Posts Tagged ‘drug cartels’

Drugs, guns, and bundlers UPDATED

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

In the New York Times, that arm of the vast right-wing conspiracy,
Obama to Return Major Donations Tied to Fugitive

Two American brothers of a Mexican casino magnate who fled drug and fraud charges in the United States and has been seeking a pardon enabling him to return have emerged as major fund-raisers and donors for President Obama’s re-election campaign.
The casino owner, Juan Jose Rojas Cardona, known as Pepe, jumped bail in Iowa in 1994 and disappeared, and has since been linked to violence and corruption in Mexico. A State Department cable in 2009 said he was suspected of orchestrating the assassination of a business rival and making illegal campaign donations to Mexican officials.

First, the Obama campaign denied knowing about Pepe,

When The New York Times asked the Obama campaign early Monday about the Cardonas, officials said they were unaware of the brother in Mexico.

Later, they came to their senses, sort of,

Later in the day, the campaign said it was refunding the money raised by the family, which totaled more than $200,000.

Because,

Pepe Cardona is one of the largest players in Mexico’s violent and tumultuous casino trade. In 2007, he survived an assassination attempt that was attributed to members of organized crime. The State Department cable, which was part of the cache made public by WikiLeaks, said he was suspected of illegally funneling $5 million into Mexican political campaigns in 2006.

As Jazz Shaw puts it,

Cardona appears to be tied up not only in drug smuggling allegations, but bribing public officials in Mexico and the untimely inhuming of one of his “colleagues” in the trade.

Jazz continues,

Jim Geraghty connects the dots and ties Cardona to the drug cartels in Mexico and all of the violence associated with them, bringing us full circle back to Fast and Furious.

At least these guys are courteous enough to tip the administration that supplies their friends with guns so well…

Too bad the Cardonas didn’t belong to the FALN.

UPDATE,
WyBlog calls Pepe “the new Marc Rich“.

UPDATE 2,
via Thomas, Fugitive Obama Fundraiser Linked to Fast and Furious and the Beltran Leyva cartel.

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Mexican cartels expand into Central America

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Border security is a matter of national security for the USA:

Report at the Washington Post,
Mexican drug cartels bring violence with them in move to Central America

Drug cartel violence in Mexico is quickly spilling south into Central America and is threatening to destabilize fragile countries already rife with crime and corruption, according to the United Nations, U.S. officials and regional law enforcement agents.

How bad is it?

The Northern Triangle of Central America — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — has long been a major smuggling corridor for contraband heading to the United States. But as Mexican President Felipe Calderón fights a U.S.-backed war against his nation’s drug lords, trafficking networks are burrowing deeper into a region with the highest murder rates in the world.

The Mexican cartels “are spreading their horizons to states where they feel, quite frankly, more comfortable. These governments in Central America face a very real challenge in confronting these organizations,” said David Gaddis, chief of operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

And democracy is in peril,

The expansion of cartel power in the Northern Triangle threatens to undermine democratic gains made since the end of civil conflicts here in the mid-1990s. Analysts say the lucrative profits of the drug trade wield powerful influence in these countries, where half the people live in poverty.

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“The Guatemalan government is weak, and the drug cartels provide services that the state does not,” such as health clinics, soccer fields and schools, said Fernando Giron Soto, a researcher at the Myrna Mack Foundation, a human rights organization in Guatemala City whose doors are guarded by armed sentries. “It’s the same thing that Pablo Escobar used to do in Medellin” during the 1990s in Colombia, he said.

In many areas of the Northern Triangle, police are ineffective, if they exist at all, experts say. Guatemala and Honduras have fewer than half as many police per capita as Mexico, U.N. data show. In Guatemala, as many as seven of the country’s 22 provinces appear to be under the control of criminals, according to the International Crisis Group report.

It’s not just a distraction: this is a crucial problem for our national security.

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FactCheck.org is counting Mexico’s guns

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Counting Mexico’s Guns
April 17, 2009
President Obama says 90 percent of Mexico’s recovered crime guns come the U.S. Not true.

…is it true as President Obama said, that “More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States?” No, it’s not.

The figure represents only the percentage of crime guns that have been submitted by Mexican officials and traced by U.S. officials. We can find no hard data on the total number of guns actually “recovered in Mexico,” but U.S. and Mexican officials both say that Mexico recovers more guns than it submits for tracing. Therefore, the percentage of guns “recovered” and traced to U.S. sources necessarily is less than 90 percent.

Furthermore, the 90 percent figure is based on a badly biased sample of all Mexican crime guns. Law enforcement officials say Mexico asks the U.S. to trace only those guns with serial numbers or other markings that indicate they are likely to have come though the U.S.

The real question is, what percentage of the Mexican drug cartels weapons come via

  • Central America
  • Russia
  • South Korea’s explosives manufacturers
  • the international armaments trade

and, what part will the Russian machine gun factory in Venezuela, which is expected to produce 150,000 machine guns by next year (far outstripping demand from Venezuela’s military, which has 80,000 personnel) play in the drug wars.