Mexico: drug lord arrested in 900 murders trained with Guatemala’s Kaibiles

Police in Mexico City announced the arrest of Óscar Osvaldo García Montoya, AKA “El Compayito” on Aug. 11—purported leader of “La Mano con Ojos” (Hand with Eyes) criminal organization, who is accused in some 900 killings. The raid was carried out by police from the Federal District and México state, with intelligence provided by the Prosecutor General of the Republic (PGR). El Compayito, originally from Sinaloa, is said to have started his career as a sicario (hitman) for the Beltrán Leyva cartel before breaking off to form his own organization. His collaborators in the Beltran-Leyva cartel were named as Edgar Valdés AKA “La Barbie” and Gerardo Álvarez AKA “El Indio”—who was detained last year, and also said to be fighting his former Beltran-Leyva masters. El Compayito is a deserter from the Mexican navy, where he had achieved the rank of corporal and trained with Guatemala’s elite military force, the Kaibiles.

Police initially raided the wrong house in the Federal District’s Tlalpan delegation in the hunt for El Compayito. Renowned poet Efraín Bartolomé was at home with his family when masked gunmen barged in. Bartolomé was slapped as a masked officer screamed “Where are the weapons?” The squad then held the household at gunpoint as they searched the premises for some 40 minutes before leaving with no explanation. México state Prosecutor General Alfredo Castillo later apologized to the family and admitted that “some errors” had been made during the operation. (Notimex, AP, AFP, Ré, Aug. 11)

See our last post on Mexico’s narco wars.

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  1. Mexico rights body alleges regular police misconduct
    Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) on Aug. 12 released a report contending that military and law enforcement officials routinely conduct illegal searches in their efforts to combat the country’s narcotics trade. The report describes a “systematic pattern” of coercive, threatening and physically abusive behavior, often accompanied by property damage, theft and evidence tampering. Documented complaints of human rights violations allegedly committed by authorities rose from 234 in 2006 to 964 in 2008, the same year a law was enacted easing requirements for search warrants. Per the report’s projections, such complaints are expected to surpass 1,000 by the close of this year. (Jurist, Aug. 13)

    See our last post on Mexico’s human rights crisis.