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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: October 19, 2011, 09:29:48 AM »

I have been posting in English on the Spanish language forum thread for Mexico without posting here as well for a while so those interested in this subject may wish to take a look there too, e.g. the report by two US generals.

While the deportations are a good thing (I saw yesterday that ONE THOUSAND of the 400,000 had some sort of homicide conviction?!?) that is not the only metric:  As noted there, the narco cartels are establishing quasi-military presence in the counties on the US side of the border so that they have safe havens when pressed by the Mexican military.  Corruption is further spreading its tentacles into Border Patrol and local authorities.   
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #351 on: October 19, 2011, 11:03:01 AM »


Yet another attempt by the Left Wing press to divert attention from the need to patrol and secure the border with Mexico.

To GM's point, they are back as soon as they are released from custody.

Additionally, there are many articles by the Leftist press showing the "plight" of these poor, downtrodden illegals and their "need" to come to the United States by any means necessary. Ironically, Mexico is lacking an ACLU of its own that demonizes Mexico and her citizens.
I have seen first hand, people in Mexico helping illegal immigrants in their country with gifts of food and water, yet it is commonly known that illegal immigrants are not welcome in Mexico and nearly every woman that crosses Mexico illegally is raped before they reach the United States (which is the reason that many Guatemalans and El Salvadorans do not like Mexicans), yet it is odd to me that Mexico, her politicians, or anyone else for that matter, would have anything to say about United States defending her borders by any means that we feel prudent as was witnessed by everyone a few days ago when Mexican politicians spoke out against Cain's joke about making an electric fence on the border with a sign on the other side stating that the fence could kill you.

To GC's point, the United States isn't Russia, nor should it be, but to GM's point, we have groups (the ACLU and every Liberal in the country), that actively speak out against the United States being able to secure her borders. Their allegiance to the principles within the constitution are questionable to say the least. I'm not sure what should be done about that. We have enough enemies from within to deal with, let alone allowing people to come here that have no intention of embracing America's founding ideologies. Patrolling the border with soldiers is the least that we should be doing.
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #352 on: October 19, 2011, 11:09:42 AM »

Love the Amerikan Criminal Liberties Union take on deportations. As long as it hurts the US, they are for it.

Although it is a slippery slope, at what point does freedom of speech become sedition, especially when it attacks the core principles of the very law that protects the individual or groups (ACLU) that are attacking the principles that created freedom of speech?
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bigdog
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« Reply #353 on: October 19, 2011, 01:08:41 PM »

"...we have groups (the ACLU and every Liberal in the country), that actively speak out against the United States being able to secure her borders."

The problem with broad, sweeping absolute claims like this one is that it is easy to disprove. 


Yet another attempt by the Left Wing press to divert attention from the need to patrol and secure the border with Mexico.

To GM's point, they are back as soon as they are released from custody.

Additionally, there are many articles by the Leftist press showing the "plight" of these poor, downtrodden illegals and their "need" to come to the United States by any means necessary. Ironically, Mexico is lacking an ACLU of its own that demonizes Mexico and her citizens.
I have seen first hand, people in Mexico helping illegal immigrants in their country with gifts of food and water, yet it is commonly known that illegal immigrants are not welcome in Mexico and nearly every woman that crosses Mexico illegally is raped before they reach the United States (which is the reason that many Guatemalans and El Salvadorans do not like Mexicans), yet it is odd to me that Mexico, her politicians, or anyone else for that matter, would have anything to say about United States defending her borders by any means that we feel prudent as was witnessed by everyone a few days ago when Mexican politicians spoke out against Cain's joke about making an electric fence on the border with a sign on the other side stating that the fence could kill you.

To GC's point, the United States isn't Russia, nor should it be, but to GM's point, we have groups (the ACLU and every Liberal in the country), that actively speak out against the United States being able to secure her borders. Their allegiance to the principles within the constitution are questionable to say the least. I'm not sure what should be done about that. We have enough enemies from within to deal with, let alone allowing people to come here that have no intention of embracing America's founding ideologies. Patrolling the border with soldiers is the least that we should be doing.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #354 on: October 19, 2011, 01:32:37 PM »

Woof,
 What I've been saying would happen for years now is coming about. The basics of that being, if we don't control our border, someone else will and what ever is taking place on the outside will soon be happening on the inside. tongue
                                          P.C.
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #355 on: October 19, 2011, 02:25:42 PM »

"...we have groups (the ACLU and every Liberal in the country), that actively speak out against the United States being able to secure her borders."

The problem with broad, sweeping absolute claims like this one is that it is easy to disprove. 


Disprove what? That Liberals and the ACLU are not opposed to the borders being secured?

There is this, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/09/16-illegals-sue-arizona-rancher/?page=all and the illegals' attorneys all from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund who from their own page, http://www.maldef.org/immigration/public_policy/index.html go on to "challenge" our own laws that we as Americans have voted into existence, as though we don't know for ourselves, how we would like our laws to read. The go on to protect and defend those that are here illegally. Are they Liberals? They endorse Obama and Sotomayor here: http://www.maldef.org/news/releases/senate_judiciary_committee_07281009/index.html with the interesting remark that "Any further discussion about Judge Sotomayor as a judicial activist with a liberal agenda must be quelled, for it is neither accurate nor productive.” So apparently we should discuss the agenda of someone that will ultimately be entrusted with the setting of legal precedents in this country?

Here is a bit more from the leader of the Liberals: http://www.speaker.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=75546 wherein Pelosi speaks in direct opposition a fence that would certainly have a major impact on making the border more secure.

If you've any evidence of the ACLU being interested in border security, I'm all ears.
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bigdog
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« Reply #356 on: October 19, 2011, 05:09:29 PM »

I highlighted the "every liberal portion" of your assertion.  I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance. 
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G M
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« Reply #357 on: October 19, 2011, 05:58:00 PM »

http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=14499

The Open Borders Lobby and the Nation's Security After 9/11
By: William Hawkins and Erin Anderson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, January 21, 2004




Forward – by David Horowitz



There are few issues so important to the life of a nation as the integrity of its borders and the nature of its citizenship. These are issues that define its identity and shape its future. When a nation is at war, moreover, its ability to regulate and control its borders is a security matter of paramount importance.

The following text by William Hawkins and Erin Anderson describes how America’s borders have been under assault for forty years with consequences that are measurable and disturbing. The assault has been led by an open borders lobby that is sophisticated and powerful. Many of its components, moreover, have a history of antagonism to American purposes and a record of active support for America’s enemies. Its funders are multi-billion dollar entities, who are unaccountable and unscrutinized.  They have more discretionary incomes at their disposal to influence these issues than is possessed by either political party, or any business group, or even the federal government itself.

As Hawkins and Anderson show, the open borders campaign was already instrumental in damaging the nation’s ability to defend itself before 9/11. Yet not even this terrible event has caused its activists to have second thoughts, or tempered their reckless attacks. Instead, the open borders lobby has expanded its efforts to eliminate America’s border controls to include the active defense of terrorists and terrorist organizations and a continuing assault on the very policies the federal government has adopted to defend its citizens from terrorist attacks.
 
A Ford Foundation newsletter the authors cite features an interview with Georgetown law professor David Cole, a leading academic figure in the open borders campaign, who has written a book attacking America’s immigration laws and their protections against terrorist groups. In the interview, Cole denounces, “the criminalization of what the government calls material support for terrorist organizations. This is a practice that was introduced … through the immigration law, … It criminalizes any support of any blacklisted terrorist organization without regard to whether one’s support actually had any connection whatsoever to terrorist activity that the group undertakes.”
 
The Ford Foundation interview with Cole was published with hindsight in September 2003, ten years after the first World Trade Center bombing and two years after the September 11 attack. As Hawkins and Anderson point out, the anti-terrorist law which Professor Cole is denouncing was introduced as legislation and passed during the Clinton Administration in response to the first World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist plots. It was a bi-partisan effort to put a check on terrorist support groups that were using use the liberties afforded by the American legal system to aid and abet terrorist activities. Shortly after the interview with Cole appeared, it was revealed that the Ford Foundation had granted millions of tax-exempt dollars to terrorist support groups and other radical organizations in the Middle East.[1] 

The Ford Foundation’s sponsorship of Professor Cole in underwriting his book and promoting his conclusions is but a reflection of Ford’s larger role as the central funder of the open borders lobby, and the architect of many of its radical agendas. Elsewhere in their text Hawkins and Anderson describe how this $11 billion leviathan took a small civil rights group called the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund which was based in San Antonio Texas, poured more than $30 million into its treasury, revamped its political agendas, moved its offices to Washington and turned it into one of the largest and most powerful proponents of radical immigration change in the nation.

Forty years ago, as Hawkins and Anderson observe, the most prominent Hispanic civil rights organization – the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) – supported English as the common national language and assimilation as a citizenship goal. Membership in LULAC was limited to American citizens and its code stated: “Respect your citizenship; honor your country, maintain its traditions in the minds of your children; incorporate yourself in the culture and civilization.” Today, as a result in part of the huge financial investment Ford has made in the immigration lobby, no major Hispanic civil rights organization subscribes to these views.
 
Finally, Hawkins and Anderson show how thoroughly the Ford-funded open borders network is integrated with the traditional American left, including its factions from the old Communist movement. Most prominent among these organizations and a strategic player in the open borders network is the National Lawyers Guild, which began as a Soviet front and has continued its “revolutionary” allegiances since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today its most celebrated and admired member – as well as one of its chief causes – is attorney Lynne Stewart, who is under federal indictment for aiding and abetting the terrorist activities of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the leader of group that bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.


William Hawkins and Erin Anderson have performed an essential public service by tying together the threads of this network and putting its agendas into perspective. The picture they paint is as detailed as it is disturbing and should open a national debate and perhaps congressional hearings on the uses to which taxpayer funds are being directed as the nation faces its post-9/11 threats.
 


Introduction: Open Borders in a Time of Terror
 


The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which killed 3,000 Americans, have brought the question of border security to the forefront of the nation’s agenda. Even among Hispanics, a U.S. subgroup thought to favor liberal immigration policies, a majority of 56% wanted “tougher immigration [controls] in light of security concerns,” according to a national poll commissioned by a Hispanic business magazine in late 2003.[2]
 


All the terrorists who flew the hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had come into the United States from the other side of the world with the intent of carrying out their premeditated plot. America’s natural barriers – the great oceans which traditionally have protected America from foreign attacks – failed to provide security in this case because the enemy did use ballistic missiles or a naval armada. The traditional safety afforded to the United States by the vast oceans separating the country from foreign powers and foreign strife was not breached by ballistic missiles or an invading armada. Our enemies used normal commercial methods of transportation and exploited America’s laxity about possible threats from strangers in its midst. The terrorists’ visa applications had been rubber-stamped by U.S. consular officials despite flagrant errors and suspicious answers to security-inspired questions.[3] On arrival, the terrorists simply blended in the general population – which already accommodates more than 8 million illegal immigrants -- and went about their business of planning mass murder. Half of the 19 hijackers made their deadly 9/11 airline reservations on an Internet travel site.



Since the first World Trade Center bombing by Arab-Muslim fanatics in 1993, forty-eight foreign-born Islamic radicals have been charged, convicted, pled guilty or admitted involvement in terrorism within the United States since 1993. According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, 16 of the 48 terrorists were on temporary visas (primarily tourists); 17 were legal permanent residents or naturalized U.S. citizens; 12 were illegal aliens; and 3 had applications for asylum pending (including Ramzi Yousef, the Iraqi mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center Attack).[4] In addition to the dozen who had entered the country illegally, ten of those who had entered by legal means had subsequently violated the terms of their admission by overstaying their visas. All the 9/11 hijackers entered the U.S. on temporary visas, except Ali Mohammed, a leading member of al Qaeda, who was a naturalized U.S. citizen.


The United States has at sea the largest navy in the world and is developing a national missile defense system to frustrate overt military attacks on the country. But the day-to-day security of its borders is a broken system that has been unable to stop small groups of terrorists, let alone a mass migration that outnumbers the largest armies of history. It is estimated that 700,000 illegal immigrants simply walked across the U.S.-Mexican border last year and moved inland without interception by the thinly deployed Border Patrol.[5] The demographic shifts caused by unregulated mass immigration can have adverse impacts on national stability that rival or surpass the effects of war.



Despite these widely known and universally accepted facts, every major reform of the immigration laws over the last forty years has served to systematically undermine existing protections and controls, to open America’s borders wider and to call forth a larger flow of legal and illegal migration.[6]

The most notable changes came in 1965 and 1986. In the first instance, quotas for people from South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia were lifted, radically altering the composition and rate of legal and illegal immigration, the latter in part because of the geographical proximity of South America to the United States. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 granted a general amnesty for millions of illegal aliens who had entered the United States prior to 1982. Rather than establish controls over immigration – something considered routine by every other nation in the world -- these reforms stimulated a new massive migration and created a vast underground network of illegal aliens and institutional supports for them.
 


The United States has also experienced explosive growth in the number of foreigners admitted to the country on a “temporarily” basis using “non-immigrant” visas — from seven million admitted in 1980 to nearly 33 million in 2001. There is no set limit to the number of non-immigrant visas that can be issued; it is purely a demand-driven system. Most of these visas go to tourists, visiting relatives or business travelers who do return home. However, many of these temporary immigrants overstay their visas and join the illegal alien population. Like the September 11 terrorists, about 40 percent of the 8-12 million illegal aliens in the United States entered by this initially legal method.

Since the 2001 attacks, there has been a concerted effort to perform better background checks on those applying for visas and to track the movement of foreigners in and out of the country. But as in the case of other reasonable concerns about the porous nature of American borders, there has also been a steady barrage of criticism against reasonable new screening and monitoring programs from well-funded and powerful political interests who promote the idea of “open borders,” and other forms internationalism. These radicals dismiss domestic political or security considerations in favor of an alleged higher “human right” to untrammeled migration and the fulfillment of individual agendas over community concerns.
The concept of “open borders” has long been an agenda of the ideological left. Since the 1960s, a vast network -- including hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of grassroots activists, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars from leftwing foundations -- has waged a sustained campaign to open America’s borders to a mass migration from the Third World. Though these groups talk in terms of “human rights,” the rights they demand are not the restrictions on government enshrined in the American Bill of Rights, but the claims on society for “equity” and “welfare” and special treatment for designated groups that are the familiar menu of the left and would, if enacted, amount to a revolution in America’s existing social order. Which is precisely their intent.


The “open borders” movement emerged from the radicalism of the 1960s and matured in the fight over amnesty for illegal aliens in the 1980s. It gained a certain mainstream status in the 1990s as the “globalization” and “multilateralism” fads of the decade encouraged talk of a “world without borders” and the decline (even the demise) of the nation-state. At the center of the movement was the Ford Foundation – the largest tax-exempt foundation in the world, and one increasingly guided by the political left.

Under the leadership of McGeorge Bundy (1966-1979), a dissident liberal who broke with President Lyndon Johnson over the war in Vietnam, the Ford Foundation embraced aspects of the New Left assault on American society, for example on the issue of race, funding a radical secession from the New York City School system. Ford bankrolled the creation of new groups like the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the National Council of La Raza, expanded the role of established leftwing groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and promoted radical Marxist organizations – overtly hostile to American values and purposes -- like the National Lawyers Guild. It also was the prime funder of “multiculturalism” in college and university programs, whose effect was to undermine the concept of a national identity, as Arthur Schlesinger pointed out in a celebrated essay, The Disuniting of America: Reflections On A Multicultural Society.[7]


In the radical perspective, America is an oppressor nation, which significantly depreciates any value that American citizenship might have and justifies a less than solicitous view towards the preservation of American culture and America’s borders. One of the more prolific academics promoting the radical viewpoint is has been James D. Cockcroft, a New Left radical who has received much of the funding for his work from the Ford Foundation. A characteristic Cockcroft work is Outlaws in the Promised Land: Mexican Immigrant Workers and America's Future.[8] This is a frontal attack on American society, in which Cockcroft argues, “the U.S. working class can realistically strengthen its position only when it adds to its fight‑back strategy a commitment to the defense of the unorganized and the undocumented.”[9] This Ford-sponsored effort also claims that, “since Vietnam, this [U.S.] society has displayed a deepening ‘anti-communist,’ racist, nativist, and class-biased character in its treatment of immigrants and in its immigration policy....it has also experienced a wave of legislative, administrative, and court decisions that may curtail the basic civil rights of not only immigrants but of all U.S. citizens.”[10]
 


The campaign to radically change American values and culture through mass immigration and the political mobilization of the alienated presents a danger to the American that parallels the anti-American agendas of the Islamic jihad. Moreover, politically engineered demographic shifts and terrorism are not unrelated. The same communities of recently arrived immigrants (whether legal or not) help create networks used by illegal aliens that provide jobs, housing, and routes of entry into America for other illegals, including criminals and terrorists. Immigrants from strife-torn lands often provide funds for movements engaged in conflict in their homelands, while factions competing for power overseas frequently have their struggles mirrored within immigrant communities here.



The concerted leftist attempt to radicalize immigrant communities runs the risk that at the periphery a home-grown terrorist cells will form that will work in conjunction with foreign movements while finding a base of support within the United States. At which time, it will be too late to close the borders. There is already a growing problem with ethnic criminal gangs fighting for turf in major U.S. cities, a form of low-level conflict that could escalate into a form of insurgency as it has in so many other countries.  

**Read it all.
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #358 on: October 19, 2011, 06:04:53 PM »

I highlighted the "every liberal portion" of your assertion.  I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance. 

" I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance."

Fair enough. In regard to those that aren't members of this forum, can you speak to any examples of the ACLU or Senators and Representatives that actively engage in securing the borders without trying to pass inclusive legislation that makes it possible for those that are here illegally, "citizens?"

It's a fair question.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: October 19, 2011, 06:52:10 PM »

"I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance." 

That may be, but given how hard-core right most of us are that could be a true statement of someone who is center or even right of center. cheesy

As I previously bantered with you in a sidebar, I consider you a Democrat back from when mainstream Democrats were patriotic, reasonable, and rational people i.e. NOT a liberal  evil cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #360 on: October 19, 2011, 06:57:21 PM »

The JFK/Scoop Jackson wing of the dems, which is about as extinct as t-rex these days.

Although Buraq the bloodthirsty has had moments that made me quite happy. OBL, Gitmo and drone strikes, oh my!
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #361 on: October 19, 2011, 07:08:50 PM »

Although Buraq the bloodthirsty has had moments that made me quite happy. OBL, Gitmo and drone strikes, oh my!

A ploy to retain his political relevance and future no doubt, and also done with the groundwork that GW Bush initiated.

Bloodthirsty? Mr. "I'm going to have all of the troops withindrawn within a year?" That guy? He says whatever the people he thinks support him want, and as far as results, it was the Pentagon, CIA and SEALs that got Osama (rhymes with Obama). The only thing Obama did was tell them "okay."

Drone Strikes? CIA? The same group that doesn't share info with anyone? I'm not saying that I'm not pleased. I am. I'm just saying that Obummer is just another politician of the Liberal flavour that is doing what all politicians do...play for the crowd in an effort of self preservation of the financial variety. Credit? No. I'll give that where it belongs....the military and intelligence agencies that had the gonads to carry it out.
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G M
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« Reply #362 on: October 19, 2011, 07:15:40 PM »

The problem is never with the US military or other gov't agencies on the sharp end, it's with those in the leadership positions, most every time.
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #363 on: October 19, 2011, 07:23:06 PM »

The problem is never with the US military or other gov't agencies on the sharp end, it's with those in the leadership positions, most every time.

I completely agree with you.
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bigdog
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« Reply #364 on: October 19, 2011, 08:47:02 PM »

And as I've told you, sir, your regard is much appreciated. 

"I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance." 

That may be, but given how hard-core right most of us are that could be a true statement of someone who is center or even right of center. cheesy

As I previously bantered with you in a sidebar, I consider you a Democrat back from when mainstream Democrats were patriotic, reasonable, and rational people i.e. NOT a liberal  evil cheesy
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bigdog
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« Reply #365 on: October 19, 2011, 09:08:06 PM »

I am not sure that you will accept him as a "liberal" since that may be up to you, and not me to define.  Here is a Democrat, who has sponsored bills"reforming procedures for providing court-appointed defense counsel to indigent defendants, and carried DNA legislation that has resulted in freeing many wrongly convicted citizens."  Moreover, he was NOW's "Legislator of the Year." In 2005, he "received the John Henry Faulk award from the [A]merican Civil Liberties Union." Damn near a hippy protesting at OWS!!!!!

BUT, he has also "worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to allocate more than $120 million on training and technology for border security."


I give you: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist20/dist20.htm, a liberal senator who is also pro-border security. 



I highlighted the "every liberal portion" of your assertion.  I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance. 

" I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance."

Fair enough. In regard to those that aren't members of this forum, can you speak to any examples of the ACLU or Senators and Representatives that actively engage in securing the borders without trying to pass inclusive legislation that makes it possible for those that are here illegally, "citizens?"

It's a fair question.
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G M
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« Reply #366 on: October 19, 2011, 09:45:24 PM »

I am not sure that you will accept him as a "liberal" since that may be up to you, and not me to define.  Here is a Democrat, who has sponsored bills"reforming procedures for providing court-appointed defense counsel to indigent defendants, and carried DNA legislation that has resulted in freeing many wrongly convicted citizens."  Moreover, he was NOW's "Legislator of the Year." In 2005, he "received the John Henry Faulk award from the [A]merican Civil Liberties Union." Damn near a hippy protesting at OWS!!!!!

BUT, he has also "worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to allocate more than $120 million on training and technology for border security."


I give you: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist20/dist20.htm, a liberal senator who is also pro-border security. 



I highlighted the "every liberal portion" of your assertion.  I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance. 

" I am liberal, at least compared to the average forum participant, and I think that defending the borders is of paramount importance."

Fair enough. In regard to those that aren't members of this forum, can you speak to any examples of the ACLU or Senators and Representatives that actively engage in securing the borders without trying to pass inclusive legislation that makes it possible for those that are here illegally, "citizens?"

It's a fair question.
I like the "Innocence Project" and DNA testing that frees wrongly convicted persons. I'd point out that Texas and other southern dems are different, mostly.
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bigdog
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« Reply #367 on: October 19, 2011, 10:38:11 PM »

But, he won an award from the ACLU, GM.  I was asked about this: "any examples of the ACLU or Senators," and found both. 
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G M
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« Reply #368 on: October 19, 2011, 10:47:15 PM »

But, he won an award from the ACLU, GM.  I was asked about this: "any examples of the ACLU or Senators," and found both. 

Hitler liked animals and was a vegitarian, doesn't make him not Hitler. If the ACLU is actually ever on the right side of something, it's either an accident or part of their pose to convince the uninformed into thinking that they actually are something else than a Stalinist group designed to damage America from within.
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G M
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« Reply #369 on: October 19, 2011, 10:54:28 PM »

The ACLU’s untold Stalinist heritage
 

Published: 2:11 AM 01/04/2011 | Updated: 3:29 AM 01/05/2011





By John Rossomando - The Daily Caller
 

Noted author Paul Kengor has unearthed declassified letters and other documents in the Soviet Comintern archives linking early leaders of the ACLU with the Communist Party.
 
Kengor found a May 23, 1931 letter in the archives signed by ACLU founder Roger Baldwin, written on ACLU stationery, to then American Communist Party Chairman William Z. Foster asking him to help ACLU Chairman Harry Ward with his then-upcoming trip to Stalin’s Russia.
 
The letter suggests Ward intended to visit the Soviet Union to find “evidence from Soviet Russia” that would undermine the capitalist profit motive.
 
Baldwin wrote the letter at a time when Stalin was deporting 1.8 million Ukrainian peasants to Siberia under his policy of the forced collectivization of agriculture, which resulted in the deaths of up to 10 million Ukrainians in the two years that followed.
 
The Ukrainian government considers this to have been an act of genocide.
 
Foster was a key figure in the early years of the American communist movement who belonged to the ACLU’s National Committee in the 1920s, according to FBI documents. He later wrote a book titled “Toward Soviet America” in 1932 and also testified under oath before Congress that  he opposed American democracy.
 
Another letter on ACLU letterhead Kengor found in the Soviet archives dated Sept. 2, 1932 asks the Communist Party of America for a schedule of Foster’s trips around the country and offers to help keep the police at bay. It also asks for the names and addresses of Communist Party representatives in the cities where Foster was speaking.
 
Kengor also found a flier from 1933 advertising ACLU board member Corliss Lamont as the headline speaker for “Soviet Union Day,” which its organizers hoped would “answer lies and slanders of enemies of the Soviet Union.”
 
The documents found their way into the Soviet archives because the Communist Party sent all of its correspondences to the Comintern in Moscow for safekeeping, according to Kengor.
 
Other documents released in the 1990s by KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin show the American Communist Party was under the Moscow’s direct control until 1989.
 “These guys were advocating a regime that arguably was the biggest mass murderer in all of human history,” Kengor said. “Where is the moral authority in that?”
 
Kengor told The Daily Caller he found numerous other documents in the Soviet Comintern archives that also show a close relationship between the Communist Party and the ACLU.
 
These documents corroborate rumors that have circulated about the ACLU’s founders and early leaders dating back to the 1920s.
 
The ACLU would not comment on Kengor’s research, but the ACLU’s official history describes its founders as a “small group of idealists” who began the organization amid the “Palmer Raids” of late 1919 and early 1920 against “so-called radicals”.
 
“The problem here is what is being left out of the narrative,” Kengor said. “Palmer, who was attorney general to Woodrow Wilson, the great progressive’s progressive, understood, as did the Wilson administration, that many of these radicals were American communists who were literally devoted to the overthrow of the U.S. government and its replacement with a ‘Soviet-American republic.’
 
“American communists actually stated such things in their proclamations, documents, and fliers.”
 
Kengor catalogs many of these in his book “Dupes.”
 
“If you look at a lot of things about the ACLU’s early history, you will see a lot of things that are pro-communist,” Kengor said. “What I’m trying to say about this group is that from the outset was on the farthest extremes of the left.
 
“It was atheistic. Certain members were pro-communist, and would argue that the ACLU itself in the 1920s was pro-communist, as defined by the writings and the beliefs of its founders, key officials and board members.”
 
Kengor, however, does not believe today’s ACLU is communist, but he argues it still pushes its founders’ militant atheism.
 
Kengor said a conservative group would not receive the same sort of a pass from the press and the left were it to be discovered its founders had Nazi or fascist ties during the same time period.


Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/04/the-aclu%e2%80%99s-untold-stalinist-heritage/
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 07:32:27 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #370 on: October 19, 2011, 11:06:01 PM »

We've done this before.  I was merely addressing what I was asked. 


But, he won an award from the ACLU, GM.  I was asked about this: "any examples of the ACLU or Senators," and found both. 

Hitler liked animals and was a vegitarian, doesn't make him not Hitler. If the ACLU is actually ever on the right side of something, it's either an accident or part of their pose to convince the uninformed into thinking that they actually are something else than a Stalinist group designed to damage America from within.
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« Reply #371 on: October 19, 2011, 11:10:42 PM »

We've done this before.  I was merely addressing what I was asked. 


But, he won an award from the ACLU, GM.  I was asked about this: "any examples of the ACLU or Senators," and found both. 

Hitler liked animals and was a vegitarian, doesn't make him not Hitler. If the ACLU is actually ever on the right side of something, it's either an accident or part of their pose to convince the uninformed into thinking that they actually are something else than a Stalinist group designed to damage America from within.

Understood. It's important to point out who the ACLU really is. Much like pointing out CAIR is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. The MSM won't do that for the public at large.
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« Reply #372 on: October 20, 2011, 07:33:17 AM »

Quite a bit of thread drift here! cheesy
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« Reply #373 on: October 20, 2011, 10:48:23 AM »


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexico-veracruz-killings-20111020,0,6947989.story
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #374 on: October 20, 2011, 10:50:38 PM »


Yep, you are right, except they are your criminals not ours. This is the biggest screwed up mess in the history of the United States since the Civil War, and if we don't get it under control soon the body count could rival it as well:
 
  MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Felipe Calderon accused the United States on Thursday of dumping criminals at the border because it is cheaper than prosecuting them, and said the practice has fueled violence in Mexico's border areas.
U.S. officials earlier this week reported a record number of deportations in fiscal year 2011, and said the number of deportees with criminal convictions had nearly doubled since 2008.
"There are many factors in the violence that is being experienced in some Mexican border cities, but one of those is that the American authorities have gotten into the habit of simply deporting 60 (thousand) or 70,000 migrants per year to cities like Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana," Calderon told an immigration conference.
Among these deportees "there are many who really are criminals, who have committed some crime and it is simply cheaper to leave them on the Mexican side of the border than to prosecute them, as they should do, to see whether they are guilty or not," Calderon said. "And obviously, they quickly link up with criminal networks on the border."
On Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said his agency deported nearly 400,000 individuals during the fiscal year that ended in September, the largest number of removals in the agency's history.
Morton announced the 2011 numbers in Washington, saying about 55 percent of those deported had felony or misdemeanor convictions. Officials said the number of those convicted of crimes was up 89 percent from 2008. The vast majority of migrants, and deportees, are from Mexico.
There are no records to substantiate whether U.S. authorities opt for deporting undocumented Mexican nationals who have committed crimes instead of prosecuting them in the U.S.
The U.S. embassy declined to comment on Calderon's speech.
When Mexicans without documents finish their prison terms in the United States, they're bused to the border and freed. Mexican officials in Tijuana have said some deportees turn to petty crime but couldn't say if they were feeding drug cartels.
The Associated Press in the past year has repeatedly asked the Mexican government to document the impact of leaving deportees with criminal records at the border. The AP filed a freedom of information request asking Mexico's Foreign Ministry how many times the U.S. had notified Mexico it was deporting a convicted criminal and how many people arrested for drug trafficking in Mexico had prior records in the U.S. The foreign ministry said it didn't have such numbers. The office of Calderon's former security spokesman Alejandro Poire did not respond to similar queries.
The United States and Mexico are experimenting with new methods of alerting Mexico about deportations, and U.S. officials say they warn Mexico when former inmates are considered particularly dangerous.
Mexicans with criminal records in the U.S. can't be detained in Mexico if they have not violated the law in their home country, and some Mexican border cities complain they don't have any easy way to run criminal background checks on deported inmates to see if they have pending charges.
One deported criminal, Martin Estrada Luna, is accused of becoming a leader of a cell of the Zetas drug cartel in the border state of Tamaulipas just 18 months after he was deported from the United States. Estrada, who had a long rap sheet of mostly theft and property crimes in Washington state, is now in custody in Mexico City, where he is accused for masterminding the killing of more than 250 people.
Calderon also lashed out at what he called "absurd" and "irrational" immigration laws in the United States.
"To the extent to which they continue to put absurd curbs on migration, to the degree to which they continue to persecute migrants in the United States in an irrational way that sometimes violates their human rights, in that measure American society will continue to lose competitiveness..." he said.
That was an apparent reference to tough immigration laws like the one implemented in Alabama in late September. While courts have blocked some provisions of the law, judges let stand provisions that allow police to check a person's immigration status during a traffic stop.
Under the measure, courts also can't enforce contracts involving illegal immigrants, such as leases, and it is a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state for basic things like getting a driver's license.
Calderon said immigration shouldn't be seen as a threat or invasion; he noted that net migration of Mexicans to the United States is approaching zero, as fewer people leave and more come back.
Rafael Fernandez de Castro, head of the International Relations studies at the Monterrey Technological Institute, told the conference that about 200,000 Mexicans per year are returning to their country, and that Mexican schools are facing a new problem: tens of thousands of Mexican children are coming back each year with little or no Spanish.
"In the last couple of school years in Mexico, literally tens of thousands of children have turned up with last names like Sanchez, Fernandez, or Hinojosa and, it must be said, they don't speak Spanish, they speak English," Fernandez de Castro said. "We have to ask California and Texas how they managed to integrate these Mexican children who went to the United States and didn't speak English."

                                            P.C.
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« Reply #375 on: October 21, 2011, 02:07:53 PM »


Among these deportees "there are many who really are criminals, who have committed some crime and it is simply cheaper to leave them on the Mexican side of the border than to prosecute them, as they should do, to see whether they are guilty or not," Calderon said. "And obviously, they quickly link up with criminal networks on the border."

P.C.

Calderon, if they are innocent as you suggest, they won't be linking up with criminals in Mexico, will they?


Calderon also lashed out at what he called "absurd" and "irrational" immigration laws in the United States.
"To the extent to which they continue to put absurd curbs on migration, to the degree to which they continue to persecute migrants in the United States in an irrational way that sometimes violates their human rights, in that measure American society will continue to lose competitiveness..."

  edited in quote end.

Calderon, would you care to cite the difference between Mexican law towards those in Mexico illegally and United States law (which is much less stringent than Mexican immigration law is), as well as explain Mexican hostility towards illegal aliens that are within Mexico?

I'll leave the fact that you are not American and have no right to speak whatsoever, in regard to the politics of the United States completely out of this. Please explain those two very simple things.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 02:10:03 PM by DF » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #376 on: October 24, 2011, 10:46:40 AM »

Regarding the alleged attempt by Iranian agents to enlist a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, there are two significant parts to the story. But only one of them is getting much attention.

That's the part about how Iranian officials apparently felt little compunction ordering up a terrorist attack on American soil. Some commentators have noted that the plot does little credit to the supposedly expert tradecraft of Iran's terrorist Qods Force, suggesting that unspecified rogue agents may have played a role. Others have argued that Tehran's readiness to conduct the attack suggests how little they think they have to fear from the Obama administration.

The real shocker, however, is how shocked the administration seems to be by the plot. "The idea that they would attempt to go to a Mexican drug cartel to solicit murder-for-hire to kill the Saudi ambassador, nobody could make that up, right?" marvelled Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Information about the plot was initially met within the government with a level of incredulity more appropriate for an invasion by, say, alien midgets.

Yet policy analysts, military officials and even a few columnists have been warning for years about Iran's infiltration of Latin America. The story begins with the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, an example of the way Tehran uses proxies such as Hezbollah to carry out its aims while giving it plausible deniability. Iran later got a boost when Hugo Chávez came to power in Venezuela and began seeding the top ranks of his government with Iranian sympathizers. In October 2006, a group called Hezbollah América Latina took responsibility for an attempted bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. Since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, Iran has increased the number of its embassies in Latin America to 11 from six.

Enlarge Image

CloseAFP/Getty Images
 
Buenos Aires in March 1992, shortly after the bombing of the Israeli embassy.
.All this has served a variety of purposes. Powerful evidence suggests that Iran has used Venezuelan banks, airliners and port facilities to circumvent international sanctions. Good relations between Tehran and various Latin American capitals—not just Caracas but also Managua, Quito, La Paz and Brasilia—increase Tehran's diplomatic leverage. Hezbollah's ties to Latin American drug traffickers serve as a major source of funding for its operations world-wide. Hezbollah has sought and found recruits among Latin America's estimated population of five million Muslims, as well as Hispanic converts to Islam.

And then there is the detail that Latin America is the soft underbelly of the United States.

In September 2010, the Tucson, Ariz., police department issued an internal memo noting that "concerns have arisen concerning Hezbollah's presence in Mexico and possible ties to Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO's) operating along the U.S.-Mexico border. The potential partnership bares alarming implications due to Hezbollah's long-established capabilities, specifically their expertise in the making of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED's)." The memo also noted the appearance of Hezbollah insignia as tattoos on U.S. prison inmates.

The concerns that the Tucson police had immediately in mind were twofold. First there was the arrest in New York of Jamal Yousef, a former Syrian military officer caught in a 2009 Drug Enforcement Agency sting trying to sell arms to Colombian terrorists in exchange for a ton of cocaine.

Then there was the July 2010 arrest by Mexican authorities of a Mexican citizen named Jameel Nasr. According to a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasah, Mr. Nasr was attempting to set up "a logistics infrastructure of Mexican citizens of Shiite Lebanese descent that will form a base in South America and the United States to carry out operations against Israeli and Western targets." The paper added that Mr. Nasr "traveled regularly to Lebanon to receive instructions and inform his employers of developments," but that Mexican officials had been tipped off by his "long visit to Venezuela in mid-2008 . . . during which he laid the foundations for building a network for Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard."

Might Mr. Nasr have been connected to the Washington plot? Probably not, since he was arrested before it was hatched, though it's probably worth asking him directly. The larger problem, as Roger Noriega of the American Enterprise Institute points out, is that until now the administration hasn't been especially curious. "They don't want to mud wrestle with Chávez and roil the waters in Latin America," he says. "The policy of reticence and passivity sends the message that we don't know or care what's going on."

It's time to wise up. Until now, the idea of terrorist infiltration along our southern border has been the stuff of Tom Clancy novels. Not anymore. And unless Tehran is made to understand that the consequences for such infiltration will be harder than an Obama wrist slap, we can expect more, and worse, to come.

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« Reply #377 on: October 25, 2011, 09:50:10 AM »

WASHINGTON — American law enforcement agencies have significantly built up networks of Mexican informants that have allowed them to secretly infiltrate some of that country’s most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations, according to security officials on both sides of the border.

As the United States has opened new law enforcement and intelligence outposts across Mexico in recent years, Washington’s networks of informants have grown there as well, current and former officials said. They have helped Mexican authorities capture or kill about two dozen high-ranking and midlevel drug traffickers, and sometimes have given American counternarcotics agents access to the top leaders of the cartels they are trying to dismantle.
Typically, the officials said, Mexico is kept in the dark about the United States’ contacts with its most secret informants — including Mexican law enforcement officers, elected officials and cartel operatives — partly because of concerns about corruption among the Mexican police, and partly because of laws prohibiting American security forces from operating on Mexican soil.
“The Mexicans sort of roll their eyes and say we know it’s happening, even though it’s not supposed to be happening,” said Eric L. Olson, an expert on Mexican security matters at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
“That’s what makes this so hard,” he said. “The United States is using tools in a country where officials are still uncomfortable with those tools.”
In recent years, Mexican attitudes about American involvement in matters of national security have softened, as waves of drug-related violence have left about 40,000 people dead. And the United States, hoping to shore up Mexico’s stability and prevent its violence from spilling across the border, has expanded its role in ways unthinkable five years ago, including flying drones in Mexican skies.
The efforts have been credited with breaking up several of Mexico’s largest cartels into smaller — and presumably less dangerous — crime groups. But the violence continues, as does the northward flow of illegal drugs.
While using informants remains a largely clandestine affair, several recent cases have shed light on the kinds of investigations they have helped crack, including a plot this month in which the United States accused an Iranian-American car salesman of trying to hire killers from a Mexican drug cartel, known as Los Zetas, to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
American officials said Drug Enforcement Administration informants with links to the cartels helped the authorities to track down several suspects linked to the February murder of a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Jaime J. Zapata, who is alleged to have been shot to death by members of Los Zetas in central Mexico.
The D.E.A.’s dealings with informants and drug traffickers — sometimes, officials acknowledged, they are one and the same — are at the center of proceedings in a federal courthouse in Chicago, where one of the highest-ranking leaders of the Sinaloa cartel is scheduled to go on trial next year.
And last month, a federal judge in El Paso sentenced a midlevel leader of the Sinaloa cartel to life in prison after he was found guilty on drug and conspiracy charges. He was accused of working as a kind of double agent, providing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency with information about the movements of a rival cartel in order to divert attention from his own trafficking activities.
As important as informants have been, complicated ethical issues tend to arise when law enforcement officers make deals with criminals. Few informants, law enforcement officials say, decide to start providing information to the government out of altruism; typically, they are caught committing a crime and want to mitigate their legal troubles, or are essentially taking bribes to inform on their colleagues.
Morris Panner, a former assistant United States attorney who is a senior adviser at the Center for International Criminal Justice at Harvard Law School, said some of the recent cases involving informants highlight those issues and demonstrate that the threats posed by Mexican narcotics networks go far beyond the drug trade.
“Mexican organized crime groups have morphed from drug trafficking organizations into something new and far more dangerous,” Mr. Panner said. “The Zetas now are active in extortion, human trafficking, money laundering, and increasingly, anything a violent criminal organization can do to make money, whether in Mexico, Guatemala or, it appears, the U.S.”
===================
Because of the clandestine nature of their communications with informants, and the potential for diplomatic flare-ups between the United States and Mexico, American officials were reluctant to provide any details about the scope of their confidential sources south of the border.
Over the past two years, officials said, D.E.A. agents in Houston managed to develop “several highly placed confidential sources with direct access” to important leaders of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. This paid informant network is a centerpiece of the Houston office’s efforts to infiltrate the “command and control” ranks of the two groups.
One of those paid informants was the man who authorities say was approached last spring by a man charged in Iran’s alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Law enforcement documents say the informant told his handlers that an Iranian-American, Mansour J. Arbabsiar, had reached out to him to ask whether Los Zetas would be willing to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States and elsewhere.
Authorities would provide only vague details about the informant and his connections to Los Zetas, saying that he had been charged in the United States with narcotics crimes and that those charges had been dropped because he had “previously provided reliable and independently corroborated information to federal law enforcement agents” that “led to numerous seizures of narcotics.”
The Justice Department has been more forthcoming about the D.E.A.’s work with informants in a case against Jesús Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as Vicentillo. Officials describe Mr. Zambada-Niebla as a logistics coordinator for the Sinaloa cartel, considered one of the world’s most important drug trafficking groups. His lawyers have argued that he was an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, which offered him immunity in exchange for his cooperation.
The D.E.A. has denied that allegation, and the Justice Department took the rare step of disclosing the agency’s contacts with him in court documents. The intermediary was Humberto Loya-Castro, who was both a confidant to the cartel’s kingpin, Joaquín Guzmán, known as El Chapo, and an informant to the D.E.A.
The documents do not say when the relationship between the agency and Mr. Loya-Castro began, but they indicate that because of his cooperation, the D.E.A. dismissed a 13-year-old conspiracy charge against him in 2008.
In 2009, the documents said, Mr. Loya-Castro arranged a meeting between two D.E.A. agents and Mr. Zambada-Niebla, who was floating an offer to negotiate some kind of cooperation agreement. But on the day of the meeting, the agents’ supervisors canceled it, expressing “concern about American agents meeting with a high-level cartel member like Zambada-Niebla.”
Mr. Zambada-Niebla and Mr. Loya-Castro showed up at the agents’ hotel anyway. The D.E.A. agents sent Mr. Zambada-Niebla away without making any promises, the documents said. A few hours later, Mr. Zambada-Niebla was captured by the Mexican police, and was extradited to the United States in February 2010.
Vanda Felbab-Brown, an expert on organized crime at the Brookings Institution, said that while some had criticized the D.E.A. for entertaining “deals with the devil,” she saw the Zambada case as an important intelligence coup. Even in an age of high-tech surveillance, she said, there is no substitute for human sources’ feeding authorities everything from what targeted traffickers like to eat to where they sleep most nights.
A former senior counter narcotics official echoed that thought.
“A D.E.A. agent’s job, first and foremost, is to get inside the body of those criminal organizations he or she is investigating,” the former official said, asking not to be identified because he occasionally does consulting work in Mexico. “Nothing provides that microscopic view more than a host that opens the door.”
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« Reply #378 on: October 26, 2011, 04:41:15 PM »


An IED Attack in Monterrey

On Oct. 20, as a Mexican military patrol chased a vehicle carrying suspected cartel gunmen through the streets of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, an unidentified party remotely detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) placed in a parked car moments before the patrol passed by it. There were no reported deaths or injuries from the blast, but all of the gunmen in the vehicle escaped. Though this is the first IED attack Monterrey has witnessed,  there have been other such attacks in Mexico within the past year or so. In July 2010, La Linea, the enforcement arm of the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes cartel, set off an IED in a car in Ciudad Juarez, killing four people; between August and December 2010, the Gulf cartel deployed as many as six IEDs throughout Tamaulipas state; and in January 2011, a small IED detonated in Tula, Hidalgo state, injuring four people.

In the aftermath of such attacks, it is tempting for observers and the mainstream media to assume cartel violence in Mexico has reached an unprecedented level of escalation, and that an increased use of IEDs is all but certain. However, the Oct. 20 ambush, sophisticated though it was, actually showed some degree of restraint on the part of the planners, as did the IED attacks of the past year elsewhere in Mexico. Given the psychological impact and tactical effectiveness of IED use in a combat environment — and cartel personnel armed with the knowledge to construct sophisticated explosive devices — perhaps more astonishing than the occurrence of IED attacks is the fact that cartels do not conduct them with more regularity or on a greater magnitude than they have. That the cartels choose not to do so illustrates a calculated strategy aimed at staving off further American involvement and limiting negative domestic public opinion against them.


courtesy of El Universal
A Mexican soldier stands near the site of the Oct. 20 Monterrey blastMilitary grade explosives are very easy to acquire on the black market in Mexico. More readily available and cheaper than guns, they are routinely confiscated by security forces. In fact, the army has made notable seizures as recently as the past week. On Oct. 18, the Mexican army seized around 20 kilograms (about 45 pounds) of C4 in or around Mexico City, capable of producing an explosion 10 times larger than that of the Monterrey blast. Later on Oct. 20, the army seized 45 blocks of C4, detonators, weapons and cell phones in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state.

The prevalence of individuals practiced at constructing explosive devices adds to the issue. Many cartels employ ex-military personnel as enforcers. Los Zetas, for example, were founded by defectors from the Mexican army’s Special Forces Airmobile Group and originally served as the enforcement arm of the Gulf cartel before embarking on their own narcotics trafficking operations. These individuals learned the intricacies of demolitions as part of their military training, and they are now in a position to deploy — or train others to deploy — IEDs across the country.

However, former members of the military are not the only ones in Mexico who know how to make bombs. The country’s mining sector has given many people an expertise in the use of explosives and has contributed to cartel inventories. Industrial hydrogel explosives have been used in some IEDs, notably in an attempt made in Juarez in August 2010. They also have been seized in cartel munitions caches in large enough quantities to bring down buildings.

Despite the availability of explosives and the prevalence of people who know how to manipulate those explosives, large IEDs have yet to be deployed in Mexico. This dynamic has been very different from what we have seen in places like Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s. The reason for this is simple. The leaders of Mexico’s various cartels conduct business based on the principle that if they can stand to benefit from something — an assassination, extortion or even a licit activity — they will do it; if not, it will be avoided. The use of large IEDs would create substantial domestic pressure and compel the Mexican government to come down hard on the cartels — much harder than Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s administration has demonstrated to date.

More important, cartels cannot afford direct and heavy-handed interdiction from the U.S. government aimed at their total dismantlement. The use of large, powerful IEDs would lead the Mexican government to designate the cartels as terrorist organizations. Such a designation would allow U.S. law enforcement easier access to their finances and operation, something the cartels want to avoid at every cost. It could also lead to dramatically increased U.S. involvement in the fight against the Mexican criminal cartels.

Mexico’s drug cartels must weigh the tactical benefits of using IEDs with the strategic need to keep the U.S. government off their backs. Intermittent IED attacks can be expected in the future, but those attacks will continue to utilize small amounts of explosives to mitigate the risk of U.S. involvement — or political crisis in Mexico. This dynamic could possibly change should one of the criminal cartels become desperate and believe they have nothing to lose, but as we saw in the case of La Linea in Juarez, the group did not follow through on their threat to employ a 100-kilogram vehicle-borne IED even when heavily pressed.



(click here to view interactive map)

Oct. 19

The Mexican military seized a drug lab in Zapopan, Jalisco state. Approximately 27 metric tons of chemical precursors were discovered.
Mexican authorities seized a heroin and cocaine processing lab in Xochitepec, Morelos state. Two individuals were detained in the operation.

Oct. 20

An improvised explosive device in a vehicle exploded Oct. 20 as a Mexican military convoy passed by it in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, while pursuing gunmen. All the gunmen escaped.
A police radio operator was killed by gunmen in a security hut in Veracruz city, Veracruz state. The operator was involved in an ongoing operation in Los Volcanes neighborhood. Police pursued the gunmen afterwards, killing one gunman and injuring another.
The Mexican military detained five alleged Los Zetas members in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state. Among the five was Rodrigo Herrera Valverde, a nephew of the former Veracruz state governor, Fidel Herrera Beltran.

Oct. 21

A confrontation in Tancitaro, Michoacan state, between gunmen and the Mexican military left one soldier and three gunmen dead.
Three individuals were executed in Apatzingan, Michoacan state. Their bodies were left with a narcomanta signed by the Knights Templar stating that the individuals died because of their behavior.

Oct. 22

Police seized 42 kilograms of cocaine from a tractor-trailer near Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state.
Police arrested four suspected La Barredora members in Acapulco, Guerrero state.

Oct. 23

A convoy of gunmen executed three individuals in Villa Ocampo, Durango state. The same convoy was reported driving through Las Nieves, Durango state, prior to the executions.
Soria “El Hongo” Adrian Ramirez, leader of Cartel del Centro, was arrested in Ojo de Agua, Mexico state. Cartel del Centro is reportedly in territory disputes with the Knights Templar, La Familia Michoacan and La Mano Con Ojos.
A confrontation between Mexican authorities and gunmen in Doctor Gonzalez, Nuevo Leon state resulted in the death of a Los Zetas plaza boss and the capture of three Los Zetas members. The plaza boss, Gabriel “El Cochiloco” Hernandez Hernandez, was responsible for the municipalities of La Laja and El Oregan in Nuevo Leon state.


Read more: Mexico Security Memo: Restrained IED Attacks a Necessary Tactic For Drug Cartels | STRATFOR
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #379 on: October 26, 2011, 04:46:59 PM »

Woof,
 Hezbollah are good at training others how to make IED's, but just go back to sleep America, it's all good.
                            P.C.
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« Reply #380 on: October 26, 2011, 08:12:10 PM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/25/border-agent-jaile-arrest-teen-drug-smuggler/

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to two years in prison for improperly lifting the arms of a 15-year-old drug smuggling suspect while handcuffed — in what the Justice Department called a deprivation of the teenager’s constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force.

Agent Jesus E. Diaz Jr. was named in a November 2009 federal grand jury indictment with deprivation of rights under color of law during an October 2008 arrest near the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, in response to a report that illegal immigrants had crossed the river with bundles of drugs.

In a prosecution sought by the Mexican government and obtained after the suspected smuggler was given immunity to testify against the agent, Diaz was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludlum in San Antonio. The Mexican consulate in Eagle Pass had filed a formal written complaint just hours after the arrest, alleging that the teenager had been beaten.

Defense attorneys argued that there were no injuries or bruises on the suspected smuggler’s lower arms where the handcuffs had been placed nor any bruising resulting from an alleged knee on his back. Photos showed the only marks on his body came from the straps of the pack he carried containing the suspected drugs, they said.

Border Patrol agents found more than 150 pounds of marijuana at the arrest site.


The defense claimed that the smuggling suspect was handcuffed because he was uncooperative and resisted arrest, and that the agent had lifted his arms to force him to the ground — a near-universal police technique — while the other agents looked for the drugs.

The allegations against Diaz, 31, a seven-year veteran of the Border Patrol, initially were investigated by Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Professional Responsibility, which cleared the agent of any wrongdoing.

But the Internal Affairs Division at U.S. Customs and Border Protection ruled differently nearly a year later and, ultimately, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas brought charges.

The Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council said the government’s case was “based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts.”

In a statement, the council said that because the arrest took place at about 2 a.m., darkness would have made it impossible for the government’s witnesses to have seen whether any mistreatment took place. It said Marcos Ramos, the Border Patrol agent who stood next to Diaz, testified that he did not see any mistreatment of the smuggling suspect.

The council said other witnesses made contradictory claims and some later admitted to having perjured themselves. Such admissions, the council said, were ignored by the court and the government. It also said that probationary agents who claimed to have witnessed the assault raised no objections during the incident and failed to notify an on-duty supervisor until hours later.

“Instead, they went off-duty to a local ‘Whataburger’ restaurant, got their stories straight and reported it hours later to an off-duty supervisor at his home,” the council said. “Then the ‘witnesses’ went back to the station and reported their allegations.”

The council also noted that the teenager claimed no injuries in court other than sore shoulders, which the council attributed
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #381 on: October 27, 2011, 03:31:47 PM »

Vice President of Tactical Intelligence Scott Stewart discusses the arrest of Rafael Cardenas Vela and what it means for the Gulf Cartel and for security in Mexico’s northeast.
Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
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•   Mexican Drug War Update: The Polarization Continues
On Oct. 26, U.S. authorities announced they had arrested Rafael Cardenas Vela in a traffic stop in Port Isabella, Texas on Oct. 20. The arrest of Cardenas, who is also known as “El Junior,” is significant because he was one of the leaders of two factions that are currently fighting for control of the Gulf Cartel. The struggle among these differing Gulf Cartel factions could have a significant impact on the security situation in Mexico’s northeast.
Rafael Cardenas Vela is the nephew of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, former leader of the Gulf Cartel. Osiel Cardenas Guillen was convicted in a U.S. court in 2010 and sentenced to serve 25 years, which he is currently serving in the Supermax prison in Florence, Colo. Following the arrest of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, control of the Gulf Cartel was handed to his brother, Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, also know as “Tony Tormenta,” as well as Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, who is know as “El Coss.”
That arrangement seemed to work fairly well for several years, but it broke apart following the death of Tony Tormenta in November 2010. This led to a rift in the Gulf Cartel between a faction of those members of the cartel who are loyal to the Cardenas family and a section of the cartel that is loyal to El Coss. In recent months, we’ve been watching as that friction and tension have increased and it appears currently that it’s on the verge of breaking into an all-out war.
In early September, we saw one of El Coss’s major lieutenants, Samuel “El Metro 3” Flores Borego, get assassinated in northern Mexico. And this was one of the signs that tensions were increasing between the two factions. We believe that it’s very likely that the arrest of El Junior is connected to this inter-factional fighting between the Gulf Cartel, and it’s quite possible that the information that led to his arrest was leaked to U.S. authorities by El Coss, his primary rival for control of the Gulf Cartel.
The fact that Cardenas was in U.S. custody for several days before his arrest was announced is very interesting. It indicates to us that he was likely cooperating with U.S. authorities. So we’re going to be watching this Gulf Cartel infighting very carefully for signs that it’s going to weaken these various cartel factions enough that other organizations can move into their areas of operation. In this case of the Gulf Cartel, we have both Los Zetas, who used to be the enforcer group of the Gulf Cartel before splitting from them in January 2010 and are now bitter rivals with the Gulf Cartel, and of course their allies, the Sinaloa Cartel.
Over time, the Sinaloa Cartel has shown that it is very aggressive at moving into and taking territory from its former allies like we saw in Tijuana and in Juarez. So it would not be surprising for them to try to make a move in the northeast to take control of Matamoros. And it’s going to be important to watch the area around Matamoros to see if the areas that are controlled currently by the Gulf Cartel fall to one of these other very powerful cartel organizations.
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G M
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« Reply #382 on: October 28, 2011, 05:01:42 PM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/25/border-agent-jaile-arrest-teen-drug-smuggler/

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to two years in prison for improperly lifting the arms of a 15-year-old drug smuggling suspect while handcuffed — in what the Justice Department called a deprivation of the teenager’s constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force.

Agent Jesus E. Diaz Jr. was named in a November 2009 federal grand jury indictment with deprivation of rights under color of law during an October 2008 arrest near the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, in response to a report that illegal immigrants had crossed the river with bundles of drugs.

In a prosecution sought by the Mexican government and obtained after the suspected smuggler was given immunity to testify against the agent, Diaz was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludlum in San Antonio. The Mexican consulate in Eagle Pass had filed a formal written complaint just hours after the arrest, alleging that the teenager had been beaten.

Defense attorneys argued that there were no injuries or bruises on the suspected smuggler’s lower arms where the handcuffs had been placed nor any bruising resulting from an alleged knee on his back. Photos showed the only marks on his body came from the straps of the pack he carried containing the suspected drugs, they said.

Border Patrol agents found more than 150 pounds of marijuana at the arrest site.


The defense claimed that the smuggling suspect was handcuffed because he was uncooperative and resisted arrest, and that the agent had lifted his arms to force him to the ground — a near-universal police technique — while the other agents looked for the drugs.

The allegations against Diaz, 31, a seven-year veteran of the Border Patrol, initially were investigated by Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Professional Responsibility, which cleared the agent of any wrongdoing.

But the Internal Affairs Division at U.S. Customs and Border Protection ruled differently nearly a year later and, ultimately, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas brought charges.

The Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council said the government’s case was “based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts.”

In a statement, the council said that because the arrest took place at about 2 a.m., darkness would have made it impossible for the government’s witnesses to have seen whether any mistreatment took place. It said Marcos Ramos, the Border Patrol agent who stood next to Diaz, testified that he did not see any mistreatment of the smuggling suspect.

The council said other witnesses made contradictory claims and some later admitted to having perjured themselves. Such admissions, the council said, were ignored by the court and the government. It also said that probationary agents who claimed to have witnessed the assault raised no objections during the incident and failed to notify an on-duty supervisor until hours later.

“Instead, they went off-duty to a local ‘Whataburger’ restaurant, got their stories straight and reported it hours later to an off-duty supervisor at his home,” the council said. “Then the ‘witnesses’ went back to the station and reported their allegations.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #383 on: October 31, 2011, 11:42:05 AM »



Summary
The online activist collective Anonymous released a video Oct. 6 in which a masked spokesman denounces Mexico’s criminal cartels, demands that a member of Anonymous kidnapped by Los Zetas be released and threatens to release information about individuals cooperating with Mexico’s cartels. If Anonymous carries out its threat, it will almost certainly lead to the deaths of individuals named as cartel associates, whether or not the information released is accurate. Furthermore, as Mexican cartels have targeted online journalists and bloggers in the past, hackers could well be targeted for reprisal attacks.

Analysis
Anonymous, an online collective of activists including hackers, lashed out at Mexican cartels in a video released online Oct. 6. In the video, a masked individual claiming to speak on behalf of Anonymous denounces Mexico’s cartels and demands that Los Zetas release a member of Anonymous kidnapped during a street-level protest named Operation Paperstorm in Veracruz state. The spokesman also threatens to release revealing information about journalists, police, politicians and taxi drivers colluding with the cartels.

Simply disseminating information on cartel members will not significantly impede overall cartel operations, but if Anonymous carries out its threat, it will affect cartel associates and others the that cartels could target for retaliatory attacks.

Anonymous is not an organized, monolithic group; rather, it is a collection of activists whose organizers work under the name Anonymous. Hackers have conducted several online activities using the name Anonymous, as they have had to develop code for conducting cyberattacks. The collective of hackers takes on several different causes and carries out attacks involving participation by experienced hackers and unskilled members alike. Not everyone involved in Anonymous participates in every action, and some actions are more popular than others.

The Anonymous spokesman in the video does not specify how many individuals support the threat against the cartels or how the group acquired the information it threatens to release. It would not take a group of hackers to obtain the kind of information the spokesman claims Anonymous could release; much of this kind of information could be acquired via rumors circulating through Mexico. In fact, the Anonymous spokesman does not mention anything about using hacking activities to acquire confidential information about the cartels.

However, there are many examples of hackers acting under the name Anonymous acquiring personal and sensitive information about their targets. Recently, hackers shut down child pornography website Lolita City and reportedly posted more than 1,500 usernames and activities of the website’s users. On Oct. 21, Anonymous hackers stole sensitive information — including Social Security numbers — from a series of police-affiliated targets including the International Association of Chiefs of Police website and the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association email portal and revealed more than 1,000 usernames and passwords of Boston police officers. Although cartels’ activities are focused on the streets of the cities they control, even cartels use the Internet for communication and some business transactions. Any cartel activities occurring online could be potential vulnerabilities if individuals involved in the new Anonymous threat can identify them; though the threat from Anonymous does not necessarily mean that hackers are now targeting cartels, given the history of activities carried out in Anonymous’ name, it is certainly possible.

If Anonymous carries out its threat, members would use online media outlets to publish revealing information about the cartels and their associates. Anonymous members frequently focus on these media, which allow them to post revealing information while concealing their own identities. Any information released to the public would not pose a direct threat in itself; it would be up to others to determine the information’s validity and whether to take action. For example, if Anonymous claims that a politician is colluding with criminal cartels, the politician could be threatened by whatever actions the Mexican government decides to take or by members of rival cartels.

Loss of life will be a certain consequence if Anonymous releases the identities of individuals cooperating with cartels. Whether voluntarily or not, cooperating with criminal cartels in Mexico comes with the danger of retribution from rival cartels. Taxi drivers, typically victims of extortion or otherwise forced to act as lookouts or scouts, are particularly vulnerable. In areas such as Acapulco, Guerrero state, reports of murdered taxi drivers occur weekly. The validity of the information Anonymous has threatened to reveal is uncertain, as it might not have been vetted. This could pose an indiscriminate danger to individuals mentioned in whatever Anonymous decides to release.

The online media frequently used to organize Anonymous-labeled activities are far removed from the violent world of Mexican criminal cartels. This distance — along with the likely physical distance of many Anonymous members from Mexico — could limit the activists’ understanding of cartel activities. Anonymous activists may act with confidence stemming from perceived anonymity when sitting in front of a computer, but this could blind them to any possible retribution.  Cartels have targeted bloggers and online journalists in previous attacks, and even hackers in Mexico are not beyond the cartels’ reach. Cartels reportedly have turned to the information technology community in the past, coercing computer science majors in Mexico into working for them. Any Anonymous activists inside Mexico who are targeting or perceived as targeting the Mexican cartels will be just as vulnerable as online journalists and bloggers as the cartels seek to make them examples of what happens when someone exposes or publicizes damaging information about cartel activity.

Anonymous activists can threaten to reveal information about cartels or launch cyberattacks. But even if the cartels cannot track down the individuals directing cyberattacks or releasing information, the cartels will continue to commit acts of violence meant to warn the online community about such activities.

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bigdog
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« Reply #384 on: November 02, 2011, 06:29:20 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/world/americas/hackers-challenge-mexican-crime-syndicate.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=hackers%20kidnapping%20mexico&st=cse
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G M
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« Reply #385 on: November 02, 2011, 01:23:33 PM »


I'm not sure who to root for here. "Anonymous" better hope they live up to that name, or they won't live long.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #386 on: November 16, 2011, 01:19:01 PM »

I was in Mexico this past weekend.  While this piece is sound, Stratfor is not yet up to speed on various variables.  No time for a thorough post-- sorry.  As a teaser I will add that the post of Secretaria de Gobernacion (roughly Sec'y of Internal Affairs) is THE second most powerful post in a country where the Executive is THE dominant player and that usually the post leads to becoming the next president.  In the past 5 years this post has had 4 occupants, two of whom have died in air crashes.  Oddly the aircraft that fly officials about have no black boxes and the helo in question had no instruments for zero visibility conditions-- yet the route in question (between Cueravaca and the DF) takes one through the near 10,000 foot mountains FREQUENTLY has fog/low clouds etc.  On the flight in question, route was changed precisely in order to go through less of a cloud/fog bank.  Also interesting is that the locals at the site of the crash (common people in an area of contested land ownership) did NOT hear the sound of a helicopter-- i.e. was the motor not functioning at the moment of impact?

Question:  So why was Blake planning on returning to Baja California as Governor?  When he left BC, he was rumored to be involved with the narcos there and oddly enough upon his departure the anticipated turf wars did not develop; instead reasonable understandings were reached.
=======================================

Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton uses the recent helicopter crash involving Mexican officials to discuss the best practices that should be used to investigate air disasters.
Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
Related Links
•    Above the Tearline: Reconstructing Air France Flight 447 Wreckage
In light of the helicopter crash that killed Mexican Interior Minister Mora, we thought it would be a good time to revisit how air crashes should be investigated. Having done quite a few investigations of air disasters, it is important for the lead investigator to focus on four primary areas.
The first is mechanical and electrical. Number two is weather. Three, pilot error. Four, man-made or foul play (for example, sabotage or terrorism).
With the helicopter going down in Mexico carrying the Mexican Interior Minister, it is easy to jump to conclusions and suspect foul play. There have also been two previous ministers’ deaths in aviation disasters, adding to the conspiracy hype. However, the investigator needs to keep an open mind and proceed methodically through the investigation.
Behind the scenes, the team should be looking for a range of different factors to include: 1) evidence of prior threats against any of the passengers; 2) intelligence from sources to indicate foul play; 3) the overall mechanical condition of the aircraft, with an eye towards the engines and the hydraulics; 4) the number of flight hours; 5) geography and route of travel; 6) maintenance records; 7) fuel tests; Cool pilot suitability; 9) security of the aircraft before the crash; 10) radio transmissions between the aircraft and tower; 11) phone or message text records of passengers during the flight; 12) eyewitness accounts; 13) weather conditions such as fog or hail and 14) GPS tracking data.
A critical factor in any air crash is autopsies of the victims, to check for smoke inhalation in the lungs to rule in or out onboard fires or explosions and gunshot wounds to the pilots.
What is Above the Tearline about this video?
It has been my experience that the facts will speak for themselves, if the investigators are allowed access to all of the data and the crime scene. Internal politics may come into play in this case due to the politics of the Mexican military aircraft carrying the Interior Minister, complicated by the fact that due to rampant corruption, trust in the Mexican government by the public is in short supply.
We have seen source reports indicating fuel contamination as a possible cause of the crash. The helo (helicopter) was also allegedly scheduled to transport President Calderon later in the day. If true, these facts could point towards a man-made cause.
However, we have also seen a report that poor maintenance has plagued Mexican aircraft this year by at least one credible law enforcement source.
Regardless, the investigators should be able to get to the bottom of the crash if allowed to do their jobs. It is a positive step that the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has been called upon to assist. They will have more credibility, so their participation will be important.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 02:00:43 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #387 on: November 23, 2011, 11:03:56 AM »


Pasting this here from the Gun thread. 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/22/armed-illegals-stalked-border-patrol/?page=all#pagebreak

Armed illegals stalked Border Patrol

Mexicans were ‘patrolling’ when agent was slain, indictment says


 By Jerry Seper

-

The Washington Times

 Tuesday, November 22, 2011



SLAIN: Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry called out, “I’m hit,” after a bullet pierced his aorta. He died at the scene. (Associated Press)


 
Five illegal immigrants armed with at least two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole known as Mesquite Seep just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and one U.S. agent was killed, records show.

A now-sealed federal grand jury indictmentin the death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terrysays the Mexican nationals were “patrolling” the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon at about 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 14 with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.

At least two of the Mexicans carried their assault rifles “at the ready position,” one of several details about the attack showing that Mexican smugglers are becoming more aggressive on the U.S. side of the border.

According to the indictment, the Mexicans were “patrolling the area in single-file formation” a dozen miles northwest of the border town of Nogales and — in the darkness of the Arizona night — opened fire on four Border Patrol agents after the agents identified themselves in Spanish as police officers.

Two AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene came from the failed Fast and Furious operation.

Using thermal binoculars, one of the agents determined that at least two of the Mexicans were carrying rifles, but according to an affidavit in the case by FBI agent Scott Hunter, when the Mexicans did not drop their weapons as ordered, two agents used their shotguns to fire “less than lethal” beanbags at them.

At least one of the Mexicans opened fire and, according to the affidavit, Terry, a 40-year-old former U.S. Marine, was shot in the back. A Border Patrol shooting-incident report said that Terry called out, “I’m hit,” and then fell to the ground, a bullet having pierced his aorta. “I can’t feel my legs,” Terry told one of the agents who cradled him. “I think I’m paralyzed.”

Bleeding profusely, he died at the scene.

After the initial shots, two agents returned fire, hitting Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, 33, in the abdomen and leg. The others fled. The FBI affidavit said Osorio-Arellanes admitted during an interview that all five of the Mexicans were armed.

Peck Canyon is a notorious drug-smuggling corridor.

Osorio-Arellanes initially was charged with illegal entry, but that case was dismissed when the indictment was handed up. It named Osorio-Arellanes on a charge of second-degree murder, but did not identify him as the likely shooter, saying only that Osorio-Arellanes and others whose names were blacked out “did unlawfully kill with malice aforethought United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry while Agent Terry was engaged in … his official duties.”

The indictment also noted that Osorio-Arellanes had been convicted in Phoenix in 2006 of felony aggravated assault, had been detained twice in 2010 as an illegal immigrant, and had been returned to Mexico repeatedly.

Bill Brooks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s acting southwest border field branch chief, referred inquiries to the FBI, which is conducting the investigation. The FBI declined to comment.

The case against Osorio-Arellanes and others involved in the shooting has since been sealed, meaning that neither the public nor the media has access to any evidence, filings, rulings or arguments.

The U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego, which is prosecuting the case, would confirm only that it was sealed. Also sealed was the judge’s reason for sealing the case.

The indictment lists the names of other suspects in the shooting, but they are redacted.

In the Terry killing, two Romanian-built AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene were identified as having been purchased in a Glendale, Ariz., gun shop as part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) failed Fast and Furious investigation.

A number of rank-and-file Border Patrol agents have questioned why the case has not gone to trial, nearly a year after Terry’s killing. Several also have concerns about the lack of transparency in the investigation, compounded now by the fact that the court case has been sealed.

Shawn P. Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 17,000 nonsupervisory agents, said it is rare for illegal immigrants or drug smugglers to engage agents in the desert, saying they usually “drop their loads and take off south.”

“The Brian Terry murder was a real wake-up call,” Mr. Moran said. “It emphasizes the failed state of security on the U.S. border, which poses more of a threat to us than either Iraq or Afghanistan. We have terrorism going on right on the other side of the fence, and we’re arming the drug cartels.

“My biggest fear is that someday a cartel member is going to go berserk, stick a rifle through the fence and kill as many Border Patrol agents as he can,” he said.

Mr. Moran said he understood the “rationale of working things up the food chain,” as suggested in the Fast and Furious probe, but had no idea how ATF planned to arrest cartel members who ultimately purchased the weapons since the agency lacks jurisdiction south of the border and never advised Mexican authorities about the operation.

“It was a ridiculous idea from the beginning, and it baffles us on how it was ever approved,” he said.

Mr. Moran also challenged the use of less-than-lethal s in the shooting incident, saying field agents have been “strong-armed” by the agency’s leadership to use nonlethal weapons. He said they were not appropriate for the incident in which Terry was killed.

“That was no place for beanbag rounds,” he said, noting that the encounter was at least 12 miles inside the U.S. and was carried out by armed men looking specifically to target Border Patrol agents.

CBP has said Terry and the agents with him carried fully loaded sidearms, along with two additional magazines, and were not under orders to use nonlethal ammunition first.

Mr. Moran, himself a veteran Border Patrol agent, said he also was “surprised” that the suspected Mexican gunmen were carrying their weapons at the ready position, meaning that the butts of the weapons were placed firmly in the pocket of the shoulder with the barrels pointed down at a 45-degree angle. He said this probably meant they had some level of military training.

More than 250 incursions by Mexican military personnel into the United States have been documented over the past several years.

The Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona that many of the intruders were “trained to escape, evade and counter-ambush” if detected. The agency cautioned agents to keep “a low profile,” to use “cover and concealment” in approaching the Mexican units, to employ “shadows and camouflage” to conceal themselves and to “stay as quiet as possible.”

Several of the incursions occurred in the same area where Terry was killed, including a 2005 incident in which two agents were shot and wounded by assailants dressed in black commando-type clothing in what law-enforcement authorities said was a planned ambush. More than 50 rounds were fired at the agents after they spotted the suspected gunmen.

Many of the Mexican drug cartels use former Mexican soldiers, police and federal agents to protect drug loads headed into the U.S. Many cartel leaders also have targeted U.S. Border Patrol agents and state and local police, sometimes offering bounties of up to $50,000.

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prentice crawford
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« Reply #388 on: November 25, 2011, 10:53:21 PM »

Nightly News on 
 
Along Mexican border, US ranchers say they live in fear
Despite government assurances that they're safe, they say the level of violence is rising
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By Mark Potter
Correspondent
NBC News
updated 2 hours 48 minutes ago
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FALFURRIAS, Texas — While walking along a dirt road bordering his property, a South Texas farmer complained about living in fear of Mexican traffickers smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants across his land. He would later ask his visitor not to reveal his identity, for his safety and that of his family.
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"I'm a citizen of the United States. This is supposedly sovereign soil, but right now it's anybody's who happens to be crossing here," he said. "I'm a little nervous being here right now. Definitely don’t come down here after dark."
The farmer said a federal law enforcement agent told him to buy a bulletproof vest to use while working in his fields. Whenever he goes out to survey his agricultural operations, he always tells his office where he is headed, and he has purchased a high-powered rifle.
"One of the basic points of the federal government is to protect the people of this nation to secure the border, and they're not doing that," he complained.
Story: Cartels using Ariz. mountaintops to spy on cops
The Obama administration and many local officials have said the U.S.-Mexican border is safer than ever and that reports of violence on the American side are wildly exaggerated. But the farmer scoffed at that argument. "I walk this soil every day and have since I was old enough to come out on my own," he said. "In this part of Texas, it is worse than it's ever been."
Moving families to safer ground
A report recently released by the Texas commissioner of agriculture said cross-border violence was escalating. "Fear and anxiety levels among Texas farmers and ranchers have grown enormously during the past two years," the report said, adding that some “have even abandoned their livelihoods to move their families to safer ground."
Retired U.S. Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who served as the U.S. drug czar during the Clinton administration and as an NBC News military analyst, is a co-author of the report. During a recent interview, McCaffrey said that while major cities along the Texas border are "pretty safe," the rural areas between towns are "largely unprotected, and across those areas the (Mexican) cartels are conducting massive movements of illegal drugs and other criminal activity."
Story: Mexican cartels corrupting more US border officials?
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Law enforcement agents say they are seeing more aggressive efforts by Mexican traffickers operating in the Rio Grande Valley. In South Texas alone, the traffickers smuggle hundreds of tons of drugs a year into the United States by floating them on rafts across the Rio Grande, then transporting them by car, truck or on foot — often across private land — into the United States.
 Video: 'Like living in a war zone' (on this page)
The smuggling “clearly has intimidated U.S. citizen who don't believe they're safe on their own land in their own country," McCaffrey said.
Several Texas congressmen and sheriffs have condemned the report, saying its conclusions are overstated and politically driven. But McCaffrey claims the officials not facing facts.
"I think there is an element of denial," McCaffrey said. "Inside the beltway the senior law enforcement, I think, have fallen in line and said, no, that's right, the U.S. border is the safest place in America, which is errant nonsense."

Mark Potter  /  NBC News
Mike Vickers, a veterinarian and rancher, leads a group of Texas landowners concerned about Mexican drug and immigrant smugglers crossing their private property.
Ranchers protecting themselves
Veterinarian and rancher Mike Vickers heads the Texas Border Volunteers, a group of about 300 landowners and supporters who work closely with law enforcement officials to track drug and immigrant smugglers entering the U.S. from Mexico and crossing private land. His primary concern, he said, is the safety of farmers and ranchers who have been confronted by armed traffickers.
"A lot of them have been threatened not to call the Border Patrol or law enforcement if they see smuggling going on their property, otherwise they'll be killed or their family members may be killed," he said.
 Video: 'It's compromised our lives' (on this page)
During a tour of his land and that of a neighbor, Vickers pointed out numerous hiking trails worn by smugglers and illegal immigrants from around the world. He also showed where many parts of the wire fence had been cut and pulled back. "This is not done by wildlife," he said. "This is done by smugglers and more than likely drug smugglers that have heavy backpacks full of drugs so they can drag the backpack underneath and not have to throw it over the fence."
In order to prove their claims that thousands of smugglers and illegal immigrants are crossing private American land, the Texas Border Volunteers have erected hidden cameras and share the images with state and federal agents. Describing one of the pictures, Vickers said, "This individual's got at least 80, maybe 100 pounds on his back. This is probably marijuana with a canvas covering." Another black and white photograph showed a man hoisting a smaller load. "You know he's carrying at least 40 pounds of drugs in that backpack. We suspect cocaine."
 Video: Drug flow from Mexico on the rise
Vickers said that since 2004, about 500 people, mostly illegal immigrants, have perished while on smuggling trips through private property in Brooks County, Texas, alone, where his ranch is located.
A war zone?
Todd Staples, the Texas agriculture commissioner and a candidate for lieutenant governor, argued that many leaders in Washington, D.C., continue to ignore the violence along the border. In a recent article he wrote, "A Webb County rancher checking his cattle is shot at and barely escapes with his life; the suspects are linked to drug cartels. Workers in a Hidalgo County sugarcane field are told by cartel members to stop harvesting the crop 'or else," because the sugarcane provides coverage for cartel coyotes smuggling drugs."

Mark Potter  /  NBC News
This fence on private land apparently was trampled by smugglers trying to get around a Border Patrol checkpoint in South Texas.
Vickers said he knows ranchers who have moved their families into nearby cities for their protection and have taken other safety measures. "Everyone is packing a weapon and carrying a cell phone with them. and they're crazy if they don't," he said. "This is happening on American soil; this is a war zone here, there's no question about it."
The use of the phrase "war zone" to describe the U.S. side of the border is controversial. The report to the agriculture commissioner states, "Living and conducting business in a Texas border county is tantamount to living in a war zone in which civil authorities, law enforcement agencies as well as citizens are under attack around the clock."
 Video: Drug violence comes to Mexican resort (on this page)
Democratic congressmen and some local officials say that conclusion is unfair. Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino was recently quoted by the Houston Chronicle as saying, "The border is not in chaos.” And the newspaper quoted Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a Democrat representing El Paso, as calling the claims "political rhetoric" meant to embarrass the Obama administration.
Among ranchers, farmers and law enforcement agents working at the ground level, however, there is considerable agreement that large-scale drug smuggling from Mexico into the United States has been increasing in recent years and that the traffickers are becoming more aggressive. For the farmer too afraid to be identified publicly, it creates a painful dilemma.
"I can't pick up and move this farm; we're tied to the land," he said. "This is the front door to our country. Help us stop it here."

                                          P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #389 on: November 25, 2011, 11:27:33 PM »

I took PC's post and cleaned it up for readability; I didn't want it to go unread or porrly understood.
==========

Nightly News on 
 
Along Mexican border, US ranchers say they live in fear
Despite government assurances that they're safe, they say the level of violence is rising
Below:

By Mark Potter
Correspondent
NBC News

FALFURRIAS, Texas — While walking along a dirt road bordering his property, a South Texas farmer complained about living in fear of Mexican traffickers smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants across his land. He would later ask his visitor not to reveal his identity, for his safety and that of his family.

"I'm a citizen of the United States. This is supposedly sovereign soil, but right now it's anybody's who happens to be crossing here," he said. "I'm a little nervous being here right now. Definitely don’t come down here after dark."

The farmer said a federal law enforcement agent told him to buy a bulletproof vest to use while working in his fields. Whenever he goes out to survey his agricultural operations, he always tells his office where he is headed, and he has purchased a high-powered rifle.

"One of the basic points of the federal government is to protect the people of this nation to secure the border, and they're not doing that," he complained.

Story: Cartels using Ariz. mountaintops to spy on cops

The Obama administration and many local officials have said the U.S.-Mexican border is safer than ever and that reports of violence on the American side are wildly exaggerated. But the farmer scoffed at that argument. "I walk this soil every day and have since I was old enough to come out on my own," he said. "In this part of Texas, it is worse than it's ever been."

Moving families to safer ground

A report recently released by the Texas commissioner of agriculture said cross-border violence was escalating. "Fear and anxiety levels among Texas farmers and ranchers have grown enormously during the past two years," the report said, adding that some “have even abandoned their livelihoods to move their families to safer ground."

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who served as the U.S. drug czar during the Clinton administration and as an NBC News military analyst, is a co-author of the report. During a recent interview, McCaffrey said that while major cities along the Texas border are "pretty safe," the rural areas between towns are "largely unprotected, and across those areas the (Mexican) cartels are conducting massive movements of illegal drugs and other criminal activity."

Story: Mexican cartels corrupting more US border officials?

Law enforcement agents say they are seeing more aggressive efforts by Mexican traffickers operating in the Rio Grande Valley. In South Texas alone, the traffickers smuggle hundreds of tons of drugs a year into the United States by floating them on rafts across the Rio Grande, then transporting them by car, truck or on foot — often across private land — into the United States.

Video: 'Like living in a war zone' (on this page)

The smuggling “clearly has intimidated U.S. citizen who don't believe they're safe on their own land in their own country," McCaffrey said.
Several Texas congressmen and sheriffs have condemned the report, saying its conclusions are overstated and politically driven. But McCaffrey claims the officials not facing facts. "I think there is an element of denial," McCaffrey said. "Inside the beltway the senior law enforcement, I think, have fallen in line and said, no, that's right, the U.S. border is the safest place in America, which is errant nonsense."

(Mike Vickers, a veterinarian and rancher, leads a group of Texas landowners concerned about Mexican drug and immigrant smugglers crossing their private property.)

Ranchers protecting themselves

Veterinarian and rancher Mike Vickers heads the Texas Border Volunteers, a group of about 300 landowners and supporters who work closely with law enforcement officials to track drug and immigrant smugglers entering the U.S. from Mexico and crossing private land. His primary concern, he said, is the safety of farmers and ranchers who have been confronted by armed traffickers.
"A lot of them have been threatened not to call the Border Patrol or law enforcement if they see smuggling going on their property, otherwise they'll be killed or their family members may be killed," he said.

Video: 'It's compromised our lives' (on this page)

During a tour of his land and that of a neighbor, Vickers pointed out numerous hiking trails worn by smugglers and illegal immigrants from around the world. He also showed where many parts of the wire fence had been cut and pulled back. "This is not done by wildlife," he said. "This is done by smugglers and more than likely drug smugglers that have heavy backpacks full of drugs so they can drag the backpack underneath and not have to throw it over the fence."

In order to prove their claims that thousands of smugglers and illegal immigrants are crossing private American land, the Texas Border Volunteers have erected hidden cameras and share the images with state and federal agents. Describing one of the pictures, Vickers said, "This individual's got at least 80, maybe 100 pounds on his back. This is probably marijuana with a canvas covering." Another black and white photograph showed a man hoisting a smaller load. "You know he's carrying at least 40 pounds of drugs in that backpack. We suspect cocaine."

Vickers said that since 2004, about 500 people, mostly illegal immigrants, have perished while on smuggling trips through private property in Brooks County, Texas, alone, where his ranch is located.

A war zone?

Todd Staples, the Texas agriculture commissioner and a candidate for lieutenant governor, argued that many leaders in Washington, D.C., continue to ignore the violence along the border. In a recent article he wrote, "A Webb County rancher checking his cattle is shot at and barely escapes with his life; the suspects are linked to drug cartels. Workers in a Hidalgo County sugarcane field are told by cartel members to stop harvesting the crop 'or else," because the sugarcane provides coverage for cartel coyotes smuggling drugs."

This fence on private land apparently was trampled by smugglers trying to get around a Border Patrol checkpoint in South Texas.
Vickers said he knows ranchers who have moved their families into nearby cities for their protection and have taken other safety measures. "Everyone is packing a weapon and carrying a cell phone with them. and they're crazy if they don't," he said. "This is happening on American soil; this is a war zone here, there's no question about it."

The use of the phrase "war zone" to describe the U.S. side of the border is controversial. The report to the agriculture commissioner states, "Living and conducting business in a Texas border county is tantamount to living in a war zone in which civil authorities, law enforcement agencies as well as citizens are under attack around the clock."

Video: Drug violence comes to Mexican resort (on this page)

Democratic congressmen and some local officials say that conclusion is unfair. Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino was recently quoted by the Houston Chronicle as saying, "The border is not in chaos.” And the newspaper quoted Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a Democrat representing El Paso, as calling the claims "political rhetoric" meant to embarrass the Obama administration.

Among ranchers, farmers and law enforcement agents working at the ground level, however, there is considerable agreement that large-scale drug smuggling from Mexico into the United States has been increasing in recent years and that the traffickers are becoming more aggressive. For the farmer too afraid to be identified publicly, it creates a painful dilemma.

"I can't pick up and move this farm; we're tied to the land," he said. "This is the front door to our country. Help us stop it here."
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« Reply #390 on: November 26, 2011, 11:54:46 AM »

I know we have a drug demand problem in the U.S. drug laws that force up prices and profits making trafficking worse but from my view from seeing only small parts of our 5500 mile border with Canada, I offer this intended as constructive, not disparaging: The main problem with the US southern border is inside Mexico and whatever freedom, opportunity and prosperity that is not happening there.

With free trade, NAFTA, short flights and easy trucking lanes right into the world's most prosperous economy next door, why aren't they the fastest growing productive economy and opportunity society on the planet?  Does anyone here have insights on that or another theory?
------------------
http://www.economist.com/node/21526899

Mexico’s economy
Making the desert bloom

The Mexican economy has recovered somewhat from a scorching recession imported from America, but is still hobbled by domestic monopolies and cartels

Aug 27th 2011 | SALTILLO | The Economist  - from the print edition

HOT and high in the Sierra Madre, the city of Saltillo is a long way from Wall Street. Stuffed goats keep an eye on customers in the high-street vaquera, or cowboy outfitter, where workers from the local car factories blow their pesos on snakeskin boots and $100 Stetsons. Pinstriped suits and silk ties are outnumbered by checked shirts and silver belt-buckles; pickups are prized over Porsches.

The financial crisis of 2008 began on the trading floors of Manhattan, but the biggest tremors were felt in the desert south of the Rio Grande. Mexico suffered the steepest recession of any country in the Americas, bar a couple of Caribbean tiddlers. Its economy shrank by 6.1% in 2009 (see chart 1). Between the third quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009, 700,000 jobs were lost, 260,000 of them in manufacturing. The slump was deepest in the prosperous north: worst hit was the border state of Coahuila. Saltillo, its capital, had grown rich exporting to America. The state’s output fell by 12.3% in 2009 as orders dried up.

The recession turned a reasonable decade for Mexico’s economy into a dreary one. In the ten years to 2010, income per person grew by 0.6% a year, one of the lowest rates in the world. In the early 2000s Mexico boasted Latin America’s biggest economy, measured at market exchange rates, but it was soon overtaken by Brazil, whose GDP is now twice as big and still pulling away, boosted by the soaring real. Soon Brazil will take the lead in oil production, which Mexico has allowed to dwindle. As Brazilians construct stadiums for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Mexicans, who last year celebrated the bicentenary of their independence from Spain, are building monuments to their past (and finishing them late).

Mexico’s muscles

Yet Mexico’s economy is packed with potential. Thanks to the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and a string of bilateral deals, it trades more than Argentina and Brazil combined, and more per person than China. Last year it did $400 billion of business with the United States, more than any country bar Canada and China. The investment rate, at more than a fifth of GDP, is well ahead of Brazil’s. Income per person slipped below Brazil’s in 2009, but only because of the real’s surge and the peso’s weakness. After accounting for purchasing power, Mexicans are still better off than Brazilians.

Though expatriates whinge about bureaucracy, the World Bank ranks Mexico the easiest place in Latin America to do business and the 35th-easiest in the world, ahead of Italy and Spain. In Brazil (placed 127th) companies spend 2,600 hours a year filing taxes, six times more than in Mexico. Registering a business takes nine days in Mexico and 26 in Argentina. The working hours of supposedly siesta-loving Mexicans are among the longest in the world. And although Mexico’s schools are the worst in (mainly rich) OECD countries, they are the least bad in Latin America apart from Chile’s.

These strengths have helped Mexico to rebound smartly from its calamitous slump. Last year the economy grew by 5.4%, recovering much of the ground lost in 2009. Exports to the United States, having fallen by a fifth, have reached a record high. In the desert there are signs of life: Saltillo’s high street, where four out of ten shops closed during the recession, is busy again. CIFUNSA, a foundry that turns out some 400,000 tonnes of cast iron a year for customers such as Ford and Volkswagen, shed 40% of its staff in 2009, but has rehired most of them and is producing more than it did before the slump.

However, the jobs market has yet to return to its pre-recession state. Nationally, the official unemployment rate is 5.4%, having peaked at 6.4% in 2009. Javier Lozano, Mexico’s labour secretary, believes that the pre-recession mark of 4.1% will not be matched within the term of this government or the next (ie, before 2018). What’s more, the new jobs are not as good as those that were lost. Average pay last year was 5% lower than in 2008. Because of this, and rising food prices, more Mexicans have slipped into poverty: last year 46.2% of them were below the official poverty line (earning less than 2,114 pesos, or $167, per month), up from 44.5% in 2008.

Just as recession came from the gringos, recovery depends partly on them. Many analysts who once predicted economic growth of 5% this year cut their forecasts to under 4% after a downward revision of American GDP in July. Exports account for nearly a third of Mexico’s trillion-dollar GDP, and most go to the United States. Remittances provide $190 per person per year (down from $240 in 2007). Now America faces several years of lacklustre growth, which poses a dilemma for Mexico.

Some look at the recent explosive growth of Brazil and wonder if it is time to follow its example and look to new markets. In 2009 only 3% of Mexico’s exports went to Brazil, Russia, India or China, whereas Brazil sent 16% of its exports to its fellow BRICs. Industrialised countries receive less than half of Brazil’s exports but 90% of Mexico’s. The Inter-American Development Bank, the biggest lender in the region, describes a “two speed” Latin America, in which economies, such as Mexico, which do most of their trade with developed countries, lag behind those, such as Brazil, that have forged links with emerging markets.

South or north?

Mexico has already diversified its exports. America’s share of them has fallen from 89% in 2000 to perhaps 78% this year and will fall further, according to Miguel Messmacher, head of economic planning at Mexico’s finance ministry. Sales to Latin America and Asia are growing twice as fast as those to America. The automotive industry, Mexico’s biggest exporter, is ahead of the trend: though exports to America continue to rise, they now make up only 65% of the total. Eduardo Solís, head of the industry’s national association, says he would like to get the figure down to 50% by focusing on Latin America and Europe.

Others say Mexico’s economic future will always be to the north. “We can’t just become a commodity exporter and start sending soy beans to China,” says Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign secretary. History, geography and natural resources have wedded Mexico to its wealthy neighbour: “It’s not something we chose,” he says. If the American economy is growing slowly, Mexico will just have to get a bigger chunk of it.

That task has been made harder by China. Since China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001 its share of American imports has grown fast and is now the biggest. The shares of Canada and especially Japan have fallen. Mexico’s share, which almost doubled in the seven years after NAFTA came into effect, slipped after 2001. But it is edging up again (see chart 2).

China’s low wages, which lured factories away from Mexico, are rising rapidly. In 2003 Mexican pay was three times Chinese rates but now it is only 20% higher, Mr Messmacher says. The rising yuan and the cheap peso accentuate this trend.

Proximity to America, Mexico’s trump card, has been made more valuable by the high oil price. The resolution in July of a long dispute has allowed Mexican lorries to make deliveries in America, which the Mexican government reckons will reduce firms’ shipping costs by 15%. The rise of China may also help Mexico too, by forcing American companies to compete more keenly. Detroit carmakers cannot export cars to South Korea, but a Mexican factory using American parts can, notes Luis de la Calle, a former trade minister.

Luring foreign investors has been made trickier by a spike in violence. Since 2007, a crackdown on organised crime has caused Mexico’s drug-trafficking “cartels”, as they are known (though they are in fact rather competitive), to splinter and fight. Last year the murder rate was 17 per 100,000 people, a little lower than Brazil’s, but more than two-thirds up on 2007. Ernesto Cordero, the finance minister, has estimated that the violence knocks about a percentage point off Mexico’s annual growth rate.

The fighting is highly concentrated: last year 70% of mafia-related killings took place in 3% of the country’s municipalities. In Yucatán state, where tourists scramble around Mayan ruins, the murder rate is no higher than in Belgium. Last July was the busiest ever for Mexico’s foreign-tourist trade, but there are signs that the drip of bloody stories is starting to hurt bookings. In the first five months of this year, arrivals were 3.6% lower than last. Acapulco, which caters mainly to domestic tourists, has virtually emptied thanks to frequent shootings in the heart of the hotel zone.

Many of the roughest areas are in the north, where foreign investment is concentrated. In Ciudad Juárez, a centre of maquila factories that assemble products for export, the murder rate has climbed to one of the highest in the world, as the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels battle for control of the border crossing, little restrained (and often aided) by the local police. In Tamaulipas, a border state where violence surged last year, the unemployment rate has risen to 7.5%, the highest in the country. The head of a Mexican multinational with operations there found recently that his local manager had been siphoning company money to the cartels. Many rich businessmen have moved their families to America; the governor of one border state is rumoured to have done the same (his office denies it).

Investors have largely held their nerve. Foreign direct investment, which reached $30 billion in 2007 but fell to half that in 2009, is expected to recover to $20 billion this year. Businessmen play down the violence: Mr Solís admits that some car transporters have been robbed on highways, but says that this year has been better than last. This month Honda became the latest carmaker to announce plans to expand in Mexico, in spite of the insecurity.

Still, insecurity adds costs and delays. The road from Saltillo to Monterrey, the nearest big airport, has become dicey, so more people rely on Saltillo’s own tiny airport, where a single airline offers flights to Mexico City for upwards of $400. Conferences, concerts and sporting fixtures have been cancelled in Monterrey. In Coahuila on August 20th a football match was abandoned after shots were fired outside the stadium. Some foreign companies are even nervous about sending executives to Mexico City, although it has a lower murder rate than many American cities.

From Uncle Sam to Uncle Slim

Despite Mexico’s difficulties, one of its citizens is the richest person in the world. Carlos Slim, the son of a Lebanese immigrant, has made a fortune estimated by Forbes at $74 billion. The magazine reckons that last year his net worth rose by $20.5 billion.

Nearly two-thirds of Mr Slim’s wealth is thought to lie in América Móvil, the biggest or second-biggest mobile-phone operator everywhere in Latin America except Chile (where it is third). In Mexico Mr Slim’s grip is particularly strong, with 70% of the cellular market and 80% of landlines. In half the country’s 400 local areas, only his company has the infrastructure to put through calls to landlines. Not surprisingly, after accounting for purchasing power home landlines in Mexico cost 45% more than the OECD average and business lines 63% more (see chart 3). Mobiles are better value, particularly for those who do not make many calls. But basic broadband access costs nearly ten times more (per megabit per second of advertised speed) than in the rest of the OECD.

Telecoms is not the only monopolised sector. A study by the OECD and Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission (CFC) found that 31% of Mexican household spending went on products supplied in monopolistic or highly oligopolistic markets. The poorest tenth suffered most, 38% of their expenditure going on such things.

The cost of these captive markets is ruinous. Until recently, for example, firms selling generic medicines were required by law to operate a plant in Mexico. This, along with a system that allows doctors to prescribe medicines by brand rather than by generic compound, means that the market is dominated by expensive brands. Generics account for less than 17% of the drugs market, against 66.5% in America. Medicine is a third pricier than in Britain.

Time for some self-service

The labyrinth of torpitude

Transport is expensive too. The handful of budget airlines that arrived in the past decade have struggled to get take-off and landing slots at Mexico City’s airport, which are dished out by a committee dominated by incumbents. The CFC found that flights to and from Mexico City were between 40% and 80% dearer than those to less strangled airports. Intercity bus routes are dominated by four firms that have divided up the country. Fares are 10% higher than they ought to be, the CFC estimates.

Banking is similarly uncompetitive. Two banks control almost half the market for deposit accounts and two-thirds of the credit- and debit-card markets. The lack of choice means that 95% of account-holders have never switched banks. Top of the list of Saltillo businesses’ complaints is the scarcity and cost of credit.

Some of these pinch points are being addressed. The collapse last year of Mexicana, North America’s oldest airline, has presented an opportunity to auction landing slots to nimbler competitors. Drugs should get cheaper thanks to an auction system devised by the CFC for Mexico’s social-security institute. In April a new competition law introduced penalties of up to ten years in jail for collusion, and empowered the CFC to make surprise inspections. The same month it fined Mr Slim’s mobile-phone operator a record $1 billion for abusing its market dominance.

Banking has been opened to entrants such as Walmart, which has already shaken up Mexican retailing. Commercial credit is expanding: it stands at 19% of GDP, nearly double the ratio in 2003. Lending is still less than half of what it was before the banking crisis of 1994, suggesting plenty of room for growth—certainly more than in Brazil, where credit already equals about half of GDP.

Forcing competition on cosy industries is still not easy. When the government decided in 2009 to shut down Luz y Fuerza, a state-run electricity company that was costing the taxpayer $3 billion a year, it required 1,000 police in riot gear to occupy the firm’s offices. Since Luz y Fuerza shut, the wait for new connections in Mexico City has fallen from ten months to four. But its ex-employees still bring parts of the capital to a halt with protests. Labour-reform efforts, to ease hiring and firing and allow six-month trial contracts, have met opposition in congress. Even with the new competition law, few people fancy the authorities’ chances against Mr Slim’s lawyers.

The answer is to open the economy and let foreign competition force Mexican firms to adapt, believes Mr de la Calle. “If you have free trade, you don’t need structural reforms because the companies have to compete,” he says. He cites the pork industry, which used to be blighted with hog cholera. Farmers resisted pressure to eradicate it, preferring to sell low volumes at high prices. When tariffs were dropped, cheap pork from America forced Mexican farmers to clean up their act. Cholera was eliminated, output rose and prices fell.

Other industries are ripe for similar treatment. Oil is a prime candidate. Pemex, a state monopoly, handles everything from exploration to petrol pumps. Its profits contribute a third of government revenue, allowing Mexico to maintain a generous and feebly enforced tax regime. But decades of underinvestment have hurt production, which fell from 3.4m barrels a day in 2004 to 2.6m. Brazil, which has allowed foreign investment in its oilfields, is producing around 2m barrels a day and expects to be pumping 6m by 2020.

Pemex’s output has stabilised in the past year, and this month it awarded its first performance-based contracts, a precursor to getting oil majors to explore the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But efforts to make the company more efficient have been vetoed by the oil workers’ union. Refineries are poorly run; petrol stations forbid self-service.

The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a think-tank, estimates that the GDP growth rate could be raised by 2.5 percentage points if the oil industry were opened up and labour and competition laws reformed. Reeling from an American-made recession, however, Mexico is hardly in the mood for a more open economy. With a presidential election next year, it would be easier to keep puttering along in the shadow of Brazil, an economy which in some ways Mexico outclasses. Mexico’s rebound from slump and its resilience to lawlessness show its underlying strength. If it could only bust the monopolistic dams that have parched its economy, its desert might one day start to bloom.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 12:33:29 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #391 on: November 26, 2011, 07:48:21 PM »

This was a vey good piece; The Economist at its best.
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« Reply #392 on: November 30, 2011, 05:18:58 PM »

STRATFOR
---------------------------
November 30, 2011


VIDEO: ABOVE THE TEARLINE: MEXICAN CARTEL VIOLENCE IN TEXAS

Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton examines the recent murder allegedly
committed by Mexican cartel members and the complexity faced by law enforcement
agencies when cross-border violence occurs.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology.
Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

In this week's Above the Tearline, we are going to look at an incident that appears
to be a Mexican cartel-related murder in Texas.

Last Monday, in the Houston area, several undercover officers from a High Intensity
Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force (known as a HIDTA) were following a
tractor-trailer from south Texas transporting drugs in an undercover operation. Four
suspects ambushed the truck, firing shoulder weapons, shooting and wounding a task
force police officer and killing the driver, who media have identified as an
undercover government informant. 

The true motive for the attack is unclear. There has been speculation in the media
that the suspects attacked the truck to steal the marijuana, with others speculating
the real target was the undercover informant. It is unknown if the shooters were
aware that undercover police officers were surveilling the drug load. We have heard
through our law enforcement contacts the suspects may be linked to the violent Zeta
cartel organization. The brazen nature of the ambush certainly fits their m.o., but
killing government informants in the U.S. is something the cartels have typically
tried to avoid. The pressure the feds can place on the cartels disrupts their supply
chain and causes the cartels to lose money. 

The DEA has taken the lead investigative role, which is a positive step, assisted by
the Houston Police Department Homicide Division and the local sheriff's department.
However, behind the scenes, other state and federal agencies are also assisting the
DEA, to include the Texas DPS, ATF and the FBI. Three of the four suspects are
allegedly Mexican nationals, so the State Department and ICE will interface with our
Mexican counterparts, and an investigation will be conducted in Mexico to determine
if the suspects are connected to a drug trafficking organization. At the national
level, traces will also be conducted on the suspects through the entire U.S.
intelligence community. As you can see, a lot is taking place behind the scenes.

What is the Above the Tearline aspect of this video? The DEA needs to determine
whether or not a cartel source sold out the details of the undercover operation to
the bad guys. If so, the internal leak needs to be found before other drug
operations are jeopardized.
More Videos - http://www.stratfor.com/theme/video_dispatch


Copyright 2011 STRATFOR.


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bigdog
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« Reply #393 on: December 06, 2011, 09:32:03 AM »

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/14/world/la-fg-mexico-michoacan-elections-20111114
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« Reply #394 on: December 07, 2011, 03:08:56 PM »

Issa Launches Probe of Alleged DEA Laundering Operation in Mexico
Was F&F a successful model that is was used for other operations?





Rep. Darrell Issa is launching a congressional investigation into the Drug Enforcement Administration following claims that the agency helped drug cartels launder money -- an operation the lawmaker said bears striking resemblance to the failed "Fast and Furious" anti-gunrunning probe.



Both operations were run by agencies within the Justice Department. Fast and Furious, which Issa and other lawmakers have been investigating all year, was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The alleged money-laundering operation was run by the DEA.



While Fast and Furious was designed to allow federal agents to trace the flow of illegal weapons to the Mexican cartels, the DEA operation reportedly was designed to allow agents to trace the flow of money.
"It looks like it's the same sort of a program," Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Fox News on Tuesday.



Issa wrote Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday urging him to quickly brief his staff on the DEA program, in advance of a hearing Thursday where Holder is set to testify.



"It is imperative that Congress be apprised of the true dimensions of these alleged operations immediately," Issa wrote. In a separate statement, Issa's office described the new congressional probe as an offshoot of the Fast and Furious investigation.



"We're following the evidence where it goes," Issa told Fox News.
But he posed sharp questions about the wisdom of the DEA program.
"Money is the lifeblood of the drug trade. With money they can corrupt the system in Mexico," he said, questioning whether Mexican authorities were fully aware of the DEA operation.



The DEA operation was detailed in a New York Times story published Sunday.
Anonymous officials described an effort by U.S. agents to launder or smuggle "millions of dollars" in drug money in order to monitor the flow of cash to and from the cartels in Mexico. One official told the Times there was "close supervision." Another official said the Americans worked with Mexican agents on the investigation. Officials told the newspaper that the DEA tried to seize as much as they laundered, in part through arrests at pickup locations.
The article also described how officials had to obtain Justice Department clearance to launder more than $10 million at a time, something that was approved many times.



The DEA issued a statement Tuesday defending its operations.
"The DEA has well-established mechanisms for coordinating and approving activities associated with the fight against money laundering," the DEA said. "As a result of this cooperation, DEA has seized illicit transnational criminal organization money all around the world through our partnership with law enforcement."



The DEA said it had been working "collaboratively" with Mexico to fight money laundering "for years."



"As part of that collaboration, DEA works with Mexican authorities to gather and use information about these criminal organizations to counter the threats they pose to both of our countries," the DEA said, adding that the joint investigations "have led to important advances and detentions in each country. The cooperation between the United States and Mexico is based on principles of shared responsibility, mutual trust and respect for the jurisdiction of each country."


A Justice official said Tuesday that the department is "reviewing the letter" from Issa, and noted that the program in question has been in existence "for quite some time."



The Times said the DEA was running similar operations in other countries but only started to expand it into Mexico "in the past few years."
Issa indicated he's skeptical, particularly after the Justice Department on Friday gave Congress hundreds of pages of documents showing how Justice officials initially provided inaccurate information about Fast and Furious.



"The first answer you get from this Justice Department doesn't have a high credibility," Issa said Tuesday, adding that Thursday's hearing will mark "the first time we're expecting to see the real truth" regarding Fast and Furious.
Issa, in his letter to Holder, said the DEA allegations, "if true, raise further unsettling questions" about the risks taken on by the Justice Department.
"The existence of such a program again calls your leadership into question. The managerial structure you have implemented lacks appropriate operational safeguards to prevent the implementation of such dangerous schemes," Issa wrote.
Holder has testified that he only learned of Fast and Furious earlier this year.


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011...est=latestnews
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« Reply #395 on: December 09, 2011, 08:55:47 AM »

The media in Cd Juarez is reporting that authorities have confirmed alleged copkiller Gilberto Manuel Estupiñán Aguirre (left), age 20, is an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army .

The media In Ciudad Juarez and the state of Chihuahua are reporting that one of three "sicarios" arrested Wednesday after the armed robbery of a gasoline station in this border city is an active duty U.S. Army soldier.

According to authorities after their arrest the three men confessed to taking part in the murders of four Juarez police officers this year.

The men have been identified as Jesús Rubio González, age 24; Gilberto Manuel Estupiñán Aguirre, age 20; and César Benito Betancourt Griego, age 26.

Authorities claim that Gilberto Manuel Estupiñán identified himself as a soldier in the U.S. Army during his arrest and that his status was confirmed by police personnel.

The three men were in a blue Honda Accord at the time of their arrest and were in possession of a 9mm handgun and ammunition and a spare magazine for an AK-47 assault type weapon, in addition to a small amount of drugs and a bottle of Buchanon's whiskey.

The three men are alleged to have taken part in the murder of Juarez municipal police officers Joaquín Avendaño Pineda, Vidal Zatarain Valdez and Gabriel Avitia on the afternoon of September 7, 2011. The officers were intercepted by gunmen in two pickups while returning home at the end of their shift.

The three men are also alleged to have murdered municipal police officer Cordero Mireles, who was attacked and killed a day later on September 8, 2011.

At the time authorities had reported that evidence indicated the same group of gunmen were involved in both attacks.
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« Reply #396 on: December 09, 2011, 09:07:53 AM »

The media in Cd Juarez is reporting that authorities have confirmed alleged copkiller Gilberto Manuel Estupiñán Aguirre (left), age 20, is an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army .




Nosotros los haremos Army Strong.
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« Reply #397 on: December 09, 2011, 10:48:36 AM »

Recommended External Links
Image and translation of Zetas narcomanta
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Zetas Narcomanta Challenges the Government

Mexican media began reporting Dec. 2 of a narcomanta attributed to Miguel “Z-40” Trevino Morales, the overall No. 2 leader of Los Zetas, that appeared in an as yet undisclosed city in Mexico. In a clear threat to Mexican authorities, the banner read, “The special forces of Los Zetas challenge the government of Mexico.” The banner went on to say that “Mexico lives and will continue under the regime of Los Zetas. Let it be clear that we are in control here and although the federal government controls other cartels, they cannot take our plazas … Look at what happened in Sinaloa and Guadalajara.” The last sentence is a reference to the mass killings and body dumps attributed to the Zetas in Culiacan and Guadalajara discovered Nov. 23.

The language used in the banner is intriguing; never before has a cartel referred to itself as a “regime,” and such brazen, adversarial terminology directed against the Mexican government is uncommon. It is difficult to imagine a drug cartel with a pedigree as violent as the Zetas wanting to assume governmental duties. Historically, while cartels have exerted influence over portions of Mexico, they have not sought to actually govern. Instead they use corruption or fear to ensure an unrestricted ability to conduct their criminal operations.

Though it specifically references the incidents in Culiacan and Guadalajara, there is no way to verify that Trevino actually commissioned the banner. Trevino has commissioned banners in the past, and, given his predilection for violence, his underlings would be unlikely to author something on his behalf without his approval. The fact that the message in this banner is so out of character suggests the possibility that it is a disinformation campaign directed against Los Zetas. If this is indeed a disinformation effort, the Sinaloa Federation, which, as the other pre-eminent cartel in Mexico, has the most to gain from increased government action against the Zetas, cannot be ruled out.

What is more interesting than the content of the banner is how little is known about its origins. No media agency has definitely stated where the banner was found — or if there were others like it. Narcomantas are prevalent in Mexico, and details of their appearances are not hard to come by in the media. Also, major messages are frequently left with the bodies of mutilated enemies to prove bona fides. But for whatever reason, no agency has been able to ascertain the location of this banner (a rumor surfaced that it appeared in Ciudad Victoria in Zetas territory, but that rumor remains unconfirmed). That six days have passed without any indication of the location suggests the Mexican government, which is constantly attempting to maintain an image of control in the war on drugs, is taking the threat seriously and is disallowing the details of the banner’s location to come out.


More Victims in Veracruz

Seven bodies were found Dec. 4 in the Adolfo Lopez Mateo neighborhood of Veracruz, Veracruz state. All of the bodies were bound and gagged, and some of them bore signs of torture. The cause of death is unconfirmed, but from photographs of the scene it appears that many were shot. As many as five of the seven bodies had their faces completely covered by their shirts, which had been pulled over their heads and fastened to their necks with duct tape. Uncorroborated witness statements said members of the state police had executed the victims.

On the surface, the location in which the bodies were dumped seems notable. The Adolfo Lopez Mateo neighborhood lies just 2 miles from Boca del Rio, where the bodies of around 35 alleged Zetas members were dumped in September. (Less than a week later, another 32 bodies were found in stash houses in the same neighborhood.) At that time, STRATFOR predicted that the Zetas would carry out reprisals in Veracruz; the forecast was accurate, but the location was not. On Nov. 23, the Zetas dumped 24 bodies in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, and 26 bodies in Guadalajara, Jalisco state, the following day. Based on the messages left at the scenes, these two events — not the Dec. 4 incident — were revenge killings for the Boca del Rio incident in September.

Notably, the Dec. 4 victims were killed in a different manner than the September victims (who were suffocated), and there were no messages left at the scene to suggest the killings were in fact reprisals. This, coupled with the unconfirmed statements suggesting state police involvement in the killings, presents a few possible explanations.

Given the long-term control the Zetas have maintained in Veracruz and the possibility that that control included coercion of or collaboration with the state police, the victims may have been connected to the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and/or the Matazetas, who are believed to have been responsible for the September killings. With such control, it is possible that the state police acted on orders of the Zetas to kill the seven victims discovered Dec. 4.

Alternatively, Los Zetas may have killed the seven victims directly. If this were the case, they likely would have left a message with the bodies claiming retribution or providing some kind of explanation or threat. In either case, the time elapsed between the September killing of Zetas members and this possible retribution is not unreasonable; the Zetas would need time to investigate and track down the perpetrators.

There is the potential that the seven dead were members of Los Zetas and that this was a continuation of the September killings. But because the modus operandi was so different — specifically, there was no writing on the bodies or other written messages to indicate an affiliation of the victims with any group — it is unclear which cartel is responsible. What is clear is that the two mass-killing events in Boca del Rio in September were not isolated events. Rather, STRATFOR sees this series of events as an escalation of the cycle of retributive violence in Veracruz — in scale if not in frequency.

Whichever explanation is correct, it is clear that the struggle between Los Zetas and the CJNG in Veracruz is continuing, and more violence can be expected in the important port city.



(click here to view interactive map)

Nov. 29

Mexican authorities discovered the remains of three dismembered bodies in Xochitepec, Morelos state, after receiving an anonymous tip.
Mexican marines arrested Ezequiel Cardenas Rivera, the son of former Gulf cartel leader Antonio Ezequiel “Tony Tormenta” Cardenas Guillen, at a residence in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state.
The prison director and twenty other officials at the San Pedro Cholulu prison in Puebla state were arrested in connection with the Nov. 27 prison escape of Los Zetas cartel members.
Four banners appeared in various areas of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, addressing Mexican President Felipe Calderon and linking the president to supporting Sinaloa Federation leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera. The banners were signed, “The United Citizens of Juarez and Mexico.”

Nov. 30

Mexican authorities seized more than 3.9 metric tons of marijuana from a drug tunnel in Tijuana, Baja California state, running under the U.S.-Mexico border.
A narcomanta left with the body of an elderly man in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, mentioned the theft of $5 million and the name “Tono” Pena.

Dec. 1

Mexican authorities seized a synthetic drug lab in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, that housed various precursor chemicals for methamphetamine. No arrests were made.
Mexican authorities seized more than 550 kilograms (about 1,213 pounds) of methamphetamine in a drug lab in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco state.

Dec. 2

A narcomanta signed by the Knights Templar was posted on a bridge in Morelia, Michoacan state. The banner stated that the Knights Templar is not a criminal group and encouraged citizens to enjoy the “December holiday.”
After a two-month operation, the Mexican military dismantled Los Zetas communications networks in the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, San Luis Potosi, and Tamaulipas.
A radio host was murdered at a nightclub in Chihuahua, Chihuahua State. Witness reports claim the murderer was wearing military-style clothing.

Dec. 3

Mexican authorities arrested 22 police officers throughout Tabasco state for connections to Los Zetas.

Dec. 4

The bodies of five executed individuals were discovered in Sinaloa Municipality, Sinaloa state.
Gunmen fired at the house of the mayor of Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon state.

Dec. 5

Federal Police arrested six members of the Independent Cartel of Acapulco in Acapulco, Guerrero.
Gunmen shot and killed the police chief of Saltillo, Coahuila state, and his 11-year-old son.
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G M
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« Reply #398 on: December 09, 2011, 11:53:09 AM »

http://www.policeone.com/gangs/articles/4808296-Are-Zetas-operating-as-police-impersonators-in-the-United-States/

Are Zetas operating as police impersonators in the United States?

Whether or not Zetas are conducting paramilitary, police-impersonation operations here in the US, the incident in Houston is a watershed event indeed
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Crafty_Dog
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Posts: 29668


« Reply #399 on: December 09, 2011, 12:14:08 PM »

Good thing in American we don't have lots of no-knock warrants being served by policeman dressed up in military robo-cop attire.
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