By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
In Corpus Christi, Miguel and Vanessa begin to learn English. Miguel remembers his father's admonition: "You have to do before you can be." So he begins traveling down this new path in the new year. January passes, and February and March, and then, on April 28, a tremor passes through their world.
Police find the body of Regina Martinez, 49, lying in the bathtub of her home in Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz state — strangled. She writes for Proceso, the most prestigious magazine in Mexico, a publication read by the educated and powerful and generally spared much government censorship so that the state can point to it and claim a free press. She covered corruption and drug trafficking, and in 2007 had written a well-known story on Mexican soldiers raping and killing an indigenous woman. She becomes the fortieth reporter killed since Calderón took office in December 2006. The government of Veracruz suggests the killing was simply a robbery because two cell phones and her laptop are missing, precisely the items one would take if looking for her contacts.
"I didn't know her," Miguel says, "but I knew her reputation and her reporting on the abuses of officials. When my family was killed, I thought nothing can be worse than this. But when Regina was killed, I thought they can do anything."
May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. Police in Veracruz find black plastic garbage bags in a canal. They hold the chopped-up bodies of four people, three of them press. Guillermo Luna, whose cousin witnessed the abductions in September 2011, worked as a photographer at Notiver, as did Gabriel Huge, the man who had called Miguel the morning of his family's murder to tell him of the slaughter. Esteban Rodriguez also had been a photojournalist. Irasema Becerra was Gabriel's girlfriend. The three men had fled Veracruz in 2011 but returned in 2012 because they could not find work. Rodriguez had gone to work as an auto mechanic. None of this mattered. On the day of the kidnappings, just an hour before he was reported missing, Gabriel had gone to a cousin's house to ask her to care for his daughter should he vanish.
Three weeks later, on May 31, Noel López Olguín surfaces from a secret grave in Veracruz. He'd disappeared on March 8, when men in SUVs took him away. He worked for La Verdad de Jáltipan, a rural paper in the state of Veracruz, and wrote a column exposing official corruption and often attacking drug people by name. After his kidnapping, some media in Veracruz denied he'd ever worked for them. The exhumed body is photographed, caked with dark-brown earth.
Miguel realizes he will never feel safe in Mexico again. For him, he explains, it is like a sheet of white paper that you crumple in your hand: No matter how hard you try to iron it, it will always show the wrinkles.
He says, "I no longer have trust in anybody or anything."
A few days later it is Memorial Day, and Carlos Spector hosts that party at his home in El Paso, and Miguel and Vanessa drive across Texas to eat and drink with the other dead men and dead women walking.
"I am an orphan now," Miguel says.
He clicks through photographs on his computer: his family and mother beaming; his brother, el gordo, laughing and acting out; the huge carnival in Veracruz each year just before Lent; the beach; the laughter of life.
He dreams of a family dinner, and in this dream his father looks up and says, "Miguel, it is okay to leave us behind now."
Since January 1, 2007, more than 100,000 people have been murdered in Mexico, according to the government. The last official release, in January 2012, said that "drug-related" or "organized crime-related" homicides totaled 47,500 through September 2011. Media estimates since have ranged from 50,000 to 80,000.
No one knows or will ever know the real death toll. Officially, the government says that 90 percent of the dead are criminals. Officially, the government admits it has investigated fewer than 5 percent of the deaths. No one knows what percentage of the homicides can be attributed to fighting between rival organized crime gangs, fighting between law enforcement and/or military and drug gangs, or fighting among different law enforcement and/or military groups. Many murder victims are retail drug sellers and other petty street criminals killed on the job or for other reasons. Some of the dead are disposable people — drug addicts, prostitutes, transvestites, migrants, street kids and others deemed human garbage who become victims of social cleansing, or limpieza social. A Mexican Senate document reveals the existence of government-sponsored death squads linked to some of the mass executions in recent years.
There is one solid fact: more than 100,000 new corpses. Calderón boasts that 90 percent of the dead are criminals — his government does not investigate the murders, and then it makes up reasons for the murders.
This is a characteristic of the slaughtered in Mexico: Officially, they deserved it. The bodies of dead reporters and photographers are still warm when the government begins insinuating they were actually mixed up in organized crime: "He (or she) was sucio (dirty)." Case closed.
What kind of deranged, sicko would blame the deaths at the hands of criminals on the USA. The war on drugs not withstanding the law is the law and murder is murder. These crimes are committed not for the cause of freedom but for $$$. The perpetrators are thugs who prefer to take from the law abiding people than being productive members of society.
What the author has done is akin to blaming the government for an accident caused by someone running a stop sign. After all the government placed the sign.
The CIA's role in the international drug trade, dating back to 1949, is not a theory but a well-documented "fact." The sources include former CIA and DEA agents.
"CIA are drug smugglers." - Federal Judge Bonner, while head of the DEA
In 1989, 'The Kerry Committee' found that the United States Department of State had made payments to drug traffickers, concluding that members of the U.S. State Department themselves were involved in drug trafficking. Some of the payments were made even after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies, or even while these traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.
A VERY BRIEF HISTORY:
* Shortly after World War II, The OSS (the predecessor of the CIA) formed a strategic alliance with the Sicilian and Corsican mafia.
* During the 1950s, In order to provide covert funds for forces loyal to General Chiang Kai-Shek who were fighting the Chinese communists under Mao Zedong, the CIA helped the Kuomintang (KMT) smuggle opium from China and Burma to Thailand, by providing airplanes owned by one of their front businesses, Air America.
* During the long years of the cold war, the CIA mounted major covert guerilla operations along the Soviet-Chinese border. In 1950, for their operation against communist China in northeastern Burma, and from 1965 to 1975 [during the Vietnam war], for their operation in northern Laos, the CIA recruited (as allies) people we now call drug lords.
* Throughout the 1980s, in Afghanistan, the CIA's supported the Mujahedin rebels (in their efforts against the pro-Soviet government) by facilitating their opium smuggling operations. - A small local trade in opium was turned into a major source of supply for the world markets including the United States. This lead ultimately to Afghanistan becoming the largest supplier of illicit opium on the planet, a status only briefly interrupted when it was under Taliban control.
* Also during the 1980s, the Reagan Administration funded a guerrilla force known as the Nicaraguan Contras (even after such funding was outlawed by Congress) by cocaine smuggling operations. - An August 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News (by Pulitzer Prize-winner Gary Webb) clearly linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the CIA and the Contras.
* In November 1996, a Miami grand jury indicted former Venezuelan anti-narcotics chief and longtime CIA asset, General Ramon Guillen Davila, who was smuggling many tons of cocaine into the United States from a CIA owned Venezuelan warehouse. In his trial defense, Guillen claimed that all of his drug smuggling operations were approved by the CIA.
* The Dirección Federal de Seguridad was a Mexican intelligence agency created in 1947, and was in part a CIA creation. DFS badges were handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers and were a virtual license to traffic.' "The Guadalajara Cartel" (Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s) prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro, a CIA asset.
For far more detailed information kindly google any of the following:
"The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic" by former DEA agent Michael Levine
"Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion" by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb
"Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press" by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair
"The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade" by Alfred W. McCoy
"The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace" by James Mills
"Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA" by Terry Reed, (a former Air Force Intelligence operative) and John Cummings (a former prize-winning investigative reporter at N.Y Newsday).
@Anthonyvop1 "What kind of deranged, sicko would blame the deaths at the hands of criminals on the USA."
Knowing the truth hardly makes someone a 'deranged sicko'! These criminals were created by- and are financed by our horrible misguided laws. None of this would be going on without the US or its prohibition. The only 'deranged sickos' are those who support the Drug War and want this disgusting carnage to continue forever.
@malcolmkyle16 Thanks for typing "Conspiracy Theory" in Google and posting the results.
@StanTheMan Always blame the victim. Are you part of the PR wing of the Democratic Party.
Sure. The murders and rapes are not the fault of the criminals. We forced them to be bad.
@Anthonyvop1 Gosh, i typed conspiracy theory in google and none of these were in the top thirty. And i'm not paranoid, they really are out to get me.
@Anthonyvop1 "Always blame the victim."
Huh? Who is doing that? The blame lies both on the perpetrators AND the cause.
"Are you part of the PR wing of the Democratic Party."
That is laughable. The Democrats are equally to blame for the Drug War. The Liar in Chief has ramped it up, especially against medical marijuana to levels never before seen. You should note that the only candidates in the upcoming presidential election who support ending the Drug War are Republicans and Independents.
"The murders and rapes are not the fault of the criminals."
Of course they are, but our laws which created them, fund them and give them the only reason that they do it are also to blame. What rapes?
"We forced them to be bad."
We didn't force them. We give them the reason to do it. Without that reason, they would not. You and your ilk are giving them the incentive and you want to continue to do so for some reason. Why?