Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Mexico’s failures and immigration

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Monica Showalter writes an IBD editorial on how Mexico’s President Celebrates Obama Amnesty, But Should Be Ashamed
About That Gloating From Mexico
(emphasis added)

With the vast majority of America’s 11 million illegal Mexican citizens — who flee their country’s corruption, poverty, low growth, rampant crony capitalism and embedded socialism — protesting over the past decade against getting sent back there, Pena Nieto ought to be embarrassed to show his face in public.
Fact is, the Obama amnesty highlights the awful failure of Mexico as an economic entity that can’t even create an acceptable place to live for a large number of its citizens.

Two-thirds of the eligible beneficiaries of the Obama amnesty — 3.2 million people — are Mexican nationals who will benefit from the presidential decree, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

They’re the longest-term residents, and nothing they’ve seen in Mexico over the decades has enticed them to return.

Why?

Mexico, according to the State Department’s country page, experienced average GDP growth of just 1.9% from 1960 to 2011. Income per capita in the same period has risen an average of even less, at 1.8%.

By contrast, Mexico’s labor force has grown an average of 2.2% since 1998 and more than that in the longer run. An average of 54,000 jobs have been created in each of the past five years, while its labor force has grown by about 224,000 a year over the same time, according to CIA World Fact Book and World Bank data.

What’s more, productivity gains have been low, with none lower than in those states that ship the most illegals — Zacatecas, Michoacan, Guerrero, Durango, Chiapas and Oaxaca, according to OECD data.

Unable to employ anywhere near the number who need jobs, it’s no surprise that 58.8% of Mexicans are underemployed or in informal off-the-book employment in the struggle to survive. Faced with that struggle, millions just head north to America.

And by the way, that figure includes 15.47% of all Mexico’s college graduates, according to a study in the Journal of Inter American Studies. (The U.S. figure, by contrast, is 0.45%.)

Tangled tax laws, overregulation, corruption and an unstable currency have all had their hand in the substandard growth that has not kept up with population.

Add to that the ruinous criminality, which has caused the death of hundreds of thousands.

But perhaps Peña Nieto is right to gloat: the U.S. government has done what he wanted, to provide – for the foreseeable future – an escape valve for internal pressures that would otherwise require him to act on.

The Iran-Cuba-Venezuela Nexus

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Mary O’Grady writes on Iran’s presence in Latin America, a topic I have blogged about for the past ten years:


The Iran-Cuba-Venezuela Nexus
The West underestimates the growing threat from radical Islam in the Americas.


The West is well aware of the growing presence of Islamic fundamentalism in the Americas, but policy makers may be underestimating the threat. Joseph Humire is a security analyst and co-editor of “Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America,” a book published earlier this year. In an interview in New York last week, Mr. Humire described Iran’s significant progress, over three decades, in setting up operations in the region.

The earliest stages of the process have featured clandestine operatives using mosques to make connections inside Muslim communities and then using those connections to access wealth and gain political prominence. Where these initial forays have been successful, says Mr. Humire, Iran has opened embassies and established commercial agreements that allow operatives to create businesses, which can be used as fronts for covert operations.

In Venezuela and Bolivia, Iran has moved to the next level, developing a military presence through joint ventures in defense industries. In Venezuela, the state of Aragua, where Mr. El Aissami is now governor, is ground zero for this activity.

Havana applauds this Islamic intervention. Since the rise of chavismo, Cuba has supplied intelligence services to Venezuela and its regional allies, notably Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador. Mr. Humire says it has also supplied passport-information technology to allow these countries to process individuals from the Middle East, hand out new documents and maintain the secrecy of true identities. Cuba has used this capacity to exchange information with like-minded nations, including Russia and Iran.

O’Grady’s article goes on to describe the important role the governor of the state of Aragua and former Venezuela interior minister, Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah, plays in building

“a criminal-terrorist pipeline bringing militant Islamists into Venezuela and surrounding countries, and sending illicit funds from Latin America to the Middle East.”

Cuba wants to get aid from Iran. Keep that in mind when Obama ends the embargo with Cuba.

Ecuador: Assange granted political asylum

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Julian Assange ‘welcome to stay in Ecuador embassy’

Ecuador has guaranteed political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for “as long as necessary,” one day after he lost an appeal against a Swedish warrant for his arrest.

Ecuador Ratifies Julian Assange Asylum Status, Offers Sweden Access To WikiLeaks Founder

Ecuador ratified Friday its diplomatic asylum status for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in the country’s London embassy since June 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault charges. The move makes official Assange’s protected status and means he can remain under the country’s protection indefinitely.

I do not know for certain what, if any, charges Assange would face in the USA at this point.



Chile: Blowing up the ATMs

Friday, November 21st, 2014

375 of them:

Crooks Blow Up ATMs in Crimes Leaving Chileans Stuck in Line

The method is simple. Use a hose to inject propane into the machine while being careful to seal all cracks and vents with duct tape, then light the fuel with a spark. The top of the machine explodes, leaving the cash tray almost intact.

And then there’s also robbing the armored trucks delivering the money.

Venezuela: Break-in in London

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Alek Boyd, who investigates chavista corruption, had his London apartment broken into:

They didn’t take my wallet, money, valuables… mind you they even left behind one of their own rain jackets and a mobile phone. Frankly I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it. On the one hand, I have to respect the boldness of the men who carried out this action. I have used plural all along on purpose, for there is CCTV evidence of at least three men, totally unrelated to the residents of the building where I live, trying to gain access to it. Neither of them bothered to cover their faces. In fact, one of them spoke to the porter and tried to force his way in, in three separate instances, through the front door of the building, while another stood at a very close distance and laughed at the porter. I have got to interpret their boldness as if they purposefully wanted to send a strong message: “we came to your flat, we broke into it in broad daylight, and we can’t care less about being caught by video cameras or be seen.”

Another part of me is convinced that this is most definitely the work of chavistas. For only chavistas can break into a flat to steal laptops containing sensible information and leave behind so much evidence, such as their own phone. This reminds me of the typical Venezuelan “rambos” that make up the “intelligence” forces in that country: smash first and never bother with details. Guapos y apoyaos sort of attitude. But then, if they could do that, it is evident they are prepared to do anything.

Here are CCTV photos of the suspected perpetrators,

Mexico: Remains of #Ayotzinapa students found

Saturday, November 8th, 2014


Demonstrators last month

Mexican Official: Remains Believed to Be Students Found
Investigators have found the incinerated remains they believe belong to the missing 43 students who were allegedly abducted by police and handed over to a local drug gang to be executed, Mexico’s attorney general said.

The remains will be sent to the University of Innsbruck in Austria, which officials said had the most advanced forensics laboratory, for further attempts at identification. Because of the extent of the incineration, Mr. Murillo Karam said he set no deadline.

Mexico missing student: Gang members ‘confess’ to killing 43 in Iguala and burning their bodies

Mexico: 22,000 missing, 43 of them are the #Ayotzinapa students

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

#HastaEncontrarlos

I have been blogging about the 43 student teachers missing since September 26, but, as I pointed out in yesterday’s podcast, they are only a few of the thousands missing/killed by the drug cartels.

How many?
At least 22,000:

But searchers have found plenty of other horrors, including a string of mass graves with 50 unidentified victims that DNA tests show are not the students. Most of those victims were chopped into bits and set on fire.

As the discovery of the other grave sites shows, the mystery of the missing students isn’t an isolated case. The Mexican government estimates more than 22,000 people went “missing” during the last eight years of violence here between cartels fighting each other and security forces. Human-rights groups say the toll could be far higher.

If most of those missing are dead, as rights groups fear, that would significantly raise Mexico’s already staggering death toll of some 100,000 drug-related homicides during the past eight years by more than a fifth.

Before you blame the war on drugs, bear in mind that the cartels (sometimes with the help of the authorities) are killing each other and whoever dares to speak against them:

Mexico’s missing is a somewhat different phenomenon. Here, the crimes tend to be more about money than ideology. Drug and kidnapping gangs have perpetrated most of Mexico’s disappearances, officials say. But, if investigators’ version of events holds true, the case of students shows the line between organized crime and government security forces can be thin.

Disappearing victims has long been a strategy of the warring gangs, who earn the bulk of their income trafficking marijuana and methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to U.S. consumers.

Someone knows where the 43 students are, but no one is talking.

In other headlines,
Mexico’s 43 Missing Students: Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca ‘Murdered Political Rival’; additionally,

Abarca has been accused in the past of direct participation in torture and murders of activists, while his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa has links to gangs as members of her family (at least three brothers) are part of the Beltrán Leyva drugcartel.

Venezuela: $15 smugglers jailed, $3.08 billion a year smugglers go free

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014


Los miserables

Colombians Jailed in Venezuela for $15 Grocery Run

A $15 grocery run has cost two single mothers from Colombia 48 days in jail, along with the threat of a 14-year prison sentence, as a result of a crackdown on smuggling in Venezuela that is ratcheting up tensions and highlighting growing economic distortions between the neighbors.

Jenifer Rojas and Belsy Alvarez were arrested in early September by Venezuela’s national guard walking out of a supermarket in the western city of San Cristobal with bags of rice, pasta, mayonnaise and other staples whose prices are capped in Venezuela and whose sale is restricted to the country’s residents.

Right now they’re out on parole, along with the cashier, who also was arrested.

Back in September crossing the border with foodstuffs may have been profitable, but now, goods are bad,

My first shock was the grocery store when I went to refurbish my refrigerator. The prices went noticeably up in one month for the stuff I buy. There was no imported goods. Of course, among the goods available there is all sorts of imported stuff re-processed in Venezuela. After all we are importing now at the very least 60% of our food (estimates vary, I am giving you the bottom line). What I mean is that you could still find an occasional treat, like some average Italian pasta, or an overpriced jar of raspberry jam. This is now all gone. And it has not been replaced, even by sub-par Venezuelan production.

The real dough is in oil smuggling,

Caracas-based economist Asdrubal Oliveros recently estimated 130,000 barrels of gasoline are now smuggled across the border to Colombia each and every day.

That’s a big number. How big?

Well, assuming our men in uniform are bad at business and only make $65 per barrel sold (they’re wholesalers, after all), that would work out $8.5 million dollarsevery day, $253.5 million dollars a month, $3.08 billion a year.

You could make three thousand milicos millionaires for that kind of money, and still have spare change to cut another 843 of them $100,000 gifts. (Note: the government believes the amount is about $2.2 billion per year)

In some ways, the headline figure is actually quite small. It’s only a fifth of the $14-15 billion a year in foregone sales from subsidizing gasoline in the first place, andmuch less than the $25 billion a year we would be earning from extra oil produced in the Orinoco Belt if Chávez hadn’t muscled out our foreign partners in 2005-2006 and production had risen according to what was then the schedule, but hasn’t cuz, y’know, he did.

Don’t wonder, then, why there is no military coup in Venezuela. All that money is going somewhere.

Meanwhile, Maduro raised the minimum wage by 15%, i.e., the $776 lie

Nicolás Maduro raised the minimum wage by 15% last night, starting December 1st.

Quickly, government news agencies began spewing the lie – there really is no other way to characterize it – that this was the highest minimum wage in Latin America, equivalent to US$ 776. The rub lies in the fact that this conversion is calculated using the official-yet-impossible-to-find exchange rate of BsF 6.3 per dollar – if you were to use the market exchange rate of BsF 102 per dollar, you get a minimum (and I mean really minimum) wage of US$ 48 per month.

He’s also aligning himself with the hardcore Marxists

That’s going to work as all Marxism has so far.

Report on 100% food inflation in Venezuela,

Parting question,
Could Low Oil Prices End Venezuela’s Revolution? The answer to that question may depend on the outcome of Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi trip this week to Venezuela.

Mexico: Iguala mayor arrested

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

BBC reports,
Mayor held in Mexico missing caseJose Luis Abarca stands up during a meeting with state government officials in Chilpancingo on 8 May 2014
Police in Mexico say they have arrested the fugitive mayor of the town of Iguala, where 43 students went missing in September.

Jose Luis Abarca was detained by federal police officers in the capital, Mexico City, a police spokesman said.

Abarca’s wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda was also arrested.

All 43 students are still missing. The BBC has a timeline:

Timeline: Iguala disappearance

26 Sept: Students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa travel to Iguala to protest and raise funds

Night of 26 Sept: Police stop the students, 6 people are shot dead, 43 students disappear

30 Sept: Iguala mayor Jose Luis Abarca asks for leave from his post, which is granted

4 Oct: Mass graves are found near Iguala containing 28 bodies

19 Oct: Federal police are deployed to Iguala and replace the municipal force

22 Oct: Mexico’s prosecutor general says an arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Abarca, his wife and the town’s police chief

23 Oct: Guerrero state governor Angel Aguirre resigns

29 Oct: President Enrique Pena Nieto meets the relatives of the missing students and promises a “renewed search plan”

4 Nov: Mr Abarca and his wife are arrested in Mexico City

In other crime news, Mexican Regional Security Chief and Wife Shot Dead
Tamaulipas Is Across Border From Texas

The dead man, Gen. Ricardo Niño Villarreal, was security chief for the area around Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas. The area is considered the turf of the Zetas drug cartel, which has been doing battle with the Gulf cartel.



Mexico: 3 siblings, US citizens, dead

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Siblings Erica, Jose Angel and Alex Alvarado Rivera, who had been visiting their father in Mexico, have been found dead,
Mexican State Authorities Say Three U.S. Citizens Found Dead
Siblings, Missing for More Than Two Weeks, Found Shot to Death Near Border City of Matamoros
. They

had been visiting their father in Mexico and disappeared Oct. 13 along with Jose Guadalupe Castaneda Benitez, Erica Alvarado’s 32-year-old boyfriend.
. . .
Parents of the siblings have said witnesses reported they were seized by men dressed in police gear identifying themselves as “Hercules,” a tactical security unit in the violent border city racked by cartel infighting. Mr. Quintanilla said at a news conference Thursday that nine of the unit’s 40 officers are being questioned.

It would the third recent case of abuse and killing by Mexican authorities if police are involved. The country already is engulfed in the case of 43 teachers-college students missing in southern Guerrero state allegedly at the hands of a mayor and police working with a drug cartel. Fifty-six people are under arrest, including dozens of police officers.

In June, the army killed 22 suspected gang members in Mexico state and then altered the scene and intimidated witnesses to hide the fact that most were executed after they surrendered, a National Commission on Human Rights report said last week. Three soldiers face murder charges.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met with parents of 43 teachers college students Wednesday for the first time since they disappeared over a month ago

when investigators say police detained the students and handed them over to a drug gang.

In other news, Andrew Tahmooressi’s Family Hopeful for His Release From Mexican Prison by Veterans Day.

I guess Mexico’s police applies the rule of law or not.