Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Another body appears in Nuevo Laredo's 'execution' monument

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 |


Another body appeared in Nuevo Laredo's Christopher Columbus monument early Tuesday morning, along with a long rambling placard aimed at a former associate of Los Zetas in that border city.

The monument, located in the upscale Colonia Madero, has been the scene in recent weeks of gruesome exhibitions of the remains of two bloggers accused by Los Zetas of supplying information to federal authorities and messages threatening Nuevo Laredo's anti-organized crime bloggers.

However, Tuesday's execution victim, a male described as between 50 and 60 years old is believed to be a relative of Antoñio Peña, alias "El Amenaza", "EL Tony" or "Norteño12", a member of a well known Nuevo Laredo family with a history of involvement in drug trafficking.

The unsigned message, most likely authored by Los Zetas, accuses Antonio Peña of stealing $5 million and of ordering the murder of Rodolfo Torre Cantu, the PRI candidate for Governor of Tamaulipas who was assassinated in 2010 while campaigning for office.

Antoñio Peña is alleged to be a money launderer, weapons procurer and a source of political and economic connections for Los Zetas.

According to to a local Laredo newspaper, the murder victim and other members of the family, including several women, were abducted last week.

None of the missing family members have reappeared.

The message on the placard:

“NO ANDEN DICIENDO QUE ES UN SECUESTRO PINCHE VIEJO PITARRON SON LOS 5 MILLONES DE DÓLAR QUE LE DIMOS A ALLA SAVES PAQUE HI NO CUMPLIO AL CONTRARIO SE FUE DEL PAÍS PAQUE SE HACE PENDEJO DON TOÑO PEÑA SI USTED MANDO MATAR “A” RODOLFO TORRES PORQUE AFECTAVA LOS HINTERESES DE LAS COMPAÑÍAS QUE TIENE OSIEL CARDENAS Y TOMAS YARRINTON QUE TIENEN SOCIEDAD COMO QUIERA LO MATARON DIOKIS PORQUE QUEDO EL HERMANO Y SE LAS SIGUIERON PELANDO PINCHE VIEJO HIPÓCRITA QUE ANDA PREDICANDO LA PALABRA DE DIOS SI TRAGAS SANTOS Y CAGA DIABLOS Y TODAVÍA QUE ES UN ASESINO LAVADOR DE DINERO AI BIBE EN USA, BIEN TRANQUILO PUES NO ES ALLA DONDE COMBATEN EL NARCOTRÁFICO Y EL LAVADO DE DINERO PORQUE A LOS MEJOR BUENOS DEL LAVADO DE DINERO LOS TIENEN ALLA??”

Don't be saying this was a kidnapping fucking old pitarron (informer, whistleblower?) its the $5 million we gave you, you know what for, and you did not meet your obligations on the contrary you left the country. Why play the fool it was you Don Toño (Tony)Peña who ordered Rodolfo Torres killed because he was going against the interests of the businesses that Osiel Cardenas and Tomas Yarrington are partners in. (Osiel Cardenas is the previous head of the Gulf cartel now incarcerated in the U.S., Tomas Yarrington is a former Tamaulipas Governor with alleged ties to organized crime). Whatever, you killed him for nothing because his brother is there and still screwing with them. Fucking old hypocrite that's preaching the word of God you swallow saints and shit devils your still a money laundering murderer living in the U.S., nice and peaceful well isn't it there that they fight drug trafficking and money laundering because they have the best money launderers??


Sources:
http://accionesantinarcos.blogspot.com/2007/02/ya-esta-arto-nuevo-laredo-de-la-plaga.html
http://www.hoylaredo.net/NOTICIAS1/NOTAS1/Lo%20ejecutan%20y%20dejan%20narcomensaje.htm
http://www.lmtonline.com/articles/2011/11/30/news/doc4ed5dd552858c197675432.txt
(Laredo Morning Times is subscription only)

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Tijuana Drug Tunnel Linked Mexico to US

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US police have found one of the most sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnels to date on the border with Mexico.

BBC News

Mexican security forces surrounded the Tijuana entrance of the tunnel.

The tunnel was discovered on Tuesday and links warehouses in Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego.

"It is clearly the most sophisticated tunnel that we have found in the last five years, perhaps ever," a US police spokeswoman in San Diego said.

A similar tunnel was discovered in the area two weeks ago, adding to dozens that have been found in recent years.

Local media describe Otay Mesa as a busy area containing many warehouses, making it easier for smugglers.

The tunnel extends twice as far into the US as it does into Mexico.

The tunnel is 15ft (4.5m) deep and contains both lighting and transport carts, AFP news agency reports.

Mexican security forces found the entrance in a Tijuana warehouse after being alerted to the discovery by the US authorities.

The warehouse is near Tijuana airport, and also stands close to the local headquarters of the federal police.

Mexican security forces seized three tons of marijuana at the tunnel's entrance, which they suspect had only recently been put into use.

The use of underground tunnels for smuggling has increased in recent years as the US authorities have clamped down on overland smuggling activity.

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Guadalajara Body Dump Heralds Spread of Massacres in Mexico

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Written by  Patrick Corcoran
In Sight

With 26 dead bodies dumped on the streets of Guadalajara, mass killings in Mexico seem to be growing more common and spreading across the country, as each massacre raises the stakes for other criminal groups.

The bodies were discovered on November 24, in three trucks abandoned around a traffic intersection in downtown Guadalajara. Various media outlets reported that the victims had been beaten, strangled, and shot in the head.

Notes left with the bodies suggested that the Zetas were behind the murders, though Jalisco Attorney General Tomas Coronado Olmos said that authorities had not yet ascertained who was responsible. Federal investigators have also picked up the case, and are searching in Jalisco as well as surrounding states for the authors of the murders. While authorities have not announced whether the victims were part of a criminal group, five of the 14 bodies identified thus far had criminal histories.

While the scale of the violence was certain to grab attention, this incident reflects a couple of trends that are worth noting. One is that Guadalajara, a city of more than 4 million people a few hours inland from the Pacific coast, remains contested. It was long considered the territory of Sinaloa Cartel capo Ignacio Coronel, but his death in July 2010 encouraged Sinaloa’s enemies to enter the region, and Guadalajara has grown far more violent since.

Dozens of bodies dumped in Boca del Rio, Veracruz.

Today, there are a host of new players and competing alliances contributing to the sense of anarchy in Guadalajara. The Sinaloa Cartel remains a potent force in the region, while a gang of erstwhile Coronel lieutenants began opeating under the moniker Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG). These two groups were ostensibly allied, yet a string of bodies left along a highway in the nearby state of Guanajuato in June had notes, signed by the CJNG, that taunted·the Sinaloa Cartel.

The Zetas, whose play for the city actually predated Coronel’s death, have grown more aggressive in Guadalajara in recent months. While they were initially struggling against another local group known as La Resistencia, the two have reportedly been working together for the last several months.

None of the forces seeking control of the city have succeeded in overwhelming their adversaries, however, which is why Guadalajara continues to struggle against a rising tide of violence.

The Guadalajara killings offer the latest illustration of an alarming trend in Mexico's underworld: attention-grabbing massacres. This latest incident comes just weeks after dozens of bodies were dumped around Boca del Rio, Veracruz, a populous state along Mexico’s Gulf coast. The Boca del Rio killings, in turn, followed the August arson attack on a Monterrey casino, which left 52 civilians dead. In June, more than 20 people were killed in a Monterrey nightclub when gunmen entered and opened fire.

Prior to the attacks in Monterrey, massacres already appeared to be on the rise. Three different attacks on nightclub in the northern city of Torreon killed scores of civilians in 2010. Attacks on migrants and bus passengers in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas earlier this year and in August 2010 led to the discovery of hundreds of bodies around the small city of San Fernando.

While mass killings were certainly not unheard of in the past, such attacks seem to be growing more frequent, and spreading across the country. They are not confined to a single group: the Zetas are thought to be responsible for the casino attack as well as the San Fernando killings, the Gulf Cartel for the previous Monterrey attack, the CJNG for the Boca del Rio killings, while a local group linked to the Sinaloa Cartel has been blamed for the Torreon shootings.

As analyst Alejandro Hope has observed, this demonstrates the inability of the Mexican government to respond decisively enough to disincentivize future massacres: if the gangs responsible for mass killings are able to stay on their feet after such incidents, this encourages other criminal groups to follow suit and raise the stakes.

In the above examples, many of the Zetas associated with the Monterrey and San Fernando killings have been arrested, but the gang as a whole and its foremost leaders remain intact. Furthermore, the swift arrests in the casino attack were relatively unusual; in most cases the reports of arrests tend to trail off as the popular outrage fades.

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Three Zetas Admit to Killing Bodyguards

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Three members of the Los Zetas cartel who were arrested during a recent traffic stop confessed to killing bodyguards protecting the governor of the state of Nuevo León in June, a federal prosecutor’s aide said on Nov. 28.


The aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Arturo García Celaya, 24, José Daniel Hernández Guzmán, 25, and Nicolás Yepes Álvarez, 34, admitted to killing two of Gov. Rodrigo Medina’s bodyguards and a bodyguard for a mayor last November, in addition to three police officers in May.

The subjects were arrested at the intersection of avenues of Pablo Livas and Carlota in the community of Progreso in Guadalupe, when they were driving aboard a Tsuru.


After they were taken in to custody elements of the federal forces found a high powered rifle AR-15, a .12 gauge shotgun, as well as fully loaded magazines.

Authorties also seized marijuana, cocaine packaged for distribution, Nextel cellular devices preferred by organize crime and at least three notebooks with data related to Los Zetas criminal organization.

The detainees confessed to working as "estacas" and "halcones" (informants and lookouts) for the criminal group and said they participated in the execution of police officer Carlos Alberto Reyes Almaguer, head of bodyguards for the mayor of San Pedro, Mauricio Fernandez. They also confessed of being responsible in the execution of three policemen from the municipality of Guadalupe, which occurred on May 18 of this year in a mall of the main plaza.
 
García and Hernández had escaped from prison in December.

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U.S. Deports Zetas Cartel Member to Mexico

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Fox News Latino

U.S. deports Zetas cartel member to Mexico.

A suspected member of the Los Zetas drug cartel wanted for kidnappings in Mexico has been deported by U.S. authorities, the Attorney General's Office said.

Alfonso Donis Ruiz was arrested on Oct. 17 in Bedford, Texas, by U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforceU.S. deports Zetas cartel member to Mexicoment, or ICE.

Donis Ruiz was detained because he was in the United States illegally, the AG's office said.

The Mexican government provided documentation to U.S. authorities showing that Donis Ruiz had a prior criminal record and an immigration judge ordered him deported.

He was taken into custody by Mexican federal agents, the AG's office said.

Donis Ruiz, who was identified as a member of the Los Flacos cell of Los Zetas, has a long record of involvement in kidnappings.

Mexico is "cooperating closely" with the United States and will not allow "borders to get in the way" of carrying out the justice "demanded by the Mexican people," the AG's office said.

Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent drug cartel, is involved in a number of different criminal activities, including kidnappings.

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as "El Lazca," deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.

After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

The cartel has been blamed for several massacres in recent years.

Los Zetas is accused of carrying out the Aug. 23, 2010, massacre of 72 migrants, the majority of them from Latin America, at a ranch outside San Fernando, a city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

The cartel has also been blamed for the massacre of 27 peasants in May at a ranch in Guatemala's Peten province, which borders Mexico and Belize.

Zetas gunmen set fire to Monterrey's Casino Royale on Aug. 25, killing 52 gamblers and employees trapped inside, most of whom died of smoke inhalation.

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Mexico marines capture "El Junior", son of deceased Capo, Tony Tormenta

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 |



EFE

The son of former top Gulf drug cartel boss Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen was captured by marines, the Mexican Navy Secretariat said Tuesday.

Ezequiel Cardenas Rivera was detained last Friday along with four associates while he attended a party at a house in Matamoros, a border city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the secretariat said.

The arrest of Cardenas Rivera, known as “El Junior,” was made possible by a tip and “naval intelligence work,” the secretariat said, without explaining why it waited four days to announce the capture.

The suspects, who were armed, were detained as they started to drive away from the house “in a hurry,” the Navy Secretariat said, adding that no shots were fired in the operation.

Jose de Jesus Garcia Hernandez, 32, suspected of being the Gulf cartel’s boss in Matamoros, located across the border from Brownsville, Texas, and Rene Alberto Munguia Elizondo, 43, who worked as an accountant for the criminal organization, were arrested along with Cardenas Rivera.

The other two suspects detained in the operation were identified as Javier Enrique Farias Garcia, 49, another Gulf cartel money man, and Erasmo Garcia Galvan, 37, who specialized in smuggling drugs into the United States.

Marines seized three rifles, six ammunition clips, 180 rounds of ammunition, five fragmentation grenades and three vehicles from the suspects.

All of the suspects were flown to Mexico City and handed over to the Siedo organized crime unit of the Attorney General’s Office last Saturday, the secretariat said.

Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, known as “Tony Tormenta,” was killed in a shootout on Nov. 5, 2010, with marines, marking one of the biggest blows dealt by the government to Mexico’s drug cartels.

The Gulf cartel was founded by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1970s and was later led by Juan Garcia Abrego, who was arrested in 1996 and extradited to the United States.

Osiel Cardenas Guillen later became the Gulf cartel’s undisputed boss.

Cardenas was arrested in 2003, but he continued running the Gulf cartel, one of the most violent and powerful criminal organizations in Mexico, until his extradition to the United States four years later.

Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen took over the Gulf cartel’s leadership following his brother’s extradition to the United States







El hijo de 'Tony Tormenta' es detenido por marinos en Tamaulipas

Detienen a 'El Junior', hijo de 'Tony Tormenta'

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Hacker Group Threatens Action Over Bus Passenger Kidnappings

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anon #OPCARRETERAS SEGURAS Contacted BB Twitter & requested We View This

Posted in the Borderland Beat forum by Chivis

At Borderland_Beat Twitter we received this message today:

>@AnonPrelationsJuan Pueblo

@Borderland_Beat I'd appreciate if you visit our site http://anonmediablitzcenter.blogspot.com as it explains about #OpcarreterasSeguras in English

I linked on a found this video and interview. Watch the videos, it is very informative see below the first is tho inform what exists, the second is the Anon Plan of action on Dec 10, 2011, Paz, Chivis
Hacker group threatens action over bus passenger kidnappings

The following news report aired Monday night at 10:00 p.m. after Mr. Sergio Chapa, from Action 4 News interviewed us concerning #OpCarreterasSeguras that will be launched in Mexico on December 10th.



Here is the Action 4 News interview:

The hacker group ‘Anonymous’ is planning to take justice into its own hands again.

The group declared war on the drug cartels over the reported murder of social media users in Nuevo Laredo earlier this year.

But Anonymous is now turning its attention to bus companies and Mexico’s federal government.

In an exclusive interview with Action 4 News on Twitter, the group claims little is being done to halt the kidnapping of bus passengers on Mexico’s highways.

There are no official numbers or reports but the group claims thousands have been kidnapped, killed or forced to work against their will in an all-too common scenario.

Cartel Checkpoints
The spokesperson for Anonymous who spoke with Action 4 News said it’s common for armed men to board passenger buses at drug cartel checkpoints.

“They get on the bus, take the men for ransom or to integrate them into their criminal organization,” the spokesperson said. “The women are raped and then kidnapped to work in brothels. The evidence is here."

The Anonymous member said Central American immigrants and even Mexican nationals headed to the United States have been taken.

As in the case of mass graves found just 90 miles south of the Rio Grande Valley in San Fernando back in April, the kidnappings go unreported until it's too late.

“The bus companies do not report it to the authorities because than they have to report it to the insurance companies,” the Anonymous spokesperson said. “Can you imagine if every bus company reported every claim in a nation in war to the insurance companies? The premiums would be sky high!"

Planned Attack
Anonymous is threatening to take down a series of bus company or government websites on December 10th.

A final list of the targets has not been decided but the group said it will release its demands later this week but mostly wants attention to the issue and greater security on the highways.

"Yes, the guilty ones here are the bus companies but when the families of the raped, the kidnapped cry out, they cry out for justice to the government and here is where the government does not jump fast enough,” the Anonymous spokesperon said.

The December 10th attack is taking place on the same date as International Human Rights Day but it’s also the launch of Mexico’s annual “Paisano” campaign to welcome thousands of migrants home for the holidays.

Officials React
Action 4 News contacted the cyber crimes unit of Mexico’s federal police force but had not received an answer as of Monday evening.

Officials with major bus companies operating in Mexico could not be reached for comment but the company Tranpaís said in a previous statement that its buses are safe.

The company reported that it uses GPS devices and communications devices for drivers to stay in touch along their routes.

The American Consulate of Matamoros maintains a April 2011 warning against traveling by bus in Tamaulipas due to reported hijackings that involved American citizens.

by Sergio Chapa

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The executors of "El Mayo"

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Posted in the Borderland Beat forum by Texcoco

The detainees told the authorities how they conduct their criminal activity. That “El Paisa” is a killer hired by "El Guicho's" sister Rosa Guajardo, and that “El Mongus” work for "El Tigre".

These killings are ordered to control the roads between Ensenada and Tijuana, while second-level operational criminals kill to control the business of drug dealing about 100 thousand to 300 thousand pesos a month for a cell leader. “El Chaparrito” is another criminal operator of "El Chapo" sent to Tijuana, he was the custodian of the $15 million dollars seized.

ZETA Investigation: Jeova Israel Ilhuicatzi Morales “El Cuervo” was recognized as "Tiendero and Bataca" (drug store manager and criminal instrument) for organized crime, but he said the people responsible of the drug trafficking, retail drug sales and assassinations was the plaza boss, Rosa Hernandez Guajardo-sister of "El Guicho" - and his right hand, a man identified as "El Paisa".

He also accused José Antonio Soto Gastelum “El Tigre” and his right hand man, whom he identified only by the nickname "El Mongus".

Israel Ilhuicatzi was a Tijuana municipal police from 1998 to 1999 in the San Antonio de los Buenos delegation, where he began his criminal connections. His first arrest warrant was the same year he left the corporation.

However, they learned of his criminal involvement in the cartel until 2009-2010, when the group of Hector Guajardo "El Guicho" replaced the brothers García Simental, Teodoro and José Manuel, of the Arellano Felix Cartel (CAF) .

Some detainees began to speak of "El Cuervo", "El Cuervito", "Jeo" or "Jehovah" as part of a group of assassins since 2008 to working for the Sinaloa Cartel.

Until May 2011, Ilhuicatzi had worked for Merardo Reyes Soberanis “El Reyes”, a cousin of "El Guicho". When El Guicho and El Reyes were arrested he went to work for "La Rosy", but said that all who worked for the sister, are under the orders of "El Tigre", who act as the direct contact with the Sinaloa Cartel.

Since 1999, the court system has been looking for "Cuervito" with arrest warrants for car theft, injury and breach of family obligations, and as of November 1, 2011, for attempted murder.

On March 26, 2010 he was arrested for carrying a firearm for exclusive use of the army, but obtained his release on bail.

When he was arrested, he was wanted only as a suspect in the preliminary 2089/11/20A for the attempted murder committed by three of his criminal associates on November 1 against Omar Acuña Parra, another drug dealer who owed them money.

The Attorney General of the State (PGJE) is still integrating its preliminary investigations against six of the murders of:

- Omar Cortez and Richard Alan Berg (October 30).
- Moses Gwendal Sewell III (October 26).
- Antonio Chavez, "The Tony" Guerrero and Ramon "El Grande" (October 11).
- Unidentified Female (September 30).
- Gustavo Tapia Moreno (September 22).
- Manuel Navarro, Carlos Velazquez, Alma Urrutia and Diana Godinez (April 18).

During interrogation of “El Cuervo”, he said the Arzate or Arteaga brothers ask for his services, but he did not accept and even refused to receive the cell phone "La Rana" send to keep in touch with them.

He explained that the brothers tried to "hire him" after he try stealing a load of drugs from them, he knew that Arteaga was trafficking large shipments of drugs from Ensenada to Tijuana, passing true Rosarito, the main point of operation for "El Cuervito".

The police ask him about his relationship with "La Rana", on November 1, following an attempted of murder in El Tecolote, Juan Manuel Bocanegra Fortanel "The Juanillo" was arrested he said Ilhuicatzi operated with "La Rana" he deny the accusations.

He said "El Tigre" also invited him to work, but did not answer because "Guicho" contacted him and ordered him to stay with his sister, five or six months latter this woman told him to aligned himself with Soto, who was presumed to be a direct contact of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, one of the two leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The criminal organization led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, has divided the territories and deliver them to small cells that are unrelated to each other, which has caused a fight for territory. The new structure of the cartel was created because of the betrayal of lieutenants in that organization, as the Beltran Leyva and Ignacio Coronel.

“El Cuervo” admitted that most of the men and women killed or found dead on Rosarito Boulevard 2000 were from his criminal group, and said that such killings were ordered by "La Rosy" because they were "flipping" betraying "El Tigre" to go work with "El Achilles'.

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Spillover Violence--The Riddles Grow with Two New Cases

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by Inside the Border/Gary Moore

Is Mexico’s drug war spilling into the United States?
Two recent cases bring new weight–and new confusion–to this old question.


The two current cases of spillover violence, on October 30 and November 24, occurred more than 300 miles apart in Texas. Both produced murky and conflicting reports. Each involved a different Mexican crime cartel, on different kinds of missions. These probes by foreign criminals onto U.S. soil were apparently unrelated, and only coincidentally close in time.

But there is still the deeper riddle. Could the incidents be predictors? Do they foreshadow a general willingness to bring violence north across the border?

For decades Mexican drug smugglers have had marketing links inside the United States, but the large cartels have kept most of their fighting in Mexico. There has been the unwritten rule: antagonizing U.S. law enforcement isn’t worth the risk. But this is only a custom, and customs can change. The drug war itself might be defined as a gradual breakdown of norms and inhibitions. The two recent incidents ask once again: How far will the cartels go?

The first case, on October 30 north of Edinburg, Texas, was labeled as a milestone by a convincing skeptic on spillover alarms. Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño has long urged moderation in this tricky debate, reminding that crime in his border county is mostly homegrown, coming from U.S.-side perpetrators, not from a phantom invasion out of Mexico.

But the October 30 case–in which Treviño’s deputy Hugo Rodriguez was wounded–was a milestone, according to the sheriff: a clear case of Mexican organized crime on a violent cross-border mission.

The clash involved three groups: 1) local street-gang operators in Hidalgo County, 2) cartel muscle coming from Mexico to strike at the street gang, and 3) Sheriff’s Department responders reportedly drawn into the fray by a cryptic call for help. Such confusing three-way battles have long been standard in Mexico.

On October 30, a pickup containing at least four hitmen from Mexico was sent across the Rio Grande bridge, then traveled 20 miles into the United States. The truck came from the Gulf Cartel, a badly battered remnant organization, holding onto influence in a 150-mile urbanized strip of borderland in Mexico, facing Texas. As the Gulf Cartel has melted down–in battles with the rival Zetas Cartel, and with the Mexican government, and among its own factions–a load of marijuana reportedly fell into renegade hands, and crept across the border as a freelance operation. The cartel hierarchy wanted the pot back, and, reportedly, they ignored traditional caution to go after it, sending a squad into the U.S. to do battle for the goods.

The hit squad soon targeted a mobile home in rural Hidalgo County, where parts of the disputed load were allegedly being peddled by luminaries in a Texas street gang, the Partido Revolucionario Mexicano (the name only sounds political; it originated in a Texas prison). Three of the mobile home entrepreneurs were taken prisoner, but before the cartel kidnappers could get very far with them, one escaped and called the sheriff’s department. Mysteries multiplied. The kidnappers’ pickup truck was somehow identified by arriving sheriff’s deputies, and there was a traffic stop. Two of the captives reportedly were being held in the cab–which must have been crowded. As a deputy got out and walked up to them, the head gunman, Daniel Gonzalez, 19, was said to open fire, then was killed in the ensuing firefight.

This was when Deputy Rodriguez caught three slugs, though his armored vest stopped two, leaving only a third to draw blood, at a wound that was variously described by official statements as being in the stomach or in the thigh. At least six persons, including a woman, Salma Arellano, were arrested and charged with various crimes–raising more questions. The gunman Gonzalez was the only fatality, but a murder charge was brought against one of his apparent kidnap victims, under Texas’s “law of parties.” Official narratives had Perez exchanging fire only with deputies. This, too, sounds like the confusing battles in Mexico.

The questions would linger–as the second case arrived.

Not quite a month later, on November 21, a semitrailer was rumbling into northwest Harris County at the fringe of metro Houston, a long six hours north of the border. The big rig was carrying a hidden marijuana load, but that wasn’t all. This was a decoy operation run by undercover law enforcement, designed to flush out waiting recipients of the pot. The truck was bird-dogged by lawmen in disguised vehicles. Then suddenly three other vehicles swooped in, apparently having followed this singular parade still more secretly from the border. The new vehicles opened fire, strafing the truck and killing its driver, Lawrence Chapa, an undercover informant.

Again there was a firefight. Again a sheriff’s deputy was wounded, this time in the leg, apparently as another officer fired in the confusion. Again, one of the attacking gunmen was killed. Four more were arrested. Confessions said they were operatives of the Zetas Cartel in Mexico. Three were reportedly Mexican citizens.

Theories arose. Only 300 pounds of marijuana lay in the truck, a small load to try and rip off at such a risk. Plus, the attack came not on a lonely road in the countryside but in more chancy urban terrain. Some theorists said the Zetas were sending a message, that this was not an attempt to rip off a drug load but a pinpoint assassination of an informant, performed inside a U.S. city to show the Zetas’ reach. Famed as the most violent Mexican cartel, the Zetas are known for sending terroristic messages via bursts of violence that are never overtly explained.

Both these cases suggest that if the drug war does spill onto U.S. soil, the smoke of battle may hide much of the field.



This map suggests why law enforcement officials are nervous in South Texas. Spillover from Mexico’s violence has been happening there for some time.

But if the map is examined closely, it also shows why U.S.-side nervousness remains mostly at the preparedness stage, and not in full cry of alarm–at least not among many knowledgeable front-line officers on the ground. Spillover has made a pattern of isolated dots. U.S. law enforcement has kept it from forming a unified wave.

Typically, U.S.-side arrests of drug bosses (green letters on the map) have occurred not as cartels tried to conquer U.S. territory, but as they used U.S. border areas as safe havens, escaping Mexico when feuds closed in. This occurred in 2010 with some escaping members of the Zetas Cartel, and again in 2011 with the Gulf Cartel as it was rocked by infighting. Some of the sanctuary-seekers became well established before they were caught (B, C and D on the map), some were caught almost immediately (A, E, F) and one (G) turned himself in to U.S. authorities at a border bridge, the day after his battle group was smashed in Mexico ten miles away. Escapees in hiding can bring extra problems, as their Mexican foes cross to the U.S. and shoot at them (red numbers on the map).

Will such isolated dots connect in the future, to trace out a crisis?
The answer is a matter of passionate opinion–and intense debate.
________________________________________________________

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Zetas Invade Sinaloa and Jalisco

Monday, November 28, 2011 |


A total of 20 execution style murders have swept the state of Sinaloa. In the city of Culiacan, the capitol of Sinaloa, thirteen bodies were abandoned in vehicles that were set on fire in two separate locations.

Far from weakening, the cartel Los Zetas, in partnership with Milenio, Beltrán Leyva and Carrillo Fuentes, have strengthened their expansion in the country entering territory formerly dominated by the Sinaloa cartel and its allies.

This was revealed by a report published by Proceso magazine this Sunday that says that the governments of these states are living critical moments in the "Zeta invasion."

Twenty six bodies were discovered bound and gagged in vehicles abandoned in the heart of Guadalajara.

The report notes that in the case of Sinaloa, the first state to report a massacre from the invasion a few days ago in Culiacan, which was followed by Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, this is believed to be an action by Los Zetas in response to the massacre in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, a stronghold of Los Zeta. The military had already warned the government of these states of the arrival of numerous groups of commandos of this criminal organization.

From the beginning of the first week of this month the Mexican Military Intelligence sent correspondance to Sinaloa governor Malova that criminal cells had gained momentum in the center of the state and several commandos of hitmen had managed to enter the territory controlled by the organization of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman and Ismael El Mayo Zambada.

According to the information of the state government, the group was that of Los Zetas, that since the middle of the year is fighting to heat up the plaza in an alliance with the Beltran Leyva organization, who have established their center of operation in Ahome and Guasave, and the Carrillo Fuentes are partially operating in Navolato, Angostura and Salvador Alvarado.
 
Source: Proceso

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Nepomuceno Moreno Killed

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Posted in the Borderland Beat Forum by Texcoco

Around noon today it was announced that Nepomuceno Moreno Nuñez, from Movimiento por la Paz (Movement for peace), was shot and killed in Hermosillo, Sonora.

Nepomuceno Moreno participated in the Dialogue for Peace with President Felipe Calderon at the Castle of Chapultepec, where he denounced the illegal detention and enforced disappearance of his son Jorge Mario.

Here a video that tells what happened to his son:



Moreno Nuñez was 56 years old and his body was found inside a truck. According to witnesses, the car he was riding was passed by another vehicle, from which he was shot. He had seven gunshot wounds.

State and municipal police are already looking for the attackers.

For its part, the capital ex-ombudsman and spokesman of the Movement for Peace, Emilio Álvarez Icaza, announced the possibility of taking the family of Nepomuceno Moreno out of the country.

This afternoon, we are planning a rally in front of office of the state of Sonora in Mexico City, to protest the killing.

The issue now moves in the network with the hashtag # Nepomuceno.

The case of Jorge Mario Moreno (son)

Nepomuceno Moreno stated that “he was resigned to fight all alone against the government of Sonora. They don’t want to talk with me, they laugh at me. Before, I went to the army barracks to denounce the kidnapping of my son, wrote letters to the Deputy for Research of Organized Crime (SIEDO) and no one listened to me. Then I joined the Peace Movement because social organizations have the power to sit President Calderon in a dialogue and Justice attorneys are required to reopen the investigation. ”

On July 2010, Jorge Mario went with three friends from Hermosillo (Sonora) to Ciudad Obregon, and before reaching his hotel, police intercepted them with heavy weapons, so they fled. All vehicles passed through the toll booth and men in uniform started shooting at them, my son asked for help to 066-emergency phone service and the police answered, but didn’t help them.

It was something planned by the police, the officers chased my son and one of his friends, both left the car to run for their lives. His friend ran away and now lives in exile in the U.S. My son walked 20 miles to get to an Oxxo store, from there he called us “I have had problems, the police is chasing me and they were shooting.” I told him not to move from the store. To look for a friend from Guaymas to pick him up, because Guaymas it is closer to Ciudad Obregon then Hermosillo.

While my son Mario was on the phone, he said, “the police is comming for me, with guns in hand.”

He was handcuffed and taken away in a white van,” said Moreno.

http://neglectedwar.com/blog/archives/9796

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Gunmen Kill Three People in Chihuahua

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Two men and a woman were killed by gunmen as they drove down an avenue over the weekend in Chihuahua city, the capital of the like-named northern Mexican state, police said.

The victims were on a busy avenue when their compact car was cut off by the gunmen, who opened fire on the vehicle, the Chihuahua municipal police department said.

The men got out of the car and tried to run, but the gunmen killed them, police said, adding that the woman was shot dead inside the automobile.

The unidentified gunmen managed to get away from the crime scene and investigators do not have any leads in the shooting.

Chihuahua, one of the states most affected by drug-related violence in Mexico, has accounted for about 30 percent of the more than 40,000 drug-related murders registered since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country’s drug cartels nearly five years ago.

The state accounted for 1,567 of the 10,022 drug-related murders registered between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 in Mexico, a report published last month in Mexico City’s Reforma newspaper said.

Chihuahua is home to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital.

Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, has been the scene in the past few years of a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels.

Ciudad Juarez has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.

The murder rate took off in the border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when 310 people were killed, then it more than tripled to 1,607 in 2008, according to Chihuahua AG’s office figures, with the number of killings climbing to 2,754 in 2009.

More than 3,100 people were murdered in the border city last year, making 2010 the worst year since a war between rival drug gangs sent the homicide rate skyrocketing in 2008.

The killing has not slowed this year, with about 1,900 people murdered in Juarez.

Source: EFE

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Sicilia Calls for Christmas Truce in Mexico’s Drug War

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Mexican poet and peace activist Javier Sicilia called during an appearance over the weekend at the 25th Guadalajara International Book Fair, or FIL, for “a cease-fire” between the government and Mexico’s drug cartels on Dec. 24-25 so they can “reflect on what they are doing, what they are doing to the country.”

“I ask for this truce as a momentary pause, not just in honor of Christmas, but to think about the harm we’re doing to ourselves and what those guilty of murder and corruption are doing to themselves, and the damage done by authorities who do not fulfill their obligations,” Sicilia said.

The Mexican poet took part in a roundtable discussion on Sunday with three other Mexican writers who have written on the subject to analyze the phenomenon of violence in Mexico.

Sicilia asked the hundreds of people present for a minute of silence before the event began to commemorate “the 50,000 dead whose number grows day by day” and later called for “two days without deaths” over Christmas.

Sicilia’s 24-year-old son, Juan Francisco, and six other young men were murdered by the violent Pacifico Sur drug cartel in the central state of Morelos on March 27.

Juan Francisco’s killing led Sicilia to stop writing and dedicate himself full-time to working for peace so other parents will not have to feel his pain.

Sicilia organized the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, traveling across Mexico to spread his message of peace.

The poet made a harsh criticism of the government and thought it unbelievable that in his country no one knows “where 10,000 of its citizens are” who have been disappeared by the wave of violence in which the nation is plunged.

Alejandro Rosas, co-author of the book “El Mexico que Nos Duele” (The Mexico that Grieves Us) said that what is at stake in Mexico today is “a very incipient, very weak democracy,” and spoke ironically about the July 1, 2012 presidential elections.

“For me, the end of the world announced by the Mayas (for next year) will be the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) returning to power the elections,” Rosas said to the applause of those attending the event.

Journalist and academic Ricardo Raphael, for his part, said that in Mexico “the state is the pistol with which criminal groups shoot each other,” and lamented that young people are “the main victims” of crime.

Raphael, author of “El Mexico Indignado” (Indignant Mexico), praised Sicilia’s work for the way he wields “the power of non-violence.”

Writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II, who served as roundtable moderator, said that Mexico “is falling to pieces” and demanded that those responsible for the situation be identified.

He asked the public to try and unify “the national discontent into a movement that will remove from power those who now hold it.”

On several occasions during the event those present cheered the criticisms of President Felipe Calderon, promoter of the strategy of all-out war against drug cartels and organized crime, at slightly more than seven months from the presidential elections that will choose his successor.

Source: EFE

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Leyzaola Considers Move

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Leyzaola is tired of detractors will let us know which job he takes after he tells the mayor who always supported him.

Posted in the BB forum by wenglenca

Eight months after taking office as Municipal Public Security Secretary, Julian Leyzaola Perez says the criticisms are wearing and exhausting. He is considering taking another job if indeed the job comes through in another state. "It's a heavy psychological burden taking hits from the people that I support, it lowers my morale and makes me think about the need to retire elsewhere to continue with my personal projects outside of being responsible for the security of Juarez."

He said that in the past two months there's been a flurry of false accusations, insults by the media just wanting to injure him. He said apart from the daily threats received by DTO's, he has to bear the constant "tapping" of other government official, with whom he is supposed to be working in a coordinated manner. There was a smear campaign against him by by some officials who said only succeeded in creating an even riskier environment.

Yesterday during the celebration of the 14th graduation of the police refresher course, Leyzaola said he is considering job offers he has received in at least five states of the Republic. He recounted the accusations and criticism he has received among which are the disappearance of four men, stopping for police clashing with protesters when they were paintings the walls, and previous situations when he worked in TJ, Baja California, when he served as head of police on the border city.

"There are situations in which I was involved but are fraudulent, and I say so because in the six investigation that exist in the city where my name is mentioned in an indictment there isn no direct indictment against me" he said.
 
Many times he has thought about leaving Juarez to return to the Mexican Army where he worked for 25 years. He feels that the work that he developed has not been well appreciate by some groups in society and therefore he is considering retiring from Juarez where he has succeeded in changing the image of the corporation and has detained a large number of people from who committing crimes.
 
He is considering proposals received in recent days Guerrero, Veracruz, Nuevo Leon, Durango, and Quintana Roo where he offered to take charge of security due to high rise of violence. He said that his decision will take a few days and the first to know will be the Mayor Hector Murguia Lardizabal, who invited him to the city and always gave him support. He said his work has been focused on making changes to improve surveillance in the Chihuahua District which is scheduled to start operating a new scheme Dec. 30.
 
Source:
http://www.diario.com.mx/notas.php?f=2011/11/26&id=5f43d0b68b14608c9468b0cb9f53586e

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Was Former DEA Agent Jailed for Exposing ATF Arms Trafficking?

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Posted on the Borderland Beat Forum by Texcoco

Bill Conroy Special to Salem-News.com

Iran/Contra-era Whistleblower Cele Castillo alleged federal Agents were involved in gun smuggling in 2008.

(COLUMBUS, N.M. The Narcosphere) - Cele Castillo, a former DEA agent who blew the whistle on the CIA-backed arms-for-drugs trade used to prop up the 1980s Contra counter-insurgency in Nicaragua, is now sitting in a federal prison for what may well be another act of whistleblowing in this century.

Before Castillo reported to the federal pen in July 2009, where he is now stuck until April 2012, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons records, he shared with this reporter a series of revelations concerning arms trafficking and what he thought were corrupt ATF agents.

Those revelations, now some three years old, dovetail in great detail with the still unfolding ATF Fast and Furious operation, in which federal ATF agents allowed thousands of high-powered weapons purchased by criminal operatives at U.S. gun stores to be smuggled into Mexico unimpeded.

And Fast and Furious, as recent news reports have revealed, was not the first such operation put in play by U.S. federal law enforcement agencies. A similar “gun-walking” tactic was employed by ATF in 2006 and 2007 under the Bush administration through a program known as Operation Wide Receiver.

Castillo’s case, which involved allegations that he purchased and sold firearms illegally, was largely ignored by the mainstream media, though Narco News reported extensively on it and Castillo’s contention that he had been framed and was the victim of prosecutorial misconduct.

At the time, as he was going through the buzz-saw line that is the federal judicial system, Castillo told Narco News that he was likely being targeted because of his role in exposing the CIA-backed effort to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua some 25 years earlier, or possibly because he had evidence of corruption within the ATF. But in truth, Castillo really didn’t know what direction the assault was coming from or why he was being targeted.

Now, though, in light of the exposure of ATF’s Fast and Furious, it seems the question needs to be asked:

Did Castillo, well before Fast and Furious came to light this year, rip back the curtain on a long-running U.S.-government sanctioned program to supply illegal arms to paramilitary units supported by the Mexican military — units charged with clandestinely carrying out the dirty work of the drug war in Mexico?

The answer to the question should matter to all of us, because that “war” has cost the lives of more than 50,000 Mexican citizens since it was launched in late 2006 under the reign of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Well, here’s what Castillo told Narco News in late 2008, some three years before news of Fast and Furious and Operation Wide Receiver starting making headlines in the mainstream news:

During the [Mexican] presidential elections, El Chapo [Joaquin Guzman Loera, the leader of the Sinaloa drug organization] supported [Mexican president] Calderon. Calderon then rented the military to El Chapo to take out Osiel [Cardenas Guillen, head of the rival Gulf Cartel]. Keep in the back of your mind: why has Chapo never been arrested? Calderon took back the military and is now working hand-in-hand with El Chapo.

… The majority of the guns that are going into Mexico from the gun shows are going to the The Mexican paramilitary unit out of Monterrey, Mexico. … A Mexican military captain, "El Capi," is doing all the purchases.

…. These people are part of President Calderon's people who control the drug trade into the U.S. There is an ATF agent … who works with these people.

Castillo, at the time, assumed the ATF agent, actually two of them that he identified, were on the take, not part of an officially sanctioned U.S. operation. But events that have unfolded since 2008 open that assumption up to a possible different interpretation.

Castillo, who never lost his investigative edge, said in 2008 that some of his information was coming from a U.S. government informant, who was later murdered. In addition, he claimed a notorious prison gang, the Texas Syndicate, was working with the supposedly corrupt ATF agents to assure the gun-trafficking into Mexico remained protected from law enforcement intervention.

Castillo’s claims sound strangely similar to allegations that have surfaced recently in the case of Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, a high-level leader of the Sinaloa Cartel now standing trial in federal court in Chicago on narco-trafficking charges. Zambada Niebla claims the leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel has a quid pro quo arrangement with the U.S. government through which they were granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing information on rival drug cartels. Zambada Niebla, in court pleadings, also alleges the Fast and Furious operation was part of an effort to supply Sinaloa Cartel enforcers with weapons.

From Zambada Niebla’s pleadings:

The United States government considered the arrangements with the Sinaloa Cartel an acceptable price to pay, because the principal objective was the destruction and dismantling of rival cartels by using the assistance of the Sinaloa Cartel — without regard for the fact that tons of illicit drugs continued to be smuggled into Chicago and other parts of the United States and consumption continued virtually unabated.

Essentially, the theory of the United States government in waging its “war on drugs” has been and continues to be that the “end justifies the means” and that it is more important to receive information about rival drug cartels’ activities from the Sinaloa Cartel in return for being allowed to continue their criminal activities, including and not limited to their smuggling of tons of illegal narcotics into the United States. This is confirmed by recent disclosures by the Congressional Committee’s investigation of the latest Department of Justice, DEA, FBI, and ATF’s “war on drugs” operation known as “Fast & Furious.”

As a result of Operation Fast and Furious, the pleadings assert, about “three thousand people” in Mexico were killed, “including law enforcement officers in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, headquarters of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

Among those receiving weapons through the ATF operation, the pleadings continue, were DEA and FBI informants working for drug organizations, including the leadership of those groups.

“The evidence seems to indicate that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons, but that tax payers’ dollars in the form of informant payments, may have financed those engaging in such activities,” Zambada Niebla's pleadings allege. “…It is clear that some of the weapons were deliberately allowed by the FBI and other government representatives [including the ATF] to end up in the hands of the Sinaloa Cartel and that among the people killed by those weapons were law enforcement officers.

“… Mr. Zambada Niebla believes that the documentation that he requests [from the US government] will confirm that the weapons received by Sinaloa Cartel members and its leaders in Operation ‘Fast & Furious’ were provided under the agreement entered into between the United States government and [Chapo Guzman confidante] Mr. Loya Castro on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel that is the subject of his [Zambada Niebla’s] defense….”

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Mexico Seeks to Fill Drug War Gap with Focus on Dirty Money

Sunday, November 27, 2011 |

The evolving anti-laundering campaign could change the tone of the Mexican government's battle by striking at the heart of the cartels' financial empire, analysts say.

Soldiers carry a table displaying stacks of seized U.S. dollars during a media presentation Tuesday in Mexico City. The money, found in a car in a downtown Tijuana neighborhood, is believed by authorities to belong to members of the Sinaloa drug cartel.(Eduardo Verdugo.Associated Press Nov. 22, 2011)

By Ken Ellingwood and Tracy Wilkinson

Los Angeles Times

Tainted drug money runs like whispered rumors all over Mexico's economy — in gleaming high-rises in beach resorts such as Cancun, in bustling casinos in Monterrey, in skyscrapers and restaurants in Mexico City that sit empty for months. It seeps into the construction sector, the night-life industry, even political campaigns.

Piles of greenbacks, enough to fill dump trucks, are transformed into gold watches, showrooms full of Hummers, aviation schools, yachts, thoroughbred horses and warehouses full of imported fabric.

Officials here say the tide of laundered money could reach as high as $50 billion, a staggering sum equal to about 3% of Mexico's legitimate economy, or more than all its oil exports or spending on prime social programs.

Mexican leaders often trumpet their deadly crackdown against drug traffickers as an all-out battle involving tens of thousands of troops and police, high-profile arrests and record-setting narcotics seizures. The 5-year-old offensive, however, has done little to attack a chief source of the cartels' might: their money.

Even President Felipe Calderon, who sent the army into the streets to chase traffickers after taking office in 2006, an offensive that has seen 43,000 people die since, concedes that Mexico has fallen short in attacking the financial strength of organized crime.

"Without question, we have been at fault," Calderon said during a meeting last month with drug-war victims. "The truth is that the existing structures for detecting money-laundering were simply overwhelmed by reality."

Experts say the unchecked flow of dirty money feeds a widening range of criminal activity as cartels branch into other enterprises, such as producing and trading in pirated merchandise.

"All this generates more crime," said Ramon Garcia Gibson, a former compliance officer at Citibank and an expert in money-laundering. "At the end of the day, this isn't good for anyone."

Officials on both sides of the border have begun taking tentative steps to stem the flow of dirty money. For Instance, last year Calderon proposed anti-laundering legislation, after earlier announcing restrictions on cash transactions in Mexico that used U.S. dollars.

The evolving anti-laundering campaign could change the tone of the government's military-led crime crusade by striking at the heart of the cartels' financial empire, analysts say. But the effort will have to overcome a longtime lack of political will and poor coordination among Mexican law enforcement agencies that have only aggravated the complexity of the task at hand now.

"If you don't take away their property, winning this war is impossible," said Sen. Ricardo Garcia Cervantes of the Senate security committee and Calderon's conservative National Action Party. "You are not going to win this war with bullets."
++

The good news for Mexican and Colombian traffickers is that drug sales in the United States generate enormous income, nearly all of it in readily spendable cash. The bad news is that this creates a towering logistical challenge: getting the proceeds back home to pay bills, buy supplies — from guns to chemicals to trucks — and build up the cartels' empires without detection.

Laundering allows traffickers to disguise the illicit earnings as legitimate through any number of transactions, such as cash transfers, big-ticket purchases, currency exchanges and deposits.

Much of that money still makes its way back into Mexico the old-fashioned way: in duffels stuffed into the trunks of cars. But Mexican drug traffickers are among the world's most savvy entrepreneurs, and launderers have proved nimble in evading authorities' efforts to catch them, adopting a host of new techniques to move the ill-gotten wealth.

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Along Mexican Border, US Ranchers say they Live in Fear

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Despite government assurances that they're safe, they say the level of violence is rising

By Mark Potter
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.

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."

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.

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."

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US: Sinaloa Cartel Planned to 'Blow up' Buildings

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By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times

› PDF: Read excerpt of Sinaloa document

Leaders of the Sinaloa drug cartel wanted to buy powerful U.S. military weapons to "blow up" government buildings in Mexico after the arrest of a top alleged kingpin, U.S. prosecutors claimed in court documents.
U.S. prosecutors filed the document Nov. 10 in connection with the pending trial in Chicago of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, who was arrested by Mexican officials in 2009 and extradited to the United States in 2010.

Officials allege in the documents that Zambada-Niebla is a high-ranking member of the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman-Loera.
The Sinaloa drug cartel has been at war with the Juárez drug cartel to take over the drug trade in the El Paso area. Its battle against the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel killed an estimated 9,100 people in Juárez between Jan. 1, 2008 and Oct. 31.

The court documents also identify German Olivares as Guzman's coordinator for the Juárez smuggling corridor.
Zambada-Niebla's lawyers -- some based in Tucson, New York and other areas -- claim a "public authority" defense, alleging that U.S. authorities allowed Zambada-Niebla to traffic tons of cocaine and heroin into the United States in exchange for information about rival drug cartels.

His defense lawyers also sought to prevent government prosecutors from using the Classified Information Protection Act to exclude certain records and witness information that may threaten U.S. national security.

According to a conversation recorded by Margarito Flores, a cooperating witness, "Guzman-Loera and Ismael Zambada-Garcia (Zambada-Niebla's father) discussed the recent arrest of Zambada-Garcia's brother, Jesus Zambada-Garcia É by Mexican authorities."

"This government is letting the gringos (American law enforcement) do whatever they want," Zambada-Garcia said according to Flores.

Then, Guzman said, "They are (expletive) us everywhere. What are we going to do?"

Guzman, whom Interpol has listed as one of the world's most-wanted fugitives, added, "Let it be a government building, it doesn't matter whose. An embassy or a consulate, a media outlet or television station (attack a Mexican or U.S. government or media building in Mexico City)."

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In Mexico Drug War, Zetas Lay Claim to Sinaloa Turf

Saturday, November 26, 2011 |

AFP

The increasingly powerful Zetas are likely behind the killings of 50 people in strongholds of the rival Sinaloa cartel in western Mexico, analysts say, as a years-long drug war churns on.

The message left by the Zetas near some of the 26 corpses found Thursday in Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city, make the targets quite clear: the Sinaloa gang and its fugitive boss, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

The messages also apparently slam an alleged alliance between Guzman and the leaders of Sinaloa state, where 24 bodies were found Wednesday, and Jalisco state, of which Guadalajara is the capital.

The killings come two months after a similar massacre in September, when 35 bodies were tipped out of trucks under a busy overpass in the eastern port of Veracruz - an act attributed to the Zeta Killers, a group linked to Sinaloa.

"Behind the attacks in Guadalajara and Sinaloa, there would appear to be a need for revenge, fueled by the attacks in Veracruz," Dante Haro, an investigator at the University of Guadalajara, told AFP.

Haro emphasized the importance of the killings in Guadalajara, a city of more than four million people and relatively unscathed by the drug violence that has claimed some 45,000 lives since a government crackdown began in 2006.

"Jalisco state had violence rates that were lower than those in other parts of Mexico, but crime is on the rise there," Haro said.

He noted that authorities in Jalisco had captured several high-level traffickers and a Sinaloa boss was gunned down there in a security operation last year.

Those incidents stripped Guadalajara of its prior status as a neutral zone in the drug war, "where the bosses could keep their families safe," Haro said.

Raul Benitez Manuat, an expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico's North American Research Center, said a Zetas incursion on Sinaloa turf could open a new front in a war that has ravaged cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, on the US border.

Monterrey, an industrial center in the north, has seen increased violence in recent months.

Until now, the Zetas - set up by former army officers turned hitmen in the 1990s - have operated mostly on the Gulf of Mexico coast in the east of the country.

For Manuat, "such a blatant operation could be a harbinger for increased violence, now on the Pacific coast."

In early October, the chief of intelligence for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Rodney Benson, said the Sinaloa cartel had struck up an alliance against the Zetas with the Gulf cartel in the east and the La Familia cartel active in the western state of Michoacan.

The Guadalajara killings could be the first counter-attack by the Zetas, considered to be the most violent of Mexico's drug gangs and blamed for spreading extortion, kidnappings and murders.

They are believed to have been behind a casino bombing in Monterrey in August that left 52 people dead, as well as the execution of 72 illegal immigrants in August 2010.

Some 52,000 deaths have been blamed on rising drug violence since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a massive crackdown on the drug cartels involving tens of thousands of troops.

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Mexican Cartel Tactical Note # 7

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Mexican Cartel Tactical Note # 7:

Los Zetas Three Vehicle (SUV) Commando Engages in Offensive Action in Northwest Harris County, Texas: Ensuing Fire Fight with US Law Enforcement.

By Robert Bunker

Key Information:
Via Dane Schiller, Houston Chronicle [1]:

The mission was supposed to be a textbook “controlled delivery” - a routine trap by law enforcement officers using a secret operative posing as a truck driver to bust drug traffickers when their narcotics are delivered to a rendezvous point.

Instead, things spun out of control. Shortly before the marijuana delivery was to be made Monday afternoon, three sport-utility vehicles carrying Zetas cartel gunmen seemingly came out of nowhere and cut off the tanker truck as it rumbled through northwest Harris County, sources told the Chronicle.

They sprayed the cab with bullets, killing the civilian driver, who was secretly working with the government. A sheriff's deputy, who was driving nearby in another vehicle, was wounded, possibly by friendly fire…

Sources discussed aspects of the shoot-out on the condition that they not be identified publicly due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

A contingent of law-enforcement officers had been covertly shadowing the truck as it eased its way through the Houston area to deliver a load of marijuana fresh from the Rio Grande Valley…

As the gunmen attacked, officers quickly jumped into the fray and also opened fire on the attackers. The truck kept rolling until it careened off the roadway and came to a halt.

Dozens of law-enforcement officers descended on the scene as well as fanned out in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Four suspects, all believed to be citizens of Mexico, were arrested and charged Monday with capital murder in connection with the shooting…

…The sheriff's deputy, who has not yet been identified publicly, was hit in the knee during the melee, which involved several cars and guns…

Authorities would not discuss how the deceased driver, who in addition to being a confidential informant and holding a job as a commercial truck driver, first made contact with the traffickers….

…While some of the arrested attackers have allegedly admitted to an affiliation with the Mexico-based Zetas, authorities said they are trying to determine why such a bold and risky attack was launched over just 300 pounds of marijuana…
A 3:01 minute news video concerning the incident can be accessed via:
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8439923 [2].

Who: Los Zetas’ personnel (Three Mexican nationals captured—two from Neuvo Laredo; Eric De Luna, 23; Ricardo Ramirez, 35 and Rolando Resendiz, 34; one other individual— Fernando Tavera, 19).

See primary source for booking photos [1] and another source for prior convictions and charges via court documents [7]. Other Zetas’ personnel are thought to have fled the incident scene. Three SUVs (a Black Lincoln Navigator was recovered at the scene) were utilized.

What: Planned multi-agency law enforcement ‘controlled delivery’ using a confidential informant driving a 18-wheeler tanker truck with 300 lbs of marijuana interdicted by Los Zetas’ commando with ensuing fire fight. Confidential informant killed, undercover Harris county sheriffs deputy wounded (HCSO), and four Zetas captured.

When: Monday afternoon, 21 November 2011.

Where: On Hollister Drive near Bourgeois Road in Northwest Harris County, Texas (near Houston) [6].

Why: Unknown; theories include the targeted killing (assassination) of the confidential informant and that a rip-off crew was assembled to steal what was thought to be a much larger load of marijuana. Another possibility is that the load was targeted because it was operating on Los Zetas turf and those associated with it had not paid local protection money (plaza taxes).

Tactical Analysis: This is a significant event and represents an escalation in cross border violence. According to Javier Pena, the new head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Houston Division, “Everybody is surprised at the brazenness…We haven’t seen this type of violence, which concerns us.” [1].

Given that the truck cab was sprayed with bullets it can be assumed that some of Los Zetas personnel carried semi-automatic rifles. No mention of individual body armor, vehicular armor, or actual weapons carried has been disclosed. All captured Zetas had military style (short) haircuts with no tattoos evident in the booking photos so unit discipline is noted. US law enforcement presence was significant when the Los Zetas offensive action took place and was augmented with dozens of responding officers. Under other circumstances, the three vehicle (SUV) Los Zetas commando’ could have potentially overwhelmed one or two responding police units if a ‘controlled delivery’ law enforcement operation had not been taking place.

Of additional concern are three other cross border homicide incidents recently mentioned in press reports. Concerning the first incident, a federal grand jury indictment (now sealed) stated that US Border Agent Brian A. Terry was killed in Mesquite Seep, Arizona, by an offensive patrol—“with the intent to ‘intentionally and forcibly assault’ Border Patrol agents”— composed of five illegal Mexican immigrants [3]. At least two of these individuals carried AK-47 semi-automatic rifles at ready position (barrel down at 45 degree angle/gun butt in shoulder)— in a meeting engagement on 14 December 2010 at 11:15 pm. The two AK-47s have been traced back to the failed BATF ‘Fast and Furious’ operation [3]. The Peck Canyon area is a well-known human and drug smuggling route. Which Mexican cartel, or drug gang the offensive narco unit was associated with was not disclosed.

The second incident took place in Hidalgo County, Texas on Sunday 30 October 2011 during a traffic stop. Deputy Hugo Rodriguez was shot by David Gonzales Perez, a Gulf cartel contractor, in the chest and abdomen. Perez and another cartel operative had kidnapped two individuals who purportedly knew where over a thousand pounds of stolen Gulf cartel marijuana had been stashed. Perez was killed in the ensuing gun battle with the wounded deputy and his partner [4]. The third incident took place on Monday 21 November 2011 about 20 miles northwest of the border city of Nogales, Texas in the Devil’s Canyon area of the Tumacacori Mountains. Three men, two of which have been identified as Mexican nationals, were found dead, shot in the head execution style. The bodies had lain in the area for up to two weeks. The executed men are suspected of being drug traffickers [5].

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Violence Moves from the Gulf to the Pacific

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As a consequence of the joint operations in Veracruz, Coahuila and Tamaulipas, executions linked to organized crime in those states have declined by 20% from the previous month, when 199 murders were recorded.

Source: Milenio

By contrast, there was an increased in violent murders in Sinaloa and Jalisco, where in just the last 25 days 221 executions have been recorded, surpassing 38 killings during the same time in Veracruz, Tamaulipas and Coahuila.

The recent discovery of 50 bodies in Sinaloa and Jalisco raised the number of executions by 30% in November from the previous month in those states.

29% of all recorded executions so far this November across the country have been committed in Sinaloa, where only on Wednesday 24 bodies were found.

The 179 homicides that have been recorded in November in Sinaloa increased by 55%, breaking the April all time highest record of executions in that state when there were 172 executions.

In addition Sinaloa is just under the state of Chihuahua as the most violent state but if the trend continue that could easily change.

The 42 executions recorded in Jalisco in November is the most violent month in the state so far for 2011, ahead of July when there were 35 murders.

The decrease in the number of executions in Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Coahuila is a result of the operations "Laguna Segura" and "Veracruz Seguro" that the federal government implemented last October where they managed to captured Sotero Aguilar, El Tony, accountant for Los Zetas. But it looks like this has forced Los Zetas to move in to Sinaloa territory creating a shift in violence.

The Mexican government still considers this a step in the right direction. According to the National Defense Secretariat blows to this criminal group helped in reducing the overall crime rates by 50% and 62.62% reduction in executions.

Another state where the Mexican government set up operations was Guerrero that reported 33 executions in November.

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Caracuaro, Michoacan Police Force Walks Out Over Threats

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LAHT

The entire police force of a town in the western Mexican state of Michoacan has deserted due to death threats from suspected drug traffickers, officials said.

The 32 police working in two shifts in the town of Caracuaro, home to just over 10,000 people, decided to flee for fear they and their family members would be targeted by drug-gang hit men, the state’s Public Safety Secretariat said on Friday.

None of the 32 police has formally resigned and therefore will be dismissed if they do not show up for work within the legally specified timeframe, a spokesperson for the state’s Security Council said.

The police may have abandoned their posts due to threats from suspected drug traffickers after a clash with the criminals on Wednesday, when they provided backup to cops in the neighboring municipality of Nocupetaro, the spokesperson said.

Eighteen members of Caracuaro’s police force walked out between Wednesday and Thursday and the other 14 joined their colleagues Friday after more death threats were issued, prompting local authorities to request the deployment of army soldiers to the town.

Caracuaro is located in the so-called Tierra Caliente region, which straddles parts of Michoacan and the neighboring states of Guerrero and Mexico and is being fought over by the La Familia Michoacana and Los Caballeros Templarios drug cartels.

Drug-related violence in that region of western Mexico also has led to the desertion of police forces in the Michoacan towns of Tiquicheo, Tancitaro and Tuzantla.

Caracuaro is a historically important town where Mexican independence hero Jose Maria Morelos served as parish priest before joining the armed struggle against Spanish rule.

Michoacan has been one of the states hardest hit by the drug-related violence that has claimed nearly 50,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the cartels.





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El Santo Sapo Jumps and Falls in Attempted Escape

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Santos Ramírez Morales, “El Santo Sapo” was captured after he attempted to flee aboard a vehicle and engaged Mexican military forces in a firefight.

In the town of Ocozocoautla, Chiapas the Mexican military managed to arrest former police officer Santos Ramírez Morales, known as “El Santo Sapo” or "Gordo Sapo" considered a major plaza boss in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas announced the office of the Secretary of National Defense. The federal agency that oversees military initiatives said that the arrest was made possible through a joint operation, “Delincuencia Organizada de Chiapas,” with the federal General Attorney's office, that included several check points and search warrants around the region.

Ramírez Morales finding himself cornered from authorities made an attempt to escape while aboard a Honda CRV with license plate DRG6448 out of Chiapas and open fire at the military forces, who responded back with gunfire wounding El Santo Sapo. To ensure the security of the medical staff, Sapo was transported to a military hospital in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez with gunshot wounds. A female companion of El Santo Sapo was also taken in to custody.

El Santo Sapo was in possession of a AK-47 known as “cuerno de chivo,” a hand gun and numerous cellular phones.

At the same time that El Sapo was being taken in to cusody, the military executed several search warrants in different parts of the area that resulted in the arrest of 24 suspects all with ties to Sapo. The military also managed to seize three firearms, 13 fully loaded magazines, 10 vehicles and 43,000 in US currency. The seizures of the weapons and arrest of the suspects prevented a rescue attempt against Ramírez Morales by the different cells of sicarios, halcones and collaborators.

El Santo Sapo is responsible for many criminal acts, among them are executions, abductions, extortions, and trafficking of narcotics and weapons, which gave the authorities enough evidence to secure arrest warrants.

In 2007 Sapo was part of the Gulf Cartel working for Norberto Jimenez Martinez, "El Peje," but after the Zetas split from the Gulf cartel, Sapo joined forces with Los Zetas along with Enrique Ruiz Tlapaco, "El Tlapa."

His father was killed in February 2011 by the CDG where they left a narco-manta: "Santos Ramírez Morales Zanto Zapo, this is for my son and this is for the children he has killed. you are next. C.D.G. "

El Santo Sapo is believed to be the boss who ordered the execution of family members (mother and two brothers) belonging to a Mexican Marine, Melquisedet Angulo Córdova, who was killed during a military operation where Arturo Beltrán Leyva was killed in Cuernavaca in December 2009.

El Santo Sapo Gordo was also the master mind in the execution of ten people in a mechanic shop in the town of Cárdenas, and last year he killed two young female students and three other ladies also all in Cárdenas.

Sources:
SEDENA, La Jornada, Proceso.



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