Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Curse of Cusarare

Excerpt from Borderland Beat book - Chapter - The Curse of Cusarare 

As Everest approached the curve I noticed that he had moved to the center of the lane because there was a person in a yellow jacket riding a bicycle on the right side real close to the edge of the steel guardrail.  Everest approached the curve with his motorcycle on the center of the yellow line of the road and he was gaining on the bicyclist.  As he accelerated and leaned into the curve he came side-by-side of the person on the bicycle. Suddenly the bicyclist made a quick left turn toward the middle of the road and right into the path of Everest and his motorcycle.

Everest didn't have time to react and t-boned the bicyclist straight on. There was a loud crashing sound, and the bicyclist flew 20 feet through the air as a result of being hit by a motorcycle at full speed. Everest and his bike went down on the right side. The impact and momentum of the crash propelled Everest over his bike and he slid on the pavement about 15 feet in front of his motorcycle.

 I  looked for a safe place to park my bike. It seemed like everything was in slow motion; every movement was fluid as I stopped my bike, placed the kick stand down, turned the key to shut off the engine, dismounted, and took off my helmet and placed it on the ground.

Everest's motorcycle was on its right side, still in the middle of the road, and Everest was on the ground on his side facing away from me. He was the first person I was able to reach. He still had his helmet on but his face shield was gone.

I called to him but got no response. He was not moving at all. I got really close to him, called out his name about four times but still got no response. I opened one of his his eye lids and noticed that his eye was also not responsive. I immediately started to feel for a pulse on his right wrist but I wasn't certain there was one. My own heart was racing fast and I was breathing hard because I had run to get to Everest.

I was breathing too hard, and that wasn't helping me. I was a trained first responder and I knew I had to calm down if I was going to be of any help. But the problem is, a crash or catastrophe is never easy when it involves someone you know. Somehow I calmed down and was finally able to detect a pulse from Everest.

Then I ran toward the other person and realized that he was a small Indian boy about 10 years old. His whole body was shaking in spasms and his eyes were wide open and fixed up to the top of his head. His mouth was open and he looked like he was going into shock. Blood streamed down his face and I knew he had some sort of head trauma. Both the boy and Everest were in the middle of the highway and I knew I had to do something.

I looked behind me to see if there was any traffic coming but there was only the empty highway and another blue sign announcing the approach to Cusarare.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Rocky Point - Sonora

Excerpt from Borderland Beat book - Chapter - Rocky Point - Sonora

We made it to Puerto Penasco and had a very good time with no issues whatsoever.  On our way back to Albuquerque, we drove the U.S. side of the border.

In 2008 there were a lot of Mexican cops that were killed or caught actively colluding with organized crime in the state of Sonora.

Later, while I tried to do some research of the so-called Dos Mil, who was mentioned in our trip I got an idea of who this person might be. It was none other than Francisco Hernandez Garcia alias "El 2000," or "El Panchillo," who was at one time a drug lord of the Beltrán Leyva  Brothers Organization Cartel (BLO).

It is said that "El 2000" allied himself with Los Zetas after he felt betrayed by the BLO. The Zetas had a feud with the BLO who at one time sent one of their Lieutenants, Édgar Valdés Villarreal “La Barbie” to the state of Tamaulipas to help the Gulf Cartel take over the gulf region. There is a video that went viral on social media where La Barbie is seen torturing and executing four members of Los Zetas. Suddenly “El 2000” felt that he needed to control his turf, specifically police officers working with and for Sinaloa and BLO.

In 2006 they found the head of a local cop wrapped in silver duct tape. They had used a knife to pin a note with a message in his chest. As a final touch, they left a hand grenade by the corpse—a calling card, of sorts.

The note read:
“Miren ojetes, la pelea no es con el gobierno, es con Arturo Beltrán y La Barbie (Édgar Valdés Villarreal) –capos del cártel de Sinaloa– Todos los judiciales y municipales que estén con ellos se van a morir: Carlos Bojórquez, Andrés Sánchez (PJE), Manuel Ángel Barrios Mo PJE.”

And on the back it read: “Policías Municipales… Urrea… Almaraz… tienen 24 horas para salir del estado, todos los policías que estén con la maña morirán Att El 2000 y aliados.”

Somewhat it translates: "Listen here assholes, our fight is not with the government; it's with Arturo Beltrán Leyva and La Barbie of the Sinaloa Cartel. All the state and city police who are with them will die."

It contained at least 10 names of police officers from around the state of Sonora who were targeted for execution, and it was signed “ El 2000 and allies."

Cananea narco-trafficker “Dos Mil” had risen to power by eliminating the established Sonoran narco-families and could kill you just for looking at him the wrong way. He controlled the Sonora region and ruled with total impunity. That is who my brother risk his life for, just for flirting innocently with the girlfriend of a bad hombre.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Glimpse of Hope

Excerpt from Borderland Beat book - Chapter - Glimpse of Hope

In 2008 the Sinaloa cartel was attempting to take over the Ciudad Juarez plaza from the Juarez cartel and both cartels were in a fierce battle in the city of Juarez. Juarez is a popular hub for drug trafficking in to the USA. In 2007 Juarez was considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Juarez is on the border of El Paso, Texas.

I did find the brief article of the incident in a newspaper of Juarez.

On the date in question, Dad was driving a gold sedan, mom was in the front passenger seat, little brother was on the right rear seat behind his mother and Alicia was on the left rear seat behind her father. While the car stopped for a traffic light, two vehicles blocked their path from the front and rear. Two men armed with assault rifles came up to the car from both sides and opened fire on the Dad, mother and little boy. They were killed instantly. The man on the left side that had just shot and killed dad was supposed to shoot Alicia but he did not. He pointed his gun at her and at the last moment did not shoot. Perhaps he had a little girl himself and felt compassion, who knows. This was done at mid-day in a crowded street with many people witnessing the execution. No one was ever brought to justice for the execution.

It was just another day in Juarez.

They eventually found a cache of weapons in the trunk of the car and a substantial amount of US currency ($30,000). Mexican authorities suspected that the dad had ties to the Juarez cartel and was a matter of “ajuste de cuentas,” or “settling of scores” a phrase I would later hear often after reading about an execution. He was known to be a lieutenant for “La Linea,” the armed wing of the Juarez

It was around this time that I started reading a lot about organize crime in Mexico, and I was shocked at the amount and extend of violence on the other side of the US border. I learned that the homicide rate was spiraling out of control in Ciudad Juarez. Yet, the US was blind to it all.

To this point I had never heard of La Linea, but later, I made sure I did..

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

In Search for La Linea

Excerpts from Borderland Beat book - Chapter - In Search for La Línea

Most citizens here are afraid of La Línea. After two years as a policeman, Hector also fears them. "They are in charge. They give the orders. It's unbelievable, but that is just how it is."
I got some insight in to the background of the enforcers and the sicarios of the Juarez cartel, La Línea. Their job, keep all rival cartels away from the plaza, enforce the code of the cartel, protect the trafficking operation on the Mexico side of the border and settle scores, punish anyone who dares to interfere with operations or betrays the cartel institution. 
I was not naive, I knew that La Línea was sometimes the actual local police. At one point, I asked about police corruption in Juarez and I was corrected, "Corruption? The police are the cartel."
It was really simple I was told. The criminal organization is a straight line, they say. All the drug dealers, hitmen (sicarios), the police who protect them and the mules who carry the cocaine to the U.S. must all be aligned. Straight shooters. The Juarez drug cartel created a new term used to describe their organization. It started as a concept, a method of operation, then it became a group of enforcers. So, they call themselves "The Line" (La Línea) and everyone fears it. 

I survived that night in Juarez. The next morning, I was outside the streets of Juarez and noticed many federal police and soldiers almost in every corner. I ate some tacos of barbacoa real early in the morning, the streets were bustling with people doing their daily chores, going about their business. Sitting there, among the masses of people, for a minute I was just another person among many. 
Walking back to the international bridge I saw three federal police pickup trucks running lights and siren with three or four federal police officers in the back holding for dear life. They were all in black wearing ballistic helmets, ski masks and all had long rifles strapped to their shoulder. I wonder if they were responding to another daily execution or shootout somewhere in Juarez. It did not seem to faze the public as they seem to go about their normal business, like nothing was happening, just another day in the city.

The Encounter with the Drunk Sicarios

From Borderland Beat book - Chapter - The Encounter with the Drunk Sicarios

We continued to ride, it was starting to get late and we were not sure how far we were from Urique. As we came around a bend and started to climb a hill, I could see a large white truck coming down the hill. I could see several Indian men on the back of the truck. There was a narrow gap between some trees just enough for the truck to fit. Everest managed to cross the gap before the truck made it through. He sped up the hill and I had to wait for the truck to make it through the gap so I could get through.

But the truck stopped in the middle of the gap blocking my path.

I could see two men inside the cab of the truck. Suddenly the driver got out and I could see he was wearing a military jacket with blue pants. He was carrying an assault rifle, AR-15.

I did not like this a bit. I knew this was extremely dangerous. We were deep in the vast empty mountains and the whole scene was not right. I started to look around me, looking for options.

I tried to back up to turn around fast, but he was moving too fast toward me. I then saw that the passenger had also exited his truck and he also was armed with an assault rifle. I became afraid of what they might do and for a second, I thought of ditching my bike and running as fast as I could, but I knew I didn't have time to do anything.

I could see that Everest was reaching the top of the hill kicking dust in the distance.

I thought to myself, "stop, don't panic, think." I focused my attention on the two men quickly approaching me, trying to see signs or red flags. The driver had his trigger finger extended on his weapon while the passenger had his finger resting on the trigger of his weapon. As the driver got closer, I could see the hat he was wearing said "Urique police." Out here that did not mean shit. Most municipal police are actively colluding with organize crime.

I could very easily be killed here on the spot and my body not found for days. And it will not matter, I would be just another casualty of many.

The House of Death

Excerpts from Borderland Beat book - Chapter - The House of Death

"A Mexican attorney by the name of Fernando Reyes was looking for a way to cross a load of weed across the border. Lalo can make it happen for him, he knows all the contacts. Lalo has brought Fernando to this little house in the city of Juarez. Fernando doesn't know it yet but he has walked in to a trap. Hiding in one of the rooms of the house are also two police officers from the state police of Chihuahua.

Fernando is unaware, but they are here to kill him.

As Fernando is talking to Lalo, one of the police officers comes out of one of the rooms and puts the barrel of a gun to his face. Fernando pleads for his life, he knows he is in trouble. They decide not using the gun, it’s too loud, they can't take any chances.

This house is located in a middle-class neighborhood and people will call the police here if they hear gunshots. Fernando screams in panic. They tape his mouth shut in attempts to stifle the loud screams. Fernando fights back, kicking and swinging his arm, so they take him down to the floor. But it's not easy, Fernando is fighting for his life. Lalo helps to restrain Fernando while one of the officers wraps an extension chords around the neck of Fernando. Fernando knows his death is certain but continues to fight. He does not want to die like this, but is futile, he finally lays motionless as his life is snuffed from him.

The officers split $2,000 for killing a suspected drug trafficker known as “Fernando.”

Fernando is dead and they have his dope. Santillan (a top lieutenant in the powerful Juarez cartel organization) congratulates Lalo, he tells him that Vicente Carrillo Fuentes will be happy."

Juarez Cartel

Excerpts from Borderland Beat - Chapter - Juarez Cartel

There is a story that has circulated in Ciudad Juarez for many years and has been told many times. It has been told so many times by so many people, that most think is just a fable. I once met a man who swore on his mother's grave that it was true and that he was a witness, but this was after several beers and frankly, the man told many other narco tales for me to take him too seriously.

The story goes something like this:

A group of men armed with ak-47s walk inside an exclusive restaurant in the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez. The men tell the patrons not to be scared, that if they just do as they are told, no one will get hurt. They tell them that everyone needs to stay on their table and try to enjoy their meal. The armed men collect all the cell phones from the customers and are told they can have them back as soon as the armed men leave. They are going to eat and do not want to be disturbed by anyone.

Suddenly three men walk in escorted by more armed men. These men seemed to be men of prominence, but everyone is afraid to look their way. They sit on a table and start to eat, while laughing and having a good time.

Everyone is nervous and afraid.The only sound in the restaurant are from the important men laughing at their table.

After eating, they leave. The last man stops by the entrance to the door. Everyone is frozen, not sure what is going to happen next. Are they going to finish them off, eliminate any witnesses? Everyone is fixated on the ak-47 he is holding at ready, this is how people die in Juarez.

The man thanks everyone for their cooperation. He tells the customers that their meals have been paid for to make up for the inconvenience. No one knew at the time, but one of the men that had been escorted inside to eat was non-other than Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, "El Viceroy," the top boss of the Juarez Cartel or as is referred to by the US Government, the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization (VCFO)

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Two Chapos

Excerpt from Bordeland Beat book - Chapter "The Execution of two Chapos."

**** Caution, graphic violent content, discretion advised ****
"When both men are finished talking, it’s time to pay the piper. Both men then appeared frozen in time, staring in to the distance, as if in a trance, living but already dead. Perhaps they were heavily drugged so they didn't kick and scream during the brutal nightmare. Fear itself will not numb anyone enough to face this level of evil directly in the eye. Even the sound of the chainsaw does not break their trance.

The uncle is first; he grimaces as the chainsaw spews blood, flesh and bone, as it tears through his throat, separating his head from his body. The chainsaw accidentally cuts the arm of the nephew sitting right next to the uncle during the violent massacre, but he doesn’t flinch.

The second man, the young nephew, is decapitated with a knife, and while the knife is cutting through his throat, he makes a last attempt to scream out, but his vocal chords have been severed, and all one can hear is a faint whimpering sound, the last breath of a man that was way too young to die.

The ghastly chilling gurgling sounds coming out of his perforated wind pipe, followed by the grinding sounds as the knife breaks through the spinal cord, finally frees his head from his body, ending the most repulsive, heinous and gruesome act witness on video.

In a normal world one would say, wake up it’s only a nightmare, but this is real, repeating itself every day somewhere in old Mexico."

Warning, graphic video on next page is extremely graphic.

The Borderland Beat Project Collaboration

"The Borderland Beat Project is collaboration from a group of people of different backgrounds located in the US and Mexico that gather information related to the Mexican drug cartels and presents it in English through the internet, publications and presentations. Almost all content in this book comes from the result of reporting in the Borderland Beat blog and, the personal experience and research of the author.

This represents the most extensive and comprehensive source of information between the years 2008 and 2013 covering a very wide range of topics related to the Mexican cartels and the Mexican drug war in Mexico and along the US/Mexican border.

The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict taking place among rival drug cartels, who fight each other for regional control (plazas), and Mexican government forces, which seek to combat drug trafficking. Although Mexican drug cartels, or Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO’s), have existed for a few decades, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s.

The main cartels included are the powerful Sinaloa Cartel or Cartel de Sinaloa (CDS) that dominated the Golden Triangle in the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Durango - The Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) made up of the Beltran brothers mainly concentrating in Guerrero - The Juarez Cartel fighting to protect their turf from the Sinaloa Cartel on one of the deadliest border city in Mexico - The Gulf Cartel fighting their own break away armed wing known as Los Zetas on the gulf coast that turned towns in the state of Tamaulipas in to ghost towns - La Familia Michoacana (LFM) trying to make a presence in the lands of Tierra Caliente of Michoacan and eventually morphing in to the Caballeros Templarios or The Knights Templar.

The information on this book has a fast pace, with a lot of DTO information thrown at you at one time filled with sicario activity and the Mexican government attempt to intervene, but it also contains a lot of personal direct behind the scene information from the author. This particular information is the involvement of the author from his early stages when he started to formalize his plan to bring to life the Borderland Beat Project.

Follow Buggs as he sets the stage and takes you on a wild ride in to the dark shadows of the violence and chaos of the Mexican drug cartels. A narrative, as told in the deep dark pages of the Borderland Beat blog."
Book coming soon,,,,