Thursday, January 23, 2014

After years of Mexican gov. failure, Mexico citizens see no choice but to protect themselves from organized crime. With deadly force Mexican gov. stops citizens, reassuring cartels-NPR, LA Times, Zero Hedge

"The federal government sent in thousands of police and troops to disarm the civilian patrols. A deadly confrontation ensued. Federal soldiers fired into a crowd of civilian militia supporters, killing two."...NPR, 1/18/14

1/22/14, "Mexican Citizens Topple Cartels And Are Rewarded With Government Retaliation," Zero Hedge, submitted by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market blog

"Michoacan, like most of Mexico, has long been overrun with violent drug cartels that terrorized private citizens while Mexican authorities did little to nothing in response. I could easily cite the abject corruption of the Mexican government as the primary culprit in the continued dominance of cartel culture. I could also point out the longtime involvement of the CIA in drug trafficking in Mexico and its negative effects on the overall social development of the nation. This is not conspiracy theory, but openly recognized fact.

The Mexican people have nowhere to turn; and this, in my view, has always been by design. Disarmed and suppressed while government-aided cartels bleed the public dry, it is no wonder that many Mexicans have turned to illegal immigration as a means of escape. The Mexican government, in turn, has always fought for a more porous border with the U.S. exactly because it WANTS dissenting and dissatisfied citizens to run to the United States instead of staying and fighting back. My personal distaste for illegal immigration has always been predicated on the fact that it allows the criminal oligarchy within Mexico to continue unabated without opposition. Unhappy Mexicans can simply run away from their problems to America and feed off our wide-open welfare system. They are not forced to confront the tyranny within their own country. Under this paradigm, Mexico would never change for the better.

Some in the Mexican public, however, have been courageous enough to stay and fight back against rampant theft, kidnapping and murder.

The people of Michoacan, fed up with the fear and subjugation of the cartels and the inaction of the government, have taken a page from the American Revolution, organizing citizen militias that have now driven cartels from the region almost entirely. These militias have decided to no longer rely upon government intervention and have taken independent action outside of the forced authoritarian structure.

The fantastic measure of this accomplishment is not appreciated by many people in America. Though many cartels are populated by well-trained former Mexican military special ops and even covert operations agents, the citizens of Michoacan have proven that the cartels are a paper tiger. They can be defeated through guerrilla tactics and force of will, which many nihilists often deny is even possible.

NPR reported, (1/18/14):

Joel Gutierrez, a militia member of the Michoacan region, says residents were “sick of the cartel kidnapping, murdering and stealing.” 

“That’s why we took up arms,” says Gutierrez, 19. “The local and state police did nothing to protect us.”

The militia men have been patrolling their towns and inspecting cars at checkpoints like this one for nearly a year. All that time, federal police did little to stop them, and at times seemed to encourage the movement.

But that tacit approval appeared to end last weekend, when the number of the militias mushroomed and surrounded Apatzingan, a town of 100,000 people and the Knights Templar’s stronghold. A major battle between the militias and the cartel seemed imminent.

The federal government sent in thousands of police and troops to disarm the civilian patrols. A deadly confrontation ensued. Federal soldiers fired into a crowd of civilian militia supporters, killing two.

Militia leader Estanislao Beltran says the government should have gone after the real criminals, the Knights Templar, and not those defending themselves. He vehemently denies rumors that he takes funds from a rival group.

“The cartels have been terrorizing us for more than a decade,” Beltran says. “Why would we side with any of them?”
Initially, local authorities encouraged the militias, or stayed out of their way. The citizens armed themselves with semi-automatic weapons, risking government reprisal, in order to defend their homes; and so far, they have been victorious. One would think that the federal government of Mexico would be enthusiastic about such victories against the cartels they claim to have been fighting against for decades; but when common citizens take control of their own destinies, this often incurs the wrath of the establishment as well.

The Mexican government has decided to reward the brave people of Michoacan with the threat of military invasion and disarmament.

In some cases, government forces have indeed fired upon militia supporters, killing innocents while exposing the true intentions of the Mexican political structure.

Mainstream media coverage of the situation in the western states of Mexico has been minimal at best; and I find the more I learn about the movement in the region, the more I find a kinship with them. 

Whether we realize it or not, we are fighting the same fight. We are working toward the same goal of liberty, though we speak different languages and herald from different cultures. Recent government propaganda accusing Michoacan militias of “working with rival cartels” should ring familiar with those of us in the American liberty movement. We are the new “terrorists,” the new bogeymen of the faltering American epoch. We are painted as the villains; and in this, strangely, I find a considerable amount of solace.

If the liberty movement were not effective in its activism, if we did not present a legitimate threat to the criminal establishment, they would simply ignore us rather than seek to vilify us.

The militias of Michoacan have taken a stand. They have drawn their line in the sand, and I wish I could fight alongside them. Of course, we have our own fight and our own enemies to contend with here in the United States. As this fight develops, we have much to learn from the events in Western Mexico. Government retaliation has been met with widespread anger from coast to coast. And despite the general mainstream media mitigation of coverage, the American public is beginning to rally around the people of Michoacan as well. The non-participation principle prevails yet again.

The liberty movement in the U.S. must begin providing mutual aid and self-defense measures in a localized fashion if we have any hope of supplanting the effects of globalization and centralized Federal totalitarianism....

Even now, we are beginning to understand the subversive transformation of our own law enforcement structure, and find a system designed to protect the criminal establishment, not the people.  The FBI, for example, has recently changed the language of its primary mission statement, claiming that their goal is "national security", not law enforcement.

Police department across the U.S. are also changing how they interpret their mandate. U.S. courts have ruled that police departments do not have a constitutional duty to protect citizens from harm, rather, they simply exist to enforce legal code after a crime has already been perpetrated. This means that local police are no longer considered "peace officers", but agents of bureaucracy who are not necessarily required to defend the citizenry from violent action. The terrors Mexican citizens face in Michoacan are coming to America, and if disarmament proponents have their way, we will have no means to stop it....

I wish I could convey how refreshing it is to witness a group of common people, regardless of nationality, with a set of brass ball bearings large enough to face off against government supported drug cartels notorious for mass murder and decapitation.

If you want see into the future, into the destiny of America, I suggest you examine carefully the developments of the Michoacan region. It is no mistake that good men and women are being disarmed around the world, and America is certainly not exempt. Look at what happens when we are not helpless! We can crush cold and calculating drug cartels as easily as we can crush psychopathic government entities. We are capable of superhuman feats. We are capable of globalist overthrow. We are capable of unthinkable greatness, as long as we are not distracted by false solutions and false leaders who lure us away from localized action towards centralized non-events.

The rise of Mexican non-participation groups gives me much hope for the future. For if the most corrupt and criminally saturated of societies can find it within themselves to fight, to truly fight, regardless of the obstacles and regardless of the supposed consequences, then there is a chance for us all."...


1/19/14, "Vigilantes hold Mexico town, tenuously, after driving out cartel," LA Times, Richard Fausset, Nueva Italia, Mexico

"Days after ragtag 'self-defense' fighters chased the Knights Templar drug gang from Nueva Italia in Michoacan state, many residents are grateful, hopeful and worried about what might happen next."

"Father Patricio Madrigal Diaz was sitting in a big, empty church describing the moment the ragtag "self-defense" forces came barreling into town bearing AK-47s — and a promise to free this farming community from the suffocating grip of the drug cartel. 

The cleric was finishing Sunday Mass in a tiny stucco chapel north of town last week when his flock was alarmed by a rumble of tires. Some ran home. Others shut the church windows tight. "Se va a poner feo," they told Father Patricio. It's going to get ugly.

Moments later, he said, dozens of vigilante pickup trucks were in the town center. A number of cartel supporters engaged the invaders in a shootout, but soon fled. Next, the vigilantes moved to disarm the municipal police force, which was widely assumed to be crooked. And then …

Abruptly, Father Patricio paused his story and gestured toward an older man praying quietly a few pews over. Perhaps, the priest said, it would be better to finish this conversation in the church basement.

"That man," he explained, "is not to be trusted."

Today, this city of 32,000 residents is occupied by the self-defense groups, as well as a swarm of federal police who came in their wake to show that the Mexican government still holds some authority in the volatile region of Michoacan state known as Tierra Caliente, or Hot Land. The situation is similar in a number of nearby communities that homegrown vigilantes have seized in recent days in an effort to drive out the organized crime gang known as the Knights Templar.

It would be wrong, however, to consider Nueva Italia truly liberated. People remain aware that any neighbor may be a spy for the drug lords who wormed their way deep into the sinews of this rural society over the years. There are new rumors that the Knights Templar will return soon to rain vengeance on the civilians who have sided with the vigilantes.

Some here are also worried that the vigilantes may not be heroes so much as useful stooges, fighting off the Knights Templar for the benefit of a rival drug gang known as the Jalisco New Generation cartel, from the state bordering Michoacan to the north and west. The whispers of concern come from residents who decline to give their full names, for fear of reprisal from forces they cannot presume to understand.

"The people are giving them their confidence," said Miguel, 65, an army veteran who was studying the Bible on Thursday in a dim grocery store near one of the new vigilante roadblocks. "But we don't know who they are."

By midweek, the vigilantes were concentrated at sandbagged roadblocks at the town's main entrances. They were young and middle-aged men from Nueva Italia and nearby towns. Some had once lived in Southern California. Their dress was irregular, a jumble of T-shirts, ski masks, camouflage and baseball caps. They openly displayed their assault rifles but said they always put them away when the federal police patrols came around, out of "respect," they said, for the government.

The municipal police here had been disbanded. Security duties in the center of town had fallen to the federal officers, who stood sternly on street corners in helmets and body armor, rifles at the ready.

All around them, life went on as it had to in a scruffy city of lime pickers and papaya growers. Trucks were repaired at mechanic shops, tacos consumed at taquerias. Men and women returned home from the fields, packed, like so much cargo, into truck beds.

On Wednesday evening, hundreds of residents gathered on the broad concrete square. These were the people fed up with the Knights Templar, tired of the protection payments small businesses were forced to make, or the tribute demanded of the lowliest field hands. They were tired of the killing and mayhem and terror.

Before the vigilantes' arrival, said Marta, a 62-year-old agricultural worker, "you weren't free here." She said she had paid dearly for the return of two children the cartel had kidnapped.

The residents had convened under a full moon to elect a committee to feed and otherwise support the self-defense groups. Nominees were pushed out of the crowd and onto a stage by friends, remaining there if the crowd cheered them, and stepping down if booed. Eventually five men and a woman were selected, among them a mechanic, a doctor and a teacher.

Municipal president Casimiro Quezada Casillas uttered a few stirring words about how challenges can unite a community. He was met with catcalls. Father Patricio said that the entire local government was widely known to be "at the mercy" of the cartel.

But there was also a feeling that people of goodwill were gaining the upper hand. A man named Rafael Sandoval took the stage and grabbed a microphone. "SeƱores," he said, gesturing to the committee members, "I hope that those who are here have these."

He grabbed his crotch, unleashing an explosion of applause.

The next morning, at the roadblock on the north side of town, the vigilantes ladled plates of fragrant goat stew from a large pot, the latest gift from their local admirers. Though some Nueva Italia men had joined the vigilantes, this particular group of perhaps a dozen fighters were from the nearby town of Santa Ana. A number of them had been raised in the U.S., and spoke in the cool, ambling English of the Southern California streets.

A 22-year-old named Jorge, who learned his English in Tucson, said that locals had been stopping all week to tip them off to halcones, or spies, for the cartel. His comrades said they had already detained 20 of them, and were pumping them for more information.

"The people come to us and say, 'That fool is a Templario,'" said Jorge, who declined to give his last name for fear of retribution. "We are nothing without them."

Another vigilante, Adolfo Silva, 20, sported an ancient assault rifle, army boots and a necklace with a dangling cross. Before moving to Mexico, he said, he was enrolled at Century High School in Santa Ana, Orange County. He joined the self-defense group, he added, when the Templarios kidnapped his cousin.

He nodded in the direction of his brother, who, he said, had once been a member of an Orange County street gang. The name Lopers was tattooed up the side of his brother's arm.

Silva said he never ran with a gang himself. And he bristled when asked whether a rival cartel was paying the vigilantes or supplying them with arms. "The Templarios just started saying all that" to discredit the vigilantes' cause, he said.

Silva had heard a rumor that the Templarios were on the big hill above town, receiving food from their own supporters, waiting for the right moment to counterattack. "We know any time they could come," he said. "We're not gonna say we're not scared, 'cause we are."

It seemed that the fear had also infected the new committee members almost immediately after their election on the town square. One quit the next morning, concerned for his life. The others ducked interview requests.

Father Patricio said that some locals were already telling him that they doubted whether they could trust committee members they didn't know personally. What was to stop them from falling under the sway of the Knights Templar, as so many others had?

Still, some were daring to hope for the best. By the end of the week, federal officials said they had taken control of 27 municipalities in the most combustible parts of Michoacan, including Nueva Italia.

On Thursday afternoon, taxi driver Miguel Angel Gonzalez was happily downing beers at a carnitas stand, watched over by a deployment of federal police. He said he was betting that the federal forces, in conjunction with the vigilantes, would identify and arrest remaining cartel members.

Others were not so sure. This swath of southwest Mexico is blessed and cursed by geography. Its busy Pacific ports serve as transshipment points for South American cocaine and Chinese chemicals to cook methamphetamine. The fertile lands are a fine place to grow fruit — and also marijuana and poppies.

Would organized crime remain here forever? On the south side of town, Fernando, a 34-year-old gas station attendant, said he wasn't certain. But he figured that the federal police would have to go home eventually.

When they did, he said grimly, the remnants of the Knights Templar would take their revenge against whoever had dared to cross them. "I can guarantee that," he said."


1/13/14, "CONFIRMED: The DEA Struck A Deal With Mexico's Most Notorious Drug Cartel," SF Gate, via Business Insider, Michael Kelley

"An investigation by El Universal has found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs in exchange for information on rival cartels.

Sinaloa, led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, supplies 80% of the drugs entering the Chicago area and has a presence in cities across the U.S.

There have long been allegations that Guzman, considered to be "the world’s most powerful drug trafficker," coordinates with American authorities.

But the El Universal investigation is the first to publish court documents that include corroborating testimony from a DEA agent and a Justice Department official.

The written statements were made to the U.S. District Court in Chicago in relation to the arrest of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Sinaloa leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and allegedly the Sinaloa cartel’s "logistics coordinator."

Here's what DEA agent Manuel Castanon told the Chicago court:

"On March 17, 2009, I met for approximately 30 minutes in a hotel room in Mexico City with Vincente Zambada-Niebla and two other individuals — DEA agent David Herrod and a cooperating source [Sinaloa lawyer Loya Castro] with whom I had worked since 2005. ... I did all of the talking on behalf of [the] DEA."

A few hours later, Mexican Marines arrested Zambada-Niebla (a.k.a. "El Vicentillo") on charges of trafficking more than a billion dollars in cocaine and heroin. Castanon and three other agents then visited Zambada-Niebla in prison, where the Sinaloa officer "reiterated his desire to cooperate."
El Universal, citing court documents, reports that DEA agents met with high-level Sinaloa officials more than 50 times since 2000.

Then-Justice Department prosecutor Patrick Hearn told the Chicago court that, according to DEA special agent Steve Fraga, Castro "provided information leading to a 23-ton cocaine seizure, other seizures related to "various drug trafficking organizations," and that "El Mayo" Zambada wanted his son to cooperate with the U.S.

Screen Shot 2014 01 12 at 7.05.37 PM

"The DEA agents met with members of the cartel in Mexico to obtain information about their rivals and simultaneously built a network of informants who sign drug cooperation agreements, subject to results, to enable them to obtain future benefits, including cancellation of charges in the U.S.," reports El Universal, which also interviewed more than one hundred active and retired police officers as well as prisoners and experts.

Zambada-Niebla's lawyer told the court that in the late 1990s, Castro struck a deal with U.S. agents in which Sinaloa would provide information about rival drug trafficking organizations while the U.S. would dismiss its case against the Sinaloa lawyer and refrain from interfering with Sinaloa drug trafficking activities or actively prosecuting Sinaloa leadership. 

"The agents stated that this arrangement had been approved by high-ranking officials and federal prosecutors," Zambada-Niebla lawyer wrote.

After being extradited to Chicago in February 2010, Zambada-Niebla argued that he was also "immune from arrest or prosecution" because he actively provided information to U.S. federal agents.

Zambada-Niebla also alleged that Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals. (If true, that re-raises the issue regarding what Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the gun-running arrangements.)

A Mexican foreign service officer told Stratfor in April 2010 that the U.S. seemed to have sided with the Sinaloa cartel in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico.

El Universal said that the coordination between the U.S. and Sinaloa peaked between 2006 and 2012, which is when drug cartels consolidated their grip on Mexico. The report ends by saying that it is unclear whether the arrangements continue. The DEA declined to comment to El Universal."

"See Also:
SEE ALSO: Here's One Reason To Doubt The New Fast & Furious Report That Exonerates Eric Holder"


1/18/14, "Under Government Pressure, Mexican Vigilantes Vow To Fight On," NPR, Carrie Kahn

exican government says 'vigilantes not the target'," BBC

"The Mexican government has tried to reassure vigilantes in the western state of Michoacan that they are not the target of its security operation.

Hundreds of troops have been sent to the area to restore order after groups of vigilantes clashed with members of the Knights Templar drug cartel.

Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said he wanted to convince the vigilantes that "we are going to do our job."... 
The vigilantes accuse the government of not doing enough to protect locals from the extortion and violence carried out by the pseudo-religious drug gang."...

No comments: