Fast and Furious Spooks

Posted by Bill Conroy – July 10, 2011 at 8:17 pmCongressional Inquiry Raising Specter of Spooks in the SoupThe acting head of ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) has seemingly blown the cover of both DEA and FBI info…

The acting head of ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) has seemingly blown the cover of both DEA and FBI informant operations in order to spare his own neck and to deflect blame away from a badly flawed operation undertaken by his own agency.
In doing so, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson has also left open the door to the house of mirrors that always comes into play when U.S. interests intersect with foreign affairs.
The operation that has put Melson in the hot seat before Congress is known as Fast and Furious, which was launched in October 2009 as an offshoot of Project Gunrunner — ATF’s larger effort to stem the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico
However, Fast and Furious actually undermined the goal of Project Gunrunner by allowing some 2,000 or more firearms illegally purchased in the U.S. to “walk” (or be smuggled under ATF’s watch) across the border in a supposed effort by the federal law enforcement agency to target the kingpins behind Mexico’s narco-gun-running enterprises, ATF whistleblowers contend.
Two of the guns linked to the Fast and Furious operation allegedly were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was shot to death by Mexican border marauders in Arizona late last year. The whistelblower revelations about Fast and Furious have since sparked Congressional inquiries.
In a letter sent on July 5 to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, two Republican members of Congress from the committees probing Fast and Furious made startling allegations in the wake of what they say was an interview of ATF’s Melson conducted by “both Republican and and Democratic staff.”
The letter was drafted by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform; and U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.
The revelation from that letter of greatest significance:
Specifically, we have very real indications from several sources that some of the gun trafficking “higher-ups” that the ATF sought to identify [via Fast and Furious] were already known to other agencies and may have been paid as informants. The Acting Director [Melson] said that ATF was kept in the dark about certain activities of other agencies, including DEA and FBI. [Emphasis added.]
Mr. Melson said that he learned from ATF agents in the field that information obtained by these agencies [DEA, FBI and “other agencies”] could have had a material impact on the Fast and Furious investigation as far back as late 2009 or early 2010. After learning about the possible role of DEA and FBI [and “other agencies”], he testified that he reported this information in April 2011 to the Acting Inspector General and directly to then-Acting Deputy Attorney General James Cole on June 16th, 2011.
The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayers dollars [in the form of informant payments] from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities.
… It is one thing to argue that the ends justify the means in an attempt to defend a policy that puts building a big case ahead of stopping known criminals from getting guns. Yet it is a much more serious matter to conceal from Congress the possible involvement of other agencies in identifying and maybe even working with the same criminals that Operation Fast and Furious was trying to identify. …. [The entire letter can be found at this link.]
What the letter from Issa and Grassley is alleging, simply put, is that multiple U.S. agencies were employing as informants and assets members of Mexican drug organizations who were responsible for importing into their nation thousands of weapons from the U.S., leading to more than 40,000 homicides in Mexico’s drug war since late 2006.
The letter, by its wording, makes clear that the complicit U.S. agencies include FBI and DEA, but it also seems to make clear that “other agencies” might also be involved in the game. And also part of this game was ATF, which, via Fast and Furious, was allowing thousands of guns to be smuggled across the U.S. border into Mexico as part of a supposed plan to identify “higher-ups” in Mexican drug organizations who were responsible for the illegal weapons trade. And, as it turns out, those responsible, in some cases, were the very individuals being employed as informants and assets by other U.S. agencies.
Connecting flight
And in a strange twist of fate, one of the “higher-ups” in the Mexican narco-trafficking world, who recently claimed to be a U.S. government informant, is now pending trial in federal court in Chicago.
Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia — one of the purported top leaders of the Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization — a leading Mexican-based importer of weapons and exporter of drugs. Zambada Niebla was arrested in Mexico in March 2009 and in February 2010 extradited to the United States to stand trial on narco-trafficking-related charges.
The indictment pending against Zambada Niebla claims he served as the “logistical coordinator” for the “cartel,” helping to oversee an operation that imported into the U.S. “multi-ton quantities of cocaine … using various means, including but not limited to, Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, private aircraft … buses, rail cars, tractor trailers, and automobiles.”
Zambada Niebla also claims be an asset of the U.S. government. His allegation is laid out in a two-page court pleading filed in late March with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. The pleading asserts that Zambada Niebla was working with “public authority” “on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”); and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).
Interestingly, in addition to the narco-trafficking charges pending against him in Chicago, Zambada Niebla also stands accused of seeking to smuggle weapons into Mexico for the Sinaloa organization.
“Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla sought to obtain weapons from the United States … and discussed the use of violence…,” U.S. government court pleadings in Zambada Niebla’s case state.
Zambada Niebla also is linked to alleged Sinaloa organization money-launderer Pedro Alfonso Alatorre Damy via a Gulfstream II jet (tail number N987SA) that crashed in Mexico in late 2007 with some four tons of cocaine onboard.
That aircraft was allegedly purchased with Sinaloa organization drug money laundered through Alatorre Damy’s casa de cambio business and a U.S. bank. And that same aircraft was reportedly suspected of being used previously as part of the CIA’s “terrorist” rendition program, according tomedia reports and an investigation spearheaded by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
In addition, the Gulfstream II was purchased less than two weeks before it crashed in Mexico by a duo that included a U.S. government operative who allegedly had done past contract work for a variety of US law enforcement and intelligence agencies, according to a known CIA asset (Baruch Vega) who is identified as such in public court records. The four tons of cocaine onboard of the Gulfstream II at the time of its crash landing, according Vega, were purchased in Colombia via a syndicate that included a Colombian narco-trafficker named Nelson Urrego, who,according to Panamanian press reports and Vega, is a U.S. government (CIA) asset.
[For more more details on the Gulfstream II story and connections, read Narco News’s past coverage at this link.]
And now, one of the top players in the Sinaloa drug organization, who, according to the U.S. government, managed logistics for the criminal organization — a job that entailed overseeing the purchase of aircraft for drug smuggling activities, as well as weapons for enforcement activities — now claims to have been actively cooperating with several U.S. law enforcement agencies since at least 2004.
So once again, the DEA and FBI appear in the context of employing high-level narco-traffickers as informants and/or assets. And in the background of such intrigue, always, overseas, as in the Gulfstream II case, is the CIA, which trumps every other U.S. agency when it comes to operations in a foreign land.
A former CIA counterintelligence officer explained how it works as follows, in a recent interview with Narco News:
It’s … true that sometimes agents who do narcotics work [like DEA agents] may also do things that are at the same time of interest to the CIA in terms of intelligence collection.
If CIA and DEA are working the same person, collecting information, the CIA will get the nod [ultimate control] that’s normal. In the field [overseas] the CIA trumps everyone.
… The system is designed so that agencies do not walk over each other’s assets [or informants], so you don’t have two agencies going after the same people for different reasons [DEA to bust them for narco-trafficking and CIA to use them as intelligence assets, for example]. [In those cases, though] it is CIA that gets the preference; CIA is the mother god.
Wacko, Barroom Commandos
When it comes to prime intelligence targets, they don’t come much better than the leaders of Mexican drug organizations, who have their tentacles planted deep inside Latin American governments due to the corrupt reach of the drug trade. So it is not unreasonable to suspect that part of the reason that ATF’s Fast and Furious makes no sense in terms of a law enforcement operation is because it wasn’t one at all.
In fact, it may well have been co-opted and trumped by a covert U.S. intelligence agency operation, such as one run by CIA, that is shielded even from most members of Congress — possibly even the White House, if it was launched under a prior administration and parts of it have since run off the tracks on their own.
As the former CIA counterintelligence officer said: “Is there deviation [from the norm, in terms of CIA operations]? Yes. Stuff happens, but that’s because there was deviation; but it’s not authorized.”
In any event, it’s not likely that even the Attorney General of the U.S. could discuss publicly the specifics of such an intelligence operation, authorized or not, without facing the real threat of being accused of violating national security laws — such is the power of the U.S. intelligence community over even law enforcement and the courts in this nation.
As for Zambada Niebla, it is worth noting that shortly after he filed his motion in federal court outing himself as a U.S. informant, his attorneys filed separate pleadings alleging that he is being held improperly in solitary confinement, with all communications, except with his attorneys, essentially cut off by the very government he claims to have assisted.
From those pleadings, filed on June 27:
Vicente [Zambada Niebla] contends that the sum of the conditions under which he is being held in pre-trial detention violates the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
He is prohibited from speaking to any other inmates at any time and for any purpose. Vicente is prohibited from speaking to anyone except his counselor and those Bureau of Prisons personnel above the rank of lieutenant. Neither his counselor nor BOP personnel above the rank of lieutenant are regularly on his floor at the [Chicago Metropolitan Detention Center’s Special Housing Unit].
In the entire period of his pre-trial detention [since March 2011], he has not seen sunlight or breathed fresh air. In contrast, he had outdoor exercise every day in a super maximum security facility in Mexico.
Now, it’s not likely anyone is going to feel pity for Zambada Niebla, who stands accused of being a key player in one of the most ruthless narco-trafficking organizations in Mexico — though it is important to note, for the purposes of the U.S. justice system, he stands accused, but not yet convicted.
However, what should be a bit unsettling, even to those who have no empathy for someone like Zambada Niebla, is the possibility that he is telling the truth about being a U.S. government informant/asset, and that his treatment in jail is, in fact, designed to suppress that truth.
And with the stakes this high, in terms of the drug war in Mexico and the billions of dollars funding it, as well as the Congressional scrutiny now focused on Fast and Furious in Congress, can it be completely ruled out that Zambada Niebla might well be deemed a messenger worth silencing?
Former deep undercover DEA agent Mike Levine, who has extensive experience working in Latin America, offers his take on ATF’s Fast and Furious, a view that is grounded in first-hand knowledge of the drug war and its sordid history:
… Running guns into Mexico into the hands of criminals? There can be no objective to this but death, and lots of it.
The events in Operation Fast and Furious are eerily identical to those surrounding the arrest of General Ramon Guillen Davila, a CIA asset who was [indicted for] smuggling a ton of cocaine into the US [in] 1996, in what was described as an intelligence gathering operation, the problem being that no intelligence was ever gathered and that the ton was only one of many other similar shipments of cocaine that actually hit the streets of the U.S. by way of CIA agents.
If I were a criminal profiler, it wouldn't take much to identify a CIA pattern here [with Fast and Furious]: A wacko, barroom commando, illegal operation that makes no sense whatsoever, run outside the control of law enforcement.
Stay tuned….

Fast and Furious actions were taken by the Bush administration and Obama is now holding the bag. There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats other than fake discussion points invented and promoted for the sake of entertaining the masses, but it is a good thing that you are getting aware of the level of government corruption.

The point is not to blame Bush but that there is a continuum of policies and actions regardless of party affiliation of the president. That is irrelevant; investigation into some activities is taboo regardless of party. there is a cynic opportunism here on part of the republicans but that do not change the nature of things

What you need to understand is that what are covered are not mistakes or mishandling but actual policies and premeditated action. There is information on the public domain that suggests this is the case but the US government cannot officially acknowledge these policies, regardless of when they were implemented or by whom.

The US government is managing the Mexican Drug War and it is involved in gun-trafficking, money laundering and the drug smuggling itself, Fast and Furious is just part of this operation aimed to strengthen the Sinaloa Cartel to consolidate the drug trade and make it easier to manage

Please contact your representative and senator and tell them you are against the US government involvement in gun-trafficking. By the way in early July there is a UN vote on gun-trafficking controls tell them also you are in favor of controls


Related Stories

President Obama has taken the rare step of asserting executive privilege to withhold documents sought by lawmakers probing a botched US sting operation.

The attorney general is facing moves to hold him in contempt of Congress over the issue.

Justice officials said the privilege applied to files on how they learned of problems with Fast and Furious.

The operation saw US agents lose track of hundreds of illegal guns allowed into Mexico to trace arms dealers.

A US border agent was killed with a weapon linked to the operation in December 2010.

This is the first use of executive privilege for withholding documents by Mr Obama. Former Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton used the privilege six and 14 times respectively during their eight-year terms.

The Department of Justice says it has denied access to the files because they contain information that could affect ongoing criminal investigations.

Eric Holder US Attorney General Eric Holder could be held in contempt of Congress over Fast and Furious

Its officials say they have already sent more than 7,000 documents to the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.

"I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the relevant... documents," Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote to the lawmakers.

Wednesday's contempt vote looms a day after a meeting between Attorney General Eric Holder and committee chairman, Representative Darrell Issa, failed to end the impasse.

Mr Holder said lawmakers had turned down his offer to give them the documents, along with a briefing on the operation, in exchange for assurances that the panel would drop contempt proceedings.

"They rejected what I thought was an extraordinary offer on our part," he told reporters on Tuesday.

But Republican Senator Charles Grassley, who is not on the committee but attended the meeting, cast doubt on Mr Holder's version.

"The attorney general wants to trade a briefing and the promise of delivering some small, unspecified set of documents tomorrow for a free pass today," he told reporters.

On Wednesday, the office of Republican House Speaker John Boehner said use of executive privilege raised questions about the White House's involvement with the gun probe.

"The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the 'Fast and Furious' operation or the cover-up that followed," Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Mr Boehner, told reporters.

The committee's top Democrat, Representative Elijah Cummings, accused Mr Issa of having "no interest" in resolving the dispute.

"You've been holding the attorney general to an impossible standard," he told CNN.

"You accused him of a cover-up for protecting documents that he is prohibited from providing."

It is not clear what will happen if Mr Holder is held in contempt of Congress.

Historically, Congress and the White House have negotiated agreements to avoid a court battle that would limit either Congress' subpoena power or executive privilege itself.

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agency was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico

Justice Department sends Congress 1,400 pages on 'Fast and Furious' 

When Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Attorney General Eric Holder had a sharp back-and-forth on whether or not officials in the Department of Justice lied to Congress. The questioning was during Thursday morning’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on Operation Fast and Furious.
“First let me make something very clear, in response to an assertion you made, or hinted at: Nobody in the Justice Department has lied,” Holder said in response to accusations that he or his confidantes lied to Congress. “Nobody has lied.”

“Then why was the letter withdrawn?,” Sensenbrenner retorted, referring to a factually inaccurate letter one of Holder’s deputies, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, sent to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley on February 4. In that letter, Weich claimed that guns were never allowed to walk.

Holder and one of his other deputies, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer have both admitted that statement was false in recent Senate hearings.

“The letter was withdrawn because there was information in there that was inaccurate,” Holder replied to Sensenbrenner’s question.

Fast and Furious was a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program overseen by the Justice Department. The operation facilitated the sale of thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via straw purchasers. Straw purchasers are people who can legally purchase guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them into Mexico.

At least 300 people in Mexico were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, as was U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

An intense struggle among several senior Justice Department officials was revealed Friday as internal documents on the gun-running Operation Fast and Furious were released by the department.

About 1,400 pages that had been demanded by Capitol Hill investigators were sent to three key congressional committees in advance of what is expected to be a contentious hearing next Thursday when Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on the subject.

The documents lift the veil on conflicting views among Justice Department executives, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Arizona U.S. attorney's office over whether and how to respond to allegations made in letters from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

(CBS News)
WASHINGTON – Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.
He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?
“Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”
An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.
Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Uploaded by on Mar 11, 2011

Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.

He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?

"Yes ma'am," Dodson told CBS News. "The agency was."

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson's job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.

Investigators call the tactic letting guns "walk." In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Dodson's bosses say that never happened. Now, he's risking his job to go public.

"I'm boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we've been doing it every day since I've been here," he said. "Here I am. Tell me I didn't do the things that I did. Tell me you didn't order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn't happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn't happen."

Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.

ATF named the case "Fast and Furious."

Surveillance video obtained by CBS News shows suspected drug cartel suppliers carrying boxes of weapons to their cars at a Phoenix gun shop. The long boxes shown in the video being loaded in were AK-47-type assault rifles.

So it turns out ATF not only allowed it - they videotaped it.

Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets... the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.

One e-mail noted, "958 killed in March 2010 ... most violent month since 2005." The same e-mail notes: "Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone," including "numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles."

Dodson feels that ATF was partly to blame for the escalating violence in Mexico and on the border. "I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two," he said. "The more our guys buy, the more violence we're having down there."

Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.

Their answer, according to Dodson, was, "If you're going to make an omelette, you've got to break some eggs."

There was so much opposition to the gun walking, that an ATF supervisor issued an e-mail noting a "schism" among the agents. "Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case...we are doing what they envisioned.... If you don't think this is fun you're in the wrong line of work... Maybe the Maricopa County jail is hiring detention officers and you can get $30,000 ... to serve lunch to inmates..."

"We just knew it wasn't going to end well. There's just no way it could," Dodson said.

the Mexican Dirty War

January 16, 2008by Daniel HopsickerTwo American-registered drug planes busted  in Mexico carrying four and 5.5 tons of cocaine are just the «tip of the iceberg»  in a blockbuster aviation deal which sold 50 American-regist…

January 16, 2008
by Daniel Hopsicker
Two American-registered drug planes busted  in Mexico carrying four and 5.5 tons of cocaine are just the "tip of the iceberg"  in a blockbuster aviation deal which sold 50 American-registered aircraft to the Sinaloa Cartel, the MadCowMorningNews has learned.

According to an indictment released over the holidays by Mexico’s Atty.General, Pedro Alfonso Alatorre, already indicted as the cartel’s chief financier, purchased the DC9 (N900SA) airliner, the Gulfstream II business jet (N987SA), and 48 other planes not yet identified for Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel with laundered drug money, using a company he controls which owns currency exchanges at major airports in Mexico.

Now we know who bought the airplanes. The trickier question is: who sold them?  The answer, normally, would be, "Their local counterparts in international organized crime."

But these aren't normal circumstances. Why? Because the U.S. doesn't even have any Drug Lords. Ask anybody at the DEA. Apparently, we don't even bother to field a team.

Elusive seldom-photographed American Drug Lords

News of a 50-plane fleet of drug smuggling aircraft being sold to a Mexican Cartel by mysteriously unnamed American owners confirms rumors of a mushrooming scandal, one which may eventually implicate top officials in the U.S., Mexico, and Colombia. 
The reason was left unspoken in the Mexican Atty. General’s statement,  because it lies on the American side of the equation, in the identity of the sellers of the planes...  
The DC9 and the Gulfstream II, the two American jets now known to be part of a 50-plane sale, share interlocking ownership. The stock of two corporations which owned the planes was used in the massive recent Adnan Khashoggi-led stock fraud.
Khashoggi, currently a fugitive from justice in the case, engineered the biggest brokerage bankruptcy in America since the Great Depression, costing investors and taxpayers over $300 million.
With gas prices over $3 a gallon, you wouldn't think the Saudi billionaire needed the money. So, what did 'they' do with the money? 

Upcoming Presidential elections, perhaps?

The operation was manned by “retired” CIA and military intelligence personnel, had close ties to major Bush backers and the national Republican Party, (Sen. Mel Martinez, until recently the Chairman of the GOP, flew free on Skyway’s Cocaine One DC9 during the crucial final two weeks of his campaign in Florida for the Senate.)
And with seeming impunity the operationengaged in multi-ton load drug trafficking, as well asmassive financial fraud.
What began as a minor scandal without fanfare in April of 2006 with the bust of an American-registered DC-9 airliner carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula gathered momentum when a Gulfstream business jet flying out of the same airport was busted in the Yucatan 18 months later carrying 4 tons of cocaine. 
The level of citizen outrage increased with the crash-landing of the second American plane. With the news that the number of American planes sold to Mexican drug traffickers was not just one or two planes—but 50—the scandal is now threatening to mushroom into something much larger.

Kingpin Airlines welcomes you aboard

The brazen fleet-sized sale of American planes to Mexican drug traffickers has huge implications. 
"The extraordinary similarity,” to use the phrase used by Mexican newspaper Por Esto, between the DC9 airliner and the Gulfstream II...
The American owners of the drug planes have suffered no adverse consequences whatsoever to date.
If you own an airliner or business jet discovered hauling pure cocaine into the U.S., literally by the ton,  authorities are sympathetic. They know the hazards unauthorized charter flights pose to innocent business owners, and the confusion that can result when you've inadvertently purchased an airplane from someone known to be involved with international organized crime.

"Our Story Thus Far"

As this amazing information begins to sink inthat owning a drug plane may have little downside and be a terrific hedge against coming hard timesa brief recap of "Our Story Thus Far" may be in order.
Two American-registered airplanes with clear ties to the U.S. Government—a DC9 airliner (N900SA) painted to resemble an airplane from the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security, and a Gulfstream business jet (N987SA) formerly used by the CIA for renditions—were busted in Mexico 18 months apart carrying multi-ton loads of cocaine . 
Both planes flew from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport to Mexico, then on to Colombia, where they loaded the cocaine, before being caught on their return journey to (supposedly) Fort Lauderdale,  stopping to refuel on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.  
Just before both plane's ill-fated final flights, the “ownership” papers were  shuffled around like peas being moved underneath shells on a card table in a billion dollar game of three-card monte by people known as “aircraft brokers.

Bush Rangers, cardboard-thin cutouts

However, the MadCowMorningNewslearned from an FAA official that neither of the two “aircraft brokers”  bought or sold any other planes during the entire year.
They aren’t really “aircraft brokers.” Aircraft brokers buy and sell planes. 
They’re “cut-outs,” a spy trade term for the layers of insulation relied on to provide plausible deniability.  They play a critical role in the cover story, shielding the plane's true owners from scrutiny.  
Both busted airplanes give every indication of having been involved in a “protected” drug trafficking operation. Imagine the surprise and shock back in the Home Office.  No wonder the cover story is, in many places, exceedingly thin.
A shameless plug:
Almost two weeks before the Mexico’s Atty. General’s announcement in early November that both planes had been used in the same drug smuggling operation,  readers of the MadCowMorningNews already knew of connections between the two downed American drug planes, and their interlocking ownership.

The "W" Connection

Stephen Adams, a secretive Midwestern media baron and Republican fund-raiser, owned the Gulfstream II at the same time he was personally purchasing one million dollars of billboard advertising for George W. Bush during the 2000 Presidential Campaign. 
Adams was also in business, in two separate companies, with Michael Farkas, the man who founded SkyWay Aircraft, which owned the DC9. Both men control companies used in Adnan Khashoggi’s $300 million stock fraud rip-off.   
The multi-ton drug busts, as well as the numerous murders already surrounding the case,  are part of a continuing "Mexican stand-off"between rival Mexican drug cartels allied with dueling factions contesting Mexico's unsettled political landscape.
The contest has so far resulted in more than 2500 murders in Mexico last year.  Mexico’s internecine drug war is a hotter theater of operations than Iraq. 

Bank robbers for Equal Justice Under Law

When a bank robber steals a few thousand dollars before holing up with a hostage, does the FBI take more than eighteen months before divulging the name of the suspect?
Certain cases involving politically-connected Americans suspected of involvement in drug smuggling, through ownership of drug smuggling aircraft,  seem to be being treated, not as crimes, but as urgent matters of national security.  
But the American owners of the two airplanes busted in Mexico do not look like innocent victims of mean and nasty Mexican drug traffickers, but their  American counterparts... the elusive and almost never-photographedAmerican Drug Lords.
The Gulfstream, for example, picked up its multi-load of cocaine at the international airport in Rio Negro, just outside of Medellin. Although the city became famous as Pablo Escobar’s hometown, today Medellin is known for being current Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s home turf…
So it wasn’t FARC dope.
And there is no way the shipment can be blamed on the guerrillas, which may yet prove inconvenient if—after all the pieces are fitted into the puzzle—government-to-government drug connections are visible between the U.S. and Colombian governments.  

An official issue get-out-of-jail-free card

The first plane to go down was a DC9 airliner (N900SA) which left Colombia carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine
The DC9’s owner regularly engaged in illegal, and as yet unpunished, activity, as if he had an official issue get-out-of-jail-free card.
One example: Forgetting legal niceties--like "don't sell a plane you don't own, dude"-- the DC9 was passed from “Skyway Aircraft” to a company controlled by a company insider, “Royal Sons LLC.
But the real owner of the plane at the time was the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa. And they weren’t even told of the sale.
Maybe it helped their legal cause that Skyway's Chairman, Glenn Kovar, had been a U.S. Forest Service employee who boasted of long-standing ties to the CIA.
And several of the firm’s top executives, including its President, have backgrounds in U.S. military intelligence.  That probably didn't hurt either.

Paint your car like a police car! Comes with own siren!

Skyway’s DC9 was painted with the distinctive blue-and-white with gold trim used by  official U.S. Government planes, and an official-looking U.S. Seal, featuring the familiar Federal eagle clutching an olive brand, had been painted alongside the door. 
If you look closely, however,  the legend wrapping around the outer edge of the Seal says “SkyWay Aircraft: Protection of America’s Skies.” 
Still, most who saw the DC9 sitting on the apron of the St-Petersburg Clearwater International Airport figured the aircraft belonged to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
The DC9 was clearly impersonating an aircraft from the Dept of Homeland Security. Yet it sat unmolested by authorities at the St Pete-Clearwater Intl' Airport, parked less than a hundred yards from the US Coast Guard's major Caribbean Basin Air Facility.
Skyway’s SUV's, by contrast, were painted with a bogus U.S. Government Seal were pulled over by local police, and ordered to remove the seals.

Pretty lucky? Or pretty well-connected?

Another intriguing fact is that several years ago Skyway's listed address in plane ads was a hanger at Huffman Aviation at the Venice Fl. Airport.  Huffman trained both pilots who took down the World Trade Center, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, to fly.
The Gulfstream II (N987SA) 
The biggest clue to date to the true identity of the individuals or organization operating behind the scenes is in the name of the dummy front company which was the last registered owner of the Gulfstream business jet that crash-landed with 4 tons of cocaine may lie in the firm's initials.
"Donna Blue Aircraft"  is "DBA," for "doing business as," the kind of clever nomenclature "the boys" are fond of.
When we visited the company’s listed address, it was in an empty office suite with a blank sign out front.

What This is Really All About

Mankind’s knowledge about who owns large commercial and business jets which get busted carrying narcotics appears severely limited for several reasons.
1. It is completely governed, like the movement of subatomic quarks, byHeisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, with one teensy change.
2. Ownership Uncertainty fluctuates with the level of influence the plane's owner is able to exert. 
3. Prospects are especially poor of ever identifying the owners of planes associated with national Republican figures.
The whole business, suggested a story from the Associated Press, ratherquickly moves beyond the realm of human ken.
“How the U.S.-registered Gulfstream ended up in the hands of suspected drug traffickers remains a mystery,” the AP reported.
And not by accident, either. 

On April 23, two patrol cars were ambushed by armed gunman in downtown Ciudad Juarez. In the ensuing firefight, seven policemen were killed as well as a 17-year old boy who was caught in the crossfire. All of the assailants escaped uninjured fleeing the crime-scene in three SUVs. The bold attack was executed in broad daylight in one of the busiest areas of the city. According to the Associated Press:

"Hours after the attack, a painted message directed to top federal police commanders and claiming responsibility for the attack appeared on a wall in downtown Ciudad Juarez. It was apparently signed by La Linea gang, the enforcement arm of the Juarez drug cartel. The Juarez cartel has been locked in a bloody turf battle with the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

"This will happen to you ... for being with El Chapo Guzman and to all the dirtbags who support him. Sincerely, La Linea," the message read." ("7 Mexican police officers killed in Ciudad Juarez", Olivia Torres, AP)

The massacre in downtown Juarez is just the latest incident in Mexico's bloody drug war. Between 5 to 6 more people will be killed on Saturday, and on every day thereafter with no end in sight. It's a war that cannot be won, but that hasn't stopped the Mexican government from sticking to its basic game-plan.

The experts and politicians disagree about the origins of the violence in Juarez, but no one disputes that 23,000 people have been killed since 2006 in a largely futile military operation initiated by Mexican president Felipe Calderon. Whether the killing is the result of the ongoing turf-war between the rival drug cartels or not, is irrelevant. The present policy is failing and needs to be changed. The militarization of the war on drugs has been a colossal disaster which has accelerated the pace of social disintegration. Mexico is quickly becoming a failed state, and Washington's deeply-flawed Merida Initiative, which provides $1.4 billion in aid to the Calderon administration to intensify military operations, is largely to blame.

The surge in narcotics trafficking and drug addiction go hand-in-hand with destructive free trade policies which have fueled their growth. NAFTA, in particular, has triggered a massive migration of people who have been pushed off the land because they couldn't compete with heavily-subsidized agricultural products from the US. Many of these people drifted north to towns like Juarez which became a manufacturing hub in the 1990s. But Juarez's fortunes took a turn for the worse a few years later when competition from the Far East grew fiercer. Now most of the plants and factories have been boarded up and the work has been outsourced to China where subsistence wages are the norm. Naturally, young men have turned to the cartels as the only visible means of employment and upward mobility. That means that free trade has not only had a ruinous effect on the economy, but has also created an inexhaustible pool of recruits for the drug trade.

Washington's Merida Initiative--which provides $1.4 billion in aid to the Calderon administration to intensify military operations--has only made matters worse. The public's demand for jobs, security and social programs, has been answered with check-points, crackdowns and state repression. The response from Washington hasn't been much better. Obama hasn't veered from the policies of the prior administration. He is as committed to a military solution as his predecessor, George W. Bush.

But the need for change is urgent. Mexico is unraveling and, as the oil wells run dry, the prospect of a failed state run by drug kingpins and paramilitaries on US's southern border becomes more and more probable. The drug war is merely a symptom of deeper social problems; widespread political corruption, grinding poverty, soaring unemployment, and the erosion of confidence in public institutions. But these issues are brushed aside, so the government can pursue its one-size-fits-all military strategy without second-guessing or remorse. Meanwhile, the country continues to fall apart.


The big cartels are engaged in a ferocious battle for the drug corridors around Juarez. The Sinaloa, Gulf and La Familia cartels have formed an alliance against the upstart Los Zetas gang. Critics allege that the Calderon administration has close ties with the Sinaloa cartel and refuses to arrest its members. Here's an excerpt from an Al Jazeera video which points to collusion between Sinaloa and the government.

"The US Treasury identifies at least 20 front companies that are laundering drug money for the Sinaloa cartel...There are allegations that the Mexican government is "favoring" the cartel. According to Diego Enrique Osorno, investigative journalist and author of the "The Sinaloa Cartel":

"There are no important detentions of Sinaloa cartel members. But the government is hunting down adversary groups, new players in the world of drug trafficking."

International Security Expert, Edgardo Buscaglia, says that "of over 50,000 drug related arrests, only a very small percentage have been Sinaloa cartel members, and no cartel leaders. Dating back to 2003, law enforcement data shows objectively that the government has been hitting the weakest organized crime groups in Mexico, but they have not been hitting the main crime group, the Sinaloa Federation, that's responsible for 45% of the drug trade in this country." (Al Jazeera)

There's no way to verify whether the Calderon administration is in bed with the Sinaloa cartel, but Al Jazeera's report is pretty damning. A similar report appeared in the Los Angeles Times which revealed that the government had diverted funds that were earmarked for struggling farmers (who'd been hurt by NAFTA) "to the families of notorious drug traffickers and several senior government officials, including the agriculture minister." Here's an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times:

"According to several academic studies, as much as 80% of the money went to just 20% of the registered farmers...Among the most eyebrow-raising recipients were three siblings of billionaire drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, and the brother of Guzman's onetime partner, Arturo Beltran Leyva". ("Mexico farm subsidies are going astray", Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times)

There's no doubt that if the LA Times knows about the circular flow of state money to drug traffickers, than the Obama administration knows too. So why does the administration persist with the same policy and continue to support the people they pretend to be fighting?

In forty years, US drug policy has never changed. The same "hunt them down, bust them, and lock them up" philosophy continues to this day. That's why many critics believe that the drug war is really about control, not eradication. It's a matter of who's in line to rake in the profits; small-time pushers who run their own operations or politically-connected kingfish who have agents in the banks, the intelligence agencies, the military and the government. Currently, in Juarez, the small fries' are getting wiped out while the big-players are getting stronger. In a year or so, the Sinaloa cartel will control the streets, the drug corridors, and the border. The violence will die down and the government will proclaim "victory", but the flow of drugs into the US will increase while the situation for ordinary Mexicans will continue to deteriorate.

Here's a clip from an article in the Independent by veteran journalist Hugh O'Shaughnessy:

"The outlawing and criminalizing of drugs and consequent surge in prices has produced a bonanza for producers everywhere, from Kabul to Bogota, but, at the Mexican border, where an estimated $39,000m in narcotics enter the rich US market every year, a veritable tsunami of cash has been created. The narcotraficantes, or drug dealers, can buy the murder of many, and the loyalty of nearly everyone. They can acquire whatever weapons they need from the free market in firearms north of the border and bring them into Mexico with appropriate payment to any official who holds his hand out." ("The US-Mexico border: where the drugs war has soaked the ground blood red", Hugh O'Shaughnessy The Independent)

It's no coincidence that Kabul and Bogota are the the de facto capitals of the drug universe. US political support is strong in both places, as is the involvement of US intelligence agencies. But does that suggest that the CIA is at work in Mexico, too? Or, to put it differently: Why is the US supporting a client that appears to be allied to the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico? That's the question.


In August 1996, investigative journalist Gary Webb released the first installment of Dark Alliance in the San Jose Mercury exposing the CIA's involvement in the drug trade. The article blew the lid off the murky dealings of the agency's covert operations. Webb's words are as riveting today as they were when they first appeared 14 years ago:

"For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found.

This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the "crack'' capital of the world. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America

and provided the cash and connections needed for L.A.'s gangs to buy automatic weapons.

It is one of the most bizarre alliances in modern history: the union of a U.S.-backed army attempting to overthrow a revolutionary socialist government and the Uzi-toting "gangstas'' of Compton and South-Central Los Angeles." ("America's 'crack' plague has roots in Nicaragua war", Gary Webb, San Jose Mercury News)

Counterpunch editor Alexander Cockburn has also done extensive research on the CIA/drug connection. Here's an excerpt from an article titled "The Government's Dirty Little Secrets", which ran in the Los Angeles Times.

"CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz finally conceded to a U.S. congressional committee that the agency had worked with drug traffickers and had obtained a waiver from the Justice Department in 1982 (the beginning of the Contra funding crisis) allowing it not to report drug trafficking by agency contractors. Was the lethal arsenal deployed at Roodeplaat assembled with the advice from the CIA and other U.S. agencies? There were certainly close contacts over the years. It was a CIA tip that led the South African secret police to arrest Nelson Mandela." (The Government's Dirty Little Secrets, Los Angeles Times, commentary, 1998)

And then there's this from independent journalist Zafar Bangash:

"The CIA, as Cockburn and (Jeffrey) St Clair reveal, had been in this business right from the beginning. In fact, even before it came into existence, its predecessors, the OSS and the Office of Naval Intelligence, were involved with criminals. One such criminal was Lucky Luciano, the most notorious gangster and drug trafficker in America in the forties."

The CIA's involvement in drug trafficking closely dovetails America's adventures overseas - from Indo-China in the sixties to Afghanistan in the eighties....As Alfred McCoy states in his book: Politics of Heroin: CIA complicity in the Global Drug Trade, beginning with CIA raids from Burma into China in the early fifties, the agency found that 'ruthless drug lords made effective anti-communists." ("CIA peddles drugs while US Media act as cheerleaders", Zafar Bangash, Muslimedia, January 16-31, 1999)

And, this from author William Blum:

"ClA-supported Mujahedeen rebels ... engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government," writes historian William Blum. "The Agency's principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and a leading heroin refiner. CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan/Pakistan border. The output provided up to one half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe...."

And, this from Portland Independent Media:

"Before 1980, Afghanistan produced 0% of the world's opium. But then the CIA moved in, and by 1986 they were producing 40% of the world's heroin supply. By 1999, they were churning out 3,200 TONS of heroin a year--nearly 80% of the total market supply. But then something unexpected happened. The Taliban rose to power, and by 2000 they had destroyed nearly all of the opium fields. Production dropped from 3,000+ tons to only 185 tons, a 94% reduction! This drop in revenue hurt not only the CIA's Black Budget projects, but also the free-flow of laundered money in and out of the Controller's banks." (Portland Independent Media)

The evidence of CIA involvement in the drug trade is vast, documented and compelling. Still, does that mean that there is some nefarious 3-way connection between the Sinaloa Cartel, the Calderon administration and the CIA? Isn't it more likely that US policymakers are simply stuck in an ideological rut and are unable to break free from the culture of militarism that has swallowed Washington whole? Author John Ross answers these questions and more in a speech he delivered at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. in April 2009. Here's an excerpt:

"What does Washington want from Mexico? On the security side, the U.S. seeks total control of Mexico's security apparatus. With the creation of NORTHCOM (Northern Command) designed to protect the U.S. landmass from terrorist attack, Mexico is designated North America's southern security perimeter and U.S. military aircraft now has carte blanche to penetrate Mexican airspace. Moreover, the North American Security and Prosperity Agreement (ASPAN in its Mexican initials) seeks to integrate the security apparatuses of the three NAFTA nations under Washington's command. Now the Merida Initiative signed by Bush II and Calderon in early 2007 allows for the emplacement of armed U.S. security agents - the FBI, the DEA, the CIA, and ICE - on Mexican soil and contractors like the former Blackwater cannot be far behind. Wars are fought for juicy government contracts and $1.3 billion in Merida moneys are going directly to U.S. defense contractors - forget about the Mexican middleman.

On the energy side, the designated target is, of course, the privatization of PEMEX, Mexico's nationalized oil industry, with a particular eye out for risk contracts on deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico utilizing technology only the EXXONs of this world possess." (John Ross, "The Big Scam : How and Why Washington Hooked Mexico on the Drug War)

The drug war is the mask behind which the real policy is concealed. The United States is using all the implements in its national security toolbox to integrate Mexico into a North America Uberstate, a hemispheric free trade zone that removes sovereign obstacles to corporate looting and guarantees rich rewards for defense contractors. As Ross notes, all of the usual suspects are involved, including the FBI and CIA. That means the killing in Juarez will continue until Washington's objectives are achieved.

Mike Whitney is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Mike Whitney

Richard Cain, Mexico City, Bill K. Harvey and Staff D

« on: July 19, 2011, 06:45:44 PM »

"Arguments for exclusivity go only so far. The better question is how explain the Kurt Vonnegut Cat's Cradle line turned to song:

Nice, nice, very nice
so many people in the same device"

~Phil Dragoo

The Mexican Security Police, known as the Dirección Federal de Seguridad, or DFS was a government security agency created in 1947 during the presidency of Miguel Alemán. Organizationally part of the Secretaria de Gobernación, the DFS was assigned the official duty of preserving the internal stability of Mexico against all forms subversion and terrorist threats. Following a drug scandal that concluded with criminal prosecution of its top executives, the DFS was abolished, with operational elements restructured and merged into the Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional (CISEN) in 1985.

Professor Peter Dale Scott has written that the DFS was in part a CIA creation, and "the CIA's closest government allies were for years in the DFS." DFS badges, "handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers, have been labelled by DEA agents a virtual 'license to traffic.'" Scott says that "The Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nassar (or Nazar) Haro, a CIA asset.

What is relevant to our interests is the fact that the DFS, in addition to being deeply involved with illicit drug related organized crime, and a corrupt tool of enforcement for the state, staffed and monitored the CIA's Mexico City telephone intercept program LI/ENVOY, the source of the infamous "Oswald" tapes which were transcribed by husband and wife team, Boris and Anna Tarasoff.

What this means is that the LI/ENVOY operation which produced the original reports (subsequently transcribed) of an Oswald speaking with Soviet and Cuban diplomatic officers was not only technically insecure, it was manned, apparently, by Mexican State Police whose activities were well documented as being open to manipulation by criminal elements.

Which leads to...

Richard Cain

Richard Cain (alias Scalzetti) can properly be described as a notorious Chicago mob figure, a veteran who served in the US Army stationed in both Japan and the Virgin Islands, an allegedly crooked Security Officer for UPS, an allegedly corrupt Chicago Police Department detective and employee of the Cook County Sheriff's Office, a lie-detector operator, a Spanish speaking associate of pro-Batista, anti-Castro Cubans, a close personal friend of Chicago mob boss, Sam Giancana (at whose request was allegedly brought into the CIA's Castro assassination plans), a business operator (Accurate Detective Laboratories), a recruiter for Spanish speaking volunteers sent to South Florida and Central American CIA training camps specializing in guerrilla warfare/commando tactics, an FBI informant, an electronic surveillance expert who specialized in telephone tapping, and, among many other things including being shot in the mouth at point blank range with a shotgun on 20 Dec., 1973, the person identified in official CIA files as having visited the CIA's Mexico City Station in April of '62, at which time "he stated he had an investigative agency in Mexico...for the purpose of training Mexican government agents in police methods, in investigative techniques, and in the use of the lie detector."

During the period of 1950 - 52, Cain had tapped the telephones of Cuban revolutionary leaders on behalf of the US supported Batista regime. In 1960 he was approached to install phone taps on behalf of former Cuban President (and exiled resident of Mexico), Carlos Prio. The Chicago Tribune reported that the CIA had engaged Cain in 1960 because of his Havana mob contacts, and also to wiretap the Czech embassy in Havana.

It seems plausible that "technical assistance" referred to in official CIA reports confirming that the CIA Mexico City Station provided support to the DFS on the LI/ENVOY operation was in the form of a man who was deeply and personally connected with Sam Giancana, Giancana's anti-Castro CIA intrigues, and the Chicago underworld milieu of Jack Ruby.

A detailed examination of Richard Cain suggests that from 1960 through '63, he was close to, or possibly deep inside, the connection between the CIA and the Mafia's recruitment to assassinate Fidel Castro. An HSCA report presents credible arguments that Cain was not only involved (by Giancana) in the plots against Castro, but that he himself may have been the "assassin-to-be" mentioned by his boss, Giancana, on 18 Oct., 1960.

Which leads to...

Bill K. Harvey and Staff D

The most sensitive and restricted operation by the CIA against Castro was run out of CIA's Staff D (FI/D), headed by William King Harvey. Officially, Staff D was "a small Agency component responsible for communications intercepts." Quoted from Inspectors General Report, 37. In fact and in practice, the very stringent restrictions on clearances for COMINT (communications intelligence) made FI/D especially well suited to house sensitive operations that CIA officials (such as Agent In Charge, Harvey) wished to conceal from the rest of the Agency. The most notorious of these projects was ZR/RIFLE, Harvey's program for "Executive Action Capability."

FI/D was responsible for the LI/ENVOY program in Mexico City. LI/ENVOY reports were filed regularly from Mexico City Station to Harvey at CIA HQS. It is important to know that Ann Goodpasture, Mexico City Station officer responsible for bringing DFS intercept product into the station and who supplied mistaken and misleading identification of Oswald as being "age 35 and balding," was an FI/D employee.

Harvey's Staff D controlled the CIA-Mafia assassination plots, and it controlled the LI/ENVOY intercept intake inside the Mexico City Station. If Richard Cain trained and possibly supervised the recruitment of Mexican (DFS) monitors, the CIA-DFS LI/ENVOY collaboration represents a pre-assassination matrix connecting three possible conspirators in operations which would be seen post-assassination to have very great significance in the implication of Lee Harvey Oswald.

This is a model of an ultra-secretive compartment of CIA, elements of the Mafia already associated with the CIA in their Castro assassination plots, and the infiltration of an officially recognized Mexican agency which would have been thought to have acted in the service of the CIA in its reporting of electronic listening posts, working with each other in ways not apparent to any who would have been uninvolved.

For us to truly recognize what this may mean in terms relevant to the hypothesis that LHO was set up to take the blame for an act he did not commit, it's essential that we fully understand that all of the above should not result in a rush to judgement that these elements at work through the actions and associations of Richard Cain, Sam Giancana, Ann Goodpasture, and Bill K. Harvey represent proof of their collaboration on the incrimination of Oswald as part of a sinister plot to kill President Kennedy.

While exploring the possibility that the incrimination of Oswald was piggy-backed upon authorized counterintelligence operations which employed these resources and was possibly directed by these authorities, we raise more questions than we answer. I'm hopeful that even a modest introduction such as this will be encouragement -- especially to those of you whose minds seem to have already been made up -- to continue the search for new answers.

My thanks to Phil Dragoo whose contributions here should be required reading for all.


The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict between rival drug cartels fighting each other for regional control, and Mexican government forces. The government's principal goal has been to put down the drug-related violence that was raging between different drug cartels before any military intervention was made.[27] In addition, the Mexican government has claimed that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on drug trafficking prevention, which is left to U.S. functionaries.[28][29][30]

Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for several decades, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market by controlling 90% of the drugs that enter the United States.[31][32] Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.[33][34][35]

Analysts estimate that wholesale earnings from illicit drug sales range from $13.6 billion[31] to $49.4 billion annually.[31][36][37]

Some sources say that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been involved in several drug trafficking operations. Some of these reports claim that congressional evidence indicates that the CIA worked with groups which it knew were involved in drug trafficking, so that these groups would provide them with useful intelligence and material support, in exchange for allowing their criminal activities to continue,[1] and impeding or preventing their arrest, indictment, and imprisonment by U.S. law enforcement agencies.[2]

According to Peter Dale Scott, the Dirección Federal de Seguridad was in part a CIA creation, and "the CIA's closest government allies were for years in the DFS". DFS badges, "handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers, have been labelled by DEA agents a virtual 'license to traffic.'"[21] Scott says that "The Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro, a CIA asset."[21]

Vicente Zambada Niebla, the son of Ismael Zambada García one of the top druglords in Mexico, claimed after his arrest to his attorneys that he and other top Sinaloa cartel members had received immunity by U.S. agents and a virtual licence to smuggle cocaine over the United States border, in exchange for intelligence about rival cartels engaged in the Mexican Drug War.[22][23]

The Dirección Federal de Seguridad (Federal Security Directorate, DFS) was a Mexican intelligence agency. Created in 1947 under Miguel Alemán Valdés with "the duty of preserving the internal stability of Mexico against all forms subversion and terrorist threats",[1] it was merged into the Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional (CISEN) in 1985.

According to Peter Dale Scott, the DFS was in part a CIA creation, and "the CIA's closest government allies were for years in the DFS". DFS badges, "handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers, have been labelled by DEA agents a virtual 'license to traffic.'"[2] Scott says that "The Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro, a CIA asset."[2]

  1. ^ Dirección Federal de Seguridad (Mexico) Security Reports, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin,Dirección Federal de Seguridad (Mexico) Security Reports, 1970-1977
  2. ^ a b Peter Dale Scott (2000), Washington and the politics of drugs, Variant, 2(11)

Mexican Miguel Nazar Haro was protected by the CIA

By Víctor Hugo Michel (Mexico City) and Dora Irene Rivera (Monterrey)


Miguel Nassar Haro* (aka Nazar Haro; or Nasar Haro), Mexico’s ex-director of the Federal Security Directorate (DFS), received help from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. Justice Department to avoid incarceration in the U.S. when he was under investigation for participating in a car theft ring, revealed Peter K. Nuñez, the former U.S. Attorney in charge of the case in San Diego, California.

In an interview with Milenio, Nuñez said that when he tried to arrest and prosecute Nassar Haro in the early 1980s, the “intelligence agencies” in Washington began to meddle in the case and they even pressured him not to pursue the investigations.

“It was a very complicated circumstance. We [in San Diego] had spent considerable time trying to charge him, and the Justice Department in Washington and some of the U.S. intelligence agencies did not want us to go ahead,” Nuñez said.

Asked if he believes the CIA got involved to influence the escape of Nassar Haro from the U.S. — after (he) spent a few hours in a San Diego jail, Nuñez dryly responded “yes.”

The CIA considered Nassar Haro, according to different reports, “the most important source in Mexico and Central America” for the U.S. espionage services.

From the beginning of the call, upon hearing the reporter’s nationality, Nuñez guessed the subject of the interview. “You want to talk about Miguel Nassar Haro,” he anticipated. “Let me tell you: I am not surprised that he has been arrested in Mexico.”

Nuñez, a favorite of Ronald Reagan who was famous for having detained the ex-director of the DFS for a few hours in a San Diego jail, affirmed that he and his team of attorneys had gathered “sufficient information” to link Nassar Haro with car theft in Southern California.

(Reporter:) How was the connection between Nassar Haro and this gang of car thieves discovered, was it through an informant?

(Nuñez:) In part, yes. Many people had already been arrested, and many of them had cooperated with the U.S. government. And among other things, they revealed the role of Nassar Haro in the case.

(The reporter continued with several questions about extradition, then and now. In a concluding comment Nuñez said that) the arrest warrants against Miguel Nassar Haro, for car theft in California, “are still open and they have not expired.” As such, “an eventual extradition request” cannot be dismissed.

Nuñez said, that according to the U.S. justice (system), two decades after being indicted in a federal court for his alleged participation in an organization dedicated to stealing vehicles in San Diego Nassar Haro is still a “fugitive.”

“The statute of limitations would not apply because Nassar Haro had already been processed,” said the ex-U.S. Attorney who was the prosecutor in the case that culminated with the Mexican agent fleeing to Tijuana, from the U.S., after he paid his bail.

Nuñez explained, that in spite of the more than 22 years that have passed, the crimes committed in the U.S. are not yet resolved. “Arrest warrants do not expire,” he said. “He paid his bail but he never returned to face the charges.”

Nuñez said that even without a U.S. extradition proceeding, the Mexican justice (system) could try Nassar Haro for crimes committed in the U.S., according to Article 4 of the Federal Penal Code of Mexico. Article 4 states that crimes committed abroad by a Mexican will be punishable in Mexico, in accordance with federal laws, if the accused is in the country and (if the accused) has yet to be tried abroad.

Nuñez revealed, that as a result of what happened with Nassar Haro, there were political damages in Washington — mostly from friction caused by the involvement of intelligence agencies and the Justice Department in a case that took place on the other side of the country, in California.

According to memory, there was a leak in Washington about the investigations of the U.S. Attorney in San Diego. “Someone leaked the information and made it public, that we were considering the indictment of Nassar Haro,” he recalled. “That was not authorized.”

The leak, that put the name of Nassar Haro in the headlines of the main newspapers in the U.S., brought down a Justice Department official, Bill Kennedy, who the Reagan administration blamed for revealing the “sensitive information.”

“Nassar Haro then came to the U.S., to file suit against the newspapers for printing his name. It was not the best choice he ever made. While he was here we charged and arrested him,” Nuñez said, remembering the moment the ex-director of the DFS was taken into custody.

* Miguel Nazar Haro was recently detained, in Mexico, on an arrest warrant issued by a Monterrey, Nuevo León, judge. The ex-director of the infamous DFS, a now defunct domestic intelligence and security agency, is charged with authorizing the 1975 kidnapping of a youthful leftist — one of Mexico’s “disappeared” who were never to be heard from again.

— translation

The Guadalajara Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Guadalajara) was a Mexican drug cartel which was formed in the 1980s by Rafael Caro Quintero, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo in order to ship heroin and marijuana to the United States. Among the first of the Mexican drug trafficking groups to work with the Colombian cocaine mafias, the Guadalajara cartel prospered from the cocaine trade.

After the arrest of Rafael Caro Quintero and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, Félix Gallardo kept a low profile and in 1987 he moved with his familyGuadalajara city. Félix Gallardo ("The Godfather") then decided to divide up the trade he controlled as it would be more efficient and less likely to be brought down in one law enforcement swoop.[1]In a way, he was privatizing the Mexican drug business while sending it back underground, to be run by bosses who were less well known or not yet known by the DEA. Félix Gallardo convened the nation's top drug narcos at a house in the resort of Acapulco where he designated the plazas or territories. The Tijuana route would go to the Arellano Felix brothers. The Ciudad Juárez routewould go to the Carrillo Fuentes family. Miguel Caro Quintero would run the Sonora corridor. The control of the Matamoros, Tamaulipas corridor – then becoming the Gulf Cartel- would be left undisturbed to Juan García Abrego. Meanwhile, Joaquín Guzmán Loera and Ismael Zambada García would take over Pacific coast operations, becoming the Sinaloa Cartel. Guzmán and Zambada brought veteran Héctor Luis Palma Salazar back into the fold. Félix Gallardo still planned to oversee national operations, he had the contacts so he was still the top man, but he would no longer control all details of the business; he was arrested on April 8, 1989.[2]

According to Peter Dale Scott, the Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the Dirección Federal de Seguridad, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro, a CIA asset."[3]

Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (born January 8, 1946) is a convicted Mexican drug lord known as "El Padrino" (Spanish: "The Godfather") who in the 1980s formed the Guadalajara Cartel and became the first drug czar in Mexico to control all illegal drug traffic in Mexico and the corridors along the Mexico-U.S.A. border

The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict between rival drug cartels fighting each other for regional control, and Mexican government forces. The government's principal goal has been to put down the drug-related violence that was raging between different drug cartels before any military intervention was made.[27] In addition, the Mexican government has claimed that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on drug trafficking prevention, which is left to U.S. functionaries.[28][29][30]

Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for several decades, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market by controlling 90% of the drugs that enter the United States.[31][32] Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.[33][34][35]

Analysts estimate that wholesale earnings from illicit drug sales range from $13.6 billion[31] to $49.4 billion annually.

The timeline of the most relevant events in the Mexican Drug War

Although violence between drug cartels had been occurring for three decades, the Mexican government held a generally passive stance regarding cartel violence through the 1980s and early 2000s. That changed on December 11, 2006, when the newly elected President Felipe Calderón sent 6,500 Mexican Army soldiers to the state of Michoacán to end drug violence there. This action is regarded as the first major retaliation made against the cartel violence, and is generally viewed as the starting point of the Mexican Drug War between the government and the drug cartels.[1] As time passed, Calderón continued to escalate his anti-drug campaign, in which there are now about 45,000 troops involved along with state and federal police forces.

Arturo Guzmán Decena, a.k.a. Z-1 (January 13, 1976 ? November 21, 2002) was a Mexican Army soldier who defected to become a mercenary and commander of the mercenary gang called Los Zetas at the service of Osiel Cárdenas Guillen, the Gulf Cartel's drug lord.[1] Los Zetas are considered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as the most technologically advanced, sophisticated and violent drug cartel in Mexico

A federal judge in Chicago refused Thursday to dismiss charges against a reputed Mexican drug kingpin who claimed he was working as an informant for the government.  Vicente Zambada-Niebla failed to provide evidence to rebut the government’s contention that he was never granted immunity from prosecution on drug-trafficking charges, U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo found.
Zambada-Niebla is the highest-ranking reputed member of the Sinaloa cartel in U.S. custody in a case being tried in Chicago against members of the drug-trafficking organization which authorities say is headed by Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, described by the U.S. Treasury Department as the “world’s most powerful drug trafficker.”
Castillo’s written ruling offers a glimpse into the secret workings of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico.
According to the judge’s ruling, Sinaloa cartel lawyer Humberto Loya-Castro was a confidant to Guzman and right-hand man Ismael Zambada-Garcia, who is Zambada-Niebla’s father.
After Loya-Castro was charged in a narcotics case in California in 1995, he started providing information to DEA agents about Mexican drug trafficking. The case against Loya-Castro was dismissed in 2008 at the request of prosecutors.

In 2008, he proposed a meeting between his DEA contact and Zambada-Niebla. On March 17, 2009, they met with DEA agents at a hotel in Mexico City. Hours later, Zambada-Niebla was arrested by Mexican officials.
Prosecutors say Loya-Castro brought Zambada-Niebla to meet DEA agents at the hotel against the agents’ instructions.
“According to the government, [Zambada-Niebla] conveyed his interest and willingness to cooperate with the U.S. government, but the DEA agents told him they ‘were not authorized to meet with him, much less have substantive discussions with him,’ ” the judge wrote.
Zambada-Niebla argued that Loya-Castro had negotiated an immunity deal for him; that he provided information to Loya-Castro about rival cartels that was then passed on to the U.S. government; and that he traveled to Mexico City at great risk to himself for the meeting with DEA agents because he was assured he had immunity from prosecution.
The judge said Zambada-Niebla didn’t present enough evidence to refute the government’s position that he was never granted immunity.
Last year, Zambada-Niebla was moved from the federal lockup in Chicago to a prison in Michigan after complaining about conditions in the Chicago lockup. Federal authorities were concerned he was an escape risk and potential assassination target.
In an unrelated drug-trafficking case in Chicago last year, a defendant testified that he met Zambada-Niebla in the federal lockup here and that Zambada-Niebla sought information to have two co-defendants killed. Those defendants — Chicago natives Pedro and Margarito Flores — are cooperating with prosecutors in the case against Zambada-Niebla, court records show.
Guzman and Zambada-Niebla’s father remain fugitives in the case

For Backstory Information read my Borderland Beat Post....Paz, Chivis   link here

The son of a heavy hitter in a powerful Mexican drug trafficking organization has filed explosive legal pleadings in federal court in Chicago accusing the US government of cutting a deal with the the “Sinaloa Cartel” that gave its leadership “carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States.”
The source of that allegation is Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia, one of the purported top leaders of the Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization — a major Mexican-based importer of weapons and exporter of drugs.
The top capo of the Sinaloa drug organization, named after the Pacific Coast Mexican state where it is based, is Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo) — who escaped from a maximum security prison in Mexico in 2001, only days before he was slated to be extradited to the United States. Chapo has since gone on to build one of the most powerful drug “cartels” in Mexico. With the death of Osama Bin Laden in May, Chapo (a Spanish nickname meaning “shorty”) jumped to the top of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” persons list. He also made Forbes Magazine’s 2010 list of “The World’s Most Powerful People.”

Drug War Zone : Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of el Paso and Juárez
Campbell, Howard
Pages: 337
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Date Published: 10/2009
Language: en
(CBS News)
WASHINGTON – Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.
He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?
“Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”
An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.
Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Stephen Downing, a retired deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, responds to The Times' Oct. 5 Op-Ed article, "Prohibition's real lessons for drug policy." If you would like to respond to a recent Times article, editorial or Op-Ed in our Blowback forum, here are our FAQs and submission policy.

Drug prohibitionists like former White House drug czar staffer Kevin A. Sabet seem to be in a panic over Ken Burns' PBS documentary broadcast "Prohibition" because of its clear and convincing parallel to today's equally disastrous war on drugs. The earlier experiment lasted less than 14 years, but today’s failed prohibition was declared by President Nixon 40 years ago and has cost our country more than $1 trillion  in cash and much more in immeasurable social harm. As a student of history and a retired deputy chief of police with the Los Angeles Police Department, I can attest that the damage that came from the prohibition of alcohol pales in comparison to the harm wrought by drug prohibition. In the last 40 years drug money has fueled the growth of violent street gangs in Los Angeles, from two (Bloods and Crips) with a membership of less than 50 people before the drug war to 20,000 gangs with a membership of about 1 million across the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Justice. These gangs serve as the distributors, collection agents and enforcers for the Mexican cartels that the Justice Department says occupy more than 1,000 U.S. cities.
Sabet, a former advisor to the White House drug policy advisor, ignores these prohibition-created harms, making no mention of the nearly 50,000 people killed in Mexico over the last five years as cartels have battled it out to control drug routes, territories and enforce collections. When one cartel leader is arrested or killed, it makes no impact on the drug trade and only serves to create more violence, as lower-level traffickers fight for the newly open top spot. U.S. law enforcement officials report that as much as 70% of cartel profits come from marijuana alone.  There's no question that ending today's prohibition on drugs -- starting with marijuana -- would do more to hurt the cartels than any level of law enforcement skill or dedication ever can. Worse than being ineffective, though, the war on drugs creates dangerous distractions for police officers who would rather focus on improving public safety. For example, the LAPD announced this week that it will take 150 police officers off the streets to accommodate the state's shuffling of prisoners to the county level. The state must do this to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's order to cut our drug-war-induced overcrowded prison population by 30,000 -- and our state has already laid off thousands of teachers thanks in part to funding diverted to building more prisons and hiring more guards. This follows on the heels of another reallocation of police resources in Los Angeles when the LAPD and the L.A. Sheriff's Department woke up to a three-year backlog of rape kits. Police labs have only a finite amount of resources, and drug testing often takes priority over other cases that demand attention. Detectives (and victims) waiting for lab results related to rape and other serious crimes stood in line for months while tests for custody-related possession of pot and other drugs took precedence. There's no doubt that the violence, the growth of cartels and gangs, the overpopulation of our prisons and the squandering of our police resources would not occur if we eliminated illegal drug profits and implemented a non-criminal approach to regulating drugs. We did this once with alcohol, and there's no reason we can't do it with other drugs today. 
-- Stephen Downing
Prohibition is not the solution
I am totally against the Drug Prohibition Regime and can't wait to see it thrown away into the dustbin of history greatest inequities humankind has inflicted on itself. I would have thought that any rational, responsible and caring individual could see that drug abuse and its profoundly disruptive consequences calls for enlightened policies where education, health and regulation would play central roles; that it calls for policies where no room is left for the Victorian values Prohibitionists seem so keen on: abstinence or punishment.
One can only assume that something deeply ideological, prejudicial or irrational prevents people from understanding that the problem is prohibition, and not the drugs themselves; that no matter what drug one is considering, prohibition is not the solution … far from it. If anything, what decades of pursuing and enforcing the prohibition regime and its dastardly offshoot, the so-called War on Drugs, have taught us is that it can only make things worse! […]
The government's hypocrisy 
It is a stretch to assume that the social and health problems associated with alcohol abuse can in any way be compared to those caused by the use of cannabis.  Alcohol destroys the internal organs of abusers.  Marijuana has no known long-term effects.  Alcohol is highly addictive.  Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal.  Cannabis is less addictive than caffeine and withdrawal, at worst, amounts to a few restless nights and a few days of low appetite.  Alcohol is the fuel of all kinds of violence.  Marijuana users tend to be quiet and communal.
What is amazing to me is that our government supports and collects taxes on the two deadliest drugs in our society, alcohol and tobacco, but wants to send people to jail for making the much more rational choice to use marijuana recreationally instead.
-- herbalmagick
What would Thomas Jefferson do?
The cruelest irony of this issue is that many far right goons, the so called champions of getting the government out of our lives and expanding freedom, have always been the biggest advocates of this outdated, morally wrong,  government intrusion into our lives and denying us our "right to happiness", which Thomas Jefferson, the hard drug alcohol drinker, so correctly protected us with.  George Washington gave his troops rum every day to keep them happy.
My life, my decision
The overriding question that the Mr Sabet clearly misses is this: Should the government be in the business of telling responsible adults what they can and cannot ingest? Many of us say "no" to that, while many folks who call themselves conservative and say they want less government in their lives nonetheless accept that nanny-state role. What I believe government should do is offer factual education regarding what drugs of all kinds can do to people, regulate the purity of drugs, continue to punish irresponsible behavior that endangers innocent people (such as driving under the influence, etc), and then trust the rest of us grown ups to enjoy life responsibly in whatever way we choose.
Nothing will change
This article is a laugher for many reasons:
1. Part of the human condition is to seek mood-altering substances, aka get "buzzed." Been going on for about 100,000 years or so, live with it.
2. In spite of all the laws that prohibit it, Americans continue to pursue an artificial high, regardless of the consequences. Laws DO NOT have a deterrent effect on consumption.
3. The cost of drug laws on society has been astounding.  We have incarcerated generations of minorities, forced the status of "convicted felon" on hundreds of thousands of people with the attendant impact on society - with no impact on drug consumption.
4. The war on drugs has been an epic failure in every measurable category except one: a growth industry for the criminal justice system.
5. The public is already saturated with the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.  A change of legalization will not change consumption patterns that much.  Those inclined to use will continue to, those that do not want the risk will refuse.
6. The odds of getting busted for drug possession, unless you are a minority in a gang neighborhood, is virtually non-existent.  Therefore, in practical terms, it's already available on demand.
7. The impact of alcohol and tobacco dwarfs the impact of drugs, legal or not.  We lose over 400,000 to nicotine addiction, and another 50,000 or so to booze EVERY YEAR.
Secret: nothing will change.
killing for peace is like fucking for virginity A group of masked men are threatening Mexico’s powerful (and notorious) Zetas drug cartel on the Internet. The Mexican site Blog del Narco posted this video of the group, that appears well-armed and says it’s committed to fighting against the Zetas cartel. Videos with a similar message and style have been posted earlier this year. While no group has formally taken credit for the videos, they are thought to be the work of the Sinaloa-based group called the “Mata Zetas,” or “Zeta Killers.” In their videos they call themselves “anonymous warriors” speaking for the people of Mexico. Authorities say they are investigating the video threats and the Mexican government has condemned vigilante justice. The Mata Zetas claim to adhere to a moral code that prevents them from engaging in kidnappings or extortion—tactics often used by drug cartels, particularly the Zetas. While the Mata Zetas claim to respect law enforcement, they admit they are working beyond the reach of the law to eliminate organised crime. “Armed forces should be aware that our only objective is to get rid of the Zeta cartel,” they said in one recent video. Despite such overtures, Mexican authorities are speculating the group may be responsible for dumping 35 bodies in the middle of rush-hour traffic in Veracruz last week. The murders, which appear to have involved torture, were initially blamed on the Zetas cartel until authorities identified the victims, including 12 women and two minors, as Zetas-affiliated. The bodies were dumped near a building where some of Mexico’s top prosecutors were convening, and the gesture was apparently intended to goad lawyers into pursuing cases more aggressively against drug cartels and narco leaders. The Mata Zetas then issued a sort of apology for their tactics, saying “[i]f society, Mexican populace, and federal authorities feel offended by what we've done, on behalf of the group, we apologize. Our intention was to let Veracruz know that this social scourge is not invincible.” Mexico’s drug trade currently represents a multi-billion dollar industry (some estimates claim the total economy of the illicit drug trade in Mexico alone is approaching $50 billion annually), and the reach of drug gangs has been rapidly expanding in recent years, according to U.S. Department of Justice reports.
(CBS News)
WASHINGTON – Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.
He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?
“Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”
An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.
Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.
  legal pleadings in federal court in Chicago accusing the US government of cutting a deal with the the “Sinaloa Cartel” that gave its leadership “carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States.” The source of that allegation is Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia, one of the purported top leaders of the Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization.  Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo) — who escaped from a maximum security prison in Mexico in 2001, only days before he was slated to be extradited to the United States.  With the death of Osama Bin Laden in May, Chapo  jumped to the top of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” persons list. Zambada Niebla, himself a key player in the Sinaloa organization, was arrested in Mexico City in March 2009 and in February 2010 extradited to the United States to stand trial on narco-trafficking-related charges. The indictment pending against Zambada Niebla claims he served as the “logistical coordinator” for the “cartel,” helping to oversee an operation that imported into the US “multi-ton quantities of cocaine … using various means, including but not limited to, Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, private aircraft … buses, rail cars, tractor-trailers, and automobiles.” Zambada Niebla also claims to be an asset of the US government. His allegation was laid out originally in a two-page court pleading filed in late March with the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. The latest allegations being advanced by Zambada Niebla, who is now being held in solitary confinement in a jail cell in Chicago, are laid out in motions filed late this week in federal court. Those pleadings spell out the supposed cooperative relationship between the US Department of Justice and its various agencies, including DEA and the FBI, and the leaders of the “Sinaloa Cartel” — including Zambada Niebla. That alleged relationship was cultivated through a Mexican attorney, Humberto Loya Castro, whom Zambada Niebla claims is a Sinaloa Cartel member and “a close confidante of Joaquin Guzman Loera (Chapo).” From Zambada Niebla’s court pleadings, filed on July 29: [Humberto] Loya was indicted along with Chapo and Mayo [Zambada Niebla’s father] in 1995 in the Southern District of California and charged with participation in a massive narcotics trafficking conspiracy (Case No. 95CR0973). That case was dismissed on the prosecution’s own motion in 2008 after Loya became an informant for the United States government and had provided information for a period of over ten years. Sometime prior to 2004 [when George W. Bush was president], and continuing through the time period covered in the indictment, the United States government entered into an agreement with Loya and the leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel, including Mayo and Chapo. Under that agreement, the Sinaloa Cartel, through Loya, was to provide information accumulated by Mayo, Chapo, and others, against rival Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations to the United States government. In return, the United States government agreed to dismiss the prosecution of the pending case against Loya, not to interfere with his drug trafficking activities and those of the Sinaloa Cartel, to not actively prosecute him, Chapo, Mayo, and the leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel, and to not apprehend them. The protection extended to the Sinaloa leadership, according to the court filings, included being “informed by agents of the DEA through Loya that United States government agents and/or Mexican authorities were conducting investigations near the home territories of cartel leaders so that the cartel leaders could take appropriate actions to evade investigators.” In addition, the pleadings allege, the US government agreed not to “share any of the information they had about the Sinaloa Cartel and/or the leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel with the Mexican government in order to better assure that they would not be apprehended and so that their operations would not be interfered with.” More from the July 29 pleadings: Zambada Niebla was a party to the agreement between the United States government and the Sinaloa Cartel and provided information to the United States government through Loya pursuant to the agreement. … Loya arranged for Mr. Zambada Niebla to meet with United States government agents at the Sheraton Hotel in Mexico City in March [17th] of 2009 [after the Obama administration took power] for the purpose of introducing Mr. Zambada Niebla to the agents and for the purpose of his continuing to provide information to the DEA and the United States government personally, rather than through Loya. Loya’s federal case had been dismissed in 2008 [while Bush was still in the White House] and the DEA representative told Mr. Loya-Castro that they wanted to establish a more personal relationship with Mr. Zambada Niebla so that they could deal with him directly under the agreement. Mr. Zambada Niebla believed that under the prior agreement, any activities of the Sinaloa Cartel, including the kind described in the indictment, were covered by the agreement, and that he was immune from arrest or prosecution. Zambada Niebla claims, in the court pleadings, that he attended the meeting in March 2009 at the hotel in Mexico City as scheduled, with Loya present, and while there, even though he was then under indictment in the US, was told by US federal agents that he would not be arrested and that arrangements had been made “at the highest levels of the United States government” to assure his immunity from prosecution in exchange for his cooperation in providing information on rival narco-trafficking groups. However, Zambada Niebla contends he was double-crossed, despite the assurance of the US agents. He alleges in his pleadings that government agents “were satisfied with the information he had provided to them” at the meeting at the Sheraton Hotel on March 17, 2009, and that “arrangements would be made to meet with him again.” "Mr. Zambada Niebla then left the meeting,” the court pleadings assert. “Approximately five hours after the [hotel] meeting, Mr. Zambada-Niebla was arrested by Mexican authorities.”
Fast, Furious and the House of Death
Zambada Niebla’s pleadings also reference the controversial U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) weapons-trafficking interdiction program Fast and Furious — an operation, now the subject of Congressional hearings, that allegedly allowed some 2,000 guns to be smuggled across the US/Mexican border under ATF’s watch. Zambada Niebla contends that Fast and Furious is yet another example of the US government’s complicity in the carnage of the drug war. From Zambada Niebla’s pleadings: The United States government considered the arrangements with the Sinaloa Cartel an acceptable price to pay, because the principal objective was the destruction and dismantling of rival cartels by using the assistance of the Sinaloa Cartel — without regard for the fact that tons of illicit drugs continued to be smuggled into Chicago and other parts of the United States and consumption continued virtually unabated. Essentially, the theory of the United States government in waging its “war on drugs” has been and continues to be that the “end justifies the means” and that it is more important to receive information about rival drug cartels’ activities from the Sinaloa Cartel in return for being allowed to continue their criminal activities, including and not limited to their smuggling of tons of illegal narcotics into the United States. This is confirmed by recent disclosures by the Congressional Committee’s investigation of the latest Department of Justice, DEA, FBI, and ATF’s “war on drugs” operation known as “Fast & Furious.” As a result of Operation Fast and Furious, the pleadings assert, about “three thousand people” in Mexico were killed, “including law enforcement officers in the sate of Sinaloa, Mexico, headquarters of the Sinaloa Cartel.” Among those receiving weapons through the ATF operation, the pleadings continue, were DEA and FBI informants working for drug organizations, including the leadership of those groups. “The evidence seems to indicate that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons, but that tax payers’ dollars in the form of informant payments, may have financed those engaging in such activities,” the pleadings allege. “… It is clear that some of the weapons were deliberately allowed by the FBI and other government representatives to end up in the hands of the Sinaloa Cartel and that among the people killed by those weapons were law enforcement officers. “… Mr. Zambada Niebla believes that the documentation that he requests [from the US government] will confirm that the weapons received by Sinaloa Cartel members and its leaders in Operation ‘Fast & Furious’ were provided under the agreement entered into between the United States government and [Chapo Guzman confidante] Mr. Loya Castro on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel that is the subject of his [Zambada Niebla’s] defense [regarding] public authority.” The Zambada Niebla pleadings even reference the infamous House of Death case, so named by Narco News, which has published an exhaustive series of investigative stories on the mass-murder case dating back to 2004. From the pleadings: Mr. Zambada Niebla also requests … that the United States government produce material relating to the … “House of Death” murders, which took place in Juarez, Mexico, and were committed by United States government informants. As confirmed in the Joint Assessment Report [JAT] prepared by government authorities investigating those murders, agents of the United States government had prior knowledge that murders were going to be committed by their informants but did not take any measures to either inform the Mexican government or the intended victims, because government representatives determined it was moreimportant to protect the identity of their informants. The informants were assisting the United States government in the investigations of major drug traffickers and the government determined that the killings of over a hundred Mexican citizens was an acceptable price to pay for enabling them to continue their narcotics investigations. The Great Pretense Unmasked In its response to Zambada Niebla’s claim that he was working under “public authority” as an informant or confidential source, US federal prosecutors don’t claim outright that he was not a US government asset. They argue, instead, only that “the government denies that defendant [Zambada Niebla] exercised public authority when he committed the serious crimes charged in the indictment.” In other words, even if Zambada Niebla was offered some type of deal in exchange for his cooperation, that deal did not extend to the specific acts he is accused of in the indictment against him. Federal prosecutors also ask that the court order Zambada Niebla to produce, prior to trial, “evidence that a specific American official or officials with actual or apparent authority expressly authorized [him] to import multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin into the United States, as charged in the indictment, or expressly assured [him] that these acts were not criminal, and that [he] reasonably relied on these communications.” Narco News spoke with several former DEA and FBI agents about Zambada Niebla’s contention that he worked, in essence, as an informant for the US government. Not one of those former agents, who asked that their names not be revealed, considered it out of the realm of possibility that Zambada Niebla might have cut a deal with the US government. In fact, one former DEA agent said that by making such a claim, Zambada Niebla was essentially putting his life in jeopardy by outing himself as an informant, an extreme move that would seem to indicate that at least he believes he had a deal in place. But, in the end, all of the former federal agents agree that unless Zambada Niebla has proof of his allegations that passes legal muster, he has little chance of prevailing — and at least one of those former agents said prosecutors would not likely have challenged him to produce such proof if they did not have a high degree of confidence that it does not exist. A former FBI agent explained it this way: The U. S. Attorney General Guidelines for Informants requires that there be a written document called an “otherwise criminal activities memo” signed by both parties. This document spells out exactly what the informant is authorized to do and tells him that he may be prosecuted for any other illegal activities. This should be provided to the defense in discovery; however, it does not always happen. Some attorneys are not aware of this and do not ask for it in discovery and the government does not willingly give it up. I suspect that the government did not provide this document to the defense and that is why they are demanding that he provide proof of his status. ... It would be very easy to prove what he was authorized to do by having the memo. [So] this may be a case of where the memo was never done…. The former DEA agent, who has extensive overseas experience, added: My instincts say he was an informant. It’s [Zambada Niebla’s pleadings are] an effort to “scare” or “frighten” the government to dismiss or reduce charges. Posturing, as it were. But there is a substantial risk for him. It’s pretty much a last ditch effort. Were it otherwise, the defendant would not want to be exposed as having cooperated with the government agents. However, he will have an enormous challenge proving his allegations. … An agent [or US government agency would approve such a cooperative relationship with a narco-trafficker] … so the agent can snag a higher-level trafficker and garner the resulting awards, commendations and promotions. Sometimes, there is outright bribery or gifts of value. It’s a win for the criminal informant because he may earn more money from trafficking and at the same time receive cash payments from the government for arrests he orchestrates. And that isn’t all: the informant’s own fear of arrest is reduced and he has a unique opportunity to effectively destroy his unwanted competition or archenemies. And yet another DEA agent points out that “there is such an animal called an Attorney General-exempt operation, where the Attorney General of the United States [in the Zambada Niebla case, which allegedly dates back to at least 2004, it would have been the Bush administration’s Attorney General] could authorize that laws be violated [by an informant to advance a case].” “This is usually done in money laundering investigations, however,” the DEA source said. The other possibility, the former DEA agent adds, is that Zambada Niebla was tricked on an even deeper level, and was, in fact, not dealing with US law enforcement agencies, but rather a CIA intelligence operation. “This would not be the first time CIA has used an informant and led them to believe it was an FBI, ICE or DEA operation,” the DEA source said. If that is the case, the former DEA agent adds, Zambada Niebla’s case is sunk, since even if documents and other evidence exist to prove his allegations of US government complicity, that evidence would almost certainly be deep-sixed under claims of national security that would be invoked by that very same US government.

war against drugs in Central America

The Mexican Army crackdown has driven some cartels to seek a safer location for their operations across the border in Guatemala, attracted by corruption, weak policing and its position on the overland smuggling route.[208][209] The smugglers …

The Mexican Army crackdown has driven some cartels to seek a safer location for their operations across the border in Guatemala, attracted by corruption, weak policing and its position on the overland smuggling route.[208][209] The smugglers pick up drugs from small planes that land at private airstrips hidden in the Guatemalan jungle. The cargo is then moved up through Mexico to the U.S. border. Guatemala has also arrested dozens of drug suspects and torched huge cannabis and poppy fields, but is struggling. The U.S. government has sent speedboats and night-vision goggles under a regional drug aid package, but much more is needed. In February 2009, Los Zetas threatened to kill the President of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom.[210] On March 1, 2010, 
Guatemala's chief of national police and the country's top anti-drugs official have been arrested over alleged links to drug trafficking.[209] A report from the Brookings Institution[211] warns that, without proactive, timely efforts, the violence will spread throughout the Central American region.[212]
According to the United States government, Los Zetas control 75% of Guatemala through violence, political corruption and infiltration in the country's institutions.[213] Sources mentioned that Los Zetas gained ground in Guatemala after they killed several high-profile members and the supreme leader of Los Leones, an organized crime group from Guatemala.

According to recent reports, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) participated in a drug raid with Honduran police that left at least four civilians dead.  Honduran news sources report that two of those killed were pregnant women. The U.S. has yet to issue a statement regarding this atrocity.

Please click here to join us in demanding a prompt response, including an investigation and prosecution of those responsible for these murders.

The U.S. has steadily increased its focus on Honduras in the “war against drugs.” As we have seen in Mexico and Colombia, civilians too often get caught in the crossfire. Leading Honduran human rights organization COFADEH states:  “From the perspective of human rights organizations, this reality is unacceptable and reprehensible.”

The U.S. DEA regularly sends special units abroad in the “war against drugs.” According to reports, on May 11th U.S. DEA agents were accompanying Honduran police in an attempt to capture drug traffickers along the Patuca River in La Moskitia.

During the raid, a helicopter carrying U.S. and Honduran agents opened fire on a boat of civilians, killing Emerson Martínez, Chalo Brock Wood, Candelaria Tratt Nelson, Juana Banegas and the women’s unborn children.

Thank you for taking your time to raise attention to this important issue.

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oil theft from Pemex

U.S. refineries bought millions of dollars worth of oil stolen from Mexican government pipelines and smuggled across the border, the U.S. Justice Department told The Associated Press – illegal operations now led by Mexican drug cartels expanding their …

U.S. refineries bought millions of dollars worth of oil stolen from Mexican government pipelines and smuggled across the border, the U.S. Justice Department told The Associated Press - illegal operations now led by Mexican drug cartels expanding their reach.

Criminals - mostly drug gangs - tap remote pipelines, sometimes building pipelines of their own, to siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil each year, the Mexican oil monopoly said. At least one U.S. oil executive has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in such a deal.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Homeland Security department is scheduled to return $2.4 million to Mexico's tax administration, the first batch of money seized during a binational investigation into smuggled oil that authorities expect to lead to more arrests and seizures.

"The United States is working with the Mexican government on the theft of oil," said Nancy Herrera, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Houston. "It's an ongoing investigation, with one indictment so far."

In that case, Donald Schroeder, president of Houston-based Trammo Petroleum, is scheduled to be sentenced in December after pleading guilty in May.

In a $2 million scheme, Herrera said, Schroeder purchased stolen Mexican oil that had been brought across the border in trucks and barges and sold it to various U.S. refineries, which she did not identify. Trammo's tiny firm profited about $150,000 in the scheme, she said.

Schroeder's attorneys said in an e-mail that neither they nor their client would respond to AP's requests for comment.

Bill Holbrook, spokesman for the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, said a single indictment against a small company should not be used to smear the reputation of the entire U.S. oil industry, "and is not indicative of how domestic refiners operate."

But in Mexico, federal police commissioner Rodrigo Esparza said the Zetas, a fierce drug gang aligned with the Gulf cartel, used false import documents to smuggle at least $46 million worth of oil in tankers to unnamed U.S. refineries.

A law enforcement source told CBS News illicit proceeds from the scheme involving theft from the Mexican government-owned Pemex oil conglomerate were seized in the investigation.

In a surprising public acknowledgment, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said last week that drug cartels have extended their operations into the theft of oil, Mexico's leading source of foreign income which finances about 40 percent of the national budget.

"These are Mexican resources, and we do not have to sit back or turn a blind eye," Calderon said. "This is our national heritage and we must defend it."

Highly sophisticated thieves using Pemex equipment "are basically working day and night, seeing how they can penetrate our infrastructure," said Pemex spokesman Carlos Ramirez. The thieves, operating in remote parts of the country, have even built tunnels and their own pipelines to siphon off the product, he said.

How much of the stolen oil is crossing into the U.S., and how much of the theft is at the hands of cartels? So far, nobody knows.

"These questions are really the center point of all of this," Ramirez said.

He said cartels in northern Mexico are responsible for most of the theft, though he said there may well be internal operatives at Pemex stealing as well. Last week, police raided Pemex offices looking for insider misconduct.

Trammo, the sole company named in court records so far, is dwarfed by any refiner most people have heard of. It sells some 2.1 million barrels a year.

Major refiners such as San Antonio-based Valero Energy can produce more than that in a single day, buying crude from tankers or pipelines, and none has been implicated in buying stolen oil.

"It is Exxon Mobil's policy to always obey relevant laws, rules and regulations everywhere we operate," said spokesman Kevin Allexon. Shell Oil Co. said it abides by all laws.

Various kinds of petroleum products, including gasoline, are being stolen and sold to gas stations and factories in Mexico, said Ramirez, adding that service stations in at least two states have been shut down recently for selling stolen gas.

The thefts are a devastating blow to Pemex, which saw production fall 7.5 percent in the first half of the year.

So far this year, Pemex is aware of 190 different thefts, almost half in the Gulf state of Veracruz. Ramirez said Pemex is using hidden cameras, extra guards and additional investigators to catch the thieves, but the problem is still spreading: So far this year, oil theft is up 10 percent, and have been confirmed in 19 states, up from 13 in 2008.

And oil theft experts say that just like drugs, the crimes will be tough to stop as long as there's money to be made.

"U.S. refineries willing to buy stolen crude don't care where it comes from. Once the product is at their doorstep, the deal is done, and they can pay pennies on the dollar without taking the risk of getting it across the border," said Kent Chrisman, director for global security with Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy.

Chrisman, a former Secret Service agent, recently teamed up with Texas law enforcement agents to bust a ring of thieves in that state.

Oil theft in general is a relatively new problem, Chrisman said, "but we've seen a big spike in recent years because oil prices went up. Every year it seems to get worse and worse. It's a profitable business."

the most dangerous country to practice journalism

Main article: List of journalists killed in the Mexican Drug WarIn the first years of the 21st century, Mexico was considered the most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism, according to groups like the National Huma…

In the first years of the 21st century, Mexico was considered the most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism, according to groups like the National Human Rights Commission,Reporters Without Borders, and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Between 2000 and 2012, several dozen journalists were murdered there for covering narco-related news.[183][184][185]

Offices of Televisa and of local newspapers have been bombed.[186] The cartels have also threatened to kill news reporters in the U.S. who have done coverage on the drug violence.[187] Some media networks simply stopped reporting on drug crimes, while others have been infiltrated and corrupted by drug cartels.[188][189] In 2011, Notiver journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco and his wife and son were murdered in their home.[190]

About 74 percent of the journalists killed since 1992 in Mexico have been reporters for print newspapers, followed in number by Internet media and radio at about 11 percent each. Television journalism only includes 4 percent of the deaths.[191] These numbers are not proportional to the audience size of the different mediums; most Mexican households have a television, a large majority have a radio, but only a small number have the internet, and the circulation numbers for Mexican newspapers are relatively low.[192][193][194] There is no clear explanation of why a medium that reaches a much smaller portion of the population is statistically much more dangerous.[citation needed]

Since harassment neutralized many of the traditional media outlets, anonymous blogs like Blog del Narco took on the role of reporting on events related to the drug war.[195] The drug cartels responded by murdering bloggers and social media users. Twitter users have been tortured and killed for posting and denouncing information of the drug cartels activities.[196] In September 2011, user NenaDLaredo of the website Nuevo Laredo Envivo was murdered allegedly by the Zetas.[197]

In May 2012 several journalist murders occurred in Veracruz. Regina Martinez of Proceso was murdered in Xalapa. A few days later, three Veracruz photojournalists were tortured and killed and their dismembered bodies were dumped in a canal. They had worked for various news outlets, including Notiver, Diario AZ, and TV Azteca. Human rights groups condemned the murders and demanded the authorities investigate the crimes

Proceso magazine’s Regina Martinez was found dead in her Veracruz, Mexico home over the weekend, apparently beaten and strangled.
It is too soon to know who killed her or why, but her death was brutal and she was known for reporting on crime and drug trafficking in a state that like other parts of Mexico has been rife with violence.
Authorities have vowed to thoroughly investigate the case, but murders are rarely solved in Mexico, and when they are, there are many doubts that authorities have even charged the right person.

Tlacaelel in history

Stephen A. Colston Tlacaelel’s Descendants and the Authorship of the “Historia Mexicana” Fray Diego Duran (1537 ? – 1588 ?) escribió su ” Historia “basada en un manuscrito escrito en Nahuatl al cual el cronista se refería como la “historia … Continue reading

Stephen A. Colston

Tlacaelel’s Descendants and the Authorship of the “Historia Mexicana”

Fray Diego Duran (1537 ? – 1588 ?) escribió su ” Historia
“basada en un manuscrito escrito en Nahuatl al
cual el cronista se refería como la “historia mexicana”
. La posición heroica que la” Historia” atribuye al
Cihuacoatl. Tlacaelel, dentro del marco de la historia
de los Tenochca claramente pertenece al carácter partisano
de la “historia mexicana” . Aunque la identidad
del autor de la “historia mexicana” se queda desconocida,
es probable que esta historia Nahuatl fuera escrito
por uno de los numerosos descendientes de Tlacaelel.

Tlacaelel (1398 ? – 1487 ? ) , the Cihuacoatl (or principal advisor)of the Tenochca rulers from Motecuhzoma I to Ahuitzotl (1), emerges from the pages of Duran’s “Historia” as clearly the greatest figure in Mexica history (2). Indeed, much of that chronicle assumes the nature of Tlacaelel’s biography rather than a history of Tenochtitlan. Duran reveals the reason his “Historia” enumerated the feats of Tlacaelel so extensively: his major source (anonymously written and regrettably lost), which he refers to as the “historia mexicana” , “made long mention” of the importance of Tlacaelel in Tenochca history (Duran 1967,11: 573). In fact, so highly does the “historia mexicana”
praise Tlacaelel that he assumes the qualities of an idealized figure, placing all individuals, including the Tenochca rulers, in the shadow of his omnipotence (3).

Although there is no concrete evidence which might explain the partisanship of the “historia mexicana” , 1 concur with Nicholson (1964: 1409) that the most probable explanation is that the author of this history was a descendant
of Tlacaelel (4). Certainly, there is a well-known historical precedent of familial glorification in the mestizo Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s attempt to further his own position through the exaltation of his Tetzcocan

Other than their genealogies, scarcely little more is known of Tlacaelel’s descendants, the notable exception being his grandson,Tlacotzin. The ” Crónica Mexicayotl” (CM), which has been variously attributed most recently to Tezozomoc by León (CM 1949:”Introducción”) andtoTezozomocandChimalpahin by Kirchhoff (1951: 225 – 227), contains the most detailed genealogical account of Tlacaelel’s descendants extending to three generations (counting from the first generation of mestizo descendants) following the Conquest (CM : 122-130), A modicum of genealogical information is also found in Duran’s “Historia” (II: 369, 573). Yet, these sources by no means contain material pertaining to all the possible candidates for the putative descendant-author of the ” historia mexicana” . Of the eighty-three children reportedly fathered by Tlacaelel (CM:129), only seventeen are known by name (CM : 122 and passim); additionally, genealogical data is found for only two (Cacamatzin and Tlilpotoncatzin, CM : 122-127) and dates are sadly wanting
for all known children and their known descendants.

While ascribing the authorship of the “historia mexicana” to a particular individual of Tlacaelel’s lineage is futile in the face of available historical resources, Duran’s “Historia” and the CM at least suggest several clues as
to his possible relationship to Tlacaelel. Since the “historia mexicana” was “written” in Nahuatl (Duran, 11:158, 175), the earliest probable terminus post quem of that document would be c . 1531, allowing time for an adolescent
or adult Indian at the time of the Conquest to acquire a functional knowledge of the Roman alphabet, while the terminus antiquem fell no later than 1579-1581, the time during which the”Historia” was composed (5). This
would suggest that the author of the “historia mexicana” could have been any one of Tlacaelel’s descendants beginning with his grandchildren (the “generation” of Tlacotzin, the Cihuaco^tl at the time of the Conquest), since one
can assume that most – if not all – of his children, who were presumably born during the first half of the fifteenth century (considering Tlacaelel’s birth date of c. 1398), had died before the arrival of the Spaniards.

Duran noted that the person who wrote the “historia mexicana” was “un indio “(II: 546) .There are two possibilities which can explain the chronicler’s use of this word. Either Duran knew the author to be an Indian, which would
then exclude Tlacaelel’s mestizo descendants beginning with his great-greatgrandchildren (CM : 123-127), or he assumed the author to be an Indian since the text of the “historia mexicana” was written in Nahuatl. Judging from the
number of Tlacaelel’s known mestizo descendants, it is certainly possible that the enigmatic author of the “historia mexicana” may well have been a mestizo who, like Alva Ixtlilxochitl, wrote a history in Nahuatl glorifying his Indian forbear.

The author of the “historia mexicana” may have stated his relationship to Tlacaelel in his manuscript, although such information was not recorded in the “Historia” by Duran. Perhaps the author did not include this data because
his relationship to Tlacaelel may have been so widely known that further references to his filiation would not seem necessary.

All that can be presently said of the author of the “historia mexicana” must, of course, remain speculative, save that his identity is unknown. Only the fruits of future archival research will afford us the opportunity to shed
light on the mystery surrounding this figure and specifically define his relationship to Tlacaelel.


Chicomoztoc is the name for the mythical origin place of the Aztec Mexicas, Tepanecs, Acolhuas, and other Nahuatl-speaking peoples (or Nahuas) of the central Mexico region of Mesoamerica, in the Postclassic period. There is an association of Chicomoztoc with certain … Continue reading

Chicomoztoc is the name for the mythical origin place of the Aztec Mexicas, Tepanecs, Acolhuas, and other Nahuatl-speaking peoples (or Nahuas) of the central Mexico region of Mesoamerica, in the Postclassic period.

There is an association of Chicomoztoc with certain legendary traditions concerning Culhuacan (Colhuacan), an actual pre-Columbian settlement in the Valley of Mexico which was considered to have been one of the earliest and most pre-eminent settlements in the valley. Culhuacan (“place of those with ancestors” is its literal meaning in Classical Nahuatl) was viewed as a prestigious and revered place by the Aztec/Mexica (who also styled themselves ‘Culhua-Mexica’). In Aztec codical writing, the symbol or glyph representing the toponym of Culhuacan took the form of a ‘bent’or ‘curved’hill (a play on the homonym col- in Nahuatl, meaning “bent, twisted”, e.g. as if by old age).

Some researchers have attempted to identify Chicomoztoc with a specific geographic location, likely between 60 and 180 miles northeast of the Valley of Mexico including perhaps a height near the present-day town of San Isidro Culhuacan.


Zea is a genus of grasses in the family Poaceae. Several species are commonly known as teosintes and are found in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. There are five recognized species in the genus: Zea diploperennis, Zea perennis, Zea luxurians, Zea … Continue reading

Zea is a genus of grasses in the family Poaceae. Several species are commonly known as teosintes and are found in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

There are five recognized species in the genus: Zea diploperennis, Zea perennis, Zea luxurians, Zea nicaraguensis, and Zea mays. The last species is further divided into four subspecies: huehuetenangensis, mexicana, parviglumis, and mays. The first three subspecies are teosintes; the last is maize, or corn, the only domesticated taxon in the genus Zea. The species are grouped into two sections, sect. Luxuriantes, with the first four species, and sect. Zea with Zea mays. The former section is typified by dark-staining knobs made up of heterochromatin that are terminal on most chromosome arms, while most subspecies of sect. Zea may have 0 to 3 knobs between each chromosome end and the centromere and very few terminal knobs (except Z. m. huehuetenangensis which has many large terminal knobs). The two perennials are thought to be one species by some.

Teosintes are critical components of maize evolution, but opinions vary about which taxa were involved. According to the most widely-held evolutionary model, the crop was derived directly from Z. m. parviglumis by selection of key mutations [3]; up to 12% of its genetic material came from Z. m. mexicana through introgression. Another model proposes that a tiny-eared wild maize was domesticated, and after being spread from east-central Mexico, this cultigen hybridized with Z. luxurians or Z. diploperennis resulting in a great explosion of maize genetic diversity, ear and kernel forms, and capacity to adapt to new habitats, as well as increased yields. A third model suggests that the early maize resulted from a cross between Z. diploperennis and a species of Tripsacum; support for this is minimal. A fourth model posits that teosinte resulted from hybridization between an early wild form of Z. m. mays and Tripsacum.[4]

All but the Nicaraguan species of teosinte may grow in or very near corn fields, providing opportunities for introgression between teosinte and maize. First- and later-generation hybrids are often found in the fields, but the rate of gene exchange is quite low. Some populations of Z. m. mexicana display Vavilovian mimicry within cultivated maize fields, having evolved a maize-like form as a result of the farmers’selective weeding pressure. In some areas of Mexico, teosintes are regarded by maize farmers as a noxious weed, while in a few areas farmers regard it as a beneficial companion plant, and encourage its introgression into their maize.


Chichimeca was the name that the Nahua peoples of Mexico generically applied to a wide range of semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico and southwestern United States, and carried the same sense as the European term “barbarian“. … Continue reading

Chichimeca was the name that the Nahua peoples of Mexico generically applied to a wide range of semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico and southwestern United States, and carried the same sense as the European term “barbarian“. The name was adopted with a pejorative tone by the Spaniards when referring especially to the semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer peoples of northern Mexico. In modern times only one ethnic group is customarily referred to as Chichimecs, namely the Chichimeca Jonaz, although lately this usage is being changed for simply “Jonáz” or their own name for themselves “Úza“.

The Chichimeca peoples were in fact many different groups with varying ethnic and linguistic affiliations. As the Spaniards worked towards consolidating the rule of New Spain over the Mexican indigenous peoples during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the “Chichimecan tribes” maintained a resistance. A number of ethnic groups of the region allied against the Spanish, and the following military colonization of northern Mexico has become known as the “Chichimeca Wars“.

Many of the peoples called Chichimeca are virtually unknown today; few descriptions mention them and they seem to have been absorbed into mestizo culture or into other indigenous ethnic groups. For example, virtually nothing is known about the peoples referred to as Guachichiles, Caxcanes, Zacatecos, Tecuexes, or Guamares. Others like the Opata or “Eudeve” are well described but extinct as a people.

Other “Chichimec” peoples maintain a separate identity into the present day, for example the Otomies, Chichimeca Jonaz, Coras, Huicholes, Pames, Yaquis, Mayos, O’odham and the Tepehuánes.

The Nahuatl name Ch?ch?m?cah (plural, pronounced [t?i?t?i??me?ka?]; singular Ch?ch?m?catl) means “inhabitants of Chichiman”; the placename Chichiman itself means “Area of Milk”. It is sometimes said to be related to chichi “dog”, but the i’s in chichi are short while those in Ch?ch?m?cah are long, a phonemic distinction in Nahuatl.[1] The word could either have a negative “barbarous” sense, or a positive “noble savage” sense.[2]

The word “Chichimeca” was originally used by the Nahua to describe their own prehistory as a nomadic hunter-gatherer people and used in contrast to their later, more “civilized,” urban lifestyle that they identified with the term Toltecatl.[3] In modern Mexico, the word “Chichimeca” can have pejorative connotations such as “primitive”, “savage”, “uneducated” and “native”.

The first descriptions of “Chichimecs” are from the early conquest period. In 1526, Hernán Cortés writes in one of his letters of the northern Chichimec tribes who were not as civilized as the Aztecs he had conquered, but commented that they might be enslaved and used to work in the mines.

This approach was followed by Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán whose attempts to enslave the indigenous populations of northern Mexico provoked the Mixtón Rebellion where Chichimec tribes resisted the Spanish forces.

In the late sixteenth century, an account of the Chichimecs was written by Gonzalo de las Casas who had received an encomienda near Durango and fought in the wars against the Chichimec peoples — the Pames, the Guachichiles, the Guamari and the Zacatecos who lived in the area which was called “La Gran Chichimeca.” Las Casas’ account was called “Report of the Chichimeca and the justness of the war against them”, and contained ethnographic information about the peoples called Chichimecs. He wrote that they did not use clothes (only to cover their genitalia), painted their bodies and ate only game, roots and berries. He mentions as further proof of their barbarity that Chichimec women having given birth continued travelling on the same day without stopping to recover.[4] While las Casas recognized that the Chichimecan tribes spoke different languages he saw their culture as primarily uniform.

In 1590, the Franciscan priest Alonso Ponce commented that the Chichimeca had no religion because they did not even worship idols such as the other peoples – in his eyes another symptom of their barbarous nature. The only somewhat nuanced description of the Chichimeca is found in Bernardino de Sahagún‘s Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España in which some Chichimec people such as the Otomi were described as knowing agriculture, living in settled communities, and having a religion devoted to the worship of the Moon.

The image of the Chichimecas as described by the early sources was typical of the era; the natives were “savages” – accomplished at war and hunting, but with no established society or morals, fighting even amongst themselves. This description became even more prevalent over the course of the Chichimec wars as justification for the war (the Chichimec area was not entirely under Spanish control until 1721).

The first description of a modern objective ethnography of the peoples inhabiting La Gran Chichimeca was done by Norwegian naturalist and explorer Carl Sofus Lumholtz in 1890 when he traveled on muleback through northwestern Mexico, meeting the indigenous peoples on friendly terms. With his descriptions of the rich and different cultures of the various “uncivilized” tribes, the picture of the uniform Chichimec barbarians was changed – although in Mexican Spanish the word “Chichimeca” remains connected to an image of “savagery”.

The historian Paul Kirchhoff, in his work “The Hunting-Gathering People of North Mexico,” described the Chichimecas as sharing a hunter-gatherer culture, based on the gathering of mesquite, agave, and tunas (the fruit of the nopal). While others also lived off of acorns, roots and seeds. In some areas, the Chichimecas cultivated maize and calabash. From the mesquite, the Chichamecs made white bread and wine. Many Chichimec tribes utilized the juice of the agave as a substitute for water when it was in short supply.

The Chichimecas were involved in the Mixton Rebellion (1540–1541) and the Chichimeca War (1550–1590). After a series of negotiations with the Spaniards, most of the Chichimecas were encouraged to take part in peaceful agricultural pursuits. Within decades, they were assimilated into the Spanish and Indian mestizo culture.[5]

The Otomi people (English pronunciation: /?o?t??mi?/[1] is an indigenous ethnic group inhabiting the central altiplano of Mexico. The two most populous groups are the Highland or Sierra Otomí living in the mountains of La Huasteca and the Mezquital Otomí, living in the Mezquital valley in the eastern part of the state of Hidalgo, and in the state of Querétaro. Sierra Otomí usually self identify as Ñuhu or Ñuhmu depending on the dialect they speak, whereas Mezquital Otomi selfidentify as Hñähñu (pronounced [???????]).[2] Smaller Otomi populations exist in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Guanajuato.[3] The Otomi language belonging to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family is spoken in many different varieties some of which are not mutually intelligible.

One of the early complex cultures of Mesoamerica, the Otomi were likely the original inhabitants of the central Mexican altiplano before the arrival of Nahuatl speakers around ca. 1000 AD, but graduately they were replaced and marginalized by Nahua peoples. In the colonial period Otomi speakers helped the Spanish conquistadors as mercenaries and allies, which allowed them to extend into territories that had previously been inhabited by semi-nomadic Chichimecs, for example Querétaro and Guanajuato.

The Otomi traditionally worshipped the moon as their highest deity, and even into modern times many Otomi populations practice Shamanism and hold prehispanic beliefs such as Nagualism. Otomies traditionally subsisted on maize, beans and squash as most Mesoamerican sedentary peoples, but the Maguey (Century Plant) was also an important cultigen used for production of alcohol (pulque) and fiber (henequen).

The name Otomi comes from the Nahuatl otomitl, which is possibly derived from an older word totomitl “shooter of birds”.[4] It is not an Otomi endonym; the Otomi refer to themselves as Hñähñú, Hñähño, Hñotho, Hñähü, Hñätho, Y?h?, Y?hm?, Ñ?h?, Ñ?th? or Ñañh? depending on which dialect of Otomi they speak.[4][5][cn 1] Most of the variant forms are composed of two morphemes meaning “speak” and “well” respectively.[6]

The word Otomi entered the Spanish language through Nahuatl and is used to describe the larger Otomi macroethnic group and the dialect continuum. From Spanish the word Otomi has become entrenched in the linguistic and anthropological literature. Among linguists, the suggestion has been made to change the academic designation from Otomi to Hñähñú, the endonym used by the Otomi of the Mezquital valley; however, no common endonym exists for all dialects of the language.[4][5][7]

The Otomi language is part of the Otopamean language family, which also includes Chichimeca Jonaz, Mazahua, Pame, Ocuilteco, and Matlatzinca, which belong to the Otomangean language group (consisting of the Amuzgoan, Chinantecan, Mixtecan, Otopamean, Popolocan, Tlapanecan, and Zapotecan language families). The Otomi of the Valle de Mezquital speak nHa:nHu while the Otomi south of Querétaro speak nHa:nHo, together amounting to 300,000 people (some 5 to 6 percent is monolingual), most of whom live in the states of Hidalgo (Valle de Mezquital), México, Puebla, Querétaro, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Veracruz.


The tonalpohualli, a Nahuatl word meaning “count of days”, is a 260-day sacred period (often termed a “year”) in use in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, especially among the Aztecs. This calendrical period is neither solar nor lunar, but rather consists of 20 … Continue reading

The tonalpohualli, a Nahuatl word meaning “count of days”, is a 260-day sacred period (often termed a “year”) in use in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, especially among the Aztecs. This calendrical period is neither solar nor lunar, but rather consists of 20 trecena, or 13-day periods. Each trecena is dedicated to and under the auspices of a different deity.

In part due to the sheer antiquity of the tonalpohualli, its origin is unknown. Several theories have been advanced for this unique calendrical period: that it represents a Venusian cycle, that it represents the human gestation period, or that it represents the number of days when the sun is not overhead between August 12 and April 30 in the tropical lowlands. On the other hand, some scholars including J. E. S. Thompson suggest that the tonalpohualli was not based on natural phenomenon at all, but rather on the integers 13 and 20, both considered important numbers in Mesoamerica.

The other major Aztec calendar, the xiuhpohualli, is a solar calendar, based on 18 months of 20 days. A xiuhpohualli was designated by the name of its first tonalpohualli day. For example, Hernan Cortes met Moctezuma II on the day 8 Wind in the year 1 Reed (or November 8, 1519 in the Julian calendar).

The xiuhpohualli and the tonalpohualli would coincide every 52 years. The “year” 1 Reed was the 1st in that 52 year cycle.

It is extremely unlikely that the 260-day cycle could have been based upon any natural
phenomenon that was not continuously repetitive and that was not observable in the
greater part of the area in which the sacred almanac was in use.

The nature of the 260-day cycle does not force the conclusion that it was based
upon a natural phenomenon. It could simply have resulted from the permutation of its
subcycles (13 and 20, both important numbers in Mesoamerican thought), in the same
way that the 52-year cycle resulted from the permutation of the 260-day cycle against the
solar year (4). Thus, any argument for a correspondence with some natural phenomenon
must be not merely plausible but compelling.

The earliest presently known Mesoamerican calendar system — probably (but not
unequivocally) involving a typical 260-day cycle — is that of Monte Albán I and II of
highland Oaxaca.

tonalpohualli (“count of the days”) refers to the 260-day cycle, and tonalámatl (“book of the days”) refers to the books in which it was depicted; xiuhmolpilli (“binding of the years”) was the Náhuatl word for the 52-year cycle (8). The term used by the Maya for the 260-day cycle is unknown; tzolkin, which would mean “count of the days” in Yucatec Maya, is a creation of modern Mayanists.

In the Aztec calendar, there are twenty day signs.

Nahuatl Translation
Cipactli Caiman or aquatic monster
Ehecatl Wind
Calli House
Cuetzpalin Lizard
Coatl Snake
Miquiztli Death
Mazatl Deer
Tochtli Rabbit
Atl Water
Itzcuintli Dog
Ozomahtli Monkey
Malinalli Grass
Acatl Reed
Ocelotl Ocelot or Jaguar
Cuauhtli Eagle
Cozcacuauhtli Vulture
Ollin Movement or Earthquake
Tecpatl Flint or Knife
Quiahuitl Rain
Xochitl Flower

The Xiuhpohualli (literally, year/xiuhitl-count/pohualli) was a 365-day calendar used by the Aztecs and other pre-Columbian Nahua peoples in central Mexico. It was composed of eighteen 20-day “months,” called veintenas or metztli (the contemporary Nahuatl word for month) with a separate 5 day period at the end of the year called the nemontemi. Whatever name that was used for these periods in pre-Columbian times is unknown. Through Spanish usage, the 20 day period of the Aztec calendar has become commonly known as a veintena. The Aztec word for moon is metztli, and this word is today to describe these 20-day periods, although as the sixteenth-century missionary and early ethnographer, Diego Durán explained:

In ancient times the year was composed of eighteen months, and thus it was observed by these Indian people. Since their months were made of no more than twenty days, these were all the days contained in a month, because they were not guided by the moon but by the days; therefore, the year had eighteen months. The days of the year were counted twenty by twenty.

The xiuhpohualli calendar, also known as the “vague year,”[citation needed] had its antecedents in form and function in earlier Mesoamerican calendars, and the 365-day count has a long history of use throughout the region. The Maya civilization version of the xiuhpohualli is known as the haab’, and 20-days period was the uinal. The Maya equivalent of nemontemi is Wayeb’. In common with other Mesoamerican cultures the Aztecs also used a separate 260-day calendar (in Nahuatl: ‘tonalpohualli). The Maya equivalent of the tonalpohualli is the tzolk’in. Together, these calendars would coincide once every 52 years, the so-called “calendar round,” which was initiated by a New Fire ceremony.

Aztec years were named for the last day of the 18th month according to the 260-day calendar the tonalpohualli. The first year of the Aztec calendar round was called 2 Acatl and the last 1 Tochtli. The solar calendar was connected to agricultural practices and held an important place in Aztec religion, with each month being associated with its own particular religious and agricultural festivals.

Each 20-day period started on a Cipactli (Crocodile) day of the tonalpohualli for which a festival was held. The eighteen veintena are listed below. The dates in the chart are from the early eye-witnesses, Diego Durán and Bernardino de Sahagún. Each wrote what they learned from Nahua informants. Sahagún’s date precedes the Durán’s observations by several decades and is believed to be more recent to the Aztec surrender to the Spanish. Both are shown to emphasize the fact that the beginning of the Native new year became non-uniform as a result of an absence of the unifying force of Tenochtitlan after the Mexica defeat.

The 20-day months (veintenas) of the Aztec solar calendar were called (in two sequences):

  1. Izcalli
  2. Atlcahualo or Xilomanaliztli
  3. Tlacaxipehualiztli
  4. Tozoztontli
  5. Hueytozoztli
  6. Toxcatl or Tepopochtli
  7. Etzalcualiztli
  8. Tecuilhuitontli
  9. Hueytecuilhuitl
  10. Tlaxochimaco or Miccailhuitontli
  11. Xocotlhuetzi or Hueymiccailhuitl
  12. Ochpaniztli
  13. Teotleco or Pachtontli
  14. Tepeilhiuitl or Hueypachtli
  15. Quecholli
  16. Panquetzaliztli
  17. Atemoztli
  18. Tititl

The five days inserted at the end of a year and which were considered unlucky:

  • Nemontemi
Duran Time Sahagun Time Fiesta Names Symbol English Translation
1. MAR 01 – MAR 20 1. FEB 02 – FEB 21 Atlcahualo, Cuauhitlehua MetzliAtlca.jpg Ceasing of Water, Rising Trees
2. MAR 21 – APR 09 2. FEB 22 – MAR 13 Tlacaxipehualiztli MetzliTlaca.jpg Rites of Fertility; Xipe-Totec
3. APR 10 – APR 29 3. MAR 14 – APR 02 Tozoztonli ..MetzliToz.jpg Small Perforation
4. APR 30 – MAY 19 4. APR 03 – APR 22 Huey Tozotli .MetzliToz2.jpg Great Perforation
5. MAY 20 – JUN 08 5. APR 23 – MAY 12 Toxcatl ..MeztliToxcatl.jpg Dryness
6. JUN 09 – JUN 28 6. MAY 13 – JUN 01 Etzalcualiztli. MeztliEtzal.jpg Eating Maize and Beans
7. JUN 29 – JULY 18 7. JUN 02 – JUN 21 Tecuilhuitontli MeztliTecu.jpg Feast for the Revered Ones
8. JULY 19 – AUG 07 8. JUN 22 – JUL 11 Huey Tecuilhuitl MeztliHTecu.jpg Feast for the Greatly Revered Ones
9. AUG 08 – AUG 27 9. JUL 12 – JUL 31 Miccailhuitontli MeztliMicc.jpg Feast to the Revered Deceased
10. AUG 28 – SEP 16 10. AUG01 – AUG 20 Huey Miccailhuitontli MeztliMiccH.jpg Feast to the Greatly Revered Deceased
11. SEPT 17 – OCT 06 11. AUG 21 – SEPT 09 Ochpaniztli MeztliOch.jpg Sweeping and Cleaning
12. OCT 07 – OCT 26 12. SEPT10 – SEPT 29 Teotleco MeztliTeo.jpg Return of the Gods
13. OCT 27 – NOV 15 13. SEPT 30 – OCT 19 Tepeilhuitl MeztliTep.jpg Feast for the Mountains
14. NOV 16 – DEC 05 14. OCT 20 – NOV 8 Quecholli MeztliQue.jpg Precious Feather
15. DEC 06 – DEC 25 15. NOV 09 – NOV 28 Panquetzaliztli MeztliPanq.jpg Raising the Banners
16. DEC 26 – JAN 14 16. NOV 29 – DEC 18 Atemoztli MetzliAtem.jpg Descent of the Water
17. JAN 15 – FEB 03 17. DEC 19 – JAN 07 Tititl MeztliTitl.jpg Stretching for Growth
18. FEB 04 – FEB 23 18. JAN 08 – JAN 27 Izcalli MeztliIzcalli.jpg Encouragement for the Land & People
18u. FEB 24 – FEB 28 18u.JAN 28 – FEB 01 nemontemi (5 day period) MeztliNem.jpg Empty-days (nameless, undefined)

Note: Aztec years were named for the first day of the first month according to the 260-day calendar the tonalpohualli.