Tag Archives | drug cartels

Mexican Drug Lord Assassinated By Killer Clowns

Arellano FelixYour paralyzing fears of clowns are justified. Al Jazeera reports:

The eldest brother of Mexico’s once powerful Arellano Felix drug cartel family was killed by gunmen dressed as clowns at a children’s party.

Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 63, was shot dead on Friday during a family event in Cabo San Lucas, a tourist resort in the Baja California peninsula, state special investigations prosecutor Isai Arias told the AP news agency. “He was hit by two bullets, one in the thorax and one in the head,” Arias said.

The gunmen were disguised as clowns when they shot Arellano Felix at the party in the luxurious Casa Oceano tourist residence. An official told the AP that the costumes included a wig and a round red nose.

The Arellano Felix brothers once dominated drug trafficking between Mexico and California through their brutal Tijuana cartel. Most brothers have been either killed or arrested, leaving the cartel in tatters while rivals rose in prominence.

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The Violence of Mexican Drug Cartels

We've all read of the horrific border violence plaguing Mexico and the American Southwest, as well as the complicity of both governmental agencies and markets in the diabolical perpetuation of the corrupt Drug War. This stunning animation smacks the viewer with facts and statistics while also appealing to our humanity through the stark stories of violence. “The Violence of Mexican Drug Cartels” was designed by ishothim and published by Visual.ly (which has the stated goal of using 'infographics and data visualizations [to] tell your story'). via Laughing Squid:
“Tens of thousands are being murdered, and over a million are being forced to flee their homes. U.S. laws and policy play a major role in the conflict’s violence. This video is about understanding the complexities of the war and why it is happening.”
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War Games II: Mexican Drug War Edition

Picture: 'Alex07' (CC)

Agence-France Press has an interesting story on the high tech nerve center of Mexico’s effort against the paramilitary drug cartels operating within its borders:

One large regional map showed yellow dots representing small planes that flew from Colombia, the world’s main cocaine producer, to Honduras, which has become a hub for drugs smuggled to the United States.

Officials even get real-time videos beamed by drones – the same type of pilotless spy aircraft used by the US military in Afghanistan.

Thousands of camera feeds from the streets of Mexico City and other towns across the nation are relayed to the bunker.

On one screen, cars and trucks are seen going through an X-ray machine looking for concealed drugs or migrants in Ciudad Juarez, the city at the US border considered the epicenter of the violence.

Some 500 million files, including police reports, rap sheets and vehicle registrations are stored in rows of computer servers on the bottom floor.

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Mexican Drug Lords Vs. Cybervigilantes & Social Media

John P. Sullivan and Adam Elkus write:

The Mexican drug war cannot be understood without reference to the virtual dimension. Cartels are seeking to aggressively shape the use of information within the drug war to promote an image of themselves as a source of unstoppable power and influence. Their methods range from the classic “propaganda of the deed” — killing for intimidation and effect — to psychological operations against Mexican police, military, and the public. By doing so, cartels struggle for information dominance. Civil society and press coverage of the cartel war have been quite literally silenced, pushing reportage to the margins of social media. However, the entry of cyber-vigilante organizations and use of new media by cartel gangsters have created a new dynamic that could change the rules of the game.

First, it is essential to understand that advances in information, while hailed as revolutionary, also tend to be excellent tools for facilitating the violent coercion and destruction of human life.

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Drug Cartels Building High-Tech Tunnels Below U.S.-Mexico Border

drugtunnel-afp1Gives new meaning to “underground economy.” The Globe and Mail writes:

When architect Felipe de Jesus Corona built Mexico’s most powerful drug lord a 200-foot-long tunnel under the U.S.-Mexican border with a hydraulic lift entrance opened by a fake water tap, the kingpin was impressed. The architect “made me one [expletive] cool tunnel” Joaquin (Shorty) Guzman said, according to court testimony that helped sentence Mr. Corona to 18 years in prison in 2006.

Built below a pool table in his lawyer’s home, the tunnel was among the first of an increasingly sophisticated drug transport system used by Mr. Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel. U.S. customs agents seized more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine that had allegedly been smuggled along the underground route.

In the past five years, a crackdown on drug smugglers in Mexico and tighter U.S. border security above ground has led to a dramatic increase in the use, and the sophistication, of tunnels under the border.

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300-Acre Marijuana Farm Found In Mexico

WO-AG289_MEXPOT_G_20110714185102The Mexican military says it is the the biggest pot farm ever uncovered. The crop will likely be cut and burned — one wonders about the effects on residents in nearby areas. Via the Wall Street Journal:

Mexican soldiers discovered one of the largest marijuana plantations ever found in the country, just 200 miles south of San Diego, Calif., the Mexican Defense Ministry said. The plantation, in Baja California, stretched as far as the eye could see—totaling some 296 acres. The crop would yield about 120 metric tons and be worth an estimated $160 million.

Video of the plantation showed a sophisticated system of piped-in irrigation to support the plants, some of which were several feet tall, according to the Associated Press. The plantation was shielded by a black screen.

Mexico’s army hailed the find as the biggest marijuana plantation ever found in the country, saying the field was four times the size of a notorious bust in 1984 at a ranch called “El Bufalo” in northern Chihuahua state.

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ATF Purposely Allowed Drug Cartels To Buy And Smuggle Thousands Of Assault Weapons

article-0-0D507149000005DC-632_468x574In a secret program called “Fast and Furious”, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms knowingly let thousands of assault rifles (such as AK-47s) “walk” across the border into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico — ATF planned to track the guns for intelligence purposes and “see where they ended up.” The weaponry in question has been used in a spree of deadly crimes, including the murders of U.S. government agents Jaime Zapata and Brian Terry. A whistleblower at ATF brought the matter to light, CBS News reports:

Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is asking the U.S. government for details about ATF’s “Fast and Furious” operations.

As our CBS News Investigation has revealed, “Fast and Furious” was a secret program under which, sources say, ATF purposely allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons from the U.S. into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico. Insiders call it letting the guns “walk.”

Documents show that ATF-walked guns began turning up at many violent crime scenes in Mexico from the start.

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Mexican Drug Lord Officially Thanks American Lawmakers for Keeping Drugs Illegal

Writes David Henry Sterry on the Huffington Post:

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera reported head of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, ranked 701st on Forbes’ yearly report of the wealthiest men alive, and worth an estimated $1 billion, today officially thanked United States politicians for making sure that drugs remain illegal.

According to one of his closest confidants, he said, “I couldn’t have gotten so stinking rich without George Bush, George Bush Jr., Ronald Reagan, even El Presidente Obama, none of them have the cajones to stand up to all the big money that wants to keep this stuff illegal. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say, Gracias amigos, I owe my whole empire to you.”

According to sources in the Mexican government, President Calderon is begging American officials to, in the words of reggae great Peter Tosh, legalize it. “Oh yeah,” said an official close to the Mexican president, “Felipe is going crazy.

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