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Rony

Michoacan for dummies .... and I am one of them

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I think Rony has my vote:) Civil order in Michoacan has been civil disorder for some time. And - I am not sure the leader of the self defense guys deserves the "well-armed Cowboy" title.

I can't think of one reason to believe that anyone in government is telling the truth - as I would recognize it. Lots of variations yes - but like the doctored televisa interview - most of it was truth. Televisa just cut out the most critical 6 seconds. The government - in telling its story - to include the governor of Micoacan - is also leaving out critical information with some version of truth. The only one I believe - rightly or wrongly - Dr Manuel Mireles.

I actually don't know why Pena is being defended - He has already taken control (or tried to) of what is and isn't printed in many newspapers. So I really don't understand why anyone would put him on a pedestal. My two cents.

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Interesting bit in El Informador this morning about the big police and military push in the state.

http://www.informador.com.mx/mexico/2014/508864/6/temen-rebote-violento-en-limites-michoacanos.htm

One could speculate endlessly about what "might" happen during a visit there now at this time. However, after reading the story in El Informador, I would probably agree that now is not a good time to go there given the apparent magnitude of the actions of the government there. Hopefully, they will bear fruit soon.

I also found it interesting that this situation seems to be a demonstration of the new governmental philosophy, to target narcos who mess with the general population and state and local governments, as opposed to using most of its resources to fight the American caused and sponsored war on drugs.

Thanks for the link MC. Informador continues to impress me as a legitimate news source, especially when considering the recent criticism of press coverage of crime in Mexico. Don't know if you´re aware of it but Informador offers a daily national crime section. Here's the link:

http://www.informador.com.mx/318/crimen-organizado

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Thanks for the link MC. Informador continues to impress me as a legitimate news source, especially when considering the recent criticism of press coverage of crime in Mexico. Don't know if you´re aware of it but Informador offers a daily national crime section. Here's the link:

http://www.informador.com.mx/318/crimen-organizado

ahh.... I think their crime section is - uh - watered down - to be polite. Maybe proceso might actually do a significantly better job covering crime.... maybe some have a better source, but I don't think Informador would be on that list http://www.proceso.com.mx/ - but just because it is in a newspaper does not make it true - likewise, just because it isn't in a newspaper doesn't mean that it is not truth.

I think I want to join the Michoacan for dummies club - as I don't think any of us have a reasonable understanding of what is going on. To do that would require a much better understanding what is happening (versus what is in the newspapers) and what the government is thinking (they won't tell anyone) and who is and isn't on the take - etc etc etc And truth is going to be in the eyes of the beholder - I seriously doubt everyone (in Michoacan - the cartels, the federales, the government, the church, the self defense groups, the other citizens) can sit down around a table and agree on anything - other than they are sitting at a table.

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ahh.... I think their crime section is - uh - watered down - to be polite. Maybe proceso might actually do a significantly better job covering crime.... maybe some have a better source, but I don't think Informador would be on that list http://www.proceso.com.mx/ - but just because it is in a newspaper does not make it true - likewise, just because it isn't in a newspaper doesn't mean that it is not truth.

I think I want to join the Michoacan for dummies club - as I don't think any of us have a reasonable understanding of what is going on. To do that would require a much better understanding what is happening (versus what is in the newspapers) and what the government is thinking (they won't tell anyone) and who is and isn't on the take - etc etc etc And truth is going to be in the eyes of the beholder - I seriously doubt everyone (in Michoacan - the cartels, the federales, the government, the church, the self defense groups, the other citizens) can sit down around a table and agree on anything - other than they are sitting at a table.

I am joining, too. Learning about Michoacán has been an interest of mine since my first visit, when I was handed a copy of the CT manual...just inside the door of a church. I took it to a coffee shop on one of the plazas, and received quite a few curious looks, as I sat with my Spanish. English dictionary looking at it. On the bus, the tour guide saw me reading it and asked if he could please have it. I did not want to give it away, but he convinced me that the driver and he needed to understand what it was all about. I wish I could have it back. In any case, when I got home I began to read everything I could about that group.

Politics aside..... IT is very interesting to read the transcripts of the interviews with the AD leaders, and what made each one of them decide to take up arms and fight. It is also worth reading the transcripts of some of the recent interviews with La Tuta, from December. He talks about the need to find ways to pay his men....he discusses the irony of the government allowing The Chinese to smuggle in illegal goods to sell, and the government not allowing Mexicans to do the same thing. You can watch and listen to these videos and decide for yourself, what you think.

BorderlandBeat contributors have added translations, subtitles and/or transcripts in English. So, for what it is worth, the site is another resource to use.

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Through the use of social media and internet sites such as Borderland Beat, the Autodefensas have a made a good case for themselves and gained a great deal of respect, admiration and sympathy from the general public both in Mexico and NOB. My own Facebook page has been both literally and figuratively full of it for days. Now the government is striking back in the publicity wars and making its case for why the Autodefenses need to voluntarily disarm and disband. (I believe the official government position is this: "Please return to your homes and villages.") According to a story in today's La Jornada, based upon leaks from the Mexican Attorney General's office, 34 members of various self defense groups arrested last year in Michoacan had links to organized crime. including Los Zetas, La Familia and New Generation.

Here are links to the story in Spanish and the Google translation to English:

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/01/23/politica/006n1pol

http://translate.google.com.mx/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=es-419&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jornada.unam.mx%2F2014%2F01%2F23%2Fpolitica%2F006n1pol

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Cnn Mexico gave Michoacan good coverage this morning --http://mexico.cnn.com/nacional/2014/01/23/el-enfoque-de-pena-ante-la-violencia-choca-con-la-realidad-de-michoacan(updated)

Violence in Michoacan forced President Enrique Peña Nieto to do what they did not want: instruct similar to those implemented by his predecessor, Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) actions

"The government (of Peña Nieto) when he arrived, tried to play down the violence that was occurring throughout the country. Entire speech, and all proposals were made to lower the pressure to see if that conduct the matter would be less damaging to the image and life of the community. Obviously that goodwill collided with reality, "he said in an interview with former Secretary of Federal Public Safety (2000-2004), Alejandro Gertz Manero................................"It is coming back, unfortunately, the belief that a display (federal forces) can resolve a crisis that has its origins in factors not linked to the police or the military theme issue," said in an interview the investigator and criminal lawyer Gabriel Regino."This is leaving aside, as always, subject to attack political ties to the crime, which is where they should have been, in my opinion, the strongest action," he added.............

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Through the use of social media and internet sites such as Borderland Beat, the Autodefensas have a made a good case for themselves and gained a great deal of respect, admiration and sympathy from the general public both in Mexico and NOB. My own Facebook page has been both literally and figuratively full of it for days. Now the government is striking back in the publicity wars and making its case for why the Autodefenses need to voluntarily disarm and disband. (I believe the official government position is this: "Please return to your homes and villages.") According to a story in today's La Jornada, based upon leaks from the Mexican Attorney General's office, 34 members of various self defense groups arrested last year in Michoacan had links to organized crime. including Los Zetas, La Familia and New Generation.

Here are links to the story in Spanish and the Google translation to English:

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/01/23/politica/006n1pol

http://translate.google.com.mx/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=es-419&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jornada.unam.mx%2F2014%2F01%2F23%2Fpolitica%2F006n1pol

How many municipal police, mayors, and state police, who have links to organized crime were arrested during this time? If you were to stand in Costco, how many people do you think would be linked to organized crime in that group? To me, that number is insignificant and the report is meant to weaken support for the citizens involved in this movement.

Anyway....it looks like we are all reading the same reports, from the same sources. My Spanish is not good enough, even with 3 classes a week. I appreciate the time many volunteers are putting into interpreting for we English speakers. That is why I am a BB fan. I will check out your face book page, if you send a link. I am assuming you are Mexican, and its in Spanish? Don't know you but glad to read a different opinion, always.

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(I believe the official government position is this: "Please return to your homes and villages.") According to a story in today's La Jornada, based upon leaks from the Mexican Attorney General's office, 34 members of various self defense groups arrested last year in Michoacan had links to organized crime. including Los Zetas, La Familia and New Generation.

34 ? A lot. Wonder how many of the State and Federal government people have links to organized crime in Mexico? ;)

Please return, but we do not Guarantee your safety, nor the safety of your neighbors.

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Newspaper articles, links, theories, political correctness,..... all very nice sitting behind our desks.

The real question..... if you are making a living to feed your family and you are being extorted or your lifes are actually in danger and for a long time, nobody is there to help you (quite the opposite), what do you do ???

In many parts of Mexico, business are closing, or like in Juarez, larges parts of towns are abandonned because people are tired of paying the derecho de piso. In Acapulco for the longest time (and maybe it is still going on) teachers had to pay half of their monthly salaries to criminals, or literally heads would roll and be left in front of the school. In Michoacan for the longest time, the avocadofarmers have to pay duties.... and not to the tax department.....

So, what is the alternative.... wait for the government to come and help you ?? Try to understand...... people are tired and fed up.

Actually, the question could also be .... CAN the government help, are they able to,..... if they wanted to ?

A lot of the reasoning here, is NOB thinking, from a NOB perspective, where police are police, the police are mostly the good guys, judges are judges, and the law is the law..... Unfortunately, not too many expats are able to really see that, and never will or choose to stubbornly close their eyes to this reality.

I would rather be a Cowboy than a corrupt policeman or corrupt politician, anyway.

Rony

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I am so tired of this thread...if someone can come up with a positive suggestion so be it, but all of this is really hurting Michoacan. I know how it is affecting the economy, especially artists there because I am friends with many of them.

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I am so tired of this thread...if someone can come up with a positive suggestion so be it, but all of this is really hurting Michoacan. I know how it is affecting the economy, especially artists there because I am friends with many of them.

Sandrita, I understand your feeling but if tomorrow, newspapers stop writing about the bad things, You Tube will only show the butterfies and people stop talking about the problems,.... in the long run, it will hurt your friends a lot more.

Rony

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I am so tired of this thread...if someone can come up with a positive suggestion so be it, but all of this is really hurting Michoacan. I know how it is affecting the economy, especially artists there because I am friends with many of them.

Then for goodness sakes, don't read this thread

I can't think of one positive suggestion - this group, this area, has no power over what i happening there. All we can do is observe and wonder what really is happening.

I think there is general acknowledgement that Michoacan is a failed state. Here is a recent BBC article that says yes - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-25774430

There is lots of things that we WISH would happen - to include an environment where artisans thrive.Not sure who is capable of granting those wishes.

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And now it is spreading to the state of puebla from borderland beat http://www.borderlandbeat.com/search?updated-min=2014-01-01T00:00:00-07:00&updated-max=2015-01-01T00:00:00-07:00&max-results=43

and interesting - a new group forms - and the state denies the existence of the group but they will strengthen security in the area - and I am guessing, probably go after the new group - versus the real narco problem. Ummm.

******************

Inhabitants of the town of San Gabriel Chilac, southeast of the poblano (inhabitant of Puebla) territory, announced the formation of a self-defense group to be mentored and trained by their counterparts from Michoacán and will also be funded by poblanos living abroad.

Francisco Alfaro Rodríguez, spokesperson for the citizens group that make up the Common Front For Peaceful Civil Resistance (Frente Común de Resistencia Civil Pacífica (FCRCP)), said that they have been determined in creating this group in order to defend themselves from organized crime that plagues the region and that are in collusion with municipal and state security authorities.
Even though the spokesperson announced that a group of people will be traveling to Michoacán to receive training, the state government issued a report denying the existence of this self-defense group and announced that he’ll be sending elements in order to strengthen the security in San Gabriel Chilac.

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So, what is the alternative.... wait for the government to come and help you ?? Try to understand...... people are tired and fed up.

Actually, the question could also be .... CAN the government help, are they able to,..... if they wanted to ?

A lot of the reasoning here, is NOB thinking, from a NOB perspective, where police are police, the police are mostly the good guys, judges are judges, and the law is the law..... Unfortunately, not too many expats are able to really see that, and never will or choose to stubbornly close their eyes to this reality.

I would rather be a Cowboy than a corrupt policeman or corrupt politician, anyway.

The government's plan for restoring civil order in Michoacan is exactly what you suggest. This is why 1200 municipal police officers have been rounded up in Michoacan and are currently going through an evaluation process to see if they are actually psychologically fit to be peace officers. Eventually, police officers throughout Mexico will undergo the same process of evaluation. As of yesterday, Mr. Peña invited members of the Autodefensas to become cops...since there are certain to be plenty of job opportunities available. Of course, they will have to undergo the same evaluation process.

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The government's plan for restoring civil order in Michoacan is exactly what you suggest. This is why 1200 municipal police officers have been rounded up in Michoacan and are currently going through an evaluation process to see if they are actually psychologically fit to be peace officers. Eventually, police officers throughout Mexico will undergo the same process of evaluation. As of yesterday, Mr. Peña invited members of the Autodefensas to become cops...since there are certain to be plenty of job opportunities available. Of course, they will have to undergo the same evaluation process.

This kind of evaluation has been going on for a couple of years already (started under Calderon), Alex, and lots of cops have failed the tests (also in Guadalajara and around Guad). They are fired and what happens..... lots of them become criminals (if they are not already). Many times they become kidnappers...... Frankly.... what other carreer possibilities are there (not trying to justify this), after getting fired.

The perfect example is the young singer, famous in Mexico from the kind of "looking for new talent" shows. Apparently, he very recently got kidnapped by state police in Jalapa (countless witnesses), the capital of Veracruz and a couple of days ago they found his body. Needless to say, the family is devestated. I just saw his video on You Tube and it made me very sad. He was only 18 or so.

Has everybody forgotton about almost similar, but local attempted murders (where they thought that the kidnapped victims were dead, but they were not and filed a complaint) ?

By the way,.... lots of the autodefensas do not need jobs.... the cowboys, as you like to call them, are often doctors, vets, teachers,... And if being autodefensa would be the only criteria for becoming a policeman, than we certainly are not out of the woods yet.

Furthermore, it is no secret that once they join the police force, they are pressured, extorted by the narcos, in joining them (while continuing their job as policemen or women). At the same time, I am not saying that all police are bad, but ....

Again, you keep on seeing and evaluating things exclusively out of NOB perspective. Things are far more complicated here.

To end on a positive note, today, president Peña Nieto (in Switserland) was questioned in Davos about the situation in Michoacan. It is good that the rest of the world is watching and putting pressure on him, to really do something about this bad situation, and not just like the 2013 window dressing.

Rony

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And now another state- and another self defense group - from borderland beat

Mexico City, January 23— Around 500 members of the Union of Towns And Organizations Of The State Of Guerrero (Unión de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Estado de Guerrero (UPOEG)) entered the town of El Ocotito in the municipality of Chilpancingo, the state capital, this afternoon where they arrested at least five suspected members of organized crime who were engaging in extorting and kidnapping people of that community....Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz, leader of this organization, said that the formation of these Self-Defense Civil Guards is in response to the state and federal government forgetting about them.

Meanwhile,Pena I think is in Davos. Seems like he is really going to have his hands full! Now 3 states with self defense groups - due to the inaction/bad action of the government.

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Alex, why did these autodefensa groups spring up in the first place?

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Rony, You make some valid points, every one of which has been addressed by Mr. Peña publicly and taken into consideration in forming his plan for fighting crime and restoring civil order throughout Mexico. You should also be pleased to know that there will be an increased emphasis in fighting kidnapping and extortion. As I have been telling you, Rony...please pay attention.

One thing I know for certain about the people of Mexico is that they elected Mr. Peña president to a large extent based upon the fact that he actually had a plan to fight crime when none of the other candidates even had a clue.

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Rony, You make some valid points, every one of which has been addressed by Mr. Peña publicly and taken into consideration in forming his plan for fighting crime and restoring civil order throughout Mexico. You should also be pleased to know that there will be an increased emphasis in fighting kidnapping and extortion. As I have been telling you, Rony...`please pay attention.

One thing I know for certain about the people of Mexico is that they elected Mr. Peña president to a large extent based upon the fact that he actually had a plan to fight crime when none of the other candidates even had a clue.

That is why,.... and Mr Peña admits it.... after 14 months in office now, kidnapping is on the rise. You have to admit, Alex,..... before the 14 months in office, he even had 5 months to prepare his wonderful plans, between his election (in July) and his 1st day as a president (on December 1st).... that is almost 2 years (or 19 months)..... and this is where we stand today ??

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Alex, why did these autodefensa groups spring up in the first place?

The leader of the La Familia cartel was killed by federal police in 2010. A turf war broke out between competing criminal factions immediately following his killing. Local governments and police departments had been corrupted by the cartels and broke down along with the criminal establishment. Remote villages, mostly populated by indigenous people, formed vigilante groups to patrol their towns and neighborhoods because there were no police.

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That is why,.... and Mr Peña admits it.... after 14 months in office now, kidnapping is on the rise. You have to admit, Alex,..... before the 14 months in office, he even had 5 months to prepare his wonderful plans, between his election (in July) and his 1st day as a president (on December 1st).... that is almost 2 years (or 19 months)..... and this is where we stand today ??

Actually, the rise in kidnapping was a campaign issue. It is both misleading and a distortion of the factual record.to say that Mr. Peña just became aware of it. Yes, Mr. Peña worked out his plan of action before being inaugurated. And yes, it took about a year to organize, train and equip his new police forces. And yes, he is now putting his plan into action.

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The leader of the La Familia cartel was killed by federal police in 2010. A turf war broke out between competing criminal factions immediately following his killing. Local governments and police departments had been corrupted by the cartels and broke down along with the criminal establishment. Remote villages, mostly populated by indigenous people, formed vigilante groups to patrol their towns and neighborhoods because there were no police.

So, now there are non -corrupt police that will protect them and it is 100% safe for them to return to their homes and normal lives?

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