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Tag: Mexican cartels

Mexican Drug Cartels Hire American Teens as Killers

mexico-map21The drug trade has long provided dangerous employment and riches for Americans teens seeking the good life. We hear so often of that arrangement in urban areas. Now it’s happening with American teens and Mexican drug cartels.

By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
New York Times
LAREDO, Tex. — When he was finally caught, Rosalio Reta told detectives here that he had felt a thrill each time he killed. It was like being Superman or James Bond, he said.

”I like what I do,” he told the police in a videotaped confession. ”I don’t deny it.”

Mr. Reta was 13 when he was recruited by the Zetas, the infamous assassins of the Gulf Cartel, law enforcement officials say. He was one of a group of American teenagers from the impoverished streets of Laredo who was lured into the drug wars across the Rio Grande in Mexico with promises of high pay, fancy cars and sexy women.

After a short apprenticeship, the young men lived in an expensive house in Texas, available to kill whenever called on. The Gulf Cartel was engaged in a turf war with the Sinaloa Cartel over the Interstate 35 corridor, the north-south highway that connects Laredo to Dallas and beyond, and is, according to law enforcement officials, one of the most important arteries for drug smuggling in the Americas.

The young men all paid a heavy price. Jesus Gonzalez III was beaten and knifed to death in a Mexican jail at 23. Mr. Reta, now 19, and his boyhood friend, Gabriel Cardona, 22, are serving what amounts to life sentences in prisons in the United States.

For Full Story

Mexican Cartels Using YouTube and Internet

youtube1It was inevitable that the crude and violent Mexican drug cartels would evolve and start using some of the modern technology of the Internet to promote their trade. This is just the start.

By Rick Jervis
USA TODAY

The violence among Mexican drug cartels is not filling just the streets of Mexican border towns: It’s also spilling into gruesome online videos and chat rooms.

The videos on YouTube and Mexican-based sites are polished – professional singers croon about cartel leaders while images of murdered victims fade one into the next. In the comment area, those loyal to the opposing cartels trade insults and threats.

Such videos are used to intimidate enemies and recruit members by touting “virtues” of cartel leaders, says Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical intelligence for Stratfor, a Texas-based global-intelligence company.

Howard Campbell, an anthropologist at the University of Texas-El Paso who studies border issues, says the videos also signal how the cartels have evolved from pure moneymaking ventures to sophisticated groups with political agendas.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Obama to Send Federal Agents, Equipment and Other Resources to Mexico Border

This is a good first step in the battle against the growing menace of the violent Mexican drug cartels. But in all likelihood, this is just a start. More will bborder-fence-photo3e needed.

By Spencer S. Hsu and Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — President Obama is finalizing plans to move federal agents, equipment and other resources to the border with Mexico to support Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s campaign against violent drug cartels, according to U.S. security officials.

In Obama’s first major domestic security initiative, administration officials are expected to announce as early as this week a crackdown on the supply of weapons and cash moving from the United States into Mexico that helps sustain that country’s narco-traffickers, officials said.

The announcement sets the stage for Mexico City visits by three Cabinet members, beginning Wednesday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and followed next week by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

For Full Story