Saturday, July 28, 2012



Pharr man, San Juan woman get prison in gun-buying scheme
July 25, 2012 9:32 PM
Ildefonso Ortiz
The Monitor 

McALLEN — A Pharr man and a San Juan woman will spend more than three years each behind bars in connection with illegal weapon purchases.

On Wednesday morning, U.S. District Judge Micaela Altars sentenced David Ricardo Gonzalez and Jolynn Perez, both 21 years old, to 42 months and 40 months in federal prison, respectively.

The two had entered a guilty plea April 25 to one count of making false statements while purchasing firearms — a practice known as straw purchasing. During an ongoing investigation, federal agents learned that Gonzalez had purchased 26 firearms while Perez had purchased 10 weapons. The two were purchasing weapons for 21-year-old Marco Villalobos and 22-year-old Taisa Garcia, who are serving a 33-month and a 46-month prison sentence, respectively, for their role in the gun-purchasing scheme.

Starr home invaders sought missing shooting victim, authorities believe
July 26, 2012 8:43 PM
ShareThis| Print Story | E-Mail Story
Ildefonso Ortiz
The Monitor  
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter: @ildefonsoortiz

GARCEÑO — Starr County authorities said they were investigating an early Thursday morning home invasion here during which masked gunmen searched for a shooting victim from Wednesday's attack in Escobares.

About 5 p.m. Wednesday, authorities were called to an area near Lopez and Martinez streets in Escobares in connection with a shooting, said Capt. Homero Flores of the Starr County Violent Crimes Task Force.

When authorities arrived, they found a Chevrolet pickup with blood inside and six bullet holes from a .223-caliber weapon, Flores said. The victim was nowhere to be found.

Then, early Thursday morning, a group of masked gunmen stormed a house in Garceño. Authorities believe they were looking for the victim of Wednesday's shooting, Flores said, but they left when he couldn't be found.

Because the shooting victim is missing, authorities have not been able to confirm a motive for the shooting.


Drunkenness no defense in Starr County smuggling case
July 26, 2012 3:36 PM
Jared Taylor
Twitter: @jaredataylor 

McALLEN — Apparently the drunk excuse wasn't good enough for one Starr County man.
A federal jury convicted a Enrique Gonzalez Cavazos, 41, of three counts of immigrant smuggling Thursday in U.S. District Court in McAllen.

Gonzalez, a legal permanent resident living in Lopeño, was arrested March 19 by Border Patrol agents about a mile from the Rio Grande near Fronton, a small community in southwest Starr County.

Agents tried to stop a red pickup truck with several illegal immigrants inside, but the driver refused to stop, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said in a statement Thursday. Agents tracked down the driver and truck's owner — Gonzalez — alongside Julio Cisneros Jr. and 10 illegal immigrants.

Witnesses testified that three adult illegal immigrants and an 11-year-old boy were in the rear cab of the pickup truck, with six others covered in the truck's bed. The immigrants, who paid between $3,000 and $5,000 to be smuggled, were unable to escape from the bed, as it could only be opened from the outside.

Gonzalez's defense lawyers attempted to convince jurors that he was "extremely intoxicated" during the failed smuggling attempt and was unable to comprehend what he was doing.
Ultimately, the jury didn't buy Gonzalez's story.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane set Gonzalez's sentencing for October 4, when he will face up to five years in federal prison on each count.

Cisneros, 48, of Falcon, pleaded guilty in the case and faces sentencing on August 20.  

Note:  Worldwide?  Not effective even on Mexican border.

Human Trafficking Policy Issues Outlined In Report For Lawmakers
By: Anthony Kimery
07/17/2012 ( 9:11am) 

As US officials' concerns grow over Mexican transnational criminal organizations' (TCOs) involvement in human trafficking, especially kidnapping for purposes of ransom, forced prostitution and cross-border drug smuggling, a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report stated that, "despite US and international efforts, perpetrators continue to persist in victimizing men, women and children worldwide through commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, debt bondage, domestic servitude and the use of children in armed conflict."
The CRS report, Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress, stated that "although there remains widespread support among policy makers and outside observers for the continuation of US and international anti-trafficking goals, reports of ongoing exploitation of trafficking victims worldwide appear to fundamentally question the effectiveness and prioritization of current responses to the trafficking problem."
The report said, "in the face of persistent reports of human trafficking worldwide, policy makers remain challenged to evaluate whether US goals to eradicate human trafficking worldwide are achievable and whether current international anti-trafficking programs are measured against realistic expectations."
"Human trafficking is an inherently transnational and multi-dimensional issue that touches on a broad combination of foreign policy, human rights, criminal justice and national security priorities," the report stated.
As for the latter concern, the report pointed out that National Security Presidential Directive 22 on Combating Trafficking in Persons issued by President George W. Bush in December 2002 highlighted the impact of human trafficking on US national security.
But while "there is widespread support among policy makers for the continuation of US anti-trafficking goals, ongoing reports of such trafficking worldwide raise questions regarding whether sufficient progress has been made to deter and ultimately eliminate the problem, the end goal of current US anti-trafficking policies," the report said.
The CRS report explored current foreign policy issues that confront US efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing policies and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts.
The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking, including bills to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which is the cornerstone legislative vehicle for current US policy to combat human trafficking beyond fiscal year 2011 (S. 1301, H.R. 2830, and H.R. 3589).
But "given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities," the CRS reports noted, "the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations."
The report emphasized that, "observers [continue to] debate whether existing anti-trafficking efforts worldwide have resulted in appreciable and corresponding progress toward the global elimination of human trafficking."
The report, prepared by Liana Sun Wyler, a CRS analyst in international crime and narcotics, stated that "current US foreign policy approaches for addressing human trafficking are a modern off-shoot of anti-slavery policies that centered initially on reinforcing international prohibitions on forced labor during the first half of the 20th century. With time, US and international perspectives on the global scope of human trafficking have expanded to cover a broader range of victims and prohibited activities, including sex trafficking and the exploitation of children in labor, armed conflict and the commercial sex industry.
"The ultimate goal of current US anti-trafficking policy is to eliminate the problem and support international efforts to abolish human trafficking worldwide."
[Editor's note: Because TCOs run their sophisticated operations online, Google Ideas, Google Inc.'s think tank, is working with the Council on Foreign Relations and other organizations to look for ways to use technology to disrupt TCOs involved in drug and human trafficking.]



Note:  Actual 10 years !   Amazing!  

Gun-buying ring members get 10-, 5-year sentences
July 26, 2012 10:14 PM
Ildefonso Ortiz
The Monitor 

McALLEN — A man convicted of leading a straw purchasing ring that illegally bought more than 134 firearms has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

On Thursday, 26-year-old Felix Torre went before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who sentenced him to 120 months in prison for his conviction in the gun purchasing scheme, as well, as for the count of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms. Straw purchasing is the practice of buying a firearm for a person who can't legally purchase one. Most of the straw purchases in the area are usually made in order to smuggle the weapons into Mexico.

Also sentenced Thursday was Izaha Saenz, a member of the straw purchasing ring who was sentenced to five years in prison.

Four other members of the ring have already been convicted and sentenced or are awaiting sentencing. 




Note:  In Afghanistan?  

DHS Employee 'Took Out Shooter' In Afghan Attack
By: Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press
07/26/2012 ( 6:56am)  

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says a Border Patrol agent working in Afghanistan killed the gunman involved in a deadly attack on a group of civilian contractors in that country this week.
Three contractors were killed in Sunday's attack. Napolitano says two were former Homeland Security employees. She identified the Americans as Benjamin Monsivais, a former Border Patrol agent and retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, and retired CBP port director Joseph Perez. A British contractor also died in the attack. A person wearing an Afghan police uniform turned his gun on the contractors.
The secretary told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday about the current Border Patrol agent's role. She did not identify the agent or describe the work that person is doing in Afghanistan.

Friday, July 27, 2012



Note:  after Nov. elections?

Sentencing reset for man in Fast and Furious case
By Associated Press
Originally published: Jul 27, 2012 - 10:53 am  

PHOENIX -- A judge has reset the sentencing date for a man convicted of participating in a gun smuggling ring that was being monitored in the government's botched investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.

U.S. District James Teilborg reset Joshua David Moore's sentencing for Sept. 26.

Moore had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and dealing guns without a license and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Moore bought 141 guns as a straw purchaser for the ring.

So far, 11 people in what the government said was a 20-member smuggling ring have pleaded guilty.

Federal authorities have faced criticism for allowing suspected straw-gun buyers to walk away from gun shops with weapons, rather than arrest the suspects and seize the guns there.  



Note:  after Nov. elections?

Sentencing reset for man in Fast and Furious case
By Associated Press
Originally published: Jul 27, 2012 - 10:53 am  

PHOENIX -- A judge has reset the sentencing date for a man convicted of participating in a gun smuggling ring that was being monitored in the government's botched investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.

U.S. District James Teilborg reset Joshua David Moore's sentencing for Sept. 26.

Moore had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and dealing guns without a license and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Moore bought 141 guns as a straw purchaser for the ring.

So far, 11 people in what the government said was a 20-member smuggling ring have pleaded guilty.

Federal authorities have faced criticism for allowing suspected straw-gun buyers to walk away from gun shops with weapons, rather than arrest the suspects and seize the guns there.  


AZMEX SPECIAL 2  27 JUL 2012  

Note:  While not specifically AZMEX, this is an unintended followup to AZMEX SPECIAL 27-7-12    

Partial quote:  "But since it is impossible for any government to prevent all attacks, people have to assume responsibility for their own security." 

Oped:  Unarmed, defenseless citizens are the ultimate "soft target".  It is the intended victims who are the "First Responders".  

The Persistent Threat to Soft Targets
July 26, 2012 | 0904 GMT 

By Scott Stewart

In the early hours of July 20, a gunman entered a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and opened fire on the audience that had gathered to watch the premiere of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. The gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 others. Though police are looking for potential accomplices, the attack appears to have been conducted by James Holmes, a lone gunman who, according to some police reports, may have had a delusional fixation on the Joker, a violent villain from an earlier Batman movie.

On July 18, just two days before the Colorado attack, a man reportedly disguised in a wig and posing as an American tourist in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas, Bulgaria, detonated an improvised explosive device hidden in his backpack as a group of Israeli tourists boarded a bus bound for their hotel. The blast killed five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver and wounded dozens more. It is unclear if the incident was an intentional suicide attack; the device could have detonated prematurely as the man placed it on the bus. In any case, the tourists clearly were the intended targets.

The Burgas attacker has not yet been identified. Based on his profile, there is some speculation that he could have been a grassroots jihadist. However, it is also possible that he was acting on behalf of Iran and that this attack was merely the latest installment in the ongoing covert war between Iran and Israel. 

While these two attacks occurred on different continents and were committed by people with different motivations and objectives, they nonetheless have one thing in common: They were directed against what are referred to in security parlance as "soft" targets, or targets that do not have much security. Soft targets are much easier to attack than hard targets, which deter attacks by maintaining a comparatively strong security presence. 

Evolution of Targets and Tactics

In the 1960s, the beginning of the modern terrorism era, there were few hard targets. In the 1970s, the American radical leftist Weather Underground Organization was able to conduct successful bombing attacks against the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and the State Department buildings -- the very heart of the U.S. government. At the same time commercial airliners were easy targets for political dissidents, terrorists and criminal hijackers.

Nongovernmental organizations were also seen as soft targets. The Black September Organization conducted an operation targeting Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games, and Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos the Jackal, and his compatriots seized the OPEC headquarters in Vienna in December 1975.

Embassies did not fare much better. During the 1970s, militant groups seized control of embassies in several cities, including Stockholm, The Hague, Khartoum and Kuala Lumpur. The 1970s concluded with the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the storming and destruction of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. The 1980s saw major attacks against U.S. diplomatic posts in Beirut (twice) and Kuwait.

Just as the Weather Underground Organization attacks prompted security improvements at the U.S. government buildings they had targeted, the attacks against U.S. and other embassies prompted increased security at their diplomatic missions. However, this turned into a long process. The cost of providing security for diplomatic posts strained already meager foreign affairs budgets. For most countries, including the United States, security was not increased at all diplomatic missions. Rather, security was improved in accordance with a threat matrix that assessed the risk levels at various missions. Those deemed more at risk received funding before those deemed less at risk.

In some cases, this approach has worked well for the United States. For example, despite the persistent jihadist threat in Yemen, the new embassy compound in Sanaa, which was completed in the early 1990s and constructed to the strict security specifications laid out by the Inman Commission in 1985, has proved to be a very difficult target to attack. However, as embassies became more difficult to attack, militants turned to easier targets. Often this has involved targeting diplomats outside the secure embassy compound, as was the case in the 2002 assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman, Jordan, and the April 2010 failed suicide bombing attack against the motorcade carrying the British ambassador to Yemen.

Transnational groups also changed regions to find softer embassy targets. This shift was evident in August 1998, when al Qaeda attacked U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Similarly, during the 1991 Gulf War, Iraqi agents attempted to conduct terrorist attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities in Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok and Beijing -- far from the Middle East. The February 2012 attack against an Israeli Embassy employee in New Delhi is an example of both changing the region and targeting an employee away from the security of the embassy.

There was a similar trend with airliners, which initially were very vulnerable to attack. After many high-profile hijackings, such as that of TWA Flight 847, airliner security, particularly in the West, was increased. But as security was increased in one place, hijackers began to shift operations to places where security was less robust, such as Bangkok or Karachi. And as security was improved globally and hijackings became more difficult in the 1980s, attackers shifted their tactics and began using improvised explosive devices against airliners.

In response to security measures implemented after bombing attacks in the 1980s, attackers underwent yet another paradigm shift. In December 1994, Philippine Airlines Flight 434 was attacked with an improvised explosive device that had been carried onto the aircraft in separate components, assembled in the plane's restroom and left on board when the attacker left at an intermediate stop on a multiple city flight. This attack was a dry run for a plan against multiple airlines called Operation Bojinka. The operational mastermind of Bojinka, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, would later plan the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

When security measures were put in place to protect against Bojinka-style attacks in the 1990s, jihadists adapted again and conducted the 9/11 attacks using a different method of attack. When security measures were put in place to counter 9/11-style attacks, jihadists quickly responded by shifting to onboard suicide attacks with concealed improvised explosive devices inside shoes. When that tactic was discovered and shoes began to be screened, jihadists changed to camouflaged containers filled with liquid explosives. Security measures were adjusted to restrict the quantity of liquids that people could take aboard aircraft, and jihadists altered the paradigm once more and attempted underwear bombing using a device with no metal components. When security measures were taken to increase passenger screening in response to the underwear bombing, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula decided to attack cargo aircraft with improvised explosive devices hidden in printer cartridges. Currently, there is a concern that the next evolutionary step will be to hide non-metallic improvised explosive devices in body cavities or to surgically implant them in suicide bombers.

While some jihadists have remained fixated on hardened airline targets, other attackers -- especially grassroot and lone wolf attackers who do not possess the ability to attack hardened targets -- have sought other, softer airline targets to attack. After Israeli airline El Al beefed up security on its airliners in the 1980s, the Abu Nidal Organization compensated by attacking crowds of El Al customers at ticket counters outside of airport security in Rome and Vienna in 1985. Then in November 2002, jihadists attempted to attack an Israeli airliner in Mombasa, Kenya, with SA-7 surface-to-air missiles. More recently, a dual suicide bombing in the arrival lounge of Moscow's Domodedovo Airport in January 2011 killed 35 and injured more than 160, proving that areas outside an airport's security measures are vulnerable to attack. Further illustrating this vulnerability was an attack at an airport in Frankfurt, Germany, in March 2011. In that attack, a jihadist killed two U.S. airmen and wounded two others at the airport's bus departure area.

Other Targets

As embassies and other government installations have become more difficult to attack, we have noted a discernable trend toward the targeting of hotels, which are similarly symbolic of Western influence and are often described in jihadist literature as spy dens and brothels. In many cities of the developing world, major hotels are frequented by foreign tourists, journalists, visiting officials and military officers, and local government and business leaders. In addition, high-profile restaurants have been attacked in places such as Bali, Indonesia, Mumbai, India, and Marrakech, Morocco. There have also been attacks on theaters in Moscow and Mogadishu, on schools in Beslan, Russia, and Toulouse, France, and on marketplaces all over the world.  

As long as there are groups or individuals bent on conducting attacks -- whatever their motivation -- they will be able to find vulnerable soft targets to attack. It is impossible to protect every potential target. In fact, it is often said that when you try to protect everything, you end up protecting nothing. Not even the vast manpower of the Chinese government or the advanced security technology employed by the U.S. government can cover every potential target.

While attacks against soft targets are an unfortunate prospect in the contemporary world -- if not throughout all human history -- people are not helpless in defending against them. Terrorism is a continuing concern, but it is one that can be understood. Once understood, measures can be taken to thwart terrorist plots and mitigate the effects of attacks.

Perhaps the most important and fundamental point to understand about terrorism is that attacks do not appear out of nowhere. Individuals planning a terrorist attack follow a discernible cycle, and that cycle and the behaviors associated with it can be detected. The places where terrorism-related behavior can be most readily observed are referred to as vulnerabilities in the terrorist attack cycle.

As the attacks in Aurora and Burgas are investigated, authorities very likely will uncover behaviors in the perpetrators that could have prevented the attacks if they were properly investigated. Every attacker -- even a lone wolf assailant -- leaves evidence of a pending attack. This fact was brought up by the recent release of a report by the William H. Webster Commission into the investigation of 2009 Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. The report highlighted the mistakes made in the investigation of Hasan, who was brought to the FBI's attention prior to the attack.

But since it is impossible for any government to prevent all attacks, people have to assume responsibility for their own security. This means citizens need to report possible planning activity when it is spotted. Such reporting helped avert an attack in July 2011 against a restaurant outside of Ft. Hood, Texas.  

The threat against soft targets necessitates practicing common sense security measures. It also involves practicing an appropriate degree of situational awareness of the environment a person is in, as well as establishing appropriate contingency plans for families and businesses.   

Read more: The Persistent Threat to Soft Targets | Stratfor 



Note:  End of July and still no data from Mexican govt. on arms imports from 2011.  Tens of thousands of arms imported in previous years and observed throughout Mexico.  Especially from USA, Italy and Germany.  

Quote of the day:  "Arms transfers promote corruption, undermines social development and facilitates sexual abuse, experts say."  (Especially when in hands of corrupt governments, but not citizens.)  

The NGO recognizes work against weapons in Mexico
Activists point to our country, together with Norway and New Zealand, for our leadership to control arms trafficking in the world

Related Notes
US will not change gun laws after massacre in Colorado
Detectors installed in harbors weapons of mass destruction
Guns in America, a losing battle
PAN Senator calls for a review of the use of weapons in EU
Calderon suggested revised EU weapons policy

MEXICO CITY, July 27. - Activists and NGOs recognize the leadership of the Mexican delegation in discussions of the first legally binding treaty to control arms transfers in the world, negotiated at the UN.

"Mexico has taken one of the most important leaders within the framework of the agreement, not only in the region, but throughout the negotiations," said Maria Pia Devoto, of the Campaign for Arms Control, a body bringing together 90 of major human rights groups in the world.

According to negotiators and activists, Mexico formed along with Norway and New Zealand the trio of countries more actively seeking an agreement to prevent arms transfers to countries with serious human rights violations and international humanitarian law.

Also seek to avoid transfers to countries where guns have a destabilizing effect and exacerbate conflicts and their diversion to unauthorized users, such as non-state actors and organized crime groups, representing the biggest problem in Latin America.

"Mexico is one of the three countries more actively looking for a treaty that really have humanitarian considerations. These countries are followed also by a set of 73 countries that support them, "said Devoto, of Argentine origin.

The group released a statement in recent days urging approval of an agreement with the above features, in addition, "covering all conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons, and ammunition."

Since June is negotiated at the UN International Treaty on Arms Trade, which is intended to regulate for the first time in history, international arms transfers, taking into account a humanitarian approach.

The agreement is intended to control a conventional arms trade with an annual value of 60 billion dollars annually, and kills nearly two thousand people every day around the world.

Arms transfers promote corruption, undermines social development and facilitates sexual abuse, experts say.

Staff of the Department of Defense said an individual seized with heavy weapons.
The arrest was made on a path of ejido San Francisco in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

In the car located and seized two rifles 7.62 x 39 mm, while the undergrowth discovered two cases where hiding eight-caliber rifles and three pistols .308, .223 and 9 x 19 mm, respectively, 304 cartridges and seven magazines.

The individual was made available to the representative office of the Federation.

2012-07-27 08:32:00

La ONG reconoce labor de México contra armas
Activistas señalan a nuestro país, junto con Noruega y Nueva Zelanda, por su liderazgo para controlar el tráfico de armas en el mundo

Notas relacionadas
EU no modificará ley de armas tras matanza en Colorado
Instalan en puertos detectores de armas de destrucción masiva
Armas en Estados Unidos, una batalla perdida
Senadora del PAN pide se revise el uso de armas en EU
Calderón le sugiere a EU revisar política de armas 

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 27 de julio.- Activistas y organismos no gubernamentales reconocen el liderazgo de la delegación mexicana en las discusiones del primer acuerdo legalmente vinculante para controlar las transferencias de armas en el mundo, negociado en la ONU.

"México ha tomado uno de los liderazgos más importantes en el marco del acuerdo, no solamente en la región, sino en toda la negociación", apuntó María Pía Devoto, de la Campaña para el Control de Armas, un organismo que reúne a 90 de los principales grupos de derechos humanos en el mundo.

De acuerdo con negociadores y activistas, México conforma junto con Noruega y Nueva Zelanda el trío de países que de manera más activa busca un acuerdo que evite la transferencia de armas a países con serias violaciones a los derechos humanos y a las leyes internacionales humanitarias.

Asimismo, buscan evitar las transferencias a países donde las armas tengan un efecto desestabilizador y exacerben conflictos, así como su desvío a usuarios no autorizados, como actores no estatales y grupos del crimen organizado, lo que representa el mayor problema de América Latina.

"México es de los tres países que de manera más activa busca un tratado que realmente tenga consideraciones humanitarias. Estas naciones son seguidas, además, por un conjunto de 73 países que las apoyan", indicó Devoto, de origen argentino.

Ese grupo difundió en días recientes un comunicado que urgía a la aprobación de un acuerdo con las características mencionadas que, además, "regule todas las armas convencionales, incluyendo las armas pequeñas y ligeras, y las municiones".

Desde principios de junio se negocia en la ONU el Tratado Internacional de Comercio de Armas, que tiene la intención de regular por primera vez en la historia las transferencias de armas internacionales, teniendo en cuenta un enfoque humanitario.

El convenio tiene la intención de controlar un comercio de armas convencionales con un valor anual de 60 mil millones de dólares anuales, y que causa la muerte de casi dos mil personas todos los días alrededor del mundo.

Las transferencias de armamento promueve la corrupción, debilita el desarrollo social y facilita los abusos sexuales, según expertos.


Personal de la Sedena aseguró a un individuo con armas de grueso calibre.

La aprehensión se efectuó sobre un camino del ejido San Francisco, en Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

En su automóvil localizaron y aseguraron dos armas largas calibre 7.62 x 39 mm; mientras que entre la maleza descubrieron dos fundas donde se ocultaban ocho armas largas de grueso calibre y tres pistolas calibre .308, .223 y 9 x 19 mm, respectivamente; 304 cartuchos y siete cargadores.

El individuo fue puesto a disposición del representante social de la Federación.

2012-07-27 08:32:00

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



Mexico: Border fence segments would violate binational treaty
July 24, 2012 10:15 PM 
Christopher Sherman
The Associated Press
Follow Christopher Sherman on Twitter: @ChrisShermanAP

McALLEN — An agency that monitors the U.S.-Mexico boundary is agreeing to a U.S. proposal to build border fence segments in a South Texas flood plain, a move Mexico opposes.

The decision by the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission comes despite objections from its Mexican counterpart. Mexico argues the fence would deflect floodwaters to its side of the Rio Grande and violate a binational treaty.

The Associated Press on Tuesday obtained a letter the commission sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection noting it will not oppose the project. The commission says its analysis found that the fence proposed for three areas in South Texas would not be a significant obstruction to river waters. Half of the 14 miles proposed would be in the flood plain.

"When it comes right down to it, the scientific analysis is what we have to fall back on," John Merino, principal engineer with the U.S. commission, said Tuesday.

In his February letter, Merino wrote that after a thorough review, the agency concluded that the project "will not cause significant deflection or obstruction of the normal or flood flows of the Rio Grande" and is consistent with the treaty.

Jenny Burke, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that one of the segments, in Los Ebanos, is no longer considered necessary and more funding is needed to build the other two in Rio Grande City and Roma. Merino also pointed out that the government would have to bring back detailed construction drawings of the fence for approval before proceeding.

Still, the green light for a permanent fence made of spaced vertical steel tubes is a significant reversal for an agency that expressed concerns when the government was still proposing a "moveable" fence in 2008.

A 1970 treaty between the United States and Mexico called on both countries to prohibit the building of anything that "may cause deflection or obstruction of the normal flow of the river or of its flood flows."

In July 2008, Al Riera, then the principal operations engineer for the U.S. boundary commission, told a citizens forum, "If they (Department of Homeland Security) don't show us they have something in place to guarantee removal of the (fence) panels ... the commission would never agree to something like that."

That movable fence was planned to involve a base of concrete barriers topped with about 15 feet of tightly woven steel fencing that could be removed in advance of floodwaters.

Merino said the project had not been analyzed when Riera made those comments. Riera is no longer with the commission.

But a letter from a Mexican engineer to Merino in December 2011 said the project represented a serious obstruction.

"The location, alignment and design of the proposed fence represent a clear obstruction of the Rio Grande hydraulic area, since in the towns of Rio Grande City and Roma, (Texas), the fence would occupy nearly all of the hydraulic area on the U.S. side, causing the deflection of flows towards the Mexican side," wrote principal engineer Luis Antonio Rascon Mendoza.

Jesus Luevano, secretary of the commission's Mexican section, said in an email Tuesday that Mexico's position is that the "wall constitutes an obstruction of the normal current ... in terms of the 1970 Boundary Treaty, therefore we continue fighting its placement with respect to the Rio Grande flood zone."

He added that Mexico recognizes the border fence is a unilateral endeavor, but said it wasn't improving relations between the neighbors.

The U.S. has built about 650 miles of border barriers along the 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico boundary. In Texas, the fence segments have been built more than a mile away from the river in some rural areas, but the three segments recently reviewed by the commission would be built closer because all three communities abut the river. In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security waived a host of environmental regulations to allow speedy construction.

Merino said the disagreement stems from differing assumptions. He said Mexico looks at the fence as a solid barrier like a dam that would not allow water to pass through. U.S. engineers believe water will pass through it as long as it's kept free of debris.

Jeffrey Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, said he will send a letter to the commission Wednesday demanding an explanation for the agency's new position. He noted that the proposed fencing would cut through a national wildlife refuge.

"We don't know the reason that all of these concerns evaporated," Ruch said Tuesday.



Note:  Still no new info on the truck driver Bogan case.  

Border Patrol agent, girlfriend set to plead guilty in guns case
By Adriana M. Chávez \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted:   07/25/2012 10:17:01 AM MDT
Reporter   Adriana M. Chávez 

An El Paso Border Patrol agent and his girlfriend are scheduled to plead guilty next month to charges that they smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartel members.
In April, federal agents arrested Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Montalvo, 28, and his girlfriend, Carla Gonzales-Ortiz, 29, after their indictment on conspiracy, firearms and smuggling charges.
Both have been jailed without bond since their arrests.
According to a judge's calendar for Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones, Montalvo is scheduled to plead guilty on Aug. 15, and Gonzales-Ortiz is to plead guilty on Aug. 16.
According to information at a detention hearing for the couple after their arrest, an investigation into the gun-smuggling allegations began in early 2011 after a man, identified in court documents only as E.P., told agents he worked as a "straw purchaser" for Montalvo.
A straw purchaser is a person who fills out paperwork to buy a gun from a licensed dealer but is actually illegally buying the gun for someone else.
Montalvo allegedly once tried to recruit other straw purchasers while wearing his Border Patrol uniform.
The couple's indictment states Montalvo bought ammunition and firearms, such as AK-47-type rifles favored by Mexican drug cartels. He also allegedly bought about 20,000 rounds of ammo,
97 high-capacity magazines -- including 10 100-round magazines for 5.56 mm rifles -- and four 37 mm flare launchers, which drug cartels can convert to grenade launchers.
At the detention hearing, a special agent with Customs and Border Protection's Internal Affairs division, testified that the couple became involved in buying weapons, ammunition and accessories destined for Mexico in the fall of 2010. Montalvo recruited straw purchasers by paying them for buying weapons and other items, and he paid them extra if they delivered the items to Mexico.
In January 2011, agents executed two search warrants at the couple's home on Emerald Point Drive in far East El Paso. There, the agents seized nine weapons, a handwritten ledger with descriptions of the weapons and price markups, and a photo from Montalvo's computer showing Montalvo, dressed in plain clothes, holding a large wad of money. Topping the wad was a $100 bill. The photo was titled "Pay Day."
Gonzales-Ortiz was charged in the case after she attempted to buy two weapons in 2010 but was denied based on her expired immigrant visa status at the time. At the time the investigation began, Gonzales-Ortiz was living illegally in the U.S. with Montalvo.
Montalvo and Gonzales-Ortiz have a child, who was 6 months old at the time they were arrested, a lawyer for Gonzales-Ortiz said during the couple's detention hearing.
Adriana M. Chávez may be reached at; 546-6117. Follow her on Twitter @AChavezEPTimes.



Progreso man tries smuggling AK-47 into Mexico
July 24, 2012 12:18 PM
Naxiely Lopez
The Monitor
PROGRESO — Federal officers arrested a 21-year-old man accused of trying to smuggle an AK-47 assault rifle into Mexico, authorities said Tuesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working southbound operations at the Progreso International Bridge encountered the pedestrian as he attempted to walk from the U.S. into Mexico, according to a news release.

The U.S. Citizen from Progreso allegedly hid the assault rifle in his clothing, officials said. Officers "quickly subdued" the suspect, arrested him and referred the case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Authorities did not release further information as they continued to investigate the case.

Father, son get prison sentences in gun-buying scheme
July 24, 2012 8:47 PM
ShareThis| Print Story | E-Mail Story
Ildefonso Ortiz
The Monitor  

McALLEN — A father and son will spend more than three years each in federal prison in connection with the straw purchase of more than a dozen firearms.

On Tuesday morning, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced 47-year-old Heriberto Caballero Sr. and 28-year-old Heriberto Caballero Jr. to three years and one month and three years and 10 months in prison, respectively.

The men had entered guilty pleas at the beginning of the year, admitting to their individual roles. The younger Caballero had purchased six firearms and had recruited his father to purchase seven more, knowing that the weapons were to be taken to Mexico. In order to buy the weapons, the men had lied in various forms, claiming to be the real owners of the weapons. 



Rocky Point death toll hits 6 in Thurs. shootings
 •  Tim Steller Arizona Daily Star 

Gunbattles that broke out in Puerto Peñasco on Thursday evening left at least six people dead, including at least one police officer.

The shootings began around 6 p.m. and turned into a rolling gunfight along one of the beach town's main streets. News reports in the town, known to Americans as Rocky Point, said an atmosphere of hysteria gripped the public after the shooting ended, followed by tension as police and soldiers poured into town.

In a news release, Sonoran state police gave this account of the events:

About 6 p.m. Thursday, police responded to a report of gunfire between two groups at a place called "El Ovalo" near the city's sports complex, and they found three apparent gunmen dead. Officers seized three firearms and a fragmentation grenade at the site, then went looking for suspected participants.

On Fremont Boulevard, the police encountered a Dodge pickup, and a gunman got out of the truck and started firing at them. Police fired back and killed the man, but as the pickup sped off, three people on board began firing, hitting three officers and killing at least one.

In a nearby location, officers found another man shot to death who apparently had participated in the original shootout.

Puerto Peñasco became an important transit point for the Sinaloa Cartel in about 2007, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials said. Occasional shootings have occurred among underworld groups, and the city's police chief was shot and wounded during a traffic stop in 2010.

But until Thursday, the city had largely avoided the public gunfights that have afflicted many cities in Mexico's border region.

Note:  only part of the story, but some interesting charges

Man charged in Edinburg shooting faces weapons charges
July 20, 2012 7:19 PM
Daniella Diaz

EDINBURG – Federal authorities say a 20-year-old man charged in a May shooting now faces gun trafficking charges.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested David Villanueva at his Edinburg home on July 13.

A criminal complaint states Villanueva received a package containing three Glock pistols from Indiana on July 13. Agents say he intended to sell two of them — a violation of federal law, because he is not a firearms dealer — and wanted to keep the third for personal use.

In U.S. District Court in McAllen, Villanueva faces charges of receiving firearms with the intent to commit felonies and for possessing the firearms while being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said in a news release Friday.

Agents also found an additional firearm that was previously shipped to him and drug paraphernalia in his residence.

Villanueva had allegedly taken roche pills before his arrest and smoked marijuana on the day of his arrest before he received the firearms. The complaint also states that he had been supplying gang members with firearms.

The complaint states that Villanueva received the three Glocks on July 13 while being an unlawful user of controlled substances and with the intent to commit felonies, including unlicensed firearms dealing, a violation on of federal law.

Edinburg police arrested Villanueva after a shooting on the 700 block of Baker Street in May. He was charged with aggravated assault.

Also charged in the shooting was Juan Jesus Briones, a purported Tri-City Bombers gang member, was sentenced to five years in prison for the shooting last month. In exchange for Briones' guilty plea on aggravated assault charges, prosecutors dropped a separate murder charge lodged against him and agreed to a five-year prison sentence.

Villanueva has been held without a bond since his arrest and if convicted, he could face up to 10 years in Federal prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000 for each charge.


What's next after fed-cop immigration pact ends?
July 21, 2012 10:38 PM
ShareThis| Print Story | E-Mail Story
WASHINGTON — Arizona police agencies said the loss of a state-federal partnership might not be the critical blow to immigration law enforcement that some had feared.

After the Department of Homeland Security announced June 25 that it was ending its 287(g) task force agreements in Arizona, politicians warned that the move would put state residents in "grave danger."

But of the seven agencies in the state that had task force agreements under 287(g), three said they do not expect to be affected by the loss of the program and three others said it is too early to tell.

"There is no effect for the Pima County Sheriff's Department for 287(g)," said Deputy Tom Peine, a department spokesman.

The program was created by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to let local police perform federal immigration enforcement functions, if the officers took training. It also gave local departments access to a federal database where they could check the immigration status of suspects.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety became a 287(g) partner in 2007, followed over the next two years by departments in Mesa, Phoenix and Florence and the counties of Pima, Pinal and Yavapai.

But the government announced that it was ending the program in Arizona on June 25, the same day that the Supreme Court upheld a critical part of the state's SB 1070 law that lets police check the immigration status of people they have arrested.

"ICE has determined that 287(g) Task Force agreements are not useful in states that have adopted immigration enforcement laws like SB 1070," the Department of Homeland Security said in announcing the change.

ICE officials said they will continue to work in other ways with Arizona police, such as checking the citizenship status of someone in state custody if police call and ask.

The change did not affect a jail enforcement portion of 287(g), under which correctional officers can perform federal enforcement functions. The agency also continues to run a similar program, Secure Communities, under which police across the state can send fingerprints to the federal government to check a suspect's criminal background and immigration status.

ICE did not end its 287(g) partnerships in 23 other states, only in Arizona.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision and the ICE announcement, many politicians charged the Obama administration with singling out Arizona for retribution.

"President Obama has demonstrated anew his utter disregard for the safety and security of the Arizona people," Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement on the day of the announcement.

In a letter two days later to ICE Director John Morton, four members of the state's congressional delegation said the "current course of action puts Arizona citizens in grave danger." The June 27 letter, signed by Republican Reps. Paul Gosar, Trent Franks, David Schweikert and Ben Quayle, called 287(g) a "critical public safety tool" and called on Morton to reinstate it.

In a separate statement at the time, Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Mesa, said suspending 287(g) in Arizona "will strip our local authorities of critical tools to deal with illegal immigration."

But several weeks later, local police do not appear too concerned.

Mesa Police spokesman Sgt. Tony Landato said the department did have one officer with 287(g) training, but had to pull him off those duties for budget reasons. Sheriff's department officials in Pima and Yavapai counties also said they expected little fallout from the program's termination.

Other departments — those that tended to have more 287(g)-trained officers — said they were in wait-and-see mode.

"It has the potential to impact our day-to-day enforcement efforts," said Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Elias Johnson. "But we're going to sit back and see on what that impact will be, instead of speculating."

Pinal County had 22 officers trained under 287(g) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety had 28. Phoenix officials could not immediately say how many officers they had trained under the program. But all three agencies said it's too early to tell what effect the end of the program will have.

Police in Florence, the seventh department with a 287(g) agreement, could not be reached for comment on the impact of the change.

Those wait-and-see agencies did express concern that there might come a time when they have to release an undocumented alien if ICE does not respond to calls to come take the person into federal custody.

But ICE said that its Enforcement and Removal Operations office has received a "normal volume of requests from state and local law enforcement agencies" in recent weeks. The Phoenix office said it received eight calls between June 25 and July 2 that resulted in the arrest of 38 people for immigration violations.

Still, some elected officials said they would rather have the program than not.

"We're not suggesting that 287(g) is a silver bullet, but it's another arrow in the quiver of local law enforcement," said Genevieve Rozansky, a press aide to Flake.

Gosar said Friday he stands by the letter "raising a red flag about the retaliatory actions of this administration."

"These valuable partnerships to enforce securing our border and protect the residents of Arizona are a valuable part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen our communities," he said in a statement, adding that canceling 287(g) shows "a disregard for the people of our great state."



Note:  inbox deluge advisory.


Note:  haven't heard anything on follow up with this one.  Someone took his stupid pill that morning?

Boy Scouts camped in smuggling corridor

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Why would the Boy Scouts camp in a notorious drug corridor?

They camped in a remote site near Sonoita.

The Scouts were working on survival merit badges, but one 14 year old boy wandered from his camp, saw flashlights and got worried.
Cell signals are weak there but he managed to call 911.
Seven Pima County deputies, Border Patrol, and a Border Patrol Helicopter all came together to rescue him.

Pima Sheriff's Deputy Tom Peine says of the location, "You need to use precautions when you go into an area like that where it is know than such activity is taking place and people have to make their own call, what they do, what they feel is the right thing to do."

A recording of the Scout talking to 911 makes it clear an adult Scoutmaster knew the camping site could expose the young Scouts to smuggling traffic.

Scout: "Our Scoutmaster told us there might be, like, illegal immigrants trying to cross through there and that's why they want to..."

911 Operator: "That's part of our concern."

We wanted to ask the Scouts whether anyone considered that area's reputation.
Ken Tucker, the Scout Executive for the Catalina Council sent a statement prepared before the release of the 911 recording.

It says in part: 
"Scouts were given instructions on how to get back to the main campsite and were checked on frequently by adult leaders. ..We will carefully evaluate this situation to see if there are any safety enhancements that may be appropriate."

Scout camping precautions say consider animals, dehydration, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, frostbite, poisonous plants, lightning strikes, flash floods and even avalanches. They don't mention of gun-toting smugglers.

The rescued Scout may have mixed success on his survival badge. Requirements include: Discuss ways to avoid panic and maintain a high level of morale when lost, but also, show five different ways to attract attention when lost.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Note:  AZMEX will be off line for a few days

Note:   An alleged .50 Barrett recovered after ambush of police in Sinaloa few days ago. 

Note:  5,247 Glocks.

Delivered weapons to five municipalities (Sinaloa)  
Martin Duran

Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez led the delivery of new weapons, ammunition, magazines and equipment for police forces from five municipalities and the State Preventive Police in the facilities of the Institute of Criminal Science and Criminal Criminology.

This package is the second to be delivered this year, and applies only to municipalities with the Grant Municipal Public Security.

In his message to the agents, Lopez Valdez said that today criminal groups attacking the police forces because they are affecting interests.
"Today we deliver this equipment, delivered yesterday to seven police elements," lamented the state president.

In total there were 5,247  9 mm caliber Glock pistols, 734,400  (?) chargers and accessories, and r 126,000  rounds for the municipalities of Ahome, El Fuerte, Guasave, Navolato and Culiacan and another package for PEP. (State police) 

Malova noted that this armament was to have agents in the same conditions as criminal groups so they are not surprised.

He said that so far his administration has invested 33 million pesos to equip the police forces.

Note:  "MALOVA" is the governor of Sinaloa 

REQUESTS MALOVA automatic rifles and Barrets from SEDENA (Mex army) 
Thursday July 12, 2012

Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez used his meeting with Secretary of Defense, Guillermo Galván Galván, requesting automatic rifles, barrets and armored vehicles for state police forces.

The request comes from the police who requested weapons similar to those used by organized crime, and be in similar conditions, he said.

"I received as a request from police forces, where the police tell me they are willing to fight crime, but as long as we put in the same capability with automatic rifles and with the barret and bring armored vehicle " he said, according to a bulletin sent to this wording.

The state executive said that the petition was well received by the federal official. On Monday, a gang of criminals ambushed elements of the State Ministerial Police in El Fuerte, the balance was seven policemen and four dead criminals.

"In this sense I think it was a successful initiative must begin to get weapons for our police officers are not disadvantaged when they suffer an ambush or an attack by the criminals," he said.

During his visit to Mexico City, the Department of Defense Malova gave a report on security in Sinaloa.

It also requested the Ministry of Finance increased resources for the construction of works in Mazatlan and Culiacan.

For the baseball stadium in Mazatlan about 75 million pesos and the bypass around 230 million pesos to 230 million pesos pension and 320 million to ensure the storage of one million tonnes of maize.



Blog: Feds label marijuana smuggling 'interstate commerce'

U.S. Border Patrol
This marijuana load, confiscated in 2006 northwest of Nogales, constitutes interstate or international commerce under federal criminal law. Interfering with the load could bring you a prison sentence — but of course so could transporting it in the first place.
  •  Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star
Related Documents

Third superseding indictment in Brian Terry case

The indictment unsealed Monday against the suspected killers of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry contains strange nuggets in Counts 3 and 4.

In short, the indictment categorizes marijuana smuggling as interstate or international commerce, and says interfering with it is illegal.

To understand how this is possible, you need to grasp the Hobbs Act. This federal law, enacted in 1946 to fight labor-union racketeering, prohibits robbery or extortion affecting interstate commerce. Often these days, though, it is used as a means for federal agencies to take over what would normally be a local criminal case, as the FBI has done in Philadelphia.

The first time I encountered it was in the late 1990s. Tucson federal prosecutors charged a man with robbery interfering with interstate commerce, citing the fact that the hot dogs, beer and other products in the convenience store he robbed had come across state lines. In 2001, federal prosecutors in Phoenix charged a man who set fire to luxury homes under construction there with "extortion affecting interstate commerce." Thus, a local arson case became a federal case.

The indictment against Terry's suspected killers charges them in Count 3 with "conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery," and in Count 4 with "attempted interference with commerce by robbery."

So, what was this commerce that Terry's alleged killers conspired to interfere with? Marijuana smuggling! Because the defendants allegedly were a "rip crew" intending to steal marijuana loads, they are accused of illegally interfering with the smuggling of drugs. As count 3 says, "the defendants unlawfully conspired to interfere with the movement of drugs..."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Robinson, one of the prosecutors in the case, pointed me to this congressional finding for an explanation. It establishes that drug trafficking is interstate or international commerce, for criminal-prosecution purposes.

When I asked longtime Tucson federal public defender Heather Williams about that use of the Hobbs Act, she said she'd never heard of it before.   

Note:  interesting backgrounder.

U.S.-based Mexican cartel queen used Latin bands to make drug profits squeaky-clean
By Tori Richards and Karen Keller Sunday, July 8, 2012    

Handcuffed and shackled at the ankles, Anel Violeta Noriega Rios in custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents last month.

Los Salgado, one of the three Latin bands named in a Mexican law enforcement document.
1 of 4PrevNext
EL MONTE, Calif. — A top Mexican drug operative nicknamed "the queen of crime" used popular Latin recording artists to smuggle weapons and funnel millions in methamphetamine profits, The Daily has learned exclusively.

Anel Violeta Noriega Rios of the bloody La Familia Michoacana cartel laundered money through many legitimate businesses, but a favorite was paying six popular Latin bands approximately $500,000 each for gigs that would normally cost $50,000, according to a Mexican law enforcement document.

Rios, 27, was arrested June 28 at her home here in the Los Angeles area on a 2010 Mexican warrant charging her with drug trafficking and organized crime. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents drove her to the border, where they handed her off to Mexican officials. She remains jailed in the province of Tamaulipas while her 4-year-old daughter remains in the U.S. 

Her arrest puts a crimp in the activities of La Familia Michoacana, known for beheading police officers, politicians and journalists who run afoul of its mandates. The cartel is so violent and such a big supplier of meth to the U.S. that both the Obama administration and outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderón have declared war on it.

No action has been taken against the recording artists who laundered money for Rios, identified by the official Mexican document as La Dinastia de Tuzantla, Los Players de Tuzantla, Cabildo, Banda Estrella Blanca, Los Zafiros and Los Salgado.

Many of the groups have had moderate success in the U.S. — records deals, tours, huge YouTube followings and a presence on Myspace. At least three of them are from La Familia's home of state Michoacán. 

Members of Los Players de Tuzantla debuted their 13th album last year on Univision, America's most popular Spanish-language television station. In places that have large Latino populations, La Dinastia de Tuzantla can easily pull in $75,000 in a night, according to Billboard.                  

A La Dinastia show in Houston "will guarantee you anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 people at a dance at no less than $25 a pop," public relations exec Gil Romero told Billboard in 2006.
Representatives for the bands could not be reached for comment.

A longtime Mexican-American music promoter isn't surprised that Rios used bands to launder the cartel's money.

"Certain bands are affiliated with certain cartels throughout Mexico," said the executive, who asked not to be identified because he fears retribution.

Starving-artist bands willingly accept money from cartels in exchange for writing lyrics that glorify drug trafficking. Once the bands get better known, their members are ordered to help cover up the cartels' illegal dealings, the executive said. 

"You always see these groups on tour," the executive continued. "But it's not about selling CDs or downloading on iTunes. It's gotten to a level where these bands have become a cash cow. That's how (the cartels) clean their money."
But it's a dangerous business — band members who become famous and no longer need the financial support of the cartels can get killed if they try to loosen their ties.

While La Familia is known for gun battles in Mexico, Rios' job in the U.S. was to receive drug shipments from Latin America, then send American semi-automatic weapons to Mexico in return.  

The drugs came by boat to Long Beach, Calif., then were transported to a garden store there, which is a 30-minute drive from where Rios lived.

In 2008, one of the shipments was missing and Rios accused an associate of stealing it. The drugs had never been shipped, though. A few months later, the man was murdered anyway, near a highway exit in Mexico, the Mexican document said.

La Familia also laundered money through nightclubs, car dealers and other businesses in Atlanta; Dallas; Chicago; Austin, Texas; Athens, Ga.; and Washington state, according to the document.

In Mexico, the cartel transported drugs in shipments of avocados and vats of guacamole, using a distributor in the city of Monterrey.

Rios has been with La Familia since 2002, working directly under the tutelage of ringleader Jose "El Chango" Mendez, who was arrested last year. Between 2004 and 2005, Rios was arrested five times in the U.S. and deported to Mexico.

While living in the U.S., Rios worked at a bar and raised her daughter in a working-class immigrant neighborhood that is far below the standard of living for most drug dealers. She conducted her business for years in the backyards of some of the world's top law enforcement agencies: FBI; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; L.A. police; and L.A. Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's Lt. Mike Thatcher didn't know of Rios personally, but his department has arrested her traffickers.

"They are one of the major cartels for the state. We deal with them quite frequently," Thatcher said. "That is very rare that an arrest of this magnitude occurs. Without a doubt someone will step up and take her place."

Note:  Possible sales to Mexico?

11 July 2012 Last updated at 14:47 ET 
'Bomb detector' maker Jim McCormick faces fraud charges
By Meirion Jones and Caroline Hawley
BBC Newsnight 

Jim McCormick sold the device to several countries
A businessman who sold a bomb-detecting device to 20 countries, including Iraq, has been charged with fraud, Avon and Somerset Police said.
Jim McCormick, 55, has been on bail for two-and-a-half years while police examined the sale of the device.

A BBC Newsnight investigation in 2010 showed the ADE-651 did not work and led to the British government banning its export to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr McCormick will appear at City of London Magistrates' Court on Thursday.
Avon and Somerset Police said that Mr McCormick would face six charges including producing and supplying the devices, knowing that they were designed or adapted for use in fraud.

The device had been sold to a range of Middle-Eastern countries and as far afield as Bangkok.

The Iraqi government spent $85m (£52m) on the hand-held detectors which were used at most checkpoints in Baghdad.



Note:  told ya so.  But just the tip of the corruption iceberg.  

Controversial figures voted into Mexico Congress
July 9, 2012 | 12:47 pm
MEXICO CITY -- Local wags are calling them the "unpresentable ones."

They are a handful of influential politicians, super-rich union leaders, their relatives and others who were quietly elected to Congress in last week's vote without lifting a finger to campaign.

News of their ascent is the latest twist in the aftermath of the July 1 election, which gave Mexico a president-elect and new Congress but which has been dogged by reports of vote-buying and other hanky-panky.

Mexicans choose their federal senators and representatives by voting for a party and its slate of candidates, not for an individual person. Names of most candidates appear on the ballot. However, there is an elite group of candidates to whom the party leadership promises seats, whose names do not appear on the ballot. They do not campaign; they do not make public appearances. Most Mexicans probably are not even aware they are waiting in the wings.

For the parties, these candidates are useful because they inject a lot of money, in some cases, or their bids for office are a way to pay back favors. But they are individuals who have been wrapped up in controversies that might otherwise make their participation a liability.

"These are people whom Mexican society has repudiated," analyst Lorenzo Meyer said Monday in a radio program. "They have no reason to be there [in Congress] and ... some should be in prison." [link in Spanish]

Final results from the vote, which also elected the next president, Enrique Peña Nieto, made it possible to see who some of these questionable senators and representatives will be. They include:

-- Carlos Romero Deschamps, the super-powerful, very rich head of the union for workers in the gigantic state oil company Pemex.

-- The daughter and grandson of Elba Esther Gordillo, the much-criticized "president for life" of the equally powerful teachers union.

--Several people closely tied to the giant television broadcaster Televisa, which holds a virtual monopoly in Mexico and has been vigorously criticized for favorable coverage of Peña Nieto.

Most, but not all, of the so-called impresentables were on the slate belonging to Peña Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

"This has become a route of access for stinky [candidates] from various parties," Mexican academic and political analyst Denise Dresser said. The problem, she said, is that the presence of some of these people could work to block the kinds of reforms that Mexicans say they desperately need.

"They do not represent the citizens," she said, also speaking on radio. "They represent the veto; they represent vested interests; they represent the status quo."

Most experts agree that Mexico's entrenched system of monopolies and its bloated, corrupt unions have stalled the nation's progress.

A recount confirmed Peña Nieto's victory, returning the PRI, which ruled for seven decades, to power after a 12-year hiatus. But the leftist candidate who came in second, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, his supporters, several student groups and others are challenging the results.



Mexico asks UN to regulate arms trade
POLICE • 6 JULY 2012 - 11:39 AM - LORENA LOPEZ
This is to prevent their diversion to the illicit market, and that while the use of weapons by states is a necessity, trade and use can not be with no international legal responsibilities.

Mexico City • Mexico asked the UN to regulate the arms trade to prevent their diversion to illicit markets accountable to producers, traders and end users and include all conventional weapons, parts, components, ammunition and technology.

By participating in the UN Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT for its acronym in English) held in New York, the Mexican representatives expressed the view that although access and use of weapons by States is a necessity, trade and use can not occur without any international legal responsibilities.

For Mexico, "the regulation of international arms trade will be effective to the extent that the international community address the problem of diversion of weapons to the illicit market" and the Treaty must prevent diversion and misuse of weapons and "can not be a statement of good intentions ", but to establish legal obligations and rights for all its parts.

The international community has negotiated over the past six years international regulations on arms sales, while the basis for international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons are based on resolutions of the UN General Assembly.

"Mexico attaches great importance to the adoption of a treaty with high standards and a broad scope to bring the shared responsibility of producers, traders and end users, and in regard to the inclusion of all conventional weapons, their parts, components, ammunition and technology, "the Foreign Ministry.

"In a world that regulates trade in all goods, to date there is no regulatory scheme for products that are designed and produced for the sole purpose of causing harm. This reality is ethically wrong, Mexico considers regulation essential for the international transfer of conventional arms which is the biggest business in the world, " they said.

Peña Nieto supports new drug strategy debate
The virtual winner of the elections emphasized curb the crime wave in Mexico
Agencies / Photo: Cuartoscuro

BOGOTA, July 6. - Given the limited progress of current policies should open a debate on new strategies to combat illicit drugs, today told Radio Caracol the virtual winner of the presidential elections in Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto.

In an interview with Colombian radio station, the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) said that after an assessment of the years of struggle against drug trafficking, it is concluded that "today there are more drug production and consumption" in the world.
"Failed strategy and the mechanisms that governments have continued to" organized crime and drug trafficking and "it is clear that no positive results. Let us open a debate, define new strategies," he said.

He was therefore "in favor of more dialogue, a new debate in the hemisphere that we have and where the U.S. (as a country consumer) is key in the position to take."

Peña Nieto was opposed to the legalization of drugs because "I am not convinced about the arguments that have been advanced, I think it is access to higher consumption."

He admitted that organized crime has left a large number of deaths in Mexico, so that "the main objective will be to reduce violence" internally.
"Unfortunately, Mexico in recent years in this war, or in this fight against organized crime, drug trafficking, has led to a very high number of deaths in our country, over 50 thousand," he said.

According to Peña Nieto, "society is frightened and why we need to emphasize the strategy to reduce violence and fight three types of offenses are those that generate more violence: murder, kidnapping and extortion."

He clarified that "does not mean changing what has been done" in fighting crime, "means to broaden the spectrum to where we need to get, because this is what social support to the policy on security we are following."
"When a policy does not show results in society, hardly has the backing and support and that is what we have to achieve," he said.

Considered to be "halt and end the descent into this wave of crime we have in our country," for which he reiterated, will be advised of the former police chief of Colombia, General Oscar Naranjo.

General Naranjo makes recommendations to the PRI

The former director of the Colombian police said Friday that its recommendations to the future president is the creation of mixed assault groups to combat not only drug traffickers but gangs of thugs.

He said it is advisable to set a goal of reducing violence in the first 100 days of the presidency, a reduction that is achieved by focusing or concentrating on the regions of greatest conflict.

Naranjo, an external consultant Peña Nieto on security issues and combating organized crime, said in an interview that the shock groups may consist of units of the army, navy, police and serve to seek and find " high-value targets "or the most wanted drug traffickers.

2012-07-06 15:27:00

México pide a la ONU regular comercio de armas
Con ello se pretende evitar su desvío al mercado ilícito, ya que si bien el empleo de armas por parte de los Estados es una necesidad, su comercio y uso no puede darse sin que existan responsabilidades jurídicas internacionales.  

Ciudad de México  • México pidió a la ONU regular el comercio de armas para evitar su desvío al mercado ilícito que responsabilice a productores, comerciantes y usuarios finales e incluya todas las armas convencionales, sus partes, componentes, municiones y tecnología.

Al participar en la Conferencia Diplomática de la ONU para la adopción de un Tratado de Comercio de Armas (ATT por sus siglas en inglés) efectuada en Nueva York, los representantes mexicanos expresaron la postura de que si bien el acceso y uso de armas por parte de los Estados es una necesidad, su comercio y uso no puede darse sin que existan responsabilidades jurídicas internacionales.

Para México, "la regulación del comercio internacional de armas será eficaz en la medida en que la comunidad internacional atienda el problema del desvío de armas al mercado ilícito" y el Tratado debe prevenir el desvío y el mal uso de las armas y "no puede ser una declaración de buenas intenciones", sino establecer obligaciones jurídicas y derechos para todas sus partes.

La comunidad internacional ha negociado durante los últimos seis años regulaciones internacionales al comercio de armas, mientras las bases para las normas internacionales comunes para la importación, exportación y transferencia de armas convencionales se basan en resoluciones de la Asamblea General de la ONU.

"México otorga la mayor importancia a la adopción de un tratado con altos estándares y de un amplio alcance que señale la responsabilidad que comparten productores, comerciantes y usuarios finales, así como en lo que se refiere a la inclusión de todas las armas convencionales, sus partes, componentes, municiones y tecnología", informó la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores.

"En un mundo que regula el comercio de todo tipo de bienes, al día de hoy no se cuenta con un esquema regulatorio para aquellos productos que son diseñados y producidos con el fin único de causar un daño. Esta realidad es éticamente equivocada; México considera esencial contar con una regulación para la transferencia internacional de armas convencionales que es de los mayores negocios del mundo", agrega la dependencia.

Peña Nieto apoya debate para nueva estrategia antidroga
El virtual triunfador de los comicios electorales hizo énfasis en frenar la ola de criminalidad en México
Agencias / Foto: Cuartoscuro  

BOGOTÁ, 6 julio.- Ante los pocos avances de las políticas actuales se debe abrir un debate sobre nuevas estrategias para combatir las drogas ilícitas, dijo hoy a Radio Caracol el virtual triunfador de los comicios presidenciales en México, Enrique Peña Nieto.

En entrevista con la radioemisora colombiana, el candidato del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) dijo que tras un balance de los años de lucha contra el narcotráfico, se concluye que "hoy hay mayor producción y consumo drogas" en el mundo.

"Ha fallado la estrategia y los mecanismos que han seguido los gobiernos" contra el crimen organizado y el narcotráfico y "es claro que no hay resultados positivos. Abramos un debate, definamos nuevas estrategias", enfatizó.

Se mostró por ello "a favor de un mayor diálogo, de un debate nuevo que en el hemisferio pudiéramos tener y donde Estados Unidos (como país consumidor) es clave en la posición que asuma".

Peña Nieto se mostró contrario a la legalización de la droga, porque "no estoy convencido sobre los argumentos que se han esgrimido, me parece que es el acceso a un mayor consumo".

Admitió que el crimen organizado le ha dejado un alto número de muertes a México, por lo que "el objetivo central será el de reducir la violencia" a nivel interno.

"Lamentablemente México en estos últimos años, en esta guerra, o en esta lucha contra el crimen organizado, contra el narcotráfico, ha derivado en un número muy elevado de muertes en nuestro país, más de 50 mil", dijo.

Según Peña Nieto, "la sociedad está atemorizada y por eso tenemos que hacer énfasis en la estrategia para reducir la violencia y combatir tres tipos de delitos que son los que generan mayor violencia: el homicidio, el secuestro y la extorsión".

Aclaró que "no significa cambiar lo que se ha hecho" en el combate al crimen, "significa ampliar el espectro hacia donde tenemos que llegar, porque esto será lo que le de respaldo social a la política que en materia de seguridad estemos siguiendo".

"Cuando una política no acredita resultados ante la sociedad, difícilmente tiene el respaldo y el apoyo y de eso se trata lo que tenemos que lograr", sostuvo.

Consideró que se debe "poner un alto y empezar el descenso en esta ola de criminalidad que tenemos en nuestro país", para lo cual -reiteró- contará con la asesoría del ex jefe de la Policía de Colombia, el general Óscar Naranjo.

El general Naranjo emite recomendaciones al priista

El ex director de la policía colombiana afirmó el viernes que entre sus recomendaciones al futuro mandatario están la creación de grupos de choque mixtos para combatir no sólo a los narcos sino también a bandas de sicarios.

Dijo además que es recomendable fijar una meta de reducir la violencia en los primeros 100 días de la presidencia, una reducción que se logra focalizándose o concentrando los esfuerzos en las regiones de mayor conflictividad.

Naranjo, que es un asesor externo de Peña Nieto en temas de seguridad y combate al crimen organizado, dijo en entrevista que los grupos de choque pueden estar integrados por unidades del Ejército, la Armada, cuerpos policiales y que sirvan para buscar y dar con "objetivos de alto valor" o los narcotraficantes más buscados.




2012-07-06 15:27:00

Tuesday, July 10, 2012



Note:  Driver's license continues to be primary ID for firearms purchase.

NM to use technology to verify license information
Mon, 07/09/2012 - 4:07pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.(AP) — New technology will soon be used in New Mexico to verify information documents presented by people seeking driver's licenses.
The state is grappling with recurring incidents of fraud, as critics claim New Mexico has become a go-to place nationally for illegal immigrants — or preying criminals representing them — wanting to obtain real driver's licenses.

Critics attribute most of the problem to the 2003 state law that allows foreign nationals to obtain New Mexico licenses, regardless of whether they are in the country legally.
The Albuquerque Journal reports ( that the changes being carried out include getting bar code readers to help verify bank statements and utility bills, and other software to help ensure passports are legitimate.
In addition, Demesia Padilla, secretary of the state Taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees New Mexico's Motor Vehicle Division, said her agency is considering establishing a field office in Albuquerque that would handle all foreign national applicants in the state's largest city. Other MVD field offices around the state would still handle all types of driver's license applicants.
About 70 percent of New Mexico's appointments for foreign national licenses are made in Albuquerque, Padilla said. "That would take some pressure off of the field offices," she said. "It's something that we're discussing and considering."
A decision on whether to set up the field office for foreign nationals, who can only obtain licenses through state-run MVD offices, is expected to be made later this summer.
Recent busts of two "rings" that obtained New Mexico licenses driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in other states prompted renewed scrutiny of the state's law — and how it is being enforced.
New Mexico and Washington are the only states that allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, though proof of a local address is required. Utah law allows for a more limited driving.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal,   

Mexico's old ruling party falls short of majority
The Associated Press
Posted:   07/10/2012 09:41:10 AM MDT

MEXICO CITY—Electoral authorities say Mexico's old ruling party and its allies have fallen just short of a majority in both houses of Congress.
The situation may give small parties leverage to offer their swing votes.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party has been declared the winner of the July 1 presidential elections. Known as the PRI, it is allied with the smaller Green and New Alliance parties.
The Federal Electoral Institute projected Tuesday that the three parties together would have 250 seats in the 500-seat lower house, one short of a majority.
The PRI and allies would have 62 seats in the Senate, three short of a majority in the 128-seat body.
The figures are projections. The final totals will be announced by a federal electoral court.   

Note:  some interesting TXMEX stories.  Always have to be skeptical when feds say they doing it to save money.  By fed standards, $1.3m and 41 personnel isn't even a drop in the proverbial bucket.   Country boys might question gathering firewood in a river bottom.  

6 Border Patrol stations closing in Texas
Border Patrol in Texas  

Nine U.S. Border Patrol stations, including six in Texas, will be closed within the next six months to move 41 agents closer to the southern and northern borders, CNN is reporting.

• Houston Chronicle: U.S. border worries migrate inland

The stations closing in Texas are in Abilene, San Angelo, Dallas, San Antonio,  Lubbock and Amarillo. The others are in Riverside, Calif., Billings, Montana, and Twin Falls, Idaho.

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection) spokesman Bill Brooks said the interior stations that will be shut are in some instances hundreds of miles from a border. He said the decision is in keeping with a strategy to use resources wisely and "increasingly concentrate our resources on the border."

But the Federation for American Immigration Reform said the interior stations are a needed "second line of defense" to track down and apprehend illegal immigrants who make it past international borders and into heavily traveled corridors in the United States.

There will be a budget savings of $1.3 million a year when the nine posts are closed, according to Brooks.

In Amarillo, law enforcement officers told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal they are concerned because they don't have the authority to police human trafficking and illegal immigration.

"We've got a big corridor that runs through Amarillo," Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said. "If we pull over illegal aliens, we can call over (Border Patrol agents) who can detain them. We won't have the resources to check them."

… "All we can do is see if (someone) is wanted," he said. "We won't be able to detain them, so it's something we're going to have to look at."

In 2011, Border Patrol agents in Texas arrested almost 119,000 people and seized 1.5 million pounds in drugs and about $19.9 million, according to the agency's website, reports.

'My brother ... he's dead': Mourning after border shooting
July 10, 2012 7:37 AM
Ildefonso Ortiz
The Monitor  

MATAMOROS — At a small home along a dirt road a few yards from the Rio Grande, about a dozen friends and family gathered Sunday afternoon, awaiting the body of their beloved Juan Pablo.

"My brother, Juan Pablo Perez Santillán, he's dead," Juanita Soto Santillán said through tears as she sat in a lawn chair outside the white-walled Los Pinos neighborhood home. A red wreath and a white-and-blue flower ornament was all the family could afford on short notice for the impromptu wake.

"My son Jorge … I don't know what happened to him," Soto said. "I want him here with me.
"I don't know if he's missing, if the (Border Patrol) got him, or … ." She trailed off.
Her 14-year-old son, it turned out, had been detained by U.S. border agents — a fate less harsh than her brother's.

The 30-year-old Perez died Saturday morning on the banks of the Rio Grande, presumably from a bullet fired by a U.S. border agent on the Brownsville side of the river. Border Patrol says its agents opened fire in separate incidents that occurred about the same time Saturday near the Veterans International Bridge: once at rock throwers who were pelting border enforcers attempting to arrest illegal crossers; once at a man who was aiming a gun at an agent from across the river.

Soto said she didn't know what her brother and her son were doing at the time of the gunfire.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry strongly denounced the shooting soon after it happened, calling the death of Perez a disproportionate use of force. Calls by The Monitor seeking comment from the U.S. State Department regarding the Mexican Foreign Ministry's statements were referred to Border Patrol, whose spokesman said that a rock attack is considered deadly force.

"We had an agent that spent almost a year out (recovering) and had to have reconstructive surgery after being attacked with rocks," spokesman Enrique Mendiola said, referencing an agent injured while responding to a drug smuggling attempt at the Hidalgo-Reynosa border in April 2010.

Rock attacks targeting Border Patrol agents are common, with approximately 500 of them along the Southwest border in the last calendar year, Mendiola said.

One confrontation in June 2010 proved fatal for a 15-year-old boy in Ciudad Juárez when a Border Patrol agent trying to detain illegal immigrants in El Paso came under attack from rock throwers and responded with gunfire.

Mendiola said that if need be, border agents won't shy away from violence.
They "are well-trained and -equipped and will respond with necessary force to any aggression," Mendiola said.


The shooting took place just south of Veterans International Bridge when Border Patrol agents responded to the river regarding illegal immigrants attempting to cross, Mendiola said. When the agents detained a group of people, they were pelted by rocks and one agent fired his weapon in self-defense but didn't hit anyone. About the same time, just south of that location, an agent saw a man pointing a weapon at him and fired.

The Mexican consul in Brownsville, Rodolfo Quilatán Arenas, said the man that Border Patrol claimed was holding a weapon was Perez, and they are trying to confirm whether he was armed.

"The Mexican government is confirming the death of an individual," Mendiola said. "We are not confirming that information. We are confirming that our agents fired in self-defense after being placed in danger."

Quilatán said that his office began working on the case soon after the shooting, and later that day, it sent a statement to Rosendo Hinojosa, chief of the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector, asking for a full investigation.

During the incident, Quilatán said, Border Patrol detained three individuals, including an underage male. Soto later confirmed — much to her relief — that her son Jorge was that teen in custody.
Quilatán said his office is working with its legal department to investigate not only a violation of national sovereignty but also a possible human rights violation.


A small team of journalists visiting the northern bank near the scene the day after the shooting was hailed by a 30-something man who popped out of the brush on the Mexican side of the river.
"They killed my cousin," the man said before diving into the river and swimming across to give his side of the story.  

The man, who refused to give his name but identified himself as Perez's cousin, said a group of individuals had been throwing rocks at the agents, but he and Perez had been in the area gathering wood to roast chickens. A shot rang out, and Perez went down.
"Yes, he bled to death right there," the man said, pointing to a spot on the Mexican side of the river.

The man then abruptly ended the interview, jumped back into the water, swam to the Mexican side and walked away.


Border Patrol: 'Deplorable conditions' as more than 80 found at human stash house
July 10, 2012 7:36 AM
The Monitor

MISSION — U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered more than 80 individuals living in "deplorable conditions" at a Mission residence Monday afternoon.

Authorities have at least two other individuals in custody who they believe may be the principal suspects in the case but must still question each person and determine their immigration status before moving forward, Border Patrol spokesman Enrique Mendiola said.

About 12:30 p.m. Monday, agents found more than 80 people at a residence at the intersection of Doffing Road and 7 Mile Line near La Joya Juarez-Lincoln High School.

Mendiola said at least six of those detained were juveniles and appeared to be in decent health, despite rough living conditions.

"Nothing was wrong with them," he said, "but when you have 80 people stuffed into a house with one or two bathrooms, there will be deplorable conditions. It will be hot."  

Teen kidnap suspect: Ransom was to pay off narco
July 09, 2012 9:27 PM
The Monitor

EDINBURG — A 16-year-old male kidnapping suspect told a judge Monday that he tried to ransom a female victim because of a debt he owed a drug lord.

Weslaco police arrested the teenager over the weekend after he and other suspects reportedly stormed Rudy's Auto Sales in the 1400 block of Westbound Expressway 83 between 1 and 2 p.m. and took a female employee by force.

On Saturday morning, the victim was able to escape her captors and ran to a nearby home, where she asked for help.

Prosecutors told a judge at juvenile court Monday that the suspect was a danger to society, prompting them to keep him in custody.

The teenager spoke in his defense, claiming he owed money to a drug lord and had fled to Mexico before he returned to the U.S. recently.

The judge ordered he undergo psychological testing.

The state hopes to try him as an adult, and court proceedings will continue Aug. 1 with a status hearing.