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Posts Tagged drug war
From CBS New York:
“We see alien smuggling. We see narcotic smuggling. We see currency smuggling,” Border Patrol Operations Officer Brad Brandt said.
Agents said much of that activity is heading directly to New York City and our suburbs where the product is sold on our streets.
“There is a significant amount of violence that is associated with these drugs,” Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Michael Laravia said.
From the DEA:
Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) pose the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them. These Mexican poly-drug organizations traffic heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana throughout the United States, using established transportation routes and distribution networks. They control drug trafficking across the Southwest Border and are moving to expand their share, particularly in the heroin and methamphetamine markets.
Gun battles have left at least three people dead on the streets of Reynosa, a Mexican city on the border with the US that has been plagued by drug cartel violence.
Fighting broke out after the arrest of a leader of one of the main gangs in the area.
The recent fighting left the residents of the Mexican border cities of Matamoros and Reynosa on edge as large convoys of cartel gunmen raced down the city’s avenues to set up blockades on the main entrances into the respective cities. Over three days the blockades have sporadically exploded into fierce rolling gun battles with convoys of gunmen raining gunfire and explosives on their rivals.
The fighting has been so intense that both the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros and that city’s Mayor Leticia Salazar issued warnings to the public giving some of the locations of the fighting and advising residents to stay indoors.
From The Washington Post:
In the burned toddler raid, Terrell told the paper that District Attorney Brian Rickman had already cleared the task force of any wrongdoing. That’s a remarkably fast investigation given that the raid happened less than two days ago. Rickman also cleared the cops in the Ayers case. So did the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Rickman would tell a local paper that the investigations went “to extraordinary lengths,” and, “I do not see how anybody could say the process was unfair based on the lengths that they went to.”
From Fox Latino:
The three enforcers were allegedly sent from Los Angeles to St. Paul on orders from the Sinaloa cartel to find the people who stole 30 pounds of methamphetamine and $200,000 from a stash house in St. Paul. The two teens that the cartel hit men snagged were tortured, had their lives and that that of their families threatened and were told to find the missing drugs or come up with $300,000 to compensate the cartel, according to court documents obtained by the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune newspaper.
From The New York Times:
Mexican marines and the police, aided by information from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, immigration and customs officials and the United States Marshals Service, took him into custody without firing a shot, according to Mexican officials.
From The Free Thought Project:
What went wrong? In the 19070’s SWAT teams were estimated to be used just a few hundred times per year, now we are looking at over 40,000 military style “knock and announce” police raids a year.
The hidden secret of law enforcement is that it’s largely dependent on public cooperation. When laws have less than near-universal support—when they’re a majority preference jammed down the throats of the minority—they beg for defiance. Cops then are “forced” to become arm-twisters, trying to intimidate the minority into submission through increasingly brutal tactics, or else they just give up.
Eight months after locals formed self-defense groups, they say they are free of the cartel in six municipalities of the Tierra Caliente, or “Hot Land,” which earned its moniker for the scorching weather but whose name has come to signify criminal activity.
“Mexico’s Zetas Are Not Finished Yet is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Scott Stewart and Tristan Reed
During the question-and-answer portion of our quarterly Mexico Security Monitor webinar, we were asked a question pertaining to the current status of Los Zetas. The question was something to the effect of: “Some Mexican media outlets and analysts claim that Los Zetas have been dismantled as an organization and are now little more than a ‘ragtag operation.’ Why do you disagree with that assessment?”
This question apparently came in response to our quarterly cartel report (an abbreviated version is available here), in which we wrote that despite the leadership losses suffered by Los Zetas, including the arrest of their leader, Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales, there were no signs that other leaders were challenging the current leader and Miguel’s brother, Omar Trevino Morales. We also wrote that we believed Los Zetas have maintained their operational capabilities in terms of drug smuggling and other criminal activity, and that they have retained the ability to defend their operations and to continue conducting offensive operations deep in their rivals’ territory. Read the rest of this entry »
From Free Republic:
It wasn’t sporadic. It was continuous throughout the city. For a country that bans guns I thought, how in the world did they get their hands on all these full-auto weapons? Clearly what sounded like M16 fire was prolific along with 7.62 x 39 AK autos with a smattering of smaller caliber full-autos, most likely 9mm. Gun fire can be heard in most American cities on New Years, but I’ve never heard full-auto weapons being fired, at least not in the San Diego area.
The next day I went into work and sat down with a trusted senior Mexican manager. I looked at him and said, “I thought guns were illegal in Mexico.” He chuckled and said, “So you stayed in town last night?” As the conversation progressed, it became clear that guns are as common in Mexico as tamales at Christmas. Everyone he knows, including himself, own at least one gun. And, it matters not whether it’s a semi-auto or fully automatic, they’re all illegal, so why stop with semi-autos? Though clearly illegal in the states in most instances, a lot of Mexicans have more firepower in terms of military weapons than we can only dream of owning here.
This article first appeared in 2009. The author describes how no one in Mexico is unarmed despite it being illegal to own a gun larger than .22.
From Voice of America:
Mexican law enforcement officials said nine men, their hands bound and shot, were found Saturday in Michoacan state where local residents have been fighting the Knights Templar drug cartel.
According to an article in The Gaurdian, Wachovia bank ignored evidence that Mexican cartels were laundering billions of dollars through said bank:
“Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor. Yet the total fine was less than 2% of the bank’s $12.3bn profit for 2009. On 24 March 2010, Wells Fargo stock traded at $30.86 – up 1% on the week of the court settlement.
Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year’s “deferred prosecution” has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.
This comes just a few weeks after we learned that Chase bank cancelled Defense Distributed‘s account based not on illegal activity but because of politics. Here is Cody Wilson’s take on it from a recent interview with The Washington Post:
We’re regarded with suspicion. You might even say that it’s due, right? . . . So I have to file, like, affidavits that I’m not involved in illicit activity and online gambling, and I’m constantly just harassed with extra administrative supervision and stuff — this is while we were at Chase. We did like $18,000 in deposits one month this summer. We were doing business for Chase Bank, and treated more or less like — not resentment, but just like, “Ah, we’re a burden.”
So here we have a law student who runs a non-profit given the 3rd degree to make sure he is not a criminal, and on the other hand the drug cartels are laundering millions if not billions through Wachovia without raising much suspicion. Yep, everything seems to be working as planned.