November 20, 2009:
After winning several significant Municipal elections in October, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is feeling cocky again. In fact, PRI backers see a reconquista of sorts. The PRI basically ruled Mexico from the Mexican Revolution until 2000 (though a case can be made the 1997 congressional elections really shook the PRI's grip). PRI corruption is legendary, and that legacy of corruption haunts Mexico. Still, the PRI knows how to campaign and is exploiting voter dissatisfaction with the economy. The PRI is laying plans to win the 2012 presidential elections.
November 13, 2009: A seven year old boy, an El Paso, Texas resident, was murdered while visiting his father in Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua state). His father was also killed. The two were in a parked car when gunmen opened up on the vehicle. The father was killed at the wheel. The little boy fled from the car and was (according to police reports) shot in the back.
November 12, 2009: A Ciudad Juarez business advocacy group has called for the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces to the city. The group has asked for international forces to deploy to help Mexican security forces. Businesses located in Juarez also complain of extortion by criminal gangs and claim that hundreds of businesses have either left Juarez or have simply closed their doors due to the rampant violence. One of the group's spokesman said that the government's security forces (Mexican Army and federal police) have failed in their attempt to stop the drug gangs.
November 11, 2009: Police in Cuijingo arrested four men who were trying to kidnap a local resident. A large group of local residents (estimated at a thousand people) came after the kidnappers and physically took them from the police. One report said the criminals were doused with gasoline. Police officials convinced the mob to allow the kidnappers to be arrested and jailed.
The government said that it was officially firing 270 officers serving as traffic police in the city of Monterrey (Nuevo Leon state). This announcement follows reports of an extensive investigation of over 1,100 police officers in the city. The officers have been fired for incompetence and corruption.
November 6, 2009: Gunmen murdered a former Mexican military officer, serving as a senior police commander, in Ciudad Juarez. The officer was shot to death inside his car. The drug gangs have been targeting police officials for quite some time, but now appear to be explicitly targeting former military officers who are now serving as senior police commanders. Putting retired military officers in charge of local police forces is part of the government's counter-corruption drive. The drug gangs, which have bribed many local cops, know the new cohort of police commanders are weeding out corrupt cops. The battle over control of local police departments is a major front in The Cartel War.
November 4, 2009: A retired Mexican Army general, now serving as a police chief in the town of Garcia (near Monterrey) was murdered as he and his bodyguard contingent responded to a request for help from the suburb's mayor. The mayor reported that heavily armed men were approaching his home. En route to the mayor's home, the police chief's car was ambushed. The chief's four bodyguards were also murdered in the attack. The police report said several hundred rounds were fired at the car. The attack was clearly planned, with the gunmen at the mayor's home serving as a tactical feint.
Cartel gunmen killed six people in a bar in Ciudad Juarez. One of the men murdered was an off-duty US Air Force airman assigned to Holloman AFB (Alamogordo, New Mexico).