STRATFOR: Meth in Mexico: A Turning Point in the Drug War?

Mexican authorities announced Feb. 8 the largest seizure of methamphetamine in Mexican history — and possibly the largest ever anywhere — on a ranch outside of Guadalajara. The total haul was 15 tons of pure methamphetamine along with a laboratory capable of producing all the methamphetamine seized. While authorities are not linking the methamphetamine to any specific criminal group, Guadalajara is a known stronghold of the Sinaloa Federation, and previous seizures there have been connected to the group.

Methamphetamine, a synthetic drug manufactured in personal labs for decades, is nothing new in Mexico or the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has led numerous crusades against the drug, increasing regulations on its ingredients to try to keep it from gaining a foothold in the United States. While the DEA’s efforts have succeeded in limiting production of the drug in the United States, consumption has risen steadily over the past two decades. The increasing DEA pressure on U.S. suppliers and the growing demand for methamphetamine have driven large-scale production of the drug outside the borders of the United States. Given Mexico’s proximity and the pervasiveness of organized criminal elements seeking new markets, it makes sense that methamphetamine would be produced on an industrial scale there. Indeed, Mexico has provided an environment for a scale of production far greater than anything ever seen in the United States.

Rights Abuses by Mexico Military in Spotlight–Wall Street Journal

MEXICO CITY—Throughout Mexico’s drug war, the country’s military has shrugged off allegations that soldiers have occasionally tortured or even executed suspected members of drug cartels, saying that the majority of the charges were made up by zealous activists or the cartels themselves.

But three high-profile cases this month that are being investigated outside the military’s own secret courts have prompted the army’s top commander to say the military may have committed serious human-rights abuses.

Click here to read more

 

Houston Chronicle story on use of informants

HOUSTON  To cops and the courts, they are confidential informants and cooperating co-conspirators. In the streets, they are snitches and rats.

They make deals to avoid prosecution or do less time, sometimes paid with tax dollars to burrow in where undercover officers cannot. But once deals are made with authorities, what may seem like a stroke of luck can become a life imperiled.

Countless criminals, lovers, brothers and friends havegone down in part on the word of an informant or government witness, a high-stakes turn-of-play that fuels distrust and sometimes leads to death.

Authorities do not track how many informants are working for local, state and federal officers; nor are there standard guidelines for how they are used or protected.

But their secretive roles in law enforcement increasingly are being made public in Texas and elsewhere as the collateral damage plays out in killings, arrests and attacks.

Click here to read more


Bodies tossed on the road in Morelos–La Familia?

At least 6 dismembered bodies were thrown onto the Cuernavaca-Cuautla
highway in the state of Morelos this morning. The article also says
there were 4 bodies and that they were accompanied by a “narco
message” signed by the Familia Michoacana, based in Cuautla. The
bodies were found at about 7 this morning, just as the governor of
Morelos was delivering his Fifth Government Report (like a State of
the State message).

Note that the Familia Michoacana is the group that has been declared
defeated for at least half a year in all the reports from Stratfor and
US and Mexican government agencies. molly

Arrojan a 6 descuartizados en la carretera Cuernavaca-Cuautla
Excélsior | 15-02-2012 | 08:16

Stratfor MYTH debunked by Mexican reporters…

Check out the translation of this article in Hilo Directo by José Pérez Espino, commenting on a report in LETRAS LIBRES by Juan Carlos Romero
Puga. Both Mexican journalists note that the portrayal of the ZETAS that appears over and over again in US media and reports from “intelligence analysts” like STRATFOR (and I would add by US government agencies also) are simply repeating the Mexican government’s own pronouncements that have little basis on the ground in Mexico… Here’s the quote from Perez Espino:

“The security consultants Statfor practically reproduced the official
version and assumed that the Zetas are a drug trafficking cartel, and
the most powerful criminal group in the country.”

Thanks to UPSIDEDOWN WORLD for the translation and to Dawn Paley for
sending to the list. Below the translation are the original articles
from Hilo Directo and Letras Libres. molly

Stratfor’s Myth in Mexico
Written by José Pérez-Espino, Translation by Laura Cann
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 18:37

Editor’s note: We republish the translation of this blog entry to
share with our readers an important, critical perspective on Austin,
Texas based “intelligence” firm Stratfor, whose reports are often
cited and repeated without question in the U.S. media.

Source: hilo directo

Original en español:

El mito de Stratfor
José Pérez-Espino
Periodista. Es autor del ensayo Homicidios de mujeres: la invención de
mitos…

Weighing Calderon’s Guilt in Mexico Drug War—InSight Crime report

By Geoffrey Ramsey

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.”

Click here to read more

Followup report on child wounded in police shooting, KHOU 11 and El Diario

An article in El Diario states that Sonia Tapia and her son
have left Juarez. The boy is in a hospital in El Paso and the family
does not plan to return to Juarez, in part due to fear of reprisals.
The article says that many other victims of violence would like to
leave Mexico but are unable to. Sonia Tapia and her son are US
citizens.

Juarez police officers investigated after shooting at American motherand child

 

Chihuahua murder rate higher than Colombia–CIDAC report

Here is a story from the weekend on a report from Centro para la
Investigación y el Desarrollo (CIDAC), entitled: Ocho delitos primero.
The report compares homicide rates and concludes that the rate of
homicide in the state of Chihuahua, approximately 130 per 100,000 far
surpasses the murder rate from Colombia during the worst years of the
violence in that country in the 1990s (about 80 per 100,000). Of
course, the rate in the city of Juarez is even higher than for the
state, currently about 160 per 100,000…down from a high of about 275
in 2010. The study also finds that Chihuahua is one of the Mexican
states which has also seen a huge increase in other high-impact crimes
such as extortion and kidnapping.

The full text of the CIDAC report is available here: Ocho delitos primero

Supera tasa de homicidios del estado a la peor de Colombia

Juárez homicides Feb 7-12

To provide an update on the homicides in February for the past several
days, from looking at the daily stories in El Diario, there have been
a total of about 35 violent deaths as of Sunday February 12. As of
yesterday, about 157 people had been killed so far in 2012, an average
of 3.6 people per day. On Feb 7, there were no murders, but one death
was reported of a man who had been wounded in a shooting and died on
that day. Wed Feb 8, there were 5 homicides; Thurs Feb 9 and Fri Feb
10–there were 3 each day. One of the victims Friday was a young
pregnant woman who was shot to death. On Sat and Sun, Feb 11 and 12,
two people were killed each day. The deaths on Saturday were 2
separate incidents of the victims being run over by vehicles. One man
was intentionally run over by a municipal police car on Avenida Juarez
where he worked as a parking attendant and car washer. Relatives
protested the brutality of the killing at the Fiscalia. As of this
morning, Diario reports that the policeman who killed the man and then
fled the scene has been arrested:

Consignan a policia municipal que atropelló y mató a parquero .

Asesinan a tres ayer en Juárez

Bajan a hombre de auto y lo fusilan; 3 muertos ayer

Matan en Juárez a una embarazada Denuncian que policías arrollaron a parquero de manera intencional

Torturan y atropellan a hombre en Juárez

Asesinan a balazos a dos personas ayer

Human Rights News–Border City Police Under Fire

FNS has a very good summary of recent police brutality
incidents in Juarez. I have been away from the computer for a couple
of days, but Diario reports 3 killed in Juarez on Friday and I believe
there were also at least 3 yesterday. I will report later. The
headline on the front page of Diario this morning:

Atropellan municipales a una persona y tratan de ocultar los hechos

Also, Juarez journalists denounced the public climate of insecurity
and lack of guarantees for carrying out their work due to the
aggressive behavior of the municipal police…

Denuncian periodistas clima de inseguridad y falta de garantías