Posts Tagged ‘guns’

Mexico: Military clash with cartel-fighting militias

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

In Michoacán state, militias fighting the Knights Templar cartel get smashed by the government.

Mexico Confronts Cartel-Fighting Militias
The Mexican military confronted armed vigilantes that had organized to repel a crime cartel from their rural southern state, Michoacán, in deadly clashes on Tuesday.

There were no reports on arrests or confrontations with cartel members on Tuesday, prompting some confusion among Michoacán residents over why the military seemed determined to disarm the militias but not the cartel. Others were concerned over the vulnerability of unarmed and readily identifiable militia members if Knights Templar members seek to retaliate.

A spokesman for the vigilantes, Estanislao Beltrán, said during a news conference that Tuesday’s confrontation began when soldiers who had confiscated weapons from the militias in the town of Antúnez were blocked by townspeople.

It was unclear how many people died during the morning clash. Mexican media, citing unofficial accounts by the military, put the number at two, while Mr. Beltrán said four had died.

Interestingly, the attack on the militia coincides with this:

In recent days the vigilante groups appeared to gain the advantage over the cartel. On Sunday, they entered Nueva Italia and encircled Apatzingán, the town of 100,000 where the cartel is based.

Mexico has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the hemisphere.

Was it John Adams who said, “An armed man is a citizen; an unarmed man is a subject”?

Militia Mayhem for Mexico

En español: Fausto Vallejo, gobernador de Michoacán, en la unidad de quemados,

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

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Business Insider posts: CONFIRMED: The DEA Struck A Deal With Mexico’s Most Notorious Drug Cartel

An investigation by El Universal has found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs in exchange for information on rival cartels.

Sinaloa, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, supplies 80% of the drugs entering the Chicago area and has a presence in cities across the U.S.

There have long been allegations that Guzman, considered to be “the world’s most powerful drug trafficker,” coordinates with American authorities.

But the El Universal investigation is the first to publish court documents that include corroborating testimony from a DEA agent and a Justice Department official.

The written statements were made to the U.S. District Court in Chicago in relation to the arrest of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Sinaloa leader Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and allegedly the Sinaloa cartel’s “logistics coordinator.”

On Fast & Furious,

Zambada-Niebla also alleged that Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals. (If true, that re-raises the issue regarding what Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the gun-running arrangements.)

Is any of this true?

Ace asks,

True? Bullshit? I don’t know. As far as partisan/presidential blame, the narrative goes like this: The agreement (about permitting Sinaloa drugs to get through to the US in exchange for tips on rivals) is struck by Clinton. It “peaks” under Bush, in 2006, through Obama, in 2010, but at that point we seem to still be talking about laying off Sinaolo [sic] drug deliveries. I’m not sure if there is anyone blamed for the “arming the narcogangsters” by this narrative except for Holder and Obama.

It strikes me as hard to believe… and yet the government does things which are hard to believe.

Former ATF Special Agent John Dobson made similar claims in his book The Unarmed Truth: My Fight to Blow the Whistle and Expose Fast and Furious. Agent Dobson is the agent who originally blew the whistle on Fast and Furious.

Last November Holder appealed a judge’s ruling allowing the House of Representatives to continue with a contempt case stemming from his refusal to turn over documents related to the Justice Department’s response to the Operation Fast and Furious gunwalking controversy.

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, chair of House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is vowing to keep up the heat in the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious

“Buy a shotgun!” said Joe

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

In Rick Moran’s podcast

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Talking about Gun Control Battle Moves to the States with Rick and Howard Nemerov.

Fast & Furious on @Univision

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Due to a prior commitment, I couldn’t watch Univision’s broadcast of their Fast and Furious investigation last night. Univision has the videos here, where you can watch the entire series without English subtitles. Among their findings,

  • Some of the Mexican authorities knew about F&F, which contradicts statements from Mexican functionaries saying they had no knowledge of the program.
  • An ATF source asserts that Operation Castaway, launched in Florida, allowed weapons to end up in the hands of  drug cartels in Honduras, Colombia and Puerto Rico.
  • Lawyers of ICE agent Jaime Zapata, who was murdered in a Mexican highway, state that the weapons were used by a gang being investigated by the ATF on a separate investigation.

Sooper Mexican has video with subtitles of part of the show:

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Bob Owens:

The hour-long Univision report revealed the existence of another 57 guns recovered by Mexican authorities, including some of those used in the mass-murder at a party just one year after Obama’s inauguration...

These 57 recovered weapons discovered are in addition to the 122 weapons referenced in a congressional report. It is chilling to learn that each weapon recovered was dumped at the scene of a crime by cartel members who had attempted, and in most cases completed, the crime of first-degree murder. It is even more disturbing to know that American Department of Justice officials knew that most of the weapons walked over the border would only be discarded by the police and recovered by Mexican authorities after they were used in a crime, and that they were indifferent to the body count being racked up, callously noting that to make an omelet, eggs had to be broken.


While the Univision report focused on guns the DOJ ran to Mexican cartels, there is enough evidence to suggest other Obama administration-sanctioned gun-walking plots arming domestic criminal gangs, such as the so-called Gangwalker plot in Indiana, which supplied Chicago street gangs, and similar rumored operations in California, North Carolina, northern Florida, and elsewhere, which provided weapons to gangs in U.S. cities. Nor has the Univision report focused on weapons that have found their way to cartels via the State Department or the Department of Defense.

More captioned video at ABC:

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Plus the Daily Caller:

And a question from Bob Owens: Will Romney mention Fast and Furious during the debates, to help force an issue to the surface that the palace guard MSM are “unexpectedly” reticent to discuss?

In today’s WSJ,
Bullets Follow Guns to Mexico
Ammunition Is Easier to Buy and Hide Than Weapons; Smuggling Is Harder to Stop

Why executive privilege over Fast & Furious?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

UPDATE: Holder in contempt

Up until now, Holder has insisted that the White House had absolutely nothing to do with Fast & Furious. Now Obama asserts executive privilege on some Fast and Furious documents

The White House move means the Department of Justice can withhold some of the documents from the House Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to consider a contempt measure Wednesday against Holder.

So, to do this doesn’t that mean that he did in fact know about this earlier than he has indicated?
Otherwise how does a DOJ operation fall under this?

“The assertion of executive privilege raises monumental questions,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a statement released Wednesday shortly after the president’s move. “How can the President assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the President exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. The questions from Congress go to determining what happened in a disastrous government program for accountability and so that it’s never repeated again.”

The White House may claim that anyone in the executive branch can claim executive privilege. That’s not going to work,

In the landmark case that spells out presidential executive privilege, United States vs Nixon (1974), the Supreme Court found that executive privilege pertains to communications directly with the president, and otherwise limited the scope of executive privilege. Today’s move by the White House implies either that Fast and Furious reaches directly into the Oval Office, or that the White House is challenging the Nixon ruling. Either way, today’s assertion is a major escalation of the scandal.

Now that the White House has jumped in, will the media pay attention?

Phineas has more on the topic.

Memories… from 2007;

Cheap & Nasty, Fast & Furious

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Richard Fernandez has an excellent analysis of the Venezuelan munitions story I posted this morning, At the Hugo, Hugo Cabana

The weapons will even be handed out to militias affiliated with Chavez to help them expropriate property from the one percenters of Venzuela. But there’s a dark side to it.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute thinks  the weapons are also destined for drug cartels, terror groups and assorted bad guys in Latin America.

In a global triangulation that would excite any conspiracy buff, the globalization of terrorism now links Colombian FARC with Hezbollah, Iran with Russia, elected governments with violent insurgencies, uranium with AK-103s, and cocaine with oil. At the center of it all, is Latin America—especially the countries under the influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

At this rate the drug cartels in Latin America will have connections not just to local politicians but to foreign powers.

Oh, but they do.

Richard continues,

Maybe Congressman Darrell Issa has got the wrong idea about Operation Fast and Furious, in which the Justice Department allegedly armed Mexican cartels. Suppose F&F wasn’t about a gun sale program gone wrong but one gone according to plan?

The authorities certainly need a new one. Decapitating cartel leadership isn’t working, and the drug war isn’t going anywhere. So perhaps the only thing left is to to take over the cartels or at least ‘engage’ with them and use them as proxy militias. The serious of the nexus between international politics and drug gangs arose in late 2011 when it was revealed that cartels were planning to attack US targets in Mexico with US supplied guns.

I’m not sure that the cartels want to buy Chavez’s inferior weapons when they can afford the best, but a large supply of Cheap and Nasty can certainly destabilize Hugo’s (or post-Hugo‘s) Venezuela and his client countries long enough that the weapons’ quality may not be an issue. Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua come to mind – and Hugo even mentioned Argentina.

All for his Bolivarian Revolution, that is.

However, Richard makes a strong case for the reasons behind F&F.

Go read his full post, and ponder his last statement,

Maybe every drug gang is now looking for a patron — Russia, Iran come to mind — so if not you’re not one, then why become another?

Cheap & Nasty, Fast & Furious; all deadly.

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Smart diplomacy: Fast and Furious ‘poisoned’ Mexican public opinion of US – UPDATED

Friday, June 1st, 2012

The Mexican ambassador to the USA was speaking at a Democrat-sponsored event to promote tighter gun laws in the USA:
Mexican official: Fast and Furious ‘poisoned’ public opinion of US

“Fast and Furious has poisoned the well-spring of public opinion in Mexico as it relates to the cooperation and engagement with the United States,” Sarukhan said.

“It does put a lot of strain on the huge strides that we’ve achieved with two successive administrations in the United States,” he said.

Mexican Ambassador confirms early citizen journalist reports amidst media spin

The Mexican ambassador to the United States told a Capitol Hill forum that his government was “kept in the dark” about U.S. government-condoned and abetted “gunwalking” operations, and also questioned the intent behind Operation Fast and Furious, The Los Angeles Times is reporting today. Appearing before “the New Democrat Network…a center-left think tank and advocacy organization, and the New Policy Institute, one of its sister organizations,” Arturo Sarukhan’s claims raise questions as to why major news outlets like The Times are just now getting around to reporting on information raised in this column and on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog back in January, 2011.

I’m not sure that they were firsts; Bob Owens has been on top of this story for well over a year.

UPDATE: I checked with Bob Owens, who confirmed that they were indeed breaking the story, but also stated, “If it wasn’t for these two guys, we wouldn’t know half of what we know.”

Bob has the three most basic questions about the gun-walking plot:

  1. Who conceived this radical departure from normal law enforcement practices? Who conceived an operation requiring the deaths of hundreds or thousands of Mexican nationals for its success?
  2. Which Department of Justice officials saw that Operation Fast and Furious needed hundreds or thousands of firearms to be given to the cartels and recovered at the scenes of crimes, knew that the crimes in question were likely to be murders of Mexican nationals or U.S. citizens along the Mexican border where the cartels operate, and approved the operation anyway?
  3. Knowing that Operation Fast and Furious could be the political and criminal albatross that drives away moderates and Latino voters and destroys his chances of winning a second term, why does President Obama refuse to appoint a special prosecutor or to call for Eric Holder and his direct reports to resign?

Unless and until those questions are unequivocally answered, Mexico-US relations will not improve. Unfortunately, Sarukhan is playing into the hands of the very people who flooded his country with assault weapons.

Fast and Furious

wasn’t “botched.” It was meant to do everything that it did — except get found out. The goal was to create a climate of opinion that favored gun control, and it’s ironic to see Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) still trying to put it to this use.

Oh, the Dems will continue to do so, for as long as they can get away with it.

Mexico: Sinaloa’s top hit man hoarding #FastAndFurious weapons

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, the “top enforcer” in Ciudad Juarez for the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world, had this in his basement,

Fast and Furious weapons were found in Mexico cartel enforcer’s home
Guns illegally purchased under the ATF operation were found in April hidden in violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, court records show.
(emphasis added)

High-powered assault weapons illegally purchased under the ATF’s Fast and Furious program in Phoenix ended up in a home belonging to the purported top Sinaloa cartel enforcer in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, whose organization was terrorizing that city with the worst violence in the Mexican drug wars.

In all, 100 assault weapons acquired under Fast and Furious were transported 350 miles from Phoenix to El Paso, making that West Texas city a central hub for gun traffickers. Forty of the weapons made it across the border and into the arsenal of Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, a feared cartel leader in Ciudad Juarez, according to federal court records and trace documents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Torres Marrufo is still out there, somewhere.

Apparently the weapons purchased in Phoenix, Arizona, made their way through Texas,

Three months into the program, El Paso began to emerge as a hub, perhaps the central location, for Fast and Furious weapons. On Jan. 13, 2010, El Paso police stumbled upon 40 firearms after following a suspicious dark blue Volkswagen Jetta that backed into a garage at a local residence, according to federal court records.

At about that time, the Justice Department’s No. 2 figure, directly under Attorney General Eric Holder, was being briefed on Fast and Furious,

Documents recently turned over by the Justice Department to Congressional investigators indicate that then-Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler received a detailed briefing on Fast and Furious more than a year and a half ago.
“Deputy Attorney General” is the Justice Department’s No. 2 figure, directly under Attorney General Eric Holder.

Grindler moved from Deputy Attorney General to a spot as Holder’s chief of staff last January.

The briefing Grindler attended was on March 12, 2010, six months into ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed thousands of weapons on the street in an attempt to track down Mexican drug cartels. Portions of the documents are redacted.

In handwritten notes about Fast and Furious that are not all legible, Grindler writes about “seizures in Mexico” and “links to cartel.” He also noted “seizures in Mexico” on a map of Phoenix, the home base for Fast and Furious, and Mexico locations where some guns ended up. And Grindler made notations on a photograph of several dozen rifles.

Holder continues to deny any involvement.

The bigger issue is, why is there no special prosecutor appointed yet?

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Gunwalker: Will the Justice Department be held to account for arming lethal Mexican cartels?

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Bob Owens asks, ‘Gunwalker’ Under Fire
Will the Justice Department be held to account for arming lethal Mexican cartels?

To date, the ATF operation, which encouraged gun shops in the American southwest to sell weapons to suspected criminals and let them carry the weapons across the border, has resulted in an estimated 150 Mexican law enforcement officers and soldiers shot with ATF-supplied weapons. While the theory behind the plot was different, the end result is no more deplorable than Iran’s arming of Iraqi terrorists.

At least two American law enforcement officers have been murdered with ATF weapons as well. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed with “Gunwalker” firearms in Arizona, while ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata was killed in an ambush in Mexico with a gun the ATF allowed to be sold to a cartel gun smuggler in Dallas.

The damning evidence that the U.S. Department of Justice agency is a major supplier of cartel weapons will go in front of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week, in what could be a damning indictment of the ATF’s senior leadership and Eric Holder’s leadership of the Department of Justice.

Attorney General Holder has apparently ordered the DOJ to fight Congressional oversight, with the DOJ and ATF ignoring seven letters and a subpoena from the committee. Neither Holder nor ATF Director Ken Melson will answer questions — which may lead to them being held in contempt of Congress.

Owens also touches on the 90% fallacy.
Go read every word.
(h/t Instapundit)