Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Brazil: Beam him up, Scotti

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Former New Camorra capo Pasquale Scotti, convicted of 20 murders, is now jailed,

Italian Mafia Boss Arrested in BrazilPasquale Scotti, convicted of murdering more than 20 people, was detained more than 30 years after his escape

Mr. Scotti was detained in the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife at about 7 a.m. local time. He arrived in Brazil in 1986 using false identification documents, Brazilian and Italian police said Tuesday at a news conference in Brasília.

He married a local woman, with whom he has two children, and set up businesses in the area, including a real-estate brokerage and a fireworks factory, police said.

He had escaped from a hospital room following a shootout with Italian police in 1984.

37 MS-13 indicted in Charlotte

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Expect more of this,

37 MS-13 GANG MEMBERS INDICTED IN CHARLOTTE, NC

Thirty-seven MS-13 gang members have been indicted in Charlotte, North Carolina on numerous offenses including murder and attempted murder, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced Wednesday.

Wednesday morning, a law enforcement dragnet rounded up 16 of the alleged gang members. While five remain “at large” the remaining 16 are in state custody.
. . .

Gang activity in Charlotte made national headlines in recent weeks as the Obama administration admitted it improperly granted an illegal immigrant with known gang-ties executive amnesty.

You may recall this headline from last year, Feds: 12 ‘top-ranking’ MS-13 members charged in N.J.

Mexico: Human rights division head resigns over Iguala case

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

#HastaEncontrarlos

The head of the human rights division at Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office has resigned. Prior to that, Mexico’s Attorney General resigned under pressure over the investigation of the kidnappings and murders of 43 students last year in Iguala:

Mexico’s top human rights prosecutor resigns in midst of political storm
Questions over government inquiry into Iguala massacre costs Peña Nieto official her job

According to official figures, there are more than 25,000 missing-person cases in Mexico.

In March, National Human Rights Commission president Luis Raúl González urged the Peña Nieto administration to introduce fast-track legislation to deal with torture and forced disappearances.

Besides the Iguala case, the Mexican government has also been under pressure over the killings of 22 alleged drug traffickers, reportedly at the hands of the military in Tlataya.

The criminal conviction rate in Mexico is 1.8%.

[Post title corrected]

Venezuela: Diosdado and drugs – whose powerplay?

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

José De Córdoba and Juan Forero report at the WSJ:
Venezuelan Officials Suspected of Turning Country into Global Cocaine HubU.S. probe targets No. 2 official Diosdado Cabello, several others, on suspicion of drug trafficking and money laundering. Diosdado is not alone:

In addition to [Interior Minister Tarek] Mr. El Aissami, other powerful officials under investigation include Hugo Carvajal, a former director of military intelligence; Nestor Reverol, the head of the National Guard; Jose David Cabello, Mr. Cabello’s brother, who is the industry minister and heads the country’s tax collection agency; and Gen. Luis Motta Dominguez, a National Guard general in charge of central Venezuela, say a half-dozen officials and people familiar with the investigations.

Diosdado’s reaction?

In an appearance on state television Wednesday, Mr. Cabello said he solicited a court-ordered travel ban on 22 executives and journalists from three Venezuelan news outlets that he has sued for publishing stories about the drug allegations earlier this year.

Jaime Bayly interviewed one, Miguel Henrique Otero, editor and director of El Nacional daily, last night (video in Spanish),

Daniel sees Diosdado as Hugo Chávez’s creation,

Because let us all be clear about one thing: this has happened because Hugo Chavez, the hero of the left, has allowed for it to happen, has encouraged it to happen. Diosdado did not come out of thin air. That maybe he became too strong for Chavez to control is another story, but Diosdado Cabello is a Chavez creation, just one of the cogs in the drug machinery that Chavez set up to help the FARC against Uribe. And the cogs are many, including noteworthy high ranking pieces like current Aragua state governor.

Daniel expects that

Diosdado Cabello will take down with him as many as he needs to take down. He will take the country down with him if he needs to.

Caracas Chronicle’s Juan Cristóbal Nagel believes

the unraveling of the Suns Cartel has tremendous implications for the power balance within chavismo.

Nagel calculates it’s a US$27 billion/year enterprise, which was “was anything but clandestine, and anything but competent,” and

Maduro has an obvious choice: either tie his sinking presidency to the fate of clumsy, leaky, “stocky and bull-necked” (loved that) drug smugglers, or turn Diosdado and crew over and save face. And just what do you think the Cubans will suggest he do? Maduro’s handlers, after all, are the folks who murdered Arnaldo Ochoa.

Of course, this is all speculative, but if you think Maduro isn’t mulling what to do at this point, then I think you’re being naive.

Nagel has the perfect photo and caption in his post,

Clubbing with Godgiven

Miguel Octavio ponders, Is Maduro so strong that he can get rid of the most powerful former military in Government just like that?

Amid all this speculation, the only thing you can rely on is that, no matter the outcome, the U.S. will continue to be portrayed as the root of all evil.

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.



Venezuela: The dark side of price controls

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Rachel Cunliffe looks at The dark side of price controls in Venezuela

Shortages of basic goods, from food to fuel, have led to a sharp increase in crime and situations “where police officers are gunned down for their weapons, trucks ambushed for merchandise and commuters held up for cellphones.” Now the shortage of motorcycle parts is so severe that bikers are being attacked for their vehicles, and in some cases murdered.

This is the reality of price fixing and currency controls.

Read the whole thing.

Related:
Grenades galore

The central government prefers to blame violence on drug traffickers and politically-motivated paramilitaries. But that view isn’t that far from the truth: these criminal gangs sort-of fit the basic definition of a paramilitary body, and many of those groups (such as the infamous “El Picure” gang) are involved in drug-related activities. However, the political angle the government desperately wants to stick onto the problem simply doesn’t match the evidence available.

Our crime epidemic is surpassing all estimations, to the point that Venezuela is (according to the Brazilian think tank Instituto Igarape) the second most murderous country in the planet. If you are being murdered, there is a high chance you are in Venezuela.

Godgiven Traps His Enemies With Him In Venezuela

UPDATE:
Linked to by Rantburg. Thank you!

Honduras: “It’s over for the little guy”

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Back in the days of The Sopranos, “It’s over for the little guy”. Now there’s real muscle doing the protection rackets.

Honduran gangs choke small businesses with ‘war tax’

“Nearly all the merchants have left. They decided to leave before they got killed or had to pay the ‘war tax,'” said Sheila, methodically slicing bananas and tossing them into boiling oil.

The “tax,” in her case, is $20 a month, which she pays the gangsters so they will let her stay in business.
. . .
The maras now have some 100,000 members in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

A MORE PEACEFUL AND PROSPEROUS HONDURAS? Not quite in the works yet (emphasis added):

President Orlando Hernández’s speech promoted his plan for domestic development. While detailing the new initiatives for the prosperity of his people, the president seemed to lack equal detail when addressing questions of what Honduras can do to tackle the global illegal drug issues in which it is entangled. Only when his administration takes on the problems that Honduras is facing on a transnational level will President Orlando Hernández be able to meet the standards necessary to join the Alliance for Prosperity, and make use of the admittedly questionable advantages it offers.

Mexico: Jalisco’s new generation of crime

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

The WSJ reports on the latest cartel, Jalisco Nueva Generación:
Rise of Drug Cartel Brings Wave of Mexican ViolenceArmy hunts for three missing soldiers in Jalisco since helicopter was shot down on Friday

“A new and military powerful cartel is appearing, and opening up a new front in the war against drugs in Guadalajara and Jalisco,” said Raul Benitez, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The flare-up of violence in Guadalajara, a city of 1.5 million people in a metropolitan area of 4.5 million, and the resort town of Puerto Vallarta is the latest setback for the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. The government has been determined to show that Mexico is a modern, emerging economy, but its inability to control areas where criminal gangs continue to exert control have frustrated these efforts.

“Guadalajara is not a little town in the middle of nowhere, and this shows the cartel has the logistics and power to paralyze a city,” said Jorge Chabat, a security analyst at the CIDE think tank in Mexico City.
. . .
The areas the Jalisco cartel controls sit astride important transport and production centers for cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.

The Jalisco Nueva Generación, who are allies of the Sinaloa cartel, started in 2010 for the purpose of neutralizing the Zetas, according to this report from El Comercio.

Cuba: Fidel, druglord

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Inside Fidel Castro’s double life as a drug kingpin

For 17 years, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez served as a bodyguard to Fidel Castro. But when he became disillusioned with the Cuban dictator’s hypocrisy and tried to retire in 1994, Castro had him thrown in prison. Sanchez made 10 attempts to escape the island, finally making it to Mexico by boat, then across the Texas border in 2008. Now he reveals all in his new book, “The Double Life of Fidel Castro.” In this excerpt, Sanchez explains how he lost faith in the revolution — and “El Jefe.”

Read the article here.

Buy the book here.

Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Please read my latest, Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal.