Archive for the ‘corruption’ Category

Mexico: El Chapo’s buddies tunneled out, too UPDATED

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Not only did he tunnel out, ‘El Chapo’ Ally Tunneled Out Months Before

Nearly 14 months before crime boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped from his maximum-security cell through a tunnel, one of his Sinaloa Cartel lieutenants broke out of another prison in the same way. (emphasis added)

The passage through which Adelmo Niebla González and two underlings busted out of a prison in Culiacán, capital of Sinaloa state, in May 2014 shared many of the same technological and building styles.

Side-by-side

We’re talking about a cartel known for its elaborate tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border, but Mexican authorities put them all on ground-floor because,

“No one can say it was obvious this would have happened,” Mr. Rubido, whose more than three decades included several stints as Mexico’s top spy chief, said of Mr. Guzmán’s escape.

How do you spell c-o-r-r-u-p-t-i-o-n . . .

Hey, how about an open border!

UPDATE
At Breakfast to Talk El Chapo, Drug War Veterans Serve Up Cynicism

Over eggs at a San Antonio café, a reporter listens as former law enforcement officials and one ex-drug cartel operative swap theories about El Chapo’s latest escape and what it says about the U.S. and Mexico

Sinaloa became the McDonald’s of the drug trade. Customers could find its products — cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines — everywhere. Operations ran so smoothly that after Chapo’s arrest in February 2014, many experts predicted that they’d continue to hum along without him. However, hopes ran high in the United States and Mexico that Chapo’s arrest would herald a new era of trust between the two governments. The arrest was seen as a sign that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was serious about ending a long history of government corruption, and that Washington, after some skepticism, could trust him.

Chapo’s latest spectacular escape seems to have put an end to any such illusions.

Argentina: Judge in Cristina’s hotel case, “If I turn up suicided, look for the killer”

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Cristina Fernandez’s son Maximo continues to be investigated:

Máximo Kirchner’s Offices Raided in Hotesur Corruption Case

Argentine federal judge Claudio Bonadio and prosecutor Carlos Stornelliordered a raid on the offices of Presidential son and La Cámpora leader, Máximo Kirchner, Monday, seeking accounting information as part of the ongoing Hotesur K-money laundering and corruption case.

. . .

The raid itself represented the execution of Judge Bonadio’s “procedural orders” seeking information about 35 separate companies with ties to the Kirchner family and its business interests, specifically including “banks and companies” associated with K-businessman Lázaro Báez – the number one recipient of public works contracts during the Kirchner administration. Báez is a business partner of President Kirchner, and the former administrator of her largest hotel, Alto Calafate.

Judge Bonadio was about to start reviewing the evidence retrieved during the raid, when he was removed from the case by two other judges.

As you may recall, peronistas were calling for Bonadio’s impeachment last year.

You can tell that Judge Bonadio’s under pressure that he’s come out saying, Si aparezco suicidado, busquen al asesino; no es mi estilo“. If I turn up suicided, look for the killer; it’s not my style.

El Chapo’s new song: Gimme shelter

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

BREAKING: Joaquin “#ElChapo” Guzman Offers $10 Million To Any U.S. Citizen Who Provides Shelter For Him

“It’s time for us to ban together to protect El Chapo. It’s important for our people to remain strong through the American media disrespecting our people and culture. El Chapo’s escape from prison was on the first step to our rise as Mexican people.

The Sinaloa Cartel, with permission from El Chapo, is offering $15 Million Dollars to any Mexican-American willing to provide a safe haven for El Chapo. We will give $10 Million Dollars to any other American person willing to assist El Chapo, and $7 Million Dollars to anyone who can successfully get El Chapo across the Mexican-American border without detection. Send this message to everyone affiliated.”

Interesting nationalistic wording (“El Chapo’s escape from prison was on the first step to our rise as Mexican people“) aside, the announcement leads to conjecture on what factors may be behind it:

  • El Chapo’s already in the U.S. and the announcement is a red herring
  • El Chapo’s US$10 million offer counters the Mexican government’s 60 million pesos  reward (almost US$4 million) to show who’s boss
  • The person(s) running top day-to-day operations are not too willing to relinquish their positions of power
  • Competing cartels (Zetas, Nueva Generación, etc.) may not want him back in action and be heating things up enough to make him/his organization want to get him out of the country
  • El Chapo may have decided to move closer to where the consumer is
  • Mexican authorities may have abetted his escape on the condition that he leave the country

None of these are mutually exclusive.

Plus, of course,

there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

Sing it, Mick!

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Mexico’s El Chapo: “Guilty as sin, free as a bird.”

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Mexico’s El Chapo: “Guilty as sin, free as a bird.” Odds are he will remain out.

Related:
I was in Willie Lawson’s podcast, and in Silvio Canto‘s podcast, and El Chapo was one of the subjects we talked about.

What does it take to win an ESPY?

Friday, July 17th, 2015

REVEALED: Caitlyn Jenner’s reps ‘demanded ESPYs award in exchange for PR plugs and Diane Sawyer interview’

Argentina: #FIFAarrests in 22 tweets

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Eamonn MacDonagh summarizes it perfectly:

Ecuador: Brazilian prosecutor sides with Chevron

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Paul Barrett reports, Senior Brazilian Official Backs Chevron in Oil Pollution Case
Prosecutor recommends that Brazilian courts reject $9.5 billion Ecuadorian contamination judgment
(emphasis added):

. . . Donziger and his legal team can’t enforce the Ecuadorian judgment in that country, because Chevron has no assets in Ecuador. So the plaintiffs have sought to enforce the verdict in other countries where the oil company does have assets worth billions of dollars.

One of those countries is Brazil. The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice asked the Brazilian Attorney General’s Office for its view of the complicated international case. In a 16-page nonbinding opinion dated May 11, the prosecutor’s office recommended that the Brazilian court reject the Ecuadorian verdict for much the same reasons that the U.S. court found it unenforceable.

The Brazilian Attorney General’s Office cited at length the March 2014 U.S. court ruling and said that the Ecuadorian judgment was thoroughly infected by “corruption.”

Read the whole article.



So many Evitas, so little time . . .

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

In the WSJ,
Notable & Quotable: ‘Evita’“Never been a fund like the Foundation Eva Peron!”

Never been a fund like the Foundation Eva Peron! . . .

And the money kept rolling out in all directions,

To the poor, to the weak, to the destitute of all complexions

Now cynics claim a little of the cash has gone astray

But that’s not the point, my friends.

When the money keeps rolling out, you don’t keep books

You can tell you’ve done well by the happy, grateful looks

Accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way.

Never been a lady loved as much as Eva Peron!

Sing it, Ricky!

Ecuador: Correa thinks Brad bought the wrong book

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Brad Pitt bought the movie rights to Paul Barrett’s book, Law of the Jungle: The $19 Billion Legal Battle Over Oil in the Rain Forest and the Lawyer Who’d Stop at Nothing to Win about fraudster Steven Donziger.

Rafael Correa is not happy:

Ecuador’s president urges Brad Pitt to scrap Amazon oil spill movie
Socialist leader Rafael Correa concerned film will be based on a book he alleges covered up actions of oil giant Chevron

He said: “Now they’ve brought out a book, Law of the Jungle, all paid for by Chevron, in which we look like savages in a country without any separation of powers. If he has any doubts, we invite him to come to Ecuador and scoop up with his hands the oil which still lies in pools 30 years later and which was left by that corrupt oil company Chevron-Texaco, continuing to pollute our forest. Given the clarity of the facts, anybody who signs up to or collaborates with Chevron is an accomplice to that company’s corruption.”

Correa seems to have heeded John Oliver’s advice to stay away from Twitter, but there’s a hashtag all the same – #braddotherightthing.

One with misspellings, complete with photo of Brad’s 2012 trip to Lago Agrio,

One grammatically correct,

Correction:
In my original post, I snarked about Brad Pitt. I reconsidered, and apologize for unduly casting aspersions.



Haiti: Clintons’ scam

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Mary O’Grady:
How the Clintons Worked the Angles in Haiti
Bill handled earthquake aid while Hillary was secretary of state. The nation deserved better.

Within two weeks of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake, the word had already gone out from the State Department that Bill Clinton would be in charge of U.S. reconstruction efforts. “That means,” one individual told me and I reported in a Jan. 25, 2010 column, “if you don’t have Clinton connections, you won’t be in the game.”

The “game,” as my source called it, meant securing hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts from the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development and grants from multilateral institutions like the InterAmerican Development Bank, which gets the bulk of its funding from the U.S.

The Clintons deny that Bill’s power over State’s purse was used to secure donations to the Clinton Foundation. But at least two contributors who gave more than $1 million as I described in a March 9 column, including the InterAmerican Development Bank, benefited from U.S. earthquake aid.

No bid contracts, carte blanche from the Obama administration, Bill handling hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars . . . as Capt. Louis Renault said,