Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Argentina: Los Abandonados, the movie I want to see but can’t find. UPDATE: FOUND!

Thursday, October 1st, 2015


Website: Los Abandonados Movie

Facebook page


Prior post:

Frances Martel writes about a new documentary, Los Abandonados (The Abandoned),

As Americans reflect on months at the negotiating table with Ali Khamenei, the new filmLos Abandonados (“The Abandoned”) demands a deeper look at another Iran deal: the one Argentina made to absolve the perpetrators of the largest terrorist attack in their history.

Part historical account and part spy novel, Los Abandonados tells the story of the death of Alberto Nisman, an Argentine prosecutor who was found dead of a gunshot to the head the day before he was to testify to Congress. He was to accuse President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of making a secret deal with the Iranian government to protect Hezbollah-linked terrorists. The terrorists in question are the orchestrators of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), the worst terror attack in Argentina’s history and the worst attack on the Western Hemisphere prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Readers of this blog know that I’ve been following the Nisman story, so I’m keenly interested in seeing the film.

However, it has no IMDB listing, movie times, or official website that I could find. It does have a YouTube channel.

Any information on where it’s playing will be greatly appreciated.

Mexico: Murders on the rise at the capital

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Would it be unfair to call Mexico a “functional narcostate”? (amongst all its disfunction, that is)

Rise in Violent Crime Shakes Mexico City. Increase in murders in capital stokes fears that brutal drug gangs have grabbed foothold (emphasis added)

The Federal District, home to some nine million of the 20 million inhabitants in the Mexico City metropolitan area, saw homicides rise 21% to 566 in the first eight months of this year, according to Interior Ministry data released last week, putting the capital’s murder rate at its highest level over the same period since 1998.
. . .
The increase in murders in Mexico City has contributed to a nationwide rise in homicide for the first time since President Enrique Peña Nieto took power in late 2012, months after the rate of killings linked to the country’s murderous drug war began to fall.

During the first eight months of this year, murders rose 5% nationwide. August was the fourth consecutive month in which the murder rate increased.

The rising toll is a big challenge for Mr. Peña Nieto, whose administration had trumpeted the decline in murders over the past two years as proof that the government’s security initiatives, such as improved coordination between crime-fighting agencies like the army and federal police, were working.

Raúl Toledo, a security consultant and former city official, said the rise in Mexico City’s crime rate coincides with estimates by local authorities of a 17% increase in drug consumption in the capital over the past three years.

Latin American countries are prone to deny the existence of drug use among their citizenry. Yet it exists.

And of course they also deny the existence of organized crime.

A Mexico City judge has sentenced three men to 520 years in jail each for their roles in the kidnapping and murder of 13 young people two years ago.

Mexico: 1 body identified, 1 suspect in, on #Ayotzinapa investigation

Friday, September 18th, 2015

News breaking this week on the 43 disappeared students:

Mexico Captures Alleged Gang Member Linked to Student Disappearances. Gildardo López Astudillo, nicknamed ‘El Gil,’ said by authorities to have incinerated bodies

Authorities say alleged members of the gang known as Guerreros Unidos testified that Mr. López was in charge of the operation to incinerate the bodies of the 43 students, who were mistaken as members of a rival gang, according to the official investigation.

Guerreros Unidos and rival Los Rojos operate in Guerrero, a center for heroin production. Numerous members of the Guerreros Unidos have been taken into custody and charged. Some of those arrested had originally confessed to the crimes but later recanted, while others have denied any wrongdoing.


Mexico Says More Remains Identified from Student Killings. Government says experts identify second teachers college student from among 43 reported killed in Guerrero

Prosecutors say the students, who had commandeered long-haul passenger buses to travel to Mexico City for a planned demonstration, were mistaken as members of a rival drug gang.

More than 100 people have been detained as part of the investigation and some of them were later charged with various crimes.

The Inter-American group of experts said forensic evidence suggests such a massive fire never took place in the landfill.

Although government officials said they would review the investigation and take into account the Inter-American experts’ report, several senior Mexican prosecutors have defended the initial conclusions.

Ms. Gómez, the Attorney General, said Wednesday that she has ordered the formation of a team of experts to study more than 63,000 fragments of remains recovered from the dump and the river for viable DNA samples, and that experts of the Inter-American group could join that team.

Odds are this will take years to resolve, and it’s very likely the guilty will not serve time

Only 4.5% of reported crimes in Mexico are ever investigated and just 1% ever go before a judge, according to a recent study by Mexico’s National Autonomous University. The criminal conviction rate in Mexico is 1.8%.

Full-length @PPact Planned Parenthood videos

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Without further comment, here are full-length videos of Planned Parenthood activities by the Center For Medical Progress, with transcript:

FULL FOOTAGE: Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts. Transcript:  Lunch meeting with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood Federation of America


FULL FOOTAGE: Second Planned Parenthood Senior Executive Haggles Over Baby Parts Prices. Transcript: Second Planned Parenthood Senior Executive Haggles Over Baby Parts Prices, Changes Abortion Methods


FULL FOOTAGE: Planned Parenthood VP Says Fetuses May Come Out Intact, Agrees Payments. Transcript: Planned Parenthood VP Says Fetuses May Come Out Intact, Agrees Payments Specific to the Specimen


FULL FOOTAGE: Intact Fetuses “Just a Matter of Line Items” for Planned Parenthood TX Mega-Center. Transcript: Intact Fetuses “Just a Matter of Line Items” at Planned Parenthood TX Mega-Center


FULL FOOTAGE: Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Buyer StemExpress Wants “Another 50 Livers/Week”
5. Dinner meeting with Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Partner StemExpress, LLC


FULL FOOTAGE: Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest Dr. Katharine Sheehan. Transcript: Dr. Katharine Sheehan, Medical Director Emerita, Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest


FULL FOOTAGE: PPFA Dr. Carolyn Westhoff. Transcript: Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor, Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Complete list of transcripts here (scroll down).

Center for Medical Progress YouTube Channel.

Argentina: #Nisman could not have shot himself

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Alberto Nisman could not have killed himself, ballistics tests show. The prosecutor investigating Argentina’s worst-ever terrorist attack was shot dead by someone else

In the latest twist to the case, a series of tests carried out in a laboratory in the northern Argentine city of Salta have shown that the gun that killed Nisman would have left traces of gunpowder on the hand that pulled the trigger. Tests done on Nisman’s hands in the days following his death found no such residue.


Viviana Fein, who is leading the investigation into Nisman’s death, said the latest tests cannot be fully accurate because they cannot recreate the crime scene. “We can’t take one piece of proof in an isolated way,” she said.

Knowing on which side her bread is buttered (emphasis added),

The prosecutor said her findings will not be published until after the October general elections, when Mrs Kirchner will have to step down after serving two terms.

Meanwhile, the Money laundering investigation is moving forward at a faster clip.

Mexico: A fifth bus on the Iguala students case

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

42 student teachers have been missing in Mexico for nearly a year.

Authorities had previously identified the remains of 1, out of the 43 students from a rural teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa who traveled to Iguala in four buses.

Now the Discovery of ‘fifth’ bus adds to mystery of Iguala missing students case. OAS says Mexican authorities did not probe key vehicle that may have been carrying heroin

Experts commissioned by the OAS say there was a fifth bus at the scene of the crime and, despite the fact that there were students on it, it was never attacked. Armed police stopped the vehicle and the students ran off into the hills, the report says. Mexican officials considered the vehicle an insubstantial piece of evidence and failed to mention it in their report.

OAS experts now think the fifth bus was in fact an important part of the case. The organization believe that it may have concealed a shipment of heroin, the main drug trafficked in Guerrero, which feeds the United States black market.

The plot thickens while the authorities waffle:

OAS experts say the students probably took the vehicle from the bus terminal to travel to an event in Mexico City commemorating the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre without being aware of the hidden cargo. And that this fact was fully known by those who did not want that bus to make it to the march.

The problem for the commission was that the Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR) had not considered the bus an object of its investigation. Although the bus had been “recorded” in the report, it was given scant consideration.

The article has much more, but one thing remains clear: Somebody – most likely at the PGR- doesn’t want the truth to come out.

In other Mexican drug news, a doctor would lose his license for prescribing medical marihuana.

Venezuela: Well on the road from “malgoverned space” to failed state

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

What makes a “malgoverned space”? According to R. Evan Ellis,

The defining characteristic of a malgoverned space is that the ability of the formal authority
to enforce its laws and regulations, and the possibility of residents to rely on those authorities
and the formal legal system to protect their property and physical well-being there is severely

The Dictionary defines failed state as (emphasis added)

a nation in which the government has lost political authority and control and is unable to fulfill the basic responsibilities of a sovereign state.

Venezuela is now veering on the edge.

For instance (via Instapundit), Livid over crime, some Venezuelans resort to mob justice

The Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV), a non-governmental organization, estimates there were 40 cases in 2014 of lynchings, usually defined as extrajudicial killings by mobs.

The Observatory does not yet have figures for 2015, but a Reuters tally of media reports shows that in the last month alone there have been over a dozen mob-led beatings or lynchings.

Not surprising in a country where Venezuelan Officials Suspected of Turning Country into Global Cocaine Hub. U.S. probe targets No. 2 official Diosdado Cabello, several others, on suspicion of drug trafficking and money laundering.

The government has created a border crisis with Colombia and accusing enemies in Colombia of trying to assassinate him, while

The word is taking its time in condemning the regime abuses on the Colombians it unjustly expels because they are mesmerized by the fact the regime is seriously wanting them to believe that these scared house wives wading dirty water are the cause of all of Venezuela trouble.

The pretext for the border crisis is bachaqueo (arbitrage) which the Venezuelan regime blames on poor Colombians living at the Venezuelan border town,

Bachaqueo is an activity that, until recently, was nothing more than the geographical arbitrage of gasoline. Over the years, Colombia has always had higher gasoline prices, not only because its price has always been at international levels, but also because it imposed higher taxes than Venezuela on it. Meanwhile, on this side of the border, gasoline has always been cheaper at the wholesale level, because Venezuelan politicians have always set the price below international prices. There has always been a feeling that this was some form of “birth right”.

This crisis is manufactured by the Venezuelan regime, in economic and political ways. The WaPo editorial board believes that

Venezuela’s populist government appears headed toward a major defeat in legislative elections scheduled for December, if the vote is free and fair.

I have no reason to believe that the December vote will have any chance at all to be “free and fair” in any meaning of the words, but when it comes to this border crisis,

Sadly, the Organization of American States has proved unable to address this outrage: Venezuela’s allies, including Caribbean countries it has supplied with discounted oil, on Monday blocked a motion to convene a foreign ministers’ meeting on the expulsions. The Obama administration, which has recently pursued a diplomatic dialogue with the Maduro government, has limited itself to a tepid expression of “concern” about the “worsening humanitarian situation.”

Not surprisingly, Venezuela rejects US’ ‘interventionist’ offer to help solve Colombia border crisis.


Mr. Maduro’s go-to boogeyman has been the United States, which he’s accused of working underhandedly to oust him from power. But as relations between Washington and Caracas have marginally improved, Mr. Maduro has chosen to deflect attention from the country’s problems by picking unnecessary fights with his neighbors. Earlier this year, he reignited a long-dormant territorial dispute with Guyana after learning that Exxon Mobil had discovered offshore oil reserves in Guyana’s waters, asserting a right to as much of two thirds of Guyana, a tiny country of roughly 800,000 people.

Maduro is following a long tradition of stoking nationalist fervor, but, as the NYT points out,

Further alienating his neighbors will only deepen Venezuela’s many problems.

And those problems point the country in the direction to failed state.

Brazil: Cunha charged with corruption and money laundering

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Eduardo Cunha, whom the WaPo once referred to as Brazil’s evangelical Frank Underwood has been charged:

On Thursday, Brazilian Attorney General Rodrigo Janot formally charged Eduardo Cunha, Brazil’s highest-ranking lawmaker with commanding a farrago of felonies, including shaking down suppliers of Petrobras, the scandal-ridden national oil company, for some $5 million, and then laundering the bribes through more than 100 financial operations from Montevideo to Monaco.

Mac Margolis explains:

Ever since Cunha won the right to the top microphone in Congress, trouncing Rousseff’s own candidate for the job, the Rio de Janeiro lawmaker has dedicated his mandate to making her life miserable, delaying revenue raising initiatives and planting some “fiscal bombs” in Congress that would plump constituents’ earnings at the expense of the swelling public deficit.

So how do you say schadenfreude in Portuguese? After weeks of escalating rhetoric and street protests clamoring for impeachment, suddenly it’s Rousseff’s archenemy who looks to be on the brink.

But hold those vuvuzelas. While Cunha may be hobbled by the scandal, he’s hardly out of play. Even if the Supreme Court accepts Janot’s indictment and sends Cunha to trial, he has no obligation to step aside. Removing him would take half plus one of the 513 members of Brazil’s lower house, an ecosystem where Cunha is at home.

Cunha is second in line to succeed the president. As Speaker of the lower chamber he controls the legislative agenda and the budget.

As you may recall, Cunha made The Economist last month when he announced that he would defect to the opposition without leaving the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB),

If numbers were all that mattered, the PMDB would be the most powerful party by far. Besides having more seats in Congress than any other, it outguns its main rivals, the PT and the centre-right opposition Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), in state and local governments (see table). The PMDB has 2.4m card-carrying members, more than the PT’s 1.6m.

In Brazil’s Byzantine political environment, the move to charge Cunha may be seen as payback for Cunha’s defection, who in turn may deny approval of Dilma’s (rather weak, if you ask me) proposals to slash government spending, raise taxes and reduce bureaucracy.

More interestingly, the question remains whether Cunha would push to impeach Dilma (as the demonstrators demand), and if he does, will Dilma gather enough congressional support to avoid impeachment – with the help of PMBD members.

Ecuador: Assange to leave London embassy

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Allegations of violent sexual assault against Julian Assange are about to expire under Sweden’s statute of limitations, so he’s already packed his bags,
Julian Assange confirms he is to leave Ecuadorian embassy ‘soon’Speaking after two years’ confinement, the WikiLeaks founder was typically enigmatic, but ‘his bags are packed’

And would he address the reports that he was planning to surrender imminently to police? Assange pointed to Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks’ spokesperson, who was standing at the rear. “I understand [Hrafnsson] has said that he can confirm that I am leaving the embassy soon” – a broad smile – “but perhaps not for the reasons that the Murdoch press and Sky news are saying at the moment.”

Security cost $12million for his 3 year stay.


Mr Assange, who denies the sex claims, fears that he will be extradited on to the US to face charges relating to the huge leaks of sensitive data.

However, according to The Telegraph,

Sweden’s extradition agreement with the United States was signed in October 1961 and updated in March 1983. It prohibits extradition on the basis of “a political offence” or “an offence connected with a political offence”.

But his supporters fear that he could be “snatched” by the CIA and spirited away to the US, regardless of the extradition treaty.

There are no charges against him in the US, although he fears he could be put on trial for espionage.

Yet The Washington Post reported in 2013 that the Justice Department hadconcluded there was no way it could prosecute him.

So, play me the world’s smallest violin.

$5 says he won’t be heading to Ecuador.

Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s daughter, richest person in the country

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Socialists in the U.S. proudly proclaim that the dead dictator “improved the economy, reduced inequality,” most likely in the Orwellian sense,

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Hugo Chávez daughter is the richest individual in Venezuela, report claims

According to the Miami-based Diario Las América, Venezuelan media sources will soon publish materials showing that María Gabriela Chávez has bank accounts in the U.S. and Andorra with assets totaling nearly $4.2 billion.

If the claim is true, Chávez’s daughter would be the richest person in Venezuela, a country with industrialists like telecommunications magnate Gustavo Cisneros (worth $3.6 billion, according to Forbes) and food and beverage mogul Lorenzo Mendoza ($2.7 billion).

. . .

Last July, Venezuelan outlets reported that she was involved in a scheme that favored an Argentinean rice company, Bioart, by importing 37,000 tons of greatly overpriced rice to Venezuela – a deal that reportedly contributed $15 million to her personal accounts.

. . .

In September of 2014, according to La Tribuna, the Cuban-American television journalist María Elvira Salazar showed on the air a receipt purported to be from a U.S. bank account in María Gabriela’s name that held nearly $737 million. The address on the account was that of the Venezuelan consulate in New York City.

MGC currently is permanent deputy representative to the United Nations, where she fits right in.

In other Venezuelan news, would-be kidnappers broke into an American’s apartment and murdered him:
Well-Known American Lawyer John Pate Murdered in His Apartment in Venezuela

The well-known American lawyer John Pate, a US citizen, was stabbed to death by assailants in his apartment at the Vista Real on Avenue Panorama in Lomas de San Román section of Caracas on Sunday evening.

Pate, 71, was a member of the Editorial Board of the Caracas Daily Journal, the predecessor of the Latin American Herald Tribune, and had helped build the fabric of Caracas society. His first wife, Gertie Paez Pate, was a well-known Peruvian painter who died of cancer in 2007.

According to police, the criminals reportedly entered his apartment with the intent to rob him, but instead killed him with multiple stab wounds. His girlfriend, Sally Evan Oquendo, 67, was wounded and is hospitalized.

According to early police reports, the perpetrators entered through a bathroom window and police suggest that they knew the building well. There are apartments being remodeled in the building and police are interrogating workers.

The Caracas expat community has shrunk as homicide rates rise and foreign companies pull out of Venezuela, citing economic difficulties.

Pate’s primary business was in representing multinational companies doing business in Venezuela, and he was sometimes critical of the country’s 16-year-old socialist revolution.
In 2005, he told the Christian Science Monitor he had lost half his international clients in the six years since the now-deceased President Hugo Chavez came to power.

24,980 people were murdered in Venezuela last year.

Money-wise, a billion here, a billion there, Ravaged by Oil’s Collapse, Venezuela Now Has a Big Gold Problem

The South American country, which is trying to stave off a bond default in the wake of oil’s swoon, had 68 percent of its international reserves in bullion as of August, according to the World Gold Council. That’s a big worry because the price of the precious metal has tumbled 15 percent from this year’s high in January as the global slump in commodities deepened.

At the blogs:
Daniel has A guide to Venezuela eateries around the world

Devil’s Excrement looks at The Uncertain Outcome Of The Venezuelan Parliamentary Election

Chavismo will do anything to manipulate and obtain an edge in the upcoming election.

The outcome does not look uncertain to me: Venezuela’s first lady Cilia Flores to run for congress while opposition figure barred

Hours after election officials reject María Corina Machado’s attempt to register as a candidate, President Nicolás Maduro announces his wife will run