Things That Matter

Julio Cesar Chavez Lashes Out At Mexican Police, Distraught Over His Brother’s Murder

On Sunday, the older brother of legendary Mexican boxer Julio César Chávez was shot and killed at his home in Culiacán, Mexico. According to the Associated Press, Rafael Chávez González was at his home when two men entered through the back door and demanded money from him. Rafael was fatally shot after he resisted the intruders, according to Sinaloa state prosecutor Juan José Ríos.

Credit: NoroesteTV / YouTube

Ríos said that the culprits were given some money but wanted more. Rafael didn’t give in as easily, and that’s when he was shot. Rafael was killed in front of his family. Roberto Chávez González, Julio César’s brother, confirmed the story to authorities on Monday.

While no suspects have been arrested, Ríos said that on the same night of the fatal robbery, 10 armed men had kidnapped an “undetermined number of people” at a restaurant in Culiacán. It’s not clear if these two incidents are related.

Julio César Chávez was extremely emotional while speaking to reporters about his brother’s murder.

Credit: El MEXICANO / YouTube

The 54-year-old said he couldn’t believe his brother was gone. In the video above, Julio César says it’s been incredibly difficult, especially for his mother, who is in a fragile state. Contrary to the reports from the Associated Press, Julio César says there were three men involved in the robbery, not two.

A reporter asked him if family members who witnessed the shooting could identify the killers. He responded by saying that none of them could ID them.

“[The police] could not identify any of them, but we have clues and I’m not going to let them know [by telling the media], but it’s all very advanced, thank God, and this is not going to go unpunished, I swear — because unfortunately there has been a lack of security in Culiacán and not just in Culiacán… this is happening throughout the Mexican Republic and I think we must unite, all Mexicans, to fight against this, to support each other because it seems that there is no government,” Julio César said. “Today it was my brother, maybe tomorrow it will be me.”

Julio César said the violence in Mexico is only getting worse, adding that he’s very angry because he has also been threatened.

“I asked for help and support from the authorities in Tijuana,” Julio César said. “[Pero] se han hecho pendejos,” he added. Julio César said that the FBI has informed him that people wanted to kidnap him and his daughter. He said he contacted authorities in Baja California, but added that high-ranking officials have not responded to his pleas. He believes police are probably waiting for something to happen to him, but said, “What’s the point then? It’ll be too late.”

Julio César said he never considered leaving Culiacán despite the violence and threats against him and his family because that’s where he has always lived. But now, he may reconsider. He also lamented the fact that his brother had to die so tragically after overcoming drug problems:

“My brother was dedicated to helping people who have problems with alcohol and drugs or any type of addiction. Thanks to my recovery he could also recover, and the saddest thing is that he lost his life for some drug addicts.”

Julio César Chávez Jr. retweeted this message from WBC Boxing President Mauricio Sulaiman:

Omar Chávez, Julio César’s younger son, posted this heartbreaking message.


“It’s unbelievable that my uncle was assaulted because he did not want to give them the money, so they killed him. It’s unbelieveable how people can take the life of someone who has children and a mother. They have no idea the pain and damage they have inflicted so easily. I hope and wait for justice.” He also tagged two government officials, including the governor of Culiacán.

“I will miss you,” added Omar Chávez.

Te voy a extrañar pues si así es aunque no quieras aya nos vemos pronto tío D.E.P tío borrego me mataste en el primero ??

A post shared by Omar Alonso Chavez Carrasco (@omarchavezzbu) on

READ: JC Chávez On Drugs, Narcos And Suicide

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Twenty-Nine Victims Were Found Buried In Mass Grave But Many Wonder If The Government Will Even Attempt To Identify Them

Things That Matter

Twenty-Nine Victims Were Found Buried In Mass Grave But Many Wonder If The Government Will Even Attempt To Identify Them

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Ever since then president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa decided to wage a frontal war against the Mexican drug cartels in 2006, gruesome scenes have been found throughout Mexico. Other events such as the capture of El Chapo Guzman and the formation of the Los Zetas cartel has also led to the fragmentation of the cartels. 

Whereas in the 1990s and early 2000s the Sinaloa Cartel and the Gulf Cartel has a strict demarcation of their territories, today there are about a dozen cartels that are fighting for control of the main passageway for drugs into the United States, which is by far the largest and most profitable market in the world. This turf war has led to Dantesque violence and suffering. One of the most heartbreaking legacies of the Cartel Wars is the discovery of dozens of clandestine mass graves sprinkled all throughout Mexico. These deaths are the product of multiple local and geopolitical factors, such as the demand for drugs in the United States, the availability of guns North of the Border and corruption in Mexico. 

A new clandestine mass grave has been found in Jalisco, Mexico: 29 bodies were left in plastic bags.

Credit: Vice en Español / YouTube

Gerardo Solis, Attorney General in Jalisco, said that the discovery is located in the affluent municipality of Zapopan. 13 complete and 16 incomplete bodies were found. At least two of the victims are women and as the site is scrapped more bodies could be found. The bodies were dismembered and dumped inside a total of 119 bags. As reported by Vanguard,  the state’s special prosecutor for missing persons cases, Blanca Trujillo, said: “Different body parts are being examined by forensic anthropologists and analysts to determine to what extent the number is going to increase”. 

The gruesome discovery was made in the state of Jalisco, home of the increasingly powerful Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion or CJNG.

Credit: Mazatlán Post / Screenshot

This cartel is famous for its brutal methods and for the total control they hold over their territory. They are so oblivious to the authorities that they parade through rural roads and highways on trucks marked with their logo. This cartel has been ranked by United States Authorities as one of the five most dangerous criminal organizations in the world. 

This is not the first of such gruesome discoveries: on the contrary, mass graves are a constant in contemporary Mexico.

Credit: fosas-clandestinas-mexico-1110×580. Digital image. Sopitas. 

In Jalisco alone, multiple burial sites have been found in recent months. As reported by Mail Online: “In July, prosecutors found 21 bodies in the yard of a house near Guadalajara. In May, the remains of at least 34 people were found at two separate properties in Jalisco. In March, workers were removing mud and debris to clear a storm drain at another spot on the outskirts of Guadalajara, when they began finding plastic bags with the odor of dead bodies. In the end, they pulled a total of 20 bodies out of the storm drain”. Almost 2,000 clandestine mass graves have been found in Mexico over the past eleven years. Some of the bodies belong to Central American migrants who are trying to reach the United States in hope for better life. 

Some people just disappear and families are left to their own devices when it comes to finding their loved one’s remains.

Credit: Screen capture. El Dia Despues. YouTube 

There are over 40,000 people reported missing in Mexico. Authorities are often negligent and missing persons are never found. After families have given up hope of seeing their loved ones alive, they start looking for remains. It takes years to gather clues. Many mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters take matters into their own hands and look for bones, clothes or any sort of evidence in mountains, forests and deserts. This documentary explores the issue. 

The state of Coahuila has been the site of unspeakable atrocities 

Clandestine mass graves have been found in other states, but Coahuila is infamous for sites, such as the municipality of Patrocinio, that have been described as extermination camps. Families have found multiple remains and clothes that indicate that bodies have been burnt to erase traces. The remains of women and children have also been found.

In 2017, Mail Online reported on the discovery of a site that housed the remains of 3,000 victims: “Activists found the skeletal remains on Saturday after an anonymous tip-off that the area was being used as an ‘extermination center’ by gangsters. They say the bodies were likely dissolved in acid, burned, then broken up with shovels in an attempt to dispose of them. The bodies were burned ‘for hours’, the activists said, with diesel, scrap tires and pieces of wood thrown in to help the blaze.Once the fire was out whatever was left was poured on to the floor where it was smashed to pieces with shovels”.

We have no words for the sheer brutality of these acts.  

2019 has been one of the most violent years, if not the most, for Mexico. But most crimes are not reported.

Credit: Giphy. @ViceEnEspanol

According to The Scottish Sun: “This year, the number of deaths attributed to the drug wars between January and June was recorded at 17,000 – a new record”. Let that sink in: 17,000, enough to fill a small arena. Most disappearances and crimes in general, however, are not reported in fear of being targeted by organized crime or corrupt authorities.

Cartels Are Targeting Migrants Forced To Stay In Mexico Under Trump’s ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy

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Cartels Are Targeting Migrants Forced To Stay In Mexico Under Trump’s ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’d know that the Trump administration has had the bright idea of forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their cases are heard in the US federal courts. While there are definitely parts of Mexico that would be great to stay in for a week on break, this is no holiday for these asylum seekers. In an effort to profit from some of the most vulnerable people in Mexico, cartel violence has specifically targeted the areas where migrants are being temporarily housed. 

The violence has gotten so bad that some have abandoned their asylum applications.

Instagram / @paulratje

At this point, it’s hard to keep up with what’s happened so far to threaten the lives of migrants. In Nuevo Laredo alone, there’s an entire laundry list of incidents that have made asylum seekers uneasy. Last week, shooting broke out between gang members on the main boulevard to Nuevo Laredo’s airport. An educated guess would say that The Cartel of the Northeast was responsible for the trouble, since they dominate that area of town. It’s not uncommon to see them riding around in armored cars emblazoned with “Tropas del Infierno” across the sides. It’s their constant presence that keeps migrants constantly anxious and alert.

The government is offering bus trips to other cities outside the border zone.

Instagram / @altavozmx

In an effort to alleviate tensions, the government has provided free bus trips for asylum seekers to places such as Monterrey and Tapachula, which are around 3 and 36 hours away from Nuevo Laredo, respectively. However, the trips have been disrupted by gang members, who take it upon themselves to stop the buses and abduct the passengers. Abductions give cartels hostages that they can use to blackmail relatives in exchange for payouts. It’s clear that it’s not safe for migrants to stay in this environment. And apparently, it’s barely even safe to leave through provided channels. This has resulted in asylum seekers abandoning their applications to return to the relative safety of home – despite the fact that the dangers there had prompted them to leave in the first place.

Aid providers say the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, are to blame.

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So far, the MPP have resulted in approximately 35,000 migrants being sent back to Mexican border cities to wait for their day in court. In fact, 4,500 people have been sent to Nuevo Laredo alone. What essentially happens under the MPP is that, once asylum seekers reach US ports of entry, they are sent back to Mexico with a date to return and make their case for asylum via video link. Migrants can be stuck waiting for that day from anywhere between two to four months.

So why did Mexico agree to the MPP in the first place, when it’s had some very dire outcomes?

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Well, Trump had threatened Mexico with tariffs if they didn’t agree with the MPP. Now, it’s all well and good to say that Mexico could have done a China, and dived head first into a trade war. But Mexico doesn’t have that sort of economic power. Most of its trade is conducted with the US. China, on the other hand, has diversified its trade relationships. As a result, it doesn’t depend on business with the US to keep the Chinese economy running. Mexico, being backed into a corner as it were, had no choice but to agree to the terms of the MPP.

There are a few reasons why the Trump administration has pursued this course of action – and none of them are good.

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There are two main reasons why the Trump administration has developed the MPP: money, and the strict enforcement of immigration law. Where money is concerned – it costs a lot to employ the 150 judges who oversee immigration cases, and whatever other staff and facilities are needed as part of both detaining and processing asylum seekers. It’s must less expensive to just not do that.

With these type of policies, many worry violence could begin to spread.

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As far as strict enforcement of immigration law … well, we’ve seen a lot of that already with the overflow of inmates at border detention centers, and the exponential increase of ICE raids and arrests. What’s been discussed less by the media is the fact that, in 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions enacted legislation that determined migrants could not apply for asylum based on the threat of domestic or cartel violence, because it’s too hard for the government to verify. So, why even bother allowing migrants to leech off US resources, if you’re pretty much planning to deny their request for asylum anyway?

All of this is great news in light of the agreement that’s in the works between Guatemala and the US. Should it be ratified, Guatemala would be set to be the next Mexico, and also house asylum seekers while they wait for their applications to be reviewed by the US. This could potentially mean a rise in cartel violence in Guatemala, too.