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Author Topic: Mexico-US matters  (Read 111306 times)
G M
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« Reply #200 on: June 28, 2010, 11:51:40 AM »

Is there anything you don't want legalized? Can you foresee any unpleasant consequences that might result from legalization?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #201 on: June 28, 2010, 12:12:44 PM »

Yes, I can foresee all sorts of problems. Alas they are eclipsed by the pathologies the current regimen brings daily.

Is there any number of citizens incarcerated, any amount of citizens killed, any degree of rights trampled upon that isn't acceptable collateral damage where the WOD is concerned?
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G M
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« Reply #202 on: June 28, 2010, 12:26:28 PM »


http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-090323-drug-cartels-immigrants,0,4929405.story

WASHINGTON — Mexican drug cartels and their vast network of associates have branched out from their traditional business of narcotics trafficking and are now playing a central role in the multibillion-dollar-a-year business of illegal-immigrant smuggling, U.S. law-enforcement officials and other experts say.

The business of smuggling humans across the Mexico border has always been brisk, with many thousands coming across every year. But smugglers affiliated with the drug cartels have taken the enterprise to a new level -- and made it more violent -- by commandeering much of the operation from beginning to end from independent "coyotes," according to these officials and recent congressional testimony
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G M
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« Reply #203 on: June 28, 2010, 12:39:49 PM »

Yes, I can foresee all sorts of problems. Alas they are eclipsed by the pathologies the current regimen brings daily.

Is there any number of citizens incarcerated, any amount of citizens killed, any degree of rights trampled upon that isn't acceptable collateral damage where the WOD is concerned?

If you think the rule of law is expensive, try living without it.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #204 on: June 29, 2010, 07:17:29 AM »

Almost as expensive as living with the rule of failed law, ask the millions incarcerated at what, an average of 100K ea per annum? I guess all the corpses this failed prohibition has generated are cheap by comparison as the families take care of planting 'em.

35 years ago I could score just about any psychoactive substance you could name in the halls of my high school. These days my kids can do the same, for the most part at a cheaper cost adjusted for inflation. Than, goodness for the WOD, eh? Is there some measure by which it hasn't failed by?
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G M
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« Reply #205 on: June 29, 2010, 07:59:32 AM »

Want me to repost the polling for drug legalization?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #206 on: June 29, 2010, 08:56:12 AM »

Like the more people who are wrong the righter the wrong is?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #207 on: June 29, 2010, 09:49:26 AM »

Lets continue this on the War on Drugs thread please.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #208 on: July 02, 2010, 03:54:10 PM »

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D9GLQI9G1.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/latin_america/10485228.stm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #209 on: July 04, 2010, 11:04:20 AM »

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #210 on: July 05, 2010, 01:10:06 PM »

Rarick, No I don't favor merging U.S.of A. with Mexico or any other failed third world nation.  I would favor however if New Mexico the state would vote to change its name to Not-Mexico to remove some of the confusion along our southern border.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #211 on: July 06, 2010, 10:14:14 AM »

Rarick: "Just throwing a what if subject (unification US/Mexico) out there to maybe help define some of the problems, get people thinking...  Another concept for a solution?"
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Also just thinking aloud, but war comes to mind.  Limited strikes at limited targets of the staging areas on the other side of the border that are being used to invade our country, after we take what steps we can on our side. To the extent that this is criminal traffic that  is organized and operational on both sides of the border I would see us as wholly justified in protecting our country against invasion.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #212 on: July 06, 2010, 12:17:35 PM »

Mexico 

Mexican State and Ministerial Police raided a safe house that allegedly belonged to Los Zetas in Las Hortensias neighborhood of Tapachula, Chiapas, on 30 June 2010. Authorities seized two armored vehicles, fragmentation grenades, and multiple high caliber weapons. An explosive device was dismantled.  (Clearly these were bought in some Texas gun store , , ,)

Mexico 

Narco banners signed by Carteles Unidos (United Cartels) were posted on 27 June 2010 in select areas of Guadalajara, Jalisco. These messages, directed to the Governor of Jalisco, read: "With all due respect Mr. Governor, this information is true, let us kill all these criminals that have dismembered innocent people in our State.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #213 on: July 17, 2010, 07:20:45 PM »

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico—Two Americans were driving back to El Paso, Texas, last December after an afternoon across the border in Ciudad Juárez. A few blocks from the border, they were surrounded by Mexican army trucks and pulled from their Dodge Ram.

Mexico's military says it found two suitcases full of marijuana in the cab of the pickup truck. Two soldiers later testified that they drove the two Americans to a military compound on the outskirts of town, questioned them briefly, then turned them over to civilian authorities. The Americans were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
Those two men—Shohn Huckabee, 23 years old, and Carlos Quijas, 36—are being held in a Ciudad Juárez jail. They tell a different story about what happened that night. They say Mexican soldiers planted the marijuana in their truck. When they arrived at the military base, they say, they were blindfolded, tied up, hit with rifle butts, shocked with electricity and threatened with death.

Shohn Huckabee in jail in Ciudad Juárez, where he faces drug charges after an encounter with soldiers.


Mexico's military is leading President Felipe Calderón's war against the nation's drug cartels, and Ciudad Juárez has emerged as one of the bloodiest battlegrounds. Nationwide, drug violence has claimed more than 25,000 lives since 2006—with government security forces accounting for an estimated 7% of the dead. In June alone, 103 police and soldiers were killed.

As the death toll rises, however, so have complaints about the military's tactics in trying to break the drug cartels' stranglehold on Mexican society. The human-rights office of the state of Chihuahua, where Ciudad Juárez is located, is investigating some 465 cases of alleged abuse and torture of Mexican citizens by soldiers. Gustavo de la Rosa, the office's ombudsman in Ciudad Juárez, says he knows of about 70 cases in which soldiers are alleged to have planted evidence, including some involving suitcases packed with marijuana.

Allegations of mistreatment of suspects have caught the eye of the U.S. Senate committee that oversees financial aid to Mexico for its war on drugs. In an internal report, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says it received allegations of serious human-rights violations in Ciudad Juárez last year. The report cites an unidentified young man picked up in El Paso who said he was arrested by the Mexican military in Ciudad Juárez and beaten and shocked. The man said he was released after the military concluded he had no useful information about trafficking, the report says.

Mr. Huckabee says he was subjected to similar tactics. "I believe what was done to me was torture," he said in an interview. "When I did not answer their questions, they shocked me with a wire that was in my hands. My whole body froze up. The pain went from bearable to a point where I couldn't even talk."

Mexican prosecutors say the two men were caught red-handed. Two soldiers involved in their arrest testified at their trial that they counted 99 packages of marijuana in the suitcases, weighing more than 100 pounds.

Messrs. Huckabee and Quijas say they've never been involved with drugs and would never have tried to cross the border with two suitcases of marijuana. During their trial, they produced three witnesses who testified that they saw soldiers put suitcases into Mr. Huckabee's truck. A verdict is expected this month. Each man faces up to 25 years in prison.
Representatives of Mexico's military and of President Calderón turned down requests for interviews. In a written response to questions from The Wall Street Journal, the army said it briefly took the Americans to the military compound but didn't torture them. "We categorically deny that soldiers use these methods, and say their actions are in total adherence to the law," the statement said.

The army previously has dismissed complaints of abuse as the work of people allied with drug traffickers who want to drive soldiers out of Ciudad Juárez. "Many times they make human-rights complaints because they want to limit our capacity for action and besmirch the institution," said Brigadier Gen. Jesús Hernández Pérez, commander of the 4th Artillery Regiment, in an interview late last year.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed nine residents of Ciudad Juárez—some of whom had been convicted of crimes—who said they were tortured by soldiers at the main army camp on the outskirts of the city.

A 33-year-old forklift operator said he had a firearm pointed to his head and was told he would be killed during a 48-hour interrogation. Two brothers, ages 53 and 56, said the military put plastic bags over their heads, shocked them and staged mock executions. A 25-year-old construction worker said soldiers used a Taser to shock his testicles. A 54-year-old diabetic rancher said he was blindfolded, beaten and shocked on his testicles, elbows and hands. He showed a reporter scars.



Between 2006 to 2009, complaints to Mexico's National Human Rights Commission about the military grew tenfold, to about 4,000, including allegations of robbery, rape, torture and killing. The allegations threaten to undermine public support for President Calderón's military campaign against traffickers. Some 50,000 soldiers now patrol the country.

In its statement, the military said it doesn't use torture under any circumstance. In Mexico, soldiers answer to their own military court system and not to civilian authorities, which means states can't prosecute them for abuse.

The case of the two Americans comes as political tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border have risen over issues such as illegal immigration and the trafficking of U.S. firearms into Mexico. Under the 2007 Merida Initiative, the U.S. agreed to provide Mexico with $1.3 billion to fight drug traffickers, including more than $420 million for the Mexican military. U.S. lawmakers have threatened to withhold 15%—nearly $200 million—if there are human-rights violations or other problems.

Mr. Huckabee grew up in El Paso. Friends recall he didn't have much taste for Ciudad Juárez, which before the escalating violence was known locally for teenage partying. On weekends, he was likely to be found hunting with his father or riding his dirt bike in the desert.

When he was 18, he borrowed money to start a small construction company, Site Solutions, a business that consumed much of his time. In 2008, he got married.

Records searches in El Paso County and in New Mexico reveal that Mr. Huckabee had been charged with speeding and illegal dumping, but contain no indication of involvement with drugs. The records showed no criminal trouble for his close friend Mr. Quijas, whom Mr. Huckabee had gotten to know on construction jobs.

On Dec. 18, Mr. Huckabee finished work midday and prepared to head to Ciudad Juárez to take his father's pickup truck for some inexpensive repair work, he and his father say. With him was Mr. Quijas, who says he had asked for a ride across the border to visit an ill grandfather.

Mr. Huckabee says he dropped Mr. Quijas off around 1 p.m., then drove to a repair shop and waited there. The repairs were finished around sunset, close to 5 p.m., according to the mechanic who did the work.

 
Mr. Huckabee says he made his way through rush-hour traffic and found Mr. Quijas at Abraham Lincoln Street, not far from the Bridge of the Americas leading into Texas. Around 6:40 p.m., the two say, they were passing Los Caballos, a well-known monument of running horses, when their car was surrounded by three Mexican military trucks.

"They grabbed us and threw us under a bench" in the back of a truck, says Mr. Huckabee. Their shirts were pulled over their heads as blindfolds, they say. The soldiers drove about a half hour to a military compound.

The two Americans were ordered out. Mr. Huckabee says a soldier pulled his wedding ring off his finger. (Neither the ring nor a cellphone taken earlier have been returned, he says.) The two men were separated. Each was examined by a doctor.

Mr. Quijas, who speaks both Spanish and English, says his eyes were wrapped with medical gauze. An interrogator, he says, asked him about the whereabouts of various people, using nicknames he didn't recognize. He says his interrogator threatened that some other men would force him to talk.

Mr. Quijas was moved to another room, he says, where his hands and feet were tied. He was wetted down with water, and he could hear the hum of a machine, he says.

Then someone shocked him with a metal rod on his testicles, neck, legs, back and anus, he says. He was taken back to the interrogator, questioned, then shocked again, he says.

Elsewhere, Mr. Huckabee, who speaks little Spanish, was being questioned, too. He was still blindfolded. His interrogator, he says, put objects in his hand, including what seemed to him to be drug paraphernalia, and asked him, in broken English, where they came from. He says he replied that he didn't know. Soldiers struck him repeatedly with the butt of a rifle, he says. Someone put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, he says, but it wasn't loaded.

Briefly, the two Americans were put together in a cold room. Then, Mr. Huckabee, still blindfolded, was taken away again, he says. He says he heard a voice telling him, in fluent English, that he had been caught with marijuana, cocaine and guns. He says he was told to put a wire into his hand.

When he denied knowing about the marijuana, he says, he was shocked. He was shocked repeatedly during the questioning, he says. "They said they could electrocute me if I didn't answer the truth," he says.

Court documents say the two men were booked between midnight and 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 19—roughly five or six hours after the time they say they were arrested. They were charged with drug possession and transferred to the municipal prison.

The following day, in a statement entered into the court record, Mr. Huckabee said he had been hit by soldiers and given "electric shocks." He says he discussed his treatment when visited by a U.S. consular officer on Dec. 19. A U.S. official says Mr. Huckabee didn't mention mistreatment until Dec. 28.

American officials say U.S. consulates see numerous cases every year of Americans arrested in Mexico, and the consulates don't get involved in defending them. Consular officials informed Mr. Huckabee's family that they couldn't represent their son or offer legal advice.

Neither Mr. Huckabee nor Mr. Quijas made a formal complaint with U.S. or Mexican authorities, saying they feared retaliation by soldiers then working at the jail. In the trial, they accused their captors of torture. The soldiers denied doing so.

Two medical examinations describe the condition of the Americans following their arrest. The first, conducted by a military doctor the night they were detained, found "no apparent harm" on either man. The military said the exam took place at 10:45 p.m.

Another doctor, Dr. Hugo Tabares, examined the men at 2:50 the following afternoon, after they were handed over to civilian authorities. He found bruising on both men, according to a report he filed that day. He reported a reddish-brown bruise on Mr. Huckabee's chest and several bruises on Mr. Quijas's right arm and left leg.

In a brief interview in his office, Dr. Tabares said there were "various bruises" on Mr. Huckabee's body that "could have been caused the previous day." He declined to speculate on the cause of the injuries. In a statement to the court, on Feb. 3, Dr. Tabares said the bruising had been "caused by a blunt instrument or object."

The military said in its statement to the Journal that it didn't know of Dr. Tabares's exam and had no comment on it.

In the Mexican judicial system, testimony isn't given in an open courtroom before a jury, but in office cubicles in front of lawyers. Typically, neither the judge nor the defendant is present. The judge rules based on the transcript and case file.

The trial of the two Americans unfolded in scattered hearings over the past six months. Two soldiers involved in the arrest testified that they searched the vehicle because the Americans were "acting nervously." The search, prosecutors said, turned up the two suitcases filled with a substance that later testing showed was marijuana. Prosecutors said it belonged to the two men.

Testimony from three Mexican witnesses at the scene—people who said they didn't know the Americans—contradicted the army's version of events.

José Antonio Bujanda, 21, told the court on Feb. 26 that he saw soldiers pull over Messrs. Huckabee and Quijas while he was washing windows of cars lined up to cross the bridge into Texas. He said he saw soldiers plant the suitcases in Mr. Huckabee's gray Dodge Ram.

"The two soldiers went to their own truck. I saw them take out two suitcases, then put them in the gray truck," he said.

Abraham Antero Torres, a 19-year-old candy seller, testified that he saw the same. "The military men that were behind took out two black traveler's suitcases and put them into the Ram, and that was it," he said.

A third witness, Fernando Monsiváis, another window washer, told the court: "The soldiers put the suitcases in the truck, the young men's truck."

Mr. Bujanda was shot and killed in front of his home by an unknown assailant on July 2. Attempts to reach Messrs. Torres and Monsiváis to comment were unsuccessful.

Alejandro Dominguez, a fingerprint expert hired by Mr. Huckabee's family, testified in March that the marijuana packages showed no signs of his fingerprints.

Court transcripts show a contradiction between when the Americans say they were arrested, at 6:40 p.m. on the road, and the official military account, which puts the time three hours later in a parking lot alongside the road. Under the military's timeline, the pair were arrested, taken to the base, then immediately taken to civil authorities, as Mexican law requires, leaving no time for lengthy interrogation.

A record of Mr. Huckabee's cellphone calls that evening, provided by his family, appears consistent with his account. The bill shows calls made throughout the day, ending at 6:38 p.m., minutes before he says he was arrested.

Mr. de la Rosa, the ombudsman of the state human-rights office in Ciudad Juárez, offers one theory about why the truck was stopped. A Mexican relative of Mr. Quijas whose name is similar, he says, is believed to be involved in the drug trade in town. Mr. de la Rosa speculates that the arrest may have been a case of mistaken identity. Mr. Quijas, who says he doesn't know his relative well, says that when he arrived at the jail, other inmates confused him with the relative.

Mr. de la Rosa says that if the soldiers confused Mr. Quijas with his relative, they wouldn't necessarily be inclined to turn him loose once they discovered his true identity. Winning a conviction, he says, would undermine potential complaints from the two men about abuse.

In its statement, the military said there was no confusion over the men's identities.

As they await a verdict, the two Americans share a cell with four other prisoners on the second floor of the Ciudad Juárez Center for Social Readaptation. The crowded facility houses some dangerous men. In June, three prison employees were shot by gang members.

Mr. Huckabee says defending himself in a foreign land hasn't been easy. A translator recruited for one hearing this spring, according to the transcript, said: "I don't speak English very well." The hearing continued.

Mr. Huckabee has been through five defense lawyers, none of whom speaks English. One lawyer who reviewed the case said recently he believed that crimes result from "demons entering the body and taking control, as Paul says in the Bible." One of his lawyers was shot and wounded in May, while exiting the prosecutor's offices.

—José de Córdoba contributed to this article.
Write to Nicholas Casey at nicholas.casey@wsj.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #214 on: July 22, 2010, 05:17:51 AM »


Mexico Security Memo: July 19, 2010
July 19, 2010 | 2011 GMT
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Torreon Massacre and Overall Violence

A group of armed men traveling in some eight sport utility vehicles arrived just after midnight July 18 at the Italia Inn, a popular party venue just outside Torreon, Coahuila state, where a birthday party was taking place. The gunmen entered the facility and indiscriminately fired some 166 rounds at party guests who were dancing to a live band. A total of 18 people were killed, with 12 men and five women dying at the scene and one woman succumbing to her injuries later.

The Coahuila attorney general’s office did not say which criminal organization was responsible for the attack, but STRATFOR sources in Mexico claim the attack was in retaliation for the failure of the Italia Inn’s owner to pay extortion fees. The Comerca Lagunera metropolitan area of Mexico, which includes Torreon, Coahuila state, and Gomez Palacio, Durango state, is contested by the Los Zetas organization and Sinaloa cartel, and either group may have been responsible for the attack.

This incident is just the latest in the increasing number of extraordinarily violent attacks that have occurred this year in Mexico. The Mexican government estimated the death toll from organized crime-related violence from January through June 2010 to be 7,048 — only 700 deaths fewer than 2009’s annual total and dramatically more than death counts previously reported by the Mexican media, most of which have been between 6,000 and 6,500.

The violence throughout Mexico shows no sign of slowing, either. The Calderon administration insists its countercartel strategy is still playing out and will be re-evaluated in December 2010. The current strategy in place in Juarez is said to be the intended strategy nationwide, but the death toll from organized crime-related violence in Juarez has already surpassed 1,500 with nearly five-and-a-half months left in 2010 (the total in 2009 was 3,014). In the near term, the Mexican government has shown no signs it intends to change the strategy before its set evaluation date, but if the current trends in violence hold, Mexico would be on pace to well surpass the previous 2009 annual record for organized crime-related killings.


Juarez Explosion Controversy

Conflicting reports continue to emerge about a small improvised explosive device (IED) allegedly planted by the La Linea gang inside a car in Juarez, Chihuahua state, and used against Mexican security forces the evening of July 15. The Mexican government has allowed members of the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau (ATF) and FBI to inspect the scene, along with ATF canine explosive detection teams, and both agencies have collected evidence to be processed in the United States.

Press reports from Mexico and around the world continue to refer to the device as a “car bomb,” which would mark an unprecedented escalation in tactics, though there is no evidence to support this claim. STRATFOR sources in the Mexican government have indicated that federal law enforcement and military personnel involved in the investigation continue to contradict each other about everything from the composition of the device to the exact sequence of events, showing the confusion even within the government. In addition, there are unsubstantiated rumors circulating that accuse the Mexican government of attempting to cover up the true sequence of events for political reasons, given the wide variety of possible scenarios being reported as well as the erroneous claim by a variety of Mexican officials and agencies that the device was a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED).

A Mexican military spokesman for the fifth military zone claimed July 18 the device used in the attack on Mexican security forces consisted of approximately 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of commercial-grade explosives — though the military had stated July 16 that the device was composed of 10 kilograms of C-4 high explosives. Regardless of the composition of the device (though a reliable STRATFOR source in the Mexican government has confirmed the explosive substance to have been an industrial explosive gel known as TOVEX), crime scene photography and news footage of the aftermath of the blast do not support the claim that a 10-kilogram device was used. Several car windows in the immediate vicinity of the purported VBIED were not blown out and the chassis of the vehicle in which the IED was placed was intact, though it suffered a great deal of damage from the resulting fire.

Additionally, the use of the term “car bomb” or VBIED implies a new capability for the Mexican cartels, which, in STRATFOR’s judgment, they have yet to demonstrate. The blast and the damage observed fell more in line with a very small IED, or even a couple of hand grenades, placed inside of a car. One possible reason for using the terms VBIED and “car bomb” is to scare the residents of Mexico and the U.S. border region for political and/or financial purposes. Several groups stand to gain from the increased fear of this “new cartel capability” such as the Juarez and Chihuahua state governments, press outlets, private security companies, U.S. border state governments and law enforcement agencies. Also, claiming that La Linea — and the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes organization (VCF) for which it is an enforcement arm — are now using indiscriminate terror tactics like detonating bombs will play to the advantage of their rivals, the Sinaloa cartel, in the minds of civilians. Such tactics are likely to increase collateral damage inflicted on civilians as well as draw the Mexican government’s attention more squarely on La Linea and the VCF and away from Sinaloa operations in the region.





(click here to view interactive graphic)

July 12

One person was killed, three were injured and three were arrested after a car chase in Zapopan, Jalisco state. During the incident, a group of gunmen reportedly attacked two people with firearms and grenades after a car accident. A firefight also occurred between police and the suspected criminals.

July 13

Authorities announced the arrest of nine suspected members of the Sinaloa cartel, including Jorge Antonio Arias Flores, in the municipality of Xalisco, Nayarit state. Arias Flores is believed to be the head of the Sinaloa cartel for Nayarit state.
Police discovered three bodies hanging from two bridges in Cuernavaca, Morelos state. Several messages were found near the bodies and the crime was attributed to the Cartel Pacifico Sur (CPS).
Residents of the Las Arenillas neighborhood of Santiago Tepatlaxco, Mexico state, discovered the bodies of two men wrapped in sacks.
The Guanajuato state attorney general’s office announced the capture of seven suspected LFM kidnappers who are linked to eight kidnappings and four murders in the state.

July 14

Police in the municipality of Netzahualcoyotl, Mexico state, spotted a man loading a suspicious package into a vehicle and arrested him after a car chase into the Gustavo A. Madero neighborhood of Mexico City. Police discovered 12 firearms, 45 magazines and 657 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle.
Three people were shot to death in their vehicle after leaving a party in Culiacan, Sinaloa state.
One soldier and three suspected criminals were killed during several firefights in Reynosa, Tamaulipas state. Two people were arrested after the incident and authorities seized approximately 31,600 rounds of ammunition.

July 15

Five people suspected of carrying out an express kidnapping were arrested in the municipality of Apodaca, Nuevo Leon state.
The decapitated body of an unidentified man was discovered near the central market in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state. The victim’s fingers had been severed.
Six suspected La Familia Michoacana members were arrested during a raid on a house in the Heroes Tecamac neighborhood in Tecamac, Mexico state.
One state security agent was killed and two others were injured after approximately 15 gunmen attacked a vehicle transporting a prisoner in Otumba, Mexico state.

July 16

Police arrested 13 people and seized several firearms during a riot in the municipality of Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo state. The rioters were led by a government official from the municipality of Subteniente Lopez, Quintana Roo state, and were believed to be aiding the smuggling of firearms and drugs into Mexico from Belize.
The unidentified bodies of two men bearing signs of torture were discovered in the municipality of Iztapalapa, Mexico state.
Three members of the same family, including an infant, traveling by car in Mazatlan, Sinaloa state, were killed in a drive-by shooting by unidentified gunmen.

July 17

The Secretariat of National Defense announced the arrest of six suspected CPS members during a raid on a safe-house in Cuernavaca, Morelos state. Some of the suspects are believed to have been responsible for several recent murders in Cuernavaca.
Two policemen were killed and three were injured after being attacked by unidentified gunmen in the municipality of Santiago, Nuevo Leon state.
Four policemen were killed in an ambush by unidentified gunmen in the municipality of Acapulco, Guerrero state.
Police in Tijuana, Baja California state, seized approximately 500 kilograms of marijuana during a raid in the Guadalupe Victoria neighborhood. One suspect was arrested during the incident.

July 18

Unidentified gunmen killed a police commander in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco state, during a drive by shooting in a convenience store parking lot.
Soldiers in the municipality of Culiacan, Sinaloa state, arrested two men after a car chase. The suspects had reportedly fired at a military patrol in the area.


Read more: Mexico Security Memo: July 19, 2010 | STRATFOR
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #215 on: July 27, 2010, 10:13:47 PM »

Mexico: Prison guards let killers out, lent gunsAP - <unday, July 25, 2010 3:08:33 PM By MARK STEVENSON  Mexico: Prison guards let killers out, lent gunsPhoto By AP

Guards and officials at a prison in northern Mexico allegedly let inmates out, lent them guns and allowed them to use official vehicles to carry out drug-related killings, including the massacre of 17 people last week, prosecutors said Sunday.

After carrying out the killings the inmates would return to their cells, the Attorney General's Office said in a revelation that was shocking even for a country wearied by years of drug violence and corruption.

"According to witnesses, the inmates were allowed to leave with authorization of the prison director ... to carry out instructions for revenge attacks using official vehicles and using guards' weapons for executions," office spokesman Ricardo Najera said at a news conference.
The director of the prison in Gomez Palacio in Durango state and three other officials were placed under a form of house arrest pending further investigation. No charges have yet been filed.

Prosecutors said the prison-based hit squad is suspected in three mass shootings, including the July 18 attack on a party in the city of Torreon, which is near Gomez Palacio. In that incident, gunmen fired indiscriminately into a crowd of mainly young people in a rented hall, killing 17 people, including women.
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« Reply #216 on: August 03, 2010, 07:52:40 AM »

The final paragraph is drivel, but overall the piece is an interesting read nonetheless.
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Arizona, Borderlands and U.S.-Mexican Relations
August 3, 2010




By George Friedman

Arizona’s new law on illegal immigration went into effect last week, albeit severely limited by a federal court ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court undoubtedly will settle the matter, which may also trigger federal regulations. However that turns out, the entire issue cannot simply be seen as an internal American legal matter. More broadly, it forms part of the relations between the United States and Mexico, two sovereign nation-states whose internal dynamics and interests are leading them into an era of increasing tension. Arizona and the entire immigration issue have to be viewed in this broader context.

Until the Mexican-American War, it was not clear whether the dominant power in North America would have its capital in Washington or Mexico City. Mexico was the older society with a substantially larger military. The United States, having been founded east of the Appalachian Mountains, had been a weak and vulnerable country. At its founding, it lacked strategic depth and adequate north-south transportation routes. The ability of one colony to support another in the event of war was limited. More important, the United States had the most vulnerable of economies: It was heavily dependent on maritime exports and lacked a navy able to protect its sea-lanes against more powerful European powers like England and Spain. The War of 1812 showed the deep weakness of the United States. By contrast, Mexico had greater strategic depth and less dependence on exports.

The Centrality of New Orleans
The American solution to this strategic weakness was to expand the United States west of the Appalachians, first into the Northwest Territory ceded to the United States by the United Kingdom and then into the Louisiana Purchase, which Thomas Jefferson ordered bought from France. These two territories gave the United States both strategic depth and a new economic foundation. The regions could support agriculture that produced more than the farmers could consume. Using the Ohio-Missouri-Mississippi river system, products could be shipped south to New Orleans. New Orleans was the farthest point south to which flat-bottomed barges from the north could go, and the farthest inland that oceangoing ships could travel. New Orleans became the single most strategic point in North America. Whoever controlled it controlled the agricultural system developing between the Appalachians and the Rockies. During the War of 1812, the British tried to seize New Orleans, but forces led by Andrew Jackson defeated them in a battle fought after the war itself was completed.

Jackson understood the importance of New Orleans to the United States. He also understood that the main threat to New Orleans came from Mexico. The U.S.-Mexican border then stood on the Sabine River, which divides today’s Texas from Louisiana. It was about 200 miles from that border to New Orleans and, at its narrowest point, a little more than 100 miles from the Sabine to the Mississippi.

Mexico therefore represented a fundamental threat to the United States. In response, Jackson authorized a covert operation under Sam Houston to foment an uprising among American settlers in the Mexican department of Texas with the aim of pushing Mexico farther west. With its larger army, a Mexican thrust to the Mississippi was not impossible — nor something the Mexicans would necessarily avoid, as the rising United States threatened Mexican national security.

Mexico’s strategic problem was the geography south of the Rio Grande (known in Mexico as the Rio Bravo). This territory consisted of desert and mountains. Settling this area with large populations was impossible. Moving through it was difficult. As a result, Texas was very lightly settled with Mexicans, prompting Mexico initially to encourage Americans to settle there. Once a rising was fomented among the Americans, it took time and enormous effort to send a Mexican army into Texas. When it arrived, it was weary from the journey and short of supplies. The insurgents were defeated at the Alamo and Goliad, but as the Mexicans pushed their line east toward the Mississippi, they were defeated at San Jacinto, near present-day Houston.

The creation of an independent Texas served American interests, relieving the threat to New Orleans and weakening Mexico. The final blow was delivered under President James K. Polk during the Mexican-American War, which (after the Gadsden Purchase) resulted in the modern U.S.-Mexican border. That war severely weakened both the Mexican army and Mexico City, which spent roughly the rest of the century stabilizing Mexico’s original political order.

A Temporary Resolution
The U.S. defeat of Mexico settled the issue of the relative power of Mexico and the United States but did not permanently resolve the region’s status; that remained a matter of national power and will. The United States had the same problem with much of the Southwest (aside from California) that Mexico had: It was a relatively unattractive place economically, given that so much of it was inhospitable. The region experienced chronic labor shortages, relatively minor at first but accelerating over time. The acquisition of relatively low-cost labor became one of the drivers of the region’s economy, and the nearest available labor pool was Mexico. An accelerating population movement out of Mexico and into the territory the United States seized from Mexico paralleled the region’s accelerating economic growth.

The United States and Mexico both saw this as mutually beneficial. From the American point of view, there was a perpetual shortage of low-cost, low-end labor in the region. From the Mexican point of view, Mexico had a population surplus that the Mexican economy could not readily metabolize. The inclination of the United States to pull labor north was thus matched by the inclination of Mexico to push that labor north.

The Mexican government built its social policy around the idea of exporting surplus labor — and as important, using remittances from immigrants to stabilize the Mexican economy. The U.S. government, however, wanted an outcome that was illegal under U.S. law. At times, the federal government made exceptions to the law. When it lacked the political ability to change the law, the United States put limits on the resources needed to enforce the law. The rest of the country didn’t notice this process while the former Mexican borderlands benefited from it economically. There were costs to the United States in this immigrant movement, in health care, education and other areas, but business interests saw these as minor costs while Washington saw them as costs to be borne by the states.

Three fault lines emerged in United States on the topic. One was between the business classes, which benefited directly from the flow of immigrants and could shift the cost of immigration to other social sectors, and those who did not enjoy those benefits. The second lay between the federal government, which saw the costs as trivial, and the states, which saw them as intensifying over time. And third, there were tensions between Mexican-American citizens and other American citizens over the question of illegal migrants. This inherently divisive, potentially explosive mix intensified as the process continued.

Borderlands and the Geopolitics of Immigration
Underlying this political process was a geopolitical one. Immigration in any country is destabilizing. Immigrants have destabilized the United States ever since the Scots-Irish changed American culture, taking political power and frightening prior settlers. The same immigrants were indispensible to economic growth. Social and cultural instability proved a low price to pay for the acquisition of new labor.

That equation ultimately also works in the case of Mexican migrants, but there is a fundamental difference. When the Irish or the Poles or the South Asians came to the United States, they were physically isolated from their homelands. The Irish might have wanted Roman Catholic schools, but in the end, they had no choice but to assimilate into the dominant culture. The retention of cultural hangovers did not retard basic cultural assimilation, given that they were far from home and surrounded by other, very different, groups.

This is the case for Mexican-Americans in Chicago or Alaska, whether citizens, permanent residents or illegal immigrants. In such locales, they form a substantial but ultimately isolated group, surrounded by other, larger groups and generally integrated into the society and economy. Success requires that subsequent generations follow the path of prior immigrants and integrate. This is not the case, however, for Mexicans moving into the borderlands conquered by the United States just as it is not the case in other borderlands around the world. Immigrant populations in this region are not physically separated from their homeland, but rather can be seen as culturally extending their homeland northward — in this case not into alien territory, but into historically Mexican lands.

This is no different from what takes place in borderlands the world over. The political border moves because of war. Members of an alien population suddenly become citizens of a new country. Sometimes, massive waves of immigrants from the group that originally controlled the territory politically move there, undertaking new citizenship or refusing to do so. The cultural status of the borderland shifts between waves of ethnic cleansing and population movement. Politics and economics mix, sometimes peacefully and sometimes explosively.

The Mexican-American War established the political boundary between the two countries. Economic forces on both sides of the border have encouraged both legal and illegal immigration north into the borderland — the area occupied by the United States. The cultural character of the borderland is shifting as the economic and demographic process accelerates. The political border stays were it is while the cultural border moves northward.

The underlying fear of those opposing this process is not economic (although it is frequently expressed that way), but much deeper: It is the fear that the massive population movement will ultimately reverse the military outcome of the 1830s and 1840s, returning the region to Mexico culturally or even politically. Such borderland conflicts rage throughout the world. The fear is that it will rage here.

The problem is that Mexicans are not seen in the traditional context of immigration to the United States. As I have said, some see them as extending their homeland into the United States, rather than as leaving their homeland and coming to the United States. Moreover, by treating illegal immigration as an acceptable mode of immigration, a sense of helplessness is created, a feeling that the prior order of society was being profoundly and illegally changed. And finally, when those who express these concerns are demonized, they become radicalized. The tension between Washington and Arizona — between those who benefit from the migration and those who don’t — and the tension between Mexican-Americans who are legal residents and citizens of the United States and support illegal immigration and non-Mexicans who oppose illegal immigration creates a potentially explosive situation.

Centuries ago, Scots moved to Northern Ireland after the English conquered it. The question of Northern Ireland, a borderland, was never quite settled. Similarly, Albanians moved to now-independent Kosovo, where tensions remain high. The world is filled with borderlands where political and cultural borders don’t coincide and where one group wants to change the political border that another group sees as sacred.

Migration to the United States is a normal process. Migration into the borderlands from Mexico is not. The land was seized from Mexico by force, territory now experiencing a massive national movement — legal and illegal — changing the cultural character of the region. It should come as no surprise that this is destabilizing the region, as instability naturally flows from such forces.

Jewish migration to modern-day Israel represents a worst-case scenario for borderlands. An absence of stable political agreements undergirding this movement characterized this process. One of the characteristics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is mutual demonization. In the case of Arizona, demonization between the two sides also runs deep. The portrayal of supporters of Arizona’s new law as racist and the characterization of critics of that law as un-American is neither new nor promising. It is the way things would sound in a situation likely to get out of hand.

Ultimately, this is not about the Arizona question. It is about the relationship between Mexico and the United States on a range of issues, immigration merely being one of them. The problem as I see it is that the immigration issue is being treated as an internal debate among Americans when it is really about reaching an understanding with Mexico. Immigration has been treated as a subnational issue involving individuals. It is in fact a geopolitical issue between two nation-states. Over the past decades, Washington has tried to avoid turning immigration into an international matter, portraying it rather as an American law enforcement issue. In my view, it cannot be contained in that box any longer.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #217 on: August 03, 2010, 08:48:33 AM »

The last paragraph is a bland sounding sound bite that is profoundly wrong.

This is absolutely NOT a matter for negotiation with Mexico, or even for the Mexican president to opine in front of the US Congress.  Who comes to America is to be decided by AMERICA. angry angry angry
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« Reply #218 on: August 04, 2010, 11:00:23 AM »

Sorry, but I am not going to give an inch here.  No negotiations or agreements are necessary or in the slightest bit appropriate.
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« Reply #219 on: August 05, 2010, 09:55:40 AM »

Sorry but I am not following your point at all.  How on earth does it get to a shooting war between the America and Mexico?

Not to say that there is not plenty of violence, but it looks more like this:

Mexico's Juarez Cartel Gets Desperate
August 5, 2010
By Scott Stewart

On Aug. 3, the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, Mexico, reopened after being closed for four days. On July 29, the consulate had announced in a warden message that it would be closed July 30 and would remain closed until a review of the consulate’s security posture could be completed.

The closure appears to be linked to a message found on July 15, signed by La Linea, the enforcement arm of the Juarez cartel. This message was discovered at the scene shortly after a small improvised explosive device (IED) in a car was used in a well-coordinated ambush against federal police agents in Juarez, killing two agents. In the message, La Linea claimed credit for the attack and demanded that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FBI investigate and remove the head of Chihuahua State Police Intelligence (CIPOL), who the message said is working with the Sinaloa Federation and its leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera. The message threatened that if the intelligence official was not removed by July 30, La Linea would deploy a car bomb with 100 kilograms of high explosives in Juarez.

The deadline has now passed without incident and the consulate has reopened. Examining this chain of events provides some valuable insights into the security of U.S. diplomatic facilities as well as the current state of events in Juarez, a city that in recent years has experienced levels of violence normally associated with an active war zone.


Security Standards

When considering the threats in Juarez that led to the closure of the U.S. consulate, it is useful to examine the building itself. The consulate is housed in a new building that was constructed in accordance with security specifications laid out by the U.S. State Department’s Standard Embassy Design (SED) program, standards first established by the Inman Commission in 1985. This means that the building was constructed using a design intended to withstand a terrorist attack and providing concentric rings of security. In addition to an advanced concrete structure and blast-resistant windows, such facilities also feature a substantial perimeter wall intended to protect the facility and to provide a standoff distance of at least 100 feet from any potential explosive device. This standoff distance is crucial in defending against large vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) because such a device can cause catastrophic damage to even a well-designed structure if it is allowed to get close to the structure before detonation. When combined, a heavy perimeter wall, sufficient standoff distance and advanced structural design have proved very effective in withstanding even large attacks.

The U.S. Consulate in Juarez is a well-designed building with adequate standoff. Certainly, the building could withstand the type of attacks that the cartels in Mexico have conducted to date, which have largely consisted of armed assaults, grenade attacks (the U.S. consulates in Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo have been attacked using hand grenades in the past two years) and occasional attacks involving small IEDs.

The building and its perimeter would also likely withstand a VBIED attack of the size threatened by La Linea, but such an attack in not something the U.S. government would want to risk. Despite the security design of the Juarez consulate, a VBIED attack would likely cause substantial damage to the facility and could result in the deaths of people outside the building. Perhaps the most vulnerable people during such an attack would be the hundreds of Mexican citizens (and other foreigners) who visit the consulate every day to apply for immigrant visas. Juarez and Mexico City are the only two U.S. diplomatic posts in Mexico that issue immigrant visas and both have a very heavy flow of visa applicants. U.S. consulates also frequently have a number of American citizens who visit each day in search of consular services.

Such visitors are screened at a security facility located on the edge of the consulate’s perimeter in order to keep weapons from entering the consulate complex. This screening facility/waiting area lacks standoff distance and would provide a soft target vulnerable to an attack. The local guards who provide perimeter security for the facility and screen visitors would also be vulnerable. The concern over the vulnerability of visitors was evidenced in the warden message that announced the Juarez consulate’s closure. In the message, people were urged to avoid the area of the consulate during the closure, which not only would reduce the risk of collateral damage if an attack occurred but would also give security personnel less activity to monitor for potential threats.

One other intriguing point about the security at the U.S. Consulate in Juarez and its closure due to La Linea’s VBIED threat is that the incident did not occur at a diplomatic post in a far-away terrorist hotspot like Yemen, Iraq or Pakistan. The U.S. Consulate in Juarez is located less than seven miles from downtown El Paso, Texas.


Desperate Measures

As we noted some months back, there have been persistent rumors that the Mexican government has favored the Sinaloa cartel and its leader, Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka “El Chapo.” This charge has been leveled by opposing cartels (like Los Zetas and the Juarez cartel), and events on the ground have seemingly supported the accusations, despite occasional indications to the contrary, like the July 29 death of Sinaloa operative Ignacio “El Nacho” Coronel Villarreal in a shootout with the Mexican military.

Whether or not such charges are true, it is quite evident that the Juarez cartel believes them to be so, and has acted accordingly. For example, in March, three local employees of the U.S. Consulate in Juarez were murdered, two of whom were U.S. citizens. According to the Mexican newspaper El Diario, a member of the Los Aztecas street gang was arrested and has confessed to his participation in the murders. Los Aztecas and its American cousin, Barrio Azteca, are both closely linked to the Juarez cartel. According to El Diario, the arrested Azteca member said that a decision was made by leaders in the Barrio Azteca gang and Juarez cartel to attack U.S. citizens in the Juarez area in an effort to force the U.S. government to intervene in the Mexican government’s war against the cartels and act as a “neutral referee,” thereby helping to counter the Mexican government’s favoritism toward El Chapo and the Sinaloa Federation.

Then, in the wake of the July 15 IED ambush in Juarez, La Linea left the message threatening to deploy a VBIED in Juarez if the FBI and DEA did not investigate and remove the head of CIPOL. Using an IED in an ambush to get the world’s attention (which it did) and then threatening to attack using an even larger device is further evidence that the Juarez cartel believes the Mexican government is favoring Sinaloa.

And this brings us to the current situation in Juarez. The Juarez cartel is wounded, its La Linea enforcer group and Los Aztecas ally having been hit heavily in recent months by both the Mexican government and Sinaloa forces. The last thing the group wants to do is invite the full weight of the U.S. government down upon its head by becoming the Mexican version of Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel, which launched a war of terror upon Colombia that featured large VBIEDs and resulted in Escobar’s death and the destruction of his organization. In a similar case closer to home for the Juarez cartel, one of that cartel’s predecessors, the Guadalajara cartel, was dismantled after the U.S. government turned the full force of its drug enforcement power against the organization following the 1985 torture and execution of U.S. DEA special agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Intervention by the U.S. government prompted by the Juarez cartel not only would focus on the organization in Mexico but also would likely result in U.S. law enforcement going after the organization’s assets and personnel inside the United States, which could be devastating for the cartel.

The current leader of the Juarez cartel, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, is the nephew of Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, one of the leaders of the Guadalajara cartel and one of the Mexican traffickers arrested in 1985 and convicted of killing Camarena. Fonseca Carrillo was also convicted of murdering two American tourists in Guadalajara in 1985 and a host of other charges. Now in his late 70s and reportedly suffering from cancer, Fonseca Carrillo will die in prison. Because of this family history, there is very little doubt that Carrillo Fuentes realizes the potential danger of using such tactics against the U.S. government.

And yet despite these dangers, both to the organization and to himself, Carrillo Fuentes and his followers have apparently tried to draw the U.S. government deeper into the conflict in Juarez (though they have been careful so far not to assassinate any U.S. diplomats or conduct any large and indiscriminate terrorist attacks). At present, the Juarez cartel seems to be walking a tight line of trying to get the U.S. government’s attention in Juarez while not doing anything too provocative.

These actions reflect the desperate situation in which the cartel finds itself. In practical terms, an increase in U.S. activity in Juarez would not only hurt Sinaloa but also impact the ability of the Juarez cartel to traffic narcotics. Although the FBI has already noted that it believes Sinaloa now controls the flow of narcotics through Juarez, the willingness of the Juarez cartel to suffer this type of impact on its own operations indicates that the organization believes the deck is stacked against it and that it needs an outside force to help counter the combined efforts of the Sinaloa Federation and the Mexican government.

For its part, the U.S. government has not shown the willingness to become more actively involved in Juarez, nor does it have the permission of the Mexican government to do so. The Mexicans are very protective of their sovereignty, and the U.S. government has shown that it will not overstep its bounds unless it is provoked by an incident like the Camarena murder. This means that the limited threats and attacks the Juarez cartel has been using are unlikely to result in any real increase in the U.S. presence in Juarez.

Ordinarily our assessment would be that the various Mexican cartels learned from the Camarena case and Escobar’s experience in Colombia and have been very careful not to provoke the U.S. government and to avoid being labeled narco-terrorists. It simply would not be good for business, and the cartels are, in fact, businesses, even though they specialize in an illicit trade. That said, in the recent past, we have witnessed cartels doing things inside Mexico that used to be considered taboo, like selling narcotics on Mexico’s domestic market, in an effort to raise money so they can continue their fight for control of their territory. (Their ability to make money has been affected not only by the cartel wars but also by drug interdiction efforts.) We have also seen cartels that are desperate for cash becoming increasingly involved in human smuggling and in kidnapping and extortion rackets.

It will be important to watch the Juarez cartel closely over the next few months as the United States refuses to become more involved and as the cartel becomes increasingly desperate. We believe the Sinaloa Federation and the Mexican government will continue aggressively to target the remnants of the Juarez cartel. Faced with this continued onslaught, will the Juarez cartel choose to go quietly into the night and allow Sinaloa to exercise uncontested control over the Juarez plaza, or will it in desperation undertake an even more audacious attempt to draw the United States into Juarez? Killing U.S. consulate employees has not succeeded in increasing the U.S. presence, and neither has threatening a VBIED, so it may feel compelled to take things up a notch.

Although we have not yet seen a VBIED deployed in Mexico, explosives are readily available in the country, and the July 15 attack demonstrated that La Linea has the ability to deploy a small IED in a fairly sophisticated manner. It is quite possible that La Linea could use that same technology to craft a larger device, even a VBIED. The capability, then, seems to be there for larger attacks. This leaves the intent part of the threat equation. It will be important to see, above all, if desperation pushes Carrillo Fuentes and the Juarez cartel to take the next, large step.

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« Reply #220 on: August 19, 2010, 10:25:48 AM »

Mexico Security Memo: Aug. 16, 2010
August 16, 2010 | 2123 GMT
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Televisa Grenade Attacks
Members of Los Zetas attacked the local television affiliates of the Televisa media company in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, and Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, late Aug. 14 and early Aug. 15. The attackers used hand grenades in the Monterrey attack and 40 mm grenade launchers in Matamoros. The attacks reportedly caused minor damage to both buildings and injuries in Monterrey, where paramedics examined two people who received superficial wounds inside the Televisa station.

The Televisa Matamoros station, located on the corner of Manuel Cavazos Lerma Boulevard and Calle Fresno in the Paseo Residencial colony, was attacked first, at around 9 p.m. local time Aug. 14. An unknown number of armed men reportedly fired upon the building with a grenade launcher from a nearby pedestrian bridge. A grenade detonated near the second story of the building, causing minor damage to building’s facade. The Televisa Monterrey building, located on Calle Albino Esparza, was attacked at approximately 1:15 a.m. local time Aug. 15. A member of Los Zetas traveling in a pickup truck reportedly threw a fragmentation hand grenade as the truck passed near the building’s entrance. The grenade detonated under a Toyota Tacoma that was parked along the street, causing significant damage to the Tacoma and minor structural damage to the front of the Televisa building. The windows were blown out of a photography studio across the street from the Televisa Monterrey building.

This is the third known attack on the Televisa Monterrey building that Los Zetas have conducted in the past two years. The same facilities were attacked with gunfire and a fragmentation grenade the night of Oct. 12, 2008 — the same night of an attack on the U.S. Consulate. Then on Jan. 6, 2009, the same tactics were employed in another attack on the Televisa building, though a narcomanta was left at the scene saying in Spanish, “Stop reporting on us. Also report on narco officials. This is a warning.”

The morning of Aug. 14, members of the Mexican military reportedly shot and killed the leader of Los Zetas in Monterrey, known only as “El Sonrics,” and three other members of Los Zetas in a car chase and firefight in southern Monterrey, though there has been no official confirmation of the incident. (El Sonrics is thought to have taken over as leader of Los Zetas in Monterrey after Hector “El Tori” Luna Luna and his brother, Esteban “El Chachis” Luna Luna, were captured by Mexican military forces in June and July, respectively.) As the firefight reportedly began, up to 13 major intersections in the Monterrey metropolitan area reportedly were blocked off by members of Los Zetas, who had hijacked vehicles and positioned them in the middle of the intersections. This is a common tactic that Los Zetas use when a high-value member of the organization is under pressure or has been captured by Mexican security officials. It is currently unclear if El Sonrics’ reported death is directly related to the attacks on the Televisa Monterrey and Matamoros locations, but Televisa’s coverage of the firefight earlier in the day could have provoked a retaliatory attack from Los Zetas.

Televisa is the largest media conglomerate in Latin America outside of Brazil. It has perhaps the largest viewing audience throughout Mexico and therefore shapes the perception of millions of Mexican citizens. This degree of influence makes Televisa an obvious target as criminal groups seek to manipulate the coverage of organized crime-related incidents. Televisa has been the focus of several organized crime-related attacks; most recently, a Televisa news crew was kidnapped in Durango state July 26 by members of the Sinaloa cartel under orders from its leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, to force the crew to broadcast prepared messages, photographs and videos from the Sinaloa cartel. The crew was rescued by a Federal Police operation July 31. The July 26 kidnapping and these recent attacks in Monterrey and Matamoros underscore a recognition by the cartels of the amount of influence Televisa coverage on their activities has and their willingness to attempt to influence and coerce certain aspects of that coverage.

Federal Police Hunt ‘La Barbie’
Nearly 300 Mexican Federal Police agents, with support from a helicopter, launched a series of raids on luxury apartment buildings in the Bosque de Las Lomas colony of western Mexico City in search of former Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) enforcer Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villarreal the afternoon of Aug. 9. Valdez, a U.S. citizen, has been locked in a heated battle with former BLO lieutenant and current Cartel Pacifico Sur leader Hector “El H” Beltran Leyva over territory that was under BLO control before the death of BLO leader Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009 — primarily in Morelos, Mexico and Guerrero states.

The operation targeting Valdez is similar to other large operations that netted other high-value cartel targets like Teodoro “El Teo” Garcia Simental. The Aug. 9 operation indicates that Mexican intelligence and security forces are closing in on Valdez, and the most wanted U.S. citizen in Mexico could be captured in the very near future. An operation like this likely would not have been organized without ample, time-sensitive, actionable intelligence on Valdez’s exact location. Cartel figures’ organizational rivals often provide such information to authorities, and Valdez has plenty of rivals.





(click here to view interactive map)
Aug. 9

Unidentified gunmen ambushed a prison transport vehicle in Tlaltizapan, Morelos state, killing a prisoner. A guard was killed and another was injured during the attack.
Two dismembered bodies were discovered in trash bags in Amecameca, Mexico state. The victims’ eyes had been taped shut and a message signed with the initials “FM” was discovered near the bodies.
Aug. 10

Police freed a kidnapping victim and arrested two suspected kidnappers from a residence in the Sagitario II neighborhood of Ecatepec, Mexico state.
Police discovered two severed legs believed to belong to a woman’s body floating near a dike in Toluca, Mexico state.
Colima state Gov. Mario Anguiano Moreno said that the deaths of three policemen in Manzanillo, Colima state, could be due to a local power struggle between La Familia Michoacana and the Nuevo Milenio cartel. Anguiano Moreno cited the testimony of suspects in custody to back his claims.
Aug. 11

Soldiers freed four kidnapping victims held in a residence in southern Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state.
Five people were killed on a ranch in Villa Ahumada, Chihuahua state. The victims had all been shot to death, and shell casings of various calibers were found near the bodies.
Unidentified gunmen killed the nephew of former National Action Party leader Manuel Espino in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state. The victim, identified as Hugo Francisco Zamora Ochoa, was killed in a parking lot as he entered his vehicle.
Aug. 12

Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a man and a woman from their residence in the Barrio del Parque neighborhood of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state. The attackers reportedly shot at the house for approximately 30 minutes before leaving with the two victims.
Aug. 13

Police arrested five suspects allegedly linked to the kidnappings of three journalists in Durango state. The suspects, who are allegedly members of the Sinaloa cartel, were arrested in Ciudad Lerdo, Durango state.
Hector Alvarez Sandoval, the lead homicide investigator of the municipal police in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes state, was assassinated as he sat inside his vehicle outside his home.
Aug. 14

Around 300 Federal Police support agents arrived in Gomez Palacio and Ciudad Lerdo, Durango state, bringing the total number of Federal Police in the Comarca Lagunera region to nearly 500.
Federal Police detained four members of the Los Fabila kidnapping group in simultaneous operations in Guanajuato state.
A brief firefight erupted in north Morelia, Michoacan state, resulting in the death of one man. Reports indicate that the victim was able to wound two of his attackers.
Aug. 15

A group of Los Zetas hit men reportedly killed seven people in the Los Altos region of Jalisco state before returning to Zacatecas state.
U.S. Custom and Border Protection officials seized a total of 136 kilograms (nearly 300 pounds) of cocaine from a Dodge Nitro attempting to cross the Reynosa-Hidalgo International Bridge along the Tamaulipas state-Texas border.
The bodies of six men were found in the back of a pickup truck in the small village of Tierra Alta near the Oaxaca-Veracruz state line. Two of the victims had single gunshot wounds to the back of the head, and the other four were reported to have had several gunshot wounds across their bodies.
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« Reply #221 on: August 25, 2010, 04:17:09 AM »

AP by Mark Stevenson

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican marines found the dumped bodies of 72 people at a rural location in northern Mexico following a shootout with suspected drug cartel gunmen that left one marine and three suspects dead, the Navy reported late Tuesday.

The cadavers of 58 men and 14 women were found at a spot near the Gulf coast south of the border city of Matamoros. It appears to be the largest drug-cartel body dumping ground found in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against drug trafficking in late 2006.

"The federal government categorically condemns the barbarous acts committed by criminal organizations," the Navy said in a statement. "Society as a whole should condemn these type of acts, which illustrate the absolute necessity to continue fighting crime with all rigor."

Mexican drug cartels often use vacant lots, ranches or mine shafts to dump the bodies of executed rivals or kidnap victims. The Navy did not give details on the victims' identities, who had killed them or whether the bodies had been buried... more at www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38843735/ns/world_news-americas

                              P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #222 on: August 26, 2010, 11:35:04 AM »

Stratfor:

Suspected members of a drug trafficking cartel set up several roadblocks in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, after armed men entered a juvenile holding facility in Escobedo, Milenio reported Aug. 26. Roadblocks were reported on the highway to Miguel Aleman, in San Nicolas and on the Lopez Mateo Avenue. At least one roadblock has been cleared by police.
=====
If I read this correctly, the impunity is such that in order to facilitate the mission the narcos set up roadblocks while invading a govt. facility to spring their captured comrades , , ,  shocked
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« Reply #223 on: August 26, 2010, 11:38:26 AM »

I wonder if Mexico has hit the tipping point where the narcos have more money, soldiers than the Mexican gov't.
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« Reply #224 on: August 27, 2010, 10:24:41 AM »

AP by Mark Stevenson

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican marines found the dumped bodies of 72 people at a rural location in northern Mexico following a shootout with suspected drug cartel gunmen that left one marine and three suspects dead, the Navy reported late Tuesday.

The cadavers of 58 men and 14 women were found at a spot near the Gulf coast south of the border city of Matamoros. It appears to be the largest drug-cartel body dumping ground found in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against drug trafficking in late 2006.

"The federal government categorically condemns the barbarous acts committed by criminal organizations," the Navy said in a statement. "Society as a whole should condemn these type of acts, which illustrate the absolute necessity to continue fighting crime with all rigor."

Mexican drug cartels often use vacant lots, ranches or mine shafts to dump the bodies of executed rivals or kidnap victims. The Navy did not give details on the victims' identities, who had killed them or whether the bodies had been buried... more at www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38843735/ns/world_news-americas

                              P.C.


Woof,
 An update:

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704913704575454033356912888.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

                   P.C.
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« Reply #225 on: August 27, 2010, 01:37:05 PM »


Prosecutor in the case now dead , , ,
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704147804575455663134960250.html?mod=WSJ_newsreel_world
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« Reply #226 on: August 29, 2010, 10:04:32 PM »

Woof,
 I'm telling you folks if we don't get control of our border this is going to become a regular occurrence in our towns and cities.

  http://www.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/mexicocrimedrugsviolence

                           P.C.
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« Reply #227 on: August 30, 2010, 07:54:33 AM »

Yup.
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« Reply #228 on: August 30, 2010, 11:50:17 AM »

I agree.

That said, a question:  Why hasn't this already happened?
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« Reply #229 on: August 30, 2010, 11:54:10 AM »

The cartels are laying the groundwork by building alliances with US gangs and working to corrupt law enforcement.
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« Reply #230 on: August 30, 2010, 12:11:38 PM »

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/256618

Ex-Mexican Army In Phoenix AZ Home Invasion Up
By Gar Swaffar.
 +   
The consensus of opinion from the Phoenix, Arizona police is that at least some of the six cross border raiders were ex-Mexican Army personnel involved in the home invasion homicide on Monday.
The thoughts of the Phoenix Police officers are that the drug cartels are now performing cross border home invasion raids and murders north of the border i.e. Arizona. The past few months have been difficult for the Mexican Police and some of the drug cartel members who have assumed room temperature. As a result, some members of the remaining Mexican drug cartels are moving parts of their operations into the United States.
The home invasion on Monday, where a homeowner, 30-year-old Andrew Williams was murdered and as many as 100 rounds were fired at the home.
The Phoenix Police Department (PPD) documents linked here describe military tactical ops control. Complete with window raking, suppressive firing, and door breaches (busting in.)
The documents also appended suggest the home invaders were prepared to take the battle to the PPD, but ran out of ammunition prior to the arrival of the first PPD officers.
This nearly full scale battle which took place at 8329 W. Cypress St. Phoenix AZ. is presumed by the PPD to be only the beginning of the problem. Some reports indicate the drug cartels are interested in finding a safer place to do business than Mexico.
The issue of cross border raids has been gaining notoriety over the past five months, the trend appears to be on the rise with no end in sight at this point.
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« Reply #231 on: August 30, 2010, 12:21:46 PM »

http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_4_corruption.html

Judith Miller

The Mexicanization of American Law Enforcement
The drug cartels extend their corrupting influence northward.
Customs and Border Protection agents have been bought off by drug dealers.
Leslie Hoffman/AP Photo
Customs and Border Protection agents have been bought off by drug dealers.

Beheadings and amputations. Iraqi-style brutality, bribery, extortion, kidnapping, and murder. More than 7,200 dead—almost double last year’s tally—in shoot-outs between federales and often better-armed drug cartels. This is modern Mexico, whose president, Felipe Calderón, has been struggling since 2006 to wrest his country from the grip of four powerful cartels and their estimated 100,000 foot soldiers.

But chillingly, there are signs that one of the worst features of Mexico’s war on drugs—law enforcement officials on the take from drug lords—is becoming an American problem as well. Most press accounts focus on the drug-related violence that has migrated north into the United States. Far less widely reported is the infiltration and corruption of American law enforcement, according to Robert Killebrew, a retired U.S. Army colonel and senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security. “This is a national security problem that does not yet have a name,” he wrote last fall in The National Strategy Forum Review. The drug lords, he tells me, are seeking to “hollow out our institutions, just as they have in Mexico.”
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« Reply #232 on: August 30, 2010, 01:14:28 PM »

The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface
November 19, 2008 | 2130 GMT

By Fred Burton and Ben West
Related Links

    * Tracking Mexico’s Drug Cartels

On Nov. 3, a U.S. District Court in El Paso, Texas, began hearing a case concerning members of a criminal enterprise that calls itself Barrio Azteca (BA). The group members face charges including drug trafficking and distribution, extortion, money laundering and murder. The six defendants include the organization’s three bosses, Benjamin Alvarez, Manuel Cardoza and Carlos Perea; a sergeant in the group, Said Francisco Herrera; a lieutenant, Eugene Mona; and an associate, Arturo Enriquez.

The proceedings represent the first major trial involving BA, which operates in El Paso and West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The testimony is revealing much about how this El Paso-based prison gang operates, and how it interfaces with Mexican drug cartel allies that supply its drugs.

Mexico’s cartels are in the business of selling drugs like marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the United States. Large amounts of narcotics flow north while large amounts of cash and weapons flow south. Managing these transactions requires that the cartels have a physical presence in the United States, something a cartel alliance with a U.S. gang can provide.

Of course, BA is not the only prison gang operating in the United States with ties to Mexico. Prison gangs can also be called street gangs — they recruit both in prisons and on the street. Within the United States, there are at least nine well-established prison gangs with connections to Mexican drug cartels; Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos, the Mexican Mafia and the Texas Syndicate are just a few such groups. Prison gangs like BA are very territorial and usually cover only a specific region, so one Mexican cartel might work with three to four prison or street gangs in the United States. Like BA, most of the U.S. gangs allied with Mexican cartels largely are composed of Mexican immigrants or Mexican-Americans. Nevertheless, white supremacist groups, mixed-race motorcycle gangs and African-American street gangs also have formed extensive alliances with Mexican cartels.

Certainly, not all U.S. gangs the Mexican cartels have allied with are the same. But examining how BA operates offers insights into how other gangs — like the Latin Kings, the Texas Syndicate, the Sureños, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and transnational street gangs like MS-13 — operate in alliance with the cartels.
Barrio Azteca Up Close

Spanish for “Aztec Neighborhood,” BA originated in a Texas state penitentiary in 1986, when five inmates from El Paso organized the group as a means of protection in the face of the often-brutal ethnic tensions within prisons. By the 1990s, BA had spread to other prisons and had established a strong presence on the streets of El Paso as its founding members served their terms and were released. Reports indicate that in the late 1990s, BA had begun working with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Federation drug trafficking organization, which at the time controlled drug shipments to Ciudad Juarez, El Paso’s sister city across the Rio Grande.

According to testimony from several different witnesses on both sides of the current trial, BA now works only with the Juarez cartel of Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes, which has long controlled much of Mexico’s Chihuahua state and Ciudad Juarez, and broke with the Sinaloa Federation earlier in 2008. BA took sides with the Juarez cartel, with which it is jointly running drugs across the border at the Juarez plaza.

BA provides the foot soldiers to carry out hits at the behest of Juarez cartel leaders. On Nov. 3, 10 alleged BA members in Ciudad Juarez were arrested in connection with 12 murders. The suspects were armed with four AK-47s, pistols and radio communication equipment — all hallmarks of a team of hit men ready to carry out a mission.

According to testimony from the ongoing federal case, which is being brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, drugs are taken at discount from the supplier on the Mexico side and then distributed to dealers on the street. These distributors must then pay “taxes” to BA collectors to continue plying their trade. According to testimony from Josue Aguirre, a former BA member turned FBI informant, BA collects taxes from 47 different street-level narcotics operations in El Paso alone. Failure to pay these taxes results in death. One of the murder charges in the current RICO case involves the death of an El Paso dealer who failed to pay up when the collectors arrived to collect on a debt.

Once collected, the money goes in several different directions. First, BA lieutenants and captains, the midlevel members, receive $50 and $200 per month respectively for compensation. The bulk of BA’s profit is then transferred using money orders to accounts belonging to the head bosses (like Alvarez, Cardoza and Perea) in prison. Cash is also brought back to Ciudad Juarez to pay the Juarez cartel, which provided the drugs in the first place.

BA receives discounts on drugs from the Juarez cartel by providing tactical help to its associates south of the border. Leaders of Carrillo Fuentes’ organization in Juarez can go into hiding in El Paso under BA protection if their lives are in danger in Juarez. They can also order BA to track down cartel enemies hiding in El Paso. Former BA member Gustavo Gallardo testified in 2005 that he was sent to pick up a man in downtown El Paso who had cheated the Juarez cartel of money. Once Gallardo dropped him off at a safe house in El Paso, another team took the man — who was bound with rope and duct tape — to Ciudad Juarez, where Gallardo assumes he was killed.
BA and the World of Prison Gangs

Prison gangs are endemic to prison systems, where safety for inmates comes in numbers. Tensions (usually along racial lines) among dangerous individuals regularly erupt into deadly conflict. Prison gang membership affords a certain amount of protection against rival groups and offers fertile recruiting ground.

Once a prison gang grows its membership (along with its prestige) and establishes a clear hierarchy, its leader can wield an impressive amount of power. Some even wind up taking over prisons, like the antecedents of Russian organized crime did.

It might seem strange that members on the outside send money and answer to bosses in prison, since the bosses are locked up. But these bosses wield a great deal of influence over gang members in and out of prison. Disobedience is punishable by death, and regardless of whether a boss is in prison, he can order a hit on a member who has crossed him. Prison gang members also know that if they end up in prison again — a likely outcome — they will once again be dependent on the help of the boss to stay alive, and can perhaps even earn some money while doing time.

BA’s illegal activities mean its members constantly cycle in and out of prison. Many BA members were involved in smaller, local El Paso street gangs before they were imprisoned. Once in prison, they joined BA with the sponsorship of a “godfather” who walks the recruit through the process. BA then performs a kind of background check on new recruits by circulating their name throughout the organization. BA is particularly interested in any evidence that prospective members have cooperated with the police.

Prison authorities are certainly aware of the spread of BA, and they try to keep Mexican nationals separated from known BA members, who are mostly Mexican-American, to prevent the spread of the gang’s influence. BA has organizations in virtually every penitentiary in Texas, meaning that no matter where a BA member is imprisoned, he will have a protection network in place. BA members with truly extensive prison records might personally know the leader of every prison chapter, thus increasing the member’s prestige. Thus, the constant cycling of members from the outside world into prison does not inhibit BA, but makes its members more cohesive, as it allows the prison system to increase bonds among gang members.

Communication challenges certainly arise, as exchanges between prisoners and those on the outside are closely monitored. But BA seems to have overcome this challenge. Former BA member Edward Ruiz testified during the trial that from 2003 to 2007, he acted as a clearinghouse for jailed members’ letters and packages, which he then distributed to members on the outside. This tactic ensured that all prison communications would be traceable to just one address, thus not revealing the location of other members.

BA also allegedly used Sandy Valles New, who worked in the investigations section of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in El Paso from 1996 to 2002, to pass communications between gang members inside and outside prison. She exploited the access to — and the ability to engage in confidential communications with — inmates that attorneys enjoy, transmitting information back and forth between BA members inside and outside prison. Taped conversations reveal New talking to one of the bosses and lead defendants, Carlos Perea, about her fear of losing her job and thus not being able to continue transmitting information in this way. She also talked of crossing over to Ciudad Juarez to communicate with BA members in Mexico.

While BA had inside sources like New assisting it, the FBI was able to infiltrate BA in return. Josue Aguirre and Johnny Michelleti have informed on BA activities to the FBI since 2003 and 2005, respectively. Edward Ruiz, the mailman, also handed over stacks of letters to the FBI.
BA and the Mexican Cartels

As indicated, BA is only one of dozens of prison gangs operating along the U.S.-Mexican border that help Mexican drug trafficking organizations smuggle narcotics across the border and then distribute them for the cartels. Mexican drug trafficking organizations need groups that will do their bidding on the U.S. side of the border, as the border is the tightest choke point in the narcotics supply chain.

Getting large amounts of drugs across the border on a daily basis requires local connections to bribe border guards or border town policemen. Gangs on the U.S. side of the border also have contacts who sell drugs on the retail level, where markups bring in large profits. The current trial has revealed that the partnership goes beyond narcotics to include violence as well. In light of the high levels of violence raging in Mexico related to narcotics trafficking, there is a genuine worry that this violence (and corruption) could spread inside the United States.

One of the roles that BA and other border gangs fill for Mexican drug-trafficking organizations is that of enforcer. Prison gangs wield tight control over illegal activity in a specific territory. They keep tabs on people to make sure they are paying their taxes to the gang and not affiliating with rival gangs. To draw an analogy, they are like the local police who know the situation on the ground and can enforce specific rules handed down by a governmental body — or a Mexican cartel.

Details emerging from the ongoing trial indicate that BA works closely with the Juarez cartel and has contributed to drug-related violence inside the United States. While the killing of a street dealer by a gang for failure to pay up on time is common enough nationwide and hardly unique to Mexican drug traffickers, apprehending offenders in El Paso and driving them to Ciudad Juarez to be held or killed does represent a very clear link between violence in Mexico and the United States.

BA’s ability to strike within the United States has been proven. According to a STRATFOR source, BA is connected to Los Zetas — the U.S.-trained Mexican military members who deserted to traffic drugs — through a mutual alliance with the Juarez cartel. The Zetas possess a high level of tactical skill that could be passed along to BA, thus increasing its effectiveness.
The Potential for Cross-Border Violence

The prospect for enhanced cross-border violence is frightening, but the violence itself is not new. So far, Mexican cartels and their U.S. allies have focused on those directly involved in the drug trade. Whether this restraint will continue is unclear. Either way, collateral damage is always a possibility.

Previous incidents, like one that targeted a drug dealer in arrears in Phoenix and others that involved kidnappings and attacks against U.S. Border Patrol agents, indicate that violence has already begun creeping over from Mexico. So far, violence related to drug trafficking has not caused the deaths of U.S. law enforcement officials and/or civilians, though it has come close to doing so.

Another potential incubator of cross-border violence exists in BA’s obligation to offer refuge to Juarez cartel members seeking safety in the United States. Such members most likely would have bounties on their heads. The more violent Mexico (and particularly Ciudad Juarez) becomes, the greater the risk Juarez cartel leaders face — and the more pressure they will feel to seek refuge in the United States. As more Juarez cartel leaders cross over and hide with BA help, the cartel’s enemies will become increasingly tempted to follow them and kill them in the United States. Other border gangs in California, Arizona and New Mexico probably are following this same trajectory.

Two primary reasons explain why Mexican cartel violence for the most part has stopped short of crossing the U.S. border. First, the prospect of provoking U.S. law enforcement does not appeal to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations operating along the border. They do not want to provoke a coordinated response from a highly capable federal U.S. police force like the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or FBI. By keeping violence at relatively low levels and primarily aimed at other gang members and drug dealers, the Mexican drug-trafficking organizations can lessen their profile in the eyes of these U.S. agencies. Conversely, any increase in violence and/or the killing of U.S. police or civilians would dramatically increase federal scrutiny and retaliation.

The second reason violence has not crossed the border wholesale is that gangs like BA are in place to enforce the drug-trafficking organizations’ rules. The need to send cartel members into the United States to kill a disobedient drug dealer is reduced by having a tight alliance with a border gang that keeps drugs and money moving smoothly and carries out the occasional killing to maintain order.

But the continued integrity of BA and its ability to carry out the writ of larger drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico might not be so certain. The Nov. 3 trial will undermine BA activity in the crucial trafficking corridor of El Paso/Ciudad Juarez.

The indictment and possible incarceration of the six alleged BA members would not damage the gang so badly — after all, BA is accustomed to operating out of prison, and there must certainly be members on the outside ready to fill in for their incarcerated comrades. But making BA’s activities and modus operandi public should increase scrutiny on the gang and could very well lead to many more arrests.

In light of the presence of at least two FBI informants in the gang, BA leaders have probably moved into damage control mode, isolating members jeopardized by the informants. This will disrupt BA’s day-to-day operations, making it at least temporarily less effective. STRATFOR sources say BA members on both sides of the border have been ordered to lie low until the trial is over and the damage can be fully assessed. This is a dangerous period for gangs like BA, as their influence over their territory and ability to operate is being reduced.

Weakening BA by extension weakens the Juarez cartel’s hand in El Paso. While BA no doubt will survive the investigations the trial probably will spawn, given the high stakes across the border in Mexico, the Juarez cartel might be forced to reduce its reliance on BA. This could prompt the Juarez cartel to rely on its own members in Ciudad Juarez to carry out hits in the United States and to provide its own security to leaders seeking refuge in the United States. It could also prompt it to turn to a new gang facing less police scrutiny. Under either scenario, BA’s territory would be encroached upon. And considering the importance of controlling territory to prison gangs — and the fact that BA probably still will be largely intact — this could lead to increased rivalries and violence.

The Juarez cartel-BA dynamic could well apply to alliances between U.S. gangs and Mexican drug-trafficking organizations, such as Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos in Houston, the Texas Syndicate and Tango Blast operating in the Rio Grande Valley and their allies in the Gulf cartel; the Mexican Mafia in California and Texas and its allies in the Tijuana and Sinaloa cartels; and other gangs operating in the United States with ties to Mexican cartels like Mexikanemi, Norteños and the Sureños.

Ultimately, just because BA or any other street gang working with Mexican cartels is weakened does not mean that the need to enforce cartel rules and supply chains disappears. This could put Mexican drug-trafficking organizations on a collision course with U.S. law enforcement if they feel they must step in themselves to take up the slack. As their enforcers stateside face more legal pressure, the cartels’ response therefore bears watching.

Read more: The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface | STRATFOR










The Barrio Azteca Trial and the Prison Gang-Cartel Interface is republished with permission of STRATFOR.
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« Reply #233 on: August 30, 2010, 06:22:44 PM »

I am afraid that my question has been answered. cry
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« Reply #234 on: August 30, 2010, 06:44:31 PM »

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.7206,css.print/pub_detail.asp


War on the Southern Border: Cartels, Terrorists are Winning

August 30, 2010 - Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, US Army (Ret)

There was a time a time when the municipality of San Fernando in northeastern Mexico was known for farming, fishing and a quiet way of life. Today, it is associated with death. This week, a young Ecuadorean with bullet holes through his shoulder and cheek told the story of how he and his travelling companions on their way to the US in search of work had been kidnapped in San Fernando by the Zetas, one of Mexico’s drug cartels. Even Monterrey, the country’s industrial center known until recently for its peaceful lifestyle, has been turned upside down with terror. The past few months have seen an increase in so-called “narco-bloqueos” or impromptu roadblocks by drugs gangs to create maximum chaos in the selected cities and thwart any local authority   to keep the peace.
 
 “They pulled us out of the truck violently and demanded money,” The young Ecuadorian told authorities after managing to escape. “They said that they were Zetas and that they would pay us $1,000 every two weeks [if we joined them] but we didn’t accept and they opened fire.” Mexican authorities confirmed the account when they discovered in a remote and semi-derelict grain warehouse 72 bullet-ridden bodies with their hands tied and eyes bandaged. Among them was a woman in the final stages of pregnancy.
 
Revelations of what has now been confirmed as the worst massacre since Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s president, declared war on organized crime almost four years ago have focused international attention on the country’s drug war like never before.  They have underlined the extent to which the cartels have moved into other avenues of crime, such as extortion, kidnapping and human trafficking. And they have left Mexicans with the increasing feeling that the government is losing the war.
 
It used to be possible to pay little heed to Mexico’s drugs cartels, which supply an estimated 80-90 per cent of the cocaine consumed in the US, as well as a substantial chunk of marijuana, methamphetamines and heroin. Today, the violence resulting from bloody inter-cartel battles over local markets and international smuggling routes affects just about everyone.
 
Less than a week ago, police found four decapitated bodies hanging from a bridge in a wealthy area of Cuernavaca, a weekend getaway about an hour from Mexico City prized for its climate of eternal spring. The victims’ genitals had been hacked off and their little fingers removed. Nearby, police found a calling card left by the South Pacific Cartel, a relatively new drugs syndicate.
 
Remember the “plaza”, that sunlit square complete with bubbling fountain in the middle that forms any self-respecting image of a Mexican town? Today, it means a local territory for dealing drugs.

Dar piso - The literal translation of “dar piso” is to “give floor” (to something). Today it means to kill someone or to “take them out”. Narco- Perhaps the most flexible term in the new vocabulary is the prefix “narco”.
 
Try “narcocandidato”, the term for describing a corrupt politician. Or “narcofiesta”, a party of rabble-rousing music, pretty girls and plenty of white cowboy hats held by and for drug traffickers. Then there is the somewhat older term “narcocorrido”, a ballad whose lyrics are specifically about mafia culture.  Things got so bad this week that Coparmex, a national confederation of 36,000 businesses that account for one-third of Mexico’s economic output, demanded that federal, state and municipal governments fulfilled their obligations to protect citizens. Mexico’s security arrangements are a patchwork of institutions – there are more than 1,600 separate police forces dotted around the country – with little or no information-sharing and notoriously vulnerable to bribes and corruption.
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« Reply #235 on: August 30, 2010, 08:14:48 PM »

I agree.

That said, a question:  Why hasn't this already happened?
Woof,
 Along with this criminal infrastructure being quietly built on our side of the border the cartels gave standing orders in the past that the killing of Americans and American law enforcement was forbidden because the public uproar might cause the border to be sealed and hurt business and they don't want the DEA and FBI after them any harder than they already are. The shooting of the rancher and bullets hitting City Hall in El Paso, proves the wisdom of that ban but they can't control everything that happens and recent pressure on the Mexican side has cause the cartels to become even more violent than before. Of course if time goes by without another American being killed the public will go back to sleep and the cartels will go about business as usual and our politicians will count the votes they might be getting by keeping the border unsecured and we get closer to becoming a third world narco state. And of course none of our politicans or cops can be corrupted by all this money and if their kids are kidnapped or wives threaten with being killed, they won't give in to the demands of the cartels, oh no. And if they don't give in, the cartels won't start assassinating American Mayors and slaughtering American citizens. No, that could never happen. Besides the important thing is that certain politicians get the hispanic vote and certain individuals and companies get cheap labor. That's what is important. We shouldn't be focusing on this anyway, the real problem is that AZ law and the human rights travesty that might cause. I mean they could hurt someones feelings! What a bunch of racist! How dare they try to enforce our immigration laws, hell they might actually stop some of this and we can't have that! tongue
 Oh have you heard the latest about the report from our State Department to the UN? www.abc15.com/dpp/news/state/brewer-condemns-report-to-un-mentioning-arizona-law

                                         P.C.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 08:46:42 PM by prentice crawford » Logged

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« Reply #236 on: September 01, 2010, 11:34:07 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/31/signs-in-arizona-warn-of-smuggler-dangers/

Reconquista!
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« Reply #237 on: September 02, 2010, 11:27:04 AM »

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/72068

Arizona Now Has ‘Whopping 30’ National Guard Troops and 15 Billboard Signs Warning Citizens About Drug Cartels Operating on Public Lands
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« Reply #238 on: September 23, 2010, 07:45:54 AM »

Woof,
 Coming soon to your local paper. We have got to seal our border and now! I don't care who's political agenda gets side tracked, I  don't care if we pay more for our veggies or anything else that comes from cheap labor and I don't care if the rest of the world thinks we should have unlimited, uncontrolled immigration to our human rights abusing imperial capitalist state! Close the F'in border!

 http://www.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100923/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_drug_war_mexico_journalists

               P.C.
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« Reply #239 on: September 28, 2010, 04:43:15 PM »

Mexico Security Memo: Sept. 27, 2010
September 27, 2010 | 1936 GMT
      PRINT Text Resize:

ShareThis



Arrest of El Tigre
Mexican Federal Police agents arrested Margarito “El Tigre” Soto Reyes and
eight other integral members of the Sinaloa Federation in an operation in
Zapopan, Jalisco state, the afternoon of Sept. 25. Soto Reyes assumed
control of the Sinaloa Federation’s methamphetamine trafficking, production
and supply chain after the death of Ignacio “El Nacho” Coronel Villarreal in
a Mexican military operation July 29. The U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement agency reported that Soto Reyes was responsible for sending
nearly half a ton of methamphetamine to the United States each month after
procuring precursor chemicals (pseudoephedrine and ephedrine) via the “South
Pacific” route — from Argentina through Peru, Panama and Central America to
Mexico — and manufacturing the drug in rural drug labs in west-central
Mexico. Several key operational players in the organization’s
methamphetamine logistical and manufacturing line were among the eight
arrested with Soto Reyes:

  a.. Juan Pedro Mora, who allegedly was responsible for procuring precursor
chemicals from suppliers in South America, often posing as a veterinarian
representative;
  b.. Martin Terrazas Leyva, who was in charge of Soto Reyes’ personal
affairs and security as well as monitoring shipments of narcotics;
  c.. Hilarion Diaz Rosas, who reportedly was responsible for the physical
security for the various large-scale drug laboratories where the
organization would manufacture large quantities of methamphetamine; and
  d.. Maximino Martinez Sanchez, who allegedly was responsible for the
organization’s massive drug manufacturing operations in the large and often
rural drug labs.
The others arrested with Reyes reportedly were employees at the drug labs.

El Nacho’s death in July appeared to decapitate the leadership of the
Sinaloa Federation’s methamphetamine production operations, possibly
damaging relationships with suppliers and trafficking contacts, but it did
not really affect the organization’s capacity to produce and traffic
methamphetamine. The operation that netted Soto Reyes and his top
operational leaders likely has done more damage to the Sinaloa Federation,
as it will be incredibly difficult to replace the operational knowledge and
expertise taken out of commission by the arrests, and it will certainly
impede the organization’s ability to produce and traffic methamphetamine in
the short term. Furthermore, the detailed knowledge and information that
could be gleaned from those arrested Sept. 25 likely will lead to follow-on
raids and arrests of other Sinaloa Federation operational assets.

The Sinaloa Federation arguably has been the biggest producer and trafficker
of methamphetamine in Mexico for the past several years, but its reduced
operational capacity could result in other organizations like La Familia
Michoacana (LFM), which also has a history of methamphetamine production in
the region, moving in and taking a larger portion of the Mexican
methamphetamine production market. Even though LFM and the Sinaloa
Federation are part of the New Federation alliance with the Gulf Cartel
against Los Zetas, business operations typically are seen as more important
than these types of cartel agreements and could be a point of contention
between the two organizations.

Attacks on Mayors in Nuevo Leon and Chihuahua
Unknown gunmen shot and killed Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas, the mayor of
Doctor Gonzalez, Nuevo Leon state, and another city employee in an ambush
near the entrance of Rodriguez’s ranch outside the city around 9:30 p.m.
local time Sept. 23. Doctor Gonzalez is a small rural agricultural community
about 56 km (35 miles) east of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, and is located
in a region that has been rife with conflict between Los Zetas and the New
Federation and has seen numerous Mexican military operations. Several people
were brought in for questioning in the shooting, including three brothers
who were involved in a land dispute with Rodriguez, but all have since been
released. The ambush style of the attack on Rodriguez bears the hallmark of
a cartel-sanctioned operation; however, no group has officially been accused
of being behind the attack.

Also, Ricardo Solis Manriquez, the mayor-elect of Gran Morelos, Chihuahua
state, was shot multiple times in the head in an attack inside a business
along the Cuauhtemoc-Chihuahua highway around 1:30 p.m. local time Sept. 24
by a group of armed men in two cars. Solis underwent seven hours of
emergency surgery and is reportedly in critical condition in the intensive
care unit.

Rodriguez is the second mayor to have been killed in two months in Nuevo
Leon state after the death of Santiago Mayor Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, whose
body was found Aug. 18 after he was reported kidnapped. The recent attacks
on elected officials in both Nuevo Leon and Chihuahua state continue to show
the brazenness of criminal groups operating in the region and that no
position of authority in the region is safe from the reach of these groups.
While no motive for the attacks on Rodriguez and Solis has been declared
officially, and there has been no indication that either mayor was working
with a criminal organization, it is common for organized crime groups to
target their rivals’ support structure, which has included local law
enforcement and local elected officials in past cases. With endemic
corruption still a large issue, particularly in these two regions of Mexico,
it cannot immediately be ruled out that these two mayors were simply working
for the wrong side of the cartel conflict taking place in their respective
regions.





Click to view map

Sept. 20
  a.. Unidentified gunmen killed a former coordinator for the state attorney
general’s office in Durango, Durango state. The victim had resigned from his
post three days earlier.
  b.. Police discovered five dismembered bodies in Tanhuato, Michoacan
state. The letter “J” had been carved into the victims’ backs.
  c.. A woman was killed in the Benito Juarez neighborhood of
Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico state, by an unidentified gunman. The attacker shot
the victim once in the chest.
Sept. 21
  a.. Police in the municipality of Tlajomulco de Zuniga discovered a
severed head and a dismembered body next to a sign warning that the remains
were booby trapped with explosives. No explosives were found at the scene.
  b.. Residents of Ascension, Chihuahua state, beat two suspected kidnappers
to death.
  c.. Four men died in an ambush in the municipality of Atotonilco de Tula,
Hidalgo state.
  d.. Unidentified gunmen killed two children of Ecologist Green Party of
Mexico President Sonia Hernandez in Otatitlan, Veracruz state.
Sept. 22
  a.. Unidentified gunmen attacked a ministerial police station in the
Urdiales neighborhood of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state. No injuries were
reported.
  b.. Two severed heads were discovered near the entrance to the settlement
of “El 30” in the municipality of Acapulco, Guerrero state.
  c.. Unidentified gunmen killed three people at a seafood restaurant in San
Ignacio, Sinaloa state.
Sept. 23
  a.. Police arrested Carlos Barragan Figueroa, a suspected leading figure
of Los Zetas, in Cancun, Quintana Roo state. Barragan Figueroa is suspected
of ordering an attack on a bar, which resulted in the deaths of eight
people.
  b.. Seven people were killed during a firefight between suspected
organized crime groups in Acapulco, Guerrero state. Soldiers arrested five
policemen at the scene who were allegedly accompanying a group of gunmen.
Sept. 24
  a.. Authorities announced the arrest of a suspected La Linea gunman
identified as “El 7,” who is believed to have participated in the killing of
an El Diario journalist in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, in 2008.
  b.. Police discovered the mutilated body of an unidentified man in a
drainage canal in the Anahuac neighborhood of San Nicolas de los Garza,
Nuevo Leon state.
  c.. Two suspected cartel gunmen were killed during a firefight with
soldiers in the municipality of General Teran, Nuevo Leon state.
Sept. 25
  a.. Unidentified gunmen killed the Mexican Roma community patriarch in a
Mexico City hospital.
  b.. Four men suspected of dismembering two people were arrested in
Zapotlanejo, Jalisco state, after a firefight with police.
  c.. Police arrested suspected Sinaloa cartel member Margarito “El Tigre”
Soto Reyes in Zapopan, Jalisco state. Soto Reyes is believed to be the
successor to Ignacio “El Nacho” Coronel Villarreal.
Sept. 26
  a.. Soldiers arrested the leader of Los Zetas in Quintana Roo state,
identified as Jose de Fernandez Lara Diaz, and seized several weapons, 1.35
million pesos (more than $107,000) and $36,000.
  b.. Police found the bodies of four men abandoned near a highway in
Cuernavaca, Morelos state. A message near the victims attributed the crime
to the Cartel Pacifico Sur.


Read more: Mexico Security Memo: Sept. 27, 2010 | STRATFOR
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« Reply #240 on: October 02, 2010, 02:12:49 PM »

SANTIAGO, Mexico — The Mexican government is preparing a plan to radically alter the nation’s police forces, hoping not only to instill a trust the public has never had in them but also to choke off a critical source of manpower for organized crime.


The proposal, which the president’s aides say is expected in the coming weeks, would all but do away with the nation’s 2,200 local police departments and place their duties under a “unified command.” It comes at a critical moment for President Felipe Calderón, who faces mounting pressure from the United States and within Mexico to demonstrate progress in defeating the drug cartels.

He has already hurled the military into the fight, using soldiers to buttress the federal police and battle the drug traffickers, but violence continues to soar and corruption among the nation’s police forces remains a constant, fundamental scourge.

Police departments around the country, filled with underpaid, undertrained officers, are heavily infiltrated by criminal organizations or under the thumb of mayors, often simply escorting local officials rather than patrolling the community, according to a report by Mexico’s Senate last month.

Mr. Calderón’s new plan would eliminate what are now wide variations in police training, equipment, operations and recruitment in favor of a single national standard, helping the government field a more professional, cohesive force to work alongside its soldiers and agents fighting the drug war.

The approach has its pitfalls, though. State authorities, which would now control the local police forces in coordination with the federal police, are hardly immune to corruption themselves, and municipal officials are suspicious of surrendering autonomy. It is also unclear how dishonest officers will be weeded out of the new chain of command.

But the government is running out of options, and the public’s worries have only intensified with a recent rash of assassinations.

Here in this pastel-splashed colonial town, it was a shock to most residents when the popular mayor was bundled into a sport utility vehicle in August and found dead days later. It was less of a surprise that several local police officers were accused of the murder.

Eleven mayors have been killed this year. Just this week, the mayor of Tancitaro was found dead from a blow with a stone . The previous mayor and several town officials had already resigned after threats from drug traffickers and complaints that the police were ineffective; the state and federal authorities took over enforcement because the 60-member police force was believed to be enmeshed in crime.

Several mayors here in northeastern Mexico now spend the night in the United States out of concern that the local police cannot protect them, state officials confirmed.

Until now, Mr. Calderón’s main approach has been to draw on the military and the federal police, but the strategy has come under withering criticism for its human rights record. The State Department withheld funds from Mexico under an antidrug initiative for the first time this year partly because of abuses.

The military has been accused of unlawful killings, torture, seizures and indiscriminate fire that has killed innocents.

“We are still waiting for justice,” said Juan Carlos Arredondo, the uncle of one of two students killed in Monterrey by soldiers, who claimed they were criminals and, according to a report by the National Human Rights Commission, manipulated the crime scene to make it look that way.

Last week, Human Rights Watch sent a scathing letter to Mr. Calderón, accusing him of sitting silent in face of evidence that military abuses “have grown significantly with each year of your presidency.”

Mr. Calderón’s aides remain confident that their strategy is making progress and are counting on the police reform to help make the kind of turnover that the president has been promising.

Despite talk in Washington about increasing the role of the United States military here — small teams have advised the Mexican military for several years — Mr. Calderón’s chief security spokesman, Alejandro Poiré, ruled that out.

“This a matter in which we need to rebuild our own institutions,” he said, after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the fight against traffickers here was taking on the characteristics of an “insurgency,” angering Mexican officials. President Obama contradicted her the next day.

Since Mr. Calderón took office, the federal police have expanded to more than 30,000 officers from about 6,000, and have often swooped in with the military to take over policing from local officers deemed corrupt or under the control of drug gangs.

======

Page 2 of 2)



The government’s new plan would place local police departments under the command of governors, preserving the closely guarded autonomy of the states and allowing the authorities to more easily move people to trouble spots.


Mr. Calderón announced in June that he would propose constitutional changes for the measure this year and recently held “public dialogues” to help build support. He has proposed spending $2.4 billion next year to carry it out, which might allow for higher salaries and help steer officers away from corruption.

“That is one of the deficits of the last 20 or 30 years of Mexico’s political development, that we didn’t build the police institutions to prevent crime,” Mr. Poiré said.

Officials in Monterrey, a city of two million, recently reported that its police force stood at 350 officers, half what it was a year ago because of dismissals and resignations.

While the new approach would make law enforcement more accountable to state leaders, analysts note that state forces — and even the federal police, where nearly a tenth of the force has been dismissed this year for suspected corruption and other problems — do not have great records themselves.

“The problem is the state governments are not exactly clean,” said John Ackerman, editor of the Mexican Law Review. “It can hardly be worse than the municipal level, but the state has problems too.”

Here in Santiago, the police force has dwindled to about 20 from 160 a year ago, with state and federal police filling the gap, according to the mayor, Bladimiro Montalvo. Residents like Gonzalo Almaguer, a 62-year-old retiree, say they hardly go out anymore, especially at night. “This was a peaceful town but now you don’t know who to trust; it is like the rest of the country,” said Mr. Almaguer, one of the few people in the central plaza last week.

Mayor Montalvo said he worried most about the 50 percent drop in tourism because of the swelling violence around his town, including shootings and kidnappings in nearby Monterrey that prompted the State Department to pull children of its workers out of the country.

“I don’t think so,” he said when asked if he worried for his safety. “Something can happen, but if you are orderly and respectful that is something they will respect,” he said of criminal organizations. He then dashed off, driven away in a sport utility vehicle by two bodyguards.
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« Reply #241 on: October 02, 2010, 02:21:02 PM »

At this point in Mexico, it's worth a try.
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« Reply #242 on: October 05, 2010, 01:33:55 PM »

Mexico Security Memo: Oct. 4, 2010
October 4, 2010 | 2056 GMT
     :





20 Tourists Kidnapped in Acapulco

A group of armed men traveling in four cars reportedly kidnapped 20 Mexican
tourists in the Costa Azul neighborhood of Acapulco, Guerrero state, only
600 meters (about 650 yards) from the popular tourist spot of Costera Miguel
Aleman, at around 4:30 p.m. local time Oct. 1. The victims were from a group
of 22 tourists traveling in four vehicles from Morelia, Michoacan state.
They had stopped near Cristobal Colon and Fernando de Magallanes streets
while two individuals from the group sought lodging. The group consisted of
mechanics, masons, painters and their families, but all were reportedly
linked to the sale of scrap iron. While the two individuals sought a hotel,
some 30 armed men in six SUVs took the remaining 20 tourists captive.

The two remaining tourists did not contact Acapulco law enforcement
authorities until the following morning. They said they saw the kidnappers,
who were armed with assault rifles, line the victims against a wall before
forcing them into the SUVs and departing the scene. Authorities have
reportedly searched the tourists’ four vehicles for clues regarding who
carried out the kidnapping. The federal attorney general’s office has since
opened two separate cases in Michoacan and Guerrero states and solicited the
help of the federal police, naval and army intelligence branches in the
region to help find the 20 kidnapped tourists.

Acapulco has been the most violent of Mexico’s major tourist destinations
for several years now. Multiple drug trafficking organizations have laid
claim to the territory or have significant operations in the city and the
surrounding region. The port of Acapulco is not traditionally a major
commercial shipping hub, but a tremendous amount of boat traffic travels in
and out of Acapulco Bay and the surrounding waters and lagoons, making it an
ideal location for shipments of cocaine and other narcotics. La Familia
Michoacana (LFM), the Sinaloa Federation, and the Beltran Leyva Organization
(BLO) and its factions have all fought for control of the city, but violence
previously had been limited to people connected to organized criminal
activities.

Though Mexican authorities have yet to name suspects in the case, the show
of force and the manner in which these 20 tourists were taken bears the
hallmarks of an organized crime group. Large organized crime groups tend to
carry out kidnapping for ransom when they need quick cash to sustain
operations. Recently, elements of the BLO operating in the city have
experienced major setbacks in terms of leadership and operational
capability, suggesting it might have played a role. That the group of
tourists hailed from Morelia, Michoacan — the home base of LFM, BLO’s main
rival in Acapulco — may also have played a role in this incident.


Monterrey Grenade Attacks

A string of grenade attacks in the Monterrey metropolitan area late the week
of Sept. 27 capped a week of similar attacks in other hot spots along the
South Texas-Mexico border. Early in the week, a group of armed men threw a
fragmentation grenade at the facade of the Public Security Secretariat
building in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, late Sept 27. Later, two people
were injured when a group of armed men threw a grenade outside city hall in
Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, the afternoon of Sept. 29. Then, the Monterrey
area saw three incidents in which fragmentation hand grenades detonated near
security infrastructure or diplomatic facilities the evening of Oct. 1. The
first occurred near a prison facility, the second near a federal
courthouse — injuring a guard outside the facility — and the third near the
U.S. Consulate. The following night, a group of armed men in two trucks
reportedly threw a hand grenade into a group of people walking outside the
Guadalupe (part of the Monterrey metro area) city hall at around 11:15 p.m.
Oct. 2. The blast, which hit a popular town square, injured between 15 and
20 people, several of whom were children.

The grenade attacks all occurred in territory disputed by Los Zetas and the
Gulf cartel and its allies in the New Federation. Mexican authorities have
not specified who they think carried out the attacks. Los Zetas were
implicated in a similar grenade attack during the annual El Grito
celebration in Morelia, Michoacan state, in 2008. Eight people were killed
and more than 100 were injured in that incident. While nothing suggests Los
Zetas carried out this attack, a recent Mexican naval operation in Matamoros
and Reynosa netted nearly 30 members of the Gulf cartel, a large arms cache
and several hundred thousand dollars and pesos. This would be motivation
enough for the Gulf cartel to lash out against government targets, but the
Gulf cartel has not been known to target civilians indiscriminately.

Regardless of who is responsible, these incidents continue to underscore the
increasing level of insecurity in the Monterrey metro area and in
northeastern Mexico in general. As this insecurity persists, we can expect
to see criminal groups further exploit the civilian population for
territorial and financial gains, especially if both groups continue to
experience operational losses.





Click to view map


Sept. 27

  a.. Unidentified gunmen attacked the Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state,
Public Security Secretariat office with a grenade. No injuries were reported
and the building was only slightly damaged.
  b.. One soldier and four suspected cartel gunmen were killed during a
firefight in the municipality of Coahuayana, Michoacan state.
  c.. Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a university student from the parking
lot of the Valle de Atemajac University in Guadalajara, Jalisco state.

Sept. 28

  a.. Federal police announced the arrest of suspected La Linea cell leader
Jose Ivan Contreras Lumbreras in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state. Contreras
is believed to have participated in a July 15 car bomb attack.
  b.. Three people were injured in a firefight between members of two labor
unions in Boxite, Mexico state. The two unions were competing for contracts
in road construction.
  c.. Unidentified gunmen in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco state, killed a father and
son during an ambush on their vehicle.

Sept. 29

  a.. Two people were injured in a grenade attack on the city hall in
Matamoros, Tamaulipas state.
  b.. Three unidentified people in a vehicle were killed in a firefight with
soldiers in Gomez Palacio, Durango state. One of the vehicle’s occupants was
arrested after attempting to flee.
  c.. Four suspected cartel gunmen were killed in a firefight with soldiers
in Cerralvo, Nuevo Leon state. Soldiers freed four people in a separate
operation against suspected kidnappers in Cerralvo.

Sept. 30

  a.. One person was killed during a firefight between unidentified people
in a bar in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state.
  b.. Authorities announced the arrests of six suspected LFM members
believed involved in carjackings in Salamanca, Guanajuato state. The
suspects allegedly belonged to an LFM cell that operated in the
municipalities of Yuriria, Moroleon and Uriangato.
  c.. Four policemen were kidnapped from a bar in Netzahualcoyotl, Mexico
state, and later shot and dumped into a nearby river. One of the victims
survived.

Oct. 1

  a.. Soldiers in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, killed two suspected cartel
gunmen and seized 4,000 rounds of ammunition and 20 kilograms (about 44
pounds) of cocaine.
  b.. Police at the Mexico City International Airport arrested a man who had
swallowed 81 capsules of cocaine. The suspect was initially screened for
nervous behavior during a document inspection.
  c.. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered a suspected
smuggling tunnel in Nogales, Arizona. The tunnel extended approximately 15
meters into the U.S. side of the border.

Oct. 2

  a.. The Mexico City attorney general’s office announced the arrests of two
people allegedly responsible for the murder of the Mexico Roma patriarch on
Sept. 27. Both suspects are members of the national Roma community.
  b.. Fourteen suspected members of criminal groups were killed in a
firefight in the municipality of Otaez, Durango state.
  c.. The body of an unidentified man was found in the Quinta Velarde
neighborhood of Guadalajara, Jalisco state. The body had a message attached
to its stomach with a knife. The message attributed the crime to a group
called “La Limpieza,” which means “The Cleaning.”
  d.. Twelve people were injured in a grenade attack near city hall in
Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon state.

Oct. 3

  a.. Two people were killed and four others were injured in a firefight in
Nextipac, Jalisco state. Several intoxicated state investigative agents were
reportedly involved in the shooting.
  b.. Soldiers arrested eight suspected members of Los Zetas in Guadalupe,
Nuevo Leon state. The suspects were arrested after a military patrol chased
three vehicles attempting to flee in the Tamaulipas neighborhood.
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« Reply #243 on: October 05, 2010, 01:43:43 PM »

Good thing we've secured that southern border..... 
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« Reply #244 on: October 05, 2010, 04:49:10 PM »

It seems parts of Mexico is doing well.  Their stock market keeps hitting record highs.

10.5.10

MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)--Mexican stocks charged higher to a record close Tuesday, propelled by gains in U.S. equities and shares of media conglomerate Televisa (TV, TLEVISA.MX).

The IPC index of leading issues finished up 0.6% at 34,257 on volume of 215 million shares worth 7.35 billion pesos ($588 million), beating its previous closing high of 34,134 on April 15. The index briefly touched a new intraday high of 34,359 points around midday before retreating.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #245 on: October 05, 2010, 08:19:40 PM »

Maybe it is a way for the narco money to launder itself?

Monterrey is the heartland of Mexican industry/business/entrepeneurialism.  The descent into narco-anarchy there bodes very poorly for Mexico.
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« Reply #246 on: October 05, 2010, 10:59:39 PM »

Hmmm while you know far more about Mexico than I, as one who investigates fraud for a living,
the stock market is a very poor choice to launder money.

The Blue Chip Mexican Companies are leading the stock market.

Further, my point was that the stock market is a pretty good leading indicator of  the economy.
We read about the violence and drugs, but economically, Mexico is doing just fine.  We need to
look at the good, not just the bad.....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #247 on: October 06, 2010, 10:12:28 AM »

Well, I certainly don't investigate fraud for a living, but my general impression is that the Mexican equivalent of the SEC is not a real powerhouse bureaucracy.  Anyway, I certainly don't insist on the point-- it was simply something that popped into my head.

Do you happen to have handy any general data on the Mexican economy as a whole?
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« Reply #248 on: October 06, 2010, 11:02:35 AM »

Mexico's economy is doing better.

Bloomberg
Mexico’s Economy to Expand 3.87% in 2010, Survey Says (Update1)
March 01, 2010, 12:07 PM EST
MORE FROM BUSINESSWEEK

Mexican Peso Rises to Five-Week High on U.S. Economic Outlook
Mexico Keeps Rate at 4.5% for Fifth Meeting on Tame Inflation
Mexico’s Central Bank Keeps Rate Unchanged at 4.5% (Update2)
Mexico Ministry May Increase 2010 GDP Forecast Again (Update1)
Mexico’s Peso Appreciates as Output Falls Less Than Forecast


By Jens Erik Gould

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican economists increased their 2010 growth estimates after the government raised its forecast for this year and indicators such as industrial output and retail sales rose for the first time in more than a year.

Mexico’s gross domestic product will expand 3.87 percent in 2010, according to a monthly central bank survey of economists released today, up from last month’s 3.28 percent estimate. The government raised its 2010 GDP forecast to 3.9 percent from 3 percent last month.

Latin America’s second-biggest economy is recovering on increasing exports and improving domestic demand after it contracted 6.5 percent in 2010, the worst annual slump since 1932. The recession in the U.S., which buys about 80 percent of Mexico’s exports, crippled the $1.09 trillion economy last year as a decline in exports led to job losses and falling production.



I didn't know Mexico had an SEC!   smiley

A few rich still hold the reigns of the country’s highly concentrated economy, where one or two firms dominate key sectors like television, telephones, cement, and food distribution. Half of the country’s 107 million people live in poverty. Mexico is home to both the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, whose fortune is estimated at about $53.5 billion, and about 20 million Mexicans who live on less than $3 per day.

Upper-middle class Mexicans today are firmly implanted in the developed world, with iPhones, modern apartments, high education levels and small families. They sometimes feel ignored amid all the talk of violence: Mexico’s nationwide murder rate, after all, is a relatively low 14 per 100,000, well below the average for Latin America.
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« Reply #249 on: October 06, 2010, 11:30:52 AM »

"Mexico’s nationwide murder rate, after all, is a relatively low 14 per 100,000, well below the average for Latin America."

According to this table in the Economist the murder rate in Mexico is not much higher than the US's and much lower than El Salvador.  That said I think the murder rates are still mostly due to drugs in these countries?  Perhaps politics?

http://www.economist.com/node/16964155?story_id=16964155
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