Citizens see a conspiracy:
"Poisoning of dogs shocks Mexican city" by Alberto Arce, Associated Press April 03, 2015
MEXICO CITY — Somebody is systematically poisoning the dogs of Hermosillo, an industrial city in northern Mexico, and not just strays: At least 64 dogs, all with owners, have died of a similar poison since mid-March. More stray animals have probably been killed, but had no one to file a complaint, authorities say.
An organic phosphate compound, possibly an insecticide or rat poison, apparently was used in most of the cases, and local media have dubbed the person responsible the ‘‘Mataperros,’’ or ‘‘The Dog Killer’’.
Not even dogs kept behind the walls of their owners’ homes are safe: Officials say the killer has tossed poison into the gated patios of some homes.
No one knows who the dog killer is, whether the killings involve more than one person, or what caused them to turn against dogs.
A male caller to a local radio station in Hermosillo said he was, along with accomplices, the killer.
Well, authorities would then know who or where they were calling from, right?
But he complained about loose dogs, dog bites, and dogs spreading disease and uncleanliness — complaints that do not jibe with attacks on pets inside their owners’ homes.
Animal rights activist Carolina de la Torre said she doubts that one person could have poisoned so many dogs. But she noted there appears to be a modus operandi: poison wrapped in a hot dog or meat as bait.
‘‘This is systematic. This can’t be the work of one person alone,’’ said De la Torre, who says at least 71 dogs have been killed in the city of about 800,000. She said the killings appear to be concentrated in three neighborhoods on the city’s south side.
‘‘It could range from a neighbor who is bothered by noise [from pets], or even thieves who want to get rid of the dog in order to be able to break into the house,’’ said De la Torre. ‘‘Those are the two theories we are looking at.’’
Hermosillo resident Julieta Robles, 23, lost her 5-year-old female German shepherd, ‘‘Box,’’ to the poisoner two weeks ago. The dog had gotten out of her home, but was wearing a collar and tag.
‘‘When she came home that night, she was disoriented,’’ Robles said. We tried to help her, we took her to the vet, but we couldn’t save her.’’
‘‘It was a feeling of a lot of helplessness,’’ Robles added, ‘‘not knowing who they are or how to respond to a mass poisoning.’’
Animal defenders are starting to fight back.
Los Angeles-based actor Raul Julia-Levy has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the culprit or culprits.
‘‘When have you heard of anything like this?’’ Julia-Levy said, ‘‘We know there are serial killers of humans, but we’ve never heard of a serial killer of dogs.’’
While killing a dog is considered a nonserious crime in Hermosillo, punishable by a fine of about $225, the dog killer has introduced poison into people’s homes, a much more serious crime involving trespass and risk for the human inhabitants that could carry a four-year sentence.
That's all a dog's life is worth in Mexico?
I think I know who is behind them:
"Mexican drug kingpin arrested" by Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times February 28, 2015
Don't dogs sniff out drugs?
MEXICO CITY — The Mexican police said Friday that they had captured the leader of the Knights Templar drug gang, a former teacher who taunted authorities by giving interviews while in hiding and releasing videos in which he talked about his close relationships with his state’s political bosses.
Servando Gómez, known as La Tuta (the Teacher), was one of the most-wanted drug kingpins still at large in the country.
He had been thought to be hiding out in the remote western part of Michoacán, his home state. But he was captured in the state capital, Morelia, on Friday without a shot being fired, the police said. He was eating a hot dog at a street stand when he was arrested, local news reports said.
Gómez, 49, who is also wanted in the United States for methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking, rose through the ranks of a gang known as La Familia, which terrorized Michoacán state with kidnapping and extortion. As its leaders were killed, the gang renamed itself the Knights Templar, and its violence prompted frustrated citizens to form vigilante groups.
The national government sent contingents of police officers and soldiers to Michoacán in January 2014 in an effort to restore calm in the state.
The effort succeeded in flushing out many of Gómez’s top lieutenants, but he remained at large and continued to release videos. He even granted an interview to Channel 4 of Britain, which filmed him handing out cash.
(Blog editor simply shakes his head; none of this is believable anymore)
In one video, Gómez was shown drinking beer and chatting with the son of the former governor of Michoacán, Fausto Vallejo. The governor stepped down after a photograph of his son, Rodrigo Vallejo, and Gómez appeared in newspapers. Rodrigo Vallejo said he had been kidnapped and forced to meet with Gómez.
In other videos, Gómez denounced leaders of the vigilante movement and defended himself as an altruist. He vowed to die rather than be caught.
In a recent audio post on YouTube, he said the recording would be his last. “Not because I’m scared,” he said, “but because I have to take my measures, and lay low.”
Although the government has managed to weaken the Knights Templar in Michoacán, the state remains unsettled, and several new violent criminal groups have appeared there, including one called Los Viagra. An attempt to bring the vigilante groups together into an officially sanctioned rural defense force has been resisted by several vigilante leaders.
Got another one, too:
"Mexican authorities arrest drug cartel leader" Associated Press March 05, 2015
MEXICO CITY — Mexican police and soldiers on Wednesday captured Omar Trevino Morales, widely considered to be the key leader of the Zetas drug cartel, which once carved a path of brutal bloodshed along the country’s northern border with the United States, a federal official said.
How did they get in Mexico?
The official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name because of government policy, said the man known as ‘‘Z-42’’ was arrested in a predawn raid in San Pedro Garza Garcia, a wealthy suburb of the northern city of Monterrey.
Mexico had offered a $2 million reward for his capture on weapons and organized crime charges.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration had offered a $5 million reward for his capture, saying he was wanted on drug-trafficking charges. It listed ‘‘Omar’’ as an alias and his given name as Alejandro. DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said they are the same person.
Related: U.S. Government Brings Drug War to U.S. Cities
The suspect is the brother of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, described as the most bloodthirsty leader of Mexico’s most violent cartel.
Miguel Angel was arrested in July 2013, almost a year after marines killed the Zetas cartel’s other leader, Heriberto Lazcano ‘‘El Lazca.’’
Omar Trevino Morales apparently took over leadership of the Zetas after his brother’s arrest in 2013.
The Zetas left a trail of brutality, bloodshed, and mutilated bodies during their turf battles with the rival Gulf cartel.
Is that the one the U.S. was supporting?
Look, I'm not trying to preach to you....
"Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope’s drug remark" by Nicole Winfield, Associated Press February 26, 2015
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican sought Wednesday to defuse a diplomatic tiff with Mexico after Pope Francis referred to the possible ‘‘Mexicanization’’ of his native Argentina from drug trafficking, the latest instance of the pontiff’s casual speaking style getting him into trouble.
The Vatican said it had sent an official diplomatic note to Mexico’s ambassador insisting that Francis ‘‘absolutely did not intend to offend the Mexican people’’ with the remark, or to detract from the government’s antidrug efforts.
Francis made the reference in an e-mail over the weekend to an Argentine friend and lawmaker, Gustavo Vera, who is involved in combating the drug trade.
He published the pope’s e-mail on the website of his Alameda Foundation.
In the e-mail, Francis wrote: ‘‘Hopefully we are in time to avoid Mexicanization.’’
The Mexican government formally complained about the remark during a meeting with the Holy See’s ambassador to Mexico and in a note of protest, saying the government was committed to battling drug cartels and that there was no benefit to ‘‘stigmatizing Mexico.’’
How many bodies did they have to climb over to get to the meeting?
In a statement Wednesday, the Vatican said the pope’s words were contained in a personal, informal e-mail to Vera and that Francis had merely repeated a phrase that Vera had used.
‘‘The pope intended only to emphasize the seriousness of the phenomenon of the drug trafficking that afflicts Mexico and other countries in Latin America,’’ said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. ‘‘It is precisely this importance that has made the fight against drug trafficking a priority for the government.’’
It is not the first time that Francis’s frank way of communicating has caused the Vatican a headache.
In January, Lombardi had to explain that the pope was not justifying violence when, in response to the Paris terrorist attacks against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Francis said that someone who insults his mother could expect ‘‘a punch’’ in return.
Not a man of peace?
Francis did his own damage control after he quipped that Catholics do not need to breed ‘‘like rabbits,’’ subsequently praising big families as a gift from God in a public audience.
He just had a bad day, I'm sure.... like the peso:
"Mexico’s central bank auctioned off $200 million in dollars Friday to shore up the peso as it neared a historic low against the US currency. The peso came under new pressure on news of increased job creation in the United States, suggesting an improving US economy. Analysts forecast that could lead to a possible rise in US interest rates, an expectation that creates greater demand for dollars in Mexico. The central bank said in December it would hold daily dollar auctions of $200 million whenever the peso sheds 1.5 percent or more of its value from the previous day. Friday was the second time since then that the auction was triggered. The dollar closed the day at 15.48 pesos on the interbank exchange rate, after ending at 15.20 the previous day."
I thought we were all in thi$ together, at least, that is what I was told.