The Mexican newsweekly Proceso published, on-line, three drug war stories on the morning of May 4th; their third story was confirmed later in the day:

(all stories copyright 2000 Comunicación e Información, SA de CV)


"Even the anti-drug chief of the US jumps to the defense of "patriot" Labastida's candidacy"

WASHINGTON: "The man responsible for the anti-drug fight of the United States, Barry McCaffrey, qualified as a "patriot" the presidential candidate of the PRI, Francisco Labastida Ochoa, defending his "commitment" in the fight against drug trafficking.

"I've been proud to work with Mr. Labastida when he was Interior Minister. I listen to the accusations (but) we see what people do and not what is said about them," he affirmed.

This because the US daily Los Angeles Times reported that Labastida had been the center of controversy when The Washington Times cited a report of the CIA about his presumed links with narco-traffickers.

Read the original on-line by clicking here.

Narco News note: McCaffrey also designated PAN candidate Vicente Fox as a "patriot" (Labastida and Fox are the two candidates most eager to sell Mexican resources to foreign interests) but not everybody agrees....


"Camacho booed for criticizing Fox"

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) does not guarantee advances to combat public insecurity and nor, above all, to succeed at national reconciliation, affirmed the presidential candidate of the Center-Democratic Party (PCD) Manuel Camacho Solís, who was booed for criticizing the National Action Party and its candidate Vicente Fox.

In the first forum titled "Security, Justice and Peace," held in the National Auditorium, Camacho affirmed that the PAN lacks "a political strategy with actions and a team that will provide security to confront these problems." The PAN and its candidate…have not demonstrated "that they count with a proposal or appropriate political action to resolve conflicts, to seriously reduce delinquency, or to lower the problem of drug trafficking.

The former PRI member also proposed the creation of a police corps to combat drug trafficking to replace the army from this activity.

To read the original story, click here.

THREE: "El Mayel" Captured

Proceso reported on Thursday morning that Mexican drug czar Mario Hérran Salvatti would hold a press conference to speak to rumors that Ismael Higuera Guerrero, alias "El Mayel", considered the "operating brain" of the Arrellano-Félix cartel in Tijuana, and seven accomplices were captured by police and military units.

The story has developed strangely, beginning with Mexican press reports two weeks ago that "El Mayel" had been arrested. But the drug czar said on Thursday afternoon that he was captured on Wednesday morning. And rumors that one of the Arrellano-Félix brothers had been captured with him were, said Herrán Salvatti, unfounded. The case of "El Mayel" also drew suspicion because in 1994 he and Javier Arellano Félix had been arrested but then liberated because authorities claimed they did not identify them.

The arrest of "El Mayel" should prove a boost to the campaign of ruling-party candidate Francisco Labastida, who has come under fire this week from an LA Times report on his history with the narco. But, if Mexican authorities really did capture "El Mayel" two weeks ago, but did not announce it, the case could take a bizarre turn.

Recall that when federal authorities announced the "capture" in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, last year of two guerilla leaders of the Popular Revolutionary Army, it later was revealed that they were in fact captured many days earlier, one in Mexico City, the other in San Luis Potosí, and were interrogated under brutal torture during the time they were missing. If something like this happened with "El Mayel", there could be violent consequences to come.

To read Proceso's morning story, click here.

To read their afternoon confirmation, click here.

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