Monday, October 31, 2011

AZMEX EXTRA 2 31-10-11

AZMEX EXTRA 2 31-10-11

Note: interesting array of weapons picked for show & tell.

From KTAR photos of drugs & weapons

Matthew Allen, left, special agent in charge of Homeland Security
Investigations in Arizona, is joined by Richard Barlow, Acting Chief
Patrol Agent for the U.S. Border Patrol, as they arrive with others
for a news conference as a variety of multi-jurisdictional law
enforcement agencies announce a bust on a major drug smuggling ring
in Arizona, Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, in Phoenix.

Operation "Pipeline Express" has netted 76 arrested,
has seized 61,573 pounds of marijuana,
213 pounds of cocaine, 158 of heroin,
$758,908 in cash,
83 vehicles,
108 weapons,
and four ballistic vests,
all linked, according to law enforcement, to a faction of the
Sinaloa Cartel based in Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

BTW, the Sonoyta area has had an increase in killings lately.
The previous bust mostly involved members of a non hispanic minority
The feds still don't want to discuss if any of the weapons are from F&F.

Massive smuggling ring dismantled in Arizona
Associated Press | Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 2:45 pm | Comments

Arizona authorities have disrupted a Mexican drug cartel's
distribution network, arresting dozens of smugglers in dismantling a
ring responsible for carrying more than $33 million worth of drugs
through the state's western desert every month, officials said Monday.
The ring is believed be tied to the Sinaloa cartel _ Mexico's most
powerful _ and responsible for smuggling more than 3.3 million pounds
of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin
into the U.S. through Arizona over the past five years, according to
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Their efforts in that time generated an estimated $2 billion,
according to ICE.
ICE's Homeland Security Investigations and the Pinal County Sheriff's
Office arrested 22 suspected smugglers tied to the ring on Thursday,
the latest of three busts they say have brought it down following a
17-month investigation dubbed "Operation Pipeline Express."
In the three busts combined, the agencies have arrested 76 suspected
smugglers and seized more than 61,000 pounds of pot, about 160 pounds
of heroin, about 210 pounds of cocaine, nearly $760,000 in cash, and
108 weapons, including assault rifles and shotguns. The other busts
came in mid-September and mid-October.
Although the agencies released some information about Thursday's bust
last week, they held back most of their information for a Monday news
conference in which they displayed dozens of guns and hundreds of
pounds of pot seized for members of the media.
The smuggling ring operated by using backpackers and vehicles to move
drugs from the border to a network of so-called stash houses in the
Phoenix area. The drugs were then sold to distributors from states
across the country.
Authorities say the ring virtually monopolized smuggling routes along
an 80-mile section of the Arizona-Mexico border from Yuma to just
east of the small Tohono O'odham Nation town of Sells.
Some of the officials at the news conference in Phoenix lauded the
bust as a significant blow to the Sinaloa cartel, while others
acknowledged that it affects only a portion of the cartel's massive
operation, which still has cells operating in the state.
"It's a body blow but it doesn't knock them out by any sense of the
imagination," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau said. "This literally
is just a fraction of what's going on."
It's only a matter of time before either the Sinaloa cartel or
another operation reclaims the area affected by the bust, said
Matthew Allen, ICE's special agent in charge for Arizona.
"This is not a closing chapter in this book," he said. "We have every
expectation that command and control in Mexico is working to re-
establish their presence, and it's our job to go after them."
Authorities began investigating the smuggling ring in June 2010, when
a Pinal County sheriff's deputy stopped two smugglers hauling 1,500
pounds of pot in Stanfield, about 50 miles south of Phoenix. At least
one of the smugglers gave investigators detailed information about
the ring.
Allen said that those arrested range from low-level drug haulers and
scouts to those who were in command.
"This is how you attack international organized crime and
transnational criminal organizations, by focusing on the people, the
leadership and the illicit pathways that they exploit," he said. "Our
goal is to take them out by their roots."
The case is a reminder of how important it is for the federal
government to gain operational control over the border, Arizona
Attorney General Tom Horne said.
"I find it completely unacceptable that Arizona neighborhoods are
treated as a trading floor for narcotics," Horne said. "Children are
not safe when their homes are located near the other homes that are
used as distribution centers for drugs. Our highways are not safe
when criminal organizations battle each other, sometimes violently
and at risk to innocent bystanders, for control of loads of drugs
being transported in vehicles."
Authorities need to send a message to cartel leaders through
continued busts, Babeau said.
"We have to stand up to bring the fight to the cartels to say, `This
is America. You're not bringing your violence, you're not bringing
your drugs and your trash to our country. We're going to stop you,'"
he said.

Read more:

AZMEX EXTRA 31-10-11


Note: Still real short on details, but something for Grassley's and
Issa's oversight committees?

Drug bust tracks millions of dollars of pot and cocaine
by Jim Cross/KTAR and Associated Press (October 31st, 2011 @ 11:43am)

PHOENIX — A Valley drug ring smuggled more than $33 million a month
of pot and cocaine into the United States, according to authorities.

"Operation Pipeline Express," was conducted last week by the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Pinal County Sheriff's Office
and other agencies.

Numerous guns were shown among the items seized in the raids, but
Matt Allen with ICE would not comment if the guns were part of the
controversial "Operation Fast and Furious" conducted by the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms." The gun-running operation allegedly
lost track of many weapons which were put in the hands of Mexican
drug cartels.

"We do not talk about the trace results that come from those
firearms," Allen said. "That will obviously be the focus of follow-up
investigation to find out how those weapons ended up in the hands of
cartel members."

Over the past five years, the ring smuggled more than 3 million
pounds of pot and 20,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States,
authorities said.

The organization is tied to Mexico's Sinaloan cartel, according to

Despite dealing the cartel a major blow, it will try to get back in
business as soon as possible, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said at
a news conference Monday.
"Because this is about money, it's about influence. The enemy here is
the cartels, it is not Mexico," he said.

He said authorities are dealing with cartels who think they own the
Arizona-Mexico border, "who think they can come in here and have
lookout posts on high points of terrain, who have this mature
operation and, when we take them down, we have to ask that question,
`how long before they reconstitute?'"

The operation is one of the biggest narcotics trafficking rings ever
broken up in Arizona, with more than 75 people arrested since last
year, authorities said.
"Does it really have a dramatic impact?" Babeu asked. "We're saying,
'yes, it does,' but this literally is just a fraction of what is
going on."

The 17-month investigation by local, state and federal officials led
to a series of raids in the Phoenix area and Pinal County on Thursday.

Thursday's raids involved the same ring as two other previous busts,
including one where 17 suspected drug smugglers were arrested and 935
pounds of marijuana was seized.

Note: no mention of firearms seized, a bit unusual for this media

'Massive' smuggling ring dismantled in Arizona
by Amanda Lee Myers - Oct. 31, 2011 11:15 AM
Associated Press
Arizona authorities said Monday that they've dismantled a "massive"
drug trafficking ring responsible for smuggling more than $33 million
worth of drugs through the state's western desert every month.

The agencies say the ring is believed to be tied to the Sinaloa
cartel, Mexico's most powerful, and that it has been in operation for
at least the last five years.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers estimate that the
ring is responsible for smuggling more than 3.3 million pounds of
marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into
the country during that time. They estimate the profits at somewhere
around $2 billion.

ICE and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office arrested 22 suspected
smugglers tied to the ring on Thursday, the latest of three busts
that they say have brought it down following a 17-month investigation.



Note: many folks are expressing concerns of how many U.S. officials
may be on cartel payroll, or maybe in this case as others is it
just political motivations? A growing lack of confidence in DOJ.

Advocacy groups say jailed ex-Border Patrol agent targeted
By Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times
Posted: 10/31/2011 07:22:56 AM MDT

El Paso native Jesus "Chito" E. Diaz Jr. lost his career with the
U.S. Border Patrol and ended up with a felony conviction after an
encounter three years ago with a Mexican teenage drug smuggler on the
South Texas border.

On Oct. 20, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludham sentenced Diaz to
24 months in prison for depriving a 15-year-old Mexican citizen of
his constitutional rights under color of law.

Diaz was accused of pulling off the handcuffs on the boy, an admitted
drug smuggler, slamming him to the ground, and pressing the youth's
back with his knee. Diaz pleaded not guilty in his trial in February
to one count of excessive force and five counts of lying to internal
affairs officers.

The National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 17,000
Border Patrol agents, and the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates
Council, an advocacy group, contend that Diaz was unfairly targeted
for prosecution and that his case's outcome sets a bad precedent for
other agents who serve on the front lines.

"This case continues the tradition of bias against Border Patrol
agents in the Western District of Texas," the National Border Patrol
said in a statement Thursday. "Diaz's actions did not rise to the
level of a crime ... While the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western
District of Texas has a job to do, one that includes prosecuting the
criminals who commit crimes, it has shown a distinctly quick trigger
in going after Border Patrol agents."

Diaz, 33, who is in custody, could not be reached for comment. His
wife, Diana Diaz, a Border Patrol supervisor in Del Rio, Texas, said
her husband should not be in prison.
"I am speaking only as his wife when I say that 'Chito' does not
belong in jail," she said.

Diaz Jr. attended El Paso Community College and also has a brother
who serves in the Border Patrol and other relatives in El Paso. He
and his wife have six children.

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General and
the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Professional
Responsibility cleared Diaz of any wrongdoing in the 2008 incident.
However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Attorney's
Office proceeded against Diaz.

Andy Ramirez, president of the LEOAC, said he believes the U.S.
government went forward with the charges against Diaz to appease the
Mexican government.

The Mexican consulate in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, where the
juvenile lived, submitted a complaint alleging that Diaz had
mistreated the boy while in the agent's custody.

Rarmirez said GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, a
congresswoman from Minnesota, and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.,
have offered to help Diaz. Gov. Rick Perry, also a presidential
nominee hopeful for the Republican Party, declined to get involved.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Hunter complained about
the Diaz prosecution, and compared it to the 2006 case against former
El Paso Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and José Alonso Compeán.

"It was the same office, under U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, that
unapologetically led the prosecution against Agents Ramos and
Compeán, going as far as providing the smuggler with full immunity
and border-crossing documentation," Hunter's letter said. "In the
case of Agent Diaz, the smuggler was also given immunity for reasons
that are not at all clear."

Ramos and Compeán were sentenced to more than 10 years in prison each
in connection with the shooting of a drug smuggler who was fleeing
back to Mexico. After a national campaign of support for the two
agents, then-President George W. Bush commuted their sentences and
they were released.


Diaz Jr. was starting his shift when Border Patrol agents were sent
to check on a report of possible drug smuggling near the Rio Grande
just outside of Eagle Pass, which is across the border from Piedras

Diaz and the other agents arrived at a pecan orchard known as the
Rosetta Farm at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2008. Witnesses at Diaz's
trial said the suspects were hiding among the high grass and a fallen
tree in the area.

Border Patrol agents and a canine unit eventually encountered the 15-
year-old and an adult suspect.

According to court documents, the suspects crossed the Rio Grande
illegally on a boat, and were supposed to transport backpacks filled
with marijuana to the U.S. side of the border.

They did not have the backpacks on them when they were apprehended,
but showed strap marks on their shoulders. Authorities identified the
adult suspect as a Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang member with a rap
sheet. Neither the adult nor the juvenile was charged with drug

According to U.S. drug investigators, some MS-13 members are
affiliated with the Sinaloa cartel, which is active in the Piedras
Negras-Eagle Pass smuggling corridor. The cartel is led by Joaquin
"Chapo" Guzman.

At one point during the 2008 incident, Diaz took custody of the
teenager, who had been handcuffed by another Border Patrol agent, and
asked the boy "donde esta la mota?" ("Where is the pot?").

The boy testified that he was handcuffed from behind and Diaz lifted
his arms with the cuffs, causing him pain, slammed him on the ground
and pressed his knee against the boy's back. The encounter between
Diaz and the boy lasted about 10 minutes, according to testimony.

Agents found the backpacks with marijuana near where they apprehended
the suspects. The Border Patrol turned over the marijuana to the Drug
Enforcement Administration.

The boy was transported by vehicle to the Border Patrol station for
processing, and did not mention the mistreatment until after he met
the next day with Mexican consulate officials.

The teenager agreed to testify against Diaz, and received immunity
against any charges related to the drugs, illegal entry or of
initially lying to federal officials about the marijuana. He also
received a U.S. visa.

The LEOAC's Ramirez said two of the Border Patrol trainee agents who
testified against Diaz were fired later, one for sleeping on the job
and the other for refusing to submit to a drug urinalysis test.

Ramirez also contends that Diaz received unfair treatment, especially
compared with the U.S. Attorney's case against Alex Moses Jr. of
Eagle Pass. Moses was a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspector
who received five years' probation after being convicted of smuggling
6 ounces of cocaine from Mexico in 2008.

Ramirez said Moses is a cousin of Federal Judge Alia Moses Ludham,
who presided over the Diaz trial. She was the chief federal
prosecutor for the U.S. Western District of Texas in Del Rio before
Bush nominated her to the judgeship.

"The common denominator was Johnny Sutton, the U.S. Attorney of the
Western District of Texas who ordered the prosecution of Ramos and
Compeán, and who began the investigation against Diaz before he
retired," Ramirez said.

Earlier this year, in another case pending in the Western District of
Texas, a U.S. district judge dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S.
government in connection with the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy
on the Rio Grande near the Paso del Norte Bridge.

The Border Patrol agent involved in the shooting, Jesus Mesa Jr., has
not been charged with anything. His lawyer, Randolph Ortega, has said
that Mesa was defending himself against rock throwing.

Relatives and friends of Diaz are circulating a petition for the
former agent to receive a presidential pardon. The National Border
Patrol Council indicated that it probably will assist with an appeal
of Diaz's conviction.

Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at;

Note: the U.S. taxpayer pays for border security for both countries

San Luis officials urge patience amid long border lines
October 30, 2011 4:10 PM

SAN LUIS, Ariz. — City officials here are asking for the public's
patience as border inspections cause delays for motorists crossing
into Mexico.

As part of the U.S. government's efforts to crack down on drug cartel
violence in Mexico, Customs and Border Protection officers in San
Luis, Ariz., have been inspecting southbound vehicles for weapons and
large sums of crash.

Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla conceded that lines of Mexico-bound
traffic are likely to get even longer during the agricultural produce
season in the weeks ahead, given that many farmworkers commute
between their homes in Mexico and Yuma-area fields.

Escamilla said city officials have met with CBP to find ways to
minimize the border crossing delays.

"What is clear is that there is no possibility of ending the
inspections," Escamilla said. "As I said before, Mexico's government
asked for it (inspections of outbound traffic), and the only thing we
can do is to cooperate to help facilitate the traffic."

Since the inspections began in February, Mexico-bound vehicles
periodically have lined up on Main Street as far back as Juan Sanchez
Boulevard on the north side of the city. Once it reaches the San Luis
city limits, Highway 95 becomes Main Street, continuing south through
the heart of the city's downtown commercial district on its way to
the port of entry to San Luis Rio Colorado, Son.

CBP officials have said the inspections will continue indefinitely.

City Hall has received complaints from residents that the long lines
have contributed to overall traffic congestion, City Administrator
Ralph Velez said, adding that "the problem is out of our hands."

The federal government has, however, allocated funds through its
Operation Stonegarden to San Luis to pay for city police officers to
provide traffic control during periods of long lines, Escamilla said.



Note: somewhat behind the curve.

Freeze one year Senate reform to penalize campaigns with narco
Call the PRI in the Chamber of Deputies to his co-legislators to
approve the minutes of reforms penalty of one to nine years in prison
for candidates and candidates who receive the funds of illicit origin
Jose Roberto Pacheco

MEXICO CITY, Oct. 30 .- The PRI in the Chamber of Deputies urged the
Senate to approve the minutes of reform that seeks to "shield" to the
more than 6,000 candidates from of any kind of pressure, infiltration
or financing illegally obtained resources ahead of federal elections
in July 2012.

"It will be a process involving more than 6,000 candidates for
mayors, local and federal deputies, six governorships and the
presidency of the Republic, so it must approve the amendment passed
in San Lazaro and December 2010 sent from the Senate."

He highlighted the legal deputy coordinator of the PRI in the Chamber
of Deputies, Arturo Zamora Jimenez, who explained that the Federal
Penal Code reform provides for penalties of one to nine years in
prison for the pre-candidates and candidates who receive the funds of
illicit origin.

"The same penalty would be for whom designate illegally, funds,
goods or services at their disposal by virtue of his office such as
vehicles, aircraft, buildings and equipment, the support of a
political party, candidate or a candidate without prejudice to the
penalties that may apply for the crime of embezzlement, "he said.

Zamora Jimenez, who has promoted the reform of Article 406 of the
Federal Penal Code, said that anyone who "knowingly obtain or use,
and as a candidate or candidate, either personally or by proxy funds,
goods or services from illegal activities to campaign or election
campaign, will be imposed from 1 to 9 years in prison and 200 to 400
days of fine. "

The reform also raises the same punishment for public servants to
force their subordinates, expressly or using his authority or
hierarchy, to cast their vote for a political party, candidate or
candidate, using the time corresponding to their work.

He explained that this reform, not to be at Cofipe, can enter into
force immediately and apply to the electoral process in place, so it
is urgent approval for "shield" to candidates, parties and the
outcome of the July election 2012.

The federal lawmaker said Jalisco is also required in the federal
electoral process in motion the IFE, political parties, the Electoral
Crimes Special Prosecutor (Fepade) of the PGR and the Secretariat
itself of the Interior (Interior Ministry) to strengthen its work "
shield "to prevent" dirty war "and the infiltration of crime into

"With this requires action programs and more effective monitoring and
surveillance by the IFE, political parties, Trife and the Interior
Ministry to protect the integrity of the candidates and candidates
from any pressure or infiltration of organized crime," explained .

2011-10-30 11:30:00

Cárdenas considered very serious the infiltration of agents in the
drug cartels
In an interview with Media Image Group, acknowledges that his "party
is the party" and notes that it intends to "be a candidate for anything"

MEXICO CITY, Oct. 27 .- Cuauhtemoc Cardenas Solorzano as "very
serious that the government (of Mexico) permits" that in Mexico, U.S.
agents are operating in the infiltration of criminal groups.

Interviewed by Francisco Zea for Multimedia Image Group moments after
the moral leader of the PRD received from the Senate the Belisario
Domínguez Medal, he stated that the task of intelligence must be made
by Mexicans, in coordination with international authorities.

A question expresses the situation of crisis and division in his
party, the PRD, former prime minister and former governor of
Michoacán said that "the party is split."

-How to go to the PRD after the events of Sunday?
-I worry because you have to see how it is organized ... the party is

To elaborate on its proposal to create a civilian body to combat
organized crime, "not to continue exposing the Armed Forces,"
Cardenas Solorzano stressed that his proposal revolves "gradually
replace" the army, because "there is a change overnight, "but" we
must start somewhere, this is the time. "

Asked if the Belisario Domínguez is a relief to fraud in 1988, said:
"I would not say that, it's a date ... we can be in the electoral
But he said "I'm not pretending to be a candidate for anything but to
open spaces for democratic change."

Finally, he said that celebrates and shares with his family when he
received the award.

2011-10-27 14:36:00

Ibero-terrorism pact signed
Details Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 5:59 Written by Agencies

Participants in the XXI Latin American Summit today pledged to fight
terrorism with "strict adherence" to the law and end impunity for
terrorists, while solidarity with its victims.

In one of the special statements adopted by the Summit held in
Asuncion, the Heads of State and Government of Latin American
countries, Spain, Portugal and Andorra not only expressed their
"full conviction" any act of terrorism but aimed at countries that do
not cooperate in the fight against terrorists and their accomplices,
instigators and funders.

The statement did not mention specific countries or cases, except for
an attack on a Cuban airliner in 1976 that caused 73 deaths.

In this regard express their rejection to the fact that "the
responsibility for the attack," referring to Luis Posada Carriles,
who lives in the United States after being acquitted in a trial on
migration issues, "has not been prosecuted for terrorism, and support
efforts to secure his extradition or bring him to justice. "

As a means to combat terrorism Latin American leaders pledge to
strengthen their national legislation, to promote international
cooperation, to also take action against terrorist financing and to
deny refuge to "the instigators, financiers, authors, promoters or
participants in terrorist activities ".

The statement emphasizes the need to prevent impunity for terrorists
and in this regard calls upon all countries to cooperate "to find,
capture and deny safe haven and bring to justice" those people.

They also express their solidarity with the victims and families of
the victims of terrorism "in all its forms and manifestations,
wherever such acts have occurred and whether the persons involved and
committed such acts, those who have sponsored and funded and the
motivations that are alleged as a pretext for such crimes. "

In this regard urge all states to ensure, in accordance with
international law, that "refugee status or asylum is not abused."

In this sense, asked to "not recognize the claims of political
motivation as grounds for refusing requests for extradition of
persons wanted in order to decide on their responsibility for acts of

Congela el Senado un año reforma que permite sancionar infiltración
del narco a campañas

Llama el PRI en la Cámara de Diputados a su colegisladora a aprobar
la minuta de reformas que sanciona de uno a nueve años de cárcel a
precandidatos y candidatos que reciban recursos de procedencia ilícita
Roberto José Pacheco

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 30 de octubre.- El PRI en la Cámara de Diputados
exhortó al Senado de la República a aprobar la minuta de reformas
que busca "blindar" a los más de 6 mil candidatos de cualquier
tipo de presión, infiltración o financiamiento de recursos de
procedencia ilícita de cara a las elecciones federales de julio del

"Será un proceso donde participarán más de 6 mil candidatos a
alcaldes, diputados federales y locales, seis gubernaturas y la
Presidencia de la República, por lo que debe aprobarse la reforma
aprobada en San Lázaro y enviada desde diciembre del 2010 al Senado".

Destacó el vicecoordinador jurídico del PRI en la Cámara de
Diputados, Arturo Zamora Jiménez, quien expuso que la reforma al
Código Penal Federal contempla sanciones de uno a nueve años de
cárcel a los precandidatos y candidatos que reciban recursos de
procedencia ilícita.

"La misma pena sería para quien destine, de manera ilegal, fondos,
bienes o servicios que tenga a su disposición en virtud de su cargo
tales como vehículos, aeronaves, inmuebles y equipos, al apoyo de un
partido político, de un candidato o precandidato, sin perjuicio de
las penas que pueda corresponder por el delito de peculado", sostuvo.

Zamora Jiménez, quien ha impulsado la reforma al artículo 406 del
Código Penal Federal, destacó que quien "obtenga o utilice a
sabiendas y en su calidad de candidato o precandidato, por sí o por
interpósita persona fondos, bienes o servicios provenientes de
actividades ilícitas para su campaña o precampaña electoral, se le
impondrán de 1 a 9 años de prisión y de 200 a 400 días de multa".

La reforma también plantea la misma sanción a los servidores
públicos que obliguen a sus subordinados, de manera expresa y
haciendo uso de su autoridad o jerarquía, a emitir su voto en favor
de un partido político, candidato o precandidato, usando el tiempo
correspondiente a sus labores.

Explicó que esta reforma, por no ser al Cofipe, puede entrar en vigor
de forma inmediata y aplicarse al proceso electoral en marcha, por lo
que es urgente su aprobación para "blindar" a candidatos, partidos y
al resultado de la elección de julio del 2012.

El legislador federal por Jalisco dijo que además se requiere que en
el proceso federal electoral en marcha el IFE, partidos políticos, la
Fiscalía Especializada en Delitos Electorales (Fepade) de la PGR y la
propia Secretaría de Gobernación (Segob) fortalezcan su labor de
"blindaje" para evitar la llamada "guerra sucia" y la inflitración de
la delincuencia en campañas.

"Ante ello se requieren programas y acciones de monitoreo y
vigilancia más efectivos por parte del IFE, partidos políticos, del
Trife y de la Segob que protejan la integridad de los precandidatos y
candidatos de cualquier tipo de presión o inflitración del crimen
organizado", expuso.

2011-10-30 11:30:00

Cárdenas considera muy grave infiltración de agentes en el narco
En entrevista con Grupo Imagen Multimedia, reconoce que su "partido
está partido" y señala que no pretende "ser candidato de nada"

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 27 de octubre.- Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano
consideró "muy grave que el gobierno (de México) permita" que en
México operen agentes estadunidenses en la infiltración de los
grupos delictivos.

Entrevistado por Francisco Zea para Grupo Imagen Multimedia instantes
después de que el líder moral del PRD recibió del Senado de la
República la Medalla Belisario Domínguez, el perredista expuso que
dicha tarea de inteligencia debe ser realizada por mexicanos, en
coordinación con instancias internacionales.

A pregunta expresa sobre la situación de crisis y división en su
partido, el PRD, el ex jefe de Gobierno y ex gobernador de Michoacán
consideró que "está partido el partido".

−Cómo ve al PRD después de los hechos del domingo?

−Me preocupa porque hay que ver cómo se está organizando… está
partido el partido.

Al ahondar sobre su propuesta para crear un cuerpo de carácter civil
para combatir al crimen organizado, "para no seguir exponiendo a las
Fuerzas Armadas", Cárdenas Solórzano subrayó que su propuesta
gira en "sustituir poco a poco" al Ejército, pues "no es un
cambio de un día para otro", pero "hay que empezar en algún
momento, este es el momento".

Cuestionado sobre si la Belisario Domínguez es un desagravio al
fraude de 1988, respondió: "Yo no diría eso, es una fecha…nos
permite estar en el terreno electoral".

Sin embargo, aseguró que "no estoy pretendiendo ser candidato de
nada sino abrir espacios de cambio democrático".

Finalmente, dijo que celebra y comparte con su familia el premio

2011-10-27 14:36:00

Cumbre Iberoamericana firma pacto antiterrorista
Detalles Publicado en Domingo, 30 Octubre 2011 05:59 Escrito por

Los participantes en la XXI Cumbre Iberoamericana se comprometieron
hoy a combatir el terrorismo con "estricto apego" al derecho y a
acabar con la impunidad de los terroristas, al tiempo que se
solidarizaron con sus víctimas.

En uno de los comunicados especiales aprobados por la Cumbre
celebrada en Asunción, los jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de los
países de América Latina, España, Portugal y Andorra no sólo
expresan su "total condena" a todo acto de terrorismo sino que
apuntan a los países que no colaboran en la lucha contra los
terroristas y sus cómplices, instigadores y financiadores.

En el comunicado no se mencionan países ni casos concretos, con
excepción de un atentado contra un avión cubano en 1976 que causó
73 muertos.

En este sentido manifiestan su rechazo al hecho que "el responsable
de ese atentado", en alusión al anticastrista Luis Posada Carriles,
que reside en EU tras ser absuelto de un juicio por cuestiones
migratorias, "no haya sido enjuiciado por terrorismo, y apoyan las
gestiones para lograr su extradición o llevarlo a la justicia".

Como medio para combatir el terrorismo los dirigentes iberoamericanos
se comprometen a reforzar sus legislaciones nacionales, a promover la
cooperación internacional, a tomar también medidas contra la
financiación del terrorismo y a negarle refugio a "los
instigadores, financiadores, autores, promotores o participantes en
actividades terroristas".

El comunicado hace hincapié en la necesidad de impedir la impunidad
de los terroristas y en ese sentido llama a todos los países a
cooperar a "fin de encontrar, capturar y negar refugio seguro y
someter a la justicia" a esas personas.

También expresan su solidaridad con las víctimas y familiares de las
víctimas del terrorismo "en todas sus formas y manifestaciones,
donde quiera que actos de esta naturaleza hayan ocurrido e
independientemente de quienes hayan participado y cometido dichos
actos, de quienes lo hayan patrocinado y financiado y de las
motivaciones que se aleguen como pretexto a tales crímenes".

En este sentido instan a todos los estados a asegurar, de conformidad
con el Derecho Internacional, que "la condición de refugiado o
asilado no sea utilizada de modo ilegítimo".

En este sentido piden que "no se reconozca la reivindicación de
motivaciones políticas como causa de denegación de las solicitudes
de extradición de personas requeridas por la justicia a efectos de
decidir sobre su responsabilidad en actos de terrorismo".

AZMEX SPECIAL 2 30-10-11


The case of "Vicentillo" infiltration, complicity, betrayal
J. Jesus Esquivel

Plagued by charges among its advocates and prosecutors from the
Justice Department, the case of Vicente Zambada Niebla is becoming
more devious in federal court in Chicago. It seems to follow a script
that charges of treason intersect between U.S. authorities-especially
the DEA, his informants in Mexico and the senior leaders of Mexican
cartels, the Sinaloa specifically, headed by Joaquin El Chapo Guzman
and Ismael El Mayo Zambada. Forced by the judge, prosecutors will be
forced to hand over classified documents over the next few months,
shed light on the tangle of complicity surrounding the case.

CHICAGO (Process) .- Due to the repeated testimony in federal court
in Illinois in the sense that the Sinaloa cartel and its main leaders
have enjoyed protection on both sides of the border, the governments
of Mexico and the United States say that Joaquin El Chapo Guzman
Loera, the more protected capo in the last 10 years, will soon fall,
dead or alive.

On the eve of a pre-trial hearing that follows Jesus Vicente Zambada
Niebla, the son of Ismael Vicentillo-May Zambada-The last week The
New York Times reported that U.S. agents have infiltrated the Mexican
cartels and is ready to arrest the top leaders, in turn, The
Washington Post noted that the Mexican government has three full-time
units for the capture or killing of El Chapo.

Before the 2012 elections in both countries, El Chapo has become for
the governments of Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon in an electoral
dish (Proceso 1825), but before the alleged protection should be
clarified that it has received the bonnet, as seen from the hearings
in the case before it is to El Vicentillo.

In what appears to be a betrayal of the drug trafficking organization
leading El Chapo and El Mayo Zambada, the defendant instructed his
four lawyers to insist that there are direct agreements between the
Sinaloa cartel and the government of the United States.

The defense argues that the commitments Vicentillo between Washington
and the most wanted Mexican drug lord in the world is accomplished
through the offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and

"The government (U.S.) is protecting the Sinaloa cartel and its
leaders under the agreement they have signed with the DEA informant
Loya Humberto Castro," said lawyer Edward Panzer before Federal Judge
Ruben Castillo.

At the hearing on Thursday 27 in the Northern District Federal Court
in Chicago, Illinois, lawyers accused the U.S. government had
betrayed his client, who was recruited by Castro Loya, a DEA informant.

Extract from the main story of the 1826 edition of Proceso magazine
that is already in circulation.

El caso del "Vicentillo": infiltraciones, complicidades, traiciones

Plagado de acusaciones entre sus defensores y la fiscalía del
Departamento de Justicia, el caso de Vicente Zambada Niebla se vuelve
cada vez más tortuoso en la Corte Federal de Chicago. Parece seguir
un guión en el que se entrecruzan acusaciones de traición entre las
autoridades de Estados Unidos –en especial la DEA–, sus informantes
en México y los líderes de alto nivel de cárteles mexicanos,
específicamente del de Sinaloa, encabezado por Joaquín El Chapo
Guzmán e Ismael El Mayo Zambada. Obligados por el juez, los fiscales
se verán obligados a entregar documentos clasificados que, durante
los próximos meses, arrojarán luces sobre la maraña de complicidades
que envuelve el caso.

CHICAGO (Proceso).- Ante los insistentes testimonios en la Corte
Federal de Illinois en el sentido de que el cártel de Sinaloa y sus
principales líderes han gozado de protección en ambos lados de la
frontera, los gobiernos de México y de Estados Unidos aseguran que
Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán Loera, el capo más protegido en los últimos
10 años, pronto caerá, vivo o muerto.

En vísperas de una audiencia preparatoria del juicio que se sigue a
Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, El Vicentillo –hijo de Ismael El Mayo
Zambada–, la semana pasada The New York Times informó que Estados
Unidos tiene agentes infiltrados en los cárteles mexicanos y se
alista a detener a sus principales líderes; a su vez, The Washington
Post destacó que el gobierno mexicano dispone de tres unidades de
tiempo completo para la captura o asesinato de El Chapo.

Ante los comicios de 2012 en ambos países, El Chapo se ha convertido
para los gobiernos de Barack Obama y Felipe Calderón en un manjar
electoral (Proceso 1825), pero antes debe aclararse la presunta
protección que ha recibido el capo, según se desprende de las
audiencias en el caso que se le sigue a El Vicentillo.

En lo que pareciera ser una traición a la organización de tráfico de
drogas que lideran El Chapo y El Mayo Zambada, el acusado instruyó a
sus cuatro abogados para que insistan en que hay acuerdos directos
entre el cártel de Sinaloa y el gobierno de Estados Unidos.

La defensa del Vicentillo sostiene que los compromisos entre
Washington y el narcotraficante mexicano más buscado en el mundo se
lograron por medio de los oficios de la Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) e intermediarios.

"El gobierno (estadunidense) está protegiendo al cártel de Sinaloa y
a sus líderes bajo el acuerdo que tienen firmado con el informante de
la DEA Humberto Loya Castro", declaró el abogado Edward Panzer ante
el juez federal Rubén Castillo.

En la audiencia del jueves 27 en la Corte Federal del Distrito Norte
en Chicago, Illinois, los abogados acusaron al gobierno de Estados
Unidos de haber traicionado a su cliente, quien fue reclutado por
Loya Castro, un informante de la DEA.

Extracto del reportaje principal de la edición 1826 de la revista
Proceso que ya se encuentra en circulación.

AZMEX Background 30-10-11


Note: Central America cannot be separated from Mexico. The issues of
corruption, drug and human trafficking, cash and weapons are tightly
interrelated. Most of the Central American countries have also been
significant recipients of U.S. aid, including weapons, munitions and
equipment, some of which makes it's way north.

Would be very interesting to find out how much U.S. aid to Central
America has made it to organized crime. The exports have a extensive
paper trail, need someone with the resources to follow it.

Those interested in arms trade issues will find the following quite
interesting. Not that far from Columbia to Mexico.

The following very short of details, but representative and
instructive. Information on U.S arms sales to other governments is
far from inclusive and complete, it's a policy thing.

"The U.S. Government views the sale, export, and re-transfer of
defense articles and defense services as an integral part of
safeguarding U.S. national security and furthering U.S. foreign
policy objectives. The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC),
in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 2778-2780 of the Arms Export Control Act
(AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22
CFR Parts 120-130), is charged with controlling the export and
temporary import of defense articles and defense services covered by
the United States Munitions List (USML).

Honduras becomes Western Hemisphere cocaine hub
By MARK STEVENSON Associated Press
Posted: 10/30/2011 08:56:06 AM MDT

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras—On Honduras' swampy Mosquitia coast, entire
villages have made a way of life off the country's massive cocaine
transshipment trade. In broad daylight, men, women and children
descend on passing go-fast boats to offload bales of cocaine destined
for the United States.

Along the Atlantic coast, the wealthy elite have accumulated dozens
of ranches, yachts and mansions from the drug trade.

And in San Pedro Sula, local gangs moving drugs north have spawned
armies of street-level dealers whose violence has given the rougher
neighborhoods of the northern industrial city a homicide rate that is
only comparable to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Long an impoverished backwater in Central America, Honduras has
become a main transit route for South American cocaine.

"Honduras is the number one offload point for traffickers to take
cocaine through Mexico to the U.S.," said a U.S. law enforcement
official who could not be quoted by name for security reasons. A U.S.
State Department report released in March called Honduras "one of the
primary landing points for South American cocaine."

Almost half of the cocaine that reaches the United States is now
offloaded somewhere along the country's coast and heavily forested
interior—a total of 20 to 25 tons each month, according to U.S. and
Honduran estimates.

Authorities intercept perhaps 5 percent of that, according to
calculations by The Associated Press based on official estimates of
flow and seizures.

The flow is hard to stem, said Alfredo Landaverde, a former adviser
to the Honduran security ministry, because there are few other
sources of cash income here.

"We have to recognize that this society is very vulnerable,"
Landaverde said. "This is a country permeated by corruption, among
police commanders, businessmen, politicians."

The country's isolated, impoverished Atlantic coast, remote ranches
and largely unguarded border with Guatemala—where much of the cocaine
is taken—also make it a haven for traffickers.

"When the traffickers are unloading a go-fast boat in (the Atlantic
coast province of) Gracias a Dios, you can sometimes see 70 to 100
people of all ages out there helping unload it," said the U.S. law
enforcement official. "The traffickers look for support among local

In the past year, authorities seized 12 tons of cocaine, according to
the Honduran government—a vast improvement from previous years, but
still a small portion of the estimated 250 to 300 tons that come
through annually.

Most of the cocaine arrives in Honduras via the sea, in speedboats,
fishing vessels and even submersibles. In July, the U.S. Coast Guard,
with Honduras' help, detained one such craft that had been plying the
waters with about 5 tons of cocaine per trip.

Fishermen who once worked catching lobster now look instead for a
much more prized catch, the so-called "white lobster"—bales of
cocaine jettisoned by drug traffickers to either escape detection or
to be picked up by another boat.

Honduras is also by far the region's biggest center for airborne
smuggling. Of the hundreds of illicit flights northward out of South
America, 79 percent land in Honduras, said the U.S. official. Ninety-
five percent of those flights hail from Venezuela, which also has
become a link for cocaine produced elsewhere.

Landing aircraft in Honduras was once so profitable and planes so
easy to get that traffickers would sometimes simply offload the drugs
and burn the aircraft, rather than take off again from dangerously
rudimentary clandestine landing strips.

Last year, however, they started reusing the planes to ferry loads of
bulk cash back to Colombia, the U.S. State Department report said.
Authorities found one load of $9 million in U.S. cash stuffed in
plastic bags in the trunk of a car, and millions at a time in
suitcases at local airports.

Earlier this year, as aircraft became more difficult to obtain,
traffickers stole a military plane from the San Pedro Sula army base
on the Atlantic coast, said Landaverde, adding that soldiers were
accomplices to the theft.

"The plane is left outside," he said. "Some guys turn it on and take
off. Nobody leaves a plane like that, ready to fly." In fact, one of
the soldiers involved in that incident was later arrested in
September with other ex-soldiers as they allegedly waited to meet a
drug flight on the country's Atlantic coast.

It is not just poverty-stricken fishermen and corrupt soldiers who
are the beneficiaries of the emergent cocaine republic. Last week,
authorities seized 13 luxurious homes and ranches and 17 boats in the
first such mass raid since the country enacted a drug-properties
seizure law in 2010. All were owned by local people.

Key members of the region's business community who have hotel, real
estate and retail holdings have been named as associates of the
cartels, often for money laundering. Nor are the drug trade's ripple
effects restricted to the coast.

Copan, a Guatemalan border province popular with tourists because of
its Mayan ruins, is a lawless area dominated by business interests
tied to the drug trade, said a radio station owner who asked not to
be quoted by name for security reasons.

"These people move without shame in politics and the business world,"
the station owner said. "They are involved in large-scale businesses
in tourism. This region has been separated from the nation's
territory. It is their lair."

At the other end of the economic spectrum are local street gangs, who
are often paid in drugs as well as cash to move drugs north. Their
ranks are growing and competition among them has pushed up the
country's escalating homicide rate to one of the highest in the world.

The country of 7.7 million people saw 6,200 killings in 2010. That's
the equivalent of 82.1 homicides per 100,000 people—well above the 66
per 100,000 in neighboring El Salvador.

Others are becoming players in the bulk trade, the U.S. official
said, remarking that, "Lately, we've seen some gangs that will
purchase the cocaine and resell it."

The high volume of drugs coupled with the alarming homicide rate is
tough to address in a nation where many police and army officers are
working with drug gangs.

Corrupt law enforcement officials had a fierce foe in the person of
former Honduran Security Minister Oscar Alvarez, who was fired by
President Porfirio Lobo in September after proposing a law to purge
the police force of corrupt cops.

Alvarez had said publicly that some corrupt police essentially act as
air traffic controllers for the drug flights. When a suspected drug
flight was detected in August, Alvarez was quoted by a local
newspaper as saying that two police officials not assigned to the
district were in the area—their cellphone signals were traced to the
control tower where the plane landed.

Alvarez claimed he was fired because of his campaign to clean up the
police force, saying, "It was easier to get rid of a minister than to
get rid of a corrupt cop."

But his replacement, Pompeyo Bonilla, said that given Honduras'
highly protective labor laws, a mass firing of police officers
probably would have been quickly followed by the reinstatement of many.

He also claimed that Alvarez overstepped his authority by sending his
proposed police cleanup law to congress without even telling Lobo.

"The president heard about it on television," Bonilla said.

Alvarez, who left for the United States soon after his dismissal, was
not available for an interview, according to an unidentified woman
who answered his U.S. cellphone number.

U.S. Ambassador Lisa Kubiske said she expects to work well with
Bonilla. "President Lobo's administration is totally serious about
fighting the cartels," Kubiske said. "When you talk to them,
counternarcotics is almost the first word out of their mouths."

Alvarez was accustomed to dropping bombshells, including the claim
that fugitive Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman had visited
Honduras' border region next to Guatemala.

In March, police under Alvarez's command raided a remote mountain lab
in northeastern Honduras. Alvarez said the lab processed cocaine from
the paste of partly processed coca leaves, the first time that would
have been done outside South America and an ominous development for
Honduras. The lab, however, had apparently not yet been put to use.

Bonilla said the lab was a small one, quickly dismantled, and no
other such lab has been discovered in Honduras. "We are rather more a
transit route" than a producer or processor, Bonilla said.

Some doubt the lab was intended to process coca paste; it may have
been simply dedicated to cutting and repackaging imported cocaine,
which is usually cut many times before it reaches the street.

"We haven't seen any evidence of cocaine processing taking place in
Honduras so far," the U.S. official said, adding, "Twelve thousand
kilos of cocaine were seized in Honduras this year, and we haven't
seen a single ounce of cocaine paste."


Associated Press writer Luis Alonso in Washington contributed to this

AZMEX Background 29-10-11


Note: "The groups were identified by their radio signals. The Rojos
were assigned to Reynosa, the Metros to Matamoros and the Lobos to
Laredo -- to name a few, he said."

Internal struggle in the Gulf Cartel could weaken the organization
October 29, 2011 8:42 PM
The Monitor

An internal struggle within the Gulf Cartel has led to string of
recent shootouts, kidnappings and major drug busts throughout the
border area. Some of the kidnapping victims have relocated to the
U.S. side in order to avoid future hassles.

The struggle reportedly is being carried out by members of the R's,
or Rojos group, who have declared war against their former comrades
in arms, the Metros.

The names of the groups date back to the late 1990s, when the former
head of the Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, had groups similar
to his personal guard the Zetas established in each of the main
cities, according to a source outside of law enforcement but with
direct knowledge.

The groups were identified by their radio signals. The Rojos were
assigned to Reynosa, the Metros to Matamoros and the Lobos to Laredo
-- to name a few, he said.

A source outside law enforcement but with direct knowledge said the
bad blood began more than a year ago when Juan "R-1" Reyes Mejia was
overlooked as a candidate for plaza boss for Reynosa during a cartel
shift in plazas and sent to the "Frontera Chica" which encompasses
Miguel Aleman, Camargo and Ciudad Mier -- just across the border from
Starr County. Reynosa remained under Samuel "Metro-3" Flores Borrego,
which put him above Reyes in the organization's structure.

Flores Borrego is blamed for starting the war between the Gulf Cartel
and the Zetas after he killed Victor "El Concord 3" Peña Mendoza in
Reynosa in early 2010. However, in October 2009, sources close to The
Monitor already had said a split between the Zetas and the Gulf
Cartel was coming over discussions about alliances and trade routes.

Unconfirmed information received from sources outside law
enforcement said that recently captured Rafael (El Junior) Cardenas
Vela, the so-called "heir" to the Gulf Cartel teamed up with Reyes
Mejia to take out Flores Borrego. The source claimed that Cardenas
held a grudge after believing that the Gulf Cartel led the Mexican
military straight to his uncle, the late Antonio Ezekiel (Tony
Tormenta) Cardenas Guillen, the former Plaza boss for Matamoros and
former co-leader of the Gulf Cartel.

The feud ignited Sept. 2 when the body Of Flores Borrego and the body
of a high-ranking Tamaulipas police officer named Eloy Lerma Garcia
were found. The Mexican military said Flores Borrego had been killed
because of an internal struggle in a criminal organization.

The bodies of the two men had been tortured, bound and left in the
bed of a Ford Lobo with messages against the Metros, a Tamaulipas
police officer said, adding that Flores' jeweled pistol and other
forms of identification were found near the body.

A U.S. law enforcement official who is not authorized to speak to the
media said that soon after the death of Flores Borrego, the Metros
and the Erres, as the Rojos are more commonly called, began an open

On Oct. 11, the struggle intensified when Mexican authorities found
the body of Cesar "Gama" Davila Garcia in an abandoned house in
Reynosa. There were gunshot wounds, the authorities said.

Davila worked as one of the top financial gurus for the Gulf Cartel
and had been Antonio Cardenas' personal accountant. Neither side has
claimed responsibility for his death, but a source with direct
knowledge confirmed that Davila had been trying to help an associate
named Oscar "La Peseta" Gonzalez, who was in charge of security in
the area of El Mezquital and Playa Baghdad before being kidnapped.

When the two armed groups clash, the firefights lead to road
blockades throughout border cities and, occasionally, the temporary
closings of international bridges. Some of the known casualties of
the war include Rogelio "El Guerra" Guerra and another known as
Comandante Nectar.

A source outside law enforcement but with direct knowledge said the
two sides also have used authorities to hurt the opposing sides. The
strategy deals with the use of anonymous tips that are sent to hot
lines run by authorities and lead them straight into stash houses.

According to the source, the worst hit by this have been the Rojos,
who in recent weeks have has numerous multi-ton seizures of marijuana
and weapons in the Frontera Chica area.

On Oct. 8, an apparent tip as to the whereabouts of Reyes Mejia led a
contingent of Mexican marines to storm the town of Miguel Aleman.

As a result of the firefight, which lasted several hours, the Mexican
military killed 10 gunmen and captured 22, including the plaza boss
for Miguel Aleman Ricardo Salazar Pequeño. Prior to that, authorities
had arrested other Gulf Cartel members near Reynosa. As a result of
the two operations, authorities made 36 arrests.

Eight days after the shootout in Miguel Aleman, 20 inmates were
killed and 12 injured during a prison riot in the Matamoros State
Prison—CEDES, which sources confirmed was related to the struggle
between Rojos and Metros.

A U.S. law enforcement official said the Rojos who have now been
decimated and are struggling for money, have been hit hardest.

Various residents in the border town have contacted the newspaper
reporting a large number of kidnappings in throughout the border
area. A source outside law enforcement said the Rojos have been
trying to make money any way they can.

George W. Grayson, a government professor at the College of William
and Mary and author of "Mexico: Narcoviolence And A Failed State?,"
said the split between the Rojos and the Metros will hurt the
leadership of Eduardo "El Coss" Costilla because his followers will
see him as a weak leader unless he can get the warring parties under

"He's always been a very reclusive figure," Grayson said. "He's never
had a permanent spot -- only when he retreats to one of his ranches
where he gives orders from. He never gets personally involved in the
day-to-day operations."

According to Grayson, when lieutenants are warring for power like the
Metros and Rojos are, another split like the Zeta-Gulf split could
occur. Or it may lead his close guard to move in for a slice of the
action. One example is la Linea, which began playing bigger role in
the Juarez cartel operations because their leadership was perceived
as weak.

The current struggle between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas already
has weakened both organizations; however the Zetas have what seems to
be limitless recruiting potential because of their reach into South
America. The Gulf Cartel, on the other hand, seems to be recruiting
younger, less-experienced gunmen.

AZMEX drug bust

Authorities Arrest at Least 70 Suspected Drug Smugglers in Major Bust in Arizona

Published October 31, 2011

Authorities have reportedly seized thousands of pounds of narcotics and arrested 70 suspected drug smugglers in what they're calling one of the biggest narcotics trafficking rings ever dismantled in Arizona. 
An official close to the investigation told Reuters that the suspects arrested in Arizona have ties to a violent drug cartel based in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. 
"This is one of the more substantial drug-smuggling operations going on right now. This is a billion-dollar drug trade organization linked to the cartel," the official told Reuters. 
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made the bust Thursday in the Phoenix area and areas south, including Casa Grande and Maricopa, after a 17-month investigation by local, state and federal officials. 

Reuters reports that authorities confiscated drugs, money, weapons, ammunition and bullet-proof vests. 

The drugs were reportedly being smuggled from Mexico into Arizona by car, plane, on foot and through tunnels.
Pinal County Sheriff's spokesman Elias Johnson said Friday that the bust is the biggest ever for his agency.
"It's huge," he said. "It'll be an eye-opener for sure when we roll everything out." 
Drug experts told Reuters that the Mexican cartel involved is believed to be responsible for 65 percent of all drugs illegally smuggled into the U.S. 
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency, Arizona Attorney General's Office and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office plan a press conference to provide more details on Monday morning in Phoenix.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

AZMEX I3 29-10-11

AZMEX I3 29 OCT 2011

Note: one of very few charged and prosecuted, a small fish.

Jail time possible in conviction for hiring illegal migrants
Oct. 29, 2011 12:00 AM
Associated Press
A southern Arizona contractor pleaded guilty in Tucson on Friday to
knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, the first case in the state in
which authorities pursued criminal charges instead of just fines.

Ivan Hardt, president of Sun Dry Wall & Stucco Inc. of Sierra Vista,
faces up to six months in jail for his misdemeanor illegal-hiring
conviction. He will be sentenced Jan. 26 in U.S. District Court.

Hardt also pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to harbor
illegal immigrants, but his lawyer said that conviction would be
dropped if he pays the government $450,000.

Hardt's attorney, Michael Piccarreta, says his client will pay the
full amount. Piccarreta said the violations occurred when Arizona's
construction boom was in effect and employers such as Hardt had
trouble finding enough workers.

Authorities alleged in March 2007 that Hardt's company underreported
its number of employees and that some workers had fraudulent documents.

Of the eight people charged in the case, six have pleaded guilty.

Sonora man with past robbery conviction gets 75-month term
Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011 8:46 am

A 43-year-old Sonoran man who was convicted in Santa Cruz County in
1992 on a robbery charge was sentenced to more than six years in
prison last week for illegally re-entering the country.
According to court documents, a U.S. Border Patrol agent apprehended
Alejandro Rivas-Amador on May 9, 2010 behind a Nogales warehouse
approximately one block from the U.S. border fence. Rivas-Amador
allegedly told the agent he had entered the country illegally 10
minutes earlier by jumping the fence.
After Rivas-Amador was taken to the Nogales Border Patrol Station for
processing, agents learned from a fingerprint identification system
that he had been convicted in Santa Cruz County in 1992 for attempted
robbery and sentenced to one year in prison before being removed from
the United States.
Record checks also showed that Rivas-Amador was also deported through
Alexandria, La., on Nov. 19, 2009.
Following his arrest in Nogales, the Border Patrol submitted the case
to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which prosecuted Rivas-Amador for re-
entry of a felon. As the result of a plea deal, a judge sentenced him
on Oct. 18 to 75 months in prison.
Court records did not reveal any details of the 1992 robbery charge
and conviction.



Note: perhaps they overestimate their capability, and underestimate
the zeta's

Online hackers threaten to expose cartel's secrets
Group called Anonymous demands release of one of their own who was
Updated 11:41 p.m., Friday, October 28, 2011

Editor's note: Video contains language that may be offensive to some

Transcript of Anonymous video
"Anonymous from Veracruz, Mexico, and the world, we want you to know
that a member has been kidnapped when he was doing Paperstorm in our
We demand his release. We want the army and the navy to know that we
are fed up of the criminal group Zetas, who have concentrated on
kidnapping, stealing and blackmailing in different ways. One of them
is charging every honest and hardworking citizen of Veracruz who
busts their rears working day after day to feed their families.
We are fed up of journalists and newspapers of Xalapa, Córdoba and
Orizaba because they are constantly crapping on honest authorities
like the army and the navy.
We are fed up with taxi drivers, commanders and "police-zetas"
officers of Xalapa, Córdoba, Orizaba, Nogales, Río Blanco and
Camerinos... who are chickens and have made themselves the most loyal
servants of these (expletive).
For the time being, we won´t post photos or the names ... of the taxi
drivers, the journalists or the newspapers nor of the police
officers, but if needed, we will publish them including their
addresses, to see if by doing so the government will arrest them.
We can´t defend ourselves with a weapon, but if we can do this with
their cars, houses, bars, brothels and everything else in their
possession ... It won´t be difficult. We all know who they are and
where they are.
(Images with sound of explosions)

You made a huge mistake by taking one of us. Release him. And if
anything happens to him, you (expletive) will always remember this
upcoming November 5th .
Knowledge is free. We are Anonymous. We are a legion. We don't
forgive. We don't forget. You wait and see."

An international group of online hackers is warning a Mexican drug
cartel to release one of its members, kidnapped from a street
protest, or it will publish the identities and addresses of the
syndicate's associates, from corrupt police to taxi drivers, as well
as reveal the syndicates' businesses.

The vow is a bizarre cyber twist to Mexico's ongoing drug war, as a
group that has no guns is squaring off against the Zetas, a cartel
blamed for thousands of deaths as well as introducing beheadings and
other frightening brutality.

"You made a huge mistake by taking one of us. Release him," says a
masked man in a video posted online on behalf of the group, Anonymous.

"We cannot defend ourselves with a weapon … but we can do this with
their cars, homes, bars, brothels and everything else in their
possession," says the man, who is wearing a suit and tie.

"It won't be difficult; we all know who they are and where they are
located," says the man, who underlines the group's international ties
by speaking Spanish with the accent of a Spaniard while using Mexican

He also implies that the group will expose mainstream journalists who
are somehow in cahoots with the Zetas by writing negative articles
about the military, the country's biggest fist in the drug war.

"We demand his release," says the Anonymous spokesman, who is wearing
a mask like the one worn by the shadowy revolutionary character in
the movie V for Vendetta, which came out in 2006. "If anything
happens to him, you sons of (expletive) will always remember this
upcoming November 5."

The person reportedly kidnapped is not named, and the video does not
share information about the kidnapping other than that it occurred in
the Mexican state of Veracruz during a street protest.

Anonymous draws its roots from an online forum dedicated to bringing
sensitive government documents and other material to light.

If Anonymous can make good on its threats to publish names, it will
"most certainly" lead to more deaths and could leave bloggers and
others open to reprisal attacks by the cartel, contends Stratfor, an
Austin-based global intelligence company.

"In this viral world on the Internet, it shows how much damage could
be done with just one statement on the Web," said Fred Burton of
Stratfor, which published a report Friday that probes the
implications of the cartel drawing the activists' ire.

Mike Vigil, the retired head of international operations for the Drug
Enforcement Administration, said the Zetas must take Anonymous

"It is a gutsy move," Vigil said. "By publishing the names, they
identify them to rivals, and trust me, they will go after them."

AZMEX EXTRA 29-10-11


Most of guns stolen from LAPD may have hit black market
Just three of about 30 weapons taken from a SWAT building have been
found. Police had altered the guns to fire only plastic pellets, but
it's possible to convert them back to lethal use.
By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
October 29, 2011,0,7984747.story

All but three guns in a cache of weapons stolen earlier this month
from an unguarded building used by the Los Angeles Police
Department's SWAT unit remain missing and may have been sold or
traded on the black market, police said Friday.

Police arrested two men on suspicion of committing the heist and
three others for allegedly possessing the recovered weapons, said
Cmdr. Andrew Smith. Much to police officials' dismay, however, the
rest of the roughly 30 weapons stolen were not found in the suspects'

Although the weapons, which included MP-5 submachine guns and large-
caliber handguns, had been altered by police to fire only plastic
pellets for training exercises, it is possible for them to be
converted back to lethal use. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other
police officials have downplayed that possibility, although gun
experts and online tutorials suggest that the process is relatively
easy and requires only a few parts.

The company that manufactures the conversion kits used by the LAPD
has an instructional video on its website that walks a viewer through
the steps of returning an MP-5 to its original form in about five

The apparent sloppiness of the involved SWAT officers seemed to
worsen Friday, when police acknowledged that one of the three guns
recovered was an AR-15 assault rifle, which also had been converted
for training, that officers either did not know had been stolen or
failed to report as missing.

The two men who allegedly broke into the building were "low-level
burglars" who were looking to strip the building of copper wiring to
sell to support their drug habits, Smith said. "They just happened to
get lucky with the guns…and got rid of them as quickly as they
could," he said.

Police are continuing to try to find the weapons, but don't know how
many people may have bought guns from the men or any of their
identities, Smith said. It is also possible the suspects have stashed
the guns, police officials said.

While investigators pursued leads in the days after the incident,
police officials opted not to announce word of the stolen weapons;
they acknowledged the theft only after receiving inquiries from The

At the time, Deputy Chief Michael Downing said officers on Oct. 12
left the weapons in locked carrying cases on the first floor of a
vacant downtown building. The building, once home to garment
manufacturing companies, had been donated to the LAPD for SWAT
training exercises. Members of the elite unit, which is called on to
handle hostage situations and other high-risk crises, were scheduled
to train at the facility the following morning.

Although the thieves had to cut through bolt locks on three doors and
force their way through a metal roll gate to get to the guns, the
theft nonetheless was embarrassing for the SWAT unit. Serving in the
unit is one of the most prestigious assignments in the department,
and members are entrusted with specialized weaponry and trained to
methodically think through the possible outcomes of situations before

The decision to leave the guns in the building overnight violated
department safety procedures, Downing said. "Appropriate measures"
had been taken in response to the gaffe, he said, although he
declined to say if any officers were facing discipline.

In light of the discovery of the AR-15 assault rifle, SWAT is
conducting a thorough count of its weapons to confirm which ones were
stolen, Smith said. Police officials, however, said last week that
SWAT had already undertaken such a count to resolve confusion over
the type and number of guns missing. Police initially reported that
21 of the submachine guns and 12 .45-caliber handguns had been taken.
They later revised that to 15 of each, but made no mention of the rifle.

Anxious to recover the weapons, senior LAPD officials assigned
several of the department's top detectives from the Major Crimes and
Commercial Crimes divisions to the case. Their break came when
detectives received a tip from an acquaintance of one of the
suspects, said police sources with knowledge of the investigation who
requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss
details of the probe.

Thursday morning police raided houses where the suspects were thought
to have stashed the weapons. At one point police were led to believe
the guns had been buried in a backyard, but they found nothing when
they dug, Smith said. It was not immediately clear where the three
guns were discovered.

The two men arrested on suspicion of burglary are Richard Velasco,
29, and Gilbert Salcedo, 41. Gerardo Vasquez, 24, William Vasquez,
28, and Mauricio Hernandez, 31, were arrested on suspicion of
possessing an assault weapon.

It was not known whether the burglars were aware they were breaking
into an LAPD building. Police, however, made no secret of the fact
that the facility was used by SWAT for training. The officers could
be seen coming and going and sometimes put on public demonstrations

AZMEX I3 28-10-11

AZMEX I3 28 OCT 2011

Note: "entrants" is daily star speak for "illegal immigrants" A
lot of people have been hurt or killed by this category. Especially
in the border states. Also could be interesting to look at specific

More than 44,000 deportations since Oct. '10 tied to road violations
Entrant removals for traffic offenses up
Brady McCombs Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011
12:00 am

The number of illegal immigrants deported for commiting traffic
violations was the highest last fiscal year than at any time in the
past 11 years, national figures show.
Some 44,000 people were deported from the United States after being
convicted of traffic offenses during the first 10 1/2 months of
fiscal year 2011, according to partial figures from the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
From 2001 to 2006, there were 4,000 to 6,200 deportations a year
from traffic offenses. In 2007, the total passed 10,000, marking the
beginning of a gradual climb over the next five years.
Not only have the yearly totals increased, the traffic-offense
category now represents a larger portion of the total deportation of
"criminal" illegal immigrants. That's defined by ICE as people who
have been convicted of felony and misdemeanor crimes. Noncriminal
illegal immigrants are people deported for immigration violations only.
The deportations from traffic offenses registered from Oct. 1, 2010,
to Aug. 15, 2011, accounted for 26 percent of the criminal removals
through these dates. That's up from 6 percent to 7 percent each year
from 2001 to 2006.
The numerical breakdown of crimes committed by people in the
"criminal" category is not yet available for the full fiscal 2011,
which ended on Sept. 30, but the partial figures show that more
people were deported following traffic violations than any other crime.
That includes dangerous drug convictions, a category that led the
list every year from 2001 to 2010. Misdemeanor or felony immigration
offenses ranked third on the list. Re-entering the United States
after deportation can be a felony.
Among traffic offenses, the most common conviction leading to
deportation was driving under the influence of alcohol, which led to
28,214 deportations through the first 10 1/2 months of the fiscal year.
The second-most common traffic offense is the catch-all category of
"other traffic offenses," which includes any traffic violation that
doesn't fit into the four categories broken out by ICE: hit and run;
transporting dangerous material; driving under the influence of
drugs; and driving under the influence of liquor. Those offenses can
include speeding, reckless driving, driving without a taillight or
driving without a license, said ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice. There
were 14,331 deportation stemming from this category in the partial
2011 data.
The other three traffic categories account for only a few deportations:
• Hit and run: 1,072
• Driving under influence of drugs: 515
• Transporting dangerous material: 4
Criminal deportations accounted for nearly 55 percent of all
deportations nationwide - a 10-year high, fiscal-year figures show.
The 396,906 total deportations set a record for the 10th straight year.
The Obama administration came under fire from both sides of the
immigration debate when it announced the figures earlier this month.
Republican border-security proponents and critics of the
administration's immigration enforcement strategy said the
deportation numbers were inflated because they include people who
voluntarily leave with no penalties and may be able to cross back
into the country illegally.
Immigrant-rights groups said the government is unfairly targeting
illegal immigrants who are not a threat to society, separating
families and creating fear in immigrant communities.
On StarNet: Read more about border-related issues in Brady McCombs'
blog, Border Boletín, at
deportations for
traffic offenses
Fiscal 2011* - 44,136 (26% of total criminal removals)
Fiscal 2010 - 42,339 (22%)
Fiscal 2009 - 27,354 (20%)
Fiscal 2008 - 16,249 (14%)
Fiscal 2007 - 10,787 (10%)
Fiscal 2006 - 6,154 (7%)
Fiscal 2005 - 5,294 (6%)
* For the first 10 1/2 months of fiscal 2011
Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or

Read more:



Yes there are in Mexico DEA agents, but not legal break: SRE
They prohibit activities that are reserved to the authority of the
country, said Patricia Espinosa.
Patricia Muñoz Rios
Posted: 10/27/2011 10:05

Mexico, DF. Mexico's government knows the presence of agents of the
DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency) in the country. "This is not a new
issue has been going on for a long time." They participate in various
cooperative schemes and their number and location is a subject
reserved for reasons of security, said yesterday the Secretary of
Foreign Affairs (SRE), Patricia Espinosa.

They are girded by rules and are prohibited activities reserved to
the authority of the country, said Patricia Espinosa.

The chancellor and the Mexican government spokeswoman, Alejandra Sota
Mirafuentes, yesterday afternoon gave a joint press conference, where
they boarded concerning the information published by The New York
Times about the presence of these American agents in Mexico.

In this regard, both officials noted that the activity of these
foreign agents in our country adheres to a set of rules and even are
prohibited from performing activities reserved to the Mexican

Shared responsibility

In turn, Alejandra Sota said that all actions of cooperation and
exchange of information between Mexico and the United States have
always been based on the principles of shared responsibility and
strict adherence to the jurisdiction of each country, so that "all
this cooperation is and has been fully respects the Mexican legal
framework, including the so-called rules of 92, the bilateral
agreements. "

The U.S. Embassy said the spokeswoman, reiterated that there has been
no action by the government of Washington, without full respect for
Mexican sovereignty and legislation of our country.

Chancellor Espinosa insisted that the presence of DEA agents in
Mexico "is not something new, has been happening for a long time,"
although the number and location of these people is a subject
reserved for security, "but of course the government knows of their
presence and we are very strict in seeing that the existing legal
framework is applied. "

She insisted that bilateral cooperation is essential given the nature
of organized crime and the two countries have strong frames in this
sense, robust and mature cooperation in this area, she said.

The two officials yesterday called a press conference to inform the
next meeting of the G-20 in Cannes, France, where Mexico will chair
the forum, and on the participation of President Felipe Calderon
Hinojosa at the Iberoamerican Summit to be held Asuncion, Paraguay.

About the G-20, Sota said that Mexico will seek to advance efforts to
restore market stability, finding solutions to sovereign debt and
boost the international economy "green" to mitigate the causes of
climate change, among other things.

For her part, Chancellor Espinosa said at the forum will raise our
country to adopt measures that the major economies of Europe and the
United States itself in the current financial instability, relate to
the reduction of their deficits, to ensure stability markets and lay
the groundwork to resume economic growth. But mostly, she said, that
these measures take into account the negative effects they might have
for developing countries like Mexico.


Espinosa also asked about the agreement being negotiated with the
U.S. on border oil fields, to which she replied a few days ago ended
the second round of talks and the third will be held in Washington in
a few days , there will be another meeting in late November to try to
reach agreements at year end.

"We want to both countries in this agreement, because the investments
required are very large and requires a legal regime to give certainty
to business and investment will ensure that they will do will bring
them a profit and they do not face a series of lawsuits that hamper
the exploitation of the deposits. "



Note: The military is currently the only viable force in this.

Mexican presidential hopeful vows drugs war shift
By Dave Graham and Miguel Angel Gutierrez
MEXICO CITY | Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:18pm EDT

(Reuters) - A leading presidential candidate of Mexico's ruling party
said on Wednesday he would break with government policy and withdraw
the army from the fight against drug gangs if he wins the election in

Santiago Creel, a former interior minister belonging to the
conservative National Action Party (PAN), told Reuters that President
Felipe Calderon's military strategy had served its course and that he
would change "everything" as leader.

"The direct, frontal, expansive strategy is a strategy that should
end with this administration," said Creel, who is seeking the PAN's
nomination for the presidency.

Deaths from drug-related violence in Mexico have surged since
Calderon sent in the army to fight the cartels when he took office in
December 2006, damaging support for his party and causing strains in
relations with the United States.

Calderon has endured withering criticism from victims of the drug war
and opposition lawmakers for his U.S.-backed military approach but he
has stood firm, arguing the cartels would have become too powerful if
he had not acted.

More than 44,000 people have died in the conflict to date, and Creel
said that if elected in the July vote, he would start taking the
Mexican army off the streets as soon as he took office in December 2012.

"By my calculations this would be a period of transition of around 24
months," said the 56-year-old Creel, a descendant of a U.S. immigrant
to Mexico of Scottish origin.

Instead, he said priority should be given to attacking cartels'
revenue streams, cracking down on money laundering and cleaning up
Mexico's prisons, where top criminals are often able to continue
running their crime gangs on the outside.

Creel, who also sought the PAN's candidacy for the 2006 election, was
an early front runner this time, though some recent surveys have
shown former education minister Josefina Vazquez Mota could be
overtaking him.

Opinion polls also show the PAN trailing the opposition Institutional
Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico for seven decades
until 2000.

If the PRI won the election, it would be a serious setback for Latin
America's second biggest economy, said Creel.

"People are going to think hard about what returning to the past
means, returning to this model ... of agreements or shady deals with
criminals," he said.

Calderon also said earlier this month that some in the PRI could
consider making deals with organized crime, a practice the party's
opponents say was widespread in Mexico in the past.

(Editing by Kieran Murray)

Note: something else for us locals to worry about, poll from nuevo
dia in Nogales, Son.

¿Qué posibilidades cree que tenga el PRI de recuperar la alcaldía de
Nogales con Ramón Guzmán como candidato?
Muchas (43%, 138 Votes)
Ninguna (36%, 116 Votes)
Pocas (21%, 70 Votes)
Total Voters: 324

AZMEX SPECIAL 2 26-10-11


Note: Blood pressure warning. Have to wonder what the problem is
with some of these fed prosecutors. It is clear that DOJ has
serious problems. Do we have the same problems as the Mexican PRG?

U.S. border agent jailed for improper arrest of suspected drug smuggler
281 Comments and 205 Reactions|ShareTweet|Email|Print|
By Jerry Seper-The Washington Times Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to two years in prison
for improperly lifting the arms of a 15-year-old drug smuggling
suspect while handcuffed — in what the Justice Department called a
deprivation of the teenager's constitutional right to be free from
the use of unreasonable force.

Agent Jesus E. Diaz Jr. was named in a November 2009 federal grand
jury indictment with deprivation of rights under color of law during
an October 2008 arrest near the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, in
response to a report that illegal immigrants had crossed the river
with bundles of drugs.

In a prosecution sought by the Mexican government and obtained after
the suspected smuggler was given immunity to testify against the
agent, Diaz was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Alia Moses
Ludlum in San Antonio. The Mexican consulate in Eagle Pass had filed
a formal written complaint just hours after the arrest, alleging that
the teenager had been beaten.

Defense attorneys argued that there were no injuries or bruises on
the suspected smuggler's lower arms where the handcuffs had been
placed nor any bruising resulting from an alleged knee on his back.
Photos showed the only marks on his body came from the straps of the
pack he carried containing the suspected drugs, they said.

Border Patrol agents found more than 150 pounds of marijuana at the
arrest site.

The defense claimed that the smuggling suspect was handcuffed because
he was uncooperative and resisted arrest, and that the agent had
lifted his arms to force him to the ground — a near-universal police
technique — while the other agents looked for the drugs.

The allegations against Diaz, 31, a seven-year veteran of the Border
Patrol, initially were investigated by Homeland Security's Office of
Inspector General and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's
Office of Professional Responsibility, which cleared the agent of any

But the Internal Affairs Division at U.S. Customs and Border
Protection ruled differently nearly a year later and, ultimately, the
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas brought

The Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council said the government's
case was "based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts."

In a statement, the council said that because the arrest took place
at about 2 a.m., darkness would have made it impossible for the
government's witnesses to have seen whether any mistreatment took
place. It said Marcos Ramos, the Border Patrol agent who stood next
to Diaz, testified that he did not see any mistreatment of the
smuggling suspect.

The council said other witnesses made contradictory claims and some
later admitted to having perjured themselves. Such admissions, the
council said, were ignored by the court and the government. It also
said that probationary agents who claimed to have witnessed the
assault raised no objections during the incident and failed to notify
an on-duty supervisor until hours later.

"Instead, they went off-duty to a local 'Whataburger' restaurant, got
their stories straight and reported it hours later to an off-duty
supervisor at his home," the council said. "Then the 'witnesses' went
back to the station and reported their allegations."

The council also noted that the teenager claimed no injuries in court
other than sore shoulders, which the council attributed to "the
weight of the drug load, approximately 75 pounds, he carried across
the border."

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, which
brought the charges, is the same office that in February 2006 — under
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton — prosecuted Border Patrol Agents Ignacio
Ramos and Jose Compean after they shot a drug-smuggling suspect,
Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, in the buttocks as he tried to flee back into
Mexico after abandoning a van filled with 800 pounds of marijuana.
Aldrete-Davila also was given immunity in the case and testified
against the agents.

Agents Ramos and Compean were convicted and sentenced to 11 and 12
years in prison, respectively.

President George W. Bush commuted the sentences in 2009 after they
had served two years.

The same prosecutors also charged Edwards County Deputy Sheriff
Gilmer Hernandez in 2005 with violating the civil rights of a Mexican
criminal alien after he shot out the tires of a van filled with
illegals as it tried to run him over. One of the illegal immigrants
in the van was hit with bullet fragments.

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