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Posts Tagged War in Mexico
From Fox News:
U.S. agents on assignment in Mexico, where they are helping the local authorities go after violent drug cartels, are not allowed to carry weapons for their own protection, a situation that one lawmaker says could turn into “another Benghazi.”
President Obama gave tacit approval to Mexico’s prohibition against U.S. agents carrying weapons in March 2011, following the ambush killing of ICE agent Jaime Zapata and the wounding of his partner, Victor Avilla.
Oct. 2, 2012
The FBI and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office are conducting a joint investigation into the shooting of Border Patrol agents near Naco, Arizona, on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, in the early morning hours. One agent died from his injuries and another, who sustained non-life threatening wounds, was airlifted to a local hospital. The investigation remains ongoing.
From: Danger Room
The violence in the Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon began Tuesday morning and continued into Wednesday. By the end, 30 bodies had turned up around the state with bullet wounds or had been dismembered. The cause was attributed to a seemingly never-ending war between the Zeta drug cartel and their rivals. And that may only be a prelude. Miguel Angel Treviño, or “Z-40,” has seized the leadership of the cartel from longtime chief Heriberto Lazcano, according to the Associated Press, which describes the new boss as a “brutal assassin” who favors cooking his enemies inside burning oil drums.
For those unnerving reasons, the Zetas have come to define the violence of the drug war, and have lead the U.S. and Mexican governments scrambling to fight them. Arguably Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel, the Zetas are now estimated to operate in half of the country, if not more, and have expanded into Guatemala. Aside from unleashing violence, extortion and kidnapping across much of their territory, the Zetas are responsible for the February 2011 death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon deployed 200 Marines to Guatemala in a sign the U.S. is getting more direct in going after the Zetas. The Pentagon stresses that the Marines will play a secondary role to the Guatemalans and are limited to merely tracking drug traffickers. But still, that’s a lot of Marines now operating in territory shared by the cartel. The U.S. also considers the operation to be only one part of a much larger strategy. Here are five aspects of that war.
From: Borderland Beat
Suspected drug cartel enforcers killed four men and hung two of the victims’ bodies from a bridge in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, prosecutors said.
The state Attorney General’s Office said all four of the victims, none of whom were identified, bore signs of torture.
Two of the bodies were hung Friday afternoon from a bridge that spans a highway near the town of Vista Hermosa, not far from Michoacan’s border with Jalisco state.
Another victim whose throat had been slit was found dumped under the same bridge, while the fourth body was discovered floating in a river near the highway, prompting authorities to suspect a connection between the four homicides.
As we noted in last year’s annual cartel report, Mexico in 2010 bore witness to some 15,273 deaths in connection with the drug trade. The death toll for 2010 surpassed that of any previous year, and in doing so became the deadliest year ever in the country’s fight against the cartels. But in the bloody chronology that is Mexico’s cartel war, 2010′s time at the top may have been short-lived. Despite the Mexican government’s efforts to curb cartel-related violence, the death toll for 2011 may have exceeded what had been an unprecedented number.
According to the Mexican government, cartel-related homicides claimed around 12,900 lives from January to September — about 1,400 deaths per month. While this figure is lower than that of 2010, it does not account for the final quarter of 2011. The Mexican government has not yet released official statistics for the entire year, but if the monthly average held until year’s end, the overall death toll for 2011 would reach 17,000. Though most estimates put the total below that, the actual number of homicides in Mexico is likely higher than what is officially reported. At the very least, although we do not have a final, official number — and despite media reports to the contrary — we can conclude that violence in Mexico did not decline substantially in 2011.
“In October of 2008, Chicago-based drug trafficker Margarito “Twin” Flores was summoned to the Sinaloa Cartel’s mountaintop compound. The leaders of the Mexican narcotics syndicate were pissed. The brother of a top lieutenant had been arrested by the government and risked being extradited to the United States; the Sinaloans wanted to retaliate — in a massive and deadly way, and in the heart of Mexico City.
“Let it be a government building, it doesn’t matter whose. An embassy or a consulate, a media outlet or television station,” cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman said. Even the U.S. embassy might be fair game.
“Twin, you know guys [in the U.S. military] coming back from the war,” the lieutenant’s son, Jesus Vincente Zambada Niebla, told Flores. “Find somebody who can give you big powerful weapons, American shit. We don’t want Middle Eastern or Asian guns, we want big U.S. guns, or RPGs [rocket propelled grenades].”
by Dudley Brown
“In just a few short weeks, Barack Obama’s hand-picked, anti-gun Attorney General, Eric Holder, will be forced to testify before Congress about the ATF’s scandal, “Fast & Furious.”
But this time, there is more evidence.
A number of Eric Holder’s deputies may testify what you and I knew all along — that Eric Holder was well aware of the scandal. Others are also coming forward.
“This was an effort by Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano to make an aggressive assault against our 2nd Amendment rights. I’m calling for Eric Holder’s resignation and prosecution,” an Arizona Sheriff recently stated.
Ten Arizona Sheriffs have joined the battle to hold Eric Holder accountable for his actions, which have endangered innocent lives all along the border.”
“Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday warning that Mexican cartel violence is increasingly “spilling over” the border and calling for more security.
Abbott cited a “deadly shootout” involving “cartel operatives” last weekend in the town of Elsa, about 250 miles south of San Antonio, in which a Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputy was shot three times. Sheriff’s officials have said the deputy was wearing a protective vest and is expected to recover.
“Mexican officials say 10 more bodies have been found in what appears to be more bloodshed in the battle between rival cartels for control of drug trafficking in the port city of Veracruz.
The discoveries raise the number of deaths since Sept. 20 to at least 75 as the relatively new Jalisco New Generation gang claims to be attacking members of the Zetas cartel.”
(MEXICO CITY) — “A relatively new drug gang is responsible for killing at least 67 people whose bodies were found over the course of a couple of weeks in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, Mexican authorities said Friday.
Marines arrested eight members of the Jalisco New Generation drug gang Thursday, navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara told a news conference. The suspects later led authorities to 32 bodies left in three houses in Veracruz, a port city that carries the state’s name.
Vergara said the gang is also responsible for dumping 35 bound, tortured bodies on a busy boulevard in a suburb of Veracruz on Sept. 20″.
By MARC LACEY
PHOENIX — “Americans upset about illegal immigration have a new outlet for their rage: a fund set up by the State of Arizona that will use private donations to build a border wall.
Critics call the state’s effort to build its own border barriers a foolhardy, feel-good campaign that will have little practical effect on illegal border crossings. But organizers in the State Legislature, which created the fund, say it will allow everyday people fed up with the inability of Congress to address the problem of illegal immigration to contribute personally to a solution.”
By Martin Gould
“Hezbollah terrorists have set up a home base just across the Mexican border from San Diego, a former senior intelligence agent has claimed. The group presents a bigger threat to the United States than al-Qaida but so far appears to be lying low, making money from drug-running operations, San Diego’s Channel 10 News reports. www.10news.com/news/27780427/detail.html
“They are recognized by many experts as the ‘A’ team of Muslim terrorist organizations,” the unidentified agent is quoted as saying.
Hezbollah members have blended into Shiite communities in Mexican cities for years but the group has pushed north and now has a base in Tijuana, which is just over the border from the United States 25 miles from San Diego, the former agent said. It partners with drug cartels which pay for its security expertise.
Tunnels that have been built under the border show a level of sophistication that is consistent with Hezbollah’s work in the Middle East, he said.
The agent believes it is unlikely that Hezbollah will start attacking the United States from Mexico in the near future. “The money they are sending back to Lebanon is too important right now to jeopardize those operations.
“But if they really wanted to start blowing stuff up, they could.”
He described Hezbollah as more dangerous than al-Qaida “because of strategic thinking; they think more long term.” Al-Qaida members, he said, “are more shooters than thinkers.”
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
WASHINGTON — “The Obama administration on Monday approved a new regulation requiring firearms dealers along the Southwest border to report multiple sales of certain semiautomatic rifles, a rule intended to make it harder for Mexican drug cartels to obtain and smuggle weapons from the United States.
Under the rule, dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas will be required to inform the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives if someone buys — within a five-day period — more than one semiautomatic rifle that accepts a detachable magazine and uses ammunition greater than .22 caliber. Such weapons include AK-47s.
…Mr. LaPierre contended that it should take an act of Congress to impose such a requirement, not a regulation developed by the executive branch alone. He noted that the similar rule requiring dealers to report multiple handgun sales was part of the Gun Control Act of 1968.
“We view it as a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to pursue their gun-control agenda through backdoor rule making, and the N.R.A. will fight them every step of the way,” he said. “There are three branches of government and separation of powers, and we believe they do not have the authority to do this.”