This is the first installment of an Albuquerque Journal series on drug use in New Mexico… The thing that strikes me in my initial reading of this is how disconnected the problem is from the hysteria over Mexico and “fighting the drug war” there. It makes the terrifying level of violence and death in Mexico all the more absurd when we realize that much of the drug abuse problem in New Mexico and in other areas of the US also, is a domestic issue–a family issue… Something that requires health care, education, job security, opportunities in society, etc. Remembering the piece I posted this morning about a supposed US military plan to “kill or capture Chapo Guzman” — does anyone really think that such a thing would stop the abuse of drugs in the US or reduce the violence in Mexico? molly
“We are, from an enforcement and prosecution viewpoint, designed to deal with drug trafficking organizations,” U.S. Attorney Gonzales said. “Prescription drugs present a different dynamic.” Keith Brown, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement office in Albuquerque, put it this way: “There is no prescription drug cartel to target.”
• Undercover agents bought grams of heroin for $100 — the same price as in 1977.• The purity of the heroin agents purchased was three to four times the purity level of heroin sold just 10 years ago.• The heroin was cheaper than prescription opiate painkillers on the street, which average $1 per milligram. That’s $10 for a 10-milligram hydrocodone pill.
El problema no es el chapo, si ellos son los burros del salón. El problema son los que están atrás del chapo, empresarios, políticos, gobiernos.
El problema es el sistema.
OK—I’m not even going to post all the US newspaper and wire stories on
the capture of the son of Chapo Guzman… These are in every paper and
internet site and have been since yesterday afternoon…The interesting
thing is that starting with the Sinaloa newspaper, Riodoce, Mexican media
is questioning whether the person arrested is who the Mexican government
says he is… Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, son of Chapo Guzman. These
sources (closer to the events for sure) say that the person captured and
paraded in the Mexican government’s press conference and perp walk is
actually: Félix Beltrán León… If you do a google news search on both of
those names, you get a lot of articles from Mexican press and blogs on the
issue… Here I’m passing on comments from another person on the list who
sent me the Riodoce story yesterday:
“The other papers have switched headlines to add “presunto”. The comments in
the report from El Debate are interesting and there are several posts
saying that they know those two guys and then provide their real names (not
related to Chapo).
It does smack of an election ploy by PAN and FCH. Josefina Vázquez was over
the top in her praise of the arrest and she said she wouldn’t rest until El
Chapo was brought down. The timing of the arrest is really suspicious —
there really isn’t enough time to verify or disprove the identity of the 2
guys. In the twisted world of Sinaloa and Northwest Mexico politics, this
could even be a move by El Chapo to discredit PAN (… Something is happening
there on the streets, and the number of supporters for AMLO was actually
very surprising. Something like this happened in the last gob election when
MALOVA came out of nowhere to win. Word was that the capos told people to
vote for MALOVA and throw out the PRI).
Also, the two guys arrested had very little money and no body-guards.
Unusual. They seem like chivos expiriatos and fall guys for something.
The press conference by the Marine vocero also mentioned the “son of Chapo”
thing far too many times. “Methinks the lady does protest too much….” kind
of stuff. “
Below are several stories that are using the “presunto hijo de Chapo…”
etc. phrase… As far as I can tell, there is nothing at all so far in the
US or other English language press on this… stay tuned… molly
See the attached profile of Carlos Spector and his political asylum
practice in the current issue of the Texas Observer. This is a companion
piece to the story about the hyperviolence in the Valle de Juarez that was
posted last week. That story is online here:
The Texas Observer
To reach the deadliest place in Mexico you take Carretera Federal 2, a well-paved stretch of highway that begins at the outskirts of Juarez, east for 50 miles along the Rio Grande, passing through cotton and alfalfa fields until you reach the rural Juarez Valley, said to have the highest murder rate in the country, if not the world.
The Juarez Valley is a narrow corridor of green farmland carved from the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande. Farmers proudly say it was once known for its cotton, which rivaled Egypt’s. But that was before the booming growth of Juarez’s factories in the 1990s left farmers downstream with nothing but foul-smelling sludge to irrigate their fields. After that, the only industry that thrived was drug smuggling. Because of the valley’s sparse population and location along the Rio Grande’s dried up riverbed, a person can easily drive or walk into Texas loaded down with marijuana and cocaine.
For decades, this lucrative smuggling corridor, or “plaza,” was controlled by the Juarez cartel. In 2008, Mexico’s largest, most powerful syndicate—the Sinaloa cartel, run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman—declared war on the Juarez cartel and moved in to take over the territory. The federal government sent in the military to quell the violence. Instead the murder rate in the state of Chihuahua exploded. The bloodshed in the city of Juarez made international news. It was dubbed the “deadliest city in the world.”
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Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Sinaloa Cartel leader “Chapo” Guzman have been accused of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC), raising questions about the application of international humanitarian law to the “war on drugs.”
The official complaint was filed in the ICC on November 25 by an enterprising team of legal scholars, activists, and journalists, and was supported by a petition bearing more than 20,000 signatures. According to human rights lawyer Netzai Sandoval, who is spearheading the case, the appeal to international law rather than Mexico’s courts was necessary because the Mexican judicial system lacks the “will and ability… to judge crimes against humanity.”
When the complaint was filed at the International Criminal Court, it garnered significant media attention in the US, and was been followed by analysts and pundits discussing the merits of the case. Last month Excelsior op-ed contributor Ricardo Aleman endorsed the charges against Calderon, predicting that “upon leaving office, he will become the most prosecuted of Mexican presidents.”
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