Monday, December 12, 2011

AZMEX archived material

Note: while working on AZMEX archive, found these two interesting
pieces from 2009.
The first has good info ( in Spanish) on firearms recovered, like we
used to get before someone decreed that it should stop.
Strings on U.S. money?
The second hints and some of the background.

azmex update 14 Apr 2009

Detienen a joven mujer con arsenal en Santa Ana
REDACCIÓN Aumentar Reducir Enviar Nota Imprimir


En posesión de un poderoso arsenal, entre los que destacan un rifle
calibre .50 montado en un pick up, fue capturada ayer lunes una joven
de 20 años en Santa Ana.

La detenida fue identificada como Anahí Beltrán Cabrera, de 20 años,
quien quedó a disposición de la Subprocuraduría de Investigación
Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (Siedo).

En un reporte oficial trascendió que todo ocurrió cuando los agentes
patrullaban la calle Niños Héroes y avenida Abasolo, de la colonia

En ese sitio vieron a la mujer, quien conducía un vehículo en el que
le localizaron dos ametralladoras, seis fusiles, un lanzagranadas,
una granada de mano, 267 cargadores, 9 mil 629 cartuchos y 750 gramos
de cocaína, entre muchas otras cosas.

De acuerdo a la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública, esta acción se suma
a la detención de José Ángel Rodríguez Pérez, alias "El Bolo" y/o "El
Narizón", de 34 años, en el marco del "Operativo Conjunto Chihuahua".

Ahí aseguraron ocho granadas, cuatro armas largas, 24 cargadores, mil
818 cartuchos útiles de diferentes calibres, equipo táctico diverso y
cerca de 300 kilos de marihuana.

Magdalena de Kino

Es de destacar que además policías municipales de Magdalena de Kino
arrestaron a Armando Ortiz Echeverría, de 39 años, así como Adrián
Eduardo Monreal Delgado, de 33 años.

"Bien armada"
(browning .50 machine gun) Una ametralladora marca Browning calibre
50mm matricula 000570, montada sobre un poste metálico arriba de la
camioneta Ford Lobo F-150.
(browning .30 machine gun ) Una ametralladora Browning calibre .30
M1919A-4, matricula B-147299SG.
Un fusil Barrett, calibre .50 AR50, matricula 71133 con bipié.
Un fusil modificado tipo AR-15, marca Bushmaster calibre .223,
matricula L391813.
Una carabina marca Winchester calibre 30-30, matricula 3561511,
Una carabina AK-47 calibre 7.62 x 39mm. matricula 04893.
Un rifle marca Nitro calibre 30-06 a carabina AK-47 calibre sin
matricula, con mira telescópica marca Bushnell.
Una carabina marca Lithgow S.M.LE. matricula 81345.
Un cañón con cajón de mecanismos de carabina AK-47 matricula EE 7244.
Un aditamento lanza granadas calibre 37mm. sin matricula y sin marca.
Una bolsa con refacciones para fusil AK-47 conteniendo 70 piezas de
diversos grupos del arma.
Un "rompeflamas" de AK-47.
Una tapa del cajón de mecanismos para fusil AK-47.
Un guardamano metálico para AK-47.
Un cargador para pistola Browning con capacidad para 17 cartuchos.
Una guía y resorte recuperador para fusil AK-47.
Diez cerrojos con guías incompletas.
( links for machine gun) 651 eslabones individuales para cartuchos
calibre .50.
( links for machine gun) 399 eslabones individuales para cartuchos
calibre 308. (7.62 x 51 mm).
Cinco aceiteras dobles, metálicas chicas.
Cuatro estuches cilíndricos metálicos de herramientas de limpieza y
reparación (cinco piezas cada uno).
Un protector metálico para cañón AK-47.
Tres piezas en procesos de fabricación.
249 cargadores metálicos para fusil AK-47 con capacidad de 30
cartuchos abastecidos.
Nueve cargadores desabastecidos para fusil AK-47.
Dos cargadores con capacidad de 30 cartuchos para AR-15, desabastecido.
Un cargador con capacidad de 20 cartuchos para AR-15, desabastecido.
Cuatro cargadores con capacidad de 15 cartuchos para AR-15,
Dos cargadores circulares para AK-47 desabastecidos.
Un tripié para ametralladora calibre .50 TNW.
Un tubo base metálico con aditamento protector (placa metálica)
hechiza montado en vehiculo.
Siete mil 370 cartuchos calibre .223.
Mil 45 cartuchos cal. 7.62 x 25mm.
822 cartuchos calibre .308.
359 cartuchos calibre .50.
33cartuchos calibre 30-06.
Una granada de mano de fragmentación M228 ME102B 018-019.
Una estación de radio compuesta de unidades de radios marca ICOM
ITS-10 SYSCOM, fuente de poder, una batería 12-16 marca L.T.H., base
Dos uniformes color negro.
Un chaleco balístico negro sin placas.
Un paquete con 750 gramos de cocaína

Una camioneta Ford Lobo F-150 con placas de circulación UT89399 del
estado de Sonora.
Una camioneta Range Rover con placas de circulación VXJ4800 del
estado de Sonora.
Una camioneta marca Chevrolet, Cheyenne con placas de circulación
UV74048 del estado de Sonora.

Nota Publicada: 14/04/2009 10:02

Legal U.S. Arms Exports May Be Source of Narco Syndicates Rising

Wednesday, 01 April 2009 Recommended READING: Mexico's Perception of
the United States' Corruption in the following areas: Defense
You Tube) The War on Drugs, ILLEGAL DRUGS CONSUMPTION, Health Care,
Public Safety, Police, Enforcers on the WRONG Side of the Law (You
Tube Video) Politics, Academics, Corporate Practices, Sex,
Journalism, Sports, with "gate" suffix, Televangelist. Sex in the
Catholic Church, Olympic games

Posted by Bill Conroy - March 29, 2009

More Than $1 billion In Private-Sector Weapons Exports Approved For
Mexico Since 2004

Mainstream media and Beltway pundits and politicians in recent months
have unleashed a wave of panic in the nation linking the escalading
violence in Mexico, and its projected spread into the U.S., to
illegal weapons smuggling.

The smokescreen being spread by these official mouthpieces of
manufactured consensus is that a host of criminal operators are
engaging in straw (or fraudulent) gun purchases, making clandestine
purchases at U.S. gun shows or otherwise assembling small caches of
weapons here in the states in order to smuggle them south of the
border to the "drug cartels."

The Obama administration is now sending hundreds of additional
federal agents to the border in an effort to interdict this illegal
arms smuggling to reassure an agitated middle-America that Uncle Sam
will get these bad guys. The cascade of headlines from mainstream
media outlets printing drug-war pornography assures us in paragraphs
inserted between the titillation that the ATF's Operation Gunrunner
and other similar get-tough on gun-seller programs will save America
from the banditos of Mexico.

To be sure, some criminal actors in the U.S. are smuggling small arms
across the border. But the drug war in Mexico is not being fought
with Saturday night specials, hobby rifles and hunting shotguns. The
drug trafficking organizations are now in possession of high-powered
munitions in vast quantities that can't be explained by the gun-show

At least one report in a mainstream media outlet deserves credit for
recognizing that trend.

"[Mexican] traffickers have escalated their arms race, acquiring
military-grade weapons, including hand grenades, grenade launchers,
armor-piercing munitions and antitank rockets with firepower far
beyond the assault rifles and pistols that have dominated their
arsenals," states a recent story in the Los Angeles Times. "The
proliferation of heavier armaments points to a menacing new stage in
the Mexican government's 2-year-old war against drug organizations.
…" Narco News, in a report last December ["Juarez murders shine a
light on an emerging Military Cartel"] also examined the increasing
militarization of narco-trafficking groups in Mexico and pointed out
that U.S. military-issued ammunition popped up in an arms cache
seized in Reynosa, Mexico, in November 2008 that was linked to the
Zetas, a mercenary group that provides enforcement services to
Mexican narco-trafficking organizations.

So where are these military-grade weapons really coming from?

Rather than address that valid question head on, the mainstream
media, and now even the Obama administration, have been attempting to
paint lipstick on the pig, trumpeting, in the words of U.S. Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton, the "courageous efforts undertaken by
[Mexican] President Calderon."

And the "courageous" Mexican President Felipe Calderon, for his part,
redirects the blame for the Mexican narco-organization's increasing
firepower back to the U.S.

In a story published by the Associated Press in late February of this
year, Mexican President Calderon is quoted alleging the following:

We need to stop the flow of guns and weapons towards Mexico. Let me
express to you that we've seized in this two years more than 25,000
weapons and guns, and more than 90 percent of them came from United
States, and I'm talking from missiles launchers to machine guns and

But no matter how hard Calderon and U.S. officials try to disguise
the pig, it still oinks.

A Narco News investigation into the flow of arms across the U.S.
border appears to lead right back to the systemic corruption that
afflicts a vast swath of the Mexican government under President
Felipe Calderon and this nation's own embrace of market-driven free-
trade policies.

The deadliest of the weapons now in the hands of criminal groups in
Mexico, particularly along the U.S. border, by any reasonable
standard of an analysis of the facts, appear to be getting into that
nation through perfectly legal private-sector arms exports, measured
in the billions of dollars, and sanctioned by our own State
Department. These deadly trade commodities — grenade launchers,
explosives and "assault" weapons —are then, in quantities that can
fill warehouses, being corruptly transferred to drug trafficking
organizations via their reach into the Mexican military and law
enforcement agencies, the evidence indicates.

"As in other criminal enterprises in Mexico, such as drug smuggling
or kidnapping, it is not unusual to find police officers and military
personnel involved in the illegal arms trade," states an October 2007
report by the for-profit global intelligence group Stratfor, which
Barron's magazine once dubbed the Shadow CIA. "… Over the past few
years, several Mexican government officials have been arrested on
both sides of the border for participating in the arms trade."

Counting Commerce

The U.S. State Department oversees a program that requires private
companies in the United States to obtain an export license in order
to sell defense hardware or services to foreign purchasers — which
include both government units and private buyers in other countries.
These arms deals are known as Direct Commercial Sales [DCS]. Each
year, the State Department issues a report tallying the volume and
dollar amount of DCS items approved for export.

The reports do not provide details on who the weapons or defense
services were exported to specifically, but do provide an accounting
of the destination countries. Although it is possible that some of
the deals authorized under the DCS program were altered or even
canceled after the export licenses were issued, the data compiled by
State does provide a broad snapshot of the extensive volume of U.S.
private-sector arms shipments to both Mexico and Latin America in

According to an analysis of the DCS reports, some $1 billion in
defense hardware was approved for export to Mexico via private U.S.
companies between fiscal year 2004 and fiscal year 2007 — the most
recent year for which data was available. Overall, during the same
period, a total of some $3.7 billion in weapons and other military
hardware was approved for export under the DCS program to all of
Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition to the military hardware exports approved for Mexico,
some $3.8 billion in defense-related "services" [technical assistance
and training via private U.S. contractors] also were approved for
"export" to Mexico over the same four-year period, according to the
DCS reports.

That means the total value of defense-related hardware and service
exports by private U.S. companies to Mexico tallied nearly $5 billion
over the four-year window. And that figure doesn't even count the
$700 million in assistance already authorized under the Merida
Initiative [Plan Mexico] or any new DCS exports approved for fiscal
years 2008 and 2009 [which ends Sept. 30].

Following is a sample of the types of arms shipments approved for
export to Mexico through the DCS program during fiscal years 2006 and
2007 alone:

• $3.3 million worth of ammunition and explosives, including
ammunition-manufacturing equipment;

• 13,000 nonautomatic and semiautomatic firearms, pistols and
revolvers at a total value of $11.6 million;

• 42 grenade launchers valued at $518,531;

• 3,578 explosive projectiles, including grenades, valued at $78,251;

• Various night-vision equipment valued at $963,201

A troubling revelation about the DCS program, which has direct
relevance to the drug war in Mexico, is contained in a fiscal 2007
report issued by the State Department. That report summarizes the
results of the State Department's Blue Lantern end-use monitoring
program for DCS exports.

That Blue Lantern report found that "the Western Hemisphere
(especially Latin America and the Caribbean) continues to be a region
with a high incidence of unfavorable cases involving firearms and
ammunition." The unfavorable finding indicates that fraud may have
occurred and those cases "may be subject to civil enforcement actions
or referred to law enforcement for criminal investigation."

For the entire DCS program, and this is a disturbing figure, of the
634 Blue Lantern cases closed in fiscal year 2007, a total of 143, or
23 percent, were deemed "unfavorable."

The Blue Lantern report does not mention specific transactions in
detail, but does provide case-study examples. One included in the
report indicated that a Latin American firearms dealer acted as a
"front company for another Latin American company."

"[The] owner admits that [the] company exists only on paper…," the
fiscal year 2007 Blue Lantern report states. "[The] host country
authorities had temporarily suspended the firearms import licenses to
[the] parent company because of its link with small arms smuggling to
gangs in [a] third country."

Given Mexico's strict gun laws with respect to private individuals,
it is likely most of the DCS program defense hardware approved for
export to that nation was directed toward the military or law
enforcement agencies. But it is precisely that fact which should be
raising some alarm in Washington.

Mexico, by Calderon's own admission, is dealing with a serious
corruption problem within the ranks of Mexican law enforcement.

From a December 2008 report in the Los Angeles Times:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Tuesday said his government was
making strides against corruption but warned that graft remained a
threat to the nation's efforts against crime.

Calderon's rival in the 2006 Mexican presidential race, Andres Manuel
Lopez Obrador, in recent open letter published in the Mexican
newspaper Por Esto! and addressed to U.S. Secretary of State Clinton,
is even more blunt in his assessment of the extent of corruption
within the Calderon regime.

You surely know that all of this began when a group of about 30
traffickers of influence and corrupt politicians, using the cover of
so-called neoliberal economic policies, took control of the Mexican
State, as well as a good part of national and so-called public goods.
And these policies of pillaging that has enriched a minority in an
exaggerated and obscene manner, in a way that has not occurred in any
other part of the world, has condemned the Mexican people to exile
and survival.

And that corruption is not limited to Mexican law enforcement.
Sources provided Narco News with a PowerPoint presentation prepared
for the DEA that indicates the following:

Between Jan 2000-Dec 2006: More than 163,000 military members were
criminally processed during former president Vicente Fox's 6 years
term of office. The majority of the crimes were: [the list includes
abuse of power, homicide, embezzlement, kidnapping, bank robbery,
illegal possession of firearms and health crimes [essentially
organized crime].

Another slide in that same DEA PowerPoint presentation states that
the Mexican military reported an average of 1,200 desertions per
month in 2006.

And it should not be ignored that the Zetas, one of the most violent
drug-organization groups in Mexico right now, was founded by former
elite Mexican special-operations troops — many of whom received some
training in the United States.

[The two most recent DCS reports can be found at these links: FY2006
and FY2007.]

The Elephant in the Room

A former senior U.S. Customs Inspector, who asked that his name not
be used, provided the following reaction when presented with the DCS

I would agree entirely [that] DCS (and DoD gifted, as opposed to DCS
sold) weapons are obviously the simplest explanation for the massive
rise in the number of fully automatic weapons, grenades, rockets,
etc., obtained by the narcotics gangs. … That is to say, they are
obtaining their weapons from their own, Mexican, government, by
various illegal means.

… The Mexican government has a long and well-documented history of
corruption at all levels, from city to federal. Most of the weapons
being "displayed" [in the media] are simply not available for sale to
American civilians, particularly including the grenades — both 40mm
and hand types. …

… The source of these weapons can be easily traced by ATF. … All
foreign sales must be reported to ATF prior to shipment, just in case
the government wishes to hold up a shipment to a particular country,
etc. Tracing the serial numbers would be easy, with US government
assistance, of course.

But that assumes the Mexican government, and our own government,
really want to trace those weapons. A November 2008 report in the San
Antonio Express News, which includes details of the major weapons
seizure in Reynosa, Mexico, that same month involving the Zetas,
reveals the following:

Another example of coordination problems occurred this month. Mexican
authorities in Reynosa across the border from McAllen, seized the
country's single largest stash of cartel weapons — nearly 300 assault
rifles, shoulder-fired grenade launchers and a half million rounds of

But weeks later, Mexican authorities still have not allowed the ATF
access to serial numbers that would help them track down the buyers
and traffickers on the U.S. side.

To be sure, cartel corruption and intimidation of Mexican law
enforcement at every level and in every agency has caused some

A former DEA agent, who also asked not to be named, says the shipment
of military-grade weapons to the Mexican government under the DCS
program, given the extent of corruption within that government, is
essentially like "shipping weapons to a crime syndicate."

At least one individual with long connections to U.S. intelligence
agencies is convinced that the corrupt transfer of arms between the
Mexican military and narco-criminals in Mexico is more than theory.

Tosh Plumlee is a former CIA contract pilot who flew numerous
missions delivering arms to Latin America and returning drugs to the
United States as part of the covert Iran/Contra operations in the
1980s, according to public records. After becoming troubled by those
government-sanctioned missions, Plumlee decided to take his concerns
to Congress.

Plumlee was eventually called to testify before Congress on a number
of occasions, only to find that the Congressional committees hearing
his testimony ordered it classified — which meant if Plumlee later
spoke about it publicly, he would be violating the law.

Plumlee, however, still has deep contacts in the spook world, some of
whom, it seems, want him to bring some information forward concerning
the nature of the drug war in Juarez, Mexico. As a result, Plumlee
says he recently made a journey with individuals he described as
"sensitive sources" to a small warehouse in Juarez — located just
across border from El Paso, Texas. Plumlee says he agreed to
accompany the sources because he is currently doing research for a
book he is writing about the drug war.

Plumlee says it was clear to him that the warehouse was not part of a
Mexican military operation, yet it was packed with U.S. military
weapons — including grenades, grenade launchers, LAW anti-tank
weapons [essentially high-tech bazookas], M16 rifles and night-vision

Plumlee says his sources indicated that the U.S. weapons in that
warehouse — as well as another warehouse located elsewhere in Juarez
that he did not visit — were now under the control of a narco-
trafficking organization, which had obtained the munitions from
corrupt elements of the Mexican military.

Plumlee concedes he does not know why he was allowed to step inside
that warehouse and later walk out alive. All he can say for sure is
that he was being used to get the information out and suspects that
those weapons have since been relocated.

As incredible as Plumlee's story sounds, it cannot really be
surprising that there would be stores of weapons in clandestine
warehouses in a city like Juarez, which, since the beginning of 2008,
has produced about 2,000 of the estimated 7,000 murders in Mexico's
bloody drug war. And whether anyone chooses to believe Plumlee's
information or not, it is clear he has a long history of being a
player in the netherworld of black operations, and might well be
trusted by some players who still engaged in that dark art.

Mike Levine, a former DEA agent who has years of experience
participating in dangerous undercover operations overseas, says
Plumlee is who he claims to be. Levine now hosts a radio show in New
York City on a Pacifica Radio station [the Expert Witness Radio Show]
and Plumlee has appeared on that show several times over the years.

Here's what Levine has to say about Plumlee's credibility:

Before I invited Tosh to come on the air, because his story was so
incredible, I vetted him through government agents, all of whom said
he is the real thing. I have a copy of the air map he turned over to
a San Diego Weekly newspaper, bearing notations of all his drug
flights, which first sold me on the guy.

After he had made many revelations on-air in New York, and mainstream
media continued to ignore him, Congress was apparently listening. I
had been told by my own sources that agencies like CIA were regularly
recording our show. (I used to remind them, on air, to make sure they
pressed the red button to record.)

So Tosh calls me one day in around 1997 and says that Congress had
asked him to testify about his experiences, in closed-door session. I
told him, "If you do that, they are going to do nothing but classify
your testimony making it illegal for you to tell your own story."

And that, indeed, is what did happen, according to Tosh.

Could it be that Plumlee was used as a type of message in a bottle
because, like has happened so many times in the past history of this
nation, the normal chain of command and our politicians in
Washington, D.C., simply don't want to hear the truth, don't want to
risk rocking the boat of international relations with Mexico or
interrupting the free-trade flow of a multi-billion dollar "legal"
arms business?

After all, if our government had to concede that the Mexican military
is so wracked with corruption and beyond the control of Mexican
President Calderon that it cannot be trusted to control its own
weapons, then how can U.S. cooperation with Calderon's government
have any hope for success in what many would argue is an already ill-
conceived drug war?

In fact, if that is what we are now confronting in Mexico, it is
likely that U.S. cooperation with Calderon's government, when it
takes the form of U.S. weapon shipments, is likely only going to fuel
further bloodshed and put U.S. agents and operatives now in the field
assisting in those efforts at grave risk.

Narco News did seek to get comment from officials at both the
Department of Justice and the Department of State about the issues
raised in this story. To date, those queries — both by phone and e-
mail — have been met with dead silence.

Stay tuned ….

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