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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Reuters: Mexico Shuts Elite Investigations Unit In Blow To U.S. Drugs Cooperation


Article written by Drazen Jorgic for Reuters. Reposted with permission by "narcomappingmx" for Borderland Beat.

MEXICO CITY, April 19 (Reuters) - Mexico has disbanded a select anti-narcotics unit that for a quarter of a century worked hand-in-hand with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to tackle organized crime, two sources said, in a major blow to bilateral security cooperation.

The group was one of the Sensitive Investigative Units (SIU) operating in about 15 countries which U.S. officials tout as invaluable in dismantling powerful smuggling rings and busting countless drug lords around the globe. The units are trained by the DEA but under the control of national governments.

In Mexico, the over 50 officers in the SIU police unit were considered many of the country's best and worked on the biggest cases such as the 2016 capture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, then the boss of the powerful Sinaloa cartel.

The closure threatens to imperil U.S. efforts to combat organized crime groups inside Mexico, one of the epicenters of the multi-billion dollar global narcotics trade, and make it harder to catch and prosecute cartel leaders.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government formally notified the DEA in April last year that the unit had been shut down, according to a DEA agent with knowledge of the matter who declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak about the issue. A second source familiar with the situation confirmed the closure of the unit.

Mexico's Public Security Ministry did not respond to repeated requests for comment. The DEA declined to comment. The closure of the unit was not reported before. Reuters was unable to find out why the Mexican government did not announce it publicly at the time.

"They strangled it," the agent said, referring to the unit. "It shatters the bridges we spent decades putting together."

The closure could prove costly on U.S. streets, where authorities are battling to reduce a surge in overdoses that last year led to more than 100,000 deaths mostly linked to a new wave of synthetic drugs produced by Mexican cartels.

The elite team, founded in 1997, was the main conduit for the DEA to share leads on drugs shipments and tips obtained on U.S. soil with Mexico's government.

The DEA would fly new Mexican entrants to its state-of-the-art facility in Quantico, Virginia, to train them on latest surveillance and policing techniques. U.S. officials also vetted them, including with polygraph tests.

A second Mexican SIU unit, based inside the Attorney General's Office and independent of Lopez Obrador's government, continues to operate.

For Mike Vigil, the DEA's former chief of international operations, the SIU closure and Lopez Obrador's curbing of security cooperation will hurt both countries.

"It will mean more drugs going to the United States and more violence in Mexico," he said.

SHOOTING ITSELF IN THE FOOT

The SIU's closure is the latest example of the breakdown in cooperation between the DEA and Mexico since Lopez Obrador assumed power in 2018 and vowed to overhaul the country's security policy.

Angered by the soaring bloodshed he blamed on the heavy-handed tactics of his predecessors, Lopez Obrador sought to implement a less confrontational policing style and pledged to tackle what he claims are the root causes of the violence, such as poverty, instead of hunting down cartel chiefs.

The president also made it harder for foreign security officials to operate inside Mexico, rebuking the DEA over its modus operandi which he said equated to trampling on Mexico's sovereignty.

Privately, U.S. officials say Mexico's vital role in blocking the flow of migrants from Latin America - a priority for Washington - leaves them with limited leverage to pressure Lopez Obrador on other issues, such as security cooperation.

Though the SIU's reputation was damaged when its former chief, Ivan Reyes Arzate, was detained in 2017 and pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to taking bribes to leak tips to a drug gang, the unit was seen as vital by DEA officials who needed Mexican officers to help their investigations in the country.

Alarm bells for the future of the unit rang in 2019, when Lopez Obrador mothballed the Federal Police - inside which the SIU was based - to create a new force called the National Guard.

DEA agents kept working with Mexican counterparts for a while, especially in Mexico City's airport where SIU officers were intercepting smuggled fentanyl, a hyper-potent synthetic drug blamed for soaring overdoses in the United States.

But security cooperation between the DEA and Mexico plummeted to a fresh low in Oct. 2020 when U.S. security officials in Los Angeles detained Mexico's former defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos, alleging he colluded with a drug cartel.

U.S. prosecutors swiftly released Cienfuegos, citing "sensitive" foreign policy considerations, but Lopez Obrador accused the DEA of having "little professionalism" and of fabricating evidence in the case.

In Dec. 2020, Lopez Obrador's government stripped foreign agents of diplomatic immunity and forced Mexican officials to write reports on interactions with security officers from abroad.

"That was the nail in the coffin," the DEA agent said. Months later the SIU was shut down.

By the time the unit was formally wound up it had, according to the DEA agent, already been inoperative for some time as Mexico's National Guard prioritized the deterrence of violence over investigations of drug cartels.

But with more than 33,000 homicides recorded in Mexico last year, Vigil, the ex-DEA agent, said closing an elite unit that goes after organized crime groups responsible for most of the murders doesn't make sense.

"Mexico is shooting itself in the foot," he said. 

Source: Reuters

69 comments:

  1. Well this is good for the cocaine market but it's bad for the fentanyl problem. Are these the guys that destroy poppy farms too? Maybe good ole' H will even come back.

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    1. AMLO is senile there to collect BRIBES.

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    2. I'm glad you recognize that there is NO longer heroin on the streets, many people are unaware. The heroin addicts of a couple of years lament the arrival of fentanyl. Apparently the high does not last long at all, and lacks the euphoric bliss heroin provided. Also, you need it much more frequently to avoid going into an even worse than heroin withdrawal. It just makes you feel normal, there is no longer the high for the addicted. Somebody may know firsthand and correct me which I welcome.
      I was reading an article and a junkie in Chicago stated that word in his circle was that a dealer actually got heroin. He was upset as it sold out immediately. So yes you are right, there is no longer actual heroin available. I thought this was interesting. It also killed rural mexico economies that counted on poppy paste to afford to send their kids to school, eat something other than beans and corn. These are impoverished, rural families. In mx you frequently have to pay for your children to attend school.

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    3. Lord willing, Uhhh, says a friend of mine.

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    4. Ms. H, I am very knowledgeable in the aforementioned are and you are correct. A $30 dollar a day habit costs $120 and there's no euphoria, only withdrawal symptoms dissipating. It's hel on earth. When you somehow find real, unadulterated heroin, it's the equivalent of going on a Caribbean vacation. A wonderful time is had but you know in the back of your mind that eventually you will have to go back home to the monotonous existence that leaves you alive yet unfulfilled. I wish it upon very few people. The upper echelons of US and Mexican government know what they're doing by manipulating the black market.

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    5. United States kill the Asian heroin market. One of the best I read about. They almost killed the Mexican heroin market and now fentanyl is killing the consumers. It’s crazy. Maybe is time to legalize heroin.

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    6. 7:19 the Taliban had almost extinguished heroin addiction and trafficking in Afghanistan, then the US melitary protected and nurtured heroin trafficking until it got big and fat. At over 9 000% increases, the Taliban could have done much harshly needed better drug trafficking.

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    7. Sir the taliban gets money from drug traffickers they did not do shit to them but take money

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    8. 1:29 the saudis gave more money to the taliban than their enemy drug lords sponsored by the US to conduct the war against the Taliban to keep fleecing the whole US for 20 years for trillions of dollars, cost of a lost cause and abandoned "war" and allies...shit, the al Qaeda one eyed doctor buddy of Osama bin laden has not been captured or killed and he keeps happily fucking his borregas, prolly in Pakistan.

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  2. .ike Vigil said they had all the evidence needed to nail Cienpedos' ass, but Cienpedos must have had the DEA and all of the US justice dept by their much bigger Ying-Yangs and they let him go to México to be tried WITHOUT THE EVIDENCE THEY HAD.
    MIKY VIGIL has been asleep at the wheel for some 15 years, 3 of AMLO's and 6 of FECAL and 6 of EPN, 12 of them spent by FECAL and EPN distributing balazos, that fixed shit, on top of it the informer was bested by DEA LEAKING NAMES OF CARTEL TRAITORS to mexican police working with cartels that went murdering in Tamaulipas or Coahuila, Allende and San Fernando...
    Bounty hunters fucked up like pinchis quinciañeras horny with their first boyfriend.
    All that México got fro
    The US 36 billion dollars War ON Drugs is the wholesale hate and murdering colombia style where government cuicos and milicos fucked everybody up with Falsos Positivos, CULOMBIA style.

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  3. Obrador and his government think they are slick, with USA affairs. Obradors government played a trick to get cienfuegos back to Mexico and put him on trail, a circus trail, that claimed DEA did not have evidence, Obrador choose to be the puppet of the military.
    The Military high ranking officers friend's of ceinfuegos, told him to put out SIU and less corporation with USA, I am sure the Obrador lawyer that comes in here, will distort the article.
    It's true Obrador is letting Mexico go to hell.

    Wait when the right time comes, that USA no longer gives Millions in Aid to fight was war on drugs, then see how Obrador will behave.
    A puppet to the Military and a puppet to the cartels.

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    1. 2:01 obrador rejected the 3 billion dollars a year from tromp by the first or second year of his presidency, bounty hunters remained to keep fleecing the US...

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    2. 6:05 you are making me laugh.
      Obrador happily takes the 3 billion yearly in aid money to fight the war on drugs.
      I have not read no where did he reject it. When Vice president Kamala Harris visited Mexico, Obrador said "President Kamala, don't give money to Mexico non profits give to us to decide".
      VP Kamala Harris giggled it off.

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    3. Anon 7:35 pm. You are ridiculous. The Merida initiative was 1.5 billion over 5 years in equipment and training. No hard cash to Mexico. In the other hand Mexico did spend 2.7 billion dollars a year from 2007 to 2016 and from there increasing to 5 billion dollars a years. So learn the numbers buddy. 53 thousand million pesos from 2007 to 2016 a year and increasing to 112 thousand million pesos a year in 2016. United States spend about 40 billion a year fighting drugs but you are not the giving cash to countries as you usually think. When you give help is in training and equipment. Usually used equipment. Is great help but no cash buddy.

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    4. 7:35 pm I can’t not stop laughing at the 3 billion dollars a year when you wouldn’t even give 1.5 in 5 years with out conditions. Lol You people have a real good sense of humor.

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    5. 7:46 the US gets fleeced by used weapons traffickers who can't depend on cartel purchases only they can't live within their means.

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    6. Mexicans get paid 1.25 US dollar a day, and got 3 billion dollars a year for the US war ON drugs, but not in bulk cash,..
      Israel get 30 billion US dollars a year for spying on everybody, even the US and inspite of Israel's attack on the USS Liberty waay back in the 60s.

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  4. DEA is just a bigger and legal cartel
    War on drugs is a joke!!

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    Replies
    1. But if the DEA is not helping out in Mexico, then it will get worse, my bad.we need DEA, 2 of my relatives died to criminal cartels.

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    2. 5:17 after 9/11 US DOJ PUT ALL THE LETTER SOUP under one jurisdiction and they all cooperate now, so the CIA rogue agents gave DEA the mexican job to avoid foiling their panties like they did with Kiki Camarena

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  5. This old MFker thinks his way is making violence demish, he by now don't realize it's not working, playing with the safety of it's citizens, and messing with USA is not a good combination.

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    1. Lopez Obrador is the worst President Mexico has ever had.
      I pray for Mexico everyday.

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    2. 905 Whatchu talkin bout Willis! AMLO has the 2nd highest approval rating on the world leader index.

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  6. LOL. Good for Mexico. Get the U.S outta their internal affairs. The U.S does nothing but destabilize nations and corrupt officials and this article is proof.

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    1. Another one sided thinker. Yes everything is going to hell in Mexico, later they will cry they need help. Also let's protest for the US to stop funding Mexico yearly, also let's stop tourist from going to Mexico, then let's see if you cry wolf.

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    2. I look at both sides of the coin. You're the one who doesn't see Mexico's perspective... the U.S would never allow mexican agents to instruct a U.S agency like the DEA or the FBI so why is it ok for the U.S to do it. Stop the foreign aid to Mexico, stop the tourism. I don't care. In the end Mexico doesn't need the U.S. watch your groceries go up though... how is it fair for Mexicans to earn $50 a week but U.S and Canada's averages minimum wage is 10 dollars an hour? The U.S survives on mexicos cheap labor. the U.S has only destabilized Latin America. As long as you have good leadership like AMLO, Latinos are better off without U.S assistance.

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    3. 5:59 you're seeing the picture incorrectly. DEA is trying to stop the flow of drugs into the USA, that's why they are there in the 1st place. USA is not shipping drugs to Mexico, so dumb saying that Mexico police to be in USA. Mexico brought it upon , as the president of Mexico is enpt at taking care of there issues.
      Needless to say this must be the Obrador lawyer nutthugger.

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    4. Tourism will never stop Americans lived Mexico

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    5. "The U.S is trying to stop the flow of drugs" is a ridiculous argument when you consider that under the Ronald Reagan administration not only did the participate in narcotic trafficking but they also introduced and distributed to Predominantly black neighborhoods in major U.S Cities. This is proven. Your ridiculous argument that the DEA stops the flow of drugs doesn't add up when it's been documented that the DEA worked with various cartel factions of the Sinaloa Cartel like the Chapos and Mayos. Get outta here with your foolish pro DEA propaganda you DEA Bootlicker. You only know what the U.S media feeds you you sheep.

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    6. 8:44 CIA rogue agents like Felix Ismael Rodriguez Mendigutia and NSA Lt Col of USMC Oliver North ordered the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA Kiki Camarena back when the DEA WAS STILL an honest US Gov Agency...now the lines of corruption blur to protect criminals encrusted up and down in US government tanks keeping up their corrupt drug trafficking and murdering all over the world...
      Remember Bill Barr got them more than 100 presidential pardons from George HW Bush and then he was with trump sponsoring more preaidential crimes...AMLO was nobody back them

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    7. 6:46 you are only seeing the side of the propaganda you are chewing and licking...
      too sweet to see the bitter fact

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  7. Perfect, 50+ Elite trained Mexican soldiers ready to cash in on their special skills taught on US soil. Sounds like the start of something similar to the Zetas history.

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    Replies
    1. Yes elite trained, because the others were Curupt. Thanks to Obrador now disbanded. Ask who is he being the puppet to whommm???

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  8. This proves AMLO is tearing apart Mexico from peace and vtranquility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 5:14 your shit proves you can't shit straight...

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  9. I am naturally skeptical about explanations of what goes on in governments. In the sanctimonious USA, we are just finding out how utterly corrupt things are (an FBI and CIA tainted, Democaca Party and MSM (fake news). Then we have LGBTXTZ queers "inside" USA government making policies against science nature, common decency .... Oh. how about the USA-Mexico Border and the human and drugs smuggling scenarios that all smell of corruption suggesting to me that Mexican dirty money combined with other nefarious tactics (blackmail, money laundering, campaign finance, sex. etc) have MEXICAN criminal elements (narco-cartels) "covertly" and insidiously well inside the government and other entities and mechanisms in the USA.
    To me, given how Mexico is (historically) a Failed State pretending to be otherwise...why not entertain the possibility that Mexico corruption infected the USA? But who is going to investigate these kinds of allegations? Oh, the FBI, CIA, CNN, DEA, ATF, politicians, Hollywood, Democaca or GOP politicians...the Church?
    "Plata o Plomo" tactics work! Ask any PTSD afflicted Mexican citizen who has directly and indirectly experienced the depravities of sociopathic, psychopathic sicarios. The USA needs to wake up, like yesterday!
    Mexico-Watcher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mister, the older you get the more you suck...
      Operation 40 for example, in México City back in the 50s, degenerated into drug trafficking helped by US Puppets that became presidents of México of Litempo fame and "Our Man In México" book, prove to you that the US created all the mayhem as soon as the WWII ended, "to supposably fight communism in LatinAmerica", proven to be nothing but BS and Chcken shit and a coop of corruption.

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    2. Obrador will cry when millions in aid get taken away. Helping the criminals is his motto.

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    3. 6:36 you have been eating too much Q propaganda including the hook, the line and the sinker, as a matter of fack since even before Q was a thing, you are very smart, but not smart enough to keep yourself from getting brainwashed.

      Delete
  10. Can it be that many of the immigrants will be given good agricultural jobs to replace importation from below the border?

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    Replies
    1. That's actually the plan. The current administration is building a train that will cut across mexico through Oaxaca and veracruz into the gulf of Mexico and pretty much rerouting eastcoast and European imports instead of going all the way down to Panama and theough the canal. There will be several industrial plazas built along the train route that will provide a type of buffer zone for people of the region and immigrants from central America and hopefully prevent them from reaching the U.S. this will provide a workforce for that region and diminish illegal immigration to the U.S.... that's why it's funny when people come on here talking about stopping foreign aid to México. If them people really did their homework and kept up with what's really going on in mexico instead of what the mainstream media feeds them they would realize that AMLO is diplomatically fighting U.S rule over Latin America.

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    2. 8:50 your full of crap.
      Almo lawyer.

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    3. Oh hey it's unknown, AKA Puncho. Click on the link tonto. The project is underway. Too bad your Spanish is limited, because I really want you to embrace los cuartazos que te voy a meter.

      https://youtu.be/INOTP07OvKo

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  11. I tell Mexico with it's current president is going down the tube.

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    Replies
    1. You don't know what you're talking about. If Mexico continues down this same path it will be the next Latin American Powerhouse in international trade and politics.

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    2. 9:17 you are some pendejo of a gigantic brand promoting the russian style propaganda bs.

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    3. Sucks to be Amlo. Presidente no servi para nada.

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    4. Obrador no hace nada para la huente de MEXICO. Qirre mas la mordida

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    5. 9:48 tus mordidas de quiote están bien mamonas, no hables y has más bien el trabajo
      5:51 tás igualito de pendejo Vali!

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    6. Poncho is the same non Spanish speaking anonymous pendejo that comes on here always bad mouthing the current administration. He's not even mexican. Ain't that right 948. If I had to take a wild guess SIR I'd say he's Russo russo el del culo sucio.

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    7. 12:50 I don't come in here often, this arty is very important to comment on and now you attack me as Anonymous, I am bilingual, how would you know what languages I speak and write. I used Poncho name for Poncho Villa. My one sentence that I did, reminds you of other people in here, you need to see a doctor.

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    8. 12:50 get a life, stop bugging people in here.

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    9. 7:02 Asshole Grade is almost not people, let's bug.

      Delete
    10. Puncho you come on here every day,you're just trying to disguise yourself under a different screen name. The problem is you think you're smarter than everyone else and nobody is going to know the difference. You're like nutstruther, aka blamewhitey aka guyfromlondon. All the same person.

      Delete
    11. 9:17 I agree with Lopez Obrador government things in Mexico are going downhill.
      Poncho I suggest you change your call sign, people with bad egos will continue to harass you for hating the Mexician government.

      Delete
  12. Payback for uncle sam trying to coup amlo from power like imran khan in pakistan for not condemning russia!

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    Replies
    1. You and your stupid comment.
      Go play with your Doo Doo.

      Delete
    2. AMLO has said México does not get involved in other countries affairs but it is against invasion and war senselessness.
      Obviously the Unpreaidented Disgrace now known as "Cheeto the Oringe Caca" has condemned Bladdermir Putin to look like patriotic, I hope he don't go fondling the US Flag's ass in public again.

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  13. I ask myself why has US not acted yet in cutting Aid to Mexico??
    Biden please cut the cord on Mexico funding.
    Please no funding for 2023.
    Navy is not meeting thier 5 busts per year quota.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Obrador is bringing down Mexico, if he knew things were not working, against Cartel violence in his first year in office, to change, but no he lets the military generals and drug cartels run the show.

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    2. Lol. Mexico is actually exceeding the quota.

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    3. 9:11 he is talking about the Marina's not meeting the yearly 5 quotas of drug siezures. Not Mexico, the Marina's you fool.

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    4. Poncho, the quota has been far exceeded. I get it, you don't like Mexico, but there's no need to spread lies the way you spread your nalgas for your boyfriend.

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    5. 12:47 you did not get it your way Obrador nuthugger lawyer.
      So now time to belittle me.

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    6. LOL Poncho you're a punching bag. Your new name will be "Puncho". You add nothing but stupid comments to this forum. Stay away you crybaby.

      Delete
    7. You're childish behavior is visible.

      Delete
    8. 623 coming from you doesn't phase me. LOL.

      Delete
    9. Stop pulling Panocho's hairs!

      Delete

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