Daily Archives: 03/01/2012

Juárez rivals the world for being the most dangerous city

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The murder rate in Juárez rivals the most dangerous cities in the world and is more typical of regions where government has collapsed, an expert on homicides said.

The violence continued during the weekend, including a shootout involving the Mexican army that resulted in the arrest of three women and five men suspected in killings, extortion and arsons in the Valley of Juárez.

More than 5,300 people have been slain in the Juárez area since the start of a war between the Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels in 2008.

There have been at least 15 homicides since Friday and more than 1,100 homicides this year alone in Juárez. By comparison, there has been one homicide in El Paso this year.

Historically, Juárez is not as deadly as Medellin during the peak of the drug cartel bloodshed in that Colombian city in the early 1990s.

At its worst, Medellin had a homicide rate of 250 per 100,000 residents, while Juárez last year had a rate of 191, according to the public safety organization Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Publica y Justicia Penal (Citizen’s Council for Public Security and Penal Justice).

Medellin, which has 1 million more residents than Juárez, is arguably considered the most violent city of the past three decades.

“Juárez deserves the title of most dangerous city in the world not only for its homicide rate but also suffering very high numbers of other violent crimes,” the organization stated in a report last January.

The council reported Juárez last year had higher homicide rates than San Pedro Sula, Honduras, (119 per 100,000); San Salvador, El Salvador (95), and Caracas, Venezuela (94).

A CNN report last April listed Juárez in no particular order among the most dangerous cities in the world, including Karachi, Pakistan; Beirut, Lebanon; and Cape Town, South Africa.

The number of murders in Juárez is more typical of regions during a civil war, a revolution or other form of a state breakdown, said Randolph Roth, a historian who studies homicides.

“Whenever you have a real struggle for power — civil wars, revolutions — organized gangs can get very, very bad like you have in Juárez today,” Roth said. “It’s very rare to see the rates like this in a developed country. It’s very sad.”

Roth is a professor of history and sociology at Ohio State University who created a historical database examining U.S. homicide rates from different time periods and places. He is author of the book “American Homicide.”

Roth said the worst period for homicides in the U.S. was during Reconstruction in the Red River Valley of Louisiana, which had a murder rate of at least 196 per 100,000 per year from 1866 to 1876.

“You had the former Confederates. And the Ku Klux Klan were just in rebellion against the government,” Roth explained. “You didn’t have a central government.”

Mexico and Juárez government officials and El Paso economic development leaders have repeatedly said that authority has not broken down in Juárez despite the bloodshed. Government services continue. Businesses still do business. And the maquiladora industry is humming along.

A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated that a lot of attention has been placed on Juárez but that high homicides rates can be found along cocaine smuggling corridors in the Americas.

“Less attention has been placed on Central America, where the murder rates are four to five times higher than in Mexico, and where both the economy and the state are far less robust and resilient,” the report stated.

“While the drug violence has been intense in places like Ciudad Juárez, Mexico‘s overall murder rate remains moderate compared too many other countries afflicted by the drug trade.”

The report, “Crime and Instability. Case studies of transnational threats,” was issued in February. It also stated that much of the violence in Central America is not drug related but due to a legacy of social division and decades of civil war.

The Mexican government has deployed thousands of federal police and soldiers to Juárez but the violence has continued and most murders remain unsolved.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón this year also launched the program “Todos Somos Juárez” (We are all Juárez) intended to rebuild the city’s social fabric with education, sports, jobs and culture and other proposals.

Roth said law enforcement can only do so much to stem murders.

Roth advocates an uncommon theory, arguing that high murder rates are not linked to poverty, lack of police or gun control, but rather to trust in government and a sense of belonging.

“People settle their own scores when the state breaks down,” Roth said in a telephone interview from Ohio. “They think there will be no consequences. So, they act like there will be no consequences.”

Roth points to the Great Depression as an example of when homicides dropped while poverty increased because there was a sense of we are all in it together. In communities where there is no sense of kinship, the smallest slight can escalate to violence, he said.

Roth argued there is no correlation, beyond a certain point, between police staffing numbers and murders.

“Strong policing can deter auto theft rings, burglaries and gang violence but it has a hard time with murder because it is so spontaneous. It is so personal and the emotions involved so strong,” he said.

But if trust is the answer, it can be a difficult answer to find in a city like Juárez, infected for decades by corruption.

A public opinion poll last November by the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez showed that 97 percent of the population felt unsafe and that 52 percent disapproved of and distrusted all Mexican authorities.

“Ultimately what builds a sense of patriotism and fellowship is feeling a sense of connectiveness with your neighbor (and) that your government does care for your concerns and builds stability,” Roth said.

“It’s easier to revive an economy than build trust. (Government action) has to be seen as effective. It’s deeper (than just the government). It has to come from the people itself.”

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Posted by on 03/01/2012 in Crime!, Politics


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Is Mexico the uncomfortable neighbor of the United States?

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Mexico is the United States uncomfortable neighbor,

He said the government’s foreign policy in this country has improved relations with the United States, Central and Latin America

MEXICO CITY, Feb. 29. – The foreign policy of the Government of Mexico has significantly improved relations with Central and Latin America in general, and in no way be considered that our country is a ‘neighbor uncomfortable’ for America , said today the Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Gonzalo Gómez Canseco.

The Mexican foreign ministry official said this in the context of the presentation of the book ‘The International Challenges of Mexico: Urgency of Fresh Eyes’.

Gonzalo Gómez Canseco denied that Mexico is the ‘awkward neighbor’ of the United States, as indicated by the book ‘The International Challenges of Mexico: Urgency of Fresh Eyes’, a compilation of 11 essays written by specialists, including Natalia Saltalamacchia, Jorge Tello, Luis Herrera, Marco Antonio Alcazar and coordinated by Olga Pellicer and Guadalupe Gonzalez.

Gómez Canseco spoke at the beginning of the presentation of the book and their expressions were contrary to the criticism issued later by the former Mexican foreign minister and senator for the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Rosario Green.

The Chief of Staff of the Foreign Ministry said that the views displayed do not reflect the actual conditions of the conduct of foreign policy, and the fact it said that our country is ‘uncomfortable neighbor’ of the United States.

‘The vision expressed by the authors is more a review of what is said in the media, that an analysis of official documents or reports, “he said.

Canseco Gomez said that even the current federal administration attended representing the headlights on Mexican possible break some countries in the region, ‘which has increased significantly the level of diplomatic relations’.

In presenting the book also attended Senator PRD, Jose Guadarrama Marquez and Olga Pellicer compiler itself.

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State of Mexico offering a reward of one million pesos for “the Flirty”

TOLUCA, February 29. – Attorney Alfredo Castillo Mexico State will meet in the next few hours with relatives of the victims of Cesar Armando Librado Legorreta, alias “the Flirty responsible for multiple homicides.”

the Flirtatious wanted for Murder and Rape
the Flirtatious wanted for Murder and Rape

The Attorney General of the State of Mexico (PGJEM) also confirmed that offering a reward of one million pesos to anyone providing information leading to the arrest the rapist and murderer of women.

It is expected that the meeting with the families of the young people who were killed by Librado Legorreta will be conducted behind closed doors in the city of Toluca.

The prosecutor said that in the last hours they have investigated 14 homes related to the criminal, where they have located the victim’s belongings.

The office reported that so far they do not have clues as to the whereabouts of the two judicial police who allegedly are related to the escape of the criminal.

The governor instructed the mexiquense Attorney Eruviel Avila, Alfredo Castillo, to facilitate the investigations leading to the recapture of Armando Librado Legorreta, aka “Flirty”, accused of rape and homicide.

In a statement reported that the state government was determined to dismiss the charge of the Commissioner General of the state ministerial police of Mexico, Enrique Dominguez Abasolo, to facilitate investigations into the case and determining if there are more public servants suspected of evasion of arrest.

In addition, Villegas Avila ordered the state prosecutor to speed up the investigation and implement the mechanisms necessary for legal and intelligence gathering to lead to the capture of Saul Antonio Rodrigo Sanchez and Israel Rodriguez, the two policemen at large for whose negligence or complicity, made it was possible for the detainee to escape.

Further instructions were for the Deputy Governor for the Investigation of Crimes Linked to Gender Violence and the prosecutor Alfredo Castillo in the sense of providing all necessary attention to the families of the victims of the fugitive.

The governor also asked the head of the Attorney General of the State of Mexico structural analysis of substance dependence to identify those actions which may need to improve and streamline their work

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Posted by on 03/01/2012 in Corruption at Work!, Crime!


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tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer- this matters!

The tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer went on sale today, crashing its distributors’ websites on the way to selling out within hours of launch.

Looking like little more than a credit card-sized chip of circuit board, the powerful, fully-programmable PC can plug into any TV and can power 3D graphics and Blu-ray video playback.

Its British-based designers at the Raspberry Pi Foundation hope the computer, which has been in the works for six years, will spark new interest in programming among children.

“The primary goal was to build a low cost computer that every child could own, and one where programming was the natural thing to do with it,” said co-founder Robert Mullins.

The computer’s miniature uncased circuit board is crowded with an Ethernet connection for the internet, two USB ports and an SD card port for memory and is powered by a standard USB mobile charger.

The low-cost computer runs a free, open-source Linux operating system and does not include a monitor or keyboard.

The first version of the Raspberry Pi will ship soon to developers, and the hope is that they will design software that will enable children to design their own computer programs.

The project came about when a group of Cambridge-based computer programmers noticed that fewer and less-qualified students were applying for computer science courses at Cambridge University.

Inspired by computers like the BBC Micro and the Commodore 64 in the 1980s, the group of engineers set out to build a new programmable machine for a new generation.

“Each year we had fewer and fewer students applying, and most of them hadn’t really done much more than write a web page,” Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton told CNN. “So we kind of set out to recreate that feeling of the BBC Micro in the hopes it would spark a new wave of kids knowing how to program.”

Upton told CNN that an even cheaper version of the computer, which will retail for just $25, is going into production within the next several weeks.

In the long term, he hopes the computer will generate an additional 1,000 engineers in the UK each year — an “industry-changing development”, according to Upton.

“Anyone who expresses a desire to get into designing software should have a platform to do it,” he said

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Posted by on 03/01/2012 in Internet, Living!


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