Cartels and the related killings in Mexico! on the Rise?

More dead!

More Killings more graves!

Drug-related violence in Mexico has spiked in recent years as drug trafficking organisations have competed for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

Mexico has for at least four decades been among the most important producers and suppliers of heroin and marijuana to the US market.

Drug-related killings 2007-2011
2010: 19,546
2009: 11,753
2008: 6,837
2007: 2,826

The figures include the killings of gang members, police and troops, as well as innocent bystanders

A history of civil strife and instability, weak institutions, and staggering impunity make the region extremely vulnerable.

The northern triangle of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in particular, already among the most violent nations in the world, have seen a marked rise in the operations of Mexican gangs and their affiliates.

In Guatemala, with a murder rate at least double that of Mexico’s, between 250 and 350 tonnes of cocaine are reported to pass through every year.

Almost five years since the government’s crackdown on drug gangs began the drug trafficking organisation’s have responded with escalating violence.

Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon has deployed 80,000 troops to the streets to take on powerful drug traffickers shortly after taking office in December 2006.

In recent years, drug trafficking violence in Mexico has claimed thousands of lives and reached a level of intensity and ferocity that has exceeded previous periods of drug-related violence.

More than 35,000 people have been killed since Calderon launched a crackdown against drug gangs. However, human rights groups believe the actual number could be as high as 50,490.

At stake for the traffickers is an industry worth up to $39 billion a year, according to estimates by US officials, which is equivalent to almost 15 per cent of Mexico’s annual budge

Juarez and Sinaloa cartels active in five Colorado cities.

Mexican cartels invading the USA!

Mexican cartels invading the USA!

A report from the US Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center, which says the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels are active in five Colorado cities.

Those cities are Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, and Longmont.

Sylvia Longmire, author of the book “Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico‘s Drug Wars,” says the cartels mainly operate under the radar in Colorado, although they are believed to be responsible for much of the ongoing violence plaguing the border.

“What’s happening along the border is crucial for folks in Denver to understand because the cartels have a physical presence in Denver and they are trafficking the majority of the drugs that are circulating throughout the city,” Longmire said.

Longmire is a retired Air Force captain and former Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Longmire spent six years as a senior intelligence analyst in California who focused on Mexican drug trafficking organizations and border violence issues.

The cartels in the Denver metro area may not be directly involved in street-level drug sales, Longmire says, but they do control the distribution and management aspects of the drug trade in the city.

“They are providing drugs to local gang members, they are taking care of the distribution of drugs to warehouses, to stash houses throughout different communities in Denver, making sure that they are cut, re-packaged, then sent out to smaller communities outside of the Denver area,” Longmire said.

Longmire says Denver is strategically located because of the highway system. Drugs are often smuggled up I-25 from El Paso, Texas, placed in stash houses throughout the metro area, and then distributed to other cities and states.

“It’s just the way Denver is laid out that makes a perfect system for transporting drugs by private vehicles, commercial vehicles. It’s one of the top 7 hubs for drug trafficking activity,” Longmire said.

The Mexican city directly across from El Paso, Texas, Ciudad Juarez, has been hit especially hard by cartel violence in recent years, averaging 8 drug-related murders a day. Officials estimate since 2006, drug violence has killed more than 41-thousand people in Mexico, roughly the population of Littleton.

In March, an Aurora man became a victim of the violence when he was shot 80 times in front of his wife Tania and their young son. Jake, a US citizen, had moved his family to Mexico as his wife Tania applied for her green card. Tania and their son now live in Colorado, where Jake was buried.

In February, cartel members ambushed two US ICE agents on the highway between Mexico City and Monterrey. One of the agents was shot and killed. They were in Mexico helping deal with the violence.

“It’s a vicious, vicious cycle but what is happening there and happening here is very interconnected, Longmire said.

Occasionally, drug violence does flare up in Colorado. In September, Westminster Police began searching for a suspected Mexican cartel member believed to be responsible for a murder at the Toscana Apartment Complex.
A man was found dead inside his apartment. Police say the man was in the US illegally and was believed to be a member of a drug trafficking organization.

Jose Manuel Martinez-Adame is wanted for first degree murder. Martinez-Adame was given the name “Vampie” because his teeth are sharpened to look like a vampire.
Martinez-Adame was also believed to be in the United States illegally after being recently deported. Westminster Police say he has been arrested in the US multiple times., and may have since fled back to Mexico.

130 Customs and Border Patrol officers have been arrested on charges of corruption!

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents

Image via Wikipedia

In the last three years, about 130 agents of Immigration and Customs and Border Patrol United States have been arrested on charges of corruption for ties to Mexican drug cartels, of which 23 so far in 2011, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, in English).

Last June, the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Alan Bersin, admitted before the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security and Intergovernmental Affairs, the long “seven years and tens of thousands of employees have been tainted by this, with evidence of corruption. We take every case seriously. ”

Bersin said the officers participated in “acts of corruption, including drug smuggling, alien smuggling, money laundering and conspiracy.”

According to the DHS, the bribing strategies involve different levels in the border to inform them of operating, monitoring, research and locate government actions.

The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that one of its active agents, Jason AL, 34, was arrested Oct. 18 on charges of drug trafficking, and according to the documents court, also accused of attempted conspiracy and distribution.

The officer was arrested after trying to flee at high speed while marijuana packages thrown out the window of his official vehicle. He had been under surveillance for over a month until a known smuggler arrested gave Arizona authorities a track in an effort to receive a lesser sentence.

According to a complainant, the detainee used his official position of ICE drug for Mexican cartels, including theft. The prisoner faces 15 to 40 years in prison, said Manuel Tarango, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Phoenix, Arizona.

“ICE is cooperating with federal and state authorities. We are committed to helping agencies in the investigation of this incident,” said Vincent Picard, spokesman for the agency.

Additionally, ICE reported that the cartels increased in the last six months, the drug crosses Arizona.

“With these arrests have taken a significant blow to Mexican drug trafficking organizations that moved the drug through the Arizona desert,” said Matt Allen, ICE agent in Phoenix.

Most recent arrest of Mexican cartel members arrested in Arizona occurred on 13 October, when ICE agents arrested in the central and southern Arizona 17 people who formed a drug trafficking ring, who are accused of 22.5 tons per month traffic from Mexico into the United States.

drug cartels’ robust drug networks operating in Peru!

cocaine in Peru

cocaine in PeruImage via Wikipedia

The drug cartels‘ robust drug networks operating in Peru, “he said today at a hearing in U.S. Congress intelligence chief U.S. drug agency, the DEA, Rodney Benson.

“Mexican traffickers have forged a role in the drug trade in Peru, and are increasingly involved in coordinating large shipments of drugs,” said Benson, to testify before a Senate committee.

The drug trafficking organizations in Colombia are also involved in money laundering activities, he said.

Peru has surpassed Colombia in cocaine production, which the DEA attributed to the demand in emerging markets in Europe, Asia and Australia, where prices are more competitive, said Benson.

He added that eradication has been complicated by the presence of Sendero Luminoso, considered a terrorist by the United States in key areas of culture, particularly in the Upper Huallaga Valley and Valle del Río Apurimac and Ene (VRAE).

Also participated in the hearing the secretary of state for narcotics control, Willliam Brownfield, Assistant of State for Western Hemisphere, Kevin Whitaker, and assistant defense against narcotics, William Wechsler.

Responding to questions from Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, Brownfield said in the audience the importance of addressing the drug problem as a “package” that includes interceptions, supply and demand, rehabilitation and treatment.

You should also consider the eradication of coca leaf, the seizure of precursor chemicals and the location of laboratories, combating money laundering and the arrest of drug traffickers.

He added that efforts under Plan Colombia have achieved results, Peru has sent messages “mixed”, Bolivia has rejected cooperation with Venezuela, and efforts are not working.

He noted that Honduras has indicated that it lacks the resources to confront the drug cartels and the need to strengthen efforts throughout Central America and the Caribbean.

Feinstein said that the problem of drug production in the Andean region is fueling the violence in other nations.

“Despite the impressive progress in security in Colombia, the country produces more than 90 percent of the cocaine seized in the U.S.,” he said.

The hearing also addressed more opportunities for U.S. cooperation with Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela, as well as the increasing use of submarines and speedboats to transport cocaine to the U.S. market.