Ok, we had a major power blow out with the last storm (I've measured nearly nine inches of rain here since January) which did some serious damage to the computer. There will be updates on the Jornalero situation, but first a look at the situation which is making many people nervous and as one narcomenudista said to Zeta, "It is chaos - everyone against everyone."
Let's start at the beginning. Here are charts from the SSPE for the recorded homicides statewide and for each Municipality since January, 2015. When you go to either link, you can hit any year either statewide or by Municipality for the totals. The problem is that the numbers are creeping up very close to 2014, the mutilations and decapitations are on the rise, children have been caught in the crossfire and killed, authorities have been targets, and without elaborating on each single execution of the previous months these brazen attacks have taken place during the daytime in public areas, bodies dumped on the Scenic Highway, bodies burned, bodies tortured, many women victims and many narco mantas on bridges, buildings and messages left with bodies.
I'll highlight month by month Zeta's insights (which also include stats) into which cartels and operatives are involved as we move to present date activities. (Not a huge surprise, it is the CAF vs. the Sinaloa Cartel - however despite assurances from the authorities of the CJNG's non involvement as well as their assurances that the narco mantas signed by the CJNG weren't really signed by the CJNG after all, the reality is that it is a stressful thought which has not been completely dispelled from people's minds.) All local Mexican news agencies have been faithfully reporting all of the executions. There has also been a notable silence from the U.S. promoters - who during times of intense conflict in the past consistently have been in a virtual state of denial and continued to promote, promote and promote. Maybe they are trying to figure out a new strategy.
SSPE - ESTADISTICAS DELICTIVAS
February 3, 2015:
Police Chief Lares Valladares attributes the increased killings and firepower to social breakdown and the resurgence of the CAF. Just one aspect of this "social breakdown" has been the release of narco subjects who simply return to their old haunts. Also mentioned are the 17 Gendarmes who were arrested at their Hotel in Tijuana for extortion of drug dealers, although it is not mentioned if these are the same Gendarmes involved in the Rosarito Beach shoot out just a bit earlier where one US Citizen (believed to be a drug dealer) was killed. We haven't really heard or read exactly what happened to these men other than they were released shortly after they were arrested. Prior to these arrests the Gendarmes could be easily spotted on their surveillance rounds, now those seem to be a thing of the past although other Federal Police are intermittently checking traffic in both directions at the toll booths on the Scenic Highway.
Chief Lares is candid in this interview stating that the authorities will never be able to end the drug dealing - but they can diminish the violence by decreasing the numbers of criminals on the streets and taking them out of circulation (which the police have been doing).
Balaceras, "se reorganiza el CAF": Lares
However, the visualization of organized criminal groups in Baja California as a 'closed set' where the elements can be contained by the authorities unfortunately is an incorrect perception. Three months after the interview with the Chief, Zeta reported the increase in executions and statistics of US and Mexican seizures in addition to the two narco tunnels discovered in Mexicali and Tijuana confirm the aspect which authorities in Mexico and Baja California want to minimize: the increasing activity of the drug cartels in Baja California. This article contains video of the Mexicali tunnel and specific amounts of drugs confiscated by the authorities on both sides of the border:
Crece actividad del narco en BC
March 17 , 2015:
Zeta reports the violence is widespread due to the Arzate brothers and their operatives attempting to control areas by killing the old "El Teo" loyalists and those associated with the CAF. Two areas of Tijuana are particularly hard hit, the Zona Norte and Sanchez Taboada.
El Mono is fighting a man called "Miguel" (a used to be coyote) who is backed up by the Cabrera brothers who control the zona de la Obrera under "Los Aquiles".
In Sanchez Taboada and generally in the east part of Tijuana it is Arturo Gomez Herrera aka "El Groos" (working under Alfonso Arzate) against "El Nino" of the Uriartes. El Nino has the support of Jose Juan Trejo Gutierrez aka "El Chapito Trejo."
A narco message is left with one victim - presumably by El Mono claiming the Zona Norte as belonging to the CAF and implicating with a signature that another group from Guerrero is backing them up. However, the authorities call this a bluff, the operator from Guerrero does not exist, his signature was left to frighten El Mono's opponents. But importantly according to researchers, no one really knows who exactly is in control - or who they should pay to use the plaza. So, if you pay Achilles, El Mono will have you killed and vice versa. Opponents are killing opponents as they deal drugs from the "little shops", and in San Antonio de los Buenos the operators of El Aquiles are killing the operators of La Prima and El Chino. Who will take their places?
The remainder of the article covers the femicides this year, the dismemberment in Ensenada and the arrest of two kidnappers belonging to "El Moreno" believed to be associated with the kidnapping and murder of the two American smugglers in Tijuana and also a list of other kidnappings. The anti-kidnapping unit has been busy, there is only one person left from this cell group, all the others have been arrested.
Unfair if I wouldn't mention the 10 members of a CAF kidnapping cell arrested about two weeks prior to the El Moreno kidnappers arrests - however their leaders remain at large recruiting new members and performing kidnappings. One of the individuals still operating is a former Judicial Police Officer, another is a former TIJ Municipal Police Officer. This group has operated since 2010. Investigations show that there were several dozen police officers involvement with this cell, at this point the Federal government has taken over the case but it was frozen by SEIDO. Included in this article are affidavits of more criminal activity this group has been involved in.
Guerritas del CAF y Sinaloa
An alarming and descriptive report from Zeta on the CJNG, their origins and rise to power. This article was after the attack on the Federales in Jalisco and prior to the huge breakout of violence the first week of May which covered several states in Mexico. There is no mention of an alliance with the CAF, but even a novice would recognize after reading reports (Proceso - Narcotrafico - Entradas Anteriores) that one of the hallmarks of the CJNG is taking advantage of cartel groups who have been weakened by disorganization and internal struggles.
This and the fact the ranks of the CJNG incorporate former military and police (although downplayed by the US MSM and US Think Tanks) who understand strategy is spooking people. So far, the CJNG have caused loss of balance - they have attacked without warning where their enemy did not expect it (or at least we weren't told the authorities were anticipating these attacks...question is was the re-arming of US Law enforcement in Mexico prior to these attacks a coincidence?) and these were strong attacks which confused and demoralized their enemy. Zeta describes them as "the big threat". A must read:
CJNG, la gran amenaza
04/09/2015: El Mono (Manuel Toscano) and his bodyguard are shot and killed outside of the prison at a taco stand. This event will affect more violence in the coming days in Tijuana. Some people are saying there was a snitch somewhere along the line who knew exactly where El Mono would be. You conspiracy theorists out there can kick that one around.
Zeta reports the Sinaloa cartel lashes out against the CAF, there is still division and internal infighting withing the Sinaloa cartel and officials are claiming that society is not in danger. There have been eleven murders in a week, Sanchez Taboada and San Antonio de los Buenos are the hot spots.
Descriptions include the shooting and wounding of the parents (drug dealers) of the little five year old girl who was killed at this attack. In San Antonio de los Buenos the killing of one of the owners of the grocery store Gamaliel in front of family members, employees and customers - this for a drug debt. Three burned bodies of two men and one woman at different locations, preceded by another burnt body in San Antonio de los Buenos on 04/08.
Importantly, after several press conferences, it is still unclear if the CJNG is operating in BC.
More information on Andrew Reyes and Jaime Casillas the U.S. Army Reservists in San Diego who sold AR-15's, AK-47's, .40 caliber pistols, caliber 7.62 rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo and bulletproof vests to a U.S. undercover agent posing as a cartel operative. Legal proceedings and bail will be determined on 04/21.
And reminiscent of the old days, in colonia Villa Floresta an ATM machine hit, employees left tied up on the floor and the thieves started a car on fire as a diversion. Not sure if this was Villa Floresta in RB.
Sinaloa se enfrenta al CAF
Zeta reports that in March of this year, Baja California ranks third Nation wide as far as criminal activity. This information was compiled by the agencias and corporations of the SNSP. This was a shocker since BC you might remember occupied third place several years ago, then dropped to 8th and 12th place as far as homicides. It was also a surprise because I remember a few years back the SNSP kept this sort of information under lock and key. Keeping in mind the violence in the other states since March, it is possible that BC might shake this title - on the other hand it may not.
BC ocupa tercer lugar nacional en incidencia delictiva en marzo de 2015
May 05, 2015:
Zeta reports the executions are out of control, intelligence has detected an alliance of the CAF with the Sinaloan Jose Soto aka "El Tigre", assassins are identified, Sanchez Taboada and the Zona Centro are the most affected with the violence spreading to Otay.
Intelligence reveals three points of interest: there is a group of traffickers who are minors attempting to become independent which is causing friction in the cell they operate in (which cell group is not mentioned); the accord reached between the CAF and Jose Antonio Soto Gastellum aka "El Tigre" is a done deal. (Many of you will recognize El Tigre from years ago when he was with the Sinaloa cartel; and there is a cell group of the CAF which has converted into assassins who will work for the highest bidder.
A summary report of the 13 executions in a weeks time and the arrests by the Municipal Police, and those made by the Municipal Police and the Ejercito:
Ejecuciones sin control
May 14, 2015
Zeta reports in terms of security in Tijuana the numbers of executions are mounting, the situation is serious and innocent victims are being caught up in the crossfire:
1. On 04/11 a four year old girl is killed by the bullets intended for her mother. Authorities have stated that the mom (drug dealer) used the little girl as a shield - the mom denies this.
2. On 05/01 Itzel Medina of the PGJE shot and killed.
3. A teen aged 14 remains in a coma from gunfire when she and a group of children were used as human shields when the intended victim was under attack.
One of the experts who has been addressing the violence in Baja California for years, Jonathan Diaz Castro, Presidente of the Consejo Ciudadano de Seguridad Publica del Estado remarked in an interview that when there are collateral victims, the perspective towards the violence changes - this along with the kidnappings, violent robberies and killings frighten those of us who live here and it is difficult to ignore or even pretend these events are not happening. This in itself is "dangerous" - that is, when there are incidents which create fear in society, concern needs to be raised to another level ( and I might add if it isn't - in any society - then it's pretty messed up). Added to these events is the impunity which exists along side of them which creates a dangerous society because lawlessness or impunity is an invitation for people to seek vigilante justice. He gives two instances of vigilante justice. I can't remember Zeta doing an interview with Diaz Castro - or maybe I missed it, he has been an active speaker throughout BC and is a smart man.
The remainder of the article focuses on the twelve remaining murders, the teen charged with kidnapping in Mexicali, the arrest in Rosarito Beach of Chaboya Moronatti a most wanted fugitive from Morelos who in 2009 had worked with El Teo under Angel Jacome Gamba, aka "El Kabil."
Victimas colaterales de la inseguridad
May 18, 2015:
Zeta reports the violence is flaring with 54 murders in April and 33 murders the first 14 days of May. arrests have been made, but not of the cell leaders who continue the blood bath. Zeta describes the authorities as being optimistic yet evasive and the business sector is asking the authorities not to ignore the red flags.
Part of the sickening totals are another collateral victim, the little 4 year old boy shot and killed in the crossfire, the two severed heads left in a cooler in public view with a narco message, another narco manta hung accusing Itzel Medina of the PGJE who was shot and killed as being corrupt. Zeta lists the killings and the operatives involved:
Recrudece violencia, autoridades evasivas
|COURTESY EL MEXICANO|
- Tijuana: If you were driving past Playas this morning around seven o'clock you probably saw the entrance to Playas cordoned off by the Ejercito, State and Municipal Police. The reason - two more severed heads wrapped in plastic which had been thrown onto the road. This will make five heads in about two weeks - during the most volatile period of the drug wars here we had thirteen heads. Unsure if this is a grand finale or if more is coming our way.
Hallan dos cabezas cercenadas
- Tijuana: Zeta reports three more, one of these is from last night:
- Playas de Tijuana: Last night (05/20) one man shot to death on calle Miguel Hidalgo.
- 2:00 am this morning: another man found shot to death in a vacant lot in colonia Franscisco Villa (La Presa).
- 3:30 - 3:45 am this morning one man found shot to death at K12 on the TIJ-Rosarito road. Location a bit confusing, Frontera reported this was "...sobre la carretera TIJ-RB a la altura del puente Punta Bandera" which would then put this on the Scenic Highway.
Tres homicidios mas
- Tijuana: At 3:00PM this afternoon, Omar Fernando Vazquez, an agent (Prosecutor) for the Ministerio Publico gunned down near the intersection of the 5&10.
Hombre es ejecutado sobre bulevar Diaz Ordaz
- Rosarito Beach: Report from Rosarito Beach @ 6:00PM: very quiet, not a lot of traffic, at least four Municipal Police cars spotted cruising Benito Juarez.
- Tijuana: More collateral damage: On Agua Caliente Blvd. during daylight, woman assaulted after she made a bank withdrawal (50K $$$). Her little 4 year old son is shot and wounded, no updates on his condition.
Hieren a menor en asalto
|Courtesy El Mexicano|
- Tijuana: In colonia Mariano Matamoros Municipal Police Officer Juan Gualberto Jaurequi Ruvalcaba a nine year veteran of the force shot in the head as he was leaving his home. He died shortly afterwards in the hospital. Chief Lares states Officer Jauregui was clean and a good cop, that he was killed because he was doing his job. Officer Jauregui had made many arrests of drug dealers and other criminals. Shortly afterwards, an arrest was made of Hugo Alfonso Hernandez Flores a local narcomenudista.
De un balazo, mataron a un policia municipal
|Courtesy El Mexicano - burned man being taken away|
- Tijuana: Neighbors of colonia Merida locate the body of a man set on fire. Authorities reported he had been tortured, large toe cut off ; he was bound hand and foot, face covered and bruising on his body.
Queman cadaver, en Colonia Merida
- Tijuana: In broad daylight in colonia Obrera Primera seccion on calle Martires de Cahanea where there is a school, businesses and a church, one man mowed down by an AK-47 from a passing vehicle. His condition is serious, one arrest in this case, Frontera has the pic:
Balean a uno en pleno dia
More coming up.....stay tuned.....
It is difficult to predict when this battle is going to slow down. Not to minimize the situation (you never really get used to it, never) but we have seen the fury of cartel violence many times before in BC which follows a similar pattern: rivalries over territory and fragmentation lead to street warfare, hundreds and hundreds are killed including innocents, accord and agreements are eventually negotiated with the result being an unstable and unpredictable plateau of diminished physical hostilities. This is the part where the U.S. promoters and their battalions really go nuts and crawl out of the woodwork. But, eventually something will happen and the cycle begins all over again - because the players, well they are legion. You get the picture.