Mexico: mayor’s murder not drug-related

October 2, 2010

Following up on this story, it appears the mayor of Doctor Rodriguez in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, was murdered in a simple land dispute, not in another battle in the cartel wars:

Two men were arrested for killing a small-town Mexican mayor for $6,000 in a land dispute, prosecutors said Thursday.

Nuevo Leon state Attorney General Alejandro Garza y Garza ruled out the involvement of drug gangs that have been blamed for the assassination of many other mayors in Mexico.

Prisciliano Rodriguez, mayor of Doctor Gonzalez, was gunned down Sept. 23 along with an aide. He was the fourth mayor killed in northeastern Mexico in a month.

Garza y Garza said the two detained men confessed to the contract killing of the mayor in a land dispute. He said an uncle of one of the two suspects hired them a week before the assassination, asking them if they “wanted a little job.” The uncle remains at large.

The men were paid an initial $3,000 and given an R-15 rifle, an Uzi and a revolver, Garza y Garza said. On the day of the assassination, the uncle called his nephew and demanded the money back if they did not carry out the killing, the prosecutor said.

The suspects told police they traveled later that day to Doctor Gonzalez, where the mayor was coordinating a program to provide metal roofing to residents, Garza y Garza said.

He said the pair waited until Rodriguez got out of his car and then fired about 20 shots at him. The uncle allegedly met with them the next day and paid them the remaining $3,000.

So, in this case, it was a tawdry and prosaic dispute over land boundaries, one of the most ancient reasons for murder and one certainly not limited to Mexico.

via the Mexico Institute.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When crooks no longer fear the cops

August 2, 2010

President Obama’s hometown of Chicago has a problem: a declining clearance rate for violent crime has lead to an increase in crimes such as robbery and murder, which is further fed by declining morale in an underfunded, undermanned police department. The situation is so bad, even the cops themselves are being gunned down in the streets:

And it gets worse. Three Chicago police officers have been murdered in the last two months, the most recent of whom was Michael Bailey, who at age 62 was only weeks away from retirement. On the morning of July 18, Bailey had finished an overnight shift guarding the home of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and was in front of his own home cleaning his new car, which he had bought as an early retirement gift to himself. He was still dressed in his police uniform when someone tried to rob him. Police officers everywhere accept the risks to life and limb attendant to the job, but it’s generally taken for granted among cops that the uniform will serve as a deterrent against being robbed on the street. What level of depravity has a city reached when a uniformed police officer is no safer from a street robbery than anyone else? More important, what is to be done about it?

Other problems come to mind besides the lack of money and competent leadership that Dunphy talks about in his article: Chicago is a city with an absolute ban on handgun ownership, though that’s now been overturned in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. Chicago. Criminals know that their victims are likely to be unarmed and that itself makes violent crime a less risky proposition for the criminal. In effect, gun control increases crime. Perhaps if the City of Chicago would stop fighting its residents rights under the Constitution, violent crime rates would drop.

The other problem that comes to mind is the notorious corruption of Chicago, itself. It’s not surprising that the cities Dunphy mentions as having worse murder rates than Chicago, New Orleans and Detroit, both also have serious problems with corruption. Corruption not only steals the public’s money and cheats them of the services for which they’ve paid, but it also saps morale among those who serve the public and aren’t corrupt themselves, inevitably making problems such a city’s crime rate worse.

To turn back to Chicago, how bad must the decline of law and order be, when criminals don’t fear even the police? Bad enough that one of its own cops says the city is on the fast track to anarchy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


An apology makes everything better

February 21, 2010

For reasons only he knows, 17-year old Robert Barnes raped and murdered his good friend, 16-year old Meghan Landowski:

No one knows what got into him that afternoon in April of 2008. But he broke into Meghan’s house while no one was home and waited for her to get home from school. As she walked in the door, he attacked.

He duct taped her mouth shut and taped her arms behind her back. Then he raped her before stabbing her 40 times — a dozen of those wounds came after she was already dead. He left her bleeding with her pants down on the kitchen floor, the pool of blood spread 10-feet wide.

Father Chris Shortt was the first to find her. “I walked in and the front door was open,” he testified. “I stepped forward and I saw her laying there. She was white, like a China doll. Then I noticed her throat. I’d rather not say what that looked like because my wife still doesn’t know.”

A horrific crime, and I can honestly say that I’m sorry his juvenile status apparently prevented the prosecution from seeking a death penalty.  If ever a criminal deserved trial as an adult, with the punishment meted to an adult, it is Robert Barnes. But what jumped out at me and prompted this post is the following:

In court, he apologized to the family.

Oh, gee, I’ll bet that made the family feel so much better. “I’m sorry Mr. & Mrs. Barnes, that I raped and tormented and tortured your girl, reducing her to crying terror and misery, begging me to stop, until I finally slaughtered her like a pig. And, oh, sorry, dude. It was rude of me to leave her on the floor like that for you to find. Apology accepted?”

What is it with the modern obsession with apology? An apology for stealing a toy or some food is one thing; it’s one way we teach our children right from wrong, and the property gets restored or replaced. But an apology for rape and murder? What good does that do? Does it somehow make the parents feel any less devastated over their loss, or alleviate the feelings of guilt they must feel for not being there to protect her? Does it give her back her life? I honestly don’t know how Meghan’s parents found the strength to sit there and listen to Barnes, yet not grab for a deputy’s gun to shoot him dead.

I’m sorry,” Barnes said.

To hell with apologies.


Religion of Misogyny watch

February 5, 2010

In Turkey, two men are under arrest for the murder of a teenage girl. Her crime? Befriending boys. Her punishment? To be buried alive. And her killers are were her father and grandfather:

A 16-year-old girl was buried alive by relatives in southeast Turkey in a gruesome honour killing just because she reportedly befriended boys, the Anatolia news agency reported Thursday.

Acting on a tip-off, police discovered Medine Memi’s body in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-metre-deep hole in a chicken pen outside her house in Kahta town, Adiyaman province, 40 days after she went missing, the agency said.

A subsequent post mortem revealed that she had a significant amount of soil in her lungs and stomach, meaning that she was buried alive, foresic experts told the agency.

“The autopsy result is blood-curdling. According to our findings, the girl — who had no bruises on her body and no sign of narcotics or poison in her blood — was alive and fully conscious when she was buried,” one anonymous expert said.

Medine’s father and grandfather have been formally arrested and jailed pending trial over her killing, the agency said.

The father is reported to have said in his testimony that the family was unhappy she had male friends.

Honor killing, the butchering of women to preserve a family’s “dignity,” isn’t restricted to remote, barbaric corners of the world, much as we’d like to believe. It happens in “civilized” Western countries, too, such as the UK, Canada, and even America.

The perpetrators are almost always Muslim. As Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch points out:

In 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

And a manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2).

In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.

That’s why these honor killings keep happening — because they are broadly tolerated, even encouraged, by Islamic teachings and attitudes. Yet no authorities are calling Islamic leaders to account for this.

And yet to call-out Muslim spokesmen for the miserable status of women in Islam is to be labeled Islamophobic. The fault is always ours, never theirs.

LINKS: More at The Jawa Report. The Middle East Quarterly has a good article on honor killings. Stop Honor Killings is an organization dedicated to fighting this outrage, without regard to religion or sect.