Archive for Mexico

Well, Furious Anyway

You never forget your first “smidgen of corruption”:

In light of a federal judge denying a request from the Department of Justice to delay the release of a long-sought after Fast and Furious document list, the sister of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Kelly Terry-Willis, doesn’t find the timing of Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation to be a coincidence.

“I do not find it a coincidence that Eric Holder chose now to resign after Judge Bates denied the request from the DOJ to delay the release of the Fast and Furious documents. I personally think Eric Holder was really hoping that the documents would never be made public to my family and the American people,” Terry-Willis tells Townhall. “Will we ever get the accountability for my brother, Brian, Jaime Zapata and every other person who lost their lives to the guns from this horrific scandal? I don’t know, but I have a serious gut feeling when we finally see what is in those documents….the dynamics of this investigation are going to change and hopefully the people involved are brought to justice. Eric Holder can run, but there will be no hiding. The truth always reveals itself.”

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed on December 14, 2010 by illegal Mexican nationals working for cartels in Arizona’s Peck Canyon. The weapons left at Terry’s murder scene were part of Operation Fast and Furious, a Department of Justice program that involved ATF agents knowingly allowing and facilitating the illegal trafficking of 2500 weapons from the United States into Mexico for use by narco-terrorists. Hundreds of people in Mexico have been killed as a result of the program. In June 2012, Attorney General Holder was held in civil and criminal contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate and produce documents sought in the congressional investigation of the fatal operation. Thousands of documents related to the investigation have still not be released.

I saw elsewhere that Holder is resigning after a health scare. In February. The F&F theory fits a lot better. But that may just be my wish-fulfillment talking.

F&F may have seemed a little far-fetched in the early days of this regime, but now it sounds like standard operating procedure.

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Life, Liberty, and Fence-Jumping

Obama invents a new “right”:

“Hope is what gives young people the strength to march for women’s rights, and worker’s rights, and civil rights, and voting rights, and gay rights and immigration rights,” Obama told union supporters gathered Sept. 1 in Milwaukee, Wisc.

What does that even mean?

That “immigration rights” phrase “implies that some people have the right to move here,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center of Immigration Studies.

Krikorian’s response was echoed — in a progressive format — by David Leopold, an immigration lawyer and the former general counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Obama’s “’Immigration rights’ [phrase] carries with it political, social and cultural significance while [the familiar term] ‘immigrants’ rights’ is a more direct reference to redress of rights through the courts,” said Leopold.

“Obama’s statement is significant because if he truly views “immigration rights” with the same reverence as he does ‘civil rights’ he can neither politically nor morally justify further delay in the use of his lawful authority to make the immigration system work better until Congress acts,” he said.

Keep your pants on, shyster. The only thing Obama views with “reverence” is a mirror. It was a throwaway line, another piece of low-hanging fruit (and no, that’s not swipe at gay rights). He may well grant amnesty to millions and take out all border fences with drone strikes, but he won’t do it out of “reverence”.

If Obama is the most cynical operative in the illegal immigration mess, these folks run a close second:

EL PASO — With recent waves of Central Americans seeking to reach the U.S., human smuggling along the Texas border has, at least for the moment, become more lucrative than smuggling illicit drugs for criminal organizations such as the Gulf and Zetas cartels, according to two U.S. intelligence officials.

U.S. agents tracking the money flow as part of the anti-smuggling Operation Coyote say that in just over six months, human smuggling has generated nearly $50 million, mostly in the area around the Mexican border city of Reynosa. The revenue has helped sustain the Gulf cartel during a bloody internal split, the officials said. Some factions of the Gulf cartel are now working with the Sinaloa cartel, they said, and another faction has joined forces with the Zetas, increasing violence and making the situation along the border more perilous.

“I’m not suggesting that the cartels have abandoned their drug-smuggling activities,” said Oscar Hagelsieb, assistant special agent-in-charge of Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso. “But with all the money to be made in human smuggling, they clamped their claws into it as well. Big time.”

Imagine that, someone so low, so depraved, to pray upon the most vulnerable, to trade their misery for material gain. And the cartels ain’t much better.

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Fast & Furious & Fuc*ed

Move over, Benghazi. Step aside, Lois Lerner. Take a seat, HeathCare.gov.

We have a new scandal in town.

Actually, an old scandal:

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking scandal, opening a new front in a controversy that has dogged President Obama’s administration since 2010.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave the department until Oct. 1 to hand the documents over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been probing the issue for almost four years, according to the Associated Press.

The administration has previously declined to turn over the documents, and the president has invoked executive privilege to keep them confidential. The standoff even led the Republican-led House to vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in 2012.

Lawmakers on the House Oversight panel said the new documents could shed some light on why it took the Justice Department nearly a year to acknowledge that federal agents took part in gunwalking.

Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the documents requested “will bring us closer to finding out why the Justice Department hid behind false denials in the wake of reckless conduct that contributed to the violent deaths of border patrol agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens.”

The part I cut out was CBS News reminding readers what Fast & Furious actually was. I didn’t think our readers had forgotten, but CBS’s low-information readers need to be reminded that the Most Transparent™, Scandal-Free© Administration Evah (Pat. Pend.) is dirty right up to its eyeballs. Eric Holder needs to spend less time prejudging in Ferguson, MO, and more time photocopying documents in DC.

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Is Mexico Moving Here?

Or are we moving to Mexico?

Mexican authorities are still unraveling the horrors allegedly committed on nearly 500 children sheltered at “La Gran Familia” refuge in the southwestern state of Michoacan.

At The Big Family shelter, scores of children — some as young as two months old — were denied visits from their parents, virtually imprisoned in vermin-infested quarters and routinely subjected to physical, psychological and sexual abuse, authorities said.

Authorities raided the sprawling, squalid shelter in the city of Zamora Tuesday after a number of parents complained about being denied access to their children, Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karan told reporters.

“We found close to 500 children in truly deplorable conditions,” Murillo said.

Victims told investigators that children were routinely forced to beg for money on the streets, eat unsanitary food and sleep on hard floors crawling with rats and roaches, Murillo said. It was not clear from Mexican authorities how so many children — along with some adults — came to be at the shelter.

“This is truly upsetting,” Michoacan governor Salvador Jara Guerrero told reporters. “We did not expect to find such conditions… We must not allow these things to occur — not in Michoacan, not in the republic.”

That’s right. Leave that nonsense to Arizona and Texas.

But then, this is just another day down Mexico way:

How a Mexican Cartel Demolished a Town, Incinerated Hundreds of Victims, and Got Away With It

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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?

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Ya Somos Todos Mejicanos

Tijuana comes to Texas:

Researchers have discovered a series of mass graves filled with the remains of unidentified migrants in a South Texas cemetery.

The researchers exhumed bodies that had been buried by the Funeraria del Angel Howard-Williams funeral home from 52 plots in the Brooks County-owned Sacred Heart Burial Park Falfurrias. One plot contained three bodies stuffed inside a single body bag, another had at least five people in body bags and other small plastic garbage bags. Other plots contained skulls and skeletal remains in biohazard bags.

The total number of people buried was unclear because the remains had been intermingled.

“I was pretty upset at the end, because this isn’t the way to be interred,” Baylor University anthropologist Lori Baker told the Los Angeles Times. “The idea that all along the border there are these people buried anonymously is horrible. This isn’t even the worst we’ve seen and it has to stop.”

Brooks County Judge Raul Ramirez told the Corpus Christi Caller Times that for 16 years the county had been paying the funeral home to take care of bodies after sheriff’s officials recovered them.

A spokeswoman for Service Corporation International, owner of the funeral home, told The Times in an emailed statement: “No matter if this is one of our client families we serve on a traditional basis or a migrant family’s loved one we’re serving, and we don’t have any identification of the loved one, I do want to let you know it is our policy to treat the decedent with care, to treat them just like we would treat anyone else.”

Or not.

But let’s be real. The fled a country filled with mass graves, and died trying. So…

Because the county is 70 miles from the border, it doesn’t receive federal funding to help with immigration issues.

“They’re so overworked,” Baker said. “Trying to keep people alive who are in distress is the county’s No. 1 priority, so they haven’t been able to make the remains one.”

I’d say that’s right. Save the living, lament the dead. And move on.

PS: Still think border jumping is a noble pursuit…? I thought you might.

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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.

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What the Heck is Going on in Arizona?

Dead vets, smuggled children: Obama happens.

Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen called out the Obama administration for aiding and abetting felonies. And a former lawmaker wrote that the decision shows how the White House is rolling out the welcome mat for human traffickers.

As many as 80,000 children, many traveling with human traffickers but without their parents, are expected to cross the southern U.S. border illegally in 2014.

He wrote in the case of a 10-year-old Salvadoran girl smuggled in the the United States that the Department of Homeland security is essentially ‘delivering the minors to the custody of the parent illegally living in the United States’ – even when Border Patrol agents arrest the ‘coyotes’ who sneak them in.

‘These actions are both dangerous and unconscionable,’ Hanen wrote.

‘The DHS has simply chosen not to enforce the United States’ border security laws.’

‘This is a crisis of the federal government’s creation,’ Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement, ‘and the fact that the border remains unsecure – now apparently intentionally – while this operation continues full-steam ahead is deplorable.’

‘Judge Hanen’s order is a must-read for everyone trying to understand the roots of today’s “humanitarian crisis” of children being smuggled into the U.S.,’ he added.

‘When more people learn the truth, they will hold President Obama accountable [for] … creating human tragedy and suffering.’

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican whose state is housing hundreds of illegal immigrant children in a makeshift holding facility in the town of Nogales, told MailOnline that Hanen ‘issued an astute, neutral and accurate decision on the gross incompetence and potential illegal activities engaged in by the federal government.’

‘When I first learned that the federal government was opening the Texas border and allowing thousands of illegal aliens into the country, and then transporting them across state lines only to abandon them destitute, homeless and dependent, I believed then this constituted a felony – alien smuggling and human trafficking,’ Gosar explained in an email.

‘Judge Hanen agrees … finding that the DHS has in fact been a criminal participant in human trafficking.’

[DHS] is ‘completing the criminal mission of individuals who are violating the border security of the United States.’

Those criminal missions include drug-smuggling plots: Mexican and South American narcotics cartels control much of the human trafficking, using both the coyotes and their immigrant cargo as drug mules during crossings.

‘The irony, says Istook, ‘is that the White House claims the children are fleeing the dangers of organized crime in Central America – the very organized crime being trusted and paid to transport them to the U.S.

President Obama, he claims, ‘denounces the situation as a “humanitarian crisis” as though he were not a perpetrator in creating it.’

I think we’ve distilled Obama to his essence. He denounces unemployment while making it worse; claims to be all over of the VA crisis as a senator, yet ignorant of it as president; poses as the hope of young people and black people, as prospects for both have never been bleaker; stands as the guardian of people “living in the shadows”, while cramming more criminal alien kids into a car trunk than circus clowns in a Volkswagon.

Obama is a human trafficker for the same reason the “coyotes” and drug runners are: alien kids are useful. But isn’t slave trading something like a high crime or misdemeanor?

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¡Bienvenidos a los Estados Unidos! When Are You Due?

I think illegal immigration is a terrible idea for the country and for the criminal aliens themselvesand I’m the a-hole?

As a priest in the town of Altar, near the Arizona border, the Rev. Prisciliano Pedraza sees migrants stocking up on supplies such as food, water and medicine for treacherous treks through the desert.

But he sees female migrants stocking up on something else: contraceptives, which they take preventatively to protect themselves against sexual violence all too common as they make the journey through Mexico to the United States.

“The women passing through here know that they’re going to be raped,” said Father Pedraza, director of a shelter for migrants in Altar.

“Migrants are a vulnerable group, and the most vulnerable among them are women.”

How is it that our political leadership—Democrat and Republican—see this as a good thing? These people are extorted for the “privilege” of fording rivers and traversing deserts, and if they are fortunate enough to make it to US territory they face an “undocumented” life “in the shadows,” during which they will break a succession of laws. Pardon me, if I think this should be discouraged.

Thousands of Central Americans travel through Mexico every year attempting to reach the United States. But because they make the trip illegally, they are vulnerable to kidnappings, extortion and robbery – with organized criminal groups such as Los Zetas often acting in cahoots with law enforcement authorities.

A network of shelters for migrants stretches the length of Mexico – with most run by Catholic priests and religious, who report being queried about contraceptives by women arriving as guests.

“They’ll arrive at the shelters and ask the priests or people that work there” about buying contraceptives, says Alberto Xicotencatl, director of the diocesan-run migrant shelter in Saltillo, 195 miles from the Texas border at Nuevo Laredo.

Note how these poor women do not demand contraceptives and abortifacients be supplied to them by Catholic institutions. Pay attention, Sandra Fluke.

But women are less likely than men to stay at migrant shelters, which are often established near railway lines and frequented by Central Americans stealing rides on northbound trains known as “La Bestia,” or, “The Beast” – so named for the way it maims migrants who fall on the tracks and lose limbs.

Women attempt to avoid La Bestia, which organized crime now charges $100 to climb aboard, according to Xicotencatl. Criminal groups also prey on migrants while they wait in railway yards for trains to arrive.

Our politicians are fond of telling us that our immigrations system is broken. They don’t know the half of it.

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Down Mexico Way

You know, like Maryland:

U.S. sheriffs are alarmed that securing the U.S. – Mexico border is no longer a concern for the law enforcement agencies near the boundary, with Mexico drug cartels infiltrating cities and towns across the country trading in human trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping and money laundering.

Sam Page – sheriff of Rockingham County in North Carolina, who oversees 94,000 residents – told The Washington Times that a Mexican cartel set up a drug warehouse one mile from his home.

He estimates hat cartels have infiltrated more than 3,000 U.S. cities and are recruiting local gangs, former prisoners and teenagers to join them.

‘If we fail to secure our borders, then every sheriff in America will become a border sheriff,’ he told The Times.

‘We’re only a two-day drive from the border and have already seen the death and violence that illegal crossings brings into our community.

‘These men are coming into our county with more firepower than I have. I’m literally outgunned.’

Since entering into an agreement with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in early 2008, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has detained 1,250 illegal immigrants, 50 of whom have had connections to Mexican drug cartels and organized crime, Sheriff Jenkins said.

‘The success of the program is not in the numbers – it’s who is actually getting arrested,’ he said.

‘Do I want Mexican gang members on the streets of Frederick County? Hell no.’

This ought to unite people to action, right?

Right…

Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said such programs waste federal money and are discriminatory.

‘The idea of deputizing local sheriffs as front-line immigration reformers is a catastrophic mistake,’ said Chris Newman, the network’s general counsel.

‘It distracts attention, chills people from reporting crime, encourages racial profiling and leads to the unconstitutional arrest and detainment of illegal immigrants.’

Isn’t it the job of local sheriffs to arrest people breaking the law? How can any such “detainment” be unconstitutional? Indeed, how does the US Constitution apply to Mexican nationals—especially those here illegally, especially those “trading in human trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping and money laundering”—at all?

Readers know my obsession with this particular Obama lie. Not once but twice has he flapped his gums to portray Mexico as Switzerland with chipotle. Among his myriad lies, this one is a lie not of opportunity (like his ObamaCare lies), but a lie of fancy. He doesn’t gain anything by quoting such Mexican luminaries as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Octavio Paz, and… uh…Octavio Paz. He just likes to. There’s nothing wrong with Mexico, he asserts, that fewer “sensational headlines” couldn’t fix.

So, why does he do it? Why try to portray Mexico in terms opposite of the facts of this sensational headline?

Drug cartel internal feud leaves 28 dead in Mexico

That was last week.

But of course the answer is easy. The “day laborer” activists quoted above tell us all we need to know. Obama flatters Mexico not to flatter Mexicans, but to flatter Mexicans (and Guatemalans, and Salvadorans, etc.) here illegally. When we lost our health care plans and our doctors, who but a few late-stage cancer patients was harmed (all of whom were liars anyway, according to Harry Reid)? At the very least, prostitutes and kidnapping victims have been harmed by this Obama lie. Where are their support groups and advocates?

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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?

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Higados y Riñones

Regular readers know my interest in (more like obsession with) Mexican affairs since our president visited there last May. He described Mexico as a stable, cultured land of peaceful and literate happy people. Obama dismissed stories of drug cartel violence and political corruption as mere “sensational headlines”. That spawned my series of posts under the standing headline “Sensational Headline Watch”, detailing story after story of depravity, savagery, inhumanity—on our southern border.

Then Obama went back last month and pretty much repeated himself:

If you think about North America, to have three borders this long in which we share a common set of values, a common set of principles, a commitment to democracy, a commitment to free markets, a commitment to trade where we are allies and interact peacefully, that is a precious gift. And it’s one that I think all three of us are committed to building and nurturing for future generations.

How stupid does he think we are? This stupid:

Police in Mexico’s western state of Michoacan detained an alleged member of the Knights Templar cartel who is suspected of kidnapping children to harvest their organs, an official said on Monday.

Michoacan state Public Safety Secretary Carlos Castellanos Becerra alleged that Manuel Plancarte Gaspar was part of the cartel’s organ-trafficking ring.

The ring would kidnap children and take them to rented homes with medical equipment where their organs were removed, Castellanos Becerra charged.

A leader of one of the local vigilante groups that sprang up last year in Michoacan to challenge the cartel’s control told a radio station after hearing about the tweet that people in the area knew the Knights Templar gang was involved in organ trafficking because several children had been rescued in his town while being transported in a refrigerated container inside a van.

‘They were inside a refrigerated box, tightly wrapped in blankets,’ Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles, leader of the civilian ‘self-defense’ group in Tepalcatepec, said in a morning interview with MVS radio.

Mexican authorities have said drug trafficking is no longer the top source of income for the Knights Templar, which was once a top producer of crystal meth.

The officials say the cartel’s main sources of income are illegal mining, illegal logging and extortion.

What would Diego Rivera say, Mr. President?

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