Archive for the ‘MS-13’ Category

37 MS-13 indicted in Charlotte

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Expect more of this,


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.

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.

Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Read Steve Dudley’s report at In Sight Crime, Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

Barrio 18 is one of the two largest gangs in El Salvador. The other, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), is thought to be slightly larger in membership than the Barrio 18. The Barrio 18 is known as the more violent and less sophisticated of the two.

Barrio 18 Gang Hierarchy

  1. “Palabreros” in the prison system: coordinate all criminal activities. One palabrero keeps a notebook that keeps track of all finances, homicides, drugs, and weapons.
  2. “Palabreros” outside the prison system, aka, “en la libre.”
  3. Leaders of the “canchas.” A cancha is a territorial division that isn’t necessarily based on municipal delineations. Each cancha has several “tribus,” or tribes.
  4. Leaders of the “tribus.” There are thought to be 28 Barrio 18 “tribus” in El Salvador, according to one study. Each tribu leader may be responsible for dozens and perhaps hundreds of members. In rival gang theMS13, these are known as “clicas,” and there are thought to be far more — an estimated 246.
  5. Collaborators: those who are not quite or never will be gang members. They help the gang with small jobs, like gathering intelligence, and moving or holding illicit goods.

El Salvador: The Millennium Challenge Corporation ignores its own rules

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Salvadoran gangs

American Aid Props Up a Castro Ally
While investors flee, U.S. Millennium Challenge grants sustain Salvador’s anti-American leaders

Even more desperate to see El Salvador get the money is the MCC, which claims that it administers foreign aid differently than traditional bureaucracies. Under its guidelines, only candidates that demonstrate a commitment to good governance and the rule of law qualify for grants. But since countries that clear that hurdle, and thus attract capital, grow on their own, finding “clients” is challenging for the MCC.

So it ignores the guidelines. Last year Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) noted the gaping chasm between the MCC’s rules and El Salvador’s sketchy profile, calling it “a country of weak democratic institutions where the independence of the judiciary has been attacked, corruption is widespread and transnational criminal organizations have flourished.”

El Salvador blocks foreign investment and employment opportunities to its people, getting instead MCC and Venezuelan oil handouts. As Mary O’Grady puts it,

Why bother with the pesky rule of law when the home of one of the world’s largest oil reserves and even the great Satan to the north are standing by with free money?

And now, MS-13 news

Monday, July 28th, 2014

from Drudge:

Border agents hampered by environmental rules…

Migrants from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka Entering Through Mexico…

VIDEO: Residents Protest in MA…

More than 200 dumped in Indiana…

Pittsburgh at ‘tipping point’… 

Professors: Guest worker policies freezing Americans out of middle class… 

‘Death Train’ to increase traveling speeds to deter jumping…



‘Plan is to get unaccompanied women and children to safer ground’…

Mark Steyn:

One of the reasons why so many Americans oppose amnesty and a “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens is because, even if one buys it in utilitarian terms, to accept that an honorable American identity can be born from an illegal act seems to mock the very essence of citizenship and allegiance.

Read the rest.

The abridged Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 19th, 2014

LatinAmerSince last week I was attending my son’s college graduation, this week’s Carnival is brief.

Congratulations to my son in his wonderful achievement.

Court In Argentina Strikes Down `Truth Commission` With Iran
A federal appeals court in Argentina declared unconstitutional a controversial agreement between the South American country and Iran to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.

Argentina’s Vice President May Have to Testify
An Argentine federal appeals court decision on Friday opened the door for Vice President Amado Boudou to be called to testify as a suspect in a criminal investigation.

La herencia kirchnerista
La sociedad enfrenta divisiones inducidas desde el poder político, y la unión nacional se ha vuelto a convertir en una asignatura constitucional pendiente

Police clash with protesters near São Paulo airport
Tear gas and rubber bullets fired amid demonstrations less than a month before Brazilian city hosts World Cup opener

Inside Medellin: How Pablo Escobar’s hometown hopes to become South America’s ‘Silicon Valley’
Medellin was once the world’s most murderous city, famed for cocaine cartels and death squads. But now, writes Harriet Alexander, it is putting its business acumen to good use, and reinventing itself as a thriving tech hub

Colombia rebels and government reach agreement on drugs
FARC will divorce itself from the drug trade.
Color me skeptical.

Alvaro Uribe president again in a month. What happens then?

Remarks by Cuban author and democracy leader, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C.

Galapagos emergency over stranded cargo ship
Ecuador has declared an emergency in the Galapagos Islands, saying that a cargo ship which ran aground last week still poses a threat to the archipelago’s fragile ecosystem.


Mexico ‘Los Rojos crime cartel boss’, Leonor Nava Romero, arrested
Mexican authorities say they have jailed the head of a major criminal gang in the southern state of Guerrero.

The Fight To Save Puerto Rico’s ‘Alcatraz Of The Caribbean’, the Oso Blanco,

Oso Blanco is on the National Register of Historic Places and was named after the cement brand used to build it. Among its claims to fame: a 1974 exhibition fight featuring boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who sparred with an inmate while Puerto Rican actress and singer Iris Chacón served as referee.

Peruvian Regional President Suspected in Murder of a Rival
Court Issues Arrest Warrants for Cesar Alvarez and Others in Connection With Killing of Activist in March

Taps: Last of Protesters Keep Vigil in Venezuela
A small group of protesters in the city San Cristóbal, the town where the recent nationwide demonstrations began, try to keep up the pressure after the government largely succeeded in cowing the opposition.

I am afraid there is no peaceful outcome for Venezuela anymore

In the land of silicone socialism

The week’s posts:
Argentina: Joseph Stiglitz’s conflict of interest

Argentina: World’s largest dinosaur found

Saturday night kizomba: Isabelle and Félicien

Brazil: 1 stadium, 3 x the cost

En español: La historia de Argenzuela

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Venezuela: Crackdown time

The Corcovado thumb Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio was struck by lightning, damaging its right thumb. Here’s the striking photo.

Argentine Government Rules Out Military Role in Drug Enforcement

The fish are biting . . . you: Carnivorous fish injure 10 Argentine river bathers in area where 70 were wounded last month

Bolivian President Touts Nuclear Power Program

The Laureus World Sports Awards, abruptly cancelled, Sporting events in Rio
We regret to announce

Inri Cristo, preacher on a scooter

Mulher de malandro decidirá eleição
O eleitorado diz que quer mudança, mas pretende reeleger Dilma. É puro chavismo

The drugs industry in Chile
Getting the treatment

Someone explain to me why should anyone trust the FARC, Bomb explodes in Colombian town as rebel ceasefire ends
At least one person was killed when a bomb went off in the town of Pradera in western Colombia, officials say.

Bogota; time to move on

Cuban political prisoner Osvaldo Rodriguez Acosta starts hunger to protest denial of family visit

Another Moronic Offensive Stunt to Take Place in Castrogonia

One Year of Immigration And Travel Reform… What Changed?


A tale of two hacks: Ecuador’s continued assault on the press

Ecuadorian state newspaper says new media outlet would seek to destabilize the government

El Salvador’s first presidential debate brims with pledges – but can candidates deliver?
El Salvador’s presidential election takes place next month, and topics of gang violence, the economy, and healthcare are top of mind.

Guatemala’s president and vice president withdraw criminal complaints against newspaper editor

Haitians living abroad weigh investment opportunities
After four years in Washington, D.C., a diaspora investment conference moves to Port-au-Prince

LGBT tolerance growing in Jamaica, push to repeal of anti-gay law

Cuban Actress Maria Conchita Alonso Has Lived in an Oppressive Society

Andres Oppenheimer is optimistic: Latin America’s downward spiral?

Sure, Venezuela may descend into further chaos, but it doesn’t have many followers. Argentina will most likely change course within the next two years, and Brazil will, in the worst-case scenario, remain stagnant.

More importantly, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile are doing well, and may drag several other countries in their direction. Together with Brazil, the four Pacific-coast countries make up more than 75 percent of Latin America’s economy.

More than a downward spiral, we may soon see the end of the populist cycle, and the beginning of an upward spiral.

Organized crime in 2014: What can Latin America expect?
Organized crime is adaptable and profit-driven, and in 2014, that could mean moving beyond Mexico and Colombia to a more diverse set of nations.

Adrift in Mexico’s deportation capital
Mexicali has became the U.S. government’s biggest dumping ground for deportees who often have deep ties in America.

Michoacan replaces security chiefsMexican soldiers patrol the streets of Apatzingan, Michoacan. Photo: 16 January 2014
Mexico’s authorities say top security officials will be replaced in the western state of Michoacan that has recently been rocked by violence.

Deep-water drilling is a test for Mexican oil company Pemex

Gangs from Central America on the rise in Mexico: Report
A new report out of Mexico details the growing links between Central American Maras and the nation’s main criminal groups, highlighting more cross-border gang activity

El pincel de la justicia
Ramiro Gómez hace su primera presentación en un espacio formal, en una pequeña galería en Chinatown. No tiene un taller: el dueño del lugar le prestó el primer piso para que ahí concluyera cuatro lienzos que son parte de la obra que expone.

Canal Standoff Worries Panamanians
A standoff over cost overruns in the Panama Canal expansion has Panamanians as anxious as the global shipping industry.

Peru: Media Merger Serving as Pretext for Manipulation
Let the People, Not Caudillos, Determine the Role of the Press

Disagreement between Vargas Llosa and his son illustrates the debate in Peru over media concentration

Fixing Puerto Rico: Part I

A leopard never changes its spots: Paris Hilton poses up a storm on the beach in Uruguay wearing animal print dress

Regulation, Death by a thousand cuts (Updated)

Thomas Berry died ‘trying to show family real Venezuela’, parents say
Berry family speaks for the first time of grief at death of their son and his wife, killed by robbers in front of their daughter after their car broke down on a dangerous stretch of highway

Pet rights? When all are rights there are no rights

Venezuelan economic controls lead to newsprint shortage

The week’s posts and podcast:
Puerto Rico: Festival success

Brazil: Corcovado damaged by lightning

Argentina: Where’s Cristina?

Panama: North Korea to pay fine for the rust bucket

Mexico: Mireles won’t back down

Puerto Rico: Take down that fence!

Venezuela: Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic UPDATED

Mexico: Military clash with cartel-fighting militias

Ecuador, Iran, Syria: The new axis?

Argentina’s crumbling economy

Mexico: El Universal claims DEA-Sinaloa deal in Fast & Furious

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Do heed those travel warnings.

The week’s podcast: The US-Latin America stories of the week

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Argentina Media Group Suffers Reversal in Court

Ghana Ordered to Release Argentine Ship

Brazil’s Graft Probe Now Targets Ex-Leader
Da Silva Denies Wrongdoing in Vote-Rigging Scheme Under His Tenure, but Supreme Court Justices Call for Another Look

Cayman Islands leader arrested in corruption probe

Mysterious mass whale graveyard unearthed in the Chilean desert
Scientists are baffled after finding fossil remains of 75 whales that died within yards of one another, more than a kilometer away from the sea.

El riesgo populista

30 Years Of Recipes Down The Drain: Ex-Pats in Costa Rica Try Cooking Up A New Life

Al-Jazeera Shames the U.S. Media By Telling the Truth About Cuban Repression

Jailed Spanish activist Angel Carromero may leave Cuba

Obama’s Vision for Cuba Turns a Blind Eye Towards History

Cuban political prisoner Calixto Ramon Martinez ends hunger strike

Projects Fair

MS-13 Leader Sentenced in Juvenile Prostitution Case

Press freedom group in Honduras denounces “censorship” of radio ad supporting the democratization of the broadcast spectrum

‘Technical’ coup against Supreme Court (Part 2)

Obama Ignores Ex-Marine Wrongly Held In Mexican Jail

Mexico’s crime wave has left about 25,000 missing, government documents show

Back in Sandinista Days . . .
John Kerry now talks a moderate game; but what does the record say?

Today’s Video: Telenovelas for Change

Panamanian held in Spain with cocaine breast implants
A Panamanian woman has been arrested in Spain with fake breast implants that turned out to be plastic bags containing 1.4kg of cocaine.

Children discover Mozart in Paraguay landfill, playing instruments made from recycled garbage

IPYS condemns change in law that classifies national security information in Peru

Moody’s downgrades University of Puerto Rico bonds

Puerto Rico family mourns death of girl, 6, in Connecticut school shooting

Mujica reconoció haber estado internado en un psiquiátrico porque se “figuraba voces”

Will the State Department Legitimize a Narco-Authoritarian Regime in Venezuela?

Chávez’s Outlook Darkens, Doctors Say
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s cancer is most likely terminal given the disease’s recurrences, say several leading cancer specialists not involved in the treatment.

With Hugo Chavez cancer-stricken, regional elections in Venezuela suddenly hugely important

Trying (Not) To Look At Venezuela’s Sunday’s Gubernatorial Elections

Post Chávez Surgery, Venezuela Warns of ‘Difficult’ Days

Nicolas Maduro, bus driver turned vice president, could succeed Hugo Chavez

Post Chavez scenarios

The week’s posts:
BBC Four – La Confiteria Ideal

Iran, McAfee, Litvinenko in the news; and don’t overdo the Gangnam

Post-Chavez Venezuela: Corruption and chaos

Chavez: “I do not surrender political power, I delegate it.”

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Argentina as No Claims-Nation Revealed in Repsol Losses: Energy

Repsol YPF SA (REP), the Spanish oil explorer seeking $10.5 billion from Argentina for seizing its assets, will line up behind companies from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Unisys Corp. yet to be repaid by the most-sued nation on earth.

There are 26 cases pending against Argentina, more than any other country, at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington, the principal arbitration court for claims against sovereign countries. So far, it has refused to pay any of the tribunal’s judgments, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists’ report.

Argentina’s state-owned firms
So far, not so good
Can YPF avoid the grim fate of other nationalised companies?

Bases militares venezolanas: Entrevista a la Diputada Norma Pierola

Chile charges suspect with Japanese astronomer murder
A Chilean man has been charged with the murder of Japanese astronomer Koichiro Morita in Santiago earlier this week.

Smile, You’re on Candid Camera.

Getting Ready for Life after Castro
Managing the transition to a democratic Cuba: A user’s guide.

More Red Than Cross

Ecuador seeks answer to riddle of Inca emperor’s tomb

Chevron’s Ecuador Morass
The U.S. oil company charges that the $18 billion judgment against it was secured by fraud.


Central America’s gangs
A meeting of the maras
Precarious truces between gangs have lowered the murder rate in two of the world’s most violent countries—but for how long?

End of times not quite here yet: Mayan art and calendar at Xultun stun archaeologists

“The ancient Maya predicted the world would continue, that 7,000 years from now, things would be exactly like this,” he said.

Maps Show 330 Illegal Aliens Crossing Ariz. Border in One Night in March, Including Ultralight Incursion

Forty-nine headless corpses found in Mexico

Mexico’s presidential election
Political lucha libre

Mexico’s leading presidential candidate is handsome, popular and still a mystery

‘Mutated’ Shining Path Resurfaces in Peru

Peru ministers resign over Shining Path rebel clashes
Peru’s interior and defence ministers have resigned in the face of a public outcry over a failed security operation against Shining Path rebels.

Puerto Rico Plans to Stop Deficit Borrowing by Fiscal 2014

Puerto Rico plans to offer free Web connections at dozens of centers and public plazas

Venezuela’s narcostate

Venezuelan politics
A modest concession to reality
, but the weird news continue: Venezuela crossword Chavez assassination plot denied
A Venezuelan crossword compiler has been questioned by intelligence agents after being accused of hiding a coded assassination message in a puzzle.

Venezuela analysts cast doubt on presidential election
Venezuelan analysts in Miami said the Hugo Chávez administration is casting doubts about this year’s presidential election.

Watching Some “Strategic” Companies In Bolivarian Venezuela

The week’s posts:
Saturday tango: CNN version

Cuban slave labor used to build Ikea furniture in the 1980s

The History of Ernesto Che Guevara – A Short Story

Argentina’s Olympic gaffe

Mexico: The boob tube UPDATED with VIDEO

In Defense of Marco Rubio’s Story of His Family’s Exile

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 9th, 2012

No cause is permanently lost, even the worst causes

Another “summit” for Obama to waste: Dina’s coming to Washington, Hopes Rise on Brazilian Ties, but The Economist says,BRAZIL has probably never mattered more to America than it does now. America has probably never mattered less to Brazil.

Can Brazil Stop Iran?

Chile: La Cuba que Camila Vallejo no quiso ver – por Yoani Sánchez

An open letter to Chilean communist student leader Camila Vallejo

Colombian politics
Santos v Uribe
Álvaro Uribe has fallen out with his chosen successor, Juan Manuel Santos. At stake are conflicting visions of the country’s future

Cuba After Benedict
Dissidents who asked to meet with the Pope are now being arrested.

18,262 days to be thankful for

Oscar Biscet says religious freedom does not exist in Cuba

Economist special report: Revolution in retreat
Under Raúl Castro, Cuba has begun the journey towards capitalism. But it will take a decade and a big political battle to complete, writes Michael Reid

Meet Latin America’s next Hugo Chavez
Ecuador’s Rafael Correa demonstrates same anti-American behavior

The Significant ‘Little War’
Declassified documents show that the Falklands War really did matter.

Two of Latin America’s deadliest gangs join forces, via Dick and Silvio Canto.

Earthquake warnings in Mexico City
This app could save your life

Miguel de la Madrid, 1934-2012
When the PRI shook

“That is how I infiltrated Iran” A Young Mexican spy narrates the details of an operation executed in Teheran from La amenaza Iraní [The Iranian Threat (in Latin America)]


Puerto Rico warns Occupy Movement to clean up mess

Samuel must have been off that day: Santero priest targeted in Puerto Rico drug operation

Orlando Robles Ortiz is accused of helping the group transport U.S.-bound cocaine from the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten to Puerto Rico and of consulting with a spirit named “Samuel” on which days were best to do so, officials said.

Searching for Gorbachev in Caracas
The Bolivarian Revolution risks breaking to pieces. With each passing day, Caracas more closely resembles Moscow circa 1991.
via Real Clear World

The Unforgiven

The week’s posts:
Mexico: The big business of oil theft
Cuba: Aftermath of the Pope’s visit
Argentina: Book banning through unleaded ink
Monday’s North American summit: Just how bad was it?
The wasted 1-day summit

At Real Clear World:
Chavez Heading Back to Cuba
Chavez Medical Emergency?