Police Shake Downs Cabo

Old Mar 11th, 2003, 08:41 PM
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Police Shake Downs Cabo

Reading this weeks Gringo Gaz. whose front page focuses on the Story done by the Latimes on Baja Humbugs: do a text search at the top Cabo's Declining Tourism for the article.

Page 2 of the Gringo Gaz comments on tourists being charged $280 by police for doing a Uturn and $70 for a traffic light. The police wouldn't back down and the tourist paid up.

The editor commented on the tolerance for this type of thing has to go right to the top.

I am of the opinion that in any tourist resort for police corruption and this is not the first time the Gringo Gaz has reported on this, last year it was the ATM extortion committed on the tourist by the police, it has to go to the top.

Read the story of El Negro{do a google} who in his few short years of Police Chief of Mexico City ammassed a fortune in real estate holdings on a $45,000 U.S. annual salary. Payolla in Mexico starts at the bottom then the money moves to the top. Mayor Guilani has his work cut out for him if he thinks he is going to combat Mexico's institutionilized Corrupt beauracratic System.

Police Shake downs have been going on for years in rural Cabo and there seems no end in sight.

In Cabo Trust No One.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 09:55 PM
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A good book to take on holidays is "Distant Neighbours - A portrait of the Mexicans" by Alan Riding. He devotes a whole chapter the Corruption the "Oil and the Glue" that keeps it all going.

Here is a piece on Duranzo or "El Negro" Blackie in English.

"Notorious Mexican police chief

released from jail
United Press International
MEXICO CITY - (March 3, 1992) A former Mexico City police chief was released from prison Monday after serving almost eight years on charges of extortion and stockpiling of arms, officials said.
Arturo Durazo Moreno, known as "El Negro," walked out of a Mexico City penitentiary Monday morning after authorities told him he was free to go, said Juan Velazquez, Durazo's lawyer.
Durazo, 69, was smiling broadly and looked relaxed, a local newspaper reported. His lawyer said he would probably travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to join his family. "Mr. Durazo wants to live out his last years surrounded by his wife and 10 children, who he hasn't seen since being sent to prison," Velazquez said.
The infamous Durazo was Mexico City's chief of police from 1976 to 1982, during the term of former Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo.

He was arrested by Mexican police in April 1986, after being extradited by from Los Angeles by U.S. authorities. Durazo was charged and convicted with arms dealing and extortion.
He was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison, but he obtained a conditional early release Monday after serving seven years and eight months.
During his tenure as police chief, "El Negro," or "Blackie," built up a huge racketeering empire, based on corruption, arms dealing and extortion. On a relatively modest police chief's salary, Durazo managed to acquire three luxurious mansions, two near Mexico City and another on the Pacific Coast near the resort town of Zihuatanejo.
All of Durazo's Mexican properties were confiscated.
He was also widely believed to be involved in drug trafficking, but police were unable to gather sufficient evidence for formal charges. Some said he was implicated in several murders, though he was never charged.
The former police chief was accused by subordinates of encouraging corruption and drug trafficking among city police. One former city policeman, Jose Gonzalez y Gonzalez, wrote a book about Durazo's abuses called "'The Black about 'Blackie' Durazo.
Gonzalez' best-selling book led to charges being laid against his former boss by the administration of then-President Miguel de la Madrid, who took office in 1982. A movie was also made based on the book.
The current administration of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari has moved effectively to clean up corruption, most experts agree. "I don't think someone like (Durazo) could exist today," said political analyst Sergio Sarmiento.
Some observers charged that Durazo was being used as a scapegoat for the abuses of Lopez Portillo's government, accused of widespread corruption.
That may have been true of some men appointed by Lopez Portillo, said Sarmiento, citing the case of Jorge Diaz Serrano, the jailed former head of Mexico's state-owned oil monopoly.
But it was not the case of Durazo, Sarmiento said. "He was really corrupt, he was one of the worst," he said."
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 11:25 AM
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Why do we have such a dated article about police corruption in Mexico City? It is interesting to see something that says the Salinas administration is moving to combat corruption. He was a large part of the corruption and now hiding out in Ireland as there is no extradition treaty with Mexico.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 06:21 PM
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A more up to date assessment on the situation:


Giuliani to tackle Mexico City crime
The man who is credited with drastically reducing crime rates in New York, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, is being hired to tackle the Mexican capital's high crime rates.
Mr Giuliani - who in New York introduced a policy known as Zero Tolerance - will work as a consultant for one year, initially evaluating Mexico City's police force.

" There are differences between New York City and Mexico City, but I'm not sure they are relevant to crime reduction "
Rudy Giuliani

Mexico City is considered one of the world's most violent cities, with high rates of kidnappings, robberies and murders.

Official statistics suggest an estimated 500 crimes are reported every day in and around Mexico City, but the real figure is thought to be much higher.

"Back in the early 1990s, New York City was regarded as the crime capital of America, featured on the cover of Time magazine as a rotting apple," said Mr Giuliani.

"Mexico City faces a challenge like that today. We're hopeful we can be of assistance.

"Sure there are differences between New York City and Mexico City, but I'm not sure those differences are relevant to crime reduction," he added.

Crime unreported

Mr Giuliani told reporters in New York that he would help Mexican police implement some of the same tactics he employed in the US city during his two terms as mayor.

He said his security consulting organisation - the Giuliani Group - would begin by analysing Mexico City's crime statistics to "make sure everything is being reported, and reported accurately".

He added that his group would also address issues such as corruption in the local police force.

Correspondents say that an estimated two-thirds of offences go unreported in the Mexican capital because many believe that the officials are involved or that the justice system is corrupt.

Mr Giuliani's team includes former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik and the city's former fire commissioner, Thomas Von Essen.

They will work with Mexico City Police Chief Marcelo Ebrard, a former congressman known for his fight against corruption.

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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 06:27 PM
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Part Two:

An updated assessement by CNN

Mexico City to fight motorist bribes
New law, cameras will aid against police corruption
Tuesday, February 11, 2003 Posted: 7:28 AM EST (1228 GMT)

A police officer directs traffic Monday in Mexico City.

Any citizen we find offering a bribe will be arrested.
-- Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico City police chief

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) -- Authorities began cracking down Monday on motorists who offer bribes to police, the latest effort to combat rampant corruption among Mexico City officers.

Officials are getting help from a new law and 172 video cameras. For years the cameras have been used for traffic control, but now they're zeroing in on police making traffic stops. The city plans to install 100 more.

One of those cameras was apparently responsible for detecting an alleged bribery incident Monday, leading to the first arrest under the new law.

The 22-year-old man allegedly offered $9 to the a police tow truck crew to avoid having his illegally-parked car impounded. The two policemen involved in the incident were also arrested.

Though such bribery has long been against the law, officials have seldom enforced cases of $5 or $10 bribes aimed at avoiding tickets.

But the new city law which went into effect Monday sets jail terms of three months to three years for offering even relatively small bribes.

However, the program doesn't appear to have been the work of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was hired by Mexico City as an anti-crime consultant last year on a $4.3 million contract.

Corruption is a long-standing problem among police throughout Mexico. In the most highly-publicized case, the country's top anti-drug official was arrested in 1997 and later sentenced to 40 years on drug, bribery and weapons charges.

Mexico City police chief Marcelo Ebrard hopes the crackdown will spell an end to an era in which many motorists fill their ashtrays with loose change to give to cops.

"Any citizen we find offering a bribe will be arrested," Ebrard told reporters. Ebrard pledged to fire and prosecute any bribe-taking police, as well.

Some see it as blaming the victim; after all, tow-trucks in Mexico City will often chain up their prey and tow the vehicle half a block, then wait for the motorist to appear in order to solicit a bribe.


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