Posts Tagged ‘Zetas’

Why the drop in illegal immigration from Mexico?

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The WSJ has an interesting article and graph,

Far Fewer Enter U.S. Illegally From Mexico

Arrests of people trying to sneak into the U.S. from Mexico have plunged to the lowest level in four decades, the latest sign that illegal immigration is on the retreat even as legislatures, Congress and presidential candidates hotly debate the issue.

The article lists several reasons,

Behind the historic drop is a steep decline in the birthrate in Mexico and greater opportunities there relative to the weak U.S. economy. Stepped-up U.S. patrols along the border make it both riskier and more expensive for Mexicans to attempt to enter the country.

Government crackdowns on U.S. employers who hire illegal workers also have discouraged immigrants.

Yes, these are all powerful reasons, but I would add another reason: The border smuggling traffic coming from Mexico, be it of people or drugs, is controlled by the drug cartels. It has been that way for several years, particularly for the last four years, and the trend matches that of the above graph. The days where the coyotes were a mom-and-pop business are gone. The cartels control entire towns in the border area.

This would “make it both riskier and more expensive”, and also possibly a longer-term commitment to a criminal organization. That alone may be the most powerful reason, but I don’t have the resources to prove it.


Los Zetas: Organized crime puts the brakes in illegal immigration to the USA, aids Iranian terrorism

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Mexico’s National Migration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración de México – INM) has released a study showing that illegal immigration from Central American countries through Mexico heading to the USA has decreased by 70% (h/t Silvio) due to organized crime.

Beltrán also stated that Mexican immigration to the USA has decreased by one third since its peak of 450,000 in the years from 2000 to 2005.

INM Commissioner Salvador Beltrán del Río explained that the decrease is due to the increased risks of human trafficking, extorsion and kidnapping faced by the immigrants from organized crime’s larger role in immigration.

The worst incident so far was in August 2010, when the Zetas kidnapped and murdered 72 immigrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas, which borders Texas.

Los Zetas, according to the US Justice Department, are involved in the aborted plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US which

also included plans to pay the cartel, Los Zetas, to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Saudi and Israeli Embassies in Argentina, according to a law enforcement official.

The national security threats from drug cartels are not limited to drugs alone.


Mexico’s cartels vs bloggers, part 3

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Interestingly, at the same time that the cartels (the Zetas in particular?) are killing bloggers, Startfor reports that on September 8 the Mexican navy dismantled the Zetas’ communication network in Veracruz (link by subscription only).

On the massive raid, the navy seized seven trailers that served as base stations, along with computers, encryption devices, solar cells, and other equipment.

Los Zetas have more sophisticated networks than most cartels due to their origins with the military, and they use their knowledge (and massive proceeds from the drug trade) to avoid regular cell phones and other devices that are easily monitored.

The location of the raid, Veracruz, makes it tactically valuable, for its vicinity to population-dense Mexico City and its financial institutions.


Mexican cartels now going after bloggers, part 2

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Yesterday I posted on how the Zetas allegedly tortured and killed a man and a woman, who still remain unidentified, for posting on the internet on drug violence in the country.

However, the two victims are not the first bloggers to be murdered because of their posting: Last month Humberto Milan Zalazar, who ran a website, was killed also because of his posting.

The Economist comments on the most recent murders,

It isn’t clear how the killers selected their victims, as such blogs usually allow anonymous comments.

I’ll let the techies discuss how hard or how easy it would be to find the IP address of a post or a comment and compare it to the IP address of a smart phone from someone you have kidnapped. However, it is clear that the narcos are driving their point of dominance by terror.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, and for bloggers.


On a side note, while I visit Instapundit every day and am grateful for his links, it’s a sad day to see this entry,

IN AMERICA, WE HAVE ATTACKWATCH.COM. In Mexico, a deadly threat to ‘scandal mongers’ using social media.

Attack Watch – a White House website that quickly has become a joke – doesn’t disembowel and hang anyone a few miles from the US border.


Mexican cartels now going after bloggers

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Mexican blogs Frontera al rojo vivo and Blog del narco are now being hounded by the Mexican cartels:
Bodies hanging from bridge in Mexico are warning to social media users

Social media users who denounce drug cartel activities along the Mexican border received a brutal warning this week: Two mangled bodies hanging like cuts of meat from a pedestrian bridge.

A woman was hogtied and disemboweled, her intestines protruding from three deep cuts on her abdomen. Attackers left her topless, dangling by her feet and hands from a bridge in the border city of Nuevo Laredo. A bloodied man next to her was hanging by his hands, his right shoulder severed so deeply the bone was visible.

Signs left near the bodies declared the pair, both apparently in their early 20s, were killed for posting denouncements of drug cartel activities on a social network.

“This is going to happen to all of those posting funny things on the Internet,” one sign said. “You better (expletive) pay attention. I’m about to get you.”
The gruesome scene sent a chilling message at a time when online posts have become some of the loudest voices reporting violence in Mexico. In some parts of the country, threats from cartels have silenced traditional media. Sometimes even local authorities fear speaking out.

Mashable reports that Denuncia ciudadana was included in the threat. Unlike Frontera al rojo vivo and Blog del narco, Denuncia ciudadana is an official site of the Mexican government’s Prosecutor’s office.

Video below the fold, since it’s gruesome,


Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Don’t Cry For Me Ameritina

Britain and Bolivia

Health care in Brazil
An injection of reality
Brazil’s pioneering state-run health system needs reform if it is to achieve its constitutional mandate of guaranteeing high-quality care for all

Seja simpática, faça o que pedem

Escondida Workers Reject Bonus Offer; Strike Continues

Joe Arroyo, Star of Salsa and Colombian Music Giant, Dies at 55

Joe Arroyo, a Colombian songwriter, singer and bandleader whose pan-Caribbean salsa hybrids and historically conscious lyrics made him one of his country’s most respected musicians, died on Tuesday in Baranquilla, his adopted home city in Colombia. He was 55.

Here he is, singing, En Barranquilla me quedo,

Lázaro Marlon Mesa Romero, Cuba Political Prisoner of the Week, 7/31/11

The Remittance Conundrum, via Babalu

An academic study released over the weekend shows that nearly half of all Cubans that receive remittances from abroad have absolutely no interest in leasing a self-employment license (ownership remains prohibited) from the Castro regime, while another 34% would only “think” about it. That leaves few that actually have or would.

US State Dept.’s Background Note, and Estudio: cubanos que reciben remesas no desean invertir

Five years

Two More Cuban Airports to Receive Charter Flights from U.S.

Ecuador’s autocrat cracks down on media freedom

Censorship in Ecuador
Rafael Correa seeks to bankrupt his media foes

Book review: Broken and broken-hearted

No Fatalities in Guyana Air Crash

A Prince of the Coffee Bean
Honduras Becomes Central America’s Top Producer, Helping to Fuel Its Economy

17 killed in prison fight in northern Mexico

Bloodthirsty! 1,500 murders ordered by leader of Mexican Murder, Inc.

Mexico: A Zeta Narcorepublic?
US Dept. of the Treasury Fact Sheet: New Executive Order Targets Significant Transnational Criminal Organizations

La Familia Michoacana cartel battered by U.S. agents

Humala Day 1: Changing constitutions (maybe)

Humala’s challenges

Cuba-Puerto Rico Flights to Return After 53 Years

They bark, Sancho…

Chavismo’s strategy. Well, sort of…..

Another Day, Another Bond Issued, this time by the Republic of Venezuela

Hugo Chavez’s opponents see an opportunity

The week’s posts,
Those “evil corporate jet owners” will be buying Mexican, after all
Is the FARC in retreat?
Who knew about Fast and Furious?
Mexican cartels expand into human trafficking
Carlos Eire pulls out the big stick

At The Conservatory,
Chavez Says He’ll Cheat Death and Leave Presidency in 2031


Zetas May Attempt to Overthrow Mexican Government in 2012?

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Doug Ross has a provocative post, with a translation of an article in a Mexican website,

Former DEA and CIA Operatives: Los Zetas May Attempt to Overthrow Mexican Government in 2012 (Using U.S. Government Weapons)

By Carmen Álvarez (Translated by Mario Andrade from

Los Zetas use the border crossings of El Paso-Ciudad Juarez and Palomas-Columbus (both locations along the Texas-Chihuahua border) to supply and stockpile military type weapons, which would give them ability to disrupt the 2012 elections, according to the El Paso Times.

That is a possibility, particularly when one could make the case that the Zetas brought about the current drug war from their reach for power.

The report is corroborated with an interview with Phil Jordan, former director of the DEA in El Paso, who stated that the stockpiles, which include anti-aircraft missiles, are transported from a Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The consultant added that the criminals set up (phony) companies to buy weapons directly through a State Department program.

…The Border Patrol personnel and U.S. intelligence services have recently learned that Los Zetas have been purchasing properties on both sides of the border to store thousands of high-power weapons that were discovered to be part of five or six shipments that left the same airport where the DEA has its air operations center… …[Los Zeta wants to] reinforce their troops for battling other cartels and possibly disrupt the 2012 elections in Mexico, El Paso Times reported yesterday.

Again, border security is national security.

Linked by All American Blogger. Thanks!


The Mexican cartels’ cokemobiles: Homemade tanks

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Mexico soldiers find narco ‘tank’ factory near US border,

Soldiers on patrol in a Mexican border town discovered a warehouse where armor-plated “tanks” were being prepared for the Gulf drug cartel, a military source said Monday.

The patrol came across the warehouse when they clashed with a group of armed men in the town of Ciudad Camargo, in the far northeastern state of Tamaulipas. Two of the gunmen were killed in a firefight, while two hid inside the warehouse.

“We found two home-made armored trucks in the warehouse, which belongs to the Gulf Cartel,” the military source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The trucks were covered in steel plates one inch (2.5 centimeters) thick, strong enough to “resist the caliber of personal weapons the soldiers use,” said the source.

The air-conditioned armored vehicles were equipped with portholes where snipers could open fire from and remain protected.

Soldiers also found two other trucks that were in the process of being armored, as well as 23 powerful big-rig trucks that were apparently going to be armored.

Some are designed for larger-scale operations,

In May, police in the western state of Jalisco carrying out a sweep against the Los Zetas drug cartel discovered an armored vehicle large enough to carry 20 armed men and also equipped with weapons portholes.

Location, location, location.

Members of the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas are engaged in a bitter fight to control the lucrative smuggling routes in eastern Mexico into the United States.

Again, border security is national security.


Mexican gang violence kills 27 in Guatemala

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I have posted about the Mexican gangs spread to other countries; last weekend the Zetas beheaded 27 people in Guatemala,
Guatemala declares siege in region of drug massacre

In a radio interview, [Guatemalan President Alvaro] Colom said a Los Zetas hit team that stormed a ranch in the Peten and beheaded laborers, three of them minors, may have included former commandos from a special forces unit of Guatemala’s army, the Kaibiles.
“It was total savagery. Everyone is in a stupor,” Colom told Mexico’s MVS radio network, adding that a feud between rival drug gangs led to the massacre.
Guatemala’s once-fearsome army is a shadow of what it was, and doubts arose over whether it could restore order in the sprawling Peten – the northern third of the nation – where Colom declared a 30-day state of siege Monday night. The region is part of a crucial cocaine-smuggling corridor to the United States.

It happened during the weekend,

Some 40 to 50 assailants under a Mexican commander arrived on Los Cocos ranch Saturday night looking for ranch owner Otto Salguero, systematically killing and beheading unarmed laborers, authorities said. By Sunday morning, 25 workers had been beheaded and two others also were killed. Some of the laborers had been hired in another region of Guatemala only a week earlier and had come to the ranch for temporary work.
Colom said three survivors were under government protection, including a pregnant woman whose pleas for mercy were heeded even as killers beheaded her husband.

This is a turf war,

Los Zetas have operated hand in hand with Guatemalan drug clans, but they’ve attempted to crush one group, the Leon family. Its commandos killed Juan Jose “Juancho” Leon in 2008, and a brother who took over the business, Haroldo, was slain in the Peten on Friday.

As the Zetas continue to spread through the Hemisphere into the Andes, we will continue to read about their reign of terror and crime. For the time being, Peten is under state of siege, with the army in charge.


The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The Chinese Dragon Sweeps Through Latin America
Time to stand up and take notice — English and Spanish speakers alike

Jorge Macchi
South American magic on show in the north

Bossa nova and Elenco Records
A moody soundtrack for Brazil

No Samba for Chavez this time around

After 11 Months Colombia Asks, Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Take a seat

Organized Crime in Costa Rica and the Other Balloon Effect

Ecuador: Uncertainty and Division

Report Links Ecuador’s President With Colombian Guerrillas

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa may have received as much as $400,000 from Colombian guerrillas and their drug trafficking allies for his 2006 presidential campaign, a U.K. think tank concluded in a report released Tuesday.

Ecuador emerging as new cocaine centre

Ecuador’s constitutional referendum
A close count
The balance of powers hangs in the balance

Oppenheimer Report; Ecuadorian media censorship

El Salvador Quits the Market Model
The country’s debt has been repeatedly downgraded as President Mauricio Funes has increased government spending.

The problem is not only reckless spending but also hostility toward business. The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, which once ranked El Salvador as the ninth freest economy in the world (2000), now places it at 39.

Battle With Mexican Gang at Texas-Border Lake Kills 13

Martelly inaugurated as Haitian president

Qaddafi’s Man in Managua
Sandinista boss Daniel Ortega is an old friend of the Libyan tyrant.

Fears grow that US unready for larger Panama canal, via The Latin Americanist.

Giuliani accompanies Keiko Fujimori on campaign

American Airlines Backs Puerto Rico Airport Plan

Hugo Chavez: FARC’s unreliable partner
Close logistical support is suggested in new report between Venezuelan officials and wanted murderers – so what do we do about it?

Hugo Chavez’ main link to the FARC, trusted adviser (and twice Interior Minister) Ramon Rodriguez Chacin

Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation’s Anonymous Effort

The week’s posts,
Chavez, nursing knee injury, tweets
Zelaya returning to Honduras
Raiding private pensions: it’s not just for Argentina anymore
Ecuador’s Correa and the FARC
A guitar grows in Argentina
Bin Laden’s cousin arrested in Ecuador for human trafficking
Makled now in Venezuela

At Real Clear World
Venezuela Wanted FARC to Act as Hit Men
Iranian Training Camps in Latin America