Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexico catches cartel lawyer, hires US law firm

Thursday, April 21, 2011 |

PHOTO: SSP

Federal police have arrested a lawyer who allegedly helped the Zetas drug cartel manage ransom and extortion payments, which were sometimes handed over in the form of property deeds, Mexican authorities said Thursday.


By MARK STEVENSON
Associated Press


Federal police have arrested a lawyer who allegedly helped the Zetas drug cartel manage ransom and extortion payments, which were sometimes handed over in the form of property deeds, Mexican authorities said Thursday.

Suspect Marco Antonio Gomez was detained in the Caribbean coast resort of Cancun on Wednesday, the Public Safety Department said in a statement.

Gomez allegedly participated as a go-between in negotiating ransom payments from relatives of businessmen who had been kidnapped in the Cancun area.

In a sign of the gang's sophistication, the federal police said the Zetas had professionals who worked to legally transfer property titles handed over to the cartel.

Nine more suspected Zetas members were arrested in the border state of Tamaulipas on Wednesday as part of a general crackdown on the gang after is was implicated in the abduction and killing of at least 145 people whose bodies were exhumed from mass graves in the town of San Fernando earlier this month.

Also Thursday, a Mexican official confirmed that President Felipe Calderon's government has hired a U.S. law firm to investigate possible civil lawsuits against U.S. gun manufacturers or dealers, for what Mexican officials consider the companies' responsibility for guns that are smuggled to Mexico's drug war.

The government has long demanded the United States crack down on cross-border arms smuggling amid drug violence in Mexico that has killed more than 34,000 people over the last four years.

According to the official, who agreed to speak about the legal action only if granted anonymity, the government hired a New York-based law firm late last year to explore possible suits against U.S. gun manufacturers that may have knowingly or imprudently produced or distributed weapons that wound up in the hands of Mexican drug cartel gunmen.

Calls to the New York law firm seeking to confirm the contract went unanswered. The U.S. National Rifle Association did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Mexico's action.

Many guns used to kill in Mexico never have their origins traced. But U.S. officials say that of the weapons discovered at Mexican crime scenes that authorities do choose to trace, nearly 90 percent are eventually found to have been purchased in the U.S. Critics of that estimate contend Mexican authorities focus on U.S.-made guns to trace.

A November 2008 study by the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, estimated 2,000 U.S. guns are smuggled into Mexico each day. A new U.S. effort to increase inspections of travelers crossing the border has netted just 386 guns in two years.

In the northern state of Durango, prosecutors reported Thursday that further excavations at a vacant lot in the state capital yielded 11 more bodies - 10 men and one woman - in addition to 26 badly decomposed bodies found a day earlier.

The grisly Holy Week discovery came just days after police found 10 complete bodies, three headless bodies and four severed heads in a pit in Durango, a state that has become a battleground between the Zetas and Sinaloa drug cartels.

Prosecutors did not say whether the bodies were found in multiple-burial pits, like the 145 bodies that have been pulled from mass graves in the border state of Tamaulipas.

While Mexican drug cartels frequently use such pits to dispose of the remains of executed rivals, many of those buried in the Tamaulipas mass graves are believed to have been passengers kidnapped from passing buses.

In Tamaulipas on Wednesday, authorities reported they had rescued 68 people, including 12 Central American migrants, allegedly kidnapped by a drug cartel.

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9 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

la verga to all lawyers

-790

Anonymous said...

Lets file a lawsuit against Mexico for participating in the wholesale smuggling of illegal drugs into the US,the entire govt of Mexico has been acomplice. Lets sue Mexicans for illegally buying firearms in the US then Illegally Smuggling them into Mexico,ammunition also,then illegally killing people. I respect Calderon for taking a stand,attempting to civelize Mexico,I disrespect him for being a typical politician "ADMIT NOTHING,DENY EVERYTHING,MAKE COUNTER ACCUSATIONS" Mexico is the Ghetto dweller selling drugs to the rich kids also rapeing anybody who is weak in the Ghetto. Ghetto/Mexico where the law is the law of the jungle.

Anonymous said...

That's what lawyers do, it's about the money, that's pretty low though. takeing deeds to peoples home that they worked honestly for and are willing to do anything to save a loved one , I would guess many were killed regardless. Fucking savages.

Anonymous said...

Los Pepes used to kill Pablo Escobars lawyers, accountants and business associates. Hoping and organized group like Los Pepes will come along and save Mexico. God ...if you are listening....work your magic.

Anonymous said...

There's that 90% figure again....

...I hope all you gun hobbyists' blood is boiling right now...

...you deserve that and much more for every gun death on this blog that is perpetrated with any American gun or ammo...

Anonymous said...

Bad move suing US gun Makers, making it harder for Americans to own Guns to defend themselves would be a deal breaker on Mexico getting any support from Americans.

Mexico needs to wake up and stop blaming American civilians for all their Guns, when most of the Guns are AK-47's straight from China and Chavez, and almost all the American made weapons you find and if you are brave enough to trace them will know they came straight from the US Government, not us Americans.

Anonymous said...

Calderon came to the U.S. to pick up his check for one point five billion dollars before he left office. There a new person for the Zeta to kidnap!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

for the record President Felipe Calderon's please be aware I -Ann Marie Rybak have notice of your so called lawsuit to the riffle companies.. the companies their assets and trusts stolen from me which you are a very big part of. Tell your country what the deal over Vicente really was..it was so you could keep the crime industry and steal from me but I am stopping and collecting all you have stolen so the bullshit lawsuits will go no where you will be wise to find another thought.. this is same bullshit game played by your palls Bush's/Recka's/Williams etc. so you are selling the lives of your people..you put Vicente in the Chicago,Il prison as a use of power/power play for the group a power point on the grid somewhere.. tied to me.. see everyone needs to know I share a plan to share the money with the people around the world but people like this have spent their life stealing it and having you do most of the work picking and choosing your lives.. I see Mexico may not be where I land with Vicente to help the people maybe Columbia would be interested to help us clean up this mess..FRAUD!!!! I will look into the process to impeach you also..

Anonymous said...

the way i see it is we send in the us military to take out the zetas and all who claim gangs

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