Things That Matter

Authorities Suspect That Gang Violence Is Behind The Horrific Fire Bombing Of A Nightclub That Left Dozens Dead

In yet another deadly attack in Mexico, at least 28 people were killed Tuesday night due to a suspected arson attack at a bar in the Mexican state of Veracruz. According to the Washington Post, perpetrators locked the doors and emergency exits of the well-known “White Horse Nightclub” and then promptly set the building on fire with gasoline bombs.  

“They arrived in several vehicles, with rifles and pistols. They threatened the security guards at the door and took control of the entrance,” a witness told the AFP.

“The White Horse Nightclub”, a table-dancing bar, is a well-known gathering place in the working-class city of Coatzacoalcos where the main industry has long been oil and oil refining. The deadly inferno ravaged through the bar killing the 28 people and injured more than a dozen others. Images taken in the aftermath of the attack showed the bodies of women burned to death among a charred interior. According to Yahoo News, many of those who perished in the fire were dancers. Videos on social media showed dozens of people grouped together and embracing one another outside the burned down bar. 

“My niece starting dancing here a few months ago. She was a single mom, and she wanted to give her daughter a better life and go back to school,” Maria Vazquez, whose 22-year-old niece Sugedy perished in the bar fire, told the AFP.

Law enforcement believes that the deadly fire might have been caused by a gang dispute between rival groups. At this time, there is one main suspect that has been identified. 

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

As of now, law enforcement is following leads that a suspect is a man who had been recently arrested but then subsequently released. Veracruz Gov. Cuitláhuac García said at a news conference that a key suspect has been identified as a man known as “La Loca” but would only call him as Ricardo “N″ due to officials no longer giving the full names of suspects. García says that the man was previously detained back in July but was then let go within 48 hours after being turned over to the state prosecutor’s office.

“The criminals went in, closed the doors, the emergency exits, and set fire to the place,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said at a morning news conference discussing the tragedy. “This is the most inhuman thing possible. It is regrettable that organized crime acts in this manner.”

President Lopez Obrador criticized the state attorney general, Jorge Winckler Ortíz, who was appointed by a previous, rival administration, for having released some of the suspects behind the attack who had previously been in custody this year.

Veracruz has become a central battleground area in the long Mexican drug war that started back in 2006. The area is also considered a hotbed of violence where Mexico’s rival drug cartels have been known to engage in illegal activities. Tuesday’s deadly attack is similar to one that happened back in April on another bar in Veracruz in the city of Minatitlan that killed 13 people.

Tuesday’s attack was one of the worst mass killings since President Lopez Obrador took office in December pledging to help Mexico by battling corruption and inequality in the country. This comes as homicides have reached record highs this year already. 

Credit: @XHNEWS / Twitter

President Lopez Obrador has frequently called for the end of the senseless violence that has plagued the country for the last 15 years. But so far, the number of murders has only continued to rise after hitting record levels in 2018.

Tuesday’s deadly attack adds to the record year of violence in Mexico, which has already registered 14,603 homicides from January through June. The Mexican government under President Obrador has faced challenges in stopping the senseless violence that has taken the lives of thousands of innocent people caught between a deadly drug war. 

“The fact that 2019 is on pace to be the most violent year does not come out of nowhere. We have seen how violence has been progressively increasing,” said Francisco Rivas, director-general of the National Citizen Observatory, a research group, told the Washington Post. “The president says we are improving, but we are worse than ever before.”

No arrests have been announced so far in the investigation. The Veracruz public security secretary and the prosecutor’s office are still looking into more leads at this time. 

READ: Bolivia’s President Wants To Be Reelected For A Fourth Time But He Could Send His Country Into A Political Crisis

El Chapo Is Rumored To Have A Billion Dollar Fortune And Now His Family Wants To Use It To Fund A University For Indigenous Students

Things That Matter

El Chapo Is Rumored To Have A Billion Dollar Fortune And Now His Family Wants To Use It To Fund A University For Indigenous Students

www.thedailybeast.com

El Chapo may have just been sentenced to multiple life sentences for crimes committed by his drug empire. His alleged billion dollar fortune is being fought over by both the US and Mexican governments. But the former drug lord’s family is hoping to use a large portion of El Chapo’s fortune to fund a university in his home state of Sinaloa.

The drug lord’s family announced that they would launch a university in the drug lord’s home state of Sinaloa.

José Luis González Meza, a lawyer for Joaquin Guzman, revealed in September that “El Chapo” wants his money to go Mexico’s indigenous communities. In an interview, he also said that Guzmán’s family will receive financial support from a range of foundations in order to open the university in the ex-narco’s birthplace.

It will be designed by Guerrero painter Hugo Zúñiga and have several different faculties, he said.

It looks like Mexico’s President is also supportive of the initiative.

González said that he was hopeful that President López Obrador would make the time to travel to Badiraguato and preside over a groundbreaking ceremony during his tour of Sinaloa this weekend.

“What we’re hoping for is that . . . he’ll go to Badiraguato and along with Chapo’s mom, María Consuelo, he’ll lay the first stone and the work to build the university will finally start,” he said.

The president said in February that his government was committed to the establishment of a new public university in the town that will specialize in forestry, while this week he pledged to extend the agroforestry employment program Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) to parts of the country where illicit crops are grown, including Badiraguato.

But the university is just one of several projects the family wants to develop to benefit the country’s marginalized communities.

Another project will involve the family overseeing the revival of a chain of affordable food markets that will sell meals at 50 percent below cost.

The stores will sell cheap food, coffee, tequila, beer and mezcal. Similar stores had existed during the days Joaquín Hernández Galicia ruled over the powerful oil workers union.

El Chapo’s family want the Mexican government to finance the project through two trusts allegedly left behind by Hernández Galicia. He died in 2013 after spending nine years in prison after troops stormed his home and arrested him on manslaughter and weapons charges in 1989 in what the government described as a crackdown on corruption.

The last plan will develop a pharmaceutical industry which will provide affordable medicine to Mexico before expanding its service throughout Central America.

González Meza claims the family is wanting to ‘provide low-cost food and medicine for Mexicans’ and is not concerned with making money for themselves. Both the association and pharmaceutical company will be headed by farmers and indigenous people.

All of this depends though on when, if, and how much of El Chapo’s fortune is seized by the US and Mexican governments.

El Chapo wants his entire fortune, which is estimated in the billions of dollars, to go to Indigenous communities across Mexico. However, his wishes aren’t likely to be granted according to government officials.

Prosecutors will not disclose how and where they will seek this fortune, but the former head of anti-money laundering for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Duncan Levin, gave the Observer an insight into how they might proceed.

“Forfeiture is part of a sentence,” says Levin. “If there are assets in the US, they can go right after those assets.” He adds that a US law from 1957 provides for any asset partly funded by criminal money to be seized in its entirety. “The way they did business was very pervasive,” he says. So that any business in which the Sinaloa cartel is found to have invested is fair game.

But, according to Levin, “the vast bulk of assets are likely in Mexico” and the search for them “would be greatly helped by working with the Mexican government”, despite current political tensions.

One Day After A Texas Sheriff Called Undocumented Immigrants ‘Drunks,’ His Son Is Arrested For Public Intoxication

Things That Matter

One Day After A Texas Sheriff Called Undocumented Immigrants ‘Drunks,’ His Son Is Arrested For Public Intoxication

A Texas sheriff is eating his words after his bigotted comments came back to bite him in the worst way.

A day after Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn referred to undocumented immigrants as “drunks” who would “run over” children, his own son was reportedly arrested on charges of public intoxication. It has also been revealed that his son Sergei Waybourn has been arrested before. In 2018 he was charged with assault and in recent years he was arrested for trespassing and theft.

Sheriff Waybourn’s comments sparked controversy when he spoke against undocumented immigrants at a press conference in Washington.

Last Thursday, the sheriff spoke at the conference alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence. Speaking in response to a ruling by a federal California judge made last month that imposed restrictions on ICE’s use of “detainers,” Waybourn underlined the consequences of releasing illegal immigrants with DWI and other crimes.

U.S. District Judge André Birotte Jr.’s decision barred ICE from using online database searches to find and detain people based. Recently, the ACLU stated that since 2008, 2 million US citizens have been illegally detained because of such searches.

Waybourn pointed to his charge of inmates to give examples of high rates of repeat offenders. “If we have to turn them loose or they get released, they’re coming back to your neighborhood and my neighborhood,” Waybourn said according to New York Post. “These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children.”

After his comments, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens called for Waybourn’s resignation.

According to Dallas Morning News, Domingo Garcia said Waybourn ought to “resign and apologize for his bigoted comments immediately.”

In response, Waybourne said his comments had been taken out of contexts and his office released a statement saying that “Sheriff Waybourn was not referring to all legal or illegal immigrants when making his comments about DWI/DWI repeat offenders. He was speaking toward the charges of DWI and DWI repeat offender in the context of illegal immigration.”

In response to the news of his son’s arrest, the sheriff said he is “deeply saddened by Sergei’s choices.”

According to WFAA, he said that “It has been many years since he disassociated from our family. We, along with many family members have made efforts over the years to help him – all to no avail. It is always sad when drugs take control of a person’s life. His choices and actions have lead to this situation.”