Murdered ICE Agent was Temporarily Assigned to Mexico

Feb 15th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News


Asi dicen las fuentes. The murdered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Jaime Zapata, from Laredo, was temporarily assigned to Mexico. Somehow along the way, up that Highway 57 towards Monterrey. Lots of narco-bloqueos on that highway these days. Still, the questions linger. Back in late 2010, the Hermosillo Consulate issued a travel warning for consulate employees. They mandated, nobody travels at night, or past Navojoa, Sonora, without an armored car. Vehicles of State Department employees in Mexico all have State Department plates. Can we assume que viajaban en carro blindado? I think so. It's assumption only, at this point. Got off the phone with an ICE source a little while ago. She says the agents either rolled down their window or opened the door when they arrived at the checkpoint. But it was a fake checkpoint. That's Zeta turf, yes? So who runs the checkpoints? Who manages their existence along Hwy 57? Not common thugs. And if they knew the ICE agents were coming up, who gave the order? Someone knew they were coming and wanted to do this. But why? Lots of questions here; lots of fact, lots of fictions, lots of chismes. Somebody knew they were coming and, at the same time, one of these agents opened the door or lowered the window when they arrived. Popularly, it's said they did so out of inexperience. Pero alguien, somebody, knew they were coming. Last week, ICE was talking about the Mexican agents working with Homeland Security agents in the U.S. I asked one of the SACs about the trust issues. An ICE SAC; he said there were none. That they had been vetted. Yet I can't help thinking someone knew the agents were on that highway. Someone planned this. Esto queda claro.

Chismes: Border Patrol Dispatches From the Night of Agent’s Killing?

Dec 30th, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News


The following script is presumably the communications dispatch of what happened the night U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. I say "presumably" because neither the Border Patrol nor the FBI will confirm (or deny) the dispatch is true. I warn you, take this with a grain of salt. I can tell you I received it from a credible source. However, I'm merely providing it as a pretext for a discussion into what happened the night of Dec. 14. In the interest of fairness to Border Patrol agents, I've chosen to remove their last names from this document. When I receive an official account of what happened that night, I'll post that.

Adán Salazar Moves North to Agua Prieta?

Dec 7th, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News


The old rival to the Sinaloans, wanted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges for nearly three decades, is apparently setting up shop in Agua Prieta these days. Local chisme has him working for the Sinaloans which opens up a whole new dynamic in Sonoran/Arizona drug trade politics. Freddy, I understand, is still working Navojoa.


Nov 30th, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News


The Mexican press is eagerly awaiting news from Wikileaks dissemination of U.S. government dispatches about the drug war. Speaking candidly about his expectations, Javier Moreno, publisher of Spain's El País newspaper, said 2,285 dispatches about Mexico will be included in the Wikileaks file dump, a number that gives me some hope. From the Wikileaks site, their appear to be 2,836 cables to be published. But my expectations are not high; El Imparcial in Hermosillo notes this morning that those 2,285 of the messages (e-mails, presumably), originated in Mexico City, 159 out of Monterrey, 78 from Nogales, 32 from Guadalajara, 27 from Tijuana, 19 from Hermosillo, 19 from Ciudad Juárez, 7 from Matamoros, 5 from Nuevo Laredo and three out of Mérida. State Department messages are notoriously classified; in fact, of all the federal agencies, I consider State to be the most top-heavy when it comes to over-classifying messages. It's why I'll occasionally receive "Law Enforcement Sensitive" memos from DEA, FBI, Border Patrol or ICE, but  almost never from State. Much of the time, State dispatches aren't even obtainable under the Freedom of Information Act. The irony here of course is that while criminal organizations targeted by law enforcement may gain access to information from those LE Sensitive documents, a State Dept. leak may spark an international incident or an outrage by some slighted foreign diplomat and that appears to be a deeper concern for the U.S. government. Then, too, there is the question of quality of information. Some time ago, an old friend used to pass me the State Department's Morning Report. It's one of the most frightening concepts I've ever read. Basically, foreign attachés working in different countries re-write a consortium of newspaper articles into English. I'm talking: "Balacera en Monterrey Deja 3 Muertos" becomes "3 Dead after a Shootout in Monterrey." It was disconcerting to read specifically because it was such a basic, out-dated system with which to gather information. The Morning Report might have made sense in the days pre-Internet, but it's been irrelevant for at least five years. And guess what? Those are classified. Then, too, there is the matter of what's being written. Any agent, case worker or diplomat I've ever met who has something good to share simply doesn't write it down. They know as well as I do that putting details in writing creates a paper trail accessible – some day – by FOIA. I could be wrong, of course. The Wikileaks file dump could have a 1997 memo written by the U.S. Consul General in Hermosillo detailing Amado Carrillo's faked death and details about his becoming a snitch for the Feds. One could hope.

¿Arellanos contra El Mayo de nuevo?

Oct 31st, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News, Organized Crime


This rumor comes straight out of Culiacán. It seems Ismael El Mayo Zambada knows perfectly well who kidnapped his cousin and two nieces – El Osama and Fernando El Ingeniero Sanchez Arellano. The Mexican Army apparently rescued the ladies already and I'm awaiting confirmation on the chisme. This leads to a few questions. UPDATE: The freshest rumor to come out of Sinaloa is that the kidnap was a $30 million ransom. At what point did someone think kidnapping El Mayo's family for $10 bills each was a good idea? Vamos a ver. Does that explain the drug rehab hit, 13 muertos, in Tijuana last week? The Tijuana city government has been trying to rebrand its image using the likes of Al Gore, The New Yorker and Carlos Slim. Then the kidnappings went down and suddenly the old capo's eyes are settling on an arch-nemesis, the Arellanos. I don't know about you, but I allowed myself to forget that old rivalry. Suddenly, perhaps, it's back, and in full force. The question is, why? Why would the Arellanos move against Mayo's family just as they were beginning to take control of their own city? Y que pedo con El Osama? What's his story?

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