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Recent News from Juarez, Tijuana

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    Recent News from Juarez, Tijuana From: Frontera NorteSur 1) Suspect in Juárez Women s Killings Dies while in Custody 2) Tijuana Area Beaches Still Littered
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2003
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      Recent News from Juarez, Tijuana
      From: Frontera NorteSur

      1) Suspect in Juárez Women's Killings Dies while in Custody
      2) Tijuana Area Beaches Still Littered and Polluted Despite Efforts
      1) Suspect in Juárez Women's Killings Dies while in Custody
      February 11, 2003

      Gustavo González Meza, one of two bus drivers arrested in November 2001 for the murder of eleven young women, died on Saturday, February 8, 2003 while in state custody. An autopsy determined the official cause of death to be cardiac arrest stemming from a blood clot. The death was ruled to have been from natural causes but González's family has called for an independent autopsy.

      "They are killing us one by one"
      Two days before his death González underwent surgery for a hernia. González's lawyer, Sergio Dante Almaraz, said that González received the hernia while being beaten into a false confession by state law enforcement in 2001.

      Like the González family, Dante himself had questions about the way in which his client died, "I don't know of anyone that has died from a hernia. Besides that, they took Gustavo González out of the prison [for the operation] without anyone's permission. Who asked for the operation?"

      Dante also said that state authorities "are eliminating us one by one." This is in reference to the February 2002 killing of Mario César Escobedo Anaya, a previous lawyer for González, who was shot to death by state police agents that said they mistook him for a drug dealer. The death was investigated but no charges were made against the agents involved.

      For more on the irregularities surrounding Escobedo's death see http://www.nmsu.edu/~frontera/mar02/feat2.html

      Widow will fight to clear husband's name
      Blanca López de González, age 23, González's wife and the mother of his four children ages eight, five, four and one, said that she will move "sea and land" to get a second autopsy done on her husband. "This is cruel," she told the Cd. Juárez newspaper El Norte, "we don't believe the official version of events, it was bad enough that they kidnapped him from his home, arbitrarily jailed him and continued torturing him until they injured him and then the authorities still decided to end his life." Despite her young age, López de González said she will keep fighting until she clears her husband's name and until her children succeed in life.

      Other accused man's wife is threatened with death
      Miriam García, the wife of Víctor Javier García Uribe, the other man arrested along with González, told the Cd. Juárez newspaper El Norte that she believes that someone purposefully killed González. According to García, a few days before González's death, she was visited by two state police officers that threatened her, her husband and González with death if she attended the Friday, February 7, 2003 gathering against violence in Cd. Juárez where Eve Ensler, creator of the Vagina Monologues, and Lourdes Portillo, director of the film about the Cd. Juárez serial-killing victims, "Srta. Extraviada" addressed a crowd of hundreds.

      García said that she did not go to the demonstration because of the threat against them. "They killed him, they killed him, they killed him--they did it even though I didn't go to the demonstration in front of the Attorney General's office . . .," she said.

      That García might have attended the Friday event is very possible given her presence at a November 2002 commemoration of the discovery of eight young women's bodies in a cotton field in central Cd. Juárez. At that event, despite the fact her husband was in jail for the murder of the eight women, García approached some of the young women's mothers and families to talk about her husband's situation. Like almost all of Cd. Juárez society, the victims' families see González and García as scapegoats tortured into confessing to crimes they did not commit.

      Jail cell confession to press
      While González and García were originally being held at a facility in Cd. Juárez, they were later transferred to Chihuahua City where González died. Despite protests from family members and their lawyers, state officials went ahead with the transfer because of what they called security concerns.

      In November 2002, four journalists from the Cd. Juárez newspaper El Diario interviewed González and García about their time in jail and life after their arrests. During the interview, García stated that he named González as an accomplice in the murders while he, González, was being beaten by state law enforcement. García said he thought of González because the day before he had ridden on a bus driven by González.

      During the interview, both men denied that they had ever been close friends but they known each other for some time as fellow bus drivers.

      González told the El Diario reporters that he had no hard feelings toward García for implicating him in the murders. He said that he was in prison because of his own bad luck and had resigned himself to it.

      To see a Frontera story about the initial arrest of González and García go to: http://www.nmsu.edu/~frontera/nov01/today.html
      An article about problems with DNA evidence in the cases is at:
      Source: El Norte, February 9 and 10, 2003. El Diario, February 11, 2003.
      2) Tijuana Area Beaches Still Littered and Polluted Despite Efforts
      February 10, 2003

      Rodolfo Anguiano, head of the Baja California environmental organization Grupo Ecologista Gaviotas, says that government has not done enough to protect Tijuana area beaches. Untreated waste water, garbage, illegally sited housing and access to the beach are the major problems that have not been resolved, according to Anguiano.

      Anguiano said that, in the past, pressure by Grupo Ecologista Gaviotas helped bring together federal environmental officials, state officials and Tijuana and Rosarito mayors to sign a coastal environmental accord on July 25, 2002.

      However, Gaviotas and people living near the beach contend that very little or nothing has changed along the coast since July.

      Mónica Arreola, who lives near the beach, told the Tijuana newspaper Frontera (no relation to FNS), that she wanted to help better the area. "Myself and some neighbors have gotten together to clean the beach but it's impossible. It's a never-ending story, people keep throwing garbage, even old cars," Arreola said.

      Source: Frontera (Tijuana), February 10, 2003. Article by Daniel Salinas.
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