Posts Tagged ‘ Mexico ’

Gunmen Knew They Were Killing a U.S. Agent

Feb 18th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime


This is a story I produced for KJZZ, public radio, Arizona. Note, law enforcement sources I spoke with say police recovered more than 80 shellcasings at the crime scene. New details have emerged in the attack of two US immigration agents working in Mexico. People familiar with the case say the agents identified themselves to the gunmen. But that didn’t stop the shooters from opening fire and killing one of the men. The two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had stopped for lunch Tuesday and they were driving south on a busy highway between Monterrey and Mexico City.  What happened next was confirmed by DEA agents who reviewed the reports. A vehicle believed to be driven by members of the Zeta cartel passed the American’s armored SUV. Another, crowded the agents from behind and forced them to a stop. Jaime Zapata, the agent who died in the attack, put the SUV in Park. That unlocked the doors. The attackers opened his door. He managed to close it again. Then one of the agents lowered the window. Texas Republican Representative Michael McCaul was debriefed by senior ICE officials. “The ICE agents said we’re Americans, we’re diplomats. And the response from the Zetas was to open fire on the agents,” he said. Federal law enforcement officials have warned about threats against agents working in Mexico for years, but the belief has persisted that American agents were hands off. Diplomatic security consultant Ron Williams says the agents were properly trained. “People make mistakes. People are human” Williams said. And they probably didn’t think that these guys would in fact open up and try and kill them.” Williams says rolling down the windows and trying to reason with the attackers were the agent’s biggest mistakes.

The Vigilante You Know is Better Than the Vigilante You Don’t

Mar 24th, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Immigration, Politics


The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps is no more. The Arizona Daily Star's got the scoop on the story here. But there's another armed group floating around down on the border (I mean, besides the Sinaloans). Federal agents have received complaints from hunters in Southern Arizona of being accosted by armed white men in camouflage who told the hunters they are with the Department of Homeland Security, sources say. They weren't affiliated with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, but law enforcement doesn't know yet who is driving this group, what their members are like, and what their motives are.

Here We Go De Nuevo

Mar 22nd, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Immigration
THE BORDER REPORT A group of  restrictionists who last year saw one of their supporters arrested for the murder of a Mexican-American family in Southern Arizona, plans a return to this border armed with guns and rhetoric., a conservative Web site in Arizona, reports that the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, plans to come down to the border armed with rifles this time and will "forcefully engage, detain, and defend our lives and country from the criminals who trample over our culture and laws.” Led by Chris Simcox, an L.A. transplant to the Arizona border a decade ago, the group has attracted vast interest from the world media; mostly, I'm convinced, because reporters wanted to see them shoot an illegal migrant. Faced with criticism and skepticism, the Minuteman Project scaled back its initial operations in 2005, saying they were only going to observe and report illegal border activity to the U.S. Border Patrol and that volunteers would only be allowed to carry handguns. When that endeavor failed to attract much attention, the group, now divided amongst itself, turned to raising funds by claiming to erect Israeli-military-style fencing to stop the smugglers. All I ever saw was a barbed wire fence that went up near the Ladd Ranch around Naco, Ariz. Then there were problems with the money; as a non-profit organization, the group seemed to have claimed and spent most of its reported cash but former group members quit the group anyway, saying they were uncomfortable with how money questions were handled. Then there was the incident with Shawna Forde, a former Minuteman supporter who had appeared alongside group leaders (who then distanced themselves from her), now sitting in prison awaiting trial on a double murder for a home invasion she was accused of pulling last summer. With two of her cohorts, Forde is accused of rushing a home in Arivaca, trying to steal a suspected drug trafficker's money. They are accused of murdering Raul Flores, his nine-year-old daughter, Brisenia, and an attempted murder on Brisenia's mother. Sometime before that, Simcox had said he would run against Sen. John McCain; then pulled out of the race and is now backing J.D. Hayworth. Carmen Mercer, one of Simcox's supporters, tells "This March we return to the border locked, loaded and ready to stop each and every individual we encounter along the frontier that is now more dangerous than the frontier of Afghanistan.” Well, it's spring time on the border; the weather is gorgeous, wildflowers blooming, soft breezes and cool desert air. Get ready for a fresh influx of reporters, talking heads, RVS, American flags, lawn chairs and talk. Lots of talk. I hope, for their sake, the Minuteman volunteers don't encounter a group of Sinaloan desperados. We will see. And Chris, you'll remember what happened the last time I ran into your Minuteman volunteers when they tried to stop me demanding identification. It wasn't pleasant for them then and it's going to be even less pleasant this time. Keep them boys alert, Chris. The border's changed.

Chasing Ghosts

Mar 22nd, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News, Organized Crime


It's been more than a week and La Linea continues to be targeted for the triple murders of people tied to the U.S. Consulate in Cd. Juárez; the Americans continuing to state they believe that it was a case of mistaken identity. Departing from my skepticism of the theory for the  moment, let's say it's true. Let's say the killers targeted the wrong people. So who were they targeting? Follow me for a moment because this is confusing.

CHISMES: ¿American involvement?

Dec 17th, 2009 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News


One rumor I'm hearing today is that U.S. Marines were present with the Mexican Navy last night during the gunbattle with Arturo Beltrán Leyva.

It may or may not be true. I have it tertiary from sources within the Sinaloa factions working here in the U.S. that I talk to from time to time. And of course, every time a significant arrest or killing is conducted in Mexico, there is a healthy suspicion that Americans were somehow involved. This of course, isn't helped by the fact that American federal agents have been spotted at some murder scenes, standing alongside their Mexican counterparts.

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