Category: Related News

Drug War Turned Mexico Into World’s Deadliest Conflict Zone After Only Syria

(NEWSWEEK) — By Sofia Lotto Persio

Mexico’s drug war has created the second deadliest conflict area in the world after only Syria, according to a global survey.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) reported that the six-year war in Syria is the world’s deadliest conflict zone for the fifth consecutive year, causing an estimated 50,000 casualties in 2016. The Armed Conflict Survey 2017, the IISS annual summary of conflicts and casualties worldwide published on Tuesday, found that the war on drugs plaguing Central America has received ”scant attention.”

In Mexico, 23,000 people died in the fight against drug cartels in 2016. In other, smaller Central American countries battling cartels, including El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, another 16,000 have been killed.

“The death toll in Mexico’s conflict surpasses those for Afghanistan and Somalia. This is all the more surprising, considering that the conflict deaths are nearly all attributable to small arms. Mexico is a conflict marked by the absence of artillery, tanks or combat aviation,” John Chipman, IISS chief executive and director-general, said in the statement.

Just 10 conflicts accounted for more than 80 percent of the fatalities worldwide, according to the report. In order, the countries affected are: Syria, Mexico, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, South Sudan and Nigeria.

The rate of homicides in Mexico fell between 2011-14, but it began increasing again in 2015, to the point that it has decreased the life expectancy for men in the country by three years. According to IISS researcher Antonio Sampaio, the arrests and killings of top leaders in major cartels like the Los Zetas, infamous for their brutality and mass decapitations, contributed to the dip in violence. But new groups have emerged, adopting similarly brutal strategies for territorial expansion and control.

One of these is the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which grew from a small, local criminal group in 2013 to rivaling Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel in terms of resources and territory. “The cartel is pursuing a sustained strategy of hyper-violent criminality, designed to scare local people, deter rivals (including the state) from attempting territorial grabs and maximise the incentives for businesses to pay extortion taxes,” Sampaio noted in an article on IISS’ website.

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Mexican cartel using armored trucks in war at Texas border

(BREITBART) — REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — Mexican cartel members are using armored trucks in their ongoing war for control of lucrative drug trafficking and human smuggling routes near the Texas border.

Recently, Tamaulipas State Police officers seized a large truck outfitted with thick armor plating for firefights. The vehicles are commonly called “Mounstros” or monsters.

According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas government, police officers were patrolling the rural areas near Camargo, Tamaulipas, when they came across an abandoned warehouse. Camargo is immediately south of Rio Grande City, Texas.

When authorities inspected the warehouse they found a truck covered in armor plating as a makeshift combat vehicle. The truck had Texas license plates. It remains unclear if the vehicle was previously stolen.

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Mexico’s brutal drug violence has hit a new level of complexity

(BUSINESS INSIDER) — By Christopher Woody

Public displays of brutality have become common as drug-related violence roiled Mexico over the last decade.

The recent discovery of a man’s body on top of a hospital in northwest Mexico, apparently dropped there from an airplane, takes that brutality to a new level of complexity.

The body reportedly landed on the roof of a hospital in the town of El Dorado, about 38 miles southwest of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state.

Witnesses reported seeing a person thrown out of a plane flying low over a Mexican Institute of Social Security hospital on April 12, a health official told Reuters, saying the incident occurred around 7:30 a.m.

Officials were unable to identify the body, clad in a red shirt, gray socks, and without pants, due to damage from the fall, though Mileno reported that it had signs of torture.

State prosecutors said the body had signs of severe trauma in line with “impact on the hard surface.”

“It is a man, but we don’t know more … The impact of the fall makes it more difficult to be able to identify him or the wounds he suffered,” Antonio Garcia, spokesman for the IMSS, which runs the hospital, told The Washington Post.

“I can’t recall anything like this happening before,” he said.

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Report: Overstays outnumber number of undocumented immigrants

(NEWSMAX) — The number of immigrants with expired temporary visas living in the U.S. have outnumbered undocumented immigrants by half a million since 2007, says a report published in the Journal on Migration and Human Security.

The report, issued by the Center for Immigration Studies, took aim at President Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a project it said, “does not reflect the reality of how the large majority of persons now become undocumented.”

The authors, Robert Warren and Donald Kerwin, write “two-thirds of those who arrived in 2014 did not illegally cross a border, but were admitted (after screening) on non-immigrant (temporary) visas, and then overstayed their period of admission or otherwise violated the terms of their visas.”

CMS found the following, with information on overstays for 2015 derived by the Department of Homeland Security:

42 percent of the total undocumented population (about 4.5 million U.S. residents) in 2014 were overstays
Overstays have exceeded the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. every year since 2007
600,000 more overstays than undocumented immigrants have arrived in the U.S. since 2007
California has the largest number of overstays with 890,000, followed by New York (520,000) and Texas (475,000)

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Border Patrol union: Trump’s border plan ‘gives us the tools we need’

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz

As President Donald J. Trump prepares to kick off his new border security plan, various news outlets have begun to criticize the effort by focusing on the border wall. However, members from the union representing the men and women from the U.S. Border Patrol stated that the proposal comes from listening to agents instead of politicians.

Various outlets have continued to question the notion of building a border wall and have focused on the perceived challenges of such an enterprise. Other outlets have criticized the effectiveness of the measure claiming that it does not address the current immigration crisis. The various news organizations have failed to mention the complete control that Mexican drug cartels have over human smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and other illicit activities along both sides of the border.

The executive orders that President Trump will be signing provides border security agents with the tools that they have been denied for too long, said Hector Garza, a U.S. Border Patrol agent and the President for the Local 2455 of the National Border Patrol Council. As part of the union’s leadership, Garza is able to speak about issues affecting the men and women that he represents.

Despite the many misconceptions by pundits and individuals who have not been to the border, a wall with the addition of new manpower, surveillance technology and other equipment will be an effective tool in slowing down illegal immigration and drug smuggling, Garza said.

“We know we won’t have a wall along the 2,000 miles of border,” he said. “What we will have is a wall where it is needed. That barrier with proper manpower, resources, technology and other tools will be effective. But most important, for the first time we have a president that wants to secure the border.”

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Building the Trump wall

(THE COURIER) — The 2006 Secure Fence Act prompted the U.S. to build barriers along a 653-mile stretch of border dividing California and Arizona with Mexico to deter immigrants and drug smugglers.

Much of the fence is a slatted-metal barrier, 18 to 30 feet high. But because of budget concerns, it also consists of vehicles barriers and single-layer pedestrian fencing, not double-layer fencing cited in the law.

Drug smugglers responded by building 148 tunnels — including some multimillion-dollar lighted and well-ventilated “supertunnels” — under the border.

The Los Angeles Times reports U.S. and Mexican authorities systematically closed tunnels, only to have smugglers re-open them.

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Mexican nationals returning home and staying there ahead of Trump

(BREITBART) — MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas — Fearing stiffer immigration enforcement in the coming months, approximately half of the Mexican nationals who had traveled through this city on their way to their hometowns claim they will not be returning to the United States, city officials said.

In recent weeks, the Matamoros city government has been preparing logistical and security measures to accommodate not only the returning travelers, but also for a possible increase in deportations, said Matamoros Mayor Jesus “Chuchin” De La Garza.

According to De La Garza, at least 50 percent of the Paisanos who have crossed through the three international bridges in Matamoros have reported to authorities that they will not be returning to the U.S. and plan on seeking jobs in Mexico.

Known in Mexico as Paisanos, every year, groups of legal and illegal immigrants travel through this and other border cities during the holidays on their way to their hometowns. The name Paisano comes from a government program aimed at easing the customs and tax process that the Mexicans face when they travel home. In years past, customs officers, local police and other officials were known for demanding bribes and extorting the travelers.

In preparation for the expected increase in the number of returning locals and deportees, De La Garza has been meeting with Mexico’s Regional Security Team and U.S. law enforcement.

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Can Donald Trump really build a border wall to Mexico?

(THE DAILY DOT) — By Kristen Hubby —

President-elect Donald Trump has a big league agenda for his first 100 days in office, including one of his most concrete—and controversial—plans: to build a wall between the U.S.–Mexico border with full reimbursement from Mexico.

The construction of a wall was one of his earliest promises to the American people. At Trump rallies, supporters chanted “build the wall, build the wall,” as Trump backed his proposal with a promise. When announcing his run for president, Trump assured his supporters that he will “build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better” than him. He added that he will “build them very inexpensively.”

Of course, campaign trails are for boasting, and the promise of the wall may be too bold given the challenges Trump will face—including those from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

After his presidential win, Trump still stands firmly with his decision to build the wall. Below is the outline for Trump’s plans for immigration from his first 100 days outline, which includes the construction of Trump’s wall:

End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.

With few details on how this agenda will actually be accomplished, the assumption that Trump will actually be able to keep his promise to build the wall between the U.S. and Mexico border remains debatable. Here’s what you need to know.

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The mysterious recurring case of Mexico’s disappearing governors

(BLOOMBERG) — The hunt for Mexico’s Javier Duarte, the former governor of Veracruz state who went underground last month after being accused of looting billions in taxpayer money, is getting close to the end, according to federal Attorney General Raul Cervantes.

He disappeared about a month ago and is now, or was recently, in Puebla state, Veracruz’s governor-elect, Miguel Angel Yunes says. For a time, Duarte was said to be hiding out on a ranch in the southern state of Chiapas. How’d he get away? He took flight, literally, in a state-owned helicopter. He got to the heliport in the trunk of a car, according to one report.

However, it’s been a couple weeks since Cervantes said that, and in the meantime the government has had to appeal for the public’s help by posting a reward. On Sunday, the government seized bank accounts, businesses and properties belonging to the fugitive, the kind of concerted effort that hasn’t been a hallmark of justice when it comes to governors of Mexican states.

Because before Duarte there was Eugenio Hernandez, and Tomas Yarrington, and Jorge Torres Lopez, and Mario Villanueva, and, until last week, Guillermo Padres. (There are still others.) All governors at one time, all who took it on the run, trailing corruption charges like clanging cans that fell on deaf ears.

Crooked governors have evaded the law for decades in Mexico, either through agreements struck with presidential administrations or an inability of law enforcement to seize them or their assets, says Mike Vigil, the former head of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Duarte, 43, fled just as investigators said they were closing in on him, leading to howls of criticism for allowing him to slip away under their noses.
Corrupt and Contented

“Many governors in Mexico are corrupt,” said Vigil, whose territory included Mexico until his retirement in 2004 and who wrote the book “Metal Coffins: The Blood Alliance Cartel.” “It’s rare that we can get to these governors because many times they’re protected” by the administration in power. Marko Cortes, lower-house leader of the opposition National Action Party, or PAN, concurred, saying Duarte’s escape “appears as if it was something agreed upon.”

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Mexico’s cartels are much more dangerous to Americans than ISIS

(THE DAILY BEAST) — Mexico is a place of many rumors and much chisme, or gossip. One of the most frightening rumors you hear these days—especially given the tragic, ISIS-inspired shooting in Orlando—is that members of the so-called Islamic State have infiltrated the cartels, seeking to recruit hardened sicarios, hit men, to their cause.

ISIS’s nefarious motive, naturally, would be to use the cartels’ drug shipping networks and smuggling tunnels to ferret terrorists, or even weapons of mass destruction, across the U.S. border.

Fortunately such tales remains nothing but chisme—and not very plausible rumor mongering at that.

Although some far-right media outlets in the U.S. have presented the unholy alliance of jihadist warrior and Aztec assassin as likely, if not inevitable, so far there’s absolutely no evidence behind such claims.

(Full disclosure: I spent eight months out of the last year reporting up close with both law enforcement and the cartels in Mexico and, after much searching for just such a headline-grabbing, cartel-ISIS link, was unable to find so much as a prayer rug. Or anybody who knew what a prayer rug was.)

In fact, the two groups actually seem more like natural enemies.

Although the much-published story about Chapo Guzmán threatening to launch open war on ISIS turned out to be false, there’s a reason the meme seemed so believable when it broke.

That’s because it’s hard to imagine a wealth-loving, famously decadent crime lord like Guzmán—or any of his fellows—getting along with their dour, tee-totaling, thobe-wearing counterparts. The Mexican press have also had great fun at ISIS’s expense, wittily skewering the unlikely Islamic invasion.

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