Monday, August 17, 2015

Mexican Cartels: The Threat of Spillover Violence & the Rule of Law



Billboard on I-10 in El Paso, Texas



Republished with permission
The Threat of Spillover Violence

Kate Steinle and murder suspect Francisco Sanchez
In the evening of July 1, 2015, Kate Steinle, a 32 year old woman was out for a stroll with her father at Pier-14 along the San Francisco waterfront when she was killed by a man in an apparent random shooting. Pier 14 is one of San Francisco’s busiest tourist destinations, and a place where people gather to take in the beautiful scenic views, joggers exercise, and families push strollers at all hours of the day and night. Within an hour, the San Francisco police had apprehended the suspect in the shooting, 45 year old Francisco Sanchez.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez (or Francisco Sanchez; given name José Inez García Zarate), of Guanajuato, Mexico, was formally charged with first-degree murder and a firearm enhancement on July 6, 2015. He had previously been deported from the United States a total of five times, most recently in 2009. He was on probation in Texas during the time of the shooting. He had seven prior felony convictions, four for drug trafficking. The firearm Sanchez used in the shooting had been stolen days before from a federal law enforcement official.


The murder of Kate Steinle, and subsequent arrest of Sanchez drew national attention when GOP Presidential candidate, Donald Trump pointed to the incident as evidence of the need to secure the border with Mexico. “This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately.” Trump said in a public statement. The incident raises several concerns for the Homeland Security Enterprise.


Overview:

The former head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, General Barry McCaffrey said after a visit to Mexico in late 2008, “Mexico is not confronting dangerous criminality, it is fighting for survival against narco-terrorism.” Hal Brands, an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and History at Stanford University, agrees with General McCaffrey, and goes a step further saying, “Well-financed cartels are doing battle with government and one another for control of drug corridors into the United States, significantly destabilizing internal order in Mexico.” Former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton described Mexico as “looking more and more like Colombia looked twenty years ago.”

For the sake of comparison, the civil war fought in Sri Lanka between the brutal Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam and the government ground on for a quarter of a century, claiming perhaps 130,000 lives. Most estimates of the number of people killed in Mexican drug-related violence since late 2006 put the number at more than 60,000. However, some estimates place the number much higher, at 120,000 to 130,000, much closer to the number of deaths that occurred during the 25 year long Sri Lankan civil war. Although there is no official breakdown of the numbers, the victims of Mexico’s drug-related violence include suspected cartel members, government officials, including law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, members of the Mexican military and those considered innocent civilians.

So far, the United States has not experienced the same level of high intensity violent crime occurring in Mexico. However, the violent actions of the Mexican Cartels are affecting the United States nonetheless. The pernicious nature of the highly competitive illegal drug market and the violent actions of the cartels present a number of challenges for the United States. The close geographic proximity of the two countries makes it almost impossible to avoid.

The border between the United States and Mexico is 1,951 miles long. Each year more than 300 million people cross the border, approximately 90 million cars, and 4.3 million trucks. The border spans four U.S. states, and six Mexican states. There are thirty city pairings (cities directly across the border from one another), and approximately 12 million people live on both sides of the border. Mexico is the third largest U.S. trading partner and the third largest supplier of crude oil, and according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, in fiscal year 2011 U.S. goods and services trade with Mexico totaled $500 billion. So, the U.S. has a vested interest in maintaining a Mexico that is both secure and contributing to the prosperity of the United States, and North America. President Obama made this point in his National Security Strategy, when he described the stability and security of Mexico as “indispensable.”

The U.S. is already feeling the effects of weakening stability and security in Mexico, brought about by the cartels and their propensity to commit high intensity violent crimes. These effects can be broken down into three general categories. First, there are those effects, which occur inside the U.S., which can be directly related to crimes committed by the cartels, their affiliated gangs, and drug users. Second, there are those effects that adversely affect U.S. interests in Mexico. Finally, there are effects that challenge U.S. interests around the region, and around the world. All three categories reflect how widespread and detrimental Mexico’s cartels and the violent crimes they commit have become.

Violent Crime:


Continue reading the full article at Medium



The Rule of Law
Joacquin “El Chapo” Guzman
On the evening of July 11, 2015, Mexico’s most notorious criminal, Sinaloa Cartel boss, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, calmly walked to the shower in his cell at Altiplano prison, a Mexican maximum security facility. He bent down next to a low wall, and disappeared from the view of the surveillance camera mounted on the wall of his cell. Some 18 minutes later prison authorities would find that he had slipped through a two foot by two foot hole in the floor of the shower, climbed down some 30 feet into a tunnel, complete with lighting and ventilation, and road a motorcycle on rails 1.5 kilometers to a nearby construction compound, in the nearby neighborhood of Santa Juanita, where he would disappear.
El Chapo's tunnel
This was not El Chapo’s first escape from a Mexican maximum security prison. On January 19, 2001, he escaped from Puente Grande prison with the assistance of several government employees. Someone opened his electronically secured cell. Someone disabled the video cameras. Someone smuggled him onto a laundry truck in a burlap bag, and someone drove him out of the prison. The subsequent investigation eventually lead to numerous accusations of corruption on the part of prison staff following the escape, with charges eventually filed against more than 70 prison employees.

In Mexico, the “plata o plomo” ultimatum has lead to widespread corruption. “Plata o plomo” means silver or lead. In other words, the cartels are offering a bribe to the public official. If the official refuses the bribe, the cartels threaten to kill the official, and often threaten to murder the official’s entire family as well. Faced with this ultimatum, is it any wonder that corruption in Mexico is so widespread? Law enforcement officers in the U.S. have also been targets of the “plata o plomo” approach, though to a lesser extent than in Mexico.

Cartel-Influenced Corruption North of the Border:

In August of 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a special report entitled, “On the Southwest Border — Public Corruption: A Few Bad Apples.” The report indicates the FBI works closely with many federal agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the DEA. The result has been more than 400 public corruption cases originating from the Southwest Region — and more than 100 arrests and about 130 state and federal cases prosecuted in 2010. From 2004 to 2010, 103 CBP agents were arrested or indicted on corruption charges including drug smuggling, alien smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy.
 
Richard Cramer
These cases of cartel-influenced corruption have not been limited to low-level employees. The arrest of Richard Cramer, a high-ranking official with ICE demonstrates that even top officials can be enticed by cartel bribes. Cramer’s arrest warrant indicated he advised drug traffickers on law enforcement tactics, and he pulled classified files to help them identify turncoats.

The Panama Unit:



The corrupting influence of the Mexican cartels is also affecting state and local law enforcement in the United States. For example, In December 2012, the FBI arrested members of the Hidalgo County, Texas Sheriff’s Department anti-drug unit, known as the Panama Unit. In April 2014 nine agents were convicted on conspiracy charges for drug trafficking, in addition to three drug traffickers who were working with the Sheriff’s deputies. Court documents revealed members of the Panama Unit stole drugs from local warehouses along the border, and worked for the cartels by guarding freight trucks carrying drug shipments north from the border.[5] The Justice Department recently created an FBI task force to make criminal cases in the Rio Grande Valley and begin to curb the corruption that involve local police units, federal border officers, courthouses, school boards, hospitals and ballot boxes.

38 comments:

  1. Same shit diffrent day

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  2. My condolences to Kate's family but they been sucked up by right wing misinformation anti-immigration movement...the results are no less tragic on hatecrimes against Latinos here illegaly or legal.white supremacists and a handful of border-state extremists, vicious public denunciations of undocumented brown-skinned immigrants are increasingly common among supposedly mainstream anti-immigration activists, radio hosts and politicians. While their dehumanizing rhetoric typically stops short of openly sanctioning bloodshed, much of it implicitly encourages or even endorses violence by characterizing immigrants from Mexico and Central America as "invaders," "criminal aliens" and "cockroaches.why does the media only cover one side ? My opinion is they encourage violence by doing so and people actually buy into it .

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    1. Well put. People like Trump don't ever mention that if it were not for Mexicans and South Americans the country would grind to a halt. Its a fact most immigrants are hard working and honest people. These racists also forget they are also from immigrant families and seem to forget the USA was once a land inhabited by Indian tribes.

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  3. He he heee!!!
    Now the US needs 5 presidents to handle all the presidential pardons...
    --in mexico they just let the parnas escape, or they escape without a permit, if they do not have a record of snitching, working for themselves, or stealing and shortchanging the real owners of the drug trafficking/money laundering business, like el chapo, el azul, el mayo...caro quintero...

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  4. Oh oh let the hysteria begin on this topic.
    A common sense talk on these issues of border security?Nahhhh

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  5. Good fences make good neighbors.- Robert Frost

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  6. 11 million illegal immigrants (not all of them from Mexico by the way), in the U.S. And less than a percentage of them accused of commuting crimes like these and this justifies Trump wanting to build the Great wall of China in the Mexican border! If this is not racism then what is? I bet percentage wise Puerto Ricans, Asians and even Cubans being about the same amount of crime if nit more to the U.S. Than south American countries, but because politically Puerto Ricans, Cubans and even some Asians like the Chinese are considered Americans or refugees of sort, then they are the lucky ones not being persecuted!

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    1. I totally agree with you. Not only that but when people assume all immigrants crossing the border are mexican. There's more central Americans in LA then Mexicans. Plus right now there's more illegal immigration from China than Mx.

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    2. --Reagan went to the Berlin Wall and said Meester gorbachoff, tear down this wall!
      --George W Bush went to China's Great Wall and said "meester chairman, tear down this wall!

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  7. How funny, a federal owned weapon gets "lost" and this occurs, just to have another excuse to impose martial law on recalcitrant cities, and to blame illegal immigrants in general...
    --smells like a conspiracy, for the usual benefit of the real domestic terrorists, all amerikkkans.

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    1. Oh now we are setting up illegals to commit murder . Really . Stupid people .....

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    2. Immigrants come to work this guy is a foreigner he never came to work get it threw your thick skulls he did 5 years for crossing twice illegally he crossed seven times. so pushing a law to give authority/police to arrest illegals punishes hard working immigrants and raping tax payers money .for what so they can walk right in that jollopy fence.even if that law was in effect it would have not stop this guy real nice that's using the cabeza gringos !! Hahahaja

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    3. 6:25, setting up illegals FOR murder, or just fingering them, the police state does that at an increasing rate, do not doubt, the things benefit the police state.

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  8. Here we go with the oft trotted out charges of racism..I think it says more about the person who uses that rhetoric than anything else?The US has a perfect right to be concerned about its borders,and racism has nothing to do with it..Predictable and pathetic

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    1. A federal agent losing control of his weapon should be a fracking federal crime, why "just up and leave it in the car"?
      --It is not racism until mexicans get involved, and then only if and when real amerikkkans get involved...
      --I think this as suspicious as jack ruby's murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, and as timely...sorry mama cachimbas...

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    2. Well they need to pick at themselves and stop blaming people for decisions they make.i would have more respect for them doing so its never to late for apologies and changing .but we all know that's not the intention. inflating their pockets is more important than anybody.especially when nobody has a clue how their country is running what they don't see can't hurt right my fellow Americans.

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    3. racism is a easy term to use, when u do not want to face the problem. Is black on black crime in Chicago Racism

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    4. Chicago furnishes about 1 000 deaths to gun violence per year to the altars of the NRA and their highly paid lobbyists for benefit of make money for weapons merchants, and their "made in china" weapons...
      --no amount of chekagah city hall regulations is gonna work there against federal laws paid for by the gun and tackle lobby of ma' and pa'...chekagah gone from the eyetalians.and their maffia to the Irish rage colts gangs to mayor Rahm Emmanuel, at the Jewish center of left and right gimme gimme Corporate Welfare Queen Lobby with both hands extended to friend and foe fo' money, call it political cuntributions...and kill, kill, kill!

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  9. Spill over violence has been here since the early 80's and naive gun rights wackos have done nothing but talk - talk is cheap! They have NEVER done anything to help.... jajajaja "will be waiting for them here with our guns". Yeah right, spill over violence here since the 80's and you folks wearing carpet slippers watching Nascar or the movie Iron Eagle with your guns in the house imagining you'll somehow help stem crime. Ignorance must be bliss, sad.

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  10. As in this sad case of this young woman murdered, and the million other criminal acts, the Mexican community remains silent.
    Disgusting!

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    1. @2:14 we got another whopper he's a big one.you make a good candidate for voting.one simple question have you registered to vote ?

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    2. @2:14 nobody needs your anti-imigrant opinion.stop hiding in the closet and admit your a racist bigot!nobody's gone to jail for that so why hide. your good!you can rally all you want lets see who follows !

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    3. No u r wrong the Mexican does care about crime

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    4. Well, if Mexicans cared about fighting crime and being good americans, have rallies against Mexican crime in America and support American law enforcement.
      Believe me it would go a long way to get Americans to accept illegal Mexicans and hopefully stop a lot of crime.

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    5. And, without doubt, a sea change to condemning corrido narco anthems would help Mexican youth to choose the right path.
      Righteous immigration believing americans just want to know that you want a better America for you and their childrens future!

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    6. Mexicans couldn't care less..
      The most intolerant and racist people using the race card when it suits?
      Mexicans,the eternal victim of racism?
      What a farce..

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    7. This article talks about Mexican imigrants. people defending how other people veiw them is racist?can you say I'm a bigot while picking your nose!

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  11. Puerto Ricans are Americans (but Trump is a racist)

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    1. Nope. PR is moneky island. They were smart enough to ask for green cards at the expense that USA can use their island as a Bastion. PR is not part of America it is a territory.

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  12. This has a wrong start, it is US drug dealers importing and corrupting Mexican officials, if you remove the US from the equation, there is no drug trade, no arms trade, NO Drug cartels. Mexico is unfortunately located south of the largest drug user in the world, the US imports drugs not only from Mexico, but Colombia, Afghanisthan, Brazil, China, Africa, basically ALL THE WORLD.

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    1. Drugs get staged in culombia, from bolivia, peru etc, and shipped away, some to mexico, and from mexico to all the many customers on the US, conveniently and safely staged to ship around...
      --but while moving the farm products, mexicans do not get to keep most of the.money, it goes to the amerikkkan bankers...

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  13. Daddy must have pissed someone off.

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  14. Thank you Mexico for the land I was born in. I am sorry I had to leave for a job in another country. I cannot come back now. I have a family I must support and care for. Maybe when I am old and grey, and Mexico becomes safer I will return. By than my children will not know their heritage or speak our language. Mexico lost another generation of young people. God Bless the innocent who could not leave, I was lucky.

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    1. No seas pendejo, aqui en mexico no esta tan mal como tu lo describes. Puñetas

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  15. I would like to break that little criminal bastard with my hands . A piece of shit like that murders a good decent person . He wont do well in prison . everybody will want to get to this turd . The Mexicans the whites .everybody will hate him

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    1. @925 when you can condemn so free and easily, is when you have been brainwashed, same shit happened in Germany as it was ramping up to WWII, in chile, after 9/11 argentina...the Arab springs, venezuela...iraq iran leaders, russia, all demonized...

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  16. The u. S. Is not going through the same amount of crime. Is ludicrous at best, its worse in the states by a mile

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