Mexican Drug Cartel Violence Spills Over, Alarming U.S. Citizens

TUCSON — Sgt. David Azuelo stepped gingerly over the specks of blood on the floor, took note of the bullet hole through the bedroom skylight, raised an eyebrow at the lack of furniture in the ranch-style house and turned to his squad of detectives investigating one of the latest home invasions in this southern Arizona city.

A 21-year-old man had been pistol-whipped throughout the house, the gun discharging at one point, as the attackers demanded money, the victim reported. His wife had been bathing their 3-month-old son when the intruders arrived.

“At least they didn’t put the gun in the baby’s mouth like we’ve seen before,” Sergeant Azuelo said. That same afternoon this month, his squad was called to the scene of another home invasion, one involving the abduction of a 14-year-old boy.

This city, an hour’s drive north of the Mexican border, is coping with a wave of drug crime the police suspect is tied to the bloody battles between Mexico’s drug cartels and the efforts to stamp them out.

Since officials here formed a special squad last year to deal with home invasions, they have counted more than 200 of them, with more than three-quarters linked to the drug trade. In one case, the intruders burst into the wrong house, shooting and injuring a woman watching television on her couch. In another, in a nearby suburb, a man the police described as a drug dealer was taken from his home at gunpoint and is still missing.

Tucson is hardly alone in feeling the impact of Mexico’s drug cartels and their trade. In the past few years, the cartels and other drug trafficking organizations have extended their reach across the United States and into Canada. Law enforcement authorities say they believe traffickers distributing the cartels’ marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs are responsible for a rash of shootings in Vancouver, British Columbia, kidnappings in Phoenix, brutal assaults in Birmingham, Ala., and much more.

United States law enforcement officials have identified 230 cities, including Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston and Billings, Mont., where Mexican cartels and their affiliates “maintain drug distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors,” as a Justice Department report put it in December. The figure rose from 100 cities reported three years earlier, though Justice Department officials said that may be because of better data collection methods as well as the spread of the organizations.

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has asked for National Guard troops at the border. The Obama administration is completing plans to add federal agents along the border, a senior White House official said, but does not anticipate deploying soldiers.

The official said enhanced security measures would include increased use of equipment at the ports of entry to detect weapons carried in cars crossing into Mexico from the United States, and more collaboration with Mexican law enforcement officers to trace weapons seized from crime scenes.

Law enforcement officials on both sides of the border agree that the United States is the source for most of the guns used in the violent drug cartel war in Mexico.

“The key thing is to keep improving on our interdiction of the weapons before they even get in there,” said Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security and the former governor of Arizona, who will be testifying before Congress on Wednesday.

Familiar Signs

Sergeant Azuelo quickly began to suspect that the pistol whipping he was investigating was linked to a drug dispute. Within minutes, his detectives had found a blood-spattered scale, marijuana buds and leaves and a bundle of cellophane wrap used in packing marijuana.

Most often, police officials say, the invasions result from an unpaid debt, sometimes involving as little as a few thousand dollars. But simple greed can be at work, too: one set of criminals learns of a drug load, then “rips” it and sells it.

“The amount of violence has drastically increased in the last 6 to 12 months, especially in the area of home invasions, “ said Lt. Michael O’Connor of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department here. “The people we have arrested, a high percentage are from Mexico.”

The violence in the United States does not compare with what is happening in Mexico, where the cartels have been thriving for years. Forbes recently listed one of Mexico’s most notorious kingpins, Joaquin Guzmán, on its list of the world’s billionaires. (No. 701, out of 793, with a fortune worth $1 billion, the magazine said.)

At times, the police have been overwhelmed by the sheer firepower in the hands of drug traffickers, who have armed themselves with assault rifles and even grenades.

Although overall violent crime has dropped in several cities on or near the border — Tucson is an exception, reporting a rise in homicides and other serious crime last year — Arizona appears to be bearing the brunt of smuggling-related violence. Some 60 percent of illicit drugs found in the United States — principally cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine — entered through the border in this state.

The city’s home-invasion squad, a sergeant and five detectives working nearly around the clock, was organized in April. Phoenix assembled a similar unit in September to investigate kidnappings related to drug and human smuggling. In the last two years, the city has recorded some 700 cases, some involving people held against their will in stash houses and others abducted.

The state police also have a new human-smuggling squad that focuses on the proliferation of drop houses, where migrants are kept and often beaten and raped until they pay ever-escalating smuggling fees.

“Five years ago a home invasion was almost unheard of,” said Assistant Chief Roberto Villaseñor of the Tucson Police Department. “It was rare.”

Web of Crime

Tying the street-level violence in the United States to the cartels is difficult, law enforcement experts say, because the cartels typically distribute their illicit goods through a murky network of regional and local cells made up of Mexican immigrants and United States citizens who send cash and guns to Mexico through an elaborate chain.

The cartels “may have 10 cells in Chicago, and they may not even know each other,” said Michael Braun, a former chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Elizabeth W. Kempshall, who is in charge of the drug agency’s office in Phoenix, said the kind of open warfare in some Mexican border towns — where some Mexican soldiers patrol in masks so they will not be recognized later — has not spilled over into the United States in part because the cartels do not want to risk a response from law enforcement here that would disrupt their business.

But Mrs. Kempshall and other experts said the havoc on the Mexican side of the border might be having an impact on the drug trade here, contributing to “trafficker on trafficker” violence.

For one thing, they say, the war on the Mexican side and the new border enforcement are disrupting the flow of illicit drugs arriving in the United States. The price of cocaine, for instance, a barometer of sorts for the supply available, has surged.

With drugs in tighter supply, drug bosses here and in Mexico take a much harder line when debts are owed or drugs are stolen or confiscated, D.E.A. officials said.

Although much of the violence is against people involved in the drug trade, law enforcement authorities said such crime should not be viewed as a “self-cleaning oven,” as one investigator put it, because of the danger it poses to the innocent. It has also put a strain on local departments.

Several hours after Sergeant Azuelo investigated the home invasion involving the pistol whipping, his squad was called to one blocks away.

This time, the intruders ransacked the house before taking a 14-year-old boy captive. Gang investigators recognized the house as having a previous association with a street gang suspected of involvement in drug dealing.

The invaders demanded drugs and $10,000, and took the boy to make their point. He was released within the hour, though the family told investigators it had not paid a ransom.

“You don’t know anybody who is going to pay that money?” the boy said his abductors kept asking him.

The boy, showing the nonchalance of his age, shrugged off his ordeal.

“No, I’m not scared,” he said after being questioned by detectives, who asked that his name not be used because the investigation was continuing.

Growing Networks

Not all the problems are along the border.

The Atlanta area, long a transportation hub for legitimate commerce, has emerged as a new staging ground for drug traffickers taking advantage of its web of freeways and blending in with the wave of Mexican immigrants who have flocked to work there in the past decade.

The Atlanta area, long a transportation hub for legitimate commerce, has emerged as a new staging ground for drug traffickers taking advantage of its web of freeways and blending in with the wave of Mexican immigrants who have flocked to work there in the past decade.

Last August, in one of the grislier cases in the South, the police in Shelby County, Ala., just outside Birmingham, found the bodies of five men with their throats cut. It is believed they were killed over a $450,000 debt owed to another drug trafficking faction in Atlanta.

The spread of the Mexican cartels, longtime distributors of marijuana, has coincided with their taking over cocaine distribution from Colombian cartels. Those cartels suffered setbacks when American authorities curtailed their trading routes through the Caribbean and South Florida.

Since then, the Colombians have forged alliances with Mexican cartels to move cocaine, which is still largely produced in South America, through Mexico and into the United States.

The Mexicans have also taken over much of the methamphetamine business, producing the drug in “super labs” in Mexico. The number of labs in the United States has been on the decline.

While the cartel networks have spread across the United States, the border areas remain the most worrisome. At the scene of the pistol-whipping here, Sergeant Azuelo and his team methodically investigated.

Their suspicions grew as they walked through the house and noticed things that seemed familiar to them from stash houses they had encountered: a large back room whose size and proximity to an alley seemed well-suited to bundling marijuana, the wife of the victim reporting that they had no bank accounts and dealt with everything in cash, the victim’s father saying over and over that his son was “no saint” and describing his son’s addiction problems with prescription drugs.

A digital scale with blood on it was found in a truck bed on the driveway, raising suspicion among the detectives that the victim was trying to hide it.

The house, the wife told them, had been invaded about a month ago, but the attackers left empty-handed. She did not call the police then, she said, because nothing was taken.

Finally, they saw the cellophane wrap and drug paraphernalia and obtained a search warrant to go through the house more meticulously.

The attackers “were not very sophisticated,” Sergeant Azuelo said, but they somehow knew what might be in the house. “For me, the question is how much they got away with,” he said. “The family may never tell.”

All in all, Sergeant Azuelo said, it was a run-of-the-mill call in a week that would include at least three other such robberies.

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” Detective Kris Bollingmo said as he shined a light through the garage. “The problem is only going to get worse.”

“We are,” Sergeant Azuelo added, “keeping the finger in the dike.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/us/23border.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1

The Arizona Law: Mexican Drug Cartels Threaten Mexican Democracy – Leading Politician Assassinated – Obama’s Inaction Threatens American Security

UPDATE: Review of Judge Bolton’s Decision begins here: The Immigration Debate: The Arizona Law – Judge Bolton’s Decision (Part 1) 

Mexico to press ahead with vote despite slaying

By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ

Associated Press Writer

Rodolfo Torre

Mexican politicians vowed to press on with elections despite the assassination of the leading candidate for governor of a border state, urging frightened citizens to vote and show they are not intimidated by drug cartels threatening the country’s democracy.

Gunmen ambushed Rodolfo Torre’s campaign caravan Monday less than a week before he was expected to win the governor’s race in Tamaulipas, a state torn by a turf battle between two rival drug cartels. Four other people were killed: three of the candidate’s bodyguards and a state lawmaker.

President Felipe Calderon called the attack an attempt by drug gangs to sway Sunday’s elections for governors and mayors in 12 states. He warned that cartels want “to interfere in the decisions of citizens and in electoral processes.”

“Organized crime will never meet its objectives. It will not succeed in shaking our faith in democracy or undermine our confidence in the future of Mexico,” Calderon said in a televised speech.

But the attack emptied streets in Ciudad Victoria, the Tamaulipas state capital where Torre was killed. Heavily armed federal and state police patrolled in caravans. Some parents rushed to pick up their children from schools.

Campaign Caravan Ambushed - 4 Murdered

“I am not going to vote because there is a lot of fear. The tension is very strong,” said Maria Pilar Villegas, a convenience store clerk who said she was on the phone with her sister when she saw the news of the assassination on television. “I got chills when I saw the TV.”

Torre, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is the first gubernatorial candidate assassinated in Mexico in recent memory. He is the highest-ranking candidate killed since Luis Donaldo Colosio, also for the PRI, was gunned down while running for president in 1994.

Torre’s death was the biggest setback yet for the elections. Corruption scandals, threats and attacks on politicians have raised fears for months that Mexico’s powerful drug cartels are buying off candidates they support and intimidating those they oppose.

Calderon’s government did not say which gang was suspected in Torre’s assassination or why he would be targeted.

Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, has become a battleground between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas gang of hit men.

Drug cartels operate in many countries throughout Latin America, including Colombia, Brazil, Central America, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Mexico, Afghanistan and South Asia. Some cartels are even establishing themselves in U.S. cities like New York, Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Diego.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_cartel

The Gulf Cartel (Spanish: Cártel del Golfo) is a Mexican drug cartel based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The cartel is present in 13 states with important areas of operation in the cities of Nuevo Laredo, Miguel Alemán, Reynosa and Matamoros in the northern state of Tamaulipas; it also has important operations in the states of Nuevo León and in Michoacán. The Gulf Cartel traffics cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin across the U.S.-Mexico border to major cities in the United States. The group is known for its violent methods and intimidation, and works closely with corrupt law officials and business people in Mexico and the United States.

Aside from earning money from the sales of narcotics, the cartel also imposes “taxes” on anyone passing narcotics or aliens through Gulf Cartel territory. The cartel is also known to operate protection rackets, extorting money from local businesses, and to kidnap for ransom money.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Cartel

 Los Zetas is a criminal organization in Mexico dedicated mostly to international illegal drug trade and other organized crime activities. This drug cartel was founded by an elite force of assassins from Mexican Army deserters and is now integrated by corrupt ex-federal, state, and local police officers, as well as ex-Kaibiles from Guatemala.

This group of highly trained gunmen was first hired as a private mercenary army for Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. Since the arrest of the Gulf Cartel’s leader, Osiel Cárdenas Guillen, as well as other events, the two entities became a combined trafficking force, with the Zetas taking a more active leadership role in drug trafficking. Since February 2010 Los Zetas have gone independent and became enemies of its former employer/partner, the Gulf Cartel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Zetas

Mutilated Corpses - Mexican Drug War

The Juárez Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Juárez), also known as the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, is a Mexican drug cartel based in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas. The Juárez Cartel controls one of the primary transportation routes for billions of dollars worth of illegal drug shipments annually entering the United States from Mexico. Drug lords from contiguous Mexican states have forged alliances in recent years creating a cartel that sometimes is referred to as ‘The Golden Triangle Alliance’ or ‘La Alianza Triángulo de Oro’ because of its three-state area of influence: Chihuahua, south of the U.S. state of Texas, Durango and Sinaloa. The Juarez Cartel is a ruthless, dangerous drug trafficking organization that has been known to decapitate their rivals and mutilate their corpses and dump them in public to instill fear not only to the general public but to local law enforcement and their rivals, the Sinaloa Cartel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ju%C3%A1rez_Cartel

 Gangs have staged bold attacks on security forces, ambushing military patrols and setting up blockades near army garrisons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Drug_War

Last month, gunmen killed Jose Guajardo Varela, a candidate for mayor of the Tamaulipas town of Valle Hermoso. Guajardo, of

Mexican States With Highest Violent Cartel Activity In Red

Calderon’s National Action Party, or PAN, had received warnings to drop his campaign.

Leaders of the PAN and the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, had said they could not find anyone to run for mayor in some towns in Tamaulipas because of drug gang intimidation. PAN and PRD leaders have insinuated that the PRI has ties to drug gangs in the state, noting that the party has had no trouble fielding candidates in towns where other politicians are too scared to run.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Mexican_Drug_War

Proximity to Arizona Border & Phoenix

The PRI, which has long governed Tamaulipas, has dismissed such talk as tired campaign tactics.

Tamaulipas Gov. Eugenio Hernandez said he didn’t know of any threats against Torre, a doctor who had served as the state’s health secretary. Hernandez said Torre didn’t express any fear when the two met Sunday to watch the World Cup game between Mexico and Argentina.

“We couldn’t see this attack coming at all,” Hernandez said in an interview with Milenio television.

Torre, 46, was heading from Ciudad Victoria to the border city of Matamoros to accompany the PRI’s mayoral candidates in the closing of their campaigns Monday.

SEE: Mexican Drug Cartel Violence: Mexican Marines arrest presumed leader of Beltran Leyva Cartel – Sergio Villarreal Barragan taken into custody

Jorge Luis Navarro, president of the Tamaulipas state election institute, said the vote would go forward.

PRI national leader Beatriz Paredes urged supporters to go the polls. “Nothing is going to intimidate us,” she said in a statement. There was no announcement on who the PRI candidate would be.

The PAN and the PRD said they would suspend campaigning by their own gubernatorial candidates in Tamaulipas.

Elsewhere in Mexico, campaigning continued, with candidates urging voters not to fear assassination.

“They are not going to intimidate us. We are going to continue until Sunday with the same intensity,” said Jose Francisco Olvera, the PRI candidate for the central state of Hidalgo.

The PRI, which ruled Mexico for 71 years until losing the presidency in 2000, is hoping that a strong showing in Sunday’s elections will put it on the path to regain the presidency in 2012.

Polls had indicated that Torre would easily win the election in Tamaulipas.

The conservative PAN has formed uncomfortable alliances with the PRD to oust the PRI from several states, though not in Tamaulipas.

That alliance, however, was sorely tested by the worst corruption scandal of the election.

Cancun mayor Gregorio Sanchez, of the PRD, was arrested last month for allegedly protecting two brutal drug cartels, forcing him to drop his campaign for governor of Quintana Roo state. His leftist party has dismissed the allegations as a political ploy by Calderon’s government.

"DEAD HANDS", vicitms executed with hands tied behind their backs

Drug gang violence has rocketed since Calderon deployed thousands of troops and federal police across the country in 2006 to wage an all-out battle against cartels. Some 23,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence.

George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, said Torre’s assassination would keep many voters home, but he expected the situation would only benefit the PRI.

“The … climate of fear will dampen voter turnout on Sunday, which will help the PRI because they have the best political machine,” he said.

Gregorio Linares, a waiter an at upscale restaurant where Torre and other politicians were frequent customers, said the city was growing accustomed to violence. Two months earlier, a shootout between soldiers and gunmen had erupted near the restaurant. But he said Torre’s death would only encourage him to vote for the PRI’s new candidate.

“It’s our duty,” he said.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/06/28/2049782/report-governor-candidate-killed.html#ixzz0sErnUnQ0

 U.S. death toll and national security

U.S. authorities are reporting a spike in killings, kidnappings and home invasions connected to Mexico’s cartels, and at least 19 Americans were killed in 2008. Also, more than 200 Americans have been killed in Mexico since 2004.

For the U.S. Joint Forces Command, in terms of worst-case scenarios, Mexico bears some consideration for sudden collapse in the next two decades as the government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. The Joint Forces Command are concerned that this internal conflict over the next several years, will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state, and therefore would demand an American response based on the implications for homeland security alone. In March 2009, the United States Department of Homeland Security said that it is considering using the National Guard to counter the threat of drug violence in Mexico from spilling over the border into the US. The governors of Arizona and Texas have asked the federal government to send additional National Guard troops to help those already there supporting local law enforcement efforts against drug trafficking. The call for National Guard on the border greatly increased after the 2010 murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, possibly at the hands of Mexican drug smugglers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Drug_War

McAuley’s World Comments

Bribery, extortion, threats of violence, corrupt or fearful politicians and police. They exist on both sides of the border.

President Obama is willing to sacrifice the security of the United States in his attempt to bolster his ratings and garner votes in November’s elections.

13 Men Executed By Cartel - San Ignacio in the pacific state of Sinaloa

The Arizona Law is not “about” racial profiling, the law is a law enforcement tool in a “life and death” struggle against the world’s largest and best armed criminal enterprises.

How dare the Obama Administration continue to play the race card?

With the Obama Administration’s policies and the Federal Government’s willingness to allow “Sanctuary Cities” to exist, the men who murdered Rodolfo Torre could well be hiding safely, today, in Phoenix or San Francisco or Los Angeles.

How dare anyone pretend that Arizona’s Law is being designed to harass and demean Hispanics in Arizona. The Law confirms that the standard law enforcement tool, granting Law Enforcement Officers the right to ask suspects to identify themselves and prove who they are, is a basic necessity in the war against the Mexican cartels.

The law’s detractors pretend that Law Enforcement personal have been waiting for just such a law, waiting for a law like this so they can “harass individuals out for ice cream with their families”.

Have you no shame? Is your head in the sand? Don’t you read the reports produced by your own Federal Agencies?

FBI: Burgeoning gangs behind up to 80% of U.S. crime: Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members

Human Trafficking Victims - Rescued after routine traffic stop

 responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-01-29-ms13_N.htm

MS-13 gang seen as growing threat: By DAVID McLEMORE / The Dallas Morning News 
PHARR, Texas – Shortly after midnight in late September, a Texas National Guard soldier with night-vision equipment spied four figures slipping through the brush and alerted Border Patrol agents. The men were arrested, and one in particular stood out for the extensive tattoos across his face, body and arms.A fingerprint check showed Santos Chileno-Gomez, a 23-year-old Salvadoran, had been deported for an assault on a Long Island, N.Y., police officer. His lengthy criminal record – and the tattoos – labeled him as a member of Mara Salvatrucha 13, a vicious international street gang that federal authorities call one of the most violent in the U.S. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/102906dntexMS13.2e3e193.html

CRS Report for Congress MS-13 The Emerging Transnational Gang Threats http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/94863.pdf

Remarks As Prepared For Delivery By Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden At The Ceremony For The Phoenix OCDETF Strike Force: http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2009/09/093009-speech-doj-ogden-remarks-multi-agency-arrests.html

Directors Remarks at The SouthWest Border Violent Crimes and Arms Trafficking Summit: http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2009/06/063009-speech-atf-ad-melson-remarks-firearms-summit.pdf

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/ms-13-gang-leader-gets-60-years-for-murder-and-robbery

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2009/March/09-crm-260.html

http://www.gsnmagazine.com/article/20019/ms_13_gang_members_convicted

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09708.pdf

http://washingtondc.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel10/wfo052110.htm

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10395.pdf

http://www.yesweekly.com/article-821-scuttlebutt-developments-across-the-triad-and-beyond.html

GANGS AND CRIME IN LATIN AMERICA: Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony : April 20, 2005 Wednesday: CAPITOL HILL HEARING TESTIMONY
COMMITTEE: HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

TESTIMONY-BY: CHRIS SWECKER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR – FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Statement of Chris Swecker Assistant Director – Criminal Investigative Division Federal Bureau of Investigation

Committee on House International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

April 20, 2005

Luis Donaldo Colosio - Mexican Presidential Candidate - Assassinated 1994

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today about the FBI’s efforts to combat gangs in the United States, including Latin American or Hispanic gangs, such as MS-13.

Gangs and other criminal enterprises, operating in the U.S. and throughout the world pose increasing concerns for the international law enforcement and intelligence communities. Today, gangs are more violent, more organized and more widespread than ever before. They pose one of the greatest threats to the safety and security of all Americans. The Department of Justice estimates there are approximately 30,000 gangs, with 800,000 members, impacting 2,500 communities across the U.S. The innocent people in these communities face daily exposure to violence from criminal gangs trafficking in drugs and weapons and gangs fighting amongst themselves to control or extend their turf and their various criminal enterprises.

Gangs from California, particularly in the Los Angeles area, have a major influence on Mexican-Americans and Central American gangs in this country and in Latin America. Hispanic gangs in California have separated into two rival factions, the Nortenos, which are primarily found in Northern California, and the Surenos, found to the south and predominantly in the urban areas surrounding Los Angeles. A rivalry exists between these factions, which had its genesis in the California Department of Corrections during the 1960’s, when the Nuestra Familia (Nortenos) prison gang formed to oppose the Mexican Mafia (Surenos) prison gang. Today, the Mexican Mafia, and other Hispanic prison gangs, such as the La EME in southern California, the Texas Syndicate (T/S, Syndicato Tejano), and the Mexikanemi (EMI, Texas Mexican Mafia) remain powerful both in prison and on the street. and most Hispanic gangs in California align themselves under the Nortenos or the Surenos. Hispanic gangs aligned under the Nortenos will generally add the number 14 after their gang name, while gangs aligned under the Surenos will generally add the number 1 3 ( i.e., MS-13).

The migration of MS-13 members and other Hispanic street gang members, such as 18th Street, from Southern California, to other regions of this country, has led to a rapid proliferation of these gangs in many smaller, suburban and rural areas not accustomed to gang activity and related crimes. Additionally, the deportation of MS-13 and 18th Street gang members from the United States to their countries of origin is partially responsible for the growth of those gangs in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala. and Mexico, although the precise of this responsibility is unknown…..

STATS

–Arrest – 41,747

–Information/Indictments – 19,560

–Convictions – 19,166

–Disruptions – 846

–Dismantlements – 253

–Title Ills – 1,460

–Undercover Operations – 109

http://www.opensourcesinfo.org/journal/2005/5/3/gangs-and-crime-in-latin-america.html

CENTRAL AMERICAN AND MEXICAN GANG ASSESSMENT: USAID http://www.usaid.gov/locations/latin_america_caribbean/democracy/gangs_assessment.pdf

PRESIDENT OBAMA – When you let ICE refuse to process referrals from Arizona – this is what you are disrupting:

Mr. Morton this is what you are refusing to do ….. refusing to cooperate with this program.

Taking Back the Streets: ICE and Local Law Enforcement Target Immigrant Gangs

3 U.S. Embassy Workers Ambushed & Murdered - Ciudad Juarez

Center for Immigration Studies

Immigration law enforcement has been a key ingredient contributing to the success of criminal gang suppression efforts in many jurisdictions across the United States. Since 2005, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested more than 8,000 gangsters from more than 700 different gangs as part of a special initiative known as Operation Community Shield. This effort has produced incalculable public safety benefits for American communities, despite being criticized periodically by immigrant and civil liberties advocates that are consistently opposed to all immigration law enforcement.

Local governments and law enforcement agencies that shun involvement in immigration law enforcement are missing an opportunity to protect their communities from criminal immigrant gang activity. Policymakers should take further steps to institutionalize partnerships between state and local law enforcement agencies and ICE in order to address gang and other crime problems with a connection to immigration.

Debris Left Behind - Cartel Controlled "Coyote Route"

Immigrant gangs: 1). are considered a unique public safety threat due to their members’ propensity for violence and their involvement in transnational crime. The latest national gang threat assessment noted that Hispanic gang membership has been growing, especially in the Northeast and the South, and that areas with new immigrant populations are especially vulnerable to gang activity. 2). A large share of the immigrant gangsters in the most notorious gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Surenos-13, and 18th Street are illegal aliens. Their illegal status means they are especially vulnerable to law enforcement, and local authorities should take advantage of the immigration tools available in order to disrupt criminal gang activity, remove gang members from American communities, and deter their return. Once explained, these measures find much support, especially in immigrant communities where gang crime is rampant.

http://cis.org/ImmigrantGangs

El Paso’s Barrio Azteca Gang One Of The Most Dangerous In Nation

by Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter: Feb 7, 2008 9:00 PM MST

Mexican Troops Move To Arrest Cartel Killers Near U.S. Border

El Paso’s Barrio Azteca gang are some of the most dangerous in the country even though, Javier Sambrano, El Paso police spokesman, said “There have been some people arrested. They are associated or members of that MS-13 but we really haven’t seen any activity”. But according to other El Paso law enforcement there are gangs in El Paso including MS-13 members.

“They are very active they have over 2,000 members according to the El Paso police department,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez believes the Azteca’s are attracted to El Paso because of the accessibility to drugs from Mexico, and he said members tend to be active drug dealers.

Federal authorities point to the Mexican drug cartels who are ultimately responsible for border violence by having cemented ties to

Federal Troops Respond After Cartels Kill 12 Federal Police Officers

 street and prison gangs like Barrio Azteca on the U.S. side. Azteca and other U.S. gangs retail drugs that they get from Mexican cartels and Mexican gangs. Mexican gangs run their own distribution networks in the United States, and they produce most of the methamphetamine used north of the border. They have even bypassed the Colombians several times to buy cocaine directly from producers in Bolivia, Peru and even Afghanistan. These same gangs often work as cartel surrogates or enforcers on the U.S. side of the border. Intelligence suggests Los Zetas They’re known as “Los Zetas have hired members of various gangs at different times including, El Paso gang Barrio Azteca, Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, MS-13, and Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos to further their criminal endeavors. Dangerous Mexican Cartel Gangs

http://www.lagunajournal.com/el_paso%20Gangs%20Most%20Dangours.htm

Public corruption, greed, fear …… follow the money in your community. Identify those at fault, those who are willing to turn a blind eye or to work fore these criminal enterprises ……. vote them out of office and insist on their prosecution.

Mexican Army Called Out To Fight Cartels

Also See: Mexican Drug Cartel “Army” 100,000 Strong. Parity Reached With Mexico’s 130,000 Man Army

                   Why America needs To Have Secure Borders & Voter ID Laws – Stop Human & Drug Trafficking Across Our Borders

                   Why The US Needs To Secure Its Borders: Organized crime takes control in parts of Mexico

                   Illegal Immigration & Dynamics of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking from Latin America

                   SEX TRAFFICKING – San Francisco Major Center – International Crime Networks Smuggle And Enslave

                  Illegal Immigration & Sex Trafficking – Who Is At Risk?

Mexican Federal Police arrest 5 in drug rehab executions

Cartel Killers - Arrested after "routine traffic stop"

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Police have arrested five men accused of dozens of murders, including two mass killings at drug treatment centers in this northern Mexico border city.

Police say the men were members of the Sinaloa cartel, a violent gang entrenched in a brutal turf war for control of drug routes to the United States.

The men are accused of 45 different executions in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most violent city. They were arrested by law enforcement agents during a routine street patrol, according to a statement released Friday by federal police.

Shooting Leaves Three U.S. Embassy Employees Dead in Mexico

These represent the latest deaths in the cartel drug wars, which Mexico is fighting with little success.

(CIUDAD JUAREZ / SALEM) – A shooting at the American embassy left two American citizens dead, as well as a Mexican national. All worked at the U.S. Consulate.

The shooting happened Saturday afternoon, near the Santa Fe International bridge. This is the connection between Ciudad Juarez,  Chihuahua, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.

The driver, 35-year old Lesley A. Enriquez, was shot in the head. Her husband, 34-year old Arthur H. Redelfs, was shot in the neck and arm. The couple’s one-year old baby, in the back seat of the vehicle, was not harmed in the shooting.

http://wcco.com/national/Americans.Killed.Mexico.2.1561543.html

UPDATE:

Mexico offers armored cars, security details for candidates after candidate killed

MEXICO CITY

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico is offering to provide candidates with bulletproof vehicles and bodyguards following the assassination of a politician running for governor in the northern state of Tamaulipas.

Assistant Interior Secretary Roberto Gil says the government decided to tighten security for gubernatorial candidates and some mayoral contenders after gunmen killed Rodolfo Torre and four of his companions.

Gil says the increased security has been given to those politicians who asked for it, after a government review.

He said Thursday that few such requests have been received.

Voters will elect the governors of 12 of Mexico’s 31 states on Sunday.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/07/01/mexico-offers-armored-cars-security-details-candidates-candidate-killed/

Review of Judge Bolton’s Decision: The Immigration Debate: The Arizona Law – Judge Bolton’s Decision (Part 1) 

A comprehensive review and analysis of Judge Bolton’s erroneous decision.

Read why the Judge was wrong – compare “Congressional intent” with the Judge’s reasoning.

With these PDF documents:

Bolton’s Decision

DOJ Memo 04/02/2010

Links to:

DOJ Complaint

Arizona Law

The actual Immigration Statutes that should have “controlled” the Judge’s decision.

Official Web Sites of: DOJ / DHS / LESC / NSEERS / FBI

What does Congress “mandate” be done and by whom?

 https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/the-immigration-debate-the-arizona-law-judge-boltons-decision-part-1/

The Massacre of Roldolfo Torre

Also See: Mexican Police Help Murder Their Own Mayor – Edelmiro Cavazos, Santiago, Mexico  (08/20/2010)

Following the latest slaying, President Calderon said that “Mexico’s very democracy is under threat”.

Why The US Needs To Secure Its Borders: Organized crime takes control in parts of Mexico

By Jane Bussey, McClatchy Newspapers Sun Sep 14, 6:00 AM ET

MORELIA, Mexico — As helicopters circled overhead, trucks carrying Mexican army troops lurched through the colonial streets of this provincial capital to a central plaza, where a grenade had been discovered near the cathedral.

Law-enforcement agents cordoned off the plaza and removed the grenade. But the latest attempt at intimidation in Michoacan , the state where Mexican President Felipe Calderon first dispatched the military to confront the Mexican drug cartels, appears to have succeeded.

Fear of the drug gangs pervades this city about 200 miles west of Mexico City .

“Don’t go to Aguililla or to Tepalcatepec or to Coalcoman!” is the warning Victor Serrato , president of the State Commission on Human Rights in Morelia gives visitors. There is a risk of abduction, mistreatment or worse, he said.

Paracuaro , which human rights experts considered a “safe” town, turned out not to be. Not long after this reporter and a photographer sat down at a restaurant interview a local resident about drug violence, two police officers arrived and sat down — only to rush off when they spotted the visitors. We took the hint and quickly left town.

Gruesome gangland-style murders and targeted assassinations of law-enforcement officers have claimed headlines in what Mexicans now refer to as war.

The chilling reality of Mexico is the mounting evidence that organized crime has become the de facto power in parts of the country, and local authorities can no longer protect citizens and impart justice.

” Michoacan is one of the states where you feel most the breakdown of the social fabric because of this criminal activity,” Serrato said.

“These cartels, which previously were dedicated to the narcotics business, have now turned to control a whole other series of activities,” he said. “They are demanding payoffs not only from owners of illicit businesses, but what is more serious, they are demanding them from people who sell clothing in markets or the owners of small restaurants.”

The winnings from the trafficking of illegal cocaine, marijuana and other drugs are on view in Uruapan : There are luxury car dealerships, stores selling expensive furniture and homes that locals say belong to drug traffickers, distinguished by having no windows facing the street and thick walls on all sides and strings of electrified wires atop the walls.

Violence between competing drug gangs reached a peak in 2006, when drug commandos knows as the Zetas tossed five severed human heads on a night club floor in Uruapan , some 290 miles west of Mexico City . But there is no sign that the bloodshed has ended. In the last week in August, the state was the site of four gangland killings and the abduction of Uruapan’s town council secretary, Maribel Martinez , who was snatched after the attended an evening mass. Her bodyguards were wounded.

“This happens all the time: killings, kidnappings, robberies, rapes,” said Morelia college student Francisco Paredes , putting on a brave face. “I was afraid, not any more.”

Life in some parts of Mexico is part Colombian-style violence, part Al Capone’s Chicago in the 1920s, and part civil war, although the gangs are not fighting for any cause beyond self-enrichment.

Despite the 2,673 deaths in the violence through mid-August — more than in all of 2007, life goes on. Some 14,000 people recently ran a Mexico City marathon; “12 Angry Men” played to packed audiences in Mexico City in August and Wal-Mart Mexico opened 14 stores in June.

But Mexicans in Michoacan and other parts of the country, described in dozens of interviews the growing sense of despair that organized crime has moved beyond just drug trafficking to kidnapping and extortion of ordinary people, overwhelming law enforcement with their spoils of crime, estimated at $25 billion to $40 billion annually.

Like Michoacan , residents in Tamaulipas , which borders the U.S., say that drug cartels control widespread intelligence-gathering networks, for example paying waiters to keep tabs on whether diners are talking about drug gangs or spotters in small towns to report on visiting outsiders. The majority of kidnappings go unreported.

A number of wealthy Mexicans have started to make plans to move to the U.S. because of the rising incidence of kidnapping and extortion.

A poll taken in June showed 53 percent of Mexicans thought drug gangs were winning the war and only 24 percent believed the government had the upper hand.

What’s worse, security analysts agree that while the military can reduce the open violence, soldiers can do little to weed out the spread of organized crime into civilian institutions. That effort requires coordination with law enforcement and justice institutions.

Increasingly political leaders and officials are speaking openly of the threat to the country’s democratic government.

On Aug. 23 , Beatriz Paredes , leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party , lashed out at Calderon’s government over the rising violence.

“There are risks of this becoming ungovernable above all because the rule of law is being weakened by rising crime and public insecurity,” she said.

Paredes echoed Guillermo Valdes , the head of the government’s intelligence organization CISEN, who framed the issue as a threat to democracy. Drug traffickers are attempting to take control of the government, he told foreign reporters recently.

It’s too early to call Mexico a failed state. The federal government retains enormous power, and Calderon pledged in a radio message on Aug. 25 that the insecurity problem was “a cancer that we are going to eradicate.”

But there are some states that are failing to protect their citizens from the slaughter.

On the same day Paredes was criticizing the Calderon government, Jose Reyes Baeza , the governor of Chihuahua, faced down an angry crowd in the town of Creel demanding an explanation for the absence of police protection on Aug. 16 , when drug commandos stormed a dance hall, gunning down and killing 13 people, including an infant.

Despite the 40,000 troops Calderon has deployed — including 6,500 in Michoacan — safety and security still elude residents in zones where drug lords and their heavily armed commandos fight among themselves, battle the military and wage a low-intensity war of intimidation on the population.

“People are at the breaking point,” said Serrato of the Michoacan human-rights commission.

(Bussey reports for the Miami Herald .

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20080914/wl_mcclatchy/3042653

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