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Tag: Mexico

Mexico Drug Dealers Operate in Prison and Bribe Their Way Out

It’s pretty simple: If you round up violent drug traffickers, lock them up and then let them go, it doesn’t do a lot of good. Mexico and the U.S. need to work more closely to deal with this issue.

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By MARC LACEY
New York Times
MEXICO CITY – The surveillance cameras captured it all: guards looking on nonchalantly as 53 inmates – many of them associated with one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels – let themselves out of their cells and sped off in waiting vehicles.

The video shows that prison guards only pulled out their weapons after the inmates were well on their way. The brazen escape in May in the northern state of Zacatecas – carried out in minutes without a single shot fired – is just one of many glaring examples of how Mexico’s crowded and cruel prison system represents a critical weak link in the drug war.

Mexico’s prisons, as described by inmates and insiders and viewed during several visits, are places where drug traffickers find a new base of operations for their criminal empires, recruit underlings, and bribe their way out for the right price.

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Border Protection Agency Unveils Prototype for New Vessel For High-Speed Chases

It only makes sense to have a equipment that’s at least equal to what the bad guys have.

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By ELLIOT SPAGAT
Associated Press Writer
SAN DIEGO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday unveiled a prototype vessel for high-speed pursuits of smugglers ferrying people and drugs from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.

The 43-foot boat is faster, more stable and carries about twice as much fuel as CBP’s current vessels, which were rolled out from 2001 to 2005.

The $875,000 prototype comes with infrared cameras and sensors that give detailed images as far as the horizon goes. Currently, agents often use goggles, which detect things only as far as the naked eye.

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The Growing Problem: U.S. Border Agents For Sale

Border Patrol

The drug trade along the Mexican border continues to show disturbing signs of corruption and death. Apparently some U.S. Border agents can be bought. That is very very dangerous.

By The Associated Press
McALLEN, Texas — Corruption along the U.S.-Mexican border takes many forms.

It can start as simply as a smuggler’s $50 gift to the child of a reluctant federal agent, quickly escalating to out-and-out bribes.

”Everyone does it,” the agent, now in prison, recalls telling himself. Other times, county sheriffs greedily grab thousands from drug dealers. In a few instances, traffickers even place members in the applicant pool for sensitive border protection jobs.

An Associated Press investigation has found U.S. law officers who work the border are being charged with criminal corruption in numbers not seen before, as drug and immigrant smugglers use money and sometimes sex to buy protection, and internal investigators crack down.

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ATF Concerned About Drug Cartels Using Hand Grenades in U.S.

The drug war in Mexico is deadly enough, and hand grenades have made it even deadlier. Will we start seeing drug traffickers use handgrenades in the U.S.?

Grenade

By JACQUES BILLEAUD
Associated Press Writer
PHOENIX — It was a scenario U.S. law enforcement had long feared: A fragmentation grenade from Mexico’s bloody drug war tossed into a public place.

Only the grenade thrower’s bumbling prevented bloodshed in a south Texas bar – he neglected to pull a second safety clasp. But the act was proof that one of the deadliest weapons in Mexico’s drug battle is a real threat to the U.S., and investigators are stepping up efforts to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

While Mexican drug violence has been spilling across the border in the form of kidnappings and killings, grenades are a particular worry because they can kill large numbers of people indiscriminately, and they are a weapon of choice among Mexican cartel members.

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5 Detained in Fatal Shooting of U.S. Border Patrol Agent

The violence from drugs and border crossings continues. Is the only answer more agents and troops?

Border Patrol
By Richard Marosi
Los Angeles Times
SAN DIEGO — Mexican authorities have detained five people in connection with last week’s fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, but U.S. investigators have not said whether they are suspects in the case.

The detainees were arrested within two days after Robert Rosas, a three-year agency employee, was shot multiple times by suspected smugglers near the border fence.

One of the men, Ernesto Parra Valenzuela, 36, who was identified as the shooter, was injured and carrying a 9-millimeter handgun, according to police in Tecate, Mexico.

Parra and the four other detainees — believed to be immigrant smugglers and bandits who were near the crime scene Thursday night — are being held at the federal attorney general’s office in Tijuana.

In high-profile cross-border cases, the Mexican government frequently provides U.S. investigators access to suspects, but it is unclear whether U.S. agents have questioned the men.

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Some Mexicans Want New Anti-Drug Strategy; Say This One is Failing

Understandably the drug violence in Mexico is making some people rethink the way that nation is fighting the drug war. But not offering an alternative is unacceptable. Plus, the U.S. still has to do more to help — particularly considering the most lucrative market for drugs is in the U.S. There have been more than 12,000 drug related deaths in Mexico in the past 2 1/2 years.

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By William Booth and Steve Fainaru
Washington Post Foreign Service
MEXICO CITY — President Felipe Calderón is under growing pressure to overhaul a U.S.-backed anti-narcotics strategy that many political leaders and analysts said is failing amid spectacular drug cartel assaults against the government.

There are now sustained calls in Mexico for a change in tactics, even from allies within Calderón’s political party, who say the deployment of 45,000 soldiers to fight the cartels is a flawed plan that relies too heavily on the blunt force of the military to stem soaring violence and lawlessness.

“The people of Mexico are losing hope, and it is urgent that Congress, the political parties and the president reconsider this strategy,” said Ramón Galindo, a senator and Calderón supporter who is a former mayor of Ciudad Juarez, a border city where more than 1,100 people have been killed this year.

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Feds Indict Leaders of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel

This is a big indictment which targets some major players. But the money is too good and the smaller fish will only step up to the plate to grab it. The question is: How do you stop that from happening?

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By Richard Marosi
Los Angeles Times

Federal authorities announced indictments Monday against the reputed leaders of Mexico’s Gulf cartel and its paramilitary force, the Zetas, accusing them of trafficking tons of cocaine and marijuana from South America through the Texas-Mexico border.

Three of the men are identified as the “triumvirate” that manages the far-flung enterprise, dividing its territories among themselves. Another reputed leader, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, allegedly controls the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, where the cartel is believed to funnel large amounts of drugs through the busy truck crossing into Laredo, Texas.

Fifteen more alleged cartel lieutenants were charged in the pair of indictments filed in New York and Washington, D.C. The Washington indictment was filed in June but not announced until Monday.

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Read Press Release

Authorities Capture FBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive in Mexico

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By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

California Gang member Emigdio Preciado, Jr., who shot and wounded a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy in 2000, and who is on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitive list along with Osama bin Laden, was captured in Mexico, the FBI announced Monday.

The FBI said Preciado was captured Friday night in Yagos, a rural town in the Mexican state of Nayarit, where he’d been living under the alias Regalo Castaneda-Castaneda and working as a fisherman.

The FBI said that his identifying tattoos on his chest – the names “Susana” and “Alexa” -had been surgically removed. Still FBI agents and Mexican police, who were there at the time of the arrest, confirmed his identity through fingerprints.

Sal Hernandez, head of the Los Angeles FBI,  credited the capture to “flawless collaboration” between the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, FBI and Mexican police.

Authorities charged that Preciado in September 2000, stepped out a van during a routine traffic stop and opened fire on two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, striking one in the head. The deputy survived.

UPDATE: Tuesday: The FBI said it will pay a reward of up to $150,000 for tips that led to the capture, the Associated Press reported. The FBI said at least one person would get some money.

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