Author Topic: Mexico  (Read 353443 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Entrevista seria
« Reply #550 on: February 28, 2019, 07:18:55 AM »


Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Re: Hezbollah-Los Zetas? and more
« Reply #554 on: March 15, 2019, 08:45:55 AM »
https://www.utep.edu/liberalarts/nssi/_Files/docs/Capstone%20projects1/Valencia_Evolving-Dynamics-of-Terrorism.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1snBcM8t9ODBSAjCCDkelJ52EggrlSK84_a8DycLnOEaiBr7GedVRdlXA

https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2017/282846.htm?fbclid=IwAR3PtbR8ZglrSgDw_0GFcqULgaF6Ai7BK9s1dBWMYaWIa8mes8MB_XYRvUQ

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/10/mexico-drug-cartels-grip-on-politicians-and-police-revealed-in-texas-court-files?fbclid=IwAR183RJZRrj1UeVuzR5uRB83MIa14BlrQluMWqxGpeyq_DSvGfWS0BJcCAI

https://abc7chicago.com/mexico-cartels-now-fuel-deadly-chicago-opioid-epidemic/4605627/?fbclid=IwAR0t9uyE7t622Ddw__TzAaUnnsdelSVZa-LEVJhjYaor9AefA9QmHf3ymvc

Revelations about Middle East terror organizations forming alliances with gangs south of our border surprises me.  I didn't know we had a southern border.

Crafty, this post contains a wealth of (bad news) information.  How did we get to where one political party wants to abandon national security as the globe and our own neighborhood keeps getting more dangerous.

From the UTEP pdf:
"Hezbollah conducts criminal operations across the globe. They have formed alliances with multiple countries in Latin America. One alliance in particular that has received attention as 3 of late is with the “Los Zetas” drug cartel or drug trafficking organization (DTO) in Mexico. Hezbollah has created a criminal syndicate of drug trafficking through some of Mexico’s most well connected global drug dealers. This new partnership has assisted in laundering between $850 and $900 million."


Crafty_Dog

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Cartel Del Noreste
« Reply #556 on: March 22, 2019, 01:48:11 PM »
    The Cartel del Noreste appears poised to launch a push to seize control of Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest metropolitan area and a major regional business hub.
    This could lead to a significant escalation of violence in areas where many companies and organizations have interests, and where many of their employees live.
    Competing extortion demands would also present businesses in the region with a dangerous conundrum.

Editor's Note: This security-focused assessment is one of many such analyses found at Stratfor Threat Lens, a unique protective intelligence product designed with corporate security leaders in mind. Threat Lens enables industry professionals and organizations to anticipate, identify, measure and mitigate emerging threats to people, assets, and intellectual property the world over. Threat Lens is the only unified solution that analyzes and forecasts security risk from a holistic perspective, bringing all the most relevant global insights into a single, interactive threat dashboard.

The Cartel del Noreste (CDN), the remnant of the Los Zetas cartel that controls the lucrative Nuevo Laredo smuggling plaza, has taken actions over the past week suggesting it is preparing a push to seize control of Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest metropolitan area and a major regional business hub. Such an offensive would likely meet resistance from the groups currently in the area and so would involve significant violence — something businesses with interests in the area should prepare for.
The Big Picture

By 2013, the long process of balkanization — or splintering — of Mexico's cartels made analyzing them much more difficult. Indeed, many of the ones we had been tracking, such as the Gulf cartel, had imploded and fragmented into several smaller, often competing factions. From the Gulf cartel emerged the notorious Los Zetas, which also subsequently split into several smaller remnants including the Cartel del Noreste (CDN). That splinter group now appears poised to make a play for control of the major Mexican business center of Monterrey. Were the CDN to proceed, foreign businesses there would feel the heat.
See Security Challenges in Latin America

Over the weekend of March 16-17, a narcomanta — or banner with a message from a drug cartel — was hung in the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia, part of the Monterrey metropolitan area. The banner threatened to kill members of the Gulf cartel and "the people of El Gato" who do not leave the city. El Gato refers to Jose Rodolfo Villarreal Hernandez, a leader of a remnant of the Beltran Leyva Cartel who has established a strong presence in San Pedro Garza Garcia. The banner also threatened "people who pay a fee to El Gato" — meaning that businesses pay him extortion fees, and said that they would use murder to target businesses that do not instead pay extortion fees to the CDN. The banner also claimed that the mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Miguel Bernardo Trevino de Hoyos, was working with the CDN — something the group probably would not broadcast were it true.

In response, a narcomanta attributed to "El Felino," presumably a reference to El Gato, was hung threatening the people allegedly bringing deadly violence to the area. It also said his organization was well-established in the area, and was prepared to take on the intruders.

Competing extortion demands would also present businesses in the region with a dangerous conundrum.

The CDN has also reportedly been busily threatening journalists. The publication Proceso reported March 13 that CDN has threatened at least a dozen journalists in the Monterrey metropolitan area via calls to their personal cellphones. The callers revealed knowledge of personal information about the call recipients, such as where the journalists lived and their families' activities. The threatening callers also reportedly demanded payments to allow the journalists to continue to work. Threatening journalists is not a new activity for the CDN: In December 2018 it threatened the Expreso newspaper in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas state, by leaving a message in front of the paper accompanied by a human head in a cooler.

As we noted in our 2019 annual cartel forecast, the CDN has been locked in a protracted battle for control of Ciudad Victoria with the Zetas Vieja Escuela (Spanish for the "Old School Zetas"). This battle apparently has not drained the CDN's resources such that its leadership thinks it lacks the resources to mount an offensive for control of other areas.

It is quite possible that this apparent CDN activity could be a hoax or just empty bluster. But if the CDN's threats are sincere and it actually attempts to seize control of the wealthy enclave of San Pedro Garza Garcia and the rest of the Monterrey metropolitan area, it could produce a significant escalation of violence in areas where many companies and organizations have interests — and where many of their employees live. Competing extortion demands would also present businesses in the region with a dangerous conundrum.




Crafty_Dog

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US govt program facilitates remittances
« Reply #560 on: April 11, 2019, 05:17:19 PM »
   

Most of the $33 Billion in Remittances to Mexico Flow Via U.S. Govt. Banking Program

Though President Trump said he would block money transfers to Mexico to fund a much-needed border wall, Mexicans in the U.S. sent a record $33.48 billion in remittances last year and a big chunk of it flowed through a government program operated by the Federal Reserve.

This means that, amid an onslaught of illegal immigration, the U.S. government is largely responsible for the billions in remittances flowing south of the border from illegal aliens. Figures released by Mexico’s central bank show that 104 million transactions were executed in 2018, nearly six million more than the previous year.

Uncle Sam facilitates the process with a program called “Directo a Mexico” (Direct to Mexico), launched by the Federal Reserve, the government agency that serves as the nation’s central bank, more than a decade ago. President George W. Bush came up with the idea following the 2001 U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity to provide low-cost banking services to illegal immigrants and facilitate the procedure for those sending money home.

In its first year, 2005, remittances to Mexico topped $20 billion and the Federal Reserve reports “double-digit percentage growth for the past several years.” Remittances are transferred through the Federal Reserve’s own automated clearinghouse linked directly to Mexico’s central bank (Banco de Mexico). The Trump administration should eliminate it because it undermines our nation’s immigration laws and is a potential national security nightmare.

Back in 2006 Judicial Watch investigated the outrageous taxpayer-subsidized initiative and obtained government records that shed light on how it functions. Marketing materials target immigrant workers in the U.S.—regardless of their legal status—as well as banks, credit unions and other financial institutions.

The program is promoted as “the best way to send money home,” offering “more pesos for every dollar.” American financial institutions are charged $0.67 per item to transfer money from the United States to Mexican banks, ensuring a “highly competitive rate.” The Federal Reserve also provides participating U.S. financial institutions with Spanish language promotional materials to “help get your message out.” The marketing materials also include the number of Mexican migrants in the U.S. with no distinction between those here illegally or not. A separate list identifies thousands of Mexican banks receiving “Directo a México” transfers.

When the program was created Federal Reserve officials acknowledged that most of the Mexican nationals who send money back home are illegal immigrants so a Mexican-issued identification is the only requirement to use the government banking service. A colorful brochure promoting “Directo a Mexico” offered to help immigrants who don’t have bank accounts and assured the best foreign exchange rate and low transfer fees.

A frequently asked question section posed this: “If I return to Mexico or am deported, will I lose the money in my bank account?” The answer: “No. The money still belongs to you and can easily be accessed at an ATM in Mexico using your debit card.” In short, the U.S. created this special banking system specifically for illegal aliens and tens of billions of dollars have streamed through it.

As a presidential candidate Trump proposed a plan to get Mexico to fund a border wall by cutting off remittance payments from Mexican migrants in the U.S. In a memo to a mainstream newspaper Trump wrote that Mexican migrants send $24 billion in remittances annually and the estimated cost of a border wall would be between $5 billion and $10 billion.

According to his plan, the U.S. Patriot Act would be amended to block wire transfers from Mexican nationals using companies such as Western Union. Nowhere in the document is the Federal Reserve’s special program, which clearly caters to illegal immigrants. The president is well aware that the overwhelming majority of remittances to Mexico are sent by those living in the U.S. illegally.

In fact, his proposal was to create a rule that “no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States.”  The Federal Reserve’s “Directo a Mexico” has no such requirement as the commander-in-chief completes his first term.
 






Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: Caravans not behind crossing slowdowns
« Reply #564 on: April 22, 2019, 04:01:49 PM »


Why Migrant Caravans Are not Behind the Recent U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing Slowdowns
A Central American migrant caravan on Nov. 11, 2018, passes through the Mexican state of Guanajuato on its way to the United States.

Highlights

    Much has been made of so-called migrant caravans heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border, but they are a relatively small part of a broader problem increasing processing times for legal land border crossings into the United States.
    These slowdowns affect the operations of businesses reliant on cross-border trade.
    While current record levels of immigration will eventually drop off, seemingly intractable staffing challenges at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the national political fight over the border will continue.

Editor's Note: This security-focused assessment is one of many such analyses found at Stratfor Threat Lens, a unique protective intelligence product designed with corporate security leaders in mind. Threat Lens enables industry professionals and organizations to anticipate, identify, measure and mitigate emerging threats to people, assets and intellectual property the world over. Threat Lens is the only unified solution that analyzes and forecasts security risk from a holistic perspective, bringing all the most relevant global insights into a single, interactive threat dashboard.

About 3,000 migrants from Central America crossed into Mexico from Guatemala via the Rodolfo Robles International Bridge on April 12, joining about 4,000 others already in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas hoping to make it to the United States. Based on the patterns of previous caravans from Central America, the migrants will take an additional three to four weeks to make their way north to the U.S. border, arriving sometime in early May. This timeline could be delayed, however, by an apparent crackdown by the Mexican government: Reuters reported on April 17 that Mexico City has sought to slow the caravans by closing visa offices in southern Mexico and stopping the processing of visas, stranding migrants in camps.

The Big Picture

Staffing shortages, a highly charged atmosphere over immigration and border security, and record-high numbers of would-be illegal border crossers — many of whom are children — have overwhelmed U.S. officials, with so-called migrant caravans a relatively small contributor to the slowdown in border crossings. Consequent delays at official crossing points where U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents process thousands of commercial and personal vehicles every day have caused major problems for legitimate businesses. While current record levels of immigration will eventually drop off, the perennial challenge of securing the border and the national political fight over the issue will persist.

See Crossing Borders

But while some migrants will turn back and some will seek shelter in Mexico, the majority will eventually push on to the U.S. border and will even be joined by others — swelling the size of the caravan. Nongovernmental organizations will help by arranging bus rides, providing meals and leading the group on foot at times. As the caravan moves north, it is likely to break up as groups head toward major crossing points into the United States at Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez and Piedras Negras.

The caravans are contributing to a surge in illegal border crossings into the United States, which has experienced more illegal crossings from Mexico than it has in 12 years. To boost patrols in overwhelmed sectors, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reassigned hundreds of agents from high-traffic ports of entry, such as San Diego, and Laredo and El Paso in Texas. This in turn has slowed down the processing of legitimate border traffic.

The recent slowdown in processing times threatens the operations of businesses reliant on trade with Mexico. In El Paso, for example, wait times increased to two to three hours in early April 2019 compared with an average of about one hour in April 2015. At Otay Mesa, California, crossing was taking close to 4.5 hours in early April versus minimal wait times in November 2018. And California's San Ysidro crossing, just a few miles west of Otay Mesa, was shut down by protests and immigrants trying to force their way across. Laredo is also experiencing unusually high wait times of about four hours. No caravans, however, will arrive at the border in April. Moreover, the last time a caravan arrived on the border — when about 1,800 Central Americans reached Piedras Negras in early February — its arrival didn't cause a significant jump in legal border crossing times.
Migrant Caravans, a Small Part of the Overall Problem

While caravans have been drawing a great deal of attention in the national debate over immigration and border security, they are just one of a number of factors that have contributed to the crisis unfolding along the border with Mexico. Immigrants attempting to reach the United States by caravan make up a small percentage of total immigration from Mexico and Central America. The February Piedras Negras caravan, for example, accounted for little more than 2 percent of the 76,535 individuals that CBP agents apprehended that month trying to cross into the United States.

March 2019 in turn saw the highest levels of monthly reported apprehensions (103,492) at the border since April 2007, a 105 percent increase over March 2018. In March 2019, apprehensions were up 516 percent from March 2017, when migration along the border with Mexico was at record lows. From January to March 2019, CBP apprehended more Honduran and Guatemalan family units than in all of 2018 combined. So it is actually the overall increase in illegal immigration that is overwhelming the border, not the caravans themselves.

Seasonal Surges and CBP Staffing Woes

Immigration to the United States from Latin America is currently in the middle of its annual increase as seasonal workers attempt to make their way in. In a historical trend, border apprehensions — an indicator of overall illegal immigration patterns — tend to increase from February through May before dropping in June and July. So with or without caravans, the seasonal pressure on immigration authorities along the border should continue for the next one to two months.

Making it harder for the government to cope with the surge, and thus increasing legal crossing wait times, CBP has simultaneously been struggling with staffing shortages. In late March, CBP ordered the redeployment of 750 agents from El Paso and Laredo; Tucson, Arizona; and San Diego to address the surge along less-patrolled sections of the border. That number could go up to 2,000 agents during April, and CBP could request even more if it deems it necessary — further straining resources at busy ports of entry.

Less personnel means fewer open lanes, delays in processing vehicles and backlogs that compound the wait time — ultimately raising shipping costs for companies and individuals that rely on products from Mexico.

During 2018, similar but smaller redeployments saw shorter delays. CBP moved 100 agents from El Paso to the Arizona and California sectors in November, causing wait times to double to about an hour in El Paso. This reallocation of resources has closely corresponded to the increase in wait times during early April. The agents' absence is forcing ports of entry to limit their operations. For example, Laredo was operating only 10 of 12 commercial lanes on April 12, while Otay Mesa was using only eight of 10. Less personnel means fewer open lanes, delays in processing vehicles and backlogs that increase wait times — ultimately raising shipping costs for companies and individuals that rely on products from Mexico.

The apparent shortage of CBP agents is nothing new. According to a 2017 report from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, CBP hasn't hit its hiring goals since 2014. It is also trying to fill 7,000 to 8,000 positions for new agents and officers to secure the border and ensure commerce continues without unreasonable delays. But nothing so far indicates the CBP will overcome its personnel shortages any time soon.

Faced with an influx of immigrants and a shortage of personnel to deal with them, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has chosen border security over the swift processing of commercial and private traffic from Mexico. While the president didn't go so far as to shut down the border as he threatened in early April, the redeploying of limited human resources away from entry points has still hampered trade.

The importance of border security to Trump, as evidenced by his insistence on a border wall, means the subject will remain a politically intractable issue. And while current record levels of immigration will eventually drop off, relieving some pressure on border security forces, the perennial challenges of an understaffed CBP and the national political fight over the border will continue at least through the next round of U.S. elections in 2020.

Crafty_Dog

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