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Cablegate: Monterrey's Troubling Trends - Murder, Kidnapping, And

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108918
2007-05-18 21:43:00
07MONTERREY527
Consulate Monterrey
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

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P 182143Z MAY 07
FM AMCONSUL MONTERREY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2104
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 2867
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/FBI WASHINGTON DC
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RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHMC/AMCONSUL MONTERREY 7276

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MONTERREY 000527

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR DS/IP/ITA AND DS/IP/WHA; AND INL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 5/18/2017
TAGS: SNAR PINS PGOV SOCI ASEC ELAB ECON MX
SUBJECT: MONTERREY'S TROUBLING TRENDS - MURDER, KIDNAPPING, AND
INTIMIDATED JOURNALISTS


MONTERREY 00000527 001.2 OF 002


CLASSIFIED BY: Luis G. Moreno, CG.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
1. (C) SUMMARY. Following the Mexican national model, in one
week Monterrey witnessed a fierce rise in narco-related
violence, including police and journalist kidnappings. Already
Nuevo Leon has quickly surpassed previous records for the number
of murders and kidnappings in the state. To date, there have
still not been any arrests or convictions in connection with any
of them. Sensing local law enforcement's fear and obvious
reluctance to pursue serious investigations, perpetrators of
lesser crimes (i.e. robberies) have been able to take advantage
of the situation. Despite a history of some narco-violence,
Monterrey has been known as one of Mexico's safest major cities,
but in one week there were two massive armed robberies. Most
disturbing about the week's events is the apparent fear and
intimidation that narco-traffickers have struck into the hearts
of local news reporters who seem to be practicing
self-censorship. END SUMMARY.

MORE BRUTAL KILLINGS

2. (U) On May 17, a group of armed men shot and killed a man as
he was trying to run into his house. Particularly disturbing
about this incident is that the perpetrators were able to force
their way into a gated community (not unlike the ones in which
Consulate families reside) by putting a gun to the head of the
community's private security guard. He was the 61st murder
victim in the State of Nuevo Leon.

3. (U) On the morning of May 18, three cadavers were found in
San Pedro, the Monterrey suburb where all Consulate families
reside, with their hands bound and exhibiting signs of torture.
Two of the three men were wearing police uniforms and were later
identified as Santa Catarina police. The third man was dressed
in civilian clothing. Apparently they had been kidnapped the
night before. Their deaths bring the total number of murders in
the State of Nuevo Leon to a record 64, a significant increase
over the 55 murders for all of 2006.

A DISTURBING RISE IN KIDNAPPINGS

4. (SBU) On May 10, a reporter and cameraman for TV Azteca were
presumably kidnapped in Monterrey. They did not report for work
that day and have not been heard from since. A week later, 17
people were kidnapped in six separate incidents in the greater
Monterrey area over a 48 hour period. On May 16, a Monterrey
police officer was kidnapped while patrolling the home of
Francisco Carlos Esquivel, (AKA "El Capi"). Esquivel was
recently released from a Jalisco prison where he had been held
since 2005. Earlier that same day, eight people were kidnapped
in Guadalupe at a used car lot. On May 17, a passerby
discovered the abandoned vehicle of an investigator with the
State Attorney General's office. The details of the case are
still unclear, with authorities trying to definitively determine
if the investigator was the victim of kidnapping. Also on May
17, four people, including the local leader of the PEMEX
(Mexican Petroleum) oil company union, were kidnapped in
Cadereyta. Finally, on the afternoon of May 18, an additional
police officer from Guadalupe, another Monterrey suburb, was
reportedly kidnapped.

5. (U) While kidnappings are nothing new for Mexico, "regios"
(Monterrey residents) traditionally regard them as something
that happens elsewhere. In the last month, however, Monterrey
has seen a disturbing rise in the number of kidnappings and the
total number has exceeded any previous record for Nuevo Leon.
Including these latest victims, there have been 49 total
kidnappings in the state, compared to the previous record of 35
in 2006.

CONSEQUENCES FOR GREATER PUBLIC SECURITY

6. (SBU) In a new disturbing trend, other criminals have taken
advantage of local authorities' inability to curb narco-related
crime in Monterrey and the city has seen an increase in the
number of robberies. On May 12, over 250 people were held by
armed gunmen and robbed at a night club in Guadalupe, greater
Metropolitan Monterrey. During the two hour hold-up during
which gunmen came around and took money from club patrons,
several victims reportedly used their cell phones to call the
police. Still, no police showed up and, as is the case with
most crimes in Nuevo Leon, the culprits got away scot-free.

7. (SBU) On May 14, a man was driving on the highway between
Monterrey and Reynosa on his way to the U.S. border. A group of

MONTERREY 00000527 002.2 OF 002


armed men forced him off the road and then car-jacked his SUV.
On May 17, another armed robbery took place in San Pedro,
minutes from where Consulate families reside. The victims were
all in one house and were tied-up while the robbers took over
$30,000 in cash and jewelry. Despite the fact that local police
set-up a perimeter when they learned of the robbery, the two
armed culprits once again escaped.

FEAR AFFECTING MEDIA REPORTING

8. (C) In addition to increased crime rates, Post has begun to
notice a disquieting trend in the local media connected to the
rising levels of violence: because of fear and intimidation,
some in the media appear to be practicing self-censorship in
reporting drug-related crimes. On May 18, Rogelio Lozano
(STRICTLY PROTECT), San Pedro's Chief of Police, was interviewed
by TV Azteca just hours after the discovery of the three
cadavers in San Pedro. Lozano told RSO of his surprise at not
being asked about this crime. Lozano added that the
interviewer, the News Director for TV Azteca Northeast Luis
Padua (STRICTLY PROTECT), told him afterward that he had
intentionally avoided the topic and that he didn't "want to know
about it." This occurred one week after the May 10
disappearance of the TV Azteca reporter and cameraman, rumored
to be narco-related, that went unreported in the media
(including in TV Azteca itself) until May 13, three days later.
Local reporters from Televisa and El Norte, the most prestigious
daily in northeastern Mexico, have told PAO that they now often
report only the basics of narco-related violence, deciding not
to dig further for fear of retaliation.

9. (C) COMMENT. Unfortunately, an increase in arrest rates has
not occurred along with the increase in murders, kidnappings,
and other related criminal acts in Nuevo Leon. Post believes
that local law enforcement, and now local media, are paralyzed
with fear and are unwilling to risk personal harm to investigate
these crimes. Interestingly, on May 18 rumors swirled that
Nuevo Leon Governor Natividad Gonzalez Paras had been killed.
Local and state police contacted Post's law enforcement
officials to ascertain whether or not the rumors were true.
While this is a positive demonstration of the close working
relationship shared between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement
entities, it also further demonstrates local law enforcement's
inability to get a handle on the situation. That said, Governor
Gonzalez Paras appears committed to continuing the fight against
narco-violence and will do what he can to do so. As always,
Post will continue to closely monitor the situation. END
COMMENT.
MORENO

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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