Carlos “The Bam Bam” Pitalua local chief of Zetas cartel arrested! Veracruz!

veracruz mexico

veracruz mexico

The Mexican navy said Wednesday it had arrested the alleged local chief of the Zetas drug cartel in the Gulf coast port of Veracruz, and said he is tied to the dumping of eight bodies in a rural town a week ago.

The navy said Carlos “The Bam Bam” Pitalua and five other men were arrested on Tuesday. One of the five is suspected in helping break 32 inmates out of three Veracruz prisons in a well-planned, simultaneous escape.

One day after the jail break, gunmen dumped 35 bodies on a busy avenue of Veracruz last month. Some of the victims were reported at the time to have been escaped inmates.

And in central Mexico State, outside Mexico City, prosecutors announced Wednesday they had arrested Adrian Ramirez, alias “The Mushroom,” the alleged leader of the Cartel del Centro.

The gang is believed to be one of the spin-off groups from the Beltran Leyva cartel, which has been decimated by the arrests or deaths of its leaders.

Mexico state Attorney General Alfredo Castillo said the Cartel del Centro has been linked to at least 26 killings, and operated mainly in Mexico City suburbs.

The suspects were arrested last week, Castillo said.

Mexico’s National Public Safety System announced that almost one-third of 63,436 low-ranking Mexican police officers tested so far have failed background and security checks.

Almost one-quarter of the police chiefs and top commanders tested so far have also failed, as had about 10 percent of midlevel police commanders and officers. The agency said in a statement that all those who fail the vetting process should be fired, but left open the possibility that some might be reassigned.

Mexico has set a goal of vetting all of its police officers by the end of 2012. However, only 71,079 have been tested so far, equal to about 18 percent of the total police force of 431,739 officers.

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Who is behind the killings of Zetas?

Who is this Man?

Who is this Man?

Who is behind the killings of Zetas — another drug gang or agents acting on behalf of the government or military? An ad hoc group whose presence is being tolerated by authorities as well as the public?

Coastal Veracruz, the gateway to Mexico for centuries of immigrants from Europe and beyond, a laid-back beachfront vacation spot for legions of Mexicans, has in recent months become the latest state to be thoroughly sucked into the deadly and devastating drug war.

On Sept. 20, nearly three dozen half-naked bodies were dumped in broad daylight on a busy highway underpass in a well-to-do tourist area of the city of Veracruz. Fourteen more turned up a few days later — during a convention of the nation’s top state and federal prosecutors. Then, on Oct. 6, barely 48 hours after announcing a major security offensive, military and police found an additional 36 bodies, and 10 more turned up the following day.

In videotaped presentations, a group of masked men with military bearing has claimed responsibility for the spate of killings, portraying it as a cleansing operation. Many of the bodies had a “Z” for Zeta written on the back with ink marker, a witness said.

The mystery group announced that it was in Veracruz State as “the armed branch of the people, and for the people.”

“We are asking officials and authorities who support the Zetas to stop doing so, and let the armed forces know that our only objective is to finish the Zetas,” the spokesman for the group told the camera. “We are anonymous warriors, without faces, proudly Mexican.”

For years with the Zetas tightly in charge, and the public terrified into submission, the state had stayed relatively calm. But months ago, traffickers associated with top drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman are believed to have moved in from the north with an eye toward seizing territory from the Zetas, who had long controlled Veracruz’s valuable routes for smuggling drugs, migrants and contraband.

The “Zeta killers” burst on to the scene shortly before President Felipe Calderon deployed fresh military forces into Veracruz this month.

Their sudden rise and the surgical precision with which the killers systematically picked off nearly 100 people in 17 days has led to conjecture among some people that they may be operating with implicit or direct support of the government or military. Some suggest that the June kidnapping, torture and killing of three marine cadets in Veracruz might have propelled the marine corps to begin acting outside the law. Officials dismiss such speculation, and others wonder why a group aspiring to be a clandestine death squad would post videos on YouTube.

Indeed, some point to Guzman’s Sinaloa network, and say the military look to the killings may be an attempt to deflect attention.

If that’s true, the Zeta killers would simply be the latest of the many cartel-affiliated paramilitary gangs that have been fighting in Mexico since the beginning of the offensive that Calderon launched against the cartels at the start of his administration nearly five years ago.

The Zetas themselves started as the private military arm of the Gulf cartel, hired gunmen recruited from army elite forces to fight and kill the cartel’s enemies. They evolved into a full-fledged trafficking cartel after splitting violently from their former patrons.

Vigilante gangs purporting to be defending society and working with some level of official complicity have frequently acted in Mexico in recent years. La Familia in Michoacan, which surged in Calderon’s southwestern home state in 2005, claimed that it was protecting residents from the Zetas.

In 2009, Mauricio Fernandez, mayor of the affluent city of San Pedro Garza Garcia near the northern industrial hub of Monterrey, announced the formation of “intelligence squads” to “cleanse” his jurisdiction of criminals. One particularly notorious thug turned up dead in short order.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the expanding drug war since December 2006, when it began, according to government intelligence figures.

The government of Veracruz has sought to minimize the horror the state is living, or cast it as part of a broader national phenomenon for which local officials are not responsible.

Yet state officials have only exacerbated the uncertainty and suspicion by hiding information on new fatalities and claiming with excessive haste that most of the first batch of 35 dead were criminals. In fact, neither Gov. Javier Duarte nor state Atty. Gen. Reynaldo Escobar, who made those claims, had that information. The city’s top newspaper, Notiver, later reported that the majority did not have criminal records. Escobar has since been forced to resign.

“Where is the government? What is happening here? What is it all about?”

Children in Crime! Mexico

Mexican Teen Gang Member

Mexican Teen Gang Member

In six years there have been 26,000, 856 children arrested for federal crimes, according to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR). In addition, many of them have been prosecuted for other crimes: 11,000,548 children and adolescents, in fact, face murder trials.

In response to requests for information, the PGR revealed that most young offenders are involved mainly in drug crimes, such as trade, possession and consumption of drugs, as well as for carrying prohibited firearms.

The Institutional System of Statistical Information PGR realizes that, for crimes against health, the number of arrests has been increasing:

In 2007, the number of minors arrested was 4,821. And in 2008, reported the capture of 5,338; in 2009 the number grew to 6, 206  in 2010 the figure was 7,0 22 and between January and June this year 3,126 juvenile detainees .

Something is rotten

Some of the most notorious cases of child murderers are brought to discussion the issue of legal age, if you should be lowered to 16 years or less, because of the violence displayed by some of these offenders.

– In December 2010, Mexican soldiers captured in Cuernavaca to Edgar N. known as El Ponchis, less than 14 years, whom he described as chief of hitmen Edgar Valdez Villarreal, La Barbie .

– For internet videos that circulated this teenager murdered in cold blood some people, slitting their throats in front of the cameras.

– According to statements, the Ponchis joined the ranks of organized crime for 12 years, so-called South Pacific Cartel, which operates in Morelos.

– Another case was asymptomatic adolescent Marco Ivan N., who was assassinated in Villahermosa, Tabasco, the PRI Jose Francisco Fuentes Esperon, a candidate for federal deputy, his wife and two children, when they slept, along with three other young people. Even women raped.

– Just this past October 13th in Cuernavaca recaptured a juvenile who had escaped from a correctional facility, when robbed a gas station. This is Joshua N., 14.

No misdemeanor fell

The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) said that so far the presidential term of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa had been arrested 26,000 856 children for having committed crimes under federal jurisdiction, mainly for drug possession and distribution and possession of firearms. The PGR clarified the figures given last August, when he reported that only 44 thousand had been detained minors.

Other violations, such as tax, property, Federal Law against Organized Crime, for possession of firearms and explosives, the records indicate that the number of children have also been captured on the rise since December 2006 while the figure juvenile detainees was 51 for 2007, reported the capture of 864 children and in 2008 was one thousand 81, 531 and 2.009 million in 2010 two thousand 603; in from January to June 2011 have been captured under 402 thousand.

PGR data reveal that most juvenile offenders are mainly involved in drug crimes such as trade, possession and consumption of drugs, as well as possession of a prohibited firearm.

Those arrested for possession of firearms have been seized in raids usually in the north and almost always linked to Los Zetas .

The Law for the Treatment of Juvenile Offenders (known as criminal justice for adolescents) believes that, regardless of the crime that the 17 years or less committed, the maximum of corporal punishment in the Guardianship Councils may extend until it meets 18 years of age after age with the majority of people should be released so forced the law says.

Jerez Zacatecas belongs to ‘Los Zetas’, say the locals!

One citizen wrote about the open activities of these thugs:

In my town of Jerez Zacatecas to file a report to the local police or PGJE is like throwing the rope around your neck because these police agencies have been completely corrupted by the criminal organization of ‘Los Zetas,’ This is especially true with the municipal police.

In the town of Jerez it’s nothing new to see cars and trucks with tinted windows bearing expired license plates from the United States or in many cases vehicles that have been reported stolen, yet the police or traffic officers do nothing. Inside these vehicles it’s also common to see the occupants talking suspiciously on radios, or consuming drugs in public and in many cases they are armed with weapons. These men that we all know belong to Los Zetas do whatever they want; they stop traffic when they park in the middle of the street, they walk real slow like they own the street, they cut in front of the lines in banks, supermarkets, etc.

They think they own the streets and when they see young people riding in their cars with the music a little too high, they detain them, beat them and threaten them. Sometimes they take away their cars, or in some cases they tell the municipal police to handle it, who pick them up and beat them with boards.”

As proof of the corruption in Jerez the following was told by a resident of this city that exposes the huge complicity between the police and the Zetas:

“Last Sunday I was taking a drive through the streets of downtown on Main Street when I saw a cop stopping and diverting traffic to another street, of course I obeyed, maybe there was some emergency or construction. I decided to take another street two blocks up ahead and to turn back to the street that was closed, and I noted that there were several trucks parked in front of a bar that I recognized as belonging to people that have connections to Los Zetas. I thought ‘shit.’ … a complete command of municipal police blocking traffic just because criminal thugs are drinking in a bar … that is nothing more than stupidity.”

Another local resident added the following:
“I know several police officers and even a police commander who work for Los Zetas, they routinely conduct illegal checkpoints to steal cars and money from people. One of them, the commander, is known as Comandante Felipe, and other have stupid little names like el chikis, el negro, el guapo, etc, and so on.
If that wasn’t enough the Mayor Eduardo Lopez Mireles, not long ago threw out the army from the city, the only incorruptible agency, who use to enforce the law as it should be. The military were the only ones that made Jeres feel safe, but now we can’t even go out and enjoy our town because if you run into one of these thugs, is like running in to a child with a gun, they don’t know how to use it and why even use it? The damage they are causing to the town or the damage they are causing to each other.”