenades.

*-- As part of the Veracruz Seguro security operation in Veracruz state, an army unit with the Mexican 26th Military Zone, while on patrol in Xalapa, Veracruz, February 13th, arrested 13 unidentified individuals in possession of arms and munitions including eight rifles, ammunition, weapons magazines and tactical gear.

*-- A Mexican Army unit with the 6th Military Zone, while on patrol in Allende municipality of Coahuila February 13th located an abandoned truck loaded with marijuana. The total amount seized was 4,140 kilograms in 409 packages.

*-- Army units with the Mexican 8th Military Zone seized nearly two metric tons of marijuana in Tamaulipas state February 13th in two separate incidents.

--1) An army road patrol near the village of Rancherias in Camargo municipality found 150 packages of marijuana underneath a tarp in a pasture. The total weight of the drug seizure was 1,150 kilograms.

--2) On Libramiento Presidentes near the village of Los Guerra in Miguel Aleman municipality, a Mexican Army unit located 303.6 kilograms of marijuana hidden in some brush

*-- February 14th, a Mexican Army unit with the 13th Military Zone on a road patrol near the village of Venado in Nayar municipality in Nayarit state executed a traffic stop seizing 14 kilograms of opium gum and 19.8 kilograms of poppy seeds. Soldiers also seized one handgun, one handgun magazine, seven rounds of ammunition and one vehicle. One unidentified individual was detained.

*-- One armed suspect was killed, four other armed suspects were wounded and a Mexican Army soldier was killed in a firefight near the village of El Camaron in Anahuac municipality in Nuevo Leon February 13th. Soldiers had been fired on by an armed group of unknown size. An unidentified kidnapping hostage was also also released by the soldiers. Seized in the aftermath were 13 rifles, one hand grenade, 139 weapons magazines, 1,973 rounds of ammunition, and tactical and communications gear.

*-- In Veracruz state, units with the Mexican 19th and 29th Military Zone detained four unidentified individuals and seized a number of weapons and munitions in several incidents February 14th. Contraband seized included three rifles, three handguns, weapons magazines, one telescopic sight, communications gear and two stolen vehicles.

*-- An army unit with the Mexican 9th Military Zone while on patrol near the 7 Gota ejido in Culican municipality of Sinaloa state seized more than 1.5 tons of marijuana February 16th. The unit found the drugs in 168 packages totaling 1,700 kilograms hidden in bushes.

*-- A Mexican Army unit with the 5th Military Zone came under small arms fire from armed suspects traveling aboard three vehicles near Julimes municipality in Chihuahua state. Soldiers returned fire and initiated a pursuit after suspects abandoned their vehicles and fled into the bush. Seized following the encounter were three rifles, one handgun, six weapons magazines, 132 rounds of ammunition and one stolen vehicle.

*-- A detachment with the Mexican 45th Military Zone found a tractor trailer rig in Nogales, Sonora with more than two metric tons of marijuana inside. Soldiers detained one unidentified individual and seized marijuana totaling 2,300 kilograms,which was hidden inside boxes containing chili peppers.

*-- Units with the Mexican 7th Military Zone seized a number of contraband items and rescued an unidentified kidnapping victim in four separate operations February 16th and 17th in Nuevo Leon state.

--1) In Apodaca city seven unidentified suspects were detained and a number of contraband items were seized including one vehicle, four weapons, 32 weapons magazines, 1,878 rounds of ammunition and 10 cell phones at a raid on a residence. One unidentified female kidnapping victim was rescued.

--2) In Galeana city, two unidentified suspects were detained in possession of two computers, one computer printer, two computer hard drives, MEX $4,862.00 (USD $388.42) and USD $9.00 in cash.

--3) In Cadereyta-Jiminez and in Salinas Victoria soldiers detained eight unidentified suspects, one stolen vehicle, telecommunications gear and personal quantities of marijuana.

*-- Army detachments with the Mexican 15th Military Zone discovered a hidden drug laboratory in Jalisco state February 16th. The lab was found in Duraznera colony in Tlaquepaque municipality. Seized items included eight kilograms of glass methamphetamine, 1.100 kilogram of caustic soda, 800 liters of chemicals, 540 liters of formalin, 400 kilograms of ammonia hydrochloride, metal containers, two welding machines, one oxygen tank and eight vehicles.

*-- Units with the Mexican 24th Military Zone seized a number of contraband items in two separate operations February 17th in Morelos state.

--1) Acting on a citizen's complaint, an army detachment was dispatched to Ocotepec municipality where soldiers found an abandoned vehicle. Included materiel seized were heroin weighing about one kilogram, eight handguns, 19 rifles, 4,075 rounds of ammunition, 153 weapons magazines, one stolen vehicle and tactical and communications gear.

--2) In Coatlan del Rio an army detachment detained two unidentified individuals who were reportedly extortionists. Soldiers seized MEX $150,000 (USD $11,741.95)

*-- A Mexican Army detachment with the 12th Military Zone in cooperation with Policia Federal and San Luis Potosi state police intelligence units dismantled a Los Zetas criminal group cell in the village of Mexquitic in Carmona municipality. Eight unidentified gang members were detained including the leader identified only as La Guera.The group had been engaged in a panoply of criminal activities including kidnapping, extortion, illegal evictions and co-optation of local police authority. Seized following the arrests were six rifles, three handguns, 72 rounds of ammunition, three weapons magazines, personal quantities of cocaine and marijuana, four vehicles, two safe houses, MEX $4,770.00 (USD $373.39) and six cell phones.

Badanov's Burnt Blunt Special

Mexican Army units attached to the 13th Military Zone raided a location in Nayarit destroying two marijuana growing operations. The raid took place February 18th near the village of Las Varas in Compostela municipality, where soldiers found and destroyed by fire five hectares of marijuana, as well as 2,500 kilograms of marijuana and 1,000 kilograms of unprocessed marijuana.

February 20th, 2012

Mexican Policia Federal abandons La Laguna

Source: El Diario de Coahuila, Saltillo, Coahuila

(Accessed February 20th, 2012)

By Chris Covert

In an unusual speculative Sunday morning report, El Diario de Coahuila reported that Policia Federal (PF) units have abandoned the La Laguna region.

La Laguna region encompasses the cities of Torreon, Coahuila and Ciudad Lerdo and Gomez Palacio, Durango, where since October 2011, a major security operation -- dubbed Segura Laguna -- has been underway including Mexican Army PF units, Coahuila and Durango state police and local police in a comprehensive plan to tamp down on cartel violence in the region.

According to the report, Policia Federal Preventativa (PFP) patrol units have not been seen in the region for at least two days prompting speculation PF units have been ordered to leave La Laguna. The report cites recent violence, the latest of which was the discovery of three dead in Gomez Palacio, Durango three days ago and the murder of the Saltillo, Coahuila police chief -- the second such murder in as many months.

The report also charges PF agents with adding to the problems of violence.

Other violent incidents have taken place as well, but in Saltillo mainly involving Los Zetas cartel operatives. Those confrontations have included firefights between Los Zetas and federal and state security forces, as well as intergang fighting.

Los Zetas maintains a presence, if weakened, in neighboring Zacatecas state, that despite an increase in deployment of Mexican Army troops to that state.

A month ago, a senior commander, General Marco Antonio Gonzalez Barreda was replaced by another field commander, General de Division Roberto de la Vega Diaz, who was assigned as commander of the Mexican IX Military Region, based in Saltillo. That command encompasses Coahuila and Chihuahua states, including the La Laguna region.

The rotating of field commanders is not ordinarily done, because commanders tend to remain at their posts until their mission is complete, or if a sharp reverse has taken place. The ongoing violence in Saltillo prior to the January 18th, 2012 rotation may have been as much a factor in the decision to replace General Gonzalez Barreda as the recent violence in the same time frame in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, where General de la Vega came from.

A total of 4,000 federal and state effectives have been deployed to the region so far.

Last May, 2011 1,500 Mexican Army troops and another 300 PF troops were sent to Coahuila. Last September, 2011, additional troops were deployed to the La Laguna region, in apparent anticipation of the start of the Segura Laguna security operations.

Late in December, 2011, parts of the Mexican 15th Motorized Cavalry Regiment were deployed to Saltillo, Coahuila after a two day road march to reinforce security efforts in northern Coahuila, including Piedra Negras. Those troops were earmarked to participate in the ongoing security operations in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon states.

This latest report is surprising in light of President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa's remarks in Juarez last Friday when he credited the presence of federal security forces including PF operatives with reducing the violence in that border city.

February 21st, 2012

Mexican security forces bag six bad guys in Zacatecas

Source: El Diario de Coahuila, Saltillo, Coahuila

(Accessed February 21st, 2012)

By Chris Covert

Mexican Policia Federal (PF) and Zacatecas state police agents killed six armed suspects and detained eight others in Zacatecas in a brief running gunfight Monday morning, according to Mexican news accounts.

The shootout took place at about 0730 hrs between the communities of Buenavista de Trujillo and San Cristobal in Fresnillo municipality, where state police agents observed the drivers of two trucks take evasive maneuvers when they saw the police, prompting at attempt at a traffic stop.

The drivers then attempted to flee, prompting a pursuit and an exchange of gunfire.

Previous versions of the story were that agents had detained an unidentified Los Zetas Valapraiso cell leader, and that the appearance of several armed suspects was an attempt to free the leader. That version was not denied by Zacatecas attorney general, Arturo Nahle Garcia however, subsequent reports from Zacatecas do not refer to the arrest. Arturo Nahle Garcia said an arrest had been made, and that several suspects did attack state police agents.

A version of the story published Monday afternoon by El Diario de Coahuila news daily was that when the state police agents were intercepted, they called for backup and that a Policia Federal road patrol unit showed up to provide relief.

After the gunfight, a total of eight suspects were detained: Martin Hernandez Torres, AKA El Mongo, 35, Inocencio Pizaña Ramirez, 25, Everardo Daniel Casanova Mejia, 21, Hidalgo Jerez Cajbon Caal, 18, Eduardo Ramirez Arteaga, 37, Marcos Ivan Bojorquez Corona, 25 Jose Ordaz Razcoc, 31 and Domingo Beb Caal, 39.

All the detainees are from Guatemala, according to El Sol de Zacatecas news daily.

Materiel seized in the aftermath include: 87 weapons magazines, 2,156 rounds of ammunition, 63 stars, communications and tactical gear, and two vehicles: a Dodge Double Cab pickup truck and a Cadillac Escalade SUV, both reported stolen. El Diario de Coahuila reported six rifles and a rocket launcher was also seized following the confrontation.

February 22nd, 2012

Federales seized 37 weapons and 4 explosive charges

Source: Secretaria de Seguridad Publica, Mexico City, Distrito Federal;jsessionid=mD2LPGLKvjvcWLhMr6H6NxVGmXShhWGTGK1kZWKkSnJZY9hLtrn2%21-1517920659?__c=85c

(Accessed February 22nd, 2012)

By Chris Covert

Mexican Policia Federal (PF) units seized 37 weapons including machine guns and more than 25,000 rounds of ammunition as well as four C4 demolition charges following Monday morning's armed confrontation with criminal suspects in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, according to a post at the Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP) website Tuesday evening.

According to the news release, Policia Federal units originally caught suspects in two vehicles carrying heavy rifles, a Mexican police term for rifles, and began countermeasures, which led to the gunfights.

According to a news article at the website of El Sol de Zacatecas news daily, one of the suspects who died in the gunfight was identified as Armando Delgado Costilla, 22 of Fresnillo, Zacatecas.

One unidentified Policia Federal agent was wounded along with a two year old child. Both the agent and the young child are expected to survive their wounds.

Weapons and munitions seized following the firefight include:

*-- One rocket launcher

*-- Four blocks of M112 demolition charges

*-- 10 AK-47 rifles

*-- Seven .223 caliber rifles

*-- Three 7.62x39mm rifles (similar to AK-47)

*-- Two .30 caliber M-1 rifles

*-- One .30 caliber M-2 carbine

*-- One .223 caliber Bushmaster M17S rifle

*-- One .223 caliber AR-15 rifle

*-- One .223 caliber SGW brand XM15A1 rifle

*--One 7.62x39mm Tapco brand rifle (takes AK-47 rounds)

*-- One .308 caliber Cetme Sporter brand rifle (Century Arms commercial G-3 copy)

*-- One .223 caliber M-16-A1 rifle

*-- One .223 caliber Winchester brand rifle

*-- Seven 7.62 caliber machine guns

*-- 25,674 rounds of ammunition

*-- 160 weapons magazines.

Weapons accessories and tactical gear seized include one 7.62mm machine gun bipod, weapons furniture, military uniforms and shirts.

Vehicles seized include one Dodge Ram pickup truck, one Chevrolet Equinox SUV, one Nissan Safari SUV, one Chevrolet Suburban SUV, one Ford Lobo Lariat (F-150), one unidentified sedan, one Hummer H3 SUV and one Nissan Titan pickup truck.

In another confrontation Monday evening in Zacatecas, Policia Federal units shot and killed unidentified man said to be a member of organized crime.

The confrontation took place in the village of Calera in Ramon Lopez Velarde municipality, where PF units on patrol came under small arms fire from armed suspects traveling aboard a vehicle. PF returned fire apparently hitting and killing the suspect.

Ramon Lopez Velarde is roughly 20 kilometers southeast of Fresnillo.

February 23rd, 2012

7 die in La Laguna


(Accessed February 23rd, 2012)

By Chris Covert

A total of seven unidentified individuals were killed in two separate incidents in the La Laguna region of Coahuila state Wednesday, according to Facebook notifications by the Coahuila state Fiscalia del Estado, or attorney general.

Four individuals were found dead in Torreon at around 2330 hrs late Tuesday night near the intersection of Calle Rumorosa and Avenida Bravo in Villa California colony.

Authorities responded to the scene following reports of shots fired. The four victims all appeared to be in their 20s. Thirty AK-47 spent cartridge casings were found at the scene.

Reports were that individuals traveling aboard two vehicles shot the victims.

Later, at about 1325 hrs Wednesday afternoon in Matamoros, Coahuila, three unidentified individuals were shot and killed by Coahuila state police agents. in a gunfight.

The shootout took place near the intersection of Calzada Cristobal Diaz and Avenida Presidente Carranza where individuals traveling aboard a Chevrolet Malibu sedan opened fire on a police patrol vehicle.

The vehicle had been carjacked a few minutes before the gunfight. One shooter wielding a 9mm pistol managed to flee the scene and escape detention. Police found one .223 caliber rifle, probably an AR-15 rifle at the scene.

Matamoros is ten kilometers east of Torreon on Federal Highway 40.

The La Laguna region continues to be under Segura Laguna security operation which combines security elements from federal, state and, local governments under a single command in a comprehensive effort to lower drug and gang related violence in the area.

Indications in the Mexican press and elsewhere are at least one Policia Federal unit left the area six days ago, presumably for Zacatecas state to take up the slack for Mexican Army units deployed from Zacatecas state to Tamaulipas state.

No announcement of the redeployment, however, has been made by the Mexican Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP), the controlling agency for the Policia Federal.

The La Laguna region includes the cities of Ciudad Lerdo and Gomez Palacio, Durango, and Torreon, Coahuila.The region is astride the most northerly contiguous east-west road in Mexico, Federal Highway 40, which stretches from Mazatlan, Sinaloa on the Pacific coast of Mexico to Reynosa and Matamoros, Tamaulipas near the Atlantic coast

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