Posts Tagged ‘ drugs ’

3 Accused of Trying to buy Stinger Missiles, Anti-Tank Weapons for Sinaloa Cartel

Mar 24th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime
TUCSON – Three people are accused of trying to buy anti-tank weapons in Arizona for a drug cartel in Mexico. Federal indictments were recently unsealed  in Phoenix. Court documents show the three also tried to buy a Stinger missile. Click here to download the Indictment. The accused were trying to buy the military weaponry for the Sinaloa Cartel.  Court documents show they used pounds of crystal meth for a down payment on the weapons. The case started in 2009 in Phoenix. One of the accused, David Diaz, approached a confidential informant working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. They delivered nearly five pounds of crystal meth and $139,000 in cash. Then they brought ten more pounds to finish the arms deal. Robbie Sherwood is the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona. “These are very serious charges, as the indictment that has been unsealed indicate. We will be proceeding to trial soon and we look forward to presenting our case at that time.” From the indictment: A Dragon Fire Anti-Tank Weapon, a Stinger Missile, (a surface-to-air missile like those used by Afghan fighters in the eighties to defeat the Soviets), two AT-4s, a shoulder-fired light anti-tank rocket, a variety of grenade launchers, two M-60 machine guns and three cases of hand grenades. Court records show that Diaz was trying to buy the weapons for the Yucatan Peninsula. They were destined for druglords Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán and Ismael El Mayo Zambada, the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. The cartel is battling not only every other cartel in Mexico, but also the Mexican Army. John Bailey, a Georgetown University professor who worked in Mexico most of his career, says this level of weaponry was likely designed to take on the Mexican government itself. “It’s the kind of weaponry that you’d expect to be used against the Army. These groups are willing to up the ante.” The trial begins in April in Arizona.

Dedos Muertos?

Jan 26th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime


This State Department cable out of Wikileaks caught my eye. 51 FBI informants and 10 DEA "liaison officers" were murdered in Mexico between 2007-09.

When we talk about American law enforcement in Mexico, we generally view the Americans as not being part of the game; for the most part, this has held true since the wars began.

But I wonder about these 61 informants and liaisons. Were the 51 also Mexican informants and therefore murdered for that connection or were they killed because of their ties to the Americans? Same for the 10 liaisons. Were they killed because they were Mexican intelligence officers or because they were working with the Americans?

No Te Digo, Pues?

Apr 9th, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News, Politics


So, the same day that the Mexican Army pulls out of Cd. Juarez, U.S. agents start spreading the rumor that the Juarez Cartel has been defeated?

Anyone want to continue disagreeing with my assessment that the Sinaloa Federation is being protected and supported by the Mexican government?

It's been clear for some time; from arrests like that of El Jabali last winter to the public relations campaign published by Proceso Magazine this week to the dissension within the Mexican Congress against what even two months ago was seen as an obvious move to protect Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.

“A Veces el Cielo Niega La Lluvia”

Apr 7th, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime, Politics


He looks damned good for 62 years old; chesty, thick working man arms, that haughty look, the upturned chin. Life must be pretty good for a man supposedly on the run. Pablo Escobar was burning piles of money to keep warm; he was over-weight, out-of-shape, paranoid and thoroughly spooked when he went down. Ismael El Mayo Zambada? Not so much. By now I’ve had a chance to re-read Mayo's interview a few times, I’m sure you have, too. He reveals little; or rather, the interview reveals little. He denies that Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán ever married that beauty queen. He denies the importance of Chapo’s placement on Forbes’ list of billionaires. He even denies that he himself is a drug lord, let alone one of Mexico’s most powerful. The old man’s been running circles around the Justice Department since the Reagan Administration, after all. There is little in terms of the braggadocio you might expect from a man of his stature in the world of organized crime. Instead, he claims he is a cattle rancher and a farmer but if he can open a business in the United States, he’d like to do so (that can also be interpreted as if he can open a “negotiation with” the United States, he’d like to do so … ) Oh, and the war on drugs is lost. In fact, his interview with Proceso Magazine's Julio Scherer reads much like the interviews conducted with Eduardo Arellano Felix in 2002 ("No ganaron. Estoy aquí, y nada ha cambiado,"), Sandra Avíla Beltrán in 2009 ("La violencia está en el propio Gobierno." also with Scherer, now that I think about it) and the wife of Vicente Carrillo Leyva, Celia Karina, (Yo digo que el Gobierno debería agarrar a las personas que realmente hacen cosas. Pero agarrar inocentes para decir que están trabajando en el narcotráfico) eso es una injusticia.) Also with Proceso. The only question I have is why now? Mayo approached Proceso with the interview offer, because, he says, he's always wanted to meet Scherer. And it's been taken up on this site and in many Mexican media, that this was an individual decision perhaps done so for personal reasons. Because his son is in prison, maybe because he's sick, maybe just old and tired and his perspective has changed. I disagree. Mayo Zambada is part of a syndicate, he is not a lone operator. This is not El Viceroy Vicente Carrillo or Fernando Sanchez Arellano. This is a senior member of a powerful cartel protected, whether through neglect or complicity, by the government of Mexico. Mayo Zambada did not wake up one day in February and decide he wanted to meet Julio Scherer. This was calculated, the question is, by whom? The Sinaloa Federation or the Mexican government? Start with the publication. Proceso has become an odd little magazine over the years. Started in 1976, the magazine had a near-vendetta for the PAN political party, attacking Pres. Vicente Fox Quesada nearly every chance they had. They invented quotes putting Fox in a negative light; went after Marta Sahagún, Fox's wife, and publicly declared that her son was meeting with representatives of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán. Then in 2008, they went after Sonora Gov. Eduardo Bours Castelo. I'll never forget that particular story for this sentence (recall that Bours' family owns Bachoco, the largest poultry company in Mexico):
"Y avicultores de Ciudad Obregón y de Hermosillo comentan al reportero que la empresa Bachoco opera, con licencias oficiales, la importación de efedrina. Esta sustancia –comúnmente utilizada para la elaboración de medicamentos (entre ellos los antigripales) y por cuyo manejo discrecional saltó a la fama el empresario chino Zhenli Ye Gon– sirve para mezclarla con el alimento que consumen los pollos criados por Bachoco. El consumo de efedrina permite que los pollos no duerman en un lapso de al menos ocho semanas. De esa manera, el pollito 'se la pasa comiendo de día y de noche', según relata a Proceso un empresario avícola."
Translation: Growers from Obregón and Hermosillo tell the reporter that Bachoco conducts, under official license, the importation of ephedrine. This substance, commonly produced for cold medicine – and other discretionary uses like that leading to the fame of Zhenli Ye Gon – is also served in the food consumed by the poultry grown by Bachoco. The consumption ensures that the chickens don't sleep for at least eight weeks. In this manner, 'the fowl keeps eating day and night ... "
What do Bours and Fox have in common? Or rather, what did they have in common? Bours served as the governor's representative to the Security Committee; the committee that in 2005, agreed to Operation México Seguro. Remember that one? That's the federal operation that started the militarization fiasco now over-taking Juárez, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon. In 2006, Bours backed Felipe Calderón for the presidency, pulling away from his own party, the PRI. His backing, one of only three PRI governors to do so, but also one of the most powerful, ensured Calderón's victory against Andres Lopez Obradór in an otherwise very tight election. And now El Mayo surfaces. I can nearly understand why he would be chosen as the consiglierie. Historically, he's been the calmest of the crowd; he's no Chapo, he was only tangentially connected to the Guadalajara Cartel blamed for the murder of the DEA agent in the 1980s. He's never done anything outlandish like introduce the Zetas into the political theater of Mexico's narcotics business. He's as good a diplomat as the Mexican cartel figures could hope for. In many ways, and it's been pointed out by readers of this site already, he's also a good front-man for a certain character sketch of Mexican drug lords. Humble, independent, rugged; born of the Sierra, with his wife and his daughters, and he cries for his incarcerated son and drops beautiful quotes about the freedom offered by the heavens. Very much a public relations move. But was it one conducted by the Sinaloa Federation or the government of Mexico? And that is the question we should be asking.

The Elephant and the Rabbit

Apr 2nd, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Chismes, General News


The family of the man arrested for the murders of people connected to the U.S. consulate was beaten and held captive by Mexican federal forces for two days before being dragged into the spotlight as a suspect, his family says. If true, it suggests a gross setup in a high-profile murder case that's lingered on for weeks and is beginning to embarrass the law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border.

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