Tag Archives | Mexico

Mexico’s Drug Cartels Siphon Liquid Gold

You’ve got to give it to the Mexican Drug Lords, they’ve got chutzpah by the tankerload. From the Washington Post:

MALTRATA, MEXICO — Drug traffickers employing high-tech drills, miles of rubber hose and a fleet of stolen tanker trucks have siphoned more than $1 billion worth of oil from Mexico’s pipelines over the past two years, in a vast and audacious conspiracy that is bleeding the national treasury, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials and the state-run oil company.

Using sophisticated smuggling networks, the traffickers have transported a portion of the pilfered petroleum across the border to sell to U.S. companies, some of which knew that it was stolen, according to court documents and interviews with American officials involved in an expanding investigation of oil services firms in Texas.

The widespread theft of Mexico’s most vital national resource by criminal organizations represents a costly new front in President Felipe Calderón’s war against the drug cartels, and it shows how the traffickers are rapidly evolving from traditional narcotics smuggling to activities as diverse as oil theft, transport and sales.

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Narco-Bling Overdose Leaves Museum in a Fix

Adam Thomson in Mexico City reports for the Financial Times:

When it first opened in 1986, the Drugs Museum at the Defence Ministry in Mexico City was a humble, one-room affair with few exhibits and even fewer visitors. Today, it is running out of space.

Three years after President Felipe Calderón declared an all-out war against Mexico’s drugs cartels and hundreds of seizures later, every inch of the museum’s walls are covered with photographs and memorabilia of drugs busts, and its display cabinets are bursting with narco-bling.

“We have run out of space,” admits Captain Claudio Montane, the museum’s curator. “The collection continues to grow but there is no more room to show it.”

A flurry of glitzy seizures this year has added even more pressure to the already-cramped exhibition. Take the 12 pistols that entered the collection last month and once belonged to Héctor Manuel Sauceda Gamboa, a trafficker who died in February in a hail of bullets during a shoot-out with police and military.

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Mexican Pot Gangs Infiltrate Indian Reservations in U.S.

Joel Millman reports in the Wall Street Journal:
WARM SPRINGS, Ore. -- Police Chief Carmen Smith says he knows three things about suspected drug trafficker Artemio Corona: He's from Mexico, prefers a Glock .40-caliber handgun, and is quite possibly growing marijuana on the Indian reservation that Mr. Smith patrols. Last year, Mr. Smith's detectives identified Mr. Corona as the alleged mastermind behind several large marijuana plantations on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in central Oregon. These "grows," as police call them, had a harvest of 12,000 adult plants, with an estimated street value of $10 million. Five suspects were arrested and pleaded guilty to federal trafficking charges. But their alleged boss, Mr. Corona, who has not been indicted, remains a "person of interest" to federal authorities and hasn't been found.
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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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