Posts Tagged ‘Gulf Cartel’

Mexico: Gulf Cartel run from Texas

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Which should come as no surprise,
THREE MEXICAN CARTEL LEADERS CAUGHT IN TEXAS SINCE OCTOBER

A Tamaulipas law enforcement official who spoke with Breitbart Texas said the Gulf Cartel is undergoing a hostile takeover of sorts where a faction of old timer’s that include Gulf Cartel members and original Zetas is moving in trying to run out the younger inexperienced crowd.

“The younger ones are the ones doing all sort of crazy stunts kidnappings, extortion and such,” the official said. “The old timers claim to want to bring peace or at least that’s what they claim.”

The claims were made through a communiqué published by Breitbart Texas where the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel claim to make peace and plan on restoring peace so they can focus on their business without disturbing the public.

People tend to confuse the definition of cartel when used in the drug trade. Cartel, in economics, means

An organization created from a formal agreement between a group of producers of a good or service, to regulate supply in an effort to regulate or manipulate prices. A cartel is a collection of businesses or countries that act together as a single producer and agree to influence prices for certain goods and services by controlling production and marketing. A cartel has less command over an industry than a monopoly – a situation where a single group or company owns all or nearly all of a given product or service’s market. In the United States, cartels are illegal; however, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – the world’s largest cartel – is protected by U.S. foreign trade laws.

In the drug trade, however, Wikipedia has it right (emphasis added),

A drug cartel is any criminal organization developed with the primary purpose of promoting and controlling drug trafficking operations. They range from loosely managed agreements among various drug traffickers to formalized commercial enterprises. The term was applied when the largest trafficking organizations reached an agreement to coordinate the production and distribution of cocaine. Since that agreement was broken up, drug cartels are no longer actually cartels, but the term stuck and it is now popularly used to refer to any criminal narcotics related organization, such as those in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Japan, Italy, France, United States, Colombia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Click on the map for an interactive map of the Mexican cartels:

Mexico’s Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Fascinating article in Popular Science on Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies
Inside the communications infrastructure of the ultraviolent syndicate

Why walkie-talkies? To enable communication even in locations without cellular service.

How Jose Luis Del Toro Estrada was tapped to develop the covert radio network also remains a mystery, but as his system grew, it supplied the Zetas with what’s called a command-and-control capacity. “It essentially linked all the different members of the cartel—the people doing the trafficking and the people doing the protection—so there was a communication between them,” says Pike, the DEA special agent. Armed with handheld radios, the cartel’s street-corner halcones, or hawks, could help commanders avoid arrest by alerting them whenever police set up checkpoints. A midlevel boss in Nuevo Laredo could monitor a semitruck carrying several tons of cocaine as it trundled across the border into Texas. Most crucially, Zetas gunmen could use the system to attack and seize plazas, or smuggling corridors, held by other drug gangs.

And,

The Zetas’ military training and ultraviolent tactics were crucial for propelling their rise to power, but one other factor was essential: After splitting from the Gulf Cartel, it was the Zetas who maintained control of the radio network.

Read the whole thing.

Mexico’s Zeta drug cartel plotted to blow up Falcon Dam

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Agents feared Mexican drug cartel attack on border dam

An alleged plot by a Mexican drug cartel to blow up a dam along the Texas border — and unleash billions of gallons of water into a region with millions of civilians — sent American police, federal agents and disaster officials secretly scrambling last month to thwart such an attack, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Whether or not the cartel, which is known to have stolen bulk quantities of gunpowder and dynamite, could have taken down the 5-mile-long Falcon Dam may never be known since the attack never came to pass.

It may have been derailed by a stepped-up presence by the Mexican military, which was acting in part on intelligence from the U.S. government, sources said.

The warning, which swung officials into action, was based on what the federal government contends were “serious and reliable sources” and prompted the Department of Homeland Security to sound the alarm to first responders along the South Texas-Mexico border.

Mexico’s Zeta cartel was planning to destroy the dam not to terrorize civilians, but to get back at its rival and former ally, the Gulf cartel, which controls smuggling routes from the reservoir to the Gulf of Mexico, said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, head of the Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition, as did others familiar with the alleged plot.

But in the process, massive amounts of agricultural land would stand to be flooded as well as significant parts of a region where about 4 million people live along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The last time I posted that securing the border is a matter of national security, a commenter got off the subject to talk about how narcos have money to cross the border legally. The issue is national security. Investor’s Business Daily stresses exactly that point:

If still more proof is needed that the border needs to be secured, the latest threats emerging from Mexico should do the trick. Together, they signal that the country’s war could advance to a more savage stage.

Last month, the Los Zetas paramilitary drug cartel tried to blow up the Falcon Dam near Zapata, Texas, on the Rio Grande River. The motive was to destroy a smuggling route controlled by the rival Gulf Cartel. Had it succeeded, 534 billion gallons of water could have been unleashed onto a region of 4 million people.

The plot was primitive, and U.S. lawmen took preemptive steps to foil it. But it showed motive, and the threat remains. On Friday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called it a reminder that more federal resources are needed to secure the border. Perry said he hoped he never had to tell U.S. officials “we told you so” after a major attack.

Moreover, the threat is no longer just over smuggling routes. Last Tuesday, the Washington Examiner quoted Mexican and U.S. intelligence sources as saying Mexico’s Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR), a Marxist terror organization aligned with drug cartels, is secretly receiving funds from Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

The group seeks to overthrow the Mexican government while engaging in drug trafficking, much as the FARC guerrillas do in Colombia. What’s disturbing here is not just EPR’s growing ties to the drug trade — which in time could lead to an alliance with the Zetas. It’s the threat to Mexico’s democracy, as well as the group’s expertise in destroying infrastructure like gas lines, which EPR did in 2007.

FARC itself has also begun operating in Mexico, cutting out drug trafficking middlemen to forge closer ties with Mexico’s cartels. StrategyPage, an intelligence forecaster, warned that FARC could begin launching attacks against the U.S. from Mexico in an effort to stop the U.S. from helping Colombia in its war on drugs back home.

These blood-chilling scenarios aren’t fantasies. They are signs of an emerging threat that gets little attention from U.S. lawmakers. Instead of focusing on making the border secure, they play partisan political games, pandering to potential voting blocs by dangling amnesty in front of illegal immigrants, grandstanding against Arizona’s effort to enforce federal law and coming up with one excuse after another for not erecting a border fence.

20740

Mexico’s re-organized crime: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Friday, June 4th, 2010

cllick on photo to enlarge

Today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern:
Highlights from The Economist’s report on the shifting battle lines among the cartels in Mexico’s drug war.

20725

The insidious rise of the Gulf Cartel: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Monday, January 4th, 2010

In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern,
Highlights from the Houston Chronicle’s report on the Insidious rise of Gulf Cartel
Interviews, files and court records trace a syndicate’s growth from small-time pot smuggling to a mega-empire with a hub in Houston

RAW NUMBERS TELL A NUMBING STORY
$18 to $39 billion: Drug proceeds from all cartels sent to Mex-ico and Colombia each year.

545 to 707: Metric tons of cocaine headed from South America to U.S in 2007.

230: Estimated number of U.S. cities with Mexican cartel operations.

220,000: Low-end estimate, in pounds, of cocaine smuggled into the U.S. by the Gulf Cartel over 16 years in the 1980s and ’90s
Sources: The National Drug Intelligence Center; U.S. Department of Justice

THE EVOLUTION OF THE GULF CARTEL
1984: Juan Garcia Abrego takes command after his rival is killed in a Mexico hospital.

1986: Cartel attempts to bribe an FBI agent with $100,000.

1989: Stash house hiding 9 tons of cocaine is discovered in Harlingen.

1994: Two American Express bankers are convicted of laundering $30 million in cartel money.

1996: Juan Garcia Abrego — on the FBI’s Most Wanted list — is captured and deported to Houston for trial.

1998: New boss Osiel Cardenas Guillen turns to a friend in Mexico’s special forces to launch Zetas, a private army.

1999: Cardenas threatens to kill two U.S. agents in Matamoros.

2001: Cartel branches out; $41 million found at stash house in Atlanta; $2.3 million in Houston.

2003: Cardenas is imprisoned after a gunbattle with the Mexican army; he continues to run the cartel from behind bars.

2005: Nuevo Laredo is plunged into a major cartel turf war; a new police chief is gunned down within hours of taking office.

2007: Cardenas is extradited to Houston.

2009: U.S. government offers a $5 million reward for the capture of cartel’s new bosses, including Cardenas’ brother.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Please note all podcasts are archived and you can listen at your convenience, and subscribe through iTunes.

The Carnival of Latin America will be posted later this afternoon.

Special thanks to Maggie for the link

UPDATE
Related to the issue of drug trade and legalizing drugs, read Todd Bensman’s article, Legal Trade of Khat in UK Funding Terror in Yemen?
Britain is the only Western country that hasn’t banned the stimulant. They should do so now, as sales likely fund al-Qaeda.

“El Barbas” gets shaved in Mexico

Friday, December 18th, 2009

My latest post Former Sinaloa Drug Lord Dead in Shootout, regarding the death of Arturo Beltrán Leyva, known as “El Barbas”, “the Beards” in Cuernavaca, is up at Real Clear World.

Mexican newscast (in Spanish):