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Federal officials say they have new evidence that Mexico's most violent drug cartels are exploiting U.S. guns laws to acquire massive quantities of assault rifles and other firearms for use in their war against the Mexican government.
The raids, along with five accompanying indictments of 34 suspects, are likely to call new attention to the state of U.S. gun laws at a time they have been the subject of mounting debate in recent weeks triggered by the Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions
Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.
"Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities... There were signs that some banks were rescued that way."
The bank, now a unit of Wells Fargo, leads a list of firms that have moved dirty money for Mexico’s narcotics cartels--helping a $39 billion trade that has killed more than 22,000 people since 2006.
This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of coc aine.
William Robert "Tosh" Plumlee, a former CIA contract pilot who flew numerous missions delivering arms to Latin America and returning drugs to the United States as part of the covert Iran/Contra operations in the 1980s.
Plumlee still has deep contacts in the U.S. intelligence world. His efforts to expose past CIA complicity in the drug trade are documented in a letter he sent in 1991 to then U.S. Sen. Gary Hart; in testimony he provided that same year to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and are spelled out in an exclusive story he provided to the San Diego Reader in 1990
The Gulf Cartel boasts a rare weapon in the high stakes war for drug-trafficking supremacy: U.S.-trained soldiers.
The Zetas, hired assassins for the Gulf Cartel, feature 31 ex-soldiers once part of an elite division of the Mexican army
At least one-third of this battalions deserters was trained at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Ga
There is a higher level of danger with the type of knowledge that these people have their arms capacity, their knowledge of techniques and specialization in (drug) traffic operations,"
At the center of the rash of murders and kidnappings in the Mexican border town is supposedly a gang of ruthless former Mexican military commandos known by the codeword Zetas.
A major reason for their “professionalism” in this area is that many of the Zetas have received some specialized military or other tactical training from U.S. agencies, including from the DEA, FBI and U.S. military.
Calderón's war, assisted by the United States, terrorizes the Mexican people, generates thousands of documented human rights abuses by the police and Mexican Army and inspires lies told by American politicians that violence is spilling across the border (in fact, it has been declining on the US side of the border for years).
No one asks or answers this question: How does such an escalation benefit the drug smuggling business which has not been diminished at all during the past three years of hyper-violence in Mexico? Each year, the death toll rises, each year there is no evidence of any disruption in the delivery of drugs to American consumers, each year the United States asserts its renewed support for this war. And each year, the basic claims about the war go unquestioned.
There's just one problem with the 90 percent "statistic" and it's a big one: It's just not true. . .
In 2007-2008, according to ATF Special Agent William Newell, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF for tracing. Close to 6,000 were successfully traced -- and of those, 90 percent -- 5,114 to be exact, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover -- were found to have come from the U.S.
But in those same two years, according to the Mexican government, 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes.
But no matter how hard Calderon and U.S. officials try to disguise the pig, it still oinks.
A Narco News investigation into the flow of arms across the U.S. border appears to lead right back to the systemic corruption that afflicts a vast swath of the Mexican government under President Felipe Calderon and this nation’s own embrace of market-driven free-trade policies.
The deadliest of the weapons now in the hands of criminal groups in Mexico, particularly along the U.S. border, by any reasonable standard of an analysis of the facts, appear to be getting into that nation through perfectly legal private-sector arms exports, measured in the billions of dollars, and sanctioned by our own State Department. These deadly trade commodities — grenade launchers, explosives and “assault” weapons —are then, in quantities that can fill warehouses, being corruptly transferred to drug trafficking organizations via their reach into the Mexican military and law enforcement agencies, the evidence indicates.
“As in other criminal enterprises in Mexico, such as drug smuggling or kidnapping, it is not unusual to find police officers and military personnel involved in the illegal arms trade,” states an October 2007 report by the for-profit global intelligence group Stratfor, which Barron’s magazine once dubbed the Shadow CIA. “… Over the past few years, several Mexican government officials have been arrested on both sides of the border for participating in the arms trade.”
The Feb. 21 attack on police headquarters in coastal Zihuatanejo, which injured four people, fit a disturbing trend of Mexico's drug wars. Traffickers have escalated their arms race, acquiring military-grade weapons, including hand grenades, grenade launchers, armor-piercing munitions and antitank rockets with firepower far beyond the assault rifles and pistols that have dominated their arsenals.
Most of these weapons are being smuggled from Central American countries or by sea, eluding U.S. and Mexican monitors who are focused on the smuggling of semiauto- matic and conventional weapons purchased from dealers in the U.S. border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. . .
There are even more ominous developments: Authorities reported three thefts of several hundred pounds of blasting material from industrial explosives plants in Durango during a four-day period last month. Authorities believe the material may have been destined for car bombs or remotely detonated roadside devices. . .
Grenades or military-grade weapons have been reported in at least 10 Mexican states during the last six months, used against police headquarters, city halls, a U.S. consulate, TV stations and senior Mexican officials. In a three-week period ended March 6, five grenade attacks were launched on police patrols and stations and the home of a commander in the south-central state of Michoacan. Other such attacks occurred in five other states during the same period. . .
Many had been sold legally to governments, including Mexico's, and then were diverted onto the black market. Some may be sold directly to the traffickers by corrupt elements of national armies, authorities and experts say.
Deguerin says the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms asked Carter's Country to complete transactions, even when sales people strongly suspected the weapons were headed to Mexican drug gangs.
"They were told to go through with what they considered to be questionable sales. They were told to go through with sales of three or more assault rifles at the same time or five or more 9 millimeter guns at the same time or a young Hispanic male paying in cash. It's all profiling, but they went through with it," said Deguerin.
"They reported them promptly, either while the transaction was going on or soon there after. They did this for months and months and months. Went through with the sales because the ATF told them to go through with the sales, he added"
Originally posted by sicksonezer0
reply to post by MikeNice81
I knew a guy who was a known drug dealer, driving in a stolen car, with drugs, $4000+ cash and a gun, his car was confiscated, gun taken away, drugs taken, and money taken, and he was not charged. WTF. When I asked him why he wasnt charged, he didnt seem a bit suprised that he wasnt charged, and he didnt care, he said they only want the goods.