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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Gang war in Chicago leads to more deadly force from police

Posted On 01:38 0 comments

Chicago Police officers have killed more people this year to date than the total number killed in 2010.

A quarterly report just released by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) shows that 14 people were shot and killed by Chicago officers in the first six months of this year ending June 30. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday that, according to news accounts that tally numbers through July 21, the number of fatalities is actually 16.

In 2010, 13 people were shot and killed by Chicago officers.

Chicago officials suggest that criminals are becoming more brazen than ever before. Critics suggest that Chicago police are feeding into a cycle of violence with aggressive policies.

Nationwide, it is a problem that has risen and fallen during the past decade, starting low at 180 in 2000 and peaking at 280 in 2006. In 2009, the latest data available, 238 felons were killed when attacking a police officer.

But it is important not to overinterpret "short-term changes to numbers that are relatively small,” says James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston. Chicago's claim that criminals are becoming more ruthless "is something you hear all the time.... It’s not new.”

For Chicago officials, however, it has been striking. The number of shootouts involving police this year is also nearing the 2010 total. As of July 21, the police were involved in 40 shootings. There were 46 shootouts recorded in 2010.

There is “a wanton disregard for the law,” says Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “People are willing to point and fire guns at police officers on a regular basis here in this city.”

But Chicago gang expert John Hagedorn suggests that the city's campaign against street gangs on the city’s West Side could be part of the problem.

Last August, in an unprecedented meeting, former Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis told area gang leaders that if one gang members shot another, authorities would trigger the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a federal law aimed at organized crime. Mr. Weis also promised a crackdown, resulting in increased parole visits and more traffic stops in their neighborhoods.

Then this June, current Superintendent McCarthy said his department would “obliterate” the Maniac Latin Disciples, the gang he held responsible for a shooting in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood that left two young girls wounded. “Every one of their locations has to get blown up until they cease to exist,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.

But the confrontational approach is misguided because it only increases tension, often resulting in more shootouts with police, says Mr. Hagedorn, who teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Many of the gangs are so deeply entrenched in Chicago – the Maniac Street Disciples date back to 1966, for instance – that attacking them will be ineffective, he adds.

“There’s a lot of ways to deal with gangs that have very deep roots besides war," says Hagedorn, who says the current approach “at this point is endangering their officers.”

Community-safety advocates agree that large police sweeps in certain areas increase the culture of violence on both sides.

“If you have the mindset that you need the military in the community, then people in that community feel under siege and everyone feels they’re going to get shot sooner or later,” says Tio Hardiman, director of Ceasefire Illinois, an advocacy group that works to diminish street violence.

A more-nuanced approach, he says, would involve the police educating young men in the community on how best to respond when stopped by police and by training police on how respectfully to approach local residents. Innocent people often become victims of violence because they don’t know how to behave when approached by the police, Mr. Hardiman says.

“Once you put all the guys in one category [of killers], everyone pays the price,” he says.

The IPRA conducts investigations of each shooting to determine if it is consistent with the police department’s official policy for use of deadly force, says Ilana Rosenzweig, director of the group. The findings can then help the department make changes, such as tweaking training procedures.


Karachi gang war leaves 27 dead

Posted On 01:37 0 comments

More than 27 people have been killed during gun battles in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

Shootouts are continuing between rival gangs on the streets of the country's commercial capital, and hundreds of extra police and soldiers have been sent to the city in an attempt to restore order.

Despite the extra police presence, the situation remains dangerous.

The latest violence began on Friday when tension increased between opposing political and ethnic groups which are continuing to fight street battles in the centre and east of Karachi.

Almost 100 people were killed during similar violence earlier this month.

Police say gang members fired mortars during the peak of the most recent fighting.

The Pakistani government is urging all sides to stop the bloodshed.

Pakistan's Human Rights Commission says 490 people were killed in targeted killings in Karachi in the first half of this year.


Police say no indication that Vancouver's latest homicide was gang-related

Posted On 01:35 0 comments

Const. Lindsey Houghton spoke to the press at the Vancouver Police Department about last nights shooting which marked the eigth homicide in Vancouver this year. A man was shot dead in the Champlain Heights neighbourhood around 10 p.m. on Monday.

"At this early stage in the investigation it dose not appear that there is any connection to gangs or drugs," he said.

He added that the crime rate in Vancouver has gone drastically in the past few years.

"Our hope is of course that we don't see another see a homicide for 2011, and we are doing everything we can to reach out to the community through the media and other avenues to remind people to be aware of suspicious activities and to report that to the police."


Bodyguards Kill Colombian Gang Leader

Posted On 01:34 0 comments

Colombian authorities say the leader of one of the country's most powerful criminal groups has been shot dead by bodyguards.
Officials say Angel de Jesus Pacheco, known as “Sebastian,” was killed Monday in the northwestern province of Antioquia, and that his body was found tied to a tree, showing signs of torture.
They say Pacheco was the leader of Los Rastrojos, one of Colombia's criminal gangs.
Earlier, an international research institution said quickly evolving criminal gangs in Colombia are seeking to expand their influence in local elections this October, and could reverse a decade-long trend of decreasing electoral violence.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group said in a report that illegal armed groups seek to consolidate and expand their hold over local governments in October's gubernatorial, mayoral, departmental assembly and municipal council elections. The group also said the gangs are fast becoming larger, more robust criminal networks, and some could develop a more ambitious political agenda.
The research institution said the government of President Juan Manuel Santos must rigorously implement measures to protect candidates and shield the electoral process against criminal infiltration, corruption and fraud. It described the upcoming vote as the first electoral test for President Santos, who took office in August of last year.
Colombia has been mired in a nearly 50-year civil war involving the government, leftist rebels and rightist paramilitaries. The conflict has left thousands dead. Last month, President Santos signed legislation aimed at offering restitution to victims of the nation's violence.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Gold Coast 'the crime capital of Australia

Posted On 00:51 0 comments

Criminologists say organised crime and a rampant drug trade are behind a spate of shootings and serious violent crimes on Queensland's Gold Coast.
The shooting death of a man on the tourist hotspot's busy Hooker Boulevard yesterday was the latest incident, and it came as no surprise to some people.
The man's body was found lying on the road. He had been shot at least once in the back, in the third fatal shooting on the Gold Coast in less than two months.
Ian Leavers, the president of the Queensland Police Union, says violence is escalating in the tourist hotspot.
"The Gold Coast has cemented itself as the crime capital of Australia," he said.
"We are starting to see organised crime spill out on to the streets and it is a very real risk where innocent people could be killed or hurt."
Last month Senior Constable Damian Leeding died after being shot in the face during an armed robbery on the Gold Coast.
That incident was another in what criminologist Paul Wilson is calling an upsurge in violent crime.
"We've had, since January, nearly 60 armed robberies and over the last three months we've had five shootings, so that is far away from just simply being a statistical blip," Professor Paul Wilson said.
He said the spike in shootings and armed robberies could be a result of tough economic times or an influx of illegal guns.
But he said drug dealers and drug gangs were more likely to be the root of the problem.
He said there was no indication that sophisticated crime syndicates like those in Melbourne had formed on the Gold Coast, but said the region did have its own brand of organised crime.
"What I think we have on the Gold Coast are small groups of people who are organising drugs in nightclubs and licensed premises and elsewhere," he said.
"These are not necessarily sophisticated gangs but they are people who are peddling drugs. I think that's more likely."
Mr Leavers says officers on the Gold Coast are frustrated by the violence, but they are too short-staffed to fight back.
"They are simply too busy responding to reported crime. They know there is a lot of organised crime, but they cannot even attempt to investigate because they are too busy just attending to the duties they currently have," he said.
Queensland Police Minister Neil Roberts is defending police staffing levels.
He says a specialist serious and violent crime taskforce has been established and the Gold Coast's police force is bigger than it used to be.
"They're taking the issue very seriously. I get regularly briefed on the issue and I'm confident that the commissioner and his senior officers are aware of the concerns on the Gold Coast and are taking appropriate steps to address those concerns," he said.
Professor Wilson says there is no silver bullet to stop the violent crime but the next few months will be a strong indicator about how serious the problem is.
"It's a worrying spike and if it goes on for another three months then I think we would be very concerned," he said.
"I would doubt that the number of shootings would increase but if it does then we really do have a serious crime problem."


Monday, 18 July 2011

Second body recovered following Cornwall gangland murder

Posted On 18:31 0 comments

Police investigating a gangland double murder today recovered a second body from a burned-out van buried on a farm – and arrested another suspect in the case.

The victims’ bodies are still being officially identified but are thought to be two men who went missing over a month ago.

Semi-professional boxer Brett Flournoy, 31, from Merseyside, and David Griffiths, 35, of Berkshire, were reported missing last month after failing to check into their hotel in Newquay.

A body was found after officers recovered a buried van on a patch of land in St Austell, Cornwall, on Friday. And yesterday, police confirmed a second had been located.

Devon and Cornwall police spent three weeks searching for the men – who both have children and partners – but failed to find them.

Ross Stone, 28, of St Austell, was arrested last Wednesday in relation to disposing of their bodies and yesterday a 25-year-old from Huddersfield, West Yorks., was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris, of Devon and Cornwall police, said: ”We can now confirm that we’ve recovered two bodies from the vehicle that was buried on farmland near St Austell.

”A post mortem examination has been conducted, but at this stage the bodies haven’t been formally identified. This is expected to take some time.”

He added: ”The investigation continues to move at a fast pace. Today a 25-year-old man was arrested in the Huddersfield area of West Yorkshire on suspicion of murder.

”This man will now be transported to Cornwall for questioning by detectives.

”The families have been updated on the progress of the investigation and our thoughts are with them at this terrible time. I would also like to thank the public for the assistance they have provided so far.”

Police previously admitted that a link to drugs is one of the lines of investigation being explored.

Up to 60 officers, including 40 detectives, have been working on the investigation.

Brett is a welterweight and light middleweight fighter who was travelling with pal David to Cornwall when they were last seen on June 16.

Their White van, with the registration number A10 VVR, was last seen at the car park for the Tamar Bridge between Cornwall and Devon.

The van has the company name Tile Star on both sides but neither man is believed to have worked for the firm.

On Saturday Stone appeared at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court charged with disposing a corpse to obstruct a Coroner and was remanded to appear at Truro Crown Court on Friday.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Void' in drug underworld cause of biker war

Posted On 23:50 0 comments

A fire at a Logan Avenue business one month ago appears to have been the first strike in a series of violent events linked to a conflict between two biker gangs, Winnipeg police said yesterday.
Since then, there have been 12 other reported incidents where homes and businesses were firebombed or shot at, according to a list provided by organized crime officers.
Guns have been seized and an innocent teen boy caught in the crossfire of the ongoing dispute between the Rock Machine and the Redlined Support Crew — a Hells Angels-affiliated gang.
“We have a problem on our hands here,” said Const. Jason Michalyshen. “This is a complex situation we’re dealing with … there are many, many moving parts.”
Police service brass have assigned extra resources from units across the service to try and contain the violence, which police said has escalated.
Police said 15 gang-associates have been arrested for various offences and court-order breaches as part of their efforts.
The latest salvo came early Wednesday when a tattoo parlour in Osborne Village was firebombed. Two were arrested, and a fire didn’t manage to get going. Police didn’t identify the suspects. There were no injuries.
The act of apparent intimidation has left the shop’s owner scratching his head.
“I was kind of stunned,” said 187 Ink owner Wayne Nuytten. He said he was awoken in the early morning by what he called a “curious” call from his alarm company stating the sensor in the shop was set off, but the doors weren’t breached.
“I could see it if I was in a gang or a gang member, but I’m not,” said Nuytten. “A lot of people come in and out of this door.” Nuytten added 187 Ink does not do gang-related tattoos.
He said about $450 damage was done, but that he expected to be back in business by Wednesday afternoon.
City records show in years past business tax notices for the tattoo shop were addressed to a relative of a Hells Angel currently serving prison time.

Winnipeg police acknowledge simmering outlaw biker war in the city

Posted On 18:25 0 comments

Winnipeg police say they are cracking down on an escalating outlaw motorcycle gang turf war.
Const. Jason Michalyshen (mih-kuh-LIH'-shehn) says police know of seven attempted fire bombings of businesses and homes in the last few weeks in the city.
He says other homes and businesses have been shot at and a 14-year-old boy was caught in the crossfire on July 4 and injured.
Michalyshen says the violence is being fuelled by rival bikers trying to corner the Winnipeg drug trade.
He says police have made some minor arrests and will beef up resources to end the violence.
Police didn't name the gangs, but the conflict is said to involve affiliates of the Rock Machine and the Hells Angels.


Sunday, 10 July 2011

A woman who witnessed a man being shot in her house in a punishment-style attack has blasted the perpetrators as “faceless scum”.

Posted On 18:15 0 comments

A group of masked gunmen entered a house in Londonderry and shot a 36-year-old man in both legs late on Thursday night.

The man is recovering in hospital and his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

However, the woman who owns the house and a young man with Downs Syndrome had to be treated for shock.

Siobhan McGinley, who lives at the house in the Lecky Road, slammed the horror attack.

She said: “It was terrible, just terrible, they came in and shot my friend Packie. They are low lifes – faceless scum.

“They came in and had their guns out and Packie said, ‘Take this outside, don't do anything in front of wee Michael' because he has Downs and is really sensitive. But they just pushed Packie back down in the chair and shot him seven times.

“Then they left as calm as you like, but Michael was in hysterics. He was squealing.”

“Packie didn't say too much – he was in shock, we all were.

“He just kept saying sorry to us over and over, but the boys that did this didn't think about us or wee Michael.

“I am in pieces and I called to see how Michael is doing and he is just crying and crying.

“This is a disgrace and they are scum for doing it, no one deserves to be shot like that.”

The shooting has been condemned by local Sinn Fein councillor Patrica Logue, who said there was no justification for anyone taking the law into their own hands.

She said: “This is the last thing this community needs – masked men skulking around in the dark of night.

“It was very traumatic for Siobhan and the people in the house and they don't need this.

“The Lecky Road has a high number of elderly residents and young families, and people just want to be left in peace.

“This kind of vigilantism solves nothing.”

Police executed in Nayarit

Posted On 18:03 0 comments

shooting in Lopez Mateos, in the city of Tepic, Nayarit. It was a clash between elements of the Police State and a group of armed men. The dangerous situation was roiled the streets Engineer Aguayo and Dolphin. A police element lost life in the shooting, authorities confirmed this Nayarit. The officer who died was identified as Gaston Santos desided Rangel. After the shooting there was intense in the area, so residents from the area claimed to have also indicated moments of horror suffered by heavy explosions.


intense fighting in La Piedad, Michoacán, as members of the Knights Templar attacked the base of the Federal Police

Posted On 17:55 0 comments

in the town, the bloody outcome of the battle can be seen in the picture The gunmen burst the police building, were about 50 trucks of the Knights Templar , which generated an intense shootout and grenade attack. Reports said that the armed group tried to run to Miguel Angel Rosas and 30 elements of the Federal Police who were sleeping in the police building. It was almost an hour of confrontation, it alerted the public and that the intense blasts were unmistakable. On the site were over five thousand rounds of ammunition casings. The place was practically destroyed.In the action three gunmen were killed, they were identified as Cortez Fabian Rios, 23; Epigmenio Infante Hernandez, 30, and Pedro Cortez Ramirez 18. In addition seven elements of the Federal Police also lost their lives and three others were wounded. That event was the one that triggered the wave of clashes that occurred a few days in several municipalities in Michoacan, the area has become a war zone.

Montreal-style Rock Machine versus Hells Angels blow-em-up kill fest.

Posted On 17:35 0 comments

This here is big-boy gang fighting, not like the amateur North End drive-by nonsense perpetrated by wanna-be gang bangers wearing hoodies and DC sneakers.
How could this have happened? Well, son, it all started back in February 2006 with something called Project Defense. The Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force, along with the RCMP, Winnipeg Police Service and Brandon Police Service, conducted raids and arrested 13 people including high-ranking Hells Angel Ian Matthew Grant. To accomplish this task, they paid an informant with a "less-than-savoury background" over half a million dollars.
Then in December 2007, Defense was followed up by Project Drill, in which there were 18 arrests, made possible by paying an informant $650,000 plus expenses, according to court records.
Despite all these arrests, crime continued to escalate. "Many legal experts believe a subsequent rise in Winnipeg street gang crime over the past two years was triggered by the fall of the Hells Angels and an ongoing battle to fill the void and make lucrative profits from the sale of drugs," wrote Mike McIntyre and Jennifer Pawluk in 2009.
Perhaps if we made the void larger that might help. December 2009 was Project Divide, which netted more arrests than the other two combined: 35. Once again, assistance was obtained by purchasing the services of a "longtime criminal" for "at least $500,000 of tax-free money."
Now, in 2011, after paying criminals over $1,650,000 for their assistance and hundreds of thousands more in court costs and witness protection costs, the Hells Angels have been sufficiently neutered to allow the Rock Machine to make a play for our drug market. Hence the shoot-ups and fire bombings.
This was not unforeseeable. I recall some people predicting this outcome back when Project Divide was carried out. Much like overthrowing a corrupt Middle Eastern government, unless you can replace it with something better, you risk, in fact, making things worse.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Plainfield raids take down heart of violent MS-13

Posted On 20:40 0 comments

One of the Queen City’s biggest and most ruthless gangs has been dealt a devastating blow, authorities announced Thursday.

Nearly a dozen members of the MS-13 street gang were arrested or charged with a wide variety of crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder, during a series of raids performed during the last several days, according to Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

The arrests began over the Fourth of July weekend and continued through early Thursday morning, Romankow said. The raids represented a joint operation between the prosecutor's office, the Plainfield Police Division, UCERT, the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"Plainfield has faced violence from gangs for far too long, and it not only impacts the citizens of the city, but everyone in the county and surrounding areas," said Romankow. "These arrests deliver a significant blow to the MS-13 operations, but we will not slow our pursuit of others involved in gangs and violence."

Members of MS-13 have been arrested during recent months and charged in at least three homicides that occurred in Plainfield, while several other MS-13 members are suspected in at least two other homicides, authorities said.

Of those charged during the last several days, one remains at large, Romankow said. Kelvin Mejia, with a last known address in Plainfield, remains wanted for a variety of charges including conspiracy to commit murder.

The following charges stem from a police investigation revealing that MS-13 members were working towards killing other members inside the gang as well as individuals not affiliated with the gang, Romankow said. The MS-13 members also are charged with gang criminality, a statute that recently was enacted in order to combat the rising ride of criminal activity by gangs, he added; the charge alleged that the members worked together to commit crimes on behalf of the gang.

Two juveniles were arrested as part of the raids, and Romankow said the prosecutor's office will move to have them waived to adult court.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

There's a gang war going on

Posted On 11:26 0 comments

Justice officials have publicly admitted for the first time what has become obvious to many citizens -- tensions are high on Winnipeg's biker front.
"There's a gang war going on," Crown attorney Mike Desautels told provincial court Associate Chief Judge Mary Kate Harvie on Monday. "It has reached a fever pitch."
Desautels made his candid comments during a bail hearing for a high-ranking member of the Rock Machine. He also shed new light on a wave of recent shootings in Winnipeg.
Police officers arrested Jean Paul Beaumont late last week after conducting video surveillance of his home through a camera they had secretly installed in early May, court was told. Beaumont, the sergeant-at-arms of the Rock Machine, has a long criminal record and has been charged with repeatedly breaching conditions of his previous bail and probation, including a curfew and driving prohibition.
The hidden camera allegedly caught Beaumont leaving his home and driving away in a vehicle on several occasions.
The Crown is fighting to keep Beaumont in custody, citing the ongoing battle between the Rock Machine and their rivals, the Redlined Support Crew.
Desautels filed a detailed report on the city's gang situation, authored by members of the police organized crime unit, to boost his argument that public safety is at stake. He told court police have been closely monitoring Beaumont, along with other gang members, because of the ongoing tensions in the biker world.
Beaumont's bail hearing was adjourned until today to allow the judge to read the report.
There was no publication ban on the proceedings.
The Hells Angels created the Redlined Support Crew last year to stand up to other criminal networks that might muscle in on their former drug turf after many of their members were arrested and jailed following a trio of recent undercover police operations. At the top of that list was the Rock Machine, which waged war with the Hells Angels in Quebec during the 1990s but has never had much of a presence in Manitoba until recently.
Multiple sources have told the Free Press the Rock Machine has slowly gained power in Manitoba, with some former Hells Angels associates even joining their ranks in recent months. Just recently, a founding member of the "Game Tight Soldiers" gang in British Columbia moved to Winnipeg and joined the Rock Machine ranks, according to a source.
Desautels told court Monday how Joseph Strachan, the Rock Machine's president, had his Winnipeg home shot up last week. A St. Vital-area home belonging to Strachan's parents was then hit with gunfire and Molotov cocktails the following night. There were no injuries in either incident, and no arrests have been made.
Desautels said a member of the Redlined gang was also targeted last week when a "flare" was shot through the window of his home.
Police are also investigating whether two other recent shootings are linked to the ongoing hostilities. A 14-year-old boy was wounded early Monday morning after a townhouse on Taft Crescent in Lord Roberts was sprayed with gunfire. Police admitted the boy is lucky to be alive and may have been an innocent bystander. There were nine people inside the residence at the time, including a baby. No arrests have been made. Members of the organized crime unit are continuing to investigate.
Sources told the Free Press Monday there may be other recent incidents that either haven't been reported to police or haven't been released to the public.
Last November, a former high-ranging associate of the Hells Angels was shot "execution-style" inside his own home.
No arrests have been made in the slaying of Daniel Kachkan, which was believed to have been connected to Kachkan's alleged role in a previous homicide. However, police distributed an internal memo around the time of the killing, warning members of the Rock Machine motorcycle gang are believed to be armed and may be planning attacks against those affiliated with the Hells Angels.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Man killed in Holloway gang stabbing victim of estate wars

Posted On 09:27 0 comments

A man stabbed to death in a brutal attack by a large gang was the victim of a war between estates, residents say.
Andrew Jaipaul, 21, was repeatedly knifed in the horrific attack by a group of between 12 and 20 men on the Andover Estate, off Hornsey Road, Holloway, at around 10.30pm on Sunday night.

Shocked residents have blamed escalating gang violence between estates.

A 32-year-old woman, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said: “They knocked him down with a brick and then repeatedly stabbed him.

“A few minutes before, my fiancée walked past a group of about 12 boys who were between 14 and 21, standing on the corner. They were just drinking and waiting for someone to come past – it could have been anyone.

“There are a lot of gang wars going on with this estate and other areas. He was attacked just because he lived here.”

Mr Jaipaul, who died at the scene, lived in nearby Birnham Road, which backs on to the estate. A post-mortem gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds.

Another woman who lives on the Andover said she was the first to find him. She said: “I tried to stem the blood but there was nothing I could do. He had no life to fight for – he was gone.

“It’s got to stop. I just thought, what if it was my son?”

A 72-year-old resident, who lives on Lazar Walk, said: “So many gangs come from different estates to here. I don’t go out unless I can help it, and I never go out at night.”

The killing came less than a week after a man was repeatedly stabbed in a similar attack by a group of up to 15 men in nearby Tollington Place, which leads up to the estate. Police say they are not linking the two incidents.

Chief Superintendent Mike Wise, Islington’s borough commander, said: “I have been concerned in the last few months around the levels of violence in that area and the increase over the last few days has given us a great deal of concern.

“We have been increasing police patrols and youth engagement work in the area, and conducting weapons sweeps on estates.

“We’re doing everything possible to find out who carried out the murder and the reasons why.”


Drug gang shootout in Mexico mining state kills 15

Posted On 09:25 0 comments

A five-hour shootout between Mexican marines and dozens of members of the Zetas drug gang left 15 gunmen dead on Friday in the latest outburst of drug violence to hit the central mining state of Zacatecas.

A group of suspected Zeta gang members in the small town of San Jose de Lourdes attacked a convoy of marines patrolling the area. Six marines were injured, 15 suspected cartel members were killed and another 17 captured, the marines said.

"Naval personnel were attacked with firearms by a group of organized criminals hiding in a safe house. They repelled the aggression, starting a firefight that lasted five hours," a statement from the marines said.

The town is just outside of Fresnillo, home to the world's largest silver mine that is owned by a company FREX.MX with the same name. In Fresnillo, drug cartels blocked roads with burned-out vehicles, according to local media reports.

More than 40,000 people have died in Mexico over the past four years since President Felipe Calderon deployed security forces to the streets to attack powerful cartels head on.

Zacatecas has been a hot spot for violence, with the Zetas -- feared as one of Mexico's most brutal gangs -- battling rivals for smuggling turf.

Mining investment keeps flowing into Mexico, the world's top silver producer and major miner of copper, but some companies are beginning


Friday, 1 July 2011

Mexican Hit man Captured after Killing Hundreds

Posted On 22:40 0 comments

Soldiers have detained an alleged hit man who is accused of kidnapping bus passengers, killing them and burying them in mass graves in northern Mexico, authorities said Thursday.
Abraham Barrios Caporal, 26, was captured in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and has acknowledged working for the Zetas drug cartel, Mexico's Defense Department said in a statement.
Barrios Caporal is suspected of taking part in the killings of bus passengers and their burial in clandestine graves at a ranch in the town of San Fernando in Tamaulipas state, the department said.
He was arrested in the city of Coatzacoalcos Tuesday along with three other members of his cell, said army spokesman, Col. Ricardo Trevilla.
Authorities in Tamaulipas began uncovering bodies in mass graves in early April following reports that passengers were being pulled off buses at gunpoint.
As of early June, 193 bodies had been found in 26 graves. Officials say most of those were Mexican migrants heading to the United States who were kidnapped off buses and killed by the Zetas drug cartel.
Barrios Caporal told authorities some of the passengers were kidnapped because were suspected of being members of the rival Gulf cartel.
San Fernando is the same place where 72 Central and South American migrants were slaughtered last August also by the Zetas.
Barrios Caporal is also suspected in that mass killing, the department said.
Mass graves have become an increasingly common discovery in Mexico's brutal drug war, which has claimed more than 35,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of federal security forces four years ago to fight traffickers. The offensive led to a splintering of the country's cartels and increased gang fighting over territory.
On Thursday, gunmen opened fire during a soccer game in the resort city of Acapulco, killing two people and wounding at least two children who were watching the match.
The victims were city police officers who were playing in a match against Guerrero state government employees, said state police in Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.
Authorities offered no motives in the killings.
Factions of the Beltran Leyva cartel have been fighting for control of Acapulco since the December 2009 killing of cartel boss Arturo Beltran Leyva.

state police of Mexico have said to have caught a hit man responsible for hundreds of killings.
The man has been captured and said to have killed close to 200 people by pulling them off buses headed for the United States.
He would go onto buses headed into the United States from Mexico and bring of people at gunpoint. Then he would shoot them putting their bodies into huge mass graves.
He is being held in jail until a court will meet for the verdict.

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