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Work release?

26 July 2010

Via BBC News:

Guards at a prison in Durango state are accused of lending the inmates weapons and vehicles to commit the murders in neighbouring Coahuila state before returning them to their cells.

The same group of prisoners are thought to have carried out other killings.

The prison director and at least two other officers are under investigation.

This is, of course, a reference to last week’s slaughter at the Quinta Italia Salon de Fiestas in Torreón.  While I at first thought this might be a particularly gruesome gay bashing, the best evidence is that the hit was just a business shake-down, with the gangsters in question having to contract out the hit — which I suppose the Calderón Administration will consider evidence of “success” in the drug war… in that the gangs are getting out of the narcotics trade and engaging in old fashioned criminality.  Not to mention having to go to outside contractors for personnel.

I’ll cut the snark… not to discount the tragedy — or tragedies, as Torreón suffered not just the deaths of 18 people at Quina Italia, but earlier mass murders that were the work of the same killers — but the news that the killers were “on loan” from CEDESO #2 (Center for Social Readaption… i.e., state prison) in Gomez Palacio — brings up other issues that will need to be considered, though I’m not sure what it all means.  Some points to consider though:

  • Los Zetas were the “victims” (if that’s the right word) of an apparent false-flag operation. That state officials were implicated, even if they were denounced by the State Governor as “traitors” suggest some truth to the popular belief that officials back various gangs against other gangs. Is the prison warden a traitor for backing the wrong gangsters in the area, or for her own rogue operation?  I don’t think it matters much, but worth noting is the gender of this traitor — Margarita Rojas Rodríguez:  is it sexist to be assume the warden at a Mexican men’s prison is male?  Or that gangsters and mass murders aren’t female?
  • Although no one sees the Quinta Italia massacre as a gay-bashing, I’d want to know more on why that particular business (and the other clubs that were hit) were targeted.  Do they have the same owner, and what is his or her connection to all this?  Or, was there a common denominator among the clientele served in these establishments?  Were they the sort of people others might decide are socially unacceptable for some reason?  I’ve floated the possibility of “death squads” before, and it’s not unreasonable to assume a death squad masquerading as one criminal band might be covering unrelated murders.   Here in Sinaloa, petty criminals like car thieves have ended up dead, supposedly victims of gangland violence, but who can say for certain?
  • Even though Ismael Hernández, Durango’s governor, has been proactive in condemning the “work release killers”, it is going to reflect badly on his administration and his party.  The PRI managed to hold on to Durango in the July elections without much trouble from a united opposition front, but it means the new administration, under governor-elect Jorge Herrera Caldera is coming into office with a stinking pile of shit on the state house steps.

Coahuila — and Torreón is in Coahuila, but, together with Lerdo, Durango part of a larger  metropolitan community  — is also under a PRI administration, but PAN is competitive in the state.  It holds elections for governor next year.  The sitting governor, Humberto Moreira Valdés, seen by some as a “liberal” or reformist PRI leader, but he and his party  has been losing popularity because of the violence in Torreón.  Moreira has been mentioned as an alternative to Enrique Peña Nieto as PRI’s 2012 Presidential nominee, so his handling of this latest crisis will bear watching.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Frank permalink
    26 July 2010 6:19 am

    What a shock, although I have heard there are very few corrupt officials in Mexico. Mexico could be a model of democracy and ethics for many corrupt African nations.

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