The Narco News Bulletin
Name of Our Country is América"
War Herbicide Kills 2-year-old Girl in Mexico
Monday, August 7, 2000
Allegedly Sprays Marijuana Field, Killing Child and Injuring
Aerial spraying of a marijuana
field near a Rarámuri village carried out by the Federal
Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de la
República, PGR) left 300 sick and injured and may have
killed a two-year old girl according to the Chihuahua State Human
Rights Office (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos, CEDH).
Personnel from the Chihuahua
Institute of Health (Instituto Chihuahuense de la Salud, Ichisal)
and the Tarahumara State Coordinating Office (Coordinadora Estatal
de la Tarahumara) went yesterday [8-4-00] to the Rarámuri
community of Chorowi to take care of the injured and to perform
an in-depth investigation.
The death of a minor, Armida Muela Loera, was mentioned in a
report made by the inhabitants of Chorowi, according to CEDH
president Oscar Francisco Yáñez.
The events occurred on
July 12, 2000 but the complaint was not filed until July 31.
The report states that Federal Judicial agents (Judicial Federal)
and PGR air support sprayed herbicides on a field planted with
Attempting to explain
away the Rarámuri's complaint, antidrug officer Herrán
Salvatti denied to the SUN news agency that his agency had undertaken
an operation of this nature. "The most recent PGR campaign
in the Tarahumara [region], specifically in Guachochi, was July
28. Thus it is clear that our planes were not in this zone on
July 12," he said.
According to the CEDH's
Yáñez, federal agents undertook a series of actions
including knocking down homes and maltreating the town's population
such that their human rights were violated. "In fumigating
this area, the herbicides fell over the inhabitants of Chorowi,
over their houses, their belongings and their animals. According
to the report, this has caused them a series of injuries and
problems, including skin sores and sores on their scalps, damage
to their vision, airways and mucous membranes."
He added that the Rarámuri
allege that they were not advised of the spraying before it took
place and that no precautions were taken to guard their health.
Translated from El Diario,
8-5-00. Article by Silvia Macías Medina.
Another report on this
story from the daily El Norte:
Kills Girl with Herbicide and Leaves Hundreds Sickened
One dead child, hundreds
sickened, houses leveled, terror and confusion: these were the
results of an operation undertaken by two groups of Federal Judicial
Police (Policía Judicial Federal, PJF) in the town of
Chorowi, county of Guachochi, in Chihuahua state.
What was supposed to be
a PGR (Procuraduría General de la República, Federal
Attorney General's Office) military action against narcotrafficking
ended up as an abuse of authority and an abuse of the Tarahumara
whose only crime is to live far from where justice is imparted.
[Editors note: an accompanying map of Chihuahua shows Chorowi
to be in the far southwest of the state. The map also states
that the town is a 24 hour walk from where the nearest road ends.]
In their direct testimony
to the Chihuahua State Human Rights Commission (Comisión
Estatal de Derechos Humanos, CEDH), those affected by the spraying
said that on July 12 two groups of PJF agents showed up in Chorowi,
one group on foot, the other overhead in helicopter. According
to José Luis Armendáriz, the technical secretary
of the CEDH, the complaint was made by 45 fathers of Chorowi
families. They stated that a group of PJF agents flew over their
town and sprayed herbicide, supposedly to damage marijuana fields.
What actually resulted was the death of a two-year old girl who
was in grave condition for two days from breathing the poison
that fell from the sky. She died on July 14. This same poison
that according to the townsmen killed the girl, caused the chemical
intoxication of hundreds of other people and killed livestock
like chickens and pigs. Furthermore, the group of PGR agents
that arrived by foot into the village are accused of leveling
homes, and causing panic and terror.
Article by Edgar Prado
Calahorra. Translated from El Norte, 8-5-00 by Greg Bloom, Frontera
Narco News Background Information: The Tarahumara are among the poorest
indigenous ethnic groups in Mexico. They are allied with the
Indigenous National Congress and with the Zapatistas. The Mexican
government continually harrasses them and accuses them of marijuana
trafficking. But there is no evidence of narcotics activity by
this ethnic group, nor any sign of the kind of wealth -- most
don't even drive cars -- that comes with the drug trade.
While Mexican President-elect
Vicente Fox tells the world he is going to take the military
out of the drug trade it is important to note that this herbicide
spraying came from civilian officials -- the attorney general's
office -- and that a change in agencies doesn't solve the root
problem: US-imposed drug prohibition.
As 300 people were injured
and a child killed by this herbicide spraying, Vicente Fox's
"anti-drug" advisors Francisco Molina Ruiz and José
Luis Reyes were in Washington DC -- from where the orders come
to execute the policies that killed this child.
According to Proceso magazine, they met with Attorney
General Janet Reno, Assistant AG Erick Holder, Subsecretary of
Treasury James Johnson, Assistant DEA chief Julio Mercado, Assistant
FBI chief David Alba, Customs Commissioner Raymond Kelly, State
Department spook Randy Beers, State Department Mexico attaché
Lino Gutiérrez and Assistant DEA chief Richard Phiano.
Who are the criminals