Category Archives: Crime

Mexican police chief arrested in Aytozinapa kidnaps

It’s been more than two years since the 26 September 2014 abduction and disappearance of 43 students of the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico [previously], and finally a major suspect has en arrested.

He’s the man who served as police chief in the town of Iguala where the abductions took place, and he’s the brother-in-law of the Iguala mayor, the man suspected of ordering the mass kidnapping of the still missing students.

From the Associated Press:

The former police chief of Iguala, Mexico, where 43 students went missing in 2014, was arrested Friday after two years at large in a development that Mexican authorities and relatives of the disappeared hope could shed new light on the case.

The National Security Commission announced that federal agents apprehended 58-year-old Felipe Flores in Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero, in a raid in which no shots were fired.

Flores was arrested at 6:30 a.m. leaving a house where he had visited his wife, Commissioner Renato Sales said. He said Flores had not always been in Iguala, but did not elaborate on the former police chief’s movements. He said Flores was unarmed.

Flores is accused of offenses including organized crime and kidnapping the students. He is alleged to have followed the then-mayor’s order to attack the students and then tried to cover up the role of Iguala police in the disappearances.

More from Milenio, translated by Mexico News Daily:

The ex-chief is a cousin of the ex-mayor, José Luis Abarca, believed to have been the mastermind behind the affair. He and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, are now in jail awaiting trial.

Two city transit officials have declared that Flores ordered the arrest of students who had traveled to the city by bus from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college and that they be turned over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang.

The gang’s former leader, Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado has given evidence that Flores was involved in criminal activities with the ex-mayor and his wife.

The official theory has been that Abarca ordered that police “contain” the busloads of students. They did so by opening fire on them, killing six people, some of whom were innocent bystanders.

Headline of the day II: To Protect and Serve?

From the London Daily Mail:

‘I’m the boss:’ Cop who sparked protests in Milwaukee after he fatally shot black man ‘raped fellow male drinker the next night after watching rioting on TV in a bar while bragging he could do what he wanted’

  • Dominique Heaggan-Brown was arrested Wednesday in Milwaukee
  • Accused of sexually assaulting unidentified man while off-duty August 15
  • Sex complaint was made two days after Heaggan-Brown fatally shot Sylville Smith, 23
  • Police say Smith was holding a gun but his death sparked mass protests
  • Victim told investigators that Heaggan-Brown bragged he was the boss while drinking at a bar while they watched TV coverage of the protests
  • He said he drank too much, passed out and woke up feeling drugged to find Heaggan-Brown sexually assaulting him
  • Heaggan-Brown later texted a mentor that he had messed up ‘big time’ and claimed the sex was consensual
  • Using phone data investigators since determined that Heaggan-Brown offered two other people money for sex several times last year
  • Also sexually assaulted and photographed an unconscious, naked person

Brits posthumously pardon gay sex ‘criminals’

About damn time, though for those dead men who were criminalized and shamed it’s too little and too late.

From the Independent:

Thousands of gay and bisexual men convicted under outdated gross indecency laws are to be posthumously pardoned, the Government has announced, in a “momentous” victory for campaigners.

Announcing what has been dubbed as the ‘Alan Turing law’ justice minister Sam Gyimah said the Government would seek to implement the change through an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill. It will effectively act as an apology to those convicted for consensual same-sex relationships before homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967.

Last month sources close to Theresa May confirmed to The Independent that the Prime Minister was “committed” to introducing the legislation. The Ministry of Justice believes this amendment is the quickest possible way to deliver on the commitment.

It comes after decades of campaigning from the LGBT community and after the family of the enigma codebreaker Alan Turing delivered a petition to Downing Street before the 2015 general election. Public pressure led to the major political parties pledging to introduce the ‘Alan Turing law’ – in memory to the man Winston Churchill described as making “the single biggest contribution to the allied victory” in World War II.

Brazil’s coup leader hoisted by his own petard

Sometimes irony is delicious.

From the Guardian:

Eduardo Cunha, the Brazilian politician who orchestrated the impeachment of the country’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, has been arrested on corruption charges.

Federal police detained the former speaker of the lower house in Brasilia on Wednesday and executed a search warrant at his home in Rio de Janeiro.

Compared by some to Frank Underwood from House of Cards, Cunha also has been accused of taking up to 116.5m reais ($37m) in bribes as part of the Operation Car Wash investigation into mammoth corruption at state oil giant Petrobras.

The arrest was ordered by federal judge Sergio Moro, who has gained celebrity in Brazil by leading that probe, which has ensnared dozens of leading politicians.

Chart of the day II: Legal pot support record high

From Gallup, support for legalized pot hits the highest level in the 47 years the pollsters have been tracking the trend:


Mexican jurist slain; and a governor take flight

Two stories today reveal the extent of the crisis facing government in Mexico today: One of the nation’s most powerful judges has been assassinated and a governor close to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has fled rather than stay and face corruption charges.

A jurist assassinated

The judge in question has played a central role in some of Mexico’s most controversial criminal cases, including investigations of major drug cartels and the abductions and presumed murders of 43 missing students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa [previously].

From El País:

Mexican Judge Vicente Antonio Bermúdez Zacarías was killed by a gunshot wound to the head on Monday. Bermúdez was approached from behind as he left his home to go out for a run. The assailant shot him in the back of the head from less than 30 centimeters away. Then he and another individual ran from the scene. Bermúdez died hours later in hospital.

The 37-year-old judge tried some of the most famous cases in Mexican history. In March, he ordered a 40-day remand for Abigael “El Cuini” González Valencia, one of the bosses of Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). He also blocked a request for the extradition of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán to the United States.

One of his last cases involved Gildardo “El Gil” López Astudillo, the suspected ringleader of the hitmen thought to be responsible for the disappearance of 43 student teachers in Ayotzinapa. Judge Bermúdez dismissed the defendant’s petition for a transfer.

Bermúdez served on the bench in Mexico state for three years. The León (Guanajuato state) native specialized in criminal law and, as a judge, he focused on constitutionality issues, remand and search orders.

From Quadratin Edomex, here is the assassination, caught by a surveillance camera:

And a corrupt governor heads for parts unknown

The sordid saga from teleSUR English:

Mexico’s attorney general issued an arrest warrant for Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte over alleged ties to organized crime and corruption, local media reported Tuesday.

Last week, Duarte announced that he would step down almost two months before his term ends in order to face federal corruption investigations. However, he unexpectedly fled the state by helicopter Saturday and his whereabouts are unknown. His soon-to-be successor, Miguel Angel Yunes, a former congressional deputy from the conservative PAN party, claims to have even more evidence implicating him in the corruption charges. According to Yunes, the aircraft Duarte used to escape would have been facilitated by the acting Governor Flavin Rios.

Over the past months, Duarte has been investigated over allegations that he embezzled or misspent as much as US$2 billion since he took office nearly six years ago. That investigation, however, does not include the hundreds of people, including at least 17 journalists, who have either disappeared or been murdered on his watch.

Despite all of this, Duarte maintains his immunity as governor – which means that if he’s arrested, authorities will have to open another trial just to remove his immunity. Currently, he cannot be banned from leaving the country.

Duarte belongs to the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and was a close ally of President Enrique Peña Nieto. However, his own party has turned its back to him.

Chart of the day II: Drug arrest rate disparities

From Every 25 Seconds: The Human Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United States, a joint report from Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union: