Thursday, March 10, 2011

Duarte calls out US in Ciudad Juarez

Today's news from Mexico begins with the governor of the state of Juarez calling out the United States for its role in illegal arms trafficking in its southern neighbor.
While the drug cartels in Mexico have generated headlines over the last few years, Gov. Cesar Duarte Jaquez said that illegal drug activity in the US is also strong and is responsible for maintaining a state of permanent war in Mexico.
Gov. Duarte, who delivered his remarks during an appearance in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez, also had strong words for the US government -- saying that it was not vigilant enough in preventing truckloads of thousands of illegal arms shipments from crossing the border into Mexico -- and urging his own country to be more energetic in this regard (he used the word "energetic" twice in his remarks).
Salvador Castro has the story in Norte Digital.
In an ironic twist, there is another drug-related story in Mexico with a US connection. This one comes out of the state of Baja California Sur and the private airport of Las Arenas in the city of La Paz. The man running a terminal at the airport, an American named Joseph Angelo Bravo, has a sketchy past: In 1994 he was sentenced to 87 months (7 years and 3 months) in prison in Nevada for conspiracy of cocaine trafficking; he also had to pay a $25,000 fine. The airport itself has a dubious past, as it was closed on Oct. 1, 2008 amid reports of people stealing aircraft, which were presumably used to transport narcotics.
The governor of Baja California Sur, Narciso Agundez Montano, could be in hot water for this happening under his watch (Agundez attended a reinauguration ceremony at the airport on Feb. 26). Articles 22-23 of the Mexican airport law prohibit persons with prison backgrounds from holding positions of authority -- such as the one Bravo now holds -- in airports.
Mexican news agencies have the story.
The Mexican press also has more on a suspect accused in the Feb. 15 homicide of Jaime Zapata, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agent in Santa Maria. The suspect, Mario Jimenez "El Mayito (The Bobolink)" Perez, 41, is accused of working for the Los Zetas drug cartel. It also seems that he and the 15 others who were taken into custody on March 5 are suspected of providing armed protection to leaders of Los Zetas. Police found quite a stash on the suspects: 6 pistols of differing calibers, 114 plastic bags of cocaine and 15 bags of marijuana.
La Prensa has the story, as does El Universal.

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