Michael Webster
Americans executed in Mexico
By Michael Webster
May 16, 2009

TIJUANA — Four American bodies from the San Diego area were found in their van which was parked in a very dangerous Tijuana neighborhood on Saturday. The two men and two women were tortured, bludgeoned, beaten and had their skulls crushed. They were found in blankets wrapped in tape, according to a news release from the Tijuana State Attorney's Office.

Tijuana authorities reported that the bodies of Briana Hernandez Aguilera, 19; Carmen Jimena Ramos Chavez, 20; Oscar Jorge Garcia Cota, 23; and Luis Antonio Games Jr., 21; were discovered in a burgundy colored van in what has been described by the locals as a "very dangerous neighborhood."

American authorities believe the two male victims lived in the San Diego California area and the two women victims lived in nearby Chula Vista.

A local San Diego station reported that Mexican authorities believe that the victims were set-up. One of the victims allegedly received a letter from a woman in prison, directing them to a party in the neighborhood where they were found. Authorities on both sides of the border are investigating whether the killings could be connected to that relationship of one of the victims with the female serving prison time in the United States on drug charges, another source in the Attorney General's Office said.

From Brownsville Texas to San Diego California Mexican cities bordering American cities along the U.S. Mexican border are where Americans are being killed by assassinations and executions. Many Americans were kidnapped in the U.S. and taken to Mexico where they were murdered. Still other Americans were abducted and slain in Mexico while visiting, others where shot gangland style in country. Dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped, or held hostage, or killed by their captors in Mexico and many cases remain unsolved. Moreover, new cases of disappearances and kidnap-for-ransom and Americans being killed continue to be reported.

Baja California's Attorney General says four Chula Vista residents killed in Tijuana last Saturday were not tourists looking for a good time south of the border. The Attorney General strongly suspects the group had drug ties.

Baja California Attorney General Rommel Moreno told KPBS San Diego that a relative of Briana Hernandez — she's one of two women killed — turned over a letter from a woman serving time on drug charges in Southern California.

Moreno says the letter threatened Hernandez and the others that they'd come to an end with cocaine up their noses.

Authorities say Hernandez tested positive for cocaine.

Moreno says he can say categorically the four were not innocent victims.

"The fact that a young woman uses coke and has ties to a woman in jail on drug charges rules out that she's the kind of person who's simply a university student." (Translated from Spanish)

Moreno says the four crossed the border often and were comfortable on both sides.

He says he's working with US authorities in the ongoing investigation.

The Baja California officials genuinely would like to believe their own claims, but in reality crime is out of their control. The carjackings, kidnappings, rapes, robberies and executions perpetrated on Americans are not being committed by ordinary criminals; the perpetrators are armed commando squads affiliated with Mexican drug cartels, gangs and Para-military units.

Both Mexican and American newspapers are reporting that Bernard Gonzales, a spokesman for the Chula Vista Police Department, says one of the victims tested positive for cocaine. He says one of the victims' relatives told authorities they knew alleged drug traffickers.

Abigail Lopez, who lives in the Valle Dorado area of Tijuana where the bodies were discovered, said death from drug dealing is a "normal occurrence living here."

Lopez said she fears for her life. "That's why we never go outside. We're always inside our house, it is very dangerous."

Most family friends did not want to comment publicly, fearing retribution from Mexican drug cartels. One said, "you don't want to mess with these people."

A source in the Baja California Attorney General's Office said the four crossed the border frequently and had gone to Tijuana to party last weekend.

The fact remains that Americans are not safe in Mexico particularly in the border towns.

For more related articles go to: www.lagunajournal.com

Google or click on: American Death toll in Mexico's drug war surges

Two more Americans slaughtered in Mexico

"Please, i'm asking them to release my son. Give him back to me"

© Michael Webster


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Webster

Michael Webster's Syndicated Investigative Reports are read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries... (more)


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