The call comes at 6 a.m. from a fellow photographer at the paper, Gabriel Huge, a man who survived a bad accident and rides a scooter to crime scenes and walks with a cane. He is also a man who does not back down: Miguel has photographs of a swarm of federal police in flak jackets surrounding him for taking pictures without their permission. In the images, his face looks fierce and empty of fear.

Gabriel says, "You need to come to the house. Something has happened."

When he arrives, the city police have taped off the residence.

Family photo of Miguel Angel Lopez Solana, about 2 years old, sitting at the Telex machine in his father's office at Notiver.
Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco
Family photo of Miguel Angel Lopez Solana, about 2 years old, sitting at the Telex machine in his father's office at Notiver.
Veracruz photographer Gabriel Huge on the job. Huge was murdered, and his body parts were dumped along with three other Veracruz journalists on May 3.
Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco
Veracruz photographer Gabriel Huge on the job. Huge was murdered, and his body parts were dumped along with three other Veracruz journalists on May 3.

Gabriel says, "They have killed your father, mother, and brother."

Miguel walks up the stairs to the second floor. His mother is outside the door of the bedroom, face down in a pool of blood. His father is propped in a sitting position on the bed, his face destroyed by bullets. Down the hall, his brother Misael, known as el gordo in the family because of his weight, is face down in blood. He is wearing yellow shorts his mother had made for him because it was hard to find clothes in his size. He has three rounds in the back of his neck and head. Miguel thinks of all the times he has come here early in the morning or late at night and tiptoed down the hall lest he wake anyone. He goes back into his parents' room, sits down in front of their bodies and says goodbye. He is weeping now.

The police ask, "Is there any electronic surveillance or closed-circuit TV at this house?"

He says, "No."

Miguel knows what the question means: If there is a security camera, they want to know so they can destroy the evidence.

He helps carry out the bodies. First, his mother wrapped in sheets. Then his father — he remembers thinking as he carries him of reproaching him for not having any security measures in the house. And, finally, his brother, el gordo, the fat one, is wrapped in an old red bedspread. It is very hard to get him down the stairs. Miguel breaks down sobbing. He asks himself, "What happened here?" His family has just been annihilated by 35 gunshots fired at close range. While the state police are still at the house, they tell him they will send a special team of bodyguards.

No one asks him for a statement.


At the funeral home, Miguel makes arrangements. A reporter from La Jornada, a major left-of-center Mexico City daily that both he and his father had done work for, tells him he must get out of Veracruz if he wants to live. He remains at the funeral home all day, and just before dawn, makes a quick trip to his parents' house with Vanessa, then his fiancée, to get some clothes. The bodyguards ride with them. On the way back to the funeral home, a taxi follows them for 15 blocks. The guard draws his gun, tells Miguel to speed through a red light at a roundabout, and they manage to lose the tail. They get back to the funeral home, and it is under 24-hour guard by Mexican Navy troops wearing ski masks and Veracruz state police. At the funeral, he writes down later, "A neighbor told me that he had seen three trucks and two people who had gone into my parents' house. Another neighbor told me she had heard shots and that for about a week before, she had seen a group of people on motorcycles who seemed to be watching . . . She had heard them talking on their radios, saying, "We are already here guarding the spot."

None of these neighbors gives a statement to the police.

Officials are at the graveside, the caskets lowered into the sand that is Veracruz. Navy vehicles escort the cortege. State dignitaries promise an investigation, justice, and punishment. The ceremony is surrounded by soldiers. This does not make Miguel feel safe.

The day after the funeral, the security detail escorts him and Vanessa to the airport and they flee the city where his father is famous, where he has spent his entire life. Miguel ponders the military precision he saw at the crime scene and the neighbors' whispered accounts of the killings.

He remembers opening the door to his brother's room that morning and wanting to say, "Wake up! Wake up!"


Miguel goes to the Mexico City headquarters of La Jornada. The editors give him a desk job because they do not think it is safe for him to be out on the street. Simply leaving Veracruz cannot protect him.

Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz, Milo Vela's reporting partner, is found at 4 a.m. July 26, 2011. For the past month, she had been investigating Milo Vela's murder and had gone missing two days earlier. The body is dumped outside another Veracruz newspaper, Imagen, the head cut off. A message left with the corpse advises, "Friends can also betray you." The attorney general of Veracruz announces that this "unusual assassination was due to the fact that the woman and single mother maintained links with criminal gangs." He asserts her murder has nothing to do with her work as a journalist.

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88 comments
Richard1980
Richard1980

In 1989, 'The Kerry Committee' found that the United States Department of State had made payments to drug traffickers, concluding that members of the U.S. State Department themselves were involved in drug trafficking. Some of the payments were made even after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies, or even while these traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies. http://bleacherreport.com/users/1379467-buy-azithromycin-online-no-prescription http://bleacherreport.com/users/1349325-buy-cipro-online-500mg-mastercard http://bleacherreport.com/users/1349445-buy-amoxicillin-online-next-day-delivery

sfbsailor
sfbsailor

@RaniaKhalek @BarackObama &@mittromney say: We don't give a shit about Americans, why would we care about Mexicans!

bradfox
bradfox

@RaniaKhalek My conscience.

tomphrey1
tomphrey1

Why is this propaganda piece still here.  I read it a week ago.  Why shouldl I be concerned about Mexicans killing Mexicans?  Boo Hoo.

willisforster
willisforster

The best thing we can do for both counties is real border control. Stopping the flow of drugs is impossible unless you stop the free flow of people. The big money will not be there to fund the violence and corruption.

tomphrey1
tomphrey1

"Mexican pay in blood for America's war on drugs."  Boo hoo.  Mexicans kill Mexicans and somehow I am supposed to assume blame.  Take your scrungy theory and insert it in the nearest convenient orfifice. 

coper1658
coper1658

OOPS excuse this old man

it should have been lost THIER heads

and

For now the big illegal drug profits are for a few and for the most vicious few.

coper1658
coper1658

Dear brendapatrickrom, the romans have been hunting people down like dogs for centuries.

Some early smugglers that could have lost this heads as king Herod had a bounty out on smugglers were the three wise guys following a star. Make something illegal, coffee, music, sex and there are those who will find a way to satisfy the desires of insatiable humans.

Violence and more violence to solve insoluble problems.

Take a look at booze and cigarettes on the market, they turn a fair profit to any that choose to invest.

For now the big profits are for a few and for the most vicious few.

cal lash

retired Narc

brendapatrickkrom
brendapatrickkrom

Good Luck Cartels Attacking the USA,  Your In Tall Cotton ...

brendapatrickkrom
brendapatrickkrom

Theres A Plan Strategically Set in Motion is What ive heard ...The Cartels  are in the way and will be hunted down like Dogs Now ...

 

brendapatrickkrom
brendapatrickkrom

Hire A BodyGuard Its Legal   Have Them Take Care Of The Problem ... Arizonains need to stalk up on water and food .We Are Going to War ive heard with Mexico ....

maxess
maxess

Actually you forgot one small detail. The HSBC Bank  knowingly laundering several billion  dollars in Drug money with nobody going to jail and a fine of just 0.01 cent on the dollars laundered for an overall BAnk profit of about 20%. This finances the Drug cartels. The Bosses do their mea culpa once a year when this sort of stuff comes out, and the following year when profits are shown get their huge annual bonus. People at the very top of the BAnk know this is going on and condone it. They need to do jail time.

noneya
noneya

Line up ALL of the ignorant POS racists in front of a firing squad like in the old days and just wipe this country of hateful, useless morons that are taking up space and oxygen. Start with the worthless AZ bastards! And then you wonder why the majority of the world hates us and see us as bullies?

coper1658
coper1658

Of Interest related to the 80 year old drug war.

http://www.ciadrugs.com/  

and http://www.american-buddha.com/cia.death.htm

 

Actually its not to far fetched to believe It's the fault of the US that Mexicans are killing each other.

Americans consume huge amounts of drugs imported  from Mexico and then America gives the Mexican government huge amounts of money to keep Mexicans from selling drugs to Americans?

If Al Capone were alive to ask him about legalizing drugs, I am sure he would be opposed to legalization as are a number of financial institutions. After all  a 30 percent charge for laundering $$ is good business.

 

And there has never been a successful wall, not in China and not in East Germany. Even Reagan figured that out "tear down that wall

 

cal lash

Retired Narc

Zivia
Zivia

I can't believe how much ignorance and racism there is in so many of these comments. You really should be ashamed of your hateful selves. How are poor unarmed people supposed to do anything against a well-funded government that is slaughtering them by the thousands? You probably think it was the Jews' fault for not stopping the holocaust too. Really terrible. I hope you realize how lucky you are to have been born in the right country -- you know, one that doesn't break down your door, rob you, rape you, and kill you if you protest.

novastarz47
novastarz47

What kind of spin is this? Its  USA's fault that Mexico took the guns from the public to defend themselves? The solution is very simple! lock down the borders and give the people of Mexico back their guns and let them take care of the drug problem ...People are tired of Mexican and Israel rants

Let them take care of their own problems !

mateo
mateo

Mexico is like a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean that is out of fuel and is drifting at sea, the rats have committed muitney and are killing the pasengers at will as the party continues.

tugboatboy1961
tugboatboy1961

Legalize all drugs! If people want to get high,how is that my buisness?

tomphrey1
tomphrey1

The Mexicans are killing thousands of Mexicans and it is my fault.  Oh, yeah, the Japs bombed Peal Harbor and that was my fault too.  Don't forget the World Trade Center that I destroyed.  Gee, mommy, I am a bad boy.  Boo hoo!

lammers3
lammers3

I say you stop the war on drugs. Legalize ALL dope! Then declare war on Mexico! Take it over like the European land thieves did the American Indians! Take their underhanded president and put him Sheriff Arpaio's Jail!

crazykat
crazykat

The drug cartel is in the borders of the United States. Murders are being carried out by people being paid by the cartel. There is too much profit for them to stop. When you stop the profit being made by the demand for drugs, maybe then it can be slowed down but for now, the demand is great in these United States of ours and murder and mayhem will continue. They kill people for going against them, including police, families, reporters. They are not afraid of anything as they know they can intimidate anybody and people are afraid to go against them.

obamaisacorn
obamaisacorn

sheesh. Lets stop the war on drugs since it cost too much and isn't working...

 

right after we stop the war on poverty. 

stormchanter2002
stormchanter2002

The Mexican people refuse to do anything about the government and the Mexican government is financing the cartels.  what a load of BS,  the New times is nothing more than a mouth piece for radicals, criminals and anti order anarchists.  no wonder it is free.  well I guess some people need   to have something to use as toilet paper though.  in that respect I say.  good job.

coper1658
coper1658

Excellent comment by dkessler4

NoOneParticular
NoOneParticular

Every single person that uses illegal drugs of any kind, at any  time, any where in the world is guilty of murder! You DO have blood on your hands. MURDERERS!! All of you, MURDERERS!!

bgray59
bgray59

The Mexican politicians failed to stop the Cartels when they, the politicians, could have.  The Politicians were content to turn their backs on the people and the threat for the money they received.

 

Frankly, it is time to turn our ELINT capabilities on the cartels and loose the Predators on the Cartel (Narcoterroist) leadership with the same Ferocity that we pursue Terrorist across the rest of the world.  

no-one
no-one

I wanna say something and no one has to believe it but here it is. Why do you think the drug war has been a failure? something that has never been on the news... El chapo Guzman IS married to Felipe Calderon's daughter.... dont ask my name, dont ask why or how.. a few ppl know that but has NEVER been on the news.. now tell me who really owns Mexico.

coper1658
coper1658

Thank you for the article by Molly Molloy and Charles Bowden. Both excellent investigators, writers and two fine and caring people. Not unexpectedly the article brought out comments by some of the most uniformed and sadly bigoted individuals on the planet.

Cal Lash

Retired Narc

AttorneyForFreedom
AttorneyForFreedom

In order to think clearly about the drug war, people need to separate the evils resulting from drug abuse from the evils resulting from this foolish drug war.  The drug war itself has given birth to incalculable violence for the past several decades.  It seems proponents of the drug war simply ignore the root causes of the violence in question.  In a free society, competent adults must be allowed to ingest any substance they choose into their body; even if it is bad for them.  Such freedom would undoubtedly result in some people ruining their lives.  However, all of the violence associated with the manufacture, transportation, sales and use of drugs would immediately end.  Isn’t that by itself a sufficient reason to end the drug war; especially given that people who want to use drugs use them despite decades of failed efforts to convince them otherwise?   There is no downside to ending the failed war on drugs and almost incalculable upside for everyone except the drug dealers and drug enforcement officers. 

 

Marc J. Victor

www.VictorForSenate.com

el_extranjero
el_extranjero

 @tomphrey1

 No, you shouldn't assume blame for Mexicans killing Mexicans...unless you're rolling up a $100 bill to hit your next line.

piggy
piggy

 @coper1658 a coper would be somebody who is in the swimming pool construction business or a person who has many obstacles in life and "copes" with them. do you mean "copper," the slang word for a police officer?

MesaMan
MesaMan

 @lammers3 You forgot about the Aztecs: they took down weaker groups of Indians before 1492. 

MesaMan
MesaMan

 @crazykat In Mexico, yes. In the USA; an atrocity by a drug cartel against innocent Americans would be suicide--------------can someone say 'open season'? Way too many Americans have guns and WILL use them.

DMDM
DMDM

 @NoOneParticular keep pulling on your bootstraps and let us know when you finally pick yourself up off the ground.  It is just flat not possible that drug users will stop using.  Its too easy for them to use responsibly.  If they use responsibly they can NEVER be caught.  But the bigger question is:  If they use responsibly, why do we CARE?  We've already learned with alcohol, that people aren't going to stop drinking.  And no, drinkers during prohibition did not cause nor commit murders, the cartels did seeking the PROFITS.  It is the PROFITS that cause the violence, because their disputes cannot be settled in courts.  They have to settle them on the streets.

dkessler4
dkessler4

 @NoOneParticular Drugs did not kill these people.  The War on Drugs is directly responsible.  The ATF even armed the cartels with over 2000 high powered weapons during operation fast and furious.  You can thank the US government for this slaughter and for the slaughter in South America that also failed to make a dent in the price of cocaine or the availability in the US.   You can thank the bankers in the US who launder billions of dollars of drug money from the estimated 40 billion dollar drug trade with impunity.  We not only financed it but we provided the training and the "support" to these countries to make it happen.  Our solution to the drug problem has clearly become far more harmful to human life than are drugs themselves.  It is time to end this madness.  

DMDM
DMDM

 @bgray59 What you suggest is how the Soviet Union lost to the measly country of afghanistan.  You must IDENTIFY, before you can SHOOT.  It is flat impossible to even IDENTIFY a significant portion of drug suppliers, thus the results we see of our war on drugs:   More drugs available at a cheaper price with more users.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

DMDM
DMDM

 @no-one It is a failure because DETECTION of responsible adult usage is IMPOSSIBLE, and the VAST majority of users use RESPONSIBLY.  Its your republican stock broker, your Democrat college professor, and your Libertarian IT guy that use, not strung out losers on the streets.

none
none

 @coper1658 I say Amen to you!!!  Innocent people are losing their lives.. people seem to be celebrating ... what if that was someone from your family? Mom? Dad? Sister? Brother? Aunt? Uncle? Grandparent:? etc... I totally understand the war on drugs... and agree with the war against drugs... but to cheer because people , some that were more than likely innocent are dead? that is sick... And for your information: MEXICANS ARE PEOPLE TOO... God loves them as much as he love anyone else... What happened to compassion? My heart breaks... some of those people suffered horrible deaths... I feel  for the families who are suffering the loss of a loved one.. God Bless the innocent people who lost their lives and God Bless the families left behind... 

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

 @AttorneyForFreedom Right on Marc!  THank you for exposing the true beneficiaries of the Drug War - the Drug dealers and THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY (not just the officers).  This Drug War has been one of the largest sources of government largesse in the history of our country.  Forget about Welfare Mothers, these so called "Drug Enforcers" from the Attorneys in the Justice Department down to the Patrol Cop on the Street are getting taxpayer monies for violating our constitution in ways far more insidious than any congress person could think of.  It started with Prohibition of Alcohol.  The law enforcement community found a new source of taxpayer cash and feed off it mightily.  When prohibition ended, the top law dogs on the Drug (Alcohol) front decided they hadn't paid for their kids education and their house on the hill yet so they ordered up, with the help of the pharmaceutical and other industries (cotton, oil, timber, etc.), new laws to outlaw previously legal substances which produce EUPHORIA (same high as people chase with Alcohol). 

Without these laws, the drug trade would collapse with the loss of the money people were previously paying for "scarce" product which would now become FREE (Opium, Pot and Coca plants are pretty much easy to cultivate and process by the interested individual - drug users are pretty much pathetic people who can't get enough joy out of life so they have to self-medicate to get what most normal people have all the time - a sense of well-being)

coper1658
coper1658

 @piggy thanks for the modern up date.

Modern swimming pools were not around when cops were coping a nap on duty. I am in my seventies.

but that was not the reason I choose coper

I did so out of random imaginary selection

and I thought copper was not very imaginative and had multiple meanings.

And why did U select piggy, maybe you are a junior copper.

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

 @dkessler4 The only thing we supplied was the brain dead among us that chose drugs instead of a productive life.  If it wasn't cocaine, it would have been Oxycontin, or another accessible drug. Don't blame ATF, and other agencies unless you blame our dumbass addicted young!  They are the reason that drugs are worth killing for. Without them, there would not be a need for automatic weapons

 

obamaisacorn
obamaisacorn

and do what? Pass them out?  I dont disagree we should shut down programs that dont work, but govt doesnt know how to. Never has: If it aint working its because it needs to be fed more tax money from producers. Fail.

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

 @DMDM When the Soviets lost in Afghanistan, things were a lot different than they are now.  There were no drones, Predators, or other technology to use against those rag heads.  The world of war has changed, and we could probably take out the majority of the cartel leadership, if world opinion allowed for it.

 

If the Mexicans do not care to clean up their own cesspool of a country, then why should we?  Put up the fence, and deport anyone that makes it across, as soon as we catch them.  I am tired of their illiterate, dumbasses!

bgray59
bgray59

 @DMDM  The reasons for the Soviet loss in Afghanistan are many and this forum does not have space for even a cursory analysis of that situation. 

 

I do not support the war on drugs.  In fact I have routinely suggested the "The Phoenix Solution: Getting Serious About Winning America's Drug War by Vincent T. Buglios" as the basis of solving the drug problem. 

 

The violence in Mexico and parts of the US perpetrated  by the Cartel's is a different matter.  Simply removing drugs from the equation will simply  cause the Cartels to move aggressively into other areas of endeavor.  They like any organization will diversify, as they all ready have, into other areas of endeavor.  By, as I originally suggested, eliminating the leadership of those organizations the second tier management will conduct a proxy fight to determine who is the boss.  

 

President Calderone's efforts have largely been aimed at low level operatives.  Until the senior management is eliminated those efforts will be unsuccessful.

 

It is not my suggestion that we engage in a massive deployment of troops and personnel into Mexico.  My proposal is to disrupt the Cartels Senior Management.  By focusing our ELINT capability on Senior management and tracking the money we can disrupt the Cartels to an extent that the Mexican government can deal with the low level issues.

MesaMan
MesaMan

 @DMDM All the more reason to seal off our border and use military force to stop anybody from crossing it into the USA except at monitored checkpoints. 

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

 @fairymagic13 You forgot to mention the biggest beneficiary of the drug wars...drug lawyers.  Like Marc, they argue mightily against the laws in effect, and wait for Mr Green (the cash deposit) to hit their palm before uttering another word in defense of their addicted clients.

 

Attorneys are the scum that keep this war alive.  With a bit of adult discretion, they could dismiss many of the cases that need a solution other than prison.  Marc is a phony sham, like most defense attorneys.

 

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

 @blindsmall There is nothing that could be used for a lawsuit, so sit back down.  My comment also denigrated prosecutors for taking every little thing to court.  You should feel better now.

 

I think that my 30+ years of law enforcement should allow me to have an opinion, even if it differs from yours. If you had a thousand dollars, you could not buy a clue!

blindsmall
blindsmall

 @AttorneyForFreedom  @bob_lablaw96 Marc, You were way to nice to this moron, but I understand you have to be...I on the other hand do not need to be.  If you look at the ass clowns profile you will see that he is nothing but a troll anyway, so it really does not matter. He has been abusive in every one of his posts...idiot has nothing better to do.

AttorneyForFreedom
AttorneyForFreedom

@bob_lablaw96

Bob, I have argued for an end to the drug war since before I was an attorney.  It is true that I benefit from the drug war.  However, I have used this fact as a good reason to illustrate that I am not biased on this issue.  Indeed, many criminal defense lawyers have argued with me over the years that the drug war should be continued for this very reason; their bottom line.  I have always rejected this argument in favor of a freedom position despite my bottom line.  On many occasions, I have also refused minor drug cases informing potential clients that they do not need an attorney.  This has been contrary to the advice of some other attorneys. 

 

Finally, I have also accepted major drug cases in cases where clients could not afford my fee.  Indeed, I recently and successfully tried such a drug case involving 83lbs of marijuana.  Although some of these comments may apply to other attorneys, they are not applicable to me.  My longstanding and sincere commitment to ending the drug war is well understood and beyond dispute to those who care to review the facts. 

blindsmall
blindsmall

 @bob_lablaw96 If you were not such an idiot you would know Marc has spoke out against the drug war for decades.  You obviously know nothing about him, but I do and I will be sure to forward this to him.  You have made some pretty defamatory comments here, as well as stupid. I hope he sues your dumb ass...

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

 @blindsmall Ah, c'mon now.  Where's the love? Do you only say nice words to the attorney?  Talk about a troll!

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

 @fairymagic13 Retroactive abortions, up to the age of 35 should be allowed in this country.  If you see your child becoming a real asshole, or an attorney, you could have him aborted at any time before that age.

 

At birth, we never know how our children will turn out.  If we give them love, support, guidance, and self respect, they should be fine. But, there are always those children that just went south on us.  Many of them become defense attorneys.  They want to be elected as our representatives in government.  Those children should have been aborted at conception, but somehow escaped. 

 

Do not let that stop the State from finding them, and aborting them prior to age 35

 

 

AttorneyForFreedom
AttorneyForFreedom

 @fairymagic13 You must have missed it, it was near the bottom, I also posted it here as well:

 

"Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration."

 

In other words the government should stay out of it entirely.

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

 @AttorneyForFreedom I don't see any position in the platform regarding a State's right to outlaw abortion. Do you feel a State has the right to outlaw abortions?

 

AttorneyForFreedom
AttorneyForFreedom

 @fairymagic13 As a Libertarian, I concur with the Libertarian platform on this issue: http://www.lp.org/platform

 

"Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration."

 
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