Tag Archives | Mexico

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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U.S. Flying Drones Over Mexico

droneThe New York Times reports:

Stepping up its involvement in Mexico’s drug war, the Obama administration has begun sending drones deep into Mexican territory to gather intelligence that helps locate major traffickers and follow their networks, according to American and Mexican officials.

The Pentagon began flying high-altitude, unarmed drones over Mexican skies last month, American military officials said, in hopes of collecting information to turn over to Mexican law enforcement agencies. Other administration officials said a Homeland Security drone helped Mexican authorities find several suspects linked to the Feb. 15 killing of Jaime Zapata, a United States Immigration and Customs EnforcementImmigration agent.

President Obama and his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderón, formally agreed to continue the surveillance flights during a White House meeting on March 3. The American assistance has been kept secret because of legal restrictions in Mexico and the heated political sensitivities there about sovereignty, the officials said.

Before the outbreak of drug violence in Mexico that has left more than 34,000 dead in the past four years, such an agreement would have been all but unthinkable, they said…

Story continues at The New York Times.… Read the rest

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20-Year-Old Police Chief, Marisol Valles, Flees Mexico, May Apply for Asylum in the U.S.

Marisol VallesAn update to this story: a case of one young woman’s great courage meeting pragmatism, or rather, survival. What this illustrates (again) for me is the severity of the drug-related violence in Mexico. (An issue President Obama addressed in a joint-press conference with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon this week.) She had to take relatives with her. Nick Allen reports in the Telegraph:

Marisol Valles was hailed as “Mexico’s bravest woman” after she agreed to take the job in Praxedis Guadalupe Guerrero, a no-man’s-land close to the Texas border, in October.

But she has since been targeted by a criminal gang that wanted to make her work for them. After several months in the job she was forced to flee, along with two relatives, and will seek asylum in the US.

In December Erika Gandara, 28, the only police office left in the nearby town of Guadalupe was kidnapped and her house was set on fire.

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Texas Rep. Michael McCaul Declares, ‘There Is A War On Our Nation’s Doorstep’

Clockwise from left: Mexican President Felipe Calderón; Mexican security forces arresting cartel members; Mexican soldiers during a gun battle in Apatzingán; drugs seized from a cartel; drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera.

Following the killing of a US ICE agent in Mexico yesterday, supporters for border security say this is a “game changer” and call for offensive against Mexican drug cartels. Fox News reports:

Advocates for stronger border security on Wednesday called for stepping up the U.S. offensive to stop murderous drug cartels terrorizing Mexico after an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent was killed a day earlier.

“This tragic event is a game changer. The United States will not tolerate acts of violence against its citizens or law enforcement and I believe we must respond forcefully.

This should be a long overdue wake-up call for the Obama administration that there is a war on our nation’s doorstep,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

McCaul’s comments came after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Holder announced they are establishing a joint task force to be led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help Mexico track down and capture the perpetrators in the murder of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and wounding of another agent.

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Pot Catapult Seized At US-Mexico Border

Pot CatapultVia Reuters:

In a brazen attempt reminiscent of a medieval siege, Mexican smugglers tried to use a hefty catapult to hurl drugs north over the U.S. Border, authorities said on Wednesday.

The Mexican military seized 45 pounds of marijuana, a sports utility vehicle and a metal-framed catapult just south of the Arizona border near the small town of Naco last Friday, following a tip-off from the U.S. Border Patrol.

Surveillance video taken by National Guard troops deployed to support the Border Patrol caught a group of men apparently attempting to pull down a metal beam and load or test the catapult, which was powered by powerful elastic and mounted on a trailer close to the metal border fence.

“It looks like a medieval catapult that was used back in the day,” Tucson sector Border Patrol spokesman David Jimarez told Reuters.

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Mexican Activist Chavez Murdered

Susana Chavez Photo: EPA

Susana Chavez Photo: EPA

Susana Chavez, a human rights activist, was best known for her poetry and actions to help raise awareness of the violence towards women, especially in the border-city of Juarez. After years of activism, Chavez has fallen to the same violence she has fought against. Via Fox News Latino:

A poet and women’s rights activist was murdered in Ciudad Juarez, a gritty border metropolis that has become Mexico’s most violent city, officials and associates of the victim said.

Susana Chavez’s body was found last week, but it was not identified until Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Chavez’s left hand was chopped off and her body was dumped in a poor neighborhood in downtown Juarez, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.

Chavez organized protests to draw attention to crimes against women in the border city and participated in poetry readings that she dedicated to murdered women.

[Continues at Fox News Latino]… Read the rest

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Rubber People Invade Los Angeles

Olmec Head at La Venta Park, Villahermosa. This colossal head is 2.4 m high (9 ft) and is officially known as Monument 1. Photo: Hajor (CC)

Olmec Head at La Venta Park, Villahermosa. This colossal head is 2.4 m high (9 ft) and is officially known as Monument 1. Photo: Hajor (CC)

David Littlejohn reports on a new exhibition about the Olmecs, or “Rubber People,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for the Wall Street Journal:

The name “Olmec” (or “rubber people”) was given to the oldest-known culture in the Americas almost 2,000 years after that culture had disappeared, and was accepted by scholars only in 1932. We have no idea what these people of what is now eastern Mexico, just inland from the Gulf at its southernmost point, called themselves. In fact, we know almost nothing about them, except that they seem to have endured from about 2,000 to 400 B.C.

What we do know, or think we know, comes almost entirely from the carved stone monuments and other artifacts that outlived them underground, because stone does not rot.

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Robots Explore Tunnels of Teotihuacan

View of the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Sun, from Pyramid of the Moon.

View of the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Sun.

Teotihuacan, Mexico, “birthplace of the gods,” is famous for its massive pyramids and the Avenue of the Dead. Now its underground tunnels are revealing more of its secrets, thanks to robot explorers, as reported by AP:

The first robotic exploration of a pre-Hispanic ruin in Mexico has revealed that a 2,000-year-old tunnel under a temple at the famed Teotihuacan ruins has a perfectly carved arch roof and appears stable enough to enter, archaeologists announced Wednesday.

Archaeologists lowered the remote-controlled, camera-equipped vehicle into the 12-foot-wide (4-meter) corridor and sent wheeling through it to see if it was safe for researchers to enter. The one-foot (30-cm) wide robot was called “Tlaloque 1″ after the Aztec rain god.

The grainy footage shot by the robot was presented Wednesday by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. It shows a narrow, open space left after the tunnel was intentionally closed off between A.D.

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This Is My Nightmare: 700 Clowns Laughing Together Set Record (Video)

This is not OK, and it never will be. The horror. The horror. Via Fox TV DC:

About 700 clowns attended the Fifteenth International Clown Convention in Mexico City last Wednesday, where attendees set a new record. After laughing for 15 minutes, the clowns could not break the “laughing world record” but were able to break the national record in Mexico.

Clowns from the United States, Peru, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and other countries attended three days of meetings, which began on 18 October, participating in conferences, exhibitions and make up competitions.

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College Student, Marisol Valles, Named Police Chief in Mexico Town … Because No One Else Wanted the Job

This is insane. Liz Goodwin writes in Yahoo News’ The Upshot:
Marisol Valles

A town near drug cartel capital Juarez, Mexico, had just one applicant for police chief after a spate of killings of public officials in drug-related violence.

So now the new chief in Guadalupe, a town of 10,000 residents near the Texas border, is 20-year-old college criminology major Marisol Valles García.

Public officials have increasingly become the targets of assassination as Mecxian cartels try to tighten their grasp on the country. Just this year, 11 Mexican mayors have been slain, including the former mayor of Guadalupe, who was killed in June. In the small town, “police officers and security agents have been killed, some of them beheaded,” according to the AFP.

Valles tells a local paper that she took the job to help the town’s people become less fearful. “Afraid? Everyone is afraid and it’s very natural. What motivates me here is that the project [to make the community safer] is very good and can do a lot for my town.

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