Drug cartels a top agenda item for US-Mexico talks

Angelhair

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WASHINGTON - President Obama shuns talk of a "war on drugs." But when he welcomes Mexican President Felipe Calderón to the White House Wednesday, that nation's bloody fight with drug cartels - and its implications for U.S. security and immigration policy - will be a top agenda item.

The meeting comes as U.S. policymakers reassess the long-standing fight against the drug trade. Last week, with the death toll from Calderón's 3-year-old crackdown surpassing 23,000, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the brutality and barbarism in Mexico is "just beyond imagination."

But while she reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to helping Mexico disrupt the cartels, she questioned the traditional emphasis on interdiction: "We are nowhere near what I would consider to be an effective strategy."

With that backdrop, experts on drug policy will be watching the two-day Calderón visit for clues on Obama's approach to the drug trade.

The drug policy the Obama administration issued earlier this month calls for shifting emphasis toward addiction treatment and prevention as a way to stanch demand for drugs, though two-thirds of the $15.5 billion drug-control budget is still dedicated to law enforcement.

So, folks like John Walters, the U.S. drug czar under George W. Bush, are hoping to hear a sharp message from Obama when Calderón is at his side, such as: "We are going to destroy these mafias together, and we will not back down in the face of threats, and we will support the brave campaign of President Calderón.

Drug cartels a top agenda item for US-Mexico talks
 

waltky

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Hittin' the cartels in their wallets...
:clap2:
Mexico's new plan to crack down on drug money: you can keep some
April 6, 2011 - A new initiative offers those who tip off Mexican investigators to money launderers up to one-quarter of the value of whatever is seized.
Catch a criminal, keep his wallet. In short, that's Mexico's newest plan to crack down on the annual flow of billions of dollars into the hands of drug gangs. The attorney general's office announced the new initiative against money laundering this week, the latest in a series of government efforts to curtail the flow of money that finances drug gangs. Mexicans who tip off investigators to money launderers will receive up to one-quarter of the illegal funds seized.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about the new initiative, with some analysts cautioning that it shifts the burden of intelligence-gathering to the individual and is a risky gamble in a battle where revenge seems to know no limits.

“You have to take your chances,” says Enrique Cárdenas Sánchez, executive director of the Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias, a public policy think tank in Mexico City that analyzes government laws. He supports the program but has reservations. “The risk involved is very high.” And what if the new program unwittingly leads to more unsavory behavior? Drug gangs might use the program to undermine commercial rivals, for example, or it might give rise to insurance fraud-type schemes. “I do not know to what extent it will provoke other sorts of behavior … or entail vendettas,” says Mr. Cárdenas.

Unrealistic risk for citizens?
 

waltky

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That's not 4 more graves - that's 4 more MASS graves...
:eek:
US Warns Travelers After 4 More Mass Graves Found in Mexico
Apr 12, 2011 - In Mexico, another grisly find. Mexican authorities have uncovered four more mass graves in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, where the country's violent drug cartels have begun abducting passengers on buses in the area, including at least one U.S. citizen.
The U.S. State Department issued a new warning against travel in Tamaulipas after 16 more bodies were found there over the weekend, raising the death toll in the string of abductions in the region to 88. U.S. citizens are discouraged from traveling in three Mexican states. "The United States Consulates General in Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey advise American citizens that the U.S. government has received uncorroborated information that Mexican criminal gangs may intend to attack U.S. law enforcement officers or U.S. citizens in the near future in Tamaulipas, Nuevo León and San Luis Potosi," the statement read.

Armando Cesar Morales Uscanga, who has admitted to participating in two of the March abductions, led authorities to the shallow graves, the Mexican military said in a statement. Uscanga was arrested Friday carrying an assault rifle and $3,000 in cash. He and 13 other suspects arrested in the abductions and slayings are thought to be members of the Zetas cartel, one of the most powerful drug organizations in Mexico. The Zetas and other cartels are in the middle of a bloody battle for control over Tamaulipas, a vast, rural region that has become a lucrative drug-running route in recent years. Some of the suspects in the bus kidnappings were arrested in military uniform, according to multiple news reports in Mexico.

Authorities are working to determine whether the bodies found in the mass graves are those of the missing bus passengers, who were kidnapped March 24 and 25 in San Fernando, a small town 90 miles south of the Texas border. In August, 72 bodies, most of them identified as migrants from Central American countries, were found in mass graves near the town. The gruesome discovery is only the latest in a five-year war on the nation's brutal cartels that has left an estimated 30,000 people dead.

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Mexican Drug Cartels Using U.S. Youth for Operations ‘Not Something New,’ Arizona Mayor Says
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 -- Arturo Garino, a Democrat who was elected mayor of Nogales, Ariz., in November, 2010, said that Mexican drug smugglers using U.S. juveniles for their operations was “not something new.” He made his comment in response to a question about recent cases in Texas involving American teenagers kidnapped on U.S. soil and taken back to Mexico for ransom or recruitment.
“That part about using juveniles for their transportation of drugs – U.S. citizens – that’s been used since I was a deputy back in the ‘80s,” Garino said when asked by CNSNews.com about the Texas cases. The practice was popular, said Garino, because it was believed that the juveniles, if apprehended, might escape criminal charges and jail sentences. “But that’s not a new thing,” he said.

Garino further said that schools are using the “Operation Detour” program to educate students about the drug cartels, which he said are much different from the drug dealers who tried to recruit teens two decades ago when he worked in law enforcement.

“It’s not something new, okay, they’ve been using teenagers since I was a cop in the ‘80s,” Garino said. “But back then the cartels weren’t cartels like they are now. This is a different ballgame. Back then, it was one drug dealer in Mexico and a bunch of his friends doing it.”

Garino made his remarks at a conference on Monday in Washington, D.C., hosted by the liberal think tank NDN and its affiliate, The New Policy Institute. In his talk, he spoke about how a “21st century border is essential to prosperity in both the U.S. and Mexico,” according to the conference program.

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waltky

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Granny says, "Dat's right - if we don't stop it down there, dat drug war gonna come up here...
:eek:
Why Mexico's violence is America's problem
April 11, 2011 | In the Coen brothers' movie thriller "No Country for Old Men," a grisly scene plays out in El Paso, Texas. Having discovered a bag of cash from a drug deal gone bad, a veteran recently returned from Vietnam ends up crossing the border into Mexico and fleeing a psychotic hit man before ultimately getting shot-up in a motel room.
A traveler to El Paso today could be forgiven for imagining himself in that movie scene. The West Texas town feels as though time stopped a few decades ago, and the psychotic hit men, having multiplied a thousand-fold, are roaming just over the border. El Paso is not just a border town. It's really the smaller of two Siamese-twin cities, attached at the hip to Ciudad Juarez, its larger and more unruly brother that would easily overwhelm it if not for the international border that holds the two sides apart.

In recent years, Juarez has slipped deeper into a state of true chaos, a "failed city" inside a country inching closer to being a failed state. It's easy to ignore this infection quietly spreading just over our border, even as our interest is captured by conflicts much farther from home. But its proximity alone makes Mexico worthy of our national attention and immediate action before their crisis becomes our own.

By the numbers, Juarez isn't Mogadishu, Somalia, or Kandahar, Afghanistan. It's worse. Some 3,000 people were killed in this city of 1.5 million in each of the past two years. For several years now, hundreds of young women have disappeared in Juarez annually, only to turn up dismembered or tortured in ways too gruesome to recount. Besides a report on the weekend movie box office hits and the latest budget battles in Washington and Austin, Texas, the Sunday TV news here in El Paso invariably notes the number of dead in Juarez over the weekend: 30, 40, 50, or more.

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waltky

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Mexican drug cartels growin' marijuana in US parks...
:eek:
Expert: Mexican Drug Cartels Infesting US, Even Our National Parks
Apr 22, 2011 | Lost in the rhetoric about illegal immigration are new reports that Mexican drug cartels have moved into the United States, gaining a major foothold here that may be the start of a permanent expansion onto this side of the border. They're even growing marijuana in our national parks, one expert says.
Mexico's cartel families and their associates have moved into cities in the southwestern U.S. as part of their ongoing drug selling and distribution operations, according to an alert from the U.S. Justice Department's Drug Intelligence Center, first reported April 11 by Mexican media. Roberta Jacobson, deputy secretary of state for Mexico and Canada, said on April 12 that Mexican drug cartels are now operating in 230 American cities. Drug trafficking "is not a crisis that affects only the border," Jacobson said. ""It's a crisis in our cities across the country."

The Los Angeles Times reported this week about a member of Mexico's powerful Sinaloa cartel who operated a cocaine operation in South Carolina and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The report said there are similar rings run by cartel members living and working in Seattle, Minneapolis and Anchorage, Alaska. The new warnings coincide with the discovery of mass graves in the state of Tamaulipas, just south of Texas, with at least 116 bodies in them earlier this week, and a discovery late Wednesday of 26 bodies in a mass grave in Durango.

The Mexican government says the Los Zetas drug cartel is responsible for the Tamaulipas murders. So far, about 35,000 people have died in the Mexican drug wars since 2006. The cartel-related violence is spreading to the U.S., law enforcement officials say. And it all starts at the border. AOL News spoke with Sylvia Longmire, 36, former Air Force Special Agent, former senior border security analyst for the State of California and author of the upcoming book "Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars," about what's at stake for the U.S.

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32 More Corpses Found in Mexico Pits, Total at 177
Apr 22, 2011 | Mexican authorities say another 32 bodies have been exhumed from clandestine graves in the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas, bringing the total to 177 this month.
Tamaulipas prosecutors say in a statement that the latest bodies were found in eight pits discovered during the past week.

Authorities began exhuming corpses early this month in the town of San Fernando after reports that people were being kidnapped from passenger buses in the area. It is the same region where authorities say the Zetas drug gang killed and buried 72 Central American migrants in August.

The Zetas are also suspected in the latest massacre. Thursday's statement indicated that 122 of the unearthed bodies could be those of recently kidnapped passengers.

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brokenarrow

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the brutality and barbarism in Mexico is "just beyond imagination."
I know Mexico didn't try very hard to stop Hitler in WW2, but come on Hillary, did you even hear about "the holocaust"? Beyond imagination? The killings in Mexico haven't even come close to the amount of casualties in any war the US ever had.
 
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waltky

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Dey got walls in Mexico, why can't we put up a wall like dey got in China to keep `em on their side of the border?...
:confused:
Tall walls separate rival gangs in Mexican prison
Sun, May 01, 2011 - Where tensions run high, walls have climbed higher to try to stop rival Mexican gangs from taking the blood-stained chaos from the streets of Ciudad Juarez with them into prison.
Drug gangs and their hitmen — groups such as the Aztecas and the Mexicles — often continue their battles behind bars in the city, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, and right at the heart of Mexico’s raging drug war. “The [6m] walls went up in late 2009,” prison spokesman Hector Conde said. “Before, there were only chain-link fences that inmates would jump over pretty easily. There were riots all the time,” often leaving dozens dead and requiring helicopter-backed security operations to break them up, he said. Conde declined to enter the block housing members of the Aztecas, a notorious gang of hitmen for the Juarez cartel. “Some of the Aztecas were just moved to another facility recently, so these guys are really aggravated. They could carry out reprisals if you go in there,” he said.

Across the way, out of sight, were members of the Mexicles gang. They work for the Sinaloa cartel led by Mexico’s most famous fugitive, Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman. Officials blame the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels for most of the violence in Juarez as they fight for control of the lucrative drug trafficking routes into the US. Last year, 3,100 people died in violent attacks in this northern city of about 1.2 million people — roughly 60 each week on average. A surge of drug-related violence has left almost 35,000 people dead in Mexico since the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown on the cartels in 2006, according to official figures.

The murder rate climbed to more than 10 a day in Juarez in February 2009, prompting Calderon to deploy more than 5,000 troops to the city. Some of the murders are particularly gruesome, decapitated bodies, corpses hung from bridges. Children, even pregnant women, have been among the dead, but most are young gang members. With factory salaries starting at less than US$50 a week, the financial lure of the drug gangs is huge in Juarez — one of the main thoroughfares for the cocaine that feeds the ever-strong US market. Physical separation may help prevent jailed gang members from starting riots, but critics question maintaining gang labels behind bars. “That gives them territory inside the prison and makes it an extension of what is happening outside on Ciudad Juarez streets,” said Gustavo de la Rosa, from the Chihuahua state human rights commission.

The gangs work with military-style organization and often control the jails imprisoning them, he said. After checking no one was listening, a guard said there were about 2,400 inmates at the prison, 700 of them Aztecas housed in one block. The prisoners were separated based on tattoos linking them to their gangs: The Aztecas with pyramids and Aztec symbols and the Mexicles sporting skulls and their gang name, prison pastor Victor Martinez said. Tensions were lower in his section of the jail, which the prison authorities had decided was the best place to house convicted evangelical Christians. “I feel safer here than on the streets or other parts of the prison,” said Otoniel Lucero Pena, 46, in for trafficking marijuana. He said he was never in a gang.

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brokenarrow

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Dey got walls in Mexico, why can't we put up a wall like dey got in China to keep `em on their side of the border?...
:confused:
Tall walls separate rival gangs in Mexican prison
Sun, May 01, 2011 - Where tensions run high, walls have climbed higher to try to stop rival Mexican gangs from taking the blood-stained chaos from the streets of Ciudad Juarez with them into prison.
Drug gangs and their hitmen — groups such as the Aztecas and the Mexicles — often continue their battles behind bars in the city, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, and right at the heart of Mexico’s raging drug war. “The [6m] walls went up in late 2009,” prison spokesman Hector Conde said. “Before, there were only chain-link fences that inmates would jump over pretty easily. There were riots all the time,” often leaving dozens dead and requiring helicopter-backed security operations to break them up, he said. Conde declined to enter the block housing members of the Aztecas, a notorious gang of hitmen for the Juarez cartel. “Some of the Aztecas were just moved to another facility recently, so these guys are really aggravated. They could carry out reprisals if you go in there,” he said.

Across the way, out of sight, were members of the Mexicles gang. They work for the Sinaloa cartel led by Mexico’s most famous fugitive, Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman. Officials blame the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels for most of the violence in Juarez as they fight for control of the lucrative drug trafficking routes into the US. Last year, 3,100 people died in violent attacks in this northern city of about 1.2 million people — roughly 60 each week on average. A surge of drug-related violence has left almost 35,000 people dead in Mexico since the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown on the cartels in 2006, according to official figures.

The murder rate climbed to more than 10 a day in Juarez in February 2009, prompting Calderon to deploy more than 5,000 troops to the city. Some of the murders are particularly gruesome, decapitated bodies, corpses hung from bridges. Children, even pregnant women, have been among the dead, but most are young gang members. With factory salaries starting at less than US$50 a week, the financial lure of the drug gangs is huge in Juarez — one of the main thoroughfares for the cocaine that feeds the ever-strong US market. Physical separation may help prevent jailed gang members from starting riots, but critics question maintaining gang labels behind bars. “That gives them territory inside the prison and makes it an extension of what is happening outside on Ciudad Juarez streets,” said Gustavo de la Rosa, from the Chihuahua state human rights commission.

The gangs work with military-style organization and often control the jails imprisoning them, he said. After checking no one was listening, a guard said there were about 2,400 inmates at the prison, 700 of them Aztecas housed in one block. The prisoners were separated based on tattoos linking them to their gangs: The Aztecas with pyramids and Aztec symbols and the Mexicles sporting skulls and their gang name, prison pastor Victor Martinez said. Tensions were lower in his section of the jail, which the prison authorities had decided was the best place to house convicted evangelical Christians. “I feel safer here than on the streets or other parts of the prison,” said Otoniel Lucero Pena, 46, in for trafficking marijuana. He said he was never in a gang.

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I'm not in a gang. I feel left out!:(
 

editec

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More "Let's pretend we really give a shit" talks?

Nothing more that rhetoric.

Reap what you sow, America.
 

brokenarrow

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More "Let's pretend we really give a shit" talks?

Nothing more that rhetoric.

Reap what you sow, America.

"The Mexicans started this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to attack the United States, and nobody was going to attack them. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.­"”

Paraphrased from a WW2 "Bomber" Harris quote
 

waltky

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This is gettin' to be an every day occurrence...
:eek:
5 decapitated bodies found near Mexican capital
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - Police in the suburbs of Mexico City found a total of five decapitated bodies on Tuesday accompanied by written messages of the kind frequently left by drug gangs.
Police in the suburbs of Mexico City found a total of five decapitated bodies on Tuesday accompanied by written messages of the kind frequently left by drug gangs. The bodies were found at two sites in Mexico state, which surrounds the capital. While Mexico City has been spared most of the country's drug violence, executions have occurred in communities just outside it. Mexico state chief prosecutor Alfredo Castillo says four of the bodies were found in a compact car. Their heads were also found in or around the vehicle.

Another decapitated body was found Tuesday in another suburb in two plastic bags. At both sites police found messages signed "HCC," an apparent reference to a drug gang. Also Tuesday, prosecutors in the northern state of Durango announced that six more sets of skeletal remains had been found in continuing excavations at mass graves, bringing the total number of bodies found in a month-long search of the sites to about 110. The sites around the state's capital, also called Durango, are pits where drug gangs are believed to have buried their victims.

The graves in Durango are the second such discovery in a month. A total of 183 bodies have been unearthed in 40 pits in the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas. Mass graves have become an increasingly common discovery in Mexico's brutal drug war, which has claimed more than 34,600 lives since President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of federal security forces four years ago to fight traffickers. The offensive led to a splintering of the country's cartels and increased gang fighting over territory.

State authorities across Mexico have sent reports of missing persons to Tamaulipas and families have lined up at morgues to give DNA samples. The process has been slow, with only two bodies identified so far. Authorities in Durango state say the discovery of mass graves there has not brought out many relatives of missing people, perhaps because families are too frightened to come forward.

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