Archive for Drugs

Blunt Force

You can take my ganja—when you pry it from my cold, dead hands:

Untitled

Inside his hash factory in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Ali Nasri Shamas pulls out a two-foot long machete.

“This is for ISIS and the Nusra Front and anyone who supports them,” says Shamas, referring to the jihadi groups encroaching on Lebanon’s border. He smiles, running the blade of his knife gently along the sleeve of his leather jacket before cutting the air with it. “We have the machetes ready for them, just like they do.”

Shamas’s factory is just 30 minutes from the Syrian border and he says he and his fellow hash growers are ready to take on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front who have taken over swathes of Syria and Iraq are threatening to invade Lebanon.

Three tons of cannabis sits on the floor inside his processing plant. Workers sift through the ten-foot high heaps, separating stalks and stems amid a cloud of cannabis dust.

Lebanese Red and Blonde hash varieties are world-renowned, and Lebanon’s hash farmers have long been well-armed to defend their crops from government destruction.

That means that Lebanese security forces who once confronted Bekaa Valley drug cultivators now have a shared interest with them in defending border regions from attacks from Syria.

“We are ready to support all the factions in Lebanon against ISIS and the Nusra Front,” says Shamas.

When jihadis attacked the village of Brital in October of last year, a band of cannabis farmers headed to the area to help defend it. Abbas, who asked not to use his real name, was among them.

“When we heard they were attacking Brital, we grabbed our weapons and jumped in the trucks,” says Abbas, who spent seven years in prison on drug trafficking charges. “To us, ISIS is nothing. Their strategy is to scare people. But we were not afraid.”

Who needs the 82nd Airborne when you have the Bekaa Valley Dope Growers Association?

It’s a serious point. As dangerous and depraved as ISIS is, why nationalize the fight against it? Yet again (and again) we see how private enterprise solves problems that governments can only further screw up. In his own perverted way, Obama did more to defeat radical Islam in his pot-haze days than he could ever manage today. Spark one up for peace, sir. You know you want to.

Comments

Getting High

I’ve repeatedly (and repeatedly) teased President Obama for portraying as lawless a state as Mexico as Switzerland with jalapeños.

But I have to give him—and Mexico—credit for this:

A drone carrying more than six pounds (2.7kg) of methamphetamine has crashed near Mexico’s border with the US.

Mexican police in Tijuana say they were alerted to an unidentified object in a car park of a shopping centre.

“The drone had packages taped to it and was covered with plastic bags containing the drug known as crystal”, the local police chief said.

Authorities are investigating where the flight originated, who controlled it and where it was bound for.

Whoever it was is the honorable descendant of Octavio Paz, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera, among other illustrious Mexicans.

Comments

Diego Rivera Could Not Be Reached for Comment

About a year and a half ago, President Obama went to Mexico and blasted the US media for printing unflattering “sensational headlines” about such an advanced and civilized country (hence my tiresome series on the pervasive and persistent violence in Mexican society, “Sensational Headline Watch”).

I guess whatever he was smoking then, the Mexican president did not see fit to bring to the White House yesterday:

While critics protested outside the White House, President Barack Obama pledged to help Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto “eliminate the scourge and violence of drug cartels” like that suspected in the disappearance of 43 Mexican students.

Peña Nieto made his first visit to Washington Tuesday, accompanied by several Cabinet members, to tout his economic reforms such as the opening of the its oil and gas industry to private investment.

But his legislative feats have been overshadowed by the violence against 43 students, some whose bodies were said to have been later incinerated, and criticism of how his administration has handled the investigation of the students’ disappearance.

Mexican federal agents have arrested dozens of people, including the mayor of Iguala, Mexico, his wife and police. Detainees confessed they murdered the 43 kidnapped students and burned their bodies. But, the victims’ families have demanded more evidence, and that the students be found.

Yeah, they’ll find ‘em right after they bring back the Chibok girls. Don’t you worry about that.

Want to see a scourge or two?

New recruits to a vicious Mexican drug cartel were forced to eat the hearts of murder victims in a twisted scheme to prove their loyalty, officials said.

Hopefuls who wanted to join La Familia Michoacana were reportedly fed the internal organs during gruesome initiation ceremonies designed to roof out infiltrators or other disloyal elements.

Witnesses told government security bosses how La Familia, and offshoot an offshoot group called the Knights Templar, would also sometimes force potential cartel members to dismember victims while they were still alive.

Whoa. What would Octavio Paz say about that?

I’ll tell you what Frida Kahlo would say: string ‘em up.

An accused thief was beaten to death by a mob in central Mexico after the furious crowd caught him and three accomplices, including a pregnant woman and a teenager, robbing a home.

A crowd of some 100 people discovered the four allegedly robbing electronics at a home in the town of Tehuacan, in the state of Puebla.

The residents seized the four — two men, a male teenager one woman said to be pregnant — and stripped them.

The woman, who said she was pregnant, was ‘struck in the face’ while the teenager was tied by his hands and feet and beat up, local reports say.

He suffered wounds to his abdomen, legs, back and head.

‘We warned them of what would happen if they returned to rob from us,’ local neighbors, who said they were tired of thieves after a recent string of robberies, told local newspaper Excelsior.

Naturally, I deplore this behavior. It will only drive the robbers to jump the border and come here, where we reward them with driver’s licenses. I don’t care how badly run most DMVs and RMVs are: they beat a lynching.

Some of them.

Comments

Your Government at…Whatever, Dude

Say what you will about the illegal drug trade, it’s efficient.

Say what you will about government, it’s not:

A contractor hired by the state health department to rank companies hoping to open medical marijuana dispensaries acknowledged in internal e-mails that it simply ran out of time to conduct thorough checks of some applications. Still, the health department extended the company’s contract and more than doubled its pay, records show.

A different contractor was awarded a lucrative no-bid deal to conduct in-depth background checks yet failed to detect that a couple hired by several applicants to run proposed dispensaries had lost their own marijuana business license in Colorado because of violations.

These latest revelations open a wider window onto the state’s troubled effort to grant licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries, a process so flawed that regulators spent five months untangling the mess.

A Globe review shows that the state’s licensing process went off the tracks nearly from the beginning, hobbled by too little time, too many conflicts of interest, and questionable work from highly paid contractors.

“I have heard of minor complications in other states. But I have not seen anything that raised eyebrows . . . like in Massachusetts,” said Karen O’Keefe, who tracks state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C., group that lobbies to legalize marijuana.

And that’s before we started smoking dope! Think of how messed up we’ll be afterwards.

More than two years after Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved the medical use of marijuana, not a single dispensary has opened, despite the state’s goal of having the first marijuana companies open in summer 2014. The licensing process, which sparked more than two dozen lawsuits against the state health department, remains mired in controversy, even as officials predict the first dispensaries could open this winter.

“Delays in implementation have been devastating to patients,” said Matt Allen, executive director of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance. “Patients are forced into unsafe situations as they continue to go to the black market in search of [marijuana] . . . being robbed, assaulted, or purchasing medicine that is not tested to be free of contaminants.”

If it was good enough for my grandfather, it’s good enough for them. Besides, that’s a terrible slur against the dealer community. At least they have product. Try this kind of stuff with the Knights Templar in Mexico, and you’ll get your head handed to you. Literally.

Comments

Nice Oil Field You Got Here, Señor

Shame if something happened to it:

As Mexico opens its energy sector to private investors after 76 years of government monopoly, one of the biggest hurdles for foreign companies coming here isn’t geology, regulation or finding skilled workers. It’s the vicious drug cartels that virtually control the parts of northern Mexico where experts say there are big deposits of shale oil and gas.

“I’m afraid oil companies coming to Mexico will have to worry about insecurity as much as about drilling,” said Carlos Elizondo, an energy expert recently appointed to the board of former state monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex.

Chris Faulkner, the founder of Dallas-based Breitling Energy , which produces shale gas in South Texas and elsewhere, adds that “there are a lot of challenges with companies coming to Mexico because of security concerns.”

Geokinetics workers say they have come across human remains while doing exploratory work in the brush near the company’s base camp. Last year, two company engineers were kidnapped before being rescued by federal police and Mexican marines.

In 2012, an entire eight-man crew from a private Mexican oil-service firm went missing while working on well heads down river from Nuevo Laredo, according to media reports at the time. Neither the company nor Mexico’s government ever commented on the disappearance.

A young female engineer working for another service company in the Chicontepec oil basin in the coastal state of Veracruz was raped several months ago by a gang, according to two service contractors with direct knowledge of the incident who asked not to be named.

And, in the six years between January 2008 and March 2014, 12 Pemex workers were kidnapped, according to a document from the attorney general’s office obtained through Mexico’s transparency institute.

That doesn’t quite fit President Obama’s portrayal of Mexico as the Athenian Republic, with serapes in place of togas. Why would you police a border against such people?

Since late 2006, some 100,000 Mexicans have been killed in drug-related homicides and an additional 22,000 have gone missing. While drug-related homicides appear to have declined in the past two years, other crimes such as extortion and kidnapping have risen.

That’s almost the population of Hartford, CT murdered or missing in eight years. Not my cup of tequila.

Comments

Sensational Headline Watch

I get it that the rest of you don’t share my fascination with the scandalous events down Mexico way. I didn’t care either until Obama tried to describe that dangerously lawless land as some sort of sun-soaked Swiss canton, and dismissed media reports of cartel killings and corruption as “sensational headlines”.

I said dangerous and I mean dangerous. Not just Mexico, but Obama too.

Can you believe this [bleep]?

What do the September disappearance of 43 university students from the custody of local police in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, and new allegations of federal corruption in the awarding of public infrastructure contracts have in common? Answer: They both show that Mexico still has a huge problem enforcing the rule of law.

Until now the president has been able to ignore Mexico’s legendary lawlessness. He has been riding an international wave of excitement around the opening of the energy sector, with few questions asked. But unless he wants to make common cause with the hard left—which thinks it has him on the ropes because of the missing students—he needs to admit his mistakes, purge his cabinet and make the rule of law job No. 1.

The rule of law? In Mexico? It would be easier to wrap my head around string theory than to comprehend such a reality.

To show that Mexico is committed to ending impunity and to improving public security, the president should use his influence to push for the full implementation of the new criminal code mandating that all federal and state judicial systems move, by 2016, to the oral accusatorial system, away from Mexico’s traditional written, inquisitional system.

Monterrey lawyer Ernesto Canales founded the civic group Renace (Spanish for “rebirth”) in 1994 to work for this reform in his home state of Nuevo León. In an interview in New York in the spring he told me that the change will “mean an increase in substance over formality in public trials and an increase in transparency. It will also raise the odds that judges actually know what’s going on in their courtrooms.”

Sounds important. Yet congressional approval of the federal regulations necessary to complete the reform is moving at a glacial pace, and the judiciary is in no hurry to comply. Many of the 32 states have yet to make the transition.

Everyone knows why: The oral system will challenge the traditional use of the criminal-justice system as a profit center for the state. In that tradition the accused can either pay or do time. Culpability is beside the point, and there is no need for competitive police salaries, forensics or transparent protocols to ensure accountability and communication among municipal, state and federal authorities.

Simply put, everything in Mexican justice (again with the incomprehensible concepts!) is available for purchase, from a speeding ticket to charges of multi-billion dollar international drug smuggling.

And all Obama saw fit to mention was Frida Kahlo and Octavio Paz.

Mexico may be dangerous, but is anything more dangerous than a “raging narcissist” (HT Pat Caddell) who believes anything he says, simply because he’s the one saying it?

Understand me: it’s not about Mexico; it’s about Obama. And it’s bad news.

Comments

Where’s Their Hashtag?

#bringbackourburnedanddecomposedstudents

The 43 Mexican students who disappeared in southern Mexico in September were abducted by police on order of a local mayor, and are believed to have been turned over to a gang that killed them and burned their bodies before throwing some remains in a river, the nation’s attorney general said Friday.

That’s quite a mouthful right there.

This is the conclusion that investigators have reached, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said, though he cautioned that it cannot be known with certainty until DNA tests confirm the identities.

This will be a challenge, he said, as the badly burned fragments make it difficult to extract DNA.

“I have to identify, to do everything in my power, to identify, to know if these were the students,” Murillo said.

You may wonder why there would be any doubt. Is Mexico so riddled with dead bodies that they can’t tell their atrocities apart?

Yes. It is:

The initial shock of the police rampage that day had barely set in when the attorney general for the state of Guerrero, Iñaky Blanco Cabrera, announced that over the weekend investigators had exhumed the contents of six mass graves discovered on a densely wooded parcel of land outside of Iguala. The assumption was that the abducted students might be among the cadavers. The initial body count was estimated at 28, but subsequent reports raised the estimate to 34.

Now the Mexican Federal Government has taken note. A cordon of about 200 Mexican Army soldiers, Marines and Federal Police stood guard as the bodies were exhumed from a hilly stretch of nearly inaccessible woodland known as Pueblo Viejo. The bodies had been piled onto dry branches and logs, doused in gasoline, and set afire. DNA testing is underway to identity the cadavers, which at the time of discovery were burned beyond recognition. But four members of a drug cartel known as Guerreros Unidos that operates in Iguala, who are currently in police custody, told investigators that they knew of 17 student activists transported to the killing ground of Pueblo Viejo.

This may have been the fate of some of the students. The rest sleep with the fishes:

The suspects told police they don’t remember exactly how many people they killed, but they were told by their leaders that there were more than 40, Murillo said.

The abducted men were then burned at the dump in a fire that was kept alive for at least 14 hours by adding diesel fuel, tires and debris, the attorney general said.

The next day, the gang members were ordered to further break up the remains and place them in black garbage bags that were tossed into the San Juan River, Murillo said.

Scuba divers searched the river and found pieces of the bags and remains. One bag was found intact, with human remains inside, the attorney general said.

Really, BTL, is this necessary? Must we know the gruesome and ghastly details of a drug cartel mass murder?

Well, I think you do. Otherwise, you’d believe this:

It is wonderful to be back in México — lindo y querido. (Applause.)

And it’s an honor to be back in Mexico City — one of the world’s great cities. Es un placer estar entre amigos. (Applause.)

In modern times, Mexico’s blend of cultures and traditions found its expression in the murals of Rivera and the paintings of Frida, and the poetry of Sor Juana and the essays of Octavio Paz. [And the charred cadavers of students? ed]

Some Americans only see the Mexico that is depicted in sensational headlines of violence and border crossings.

Thus was born my lengthy series of posts under the title Sensation Headline Watch. Some of you may remember them.

My point then and now wasn’t to wallow in the lurid, blood-spattered, fly-swarmed mess that is Mexico in “modern times”. Anyone can see that. My point was—and is—to warn that Obama is so dishonest, so deceiving (not least self deceiving), that he would try to portray the corpse flower that is today’s Mexico as a rose in June. He might even believe it, as he might even believe anything he says (“without a Negro dialect unless he wants to have one” ©Harry Reid).

Mexico may be fighting back against the drug cartels that so brutally rule so much of its territory. It may be punishing the corruption that runs through every level of its government. It may mean well.

But it is still, well, mean. Millions of Mexicans may long for peace and prosperity, may yearn to have the time (and literacy) to read the essays of Octavio Paz. But as long as the government and organized crime are two sides of the same peso, Mexico is a hot zone—one to be avoided and quarantined as Sierra Leone, which it so closely resembles.

PS: That Mexico is not quarantined is made obvious by the reports of cartel activity across the United States.

Comments

Glad He’s Okay!

Boy, haven’t we all been there!

Councilman Marion Barry, the former mayor of D.C., was spotted driving the wrong way down Pennsylvania Avenue before colliding with another car, MyFoxDC reported.

According to a spokesperson, Barry had a hypoglycemic attack as a result of his diabetes, and was taken to a local hospital. The spokesperson said he did not black out before the accident.

Just after 11:30 p.m., Barry tweeted, “Just want to let everyone know that I’m fine. I had a hypoglycemic attack (low sugar) & had a minor fender bender. Everyone is ok. :).” A short time later, he tweeted, “Thank you everyone for the calls and well-wishes. I thank God for his grace, @HowardU, @dcfireems, family and friends. Much love, MB.”

Barry struggled with addiction while serving as mayor and served six months in prison after he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine.

What are you insinuating? Can’t a man have an innocent attack of low blood sugar without people jumping to conclusions? Let he who has never driven the wrong way down a major thoroughfare and then crashed into another car cast the first stone.

And if you think that’s inappropriate:

The accident was the second recent driving mishap for the Barry family.

Marion Barry’s only son was arrested last week after he was caught driving on a revoked license.

Christopher Barry, 34, has had several recent brushes with the law, including an arrest in May near the White House for driving under the influence of drugs. His license had already been revoked, and he was ordered not to drive until further notice.

Court documents show he was caught driving again on Wednesday and arrested. The documents show he was also in possession of synthetic marijuana.

On Thursday, D.C. Superior Court Judge Karen Howze ordered Christopher Barry jailed until a hearing on Aug. 7.

So? What does that have to do with “hypoglycemia”?

Comments

Something Happened

And somebody did it. Beyond that, who knows?

On Thursday morning between midnight and 6 a.m. at least one Mexican military helicopter crossed eight miles into the United States and shot at Border Patrol agents with lethal force before returning to Mexican territory. The incident occurred in an area notorious for violent drug cartel activity just west of the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation during a Border Patrol drug interdiction operation. The timing and location of the incident has prompted agents to believe the use of the helicopter by the Mexican military may have been on behalf of drug cartels operating in the area.

“Mexican military are oftentimes working hand in glove with the cartels. The Mexican military has routinely crossed the border in areas that Border Patrol agents are actively tracking or seizing drug loads. Inevitably the Mexican military claim they got lost, that the border was not clearly marked, or in extreme cases fire on agents to cover their retreat,” National Border Patrol Council Spokesman Shawn Moran exclusively tells Townhall. “Ajo, AZ Border Patrol agents have had several incidents like this over the years where they have taken shots from the Mexican military. The cartels’ resources are nearly limitless and it would not surprise me if they “rented” the cover by the Mexican military helicopter in this incident.”

A Border Patrol agent stationed in Arizona, who asked to remain anonymous, backed up Moran’s statements saying the Mexican military regularly works with cartels on the border and has been doing so for years.

That’s one way of telling it. Here’s another:

Tomas Zeron, director of the Mexican attorney general’s investigative office, offered a different story Friday.

While acknowledging Mexican authorities were conducting an operation “on the border,” Zeron said, “I do not think we crossed the border because we brought our navigation. But it was just 100 meters from the border.”

He said helicopters from the attorney general’s office and defense ministry “were shot at by criminals,” several of whom were later apprehended by Mexican authorities.

“The only ones doing the shooting were those that we have now detained,” Zeron said.

The first U.S. source said that Mexican authorities have called U.S. authorities and acknowledged a mistake, saying shots were fired from the helicopter after it accidentally crossed the border.

But Zeron gave no indication that any mistake was made or apology was necessary, suggesting that Mexican authorities did nothing wrong.

Hmm. So, who is this National Border Patrol Council? A bunch of white supremacists, militia wackos, and wannabe Klansmen?

Not as such:

The NBPC is a professional labor union representing more than 17,000 Border Patrol Agents and support staff. The NBPC was founded in 1967, and is recognized as one of the most effective labor organizations in the Federal sector. The NBPC’s parent organization is the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO.

No, if you want to label a government union as thugs and vigilantes, you mean the SEIU. These guys sound all right.

Who knows?

Comments

A Federacy of Dunces

It is the nature of organizations and bureaucracies that when they don’t get some things done right, they don’t get anything done right. If they can’t keep the copier full of toner or the phone bills paid, they can’t keep the wheels falling off the cars, or the drug smugglers from the border:

U.S. officials have neglected the rise of drug trafficking and transnational criminal groups in Latin America for so long that the problem has now reached America’s southern border, creating a humanitarian crisis and raising the costs of any U.S. response, a leading U.S lawmaker and experts said on Tuesday.

Rep. Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) that the United States “has been AWOL in the hemisphere all together, not just in the war on drugs.” The most recent indication is the surge in young immigrant children crossing the U.S. border, where between 60,000 and 80,000 children are expected to seek safe haven this year.

“I Iay this at [President Barack Obama’s] doorstep,” Salmon said, pointing to administration policies such as deferred action that offer deportation relief for some undocumented immigrants who arrive as children. “It is because of his failed policies that this is happening.”

Transnational criminal groups have now begun to infiltrate corrupt governments and police forces in Central America and partner with gangs to traffic drugs, such as Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) in El Salvador. Honduras and El Salvador have some of the world’s highest murder rates—largely due to organized crime and gang-related violence.

However, U.S. military resources in the region have declined in recent years due to budget cuts known as sequestration. Marine Gen. John Kelly, head of U.S. Southern Command, told lawmakers at committee hearings earlier this year that he lacks the assets to interdict about three-fourths of “suspected maritime drug smuggling” into America.

“This shows us the lack of priority and focus that our government has given the scourge of drug trafficking right here in our own hemisphere,” Salmon said. “Violence near our shores poses a direct threat to our national security and destabilizes our region.”

I realize that many of the eff-ups of this administration are with problems not originally of their own making: Iraq, the VA system, Guantanamo and the war on terror, drug cartels, etc. all pre-existed Obama’s ascension to the seat of power. But after five and-a-half years in office, you own the nation and the world you have made.

This regime has been all about politics, nothing about power. If you have power and choose not to use it, others will: Al Qaeda, ISIS, China, Russia, MS-13. While we’ve been dic*ing around with ObamaCare, global warming, and equal treatment for shemales confused by their gender identity, those with a less nuanced view of the ways of the world (a 19th century view, as John Kerry once observed) just get on with it. If they want Iraq, Ukraine, some rocky islands in the western Pacific, or even Arizona, USA, they just take it. Who’s going to stop them, Obama? Putin’s still laughing. Assad’s sides still ache.

And as Arizona goes, so goes Ohio:

Sheriff’s detectives in rural northeast Ohio have made the county’s biggest drug seizure ever as part of an investigation that could have ties to Mexican drug cartels.

Investigators in Geauga County, east of Cleveland, raided a home in a secluded neighborhood in Newbury Township last week and seized 6 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 2.2 pounds of black tar heroin, 100 pounds of marijuana and $128,000 in cash.

A sheriff’s department official says deputies arrested four people and that a number of loaded firearms were found during the raid. The official says it’s possible the ring had ties to Mexican drug cartels.

As columnist James Taranto likes to quote: “everything seemingly is spinning out of control”. Because it is. Obama’s chickens have come home to roost.

PS: What’s deliciously ironic about this story is that Obama has been telling us for months what an awesome country Mexico is behind those nasty “sensational headlines” of decapitated bodies and mass graves. Today, Nogales; tomorrow, Nebraska.

Comments

It’s a Miracle!

Jesus turned water into wine.

But I’d like to see the righteous dude try this!

The Palestinian Authority continues to disseminate a modern form of blood libel against Israel – by claiming that Israel deliberately distributes drugs to harm Palestinian Arab society.

Adnan Al-Damiri, the official spokesman of the PA Security Forces, reiterated this libel in February, stating that Israel “has spit up and vomited a shocking amount of drugs onto our land,” according to Palestinian Media Watch.

He explained that the PA had even seized a lab “turning marijuana into heroin.”

Imagine your young Arab ne’er-do-well sparking up a blunt to get his mellow on, only to find himself passed out in his own vomit because it was smack, not weed. I hate when that happens!

I would say that the Arab propagandist needs to stop his racial incitement, but what he really needs to do is read up on botany. The big dummy.

Comments

Hearts and Minds

I always thought that was an expression. Not a menu.

Ever eager to lear how President Obama thinks, I follow up on his claims and assertions to see how they stand up to… what is the word?

Reality.

The shooting deaths of seven men near the Mexico-Arizona border dramatize what appears to be an escalating use of the once-calm stretch of border as a drug trafficking corridor.

The seven men apparently were ambushed by rival drug traffickers in a rural area near Sonoyta, Mexico, close to the U.S. border crossing at Lukeville, Arizona, and their bodies were found inside a pickup truck Wednesday night, a day after the killings.

Authorities said Thursday that an eighth man was found wounded on a hill, and he told state police the victims had just dropped off marijuana when gunmen opened fire with automatic rifles on their pickup truck.

Well, that’ll happen sometimes.

This is a little unusual (I hope):

New members of a Mexican drug cartel were reportedly forced to eat children’s hearts as part of their initiation, according to authorities.

Details of the rituals were discovered by officials investigating an organ trafficking ring allegedly run by the infamous Knights Templar cartel.

The group’s leader Nazario Moreno, who was shot dead by police in March, allegedly ordered that recruits prove their loyalty through an act of cannibalism, the International Business Times reported.

“At [an] initiation ceremony they used the organs, in this case the heart, and forced people going through this initiatory process to eat it,” Alfredo Castillo, the federal government’s envoy to Michoacan, told a local radio station.

The majority of the hearts came from local children who had been kidnapped for organ trafficking purposes, authorities believe.

Waste not, want not!

I guess smuggling works up an appetite:

California has become the nation’s top entry for methamphetamine coming into the country, with over 70 percent of the U.S. supply of the drug being brought across the border into the Golden State by Mexican drug cartels, a new report states.

“The harm done by transnational criminal organizations to communities all across California is hard to overstate,” the report states. “Not only do these organizations threaten public health by driving the supply and distribution of harmful narcotics, but their alliances with violent prison and street gangs have sparked a rash of violence in a period of otherwise declining criminal activity.”

You know another word for “criminal activity”?

Crime:

The Sinaloa Cartel, headquartered on Mexico’s northern Pacific Coast, is constantly exploring new ways to launder its gargantuan profits. The State Department reports that Mexican trafficking organizations earn between $19 and $29 billion every year from selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines on the streets of American cities.

“It’s very important for them to get that money into the banking system and do so with as little scrutiny as possible,” says Jim Hayes, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations for the New York office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. He was lead agent in the 2012 case that revealed how Sinaloa money men used HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, as their private vault.

The bank ignored basic anti-money laundering controls, as the investigation found. In 2007 and 2008, the bank’s personnel in Mexico wired $7 billion dollars to corresponding U.S. dollar accounts in New York. These were more dollars than even larger Mexican banks wired to U.S. accounts. ICE says some of it was drug proceeds.

A U.S. Border Shelter That Attracts Asylum Seekers Far And Wide
Yet no red flags were raised because of what a bank official later described as, a “lack of a compliance culture” in the Mexico affiliate, according to the Senate report.

We’ll comply mañana.

But President Obama said Mexico was getting better! That it was practically Swiss in its devotion to the rule of law.

President Obama say a lot of [bleep]:

Little has improved in Mexico’s security since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in 2012, even with the arrest of the nation’s biggest drug kingpin and a government committed to improving the rule-of-law, some Mexican executives say.

Rogelio Velez, chief operating officer at railroad operator Ferrocarril Mexicano SA, said his company has spent 2.2 percent of its income in 2012 and 2013 to protect the company. Samantha Ricciardi, Mexico’s country head at BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, agreed that violence has remained at elevated levels and investors in the automotive hub of Queretaro state are concerned about safety.

Pena Nieto in his 2012 inaugural address vowed to reduce crime in Latin America’s second-biggest economy and shift Mexico’s focus away from the drug violence that has left more than 92,000 people dead or missing since 2006. While he captured drug cartel leaders including Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the world’s most-wanted criminal, kidnappings and extortions have increased under his watch.

“Basically we’re in the same place as before,” Ferromex’s Velez said today at the Bloomberg Mexico Economic Summit in Mexico City. “We haven’t been able to see in our numbers a security improvement.”

Them’s some pretty “sensational headlines”, don’t you think?

Comments

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »