Pancho Villa Returns

May 20th, 2007 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime, Politics
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THE BORDER REPORT

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“Villa is everywhere, but Villa is nowhere.”

AGUA PRIETA, SONORA – That was the message from Gen. Black Jack Pershing to Washington in the days after the U.S. ordered him to hunt down Pancho Villa in Mexico.

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It was a violent time; the Mexican Revolution was underway and finally Gen. Alvaro Obregón repelled Pancho Villa in Agua Prieta. Some believe he did it with the help of the Americans who lit up the town with searchlights from their side of the border.

It’s not too different in eastern Sonora now except that the boss most likely involved isn’t being repelled, say officials with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Mexican Federal Attorney General’s Office.

This slice of the border is a tricky place; some of the most important events that led up to the Mexico we know now started in Agua Prieta, from the drafting of the Mexican Constitution to the only known spy in the Fox Administration.

It’s also the place where the accepted boundaries of narco-trafficking organizations come together.

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The Juárez Cartel, under Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, is strong here; but the Sinaloa Federation,the conglomerate of Sinaloan narco-families, is also present.

Then there’s this guy, Francisco Hernandez Garcia, aka El Dos Mil.

The 36-year-old narco-trafficker has his roots with the Enriquez Parra family, Los Numeros. Two years ago, Los Numeros owned the plazas, the staging points along the northern Sonora border with Arizona from which the cocaine and marijuana came in. In one recent case, sealed by a federal judge in Tucson, three members of Los Numeros were arrested after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents ran surveillance on their stash houses for two years. In one of their stash houses in Phoenix, investigators found more than 200 pages worth of ledgers detailing the sale of tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana. In a second house, the Feds seized more than $200,000 cash.

The Enriquez Parra brothers are finished now; Daniel Irene was shot dead in Tijuana in January 2005. El Chapo Enriquez Parra.JPGRaul, the oldest brother, was beaten with a hammer and thrown out of an airplane in October 2005. Idelfonso was popped by the organized crime investigations unit of the Mexican Federal Attorney General’s Office in November 2006. Wilfrido is on the run. Wenceslado Teran, their most loyal hitman, was shot dead in March 2007 in Ciudad Obregon.

U.S. Justice Department agents believe the remaining members went to ground, hiding in Tucson. Others went to work for Dos Mil.

Nobody knows where he was born, or rather, nobody is saying where he was born, but since the fall of the Enriquez Parra family, he’s worked out of Cananea, and started making inroads into Agua Prieta after the Paredes Machado family was wiped out in a machine gun attack there at Los Tulipanes Restaurant May 2004.

Sometime in the past seven months – during the 2006 mayoral election – he was supplanted in Cananea by the Sinaloans.

Tuesday night, Drug Enforcement Administration officials believe, he came back.

“One possibility that we’re strongly looking at is that he attacked Cananea in order to draw attention onto the Sinaloans,” said a DEA agent familiar with the case. “If the military were forced to come into Cananea, that would hinder the Sinaloan’s flow of narcotics up to the border from eastern Sonora. In a sense, he’s using the Mexican Army to take on the Sinaloans. I expect we’re going to see an increase in dopeloads to the west, in Nogales and Sonoyta, because of this.”

The message from Mexico City was carefully conveyed; the killers came from Tamaulipas, the home base of the Gulf Cartel.

But Mexicans use what I consider a beautiful phrase for these things. The material author and the intellectual author. We know now that the gunmen who lay siege on Cananea were from the Gulf Cartel, the material authors. But was Dos Mil the intellectual author?

The Mexico City message matched that of Gov. Eduardo Bours and it all sounds like the gunmen were from outside of Sonora, part of that “daisyroach effect” from a successful Mexican government hunt for narco-traffickers.

But evidence is pointing into Sonora itself.

Last winter, Dos Mil contracted eight Zeta hitmen to lay siege on law enforcement throughout Sonora, particularly in Hermosillo. Thirteen police officers died and five gunmen were captured. State and federal investigators told me that Dos Mil had contracted Zetas to do the hits in a revenge for being supplanted to the north.

God knows the DEA has been wrong before; sometimes dangerously so. It’s also possible Dos Mil was the intended target. But if history has a lesson to teach us here, it is this: these violent uprisings, they have a nasty habit of coming back.

Dos Mil is everywhere, but Dos Mil is nowhere.

This thing is not over.

10 comments
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  1. Michael,great job of reporting/writing. I hope that you have someplace to hide when necessary. You seem to know a lot about the bad guys in Mexico. Keep it up.

    Jim Dwyer
    The Bisbee Observer

  2. Michael, your reporting is spot on. Stay safe and continue the great work. I will be adding you to a blogroll on Daily Kos and I hope it will help drive some readers your way. What do you think, if you’ve even had a chance to slow down and think at all with the recent s***storm, about the immigration compromise bill that has just been announced here in the states?

  3. Good reporting; I am wondering, what about Rocky Point and southern AZ – Lukeville – and Sonoyta, are they being/going to be affected? There is so much tourism there -we go all the time – and building by Americans. Just wondering on your take.

  4. This whole thing is starting to go into perspective. I can now see why they met in Caborca, Remember Crab! Another interesting note, there was a considerable police and sheriff presents in Safford and Greenlee County today, much more than usual.
    Also I can see why all the backpackers are picked up in the Lordsburg area in recent months. I wonder if this upheaval will affect the southwestern New Mexico drug traffic. Also do these cartel deal in Meth?
    I doubt it will effect Rocky Point, probably too much Phoenix dollars involve in Rocky Point. As a Cochise Co. resident for the past 30 years, I’ve learned the big boys live in Phoenix and they look just like you everyday lawyer, businessman and builder, (personal communication with many of the south of the boarder workers who stop and ask to use the phone to call their contacts).
    Nice job of explaining things Michael. Take Care!!

  5. Anything the the rumors of these guys decending the mountains doing home invasions in Arizpe in search of food and cutting off a resident’s ear?

  6. Michael,

    I wish we had an investigative blogger like you looking into who is buying up the dope. It always seems like we focus on the suppliers. IMing with a friend in D.F., I asked him for input for an editorial on the subject which I had to keep short and sweet.
    He suggested:
    Write “Mexico se duerme….zzzzzzzzzzzz” (Zs for Zeta.)Los Estados Unidos le da catarro….sniff sniff sniff (sniff for the cocaine snort, of course.)
    Now that’s succinct.

  7. Great piece …

    I will be praying for your safety and additional reports.

    In the last 18 months I have been tracking the drug business here in the San Joaquin Valley and specifically in a small town wedged in between Fresno and Bakersfield.

    What I have been forced to deal with is the way these cartels are able to corrupt the local authorities. Most folks {including myself} wish not to believe this, but not believing it doesn’t make it any less true or make it go away.

    I am now forced to handle the truth, and the truth is this: the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations will need to build 66 additional new prison “TODAY” just to lock up what we still have out there in the streets. The 33 that we have now are a joke.

    Number two – Locking them up ain’t the answer. As a matter of fact, it encourages them.

    Number three – The prevention and intervention phases is suppose to be the responsibilities of the citizens and the churches. And since these phases require effort and the pay ain’t that great, and the risks are even greater … you not gonna see folks taking up the slack in these areas anytime soon.

    Number four – Crime pays, and since drugs are a Trillion Dollar business, many folks can be paid to look the other way.

    Number five – The suppression and incarceration phases don’t want the intervention and prevention phases to work. If they do … then we will have to lay off the cops and quit building prisons.

    Number six – Other Countries enjoy the fact that they can destabilize America by shipping their drugs and criminals over here.

    Number seven – Hollywood and the local news folks will arm themselves with a camera and not a weapon.

    I know I was a bit long winded but I wanted to show the fractures within the fabric of America’s culture and why it’s gonna be a struggle unless we all work together against the gangsta’s culture.

    Brother LUCKY
    See you in the streets …

    N

  8. How to erase border problems: First, end the Drug War. Then grant statehood to Mexico. No more violence, no more problem.

  9. The core of the problem is the high consumption of drugs in The U.S.

    Solution

    *Minimize consumption dramatically, with a more and intense drugfight inside U.S

    *Since The gangs, specially in Cali , Arizona and Texas are the main distributors,(when i mean main i mean 80%) they should be locked up!!!!

    * But since putting them in jail is some of a “encouragement” to keep up with all of their criminal activities. Also no to mention that inside prission they are united Latinos with their group called the Mexican Mafia or LA FAMILIA and African American with their own!!!!

    So spread them around other state jails will be a good choice or just minimize the communication among them!!!

    *start cleaning up the bad border officers because there is no other way Mexico can cross that much drug through airpalnes or by “crossing the river”

    *focus less on building a pretty dumb wall in the border since it’ll only cost millions of dollars, and at the end people will find a way to get through, trust me they will!!

    *Last The other central core of the problem is the mexican cartels!!!
    OH BY THE WAY THOSE CARTELS HAVE VERY HEAVY ARTILLERY NOT AVAILBLE IN MEXICO!!!

    GUESS WHERE IT COMES FROM!!!!

    But back at the cartels. They have been supported by Mexian officials even presidents in the past years. but now the high officials that may have supported them either are dead or they can’t do nothing else, and mexico is living the worst war against drugs ever!!!

    But the loyalty of the people and in many cases fear dont coparate in the war against drugs…so thats a answer of why is taking so long to give a small step.

    AT THE END THE MAJOR CARTEL IN MEXICO ITS AT A WAR OF ITS OWN, THEY ARE GOING TO EXPLODE IN NO TIME AND SINCE MEXICO IS PRACTICALLY CONTROLLED BY 1 MEGA CARTEL THERE WILL BE A LESS STRONG CARTEL AGAINS ITS RIVAL THE GULF CARTEL!!!!

    MEANING A MORE EVENLY MATCH WAR AMONG THEM!!!!

    1 CONTROLS WEST BORDERS THE OTHER CONTROLS THE EAST BORDERS!!!

    SO THE MIDDLE ROUT WHICH IS EL PASO CD JUAREZ OR PRACTICALLY THE WHOLE STATE OFF CHIHUAHUA WILL BE THE ONLY ROUT IF WE STOP DRUG TRAFFIC IN CALI ARIZONA, MACALLEN TX AND LAREDO TX

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

    AN AUTO DESTROCTION OF THE 2 MAJOR CARTELS IN MEXICO!! FIGHTING TO GET CONTROL OF THE CHIHUAHU BORDER!!!!!

    ITS ALL ABOUT STRAGEDY PEOPLE

    MAY SOUND NOT TO FAVORABLE BUT ITS A GOOD ROUGH DRAFT FOR A GOOD STRATEGIC PROJECT AGAINST DRUGS!!!

    AmigoAnónimo Reply:

    After 40+ years of “War On Drugs” that’s all you’ve got? How many years & how much money need to be spent before you & everyone else who buys into it realize it’s a lost cause? Even a monkey would have tried something new long before 2011 came along. Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol & it won’t work for anything else that “The People” want to consume, period. I have 40 years & a trillion dollars spent to prove it.

    Here’s the real kicker: conversations with my high school age kids has revealed that any drugs they want can be had at their school. They even joked about how it’s far more difficult for them to obtain alcohol. I would prefer legalization & regulation of drugs, rather than what the futile “War On Drugs” has achieved in FORTY [PLUS] YEARS.

    As a father of 3, I [obviously] do not condone drug use. And my 3 kids? Despite drugs surrounding them at school, NONE of them do any…no thanks to the “War On Drugs.” Imagine that.

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