viernes, 30 de diciembre de 2011

For less than $11,000 USD you can spring out 3 prisoners from a Mexican prison

Reporting From Mexico

John Reed

It costs $150,000 pesos to spring out three people from a Mexican prison, which amounts to $10,980 USD at today's going rate. By American standards this is a "steal", no pun intended.  This is what happened in the Prison Center at Puente Grande where the amount mentioned was paid in order to facilitate the prison escape.


Yes, a three ton truck with paint and remodeling supplies was allowed into the prison, it was here that the prisoners left the facility.  The money paid made the escape an automatic success.

Corruption is the essence of what Mexico is currently facing.

The following is the link to the Spanish media that reported the prison escape and the amount of money that was paid:

jueves, 29 de diciembre de 2011

Mexico is not a joke, four Americans killed this past week in Veracruz and Michoacan

Reporting From Mexico

John Reed

Why do fellow Americans still risk coming to Mexico when they know the country is in a war much worse than Iraq? Why is it that Americans still ignore that 13,000 Mexicans have disappeared in the last 5-years and over 40,000 Mexicans have died yet they still insist in rolling the dice and coming here?


The insecurity in Mexico is for real. The kidnappings in Mexico are for real. For the life of me, I simply do not understand why our people continue coming here to get killed or kidnapped.  I am tired of reading in the media how are people are dying here.

This last week alone four Americans died in Mexico while visiting for Christmas. Here are some of the headlines:

(Associated Press)

(Washington Post)

These deaths could have been avoided by not coming to Mexico at all. 

You want to see beaches? 
Go to Miami.  

You want  to see mountains? 
Go to Colorado.  

You want express a different culture? 
Go to American Samoa or Puerto Rico, but do not come to Mexico right now.

The day will come when Mexico will be rid of these criminal disease that is running wild in the country and it will be safe for Americans to return, but for now - BACK OFF!

The difference between you as an American tourist coming to Mexico and me as an American living in Mexico is threefold: I speak the language, I know the country real well, and I have been living here for a decade, half of that time during this war.

This isn't South Central L.A. or the rough streets of New York City - this is Mexico.

miércoles, 28 de diciembre de 2011

STRATFOR is not a "Shadow CIA" Organization, plain stupidity

Reporting From Mexico

John Reed

The Anonymous hit on STRATFOR during Christmas has the main media buzzing, especially because STRATFOR has been branded as the "SHADOW CIA" organization.  Actually, I did not brand them with that label but rather the following U.K. online media publication:

First of all, out of respect for the CIA, STRATFOR is not a "SHADOW CIA" organization because if it were they would have known, free of charge, that they were going to be hacked by Anonymous.


A free service called TWITTER.  

For crying out loud, just by reading the TWITTER feed for the last week everyone knew the several Anonymous Operations were about to go online. It is not like they keep things secret from people.  All one has to do is sit and read the TWITTER feeds.  I even wrote an article about the upcoming #OpHiroshima to no avail.

Concerning STRATFOR, I have seen their videos about Mexico; I cannot imagine that they are intelligence experts since every analysis they provide about Mexico is way of course.

As an American living in Mexico, I live smack in the middle of Zeta terroritory, they would not know what really is happening in this country unless it were reported in the media.

If STRATFOR were a "SHADOW CIA" organization, would they not know how to encrypt their files?


Plain stupidity.

lunes, 26 de diciembre de 2011

Mexico’s cartels build own national radio system

MEXICO CITY (AP) — When convoys of soldiers or federal police move through the scrubland of northern Mexico, the Zetas drug cartel knows they are coming.
The alert goes out from a taxi driver or a street vendor, equipped with a high-end handheld radio and paid to work as a lookout known as a “halcon,” or hawk.
The radio signal travels deep into the arid countryside, hours by foot from the nearest road. There, the 8-foot-tall (2-meter-tall) dark-green branches of the rockrose bush conceal a radio tower painted to match. A cable buried in the dirt draws power from a solar panel. A signal-boosting repeater relays the message along a network of powerful antennas and other repeaters that stretch hundreds of miles (kilometers) across Mexico, a shadow communications system allowing the cartel to coordinate drug deliveries, kidnapping, extortion and other crimes with the immediacy and precision of a modern military or law-enforcement agency.
The Mexican army and marines have begun attacking the system, seizing hundreds of pieces of communications equipment in at least three operations since September that offer a firsthand look at a surprisingly far-ranging and sophisticated infrastructure.
Current and former U.S. law-enforcement officials say the equipment, ranging from professional-grade towers to handheld radios, was part of a single network that until recently extended from the U.S. border down eastern Mexico’s Gulf coast and into Guatemala.
The network allowed Zetas operatives to conduct encrypted conversations without depending on the official cellphone network, which is relatively easy for authorities to tap into, and in many cases does not reach deep into the Mexican countryside.
“They’re doing what any sensible military unit would do,” said Robert Killebrew, a retired U.S. Army colonel who has studied the Mexican drug cartels for the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank. “They’re branching out into as many forms of communications as possible.”
The Mexican army said on Dec. 4 that it had seized a total of at least 167 antennas, 155 repeaters, 166 power sources, 71 pieces of computer equipment and 1,446 radios. The equipment has been taken down in several cities in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and the northern states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, San Luis Potosi and Tamaulipas.
The network was built around 2006 by the Gulf cartel, a narcotics-trafficking gang that employed a group of enforcers known as the Zetas, who had defected from Mexican army special forces. The Zetas split from the Gulf cartel in 2010 and have since become one of the nation’s most dominant drug cartels, with profitable sidelines in kidnapping, extortion and human trafficking.
The network’s mastermind was Jose Luis Del Toro Estrada, a communications expert known as Tecnico who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine in federal court in Houston, Texas, two years ago.
Using millions of dollars worth of legally available equipment, Del Toro established the system in most of Mexico’s 31 states and parts of northern Guatemala under the orders of the top leaders in the Gulf cartel and the Zetas. The Gulf cartel boss in each drug-smuggling territory, or plaza, was responsible for buying towers and repeaters as well as equipping his underlings with radios, according to Del Toro’s plea agreement.
Del Toro employed communications specialists to maintain and run the system and research new technology, according to the agreement.
Mexican authorities, however, presented a different picture of the cartel radio infrastructure, saying it was less monolithic than the one described by U.S. authorities. A Mexican military official denied that the army and navy have been targeting one network that covered the entire Gulf coast. The operations had been focused on a series of smaller, local systems that were not connected to each other due to technical limitations, he said.
“It’s not a single network,” the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic. “They use it to act locally.”
In recent years, reporters traveling with the Mexican military have heard cartels using radio equipment to broadcast threats on soldiers’ frequencies. The military official told the AP that the signals are now encrypted, but cartels are still trying to break in.
At least until recently, the cartel’s system was controlled by computers that enabled complex control of the radio signals, allowing the cartel to direct its communications to specific radios while bypassing others, according to Grupo Savant, an intelligence and security consulting firm in Washington that has firsthand knowledge of Mexico’s cartel operations.
The radio system appears to be a “low-cost, highly extendable and maintainable network” that shows the Zetas’ sophistication, said Gordon Housworth, managing director of Intellectual Capital Group, LLC, a risk- and technology-consulting firm that has studied the structure and operations of Mexican cartels and criminal groups.
Other Mexican criminal organizations maintain similar radio networks, including the Sinaloa cartel, based in the Pacific coast state of the same name, and the Barrios Azteca street gang, which operates in Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, a U.S. law-enforcement official said. The Zetas’ system is the largest, however, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
The Mexican raids are “a deliberate attempt to disrupt the business cycle of the cartels,” said one former law-enforcement official with direct knowledge of the network. “By going after command and communications you disrupt control.”
Law-enforcement officials and independent analysts described the operations against the Zetas’ communications system as significant short-term victories in the fight against the cartel.
“The seizures show that the organization is scrambling,” said Steven Dudley, co-director of InSight, a group that analyzes and investigates organized crime in Latin America.
The longer-term impact is unclear. The cartel has had little difficulty in replacing radio gear and other equipment seized in smaller operations in recent years. And contacts among the highest-ranking Zetas operatives tend to take place in highly encrypted communications over the Internet, according to Grupo Savant.
Certainly, cartel radio equipment is a near-ubiquitous presence for Mexicans living along the front lines of the drug war.
In the state of Tamaulipas, across the border from eastern Texas, many antennas are concealed in the foliage of the rockrose, an invasive shrub that has spread across much of the state’s open land.
Even from a few feet (meters) away it’s nearly impossible to see the towers or their power cables.
In Nuevo Laredo, the Zetas’ first stronghold, antennas sprout from rooftops and empty lots. One soldier told the AP that even when authorities took down an antenna there, it was swiftly replaced.

sábado, 24 de diciembre de 2011

Merry Christmas from an American in Mexico

Reporting From Mexico

John Reed

It is a privilege and honor to wish everyone of my readers Merry Christmas from Mexico.  In the last 10 years that I have been living here in Mexico, I have had the opportunity to see how this nation has faced numerous obstacles, this year is not the exception.  I hope that through my articles, you the reader, has been able to see what I see and feel here in Mexico.

I wish all of you Merry Christmas!

jueves, 22 de diciembre de 2011

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens in Mexico - Bus Attacks in northern Veracruz (December 22, 2011)

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens - Bus Attacks in northern Veracruz 

(December 22, 2011)

Early in the morning of December 22, several vehicles, including three ordinary passenger buses, were attacked with gunfire in northern Veracruz state, resulting in several deaths.  One of these buses was traveling on Highway 105 between the municipalities of Panuco and Tempoal. 
The U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros reminds American citizens to exercise caution and remain vigilant when traveling in the State of Veracruz.  American citizens residing in, visiting, or traveling through the northern portion of Veracruz that borders Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi should maintain a heightened sense of alert.  Americans in this area should monitor local news and information to stay informed about situations that could affect their security.  The Consulate General also reminds American citizens to avoid intercity road travel at night.   
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's internet web site at where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers from Mexico, a regular toll line at 001-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at
Please review the Department of State’s Travel Warning concerning travel within Mexico and the state of Tamaulipas, available at The Department continues to advise U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas. We also encourage U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration web site at so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security. Americans without internet access may register in person or by phone with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.
For any emergencies involving American citizens in the Matamoros consular district, please call or visit the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit at the U.S. Consulate General on Avenida Primera 2002, Col. Jardin, Matamoros, Tamaulipas; telephone (011)(52)(868) 812-4402;

Who really is behind #OpHiroshima ? (Start date midnight January 1, 2012)

Who really is behind #OpHiroshima ?

John Reed

REPORTING FROM MEXICO: In the past months I have showcased several ANONYMOUS operations in this blog, starting with #OpCartel, #OpCorrupcion and #OpCarreterasSeguras.  Each operation targeted an area where corruption or lack of attention required media attention.  However in the last 24 hours, I came across a new and different hacker operation called #OpHiroshima.

It did not take me long to get information on this operation, since it was readily available on the twitter feed along with the Pastebin. 

#OpHiroshima is focused on hacking government, corporate and law enforcement websites in order to collect and dump into the internet the information taken. This information is supposed to be spammed through email and social media worldwide.

The idea behind this is to protest against the STOP ONLINE PIRACY ACT that was submitted to the U.S Congress (

Now there is one major flaw in this operation, why would hackers worldwide want to commit an action that will get politicians to pass additional laws to censor the Internet?

Is that not playing straight into the governments hands?

Therefore the only logical conclusion is that #OpHiroshima has to be instigated by government agents who have infiltrated hacker groups.  These government agents are promoting actions that will create additional controls and measures to be taken on the Internet.

Surely the hackers can see this, right?



  2.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  #Op Hiroshima
  4.  Hello and seasons greetings!
  5.  Calling all d0xers, hax0rs, phreaks and social engineers:  Do you value the free exchange of information? Would you fight for the internet? Do we share common opressors?
  6.  With each and every passing moment decisions are being made and steps taken to destroy the information super highway that we all call home. We cannot allow this to happen. Sooo, in a movement of solidarity we are asking all d0xers, hax0rs, phreaks and social engineers to join us for a New Years that will never be forgotten.  
  7.  Here's the game plan :
  8.  Anyone taking part in Operation Hiroshima  will be gathering any and all documentation/information on anything and everything that we can access. Hax0rs will hack, d0xers will d0x and archive, phreaks will be tying up their lines of communication and social engineers will be exploiting the Human Operating System to gain their entry. Government, Political parties, corporations, law enforcement ... all fair game
  9.  (please refrain from adding any persons childrens names. Keep in mind, we ARE a neccassary evil, but still technically the good guys.)
  10.  Then on January 1st 2012 @ 12:00 A.M. every last piece of information we have acquired through our individual skills will be leaked all across the web... EVERYWHERE, chat spam, fb, twitter, myspace, mocospace, tinychat, dating sites, youtube.... EVERYWHERE.
  11.  The point of all this? That's easy, to show our common opressors and the world, that we STILL and will always run this! A show of skill if you will, you push us and we push back. Not to mention if they are busy cleaning up this mess, we all have opened a window of time for a new Op to take place uninterrupted.
  12.  Plus, it's about to be a new year, out with the old and in with
  13.  the new! Let's make this new years simply unforgettable! Won't you join us?
  14.  Today is December 20th 2011, this gives us 11 days to gather and archive any and all information to be released on January 1st 2012 @ 12:00 A.M.                                            
  15. From all of us here at #DoxCak3 we wish you and yours a very explosive New Years and a merry LulzXmas!

miércoles, 21 de diciembre de 2011

European Union condemns Mexico for the disappearances, attacks and killing of activists


John Reed

It was very commendable that the European Union delegation in Mexico condemned the disappearances, attacks and killing of activists such as were the cases of   Norma Andrade, Eva Alarcón, Marcial Bautista, Nepomuceno Moreno and Trinidad de la Cruz (  
However the same European Union that condemns Mexico is the same Union that benefits itself from doing business with this country.  

It simply does not make sense.

Although resolving the insecurity issue in Mexico is responsibility of the Mexican government, since they allowed the build-up to happen for so long, the international community could "persuade" Mexico to resolve it.



The Zapatista uprising in the 90's quickly came to end because it was not in the interest of the Mexican government to be the focus of both the Americans and Canadians as NAFTA came into effect.  The same should be happening here in this particular situation.

If the Europeans are going to point a finger at Mexico, it should be willing to be a part of the solution and not simply point out the problem.

We all know what the problem is, we do not need another group of nations to tell Mexicans that they have a problem. 

martes, 20 de diciembre de 2011

We spent a day in Piedras Negras, Coahuila


John Reed

It is evident that Mexican roads are insecure regardless of season or timetable; however, this did not damper our Christmas spirits as we traveled from inside Mexico to the U.S.- Mexicor border: Piedras Negras, Coahuila to be exact.  

My family and I spent some time at the "Mercado" and the downtown area, specifically at the town square where we took the picture above, which was beautifully decorated.

Although we are not Catholics, kudos to the their churches since they are pieces of architectural work Mexico wide. In this particular case, the Piedras Negras Cathedral is not the exception - it is gorgeous.
I am not happy with the $3 billion dollars that the past Moreira government stole from the people of Coahuila, but they sure did pretty up Piedras Negras.  This beautiful piece of architecture stands in front of the International Bridge with the United States.

These are stores right in front of the town square, one of many that adorn this beautiful town. We only spent a day on the U.S.- Mexico border and then we got back on the highway down south.  As we traveled, we saw two Federal Police cars as two officers were inspecting a vehicle that was destroyed on the side of the road, a truck to be exact, with no passengers in it. 

No Comment.

domingo, 18 de diciembre de 2011

Mexico's PRI Presidential Candidate "Speaking English" (English Video with English Subtitles)

PRI Presidential Candidate Enrique Peña Nieto
Speaking English

John Reed

REPORTING FROM MEXICO:  We, as Americans, are not the most savvy foreign language students in the world. When I was in Europe, in my younger years, I heard a joke:

"What do you call a person that speaks two languages? 
What do you call a person that speaks one language?
An American"

Nothing could be further from the truth.  However one thing is not knowing another language, which is a major fallacy in our educational system, and another is ATTEMPTING to speak in another language when you do not know it well enough in the diplomatic sector.  Daily, I watch hundreds of Mexicans, remember I live in Mexico, studying English in order to better their employment opportunities in Mexico. My respect goes out to them. 

Hence the case of the PRI's Presidential Candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, who seems on a mission to derail his presidential aspirations by continually putting his foot in his mouth with stupidities.

1. He could not correctly mention three books that he had read and had impacted his life - in a book fair.
2. He did not know Mexico's minimum salary in an interview.
3. He was unable to answer the question on the price of tortillas, which is a major part of the Mexican diet.
4. By mistake he posted condolences for the death of Former President Miguel de la Madrid as he was still on his death bed alive.

Now surfaces the video of Peña Nieto attempting to speak in English and the people, here in Mexico, are making it one more laughable episode on a man who is the heir apparent to the Mexican presidency.

Using a translator is not a sign of weakness, not using one demerits the message he wanted to convey.

viernes, 16 de diciembre de 2011

One year after the murder of Mexican Activist Marisela Escobedo, what has changed in Mexico? Not a damn thing

Mileno TV Marisela Escobedo one year after her death

John Reed

REPORTING FROM MEXICO:  It is hard to believe that Marisela Escobedo, the Mexican activist who was seeking justice for her daughter's who had been murdered and her killer released, was killed a year ago.  

So, what has happened in these 365 days since Marisela's passing?

Not a damn thing.

Mexico's violence is greater nationwide than every before.  There is more impunity and the Mexican people are still hoping for their government to find a solution to this problem.

Meanwhile, more activists are being murdered and sadly to say, more will die.  

I had hoped that we had better news to give Marisela a year after her passing, we do not.

The answer is not in the government, it is in the people and they are simply to busy doing their Christmas shopping.

miércoles, 14 de diciembre de 2011

Reason why Americans should care about the killing of two college students in Ayotzinapa, Mexico

Video of the Student Riots in Ayotzinapa, Mexico

John Reed

REPORTING FROM MEXICO: Regions of Mexico are powder kegs waiting for any spark to light it up. Mexicans have survived the economic woes of the last couple years but the sharpest thorn in the population's flesh is the environment of insecurity, whether if caused by the criminal cartels or conducted by the government under color of law.  

Such is the case of the college students from a teaching university in the state of Guerrero, who having asked for a meeting with the governor in order to voice their anger concerning misappropriation of funds, were ignored.  The college students decided to close a major highway in order to bring light on their cause. Immediately Guerrero state troopers arrived, federal agents arrived and even the Mexican Army showed up, remember Mexico is a powder keg.  

So what happened afterwards?

A few hours later two college students were shot and killed on the highway. 

Here is where this whole debacle starts.  At the beginning the Guerrero government stated that the students shot at their troopers; thus force was met with force.

Then the video above popped up where there is no evidence that the students ever had any firearms with them except the aerodynamic ones - rocks.  The video camera was part of the Guerrero highway system and it is clear evidence that the students did not attack the authorities.

The federal agents blamed the state troopers, the state troopers blamed the federal agents.  The only one that was not blamed was the Mexican army, who arrived late to the party.  Pictures surfaced in the last 24 hours where plain dressed "civilians" were shooting at the students, yet their posture looked para-military.  These people were shooting toward the students while standing next to the Guerrero state troopers.

These pictures have caused the Guerrero Governor to suspend the state attorney, the state director of security, and any other key positions related to what occurred on that highway.

The videos and the pictures are running non-stop in the Mexican media causing college students in Tlaxala to protest the killings, personally I believe other college students around the country will protest this incident as well.

So why should this matter to Americans back at home?

Mexico is a powder keg waiting for a spark to light it up - that is why we should care.