Roundup: A look south of the border
A roundup of news coverage from the Mexican side of the border since last Friday, with stories from websites in Sonora, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, and Mexico City.
Gringos causing trouble in Sonora
On Sunday, Heath Brice Koursand, a native of California, beat another man to death with a baseball bat after arguing over money, reported El Periodico de Agua Prieta. He then dragged the body into the street, where it was seen by neighbors who called the Naco police. He confessed to the crime and is being held in Cananea, Sonora.
Authorities arrested a U.S. citizen for attempting to smuggle 400 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. through Agua Prieta, reported El Periodico de Agua Prieta. The street value of the load was estimated at $202,500. A white pickup truck with Arizona license plates was stopped at the port of entry and authorities discovered a hidden compartment holding the drugs.
Mexicans working in Canada
The Sonoran government announced that Sonorans working in Canada through a governmental agreement sent home nearly $1.3 million in 2010, which accounted for 76 percent of the salaries of the 164 Sonorans working in Canada. The state government said that most of the Sonorans worked in tomato, cauliflower, carrot, onion, lettuce and corn fields. Next year's total is expected to be even higher, Nuevo Dia reported on Tuesday.
Struggling to pay their water bills
The city government of Juarez is taking steps to make sure citizens pay their water bills. Those that have not paid will have their houses auctioned in the coming weeks. El Diario de Juarez reported on Tuesday that 61 houses are already in the process of being auctioned.
'Tis the season
Halloween from the Mexican side of the Line
The Diario de Sonora explained how Halloween is celebrated in the United States to its Mexican readers on Friday. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office in Arizona gave out more than a thousand bags of treats on Halloween, reported Nuevo Dia on Tuesday. Sheriff Tony Estrada said that the bags were paid for by the Sheriff's Office and by donations from the community.
Dia de los Muertos
Three museums in Nuevo Leon ran a campaign on social media to explain Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, reported El Manana on Tuesday. The campaign was run on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, where viewers can watch videos of La Catrina and other aspects of the festivities. El Manana also published on Tuesday a slideshow of children in their costumes trick-or-treating in Nuevo Laredo. El Diario de Juarez reported on Tuesday that the city government said that 11,443 people had already visited the graves of loved ones as part of the Day of the Dead celebrations.
Operation Fast and Furious
El Imparcial published an AP report on Tuesday that said that two more guns from the Operation Fast and Furious had been taken from members of the Sinaloa Cartel in Pinal County, Ariz. El Manana reported on Tuesday that the U.S. government had authorized the sale of 350 guns to Mexicans in 2006 and 2007 as part of Operation Wide Receiver. Lanny Breuer, an official with the Department of Justice, told a Senate subcommittee that 64,000 of the 95,000 guns found at crime scenes in Mexico and sent to the United States for verification came from the United States.
El Diario de Juarez reported on Tuesday that there were 153 homicides last month, up from 146 in September, but far fewer than in October of last year, which saw 359 homicides. El Diario de Juarez reported on Tuesday that state police had arrested four members of a group accused of nine "housejackings" and rape. El Universal reported on Tuesday that eight bodies, with signs of torture and hands bound, were found near Veracruz.
Anonymous vs. Los Zetas
El Universal reported on Tuesday that the hacker group known as Anonymous had declared war on the Zetas Cartel. The group said "we must keep in mind that we are on the side of the people, and we can not abandon the people, especially in critical moments like we are living today." El Universal reported on Tuesday that the battle between Anonymous and the Zetas Cartel had been developing for some time.
The security research firm Stratfor, based in Austin, Texas, had seen Mexican drug cartels take more interest in online activity that might affect their operations. "We have seen reports that Los Zetas are deploying their own teams of computer experts to find the individuals involved in the anti-cartel campaign on the Internet, which indicates that the criminal group is taking them seriously," warned Stratfor.
Curtis Prendergast also writes for The Sonoran Chronicle.