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Post by slainte39 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:05 pm

Thought I heard on the news that 8 more, some high ranking, Templarios were aprehended yesterday in Michoacán.  Anybody else?...Alex?...hear anything?

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Post by CheenaGringo on Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:20 pm


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Post by Smartalex on Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:27 pm

Slainte,

I haven't seen anything specific about the eight Templarios. Perhaps this is used news. Last week the government rounded up a bunch of them, including one of the top leaders. And a few days ago a plaza jefe was arrested along with most of his cell.

For me, today's stunning news is that the government has identified 34 of the Autodefensas who were arrested in Michoacan last year as having ties to organized crime, including Los Zetas, La Familia and the New Generation. All of them had military weapons expertise and, apparently, were training the Autodefensas.

Here's a link to the story in La Jornada:

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/01/23/politica/006n1pol

And a link to the Google translation to English:

http://translate.google.com.mx/translate?sl=en&tl=es&js=n&prev=_t&hl=es-419&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jornada.unam.mx%2F2014%2F01%2F23%2Fpolitica%2F006n1pol
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Post by Jeff Raybourne on Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:42 pm

Smartalex wrote:Slainte,

I haven't seen anything specific about the eight Templarios. Perhaps this is used news. Last week the government rounded up a bunch of them, including one of the top leaders. And a few days ago a plaza jefe was arrested along with most of his cell.

For me, today's stunning news is that the government has identified 34 of the Autodefensas who were arrested in Michoacan last year as having ties to organized crime, including Los Zetas, La Familia and the New Generation. All of them had military weapons expertise and, apparently, were training the Autodefensas.

Here's a link to the story in La Jornada:

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/01/23/politica/006n1pol

And a link to the Google translation to English:

http://translate.google.com.mx/translate?sl=en&tl=es&js=n&prev=_t&hl=es-419&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jornada.unam.mx%2F2014%2F01%2F23%2Fpolitica%2F006n1pol

And it could quite possibly be misinformation aimed at weakening the movement. From what I have read, they have embarrassed the government.

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Post by Smartalex on Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:23 pm

I respect your take. Here's mine:

The Autodefensas have, indeed, embarrassed the government. And they have used social and alternative media to create a well romanticized and highly sympathetic image of themselves. This leak to the press is the government's counter attack in the p.r. war to win (or lose) the hearts and minds of the people. I'm assuming the story is true...it jibes with what I have been reading about the Autodefensas. The government didn't have to make it up.
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Post by slainte39 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:37 pm

Jeff...I don't think these guys (autodefensas) are going to be easily sidetracked and put out to pasture as they risked a lot just to get as far as they have.

Alex...Any movement is bound to pick up some bad apples as they see it as an "opportunity".

I will be in Uruápan in a couple of weeks, so I guess I'll find out more then, more than I want to know.  My compadre, who lives in Acuitzio, thinks it's probably safer now in that part of the state (Morelia-Patzcuaro-Uruapan) than it has been for some time or at least since and before, they sabotaged the power sub-stations.

Who knows what's in the heads of the lideres of the autodefensas?....only The Shadow knows.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:48 pm

As an outsider who tries to keep a fairly close eye on the happenings in Michoacan since we visit there so often, I would think that this Administration and the last have had plenty of opportunity to get serious about the situation and have dropped the ball for one reason or another. Who can blame the locals for taking matters into their own hands? History tells us that there will always be infiltration or simply opportunists looking to take advantage for one reason or another.

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Post by Smartalex on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:32 pm

Slainte,

You mentioned Uruapan and it jogged my memory. That's where the Templarios plaza jefe and some of his underlings were busted a couple of days ago. This is probably what you heard about on the news. Here's the story:

http://www.24-horas.mx/cae-el-mariachi-jefe-de-plaza-de-templarios-en-uruapan/
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Post by Smartalex on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:42 pm

slainte39 wrote:

Alex...Any movement is bound to pick up some bad apples as they see it as an "opportunity".

Yeah...this is what I've been reading. The fear is that once all the cowboys go home to their pueblos, the sicarios in the movement will just take it over and become the new jefes.
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Post by Jeff Raybourne on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:56 pm

The government and especially the PRI have a long history of publishing false information to discredit opponents or influence public opinion. Mario Aburto and the Colosio case, Ruiz Massieu etc are fairly recent examples. They lost the hearts and minds of the nation a long time ago. In cases like this they simply try to justify actions that will be unpopular.

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Post by slainte39 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:05 pm

So true, the worst in my lifetime was the watered down reporting done in '68 when they said that only a handful of students were shot and killed when it possibly could have been in the hundreds.
At least there are more eyes and ears out there nowadays.

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Post by zenwoodle on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:22 pm

More eyes and ears do not mean that the information is more accurate, merely that it is repeated more often.
"Chinese whispers" does not make it true, but it sure does sell newspapers.
Some days I feel like "ignorance is bliss" is the best mantra. Beer Beer 
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Post by Smartalex on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:57 am

Well, if we're going to discuss the past, I might as well drag this out of the Alexander archives. I'm sure some people will find this quite informative.

A Brief History of Mexico
Part Five: The Rise and Fall of the PRI
By Steven Alexander

After 50 years of self-destructive civil war, 30 years of brutal dictatorial rule and 20 years of bloody revolution…Mexico needed a break. That break came in 1929, when the National Revolutionary Party (PNR) took control of the federal government, finally bringing the revolution to an end. Much like the Democratic Party in America, the PNR was a “big tent” that included all the various and diverse racial, social and economic groups of Mexico. They agreed to fight for their special interests within the party and not in the streets or on the battlefield. The PNR later changed its name to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and ruled Mexico for a total of 71 consecutive years. Every six years, a new presidential successor would be chosen by the party leadership and then confirmed by the rubber stamp of a public election. With overwhelming popular support and only token dissent, the PRI created what has often been characterized as “the perfect dictatorship.”

In 1934, Lazaro Cardenas became president of Mexico. At the time, Cardenas was a 39-year-old veteran of the revolution and former governor of Michoacan. He had gained the trust and respect of the Mexican people due his reputation as an honest politician. Under his guidance, Mexico instituted a series of socialist reforms that truly changed the country. The large ranchos were broken up and the land was redistributed to the “campesinos” (peasant farmers) for use as “ejidos” (communal farms). A public education system was built to benefit the children of all classes. The railroads, telephones and utilities were nationalized. The holdings of the powerful American and British oil interests were confiscated and turned over to Pemex (Petroleos Mexicanos), the government-owned monopoly that still controls oil production and distribution in Mexico. Freedom of expression, religion and the press were not only guaranteed by the constitution but encouraged by Cardenas during his six years in office.

Over time, the PRI became increasingly separated from the goals of the revolution and the example of honest government set by Cardenas. The party built a political machine that ran Mexico like the Democrats ran Chicago. “La mordida” (the bite) became a way of life. Cops, judges, municipal officials, union leaders, legislators and presidents all took a bite of the apple in the form of bribes, kickbacks and payoffs. Embezzlement, extortion and fraud within the various governmental entities were commonplace. Proceeds from drug trafficking not only fattened the wallets of the PRI pols but helped spur the economy as a whole. The entire country was on the take. Mexicans didn’t necessarily make a value judgment when it came to all of this graft and corruption. Right or wrong, that’s the way it was. It was how “el sistema” (the system) worked. It took a series of tragic events over a long period of time in order to shock the Mexican people out of their complacency.

The first shock came in 1968. In that year, the international student movement was at its peak. There were student demonstrations throughout Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. In Mexico City, massive demonstrations broke out just days prior to the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, which were being hosted in the Mexican capital. The whole world was watching as Mexican army troops and federal police opened fire on a crowd of students gathered at a public plaza in the Tlateloco section of Mexico City to protest against police brutality and repression of dissent. Officially, the government claimed 40 students were killed. The demonstrators claimed thousands were dead. Subsequent investigations place the death toll at around 400. The Mexican people never forgave the government for killing their children.

Then there was the earthquake of 1985. A giant 8.1 tremblor struck off the Pacific Coast of Mexico but did most of its damage in Mexico City, which was largely built on unstable landfill in Lake Texcoco. An estimated 10,000 people died and sections of the city were flattened. Although no one could hold the government to blame for the earthquake, they found plenty to blame in the mismanagement of the relief effort that followed. Relief aid was doled out according to your standing within the PRI. The higher your position in the party, the more aid you received. People who did not belong to the party got no aid at all.

And then there was the shock of Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Salinas was elected president in 1988 in a disputed election. The new computer system that was installed to count the voting quickly and accurately mysteriously “crashed” on the night of the election. Years later, Miguel de la Madrid, Salinas’ predecessor as president, admitted that election officials shut down the computer and declared Salinas the winner when early returns indicated he would lose.

Government corruption reached a peak during Salinas’ six years in office. His brothers quickly became very wealthy, with foreign bank accounts stuffed with hundreds of millions of dollars from unexplained sources. One brother, Raul, had his $110-million Swiss account frozen. Most of the money was later returned to the Mexican government once they were able to satisfy Swiss authorities that the money was misappropriated from public coffers. Raul also spent 10 years in a Mexican prison after being convicted of ordering the murder of Jose Ruiz Massieu, then head of the PRI and Salinas’ former brother-in-law. Another brother, Enrique, was found dead in Mexico City. His cause of death was asphyxiation by a plastic bag taped firmly over his head. At the time of Enrique Salinas’ death, he was under investigation by French authorities for money laundering. Raul has since been released from jail, pending his appeal. Investigation continues by Mexican, U.S., French and Swiss authorities into the financial dealings of the three Salinas brothers and the numerous allegations of their involvement in drug trafficking.

Salinas was a big booster of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). According to Salinas, in order to comply with the terms of NAFTA, the ejido lands that were used for communal farming needed to be privatized. The constitutional provisions that guaranteed communal use of these ancestral farmlands were amended and ownership was divvied up among those with hereditary claims to the lands. Once NAFTA went into effect, the campesinos found that they could not compete with large-scale agribusiness and the introduction into Mexico of cheap American corn. Much of the ejido lands were sold to agribusiness corporations and the farmers migrated to the cities or to the U.S. The populations of Mexican cities mushroomed and what was once a steady trickle of illegal immigration into America became a flood.

On Januray 1, 1994, the day that NAFTA went into effect, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) arose in armed resistance to the federal government of Mexico. With the overwhelming support of the local native population, the Zapatistas actually took control of San Cristobal de las Casas and several small villages in Chiapas. They overran a small military post, chased out the government officials and set up their own civil administration. The Zapatista ideology was a mixture of Marxism and Nativism. Their heroes were Che Guevara, Emiliano Zapata and Maria Sabina. They demanded autonomy from the federal government and the right to preserve their ancestral way of life, including communal farming.

The immediate reaction of the Salinas regime was massive armed retaliation against the 3,000-man (and woman) Zapatista army. But the wholesale slaughter of indigenous people who were struggling for their land rights was unacceptable to the vast majority of Mexicans and yet another example of how far the PRI had strayed from the goals and aspirations of the revolution. Bowing to public pressure, the government agreed to a ceasefire after 12 days of intense blood-letting. The Mexican army retook the city of San Cristobal but allowed the Zapatistas some measure of autonomy over a small area in Chiapas. The shaky truce has held for most of the past 15 years. The Zapatistas now use the media and the Internet in a nonviolent effort to press for reforms that would give more autonomy to the native people of Mexico. The hooded Zapatista spokesman, Subcomandante Marcos, is considered a heroic figure by many Mexicans.

Perhaps the biggest shock of all was the assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio in 1994. It was an election year and Colosio was chosen as the presidential candidate of the PRI. The 44-year-old Colosio was young and handsome, intelligent and well educated. He had a beautiful wife and two lovely children. Colosio claimed he would clean up the government, prosecute corrupt officials and make Mexico a decent place for people of all races, religions and classes to live and raise a family. The comparisons to John Kennedy were unavoidable. For one brief shining moment, the Mexican people actually had someone they could believe in. Then, on March 23, 1994, at a campaign rally in Tijuana, Colosio was shot in the head with a .38 caliber handgun at point blank range.

Who killed Colosio? Mario Aburto Martinez, a 23-year-old factory
worker with no motive, is serving a 45-year sentence as the official lone perpetrator of the crime. But few Mexicans accept the lone-gunman theory. The autopsy indicates there were two bullet wounds…coming from two different directions. A suspected second gunman was arrested by Tijuana police the day of the murder…and then released within 24 hours. Three members of Colosio’s private security detail were later arrested as conspirators in the crime…and released 10 months later without charges ever being filed. The Tijuana chief of police was assassinated shortly after announcing he would pursue his own investigation into the crime…one of more than 20 people connected to the assassination who have since been murdered. There are many more unanswered questions about who killed Colosio. If you ask Mexicans who did it, most will tell you it was “el sistema.”

In a close but relatively legitimate election, the PRI’s replacement candidate, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, was elected president in 1994. An economist by trade, the 43-year-old Zedillo was certainly an intelligent and well-meaning man. But he took control over a government in turmoil and a country in crisis. Not only did he have to deal with an armed insurgency in Chiapas, the scandals involving the Salinas brothers and the fallout from the Colosio assassination but, within a month of taking office, the Mexican economy collapsed. The time had come to repay the excessive borrowing of the Salinas regime…and Mexico was broke. The peso took a nosedive, losing half its value. Zedillo arranged for a $50-billion bailout from the U.S. and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Although the economy recovered and the bailout was repaid ahead of schedule, the PRI had lost all credibility with the Mexican people. After 71 years of continuous one-party rule, the time had come for a change.

Next Month: Part Six: Democratization
________________________________________
Steven Alexander is a former journalist and award-winning sports writer. He is retired and lives in Ajijic.
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Post by slainte39 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:16 am

A very well written short history of the PRI and events over the last hundred years. Well done, Steve.
As an aside, I would mention that Bill Clinton pushed hard against a lot of political opposition in the US for that $50 billion dollar bailout that saved Mexico's ass.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:25 am


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Post by viajero on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:43 am

Smartalex wrote: the PRI had lost all credibility with the Mexican people. After 71 years of continuous one-party rule, the time had come for a change.
Is there really any difference between the old PRI and the new PRI aside from being a little more descreet and p.r.savvy,aren't they the same bunch of liars,traitors to the Revolution and thieves that they've always been?

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Post by Smartalex on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:01 pm

viajero wrote:
Smartalex wrote: the PRI had lost all credibility with the Mexican people. After 71 years of continuous one-party rule, the time had come for a change.
Is there really any difference between the old PRI and the new PRI aside from being a little more descreet and p.r.savvy,aren't they the same bunch of liars,traitors to the Revolution and thieves that they've always been?

I just don't know. It's too soon to tell. Ask me again in another 71 years.
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Post by slainte39 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:09 pm

Smartalex wrote:
viajero wrote:
Smartalex wrote: the PRI had lost all credibility with the Mexican people. After 71 years of continuous one-party rule, the time had come for a change.
Is there really any difference between the old PRI and the new PRI aside from being a little more descreet and p.r.savvy,aren't they the same bunch of liars,traitors to the Revolution and thieves that they've always been?

I just don't know. It's too soon to tell. Ask me again in another 71 years.

I would be delighted to....but we'll probably be on a different forum.    lol!

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Post by Rosa Venus on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:21 pm

Nice piece Smartalex. Thanks. If anybody is interested in a long-form history of PRI Presidents, the book "Biography of Power" by Enrique Krauze is worth a read.
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Post by Smartalex on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:30 pm

Meet Melissa...she's the daughter of Enrique Plancarte, one of the leaders of the Templarios. If you watch it on Youtube, you can read the comentarios...very amusing.

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Post by viajero on Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:57 am

The comments are spot on.

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Post by lunateak on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:25 am

And educational! So many new words to look up.
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Post by CheenaGringo on Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:48 pm


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Post by Smartalex on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:17 pm

"El Tio" is the uncle of Enrique Plancarte, Melissa's papa.
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Post by Smartalex on Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:46 pm

Thought I'd update the Templarios thread. The government now admits that it does not know if Nazario "El Chayo" Moreno is dead or alive. Moreno was the founder of La Familia Michoacana, the predecessor cartel to the Templarios.

Spanish:
http://www.informador.com.mx/mexico/2014/513939/6/gobierno-admite-que-no-sabe-si-el-chayo-esta-muerto.htm

Google translation:
http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=es&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com.mx&sl=es&tl=en&u=http://www.informador.com.mx/mexico/2014/513939/6/gobierno-admite-que-no-sabe-si-el-chayo-esta-muerto.htm&usg=ALkJrhiXi4oBp4_m_XqrO3JRE-LN3mcAyA
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