Spread the Wealth and Spread the Damage
Everything old is new again or is it? There are 3400+ intelligence agencies and some 900,000+ individuals with security clearance in the United States and yet, very little is investigation, released, pursued or prosecuted. Is it too big to fail or too big to succeed?
The wars going on in Mexico, South America and at the southern border of the United States are different locations but the same threat. Drugs, weapons, human smuggling and money are the foundations of the Revolution to take control of America. Which is why you should visit quitmarijuana.org so that ‘Drugs’ can be removed from this list and can be tackled for a friendlier society. Some people are taming down on there consumption as they have found that another drug which can give similar affects but also comes with a few health benefits. For more information this new drug called ‘kratom’ then head across too, www.payspi.org.
Below are the items discussed in this paper:
2. Terror groups
3. Drug Cartels, each side of border
Links are provided in this document, yet some statements will not have links due to credibility but nuggets are always available by what is not mentioned in text.
So let us begin with Hezbollah and see where it leads us. The history and mission of Hezbollah is well known, but financing of this group and the methodologies remain obscure. To be sure however, to complete the objective of Hezbollah not only in the middle-east but in the west requires billions annually. The money trail equals connections and this document will reveal facts, high probabilities and possibilities.
Hezbollah has a stronghold in South America. You may not need to go any further reading this text based on the summary in this blog post. The author has allowed single use of his post and yet still suggests further research. He has all citations at the bottom of this blog including some interesting and viable sources.
A recently published U.S. Department of Defense report claims that members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (IRGC-QF) currently are operating in Venezuela. STRATFOR sources claim that the relatively limited number of IRGC-QF in Venezuela are focused on intelligence operations, paramilitary training for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and security assistance for the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Though the IRGC-QF presence brings certain benefits to the Venezuelan government, Chavez also has an interest in keeping their proxy militant focus on Colombia.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates submitted a report to Congress in April on the current and future military strategy of Iran. Included in the report is a claim that the Quds Force, the overseas operations arm of Iran’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has developed a significant presence in Latin America, particularly in Venezuela. STRATFOR sources connected to this Iranian military unit have confirmed a small but notable presence in Venezuela. Though IRGC-QF members in Venezuela are believed to be providing some security assistance to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader does not appear interested in incurring reprisals from the United States and is consequently trying to direct the anti-U.S. activities of the IRGC-QF toward neighboring Colombia.
As the Pentagon report states, IRGC-QF members usually are stationed in foreign embassies, charities and religious or cultural institutions as intelligence officers to develop ties with the Shiite Diaspora and other potential allies. The U.S. military even has labeled incoming and outgoing Iranian ambassadors to Iraq as IRGC-QF members. On a more narrow scale, the IRGC-QF arms, funds and trains various paramilitary groups as an extension of Iran’s well-developed militant proxy arm. The IRGC-QF is believed to have worked with proxies to orchestrate major attacks against U.S. and U.S.-allied targets, including the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and a number of insurgent attacks targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. By keeping this elite unit in reserve in various pockets of the globe, Iran has the ability to carry out attacks under plausible deniability. The reality of Iran’s retaliatory options — made possible by the IRGC-QF — has factored heavily into U.S. war-gaming exercises against Iran.
Joined by their mutually hostile relationship with the United States, Iran and Venezuela have grown to be close allies in the past several years. A good portion of this relationship consists of rhetoric designed to grab the attention of Washington, but significant forms of cooperation do exist between the two countries. STRATFOR sources have indicated many of the inflated economic deals signed between Iran and Venezuela and the establishment of the Banco Internacional de Desarrollo (an Iranian banking subsidiary headquartered in Caracas) are designed to facilitate Iran’s money laundering efforts while providing the Venezuelan government with an additional source of illicit revenue.
The Iranian-Venezuelan relationship also extends into the militant proxy world. Though this information has not been confirmed, STRATFOR sources claim the current IRGC-QF presence in Venezuela is limited to roughly 300 members. This estimate could well be on the high side, considering the likelihood that it includes all IRGC-QF paramilitary trainers and personnel working under diplomatic, business and religious cover. Many of these IRGC-QF members are focused on developing relationships with Venezuelan youth of Arab origin, who are viewed as potential intelligence and militant recruits. Some of these recruits are brought to Iran for training, and STRATFOR sources claim that several Hezbollah trainers are included among the IRGC-QF personnel. However, these efforts remain limited given the relatively small size of the Shiite community in Venezuela, believed to be less than one percent of Venezuela’s Muslims, which comprise roughly four percent of the population.
A portion of IRGC-QF members are believed to interact with militants belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia’s largest paramilitary group. The Chavez government is widely believed to provide direct support for FARC rebels and smaller Colombian paramilitary groups, but the Venezuelan president also appears wary of the
IRGC-QF interaction with these groups. A STRATFOR source has indicated that IRGC-QF links with FARC are designed to give Iran the option of targeting U.S. interests in Colombia should the need for retaliation arise (for example, in the event of a U.S. military strike on Iran). The source says the IRGC-QF does not have a presence in Colombia but supports FARC from the paramilitary group’s sanctuary along the Venezuelan border. While it remains highly doubtful that Iran would be able to exert the necessary influence over FARC to direct their attacks against U.S. targets, simply having FARC as the main culprit for attacks in Colombia could provide Iran with the plausible deniability it seeks in such attacks.
The Venezuelan government appears to be benefiting in part by hosting the IRGC-QF, but, like Iran, wants to ensure some level of plausible deniability. A STRATFOR source claims that some IRGC-QF members have been integrated into Venezuela’s National Guard and police force, where they provide assistance to the Chavez government in containing the opposition. IRGC-QF and Hezbollah personnel also are believed to be involved in irregular warfare training for some Venezuelan army units, in addition to FARC. Chavez has publicly endorsed the concept of “asymmetric warfare” in his restructuring of the Venezuelan army to guard against potential military threats from Colombia and the United States.
That said, Chavez also is wary of IRGC-QF activities directed at the United States. According to the source, Chavez has strongly cautioned Iran against allowing IRGC-QF to target U.S. interests in Venezuela itself. Despite his heated rhetoric against the United States, the Venezuelan president does not wish to invite a strong U.S. reprisal and would rather keep their militant focus on Venezuela’s main regional rival, Colombia. As of 9-21-2010, Ahmadinejad said at the UN Council that more threats and sanctions against Iran will lead to a war without borders.
Is the United States an enabler of the IRGC and the relationship with the cartels? According to Hillary Clinton, the drug cartels should be viewed as Insurgents and most of their weapons are coming from the United States and falling into the hands of the defected Mexican Military thus to the cartels.
Yet still, there are other publications that have released pieces on Hezbollah. This link says that intelligence reports via President Peres includes evidence that Iran/Hezbollah is trading inside the Tri-Border Area. (TBA)
Iranian Embassies in South America have become common buildings for the countries listed below, which supports Robert Gate’s claim via his testimony, above to Congress. Countries with Iranian Embassies are:
Columbia, Nicaragua, Chili, Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela
Western Hemisphere Network
The Badr Brigades, (the militia of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq), which are killing U.S. servicemen; are trained and equipped by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Ditto for the notorious Muqtada al-Sadr’s Madhi Army, which has been killing U.S. soldiers in Najaf. But Iran has also expanded its operations into our hemisphere, principally with the help of Marxist dictators Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, both of whom have visited Tehran and have had long-standing relations with the terror regime. An especially large Iranian-Hezbollah community has developed over the past decade in the (TBA) of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, where the Iranians are involved in the cocaine narco-terror trade with Colombia’s FARC terrorist group. Even more troubling, from the standpoint of U.S. national security, is the question of how many Hezbollah sleeper cells Iran has already planted in the United States, among the many legal and illegal Muslim immigrants that have come here in recent years. In 2006, Robert Mueller pointed to key cities with high concentrations of sleeper cell indications. More on this later.
Hezbollah began in 1982 and released a manifesto in 1985. Since that time, yet another policy has been released. This new release, Titled ‘Rebirth’ has two distinct objectives, resolved the matter in Lebanon and move Islam world-wide.
This mission is a patient mission, that which has been proven thus far, yet, with the creation of other factions worldwide, traction and achievement is gaining speed. The matter of Lebanon speaks for itself but the larger threat especially to the West is the focus for the wars, how they are fought and how they are funded as mentioned earlier.
Easy prey or targets are those that have nothing, providing the promise of something more than nothing. This is recruiting base that has no limits, yet is easily found worldwide. For the sake of the United States and her neighbors, we need to examine the risks, events and projections of tangible threats.
In his book, Radical, Religious and Violent, Prof. Berman has a paragraph:
“In fact, the story of Robin Hood, shares important characteristics with powerful terrorist organizations of the day. From the FARC in Colombia to the Tamils in Sri Lanka, these organizations have both funded their own efforts, and perhaps more importantly, increased their conscripts and support network, by providing the communities they thrive in with important social benefits. Despite their ideological and historical differences, these terrorist groups have added this socio-economic dimension to complement their military front–and the finding is that this addition is significant in their successes.
According to …Professor Eli Berman, author of Radical Religious and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism, violent radical religious organizations thrive by taking advantage of the absence of the State. By providing communities with important benefits in exchange for their loyalty, and at times their involvement, they are able to develop into highly efficient terrorist organizations. Interestingly, we find that various violent organizations shaping the politics of the Middle East today also rely on this very policy….”
Recruiting includes prisons and rehab centers.
So what are the government official’s conclusions and who gets this risk intelligence? According to a U.S. government intelligence report obtained by Proceso, Hamas, Hezbollah and other radical Islamic groups have become associates of the Mexican drug trafficking cartels: they are furnishing them weapons and helping them to distribute drugs in Europe and the Middle East. Ahead of time, DEA and Justice Department officials told this weekly that “in coming days” they will conduct an operation in the border area shared by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay – where the radical Islamic groups have settled – that will show their ties with the Mexican drug traffickers. Washington – Islamic terrorist groups are selling arms to Mexican drug trafficking cartels and collaborating with them in order to distribute narcotics in Europe and the Middle East. This is one of the conclusions in the report titled “Accomplishments, Fiscal Year 2007,” done by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. “Information from intelligence and investigations on narcoterrorism that we have carried out identifies ties between Mexican narcotics traffickers, [and] those of the Philippines and Colombia, with elements belonging to foreign organizations designated as terrorists by the [U.S.] Department of State,” the NDIC document indicates. Based on information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the NDIC document emphasized: “The results of 74 investigations of narcoterrorism that have been carried out by the Special Operations Division of the DEA document that Islamic groups present on the common border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay launder money, sell arms and traffic drugs of the main Mexican criminal organizations.” Narcoterrorism The document indicates that the majority of the Islamic groups represented in South America are tied to the Palestinians, and that they use their earnings gained from relationship with narcotics traffickers from Mexico and the rest of Latin America to finance their causes. It identifies the groups Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Front, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as the Arab associates of narcotrafficking cartels from Mexico. “Groups like Hezbollah and Hamas,” it states, “have trafficked large amounts of heroin and cocaine in Europe and the Middle East sold to them by narcotics traffickers of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.” And it adds: “Furthermore, these terrorist groups have established multimillion [dollar] contracts in order to sell weapons to Mexican and Colombian narcotics traffickers,” that are commercialized by “criminal providers from Yemen, Kuwait, Syria, Argentina, Brazil and Bulgaria.”
A NDIC official told Proceso, regarding the contents of the intelligence document: “In the last five or six years the drug cartels of Mexico have been positioned as the most powerful criminal organizations of Latin America. And since they now have an intercontinental reach in the transfer of narcotics, the Middle Eastern terrorist groups have not wanted to lose the opportunity to [make] money from them.” “There is a great deal of talk about weapons used by the main cartels of Mexico coming from the United States, but what is seldom mentioned is that many of these, seized from narcotics traffickers by Mexican authorities, are made in Europe or the Middle East and that they are the type used by Islamic groups that support the Palestinian cause,” the NDIC official who asked for anonymity as his comments referred to an intelligence document that has not been declassified said. That document notes: “A link of cooperation between Mexico?s organized crime and southern Philippines area drug traffickers, and elements of the terrorist organizations Adu Sayyaf and Jamayah Islamiyah, was also identified.” The NDIC document does not identify the Mexican drug trafficking cartels related with the radical Islamic groups directly or indirectly. However, a Justice Department official consulted by this weekly said that it would deal with the Gulf, Sinaloa, [and] Arellano Félix cartels, as well as The Zetas. A DEA spokesman confirmed for Proceso that it deals with “three or four main cartels” that operate in Mexican territory. “Right now we cannot name them (the cartels), because in coming days we will conduct an operation in South America (on the common border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay) against Hezbollah due to its relationship with South American and Mexican narcotics traffickers,” said the DEA spokesman who also asked for anonymity due to this being an ongoing investigation. Words to the wise Since the 1970s, U.S. agencies began to warn that Islamic groups established in South America were dedicated to arms trafficking in the area. However, in the past five years Mexican drug traffickers have become their main clients. “The most notable change is that now the Islamic groups located in South America work as drug distributors in Europe and the Middle East for the Mexican narcotics traffickers. Moreover, we have information that Mexico?s cartels pay [for] arms that the terrorist groups sell with drugs (heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine),” said the DEA spokesman. On January 30, 2006, Michael Brown, chief of operations of the Federal Antidrug Agency, told the Western Hemisphere Affairs subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives that since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, federal agencies [have] intensified their investigations into the presence of Islamic terrorist groups in South America, and that as a result they discovered that they had ties with the narcotrafficking organizations in the region. Brown explained that the Islamic groups earn large amounts from this, and he gave examples: “An investment of US$6,000.00, to buy a kilogram of cocaine from Mexican or Colombian drug traffickers, could yield a minimum profit of US$30,000.00 from the sale of this drug in Spain (…), US$110,000.00 in Hungary or Israel, and up to US$150,000.00 in Saudi Arabia.” Other intelligence documents from the Department of Justice, copies of which Proceso also obtained, show that Mexican narcotics traffickers made their first contacts with Islamic radical groups, like Hezbollah, at the beginning of this decade, this through the intermediation of Colombian, Brazilian [and] Peruvian drug dealers, as well as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
“The tripartite border (of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay) is used as the central point for the trafficking of cocaine that is taken to Europe and other regions of the world. Groups like Hezbollah and Hamas are getting huge amounts of money from the drugs sold to them mainly by the Mexican narcotics dealers,” according to one of the documents from the Department of Justice, dated May 9, 2006. With respect to the weapons that the Islamic groups sell to the Mexican narcotics traffickers, the NDIC intelligence report shows that these come from the Middle East and Europe. They first arrive in South America. Subsequently, the “criminal contacts of the Islamic groups” and “their Lebanese agents” – who are found throughout the continent, but with “ample concentration in Central America” – transport them to Mexico by “air, land and sea.” “They sell them all kinds of weapons, from the most elementary to equipment to shoot down helicopters or destroy tanks (…) like those that Hezbollah or Hamas use in order to attack the Israeli Army in the Occupied Territories of Palestine or in Lebanon,” the document indicates. “We also have evidence that Central American gangs, like the Mara Salvatrucha of El Salvador, are also collaborating with the Islamic terrorist groups in the transportation of weapons and munitions that have Mexico as their final destination,” stated the earlier mentioned Justice Department official. One of the documents from that U.S. government agency points out that the political atmosphere favoring leftists in South America, that tends to be at odds with the foreign policy of President George W. Bush, is exploited by groups like Hamas and Hezbollah that have found a kind of refuge on the common border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, as well as a center of transnational operations both to sell arms to Mexico and to traffic in drugs to Europe and Asia. For their part, according to said document, almost inadvertently Mexican drug traffickers [are] indirectly financing terrorist acts that radical Islamic groups commit against Israel. “The operation against Hezbollah that we will make public in coming days will offer into evidence the clear relationship that exists between narcotics trafficking and the Islamic groups, but above all it will show Latin American governments the huge current criminal potential of organized crime organizations of the region. Particularly, it will show Mexican authorities that these (Islamic) organizations are a great threat to the national security of their country, the United States, and even some South American countries,” concluded the Justice Department official.
The United States and other countries worldwide have designated many terror groups, each with an objective and you can be assured there are dotted line connections to each with the open paths to drug cartels.
Terror groups and drug cartels need people and leaders. Both need weapons and money. This is a perfect marriage to carry on the missions, well organized, disciplined, trained and networked.
Networking is central and historical. Enter Chavez, Ahmadinejad and Viktor Bout and the plane(s).
Is there a network connection in the United States? Yes, and it is far reaching with the aid of the administrations, the czars and leftists groups as well as universities. It is well researched, funded and gaining a stronghold. The network includes various disciplines, characteristics and locations. Gangs or any other nomenclature are the foundation for the distribution of the mission(s) and are included in this network.
While somewhat old, the two documents below are easily found on the internet and clearly lay out the plan for holding hands with such groups as this report describes with those in America as led by the likes of Van Jones.
** STORMS SUMMATION MANIFESTO **
** The Coming Insurrection **
This is a rather lame document from yet another government agency; however, it does explain their knowledge but no plan of action in the case of drug threat assessments and gang threat assessments.
http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs32/32146/index.htm Gang Assessment Report
http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs38/38661/index.htm Drug Assessment Report
So who is inside the collection/network and distribution in the United States? Hiding in plain sight:
1. New EME http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/related/to/New+Eme+Prison+Gang/
3. Nazi Lowriders
4. Aryan Brotherhood
5. Hell’s Angels
6. Cisneros Brothers http://pasodelsur.com/news/zaragoza_fuentes.html
7. Islam Associations CAIR and beyond http://www.anti-cair-net.org/
8. Mosques http://bit.ly/9WkWOL
9. Cells http://bit.ly/12vh0W
Comprehensive report on gangs covering items 1-5.
Government types list the cities and cells of high probability that are networked to IRGC and drug cartels.
This is an expanded analysis from yet another intelligence source.
WASHINGTON – US prosecutors on Tuesday accused 10 people of having supported the Shiite militant group Hezbollah with weapons, fake passports, counterfeit money, stolen laptops and game consoles. It was the second set of such charges to be brought in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in as many days. Four of the men were indicted on Tuesday – three from Lebanon and a fourth, Moussa Ali Hamdan, from New York – on charges of “conspiring to provide material support to Hezbollah.” They faced 15 to 30 years in prison. Another six were charged with related crimes. Forged in the early 1980s in response to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, Hezbollah has long been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, although it is also a major political party in Lebanon. According to the indictment, Hassan Hodroj and Dib Hani Harb of Beirut sought to export to the Port of Latakia in Syria about 1,200 Colt M-4 machine guns in June at a price of some 1,800 dollars a piece with the help of a contact who was in fact an undercover federal agent. With the help of Hamdan and fellow Lebanese Hasan Antar Karaki, Harb is also accused of having sought to support Hezbollah using proceeds from the sale of fraudulent passports, stolen money and about 9,200 dollars in counterfeit US currency hidden inside a photo album. Harb told the undercover agent that the genuine stolen money came from a string of robberies led by Hezbollah supporters and later smuggled into Lebanon to raise funds for the group. He also claimed that “Iran manufactured high-quality counterfeit US currency for the benefit of Hezbollah,” the indictment said. Hamdan and three others — two Americans and a Venezuelan — were charged with having spearheaded the trafficking of over 1,500 cellphones, nearly 150 laptop computers, 400 Sony PlayStation 2 systems and three cars starting around late 2007. The goods — which the undercover agent presented as stolen and sold to the defendants for a total of over 153,000 dollars in New Jersey and Pennsylvania — were transported to New Jersey, New York, Benin, Lebanon and Margarita Island, Venezuela. Hamdan, Hamze el-Najjar and Alaa Allia Ahmed Mohamed of Brooklyn, New York, Moustafa Habib Kassem of Staten Island, New York, Maodo Kane of the Bronx, New York and Michael Katz of Plainsboro, New Jersey were charged with having purchased several thousands dollars worth of purportedly counterfeit goods. Among the merchandise were over 5,500 pairs of Nike shoes and 334 Mitchell & Ness sports jerseys. “Today, through the well-coordinated effort of all involved agencies, a blow has been struck to Hezbollah’s efforts to fund its terrorism activities,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Philadelphia division. Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris noted that “the allegations contained in this complaint demonstrate how terrorist organizations rely on a variety of underlying criminal activities to fund and arm themselves.” Five Lebanese nationals were charged on Monday for engaging in similar trafficking activities, including dual Slovakia and Lebanon resident Dani Nemr Tarraf, who allegedly sought to ship anti-aircraft Stinger missiles and about 10,000 Colt-M4 machine guns to Syria and other ports.
Stavridis, head of the military’s U.S. Southern Command, said much of the Iranian and Hizbullah activity was taking place in the area that borders Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. In a hearing to the House Armed Services Committee on March 17, Stavridis also cited the Iranian presence in the Caribbean. Read More: http://www.offnews.info/verArticulo.php?contenidoID=14212
Serbs At Swim with Zetas and FARC
Some 500 kilos of cocaine were seized Nov 25 in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Núñez. Investigators said the drugs belonged to a Serbian criminal organization –the same one that shipped more than two tons of narcotics on a yacht bound from Buenos Aires only to be busted by the Uruguayan navy on October 15 when the boat was at anchor at a fishing pier in Santiago Vasquez, near Montevideo. Arrested on board were Serbs Cetinje Mark and Daniel Tatar Radonjic and Croat Marian Blazevic. The three were carrying Croatian, Bosnian, Canadian, German and U.S. identity documents.
On Nov 19 Interpol arrested one of the leaders of that ill-starred smuggling endeavor in the Slovenian port city of Koper. According to authorities the individual– identified only as “GD”–was a 34 year old Croatian carrying a Serbian passport.
Sources said detectives in the Nunez operation found the cocaine hidden in the walls of an elevator shaft and a basement constructed by drug traffickers below a parking garage in the same building. No one was arrested.
Serbia has issued arrest warrants against five Serbians and Montenegrins in connection with the 500 kilo seizure– Nenad Novakovic, Draško Vukovic, Boris Laban, Marko Pandrc and Igor Stijepovic–all believed to have been operating in Latin America over the past several months.
The raids in Buenos Aires and on the coast of Uruguay were part of “Balkan Warrior”, a joint transnational operation by the DEA, Serbian Security and Intelligence, the Argentine Federal Police and the Uruguayan Navy.
The Serbian traffickers use two major routes to import large quantities of cocaine from South America.
The first route runs from Uruguay and Argentina via South Africa to Northern Italy and Montenegro and a second route ships from Colombia via central Africa and Turkey to Montenegro.
Over the past several years the Serb mafia has established vital business relationships with the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) in Colombia and in Mexico with Sinaloa/Guzman and Zetas/La Compania, which in turn interfaces with another partner of the Serbs– the Ndrangheta in Calabria, Italy. (See September posting on that here.)
According to Serb police sources jointly organized criminal groups from Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina take in 200 million Euros per year off the cocaine trade. The price per kilogram at port is 36,000 Euros, but rockets to four times that amount when it hits the retail markers, according to police sources in Milan. European law enforcement experts believe that the Balkan route for smuggling drugs, arms trafficking and migrants connects all transnational organized crime groups in Europe and beyond.
Experts from the Organized Crime and Terrorism in Southeast Europe office warn that the “Balkan mafia with the support of the political centers of power creates a new criminal-terrorist infrastructure with serious armed force.” Among the leaders of this Balkan mafia are former Serbian military officers and intelligence agents.
According to Aleksandar Fatic, director of the Centre for Security Studies in Belgrade, Serbian organized crime has gained a stronger foothold in the international drug trade by exploiting political corruption in the Balkans and offering heroin and cocaine at record low prices– the lowest street price for cocaine and heroin in its history.
Fatic said heroin was selling for as little as one euro a gram while the street price for cocaine was between 30 and 50 euros per gram.The heroin coming into the Balkan network via Iran and the Middle East originates in the world?s leading producer state–Afghanistan. European counternarcotics agencies have established that the Balkan network has nimbly worked drug deals with both elements of Hizballah and Hamas and Israeli criminal organizations.
Fatic said there were five major mafia clans operating in Serbia with up to 10,000 foot soldiers. The groups are organized as networks, rather than hierarchical structures, so they can expand according to the needs of the market or shrink if there is intense police scrutiny. “There is no such thing as a constant number of group members, as they drift in and out. said Fatic. “Most maintain independent criminal careers and are involved in large cocaine trafficking „projects?, some are legitimate business people.” Adding that there was an enormous amount of cash flowing through the economy due to drug trafficking and money laundering. He warned that the mafias involved were connected with corrupt local and national authorities and corrupt parts of the state apparatus and were not hesitant in using extreme violence, saying machine gun shootouts were commonplace in Serbia–just as they are in Mexico. While the narcoguerra extends from Mexico to Montenegro (and all points in between) –the players all speak the “it?s-a-small-world-after-all” language of 5.56 and Euros.
In the book ‘America the Vulnerable’ written by Stephen Flynn, White House Military Office and CFR, states early in his book that after 9-11, the DHS has done little to safeguard all access into the United States, yet he put particular emphasis on domestic ports and the lack of inspections of cargo. This is clearly a pathway for cargo of unknown quantities and material.
Where else in the world do we examine the pathway? Shipping and submarines……
« DEA Reports show that Mexican Cartel “Thugs” are receiving training from Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Juarez continues to struggle with high citizen death rates »
– US denies report of cartel training in Iran
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS Visit our website: http://www.nafbpo.org Foreign News Report
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider. El Universal (Mexico City) 7/18/08
The Mexican Department of Justice (PGR) says that the US government denies having a report about the training of drug cartel gangsters in Iran, as reported yesterday. In a letter sent to El Universal, the PGR
said that Washington “denies the existence of any document with this information.” Yesterday El Universal made known “restricted circulation” DEA reports indicating that the Sinaloa and Gulf cartel gunmen are trained in Iran. The Iranian embassy in a communiqué said that the US is taking advantage of the narcotraffic violence in Mexico in order to destroy Mexico’s public opinion of Iran.
– The Mexican Navy reported that the narco-submarine intercepted yesterday carried a cargo of 5.815 metric tons of cocaine and a crew of four Columbians destined to the state of Sinaloa. This was also reported by several other news sources.
– A Canadian and a Lebanese with long connections to drug trafficking were murdered in Guatemala. Elliot Taco Castañeda and Ahmet Kaawach were leaders of the “United Nations” gang in Vancouver, British Columbia with connections to the Middle East and Mexican cartels.
– As part of the strategy to disrupt the financial structure of criminal groups, the PGR carried out a search of two money exchange businesses suspected of laundering money for narcotraffic through branches in the states of Mexico, Guerrero and the Federal District. The businesses presumably laundered $50 million in drug money.
– The Buenos Aires, Argentina provincial police arrested nine Mexicans and an Argentine after raiding a residence being used as a laboratory to produce synthetic drugs. The operation took place some 25 miles north of the capital. The band planned to transport the drug to Mexico hidden in the soles of shoes. According to unspecified sources, this is the most important discovery in the country for the manufacture of drugs.
– Luis Gonzaga Castro Flores, convicted in 2003 on drug charges and serving an 8-year, 9-month sentence in Oriente prison in Mexico City, has apparently escaped. Castro, linked with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada’s cartel, was “discovered missing” after the evening roll call yesterday.
– The Mexican Army in Tijuana, Baja California discovered a load of 3 tons of marihuana hidden in several truck trailers near the port of entry at Otay.
– According to Michoacan authorities, so far in 2008, 78 undocumented from that state have died trying to cross into the US, mostly from dehydration in the desert. La Crónica de Hoy (Mexico City) 7/18/08
The Mexican Department of Justice (PGR) estimates that 80% of Columbian drugs passing through Mexico destined to the US market arrive by sea. The Columbian crew of the submarine captured yesterday claim they were kidnapped and forced by FARC [Colombian rebels] to man the boat.
Cuarto Poder (Chiapas) 7/18/08
Separate groups of 91 and 17 “illegal” Guatemalans were encountered by Federal Police in Chiapas. Both groups were being transported hidden in trucks.
What are those Somali pirates really after? What is on the cargo manifest of those ships? Bananas, oriental rugs, perfume? How about bundles of money, all currencies and opiates?
India is the largest provider compounds for methamphetamines. http://www.prokerala.com/news/articles/a117270.html
The official threat assessment of methamphetamines by the DOJ 2010
From 1995 until now: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406EED71539F934A15751C1A963958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1
Worldwide map of distribution http://www.oregonlive.com/special/oregonian/meth/pdfs/1005meth_flow.pdf
What is the illicit drug industry worth? $322 billion, estimation.
Domestic and International drug manufacturers produce medicines from all sorts of raw materials obtained from sources worldwide. How much of these chemicals actually reach the intended customers? There is no credible answer. Consider:
Opiates and more come from India, Afghanistan –? Pakistan ?Iraq ?Iran ?Europe ?Beyond
Beyond includes South America, Central America, Mexico, United States and Canada. Imports, exports and trade balance, enter NAFTA. Distribution is the recipe and what is inside the cargo shipments is yet again more than bananas, tomatoes and lettuce.
NAFTA created a ‘freeway’ of transportation. The cargo includes produce, weapons, human smuggling, drugs and counterfeit merchandise including money instruments.
IRAN SURROGATES, HEZBOLLAH TRAINING MEXICAN CARTELS Terror News ^ | September 5, 2010 | Rep. Sue Myrick
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2010 10:46:30 PM by La Lydia
An indictment was handed down Aug. 30 by the Southern District Court of New York that shows a connection between Hezbollah – the proxy army of Iran and a designated terrorist organization – and the drug cartels that violently plague the U.S.-Mexico…a well-known international arms dealer was trying to orchestrate an arms-for-drugs deal in which cocaine from FARC – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which works with Mexican drug cartels to take cocaine into America – would be traded for thousands of weapons housed by a Hezbollah operative in Mexico. This most recent case brings up several questions: Why would a member of Hezbollah be in Mexico? Why would Hezbollah need thousands of weapons in Mexico? Why are members of Hezbollah willing to work with FARC? Perhaps to exchange weapons for drugs? If Hezbollah has guns in Mexico and wants drugs, isn’t it logical to assume that it is trading with more accessible Mexican drug cartels? This is just the most recent incident in which it’s clear that Hezbollah may have a presence in Mexico and along our southern border. There have been more incidents – which have been ignored by the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security…
The evidence is there: Hezbollah’s cooperation with countries across South America; Highly sophisticated tunnels for transferring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border, ones very similar to the tunnels dug by Hezbollah into Israel; The close relationship between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the increase in Iranian nationals traveling through Venezuela to receive false documents, which they use to cross into the United States.
…(during summer) it was reported that Jameel Nasr (Arab name), a Mexican national with ties to Hezbollah in Lebanon, “entrusted with forming a base in South America and the United States to carry out operations against Israeli and Western targets,” was arrested by the Mexican government.
Days later, a cell-phone-detonated car bomb – the first of its kind reported used by Mexican drug cartels – was deployed just across the U.S.-Mexico border in Juarez. On Aug. 27, another car bomb exploded in a U.S.-Mexico border state…
written by U.S. Representative Sue Myrick. Evidence of Hezbollah presence on U.S. border.
What does the NDIC report on this same issue?
The Council of Foreign Relations report demonstrates a tangible relationship with FARC and Venezuela.
http://www.cfr.org/publication/16306/linking_venezuela_and_the_farc.html (CNN) — Colombian and Mexican drug cartels have jumped the Atlantic Ocean and expanded into West Africa, working closely with local criminal gangs to carve out a staging area for an assault on the lucrative European market.
Authorities destroy cannabis found in Ivory Coast. West Africa is appealing to drug traffickers from Latin America. The situation has gotten so out of hand that tiny Guinea-Bissau, the fifth-poorest nation in the world, is being called Africa’s first narco-state. Others talk about how Africa’s Gold Coast has become the Coke Coast. In all, officials say, at least nine top-tier Latin American drug cartels have established bases in 11 West African nations. “The same organizations that we investigate in Central and South America that are involved in drug activity toward the United States are engaged in this trafficking in Western Africa,” said Russell Benson, the Drug Enforcement Agency regional director for Europe and Africa. “There’s not one country that hasn’t been touched to some extent.” The calculus is simple: bigger profits in Europe than in the United States, less law enforcement in West Africa than in Europe. The driving force is the booming European market for cocaine.”The exponential rise in the number of consumers has made Europe the fastest-growing and most-profitable market in the world,” said Bruce Bagley, dean of the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Miami. While the European market has been expanding, use in the United States has declined from its peak in the 1980s, the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime said in its 2009 annual report, issued in July.”Cocaine use prevalence in the USA is 50 percent lower than it was two decades ago, while Spain, Italy, Portugal, France and the United Kingdom have all seen cocaine use double or triple in recent years,” the U.N. report said. About 1,000 tons of pure cocaine are produced each year, nearly 60 percent of which evades law enforcement interception and makes it to market, the report said. That’s a wholesale global market of about $70 billion. Criminals traffic about 250 tons to Europe each year, though not all of it makes it there, the U.N. said. The European market totals about $11 billion. About 27 percent of the cocaine that entered Europe in 2006 came from Africa, the United Nations said. Huge profits make Europe particularly attractive. Two pounds of uncut cocaine can sell for $22,000 in the United States but for $45,000 in Europe, analyst Ashley-Louise Bybee wrote in a policy journal this year. The Justice Department said the price in Europe can be three times more than in the United States. “It’s a significant market for them to exploit,” Benson said. A strong euro and weaker dollar also make Europe attractive to traffickers because of favorable exchange rates. There’s also the fact that the European Union recently issued a 500 euro note, currently equivalent to about $700. The largest U.S. denomination in circulation is the $100 bill. Traffickers prefer the large euro notes because they are easier to carry in large quantities. For example, Benson said that $1 million in $100 bills weighs 22 pounds, while $1 million in 500 euro notes weighs 3.5 pounds. “It’s a huge difference,” he said.
Though Europe is highly attractive to traffickers, it can have tight, Western-style security. So the Colombian and Mexican cartels have discovered that it’s much easier to smuggle large loads into West Africa and then break that up into smaller shipments to the continent — mostly Spain, the United Kingdom and France. West Africa is a smuggler’s dream, suffering from a combination of factors that make the area particularly vulnerable. It is among the poorest and least stable regions in the world. Governments are weak and ineffective and, as a top DEA chief testified to the U.S. Senate this summer, officials are often corrupt. Law enforcement also is largely riddled with corruption. Criminal gangs are rampant. Foot soldiers can be recruited from a large pool of poor and desperate youth. “It’s a point of least resistance,” Benson said. West Africa refers to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. “This area of the world is ripe,” Bagley said. “There has been very little attention paid to it. The United States is loath to give aid to these countries because they are corrupt.” U.S. authorities find themselves at a great disadvantage fighting cartels that have much more money and guns. The DEA has four offices — in Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa — to cover a continent that spans 11.7 million square miles and has nearly 1 billion people. “It’s a big place,” Benson acknowledges, noting that there are 54 countries on the continent. Local police also are vastly outgunned. Guinea-Bissau offers an alarming example. “The Judicial Police … have 60 agents, one vehicle and often no fuel,” analyst Bybee wrote in a journal called New Voices in Public Policy, published by the George Mason University School of Public Policy. “As a result, when culprits are apprehended, they are driven in a taxi to the police station. They just recently received six sets of handcuffs from the U.K., which were badly needed. In the military, one rusty ship patrols the 350-kilometer (217-mile) coastline and 88 islands.” Even when criminals are caught, Bybee said, “the near absence of a judicial system allows traffickers to operate unimpeded.” For example, she said, “because the police are so impotent, the culprits are often held for just a few hours before senior military personnel suddenly attain extraordinary judicial powers to demand their release.” The few officials who stand up to the traffickers receive death threats or are killed. West Africa also is particularly attractive to traffickers because it is near “the soft underbelly of Europe,” said retired four-star Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who was drug policy director for President Clinton. Geography plays another role because West Africa is fairly close to the three South American nations that produce nearly all of the world’s cocaine — Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. Many of the shipments depart from Venezuela, which shares a 1,273-mile (2,050-kilometer) porous border with Colombia and is even closer to Africa. “They go right dead-ass across the shortest route,” McCaffrey said. Most of the cocaine shipments cross the Atlantic in large “mother ships” and then are off-loaded to small vessels near the coastline, the United Nations said. Small planes modified for overseas flight that can carry a 1-ton cargo also have been used. Most of those come from Venezuela, the United Nations reported. A report issued in July by the Government Accountability Office said traffickers use go-fast boats, fishing vessels and commercial shipping containers as the primary means of smuggling cocaine out of Venezuela. McCaffrey also noted the use of go-fast boats and special planes. DEA Assistant Administrator Thomas Harrigan testified before the Senate in June that authorities in Sierra Leone seized a cocaine shipment last year from a twin-engine aircraft marked with a Red Cross insignia. The flight originated in Venezuela, he said. The GAO report noted that “U.S. government officials have observed an increase in suspicious air traffic originating in Venezuela.” In 2004, the report said, authorities tracked 109 suspect flights out of Venezuela. In 2007, officials tracked 178 suspicious flights. Then there’s the crime connection in West Africa.”Colombian and Venezuelan traffickers are entrenched in West Africa and have cultivated long-standing relationships with African criminal networks to facilitate their activities in the region,” Harrigan told a Senate subcommittee on African affairs. “These organizations don’t operate in a vacuum,” Benson said. “They have to align themselves with West African criminal groups.”
The cartels also have aligned themselves with terrorists, Harrigan said. “The threat of narco-terrorism in Africa is a real concern, including the presence of international terrorist organizations operating or based in Africa, such as the regional threat presented by al Qaeda in the Lands of Maghreb,” he said, referring to al Qaeda activists in North Africa. “In addition, DEA investigations have identified elements of Colombia’s Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia [FARC] as being involved in cocaine trafficking in West Africa.” Benson said the groups operating in Africa are “primarily narcotics organizations” but acknowledged that the Marxist FARC guerrillas in Colombia are a force to be dealt with. The rebels have waged war on the Colombian government for more than 40 years. “The profit potential is such that the FARC is one of the largest cocaine-trafficking operations globally and is also a terrorist organization,” he said. Bagley and McCaffrey see less evidence of terrorist connections with the traffickers in Africa, both using nearly identical language. “I’d be really skeptical of those kinds of assertions,” McCaffrey said. “I’m quite skeptical about linkages between cartels and terrorists,” Bagley said. “The criminal groups seek profits. They’re not interested in taking over governments.” Still, Bagley said, traffickers and terrorists may use some of the same criminal networks. Analysts note that the surge of cartel activity in West Africa is a fairly recent development. The U.N. report said it started around 2005. Bybee places it around 2006. McCaffrey, who was in the Clinton White House in the 1990s, said he saw the problem coming a long time ago. “I’ve been warning people in Europe and Latin America starting 10 years ago where this issue was going to move,” he said. “The Europeans absolutely blew me off.” The U.N. report offers some hope, saying that cocaine seizures in Europe peaked in 2006 and topped out in West Africa in 2007. Overall seizures have declined since 2006, the report said. “This trend appears to be continuing in 2009 and includes declines in the number and volume of seizures made in the region and in the number of air couriers coming from the region in Europe,” the report concluded. For example, authorities seized 11 large shipments in Africa in 2007, four in 2008 and none so far this year. The report does not specify whether there are fewer shipments or smarter criminals avoiding detection. But if there is a decline, the DEA’s Benson said he has not seen it. “In the last three or four years, it’s increased quite ramatically,” he said. “The Colombian organizations have been active there longer than that. In the last two years, we’ve also seen Mexican involvement in the area as well. Janet Napolitano in her own words: http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/hezbollah-works-with-mexican-drug-cartels-on-u-s-border/ http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/the-threat-of-wmd-terrorism-and-americas-lax-border-security/ Charities http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A13266-2004Aug18?language=printer Money laundering with the aid of U.S. banks: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-carter/megabanks-are-laundering_b_645885.html http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/former-us-congressman-admits-being-agent-for-banned-islamic-terrorist-charity/ http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/zakat-at-work-uk-based-muslim-aid-charity-has-funneled-850000-to-jihadist-terrorist-groups/ http://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/important-details-tying-cair-to-jihadist-terrorism/
Summary: This is the summary provided to Congress and from which they make appropriations to departments including the Department of Defense. http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/R41215_20100430.pdf Here is an interview with the like of Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates about the IRGC in South America and what threats, assets and networks they have installed. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0701/15/ldt.01.html ? Weapons network, Russian, Chechnya, and Chinese funneled through Iran. It is also important to note, through the research there is yet nothing found regarding hard Iranian military assets in South America or at the border. The weapons of choice are car bombs, small arms and water-gel explosives. All of the weapons used and stages can be made, assembled or purchased in the West. ? Drugs on a worldwide distribution system going west to east and east to west. ? Transportation system includes boats, submarines, planes ,ships, tunnels ? Money laundering, national and international banks, Swiss accounts, Cayman accounts, Federal Reserve Office of Foreign Assets, charities, UN, BIS, USAID, Islam Mosques, Muslim Organizations, small store fronts, money exchanges and money transfer companies, funds end up with Wahabists ? Sleeper cells, prisons, rehab centers and gangs, nationally and internationally
Foundations nationally and internationally under the Center for International Policy in addition to USAID are equipping funds for humanitarian means, yet weapons are what is being purchased. It should also be noted that the United States military has been supplying Mexico with uniforms and gear as mandated by the State Department and the Department of Defense. Only recently as in the last 4 months did a military base in Colorado ship military gear to Mexico. Remember that many in the military of Mexico have defected to the wrong side on the promise of training, better pay and benefits.
The Center for International Policy, a non-government agency, functioning with government grants and donations from various sources has provided additional monetary support to Mexico and other countries in South America. So who is part of the Center for International Policy? Listed below:
? American Electric Power
? The Angelina Fund
? The Atlantic Philanthropies
? The Christopher Reynolds Foundation
? Carbon Credit Corp.
? Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
? Colombe Foundation
? Compton Foundation
? Duke Energy Business Services
? The Educational Foundation of America
? ERA Ecosystems Restoration Associates, Inc.
? Ford Foundation
? Fund for Nonviolence
? Macquarie Capital Advisors Limited
? Marriot International, Inc.
? The Nature Conservancy
? Open Society Institute
? The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
? PG&E Corporation
? Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
? Rockefeller Family and Associates
? Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund
? Sea Change Foundation
? Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust
? Tides Foundation
? The Tinker Foundation
? Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
? U.S. Institute of Peace Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP) May 18, 2009 by Laura Carlsen Poor Mexico has suffered a series of hard blows lately. From elections that left a bitterly divided populace, to a blood-soaked drug war, to the economic crisis, to the swine flu epidemic, nothing seems to be going right. Now heaped on top of all that is a little-known measure buried in the U.S. 2009 Supplemental Bill to provide millions of dollars to corrupt Mexican security forces engaged in an unwinnable drug war. Disguised as a way of “helping” our beleaguered neighbor, the measure will push Mexico closer to a Colombia scenario and create a new quagmire to suck up scarce public resources. The House version of the supplemental passed this week delivers a whopping $470 million to Mexican security forces. Of that, $310
million goes directly to the Mexican armed forces. This comes on top of $700 million already provided for the Merida Initiative, or Plan Mexico, to fund Mexican police, military, intelligence agencies, and judicial reform in 2008 and 2009. What is incomprehensible is that Congress has inserted this pork barrel funding at a time when the U.S. economy is reeling, while ignoring an unprecedented crisis in Mexico in the fundamental areas of poverty, healthcare, governance, and employment. This crisis should be more than obvious to legislators. The swine flu epidemic shaved an additional 0.3-1% off of Mexico’s projected gross domestic product (GDP) for 2009. The Mexican Central Bank now estimates that the economy will shrink around 5%, with some private estimates running much higher. USAID reports its funding for Mexico at a paltry $28.9 million annually. Development aid from the United States is practically non-existent, even though 43% of the Mexican population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank’s conservative estimates. Yet Congress would continue down a narrow path of military support. This wrong-headed vision reduces an entire country and its people to the gangster duels being played out in its streets. Worse yet, it casts any real effort to build long-term security for the region under the cold shadow of expensive surveillance planes and fighter helicopters. The State Department seems to have taken a backseat to the defense interests in both government and the private sector that plan to steer the new security-driven bilateral relationship. Moving in the Wrong Direction Many voices have warned against such an approach. Mexican human rights organizations called for a halt to military funding in light of a six-fold increase in human rights violations by the Mexican military. Congress’s decision, just days later, to beef up military-to-military support makes a mockery of their concerns. Washington human rights organizations that tried to temper the original Merida Initiative aid package by supporting unfulfilled human rights conditions have also been steamrollered by the stealthy new funding measure. The current appropriations bill not only supplies more military support, it completely eliminates human rights conditions in the name of the war on drugs. In a blatant contradiction, just days before the mega-dose of drug war money to Mexico, Obama’s drug czar Gil Kerlikowske told the Wall Street Journal that it was time to end the war on drugs. “Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” he said.
“We’re not at war with people in this country.” Although Kerlikowske said he hadn’t focused yet on the U.S.-funded drug war abroad, last year in Mexico the “war on the people” aspect of the strategy resulted in 1,230 complaints filed against the military to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH, by its initials in Spanish). Documented cases include executions, rapes, and torture. As violence between rival drug cartels and between the cartels and the security forces increases, Mexican citizens often get trapped in the crossfire. The Senate version of this week’s Plan Mexico Plus initiative at least shows it has heard these voices. Compared to the bloated House version, it authorizes the more austere figure of $66 million to purchase three Black Hawk helicopters. The Senate committee is explicit about the reasons: “The Committee notes that the Government of Mexico has not yet met the requirements for obligation of 15% of the assistance previously appropriated for Mexico under the Merida Initiative for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, relating to transparency, accountability, and human rights. The Committee remains concerned that the Merida Initiative represents a one-dimensional approach to drug-trafficking and gang violence in Mexico and Central America, and that a more comprehensive strategy is needed that also addresses the underlying causes.” It also calls for a report: “Not later than 60 days after enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing actions taken by the Government of Mexico since June 30, 2008, to investigate and prosecute violations of internationally recognized human rights by members of the Mexican Federal police and military forces, and to support a thorough, independent, and credible investigation of the murder of American citizen Bradley Roland Will.” A number of reports on the Brad Will case have been submitted already and yet the Mexican government blithely continues to frame opposition despite forensic evidence pointing to groups affiliated with the government. The same thing has happened in the case of the beatings and rapes that police perpetrated against demonstrators in San Salvador Atenco. The House Appropriations Committee merely says, “The Committee remains concerned with reports of corruption and human rights violations committed by some elements of federal and local police and military personnel.” It follows up this “concern” with the lame and toothless, “The Committee expects that none of these funds will be used to repress the political opposition.” This is, in fact, exactly what is happening in
Mexico—from raids on the Zapatista communities in Chiapas to round-ups of grassroots organizers in Chihuahua. The bill must now go to a conference committee to resolve the differences. Military Pork Ears In a time of scarce resources and rampant unemployment in the United States, why is the U.S. government throwing money at the Mexican military to support a failed strategy? The House version weighs in heavily on Foreign Military Financing, providing $310 million in non-cash support directly to the Mexican armed forces. This includes three CASA 235 surveillance planes, at $50 million each, including maintenance contracts. It also contains an unspecified number of HH-60 Pave Hawks, a variation on the UH-60 Black Hawks in the Foreign Military Financing section, and three UH-60S in the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement section, presumably for the Secretary of Public Security, as specified in the administration’s request. The story of the helicopters provides important clues as to why military aid to Mexico’s drug war keeps growing, despite cutbacks in other types of U.S. foreign aid and negative results. The original Bush three-year Merida Initiative called for eight Bell BH-412 helicopters for the Mexican Army and Navy. Funding for five BH-412s was included in the 2008 Merida Initiative spending plan. But since then the Mexican government has complained bitterly that the helicopters have been held up by Washington infighting on who gets the juicy contracts. A Washington Post article cited U.S. officials who attributed the delays to “cumbersome U.S. government contracting requirements, negotiations over exactly what equipment is needed, and the challenges of creating an infrastructure to deliver an aid package that spans four dozen programs and several U.S. agencies.” At last report, the helicopters still have not been delivered. Then, on her visit to Mexico on Mar. 25, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. government would be providing $80 million for “urgently needed” Black Hawk helicopters. First it was unclear whether this would be a Bells-for-Black Hawks switcheroo already funded in the Merida Initiative or would require new appropriations. When it became clear that fresh financing would be proposed to Congress, it was unclear why the U.S. government was adding the Sikorsky Black Hawks when it still hadn’t been able to deliver the Bells. When the Merida Initiative was first proposed, the administration sought to downplay links to the military and combat to facilitate passage. The Bell 412 is technically listed as a commercial rather than a military aircraft. The Black Hawks on the other hand can be, and usually are, armed. The HH-60 Pave Hawk of the Sikorsky group that
is included in the Plan Mexico Plus appropriations now before Congress has been used in both Iraq and Afghanistan operations for combat operations (see video). As Narco News reports, similar aircraft have been used in attacks on villages in Colombia. But there is a deeper reason for legislators to take sides between the rival helicopter manufacturers, and it’s the oldest one in the Washington book—bringing home the bacon. Bell Helicopter is headquartered in former President Bush’s home state of Texas. Black Hawks are made by Sikorsky, in turn owned by United Technologies Corporation (UTC), a giant defense conglomerate. UTC is located in Hartford, Connecticut. Connecticut is the state of Senator Joe Lieberman—Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, and a prominent hawk in Congress—and Sen. Christopher Dodd who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee. It’s a safe bet that Sikorsky was not happy about being left out of what industry experts are beginning to identify as the new frontier for U.S. military equipment and security services. A series of dire warnings about “spillover violence” and Mexico as a potential “failed state,” most by military leaders in government, clearly target Mexico as the emerging market for boys with war toys. This wouldn’t be the first time that the rivalry between the two companies delayed delivery of equipment and sparked internal debates in Washington. In an article called “The Helicopter War,” the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) reported on a similar spat under Plan Colombia. As the Bells and Black Hawks belted it out for contracts, hundreds of thousands of lobbying dollars poured into Washington from the two companies. The respective Congressmen went on the offensive, cultivating relations with the Colombian government and pressuring Congress. CPI reports: “On June 21, 2000, Dodd introduced an amendment on the Senate floor on behalf of himself and Lieberman that would have given the Pentagon, in consultation with the Colombian military, the right to determine what the ‘most effective’ aircraft would be for Colombian drug-fighting. The amendment, an apparent effort to foil Texas legislators’ efforts to push sales of the Huey to Colombia, failed, but the Black Hawks, which had been written out of Plan Colombia, went back into the final package.” UTC spent a reported $18 million dollars lobbying over the four-year period from 1996-2004 and Bell, a Textron company, spent over $10 million. Like Plan Mexico now, in the Colombia helicopter war, the end result was more taxpayer money for more helicopters to keep both companies and their state’s representatives happy. And like Plan Mexico now, they had to ride roughshod over human rights requirements to do it, given that when the helicopter sales began in earnest in 1996 Colombia was
decertified. Lieberman has long been a champion of ratcheting up the U.S. defense budget with a special eye to Connecticut’s defense industry. Dodd, although more dovish on defense spending, has supported both Plan Colombia and now Plan Mexico. According to the Center for Responsive Government, Lieberman received $189,000 from United Technologies in the 2006 Senate race. Dodd received $62,150 from UTC in 2004. UTC was also the top contributor to House caucus Chair John Larson (D-CT) in 2007-2008. UTC garnered $7.7 billion dollars in sales to the U.S. government in 2008 alone, according to its website. Lieberman not surprisingly has been in the forefront of the effort to redefine Mexico as a threat to U.S. national security and perpetuate the war model for dealing with the transnational illegal drug trade. In March he held hearings on the violence along the southern border, calling for more aid to the Mexican government and stating, “Ideally, we can eliminate the threats and provide the Mexican government with the support it needs to win this war against the drug cartels and other dangerous actors who threaten our national security.” In this case, the earmark for Black Hawks in the supplemental funding for Mexican security forces is as obvious as a Tyson bite. But the lack of details on the multiple funding proposals for Mexico’s drug war also opens up the door for what are called “black earmarks,” whose origins and specific details are even less transparent. A Mar. 25 McClatchy newspaper report details some of the boondoggles that have occurred through secret earmarks for favored companies, including Sikorsky, in the past. These battles for contracts fuel military spending that in turn fuels Mexico’s drug war. Legislators-cum-defense-lobbyists can be credited with pouring gas on a fire in Mexico, and hitting up U.S. taxpayers for the gas money. The $470 million included for Plan Mexico may seem like a drop in the bucket in a spending bill of over $80 billion. But more than the money, the bill makes a statement that the U.S. government has little concern for human rights in Mexico, and that the Bush security doctrine and defense interests continue to control much of its foreign policy—even with an allied neighbor.
Lastly, yet another Frank Gaffney piece, written this month for Breitbart’s Big Government site: http://ht.ly/2GwB3 It should also be noted, I have an extensive inventory of additional links and sources supporting this text.