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El Chapo (Shorty) Guzman on the Lam

El Chapo (Shorty) Guzman on the Lam

Although Mexico’s attorney general has called for a “full investigation” into Guzmán’s escape, we may never know exactly what happened. But if there is a level of complicity by the state, or state agencies, this would not be illogical. Friendly relations between the state and Guzmán would have a rational motive. Not for nothing did the Sinaloa cartel, until recently, have its own hangar at Mexico City airport, not far from the President’s.

In matters mafia, one of the dilemmas is whether it is harder for a state to live with an organised, patriarchal pyramid of power, like Guzmán’s, or the myriad mini-cartels, street-gang micro-cartels, so-called combos and super-combos, that arise if the pyramid is smashed. Which is worse: a formidable power with which some kind of accommodation is possible, or a narco-nuclear-fission reactor of electrons and protons charging into one another?

Colombia had to opt for smashing the pyramid, in the form of Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel, because it was becoming a a state within a state that threatened to take over. In the improving situation for Colombians, the problem is now the miasma of uncontrollable combos.

But the Mexican experience is different. The worst violence has ravaged the country since December 1996, when President Felipe Calderón sent the army into Tamaulipas and Michoacan to deal with insurgencies in those states by the Zetas and a cartel called La Familia, which were breaking up the prevailing order of things. Once the hornet’s nest was kicked, the killing accelerated as Guzmán laid claim to the whole frontier (previously allocated by his predecessor Gallardo) and the army and police established mafia systems of their own, often in league with one cartel or another.

In this war, Guzmán and the state have a common cause against the insurgents and new-wave cartels, and it is no secret that Mexico’s best bet in bringing down the violence is to back the strongest and biggest against its rivals, or at least to act in tandem. An official of the ruling PRI party, when it was fighting the last election, talked to me about the need for “adjustments” with the most powerful cartel.

The figures speak for themselves. For a while, in 2008, Tijuana was the most violent city in Mexico, as Guzmán assailed the local Arellano Felix cartel. Soon afterwards, Ciudad Juárez became the most dangerous city in the world, as Guzmán, the local Juárez cartel, army and police factions fought over local drug markets and smuggling routes to the US.

The military went into both places, followed by the Federal police, with Guzmán’s cartel gunmen on the slipstream of both, recruiting local gangs. Now, both cities are relatively quiet; no one knows quite why, but the most common (and terrifying) explanation is that Guzmán now runs the drug business – domestic and export – in both cities, with official or semi-official blessing.

The tunnel began with a 50-by-50-centimeter (20-by-20-inch) opening inside the shower of Guzman’s cell, Rubido said. The tunnel stretched for about a mile and ended inside a half-built house

To pull off the escape, it’s likely the Sinaloa cartel had spent years infiltrating the country’s prison system, a Mexican official said on Monday. Whoever helped in the plot likely had the architectural plans for the prison that pointed them toward the shower area, the official said.

Official: 'El Chapo' escape tunnel had motorcycle track

 As authorities detailed the evidence they’d found pointing to Guzman’s escape through the underground passageway, one drug war expert questioned Monday whether the notorious kingpin even used the tunnel at all.

“If he went out that tunnel, it was with an armed escort, most likely a mix of prison guards and his own people, if the past is prologue,” said Don Winslow, who’s tracked Guzman’s career for 15 years and wrote about a fictional version of the famed kingpin’s 2001 escape in his recent novel “The Cartel.”

“My bet is that he went out the front gate, and the tunnel was a tissue-thin face-saving device for Mexican officials, the motorcycle a dramatic improvement over the laundry cart.”

How did Guzman slip by the prison’s extensive network of security systems?

It’s likely prison workers played a role, Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said Monday as he announced that he’d fired the prison’s director and other prison officials as authorities continue their investigation.

Guzman, he said, was inside a cell with 24-hour hour closed circuit video surveillance and a bracelet that monitored his every move. The video system, he said, had two blind spots that Guzman exploited. And he left the bracelet behind before he crawled into the tunnel and made his getaway.

Mexico’s attorney general said Monday that 34 people had been questioned in connection with the escape. And the country’s interior minister asked for help from the public in tracking Guzman down.

Where could he be?

It’s possible Guzman is hiding out in the sprawling metropolis of Mexico City while the search is hot, accordintg to a Mexican official.

But in the end, the official said it’s likely Guzman will head back to his home turf in the Sinaloa region on the Pacific Coast, where there’s a vast network of local residents who will help him stay out of harm’s way. Guzman is believed to have found refuge at times during his past stints on the lam in rugged mountain areas of Mexico.

No matter where he’s hiding, time is of the essence, according to Mike Braun, a former chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration who spent years tracking and gathering evidence on Guzman.

 
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Posted by on 07/14/2015 in Crime Watch, Crime!

 

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Peru has become the world’s largest COCA producer

As reported

Peru has overtaken Colombia as the world’s largest coca crop cultivator, reinforcing its position as the world’s primary cocaine producer and highlighting the growing demand for the drug in Europe and regional markets.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) annual report “Peru: Cocaine Cultivation Monitoring 2012,” more than 60,000 hectares of coca crops were cultivated in Peru in 2012, compared to 48,000 hectares in neighbouring Colombia. Although coca cultivation decreased in both countries when compared to the previous year, in Peru it only dropped by 3.4 per-cent, while Colombian cultivation fell by 25 per-cent.

As in neighbouring Bolivia, Peru has a sizeable domestic demand for unprocessed coca leaves. However, according to the report, that demand could be met with less than 7,000 hectares of coca crop, suggesting that the vast majority of coca produced is destined for drug processing.

 PeruCoca9912

The Analysis

Peru’s newfound position as the number one cultivator of coca reinforces its status as the world’s primary producer of cocaine, a position it previously attained through growers’ use of coca strains that produce a higher cocaine yield. Even without these advantages, Peru would likely remain the world’s biggest cocaine supplier as interdiction rates are a fraction of those seen in Colombia.

The emergence of Peru as the world’s main supplier has been boosted by changing consumption patterns. Most Peruvian cocaine is destined for consumption in Brazil and Argentina or export to Europe — all markets that have grown substantially in recent years. In contrast, the US market has declined, but remains predominantly the domain of Colombian cocaine, which accounts for 95 per-cent of all imported product, according to US government estimates.

While cocaine production has been booming, prices have fallen to levels much lower than those seen in Peru’s rivals, to the extent that much of the cocaine that arrives in Argentina and Brazil from Bolivia now originates in Peru.

The thriving cocaine sector has inevitably attracted the interests of international organized crime groups, research in the country revealed the presence of Colombians, Mexicans and Russians. However, this has not yet led to growing violence, and Peru has yet to see the sort of criminal conflicts that still plague Colombia.

The Peruvian government has pledged to fight trafficking, announcing a hard-line anti-drug strategy in 2011. However, their efforts have yielded questionable results. Though authorities eradicated 12,000 hectares in the first half of 2013, it is unclear whether such efforts actually decrease the total cultivation area or if growers simply move elsewhere.

 
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Posted by on 09/28/2013 in Crime Watch, Crime!

 

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Dolly Cifuentes linked with Joaquin El Chapo Guzman arraigned

An alleged Colombian drug trafficker accused of having ties to the Mexican organization Joaquin ” El Chapo “Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, appeared before a federal judge in Miami on Monday , but the hearing was held behind closed doors by order of the judge.

Colombian Drug trafficker associated with Joaquin " El Chapo "Guzman,

Colombian Drug trafficker associated with Joaquin ” El Chapo “Guzman,

Immediately after the hearing started with Dolly Cifuentes , Judge Joan Lenard ordered the audience leave the room. Only a few people were present, including the defendant, her attorney Bonnie Klapper, prosecutor Andrea Hoffman, one interpreter and several policemen.

According to court records contained in the online system of the federal courts, Cifuentes Villa was due to Lenard to change the declaration of innocence that had been made in August 2012.

In 2010, the U.S. government accused Cifuentes, dubbed the “minor” with conspiracy to import and manufacture cocaine knowing that it would be imported into the United States, and to manufacture and distribute cocaine in Guatemala and Colombia and to import these drugs into this country .

In total, the authorities made five charges that carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

 However, due to an agreement between Colombia and the United States, Cifuentes cannot face a life sentence or death. At the hearings where the accused changed her initial statement of innocence to guilty, also typically announced a plea deal. Through these agreements undertake to cooperate with the authorities in ongoing investigations, in exchange for a lighter sentence and avoid a trial, a process that is usually longer.

Cifuentes, recently extradited more than a year from her country, would have been a brother’s girlfriend of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. After the hearing of nearly an hour, Klapper  the defense attorney refused to comment outside the courtroom to. Lenard said the judge had ordered court documents remain secret. Cifuentes entered the courtroom minutes before Lenard request removal of those present.

She was dressed in a short sleeveless camisole and beige pants. Her face was pale. A woman who also left the room said it was the lawyer of Cifuentes in Colombia, who said that the defense of the accused had asked that the hearing be reserved. The woman, who spoke Spanish, was not to be identified by name.

 
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Posted by on 09/15/2013 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels

 

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Ten men with links with Mexican cartels and Los Zetas and the FARC, captured

Map of Mexican drug cartels based on a May 201...

Map of Mexican drug cartels based on a May 2010 Stratfor report. “Free Article for Non-Members”. Stratfor. 2010-05-17 . . Retrieved 2011-03-28 . Tijuana Cartel, red; Beltrán Leyva Cartel, orange; Sinaloa Cartel, yellow; Juárez Cartel, brown; La Familia Michoacana, green; Gulf Cartel, cyan; Los Zetas Cartel, blue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ten men reported to have links with Pacific Mexican cartels and Los Zetas and the FARC, were captured after the United States requested his extradition for crimes related to drug trafficking.

Those arrested include two policemen and John Eduarth Monk Alvarado, mayor of Milan, Department of Caquetá and 395 miles southwest of Bogota, said the director of the Technical Investigation of the Attorney General, Maritza Escobar.

“According to the investigation conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office with support from U.S. authorities, it was established that these people would be part of an international organization which exported 100 tons of cocaine a year, to Central America, United States, Spain and Australia,” the agency researcher in a statement.

The arrests took place in nine cities, including Bogota, Medellin and Cali

The report added that “it was determined that the structure would have ties to the Pacific Cartel and Los Zetas in Mexico as well as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the criminal gang Los Urabeños“.

The arrests took place in nine cities, including Bogota, Medellin and Cali.

Five of the 10 captured belong to the same family.

The Colombian authorities have said that Colombian drug gangs supplied the drug to groups of Mexico, who are responsible for the drug across EU, but ruled that Mexican cartels have direct presence in the country.

Other arrests

The Colombian authorities have conducted other operations in which they have detected the presence of the Mexican cartels. – On January 13, 2011 was captured Julio Enrique Ayala Muñoz, one of the men close to Joaquin El Chapo Guzman in the Colombian city of Cali. Ayala, era conocido como El Cóndor. Ayala, was known as the Condor.

– On January 20, 2011, Colombia’s judicial police caught Carlos Arturo Cordoba, The Claw, responsible for getting the aircraft traveling to EU.

– On October 30, 2012 was arrested Colombian drug kingpin Henry de Jesus Lopez Londoño, My Blood “, considered the largest supplier of cocaine to Los Zetas.

 
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Posted by on 08/24/2013 in Latin America Drug kingpins, Mexican Drug Cartels

 

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EL Chapo back in the news

Sprint Antiballistic Missile

Sprint Antiballistic Missile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Members of “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel tried to buy high-powered weaponry, including surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank weapons, according to US government reports, suggesting that the powerful drug trafficking syndicate is seeking to make a quantum leap in its military capacity.

According to the US Justice Department, the Sinaloa Cartel, the Zetas and the Familia Michoacana all established arms trafficking networks that allowed them to import high caliber assault weapons and military equipment from the United States, reported Mexico’s El Universal.

In three of the 25 cases detailed, which span from 2007 to 2012, undercover agents with the US Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco (ATF) bureau managed to prevent Sinaloa Cartel operatives from obtaining weapons including Stinger surface-to-air missiles and various anti-tank weapons.

Over the time period, US security forces broke up several arms trafficking cells, arresting a number of men on both sides of the border. Among the US arrests were ex-military personnel. The various trafficking cells operated out of Texas, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

One of the reasons El Chapo has managed to evade capture for so long is thanks to his small army of private security, which in 2009 consisted of 300 personal bodyguards, according to a US diplomatic cable obtained by Wikileaks.

With El Chapo believed to favor isolated hideouts, the type of high-powered weaponry mentioned in the reports would help repel security forces raids before they even came within touching distance of the infamous drug lord, while surface to air missiles would offer protection against raids carried out with helicopters.

The reports also highlight what is a broader and ongoing issue — the trafficking of arms from the United States to Mexico. The price and accessibility of arms in the United States makes it an ideal source country, not only for Mexico, but also for other crime-plagued Latin American countries, including Colombia, where there have been numerous cases showing how US-purchased weapons end up in the hands of Colombian gangs and drug trafficking organizations.

 
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Posted by on 08/12/2013 in Mexican Drug Cartels

 

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Money laundering suspects (19) detained by U.S. Federal Authorities

The U.S. federal authorities announced the arrest and indictment of nineteen people for washing tens of millions of dollars from the drug trade for Colombia.

Money Laundering suspects (19) detained by U.S. Federal Authorities

Money Laundering suspects (19) detained by U.S. Federal Authorities

The detainees were allegedly a network from the U.S. sending money from drug trafficking to Colombia , and was received by persons operating in shopping centers in the city of Cali , federal prosecutors said the Eastern District of New York in a statement.

After a four-year investigation, twelve people were arrested in Cali by the National Police and four others were arrested in the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, while three were already under arrest previously for other reasons.

The officers who conducted the arrests seized $ 6.5 million and 52.5 kilos of heroin, 32 kilos of cocaine, 28.5 kilos of marijuana, eight vehicles and three firearms.

The four arrested in the United States received cash from drug dealers, often elaborately hidden, and sent it through transfers to Colombia, the statement said.

Twelve arrested in Colombia on their way, according to federal prosecutors, a network for the distribution of money from receipt of Cali in commercial establishments in the hands of Colombian drug traffickers.

“People arrested and charged today allegedly transferred tens of millions of dollars in drug money from the U.S. to Colombia’s drug traffickers” , said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in a note, in which he stressed that laundering Money is the lifeblood of narcotics. “

If convicted, those arrested could face up to twenty years in prison.

By: Reuters
 
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Posted by on 03/15/2013 in Crime!, Money Laundering

 

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alleged nephew of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in Colombia

The security agencies of the Government of Colombia are on alert after detecting the presence of several Mexican citizens, including an alleged nephew of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Nephew of El Chapo located in Colombia
Nephew of El Chapo located in Colombia

According to information released by the electronic portal of the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, Mexicans have been detected in areas of influence of local criminal groups known as Rastrojos and Urabeños, making the Colombian authorities suspect a potential alliance between that organization ‘El Chapo’ Guzman with South American drug traffickers for trafficking of synthetic drugs.

According to the memo, the alleged nephew of ‘El Chapo’, was not mentioned by name, but reportedly met at an apartment in northern Bogota to coordinate with heads of Rastrojos starting the business of the transfer of synthetic drugs.

In that place, it was noted, that a video was made, and is being reviewed by the authorities. In addition, several members of the band, including a guy nicknamed ‘Pinki’ were captured.

The intention of the Sinaloa Cartel is to have a presence in strategic areas of shipping and cargoes of cocaine output, according to information released at the time.

Colombian security agencies are to follow up on the evidence left by the Mexicans in areas such as Buenaventura, Cali, Urabá, Medellin and Bogota.

The Ombudsman has also received reports in which he speaks about the presence of Mexicans in Buenaventura, who would be checking out of cocaine.

“These people have no legal documents, therefore we believe that fly in and out by plane,” he told an investigator Weather case. Information held by security agencies Colombia, indicates that the meetings between the nephew of ‘Chapo’ Guzman and the heirs of the Rastrojos and Urabeños, dating back months.

For the Rastrojos, the contact would be a cousin of Diego Perez Henao, ‘Diego Stubble’. This family has already been identified, but has no warrants, and within the band is known as ‘Chicken Bobo’, says the note. “He is the person who assumed the military command and drug trafficking by members of the organization who were in the wing of Diego Stubble “refers the researcher.

Urabeños, is the link for Héctor Urdinola, ‘Chico’ or ‘Zarco’, who inherited the band Males and allied with the Urabeños to displace Rastrojos. That fight for routes and territory has generated hundreds of deaths, especially in the Valle del Cauca.

 
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Posted by on 01/06/2013 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels

 

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