Expert sees challenges for the new government, from Muslim extremists who are strengthening in areas where corruption reigns
MEXICO CITY, The “violence” and “chronic corruption” in Mexico have attracted the presence of Muslim extremist organization Hezbollah and other transnational criminal groups, said a text of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA Council Hemispheric Affairs).
Signed by JT Larrimore research associate, the text said that “a number of arrests coupled to the discovery of an international scheme of money laundering in Mexico, has led some to claim that Hezbollah has established a presence in the country”, but accepted that “their presence is still questioned.”
Coha said the “footprint” of the group in Mexico is “still relatively light.”
But at the same time is “an indication of the level of insecurity in the country operates daily.”
The document warned that “a high rate of corruption accompanied by a lucrative drug trade perpetually threatens to stifle the desire of Mexico to overcome its reputation as a haven for transnational criminal and terrorist organizations.”
In its conclusions, the text said that the new Mexican government has promised several ambitious reforms to relieve certain problematic sectors of the economy “and said that although several are legitimate,” others seem designed to fail in its attempt to address fundamental questions about the instability. “
Challenge the new government
The article Coha considered based on “political traditions deeply rooted in Mexico”, it is “critical obstacles for President Enrique Peña Nieto achieve their goals.”
The researcher said in this regard that “the president should attract foreign investment that can not be sustained unless the remnants of the war on drugs are contained.
“Achieving this task will be a difficult task for the new government but is an initiative that the administration (Peña Nieto) must confront and successfully achieve.”
According to COHA, however, the framework of operations for Hezbollah is ideally given the group’s history of operating in areas where they are present high levels of corruption. “
Coha is a liberal group analysis established in 1975 by Larry Birns, an academic specializing in Latin America.
Its called “research associates” are usually college interns supervised by professional analysts.
Always according Coha-who based their analysis on press reports and official reports, “Mexico, with its half-decade of increasing drug activity, presents conditions similar to those Latin American regions and is believed to have ties to Hezbollah.
“These regions suffer from bouts of instability and are afflicted with high levels of corruption and a lucrative drug trade.”
The report stated that the presence of the Muslim organization in Mexico is “a topic of conversation between politicians and security experts” in addition to several arrests and a number of allegations “strengthen the argument that Hezbollah acts in the country.”
In his briefing, Coha recalled that last May 5, 2012 Jamal Yousef, a former member of the Syrian army, pleaded guilty in U.S. court to conspiring to provide weapons to a “Colombian terrorist organization” in exchange for cocaine.
According to court documents “weapons used for the transaction were stolen from Iraq and were stored by an operator of Hezbollah in Mexico.”
On 23 June this year Ayman Joumaa, described as “Hezbollah associate,” was accused in federal court of the northern neighbor of “conspiring” to distribute narcotics and engaging in potential money laundering.
According to the indictment, he and his accomplices introduced drugs from Colombia to Mexico to Los Zetas and the proceeds would be sent and “washed” around the world.
Subsequently, business would be placed in accounts belonging to Hezbollah.
In September 2012, U.S. authorities arrested three suspected Muslim organization operatives hiding in Mexico.
“One was a Lebanese Raffic Labboun name, naturalized U.S. citizen, who was regarded as the leader of Hezbollah operations in San Francisco, California.
“However (Labboun) fled to Mexico after being released from prison in the U.S. for fraud linked to the terrorist organization”, appropriated the text of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
Signs light up red flags
Last September, the INM warned that Labboun Rafic was arrested, an alleged member of the terrorist group.
When Labboun Allaboun was arrested five others living in the subdivision of Francisco de Montejo, west of the capital, were also detained, but only two were arrested while four of them had papers.
The arrests occurred before the immigration alert was enacted by the U.S. embassy in Mexico.
Labboun Allaboun was found with documents and a passport which identified him as a citizen of Belize by the name of Dick Wilhelm.