Monday, May 8, 2017



Arizona Border Counties Form Coalition to Protect Trade with Mexico
Four-county effort emphasizes healthy ties.
by Nancy Montoya

MariposaPortCBP4 produce-spotlight
Border Coalition 2-0:57

Arizona border counties say they have united to make their voices heard in Washington, D.C., when it comes to immigration and trade.

The counties are sending a message saying a healthy relationship between Arizona and Mexico is important to the entire country.

Last year all 50 U.S. states used Arizona ports of entry to export goods to Mexico. The Arizona border counties of Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise and Yuma all benefit from the ports of entry.

But there is increasing frustration that immigration policy issues and the Trump administration's relationship with Mexico are now starting to hurt trade with our neighbor.

"Economic development does not end at the border,"said Teresa Bravo, the economic development and international projects coordinator for Pima County. Bravo is heading up a new coalition of the state's four border counties. Her goal is to protect Arizona's relationship with Mexico, and she said it's not about politics.

"We have the support of Congressman [Raúl] Grijalva. There is the support of Congresswoman [Martha] McSally. And as you have seen, Sens. [John] McCain and [Jeff] Flake have been very proactive and pro-Mexico."

What is good for Arizona, Bravo said, is good for the entire country.


Note: and then this one from our friends at Borderland Beat.

Thursday, May 4, 2017
Tijuana & San Diego: Ravaged by cristal

At the border, and checkpoints choking off San Diego, CBP seize loads of crystal, handing the suspects off to DEA, Homeland Security Investigations. At the San Diego MCC, Metropolitan Correctional Center, dozens of indicted suspects from gangs are booked into custody. Across the street at the federal courthouse they are arraigned.

MCC is filled with suspects found with crystal meth concealed in their vehicles, false compartments usually, modified in Tijuana and Mexicali for smuggling. The drivers run a wide range, women with children, young single women, members of Tijuana's Xolos, the children of mariachi singers, older men, younger ones, an 18 year old died in 2014, after CBP allowed him to drink liquid crystal he was attempting to smuggle in a juice bottle. He overdosed, the liquid meth overtaking his body, and he died on the scene, on the cold floor of the border patrol building in San Ysidro.

The county jail's are filled with addicts, holding tanks lined with addicts, face and skin decaying, picking at their wounds, greasy hair and bad sandwiches they can't eat, packed into dorms and cells, coming down days after their arrest, face absorbed into the thin bunk mattress. Homicides, beatings, stabbings, theft, credit card fraud, kidnappings, all the crimes of the addicts. In East Village, a rapidly developing upscale enclave of downtown, holds the sight of millions in development, construction crews, highrises, but at night, on K Street, and down Market, up Island, across J, all around you can see the smoke in the simmering summer night.

Seizure in Tijuana today
Smoke, from burnt pipes on cracked, cut, dry lips, lining the walls of San Diego's Skid Row, where homeless addicts seek refuge in the crystal, sold by corner boys on East Village blocks. Down the street, stash houses are hit by Homeland Security. Go further south, and watch the dope spots and motel deals in National City, distributors deal out of their homes, pole cams from federal agents documenting their every sale. Richard J Donovan State Prison, where recent unsealed indictments revealed crystal and heroin being sold in the prison. Further south in Tijuana, where the killings have surged over 400 in just a few months.

Today, 400 kilos of crystal were seized from a stash house in Aquas Calientes, 800 packages with roughly half a kilo each, ready to be crossed, in broken up load cars. The killings occur daily, today a gym, tomorrow a bar, today a body burnt, tomorrow, choked, with cheap rope still wrapped around his neck, flesh rubbed raw underneath. Yesterday, 350k worth of product was seized in a matter of hours, pounds of crystal wrapped for transportation into San Diego, and further north.

The numbers are higher elsewhere, but San Diego feels like home, and we have much business to be done here. In 2017, federal indictments have charged over 200 individuals with distribution of crystal, and related crimes, including murder, firearms trafficking, home invasions, extortion, and prostitution. January, 13 members of the Deep Valley Crips in Oceanside, indicted and charged with racketeering, sex trafficking out of gang controlled and complicit motels, and trafficking meth. In February, 55 were charged in Vista, primarily a Vista Homeboys trafficking network run by a woman, based out of Tijuana, and supplied by Sinaloa.

Last week, 37 individuals in the Mid-City region, 15 blocks or so from North Park and Hillcrest were charged in another federal case. West Coast Crip, John Albert Quarles, aka J Money led a crystal and crack cocaine distribution operation that operated dope houses around the 40th block of University and Orange Ave, Teralta Park. Soulidao Chounlaboudy of the Oriental Mafia Crips, was charged in the same investigation, operating a meth and firearms trafficking network.

Yesterday, 16 gang members and associates of the Diablos, based in Escondido were charged in unsealed indictments. The Diablos, a prolific gang, of over 311 documented members, and 400 associates, control drug territory in eastern and central Escondido. As part of the investigation, authorities identified the shooter, who in early March, shot and killed a grandmother, on her way to church.

13 wiretaps, over 100 pounds of meth and heroin pounds of meth, assault rifles, racketeering, money laundering, sex trafficking, prostitution, drug trafficking. The numbers blur together, dozens of pounds of meth, if not hundreds. Hundreds of actual people, charged, arrested, processed, sentenced by federal judges. If the suppliers and dealers are in the 100's, the customers, the addicts, the clients are in the thousands. Overdose deaths of crystal have surged in the last 7 years, as price and purity have risen, pounds of seized crystal frequently test at 98%.

The two cities, symbiotic, are awash in crystal, blood, and money. If you don't know, or don't see, you can't care. Even then. Children born from addict mothers, who live in addict houses, who sleep in addict conditions, and eat addict food, or don't eat at all. Raised in a life of chaos, violence, incarceration. The street dealers in Tijuana with globos in their mouths, the batakas with half a clip, and orders to kill, the children of killers, the parents of transporters who got 6 years for 22 pounds of crystal, and endless black tragedy. Count the pounds, look at the pictures, the indictments, go down to K street tonight, the smoke will be there.

Sources: Zeta Tijuana, UT San Diego, US Attorneys Office


No comments:

Post a Comment