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Tag: Mexico

U.S.-Mexico Only Nabbing a Fraction of Drug $$$ Being Smuggled South into Mexico

US Mexican borderBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Despite their efforts, U.S. and Mexican authorities are seizing no more than one percent of the billions of dollars in drug proceeds being smuggled south into Mexico, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.

The cash is being smuggled in spare tires, engine transmissions and truckloads of baby diapers, the Post reported. In other words, any way you can imagine.

In all, the drug traffickers and the Colombian suppliers smuggle $20 billion to $25 billion a year in U.S. bbank notes across the border, the Post reported.

“If we fail to curtail these money flows, the confrontation with organized crime will generate more violence and more corruption,” Carlos Pascual, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, said at a border conference in El Paso this month, according to the Post.

To read more click here.

Member of Juarez Drug Cartel in Mexico Extradited to U.S.

Mexico border mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A suspected member of the violent Juarez Drug Cartel in Mexico has been extradited to the states, the DEA in El Paso said.

Felipe DOMINGUEZ-Vargas was extradited on Aug. 10 and made his initial appearance on drug charges in U.S. District Court in El Paso on Monday, according to Joseph M. Arabit, of the El Paso DEA. He waived his right to a detention hearing.

DOMINGUEZ faces six counts of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and marijuana, the DEA said. He was first arrested by Mexican authorities in November 2009.

Washington Post Editorial: Mexico Drug War Going Badly and U.S. Looking Other Way

mexico-border-signThe Washington Post
Editorial Page

WASHINGTON — Give Mexican President Felipe Calderon credit for honesty as well as courage. Last week he presided over a three-day public conference to assess the results of nearly four years of war against Mexico’s drug cartels. Most of the facts were grim:

— According to the chief of the national intelligence service, 28,000 people have died violently since Mr. Calder?n deployed the Mexican army against the drug gangs in December 2006. That number represents an increase of 3,000 over the death toll the government reported earlier this summer.

— There have been 963 incidents involving federal forces and the gangs since the offensive began — or just about one per day.

— Mexican authorities have seized more than 84,000 weapons, including thousands of high-powered assault rifles, grenades and other military-caliber equipment. More than 80 percent of the guns whose provenance could be traced came from the United States.

To read more click here.

Drug Cartels Operate Freely in Small Calif. Towns

In these small little towns in California, not only are some of the politicians extremely corrupt, but they’ve become places where gangs and Mexican and Colombian drug cartels operate freely.  Investigative reporter Jeffrey Anderson examines the problem.
CALIFornia map
By Jeffrey Anderson
Washington Times

BELL, Calif. —  The gang graffiti that coats freeway overpasses, exit signs and the concrete banks of the Los Angeles River attests to a problem more alarming than the recent revelations of hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual salaries for public officials.

Street gangs, a powerful prison gang known as the Mexican Mafia and even more powerful drug-trafficking organizations based in Mexico and Colombia operate freely in this small city and the similarly sized cities surrounding it.

News reports in recent weeks have focused on three Bell city officials who resigned on July 26 amid revelations that they were being paid up to $800,000 per year in a city of 36,000 where the average annual household income is less than $40,000. California Attorney General Jerry Brown on Monday announced that he issued subpoenas to current and former members of Bell’s city government, adding that his office also is investigating allegations of “possible illegal election conduct by Bell officials.”

To read full story click here.

Louisiana Drug Trafficker Used Dog and Cockfights to Recruit for His Drug Ring

louisiana-mapBy Matt Castello
ticklethewire.com

For a big-time Louisiana drug trafficker, the dog and cockfighting ring served as the ideal venue to help expand his drug ring.

Pedro Mendez Ramos, of Church Point, La., who authorities described as “an avid pit bull and cock fighter”, used more than 300 gamecocks and 60 pit bulls as a recruiting tool for the drug organization he headed up.

Late last week, Ramos, 41, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Lake Charles, La., to 12.5 years in prison.

Authorities said the organization transported and distributed cocaine and marijuana from the Brownsville, Tex. area to the Church Point, La. area and then to Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and other parts of Louisiana.

Members of the Gulf Cartel, a Matamoros, Mexico based drug organization, directly supplied drugs to Ramos’ crew, authorities said.

An investigation nicknamed “Operation Fowl Play” and “Rio Gallo” netted indictments of 18 men (including Ramos) on a variety of drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms charges.

The DEA, working together with local and state law enforcement, seized approximately 111 kilograms of cocaine from the drug organization along with $1.8 million in cash and about $1 million in property in Louisiana and Texas, authorities said.

The DEA said it’s not unusual for there to be a connection between dog fighting and other illicit activities including drug sales.

“I don’t want to say it goes hand in hand, but its safe to say there’s an overlap” between dog fighting and other forms of crime, Special Agent Roberto Bryan, a DEA spokesman in New Orleans told ticklethewire.com.

Scary Development: Mexican Cartels Gagging the Media

gagged journalistBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The murderous ways of the Mexican drug cartels may seem very scary, but so is another phenomena: The cartels are apparently shutting up the media.

The Washington Post reports journalists, fearing for their lives, “are adhering to a near-complete news blackout, under strict orders of drug smuggling organizations and their enforcers, who dictate — via daily telephone calls, e-mails and news releases — what can and cannot be printed or aired.

“We are under their complete control,” a veteran reporter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Post.

Very scary.

To read full story click here.

Column: U.S. Falls Short in Helping Mexico Battle Drug War

drug war-gunBy Jackson Diehl
Washington Post Deputy Editorial  Page Writer

WASHINGTON — Last month, 303 people were murdered in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, which lies alongside El Paso. This month, the dead include three men killed by a sophisticated, remote-controlled car bomb — the first in Mexico’s drug wars. In a city of 1.2 million, more than 2,600 died violently in 2009; some 200,000 more may have fled.

Meanwhile in Washington, the Government Accountability Office has drawn up a list of assistance promised to Mexico by the United States since 2008, but not delivered. It includes: at least nine Black Hawk helicopters; three Bell helicopters; four airplanes for sea patrolling; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft; 218 polygraph units; two railroad inspection units; mobile gamma radiation trucks; and five training programs, ranging from “financial intelligence” to “drug demand reduction.”

Since the end of the Cold War, neglect of Latin America has become something of a fine art in Washington, practiced by Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Mexican Drug Dealers Use Car Bomb For First Time

Mexico border mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

As if the drug war in Mexico wasn’t violent enough.

Now, the drug dealers, for the first time, have resorted to a car bomb in Mexico in the drug war, the El Paso Times and the Associated Press reported.

Mayor Jose Reyes  Ferriz of Ciudad Juarez said traffickers set a deadly car bomb trap at a busy intersection  that killed three people on Thursday night in his border town including a federal policeman, a medical technician and a man dressed in a fake police uniform, the El Paso Times reported.

Ferriz said he feared some officers might quit the force out of fear of running into booby traps and ambushes, the paper reported.

To read more click here.