Stratfor Wikileaked

I have been critical of Stratfor for several years, not because of
their corporate customers, supporters or “shadow CIA” reputation.
Rather, I have criticized Stratfor reports for being insipid and dull
at best and full of errors at worst. I remember the first time I read
a Stratfor intelligence report on the situation of extreme violence in
Mexico. It reminded me of the Weekly Readers we got back in junior
high school in the days before Channel 1 took over the lucrative
school media markets. I could honestly see nothing in a Stratfor
report that could not be gleaned from reading ordinary newspaper
stories and a few government think tank reports… These things have
now taken on the fancy name of “OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE.” Librarians
and historians and investigative journalists have always used
government documents as sources. The internet has made these resources
much more accessible than they used to be. It takes a lot of patience
to ferret out the good stuff in GAO and CRS reports, and even more to
search through miles of National Archives microfilm or microcard
versions of the US Congressional Serial Set and other congressional
committee reports and testimonies from thousands of hearings (open and
closed) often stored in the basements of university libraries. All
this stuff is online now and most of it “open source” that is, free of
charge to the reader (investigator, reporter, journalist, or any other
end-user). Basically, what it seemed to me that Stratfor was doing
was employing graduate students or offshore workers with language
skills to read a lot of news sources on the web and then digest them
into the “weekly reader” style reports that they then sold to
corporate clients who were too busy making lots of money to read and
think for themselves… Of course, I never bought any of the stuff
the corporate clients paid for. I wonder how different or better it
was/is?

Expensive corporate newsletters providing business intelligence have
been around forever, long before the internet. These are often priced
beyond the budget of public university libraries, or in some cases,
the publishers will sell one version to government and another pricier
version to corporate clients. Kind of like airline tickets. If
anybody buys their own airline ticket, they will most often look for
the best price. If a corporation or other organization with money buys
a plane ticket, they may default to first class (or business class)
and pay 6 times what the ordinary person pays. Even a ticket bought at
the last minute can often be had for a reasonable price, but the old
corporate travel office model helps keep airlines in business when
they buy a ticket from El Paso to Los Angeles (a real example I know
of) that costs $2,500. In this example, I bought a ticket for the same
route and schedule and paid less than $400.

It seems that Stratfor and other commercial firms claiming to sell
“intelligence” are in the same racket. I think Mr. Friedman is correct
in that the trove of emails will not yield much that is terribly
interesting or damaging to Stratfor or their clients. Actually, the
release of these private communications will probably do more to
reveal the “banality of intelligence” rather than anything
terrifically evil… I don’t agree with hacking and stealing. That
seems to go beyond civil disobedience. But, if it helps people to
think more critically about the real value of what is being sold as
intelligence, well, maybe in the long run it will do some good…
Maybe people will think a little more carefully about what kind of
information they get for their money. Just my two cents… or two
thousand dollars. whatever I can get… molly molloy

REFILE-UPDATE 2-WikiLeaks publishes security think tank emails
Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:14am EST

The Global Intelligence Files

50 bodies found in mass grave in Durango

A mass grave containing 50 bodies has been uncovered in the town of
Cristobal Colon in Durango. The article says that the site was located
in Dec 2011 but no information had been released. A total of 301
bodies have been discovered in hidden graves in the state of Durango
since March of last year. 37 of the bodies in this grave have been
identified. The article ends saying that no more searches are being
conducted.

Encuentran fosa con 50 cuerpos en Durango
Milenio | 27-02-2012 | 14:17

The Dark Side to Juarez’s Security Gains — InSight Crime, PROCESO

Below is an article from El Diario with a detailed critique of
Calderon’s claim that murders are down 57% in Juarez as repeated here
in the InSight Crime article. By my estimates, the percent of
decrease in the murders in Juarez is somewhere between 35% and 45%. In
order to be sure of a DECREASE in the number of murders, we have to
know WHICH homicides are being counted. I think it is more accurate to
report ALL homicides, not just those that the government claims are
“related to organized crime rivalries.” That number for Juarez for
2011 was reported to be 2,086. In the national statistics released in
January (the 47,500+ number of drug war murders up through Sept 2011),
the relationship to all homicides is somewhere between 45% and 55%
counted as drug war related. In some of the calculations I’ve seen,
the 2010 figure for ALL homicides is used in comparison to the much
lower figure of drug war related homicides for 9 months of 2011 and
the later number is reduced in several different ways and thus shows a
much greater percent of decrease than is likely to be true. In like
manner, it is hard to calculate how much the murder RATE (per 100,000
population) has decreased because we are not certain what the current
population of Juarez is. The murder rate is certainly down from what
it was in 2010, but the population is down also–we just do not know
how much. But using the government’s own claim that most of the
people killed are criminals, we realize that with the killing of more
than 10,000 people in the city since 2008, the possible population of
criminals to kill has been drastically reduced. As Julian Cardona
noted in his recent article, citing a “narco-mensaje” directed to
Mayor Murguia posted on January 4 2012:

“It is not because you have lowered the murder rate, rather it is
that there are no longer so many people to kill…how many of us were
here four years ago and how many inhabitants remain today?”
[full article with translation posted to frontera list on feb 7:
http://juarezdialoga.org/ls-articulistas/juarez-todavia-la-mas-violenta-del-mundo/]

Posted below is also an excerpt from Marcela Turati’s recent Proceso
article. In it she details the case of Mrs. Padilla Martinez’ children
brutally murdered in retaliation for her testimony in the
investigation of another of her sons who was murdered in police
custody.
http://www.diario.com.mx/notas.php?f=2012/01/09&id=20599350c4fcb3c7df75607e91fcfe2b
‘My children were killed in retaliation’, says mother of brothers
executed and burned
[the full article and translation were posted here on frontera list on
January 9]

Also, one of the witnesses to police chief Leyzaola beating prisoners
in the Juarez Cereso was Shohn Huckabee. The violence he witnessed was
reported in the EP Times in December and also here on the Frontera
List,
http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_19567204?source=most_viewed
Suspects: Juárez chief of police killed friend

Monday, 27 February 2012 12:00
The Dark Side to Juarez’s Security Gains
Written by Patrick Corcoran

Le fallan a Calderón las cuentas sobre homicidios
M. Coronado/R. Chaparro
El Diario | 18-02-2012 | 00:26
PROCESO–EXTRACT

La violenta “pacificación” de Juárez
Marcela Turati
18 de febrero de 2012 ·

Remains of 3 missing girls found in Juarez

*The Diario article below has more of the details from the police
reports.*

Remains of 3 missing girls found in Juárez
By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times
Posted: 02/24/2012 02:30:23 PM MST

Skeletal remains found in the mountains southeast of Juárez have been
identified as those of three teenage girls who had disappeared in
recent years, Chihuahua state prosecutors said.
The skeletal remains were found earlier this month in the Sierra de
San Agustín near the village of Praxedis G. Guerrero, which is across
the border from the Tornillo-Fort Hancock area.
Authorities said the bodies were identified as a 17-year-old girl
(Lizbeth G.) reported missing on April 22, 2009; a 15-year-old girl
(Yesica P.) reported missing in June 1, 2010; and a 15-year-old girl
(Andrea G.) reported missing Aug. 19, 2010. The girls’ last names were
not released.
Officials also said that pieces of clothing found at the scene matched
descriptions given by family members of clothes worn by the girls at
the time of the disappearance.
See more: http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_20038164

*************************************************************

Hallan en San Agustín restos de tres menores desaparecidas aquí
Blanca Elizabeth Carmona
El Diario | 24-02-2012 | 00:03

Threats follow asylum seeker across Texas border–KVIA

Below is the posting from Frontera List on April 8 2011 with the
original Diario article that I believe describes the event that caused
Christina Roman to leave Juarez and seek asylum in the US. Kudos to
the Spector law firm and others in the area who are working to help
those seeking asylum from the criminal and government-sponsored
violence in Mexico. For information on how you can help these
refugees, see:

http://mexicanosenexilio.com/mexilio_welcome.html
Mexicanos En Exilio
Mexicanos En Exilio (Mexicans in Exile), founded by the Law Offices of
Carlos Spector, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those
forced to leave Mexico because of the Mexican government’s failure or
unwillingness to protect them. These individuals have risked their
lives for truth and justice in Mexico. These individuals include
reporters, photo journalists, political activists, human rights
activists, businessmen, and former members of law enforcement.

Threats follow asylum seeker across Texas border
by ANGELA KOCHERGA / KVUE News
kvue.com

FRONTERA LIST posting from April 8 2011
[frontera-list] survivor of El Castillo massacre accuses federal
police of involvement in the crime

Diario presents an interview with a survivor of the massacre at the
bar El Castillo last week where 10 people were killed. She is a woman
who worked at the bar. Before the attack, some federal police entered
the bar and started searching some of the clients. They also took away
their cell phones. The witness says one of her coworkers argued with
the police, asking them why they were molesting the clients and the
workers. She was warned, “You will be the first…”
The police left and shortly afterward, a single gunman described as a
young man of about 20 with an assault rifle–a sicario– entered the
bar and committed the killings. Among the victims was the young woman
who had talked to the police as well as the owner of the bar. He had
previously run the La Pantera bar in the same part of town and it had
been attacked for not paying protection money earlier.

The witness also said that after the killings, the federales returned,
robbed the dead of personal belongings and took other things from the
bar–bottles of imported liquor, furnishings, etc. And the report
from the Fiscalia said that the clothing on the bodies of the victims
had some of the pockets turned inside out …

The witness said that no one had denounced the behavior of the federal
agents; the owner of the bar was dead and the relatives who came to
the scene were concerned over the condition of their family members.
In this testimony she says that “supposedly they (the federal police)
are here to protect us, but it isn’t like that.”
There have been no advances in this homicide investigation. The crime
scene was completely manipulated by federal agents who took away
evidence and moved the bodies.
There is more… I posted a google translation below…

There is video of this witness’ testimony at the link. molly

‘Tú vas a ser la primera’, la amenazaron federales, y luego un sicario desató masacre en bar: testigo
Staff
El Diario | 08-04-2011 | 00:22

‘El Sicario’ revela cómo funciona el crimen organizado en México–CNN Mexico

CNN Mexico features the documentary El Sicario 164 and the book,
Sicario: Autobiografia de un asesino a sueldo…
This is the Mexican edition of the sicario’s life story, edited by
myself and Charles Bowden. It is just out in Mexico, published by
Random House, Grijalbo.

 

“A BETTER LIFE” showing set for March 10 in Las Cruces….

This message from Alianza para Solicitantes de Asilo Político
(Political Asylum Seekers Alliance):

A showing of “A Better Life” to benefit asylum seekers journalist
Emilio Gutierrez Soto and his son Oscar will take place Saturday,
March 10 at Alma d’Arte H.S., 5-8 pm. The evening will include a
Skype interview with director Chris Weitz. We’re still in the
planning stages but I do know this will be a low cost event because we
want as many people including students to see this important film
about a Mexican immigrant to the U.S. Copies of the film will be on
sale at the event at a minimal cost.

This event is sponsored by Alianza para Solicitantes de Asilo Político
(Political Asylum Seekers Alliance), formerly known as Comite de
Amigos de Emilio.

MORE ABOUT THE FILM:
Director Chris Weitz directed one of my favorite films starring Hugh
Grant, About a Boy. Here are links to info on the award-winning movie
A Better Life and its star, Academy Award and SAG nominee for Best
Actor Demian Bichir. [YES!!! He's nominated and will attend the
Oscars just like George Clooney!!!]

http://www.allrovi.com/movies/movie/a-better-life-v534710
http://www.allrovi.com/name/demián-bichir-p132125
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-demian-bichir-a-better-life-287262

Oscar-nominated star of ‘A Better Life’ hopes film spurs action on immigration
Matt Sayles/The Associated Press
Demián Bichir is nominated for best actor in this year’s Oscars for
his role as a gardener in “A Better Life.”
By ALFREDO CORCHADO Mexico Bureau acorchado
Published: 24 February 2012 10:17 PM

Filmmaker Charlie Minn to show cartel movie, Murder Capital, in Odessa

The movie is still showing in El Paso and Las Cruces at least through
this weekend…

Juarez may be four hours away from Odessa, but a New York filmmaker is bringing his second film about the Mexican city to highlight the violence that continues to plague the area.

Charlie Minn, director of “8 Murders a Day,” will bring his new film, “Murder Capital of the World” to Hollywood Theaters, 4101 E. 42nd St., starting Friday.

Click here to read more

 

Tiene Juárez ‘economía de zona en estado de guerra’ dice VP del Colegio de Economistas a El Diario

La economía juarense se mantiene devastada y prácticamente en un estado de zona de guerra, advirtieron especialistas.

Según datos oficiales, cada día de los últimos cuatro años, 44 personas han perdido su empleo en esta ciudad. Además se ha cerrado una empresa diaria y cada 24 horas se dejaron de recibir casi 5 millones de pesos en salarios.

Miguel Ángel Calderón Rodríguez, vicepresidente del Colegio de Economistas de Ciudad Juárez, indicó que los efectos económicos que está sufriendo Juárez son los mismos de una zona de guerra, en donde la economía se distorsiona en un grado que es imposible revertir sin la ayuda del Gobierno.

Click here to read more

 

Paul Babeu, Immigration Hawk Sheriff, Outed by Alleged Mexican Gay Lover

Also see the stories in the Phoenix New Times from a couple of days
ago that apparently forced the sheriff’s admissions in today’s press
conference:

Paul Babeu, Immigration Hawk Sheriff, Outed by Alleged Mexican Gay Lover

Known only as “Jose,” a Mexican immigrant has outed a famous Arizona immigration-hawk sheriff, CPAC speaker, and congressional candidate who rose to conservative stardom after a cameo appearance in John McCain’s famous “Dang Fence” campaign ad. In an explosive story published in the Phoenix New Times, Jose claims that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu’s lawyer threatened him with deportation if he spilled the beans about their alleged love affair.

Following the report, Babeu hastily called a press conference on Saturday during which he announced, “I’m gay.” He admitted having a “personal relationship” with Jose but said “at no time” did he or anyone who worked for him threaten Jose with deportation.

Click here to read more