Sunday, July 30, 2017

How Mexican Cartels Prey on Chicago's Chaos

Republished by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from the Daily Beast


As Mexican Cartels manage to get more and more heroin into the U.S. each year, Chicago’s gangs are scrambling to be the ones to distribute it.

By: Jeremy Kryt
July 29, 2017

It’s summertime on the South Side of Chicago, and the sirens never seem to stop. In neighborhoods with names like Little Village, Back of the Yards, and Dolton, squad cars and ambulances scream day and night past shuttered storefronts and boarded-up houses. Welcome to the one of the most violent cities in America. There were 764 homicides here in 2016, according to a recent study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab. That’s a jump of more than 50 percent from the previous year, with most of them occurring in poor “ghetto” communities on the South and West Sides.

All that killing is fueled, at least in part, by the city’s booming drug trade.

Native poet Carl Sandburg once dubbed his home town “Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler.” Add one of the country’s busiest airports and a cluster of major highway arteries to all those railroads and you get what DEA agent Mark Giuffre, of the Chicago Field Division, calls a “logistical hub” for narcotics trafficking.

The Heroin Highway Leads Into and Out of Southside Chicago
The Heroin Highway



“The cartels supply the narcotics to the violent Chicago street gangs,” Giuffre tells The Daily Beast. “Illicit drug smuggling [and] transportation groups are selling their services to any cartel willing to pay for them.” Shipments of heroin, cocaine, and crystal meth pass through the Second City on their way to neighboring states like Wisconsin and Indiana. One popular drug-running route is I-290, which connects to Milwaukee and points west, and is known locally as the Heroin Highway. 

“Much of what comes here doesn’t stay here,” says Giuffre, whose full title is Assistant Special Agent in Charge. He refers to the Toddlin’ Town as a “lucrative market” and “transshipment point” for illicit substances to reach whole swaths of the Midwest and Eastern U.S.

Wholesale vs Retail Slaughter

Most of the drug routes originate on the Southwest border with Mexico, in places like Tijuana and El Paso. The most common method for shipping dope north is overland by road, often in tractor-trailers, busses, or personal cars equipped with hidden compartments.

Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) operating cells in the U.S. typically refrain from acts of overt mayhem, so as not to call attention to their presence. Giuffre describes these cells as disciplined networks made up of the friends and family members of cartel operatives back home. “They don’t distribute a single kilo without specific instructions,” he says.


The once-dominant Sinaloa Cartel has been weakened in Chicago, due to the capture and extradition of former boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

That power shift has allowed other groups like The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), Los Rojos, and Guerreros Unidos to move into the Chi-town marketplace.


Last year also marked a two-decade high for homicides in Chicago, but Giuffre says it’s “not cartel warfare” in the Windy City. Instead it’s the rival street gangs in Chicago supplied by the DTOs that are engaged in deadly turf battles. “It’s all about territorial beefs between gangs,” says Adam Isacson, a security expert with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), in a phone interview with The Daily Beast.

Some of the factional gang killings occur during “fighting for territory for local drug sales” on corners and city blocks, while others are rooted in “simple hatred,” he says.

The cartels might be slaughtering each other over shipping corridors in Mexico, but on the U.S. side of the border, the “guys doing wholesale are less violent than the guys doing retail,” Isacson says.

Sturm and Gang



The DEA estimates there to be about 100,000 active members of crime groups in Chicago, which it lists as “the street gang capital of America.”

Some of the most powerful groups are the Gangster Disciples, the Vice Lords, and the Latin Kings. 

But within these umbrella organizations there can be schisms and rivalries. In all there are some 700 factions, and many of them use coded handshakes, colors, or patterns of dress to i.d. each other—or spot outsiders in their neighborhoods.



Handguns are the most common weapon for gangsters, because they’re cheap and easy to hide under loose clothing. But they’ve also been known to set up ambushes using assault rifles capable of piercing police body armor. Assaults on funerals and memorial services for fallen members of rival outfits are a favorite trick, as the perceived enemies are then gathered in large numbers, often unarmed and in the open.

Many of the gangs operate out of so-called “trap houses,” which are foreclosed or abandoned homes where they hold meetings and repackage or distribute narcotics. Other trap houses are occupied for more innocent purposes, such as shelter or sleeping (poverty and homelessness are common among gang members).

Guadalupe Cruz, a social worker and teacher at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says that for many young people, gang involvement is “generational” due to young people having “parents [who] were also involved in the street life.”

The culture is so ingrained that it becomes a “social norm to wear certain colors, or not to cross certain streets,” Cruz explains, in an interview with The Daily Beast. “They’re exposed to violence so this is what they know,” says Cruz, who runs an after-school mentorship program in Little Village, about a mile from the Heroin Highway.

“When someone is shot and on the floor dying, they don’t react,” Cruz says. “There’s no reaction that something is wrong, or that it shouldn’t be like this.”

Fighting Back

One person who does know it shouldn’t be like this is Chicago-based martial artist Darrel Taylor. On a stifling hot night in late July, Coach Taylor takes a few minutes away from training aspiring fighters at a gym on the South Side to speak with The Daily Beast.

“As a black man in America you don’t have too many positive role models,” says Taylor, 32. “I try to be the best coach I can. If they come to me with any life problems, I help them out to the best of my abilities.” Taylor instructs his charges in multiple forms, and tonight’s focus is boxing. The Sweet Science and other martial arts teach discipline and a solid work ethic, as well as “problem solving on the go,” he says.

     
                                                         Martial Arts Coach Darrel Taylor

The gym where Taylor trains tonight sits across from what was once a K-Mart and is now just another empty shell. Inside the club a half-dozen fighters wait in line to “work the pads” with their coach. Most of them will use gloves and other gear he’s brought for them.

“Combat sports helps them to develop mental toughness, so they’re ready when life throws them a curveball. If you can do this you can survive the life.” Taylor encourages his pupils to “stay in school with a purpose,” although he acknowledges that many of them see professional fighting as a way to escape poverty, “of making it out.”

Taylor also credits his martial arts background for having kept him on the straight and narrow. “Most of my friends growing up were involved in that [gangster] life,” he says, raising his voice over the steady thumping of fighters on the heavy bags. “I always told them, ‘I can’t do that—I’ve got practice.’”

Addiction Affliction

Despite the efforts of volunteers like Cruz and Taylor, Chicago was last year’s U.S. leader for homicides committed. Unfortunately, that’s not its only dubious distinction. “Chicago is number one in the nation for heroin overdose related emergency room visits, and number one in the nation for people seeking publically funded treatment for heroin dependency,” according to DEA Agent Giuffre.

He attributes that in part to an increase in street-level purity by about 30 percent in recent years, as well as the cartels’ penchant for cutting their smack with the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which can cause even seasoned junkies to O.D.

Giuffre, who has more than thirty years of narcotics law enforcement experience, accuses the cartels of “profiting off the misery of addiction.” And when it comes to heroin, their profits are going up.

 The Chicago DEA Field Office’s seizures over the last three years have climbed by 300 percent—yet street prices of the drug have continued to fall.

A single-serving size bag of heroin—often called a “blow”—in Chicago sells for about $10. A “jab” is 10 blows and usually goes for about $100 (normally a person ordering a gram-sized jab will get two or three extra blows in their bag.) A kilogram of arm candy, meanwhile, runs for anywhere between $48,000to $55,000, as the price can shift down for bulk purchases.

“It looks like from the DEA numbers that Mexican heroin production has tripled since 2013, which would explain why supplies in Chicago have increased similarly,” says WOLA’s Isacson.

The surge in poppy cultivation in Mexican states like Guerrero has been caused in part by the cartels’ shift away from marijuana, after legalization and decriminalization in the U.S. caused the price of weed to plummet. A steep rise in American demand for heroin has also contributed, as government crackdowns on prescribed opioids forces users to swap pills for the needle.

And the newly empowered Jalisco New Generation Cartel also “specializes in [heroin] and they’ve been eating Sinaloa’s lunch,” says Isacson, referring to the downfall of Chapo Guzmán’s old syndicate.

“Seizures have been increasing at the border, but they haven’t tripled. So a lot more is getting through too.” Tunnels, cleverly disguised consumer goods, and even food packages are all tricks in the cartels arsenal for eluding customs inspectors. “It’s just so easy to conceal,” Isacson says.

City on Fire

Special Agent Giuffre’s team remains focused on “command and control of the cartels” using “a variety of efforts focused on cartel cell leaders.” His office is responsible for scores of successful indictments, including those against the infamous El Chapo and more than 70 of his co-conspirators. The Chicago Police Department’s track record, on the other hand, isn’t so sterling. Isacson, of WOLA, says “Chicago policing efforts” are also to blame for the deteriorating security situation.

“The relationship with the community is bad,” he says, and begins to tick off a list of complaints that include slow response times, charges of police killings and torture of suspects, even allegations that a “police death squad” was at work in the city. (The Chicago police department did not respond to interview requests for this story.)

Those factors also combine with “poor outreach to the south and west sides of Chicago which are both black and Latino,” Isacson says. “It’s a city with a lot of gangs, but a lot of cities have a lot of gangs. Other cities have meetings with communities . . . I don’t know why they’re so resistant to change.”

UIC teacher Guadalupe Cruz, who also works for the NGO Cure Violence in Honduras and Mexico, says the habit of neglecting certain communities goes beyond just local law enforcement. And that this collective indifference to marginalized neighborhoods is directly tied to the recent spike in homicides.

Many young men turn to hustling drugs on the street for the simple reason that “there are no jobs, but they still have to feed their kids,” Cruz says. “Of course violence is going to go up when they don’t have anything else to do.”

62 comments:

  1. Lol at San Andreas mod pack.

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  2. And here i thought it was chief keef..

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    Replies
    1. Isn't he in jail?

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    2. nope, out in Cali somewhere

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  3. Chi Town where the breeze stays cold and the misery is two fold. Es porque un vato no le qeria dar halle al otro anque se vino con el paca. Perro aca un guey bien al tirro no le importo el animal ese so lo que lo anda remediando. And then you get rap songs and everyone's got lyrics.

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  4. Whys does it show surenos and nortenos? There isnt any of those in chi town. There use to be a sureno hood in the chi but they non existent now! Thats cali and midwest stuff. Shoulda put up folks or latin kings up, BDs or GDs.

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    1. BDs GDs latin kings folks puerto mayate rican and cuban thugs just as bad as MS 13 serotes. Mexican raza gangs are bad but this foos are low animals

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    2. You got the latin pachucos and La Raza dont these two gangs pass as sureños?

      EPN

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    3. That's how you know the article is garbage and they have no idea how Chicago really is

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    4. All I can say about these two pieces of artwork is they came straight off a Southside Chicago Gang page with hundreds of others including Latin Kings, BDs, GDs, the Sureños says SOUTHSIDE , right on top. I personally liked a bunch of the old B and W ones , but didn't think they would fly.

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    5. There are surenos in chi town but mostly latin kings with mostly puerto ricans. I lnow because i lived in chicago for a while

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    6. Its all good no harm intended. I was just saying, but atleast the article went up id rather have an article to read than nothing at all! Appreciate your work regardless.

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    7. The North side is the Cubs fans,
      The South side is the White SOX fans,
      Then all the degenerates adopt teams from all over the country to identify their gang,
      The more the.government fractures them, the.more they BALKANIZE, SINCE THE CHICAGO POOLICE.MURDERED FRED HAMPTON FOR BEING THE LEADER OF THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY, the black inherited the vice Lords, the black gangsters disciples, the Latin Kings and the 2wo Shit, then all multiplied by miscegenation,etastasys and transplants enforced by no less than the government, with the idea of hooking WHITEY, AND IT WORKED...ALL OVER CHEEKAGAH and the suburbs.
      all is OK AS LONG AS THEY AIN' NO BLACK PANTHERS, EVEN GARRAKHAN FARRAKHAN

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    8. There has been an influx of cali mexicans moving to chicago(alot have been shot and killed for riding around hoods like nothing) some sureños in the mix but they flip to whatever chicago gang is dominant in the area they live in, so no there is isnt sureño gangs in chicago.

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  5. Theres more h on the streets of chi, than ever before- and if the price they said is correct, it dropped like 10k per key- and there was never a blip in product either- sinaloas people have been in chicago a long time and arent going anywhere- as long as the hererras are in chicago there will be plenty lol

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    1. Puro dgo lol y chitown

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    2. the herrera family aint from CDS get it right. they are the ones that brought all that havoc to durango allowing the zetas to come in and fight chapo because ARMANDO didnt want to work under chapos thats why poncho got smoked and armando was able to get free.

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    3. Armando corral had nothing to do with the beef that got ponchito killed. He as killed to clean house after senor de los cielos died. Armando did fuk up the towns near la sierra. havic going to those towns soon compa. la puri, tepe

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  6. gang infested neighborhoods, soon become drug infested dens of abandoned or illegally occupied shacks, and murdering gangs and prostitution, and I have seen the city of Chicago running to those neighborhoods to set up special tax increments t districts with new schools, libraries, parks, police and frie stations where no poor broke ass can afford to live.
    Then the new construction and reconstruction starts, with Real Estate corporations making a killing from a the empty land and vacant lots, with new apartments for millionaires usually city, federal or state employees, students with million dollar loans or rich kids from rich parent families...
    I mean, the real estate companies have everything to win from pushing drugs, gangs, crime and prostitution all over chicago, and they benefit from the aftermath too...
    I met a WHITE SOX FAN ONCE, they had become champions, he used to live in the neighborhood, until the.city kicked all of them out to make room for the baseball park, because of burned out or abandoned houses, due to drugs, gangs and guns, and he stop and ask me how I know, well, I told him i've been all over chicago, and seen all the city shenanigans and his community being made the laughingstock of the world,
    He agreed with me,
    I had not seen that all over the US is the same phenomena, for gentrification purposes.

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    1. @921 they did EXACTLY the same thing in LA. Suddenly expense condos popping up in 'Skid Row'.

      Here is great documentary about LA: https://youtu.be/ZFrZ9JmzNTo

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    2. In Dallas they use the same tricks buy up cheap land and build condos. Plus toll roads are popping up everywhere to class/income segregate

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    3. They did the same in south east Phoenix. They tore down gang infested apartments and made warehouses and businesses so the gangs desapeared in that area. They also did that in south west phoenix and made a big community of new houses that the poor couldn't afford and called it laveen. It worked because gangs in phoenix are few now just mainly in south Phoenix, also due to the gang task force that used to be everywhere. If you comit a crime and are gang affiliated you get like 5 extra years if convicted.

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    4. @7:49 Re. Phoenix barrios (La Feniquera) I was there during the era of urban renewal and buildup of Sky Harbor, Laveen, etc. etc. I saw the bulldozers doing their thing to S. Phoenix barrio home during the early 80s. Sad, but poor people have no actual say (power) in "eminent domain" issues. Eminent domain is a wonderful concept "if" you are an urban renewal insider and have connections to same.
      Mexico-Watcher

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    5. Well thats real smart to take over big cities but then these trashy broke ass ghetto people move out to smaller towns where they get free housing like the hood but crime goes up in these smaller towns,
      Alot of chicago trash moves up to wisconsin and thats what has been going on.

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    6. It's called gentrification. That's what currently going on in Chicago. Pilsen used to be predominantly a Mexican neighborhood. Now all you see is white yuppies walking around. Little village is next

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    7. Yea your right shameless is being filmed in lttle village its on the spotlight now for generfication but to many paisas there its guna be hard for them to completly do it

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  7. Nothing drives up real estate prices like a good ol fashion gang war - Donald Love

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    1. Well, there is the smoking gun my dears, tear down the expensive condos and OCCUPY to your hearts' content, NO RICH PEOPLE want to hang around in troubled neighorhoods.

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  8. I flicked thru "cartel wives" the Flores book it looks maybe interesting but the "wives" just sound like regular Chicago hoes enjoying $$$ off the back of addicts' misery

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    1. I read the book and it seems they only turned themselves in because of a few incidents where they were almost killed and they got scared.pedro was kidnapped a couple times and both of them were kidnapped together once in mx, And the dad would have probaby lived if he would have just stayed in the usa but he was stubborn and missed being down there in mx. It is very interesting though their story.i recommend reading it if anyone is thinking about it

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    2. The Flores twins were tracked and tricked, mainly because other people's business were mysteriously losing ALL THEIR CUSTOMERS.
      DOUBLE DIPPING AND PIGGYBACKING your shit also hurts others, that why you can't be having one suppasta operator, se lo chingan y te chingan, DIVERSIFY, MIJAS.

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    3. How were they tracked and tricked?

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    4. Tracked by getting their pushers, and tricked whn they got arrested and chose to cooperate.
      It is very easy connecting, and greasing one guy, but his usual handler will know immediately something is wrong,

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    5. Th twins had their lawyer contact the dea, they didnt get arrested. They were afraid of getting killed so they approached the dea and started doing recordings and srtting ppl up

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  9. I thought chance the rapper had the city on lock

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    1. What the hell? You sill following sheep

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  10. La Mara controla todo

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    1. En Chicago ni se ven pendejo.

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    2. 8:53 they are starting,
      they selling "paletaaass!"
      while walking like Jaliskas

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    3. haha la MARA aca no existen chavo. neta se me ase que no la arman en chicago.

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  11. the cartel does not pray for chicago chaos! why? because more killings only means the cartel buyers and sellers and the crews are being killed. then what?

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  12. Congratulations to the mayor of Chicago. Being #1 has to make him proud. One thing we learn Gun Control works, all the gang have weapons. More dangers than Tamps. Where Jesse and Al they r suppose to be Role Models. Where's Obama he from Chicago

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  13. a lot of these killings in Chicago are simply off revenge not cause they want control over corners. the Saints & SDs been going at it all summer, a couple of SDs die so they go to Saints hood & get their revenge. look at other factions on the southside they name a gang after someone passed away then go get revenge on their opps & then those people end up doing the same, it’s a never ending chain. go peep Chicago World News on YouTube to get an insight on gangs, it’s not based off these cartels, the ones who move these drugs don’t do any of these things otherwise it’d put extra heat on them & the gang, wouldn’t be as easy to move around wtf?

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    1. The sds have been get lit up all summer and they have not done shit to the skanks and they are a bigger gang smh
      Only the razas get back at them saints real quick

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    2. The saints control the back of the yards neighborhood they been there since 1959. Yes the Satan disciples are much bigger but that dont mean a thing since they have no hitters. One of la raza main heads was also killed this past month by the saints he went by ( Shorty Ruff) shot multiple times with an AK 47 his family had to give him a close casket by the way his other two brothers where also killed by saints. back of hte yards is a tough neighborhood to grow up on. But 7:16 is right its not for drugs its mostly to show who is on top of their gang shit.La raza gang have weakened since they shot at the chicago police if you really know info on the streets feds giving green light on their OPPS to let them have it in a year or 2 la raza will be gone from the back of the yards.Just for the record what really moves in this neighborhood is CDS product.

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    3. Saints for Louisiana Saints, gold and black= latin kings
      Thre were Panthers, SF for Six Folks, SD for six disciples, toda una pinchi bola de inutiles, after 20 years they still wear those clothes because their parente bought them for their babies, 10 sizes bigger, they still fit unless they dead.

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    4. I herd about shorty ruff wasnt he a white raza? who were his other brothers malibu & who else,
      I dont get how these guys let themselves get shot they need to learn from the saints and stay inside and only come out with that ak ambushing the opps

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  14. How is It the cops fault for not being more active in the communities when black lives matter activly calls for police pressence to be reduced in these communitied, and most blacks support them...

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    1. 7:47 there is decency as another weapon the police can use, instead of disrespect and abuse, the CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT has paid more than 500 million dollars in settlements and compensations for victims of their abuse, because there must have some wrongdoing there.
      Then there is community outreach and education before anthno goes wrong, you do not teach any of that and conflict resolution when you are in the.middle of some big shit trying to watch your back at the same time, I don't know if the lack of prevention and education is deliberate, but I suspect it is.

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  15. Dolton is a suburb BTW. Lol

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  16. "To feed their kidsmy ass". Thats the last thing they are worried about. The government hands out free food and apt. for there babies mama. They want the easy paper! And the bling! T. Montana

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  17. @9:21 [essentially says crime infested poor neighborhoods are future rich condo-landias.] This pattern is a historic real estate ploy that goes back generations. Rich investors contrive with real estate developers, politicians,social engineers, and even church leaders to come up with great sounding "urban Renewal" plans that benefit greatly those "in on" the original visionary plans.
    The story of Chavez Ravine (Mexican barrio zone) and Dodger Stadium in L.A. during the early 1950s is a case in point. Check it out here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chavez_Ravine#History_of_Chavez_Ravine

    Mexico-Watcher

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    1. The poster @9:21 described it correctly as gentrification. A well known phenomenon used by property developers all over the world for a very very long time.

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    2. 9:21 is "senior anonymous commenter", almost like a dirty mexican dignitary politician...but free.

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  18. Sinaloa's decline is wrongly attributed to El Chapo's capture, when it is due to Chapo's poor choice of betraying Arturo Beltran, and things outside his control, like the death of Nacho Coronel

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    1. 5:13 La Chapa did not betray El Barbas, or La Mochoma güey.
      Chilangos EPN and genarco garcia luna in cahoots with other chilangos betrayed BLO and everybody else, including La Chapa to steal all the business. Because they are back stabbing chilangos

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  19. Dare me to punch María Consuelo Loera Pérez in her head.

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  20. It's nice the gangs kill each other in Chicago. Mex cartels never fight each other. Just kill innocents.

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    1. 1:00 in chicago they kill mostly innocent people by mistake too.
      What is not a mistake is that the gun lobby reimposed guns in chicago, I am sure they paid many judases their pretty penny, and nobody.can sue the.weapons merchants, no matter what they sell, who they sell it to or what they do...

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  21. in terms of heroin why do they never mention afghanistans role in production

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    1. 7:21 because the role of the US and its armed forces must be kept quiet, besides, accusing mexico is more productive right now, the russian mobsters associated invest many more billions of dollars in million dollar Trump Towers apartments, the mexicans spend all their money with las putas nalgas postings y uno que otro mono raro.

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  22. I remember my first Frank Sinatra concert.

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