Posts Tagged ‘Zetas’

Mexico: The big business of oil theft

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The big business of oil theft

According to an Excelsior newspaper article, the value of the theft ascends to nearly half a billion dollars, just a fraction of Pemex’s $100 billion annual revenue but still a lot of money. Other estimates say the value of the losses are higher.

The states with the highest number of holes punched in the pipelines are Sinaloa, Nuevo Leon, Veracruz, Puebla and Tamaulipas.

The story said in a one-year period ending in November, thieves relieved Mexican taxpayers of revenue from 2,986,563 barrels of oil, 52 percent higher than the 1,959,439 barrels that went missing in the previous year. Read here and here to find out more about oil theft in Mexico (in English). Much of the oil appears to be stolen by gangs linked to Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel

Apparently 5,026 places along the Pemex pipeline are used for syphoning off nearly three million barrels of oil.

This is not a few people stealing small amounts. This is another way organized crime spreads across Mexico, beyond drugs: Oil Theft is Big Business for Mexican Gangs.

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Falklands Blockade Is an Act of War Toward Britain

Snif Snif: 300 Dogs stop Dollar Flight

In her first year, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff cleans house

Chevron’s Crude-Oil Spill in Brazil Prompts $10.6 Billion Lawsuit

Brazil Bets Big on Wind Power

Cuba: Images of repression

News host in Dominican Republic quits when station refuses to air video of politician’s bodyguard shoving a journalist

Petroecuador to Ship $538 Million Worth of Oil to PetroChina in 2012

Ecuadorian government’s attempt to trademark Twitter tag portends censorship, warns blogger

Rockhopper and Desire jump on Falklands find
Rockhopper Petroleum has unveiled another oil discovery near the Falkland Islands, sending its shares up almost 10pc.

Where has La Gringa been?

Iran Preparing Serious Cyber Attack Against the U.S. from Latin America

Hezbollah, Yet Another Western Hemisphere Link

Zetas: We are not Terrorists, Nor Guerrillas
A series of public messages seemingly hung by the Zetas in the border town of Nuevo Laredo deny that the group has any plans to confront the Mexican or US governments.
via Gancho.

Why Would Mexican Drug Cartels Need Hezbollah To Launder Their Money?

Government Says Hezbollah Profits From U.S. Cocaine Market Via Link to Mexican Cartel

Don Ray brings hospital supplies: Container #8 Unload

La Policía brasileña confisca 13 toneladas de marihuana en la frontera con Paraguay

Peru’s Humala Passes His First Test
By lifting a blockade of a copper mine, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala upholds the rule of law and sends a strong positive signal to foreign investors.

2 strong earthquakes strike Puerto Rico within a few minutes

What Hugo Chávez’s illness means for U.S., China

U.S. authorities probing alleged cyberattack plot by Venezuela, Iran, via GoV

Shake it, baby! Shake that PSUV tree!


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.