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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Borderland Beat

Borderland Beat

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San Diego: Tijuana trafficker texted images of torture & murder

Posted: 26 Jun 2015 04:21 PM PDT

San Diego: Tijuana trafficker texted pictures of torture and murder

Juan Castro Navarro, 43, of Culiacan Sinaloa was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for methamphetamine & heroin trafficking, through Tijuana to California, Utah and Washington.  Castro Navarro pled guilty to distributing over 40 pounds of methamphetamine, in January of 2015. 

Prosecutors describe Castro-Navarro as a broker, who connected wholesale drug contacts in Tijuana and Sinaloa with customers in the United States, who often arranged transportation and importation of the product through the Tijuana border.  Castro-Navarro recieved a sentence enhancement of 5 years, after the US Attorney successfully displayed  evidence Castro-Navarro's violence, including torture and several killings.  The killings took place in Tijuana to Mexican citizens, therefore the US Attorney's office in San Diego didn't charge Castro Navarro with these offenses. 

However, through court docs, a Tijuana newspaper, and intercepted text messages and images they recreated the kidnapping and eventual murders of men who stole from the drug trafficking group. According to prosectors, from an Ontario, California stash house members of the trafficking group transported 10 pounds of meth to Los Angeles, where the load was ripped off by the customer, a gang member named David.  

The traffickers then kidnapped associated of David in Tijuana, in order to recover the load, and punish the offenders.  It was during these days when 'J' (Castro Navarro, likely his PIN name) sent images of the torture.  J sent an image of a man in jeans and a blue sweatshirt tied to a chair, to his associates, and his girlfriend, whom he told he was 'working', and 'not to worry', along with instructions to delete the images.  She replied 'What is this? Are you ok? Thank god. I love you with all my heart". 

J sent further images detailing beating and suffocation, with a green plastic bag, and a baseball bat. As well as images of bruises all over the victims body.  J allegedly told an associate he hadn't killed him yet, because he is going to bring 20 units, (pounds of meth).  "Did you beat him or choke him"?  Another associate asked Navarro, 'the second' he replied.  The associate texting a winking emoji to end the conversation.  

The body of the man was found on January 23rd in Tijuana, wearing the same clothes as the text message images.  Prosectors used the messages and a news story from Tijuana to convince the judge, who called Castro-Navarro a 'monster'.  HSI started investigating the Castro-Navarro group in spring of 2013, eventually applying for title III wiretap intercepts in the late months of 2013.  

"I love you guys, and I'm only going to kill one more, I have never killed anyone who didn't deserve it", was another intercepted message.  

Sources: NBC 7 San Diego, US Attorney's Southern District News Release

New video release on 2nd July, documentary Cartel Land " autodefensas on both sides of the border"

Posted: 26 Jun 2015 11:55 AM PDT

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Milenio article.

[ Subject Matter: Autodefensas from USA and Mexico
Recommendation: Video is in Spanish and English with English subtitles for the Spanish]

Matthew Heineman lived nine months with Doctor Jose Manuel Mireles to film a documentary that arrives at Mexican cinemas on the 2nd of July.

Two contemporary Justice seekers fight against a common enemy, the Mexican Cartels. South of the Rio Bravo, the Dr Jose Manuel Mireles Valverde, leader of the Michoacán Autodefensas that took up arms against the Knights Templar.

On the other side of the border, in the Arizona desert, the American veteran Tim Nailer Foley, leader of a para military group that the war on drugs is creeping into his territory.

Although they are the protagonists of Cartel Land, a documentary by Matthew Heineman that arrives at Mexican cinemas on 2nd July, this past January it was nominated in the categories of Best Director and Best Photography at the Sundance film festival.

Before taking it like a personal mission to tell this history, Heineman has neither relations with narco trafficking or with Mexico, where before he had only been as a tourist. His previous documentaries were about the Health system in the United States and about North American youths.

The idea for this came about as the Director started to read about the para military groups in Altar Valley, Arizona, the desert corridor known as El Callejon de la Cocaina. Later his father sent him an article on the Michoacán Autodefensas who intended to restore order from chaos and guarantee the security that the Government could not.

"It moved me the image of the citizens fighting against the bad in a land without law, nor Government, nor Police", said Heineman in an interview with Milenio.

At the time I thought that a one or two week stay in Michoacán would suffice for my enquiries. Ultimately, filming on this side of the border was extended intermittently for nine months, where Heineman and his small production team moved in the shadow of Dr Mireles, months before he was detained for possession of weapons and drugs.

Heineman had total access to the life of the AUC, in particular to the group from Tepalcatepec of Dr Mireles.

Their perception of the AUC also underwent a transformation in that time. The U.S. was aware there was such thing as a good side and a bad one. And his obsession with history grew as the line between good and evil began to fade. In his opinion, the film offers no answer, but it presents a story that can be interpreted in different ways.

Heineman is in Mexico to invite people to see closely this life of crime and its consequences, their disorder and the way in which this affect the lives of people. His greatest interest in Cartel Land is to humanize a conflict that has consequences on both sides of the border.

Otis, think this is a must see!

Original article in Spanish at Milenio

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