Chicago Transims Evacuation

Uploaded on Jun 23, 2011
A collection of clips showcasing the downtown Chicago buildings, a normal day case simulation at 20% load, and a preliminary evacuation from the area (Evacuees are the purple cars).

Uploaded on Jun 23, 2011
A collection of clips showcasing the downtown Chicago buildings, a normal day case simulation at 20% load, and a preliminary evacuation from the area (Evacuees are the purple cars).

el cártel de Sinaloa y los gobiernos

20 de abril de 2014 • 11:09 • actualizado a las 11:10

ABEL BARAJAS
Ciudad de México

En su afán por infiltrar y capturar a miembros de su organización criminal, el Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE) traficó cocaína del capo Ismael «El Mayo» Zambada, desde Phoenix, Arizona, hasta la ciudad de Nueva York.

El ICE se infiltró desde el 2006 en el círculo cercano de «El Mayo» y permitió que sus «topos» llevaran a cabo entregas controladas de kilogramos de cocaína para la célula que encabezaba su hombre de confianza José Lamberto Verdugo Calderón «El Verdugo».

Una entrega controlada de 129 kilos de cocaína en la ciudad de los rascacielos proporcionó a los estadounidenses información de números telefónicos y cómplices, que resultó útil para que el Ejército ubicara y abatiera a Verdugo en Culiacán, Sinaloa, el 22 de enero de 2009.

La cuenta regresiva para el operador de «El Mayo» comenzó el 2 de Diciembre de 2006, cuando agentes especiales del ICE reclutaron en San Diego, California, a un informante muy valioso para sus pesquisas, señala un oficio del 1 de diciembre del 2008, suscrito por Louis R. García, entonces Agregado de esa agencia en México.

El documento, entregado a la PGR y después integrado a un expediente judicial, dice que el colaborador del ICE era un sujeto a quien la organización de Zambada había delegado la responsabilidad de transportar la cocaína de Arizona a la costa Este.

Tres meses antes de hablar con los estadounidenses, el «topo» había estado en Sinaloa, para reunirse con Verdugo. Conoció uno de sus ranchos, cerca de Culiacán, donde había un almacén con refrigeración que conservaba varias toneladas de cocaína empaquetada en ladrillos.

Desde su primer encuentro, el confidente señaló a los oficiales que Verdugo era el hombre que operaba para «El Mayo» las entregas de drogas y la recepción del dinero. Era un tipo de extracción rural y de bajo perfil que traficaba cocaína desde hacía más de una década.

Verdugo no era un desconocido para los estadounidenses, porque tenían registros de miembros de su grupo delictivo desde la década de los 90 y su hermano Rodrigo había sido detenido en Arizona por narcotráfico, en noviembre de 2003.

En un oficio con número MLVU: 0607: MX02BR07SY0003: tg, el ICE refiere que en diciembre de 2006 dio luz verde para iniciar una entrega controlada de 129 kilos de cocaína propiedad de Verdugo. El cargamento había entrado por Nogales, estaba en Phoenix y debían llevarlo a Nueva York.

«Agentes de la Oficina de ICE en San Isidro acompañaron al informante a Phoenix, Arizona, para iniciar la operación. El informante recibió instrucciones de recoger la cocaína en Phoenix, el 10 de Diciembre de 2006», indica el reporte.

El teléfono del infiltrado era escuchado por el ICE. Ese día a las 10:00 horas habló con un sujeto apodado «El Güero», quien lo citó al medio día en una tienda de juguetes «Toys R US» ubicada en la Dunlap Avenue de Phoenix.

A las 13:10 horas, agentes encubiertos fotografiaron al salir de la tienda a su informante con otras 7 personas -5 hombres y dos mujeres-, quienes se acercaron a un carro Prelude Honda rojo con placas de Arizona 756 TJW, registrado a nombre de Ossiel Sámano Loaiza.

El infiltrado se subió al carro, cuya cajuela iba cargada de cocaína, y 5 minutos después se marchó del estacionamiento; sus cómplices se quedaron junto a un vehículo Intrepid Dodge.

Los agentes del ICE mantuvieron un seguimiento encubierto del Honda, para cerciorarse que no hubiese contra vigilancia. Su informante condujo hasta el Centro Comercial Desert Ridge, en el Tatum Boulevard, en Phoenix.

Allí lo esperaban otros agentes, quienes sacaron del carro 129 kilos de cocaína y los llevaron hasta las oficinas del ICE, donde pesaron, fotografiaron y practicaron dictámenes químicos a la droga.

«Entre el 13 y 17 de Diciembre de 2006, Agentes de ICE de la Oficina de San Isidro, California, acompañaron al informante a Nueva York… El 15 de Diciembre hicieron una entrega controlada en Nueva York de 129 kilogramos de cocaína, procedentes de la organización de Verdugo Calderón», señala el informe.

A raíz de esta entrega, se obtuvo información que llevó a la captura de José Oscar del Castillo Gallardo, el 20 de enero de 2007, cuando esquiaba en Big Bear Lake, California.

Del Castillo, quien tenía en su celular registros de llamadas recientes con «El Verdugo», es compadre de Vicente Zambada Niebla «El Vicentillo», hijo de «El Mayo», y también es yerno de Víctor Emilio Cazares Gastelum, hombre cercano a Joaquín «El Chapo» Guzmán».

Su captura llevó a un aseguramiento de 38 mil dólares en Michigan, el 6 de febrero siguiente, y luego a la incautación de 2 millones 11 mil 956 dólares en Chicago, Illinois, el 2 de Abril de 2007. El cerco sobre Verdugo se iba cerrando desde Estados Unidos.

El 10 de septiembre de 2008 el Ejército Mexicano aseguró 26 millones 202 mil 176 dólares en una de sus casas de seguridad en Culiacán. El golpe fue el preludio final para «El Verdugo», quien fue localizado y abatido por los militares el 22 de enero de 2009.


Jueves, 10 de abril de 2014 a las 15:45

(CNNMéxico) — El Vicentillo había insistido en declararse inocente… pero cambió de postura para reducir la condena que pudieran imponerle.

Vicente Zambada Niebla, vinculado con el cártel de Sinaloa, se declaró culpable hace un año en Estados Unidos por cargos de narcotráfico, y está «cooperando» con las autoridades de ese país, informaron este jueves funcionarios federales estadounidenses.

Entre otros puntos, admitió que en el lapso de 2005 a 2008 era un integrante de alto rango del cártel de Sinaloa, y que encabezó muchas operaciones de tráfico de drogas, por su cuenta y en cooperación con su padre, Ismael el Mayo Zambada.

El acuerdo con el que se declaró culpable, establecido el tres de abril de 2013, se detalló de forma pública en la Corte de Distrito para el Distrito Norte de Illinois, de acuerdo con un comunicado de esa instancia de justicia.

«Bajo el acuerdo de culpabilidad, se enfrenta a una pena máxima de cadena perpetua, una sentencia mínima obligatoria de 10 años, y una multa máxima de 4 millones de dólares», agregó el mensaje oficial.

Pero «si el gobierno (de EU) determina en el momento de la sentencia que Zambada Niebla ha seguido prestando una cooperación plena y veraz, como lo exige el acuerdo de culpabilidad», se reducirá la sentencia aconsejada, de cadena perpetua.

Al menos seis de ochos líderes del narcotráfico extraditados a territorio estadounidense desde 2007 establecieron acuerdos con fiscales de ese país, para declararse culpables y reducir sus condenas.

En esa lista están Eduardo Arellano Félix, el Doctor; Benjamín Arellano Félix, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, Héctor el Güero Palma, Miguel Caro Quintero y Mario Villanueva.

El Vicentillo era el único de los capos extraditados que se había declarado inocente.

Zambada Niebla permanece bajo custodia de Estados Unidos —a donde fue extraditado desde febrero de 2010—, y hasta el momento se no ha fijado una fecha para darle una sentencia a su caso.

En otro punto del acuerdo, Zambada Niebla se comprometió a no impugnar una sentencia con la que se estableció un decomiso de 1,300 millones de dólares.

En específico, Zambada Niebla se declaró culpable de un cargo de conspiración para poseer e intentar distribuir en territorio estadounidense múltiples kilogramos de cocaína y heroína, entre 2005 y 2008.

«La declaración de culpabilidad significa que no habrá juicio para Zambada-Niebla, cuyo caso fue separado del de sus coacusados», entre los que están su padre, Ismael Zambada (prófugo), y Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán (detenido en México), ambos presuntos líderes del cártel de Sinaloa, de acuerdo con el comunicado de la Corte de Distrito para el Distrito Norte de Illinois.

El Vicentillo fue detenido en 2009, en la capital mexicana.

Al ser extraditado a Estados Unidos, en ese país lo acusaron junto a el Mayo y el Chapo Guzmán de obtener armas, y planear usar la fuerza para defender al cártel de Sinaloa, además de conspirar para importar drogas a territorio estadounidense.

En abril de 2012 un juez federal estadounidense se negó a retirar los cargos en contra de Zambada Niebla, quien alegaba que tenía inmunidad porque trabajaba como informante de la DEA.

Las confesiones de Zambada

«Zambada Niebla confesó que entre mayo de 2005 y diciembre de 2008 él era un miembro de alto nivel del cártel de Sinaloa, y que fue responsable de muchos aspectos de sus operaciones de tráfico de drogas, ‘tanto de forma independiente y como un hombre de confianza de su padre’, para quien actuó como coordinador sustituto y logístico», según el acuerdo de culpabilidad.

También admitió que era consciente de que su padre, el Mayo Zambada, era uno de los líderes del cártel de Sinaloa desde 1970, y que su principal medio de vida derivó de su venta de drogas en Estados Unidos.

Además dijo que el cártel de Sinaloa utilizó vuelos privados, submarinos y otros vehículos sumergibles, buques de pesca, vagones de ferrocarril, además automóviles para realizar el traslado de drogas, desde Centro y Sudamérica, para pasar por el interior de México, hasta llegar a Estados Unidos.

«Zambada Niebla también admitió que era consciente de que el cartel usó la violencia e hizo amenazas creíbles de violencia contra cárteles rivales y autoridades en México para facilitar su negocio», agregó el documento que se dio a conocer este jueves.


26 de febrero de 2014

MÉXICO, D.F. (apro).- La convocatoria anónima surtió efecto: cientos de personas salieron a marchar a las calles de Culiacán y Guamúchil, en Sinaloa, para exigir a las autoridades federales la liberación de su “héroe”, Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán.

Ataviados con playeras y gorras blancas, y acompañados de música de banda, los manifestantes –mujeres, hombres, jóvenes y niños– alzaron pancartas con las leyendas: “Queremos libre al Chapo”, “No queremos otra guerra, liberen al Chapo” y “Chapo, hazme un hijo”.

También circularon volantes que pedían “un juicio justo” para Guzmán Loera. “Exigimos la no extradición porque todo mexicano tiene derecho a ser juzgado en su país”, decía otra manta. Una más: “Familia, amigos y pueblo exigen hagan valer los derechos humanos del señor Joaquín Guzmán”.


Dámaso López, posible sucesor de Joaquín «El Chapo» Guzmán

22 de febrero de 2014•18:28 • actualizado a las 18:36

Ciudad de México.- La detención del narcotraficante más buscado en el mundo, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, es un acierto para el gobierno mexicano, pero esta captura podría incrementar la violencia en el país, advirtió la firma de inteligencia Stratfor.

Señaló que quienes se quedan al mando del Cártel de Sinaloa, tras ser capturado su máximo líder, buscarán a toda costa mantener el poder de esta organización criminal.

Según el informe, se “podría desatar una ola de violencia en todo el noroeste de México, si los cambios internos evolucionan en conflicto intracártel”.

El Cártel de Sinaloa, refirió Stratfor, ha enfrentado a una serie de arrestos desde diciembre pasado y a diversos desafíos en sus áreas de operaciones por las redes criminales regionales y transnacionales.

Stratfor agrega que “el ritmo y el éxito de las operaciones dirigidas a los principales líderes de la Federación de Sinaloa obstaculizarán seriamente la capacidad del cártel para defender sus operaciones en el noroeste de México, que posiblemente lleve a la violencia sustancial en varias áreas a medida que organizaciones criminales rivales buscan explotar nuevas vulnerabilidades del cártel”.


Ciudad de México.- Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo”, líder del llamado Cártel de Sinaloa es “sustituible” y ya no es “intocable”, indica un análisis de la agencia de inteligencia estadunidense Stratfor.

Según el documento, el territorio liderado por el también prófugo de la justicia desde 2011, está en riesgo ante ataques de grupos rivales que se disputan las plazas del narcotráfico.

En el texto titulado «La mitificación de ‘El Chapo’”, Stratfor explica que las organizaciones criminales Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) y Los Mazatlecos mantienen una estrategia bélica en los bastiones del “Chapo” Guzmán, es decir, Jalisco y Sinaloa.

Según la agencia de inteligencia, la presunta protección del Gobierno hacia el capo de la droga es sólo un “mito popular” y advierte que paulatinamente se incrementan los frentes en contra de su presencia criminal.

Expuso que en los primeros meses de este año, el CJNG rompió relaciones de manera definitiva con «el Chapo» tras el asesinato de uno de sus aliados, José Manuel Garibay Félix, alias «El Gordo», y ahora pretende hacerse cargo de la producción de drogas químicas y su trasiego en el estado de Jalisco.

Asimismo, “los remanentes de lo que alguna vez fue la organización de los Beltrán Leyva conforman al grupo denominado Los Mazatlecos, que representan una potente amenaza para la organización de ‘El Chapo’ a lo largo de Sinaloa”, refiere Stratfor.

En los últimos seis años «el Chapo» perdió la alianza con Los Beltrán Leyva y han sido detenidos ocho mandos medios o altos del Cártel de Sinaloa, así como de personas cercanas a Guzmán Loera, y está latente la amenaza de grupos como Los Caballeros Templarios y Los Zetas.

Sin embargo, la eventual captura o eliminación del “Chapo” no representaría el fin de la organización delictiva que lidera, pues en este cártel existe un triunvirato conformado por Guzmán, Ismael «El Mayo» Zambada y Juan José Esparragoza, «El Azul», quienes en caso de esta ausencia, seguirían con sus negocios ilícitos.


Ciudad de México.- Alejandrina Giselle Guzmán Salazar, presunta hija del narcotraficante Joaquín «El Chapo» Guzmán, se declaró culpable ante Cathy Ann Bencivengo, jueza de Distrito de Estados Unidos.
La supuesta hija del líder del Cártel de Sinaloa fue capturada el 12 de octubre en San Diego, California, acusada de fraude, así como uso ilegal de visas, permisos y diversos documentos.

Cathy Ann Bencivengo también ordenó su liberación, pues consideró que Guzmán cumplió su sentencia, después de más de dos meses de reclusión.
El 25 de octubre se había declarado inocente, pero el lunes recibió seis cargos de inmigración ante la Corte Federal de San Diego.
La mujer, de 31 años de edad, admitió haber intentado cruzar la frontera por la garita de San Ysidro identificada con una visa legal, pero de otra persona.
Guzmán Salazar tenía siete meses de embarazo cuando fue detenida por ingresar a Estados Unidos con una visa ajena para dar a luz a su hijo en el país norteamericano.
En la audiencia a la que no se convocó a los medios de comunicación, se ordenó la deportación inmediata de Guzmán Salazar, confirmaron fuentes judiciales.
La acusada tenía programada una audiencia para el 20 de diciembre de 2012; no obstante, su defensa llegó a una negociación con las autoridades norteamericanas.
Alejandrina Giselle, hoy con nueve meses de embarazo, aún está bajo la custodia de autoridades migratorias y se desconoce cuándo será deportada.
El Departamento de Justicia descartó otros cargos relacionados con el supuesto parentesco con el narcotraficante más buscado en México.
La Oficina del Fiscal en San Diego no ha confirmado que sea hija de Guzmán Loera, y no hay ninguna mención de este supuesto parentesco en su declaración.


MÉXICO, D.F. (apro).- Una Corte federal de San Diego, California, pospuso para el próximo 20 de diciembre la comparecencia de Alejandrina Guzmán, presunta hija de Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, el líder del cártel de Sinaloa, ante la juez Cathy Ann Bencivengo.

Alejandrina enfrenta seis cargos federales relacionados con las leyes de migración de Estados Unidos –fraude y uso indebido de visas, permisos y otros documentos–, tras su detención, el pasado 15 de octubre en el puerto internacional de San Ysidro, al sur de San Diego.

La Corte estadunidense evitó detallar su decisión de cambiar la fecha de la audiencia.

No obstante, Guadalupe Valencia, abogado de Alejandrina Guzmán, destacó que la presentación ante la Corte fue pospuesta de común acuerdo entre las partes, con el fin de recopilar más información del caso.

La supuesta hija del líder del cártel de Sinaloa fue detenida a mediados de octubre pasado en la garita de San Ysidro, California, cuando intentaba ingresar a Estados Unidos con documentación falsa.

En ese entonces, las autoridades federales informaron que la mujer tenía más de siete meses de embarazo.


¡152 disparos y no hay móvil!

Rubén Torres
19 Noviembre, 2012 – 17:03

Es mezquino aquél que pregunta, obtiene el cómo y qué ocurrió en la carretera México-Cuernavaca el pasado 26 de agosto, pero no el por qué, después que 13 policías federales rociaron con 152 disparos de metralla una camioneta blindada placas BCM-242 diplomáticas bien visibles, donde iban dos “espías’’ gringos en compañía de un capitán de SEMAR y no dicen el móvil.

Es lo único que las huestes de Genaro García Luna, flamante secretario de Seguridad Pública Federal (SSPF), tenaz productor de shows y escándalos mediáticos político-policiacos y la primera abogada de la nación, Marisela Morales Ibáñez, con las versiones de la subprocuradora Victoria Pacheco Jiménez y la Comisionada de la Policía Federal, Maribel Cervantes Guerrero, pero no precisan, porque tampoco lo saben.


Según un estudio de Viridiana Río, investigadora de la Universidad de Harvard, en los últimos ocho años, la presencia de organizaciones del narcotráfico creció más de 13 veces en los municipios mexicanos

Ciudad de México.- En los últimos 8 años, la presencia de cárteles en los municipios del País creció más de 13 veces, señala un estudio de la investigadora Viridiana Ríos.

Ríos, candidata a doctora en Gobierno por la Universidad de Harvard, y su socio Michele Coscia crearon un algoritmo llamado MOGO (Making Order Using Google As an Oracle), que permite recopilar información de Google News, filtrarla y organizarla para monitorear el movimiento y acción de los cárteles de la droga en México.

«A la gente le sorprenden los resultados del estudio: sólo en el 30 por ciento de los municipios del País hay operación de los grupos del narcotráfico, pero hay que decir que en 2004 el porcentaje de municipios era muchísimo menor. De hecho, sólo operaban en 50 municipios, cuando ahora están en 713», dijo Ríos en entrevista telefónica.

La investigación se concentra en un documento que titularon: «¿Cómo y Dónde Operan los Criminales? Usando Google para Rastrear a las Organizaciones de Tráfico de Droga en México».

En su trabajo, los investigadores generaron mapeo sobre estrategias comerciales, áreas de operación y tendencias de crecimiento del crimen organizado.

«Le dimos a nuestro algoritmo los nombres de las organizaciones criminales que buscamos y miembros de estas organizaciones, y MOGO busca en qué momento, en qué año y en qué lugar se menciona a esas organizaciones», añadió Ríos.

Entre las conclusiones a las que llegaron está que los cárteles de la droga imitan a las empresas, pues plantean crecimiento, intervención y control del mercado dependiendo de sus intereses financieros.


San Diego, California.- Funcionarios de Estados Unidos dijeron que la hija de Joaquín «El Chapo» Guzmán, uno de los capos del narcotráfico más buscados del mundo, fue arrestada en San Diego después de ser detenida en la frontera bajo sospecha de intentar ingresar a Estados Unidos con el pasaporte de otra persona.

Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán Salazar fue detenida el viernes en el puerto internacional de San Ysidro, al sur de San Diego, y fue acusada de fraude y uso indebido de visas, permisos y otros documentos.

Guzmán Salazar le dijo a las autoridades estadounidenses que su padre es Joaquín «El Chapo» Guzmán, líder del Cártel de Sinaloa, en México, dijeron el lunes dos funcionarios de Estados Unidos.

Los funcionarios hablaron bajo condición de guardar el anonimato por no estar autorizado a hablar públicamente del arresto.


México.- Todo parece indicar que la premura para presentar a un joven como hijo de “El Chapo” Guzmán tenía tintes políticos, en pleno cierre de campañas.

Y es que de acuerdo con Juan Heriberto Rangel Méndez, defensor de los dos jóvenes detenidos por marinos en Zapopan, Jalisco, la Agencia Antidrogas de Estados Unidos (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés) ofreció a los hermanos Félix y Kevin Beltrán, que aceptaran ser familiares del líder del cártel de Sinaloa, luego los dejarían libres después de las elecciones.

En entrevista con el diario La Jornada, el abogado de los jóvenes dijo que el ofrecimiento se hizo dentro de las propias instalaciones de la Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (Siedo).

“Se dio poco antes de que ambos rindieran su declaración ministerial durante la noche del jueves. Hasta ellos llegaron los agentes de la DEA cuando todavía no estábamos nosotros para defenderlos”, relató al diario.

“Primero le dicen a Félix que acepte que es el hijo de ‘El Chapo’ y que se podría aclarar su situación después de las elecciones. Querían que firmara las declaraciones que le presentaron los de la Siedo. Entonces él les respondió que no iba a firmar nada, y no lo hizo, afortunadamente”, prosiguió.

“Le insistieron: ‘tú acepta, ahorita firmas tu declaración y luego se hace la aclaración que no eras’; después, cuando se convencieron de que no aceptaría, le dijeron: ‘queremos que inculpes a las personas que nosotros te digamos y sales ahorita’”, pero tampoco quiso.

“Obviamente ya no sacaron nada de él, y Félix refiere que llegó un agente de la DEA, un pelón, que le dijo ‘a ver voltéate’, y Félix lo hizo. Le pidió también que se quitara la camisa y luego el agente agregó: ‘no éste no es, el gordo tiene una cicatriz’”, detalló.

Rangel Méndez señaló que supieron que eran agentes de la DEA porque los jóvenes “dicen que los dos agentes eran güeros, altos y hablaban en inglés. Félix dice que le decían las palabras en español mal pronunciado y que cuando él les decía que no, entonces entre ellos hablaban en inglés”.

Indicó que fue la madrugada del sábado, cuando se pudo reunir con ellos, que le contaron lo sucedido con los agentes.

“Vi que no están golpeados ni maltratados, y allí me dijeron que entraron los agentes de la DEA y les propusieron eso”, apuntó el abogado.

La Siedo informó que mantendrá bajo arraigo durante los siguientes 40 días a los hermanos Kevin y Félix Beltrán, pese a que ya descartó que en el caso del primero de ellos se trate del hijo de Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Con información de La Jornada


La detención, la semana pasada, de una red de operadores de Los Zetas en Estados Unidos, entre ellos Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, puso al descubierto los tentáculos del cártel en Veracruz, donde se asentó durante la gestión de Fidel Herrera Beltrán y corrompió a políticos de todo signo. Las primeras indagatorias implican no sólo al exmandatario priista por su cercanía con Pancho Colorado, sino también al PAN y aun al PRD. De acuerdo con declaraciones de funcionarios federales a Proceso, Los Zetas tienen entre 2 mil y 3 mil miembros en ese estado.

La desarticulación de una red de lavado de dinero del cártel de Los Zetas en Estados Unidos vino a constatar que la delgada línea entre política y narcotráfico en Veracruz alcanza lo mismo al PRI que al PAN.

Las investigaciones de la justicia estadunidense contra el número dos de esa organización delictiva y jefe del grupo en el estado, Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, El Z40, afectaron en un primer momento al exgobernador Fidel Herrera Beltrán, pero pronto alcanzaron al PAN y a su candidata presidencial, Josefina Vázquez Mota.

La justicia estadunidense tiene encausadas en diferentes cortes federales a 35 personas que han sido investigadas desde que Herrera Beltrán era gobernador por la Administración Antidrogas de Estados Unidos (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) por su participación en el tráfico de drogas y lavado de dinero entre Veracruz, Tamaulipas y Estados Unidos.

La detención el martes 13, en Oklahoma, del hermano del Z40, José Treviño Morales, colocó de nueva cuenta al exgobernador en el centro de atención. Ese día, la justicia estadunidense hizo pública la acusación contra 15 personas como presuntas responsables de lavar dinero para Los Zetas mediante empresas dedicadas a la crianza de caballos pura sangre y las apuestas en carreras de caballos.

Entre los inculpados, como intermediario en la compra de caballos, está el contratista de Pemex de la zona de Tuxpan, Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, quien ha sido beneficiario tanto por el PRI como por las administraciones de Vicente Fox y Felipe Calderón.

(Extracto del reportaje que se publica esta semana en la revista Proceso 1859, ya en circulación)


Abel Barajas

Ciudad de México.- La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) aseguró el rancho «Flor de María» en Tuxpan, Veracruz, propiedad de Francisco Colorado Cessa, quien el jueves se entregó en una Corte Federal de Estados Unidos para enfrentar cargos por presunto lavado de dinero de Los Zetas.

Colorado, dueño de la empresa ADT Petroservicios, es una de las 15 personas acusadas de lavar dinero del cártel por medio de la compra de caballos pura sangre para carreras parejeras.

Según información oficial, en la indagatoria iniciada por la Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (SIEDO), peritos de la PGR valuaron en 34 millones 777 mil pesos esta propiedad que lleva el nombre de la esposa del empresario veracruzano.

La dependencia informó que el rancho de Pancho Colorado, como se le conoce, era utilizado por integrantes de la organización criminal como casa de seguridad y descanso, aunque no precisa si el inmueble había sido invadido o existía un acuerdo entre el dueño y los criminales.

Dentro de los límites de la propiedad, la Policía Federal sostuvo un enfrentamiento con los sicarios de la banda delictiva, en el cual resultaron 26 detenidos, siete heridos y dos muertos, el pasado 22 de marzo.

En aquella ocasión, los agentes abatieron a Enrique Delgado Fraire, «Mando Quique», identificado por el Gobierno federal como el jefe de plaza de Los Zetas en la zona sur de Tamaulipas y quien organizó la fuga de 53 reos del penal de Cieneguillas, Zacatecas, en mayo de 2009.

Un total de 18 de los 26 detenidos laboraban en el rancho de Pancho Colorado fueron puestos a disposición de la PGR; sin embargo, nunca se informó si luego fueron liberados, consignados o arraigados como sospechosos de colaborar con el crimen organizado.

De acuerdo con informes allegados a la investigación, cuando ocurrió el enfrentamiento en su rancho, el dueño de ADT Petroservicios ya llevaba algunos días en Texas y tras enterarse de los hechos canceló su regreso a México. Se quedó en Houston hasta el día de su entrega.

La PGR indicó que la investigación penal que fundamenta las acusaciones contra Colorado, presentadas en Estados Unidos, forman parte de las indagatorias iniciadas en la SIEDO desde abril 2011, aunque el empresario nunca fue detenido.

En una tarjeta informativa, la dependencia detalló que la investigación que lleva a cabo contra Colorado es por delincuencia organizada, delito considerado como grave y, además, ha realizado varios cateos y aseguramientos de bienes, como es el caso del rancho en Tuxpan.

Agregó que Colorado cuenta con una orden de localización y presentación girada por la SIEDO.

«Existe al respecto, amplia coordinación de la PGR, por medio de la SIEDO, con autoridades de los Estados Unidos de América para detectar empresas y operaciones financieras probablemente provenientes de narcotráfico», indicó la Procuraduría.

Detallan bitácoras vuelos de JVM

El uso del avión propiedad de Pancho Colorado por parte de Josefina Vázquez Mota quedó registrado en bitácoras de vuelo.

El 14 de mayo de 2010, los pasajeros del avión con matrícula XA-RDJ, propiedad de Aerolíneas Ejecutivas, eran Vázquez Mota — entonces coordinadora de la diputación panista– quien acudió a apoyar la campaña de Cuauhtémoc Calderón, aspirante a la gubernatura de Zacatecas y que viajó de regreso; el entonces diputado federal del PAN, Miguel Martín López, y Alejandro Meléndez, secretario de la panista.

El vuelo cubrió la ruta Toluca-Zacatecas y de regreso.

El 29 de mayo, Pancho Colorado viajó en ese avión del Aeropuerto Nacional El Lencero, en Jalapa, a Poza Rica. De ese destino fue llevado, sin pasajeros a Toluca y ahí recogió el 30 de mayo a Vázquez Mota, Martín López y al diputado federal Carlos Pérez Cuevas, quienes volaron a Jalapa.

Se deslinda Yadhira Carrillo


CHICAGO (apro).- El juez Rubén Castillo, de la Corte federal de Illinois, fijó el próximo 9 de octubre como la nueva fecha para iniciar el juicio por delitos de narcotráfico contra Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, El Vicentillo.

En una audiencia para determinar la nueva fecha del juicio, el juez federal dijo que éste reiniciará hasta otoño, tomando en cuenta que es un proceso complicado, y tanto la defensa del acusado como el Departamento de Justicia necesitan tiempo para preparar sus argumentos.

Castillo aclaró que está en proceso de revisión de la información clasificada que le ha entregado el gobierno de Estados Unidos para acusar de narcotráfico a El Vicentillo.

El magistrado dijo a los defensores del presunto capo que estima que a finales de marzo próximo terminará de hacer la revisión de los documentos clasificados.

Y una vez que concluya la revisión de los documentos, el juez Castillo determinará cuáles son los que dejará analizar a la defensa de El Vicentillo.

También destacó que la Corte federal en Illinois dio como plazo a la defensa de Zambada Niebla hasta el 30 de marzo para que presente cualquier otro documento que respalde su pedido de inmunidad para el hijo de Ismael El Mayo Zambada.

El juez Castillo también aclaró que un mes después el Departamento de Justicia responderá a lo que los abogados de El Vicentillo entreguen a la Corte a fines de marzo.

La próxima audiencia de preparación para el juicio será el 18 de abril, fecha para la cual aseguró el juez ya se deberá tener más claro cómo proceder en el caso de Zambada Niebla.

El juzgador dijo además que se tendrá que abordar la situación de otros posibles criminales involucrados en este caso y que podrían ser extraditados de México a Estados Unidos.

En la sesión de este miércoles, Castillo advirtió al Departamento de Justicia que seguirá manteniendo en secreto la información clasificada en el caso de El Vicentillo y que él considere como riesgosa para la seguridad nacional.

Sin embargo, el juez federal enfatizó al gobierno federal que entregará a la defensa del presunto narcotraficante cualquier documento que no presente riesgo de seguridad nacional.

En la misma sesión, la defensa de El Vicentillo reiteró que el hijo de El Mayo Zambada es inocente de los delitos que se le imputan, e insistió que por lo tanto no sólo debe ser puesto en libertad, sino también regresado a México.

Y mientras el juez determina si es válida la documentación que le entregue la defensa, El Vicentillo permanecerá en la prisión federal de Milan, en el estado de Michigan.

Este miércoles, como ya es costumbre, El Vicentillo estuvo presente en la audiencia a través de una videoconferencia y, aunque no fue autorizado para hablar, se veía muy atento a lo que le narraba la traductora (vía telefónica) de lo que se desarrollaba en la sala del juez Castillo.

Tanto los fiscales federales como la defensa del presunto capo declinaron hablar con los reporteros al concluir las audiencias de este día en la ciudad de Chicago.


La defensa del narcotraficante mexicano Vicente Zambada Niebla, que será juzgado en EE.UU. a partir de febrero, alega que la autoridades estadounidenses conspiraron con el Cartel de Sinaloa y prometieron inmunidad a sus jefes.

En un documento que fue presentado a la corte por la defensa de Zambada Niebla, alias «Vicentillo», y al que Efe tuvo acceso hoy, se responde a los argumentos de la Fiscalía y en particular al hecho de que ésta niegue la existencia de tal acuerdo.

Los abogados defensores afirman que el abogado mexicano Humberto Loya Castro negoció con «agentes autorizados del gobierno de Estados Unidos» como «agente del Cartel de Sinaloa».

«Cuando Loya Castro se reunió con el Gobierno (de EE.UU.) le dijo a los agentes que estaba autorizado por ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán y que sólo informaría sobre los carteles rivales. Estuvo claro desde el comienzo que no era un informante tradicional», dice el documento.

Los abogados señalan que al negociar el acuerdo de inmunidad, los agentes federales estadounidenses sabían que Loya Castro «actuaba como agente, consejero y enlace» de los líderes del Cartel de Sinaloa, Joaquín Guzmán Loera «El Chapo», e Israel ‘Mayo’ Zambada», el padre de «Vicentillo» a quien también se conoce por «Mayito».

«Muchos de los líderes de los carteles rivales y sus asociados fueron detenidos o muertos» como consecuencia de la información pasada a la Dirección Estadounidense Antidrogas (DEA), agregan.

«En esencia, el gobierno de Estados Unidos se involucró en una conspiración con uno de los mayores carteles de droga del mundo y sabía que la información que le pasaba Loya Castro procedía de El Chapo, Mayo y Vicente Zambada Niebla», agrega la defensa.

La fiscalía niega la existencia de tal acuerdo, que según el documento de la defensa fue «aprobado por funcionarios del más alto nivel» del Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos, y acusa a «Vicentillo» de haber importado toneladas de drogas a este país como coordinador logístico del Cartel de Sinaloa en Chicago.

Según los argumentos de la defensa, este tipo de acuerdo no sería nuevo y mencionan un artículo publicado en la revista Foreign Affairs por el exjefe de la DEA Robert Bonner, según el cual Estados Unidos utilizó la misma táctica en Colombia para capturar a Pablo Escobar.

«El gobierno no quiere admitir estos acuerdos porque podrían perjudicar su estrategia», dicen los abogados, que reclaman al juez Rubén Castillo la posibilidad de realizar una audiencia con la participación de Loya Castro y los agentes involucrados en el caso.

El comienzo del juicio está programado para el 13 de febrero, con la participación de «Vicentillo» y otros involucrados en la misma causa identificados como Tomás Arévalo Rentería, Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, Alfredo Vázquez Hernández, Juan Guzmán Rocha, Germán Olivares, Manuel Fernández Navarro y Felipe LNU (que en inglés significa apellido desconocido).

También se incluye a los hermanos Pedro y Margarito Flores, traficantes de Chicago convertidos en principales testigos de cargo.

El juez Castillo convocó a todos los acusados para una audiencia pública mañana, donde se evaluará la marcha del proceso y el intercambio de pruebas entre la acusación y la defensa.

Está pendiente una decisión del magistrado sobre la presentación reservada que haría la fiscalía sobre pruebas o documentos secretos que maneja en la preparación del juicio, y a la que quieren acceder los abogados defensores.

El fiscal federal Patrick J. Fitzgerald, del Distrito Norte de Illinois, considera que la divulgación de material clasificado o secreto al público, o a la defensa del acusado, «puede amenazar la seguridad nacional», según documentos de la corte.

«Vicentillo» fue detenido en Ciudad de México en marzo de 2009. En febrero de 2010 fue extraditado a EE.UU. y permanece en una cárcel de máxima seguridad de Chicago a la espera de juicio.


México arrestó a un presunto narcotraficante buscado por Estados Unidos y vinculado al capo de la droga más buscado en el país, Joaquín «El Chapo» Guzmán, cuyo cártel ha sufrido recientes incautaciones y detenciones, dijeron el miércoles autoridades.

Efectivos de la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública (SSP) federal arrestaron en el aeropuerto de la Ciudad de México a Luis «El Güero» Rodríguez, acusado de distribuir toneladas de cocaína en Estados Unidos.

Washington ofrecía hasta cinco millones de dólares por información que llevara a la captura de Rodríguez, quien junto con sus hermanos formó el grupo criminal «Los Güeros», acusados de traficar droga entre 1996 y el 2008 al servicio del cártel de Sinaloa, que dirige Guzmán, dijo la SSP en un comunicado.

No obstante, según un informe en el sitio de internet del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, Rodríguez y sus hermanos rompieron con el cártel de Sinaloa alrededor del 2005 y después se aliaron al sanguinario cártel de Los Zetas.

Una corte federal en Nueva York libró en mayo del 2010 una orden de aprehensión contra Rodríguez, al que se le acusa de asociación delictuosa y lavado de dinero, dijo la SSP.

En los últimos meses, las autoridades han capturado varios hombres clave, realizado grandes incautaciones de drogas y detectado narcotúneles fronterizos del cártel de Sinaloa, una de las organizaciones del narcotráfico más poderosas de América.

El Ejército capturó la semana pasada al lugarteniente de Guzmán en el norteño estado de Durango.

Más de 45,000 personas han muerto desde que comenzaron los operativos antinarco en México en diciembre del 2006.


Ciudad de México.- Luego de defender los señalamientos del Presidente Felipe Calderón de la intromisión del crimen en el proceso electoral de Michoacán, el ex senador Diego Fernández de Cevallos calificó como inocente y engañoso decir que el narcotráfico respete el ámbito de política.

El ex candidato presidencial aseguró que es evidente el riesgo de que el narcotráfico se introduzca en un proceso electoral, pues éste, añadió, está en todas partes, por lo que no existe ninguna institución que no esté en riesgo de ser infiltrada.

«Creo que sería inocente y engañoso decir que el crimen va a respetar el ámbito de la política, más aún cuando todo lo que se sucede en la política, de alguna manera, afecta al crimen organizado.

«El crimen organizado está en todas partes, en todas las instituciones no hay ninguna institución en México que esté al margen de ese riesgo. El que diga lo contrario, estará en su derecho, pero creo que no hay ninguna institución, por sagrada que sea, que no tenga riesgos de que se infiltre, de manera perversa, los señores del crimen organizado», indicó.

En entrevista, Fernández de Cevallos aseguró que en el caso de Michoacán, el Presidente mostró pruebas, pero el aspirante presidencial Enrique Peña Nieto está en su derecho de cuestionar los dichos del Mandatario federal.

Lavado de dinero

Ciudad de México.- Alejandra Sota, portavoz del Presidente Felipe Calderón, negó hoy que el Gobierno mexicano tuviera conocimiento de la operación de lavado de dinero de agentes de la Administración Federal Antidrogas (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés) como parte de la lucha contra el narcotráfico.

«No, no sabía el Gobierno mexicano y es importante resaltar que hemos iniciado una investigación por parte de la Procuraduría General de la República para deslindar responsabilidades y en todo caso investigar si es que hubo este involucramiento’, dijo Sota al programa Al Punto, de la cadena Univisión.

The New York Times reportó el fin de semana pasado que la DEA ha estado lavando o contrabandeando millones de dólares de ganancias de los cárteles mexicanos de las drogas como parte de la lucha contra el narcotráfico.

Según el diario, en algunos casos, agentes de la DEA llegan a contrabandear de dos a tres cargamentos de dinero a la semana y otros agentes mexicanos acompañados por estadounidenses se hacen pasar por contrabandistas y recogen el dinero en México.

Al ser cuestionada sobre la supuesta participación de agentes mexicanos, Alejandra Sota reiteró que se tiene que investigar.

La portavoz presidencial agregó que informarán los resultados de manera puntual y transparente.

Informó que a través de la inteligencia civil mexicana se tuvo conocimiento del intento del hijo de Gadafi de ingresar a México.

Agregó que gracias a la inteligencia mexicana pudo evitarse el ingreso de Saadi Gaddafi al País, perseguido por los crímenes que se le adjudican en la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI).

Sota negó que hayan participado agentes de otros países, y reiteró que fue una operación exitosa de la inteligencia civil mexicana.

Precisó que sólo hubo cooperación con el Gobierno canadiense para intercambiar información.

Sobre la demanda ante la CPI sobre presuntas violaciones a los derechos humanos por parte del Ejército y las fuerzas de seguridad, Sota negó que existan en México violaciones sistemáticas a los derechos humanos.

«La respuesta que hemos dado con contundencia es que es una acusación que no es válida», recalcó.

Mencionó que la demanda a nivel internacional no procede y serán los miembros de la Corte quienes decidan.

«Se acusa al Presidente de algo que es su obligación constitucional, que es la protección de los ciudadanos», enfatizó.

Sobre el tema de la próxima elección presidencial en México, la portavoz indicó que una de las preocupaciones principales del Presidente Felipe Calderón es que los comicios se realicen en paz.

Dijo que desde la Presidencia la obligación es que se realice un proceso y transición ordenados y con apego a la ley.

«Para él es muy importante que la democracia continúe en México», aseveró la portavoz.
la ley.

Vicente Zambada está en la cárcel en Chicago

Hay una Ley Gringa que permite al estado terminar juicios si se pone en riesgo “Secretos de Estado”, si EUA sigue con la negativa y el juez sigue insistiendo, es posible que salga libre el Vicentillo con toda Impunidad.

El cártel de Sinaloa fue el principal destinatario de las armas de la operación estadunidense Rápido y furioso. Eso lo supieron desde el principio el Departamento de Justicia y varias agencias de inteligencia de Estados Unidos. Pese a ello, continuaron con el operativo y lo ocultaron al gobierno de México. Tal es la conclusión de un informe realizado por los congresistas estadunidenses Darrell E. Issa y Charles E. Grassley. Con base en éste y en otras fuentes y documentos, los periodistas independientes Andrew Kennis y Jason McGahan describen, en un texto para Proceso, aspectos del operativo que terminó por beneficiar al cártel del Chapo Guzmán.

MÉXICO, D.F. (Proceso).- El 5 de noviembre de 2010 agentes de la Policía Federal (PF) y de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) encontraron el cadáver de Mario Ángel González Rodríguez –hermano de Patricia González, que recién había terminado su gestión como procuradora de Justicia de Chihuahua– en una fosa poco profunda, en la colonia Granjas del Valle de la capital del estado.

Fue “levantado” el 21 de octubre; días después circuló en internet un video en el que aparecía esposado y a merced de cinco hombres armados que vestían uniformes de camuflaje, máscaras y chalecos antibalas. En el video, Mario González dijo que su hermana había ordenado asesinatos a petición del cártel de Juárez.

La procuradora rechazó el señalamiento. Afirmó que los plagiarios habían obligado a su hermano a declarar eso. Sostuvo que el secuestro era una represalia por la persecución que ella había encabezado contra miembros del cártel de Sinaloa y que se había realizado debido a la corrupción de agentes policiacos.

Horas antes de que las autoridades descubrieran el cadáver, agentes de la PF irrumpieron en una casa de seguridad y arrestaron a ocho presuntos miembros de la banda que había secuestrado y asesinado a Mario González. Les decomisaron 16 armas de grueso calibre.

Ese mismo 5 de noviembre, Tonya English, agente de la Oficina de Información Estratégica e Inteligencia (OSSII, por sus siglas en inglés), perteneciente a la Agencia de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF), envió un correo electrónico a David Voth, supervisor del Grupo VII de la ATF en Phoenix, Arizona, para informarle que su oficina había rastreado esas armas decomisadas a los presuntos asesinos de Mario González y que dos de ellas, un par de rifles AK-47, habían llegado a México como parte de la operación Rápido y furioso.

La noticia pronto se regó dentro de la ATF. “Empleados de la OSII contactaron a sus colegas en Phoenix para alertarlos de esta conexión. Agentes de la OSII también se lo dijeron al personal de la oficina de la ATF en México”.

Carlos Canino, agregado alterno de la oficina de la ATF en México, se preocupó. Temía que la prensa mexicana descubriera la conexión entre el asesinato de Mario González y Rápido y furioso. Pidió a sus superiores que informaran de dicha conexión a las autoridades mexicanas o que lo autorizaran a hacerlo él mismo.

Consideraba que si los funcionarios nacionales se enteraban de ese dato por la prensa, y no por las autoridades estadunidenses, les retirarían su confianza a los agentes de la ATF, lo que les impediría trabajar con ellos. En ese caso, razonó, “nosotros sólo podríamos hacer las maletas e ir a casa”. Además, se afectarían aún más las relaciones entre México y Estados Unidos, de por sí tensas a causa de lo que se había sabido de la operación Rápido y furioso.

Pero los directivos de la ATF no respondían a las peticiones de Canino. Le daban largas. Ocho meses después, en junio pasado, el agregado alterno obtuvo “un tipo de aprobación” de su superior inmediato, Daniel Kumor, jefe de Asuntos Internacionales de la ATF, y Canino se comunicó directamente con Marisela Morales, procuradora general de la República. Cuando le soltó la noticia, dice, “ella quedó en shock” y luego exclamó: “¡Híjole!”.

“Todo bajo control”

Esa información aparece en el informe Operación Rápido y furioso del Departamento de Justicia: alimentando la violencia de los cárteles, elaborado por los congresistas Darrell E. Issa, jefe del Comité de Vigilancia y Reforma de Gobierno de la Cámara de Representantes, y Charles E. Grassley, miembro del Comité de Justicia del Senado.

Ellos encabezan la investigación del Congreso sobre Rápido y furioso, por lo que llamaron a comparecer a agentes y funcionarios de la ATF, lo mismo que del Departamento de Justicia. Además, tuvieron acceso a documentos relativos a la operación elaborados por las dos dependencias y por otras, como la DEA y el FBI.

El informe de 60 páginas, fechado el pasado 26 de julio, describe cómo los funcionarios de la ATF en Estados Unidos ocultaron los detalles del operativo Rápido y furioso a las autoridades mexicanas y a los agentes de la ATF destacados en México, aunque éstos empezaron a notificar desde finales de 2009 un “incremento anormal” en el decomiso de armas relacionadas con “una investigación” que se llevaba a cabo en la división de la ATF en Phoenix, Arizona.

Darrell Gil, quien era el jefe de la ATF en México, dijo a los investigadores del Congreso que a finales de 2009 comunicó sus preocupaciones a los funcionarios de la ATF en Phoenix y, como no le hacían caso, lo hizo en enero de 2010 con sus superiores en Washington. En ambos casos recibió respuestas similares: “Existe una investigación en curso”, “estamos trabajando en eso” y “todo está bajo control”.

Gil contó que la división de la ATF en Phoenix bloqueó a sus agentes en México el acceso a la base de datos del sistema de rastreo de armas conocido como e-Trace. Tanto Gil como Canino comentaron que los funcionarios de la ATF en Phoenix y Washington les ocultaban información del operativo porque temían que los agentes en México pudieran compartirla con funcionarios del gobierno de Felipe Calderón y éstos, a su vez –debido a la corrupción imperante en el país–, la filtraran a los cárteles de la droga, con lo cual fracasaría la investigación.

Más aún, Gil relató que cuando el director de la ATF, Kenneth Melson, y el subprocurador de Justicia de Estados Unidos, Lanny Breuer, realizaron visitas por separado a México en 2010, ambos intentaron calmar las preocupaciones de los agentes destacados en el Distrito Federal. Según Gil, Melson les comentó: “Es una investigación en curso que está proveyendo de alguna buena información de inteligencia (…) Lo vamos a checar cuando regresemos (a Washington), pero yo creo que está dando algunos buenos resultados”.

Destino: el cártel de Sinaloa

Con base en documentos del Departamento de Justicia, el informe de los congresistas señala que hasta julio pasado se habían recuperado 122 armas conectadas con la operación Rápido y furioso en 48 decomisos realizados por las autoridades mexicanas.

Sin embargo, los autores advierten: “existen indicios de que ese número podría ser mayor”. Citan como ejemplo el correo electrónico que Bill Newell, agente “en cargo” de la ATF, envió a su jefe, el subdirector adjunto William McMahon, según el cual hasta el 16 de diciembre de 2010 se habían recuperado 241 armas relacionadas con Rápido y furioso en México y 350 en Estados Unidos.

El informe de los congresistas estadunidenses y otras fuentes consultadas por los reporteros revelan que la mayoría de las armas de Rápido y furioso aparecidas en diversas “escenas del crimen” en México estaba destinada al cártel de Sinaloa.

Por ejemplo, en el informe de los congresistas aparecen extractos de la comparecencia de Steve Martin, director adjunto de la OSII, quien sostuvo que hasta el 27 de febrero de 2010 habrían terminado en manos del cártel de Sinaloa un total de mil 26 armas de Rápido y furioso, con un valor total de 650 mil dólares, y que de ello eran conscientes los funcionarios de la ATF.

En su comparecencia Martin se refiere a una “sesión informativa” sobre Rápido y furioso que se llevó a cabo el 5 de marzo de 2010 y en la que participaron importantes funcionarios de la ATF:

Pregunta: Después de esa sesión informativa no hay duda que las armas en este caso estaban siendo vinculadas al cártel de Sinaloa, con base en…

Respuesta: Con base en la información presentada. Y podría decir que sí.

Pregunta: Y eso era, presumiblemente, muy claro para todos en el salón (donde se llevó la sesión informativa).

Respuesta: Con base en eso, se dice que la gente (que compra las armas) está conectada con el cártel de Sinaloa, y yo podría decir que es cierto.

El citado informe señala que “el primer gran decomiso de armas ligadas a Rápido y furioso ocurrió el 20 de noviembre de 2009 en Naco, Sonora”. Se trató de 41 rifles AK-47 y un rifle Beowulf calibre.05. Verónica Álvarez Toscano, una mujer de 21 años residente en DeLand, Florida, las transportaba en un vehículo. Las había comprado 24 horas antes en una tienda de armas en Arizona. Lorren Leadman, especialista de la OSII, dijo el 5 de julio a los investigadores del Congreso que Álvarez Toscano admitió ante la policía mexicana que todas las armas estaban destinadas al cártel de Sinaloa.

Tres semanas después, el 9 de diciembre de 2009, efectivos del Ejército Mexicano incautaron en una casa de seguridad de Mexicali, Baja California, un arsenal similar: 41 rifles AK-47, un rifle AR-15, una pistola FN 5.7 y 392 cartuchos de diversos calibres, así como 421 kilogramos de cocaína, 60 kilogramos de metanfetaminas, 2 millones de dólares y 1 millón de pesos en efectivo. Los militares detuvieron a 12 personas, varias de ellas sospechosas de pertenecer al cártel de Sinaloa. “El rastro de las armas recuperadas llevó a testaferros que estaban siendo monitoreados por la operación Rápido y furioso”, señala el informe del Congreso.

Y añade: “Con una segunda gran incautación de armas en menos de tres semanas, los agentes de la ATF que monitoreaban la operación Rápido y furioso tenían pocas dudas de lo que estaba pasando”. Y cita lo que uno de éstos, José Wall, escribió en un correo electrónico a su colega de la agencia, Hope MacAllister: “(el liderazgo del cártel de Sinaloa) se está armando para una guerra”.

El 13 de enero de 2010 la policía de El Paso, Texas, incautó 40 armas largas, cargadores y chalecos antibalas que se encontraban en un auto Volkswagen Jetta abandonado en un estacionamiento de la ciudad. La ATF rastreó los números de serie de las armas. Eran de Rápido y furioso y estaban destinadas a un importante jefe del cártel de Sinaloa en Ciudad Juárez. El informe señala: “Este decomiso pudo representar un cambio en el movimiento de las armas de Rápido y furioso destinadas a la batalla del cártel de Sinaloa por el control del corredor de tráfico de drogas de Ciudad Juárez”.

Hubo otro decomiso importante de armas relacionadas con Rápido y furioso que no aparece en el informe de los congresistas pero que el diario Los Ángeles Times dio a conocer el pasado 8 de octubre con base en los registros de una Corte federal y de documentos de la ATF.

Según esa versión, en abril pasado agentes de la PF tomaron por asalto una casa ubicada en la parte norte de Ciudad Juárez. Los agentes recibieron el chivatazo de que ahí vivían pistoleros. El inmueble, se supo después, pertenecía a José Antonio Torres Marrufo, alias El Marrufo o El Jaguar, jefe del cártel de Sinaloa en Ciudad Juárez

En el gimnasio que estaba en el sótano de la casa, detrás de un muro cubierto por espejos de cuerpo entero los agentes encontraron un cuarto en el que había una ametralladora antiaérea calibre 30, un lanzagranadas, dos docenas de AK-47, rifles Barrett calibre .50 (conocidos como “matapolicías”), 26 mil 708 cartuchos, 247 cargadores, lo mismo que 53 uniformes de la Policía Militar, máquinas registradoras y máscaras antigás. “Hemos confiscado el alijo de armas más importante en la historia de Ciudad Juárez”, se jactó ante la prensa el gobernador de Chihuahua, César Duarte.

Agentes de la ATF rastrearon el origen de las armas. También eran de Rápido y furioso. Un “comprador civil” las adquirió en Phoenix y, con la anuencia de la ATF, las envió a El Paso, Texas, donde miembros del cártel de Sinaloa las “cruzaron” por la frontera.

En su comparecencia ante los congresistas, el funcionario de la ATF Carlos Canino expresó su preocupación sobre los efectos de Rápido y furioso: “Se alega que más de 2 mil armas fueron traficadas en esta operación. Para ponerlo en contexto: el 75 regimiento de la armada de Estados Unidos tiene aproximadamente 2 mil 500 efectivos. Eso significa que, como resultado de esta operación (Rápido y furioso), el cártel de Sinaloa ha recib

20 de abril de 2014 • 11:09 • actualizado a las 11:10

ABEL BARAJAS
Ciudad de México



En su afán por infiltrar y capturar a miembros de su organización criminal, el Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE) traficó cocaína del capo Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, desde Phoenix, Arizona, hasta la ciudad de Nueva York.

El ICE se infiltró desde el 2006 en el círculo cercano de "El Mayo" y permitió que sus "topos" llevaran a cabo entregas controladas de kilogramos de cocaína para la célula que encabezaba su hombre de confianza José Lamberto Verdugo Calderón "El Verdugo".

Una entrega controlada de 129 kilos de cocaína en la ciudad de los rascacielos proporcionó a los estadounidenses información de números telefónicos y cómplices, que resultó útil para que el Ejército ubicara y abatiera a Verdugo en Culiacán, Sinaloa, el 22 de enero de 2009.

La cuenta regresiva para el operador de "El Mayo" comenzó el 2 de Diciembre de 2006, cuando agentes especiales del ICE reclutaron en San Diego, California, a un informante muy valioso para sus pesquisas, señala un oficio del 1 de diciembre del 2008, suscrito por Louis R. García, entonces Agregado de esa agencia en México.

El documento, entregado a la PGR y después integrado a un expediente judicial, dice que el colaborador del ICE era un sujeto a quien la organización de Zambada había delegado la responsabilidad de transportar la cocaína de Arizona a la costa Este.

Tres meses antes de hablar con los estadounidenses, el "topo" había estado en Sinaloa, para reunirse con Verdugo. Conoció uno de sus ranchos, cerca de Culiacán, donde había un almacén con refrigeración que conservaba varias toneladas de cocaína empaquetada en ladrillos.

Desde su primer encuentro, el confidente señaló a los oficiales que Verdugo era el hombre que operaba para "El Mayo" las entregas de drogas y la recepción del dinero. Era un tipo de extracción rural y de bajo perfil que traficaba cocaína desde hacía más de una década.

Verdugo no era un desconocido para los estadounidenses, porque tenían registros de miembros de su grupo delictivo desde la década de los 90 y su hermano Rodrigo había sido detenido en Arizona por narcotráfico, en noviembre de 2003.

En un oficio con número MLVU: 0607: MX02BR07SY0003: tg, el ICE refiere que en diciembre de 2006 dio luz verde para iniciar una entrega controlada de 129 kilos de cocaína propiedad de Verdugo. El cargamento había entrado por Nogales, estaba en Phoenix y debían llevarlo a Nueva York.

"Agentes de la Oficina de ICE en San Isidro acompañaron al informante a Phoenix, Arizona, para iniciar la operación. El informante recibió instrucciones de recoger la cocaína en Phoenix, el 10 de Diciembre de 2006", indica el reporte.

El teléfono del infiltrado era escuchado por el ICE. Ese día a las 10:00 horas habló con un sujeto apodado "El Güero", quien lo citó al medio día en una tienda de juguetes "Toys R US" ubicada en la Dunlap Avenue de Phoenix.

A las 13:10 horas, agentes encubiertos fotografiaron al salir de la tienda a su informante con otras 7 personas -5 hombres y dos mujeres-, quienes se acercaron a un carro Prelude Honda rojo con placas de Arizona 756 TJW, registrado a nombre de Ossiel Sámano Loaiza.

El infiltrado se subió al carro, cuya cajuela iba cargada de cocaína, y 5 minutos después se marchó del estacionamiento; sus cómplices se quedaron junto a un vehículo Intrepid Dodge.

Los agentes del ICE mantuvieron un seguimiento encubierto del Honda, para cerciorarse que no hubiese contra vigilancia. Su informante condujo hasta el Centro Comercial Desert Ridge, en el Tatum Boulevard, en Phoenix.

Allí lo esperaban otros agentes, quienes sacaron del carro 129 kilos de cocaína y los llevaron hasta las oficinas del ICE, donde pesaron, fotografiaron y practicaron dictámenes químicos a la droga.

"Entre el 13 y 17 de Diciembre de 2006, Agentes de ICE de la Oficina de San Isidro, California, acompañaron al informante a Nueva York... El 15 de Diciembre hicieron una entrega controlada en Nueva York de 129 kilogramos de cocaína, procedentes de la organización de Verdugo Calderón", señala el informe.

A raíz de esta entrega, se obtuvo información que llevó a la captura de José Oscar del Castillo Gallardo, el 20 de enero de 2007, cuando esquiaba en Big Bear Lake, California.

Del Castillo, quien tenía en su celular registros de llamadas recientes con "El Verdugo", es compadre de Vicente Zambada Niebla "El Vicentillo", hijo de "El Mayo", y también es yerno de Víctor Emilio Cazares Gastelum, hombre cercano a Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán".

Su captura llevó a un aseguramiento de 38 mil dólares en Michigan, el 6 de febrero siguiente, y luego a la incautación de 2 millones 11 mil 956 dólares en Chicago, Illinois, el 2 de Abril de 2007. El cerco sobre Verdugo se iba cerrando desde Estados Unidos.

El 10 de septiembre de 2008 el Ejército Mexicano aseguró 26 millones 202 mil 176 dólares en una de sus casas de seguridad en Culiacán. El golpe fue el preludio final para "El Verdugo", quien fue localizado y abatido por los militares el 22 de enero de 2009.



Jueves, 10 de abril de 2014 a las 15:45

(CNNMéxico) — El Vicentillo había insistido en declararse inocente… pero cambió de postura para reducir la condena que pudieran imponerle.

Vicente Zambada Niebla, vinculado con el cártel de Sinaloa, se declaró culpable hace un año en Estados Unidos por cargos de narcotráfico, y está "cooperando" con las autoridades de ese país, informaron este jueves funcionarios federales estadounidenses.

Entre otros puntos, admitió que en el lapso de 2005 a 2008 era un integrante de alto rango del cártel de Sinaloa, y que encabezó muchas operaciones de tráfico de drogas, por su cuenta y en cooperación con su padre, Ismael el Mayo Zambada.

El acuerdo con el que se declaró culpable, establecido el tres de abril de 2013, se detalló de forma pública en la Corte de Distrito para el Distrito Norte de Illinois, de acuerdo con un comunicado de esa instancia de justicia.




"Bajo el acuerdo de culpabilidad, se enfrenta a una pena máxima de cadena perpetua, una sentencia mínima obligatoria de 10 años, y una multa máxima de 4 millones de dólares", agregó el mensaje oficial.

Pero "si el gobierno (de EU) determina en el momento de la sentencia que Zambada Niebla ha seguido prestando una cooperación plena y veraz, como lo exige el acuerdo de culpabilidad", se reducirá la sentencia aconsejada, de cadena perpetua.

Al menos seis de ochos líderes del narcotráfico extraditados a territorio estadounidense desde 2007 establecieron acuerdos con fiscales de ese país, para declararse culpables y reducir sus condenas.

En esa lista están Eduardo Arellano Félix, el Doctor; Benjamín Arellano Félix, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, Héctor el Güero Palma, Miguel Caro Quintero y Mario Villanueva.

El Vicentillo era el único de los capos extraditados que se había declarado inocente.

Zambada Niebla permanece bajo custodia de Estados Unidos —a donde fue extraditado desde febrero de 2010—, y hasta el momento se no ha fijado una fecha para darle una sentencia a su caso.

En otro punto del acuerdo, Zambada Niebla se comprometió a no impugnar una sentencia con la que se estableció un decomiso de 1,300 millones de dólares.

En específico, Zambada Niebla se declaró culpable de un cargo de conspiración para poseer e intentar distribuir en territorio estadounidense múltiples kilogramos de cocaína y heroína, entre 2005 y 2008.

"La declaración de culpabilidad significa que no habrá juicio para Zambada-Niebla, cuyo caso fue separado del de sus coacusados", entre los que están su padre, Ismael Zambada (prófugo), y Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán (detenido en México), ambos presuntos líderes del cártel de Sinaloa, de acuerdo con el comunicado de la Corte de Distrito para el Distrito Norte de Illinois.

El Vicentillo fue detenido en 2009, en la capital mexicana.

Al ser extraditado a Estados Unidos, en ese país lo acusaron junto a el Mayo y el Chapo Guzmán de obtener armas, y planear usar la fuerza para defender al cártel de Sinaloa, además de conspirar para importar drogas a territorio estadounidense.

En abril de 2012 un juez federal estadounidense se negó a retirar los cargos en contra de Zambada Niebla, quien alegaba que tenía inmunidad porque trabajaba como informante de la DEA.

Las confesiones de Zambada

"Zambada Niebla confesó que entre mayo de 2005 y diciembre de 2008 él era un miembro de alto nivel del cártel de Sinaloa, y que fue responsable de muchos aspectos de sus operaciones de tráfico de drogas, 'tanto de forma independiente y como un hombre de confianza de su padre', para quien actuó como coordinador sustituto y logístico", según el acuerdo de culpabilidad.

También admitió que era consciente de que su padre, el Mayo Zambada, era uno de los líderes del cártel de Sinaloa desde 1970, y que su principal medio de vida derivó de su venta de drogas en Estados Unidos.

Además dijo que el cártel de Sinaloa utilizó vuelos privados, submarinos y otros vehículos sumergibles, buques de pesca, vagones de ferrocarril, además automóviles para realizar el traslado de drogas, desde Centro y Sudamérica, para pasar por el interior de México, hasta llegar a Estados Unidos.

"Zambada Niebla también admitió que era consciente de que el cartel usó la violencia e hizo amenazas creíbles de violencia contra cárteles rivales y autoridades en México para facilitar su negocio", agregó el documento que se dio a conocer este jueves.





26 de febrero de 2014

MÉXICO, D.F. (apro).- La convocatoria anónima surtió efecto: cientos de personas salieron a marchar a las calles de Culiacán y Guamúchil, en Sinaloa, para exigir a las autoridades federales la liberación de su “héroe”, Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán.

Ataviados con playeras y gorras blancas, y acompañados de música de banda, los manifestantes –mujeres, hombres, jóvenes y niños– alzaron pancartas con las leyendas: “Queremos libre al Chapo”, “No queremos otra guerra, liberen al Chapo” y “Chapo, hazme un hijo”.

También circularon volantes que pedían “un juicio justo” para Guzmán Loera. “Exigimos la no extradición porque todo mexicano tiene derecho a ser juzgado en su país”, decía otra manta. Una más: “Familia, amigos y pueblo exigen hagan valer los derechos humanos del señor Joaquín Guzmán”.




Dámaso López, posible sucesor de Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán


22 de febrero de 2014•18:28 • actualizado a las 18:36

Ciudad de México.- La detención del narcotraficante más buscado en el mundo, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, es un acierto para el gobierno mexicano, pero esta captura podría incrementar la violencia en el país, advirtió la firma de inteligencia Stratfor.



Señaló que quienes se quedan al mando del Cártel de Sinaloa, tras ser capturado su máximo líder, buscarán a toda costa mantener el poder de esta organización criminal.

Según el informe, se “podría desatar una ola de violencia en todo el noroeste de México, si los cambios internos evolucionan en conflicto intracártel”.

El Cártel de Sinaloa, refirió Stratfor, ha enfrentado a una serie de arrestos desde diciembre pasado y a diversos desafíos en sus áreas de operaciones por las redes criminales regionales y transnacionales.

Stratfor agrega que “el ritmo y el éxito de las operaciones dirigidas a los principales líderes de la Federación de Sinaloa obstaculizarán seriamente la capacidad del cártel para defender sus operaciones en el noroeste de México, que posiblemente lleve a la violencia sustancial en varias áreas a medida que organizaciones criminales rivales buscan explotar nuevas vulnerabilidades del cártel”.



Ciudad de México.- Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo”, líder del llamado Cártel de Sinaloa es “sustituible” y ya no es “intocable”, indica un análisis de la agencia de inteligencia estadunidense Stratfor.

Según el documento, el territorio liderado por el también prófugo de la justicia desde 2011, está en riesgo ante ataques de grupos rivales que se disputan las plazas del narcotráfico.

En el texto titulado "La mitificación de 'El Chapo'”, Stratfor explica que las organizaciones criminales Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) y Los Mazatlecos mantienen una estrategia bélica en los bastiones del “Chapo” Guzmán, es decir, Jalisco y Sinaloa.

Según la agencia de inteligencia, la presunta protección del Gobierno hacia el capo de la droga es sólo un “mito popular” y advierte que paulatinamente se incrementan los frentes en contra de su presencia criminal.

Expuso que en los primeros meses de este año, el CJNG rompió relaciones de manera definitiva con "el Chapo" tras el asesinato de uno de sus aliados, José Manuel Garibay Félix, alias "El Gordo", y ahora pretende hacerse cargo de la producción de drogas químicas y su trasiego en el estado de Jalisco.

Asimismo, “los remanentes de lo que alguna vez fue la organización de los Beltrán Leyva conforman al grupo denominado Los Mazatlecos, que representan una potente amenaza para la organización de 'El Chapo' a lo largo de Sinaloa”, refiere Stratfor.

En los últimos seis años "el Chapo" perdió la alianza con Los Beltrán Leyva y han sido detenidos ocho mandos medios o altos del Cártel de Sinaloa, así como de personas cercanas a Guzmán Loera, y está latente la amenaza de grupos como Los Caballeros Templarios y Los Zetas.

Sin embargo, la eventual captura o eliminación del “Chapo” no representaría el fin de la organización delictiva que lidera, pues en este cártel existe un triunvirato conformado por Guzmán, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada y Juan José Esparragoza, "El Azul", quienes en caso de esta ausencia, seguirían con sus negocios ilícitos.



Ciudad de México.- Alejandrina Giselle Guzmán Salazar, presunta hija del narcotraficante Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, se declaró culpable ante Cathy Ann Bencivengo, jueza de Distrito de Estados Unidos.
La supuesta hija del líder del Cártel de Sinaloa fue capturada el 12 de octubre en San Diego, California, acusada de fraude, así como uso ilegal de visas, permisos y diversos documentos.


Cathy Ann Bencivengo también ordenó su liberación, pues consideró que Guzmán cumplió su sentencia, después de más de dos meses de reclusión.
El 25 de octubre se había declarado inocente, pero el lunes recibió seis cargos de inmigración ante la Corte Federal de San Diego.
La mujer, de 31 años de edad, admitió haber intentado cruzar la frontera por la garita de San Ysidro identificada con una visa legal, pero de otra persona.
Guzmán Salazar tenía siete meses de embarazo cuando fue detenida por ingresar a Estados Unidos con una visa ajena para dar a luz a su hijo en el país norteamericano.
En la audiencia a la que no se convocó a los medios de comunicación, se ordenó la deportación inmediata de Guzmán Salazar, confirmaron fuentes judiciales.
La acusada tenía programada una audiencia para el 20 de diciembre de 2012; no obstante, su defensa llegó a una negociación con las autoridades norteamericanas.
Alejandrina Giselle, hoy con nueve meses de embarazo, aún está bajo la custodia de autoridades migratorias y se desconoce cuándo será deportada.
El Departamento de Justicia descartó otros cargos relacionados con el supuesto parentesco con el narcotraficante más buscado en México.
La Oficina del Fiscal en San Diego no ha confirmado que sea hija de Guzmán Loera, y no hay ninguna mención de este supuesto parentesco en su declaración.



MÉXICO, D.F. (apro).- Una Corte federal de San Diego, California, pospuso para el próximo 20 de diciembre la comparecencia de Alejandrina Guzmán, presunta hija de Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, el líder del cártel de Sinaloa, ante la juez Cathy Ann Bencivengo.

Alejandrina enfrenta seis cargos federales relacionados con las leyes de migración de Estados Unidos –fraude y uso indebido de visas, permisos y otros documentos–, tras su detención, el pasado 15 de octubre en el puerto internacional de San Ysidro, al sur de San Diego.

La Corte estadunidense evitó detallar su decisión de cambiar la fecha de la audiencia.

No obstante, Guadalupe Valencia, abogado de Alejandrina Guzmán, destacó que la presentación ante la Corte fue pospuesta de común acuerdo entre las partes, con el fin de recopilar más información del caso.

La supuesta hija del líder del cártel de Sinaloa fue detenida a mediados de octubre pasado en la garita de San Ysidro, California, cuando intentaba ingresar a Estados Unidos con documentación falsa.

En ese entonces, las autoridades federales informaron que la mujer tenía más de siete meses de embarazo.






¡152 disparos y no hay móvil!

Rubén Torres
19 Noviembre, 2012 - 17:03


Es mezquino aquél que pregunta, obtiene el cómo y qué ocurrió en la carretera México-Cuernavaca el pasado 26 de agosto, pero no el por qué, después que 13 policías federales rociaron con 152 disparos de metralla una camioneta blindada placas BCM-242 diplomáticas bien visibles, donde iban dos “espías’’ gringos en compañía de un capitán de SEMAR y no dicen el móvil.

Es lo único que las huestes de Genaro García Luna, flamante secretario de Seguridad Pública Federal (SSPF), tenaz productor de shows y escándalos mediáticos político-policiacos y la primera abogada de la nación, Marisela Morales Ibáñez, con las versiones de la subprocuradora Victoria Pacheco Jiménez y la Comisionada de la Policía Federal, Maribel Cervantes Guerrero, pero no precisan, porque tampoco lo saben.





Según un estudio de Viridiana Río, investigadora de la Universidad de Harvard, en los últimos ocho años, la presencia de organizaciones del narcotráfico creció más de 13 veces en los municipios mexicanos

Ciudad de México.- En los últimos 8 años, la presencia de cárteles en los municipios del País creció más de 13 veces, señala un estudio de la investigadora Viridiana Ríos.

Ríos, candidata a doctora en Gobierno por la Universidad de Harvard, y su socio Michele Coscia crearon un algoritmo llamado MOGO (Making Order Using Google As an Oracle), que permite recopilar información de Google News, filtrarla y organizarla para monitorear el movimiento y acción de los cárteles de la droga en México.

"A la gente le sorprenden los resultados del estudio: sólo en el 30 por ciento de los municipios del País hay operación de los grupos del narcotráfico, pero hay que decir que en 2004 el porcentaje de municipios era muchísimo menor. De hecho, sólo operaban en 50 municipios, cuando ahora están en 713", dijo Ríos en entrevista telefónica.

La investigación se concentra en un documento que titularon: "¿Cómo y Dónde Operan los Criminales? Usando Google para Rastrear a las Organizaciones de Tráfico de Droga en México".

En su trabajo, los investigadores generaron mapeo sobre estrategias comerciales, áreas de operación y tendencias de crecimiento del crimen organizado.

"Le dimos a nuestro algoritmo los nombres de las organizaciones criminales que buscamos y miembros de estas organizaciones, y MOGO busca en qué momento, en qué año y en qué lugar se menciona a esas organizaciones", añadió Ríos.

Entre las conclusiones a las que llegaron está que los cárteles de la droga imitan a las empresas, pues plantean crecimiento, intervención y control del mercado dependiendo de sus intereses financieros.



San Diego, California.- Funcionarios de Estados Unidos dijeron que la hija de Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, uno de los capos del narcotráfico más buscados del mundo, fue arrestada en San Diego después de ser detenida en la frontera bajo sospecha de intentar ingresar a Estados Unidos con el pasaporte de otra persona.

Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán Salazar fue detenida el viernes en el puerto internacional de San Ysidro, al sur de San Diego, y fue acusada de fraude y uso indebido de visas, permisos y otros documentos.

Guzmán Salazar le dijo a las autoridades estadounidenses que su padre es Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, líder del Cártel de Sinaloa, en México, dijeron el lunes dos funcionarios de Estados Unidos.

Los funcionarios hablaron bajo condición de guardar el anonimato por no estar autorizado a hablar públicamente del arresto.



México.- Todo parece indicar que la premura para presentar a un joven como hijo de “El Chapo” Guzmán tenía tintes políticos, en pleno cierre de campañas.

Y es que de acuerdo con Juan Heriberto Rangel Méndez, defensor de los dos jóvenes detenidos por marinos en Zapopan, Jalisco, la Agencia Antidrogas de Estados Unidos (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés) ofreció a los hermanos Félix y Kevin Beltrán, que aceptaran ser familiares del líder del cártel de Sinaloa, luego los dejarían libres después de las elecciones.

En entrevista con el diario La Jornada, el abogado de los jóvenes dijo que el ofrecimiento se hizo dentro de las propias instalaciones de la Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (Siedo).

“Se dio poco antes de que ambos rindieran su declaración ministerial durante la noche del jueves. Hasta ellos llegaron los agentes de la DEA cuando todavía no estábamos nosotros para defenderlos”, relató al diario.

“Primero le dicen a Félix que acepte que es el hijo de ‘El Chapo’ y que se podría aclarar su situación después de las elecciones. Querían que firmara las declaraciones que le presentaron los de la Siedo. Entonces él les respondió que no iba a firmar nada, y no lo hizo, afortunadamente”, prosiguió.

“Le insistieron: ‘tú acepta, ahorita firmas tu declaración y luego se hace la aclaración que no eras’; después, cuando se convencieron de que no aceptaría, le dijeron: ‘queremos que inculpes a las personas que nosotros te digamos y sales ahorita’”, pero tampoco quiso.

“Obviamente ya no sacaron nada de él, y Félix refiere que llegó un agente de la DEA, un pelón, que le dijo ‘a ver voltéate’, y Félix lo hizo. Le pidió también que se quitara la camisa y luego el agente agregó: ‘no éste no es, el gordo tiene una cicatriz’”, detalló.

Rangel Méndez señaló que supieron que eran agentes de la DEA porque los jóvenes “dicen que los dos agentes eran güeros, altos y hablaban en inglés. Félix dice que le decían las palabras en español mal pronunciado y que cuando él les decía que no, entonces entre ellos hablaban en inglés”.

Indicó que fue la madrugada del sábado, cuando se pudo reunir con ellos, que le contaron lo sucedido con los agentes.

“Vi que no están golpeados ni maltratados, y allí me dijeron que entraron los agentes de la DEA y les propusieron eso”, apuntó el abogado.

La Siedo informó que mantendrá bajo arraigo durante los siguientes 40 días a los hermanos Kevin y Félix Beltrán, pese a que ya descartó que en el caso del primero de ellos se trate del hijo de Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Con información de La Jornada



La detención, la semana pasada, de una red de operadores de Los Zetas en Estados Unidos, entre ellos Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, puso al descubierto los tentáculos del cártel en Veracruz, donde se asentó durante la gestión de Fidel Herrera Beltrán y corrompió a políticos de todo signo. Las primeras indagatorias implican no sólo al exmandatario priista por su cercanía con Pancho Colorado, sino también al PAN y aun al PRD. De acuerdo con declaraciones de funcionarios federales a Proceso, Los Zetas tienen entre 2 mil y 3 mil miembros en ese estado.

La desarticulación de una red de lavado de dinero del cártel de Los Zetas en Estados Unidos vino a constatar que la delgada línea entre política y narcotráfico en Veracruz alcanza lo mismo al PRI que al PAN.

Las investigaciones de la justicia estadunidense contra el número dos de esa organización delictiva y jefe del grupo en el estado, Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, El Z40, afectaron en un primer momento al exgobernador Fidel Herrera Beltrán, pero pronto alcanzaron al PAN y a su candidata presidencial, Josefina Vázquez Mota.

La justicia estadunidense tiene encausadas en diferentes cortes federales a 35 personas que han sido investigadas desde que Herrera Beltrán era gobernador por la Administración Antidrogas de Estados Unidos (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) por su participación en el tráfico de drogas y lavado de dinero entre Veracruz, Tamaulipas y Estados Unidos.

La detención el martes 13, en Oklahoma, del hermano del Z40, José Treviño Morales, colocó de nueva cuenta al exgobernador en el centro de atención. Ese día, la justicia estadunidense hizo pública la acusación contra 15 personas como presuntas responsables de lavar dinero para Los Zetas mediante empresas dedicadas a la crianza de caballos pura sangre y las apuestas en carreras de caballos.

Entre los inculpados, como intermediario en la compra de caballos, está el contratista de Pemex de la zona de Tuxpan, Francisco Antonio Colorado Cessa, quien ha sido beneficiario tanto por el PRI como por las administraciones de Vicente Fox y Felipe Calderón.

(Extracto del reportaje que se publica esta semana en la revista Proceso 1859, ya en circulación)


Abel Barajas

Ciudad de México.- La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) aseguró el rancho "Flor de María" en Tuxpan, Veracruz, propiedad de Francisco Colorado Cessa, quien el jueves se entregó en una Corte Federal de Estados Unidos para enfrentar cargos por presunto lavado de dinero de Los Zetas.

Colorado, dueño de la empresa ADT Petroservicios, es una de las 15 personas acusadas de lavar dinero del cártel por medio de la compra de caballos pura sangre para carreras parejeras.

Según información oficial, en la indagatoria iniciada por la Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (SIEDO), peritos de la PGR valuaron en 34 millones 777 mil pesos esta propiedad que lleva el nombre de la esposa del empresario veracruzano.

La dependencia informó que el rancho de Pancho Colorado, como se le conoce, era utilizado por integrantes de la organización criminal como casa de seguridad y descanso, aunque no precisa si el inmueble había sido invadido o existía un acuerdo entre el dueño y los criminales.

Dentro de los límites de la propiedad, la Policía Federal sostuvo un enfrentamiento con los sicarios de la banda delictiva, en el cual resultaron 26 detenidos, siete heridos y dos muertos, el pasado 22 de marzo.

En aquella ocasión, los agentes abatieron a Enrique Delgado Fraire, "Mando Quique", identificado por el Gobierno federal como el jefe de plaza de Los Zetas en la zona sur de Tamaulipas y quien organizó la fuga de 53 reos del penal de Cieneguillas, Zacatecas, en mayo de 2009.

Un total de 18 de los 26 detenidos laboraban en el rancho de Pancho Colorado fueron puestos a disposición de la PGR; sin embargo, nunca se informó si luego fueron liberados, consignados o arraigados como sospechosos de colaborar con el crimen organizado.

De acuerdo con informes allegados a la investigación, cuando ocurrió el enfrentamiento en su rancho, el dueño de ADT Petroservicios ya llevaba algunos días en Texas y tras enterarse de los hechos canceló su regreso a México. Se quedó en Houston hasta el día de su entrega.

La PGR indicó que la investigación penal que fundamenta las acusaciones contra Colorado, presentadas en Estados Unidos, forman parte de las indagatorias iniciadas en la SIEDO desde abril 2011, aunque el empresario nunca fue detenido.

En una tarjeta informativa, la dependencia detalló que la investigación que lleva a cabo contra Colorado es por delincuencia organizada, delito considerado como grave y, además, ha realizado varios cateos y aseguramientos de bienes, como es el caso del rancho en Tuxpan.

Agregó que Colorado cuenta con una orden de localización y presentación girada por la SIEDO.

"Existe al respecto, amplia coordinación de la PGR, por medio de la SIEDO, con autoridades de los Estados Unidos de América para detectar empresas y operaciones financieras probablemente provenientes de narcotráfico", indicó la Procuraduría.

Detallan bitácoras vuelos de JVM

El uso del avión propiedad de Pancho Colorado por parte de Josefina Vázquez Mota quedó registrado en bitácoras de vuelo.

El 14 de mayo de 2010, los pasajeros del avión con matrícula XA-RDJ, propiedad de Aerolíneas Ejecutivas, eran Vázquez Mota -- entonces coordinadora de la diputación panista-- quien acudió a apoyar la campaña de Cuauhtémoc Calderón, aspirante a la gubernatura de Zacatecas y que viajó de regreso; el entonces diputado federal del PAN, Miguel Martín López, y Alejandro Meléndez, secretario de la panista.

El vuelo cubrió la ruta Toluca-Zacatecas y de regreso.

El 29 de mayo, Pancho Colorado viajó en ese avión del Aeropuerto Nacional El Lencero, en Jalapa, a Poza Rica. De ese destino fue llevado, sin pasajeros a Toluca y ahí recogió el 30 de mayo a Vázquez Mota, Martín López y al diputado federal Carlos Pérez Cuevas, quienes volaron a Jalapa.

Se deslinda Yadhira Carrillo



CHICAGO (apro).- El juez Rubén Castillo, de la Corte federal de Illinois, fijó el próximo 9 de octubre como la nueva fecha para iniciar el juicio por delitos de narcotráfico contra Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, El Vicentillo.

En una audiencia para determinar la nueva fecha del juicio, el juez federal dijo que éste reiniciará hasta otoño, tomando en cuenta que es un proceso complicado, y tanto la defensa del acusado como el Departamento de Justicia necesitan tiempo para preparar sus argumentos.

Castillo aclaró que está en proceso de revisión de la información clasificada que le ha entregado el gobierno de Estados Unidos para acusar de narcotráfico a El Vicentillo.

El magistrado dijo a los defensores del presunto capo que estima que a finales de marzo próximo terminará de hacer la revisión de los documentos clasificados.

Y una vez que concluya la revisión de los documentos, el juez Castillo determinará cuáles son los que dejará analizar a la defensa de El Vicentillo.

También destacó que la Corte federal en Illinois dio como plazo a la defensa de Zambada Niebla hasta el 30 de marzo para que presente cualquier otro documento que respalde su pedido de inmunidad para el hijo de Ismael El Mayo Zambada.

El juez Castillo también aclaró que un mes después el Departamento de Justicia responderá a lo que los abogados de El Vicentillo entreguen a la Corte a fines de marzo.

La próxima audiencia de preparación para el juicio será el 18 de abril, fecha para la cual aseguró el juez ya se deberá tener más claro cómo proceder en el caso de Zambada Niebla.

El juzgador dijo además que se tendrá que abordar la situación de otros posibles criminales involucrados en este caso y que podrían ser extraditados de México a Estados Unidos.

En la sesión de este miércoles, Castillo advirtió al Departamento de Justicia que seguirá manteniendo en secreto la información clasificada en el caso de El Vicentillo y que él considere como riesgosa para la seguridad nacional.

Sin embargo, el juez federal enfatizó al gobierno federal que entregará a la defensa del presunto narcotraficante cualquier documento que no presente riesgo de seguridad nacional.

En la misma sesión, la defensa de El Vicentillo reiteró que el hijo de El Mayo Zambada es inocente de los delitos que se le imputan, e insistió que por lo tanto no sólo debe ser puesto en libertad, sino también regresado a México.

Y mientras el juez determina si es válida la documentación que le entregue la defensa, El Vicentillo permanecerá en la prisión federal de Milan, en el estado de Michigan.

Este miércoles, como ya es costumbre, El Vicentillo estuvo presente en la audiencia a través de una videoconferencia y, aunque no fue autorizado para hablar, se veía muy atento a lo que le narraba la traductora (vía telefónica) de lo que se desarrollaba en la sala del juez Castillo.

Tanto los fiscales federales como la defensa del presunto capo declinaron hablar con los reporteros al concluir las audiencias de este día en la ciudad de Chicago.



La defensa del narcotraficante mexicano Vicente Zambada Niebla, que será juzgado en EE.UU. a partir de febrero, alega que la autoridades estadounidenses conspiraron con el Cartel de Sinaloa y prometieron inmunidad a sus jefes.

En un documento que fue presentado a la corte por la defensa de Zambada Niebla, alias "Vicentillo", y al que Efe tuvo acceso hoy, se responde a los argumentos de la Fiscalía y en particular al hecho de que ésta niegue la existencia de tal acuerdo.

Los abogados defensores afirman que el abogado mexicano Humberto Loya Castro negoció con "agentes autorizados del gobierno de Estados Unidos" como "agente del Cartel de Sinaloa".

"Cuando Loya Castro se reunió con el Gobierno (de EE.UU.) le dijo a los agentes que estaba autorizado por 'El Chapo' Guzmán y que sólo informaría sobre los carteles rivales. Estuvo claro desde el comienzo que no era un informante tradicional", dice el documento.

Los abogados señalan que al negociar el acuerdo de inmunidad, los agentes federales estadounidenses sabían que Loya Castro "actuaba como agente, consejero y enlace" de los líderes del Cartel de Sinaloa, Joaquín Guzmán Loera "El Chapo", e Israel 'Mayo' Zambada", el padre de "Vicentillo" a quien también se conoce por "Mayito".

"Muchos de los líderes de los carteles rivales y sus asociados fueron detenidos o muertos" como consecuencia de la información pasada a la Dirección Estadounidense Antidrogas (DEA), agregan.

"En esencia, el gobierno de Estados Unidos se involucró en una conspiración con uno de los mayores carteles de droga del mundo y sabía que la información que le pasaba Loya Castro procedía de El Chapo, Mayo y Vicente Zambada Niebla", agrega la defensa.

La fiscalía niega la existencia de tal acuerdo, que según el documento de la defensa fue "aprobado por funcionarios del más alto nivel" del Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos, y acusa a "Vicentillo" de haber importado toneladas de drogas a este país como coordinador logístico del Cartel de Sinaloa en Chicago.

Según los argumentos de la defensa, este tipo de acuerdo no sería nuevo y mencionan un artículo publicado en la revista Foreign Affairs por el exjefe de la DEA Robert Bonner, según el cual Estados Unidos utilizó la misma táctica en Colombia para capturar a Pablo Escobar.

"El gobierno no quiere admitir estos acuerdos porque podrían perjudicar su estrategia", dicen los abogados, que reclaman al juez Rubén Castillo la posibilidad de realizar una audiencia con la participación de Loya Castro y los agentes involucrados en el caso.

El comienzo del juicio está programado para el 13 de febrero, con la participación de "Vicentillo" y otros involucrados en la misma causa identificados como Tomás Arévalo Rentería, Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, Alfredo Vázquez Hernández, Juan Guzmán Rocha, Germán Olivares, Manuel Fernández Navarro y Felipe LNU (que en inglés significa apellido desconocido).

También se incluye a los hermanos Pedro y Margarito Flores, traficantes de Chicago convertidos en principales testigos de cargo.

El juez Castillo convocó a todos los acusados para una audiencia pública mañana, donde se evaluará la marcha del proceso y el intercambio de pruebas entre la acusación y la defensa.

Está pendiente una decisión del magistrado sobre la presentación reservada que haría la fiscalía sobre pruebas o documentos secretos que maneja en la preparación del juicio, y a la que quieren acceder los abogados defensores.

El fiscal federal Patrick J. Fitzgerald, del Distrito Norte de Illinois, considera que la divulgación de material clasificado o secreto al público, o a la defensa del acusado, "puede amenazar la seguridad nacional", según documentos de la corte.

"Vicentillo" fue detenido en Ciudad de México en marzo de 2009. En febrero de 2010 fue extraditado a EE.UU. y permanece en una cárcel de máxima seguridad de Chicago a la espera de juicio.






México arrestó a un presunto narcotraficante buscado por Estados Unidos y vinculado al capo de la droga más buscado en el país, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, cuyo cártel ha sufrido recientes incautaciones y detenciones, dijeron el miércoles autoridades.

Efectivos de la Secretaría de Seguridad Pública (SSP) federal arrestaron en el aeropuerto de la Ciudad de México a Luis "El Güero" Rodríguez, acusado de distribuir toneladas de cocaína en Estados Unidos.

Washington ofrecía hasta cinco millones de dólares por información que llevara a la captura de Rodríguez, quien junto con sus hermanos formó el grupo criminal "Los Güeros", acusados de traficar droga entre 1996 y el 2008 al servicio del cártel de Sinaloa, que dirige Guzmán, dijo la SSP en un comunicado.

No obstante, según un informe en el sitio de internet del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, Rodríguez y sus hermanos rompieron con el cártel de Sinaloa alrededor del 2005 y después se aliaron al sanguinario cártel de Los Zetas.

Una corte federal en Nueva York libró en mayo del 2010 una orden de aprehensión contra Rodríguez, al que se le acusa de asociación delictuosa y lavado de dinero, dijo la SSP.

En los últimos meses, las autoridades han capturado varios hombres clave, realizado grandes incautaciones de drogas y detectado narcotúneles fronterizos del cártel de Sinaloa, una de las organizaciones del narcotráfico más poderosas de América.

El Ejército capturó la semana pasada al lugarteniente de Guzmán en el norteño estado de Durango.

Más de 45,000 personas han muerto desde que comenzaron los operativos antinarco en México en diciembre del 2006.


Ciudad de México.- Luego de defender los señalamientos del Presidente Felipe Calderón de la intromisión del crimen en el proceso electoral de Michoacán, el ex senador Diego Fernández de Cevallos calificó como inocente y engañoso decir que el narcotráfico respete el ámbito de política.

El ex candidato presidencial aseguró que es evidente el riesgo de que el narcotráfico se introduzca en un proceso electoral, pues éste, añadió, está en todas partes, por lo que no existe ninguna institución que no esté en riesgo de ser infiltrada.

"Creo que sería inocente y engañoso decir que el crimen va a respetar el ámbito de la política, más aún cuando todo lo que se sucede en la política, de alguna manera, afecta al crimen organizado.

"El crimen organizado está en todas partes, en todas las instituciones no hay ninguna institución en México que esté al margen de ese riesgo. El que diga lo contrario, estará en su derecho, pero creo que no hay ninguna institución, por sagrada que sea, que no tenga riesgos de que se infiltre, de manera perversa, los señores del crimen organizado", indicó.

En entrevista, Fernández de Cevallos aseguró que en el caso de Michoacán, el Presidente mostró pruebas, pero el aspirante presidencial Enrique Peña Nieto está en su derecho de cuestionar los dichos del Mandatario federal.






Lavado de dinero

Ciudad de México.- Alejandra Sota, portavoz del Presidente Felipe Calderón, negó hoy que el Gobierno mexicano tuviera conocimiento de la operación de lavado de dinero de agentes de la Administración Federal Antidrogas (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés) como parte de la lucha contra el narcotráfico.

"No, no sabía el Gobierno mexicano y es importante resaltar que hemos iniciado una investigación por parte de la Procuraduría General de la República para deslindar responsabilidades y en todo caso investigar si es que hubo este involucramiento', dijo Sota al programa Al Punto, de la cadena Univisión.

The New York Times reportó el fin de semana pasado que la DEA ha estado lavando o contrabandeando millones de dólares de ganancias de los cárteles mexicanos de las drogas como parte de la lucha contra el narcotráfico.

Según el diario, en algunos casos, agentes de la DEA llegan a contrabandear de dos a tres cargamentos de dinero a la semana y otros agentes mexicanos acompañados por estadounidenses se hacen pasar por contrabandistas y recogen el dinero en México.

Al ser cuestionada sobre la supuesta participación de agentes mexicanos, Alejandra Sota reiteró que se tiene que investigar.

La portavoz presidencial agregó que informarán los resultados de manera puntual y transparente.

Informó que a través de la inteligencia civil mexicana se tuvo conocimiento del intento del hijo de Gadafi de ingresar a México.

Agregó que gracias a la inteligencia mexicana pudo evitarse el ingreso de Saadi Gaddafi al País, perseguido por los crímenes que se le adjudican en la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI).

Sota negó que hayan participado agentes de otros países, y reiteró que fue una operación exitosa de la inteligencia civil mexicana.

Precisó que sólo hubo cooperación con el Gobierno canadiense para intercambiar información.

Sobre la demanda ante la CPI sobre presuntas violaciones a los derechos humanos por parte del Ejército y las fuerzas de seguridad, Sota negó que existan en México violaciones sistemáticas a los derechos humanos.

"La respuesta que hemos dado con contundencia es que es una acusación que no es válida", recalcó.

Mencionó que la demanda a nivel internacional no procede y serán los miembros de la Corte quienes decidan.

"Se acusa al Presidente de algo que es su obligación constitucional, que es la protección de los ciudadanos", enfatizó.

Sobre el tema de la próxima elección presidencial en México, la portavoz indicó que una de las preocupaciones principales del Presidente Felipe Calderón es que los comicios se realicen en paz.

Dijo que desde la Presidencia la obligación es que se realice un proceso y transición ordenados y con apego a la ley.

"Para él es muy importante que la democracia continúe en México", aseveró la portavoz.
la ley.

Vicente Zambada está en la cárcel en Chicago


Hay una Ley Gringa que permite al estado terminar juicios si se pone en riesgo “Secretos de Estado”, si EUA sigue con la negativa y el juez sigue insistiendo, es posible que salga libre el Vicentillo con toda Impunidad.

El cártel de Sinaloa fue el principal destinatario de las armas de la operación estadunidense Rápido y furioso. Eso lo supieron desde el principio el Departamento de Justicia y varias agencias de inteligencia de Estados Unidos. Pese a ello, continuaron con el operativo y lo ocultaron al gobierno de México. Tal es la conclusión de un informe realizado por los congresistas estadunidenses Darrell E. Issa y Charles E. Grassley. Con base en éste y en otras fuentes y documentos, los periodistas independientes Andrew Kennis y Jason McGahan describen, en un texto para Proceso, aspectos del operativo que terminó por beneficiar al cártel del Chapo Guzmán.



MÉXICO, D.F. (Proceso).- El 5 de noviembre de 2010 agentes de la Policía Federal (PF) y de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) encontraron el cadáver de Mario Ángel González Rodríguez –hermano de Patricia González, que recién había terminado su gestión como procuradora de Justicia de Chihuahua– en una fosa poco profunda, en la colonia Granjas del Valle de la capital del estado.

Fue “levantado” el 21 de octubre; días después circuló en internet un video en el que aparecía esposado y a merced de cinco hombres armados que vestían uniformes de camuflaje, máscaras y chalecos antibalas. En el video, Mario González dijo que su hermana había ordenado asesinatos a petición del cártel de Juárez.

La procuradora rechazó el señalamiento. Afirmó que los plagiarios habían obligado a su hermano a declarar eso. Sostuvo que el secuestro era una represalia por la persecución que ella había encabezado contra miembros del cártel de Sinaloa y que se había realizado debido a la corrupción de agentes policiacos.

Horas antes de que las autoridades descubrieran el cadáver, agentes de la PF irrumpieron en una casa de seguridad y arrestaron a ocho presuntos miembros de la banda que había secuestrado y asesinado a Mario González. Les decomisaron 16 armas de grueso calibre.

Ese mismo 5 de noviembre, Tonya English, agente de la Oficina de Información Estratégica e Inteligencia (OSSII, por sus siglas en inglés), perteneciente a la Agencia de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (ATF), envió un correo electrónico a David Voth, supervisor del Grupo VII de la ATF en Phoenix, Arizona, para informarle que su oficina había rastreado esas armas decomisadas a los presuntos asesinos de Mario González y que dos de ellas, un par de rifles AK-47, habían llegado a México como parte de la operación Rápido y furioso.

La noticia pronto se regó dentro de la ATF. “Empleados de la OSII contactaron a sus colegas en Phoenix para alertarlos de esta conexión. Agentes de la OSII también se lo dijeron al personal de la oficina de la ATF en México”.

Carlos Canino, agregado alterno de la oficina de la ATF en México, se preocupó. Temía que la prensa mexicana descubriera la conexión entre el asesinato de Mario González y Rápido y furioso. Pidió a sus superiores que informaran de dicha conexión a las autoridades mexicanas o que lo autorizaran a hacerlo él mismo.

Consideraba que si los funcionarios nacionales se enteraban de ese dato por la prensa, y no por las autoridades estadunidenses, les retirarían su confianza a los agentes de la ATF, lo que les impediría trabajar con ellos. En ese caso, razonó, “nosotros sólo podríamos hacer las maletas e ir a casa”. Además, se afectarían aún más las relaciones entre México y Estados Unidos, de por sí tensas a causa de lo que se había sabido de la operación Rápido y furioso.

Pero los directivos de la ATF no respondían a las peticiones de Canino. Le daban largas. Ocho meses después, en junio pasado, el agregado alterno obtuvo “un tipo de aprobación” de su superior inmediato, Daniel Kumor, jefe de Asuntos Internacionales de la ATF, y Canino se comunicó directamente con Marisela Morales, procuradora general de la República. Cuando le soltó la noticia, dice, “ella quedó en shock” y luego exclamó: “¡Híjole!”.



“Todo bajo control”



Esa información aparece en el informe Operación Rápido y furioso del Departamento de Justicia: alimentando la violencia de los cárteles, elaborado por los congresistas Darrell E. Issa, jefe del Comité de Vigilancia y Reforma de Gobierno de la Cámara de Representantes, y Charles E. Grassley, miembro del Comité de Justicia del Senado.

Ellos encabezan la investigación del Congreso sobre Rápido y furioso, por lo que llamaron a comparecer a agentes y funcionarios de la ATF, lo mismo que del Departamento de Justicia. Además, tuvieron acceso a documentos relativos a la operación elaborados por las dos dependencias y por otras, como la DEA y el FBI.

El informe de 60 páginas, fechado el pasado 26 de julio, describe cómo los funcionarios de la ATF en Estados Unidos ocultaron los detalles del operativo Rápido y furioso a las autoridades mexicanas y a los agentes de la ATF destacados en México, aunque éstos empezaron a notificar desde finales de 2009 un “incremento anormal” en el decomiso de armas relacionadas con “una investigación” que se llevaba a cabo en la división de la ATF en Phoenix, Arizona.

Darrell Gil, quien era el jefe de la ATF en México, dijo a los investigadores del Congreso que a finales de 2009 comunicó sus preocupaciones a los funcionarios de la ATF en Phoenix y, como no le hacían caso, lo hizo en enero de 2010 con sus superiores en Washington. En ambos casos recibió respuestas similares: “Existe una investigación en curso”, “estamos trabajando en eso” y “todo está bajo control”.

Gil contó que la división de la ATF en Phoenix bloqueó a sus agentes en México el acceso a la base de datos del sistema de rastreo de armas conocido como e-Trace. Tanto Gil como Canino comentaron que los funcionarios de la ATF en Phoenix y Washington les ocultaban información del operativo porque temían que los agentes en México pudieran compartirla con funcionarios del gobierno de Felipe Calderón y éstos, a su vez –debido a la corrupción imperante en el país–, la filtraran a los cárteles de la droga, con lo cual fracasaría la investigación.

Más aún, Gil relató que cuando el director de la ATF, Kenneth Melson, y el subprocurador de Justicia de Estados Unidos, Lanny Breuer, realizaron visitas por separado a México en 2010, ambos intentaron calmar las preocupaciones de los agentes destacados en el Distrito Federal. Según Gil, Melson les comentó: “Es una investigación en curso que está proveyendo de alguna buena información de inteligencia (…) Lo vamos a checar cuando regresemos (a Washington), pero yo creo que está dando algunos buenos resultados”.



Destino: el cártel de Sinaloa



Con base en documentos del Departamento de Justicia, el informe de los congresistas señala que hasta julio pasado se habían recuperado 122 armas conectadas con la operación Rápido y furioso en 48 decomisos realizados por las autoridades mexicanas.

Sin embargo, los autores advierten: “existen indicios de que ese número podría ser mayor”. Citan como ejemplo el correo electrónico que Bill Newell, agente “en cargo” de la ATF, envió a su jefe, el subdirector adjunto William McMahon, según el cual hasta el 16 de diciembre de 2010 se habían recuperado 241 armas relacionadas con Rápido y furioso en México y 350 en Estados Unidos.

El informe de los congresistas estadunidenses y otras fuentes consultadas por los reporteros revelan que la mayoría de las armas de Rápido y furioso aparecidas en diversas “escenas del crimen” en México estaba destinada al cártel de Sinaloa.

Por ejemplo, en el informe de los congresistas aparecen extractos de la comparecencia de Steve Martin, director adjunto de la OSII, quien sostuvo que hasta el 27 de febrero de 2010 habrían terminado en manos del cártel de Sinaloa un total de mil 26 armas de Rápido y furioso, con un valor total de 650 mil dólares, y que de ello eran conscientes los funcionarios de la ATF.

En su comparecencia Martin se refiere a una “sesión informativa” sobre Rápido y furioso que se llevó a cabo el 5 de marzo de 2010 y en la que participaron importantes funcionarios de la ATF:

Pregunta: Después de esa sesión informativa no hay duda que las armas en este caso estaban siendo vinculadas al cártel de Sinaloa, con base en…

Respuesta: Con base en la información presentada. Y podría decir que sí.

Pregunta: Y eso era, presumiblemente, muy claro para todos en el salón (donde se llevó la sesión informativa).

Respuesta: Con base en eso, se dice que la gente (que compra las armas) está conectada con el cártel de Sinaloa, y yo podría decir que es cierto.

El citado informe señala que “el primer gran decomiso de armas ligadas a Rápido y furioso ocurrió el 20 de noviembre de 2009 en Naco, Sonora”. Se trató de 41 rifles AK-47 y un rifle Beowulf calibre.05. Verónica Álvarez Toscano, una mujer de 21 años residente en DeLand, Florida, las transportaba en un vehículo. Las había comprado 24 horas antes en una tienda de armas en Arizona. Lorren Leadman, especialista de la OSII, dijo el 5 de julio a los investigadores del Congreso que Álvarez Toscano admitió ante la policía mexicana que todas las armas estaban destinadas al cártel de Sinaloa.

Tres semanas después, el 9 de diciembre de 2009, efectivos del Ejército Mexicano incautaron en una casa de seguridad de Mexicali, Baja California, un arsenal similar: 41 rifles AK-47, un rifle AR-15, una pistola FN 5.7 y 392 cartuchos de diversos calibres, así como 421 kilogramos de cocaína, 60 kilogramos de metanfetaminas, 2 millones de dólares y 1 millón de pesos en efectivo. Los militares detuvieron a 12 personas, varias de ellas sospechosas de pertenecer al cártel de Sinaloa. “El rastro de las armas recuperadas llevó a testaferros que estaban siendo monitoreados por la operación Rápido y furioso”, señala el informe del Congreso.

Y añade: “Con una segunda gran incautación de armas en menos de tres semanas, los agentes de la ATF que monitoreaban la operación Rápido y furioso tenían pocas dudas de lo que estaba pasando”. Y cita lo que uno de éstos, José Wall, escribió en un correo electrónico a su colega de la agencia, Hope MacAllister: “(el liderazgo del cártel de Sinaloa) se está armando para una guerra”.

El 13 de enero de 2010 la policía de El Paso, Texas, incautó 40 armas largas, cargadores y chalecos antibalas que se encontraban en un auto Volkswagen Jetta abandonado en un estacionamiento de la ciudad. La ATF rastreó los números de serie de las armas. Eran de Rápido y furioso y estaban destinadas a un importante jefe del cártel de Sinaloa en Ciudad Juárez. El informe señala: “Este decomiso pudo representar un cambio en el movimiento de las armas de Rápido y furioso destinadas a la batalla del cártel de Sinaloa por el control del corredor de tráfico de drogas de Ciudad Juárez”.

Hubo otro decomiso importante de armas relacionadas con Rápido y furioso que no aparece en el informe de los congresistas pero que el diario Los Ángeles Times dio a conocer el pasado 8 de octubre con base en los registros de una Corte federal y de documentos de la ATF.

Según esa versión, en abril pasado agentes de la PF tomaron por asalto una casa ubicada en la parte norte de Ciudad Juárez. Los agentes recibieron el chivatazo de que ahí vivían pistoleros. El inmueble, se supo después, pertenecía a José Antonio Torres Marrufo, alias El Marrufo o El Jaguar, jefe del cártel de Sinaloa en Ciudad Juárez

En el gimnasio que estaba en el sótano de la casa, detrás de un muro cubierto por espejos de cuerpo entero los agentes encontraron un cuarto en el que había una ametralladora antiaérea calibre 30, un lanzagranadas, dos docenas de AK-47, rifles Barrett calibre .50 (conocidos como “matapolicías”), 26 mil 708 cartuchos, 247 cargadores, lo mismo que 53 uniformes de la Policía Militar, máquinas registradoras y máscaras antigás. “Hemos confiscado el alijo de armas más importante en la historia de Ciudad Juárez”, se jactó ante la prensa el gobernador de Chihuahua, César Duarte.

Agentes de la ATF rastrearon el origen de las armas. También eran de Rápido y furioso. Un “comprador civil” las adquirió en Phoenix y, con la anuencia de la ATF, las envió a El Paso, Texas, donde miembros del cártel de Sinaloa las “cruzaron” por la frontera.

En su comparecencia ante los congresistas, el funcionario de la ATF Carlos Canino expresó su preocupación sobre los efectos de Rápido y furioso: “Se alega que más de 2 mil armas fueron traficadas en esta operación. Para ponerlo en contexto: el 75 regimiento de la armada de Estados Unidos tiene aproximadamente 2 mil 500 efectivos. Eso significa que, como resultado de esta operación (Rápido y furioso), el cártel de Sinaloa ha recibido tantas armas como las que se necesitan para equipar a un regimiento entero”.

Y puso énfasis en los 34 rifles Barrett calibre .50 que habrían terminado en manos del cártel de Sinaloa. Señaló que el poder de destrucción de estas armas es tal que podría cambiar el desenlace de cualquier combate.

*Andrew Kennis es un periodista independiente que trabaja en Chicago y en la Ciudad de México y ha colaborado en The Christian Science Monitor y Al- Jazeera. Jason McGahan es maestro de literatura británica y estadunidense; formó parte del equipo editorial de The Washington Post.




El caso del Vicentillo, cuyo juicio se inicia el 13 de febrero de 2012 en Estados Unidos, se le complica cada vez más al Departamento de Justicia. Su respuesta a la solicitud de la defensa de que esa instancia entregue toda la información en que se aluda a la presunta protección del gobierno de Estados Unidos al cártel de Sinaloa y a sus principales capos –El Chapo y El Mayo, padre del inculpado– no satisfizo al juez Rubén Castillo, quien preside las diligencias preparatorias en la Corte Federal del Distrito Norte del estado de Illinois. En el juicio está de por medio información sensible que compromete al gobierno de Estados Unidos.

CHICAGO.– Arrinconado por los argumentos de Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla según los cuales la DEA protege al cártel de Sinaloa, el gobierno de Estados Unidos se negó a desclasificar documentos que aluden a su relación con organizaciones de narcotraficantes mexicanos, pero ofreció entregar declaraciones juramentadas por escrito del abogado Humberto Loya Castro, su presunto enlace con Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán Loera.

El miércoles 16, la Corte Federal del Distrito Norte del estado de Illinois, con sede en Chicago, recibió del Departamento de Justicia la siguiente notificación: “Se entregarán por escrito declaraciones juramentadas de Humberto Loya Castro, quien bajo este compromiso podría ser justificado para no presentarse como testigo durante el juicio de Zambada Niebla”.

Técnicamente, el documento firmado por el fiscal federal Patrick Fitzgerald es una aceptación indirecta de que Loya Castro es el representante legal del Chapo (Proceso 1826), enlace entre el cártel de Sinaloa y la Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), así como un presunto criminal que colabora con el gobierno de Estados Unidos.

El juez federal Rubén Castillo, quien a partir del 13 febrero del próximo año presidirá el juicio contra El Vicentillo por delitos relacionados con el narcotráfico, aceptó parcialmente la propuesta de Fitzgerald: “Tienen hasta el 1 de diciembre de este año para presentar las declaraciones juramentadas y por escrito de Loya Castro”, respondió a los fiscales.

En la sesión de la corte de la semana pasada, el juez Castillo aclaró que, con base en el contenido de las declaraciones por escrito de Loya Castro, podrá determinar si éste será requerido o se le excusará como testigo en el juicio.

Castillo aún tiene en su mano la prerrogativa de pedir la desclasificación de los documentos que el gobierno insiste en mantener en secreto y se niega a entregar a la defensa del Vicentillo, quien es hijo de Ismael El Mayo Zambada García, lugarteniente del Chapo y número dos en el mando del cártel de Sinaloa. (Extracto del reportaje que se publica esta semana en la edición 1830 de la revista Proceso, que ya está en circulación)




MÉXICO, D. F. (apro).- La Fiscalía estadunidense que lleva el caso de Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, El Vicentillo¸ deberá responder mañana a los alegatos de la defensa del capo sobre la supuesta inmunidad judicial que le proporcionó la DEA a cambio de información de cárteles rivales.

De acuerdo con la defensa, las actividades de narcotráfico de Zambada Niebla estaban protegidas por un acuerdo de inmunidad con la Agencia para el Control de Drogas (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés). El documento fue presentado por la defensa a la corte federal el pasado 29 de julio.

El Vicentillo reveló a sus abogados que él y otros líderes del cártel de Sinaloa dieron a los agentes de la DEA información de grupos rivales y que el acuerdo le daba a su organización “carta blanca” para llevar cocaína de contrabando a Estados Unidos.

Los fiscales han desestimado estas afirmaciones del hijo de El Mayo Zambada, uno de los lugartenientes del cártel del narcotráfico más grande de México, pero tendrán que dar una respuesta detallada este viernes.

El Vicentillo enfrenta acusaciones de confabulación para traficar y distribuir drogas en Estados Unidos para el cártel de Sinaloa que, de comprobarse en el juicio que está programado para febrero del próximo año, podría hacerle acreedor a una sentencia máxima de cadena perpetua.



Se queja el capo por aislamiento en penal de Chicago



En tanto, Rubén Castillo, juez del Tribunal Federal del Distrito Norte de Illinois, dio un plazo de siete días a la Fiscalía que lleva el caso de El Vicentillo para responder a la queja presentada por su defensa por el confinamiento en que se encuentra, “sin respirar al aire libre” desde marzo del año pasado.

En una audiencia extraordinaria, el juez escuchó hoy a la defensa del hijo de El Mayo Zambada, quien demanda tener derechos iguales al resto de la población del Centro Metropolitano de Detención de Chicago, como tener recreos al aire libre pues las condiciones de aislamiento en las que vive, dice, “atentan contra la dignidad humana”.

La defensa del presunto capo del narcotráfico, afirma que Zambada Niebla sufre de malestares por el “castigo injustificado” que sufre desde hace más de un año, pues tiene prohibido el acceso a las áreas donde se encuentra la población general.

Por su parte, la directora del Centro de Detención de Chicago, Katheryn Linaweavey, rechazó las quejas de El Vicentillo y de Tomás Arévalo Rentería, quien es procesado por el mismo caso.

Afirmó que Zambada Niebla habla con los guardias, puede recibir correo y también tiene derecho a llamadas telefónicas semanales, además de que recibe atención médica y es observado diariamente por un psicólogo.

Castillo expresó su preocupación por la situación de Zambada Niebla y preguntó al equipo de fiscales qué podía hacer el gobierno y éste contestó que la responsabilidad es del Buró de Prisiones, por lo que el juez emplazó al Departamento de Justicia a responder a su petición en siete días.

Chicago, Estados Unidos.- Líderes del cártel de Sinaloa, frustrados luego que policías estadounidenses interfirieron con su lucrativo negocio, planearon un ataque al estilo militar contra algún edificio gubernamental estadounidense o mexicano para "enviarle a los gringos un mensaje", dijeron fiscales federales de EU en documentos presentados esta semana.

El cártel de Sinaloa intentó conseguir decenas de armas hechas en Estados Unidos para un ataque en la Ciudad de México, contra posibles blancos que incluían edificios gubernamentales, una embajada o consulado o algún medio de comunicación, de acuerdo con los documentos del caso que involucra a Vicente Zambada.

Sin embargo, no hay nada en los documentos que pruebe que el plan se llevaría a cabo.

Chicago.- Narcotraficantes mexicanos, encabezados por el Cártel de Sinaloa, dominan el mercado de la marihuana en el área de Chicago, Estados Unidos, y lo protegen con una violencia feroz, según el jefe de la Agencia Federal Antidrogas (DEA) en Chicago, Jack Riley.

"Si creen que la mafia italiana es lo peor de lo peor en materia de crimen organizado, piensen nuevamente. El Chapo Guzmán se los come crudo", dijo Riley en una entrevista que publica hoy el Chicago Sun-Times.



Joaquín Guzmán Loera "El Chapo", jefe del Cartel de Sinaloa, "es en mi opinión el criminal más peligroso del mundo y probablemente el más rico. Nunca vimos una organización criminal tan bien enfocada, con tan buen sentido para los negocios y también tan feroz y violenta", agregó.

El mexicano Vicente Zambada Niebla, "Vicentillo", será juzgado a partir del 13 de febrero próximo en Chicago como jefe de logística del cártel y su presunta responsabilidad por la importación de más de una tonelada de drogas y el lavado de unos 500 millones de dólares.

"Vicentillo", quien fue extraditado en marzo de 2010, arriesga una condena de prisión perpetua, mientras que "El Chapo" está prófugo y, según la revista Forbes, es una de las 100 personas más ricas del mundo.

Riley dijo al diario que la marihuana introducida en Estados Unidos por el Cartel de Sinaloa procede en su mayoría de México, pero también "hay mucha alarma" porque se produce en los bosques del norte del vecino estado de Wisconsin y en el norte de Illinois.

"Aunque Chicago se encuentra en el centro de los Estados Unidos, para el comercio de marihuana es como si fuéramos fronterizos con México", afirmó.

Según el director de la DEA en Chicago, las ganancias obtenidas con el comercio de marihuana "posibilitan al cartel la realización de otras actividades criminales como el tráfico de heroína, cocaína y metanfetaminas".

Riley dijo que agentes federales descubrieron diez lugares en áreas remotas de Wisconsin donde sospechosos de trabajar para el Cartel de Sinaloa cuidaban unas 10.000 plantas de marihuana, armados con fusiles AK-47.

En el área de Chicago, y en menor escala, el cartel también cultiva la droga para asegurarse una cadena de suministros a sus mejores mercados sin interrupciones.

Riley señaló que las ciudades de Chicago y Atlanta se han convertido en los principales centros de distribución de marihuana y están "protegidos por el Cartel de Sinaloa con una violencia inconcebible".

El diario atribuye a una fuente policial la información de que miembros del cartel, incluyendo un escuadrón de sicarios llamado "Escorpión", han cometido asesinatos de rivales en Chicago.

La temporada alta para el transporte de la marihuana a Chicago va de enero a marzo, cuando se realiza la cosecha en México, a menudo oculta en camiones y debajo de frutas y otros alimentos.

Aunque el proceso de Zambada Niebla y otros integrantes del cartel se enfoca en el tráfico de cocaína y heroína, Riley dijo que las autoridades creen que esa organización es responsable de toneladas de marihuana decomisada en años recientes.

Como ejemplos mencionó que entre 2005 y 2009, la policía de Chicago interceptó 29 toneladas de marihuana mexicana, y otras 19 toneladas en 2010.

Agentes de la DEA confiscaron el año pasado 11 toneladas de marihuana empacadas en seis vagones ferroviarios procedentes de México.

La defensa de Zambada Niebla ha argumentado ante el juez federal de la causa, Rubén Castillo, que su cliente tenía inmunidad para realizar sus negocios en Estados Unidos a cambio de información sobre los carteles mexicanos rivales.

Para ello ha citado el testimonio del abogado mexicano Humberto Loya Castro, quien habría negociado la inmunidad para los miembros del Cártel de Sinaloa, incluyendo a "El Chapo" Guzmán y "Vicentillo".

El Gobierno niega la existencia del acuerdo y sostiene que aunque existieran promesas de agentes federales, solamente el Departamento de Justicia podría autorizarlo.

Chicago.- Narcotraficantes mexicanos, encabezados por el Cártel de Sinaloa, dominan el mercado de la marihuana en el área de Chicago, Estados Unidos, y lo protegen con una violencia feroz, según el jefe de la Agencia Federal Antidrogas (DEA) en Chicago, Jack Riley.
"Si creen que la mafia italiana es lo peor de lo peor en materia de crimen organizado, piensen nuevamente. El Chapo Guzmán se los come crudo", dijo Riley en una entrevista que publica hoy el Chicago Sun-Times.
Joaquín Guzmán Loera "El Chapo", jefe del Cartel de Sinaloa, "es en mi opinión el criminal más peligroso del mundo y probablemente el más rico. Nunca vimos una organización criminal tan bien enfocada, con tan buen sentido para los negocios y también tan feroz y violenta", agregó.
El mexicano Vicente Zambada Niebla, "Vicentillo", será juzgado a partir del 13 de febrero próximo en Chicago como jefe de logística del cártel y su presunta responsabilidad por la importación de más de una tonelada de drogas y el lavado de unos 500 millones de dólares.
"Vicentillo", quien fue extraditado en marzo de 2010, arriesga una condena de prisión perpetua, mientras que "El Chapo" está prófugo y, según la revista Forbes, es una de las 100 personas más ricas del mundo.
Riley dijo al diario que la marihuana introducida en Estados Unidos por el Cartel de Sinaloa procede en su mayoría de México, pero también "hay mucha alarma" porque se produce en los bosques del norte del vecino estado de Wisconsin y en el norte de Illinois.
"Aunque Chicago se encuentra en el centro de los Estados Unidos, para el comercio de marihuana es como si fuéramos fronterizos con México", afirmó.
Según el director de la DEA en Chicago, las ganancias obtenidas con el comercio de marihuana "posibilitan al cartel la realización de otras actividades criminales como el tráfico de heroína, cocaína y metanfetaminas".
Riley dijo que agentes federales descubrieron diez lugares en áreas remotas de Wisconsin donde sospechosos de trabajar para el Cartel de Sinaloa cuidaban unas 10.000 plantas de marihuana, armados con fusiles AK-47.
En el área de Chicago, y en menor escala, el cartel también cultiva la droga para asegurarse una cadena de suministros a sus mejores mercados sin interrupciones.
Riley señaló que las ciudades de Chicago y Atlanta se han convertido en los principales centros de distribución de marihuana y están "protegidos por el Cartel de Sinaloa con una violencia inconcebible".
El diario atribuye a una fuente policial la información de que miembros del cartel, incluyendo un escuadrón de sicarios llamado "Escorpión", han cometido asesinatos de rivales en Chicago.
La temporada alta para el transporte de la marihuana a Chicago va de enero a marzo, cuando se realiza la cosecha en México, a menudo oculta en camiones y debajo de frutas y otros alimentos.
Aunque el proceso de Zambada Niebla y otros integrantes del cartel se enfoca en el tráfico de cocaína y heroína, Riley dijo que las autoridades creen que esa organización es responsable de toneladas de marihuana decomisada en años recientes.
Como ejemplos mencionó que entre 2005 y 2009, la policía de Chicago interceptó 29 toneladas de marihuana mexicana, y otras 19 toneladas en 2010.
Agentes de la DEA confiscaron el año pasado 11 toneladas de marihuana empacadas en seis vagones ferroviarios procedentes de México.
La defensa de Zambada Niebla ha argumentado ante el juez federal de la causa, Rubén Castillo, que su cliente tenía inmunidad para realizar sus negocios en Estados Unidos a cambio de información sobre los carteles mexicanos rivales.
Para ello ha citado el testimonio del abogado mexicano Humberto Loya Castro, quien habría negociado la inmunidad para los miembros del Cártel de Sinaloa, incluyendo a "El Chapo" Guzmán y "Vicentillo".
El Gobierno niega la existencia del acuerdo y sostiene que aunque existieran promesas de agentes federales, solamente el Departamento de Justicia podría autorizarlo.


Vicente Zambada está en la cárcel en Chicago en espera de un juicio, dentro de una investigación internacional, y se ha declarado inocente de los cargos de haber conspirado para importar y vender grandes cantidades de cocaína y heroína en Estados Unidos.

Las autoridades dicen que su padre, Ismael Zambada, dirige el cártel junto con el hombre más buscado de México, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.

Los abogados de Vicente Zambada alegan que a él y a otros líderes del cártel se les otorgó inmunidad por parte de agentes estadounidenses, y la libertad de pasar cocaína por la frontera, a cambio de información sobre los cárteles rivales que están enfrascados en una sangrienta guerra por territorio mexicano. Los fiscales han negado la existencia de dichos acuerdos.

Pero los arreglos con personajes importantes en el cártel han permitido a los fiscales debilitar sus operaciones. Pedro y Margarito Flores, mellizos que compraron y distribuyeron drogas del cártel en Chicago, están entre los que cooperan con el Gobierno.

Margarito Flores ha dicho que el plan para atacar un edificio del Gobierno o de algún medio de comunicación se gestó durante una reunión en un complejo en la cima de una montaña en México.

Los líderes del cártel, molestos por el reciente arresto del hermano de Ismael Zambada, se quejaron de que el Gobierno mexicano permite a los policías estadounidenses "hacer lo que quieran", dijo Flores a los fiscales.

Cuando Guzmán preguntó qué harían los líderes respecto a ese problema, Ismael Zambada presuntamente respondió: "sería bueno enviar un mensaje a los gringos. Lo que sea que hagamos, lo tenemos que hacer en el territorio de alguien más", de acuerdo con un reporte en el que los fiscales resumen su evidencia en contra de Vicente Zambada.

Durante la conversación, dicen los documentos, Guzmán sugirió que se enfocaran en un edificio gubernamental mexicano o estadounidense en la capital.

Vicente Zambada dijo entonces a Margarito Flores que encontrara a un soldado estadounidense que regresara del extranjero para darle 20 o 30 "armas de alto poder", especificando que tenían que ser fabricadas por Estados Unidos.

Durante una conversación telefónica grabada después, los fiscales dijeron que Vicente Zambada le reiteró a Flores que el cártel compraría las armas.

http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=289357

http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=288696

Tar sands danger

By Kiley Kroh on October 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

Petroleum coke, a byproduct of tar sands refining, is building up along Chicago’s Calumet River and alarming residents, reported Midwest Energy News.
Petroleum coke is a high-carbon, high-sulfur byproduct of Canadian tar sands that are shipped from Alberta to the U.S. to be refined and is rapidly becoming a cause for concern in Chicago. “It’s growing by leaps and bounds,” Southeast Environmental Task Force member Tom Shepherd, told Midwest Energy News. “It’s coming at a breathtaking rate.”
The pet coke is owned by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch whose operations drew similar outrage from residents and elected officials in Detroit earlier this year. In July, a large black cloud of pet coke dust was spotted over the Detroit River and caught on camera by residents across the border in Windsor. Members of the communities in close proximity to the piles were complaining of respiratory problems as the thick, black dust was blowing off the piles and into their apartments.


Rep. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township), whose district includes the Detroit waterfront where the piles were building up, said the tar sands waste “is dirtier than the dirtiest fuel” and demanded a federal study into the impacts of the product on public health and the environment.
In August, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing ordered the removal of the pet coke piles — after which they reportedly became Ohio’s problem.
Detroit’s pet coke piles were produced by Marathon Refinery but owned by Koch Carbon, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. In Chicago they are owned by KCBX, an affiliate of Koch Carbon, which has large parcels of land along the Calumet River and, according to Midwest Energy News, expanded its presence in the area last year. And it’s not just the Koch piles area residents have to worry about; just across the border in Indiana, BP Whiting’s refinery is undergoing a $3.8 billion upgrade which includes construction of the world’s second largest coker. Not only does petroleum coke pose a serious risk to nearby air and water supplies, but the product can also be used as a cheaper — and even dirtier — alternative to coal. Since most power plants in the U.S. and Canada won’t burn pet coke due to the high level of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, the companies often ship the waste product to developing countries with looser pollution restrictions.
And as companies look to expand their pipeline network to keep pace with the increased production of tar sands in Alberta, petroleum coke piles could be appearing in more U.S. communities that contain refineries, such as the Midwest and the Gulf Coast.
(HT: Midwest Energy News)


January 08, 2013

A coalition of more than 70 environmental groups released an open letter urging President Obama to meaningfully confront climate change in his second term. The letter urges Obama to begin by rejecting the Keystone XL, saying: «The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in our national interest because it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we can’t afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk.»


Texas blockade to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Learn more about how you can get involved with the Tar Sand Blockade, and join the pre-action training July 27-29th in East Texas.
Take action now!

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Dear Friend,
As the Obama Administration rushes through approval of the southern portion of the Keystone XL Pipleline, Texas landowners and activists may be our best chance to block this disastrous project.
That’s why our friends at Rising Tide North Texas are organizing the Tar Sands Blockade — a serious civil disobedience action to blockade TransCanada from building their dirty pipeline.
Participating and supporting this action is definitely not for everyone. But we wanted to let you know about it in case you or someone you know wants to join the Tar Sands Blockade and put your body on the line to stop the pipeline.
Tar Sands Blockade is looking for activists who would be willing to participate in the blockade and risk arrest, activists who could support those in the blockade, and also activists who may want to organize their own non-violent direct actions in Texas.
For those interested in joining the action, the Tar Sands Blockade is holding a three-day training near Tyler, Friday July 27th — Sunday, July 29th.
Those participating in the blockade training will be camping outside, and should be prepared to be outdoors in the heat. Once again, this isn’t for everyone — and if you can’t join the training, there will be other ways to help fight this in Texas, including helping to promote the blockade once it begins.
The exact timing of the blockade action will depend on when TransCanada gets final approval from President Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers. The project has already received approval from two district offices and we expect approval from the third any day now.1
Then TransCanada will begin seizing Texans’ land to dig their pipe to bring the Canadian tar sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries — where it can be exported and sold overseas.
No part of that benefits the U.S. — but it leaves the people, land and water of Texas and Oklahoma vulnerable to toxic oil spills, like the country’s biggest on-land oil spill that happened almost exactly two years ago on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.2
President Obama has failed to stand up and protect us from this disastrous project. So it’s up to the people of Texas to block it.
Learn more about the blockade and RSVP to join the training:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6915555&id=43700-5154581-N5ItVKx&t=7
We wish it didn’t have to come to this. And we are grateful to any brave souls who are able to participate and support the blockade, whether or not they risk arrest.
If you can’t participate, there will (unfortunately) be plenty more to do, and we’ll let you know when you can help.
Thanks for everything you are doing.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets
P.S. — If you can’t participate, a great way to support the action is with a small donation. This Tar Sands Blockade is being organized on a very small budget, so every contribution makes a difference. If you’d like to chip in, you can do so here.


Dear Friend, 

In the same week that record June heat blanketed the southeast, Minnesota tried to recover from record flooding, and the biggest fire in Colorado’s history continued to burn out of control — President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral. 

In a single week, the Obama Administration approved the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, gave away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to a coal company for virtually nothing, and promised to lease more arctic offshore areas for oil drilling. 

Now, the Canada to Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline – which would turn up the spigot on deadly, «game over for the climate» tar sands production – is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision. 

Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could very conceivably cave when a decision is made in 2013 – if he is re-elected. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. And to stop the administration from making another terrible decision. 

Please join me in urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/extreme_xl/?r_by=42748-5154581-kYRiPex&rc=confemail


Stop Keystone XL. Again!
Rejected by President Obama in Janaury, Keystone XL is being considered again by the State Department, which is now accepting public comments. Submit a comment telling the Obama Administration to reject this disastrous pipeline.

Take action now!

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Dear Friend,
In the same week that record June heat blanketed the country, an massive summer storm wreaked havoc from Indiana to Washington, and the biggest fire in Colorado’s history continued to burn out of control — President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral.
Last week, the Obama Administration approved the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,1 gave away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to Peabody Energy for virtually nothing,2 and promised to lease more Arctic offshore areas for oil drilling.3
Now, the Canada-to-Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline — which would turn up the spigot on deadly, «game over for the climate» tar sands production — is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision.
Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could very conceivably cave if he is the one making the decision in 2013. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. And to stop the administration from making another terrible decision for our present and future climate.
Today’s weather is a scary prelude of things to come. And it’s clear that our leaders can’t take the heat.
Our leaders are simply not confronting the abundantly obvious, terrifying realities of escalating climate change. The present Congress is simply hopeless. And the Obama Administration consistently undermines any progress it might have made. We can’t depend on our leaders. But we can take action.
We must make sure the State Department considers the full climate impacts of Keystone XL when determining if it’s in our national interest.
Stopping Keystone XL won’t reverse the spiral of our heating climate. But as one of the single largest projects to turn up the spigot on the dirtiest form of energy in the world, it will stop us from making the problem much worse for our future. And so we must stop it.
Tell the Obama Administration: Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. Click below to submit a comment to the State Department: 
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6905050&p=extreme_xl&id=42748-5154581-kYRiPex&t=7
Thanks for taking action — somebody has to.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets


Oil sands, tar sands or, more technically, bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit. The oil sands are loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone containing naturally occurring mixtures of sand, clay, and water, saturated with a dense and extremely viscous form of petroleum technically referred to as bitumen (or colloquially tar due to its similar appearance, odour and colour). Natural bitumen deposits are reported in many countries, but in particular are found in extremely large quantities in Canada.[1][2] Other large reserves are located in Kazakhstan and Russia. Total natural bitumen reserves are estimated at 249.67 billion barrels (39.694×109 m3) globally, of which 176.8 billion barrels (28.11×109 m3), or 70.8%, are in Canada.[1]

Oil sands reserves have only recently been considered to be part of the world’s oil reserves, as higher oil prices and new technology enable them to be profitably extracted and upgraded to usable products. They are often referred to as unconventional oil or crude bitumen, in order to distinguish the bitumen extracted from oil sands from the free-flowing hydrocarbon mixtures known as crude oil traditionally produced from oil wells.

The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described by Canadian authorities as «petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits. Bitumen is a thick, sticky form of crude oil, so heavy and viscous (thick) that it will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses«.[3] The World Energy Council (WEC) defines natural bitumen as «oil having a viscosity greater than 10,000 centipoises under reservoir conditions and an API gravity of less than 10° API».[1] The Orinoco Belt in Venezuela is sometimes described as oil sands, but these deposits are non-bituminous, falling instead into the category of heavy or extra-heavy oil due to their lower viscosity.[4]
Natural bitumen and extra-heavy oil differ in the degree by which they have been degraded from the original crude oil by bacteria and erosion. According to the WEC, extra-heavy oil has «a gravity of less than 10° API and a reservoir viscosity of no more than 10,000 centipoises».[1]

Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates two to four times the amount of greenhouse gases per barrel of final product as the «production» of conventional oil.[5] If combustion of the final products is included, the so-called «Well to Wheels» approach, oil sands extraction, upgrade and use emits 10 to 45% more greenhouse gases than conventional crude.

Bituminous sands are a major source of unconventional oil, although only Canada has a large-scale commercial oil sands industry. In 2006, bitumen production in Canada averaged 1.25 million barrels per day (200,000 m3/d) through 81 oil sands projects. 44% of Canadian oil production in 2007 was from oil sands.[21] This proportion is expected to increase in coming decades as bitumen production grows while conventional oil production declines, although due to the 2008 economic downturn work on new projects has been deferred.[2] Petroleum is not produced from oil sands on a significant level in other countries.[20]

The Alberta oil sands have been in commercial production since the original Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor Energy) mine began operation in 1967. A second mine, operated by the Syncrude consortium, began operation in 1978 and is the biggest mine of any type in the world. The third mine in the Athabasca Oil Sands, the Albian Sands consortium of Shell Canada, Chevron Corporation, and Western Oil Sands Inc. [purchased by Marathon Oil Corporation in 2007] began operation in 2003. Petro-Canada was also developing a $33 billion Fort Hills Project, in partnership with UTS Energy Corporation and Teck Cominco, which lost momentum after the 2009 merger of Petro-Canada into Suncor.[22]

In the Republic of the Congo, the Italian oil company Eni have announced in May 2008 a project to develop the small oil sands deposit in order to produce 40,000 barrels per day (6,400 m3/d) in 2014.

Conventional crude oil is normally extracted from the ground by drilling oil wells into a petroleum reservoir, allowing oil to flow into them under natural reservoir pressures, although artificial lift and techniques such as water flooding and gas injection are usually required to maintain production as reservoir pressure drops toward the end of a field’s life. Because bitumen flows very slowly, if at all, toward producing wells under normal reservoir conditions, the sands must be extracted by strip mining or the oil made to flow into wells by in-situ techniques, which reduce the viscosity by injecting steam, solvents, and/or hot air into the sands. These processes can use more water and require larger amounts of energy than conventional oil extraction, although many conventional oil fields also require large amounts of water and energy to achieve good rates of production.

It is estimated that approximately 90% of the Alberta oil sands are too far below the surface to use open-pit mining. Several in-situ techniques have been developed.

Since Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor) started operation of its mine in 1967, bitumen has been extracted on a commercial scale from the Athabasca Oil Sands by surface mining. In the Athabasca sands there are very large amounts of bitumen covered by little overburden, making surface mining the most efficient method of extracting it. The overburden consists of water-laden muskeg (peat bog) over top of clay and barren sand. The oil sands themselves are typically 40 to 60 metres (130 to 200 ft) deep, sitting on top of flat limestone rock. Originally, the sands were mined with draglines and bucket-wheel excavators and moved to the processing plants by conveyor belts. In recent years companies such as Syncrude and Suncor have switched to much cheaper shovel-and-truck operations using the biggest power shovels (100 or more tons) and dump trucks (400 tons) in the world.[25] This has held production costs to around $27 per barrel of synthetic crude oil despite rising energy and labour costs.[26]

After excavation, hot water and caustic soda (NaOH) is added to the sand, and the resulting slurry is piped to the extraction plant where it is agitated and the oil skimmed from the top.[27] Provided that the water chemistry is appropriate to allow bitumen to separate from sand and clay, the combination of hot water and agitation releases bitumen from the oil sand, and allows small air bubbles to attach to the bitumen droplets. The bitumen froth floats to the top of separation vessels, and is further treated to remove residual water and fine solids.

About two tons of oil sands are required to produce one barrel (roughly 1/8 of a ton) of oil. Originally, roughly 75% of the bitumen was recovered from the sand. However, recent enhancements to this method include Tailings Oil Recovery (TOR) units which recover oil from the tailings, Diluent Recovery Units to recover naptha from the froth, Inclined Plate Settlers (IPS) and disc centrifuges. These allow the extraction plants to recover well over 90% of the bitumen in the sand. After oil extraction, the spent sand and other materials are then returned to the mine, which is eventually reclaimed.

Alberta Taciuk Process technology extracts bitumen from oil sands through a dry-retorting. During this process, oil sand is moved through a rotating drum, cracking the bitumen with heat and producing lighter hydrocarbons. Although tested, this technology is not in commercial use yet.[28]

Four oil sands mines are currently in operation and two more (Jackpine and Kearl) are in the initial stages of development. The original Suncor mine opened in 1967, while the Syncrude mine started in 1978, Shell Canada opened its Muskeg River mine (Albian Sands) in 2003 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd opened its Horizon Project in 2009. New mines under construction or undergoing approval include Shell Canada’s,[29]Imperial Oil‘s Kearl Oil Sands Project, Synenco Energy’s Northern Lights mine and Suncor’s Fort Hills mine.

Mining Canada's Oil Sands.ogv

Satellite images show the growth of pit mines over Canada’s oil sands between 1984 and 2011.

Oil sands extraction is generally held to be more environmentally damaging than conventional crude oil.[47] It can affect the land when the bitumen is initially mined, water by its requirement of large quantities of water during separation of the oil and sand and the air due to the release of carbon dioxide and other emissions.[48] Heavy metals such as vanadium, nickel, lead, cobalt, mercury, chromium, cadmium, arsenic, selenium, copper, manganese, iron and zinc are naturally present in oil sands and may be concentrated by the extraction process.[49] The environmental impact caused by oil sand extraction is frequently criticized by environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Climate Reality Project, 350.org, MoveOn, League of Conservation Voters, Patagonia, Sierra Club, and Energy Action Coalition.[50][51] The European Union has indicated that it may vote to label oil sands oil as «highly polluting». Although oil sands exports to Europe are minimal, the issue has caused friction between the EU and Canada.

Between 2 to 4.5 volume units of water are used to produce each volume unit of synthetic crude oil in an ex-situ mining operation. According to Greenpeace, the Canadian oil sands operations use 349 million cubic metres per annum (12.3 × 109 cu ft/a) of water, twice the amount of water used by the city of Calgary.[62] Despite recycling, almost all of it ends up in tailings ponds. As of 2007, tailing ponds in Canada covered an area of approximately 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi). However, in SAGD operations, 90–95% of the water is recycled and only about 0.2 volume units of water is used per volume unit of bitumen produced.[63]
For the Athabasca oil sand operations water is supplied from the Athabasca River, the ninth longest river in Canada.[64] The average flow just downstream of Fort McMurray is 633 cubic metres per second (22,400 cu ft/s) with its highest daily average measuring 1,200 cubic metres per second (42,000 cu ft/s).[65][66] Oil sands industries water license allocations totals about 1.8% of the Athabasca river flow. Actual use in 2006 was about 0.4%.[67] In addition, according to the Water Management Framework for the Lower Athabasca River, during periods of low river flow water consumption from the Athabasca River is limited to 1.3% of annual average flow.[68]

In December 2010, the Oil Sands Advisory Panel, commissioned by former environment minister Jim Prentice, found that the system in place for monitoring water quality in the region, including work by the Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program, the Alberta Water Research Institute, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association and others, was piecemeal and should become more comprehensive and coordinated.[69][70] A major hindrance to the monitoring of oil sands produced waters has been the lack of identification of individual compounds present. By better understanding the nature of the highly complex mixture of compounds, including naphthenic acids, it may be possible to monitor rivers for leachate and also to remove toxic components. Such identification of individual acids has for many years proved to be impossible but a recent breakthrough in analysis has begun to reveal what is in the oil sands produced waters.[71]

In October 2009, Suncor announced it was seeking government approval for a new process to recover tailings called Tailings Reduction Operations, which accelerates the settling of fine clay, sand, water, and residual bitumen in ponds after oil sands extraction. The technology involves dredging mature tailings from a pond bottom, mixing the suspension with a polymer flocculent, and spreading the sludge-like mixture over a «beach» with a shallow grade. According to the company, the process could reduce the time for water reclamation from tailings to weeks rather than years, with the recovered water being recycled into the oil sands plant. In addition to reducing the number of tailing ponds, Suncor claims that the process could reduce the time to reclaim a tailing pond from 40 years at present to 7–10 years, with land rehabilitation continuously following 7 to 10 years behind the mining operations


Dear Friend,

It just gets worse and worse.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands extraction is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of forest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for killing thousands of wolves.1
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2
It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, wolves, woodland caribou and the iconic spirit bear.
But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. A paper released by the National Wildlife Federation reports that The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.
This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: tar sands oil extraction is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.
But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including promoting the Keystone XL Pipeline to export refined tar sands bitumen all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.3
The Ministry of the Environment has not yet begun this planned wolf kill. With enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands development.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5532375&id=35696-5154581-qjqw2%3Dx&t=10
Thank you for fighting tar sands and all their devastation.
Elijah zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Tell the Canadian government: 

Stop your tar sands wolf kills!

It just gets worse and worse.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands oil mining is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.1
Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop Canada’s planned wolf killings!
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2

It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, caribou and the iconic spirit bear.
But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands oil extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.
Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop your planned wolf killings! Preserve wolf and caribou habitat, and stop the irresponsible development of tar sands oil which threatens all of us.

This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: Tar sands development is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.

But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including with the Keystone XL Pipeline to export tar sands oil all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation, to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.2

The Ministry of the Environment has not yet moved forward with this planned wolf kill. And with enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands oil fields.
1. «Tar Sands Development to Lead to Poisoning of Wolves,» National Wildlife Federation, February 6, 2012
2. «Tar Sands,» Friends of the Earth
3. «Monitoring plan would bolster oilsands image, federal documents show,» Vancouver Sun, February 3, 2012


Tar sands oil is a high carbon fuel strip-mined from beneath Canada’s Boreal forest. Fuel from tar sands represents an increasingly significant portion of the fuel used in cars in the United States. To extract oil from tar sands, companies must destroy fragile forest ecosystems and then use a very energy-intensive upgrading and refining process to turn that oil into transportation fuel. Tar sands mining and production harm the boreal forest’s fragile ecosystem, waste enormous amounts of water, and disrupt the lives of indigenous people in the area.

Our primary tar sands campaign objective at present is to stop the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.

Climate Impacts

Tar sands oil extraction and production emits three times more carbon dioxide than average from production of conventional oil consumed in the United States. If we expand our use of dirty tar sands, we could jeopardize the gains we make combating climate change via fuel economy standards and the use of clean energy sources as vehicle fuels.

Ecosystem Destruction

Tar sands extraction requires total destruction of pristine areas within the Canadian Boreal forest, one of the few large, intact ecosystems on Earth. The forest is clear cut, the wetlands are drained, and living matter and soil are hauled away to expose the tar sands. Oil companies remove and dump four tons of sand and soil for every one barrel of oil they get from tar sands. Oil companies have so far failed to deliver on their promises to mitigate some of this destruction by refilling tar sands mines and planting new vegetation.

Water Waste

Extracting the fossil fuels in tar sands from the sand, silt, and clay requires enormous amounts of water. It takes about three barrels of water to extract one barrel of oil. More than 90 percent of this water, 400 million gallons per day, ends up as toxic waste dumped in massive pools that contain carcinogenic substances like cyanide.

Disruption of Native People

The tar sands are being mined in a region home to many native people. They have trouble practicing their cultural traditions because of the destruction caused by tailing ponds and strip mining operations. The people downstream from the toxic tailing ponds have high rates of rare cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism. Indigenous groups have organized and protested to stop the expansion of tar sands operations. This opposition is shared by the majority of Albertans, with 71 percent supporting a moratorium on new projects in a recent survey.

What We Can Do

The majority of tar sands oil is exported to the United States.  Tar sands already make up four percent of the crude oil we use and our tax dollars are already subsidizing pipelines and refineries that would allow oil companies to quadruple that amount. Also, the president must approve any new pipelines (like the Keystone XL pipeline) that the tar sands industry wants to build to the U.S. So far, the Canadian government and oil companies have not found any buyers of tar sands oil outside of the United States. As a result, stopping U.S. permits and taxpayer subsidies for new pipelines and upgraded refineries will go a long way towards ending oil companies’ exploitation of this dirty fuel and the havoc wrought on the local environment and indigenous people’s livelihoods in the process.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++===

Thanks for taking action.

Here are some ways you can spread the word to build pressure on Canadian officials to abandon this cruel plan and stop their rapid expansion of tar sands mining which threatens all of us.

If you are on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall.

If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet:
Tell Canadian Prime Minister Harper and @ec_minister Peter Kent: Stop your planned tar sands #wolf kills! http://bit.ly/xRSXlC @pmharper

You can also send the following e-mail to your friends and family. Spreading the word is critical, but please only pass this message along to those who know you — spam hurts our campaign.

Thanks for all you do.

–The CREDO Action Team

Here’s a sample message to send to your friends:


Subject: Stop Canada’s planned tar sands wolf killings!
Dear Friend,

If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.

To make up for the fact that extracting tar sands oil is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.

This plan is both cruel and deeply misguided.

I just signed a petition telling Canada’s Prime Minister Harper to Stop Canada’s planned tar sands wolf killings. Learn more and add your name here:

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/tar_sands_wolves/?r_by=35696-5154581-qjqw2%3Dx&rc=confemail 

By Kiley Kroh on October 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

Petroleum coke, a byproduct of tar sands refining, is building up along Chicago’s Calumet River and alarming residents, reported Midwest Energy News.
Petroleum coke is a high-carbon, high-sulfur byproduct of Canadian tar sands that are shipped from Alberta to the U.S. to be refined and is rapidly becoming a cause for concern in Chicago. “It’s growing by leaps and bounds,” Southeast Environmental Task Force member Tom Shepherd, told Midwest Energy News. “It’s coming at a breathtaking rate.”
The pet coke is owned by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch whose operations drew similar outrage from residents and elected officials in Detroit earlier this year. In July, a large black cloud of pet coke dust was spotted over the Detroit River and caught on camera by residents across the border in Windsor. Members of the communities in close proximity to the piles were complaining of respiratory problems as the thick, black dust was blowing off the piles and into their apartments.


Rep. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township), whose district includes the Detroit waterfront where the piles were building up, said the tar sands waste “is dirtier than the dirtiest fuel” and demanded a federal study into the impacts of the product on public health and the environment.
In August, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing ordered the removal of the pet coke piles — after which they reportedly became Ohio’s problem.
Detroit’s pet coke piles were produced by Marathon Refinery but owned by Koch Carbon, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. In Chicago they are owned by KCBX, an affiliate of Koch Carbon, which has large parcels of land along the Calumet River and, according to Midwest Energy News, expanded its presence in the area last year. And it’s not just the Koch piles area residents have to worry about; just across the border in Indiana, BP Whiting’s refinery is undergoing a $3.8 billion upgrade which includes construction of the world’s second largest coker. Not only does petroleum coke pose a serious risk to nearby air and water supplies, but the product can also be used as a cheaper — and even dirtier — alternative to coal. Since most power plants in the U.S. and Canada won’t burn pet coke due to the high level of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, the companies often ship the waste product to developing countries with looser pollution restrictions.
And as companies look to expand their pipeline network to keep pace with the increased production of tar sands in Alberta, petroleum coke piles could be appearing in more U.S. communities that contain refineries, such as the Midwest and the Gulf Coast.
(HT: Midwest Energy News)



January 08, 2013


A coalition of more than 70 environmental groups released an open letter urging President Obama to meaningfully confront climate change in his second term. The letter urges Obama to begin by rejecting the Keystone XL, saying: "The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in our national interest because it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we can’t afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk."







Texas blockade to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Learn more about how you can get involved with the Tar Sand Blockade, and join the pre-action training July 27-29th in East Texas.
Take action now!
CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.
Dear Friend,
As the Obama Administration rushes through approval of the southern portion of the Keystone XL Pipleline, Texas landowners and activists may be our best chance to block this disastrous project.
That's why our friends at Rising Tide North Texas are organizing the Tar Sands Blockade — a serious civil disobedience action to blockade TransCanada from building their dirty pipeline.
Participating and supporting this action is definitely not for everyone. But we wanted to let you know about it in case you or someone you know wants to join the Tar Sands Blockade and put your body on the line to stop the pipeline.
Tar Sands Blockade is looking for activists who would be willing to participate in the blockade and risk arrest, activists who could support those in the blockade, and also activists who may want to organize their own non-violent direct actions in Texas.
For those interested in joining the action, the Tar Sands Blockade is holding a three-day training near Tyler, Friday July 27th — Sunday, July 29th.
Those participating in the blockade training will be camping outside, and should be prepared to be outdoors in the heat. Once again, this isn't for everyone — and if you can't join the training, there will be other ways to help fight this in Texas, including helping to promote the blockade once it begins.
The exact timing of the blockade action will depend on when TransCanada gets final approval from President Obama's Army Corps of Engineers. The project has already received approval from two district offices and we expect approval from the third any day now.1
Then TransCanada will begin seizing Texans' land to dig their pipe to bring the Canadian tar sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries — where it can be exported and sold overseas.
No part of that benefits the U.S. — but it leaves the people, land and water of Texas and Oklahoma vulnerable to toxic oil spills, like the country's biggest on-land oil spill that happened almost exactly two years ago on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.2
President Obama has failed to stand up and protect us from this disastrous project. So it's up to the people of Texas to block it.
Learn more about the blockade and RSVP to join the training:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6915555&id=43700-5154581-N5ItVKx&t=7
We wish it didn't have to come to this. And we are grateful to any brave souls who are able to participate and support the blockade, whether or not they risk arrest.
If you can't participate, there will (unfortunately) be plenty more to do, and we'll let you know when you can help.
Thanks for everything you are doing.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets
P.S. — If you can't participate, a great way to support the action is with a small donation. This Tar Sands Blockade is being organized on a very small budget, so every contribution makes a difference. If you'd like to chip in, you can do so here.





Dear Friend, 

In the same week that record June heat blanketed the southeast, Minnesota tried to recover from record flooding, and the biggest fire in Colorado's history continued to burn out of control -- President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral. 

In a single week, the Obama Administration approved the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, gave away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to a coal company for virtually nothing, and promised to lease more arctic offshore areas for oil drilling. 

Now, the Canada to Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline - which would turn up the spigot on deadly, "game over for the climate" tar sands production - is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision. 

Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could very conceivably cave when a decision is made in 2013 - if he is re-elected. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. And to stop the administration from making another terrible decision. 

Please join me in urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/extreme_xl/?r_by=42748-5154581-kYRiPex&rc=confemail






Stop Keystone XL. Again!

Rejected by President Obama in Janaury, Keystone XL is being considered again by the State Department, which is now accepting public comments. Submit a comment telling the Obama Administration to reject this disastrous pipeline.








Take action now!
CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.
Dear Friend,
In the same week that record June heat blanketed the country, an massive summer storm wreaked havoc from Indiana to Washington, and the biggest fire in Colorado's history continued to burn out of control — President Obama doubled down in his support for the energy that is causing this deepening climate change spiral.
Last week, the Obama Administration approved the first portion of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,1 gave away 720 million tons of publicly owned coal to Peabody Energy for virtually nothing,2 and promised to lease more Arctic offshore areas for oil drilling.3
Now, the Canada-to-Oklahoma portion of the Keystone XL pipeline — which would turn up the spigot on deadly, "game over for the climate" tar sands production — is back before the State Department after being rejected by President Obama earlier this year when Republicans tried to force his decision.
Without the pressures of the election, President Obama could very conceivably cave if he is the one making the decision in 2013. This public comment period is our opportunity to go on the record, before the election, with our fierce opposition. And to stop the administration from making another terrible decision for our present and future climate.
Today's weather is a scary prelude of things to come. And it's clear that our leaders can't take the heat.
Our leaders are simply not confronting the abundantly obvious, terrifying realities of escalating climate change. The present Congress is simply hopeless. And the Obama Administration consistently undermines any progress it might have made. We can't depend on our leaders. But we can take action.
We must make sure the State Department considers the full climate impacts of Keystone XL when determining if it's in our national interest.
Stopping Keystone XL won't reverse the spiral of our heating climate. But as one of the single largest projects to turn up the spigot on the dirtiest form of energy in the world, it will stop us from making the problem much worse for our future. And so we must stop it.
Tell the Obama Administration: Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. Click below to submit a comment to the State Department: 
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6905050&p=extreme_xl&id=42748-5154581-kYRiPex&t=7
Thanks for taking action — somebody has to.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager 
CREDO Action from Working Assets






Oil sands, tar sands or, more technically, bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit. The oil sands are loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone containing naturally occurring mixtures of sand, clay, and water, saturated with a dense and extremely viscous form of petroleum technically referred to as bitumen (or colloquially tar due to its similar appearance, odour and colour). Natural bitumen deposits are reported in many countries, but in particular are found in extremely large quantities in Canada.[1][2] Other large reserves are located in Kazakhstan and Russia. Total natural bitumen reserves are estimated at 249.67 billion barrels (39.694×109 m3) globally, of which 176.8 billion barrels (28.11×109 m3), or 70.8%, are in Canada.[1]

Oil sands reserves have only recently been considered to be part of the world's oil reserves, as higher oil prices and new technology enable them to be profitably extracted and upgraded to usable products. They are often referred to as unconventional oil or crude bitumen, in order to distinguish the bitumen extracted from oil sands from the free-flowing hydrocarbon mixtures known as crude oil traditionally produced from oil wells.

The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described by Canadian authorities as "petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits. Bitumen is a thick, sticky form of crude oil, so heavy and viscous (thick) that it will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses".[3] The World Energy Council (WEC) defines natural bitumen as "oil having a viscosity greater than 10,000 centipoises under reservoir conditions and an API gravity of less than 10° API".[1] The Orinoco Belt in Venezuela is sometimes described as oil sands, but these deposits are non-bituminous, falling instead into the category of heavy or extra-heavy oil due to their lower viscosity.[4]
Natural bitumen and extra-heavy oil differ in the degree by which they have been degraded from the original crude oil by bacteria and erosion. According to the WEC, extra-heavy oil has "a gravity of less than 10° API and a reservoir viscosity of no more than 10,000 centipoises".[1]

Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates two to four times the amount of greenhouse gases per barrel of final product as the "production" of conventional oil.[5] If combustion of the final products is included, the so-called "Well to Wheels" approach, oil sands extraction, upgrade and use emits 10 to 45% more greenhouse gases than conventional crude.

Bituminous sands are a major source of unconventional oil, although only Canada has a large-scale commercial oil sands industry. In 2006, bitumen production in Canada averaged 1.25 million barrels per day (200,000 m3/d) through 81 oil sands projects. 44% of Canadian oil production in 2007 was from oil sands.[21] This proportion is expected to increase in coming decades as bitumen production grows while conventional oil production declines, although due to the 2008 economic downturn work on new projects has been deferred.[2] Petroleum is not produced from oil sands on a significant level in other countries.[20]

The Alberta oil sands have been in commercial production since the original Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor Energy) mine began operation in 1967. A second mine, operated by the Syncrude consortium, began operation in 1978 and is the biggest mine of any type in the world. The third mine in the Athabasca Oil Sands, the Albian Sands consortium of Shell Canada, Chevron Corporation, and Western Oil Sands Inc. [purchased by Marathon Oil Corporation in 2007] began operation in 2003. Petro-Canada was also developing a $33 billion Fort Hills Project, in partnership with UTS Energy Corporation and Teck Cominco, which lost momentum after the 2009 merger of Petro-Canada into Suncor.[22]

In the Republic of the Congo, the Italian oil company Eni have announced in May 2008 a project to develop the small oil sands deposit in order to produce 40,000 barrels per day (6,400 m3/d) in 2014.

Conventional crude oil is normally extracted from the ground by drilling oil wells into a petroleum reservoir, allowing oil to flow into them under natural reservoir pressures, although artificial lift and techniques such as water flooding and gas injection are usually required to maintain production as reservoir pressure drops toward the end of a field's life. Because bitumen flows very slowly, if at all, toward producing wells under normal reservoir conditions, the sands must be extracted by strip mining or the oil made to flow into wells by in-situ techniques, which reduce the viscosity by injecting steam, solvents, and/or hot air into the sands. These processes can use more water and require larger amounts of energy than conventional oil extraction, although many conventional oil fields also require large amounts of water and energy to achieve good rates of production.

It is estimated that approximately 90% of the Alberta oil sands are too far below the surface to use open-pit mining. Several in-situ techniques have been developed.





Since Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor) started operation of its mine in 1967, bitumen has been extracted on a commercial scale from the Athabasca Oil Sands by surface mining. In the Athabasca sands there are very large amounts of bitumen covered by little overburden, making surface mining the most efficient method of extracting it. The overburden consists of water-laden muskeg (peat bog) over top of clay and barren sand. The oil sands themselves are typically 40 to 60 metres (130 to 200 ft) deep, sitting on top of flat limestone rock. Originally, the sands were mined with draglines and bucket-wheel excavators and moved to the processing plants by conveyor belts. In recent years companies such as Syncrude and Suncor have switched to much cheaper shovel-and-truck operations using the biggest power shovels (100 or more tons) and dump trucks (400 tons) in the world.[25] This has held production costs to around $27 per barrel of synthetic crude oil despite rising energy and labour costs.[26]

After excavation, hot water and caustic soda (NaOH) is added to the sand, and the resulting slurry is piped to the extraction plant where it is agitated and the oil skimmed from the top.[27] Provided that the water chemistry is appropriate to allow bitumen to separate from sand and clay, the combination of hot water and agitation releases bitumen from the oil sand, and allows small air bubbles to attach to the bitumen droplets. The bitumen froth floats to the top of separation vessels, and is further treated to remove residual water and fine solids.

About two tons of oil sands are required to produce one barrel (roughly 1/8 of a ton) of oil. Originally, roughly 75% of the bitumen was recovered from the sand. However, recent enhancements to this method include Tailings Oil Recovery (TOR) units which recover oil from the tailings, Diluent Recovery Units to recover naptha from the froth, Inclined Plate Settlers (IPS) and disc centrifuges. These allow the extraction plants to recover well over 90% of the bitumen in the sand. After oil extraction, the spent sand and other materials are then returned to the mine, which is eventually reclaimed.

Alberta Taciuk Process technology extracts bitumen from oil sands through a dry-retorting. During this process, oil sand is moved through a rotating drum, cracking the bitumen with heat and producing lighter hydrocarbons. Although tested, this technology is not in commercial use yet.[28]

Four oil sands mines are currently in operation and two more (Jackpine and Kearl) are in the initial stages of development. The original Suncor mine opened in 1967, while the Syncrude mine started in 1978, Shell Canada opened its Muskeg River mine (Albian Sands) in 2003 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd opened its Horizon Project in 2009. New mines under construction or undergoing approval include Shell Canada's,[29] Imperial Oil's Kearl Oil Sands Project, Synenco Energy's Northern Lights mine and Suncor's Fort Hills mine.


Mining Canada's Oil Sands.ogv
Satellite images show the growth of pit mines over Canada's oil sands between 1984 and 2011.

Oil sands extraction is generally held to be more environmentally damaging than conventional crude oil.[47] It can affect the land when the bitumen is initially mined, water by its requirement of large quantities of water during separation of the oil and sand and the air due to the release of carbon dioxide and other emissions.[48] Heavy metals such as vanadium, nickel, lead, cobalt, mercury, chromium, cadmium, arsenic, selenium, copper, manganese, iron and zinc are naturally present in oil sands and may be concentrated by the extraction process.[49] The environmental impact caused by oil sand extraction is frequently criticized by environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Climate Reality Project, 350.org, MoveOn, League of Conservation Voters, Patagonia, Sierra Club, and Energy Action Coalition.[50][51] The European Union has indicated that it may vote to label oil sands oil as "highly polluting". Although oil sands exports to Europe are minimal, the issue has caused friction between the EU and Canada.

Between 2 to 4.5 volume units of water are used to produce each volume unit of synthetic crude oil in an ex-situ mining operation. According to Greenpeace, the Canadian oil sands operations use 349 million cubic metres per annum (12.3 × 109 cu ft/a) of water, twice the amount of water used by the city of Calgary.[62] Despite recycling, almost all of it ends up in tailings ponds. As of 2007, tailing ponds in Canada covered an area of approximately 50 square kilometres (19 sq mi). However, in SAGD operations, 90–95% of the water is recycled and only about 0.2 volume units of water is used per volume unit of bitumen produced.[63]
For the Athabasca oil sand operations water is supplied from the Athabasca River, the ninth longest river in Canada.[64] The average flow just downstream of Fort McMurray is 633 cubic metres per second (22,400 cu ft/s) with its highest daily average measuring 1,200 cubic metres per second (42,000 cu ft/s).[65][66] Oil sands industries water license allocations totals about 1.8% of the Athabasca river flow. Actual use in 2006 was about 0.4%.[67] In addition, according to the Water Management Framework for the Lower Athabasca River, during periods of low river flow water consumption from the Athabasca River is limited to 1.3% of annual average flow.[68]

In December 2010, the Oil Sands Advisory Panel, commissioned by former environment minister Jim Prentice, found that the system in place for monitoring water quality in the region, including work by the Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program, the Alberta Water Research Institute, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association and others, was piecemeal and should become more comprehensive and coordinated.[69][70] A major hindrance to the monitoring of oil sands produced waters has been the lack of identification of individual compounds present. By better understanding the nature of the highly complex mixture of compounds, including naphthenic acids, it may be possible to monitor rivers for leachate and also to remove toxic components. Such identification of individual acids has for many years proved to be impossible but a recent breakthrough in analysis has begun to reveal what is in the oil sands produced waters.[71]

In October 2009, Suncor announced it was seeking government approval for a new process to recover tailings called Tailings Reduction Operations, which accelerates the settling of fine clay, sand, water, and residual bitumen in ponds after oil sands extraction. The technology involves dredging mature tailings from a pond bottom, mixing the suspension with a polymer flocculent, and spreading the sludge-like mixture over a "beach" with a shallow grade. According to the company, the process could reduce the time for water reclamation from tailings to weeks rather than years, with the recovered water being recycled into the oil sands plant. In addition to reducing the number of tailing ponds, Suncor claims that the process could reduce the time to reclaim a tailing pond from 40 years at present to 7–10 years, with land rehabilitation continuously following 7 to 10 years behind the mining operations




Dear Friend,
It just gets worse and worse.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands extraction is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of forest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for killing thousands of wolves.1
If Alberta Canada's tar sands fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2
It's obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, wolves, woodland caribou and the iconic spirit bear.
But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government's answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. A paper released by the National Wildlife Federation reports that The Ministry of the Environment's plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.
This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: tar sands oil extraction is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.
But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including promoting the Keystone XL Pipeline to export refined tar sands bitumen all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many in the country's government, a negative reputation to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.3
The Ministry of the Environment has not yet begun this planned wolf kill. With enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands development.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5532375&id=35696-5154581-qjqw2%3Dx&t=10
Thank you for fighting tar sands and all their devastation.
Elijah zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets



Tell the Canadian government: 

Stop your tar sands wolf kills!

It just gets worse and worse.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands oil mining is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.1
Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop Canada's planned wolf killings!
If Alberta Canada's tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2

It's obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, caribou and the iconic spirit bear.
But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government's answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands oil extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. The Ministry of the Environment's plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine -- a particularly painful type of poison.
Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop your planned wolf killings! Preserve wolf and caribou habitat, and stop the irresponsible development of tar sands oil which threatens all of us.

This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: Tar sands development is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.

But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including with the Keystone XL Pipeline to export tar sands oil all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many in the country's government, a negative reputation, to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.2

The Ministry of the Environment has not yet moved forward with this planned wolf kill. And with enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands oil fields.
1. "Tar Sands Development to Lead to Poisoning of Wolves," National Wildlife Federation, February 6, 2012
2. "Tar Sands," Friends of the Earth
3. "Monitoring plan would bolster oilsands image, federal documents show," Vancouver Sun, February 3, 2012


Tar sands oil is a high carbon fuel strip-mined from beneath Canada’s Boreal forest. Fuel from tar sands represents an increasingly significant portion of the fuel used in cars in the United States. To extract oil from tar sands, companies must destroy fragile forest ecosystems and then use a very energy-intensive upgrading and refining process to turn that oil into transportation fuel. Tar sands mining and production harm the boreal forest’s fragile ecosystem, waste enormous amounts of water, and disrupt the lives of indigenous people in the area.

Our primary tar sands campaign objective at present is to stop the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.


Climate Impacts

Tar sands oil extraction and production emits three times more carbon dioxide than average from production of conventional oil consumed in the United States. If we expand our use of dirty tar sands, we could jeopardize the gains we make combating climate change via fuel economy standards and the use of clean energy sources as vehicle fuels.

Ecosystem Destruction

Tar sands extraction requires total destruction of pristine areas within the Canadian Boreal forest, one of the few large, intact ecosystems on Earth. The forest is clear cut, the wetlands are drained, and living matter and soil are hauled away to expose the tar sands. Oil companies remove and dump four tons of sand and soil for every one barrel of oil they get from tar sands. Oil companies have so far failed to deliver on their promises to mitigate some of this destruction by refilling tar sands mines and planting new vegetation.

Water Waste

Extracting the fossil fuels in tar sands from the sand, silt, and clay requires enormous amounts of water. It takes about three barrels of water to extract one barrel of oil. More than 90 percent of this water, 400 million gallons per day, ends up as toxic waste dumped in massive pools that contain carcinogenic substances like cyanide.

Disruption of Native People

The tar sands are being mined in a region home to many native people. They have trouble practicing their cultural traditions because of the destruction caused by tailing ponds and strip mining operations. The people downstream from the toxic tailing ponds have high rates of rare cancers, renal failure, lupus, and hyperthyroidism. Indigenous groups have organized and protested to stop the expansion of tar sands operations. This opposition is shared by the majority of Albertans, with 71 percent supporting a moratorium on new projects in a recent survey.

What We Can Do

The majority of tar sands oil is exported to the United States.  Tar sands already make up four percent of the crude oil we use and our tax dollars are already subsidizing pipelines and refineries that would allow oil companies to quadruple that amount. Also, the president must approve any new pipelines (like the Keystone XL pipeline) that the tar sands industry wants to build to the U.S. So far, the Canadian government and oil companies have not found any buyers of tar sands oil outside of the United States. As a result, stopping U.S. permits and taxpayer subsidies for new pipelines and upgraded refineries will go a long way towards ending oil companies’ exploitation of this dirty fuel and the havoc wrought on the local environment and indigenous people’s livelihoods in the process.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++===

Thanks for taking action.

Here are some ways you can spread the word to build pressure on Canadian officials to abandon this cruel plan and stop their rapid expansion of tar sands mining which threatens all of us.

If you are on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall.

If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet:
Tell Canadian Prime Minister Harper and @ec_minister Peter Kent: Stop your planned tar sands #wolf kills! http://bit.ly/xRSXlC @pmharper

You can also send the following e-mail to your friends and family. Spreading the word is critical, but please only pass this message along to those who know you -- spam hurts our campaign.

Thanks for all you do.

--The CREDO Action Team

Here's a sample message to send to your friends:


Subject: Stop Canada's planned tar sands wolf killings!
Dear Friend,


If Alberta Canada's tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.

To make up for the fact that extracting tar sands oil is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.

This plan is both cruel and deeply misguided.

I just signed a petition telling Canada's Prime Minister Harper to Stop Canada's planned tar sands wolf killings. Learn more and add your name here:

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/tar_sands_wolves/?r_by=35696-5154581-qjqw2%3Dx&rc=confemail 

ADDRESS OF AUGUST SPIES.

Speech of August Spies, pp. 1 – 23 YOUR HONOR: In addressing this court I speak as the representative of one class to the representative of another. I will begin with the words uttered five hundred years ago on a similar occasion, by the Venetian Doge …

Speech of August Spies, pp. 1 - 23


YOUR HONOR: In addressing this court I speak as the representative of one class to the representative of another. I will begin with the words uttered five hundred years ago on a similar occasion, by the Venetian Doge Faheri, who addressing the court, said:

"MY DEFENSE IS YOUR ACCUSATION."



The causes of my alleged crime your history!" I have been indicted on the charge of murder, as an accomplice or accessory. Upon this indictment I have been convicted. There was no evidence produced by the State to show or even indicate that I had any knowledge of the man who threw the bomb, or that I myself had anything to do with the throwing of the missile, unless, of course, you weigh the testimony of the accomplices of the State's Attorney and Bonfield, the testimony of Thompson and Gilmer, by the price they were paid for it.

If there was no evidence to show that I was legally responsible for the deed, then my conviction and the execution of the sentence is nothing less than willful, malicious, and deliberate murder, as foul a murder as may be found in the annals of religious, political, or any other sort of persecution. There have been many judicial murders committed where the representatives of the State were acting in good faith, believing their victims to be guilty of the charge accused of. In this case the representatives of the State cannot shield themselves with a similar excuse. For they themselves have fabricated most of the testimony which was used as a pretense to convict us; to convict us by a jury picked out to convict! Before this court, and before the public, which is supposed to be the State, I charge the State's Attorney and Bonfield with the heinous conspiracy to commit murder.

I will state a little incident which may throw light upon this charge. On the evening on which the Praetorian Guards of the Citizen's Association, the Bankers' Association, the Association of the Board of Trade men, and the railroad princes, attacked the meeting of workingmen on the Haymarket, with murderous intent-on that evening, about 8 o'clock I met a young man, Legner by name, who is a member of the Aurora Turn-Verein. He accompanied me, and never left me on that evening until I jumped from the wagon, a few seconds before the explosion occurred. He knew that I had not seen Schwab on that evening. He knew that I had no such conversation with anybody as Mr. Marshal Field's protege, Thompson, testified to. He knew that I did not jump from the wagon to strike the match and hand it to the man who threw the bomb. He is not a Socialist. Why did we not bring him on the stand? Because the honorable representatives of the State, Grinnell and Bonfield, spirited him away.

These honorable gentlemen knew everything about Legner. They knew that his testimony would prove the perjury of Thompson and Gilmer beyond any reasonable doubt. Legner's name was on the list of witnesses for the State- He was not called, however, for obvious reasons. Aye, he stated to a number of friends that he had been offered $500 if he would leave the city, and threatened with direful things if he remained here and appeared as a witness for the defense. He replied that he could neither be bought nor bulldozed to serve such a damnable and dastardly plot. When we wanted Legner, he could not be found; Mr. Grinnell said- and Mr. Grinnell is an honorable man! - that he had himself been searching for the young man, but had not been able to find him. About three weeks later I learned that the very same young man had been kidnapped and taken to Buffalo, N. Y., by two of the illustrious guardians of "Law and Order," two Chicago detectives. Let Mr. Grinnell, let the Citizens' Association, his employer, let them answer for this! And let the public sit in judgment upon the would-be assassins.

No, I repeat, the prosecution has not established our legal guilt. Notwithstanding the purchased and perjured testimony of some, and notwithstanding the originality (sarcastically) of the proceedings of this trial. And as long as this has not been done, and you pronounce upon us the sentence of an appointed vigilance committee acting as a jury, I say, you, the alleged representatives and high priests of "Law and Order," are the real and only law breakers, and in this case to the extent of murder.

It is well that the people know this. And when I speak of the people I don't mean the few co-conspirators of Grinnell, the noble patricians who thrive upon the misery of the multitudes. These drones may constitute the State, they may control the State, they may have their Grinnells, their Bonfields and other hirelings! No, when I speak of the people I speak of the great mass of human bees, the working people, who unfortunately are not yet conscious of the rascalities that are perpetrated in the "name of the people,"-in their name.

The contemplated murder of eight men, whose only crime is that they have dared to speak the truth, may open the eyes of these suffering millions; may wake them up. Indeed, I have noticed that our conviction has worked miracles in this direction already. The class that clamors for our lives, the good, devout Christians, have attempted in every way, through their newspapers and otherwise, to conceal the true and only issue in this case. By simply designating the defendants as "Anarchists," and picturing them as a newly discovered tribe or species of cannibals, and by inventing shocking and horrifying stories of dark conspiracies said to be planned by them -these good Christians zealously sought to keep the naked fact from the working people and other righteous parties, namely: That on the evening of May 4, 200 armed men, under the command of a notorious ruffian, attacked a meeting of peaceable citizens!

With what intention? With the intention of murdering them, or as many of them as they could. I refer to the testimony given by two of our witnesses. The wage-workers of this city began to object to being fleeced too much-they began to say some very true things, but they were highly disagreeable to our patrician class; they put forth-well, some very modest demands. They thought eight hours hard toil a day for scarcely two hours' pay was enough.

THIS LAWLESS RABBLE HAD TO BE SILENCED!

The only way to silence them was to frighten them, and murder those whom they looked up to as their "leaders." Yes, these foreign dogs had to be taught a lesson, so that they might never again interfere with the high-handed exploitation of their benevolent and Christian masters. Bonfield, the man who would bring a blush of shame to the managers of the Bartholomew night-Bonfield, the illustrious gentleman with a visage that would have done excellent service to Dore in portraying Dante's fiends of hell-Bonfield was the man best fitted to consummate the conspiracy of the citizens' association, of our patricians. If I had thrown that bomb, or had caused it to be thrown, or had known of it, I would not hesitate a moment to state so. It is true a number of lives were lost-many were wounded. But hundreds of lives were thereby saved! But for that bomb, there would have been a hundred widows and hundreds of orphans where now there are few. These facts have been carefully suppressed, and we were accused and convicted of conspiracy by the real conspirators and their agents. This, your honor, is one reason why sentence should not be passed by a court of justice-if that name has any significance at all.

"But," says the State, "you have published articles on the manufacture of dynamite and bombs." Show me a daily paper in this city that has not published similar articles! I remember very distinctly a long article in the Chicago Tribune of February 23, 1885. The paper contained a description and drawings of different kinds of infernal machines and bombs. I remember this one especially, because I bought the paper on a railroad train, and had ample time to read it. But since that time the Times has often published similar articles on the subject, and some of the dynamite articles found in the Arbeiter-Zeitung were translated articles from the Times, written by Generals Molineux and Fitz John Porter, in which the use of dynamite bombs against striking workmen is advocated as the most effective weapon against them. May I learn why the editors of these papers have not been indicted and convicted for murder? Is it because they have advocated the use of this destructive agent only against the common rabble? I seek information. Why was Mr. Stone of the News not made a defendant in this case? In his possession was found a bomb. Besides that Mr. Stone published an article in January which gave full information regarding the manufacture of bombs. Upon this information any man could prepare a bomb ready for use at the expense of not more than ten cents.

The News probably has ten times the circulation of the Arbeiter-Zeitung. Is it not likely that the bomb used on May 4th was one made after the News' pattern? As long as these men are not charged with murder and convicted. I insist, your honor, that such discrimination in favor of capital is incompatible with justice, and sentence should therefore not be passed.

Grinnell's main argument against the defendants was "they were foreigners. They are not citizens." I cannot speak for the others. I will only speak for myself. I have been a resident of this State fully as long as Grinnell, and probably have been as good a citizen-at least, I should not wish to be compared with him.

Grinnell has incessantly appealed to the patriotism of the jury. To that I reply in the language of Johnson, the English literateur, "patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel."

My efforts in behalf of the disinherited and disfranchised millions, my agitation in this direction, the popularization of economic teachings-in short, the education of the wage-workers, is declared "a conspiracy against society." The word "society" is here wisely substituted for "the State," as represented by the patricians of today. It has always been the opinion of the ruling classes that the people must be kept in ignorance for they lose their servility, their modesty and their obedience to the powers that be, as their intelligence increases. The education of a black slave a quarter of a century ago was a criminal offense. Why? Because the intelligent slave would throw off his shackles at whatever cost. Why is the education of the working people of today looked upon by a certain class as an offense against the State? For the same reason! The State, however, wisely avoided this point in the prosecution of this case. From their testimony one is forced to conclude that we had, in our speeches and publications, preached nothing else but destruction and dynamite. The court has this morning stated that there is no case in history like this. I have noticed, during this trial, that the gentlemen of the legal profession are not well versed in history. In all historical cases of this kind truth had to be perverted by the priests of the established power that was nearing its end.

What have we said in our speeches and publications?

We have interpreted to the people their conditions and relations in society. We have explained to them the different social phenomena and the social laws and circumstances under which they occur. We have, by way of scientific investigation, incontrovertibly proved and brought to their knowledge that the system of wages is the root of the present social iniquities-iniquities so monstrous that they cry to Heaven. We have further said that the wage system, as a specific form of social development, would, by the necessity of logic, have to make room for higher forms of civilization; that the wage system must prepare the way and furnish the foundation for a social system of co-operation-that is, Socialism. That whether this or that theory, this or that scheme regarding future arrangements were accepted was not a matter of choice, but one of historical necessity, and that to us the tendency of progress seemed to be Anarchism-that is, a free society without kings or classes-ta sociey of sovereigns in which the liberty and economic equality of all would furnish an unshakable equilibrium as a foundation and condition of natural order.

It is not likely that the honorable Bonfield and Grinnell can conceive of a social order not held intact by the policeman's club and pistol, nor of a free society without prisons, gallows, and State's attorneys. In such a society they probably fail to find a place for themselves.

And is this the reason why Anarchism is such a "pernicious and damnable doctrine?"

Grinnell has intimated to us that Anarchism was on trial. The theory of Anarchism belongs to the realm of speculative philosophy. There was not a syllable said about Anarchism at the Haymarket meeting. At that meeting the very popular theme of reducing the hours of toil was discussed. But, "Anarchism is on trial!" foams Mr. Grinnell. If that is the case, your honor, very well; you may sentence me, for I am an Anarchist. I believe with Buckle, with Paine, Jefferson, Emerson, and Spencer, and many other great thinkers of this century, that the state of castes and classes-the state where one class domininates over and lives upon the labor of another class, and calls this order-yes; I believe that this barbaric form of social organization, with its legalized plunder and murder, is doomed to die, and make room for a free society, voluntary association, or universal brotherhood, if you like. You may pronounce the sentence upon me, honorable judge, but let the world know that in A. D. 1886, in the State of Illinois eight men were sentenced to death, because they believed in a better future; because they had not lost their faith in the ultimate victory of liberty and justice! "You have taught the destruction of society and civilization," says the tool and agent of the Bankers' and Citizens' Association, Grinnell. That man has yet to learn what civilization is. It is the old, old argument against
human progress. Read the history of Greece, of Rome; read that of Venice; look over the dark pages of the church, and follow the thorny path of science. "No change! No change! You would destroy society and civilization!" has ever been the cry of the ruling classes. They are so comfortably situated under the prevailing system that they naturally abhor and fear even the slightest change. Their privileges are as dear to them as life itself, and every change threatens these privileges. But civilization is a ladder whose steps are monuments of such changes! Without these social changes-all brought about against the will and the force of the ruling classes-there would be no civilization. As to the destruction of society which we have been accused of seeking, sounds this not like one of AEsop's fables-like the cunning of the fox? We, who have jeopardized our lives to save society from the fiend-the fiend who has grasped her by the throat; who sucks her life-blood, who devours her children-we, who would heal her bleeding wounds, who would free her from the fetters you have wrought around her; from the misery you have brought upon her-we her enemies!!

Honorable Judge, the demons of hell will join in the laughter this irony provokes!

We have preached dynamite. Yes, we have predicted from the lessons history teaches, that the ruling classes of today would no more listen to the voice of reason than their predecessors; that they would attempt by brute force to stay the wheel of progress. Is it a lie, or was it the truth we told? Are not already the large industries of this once free country conducted under the surveillance of the police, the detectives, the military, and the sheriffs-and is this return to militancy not developing from day to day? American sovereigns-think of it-working like the gally convicts under military guards! We have predicted this, and predict that soon these conditions will grow unbearable. What then? The mandate of the feudal lords of our time is slavery, starvation, and death! This has been their programme for the past years. We have said to the toilers, that science had penetrated the mystery of nature-that from Jove's head once more has sprung a Minerva dynamite!

If this declaration is synonymous with murder, why not charge those with the crime to whom we owe the invention? To charge us with an attempt to overthrow the present system on or about May 4th by force, and then establish Anarchy, is too absurd a statement, I think, even for a political office-holder to make. If Grinnell believed that we attempted such a thing, why did he not have Dr. Bluthardt make an inquiry as to our sanity? Only mad men could have planned such a brilliant scheme, and mad people cannot be indicted or convicted of murder. If there had existed anything like a conspiracy or a pre-arrangement, does your honor believe that events would not have taken a different course than they did on that evening and later? This "conspiracy" nonsense is based upon an oration I delivered on the anniversary of Washington's birthday at Grand Rapids, Mich., more than a year and a half ago. I had been invited by the Knights of Labor for that purpose. I dwelt upon the fact that our country was far from being what the great revolutionists of the last century had intended it to be. I said that those men if they lived today would clean the Augean stables with iron brooms, and that they, too, would undoubtedly be characterized as "wild Socialists." It is not unlikely that I said Washington would have been hanged for treason if the revolution had failed. Grinnell made this "sacrilegious remark" his main arrow against me. Why? Because he intended to inveigh the know-nothing spirit against us. But who will deny the correctness of the statement? That I should have compared myself with Washington, is a base lie. But if I had, would that be murder? I may have told that individual who appeared here as a witness that the workingmen should procure arms, as force would in all probability be the ultima ratio; and that in Chicago there were so and so many armed, but I certainly did not say that we proposed to "inaugurate the social revolution." And let me say here: Revolutions are no more made than earthquakes and cyclones. Revolutions are the effect of certain causes and conditions. I have made social philosophy a specific study for more than ten years, and I could not have given vent to such nonsense! I do believe, however, that the revolution is near at hand-in fact, that it is upon us. But is the physician responsible for the death of the patient because he foretold that death? If any one is to be blamed for the coming revolution it is the ruling class who steadily refused to make concessions as reforms became necessary; who maintain that they can call a halt to progress, and dictate a stand-still to the eternal forces, of which they themselves are but the whimsical creation.

The position generally taken in this case is that we are morally responsible for the police riot on May 4th. Four or five years ago I sat in this very court room as a witness. The working men had been trying to obtain redress in a lawful manner. They had voted, and among others, had elected their Aldermanic, candidate from the Fourteenth Ward. But the street car company did not like that man. And two of the three election judges of one precinct, knowing this, took the ballot box to their home and "corrected" the election returns, so as to cheat the constituents of the elected candidate of their rightful representative, and give the representation to
the benevolent street car monopoly.

The workingmen spent $1,500 in the prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime. The proof against them was so overwhelming that they confessed to having falsified the returns and forged the official documents. Judge Gardner, who was presiding in this court, acquitted them, stating that "that act had apparently not been prompted by criminal intent." I will make no comment. But when we approach the field of moral responsibility, it has an immense scope! Every man who has in the past assisted in thwarting the efforts of those seeking reform is responsible for the existence of the revolutionists in this city today! Those, however, who have sought to bring about reforms must be exempted from the responsibility-and to these I belong.

If the verdict is based upon the assumption of moral responsibility, your honor, I give this as a reason why sentence should not be passed.

If the opinion of the court given this morning is good law, then there is no person in this country who could not lawfully be hanged. I vouch that, upon the very laws you have read, there is no person in this courtroom now who could not be "fairly, impartially and lawfully" hanged! Fouche, Napoleon's right bower, once said to his master: "Give me a line that any one man has ever written, and I will bring him to the scaffold." And this court has done essentially the same. Upon that law every person in this country can be indicted for conspiracy, and, as the case may be, for murder. Every member of a trade union, Knights of Labor, or any other labor organization, can then be convicted of conspiracy, and in cases of violence, for which they may not be responsible at all, of murder, as we have been. This precedent once established, and you force the masses who are now agitating in a peaceable way into open rebellion! You thereby shut off the last safety valve
-and the blood which will be shed, the blood of the innocent-it will come upon your heads!

"Seven policemen have died," said Grinnell, suggestively winking at the jury. You want a life for a life, and have convicted an equal number of men, of whom it cannot be truthfully said that they had anything whatsoever to do with the killing of Bonfield's victims. The very same principle of jurisprudence we find among various savage tribes. Injuries among them are equalized, so to speak. The Chinooks and the Arabs, for instance, would demand the life of an enemy for every death that they had suffered at their enemy's hands. They were not particular in regard to the persons, just so long as they had a life for a life. This principle also prevails today among the natives of the Sandwich Islands. If we are to be hanged on this principle then let us know it, and let the world know what a civilized and christian country, it is in which the Goulds, the Vanderbilts, the Stanfords, the Fields, Armours, and other local money hamsters have come to the rescue of liberty and justice!

Grinnell has repeatedly stated that our country is an enlightened country, (Sarcastically.) The verdict fully corroborates the assertion! This verdict against us is the anathema of the wealthy classes over their despoiled victims-the vast army of wage workers and farmers. If your honor would not have these people believe this; if you would not have them believe that we have once more arrived at the Spartan Senate, the Athenian Areopagus, the Venetian Council of Ten, etc., then sentence should not be pronounced. But, if you think that by hanging us, you can stamp out the labor movement-the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil and live in want and misery-the wage slaves-expect salvation-if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread upon a spark, but there, and there, and behind you and in front of you, and everywhere, flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out.

THE GROUND IS ON FIRE

upon which you stand. You can't understand it. You don't believe in magical arts, as your grandfathers did, who burned witches at the stake, but you do believe in conspiracies; you believe that all these occurrences of late are the work of conspirators! You resemble the child that is looking for his picture
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behind the mirror. What you see, and what you try to grasp is nothing but the deceptive reflex of the stings of your bad conscience. You want to "stamp out the conspirators"-the "agitators?" Ah, stamp out every factory lord who has grown wealthy upon the unpaid labor of his employes. Stamp out every landlord who has amassed fortunes from the rent of overburdened workingmen and farmers. Stamp out every machine that is revolutionizing industry and agriculture, that intensifies the production, ruins the producer, that increases the national wealth, while the creator of all these things stands amidst them, tantalized with hunger! Stamp out the railroads, the telegraph, the telephone, steam and yourselves-for everything breathes the revolutionary spirit.

You, gentlemen, are the revolutionists! You rebel against the effects of social conditions which have tossed you, by the fair hand of Fortune, into a magnificent paradise. Without inquiring, you imagine that no one else has a right in that place. You insist that you are the chosen ones, the sole proprietors. The forces that tossed you into the paradise, the industrial forces, are still at work. They are growing more active and intense from day to day. Their tendency is to elevate all mankind to the same level, to have all humanity share in the paradise you now monopolize.

You, in your blindness, think you can stop the tidal wave of civilization and human emancipation by placing a few policemen, a few gatling guns, and some regiments of militia on the shore-you think you can frighten the rising waves back into the unfathomable depths, whence they have arisen, by erecting a few gallows in the perspective. You, who oppose the natural course of things, you are the real revolutionists. You and you alone are the conspirators and destructionists!

Said the court yesterday, in referring to the Board of Trade demonstration: "These men started out with the express purpose of sacking the Board of Trade building." While I can't see what sense there would have been in such an undertaking, and while I know that the said demonstration was arranged simply as a means of propoganda against the system that legalizes the respectable business carried on there, I will assume that the three thousand workingmen who marched in that procession really intended to sack the building. In this case they would have differed from the respectable Board of Trade men only in this-that they sought to recover property in an unlawful way, while the others sack the entire country lawfully and unlawfully-this being their highly respectable profession. This court of "justice and equity" proclaims the principle that when two persons do the same thing, it is not the same thing. I thank the court for this confession. It contains all that we have taught and for which we are to be hanged, in a nut shell! Theft is a respectable profession when practiced by the privileged class. It is a felony when resorted to in self preservation by the other class. Rapine and pillage are the order of a certain class of gentlemen who find this mode of earning a livelihood easier and preferable to honest labor-this is the kind of order we have attempted, and are now trying, and will try as long as we live to do away with. Look upon the economic battle fields! Behold the carnage and plunder of the Christian patricians! Accompany me to the quarters of the wealth-creators in this city. Go with me to the half-starved miners of the Hocking Valley. Look at the pariahs in the Monongahela Valley, and many other mining districts in this country, or pass along the railroads of that great and most orderly and law-abiding citizen, Jay Gould. And then tell me whether this order has in it any moral principle for which it should be preserved. I say that the preservation of such a order is criminal - is murderous. It means the preservation of the systematic destruction of children and women in factories. It means the preservation of enforced idleness of large armies of men, and their degradation. It means the preservation of intemperance, and sexual as well as intellectual prostition. It means the preservation of misery, want, and servility on one hand, and the dangerous accumnlation of spoils, idleness, voluptuousness and tyranny on the other. It means the preservation of a vice in every form.

And last but not least, it means the preservation of the class struggle, of strikes, riots and bloodshed. That is your "order," gentlemen; Yes, and it is worthy of you to be the champions of such an order. You are eminently fitted for that role. You have my compliments!

Grinnell spoke of Victor Hugo. I need not repeat what he said, but will answer him in the language of one of our German philosphers: "Our Bourgeoise erects monuments in honor of the memory of the classics. If they had read them they would burn them!" Why, amongst the articles read here from the Arbeiter-Zeitung, put in evidence by the State, by which they intend to convince the jury of the dangerous character of the accused anarchists, is an extract from Goethe's Faust,

"Es erben sich Gesetz und Rechte,
We eine ew'ge Krankheit fort," etc.

("Laws and class privileges are transmitted like an hereditary disease.")

And Mr. Ingham in his speech told the Christian jurors that our comrades, the Paris communists, had in 1871, dethroned God, the Almighty, and had put up in his place a low prostitute. The effect was marvelous! The good Christians were shocked.

I wish your honor would inform the learned gentlemen that the episode related occurred in Paris nearly a century ago, and that the sacrilegious perpetrators were the cotemporaries of the founders of the Republic-and among them was Thomas Paine. Nor was the woman a prostitute, but a good citoyenne de Paris, who served on that occasion simply as an allegory of the goddess of reason.

Referring to Most's letter, read here, Mr. Ingham said: "They," meaning Most and myself, "They might have destroyed thousands of innocent lives in the Hocking Valley with that dynamite." I have said all I know about the letter on the witness stand, but will add that two years ago I went through the Hocking Valley as a correspondent. While there I saw hundreds of lives in the process of slow destruction, gradual destruction. There was no dynamite, nor were they Anarchists who did that diabolical work. It was the work of a party of
highly respectable monopolists, law-abiding citizens, if you please. It is needless to say the murderers were never indicted. The press had little to say, and the State of Ohio assisted them. What a terror it would have created if the victims of this diabolical plot had resented and blown some of those respectable cut-throats to atoms. When, in East St. Louis, Jay Gould's hirelings, "the men of grit," shot down in cold blood and killed six inoffensive workingmen and women, there was very little said, and the grand jury refused to indict the gentlemen. It was the same way in Chicago, Milwaukee and other places. A Chicago furniture manufacturer shot down and seriously wounded two striking workingmen last spring. He was held over to the grand jury. The grand jury refused to indict the gentleman.

But when, on one occasion, a workingman in self defense resisted the murderous attempt of the police and threw a bomb, and for once blood flowed on the other side, then a terrific howl went up from the land: "Conspiracy has attacked vested rights!" And eight victims are demanded for it. There has been much said about the public sentiment. There has been much said about the public clamor. Why, it is a fact, that no citizen dared express another opinion than that prescribed by the authorities of the State, for if one had done otherwise, he would have been locked up; he might have been sent to the gallows to swing, as they will have the pleasure of doing with us, if the decree of our "honorable court" is consummated.

"These men," Grinnell said repeatedly, "have no principles; they are common murderers, assassins, robbers," etc. I admit that our aspirations and objects are incomprehensible to unprincipled ruffians, but surely for this we are not to be blamed. The assertion, if I mistake not, was based on the ground that we sought to destroy property. Whether this perversion of facts was intentional, I know not. But in justification of our doctrines I will say that the assertion is an infamous falsehood. Articles have been read here from the Arbeiter-Zeitung and Alarm to show the dangerous characters of the defendants. The files of the Arbeiter-Zeitung and Alarm have been searched for the past years. Those articles which generally commented upon some atrocity committed by the authorities upon striking workingmen were picked out and read to you. Other articles were not read to the court. Other articles were not what was wanted. The State's Attorney upon those articles (who well knows that he tells a falsehood when he says it), asserts that "these men have no principle."

A few weeks before I was arrested and charged with the crime for which I have been convicted, I was invited by the clergymen of the Congregational Church to lecture upon the subject of socialism, and debate with them. This took place at the Grand Pacific Hotel. And so that it cannot be said that after I have been arrested, after I have been indicted, and after I have been convicted, I have put together some principles to justify my action, I will read what I said then-

CAPT. BLACK: "Give the date of the paper."

MR. SPIES: "January 9, 1886."

CAPT. BLACK: "What paper, the Alarm?"

MR. SPIES: "The Alarm. When I was asked upon that occasion what Socialism was, I said this:

"Socialism is simply a resume of the phenomena of the social life of the past and present traced to their fundamental causes, and brought into logical connection with one another. It rests upon the established fact that the economic conditions and institutions of a people form the ground work of all their social conditions, of their ideas-aye, even of their religion, and further, that all changes of economic conditions, every step in advance, arises from the struggles between the dominating and dominated class in different ages. You, gentlemen, cannot place yourselves at this standpoint of speculative science; your profession demands that you occupy the opposite position, that which professes acquaintance with things as they actually exist, but which presumes a thorough understanding of matters which to ordinary mortals are entirely incomprehensible. It is for this reason that you cannot become Socialists (cries of "Oh! oh!"). Lest you should be unable to exactly grasp my meaning, however, I will now state the matter a little more plainly. It cannot be unknown to you that in the course of this century there have appeared an infinite number of inventions and discoveries, which have brought about great, aye, astonishing changes in the production of the necessities and comforts of life. The work of machines has, to a great extent, replaced that of men.

"Machinery involves a great accumulation of power, and always a greater division of labor in consequence.

"The advantages resulting from this centralization of production were of such a nature as to cause its still further extension, and from this concentration of the means of labor and of the operations of laborers, while the old system of distribution was (and is) retained, arose those improper conditions which ails society today.

"The means of production thus came into the hands of an ever decreasing number, while the actual producers, through the introduction of machinery, deprived of the opportunity to toil, and being at the same time disinherited of the bounties of nature, were consigned to pauperism, vagabondage-the so-called crime and prostitution-all these evils which you gentlemen would like to exorcise with your little prayer-book.

"The Socialists award your efforts a jocular rather than a serious attention-[symptoms of uneasiness]-otherwise, pray let us know how much you have accomplished so far by your moral lecturing toward ameliorating the condition of those wretched beings who through bitter
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want have been driven to crime and desperation? [Here several gentlemen sprang to their feet, exclaiming, `We have done a great deal in some directions!'] Aye, in some cases you have perhaps given a few alms; but what influence has this, if I may ask, had upon societary conditions, or in affecting any change in the same? Nothing; absolutely nothing. You may as well admit it, gentlemen, for you cannot point me out a single instance.

"Very well. Those proletarians doomed to misery and hunger through the labor-saving of our centralized production, whose number in this country we estimate at about a million and a half, is it likely that they and the thousands who are daily joining their ranks, and the millions who are toiling for a miserable pittance, will suffer peacefully and with Christian resignation their destruction at the hand of their thievish and murderous, albeit very Christian wage-masters? They will defend themselves. It will come to a fight.

"The necessity of common ownership in the means of toil will be realized, and the era of socialism, of universal co-operation begins. The dispossessing of the usurping classes-the socialization of these possessions-and the universal co-operation of toil, not for speculative purposes, but for the satisfaction of the demands which we make upon life; in short co-operative labor for the purpose of continuing life and of enjoying it-this in general outlines, is Socialism. This is not, however, as you might suppose, a mere "beautifully conceived plan," the realization of which would be well worth striving for if it could only be brought about. No; this socialization of the means of production, of the machinery of commerce, of the land and earth, etc., is not only something desirable, but has become an imperative necessity, and wherever we find in history that something has once become a necessity there we always find that the next step was the doing away with that necessity by the supplying of the logical want.

"Our large factories and mines, and the machinery of exchange and transportation, apart from every other consideration, have become too vast for private control. Individuals can no longer monopolize them.

"Everywhere, wherever we cast our eyes, we find forced upon our attention the unnatural and injurious effects of unregulated private production. We see how one man, or a number of men, have not only brought into the embrace of their private ownership a few inventions in technical lines, but have also confiscated for their exclusive advantage all natural powers, such as water, steam, and electricity. Every fresh invention, every discovery belongs to them. The world exists for them only. That they destroy their fellow-beings right and left they little care. That, by their machinery, they even work the bodies of little children into gold pieces they hold to be an especially good work and a genuine Christian act. They murder, as we have said, little children and women by hard labor, while they let strong men go hungry for lack of work.

"People ask themselves how such things are possible, and the answer is that the competitive system is the cause of it. The thought of a cooperative, social, rational, and well-regulated system of management irresistibly impresses the observer. The advantages of such a system are of such a convincing kind, so patent to observation-and where could there be any other way out of it? According to physical laws a body always moves itself, consciously or unconsciously, along the line of least resistance. So does society as a whole. The path to co-operative labor and distribution is leveled by the concentration of the means of labor under the private capitalistic system. We are already moving right in that track. We cannot retreat even if we would. The force of circumstances drives us on to Socialism.

" `And now, Mr. S., won't you tell us how you are going to carry out the expropriation of the possessing classes?' asked Rev. Dr. Scudder.

" `The answer is in the thing itself. The key is furnished by the storms raging through the industrial life of the present. You see how penuriously the owners of the factories, of the mines, cling to their privileges, and will not yield the breadth of an inch. On the other hand, you see the half-starved proletarians driven to the verge of violence.'

" `So your remedy would be violence?'

" `Remedy? Well, I should like it better if it could be done without violence, but you, gentlemen, and the class you represent, take care that it cannot be accomplished otherwise. Let us suppose that the workingmen of today go to their employers, and say to them: `Listen! Your administration of affairs don't suit us any more; it leads to disastrous consequences. While one part of us are worked to death, the others, out of employment, are starved to death; little children are ground to death in the factories, while strong, vigorous men remain idle; the masses live in misery while a small class of respectables enjoy luxury and wealth; all this is the result of your maladministration, which will bring misfortune even to yourselvess; step down and out now; let us have your property, which is nothing but unpaid labor; we shall take this thing in our hands now; we shall administrate matters satisfactorily, and regulate the institutions of society; voluntarily we shall pay you a life-long pension. Now, do you think the `bosses' would accept this proposition? You certainly don't believe it. Therefore force will have to decide-or do you know of any other way?'

"So you are organizing a revolution?"

"It was shortly before my arrest, and I answered: "Such things are hard to organize. A revolution is a sudden upwelling-a convulsion of the fevered masses of society.

"We are preparing society for that, and insist upon it that workingmen should arm themselves and keep ready for the struggle. The better they are armed the easier will the battle be, and the less the bloodshed.

" `What would be the order of things in the new society?'

" `I must decline to answer this question, as it is, till now, a mere matter of speculation. The organization of labor on a co-operative basis offers no difficulties. The large establishments of today might be used as patterns. Those who will have to solve these questions will expediently do it, instead of working according to our prescriptions (if we should make anything of the kind); they will be directed by the circumstances and conditions of the time, and these are beyond our horizon. About this you needn't trouble yourselves.'

" `But, friend, don't you think that about a week after the division, the provident will have all, while the spendthrift will have nothing?'

" `The question is out of order,' interfered the Chairman; `there was not said anything about division.'

"Prof. Wilcox: `Don't you think the introduction of Socialism will destroy all individuality?'

" `How can anything be destroyed which does not exist? In our times there is no individuality; that only can be developed under Socialism, when mankind will be independent economically. Where do you meet today with real individuality? Look at yourselves, gentlemen! You don't dare to give utterance to any subjective opinion which might not suit the feelings of your bread-givers and customers.

You are hypocrites [murmurs and indignation]; every business man is a hypocrite. Everywhere is mockery, servility, lie and fraud. And the laborers! There you feign anxiety about their individuality; about the individuality of a class that has been degraded to machines-used each day for ten or twelve hours as appendages of the lifeless machines! About their individuality you are anxious!'

"Does that sound as though I had at that time, as has been imputed to me, organized a revolution-a so-called social revolution, which was to occur on or about the 1st of May to establish anarchy in place of our present "ideal order?" I guess not.

"So socialism does not mean the destruction of society. Socialism is a constructive and not a destructive science. While capitalism expropriates the masses for the benefit of the privileged class; while capitalism is that school of economics which teaches how one can live upon the labor (i.e., property) of the other; Socialism teaches how all may possess property, and further teaches that every man must work honestly for his own living, and not be playing the "respectable board of trade man," or any other highly (?) respectable business man or banker, such as appeared here as talesmen in the jurors' box, with the fixed opinion that we ought to be hanged. Indeed, I believe they have that opinion! Socialism, in short, seeks to establish a universal system of cooperation, and to render accessible to each and every member of the human family the achievements and benefits of civilization, which, under capitalism, are being monopolized by a privileged class and employed, not as they should be, for the common good of all, but for the brutish gratification of an avaricious class. Under capitalism the great inventions of the past, far from being a blessing for mankind, have been turned into a curse! Under Socialism the prophecy of the Greek poet, Antiporas, would be fulfilled, who, at the invention of the first water-mill, exclaimed: "This is the emancipator of male and female slaves"; and likewise the prediction of Aristotle, who said: "When, at some future age, every tool, upon command or by predestination, will perform its work as the artworks of Daedalus did, which moved by themselves, or like the three feet of Hephaestus, which went to their sacred work instinctively, when thus the weaver shuttles will weave by themselves, then we shall no longer require masters and slaves."

Socialism says this time has come, and can you deny it? You say: "Oh, these heathens, what did they know?" True! They knew nothing of political economy; they knew nothing of christendom. They failed to conceive how nicely these man-emancipating machines could be employed to lengthen the hours of toil and to intensify the burdens of the slaves. These heathens, yes, they excused the slavery of one on the ground that thereby another would be afforded the opportunity of human development. But to preach the slavery of the masses in order that a few rude and arrogant parvenues might become "eminent manufacturers," "extensive packing-house owners," or "influential shoe-black dealers," to do this they lacked that specfic Christian organ.

Socialism teaches that the machines, the means of transportation and communication are the result of the combined efforts of society, past and present, and that they are therefore rightfully the indivisible property of society, just the same as the soil and the mines and all natural gifts should be. This declaration implies that those who have appropriated this wealth wrongfully, though lawfully, shall be expropriated by society. The expropriation of the masses by the monopolists has reached such a degree that the expropriation of the expropriateurs has become an imperative necessity, an act of social self-preservation.

SOCIETY WILL RECLAIM ITS OWN, even though you erect a gibbet on every street corner. And Anarchism, this terrible "ism," deduces that under a co-operative organization of society, under economic equality and individual independence, the "State"-the political State-will pass into barbaric antiquity. And we will be where all are free, where there are no longer masters and servants, where intellect stands for brute force, there will no longer be any use for the policemen and militia to preserve the so-called "peace and order"-the order that the Russian General speaks of when he telegraphed to the Czar after he had massacred half of Warsaw, "Peace reigns in Warsaw."

Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all. Anarchism, or Socialism, means the reorganization of society upon scientific principles and the abolition of causes which produce vice and crime. Capitalism first produces these social diseases and then seeks to cure them by punishment.

The court has had a great deal to say about the incendiary character of the articles read from the Arbeiter-Zeitung. Let me read to you an editorial which appeared in the Fond du Lac Commonwealth, in October, 1886, a Republican paper. If I am not mistaken the court is Republican, too.

"To arms, Republicans! Work in every town in Wisconsin for men not afraid of firearms, blood or dead bodies, to preserve peace [that is the `peace' I have been speaking of] and quiet; avoid a conflict of parties to prevent the administration of public affairs from falling into the hands of such obnoxious men as James G. Jenkins. Every Republican in Wisconsin should go armed to the polls on next election day. The grain-stacks, houses and barns of active Democrats should be burned; their children burned and their wives outraged, that they may understand that the Republican party is the one which is bound to rule, and the one which they should vote for, or keep their vile carcasses away from the polls. If they still persist in going to the polls, and persist in voting for Jenkins, meet them on the road, in the bush, on the hill, or anywhere, and shoot every one of these base cowards and agitators. If they are too strong in any locality, and succeed in putting their opposition votes into the ballot box, break open the box and tear in shreds their discord-breathing ballots. Burn them. This is the time for effective work. Yellow fever will not catch among Morrison Democrats; so we must use less noisy and more effective means. The agitators must be put down, and whoever opposes us does so at his peril. Republicans, be at the polls in accordance with the above directions, and don't stop for a little blood. That which make the solid South will make a solid North."

What does your honor say to these utterances of a "law and order" organ-a Republican organ? How does the Arbeiter-Zeitung compare with this?

The book of Johann Most, which was introduced in court, I have never read, and I admit that passages were read here that are repulsive -that must be repulsive to any person who has a heart. But I call your attention to the fact that these passages have been translated from a publication of Andrieux, the ex-prefect of police, in Paris, by an exponent of your order! Have the representatives of your order ever stopped at the sacrifice of human blood? Never!

It has been charged that we (the eight here) constituted a conspiracy. I would reply to that that my friend Lingg I had seen but twice at meetings of the Central Labor Union, where I went as a reporter; had seen him but twice before I was arrested. Never spoke to him. Engle I have not been on speaking terms with for at least a year. And Fischer, my lieutenant (?) used to go round and make speeches against me.

So much for that.

You honor has said this morning, "we must learn their objects from what they have said and written," and in pursuance thereof the court has read a number of articles.

Now, if I had as much power as the court, and were a law-abiding citizen, I would certainly have the court indicted for some remarks made during this trial. I will say that if I had not been an anarchist at the beginning of this trial I would be one now. I quote the exact language of the court on one occasion. "It does not necessarily follow that all laws are foolish and bad because a good many of them are so." That is treason, sir! if we are to believe the court and the State's Attorney. But, aside from that, I cannot see how we shall distinguish the good from the bad laws. Am I to judge of that? No; I am not. But if I disobey a bad law, and am brought before a bad judge, I undoubtedly would be convicted.

In regard to a report in the Arbeiter-Zeitung, also read this morning the report of the Board of Trade demonstration, I would say-and this is the only defense, the only word I have to say in my own defense is, that I did not know of that article until I saw it in the paper, and the man who wrote it, wrote it rather as a reply to some slurs in the morning papers. He was discharged. The language used in that article would never have been tolerated if I had seen it.

Now, if we cannot be directly implicated with this affair, connected with the throwing of the bomb, where is the law that says, "that these men shall be picked out to suffer? Show me that law if you have it! If the position of the court is correct, then half of this city-half of the population of this city-ought to be hanged, because they are responsible the same as we are for that act on May 4th. And if not half of the population of Chicago is hanged, then show me the law that says, "Eight men shall be picked out and hanged as scapegoats!" You have no good law. Your decision, your verdict, our conviction is nothing but an arbitrary will of this lawless court. It is true there is no precedent in jurisprudence in this case! It is true we have called upon the people to arm themselves. It is true that we have told them time and again that the great day of change was coming. It was not our desire to have bloodshed. We are not beasts. We would not be socialists if we were beasts. It is because of our sensitiveness that we have gone into this movement for the emancipation of the oppressed and suffering. It is true we have called upon the people to arm and prepare for the stormy times before us.

This seems to be the ground upon which the verdict is to be sustained. "BUT WHEN A LONG TRAIN OF ABUSES AND USURPATIONS PURSUING INVARIABLY THE SAME OBJECT EVINCES A DESIGN TO REDUCE THE PEOPLE UNDER ABSOLUTE DESPOTISM, IT IS THEIR RIGHT, IT IS THEIR DUTY, TO THROW OFF SUCH GOVERNMENT AND PROVIDE NEW GUARDS FOR THEIR FUTURE SAFETY." This is a quotation from the "Declaration of Independence." Have we broken any laws by showing to the people how these abuses, that have occurred for the last twenty years, are invaribly pursuing one object, viz: to establish an oligarchy in this country as strong and powerful and monstrous as never before has existed in any country? I can well understand why that man Grinnell did not urge upon the grand jury to charge us with treason. I can well understand it. You cannot try and convict a man for treason who has upheld the constitution against those who try to trample it under their feet. It would not have been as easy a job to do that, Mr. Grinnell, as to charge "these men" with murder.

Now, these are my ideas. They constitute a part of myself. I cannot divest myself of them, nor would I, if I could. And if you think that you can crush out these ideas that are gaining ground more and more every day, if you think you can crush them out by sending us to the gallows-if you would once more have people suffer the penalty of death because they have dared to tell the truth-and I defy you to show us where we have told a lie-I say, if death is the penalty for proclaiming the truth, then I will proudly and defiantly pay the costly price! Call your hangman! Truth crucified in Socrates, in Christ, in Giordano Bruno, in Huss, Gallileo, still lives-they and others whose number is legion have preceded us on this path. We are ready to follow!

SPEECH OF ADOLPH FISCHER.

Speech of Adolph Fischer, pp. 36 – 38YOUR HONOR: You ask me why sentence of death should not be passed upon me. I will not talk much. I will only say that I protest against my being sentenced to death, because I have committed no crime. I was tried her…

Speech of Adolph Fischer, pp. 36 - 38


YOUR HONOR: You ask me why sentence of death should not be passed upon me. I will not talk much. I will only say that I protest against my being sentenced to death, because I have committed no crime. I was tried here in this room for murder, and I was convicted of Anarchy. I protest against being sentenced to death, because I have not been found guilty of murder. But, however, if I am to die on account of being an Anarchist, on account of my love for liberty, fraternity and equality, then I will not remonstrate. If death is the penalty for our love of the freedom of the human race, then I say openly I have forfeited my life; but a murderer I am not. Although being one of the parties who arranged the Haymarket meeting, I had no more to do with the throwing of that bomb, I had no more connection with it than State's Attorney Grinnell had, perhaps. I do not deny that I was present at the Haymarket meeting but that meeting-

(At this point Mr. Salomon stepped up and spoke to Mr. Fischer in a low tone, but the latter waved him off and said:)

Mr. Salomon, be so kind. I know what I am talking about. Now, that Haymarket meeting was not called for the purpose of committing violence and crime. No; but the meeting was called for the purpose of protesting against the outrages and crimes committed by the police on the day previous, out at McCormick's. The State's witness, Waller, and others have testified here, and I only need to repeat it, that we had a meeting on Monday night, and in this meeting-the affair at McCormick's taking place just a few hours previous-took action and called a mass-meeting for the purpose of protesting against the brutal outrages of the police. Waller was chairman of this meeting, and he himself made the motion to hold the meeting at the Haymarket. It was he also who appointed me as a committee to have handbills printed and to provide for speakers; that I did, and nothing else. The next day I went to Wehrer & Klein, and had 25,000 handbills printed, and I invited Spies to speak at the Haymarket meeting. In the original of the "copy" I had the line "Workingmen, appear armed!" and I had my reason too for putting those words in, because I didn't want the working men to be shot down in that meeting as on other occasions. But as those circulars were printed, or as a few of them were printed and brought over to me at the Arbeiter-Zeitung office, my comrade Spies saw one of them. I had invited him to speak before that. He showed me the circular, and said: "Well, Fischer, if those circulars are distributed, I won't speak." I admitted it would be better to take the objectionable words out, and Mr. Spies spoke. And that is all I had to do with that meeting. Well, I went to the Haymarket about 8:15 o'clock, and stayed there until Parsons interrupted Fielden's speech. Parsons stepped up to the stand, and said that it looked like it was going to rain, and that the assembly had better adjourn to Zepf's Hall. At that moment a friend of mine who testified on the witness stand, went with me to Zepf's Hall, and we sat down at a table and had a glass of beer. At the moment I was going to sit down, my friend Parsons came in with some other persons, and after I was sitting there about five minutes the explosion occurred. I had no idea that anything of the kind would happen, because, as the State's witnesses testified, themselves, there was no agreement to defend ourselves that night. It was only a meeting called to protest.

Now, as I said before, this verdict, which was rendered by the jury in this room, is not directed against murder, but against Anarchy. I feel that I am sentenced, or that I will be sentenced, to death because of being an Anarchist, and not because I am a murderer. I have never been a murderer. I have never yet committed a crime in my life; but I know a certain man who is on the way to becoming a murderer, an assassin, and that man is Grinnell-the State's Attorney Grinnell-because he brought men on the witness stand who he knew would swear falsely; and I publicly denounce Mr. Grinnell as being a murderer and an assassin if I should be executed. But if the ruling class thinks that by hanging us, hanging a few Anarchists, they can crush out Anarchy, they will be badly mistaken, because the Anarchist loves his principles more than his life.

An Anarchist is always ready to die for his principles; but in this case I have been charged with murder, and I am not a murderer. You will find it impossible to kill a principle, although you may take the life of men who confess these principles. The more the believers in just causes are persecuted, the quicker will their ideas be realized. For instance, in rendering such an unjust and barbarous verdict, the twelve "honorable men" in the jury-box have done more for the furtherance of Anarchism than the convicted could have accomplished in a generation. This verdict is a death-blow against free speech, free press, and free thought in this country, and the people will be conscious of it, too. This is all I care to say.

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 CLASHING CARTELS

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.

THE CHECKERED HISTORY OF THE CIA

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.

http://www.history-matters.com/essays/frameup/MoreMexicoMysteries/MoreMexicoMysteries_2.htm

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cain

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKcainR.ht

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)

EDITED TRANSLATION OF A FEBRUARY 23, 2004, PIECE FROM MILENIO, MEXICO CITY

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. MexiData.info
__________

— MexiData.info 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




 http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ciadrugs/W_plane.html
(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.

[Blowback] 
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 http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/10/end-drug-prohibition-most-commented.html
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! […]
--GartValenc
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.
--shndlr
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.
--Username99
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.
--zgonina1
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.
http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/mexican-group-takes-drug-cartels
(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.

The scope of the crisis is our hope: wake up

Russian Facebook users have poured scorn on a promise by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to investigate reports of electoral fraud.

At least 7,000 comments had appeared under his post by 20:00 GMT on Sunday, a day after the biggest anti-government protests since Soviet times.

An early random sample showed the comments were equally divided between hostility, support and neutrality.

Mr Medvedev prides himself on using social media.

He recently suffered an embarrassment on Twitter.

Having already conceded that some violations of electoral law had taken place at the parliamentary elections last Sunday, he went on Facebook to say he had issued instructions for all official reports on the conduct of the polls to be checked.

It was his comments on Saturday’s election protests – some 50,000 people turned out in Moscow alone – which drew particular anger.

‘Pathetic liar’

«I do not agree with either the slogans or statements heard at the rallies,» Mr Medvedev wrote.

Facebook users pointed out that the chief, official slogan of the rallies had been «For Honest Elections».

Thousands of people have attended the biggest anti-government rally in the Russian capital Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union.

As many as 50,000 people gathered on an island near the Kremlin to condemn alleged ballot-rigging in parliamentary elections and demand a re-run.

Other, smaller rallies took place in St Petersburg and other cities.

Communists, nationalists and Western-leaning liberals turned out together despite divisions between them.

The protesters allege there was widespread fraud in Sunday’s polls though the ruling United Russia party did see its share of the vote fall sharply.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
The time has come to throw off the chains”
End Quote
Alexei Navalny

Jailed protest leader, in message posted on his blog

Demonstrations in the immediate aftermath of the election saw more than 1,000 arrests, mostly in Moscow, and several key protest leaders such as the anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny were jailed.

A message from Mr Navalny was released through his blog, saying: «The time has come to throw off the chains. We are not cattle or slaves. We have a voice and we have the strength to defend it.»

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has never experienced popular protests like these before, the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg reports from Moscow.

During his decade in power, first as president then prime minister, he has grown used to being seen as Russia’s most popular and powerful politician.

But as one of the protesters put it to our correspondent, Russia is changing.

Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics  

eurozone members and others will adopt an accord with penalties for breaking deficit rules. It will be backed by a treaty between governments, not an EU treaty.

Moscow is braced for what the opposition claims will be the biggest demonstration in Russia for 20 years.

Tens of thousands are expected to gather in a square south of the Kremlin, in the latest show of anger over disputed parliamentary polls.

Smaller rallies are taking place in cities across the country.

The protesters allege Sunday’s elections – which gave Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party a small lead – were fraudulent.

Hundreds of people have been arrested during anti-Putin protests over the past week, mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg.

At least 50,000 police and riot troops have been deployed in Moscow ahead of Saturday’s protests.

The opposition says it is hoping for a turnout of 30,000 in the capital in the demonstration dubbed «For Fair Elections», due to begin at 14:00 (10:00 GMT).

Protests have already begun elsewhere, with several hundred marching in Vladivostok, seven timezones to the east of Moscow.

The BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Moscow says in the past week, the city has resembled a police state rather than a democracy.

If the protests come even close to expectations, they will shake the 12-year-long political domination of Mr Putin, he says.

The authorities agreed to allow Saturday’s demonstrations to go ahead following negotiations with opposition leaders.

The two sides reached a deal in which Moscow would allow a high-turnout if the rally was relocated from downtown Revolution Square to Bolotnaya Square, a narrow island in the Moscow River.

In St Petersburg, 13,000 people have pledged on the social networking site Vkontakte to take part in protests, with another 20,000 saying they might take part.

Authorities have granted permission for a demonstration in one location, but say protests anywhere else will be illegal and will be dealt with.

The top US military commander, Gen Martin Dempsey, says he is concerned about «the potential for civil unrest» as Europe’s financial crisis unfolds.

Gen Dempsey said it was unclear the latest steps taken by EU leaders would be enough to hold the eurozone together, adding that a break-up could have consequences for the Pentagon.

Twenty-six of the 27 EU countries have agreed to forge a tighter fiscal union.

Only the UK refused to sign up to a new treaty, citing national interest.

Gen Dempsey, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, a Washington think-tank: «The eurozone is at great risk.»

«I know that they’ve taken some measures here with the 17 members of the eurozone to try to better align… monetary and fiscal policy. But it’s unclear, to me at least, that that will be the glue that actually holds it together.»
Funding impact?

Gen Dempsey previously served as the Army’s Chief of Staff and as a general in Iraq.

He suggested that part of his concern was that the US military could be exposed to any unravelling of the eurozone «because of the potential for civil unrest and the break-up of the union».

The US military has more than 80,000 troops and 20,000 civilian workers in Europe, many based in Germany.

Gen Dempsey also said he was concerned that an international project to develop the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft could be put in jeopardy if European national defence budgets were cut.

«It will clearly put [budgets] at risk if all the economic predictions about a potential collapse were to occur,» Gen Dempsey said.

At an emergency EU summit that ended in Brussels on Friday, the UK effectively used its veto to block an attempt, led by the French and Germans, to get all 27 members states to support changes to the union’s treaties.

Instead, eurozone members and others will adopt an accord with penalties for breaking deficit rules. It will be backed by a treaty between governments, not an EU treaty.
Austerity measures

The announcement on Friday produce little reaction from financial markets, which are still hoping for more intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The BBC’s Chris Morris says that without further action to lower the cost of borrowing, likely by the ECB, the eurozone still faces a threat.

The rising costs of borrowing in some eurozone countries have pushed governments to pass new austerity measures and to the International Monetary Fund as they struggle to pay their debts.

Europe’s debt crisis has already unseated two political leaders and their governments: former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi.

Russian Facebook users have poured scorn on a promise by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to investigate reports of electoral fraud.

At least 7,000 comments had appeared under his post by 20:00 GMT on Sunday, a day after the biggest anti-government protests since Soviet times.

An early random sample showed the comments were equally divided between hostility, support and neutrality.

Mr Medvedev prides himself on using social media.

He recently suffered an embarrassment on Twitter.

Having already conceded that some violations of electoral law had taken place at the parliamentary elections last Sunday, he went on Facebook to say he had issued instructions for all official reports on the conduct of the polls to be checked.

It was his comments on Saturday's election protests - some 50,000 people turned out in Moscow alone - which drew particular anger.

'Pathetic liar'

"I do not agree with either the slogans or statements heard at the rallies," Mr Medvedev wrote.

Facebook users pointed out that the chief, official slogan of the rallies had been "For Honest Elections".


Thousands of people have attended the biggest anti-government rally in the Russian capital Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union.

As many as 50,000 people gathered on an island near the Kremlin to condemn alleged ballot-rigging in parliamentary elections and demand a re-run.

Other, smaller rallies took place in St Petersburg and other cities.

Communists, nationalists and Western-leaning liberals turned out together despite divisions between them.

The protesters allege there was widespread fraud in Sunday's polls though the ruling United Russia party did see its share of the vote fall sharply.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
The time has come to throw off the chains”
End Quote
Alexei Navalny

Jailed protest leader, in message posted on his blog

Demonstrations in the immediate aftermath of the election saw more than 1,000 arrests, mostly in Moscow, and several key protest leaders such as the anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny were jailed.

A message from Mr Navalny was released through his blog, saying: "The time has come to throw off the chains. We are not cattle or slaves. We have a voice and we have the strength to defend it."

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has never experienced popular protests like these before, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg reports from Moscow.

During his decade in power, first as president then prime minister, he has grown used to being seen as Russia's most popular and powerful politician.

But as one of the protesters put it to our correspondent, Russia is changing.



Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics  

eurozone members and others will adopt an accord with penalties for breaking deficit rules. It will be backed by a treaty between governments, not an EU treaty.

Moscow is braced for what the opposition claims will be the biggest demonstration in Russia for 20 years.

Tens of thousands are expected to gather in a square south of the Kremlin, in the latest show of anger over disputed parliamentary polls.

Smaller rallies are taking place in cities across the country.

The protesters allege Sunday's elections - which gave Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party a small lead - were fraudulent.

Hundreds of people have been arrested during anti-Putin protests over the past week, mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg.

At least 50,000 police and riot troops have been deployed in Moscow ahead of Saturday's protests.

The opposition says it is hoping for a turnout of 30,000 in the capital in the demonstration dubbed "For Fair Elections", due to begin at 14:00 (10:00 GMT).

Protests have already begun elsewhere, with several hundred marching in Vladivostok, seven timezones to the east of Moscow.





The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow says in the past week, the city has resembled a police state rather than a democracy.

If the protests come even close to expectations, they will shake the 12-year-long political domination of Mr Putin, he says.

The authorities agreed to allow Saturday's demonstrations to go ahead following negotiations with opposition leaders.

The two sides reached a deal in which Moscow would allow a high-turnout if the rally was relocated from downtown Revolution Square to Bolotnaya Square, a narrow island in the Moscow River.

In St Petersburg, 13,000 people have pledged on the social networking site Vkontakte to take part in protests, with another 20,000 saying they might take part.

Authorities have granted permission for a demonstration in one location, but say protests anywhere else will be illegal and will be dealt with.


The top US military commander, Gen Martin Dempsey, says he is concerned about "the potential for civil unrest" as Europe's financial crisis unfolds.

Gen Dempsey said it was unclear the latest steps taken by EU leaders would be enough to hold the eurozone together, adding that a break-up could have consequences for the Pentagon.

Twenty-six of the 27 EU countries have agreed to forge a tighter fiscal union.

Only the UK refused to sign up to a new treaty, citing national interest.

Gen Dempsey, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, a Washington think-tank: "The eurozone is at great risk."

"I know that they've taken some measures here with the 17 members of the eurozone to try to better align... monetary and fiscal policy. But it's unclear, to me at least, that that will be the glue that actually holds it together."
Funding impact?

Gen Dempsey previously served as the Army's Chief of Staff and as a general in Iraq.

He suggested that part of his concern was that the US military could be exposed to any unravelling of the eurozone "because of the potential for civil unrest and the break-up of the union".

The US military has more than 80,000 troops and 20,000 civilian workers in Europe, many based in Germany.

Gen Dempsey also said he was concerned that an international project to develop the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft could be put in jeopardy if European national defence budgets were cut.

"It will clearly put [budgets] at risk if all the economic predictions about a potential collapse were to occur," Gen Dempsey said.

At an emergency EU summit that ended in Brussels on Friday, the UK effectively used its veto to block an attempt, led by the French and Germans, to get all 27 members states to support changes to the union's treaties.

Instead, eurozone members and others will adopt an accord with penalties for breaking deficit rules. It will be backed by a treaty between governments, not an EU treaty.
Austerity measures

The announcement on Friday produce little reaction from financial markets, which are still hoping for more intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The BBC's Chris Morris says that without further action to lower the cost of borrowing, likely by the ECB, the eurozone still faces a threat.

The rising costs of borrowing in some eurozone countries have pushed governments to pass new austerity measures and to the International Monetary Fund as they struggle to pay their debts.

Europe's debt crisis has already unseated two political leaders and their governments: former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi.

Dark Knights

A man alleged to have lured two US volunteer firefighters to their deaths in Webster, New York left a long note outlining his plans, police say.

No motive was given but the note left by William Spengler, identified as the gunman said he was planning to «do what I like doing best – killing people.»

Police searching Spengler’s burnt-out house say they have found human remains – believed to be those of his sister.

The firefighters were shot dead as they arrived to tackle a fire on Monday.

At a news conference on Tuesday, police said Spengler, 62, had three guns and aimed to burn down his neighborhood.

William Spengler spent 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother
Seven homes on a narrow stretch of land beside Lake Ontario were destroyed by the fire. Another two firemen and an off-duty police officer were wounded in the attack.

Police Chief Gerald Pickering told reporters that Spengler, who apparently shot himself in the head, had used a .38 calibre revolver, a 12-gauge shotgun and a Bushmaster .223 calibre rifle with flash suppression.

The same make and calibre rifle had been used in the murder of 26 teachers and children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on 14 December, he said.

The police chief told reporters in Webster that a two- to three-page note from the gunman had been found in which he said: «I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighbourhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best – killing people.»

At a later briefing, Mr Pickering said human remains were found in the house Spengler shared with his 67-year-old sister, Cheryl.

Police believe the remains are hers.

Spengler and his sister lived with their mother until her death in October.

‘Clear ambush’
Spengler had served 17 years in jail for killing his grandmother with a hammer but had done nothing to attract the authorities’ attention since being granted parole in 1998.

As a convicted criminal, he was not allowed to own weapons.

Police said he appeared to have set «a trap» by setting fire to his home. His older sister, Cheryl, whom he reportedly hated, is missing.

Two of the firefighters who responded to the call, Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, and Mike Chiapperini, aged 43, were shot dead in what was described as a «clear ambush» on emergency services.

Their two wounded colleagues are said to be in a stable condition with gunshot wounds.

The off-duty police officer, who was also shot and wounded as he came to their aid, was praised by the police chief for saving people’s lives.

Gerald Pickering cited «mental health issues» as a possible factor for the attack, which came months after the death of Spengler’s mother.

The Newtown killer, Adam Lanza, killed his mother with her own guns before launching his attack on Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.

His murders of 20 children aged six and seven have prompted a national debate on gun ownership and mental health.

«It’s sad to see that that this is becoming more commonplace in communities across the nation,» Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn told AP news agency after the attack in New York state


Two volunteer firefighters have been shot dead and two injured while responding to an emergency call in the town of Webster in New York state.

It appears the four were fired upon as they arrived at the scene of a fire early on Monday morning.

The blaze broke out just before 06:00 local time (11:00 GMT) and the shooting reportedly prevented firefighters putting it out for several hours.

A gunman has been found dead at the scene, local police say.

«Upon arrival of the first… engine company and some firefighters in their personal vehicles, they underwent gunfire from a location unknown,» Webster’s Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier told reporters.

The two dead firefighters were named by police as Tomasz Kaczowka and Mike Chiapperini.

An off-duty policeman who was driving by the scene at the time received shrapnel wounds and was also being treated, Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering told reporters.

Police spokesmen said the area was «an active crime scene» but that no more shooters were believed to be present.

‘Senseless act’
Police teams moved in to evacuate residents after the shooting.

Firefighters were then able to return to the scene and are now tackling the blaze.

«All of our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those who were killed in this senseless act of violence,» New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

«The contributions made by the fallen and injured officers in Webster will never be forgotten,» New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

«As this investigation unfolds, we stand with our partners in law enforcement to ensure that lethal weapons are out of the hands of dangerous people, so that the brave New Yorkers who risk their lives every day to protect us are not exposed to additional danger,» he added.

Also on Monday, a policeman was shot dead in the city of Houston, Texas after the driver of a car he pulled over opened fire on him.

The debate on gun violence in the US was rekindled earlier this month by the shootings at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

It was one of the worst mass shootings in American history.

«There’s a heightened awareness to this kind of violence in light of what happened in Connecticut,» said Maggie Brooks, leader of the local administration in Monroe County, the area which includes Webster.

«We have first responders and we have families who are in pain and crisis today and we need to, as a community, keep them in our thoughts and prayers,» Mrs Brooks said, adding that it was a «very, very difficult day».

President Obama has promised to push for action on gun control while the National Rifle Association (NRA) has called for armed security in all American schools.


source: ThinkProgress

Immediately after the suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who police say murdered his girlfriend at their home before driving to the Chiefs’ practice facility and shooting himself in front of the team’s coach and general manager, thoughts turned to the role concussions and brain injuries may have played in the tragedy.

But during halftime of last night’s Sunday Night Football broadcast, NBC’s Bob Costas brought up another angle: the role guns, and our nation’s lax gun laws, played in the tragedy. After a brief introduction, Costas quoted Kansas City-based columnist Jason Whitlock, who wrote yesterday that he believed both Belcher and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, would be alive today were it not for Belcher’s possession of a gun


Thomas «Tres» Caffall, the man who police say killed two people–including a Texas constable–in a shooting near the Texas A&M University campus on Monday was a «ticking time bomb,» his stepfather says.

«He was crazy as hell,» Richard Weaver, Caffall’s stepfather, told KPRC-TV. «At one point, we were afraid that he was going to come up here and do something to his mother and me.»

Caffall, 35, opened fire as the Brazos County constable, Brian Bachmann, was attempting to serve him an eviction notice, College Station police said. Officers responded to the off-campus house shortly after noon following reports of shots fired, and found the 41-year-old Bachmann on the ground.
Caffall was shot during what police described as a 30-minute «gun battle.» Bachmann and Caffall were taken to College Station Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.


By Deanne Katz, Esq. at FindLaw.com
Wed Aug 8, 2012 12:22am EDT

Scott Smith was likely trying to emulate the horrific Colorado shootings when he brought a gun, extra ammo, and several knives to a late night showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Luckily his performance was cut short when an observant manager and a security guard noticed him.

Off-duty Officer Jeremiah Bullins, that night’s security guard, approached Smith in the Crocker Park, Ohio theater where he was sitting and asked to check his bag. Smith complied which is when Bullins saw the weaponry.

Smith was charged with crimes related to carrying the weapons, especially given his personal status.

Prosecutors are charging Smith with carrying a weapon under disability, reports WKYC. The claim is that his prescription medications prevent him from owning firearms under any circumstances.

If proven, Smith will be in trouble for owning the weapons, never mind carrying them into a theater.

But that’s not the only charge against him. Smith is also charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

Ohio, like many states, has laws requiring gun owners to get a special permit to carry a concealed weapon. Even if Smith turns out to be a lawful gun owner, it does not appear that he has a permit to carry concealed weapons.

For states that require a permit for concealed weapons, any gun owner who does not have a permit must keep their guns in view at all times while carrying them in public. Several states ban concealed weapons entirely.

Theater personnel have been on high alert since James Holmes gunned-down movie goers last month. Scott Smith’s foiled attempt is evidence that their efforts are not in vain.


(Reuters) – The white supremacist gunman who killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the FBI said on Wednesday.

A police officer shot and wounded the gunman, Wade Page, 40, in the stomach outside the temple in Oak Creek on Sunday, said Teresa Carlson, an FBI special agent in charge.

«Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,» she told a news conference.

Police had said Page had been shot to death by an officer responding to the attack at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee.

Carlson said she had seen a video of the police officer wounding Page with a squad rifle. «It’s an amazing shot, and thank goodness,» she said.

Federal authorities have said they are treating the attack as a possible act of domestic terrorism. Page, an Army veteran, was a musician who played in white power punk-metal bands. He was armed with a 9mm handgun during the attack.

Turban-wearing Sikhs are often mistaken for Muslims in the United States. The Sikh faith was founded in the Punjab area of India and Pakistan and has an estimated 500,000 or more adherents in the United States.

President Barack Obama called Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to express his condolences over the temple shooting.

Carlson said investigators had not found any motive for the attack, which also wounded four people, including a police officer shot eight or nine times after responding to a 911 call.

The wounded officer, Lieutenant Brian Murphy, is up and walking, Carlson said.

Investigators have conducted more than 100 interviews with Page’s relatives, employers and associates, Carlson said. They are also following 101 leads worldwide and have issued 180 federal grand jury subpoenas.

Police have arrested Page’s former girlfriend, Misty Cook, on a weapons charge. Carlson said the arrest took place at Cook’s Milwaukee home late on Sunday and was unrelated to the shooting investigation.

Police said on Tuesday that a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm would be sought against Cook, 31. [ID:nL2E8J80OC] (Additional reporting by Paul Thomasch; writing by Ian Simpson; editing by Vicki Allen and Mohammad Zargham)


The White House gave a cool welcome on Monday to Democratic legislation that wouldeffectively ban online or mail-order purchases of ammunition in the aftermath of the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.
«I haven’t seen the specific piece of legislation that has been offered up today,» spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the daily press briefing. «But as that and other pieces of legislation make their way through the legislative process, we’ll evaluate them.»
The proposal, crafted by Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg and Democratic Representative Carolyn McCarthy, aims to restrict the ability of Americans to buy unlimited quantities of ammunition over the Internet, or by mail order, anonymously.
President Barack Obama has called for a common sense response to the slaughter in Aurora. But the White House has played down his appetite for new legislation as opposed to tightening or toughening existing measures—such as background checks—to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals or the mentally ill. And the president has underlined his support for the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
«He believes in the second amendment of the constitution, in the right to bear arms,» Earnest said again Monday.  «But he also believes that we should take robust steps, within existing law, to ensure that guns don’t fall in the hands of criminals or others who shouldn’t have them.
The new legislation, dubbed the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act,  rests on four pillars, according to Lautenberg’s office:
It requires anyone selling ammunition to be a licensed dealer.
It requires ammunition buyers who are not licensed dealers to present photo identification at the time of purchase, effectively banning the online or mail order purchase of ammo by regular civilians.
It requires licensed ammunition dealers to maintain records of the sale of ammunition.
It requires licensed ammunition dealers to report the sale of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to an unlicensed person within any five consecutive business days.


Violent crime dropped in 2011, preliminary figures released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday show.
According to the FBI’s «Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report,» violent crimes fell 4 percent nationwide, part of a decade-plus decline in that category.
Murder was down about 2 percent, according to the FBI, while forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault all fell 4.0 percent when compared to 2010. But in towns with populations of less than 10,000, there was an 18.3 percent increase in murder in 2011. There was also a 0.6 percent increase in murder in the Midwest.
The FBI did not give reasons for the trends.
Property crimes declined about 1 percent. Arsonwhich is considered a property crime though counted separatelyfell 5 percent, the FBI said. The only overall rise in property crimes was burglary, which was up marginally.
Data for the report is collected by the bureau from participating state and federal law enforcement agencies. Final figures will be published this fall.


Gun sales in Colorado have spiked since last week’s massacre, The Denver Post reports.
Background checks jumped more than 41 percent since Friday’s shooting that left 12 dead and 58 injured during a midnight screening of «The Dark Knight Rises» at an Aurora movie theater. Over the weekend, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to purchase a firearm, the Post said, an increase of 43 percent over the previous weekend.
«It’s been insane,» Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, Colo., told the paper.
Spikes in gun sales are not uncommon in the aftermath of mass shootings like the one in Colorado. Following the January 2011 shooting that killed six and wounded more than a dozen others—including former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords—in Tucson, sales of handguns soared more than 60 percent in the state, according to FBI data. Similar spikes were seen after the massacres at Virginia Tech and Columbine.
Some of those seeking to buy guns in Colorado over the weekend said they were seeking to arm themselves for protection in the wake of the shooting, according to the report. But many were likely fearful of a change in gun laws. Democratic state Rep. Rhonda Fields of Aurora told the paper she wants Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons.
«When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff,» Greg Wolff, an Arizona gun shop owner, told Bloomberg.com after the rampage in Tucson.
They also get worried when a Democrat is about to take office. Before President Barack Obama’s 2008 election, there was a spike in gun sales, and gun shop owners and manufacturers have reported similarly brisk buying in 2012.
«It’s definitely the election year,» Jason Hanson, a former CIA officer, told Fox News in March. «People feel that Obama will serve second term and with it their gun rights with taken away, so they are stocking up.»
In December, the FBI reported a record number of background checks—1,534,414—sent by gun dealers. «Almost half a million checks were done in just the last six days before Christmas,» according to CNN. In 2010, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System received more than 14 million requests, more than in any other year.
James Holmes, the suspected shooter in Friday’s massacre, was found with a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, two Glock .40-caliber pistols and a Remington 12-gauge shotgun when he was arrested outside the theater in Aurora. And like Jared Loughner, the accused killer in the Tucson massacre, Holmes purchased the guns legally.

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Dear Friend,
The shock and trauma from the images and stories from Aurora are still very much with us, and it is impossible to put into words the pain being felt by families and friends of the victims.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak out. In the wake of this massacre, it’s time to put aside politics and reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons.
After the news broke last Friday, President Barack Obama said that «there are going to be other days for politics, this I think is a day for prayer and reflection.» Governor Mitt Romney said, «I stand before you today not as a man running for office, but as a father and grandfather, a husband, and American.»1 Both of their campaigns asked networks to pull their negative advertisements.
The gestures from the two men who are running for President were welcome steps. But, we need more than sympathetic words. We need real leadership to start to address the senseless gun violence that holds our communities hostage.
One of the principal weapons used by the shooter in the horrific Aurora massacre was an AR-15 assault rifle.2 This weapon features a magazine that holds 100 rounds of bullets, and its trigger is capable of firing 50-60 rounds per minute.3
The federal assault weapons ban which was passed in 1994, banned the sale of guns like the AR-15.4 Unfortunately, that ban expired in 2004 as a result of fierce lobbying by the NRA. It’s long past time to reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons like the AR-15.

CREDO members worked to pass the federal assault weapons ban in 1994. And we fought to stop its expiration in 2004. And we continue to advocate for a federal ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 used in the Aurora massacre.

Massacres on the scale of the tragedy in Aurora happen in part because our federal gun laws make it easy for civilians to obtain military-level firepower. We need to pass and enforce sensible federal gun laws restricting ready access for civilians to assault weapons. Reinstating a strong version of the federal ban on assault weapons known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act is where we should start.
We’re not so naïve as to think that sensible gun laws are all that’s needed to stop the killings. There are many things that need to change in American culture to stop the next Aurora-like massacre. But we do know one thing we should put at the top of the list — keeping military-level assault weapons like the AR-15 with a high capacity clip out of the hands of civilians. Click below to automatically sign the petition.

r=6916339&p=obama_romney_guns&

id=43839-5154581-hC2Ah5x&t=10

Thank you for speaking out.
Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Adam Serwer, «Politicizing Tragedy and the Aurora Theater Shooting,’ MotherJones.com, July 20, 2012.
2. Zack Beauchamp, «Expired Assault Weapons Ban Would Have Covered Rifle Used In Colorado Shooting,» ThinkProgress.org, July 20, 2012.
3. Caroline Hedley, «It Was Shockingly Easy For The Batman Shooter To Buy A Massive Arsenal,» BusinessInsider.com, July 21, 2012.
4. Beauchamp, «Expired Assault Weapons Ban Would Have Covered Rifle Used In Colorado Shooting

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AURORA, Colo. (AP) — The University of Colorado said Sunday it was investigating whether shooting suspect James Holmes used his position as a graduate student to order materials in the potentially deadly booby traps that police said they found in his apartment.

Holmes, 24, got deliveries over four months to his home and school, authorities have said. The university is looking into what was received at the school to assist police with their investigation, said spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery.

The suspect was described as a budding scientist, brimming with potential, who pursued a graduate program even as he planned the attack with «calculation and deliberation,» police said.

Investigators spent hours Saturday removing explosive materials from inside Holmes’ apartment a day after police said he opened fire and set off gas canisters in a movie theater minutes into a premiere of the «The Dark Knight Rises.» The massacre left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

His apartment was booby trapped with jars of liquids, explosives and chemicals that could have killed «whoever entered it,» Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said, noting it would have likely been one of his officers.

Inside the apartment, bomb technicians neutralized a «hypergolic mixture» and an improvised explosive device containing an unknown substance, said James Yacone, an FBI special agent. There also were containers of accelerants, creating «an extremely dangerous environment,» he said.

Oates said on CBS’ «Face the Nation» that he had never seen a booby trap as elaborate as what was found in the apartment.

By late Saturday afternoon, all hazards had been removed from the apartment and residents in surrounding buildings were allowed to return home, police said.

The exception was Holmes’ apartment building, where authorities were still collecting evidence. Authorities covered the windows of Holmes’ apartment with black plastic to prevent anyone from seeing in. Before they did, a man in an ATF T-shirt could be seen measuring a poster on a closet that advertised a DVD called «Soldiers of Misfortune.» The poster showed several figures in various positions playing paintball, some wearing masks.

Police left the apartment building carrying a laptop computer and a hard drive about 8 p.m. Saturday.
Holmes was in solitary confinement for his protection at a Denver-area county detention facility, held without bond on suspicion of multiple counts of first-degree murder. He was set for an initial hearing on Monday and has been appointed a public defender.

President Barack Obama was scheduled to travel to Colorado on Sunday to visit with the families of victims. The city of Aurora planned a vigil to remember the dead and wounded in the shooting later in the evening.
Among the dead was a 6-year-old girl and a man who died on his 27th birthday and a day before his wedding anniversary. Families grieved and waited at hospitals, with police reporting 11 people still in critical condition as of Saturday.

While authorities continued to refuse to discuss a possible motive for one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history, details about Holmes’ background as a student and would-be scientist trickled out.
Holmes had recently withdrawn from the competitive graduate program in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver, where he was one of six pre-thesis Ph.D. students at its Neuroscience Program to be funded by a prestigious grant from the National Institutes of Health. The program of 35 students is dedicated to training outstanding neuroscientists and academicians who will make significant contributions to neurobiology, the university said in a statement.

In the first year of the five- to seven-year program, students take classes and complete three, three-month research rotations in the labs of different professors.

Professors who worked with him either did not return calls or declined to comment, saying police and university officials had told them not to speak to the media.

At one point in the year, Holmes was engaged in research about RNA and was to present a paper May 8 about RNA Biomarkers, according to a class schedule. It was unclear if he presented the paper.
Holmes recently took an intense, three-part oral exam that marks the end of the first year. Those who do well continue with their studies and shift to full-time research, while those who don’t do well meet with advisers and discuss their options, including retaking the exam.

University officials would not say if he passed, citing privacy concerns.
The university said Holmes gave no reason for his withdrawal, a decision he made in June.
«The focus of the program is on training outstanding neuroscientists and academicians who will make significant contributions to neurobiology,» the university said. The doctoral program usually takes five to seven years to complete, it said.

Holmes was not allowed access from the institution after his withdrawal, which was «standard operating procedure» because he was no longer affiliated with the school, Montgomery said. Holmes had no contact with university police, she said.

In a resume posted on Monster.com, Holmes listed himself as an «aspiring scientist» and said he was looking for a job as a laboratory technician.

The resume, first obtained in Holmes’ home state of California by The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, paints a picture of a brilliant young man brimming with potential: He worked as a summer intern at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla in 2006 and mapped the neurons of Zebra finches and studied the flight muscles of hummingbirds while an undergraduate at the University of California, Riverside.

He also worked as a cabin counselor to underprivileged children at a summer camp in Los Angeles in 2008. In a statement, Camp Max Straus confirmed Holmes had worked there for eight weeks. The camp provided no other details about Holmes but said such counselors are generally responsible for the care and guidance of roughly 10 children.

Ritchie Duong, a friend who has known Holmes for more than a decade, told the Los Angeles Times that in high school he liked to play cards and video games. They both attended undergraduate school at the University of California, Riverside, where they saw each other once a week to watch the TV show «Lost.»
Duong last saw Holmes in December when they met for dinner in Los Angeles and saw a movie together. His friend seemed fine, he told the newspaper.
Academics came easily to Holmes both at high school and at the UC Riverside, Duong said.
«I had one college class with him, and he didn’t even have to take notes or anything. He would just show up to class, sit there, and around test time he would always get an ‘A,'» said Duong, 24.
During the attack early Friday, Holmes used the military-style semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol to open fire on the unsuspecting theater-goers, Oates said. Holmes had bought the weapons at local gun stores within the past two months. He recently purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet, the chief said.

The semiautomatic assault rifle used by the gunman jammed during the attack, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press, which forced the shooter to switch to another gun with less fire power.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to in order to discuss the investigation, said the disabled weapon had a high-capacity ammunition magazine. Police have said that a 100-round drum magazine was recovered at the scene and that such a device would be able to fire 50 to 60 rounds a minute.

Holmes also bought an urban assault vest, two magazine holders and a knife for just over $300 on July 2 from an online supplier of tactical gear for police and military personnel, according to the company.
Chad Weinman, CEO of TacticalGear.com, said his company processes thousands of orders each day, and there was nothing unusual in the one that Holmes placed.

The Batman movie, the last in the trilogy starring Christian Bale, opened worldwide Friday with midnight showings in the U.S. «The Dark Knight Rises» earned $30.6 million in the midnight screenings, and, according to industry estimates, roughly $75 million on that day as a whole. That put it on track for a weekend total of around $165 million, which would be the second-highest opening weekend ever, following «The Avengers.»

The shooting was the worst in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 soldiers and civilians and wounding more than two dozen others.
Across the street from the movie theater, a man who placed 15 crosses near Columbine High School after a 1999 massacre there has returned to Colorado with 12 crosses for the victims of Friday’s shooting.
Greg Zanis, of Aurora, Ill., began putting up the 3 1/2-foot-tall crosses Sunday on a hill across the street from the Century 16 theater.
___

Associated Press contributors to this report include Mead Gruver, Thomas Piepert, Kristen Wyatt, Steven K. Paulson, Ivan Moreno, P. Solomon Banda and Gillian Flaccus in Aurora; Dan Elliott, Colleen Slevin in Denver; AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle in New York; M.L. Johnson in Chicago; Brian Skoloff in Salt Lake City; Monika Mathur and Jennifer Farrar at News Research Center in New York; and Eileen Sullivan in Washington.


Twelve people were killed and 59 were injured in Aurora, Colo., during a sold-out midnight premier of the new Batman movie «The Dark Knight Rises» when 24-year-old James Holmes unloaded four weapons’ full of ammunition into the unsuspecting crowd.
The number of casualties makes the incident the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes, a graduate student at a nearby college with a clean arrest record, entered the movie auditorium wearing a ballistics helmet, bullet-proof vest, bullet-proof leggings, gas mask and gloves. He detonated multiple smoke bombs, and then began firing at viewers in the sold-out auditorium, police said today.

Bullets from the spree tore through the theater and into adjoining theaters, where at least one other person was struck and injured. Ten members of «The Dark Knight Rises» audience were killed in theater, while two others died later at area hospitals. Numerous patrons were in critical condition at six local hospitals, the Aurora police said this afternoon.

Holmes was apprehended within minutes of the 12:39 a.m. shooting at his car behind the theater, where police found him in full riot gear and carrying three weapons, including a AR-15 assault rifle, which can hold upwards of 100 rounds, a Remington 12 gauge shot gun, and a .40 Glock handgun. A fourth handgun was found in the vehicle. Agents from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are tracing the weapons.

According to police sources, Holmes told the officers arresting him that he was «The Joker,» referring to the villain in the second installment of the Batman movie trilogy, «The Dark Knight.» He also warned police that he had booby-trapped his apartment, leading officers to evacuate the Aurora apartment building.

Police Chief Dan Oates said today that police and bomb squads have found a large number of explosive devices and trip wires at Holmes’ apartment and have not yet decided how to proceed without setting off explosions.

«The pictures we have from inside the apartment are pretty disturbing considering how elaborate the apartment is booby trapped,» police said outside of the apartment complex today. The «flammable and explosive» materials could have blown up Holmes’ apartment building and the ones near it, police said.

The apartment complex is home exclusively to University of Colorado Medical Center students, patients, and staff members, residents tell ABC News.
Moviegoer Christopher Ramos today recalled the real-life horror of the midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie, «The Dark Knight Rises,» in Aurora, Colo., as a gunman decked in riot gear set off smoke bombs and opened fire on the unsuspecting audience.

«People were running everywhere, running on top of me, like kicking me, jumping over me. And there were bodies on the ground,» Ramos said. «I froze up. I was scared. I honestly thought I was going to die.»

«The image in our heads is stuck in there. I still have the ticket right here and honestly, I’m never going to forget this night at all. Because it was the first time I saw something that was real. Like a real-life nightmare that was there, not dreaming of,» Ramos told ABC News today.

Witnesses in the movie theater said Holmes saw smoke and heard gunshots that they thought were part of the movie until they saw Holmes standing in front of the screen, after entering from an emergency exit. Holmes methodically stalked the aisles of the theater, shooting people at random, as panicked movie-watchers in the packed auditorium tried to escape, witnesses said.

At one point the shooter exited the theater only to wait outside the doors and pick off patrons as they tried to exit, witness Jennifer Seeger told «Good Afternoon America.»

«You just smelled smoke and you just kept hearing it, you just heard bam bam bam, non-stop. The gunman never had to reload. Shots just kept going, kept going, kept going,» one witness told ABC News.

«I’m with coworkers and we’re on the floor praying to God we don’t get shot, and the gunshots continue on and on, and when the sound finally stopped, we started to get up and people were just bleeding,» another theatergoer said.

The suspected shooter will face his first court appearance next week, according to district attorney Carol Chambers.

Holmes, originally of San Diego, moved to Aurora to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado medical center, living just blocks from the hospital in an apartment that police say is now laced with explosives and being searched by HazMat teams.

Federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News that Holmes bought a ticket to the movie, slipped out of the theater once it began and propped open the emergency exit before gathering his weapons and gear and coming back into the theater. Once inside, he opened fire.

A San Diego woman identifying herself as James Holmes’s mother spoke briefly with ABC News this morning.

She had awoken unaware of the news of the shooting and had not been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved.
«You have the right person,» she said.

«I need to call the police,» she added. «I need to fly out to Colorado.»
The woman and her husband later released a statement saying their «hearts go out to those who involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy.»

The highly-anticipated third installment of the Batman trilogy opened to packed auditoriums around the country at midnight showings on Friday morning, and features a villain named Bane who wears a bulletproof vest and gas mask. Trailers for the movie show explosions at public events including a football game. Though many moviegoers dressed in costume to attend the opening night screening, police have made no statements about any connection between the gunman’s motives and the movie.
Read More: NRA Deletes Tweet After Shooting

Police in New York have intensified security around showings of the film throughout the five boroughs today, with Police Commissioner Ray Kelley saying that «as a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is playing.»

The Paris premiere of the movie has been cancelled in the wake of the shootings. «Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time,» the movie’s producers said in a statement.

Witnesses watching movies in theaters next to the one where the shooting took place said bullets tore through the theater walls and they heard screaming.
Read More: Obama and Romney Respond to Shooting

«The suspect throws tear gas in the air, and as the tear gas appears he started shooting,» said Lamar Lane, who was watching the midnight showing of the movie with his brother. «It was very hard to breathe. I told my brother to take cover. It took awhile. I started seeing flashes and screaming, I just saw blood and people yelling and a quick glimpse of the guy who had a gas mask on. I was pushed out. There was chaos, we started running.»

One witness said she saw people dropping to the ground after the gunshots began.
«We were maybe 20 or 30 minutes into the movie and all you hear, first you smell smoke, everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that, and then you just see people dropping and the gunshots are constant,» witness Christ Jones told ABC’s Denver affiliate KMGH. «I heard at least 20 to 30 rounds within that minute or two.»
A man who talked to a couple who was inside the theater told ABC News, «They got up and they started to run through the emergency exit, and that when she turned around, she said all she saw was the guy slowly making his way up the stairs and just firing at people, just picking random people,» he said. «The gunshots continued to go on and on and then after we didn’t hear anything…we finally got up and there was people bleeding, there was people obviously may have been actually dead or anything, and we just ran up out of there, there was chaos everywhere.»

Witnesses and victims were taken to Gateway High School for questioning.
Hundreds of police and FBI agents are involved in the investigation. A senior official who is monitoring the situation in Washington said that early guidance based on the early snapshot of this man’s background indicated that this act does not appear to be linked to radical terrorism or anything related to Islamic terrorism.

Dr. Comilla Sasson, at the University of Colorado Hospital where many of the victims were taken, said they are currently operating on nine critical patients and have treated 22 in all. She called the hospital «an absolutely terrifying scene all night.»

«The good news is that the 3-month-old has actually been discharged home and is in the care of their parents

In a statement, President Obama said, «Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded.»


The American Rifleman, the official journal of the National Rifle Association, has deleted a tweet that appeared to make light of Friday’s shootings in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight screening of «Dark Knight Rises.»

«Good morning, shooters,» the message, published at 9:20 a.m. ET on the American Rifleman’s Twitter feed, read. «Happy Friday! Weekend plans?»

Not surprisingly, the tweet sparked considerable outrage, with hundreds of users–including Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann–pointing their followers to it.
The American Rifleman deleted the tweet several hours later but has yet to issue a formal apology.

It’s unclear whether the tweet was intentionally insensitive, or if the magazine’s tweeter was unaware of the shootings that left 12 dead and 50 wounded.
«Is there a way they wrote this without seeing the news?» Audrey Wauchope asked on Twitter.

«This is what happens when you don’t read the news,» the Columbia Journalism Review said.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesman for the NRA said that «a single individual, unaware of events in Colorado, tweeted a comment that is being completely taken out of context.»

The NRA wasn’t alone in appearing insensitive to the tragedy.

CelebBoutique.com–«the online boutique loved by your fave celebs»–took the «Aurora» trending topic as an opportunity to promote its Kim Kardashian-inspired dress


Violence like the massacre that happened in Aurora, Colo., today is a staple of action films, including Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. A similar, now haunting, scene unfurls in «The Dark Knight Rises» when a masked villain leads a violent gang into a packed football stadium and deploys guns and explosives on the unsuspecting crowd.

While there has been no indication as to the motives of James Holmes, the suspected 24-year-old shooter who is now in custody, new evidence suggests that he was inspired by the Batman series of comic books and/or movies.

Law enforcement sources confirmed to ABC News that Holmes said «I am the Joker» when apprehended by authorities. His hair was painted red, the same hair color of Heath Ledger’s Joker at one point in 2008’s «The Dark Knight.»

There are more parallels. In Frank Miller’s iconic 1986 comic book series, «The Dark Knight Returns,» the Joker murders a television studio audience by deploying «smile gas.» Holmes began his massacre by setting off smoke bombs throughout the theater.

In the same book, Arnold Crimp, a disturbed man who just lost his job, pulls out a handgun in an adult film theater and kills three people. A scene from the strip shows a news anchor saying, «Three slain in Batman-inspired porn theater shoot-out.»

Seventy-one people were shot during today’s early morning massacre; 12 have died.

Christopher Irving, author of «Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics,» cautioned against blaming an iconic, fictional character for today’s tragedy.

«There have been thousands of Batman stories published, and I don’t think pinning a specific comic book story to the tragic happenings as an inspiration is fair, or likely anything beyond a sad coincidence,» he said.


Texas ‘stand your ground’ shooter headed to prison

A Texas man convicted of shooting and killing his unarmed neighbor during a dispute over loud music received a 40-year prison sentence on Wednesday.
Raul Rodriguez, 47, faced a minimum of five years and a maximum of life in prison.  He claimed he shot schoolteacher Kelly Danaher in self-defense under Texas’ version of the «stand your ground» law.
But prosecutors argued Rodriguez provoked the incident by confronting Danaher, 36, and his friends with a handgun and demanding they quiet down at a late-night birthday party in May 2010.
The Houston case captured more attention in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death in Florida. There, George Zimmerman says he was being attacked and cited the state’s «stand your ground» law after shooting the unarmed teen. But prosecutors charged him with second-degree murder.
Two dozen states reportedly now allow citizens to stand their ground even outside their home. The specifics vary by state, but generally justify a person not retreating and using deadly force when a threat is perceived.
As in Florida, Texas law includes public areas, «if a person has a right to be present at a location where force is used.»
But veteran attorney Andy Drumheller told Yahoo News that the Houston jury appeared to draw a line with Rodriguez leaving his home and going down the street.
«The law is not designed to create this bubble that you can carry with you everywhere you go,» said Drumheller, a former prosecutor now practicing criminal defense in Houston. «The jury’s verdict is a cautionary statement on the limits of this defense.»
The Rodriguez case is also unique because the former firefighter was recording video during much of the ordeal.
Rodriguez, who had been calling police about the loud party, dialed 911 again as both sides shouted at each other near Danaher’s dark driveway.
«Tell you what, pal, you just pulled a gun on the wrong [expletive], OK?» one of the partygoers is heard telling Rodriguez on the home video.
Seconds later the partygoer warns, «When I go in that house and I come back, don’t think I won’t be equal to you, baby.»
Rodriguez, who told police he suspected the men were drunk, tells the 911 operator that he’s scared and will defend himself, if needed.
«I don’t want to do this, and it all started over them playing their music real loud … it’s about to get out of hand, Sir. Please help me. «
Seconds later, he says, «I’m standing my ground here, now these people are going to try and kill me.»
The video is dark when Danaher and two other men apparently lunged toward him, laughing loudly. Rodriguez fired his gun, killing Danaher and injuring two others.
In lobbying jurors for a lenient sentence, defense attorney Bill Stradley blamed the tragedy on his client’s misunderstanding of the state’s «stand your ground» law. Something he predicts will happen with other Texas gun owners in the future.
«And they will find themselves, like Raul Rodriguez, charged with murder,» said Stradley, according to the Houston Chronicle.
«Raul believed he had a right to be where he was. But he had two seconds to make that call, to pull that trigger.»

Death sentence handed down in Tucson against Shawna Forde, a resident of Washington State who headed the Minutemen American Defense group. She was convicted Feb. 14 of first-degree murder for orchestrating the killings of Brisenia and Raul Junior Flores of Arivaca, Ariz., a small community just north of the Mexican border.

“I think that the nation as a whole sees us as the wild, wild West, that things like that are going to be OK with us,” says Angie Thomas, who sat on the jury. “And they’re not.”

The case has drawn back the curtain to reveal the dark side of the debate raging in Arizona over illegal immigration.

Ms. Thomas and fellow jurors were told during the trial that Ms. Forde and accomplices gained entry to the Flores home with the expectation of finding drugs there, which could be sold to finance Minutemen American Defense’s border-control operations. Finding no drugs, the intruders made away with inexpensive jewelry but, prosecutors said, not before fatally shooting young Brisenia and Mr. Flores. Both victims were American citizens born in the US.

“I see Shawna Forde as someone who would have liked to have been the face of a movement,” Thomas says.

Arriving at the death sentence was difficult, Thomas says, but it was aided by a picture of Brisenia presented during trial that was etched in her mind: “A little girl, with bright red fingernails; she’s wearing a white T-shirt and turquoise-colored pajama bottoms. She’s on a love seat. It’s a perfect, innocent picture until you realize that half of her face has been blown off.”

Brisenia’s mother and Mr. Flores’s wife, Gina Gonzalez, was wounded during the shooting but survived. She testified that her daughter was shot point-blank as the girl pleaded for her life.


The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the lawlessness that followed Hurricanes Katrina and Ivan left people feeling unsafe. Prodded by the National Rifle Association, under its first female president Marion Hammer, Florida launched the «stand your ground» movement in 2005.

The fatal encounter between a 17-year-old black teenager and a mixed-race neighborhood watch volunteer has created a furor over «stand your ground» laws, which have been enacted in more than 20 states; legislation is pending in others. That Florida, the epicenter of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case, was the first to pass the law in 2005 adds to the debate. But for George Zimmerman, this defense might not even apply, according to some legal experts.

Regardless, the case has led to legislators second-guessing the law—including the men who sponsored and signed the Florida bill, and major businesses are backpedaling from a lobby group that has helped promote the defense.

Is «stand your ground» actually relevant to George Zimmerman? In terms of legal defense, maybe not. «Stand your ground» is an expansion on the so-called Castle Doctrine, the right to defend one’s homestead. Instead of defending yourself on your own personal property, though, «stand your ground» lets you carry that immunity into public property, which can include places of business, like a bar.

I don’t think based upon Zimmerman’s explanation to the police that he has a valid Stand Your Ground claim. He’s not saying that he was assaulted frontally and then made a decision not to retreat because he thought he had to use deadly force.

He’s basically saying old-fashioned self-defense: I was struck, I was knocked down, I was on the ground, and I had to physically defend myself. There’s nothing added to his claim by the Stand Your Ground law, and I would love to have legislatures around the country look at it and say, you know, this worked for 220 years and we don’t need to add anything to it. If you’ve got a right of self-defense, great. And if you don’t have a right to defend yourself, if you think it’s OK to shoot somebody because their dog pooped on your lawn, then we don’t agree with that, and it’s a crime. (Former assistant state attorney (Florida) Abe Laser, April 12, «Talk of the Nation,» NPR)

Supporters such as former Republican senator Durell Peaden and Rep. Dennis Baxley, who co-sponsored the bill, or former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who signed the bill into law, have said Zimmerman lost his right to this defense when he sought out Martin. Bush stated that «Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.»

But since the law may be confusing to enforcement—the controversy blew up when Sanford police declined to make an arrest—it has bolstered critics ranging from State Senator Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to call for widespread reform.

Who makes the decision? Rather than ask how relevant «stand your ground» is in the Martin-Zimmerman case, the real question may be who makes the decisions in the first place. The Sanford city manager claimed that the law «prohibited» police from making an arrest. Should police make the arrest and leave it to the district attorney to bring charges, as would happen in self-defense cases? Should such cases appear before a judge? Does a jury make the call?


The mother of a 15-year-old boy with autism who was fatally shot by police in his home Wednesday is facing off with suburban Chicago police officers who say the officer acted appropriately.

Stephon Watts, 15, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was 9, had had 10 previous interactions with Calumet City, Ill. police in the last two years, including at least one where police discharged Tasers to subdue him, the Chicago Tribune reports. Watts’ father called the police Wednesday after arguing with his son, who didn’t want to go to school, having been instructed by social workers that Watts should be handled by authorities when agitated.

Asperger’s syndrome interferes with social skills, but sufferers often have normal to high intelligence. Police say they found Watts armed with a knife in the basement of his parents’ home, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. When one officer sustained a defensive wound to his left forearm, two other officers on the scene fired their weapons. Steven Watts, Stephon’s father, says his son was shot once in the leg, and then again in the head.

(Reuters) – Two men suspected of killing three people and wounding two others in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the weekend were ordered held on bail of more than $9 million each in their first court appearance Monday morning, according to local media.

Roommates Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, were arrested early Sunday.

Authorities are charging both men with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill and a single complaint of possession of a firearm while committing a felony, the Tulsa World reported on its website.

Shortly before the killings, which took place on Friday, England had lamented on his Facebook page that two years had passed since his father was killed by a black man, who he referred to with a racial slur.

The victims of the killings were black while England and Watts are white. Harris said hate crime charges would be considered if the evidence supported it.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has called for an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Pillay said she was shocked the gunman, George Zimmerman, was not arrested. She also expressed concern about Florida’s «Stand Your Ground» law, which allows the use of deadly force in situations where there is a belief of a threat.


Trayvon Martin’s family wants federal scrutiny of the case to extend to the actions of a state prosecutor who declined to press charges

By Michael Vasquez
mrvasquez@MiamiHerald.com

The former prosecutor assigned to the Trayvon Martin case participated in a “suspicious” meeting with police on the night of the disputed shooting, Martin’s family alleged on Monday.

In a letter sent to sent to the U.S. Department of Justice — which is already reviewing Trayvon’s Feb. 26 death — Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump accused State Attorney Norm Wolfinger of holding a meeting with Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee just hours after Martin had been killed. It was in that meeting, Crump wrote, that the two men “disregarded the lead homicide investigator’s recommendation to arrest George Zimmerman for manslaughter.”

Wolfinger’s response to this new allegation was fast and forceful: the prosecutor insisted that “no such meeting or communication occurred,” and he blasted the Martin family’s letter as “outright lies.”

“I have been encouraging those spreading the irresponsible rhetoric to stop,” Wolfinger said in a written statement.

Crump also addressed an police surveillance videotape of Zimmerman arriving at the Sanford Police station – a video that ABC News said it enhanced for improved quality. The enhanced video shows what appear to be injuries to the back of Zimmerman’s head.

Even if Zimmerman was injured in a scuffle with Trayvon, “is that enough to justify killing an unarmed teen?” Crump said.

Prior to Monday’s letter by the Martin family, the Department of Justice had already started an investigation into Trayvon’s death. But this new letter revealed the family wants federal scrutiny to extend beyond the circumstances of the teen’s death, and into the actions of Wolfinger, who two weeks ago recused himself from the case.

In the early aftermath of the shooting, Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee defended Zimmerman’s actions, but it has become clear in recent days that Sanford investigators closer to the ground wanted to press charges.

Crump, the Martin family attorney, wrote in Monday’s letter that the lead homicide investigator in the case, Chris Serino, has in fact signed an affidavit documenting his opinion that Zimmerman should be arrested on manslaughter charges.


Trayvon, of Miami Gardens, was visiting his father’s girlfriend, who lives in the Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community, a newer, multi-ethnic development about five miles away from the old historic part of town.
<b

A man alleged to have lured two US volunteer firefighters to their deaths in Webster, New York left a long note outlining his plans, police say.

No motive was given but the note left by William Spengler, identified as the gunman said he was planning to "do what I like doing best - killing people."



Police searching Spengler's burnt-out house say they have found human remains - believed to be those of his sister.

The firefighters were shot dead as they arrived to tackle a fire on Monday.

At a news conference on Tuesday, police said Spengler, 62, had three guns and aimed to burn down his neighborhood.


William Spengler spent 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother
Seven homes on a narrow stretch of land beside Lake Ontario were destroyed by the fire. Another two firemen and an off-duty police officer were wounded in the attack.

Police Chief Gerald Pickering told reporters that Spengler, who apparently shot himself in the head, had used a .38 calibre revolver, a 12-gauge shotgun and a Bushmaster .223 calibre rifle with flash suppression.

The same make and calibre rifle had been used in the murder of 26 teachers and children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on 14 December, he said.

The police chief told reporters in Webster that a two- to three-page note from the gunman had been found in which he said: "I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighbourhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best - killing people."

At a later briefing, Mr Pickering said human remains were found in the house Spengler shared with his 67-year-old sister, Cheryl.

Police believe the remains are hers.

Spengler and his sister lived with their mother until her death in October.

'Clear ambush'
Spengler had served 17 years in jail for killing his grandmother with a hammer but had done nothing to attract the authorities' attention since being granted parole in 1998.


As a convicted criminal, he was not allowed to own weapons.

Police said he appeared to have set "a trap" by setting fire to his home. His older sister, Cheryl, whom he reportedly hated, is missing.

Two of the firefighters who responded to the call, Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, and Mike Chiapperini, aged 43, were shot dead in what was described as a "clear ambush" on emergency services.

Their two wounded colleagues are said to be in a stable condition with gunshot wounds.

The off-duty police officer, who was also shot and wounded as he came to their aid, was praised by the police chief for saving people's lives.

Gerald Pickering cited "mental health issues" as a possible factor for the attack, which came months after the death of Spengler's mother.

The Newtown killer, Adam Lanza, killed his mother with her own guns before launching his attack on Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.

His murders of 20 children aged six and seven have prompted a national debate on gun ownership and mental health.

"It's sad to see that that this is becoming more commonplace in communities across the nation," Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn told AP news agency after the attack in New York state




Two volunteer firefighters have been shot dead and two injured while responding to an emergency call in the town of Webster in New York state.



It appears the four were fired upon as they arrived at the scene of a fire early on Monday morning.

The blaze broke out just before 06:00 local time (11:00 GMT) and the shooting reportedly prevented firefighters putting it out for several hours.

A gunman has been found dead at the scene, local police say.

"Upon arrival of the first... engine company and some firefighters in their personal vehicles, they underwent gunfire from a location unknown," Webster's Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier told reporters.

The two dead firefighters were named by police as Tomasz Kaczowka and Mike Chiapperini.

An off-duty policeman who was driving by the scene at the time received shrapnel wounds and was also being treated, Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering told reporters.

Police spokesmen said the area was "an active crime scene" but that no more shooters were believed to be present.

'Senseless act'
Police teams moved in to evacuate residents after the shooting.

Firefighters were then able to return to the scene and are now tackling the blaze.


"All of our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those who were killed in this senseless act of violence," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

"The contributions made by the fallen and injured officers in Webster will never be forgotten," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

"As this investigation unfolds, we stand with our partners in law enforcement to ensure that lethal weapons are out of the hands of dangerous people, so that the brave New Yorkers who risk their lives every day to protect us are not exposed to additional danger," he added.

Also on Monday, a policeman was shot dead in the city of Houston, Texas after the driver of a car he pulled over opened fire on him.

The debate on gun violence in the US was rekindled earlier this month by the shootings at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

It was one of the worst mass shootings in American history.

"There's a heightened awareness to this kind of violence in light of what happened in Connecticut," said Maggie Brooks, leader of the local administration in Monroe County, the area which includes Webster.

"We have first responders and we have families who are in pain and crisis today and we need to, as a community, keep them in our thoughts and prayers," Mrs Brooks said, adding that it was a "very, very difficult day".

President Obama has promised to push for action on gun control while the National Rifle Association (NRA) has called for armed security in all American schools.



source: ThinkProgress

Immediately after the suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who police say murdered his girlfriend at their home before driving to the Chiefs’ practice facility and shooting himself in front of the team’s coach and general manager, thoughts turned to the role concussions and brain injuries may have played in the tragedy.
But during halftime of last night’s Sunday Night Football broadcast, NBC’s Bob Costas brought up another angle: the role guns, and our nation’s lax gun laws, played in the tragedy. After a brief introduction, Costas quoted Kansas City-based columnist Jason Whitlock, who wrote yesterday that he believed both Belcher and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, would be alive today were it not for Belcher’s possession of a gun




Thomas "Tres" Caffall, the man who police say killed two people--including a Texas constable--in a shooting near the Texas A&M University campus on Monday was a "ticking time bomb," his stepfather says.
"He was crazy as hell," Richard Weaver, Caffall's stepfather, told KPRC-TV. "At one point, we were afraid that he was going to come up here and do something to his mother and me."
Caffall, 35, opened fire as the Brazos County constable, Brian Bachmann, was attempting to serve him an eviction notice, College Station police said. Officers responded to the off-campus house shortly after noon following reports of shots fired, and found the 41-year-old Bachmann on the ground.
Caffall was shot during what police described as a 30-minute "gun battle." Bachmann and Caffall were taken to College Station Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.




Wed Aug 8, 2012 12:22am EDT


Scott Smith was likely trying to emulate the horrific Colorado shootings when he brought a gun, extra ammo, and several knives to a late night showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Luckily his performance was cut short when an observant manager and a security guard noticed him.

Off-duty Officer Jeremiah Bullins, that night's security guard, approached Smith in the Crocker Park, Ohio theater where he was sitting and asked to check his bag. Smith complied which is when Bullins saw the weaponry.

Smith was charged with crimes related to carrying the weapons, especially given his personal status.

Prosecutors are charging Smith with carrying a weapon under disability, reports WKYC. The claim is that his prescription medications prevent him from owning firearms under any circumstances.

If proven, Smith will be in trouble for owning the weapons, never mind carrying them into a theater.

But that's not the only charge against him. Smith is also charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

Ohio, like many states, has laws requiring gun owners to get a special permit to carry a concealed weapon. Even if Smith turns out to be a lawful gun owner, it does not appear that he has a permit to carry concealed weapons.

For states that require a permit for concealed weapons, any gun owner who does not have a permit must keep their guns in view at all times while carrying them in public. Several states ban concealed weapons entirely.

Theater personnel have been on high alert since James Holmes gunned-down movie goers last month. Scott Smith's foiled attempt is evidence that their efforts are not in vain.


(Reuters) - The white supremacist gunman who killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the FBI said on Wednesday.

A police officer shot and wounded the gunman, Wade Page, 40, in the stomach outside the temple in Oak Creek on Sunday, said Teresa Carlson, an FBI special agent in charge.

"Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," she told a news conference.

Police had said Page had been shot to death by an officer responding to the attack at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee.

Carlson said she had seen a video of the police officer wounding Page with a squad rifle. "It's an amazing shot, and thank goodness," she said.

Federal authorities have said they are treating the attack as a possible act of domestic terrorism. Page, an Army veteran, was a musician who played in white power punk-metal bands. He was armed with a 9mm handgun during the attack.

Turban-wearing Sikhs are often mistaken for Muslims in the United States. The Sikh faith was founded in the Punjab area of India and Pakistan and has an estimated 500,000 or more adherents in the United States.

President Barack Obama called Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to express his condolences over the temple shooting.

Carlson said investigators had not found any motive for the attack, which also wounded four people, including a police officer shot eight or nine times after responding to a 911 call.

The wounded officer, Lieutenant Brian Murphy, is up and walking, Carlson said.

Investigators have conducted more than 100 interviews with Page's relatives, employers and associates, Carlson said. They are also following 101 leads worldwide and have issued 180 federal grand jury subpoenas.

Police have arrested Page's former girlfriend, Misty Cook, on a weapons charge. Carlson said the arrest took place at Cook's Milwaukee home late on Sunday and was unrelated to the shooting investigation.

Police said on Tuesday that a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm would be sought against Cook, 31. [ID:nL2E8J80OC] (Additional reporting by Paul Thomasch; writing by Ian Simpson; editing by Vicki Allen and Mohammad Zargham)



The White House gave a cool welcome on Monday to Democratic legislation that wouldeffectively ban online or mail-order purchases of ammunition in the aftermath of the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.
"I haven't seen the specific piece of legislation that has been offered up today," spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the daily press briefing. "But as that and other pieces of legislation make their way through the legislative process, we'll evaluate them."
The proposal, crafted by Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg and Democratic Representative Carolyn McCarthy, aims to restrict the ability of Americans to buy unlimited quantities of ammunition over the Internet, or by mail order, anonymously.
President Barack Obama has called for a common sense response to the slaughter in Aurora. But the White House has played down his appetite for new legislation as opposed to tightening or toughening existing measures—such as background checks—to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals or the mentally ill. And the president has underlined his support for the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
"He believes in the second amendment of the constitution, in the right to bear arms," Earnest said again Monday.  "But he also believes that we should take robust steps, within existing law, to ensure that guns don't fall in the hands of criminals or others who shouldn't have them.
The new legislation, dubbed the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act,  rests on four pillars, according to Lautenberg's office:
It requires anyone selling ammunition to be a licensed dealer.
It requires ammunition buyers who are not licensed dealers to present photo identification at the time of purchase, effectively banning the online or mail order purchase of ammo by regular civilians.
It requires licensed ammunition dealers to maintain records of the sale of ammunition.
It requires licensed ammunition dealers to report the sale of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to an unlicensed person within any five consecutive business days.



Violent crime dropped in 2011, preliminary figures released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday show.
According to the FBI's "Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report," violent crimes fell 4 percent nationwide, part of a decade-plus decline in that category.
Murder was down about 2 percent, according to the FBI, while forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault all fell 4.0 percent when compared to 2010. But in towns with populations of less than 10,000, there was an 18.3 percent increase in murder in 2011. There was also a 0.6 percent increase in murder in the Midwest.
The FBI did not give reasons for the trends.
Property crimes declined about 1 percent. Arsonwhich is considered a property crime though counted separatelyfell 5 percent, the FBI said. The only overall rise in property crimes was burglary, which was up marginally.
Data for the report is collected by the bureau from participating state and federal law enforcement agencies. Final figures will be published this fall.





Gun sales in Colorado have spiked since last week's massacre, The Denver Post reports.
Background checks jumped more than 41 percent since Friday's shooting that left 12 dead and 58 injured during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" at an Aurora movie theater. Over the weekend, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to purchase a firearm, the Post said, an increase of 43 percent over the previous weekend.
"It's been insane," Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, Colo., told the paper.
Spikes in gun sales are not uncommon in the aftermath of mass shootings like the one in Colorado. Following the January 2011 shooting that killed six and wounded more than a dozen others—including former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords—in Tucson, sales of handguns soared more than 60 percent in the state, according to FBI data. Similar spikes were seen after the massacres at Virginia Tech and Columbine.

Some of those seeking to buy guns in Colorado over the weekend said they were seeking to arm themselves for protection in the wake of the shooting, according to the report. But many were likely fearful of a change in gun laws. Democratic state Rep. Rhonda Fields of Aurora told the paper she wants Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons.
"When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff," Greg Wolff, an Arizona gun shop owner, told Bloomberg.com after the rampage in Tucson.
They also get worried when a Democrat is about to take office. Before President Barack Obama's 2008 election, there was a spike in gun sales, and gun shop owners and manufacturers have reported similarly brisk buying in 2012.
"It's definitely the election year," Jason Hanson, a former CIA officer, told Fox News in March. "People feel that Obama will serve second term and with it their gun rights with taken away, so they are stocking up."

In December, the FBI reported a record number of background checks—1,534,414—sent by gun dealers. "Almost half a million checks were done in just the last six days before Christmas," according to CNN. In 2010, the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System received more than 14 million requests, more than in any other year.
James Holmes, the suspected shooter in Friday's massacre, was found with a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, two Glock .40-caliber pistols and a Remington 12-gauge shotgun when he was arrested outside the theater in Aurora. And like Jared Loughner, the accused killer in the Tucson massacre, Holmes purchased the guns legally.






CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.
Dear Friend,
The shock and trauma from the images and stories from Aurora are still very much with us, and it is impossible to put into words the pain being felt by families and friends of the victims.
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't speak out. In the wake of this massacre, it's time to put aside politics and reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons.
After the news broke last Friday, President Barack Obama said that "there are going to be other days for politics, this I think is a day for prayer and reflection." Governor Mitt Romney said, "I stand before you today not as a man running for office, but as a father and grandfather, a husband, and American."1 Both of their campaigns asked networks to pull their negative advertisements.
The gestures from the two men who are running for President were welcome steps. But, we need more than sympathetic words. We need real leadership to start to address the senseless gun violence that holds our communities hostage.
One of the principal weapons used by the shooter in the horrific Aurora massacre was an AR-15 assault rifle.2 This weapon features a magazine that holds 100 rounds of bullets, and its trigger is capable of firing 50-60 rounds per minute.3
The federal assault weapons ban which was passed in 1994, banned the sale of guns like the AR-15.4 Unfortunately, that ban expired in 2004 as a result of fierce lobbying by the NRA. It's long past time to reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons like the AR-15.
CREDO members worked to pass the federal assault weapons ban in 1994. And we fought to stop its expiration in 2004. And we continue to advocate for a federal ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 used in the Aurora massacre.
Massacres on the scale of the tragedy in Aurora happen in part because our federal gun laws make it easy for civilians to obtain military-level firepower. We need to pass and enforce sensible federal gun laws restricting ready access for civilians to assault weapons. Reinstating a strong version of the federal ban on assault weapons known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act is where we should start.
We're not so naïve as to think that sensible gun laws are all that's needed to stop the killings. There are many things that need to change in American culture to stop the next Aurora-like massacre. But we do know one thing we should put at the top of the list — keeping military-level assault weapons like the AR-15 with a high capacity clip out of the hands of civilians. Click below to automatically sign the petition.
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id=43839-5154581-hC2Ah5x&t=10
Thank you for speaking out.
Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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AURORA, Colo. (AP) — The University of Colorado said Sunday it was investigating whether shooting suspect James Holmes used his position as a graduate student to order materials in the potentially deadly booby traps that police said they found in his apartment.

Holmes, 24, got deliveries over four months to his home and school, authorities have said. The university is looking into what was received at the school to assist police with their investigation, said spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery.

The suspect was described as a budding scientist, brimming with potential, who pursued a graduate program even as he planned the attack with "calculation and deliberation," police said.


Investigators spent hours Saturday removing explosive materials from inside Holmes' apartment a day after police said he opened fire and set off gas canisters in a movie theater minutes into a premiere of the "The Dark Knight Rises." The massacre left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

His apartment was booby trapped with jars of liquids, explosives and chemicals that could have killed "whoever entered it," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said, noting it would have likely been one of his officers.

Inside the apartment, bomb technicians neutralized a "hypergolic mixture" and an improvised explosive device containing an unknown substance, said James Yacone, an FBI special agent. There also were containers of accelerants, creating "an extremely dangerous environment," he said.

Oates said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he had never seen a booby trap as elaborate as what was found in the apartment.

By late Saturday afternoon, all hazards had been removed from the apartment and residents in surrounding buildings were allowed to return home, police said.

The exception was Holmes' apartment building, where authorities were still collecting evidence. Authorities covered the windows of Holmes' apartment with black plastic to prevent anyone from seeing in. Before they did, a man in an ATF T-shirt could be seen measuring a poster on a closet that advertised a DVD called "Soldiers of Misfortune." The poster showed several figures in various positions playing paintball, some wearing masks.

Police left the apartment building carrying a laptop computer and a hard drive about 8 p.m. Saturday.
Holmes was in solitary confinement for his protection at a Denver-area county detention facility, held without bond on suspicion of multiple counts of first-degree murder. He was set for an initial hearing on Monday and has been appointed a public defender.

President Barack Obama was scheduled to travel to Colorado on Sunday to visit with the families of victims. The city of Aurora planned a vigil to remember the dead and wounded in the shooting later in the evening.
Among the dead was a 6-year-old girl and a man who died on his 27th birthday and a day before his wedding anniversary. Families grieved and waited at hospitals, with police reporting 11 people still in critical condition as of Saturday.

While authorities continued to refuse to discuss a possible motive for one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history, details about Holmes' background as a student and would-be scientist trickled out.
Holmes had recently withdrawn from the competitive graduate program in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver, where he was one of six pre-thesis Ph.D. students at its Neuroscience Program to be funded by a prestigious grant from the National Institutes of Health. The program of 35 students is dedicated to training outstanding neuroscientists and academicians who will make significant contributions to neurobiology, the university said in a statement.

In the first year of the five- to seven-year program, students take classes and complete three, three-month research rotations in the labs of different professors.

Professors who worked with him either did not return calls or declined to comment, saying police and university officials had told them not to speak to the media.

At one point in the year, Holmes was engaged in research about RNA and was to present a paper May 8 about RNA Biomarkers, according to a class schedule. It was unclear if he presented the paper.
Holmes recently took an intense, three-part oral exam that marks the end of the first year. Those who do well continue with their studies and shift to full-time research, while those who don't do well meet with advisers and discuss their options, including retaking the exam.

University officials would not say if he passed, citing privacy concerns.
The university said Holmes gave no reason for his withdrawal, a decision he made in June.
"The focus of the program is on training outstanding neuroscientists and academicians who will make significant contributions to neurobiology," the university said. The doctoral program usually takes five to seven years to complete, it said.

Holmes was not allowed access from the institution after his withdrawal, which was "standard operating procedure" because he was no longer affiliated with the school, Montgomery said. Holmes had no contact with university police, she said.

In a resume posted on Monster.com, Holmes listed himself as an "aspiring scientist" and said he was looking for a job as a laboratory technician.

The resume, first obtained in Holmes' home state of California by The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, paints a picture of a brilliant young man brimming with potential: He worked as a summer intern at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla in 2006 and mapped the neurons of Zebra finches and studied the flight muscles of hummingbirds while an undergraduate at the University of California, Riverside.

He also worked as a cabin counselor to underprivileged children at a summer camp in Los Angeles in 2008. In a statement, Camp Max Straus confirmed Holmes had worked there for eight weeks. The camp provided no other details about Holmes but said such counselors are generally responsible for the care and guidance of roughly 10 children.

Ritchie Duong, a friend who has known Holmes for more than a decade, told the Los Angeles Times that in high school he liked to play cards and video games. They both attended undergraduate school at the University of California, Riverside, where they saw each other once a week to watch the TV show "Lost."
Duong last saw Holmes in December when they met for dinner in Los Angeles and saw a movie together. His friend seemed fine, he told the newspaper.
Academics came easily to Holmes both at high school and at the UC Riverside, Duong said.
"I had one college class with him, and he didn't even have to take notes or anything. He would just show up to class, sit there, and around test time he would always get an 'A,'" said Duong, 24.
During the attack early Friday, Holmes used the military-style semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol to open fire on the unsuspecting theater-goers, Oates said. Holmes had bought the weapons at local gun stores within the past two months. He recently purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet, the chief said.

The semiautomatic assault rifle used by the gunman jammed during the attack, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press, which forced the shooter to switch to another gun with less fire power.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to in order to discuss the investigation, said the disabled weapon had a high-capacity ammunition magazine. Police have said that a 100-round drum magazine was recovered at the scene and that such a device would be able to fire 50 to 60 rounds a minute.

Holmes also bought an urban assault vest, two magazine holders and a knife for just over $300 on July 2 from an online supplier of tactical gear for police and military personnel, according to the company.
Chad Weinman, CEO of TacticalGear.com, said his company processes thousands of orders each day, and there was nothing unusual in the one that Holmes placed.

The Batman movie, the last in the trilogy starring Christian Bale, opened worldwide Friday with midnight showings in the U.S. "The Dark Knight Rises" earned $30.6 million in the midnight screenings, and, according to industry estimates, roughly $75 million on that day as a whole. That put it on track for a weekend total of around $165 million, which would be the second-highest opening weekend ever, following "The Avengers."

The shooting was the worst in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 soldiers and civilians and wounding more than two dozen others.
Across the street from the movie theater, a man who placed 15 crosses near Columbine High School after a 1999 massacre there has returned to Colorado with 12 crosses for the victims of Friday's shooting.
Greg Zanis, of Aurora, Ill., began putting up the 3 1/2-foot-tall crosses Sunday on a hill across the street from the Century 16 theater.
___

Associated Press contributors to this report include Mead Gruver, Thomas Piepert, Kristen Wyatt, Steven K. Paulson, Ivan Moreno, P. Solomon Banda and Gillian Flaccus in Aurora; Dan Elliott, Colleen Slevin in Denver; AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle in New York; M.L. Johnson in Chicago; Brian Skoloff in Salt Lake City; Monika Mathur and Jennifer Farrar at News Research Center in New York; and Eileen Sullivan in Washington.




Twelve people were killed and 59 were injured in Aurora, Colo., during a sold-out midnight premier of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" when 24-year-old James Holmes unloaded four weapons' full of ammunition into the unsuspecting crowd.
The number of casualties makes the incident the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes, a graduate student at a nearby college with a clean arrest record, entered the movie auditorium wearing a ballistics helmet, bullet-proof vest, bullet-proof leggings, gas mask and gloves. He detonated multiple smoke bombs, and then began firing at viewers in the sold-out auditorium, police said today.

Bullets from the spree tore through the theater and into adjoining theaters, where at least one other person was struck and injured. Ten members of "The Dark Knight Rises" audience were killed in theater, while two others died later at area hospitals. Numerous patrons were in critical condition at six local hospitals, the Aurora police said this afternoon.

Holmes was apprehended within minutes of the 12:39 a.m. shooting at his car behind the theater, where police found him in full riot gear and carrying three weapons, including a AR-15 assault rifle, which can hold upwards of 100 rounds, a Remington 12 gauge shot gun, and a .40 Glock handgun. A fourth handgun was found in the vehicle. Agents from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are tracing the weapons.

According to police sources, Holmes told the officers arresting him that he was "The Joker," referring to the villain in the second installment of the Batman movie trilogy, "The Dark Knight." He also warned police that he had booby-trapped his apartment, leading officers to evacuate the Aurora apartment building.

Police Chief Dan Oates said today that police and bomb squads have found a large number of explosive devices and trip wires at Holmes' apartment and have not yet decided how to proceed without setting off explosions.

"The pictures we have from inside the apartment are pretty disturbing considering how elaborate the apartment is booby trapped," police said outside of the apartment complex today. The "flammable and explosive" materials could have blown up Holmes' apartment building and the ones near it, police said.

The apartment complex is home exclusively to University of Colorado Medical Center students, patients, and staff members, residents tell ABC News.
Moviegoer Christopher Ramos today recalled the real-life horror of the midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," in Aurora, Colo., as a gunman decked in riot gear set off smoke bombs and opened fire on the unsuspecting audience.

"People were running everywhere, running on top of me, like kicking me, jumping over me. And there were bodies on the ground," Ramos said. "I froze up. I was scared. I honestly thought I was going to die."

"The image in our heads is stuck in there. I still have the ticket right here and honestly, I'm never going to forget this night at all. Because it was the first time I saw something that was real. Like a real-life nightmare that was there, not dreaming of," Ramos told ABC News today.

Witnesses in the movie theater said Holmes saw smoke and heard gunshots that they thought were part of the movie until they saw Holmes standing in front of the screen, after entering from an emergency exit. Holmes methodically stalked the aisles of the theater, shooting people at random, as panicked movie-watchers in the packed auditorium tried to escape, witnesses said.

At one point the shooter exited the theater only to wait outside the doors and pick off patrons as they tried to exit, witness Jennifer Seeger told "Good Afternoon America."

"You just smelled smoke and you just kept hearing it, you just heard bam bam bam, non-stop. The gunman never had to reload. Shots just kept going, kept going, kept going," one witness told ABC News.

"I'm with coworkers and we're on the floor praying to God we don't get shot, and the gunshots continue on and on, and when the sound finally stopped, we started to get up and people were just bleeding," another theatergoer said.

The suspected shooter will face his first court appearance next week, according to district attorney Carol Chambers.

Holmes, originally of San Diego, moved to Aurora to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado medical center, living just blocks from the hospital in an apartment that police say is now laced with explosives and being searched by HazMat teams.

Federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News that Holmes bought a ticket to the movie, slipped out of the theater once it began and propped open the emergency exit before gathering his weapons and gear and coming back into the theater. Once inside, he opened fire.

A San Diego woman identifying herself as James Holmes's mother spoke briefly with ABC News this morning.

She had awoken unaware of the news of the shooting and had not been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved.
"You have the right person," she said.

"I need to call the police," she added. "I need to fly out to Colorado."
The woman and her husband later released a statement saying their "hearts go out to those who involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy."

The highly-anticipated third installment of the Batman trilogy opened to packed auditoriums around the country at midnight showings on Friday morning, and features a villain named Bane who wears a bulletproof vest and gas mask. Trailers for the movie show explosions at public events including a football game. Though many moviegoers dressed in costume to attend the opening night screening, police have made no statements about any connection between the gunman's motives and the movie.
Read More: NRA Deletes Tweet After Shooting

Police in New York have intensified security around showings of the film throughout the five boroughs today, with Police Commissioner Ray Kelley saying that "as a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the 'The Dark Knight Rises' is playing."

The Paris premiere of the movie has been cancelled in the wake of the shootings. "Warner Bros. and the filmmakers are deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time," the movie's producers said in a statement.

Witnesses watching movies in theaters next to the one where the shooting took place said bullets tore through the theater walls and they heard screaming.
Read More: Obama and Romney Respond to Shooting

"The suspect throws tear gas in the air, and as the tear gas appears he started shooting," said Lamar Lane, who was watching the midnight showing of the movie with his brother. "It was very hard to breathe. I told my brother to take cover. It took awhile. I started seeing flashes and screaming, I just saw blood and people yelling and a quick glimpse of the guy who had a gas mask on. I was pushed out. There was chaos, we started running."

One witness said she saw people dropping to the ground after the gunshots began.
"We were maybe 20 or 30 minutes into the movie and all you hear, first you smell smoke, everybody thought it was fireworks or something like that, and then you just see people dropping and the gunshots are constant," witness Christ Jones told ABC's Denver affiliate KMGH. "I heard at least 20 to 30 rounds within that minute or two."
A man who talked to a couple who was inside the theater told ABC News, "They got up and they started to run through the emergency exit, and that when she turned around, she said all she saw was the guy slowly making his way up the stairs and just firing at people, just picking random people," he said. "The gunshots continued to go on and on and then after we didn't hear anything...we finally got up and there was people bleeding, there was people obviously may have been actually dead or anything, and we just ran up out of there, there was chaos everywhere."

Witnesses and victims were taken to Gateway High School for questioning.
Hundreds of police and FBI agents are involved in the investigation. A senior official who is monitoring the situation in Washington said that early guidance based on the early snapshot of this man's background indicated that this act does not appear to be linked to radical terrorism or anything related to Islamic terrorism.

Dr. Comilla Sasson, at the University of Colorado Hospital where many of the victims were taken, said they are currently operating on nine critical patients and have treated 22 in all. She called the hospital "an absolutely terrifying scene all night."

"The good news is that the 3-month-old has actually been discharged home and is in the care of their parents

In a statement, President Obama said, "Michelle and I are shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shooting in Colorado. Federal and local law enforcement are still responding, and my administration will do everything that we can to support the people of Aurora in this extraordinarily difficult time. We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded."


The American Rifleman, the official journal of the National Rifle Association, has deleted a tweet that appeared to make light of Friday's shootings in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight screening of "Dark Knight Rises."
"Good morning, shooters," the message, published at 9:20 a.m. ET on the American Rifleman's Twitter feed, read. "Happy Friday! Weekend plans?"

Not surprisingly, the tweet sparked considerable outrage, with hundreds of users--including Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann--pointing their followers to it.
The American Rifleman deleted the tweet several hours later but has yet to issue a formal apology.

It's unclear whether the tweet was intentionally insensitive, or if the magazine's tweeter was unaware of the shootings that left 12 dead and 50 wounded.
"Is there a way they wrote this without seeing the news?" Audrey Wauchope asked on Twitter.

"This is what happens when you don't read the news," the Columbia Journalism Review said.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesman for the NRA said that "a single individual, unaware of events in Colorado, tweeted a comment that is being completely taken out of context."

The NRA wasn't alone in appearing insensitive to the tragedy.

CelebBoutique.com--"the online boutique loved by your fave celebs"--took the "Aurora" trending topic as an opportunity to promote its Kim Kardashian-inspired dress


Violence like the massacre that happened in Aurora, Colo., today is a staple of action films, including Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. A similar, now haunting, scene unfurls in "The Dark Knight Rises" when a masked villain leads a violent gang into a packed football stadium and deploys guns and explosives on the unsuspecting crowd.

While there has been no indication as to the motives of James Holmes, the suspected 24-year-old shooter who is now in custody, new evidence suggests that he was inspired by the Batman series of comic books and/or movies.

Law enforcement sources confirmed to ABC News that Holmes said "I am the Joker" when apprehended by authorities. His hair was painted red, the same hair color of Heath Ledger's Joker at one point in 2008's "The Dark Knight."

There are more parallels. In Frank Miller's iconic 1986 comic book series, "The Dark Knight Returns," the Joker murders a television studio audience by deploying "smile gas." Holmes began his massacre by setting off smoke bombs throughout the theater.

In the same book, Arnold Crimp, a disturbed man who just lost his job, pulls out a handgun in an adult film theater and kills three people. A scene from the strip shows a news anchor saying, "Three slain in Batman-inspired porn theater shoot-out."

Seventy-one people were shot during today's early morning massacre; 12 have died.


Christopher Irving, author of "Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics," cautioned against blaming an iconic, fictional character for today's tragedy.

"There have been thousands of Batman stories published, and I don't think pinning a specific comic book story to the tragic happenings as an inspiration is fair, or likely anything beyond a sad coincidence," he said.





Texas ‘stand your ground’ shooter headed to prison

A Texas man convicted of shooting and killing his unarmed neighbor during a dispute over loud music received a 40-year prison sentence on Wednesday.
Raul Rodriguez, 47, faced a minimum of five years and a maximum of life in prison.  He claimed he shot schoolteacher Kelly Danaher in self-defense under Texas' version of the "stand your ground" law.
But prosecutors argued Rodriguez provoked the incident by confronting Danaher, 36, and his friends with a handgun and demanding they quiet down at a late-night birthday party in May 2010.
The Houston case captured more attention in the wake of Trayvon Martin's death in Florida. There, George Zimmerman says he was being attacked and cited the state's "stand your ground" law after shooting the unarmed teen. But prosecutors charged him with second-degree murder.
Two dozen states reportedly now allow citizens to stand their ground even outside their home. The specifics vary by state, but generally justify a person not retreating and using deadly force when a threat is perceived.
As in Florida, Texas law includes public areas, "if a person has a right to be present at a location where force is used."
But veteran attorney Andy Drumheller told Yahoo News that the Houston jury appeared to draw a line with Rodriguez leaving his home and going down the street.
"The law is not designed to create this bubble that you can carry with you everywhere you go," said Drumheller, a former prosecutor now practicing criminal defense in Houston. "The jury's verdict is a cautionary statement on the limits of this defense."
The Rodriguez case is also unique because the former firefighter was recording video during much of the ordeal.
Rodriguez, who had been calling police about the loud party, dialed 911 again as both sides shouted at each other near Danaher's dark driveway.
"Tell you what, pal, you just pulled a gun on the wrong [expletive], OK?" one of the partygoers is heard telling Rodriguez on the home video.
Seconds later the partygoer warns, "When I go in that house and I come back, don't think I won't be equal to you, baby."
Rodriguez, who told police he suspected the men were drunk, tells the 911 operator that he's scared and will defend himself, if needed.
"I don't want to do this, and it all started over them playing their music real loud … it's about to get out of hand, Sir. Please help me. "
Seconds later, he says, "I'm standing my ground here, now these people are going to try and kill me."
The video is dark when Danaher and two other men apparently lunged toward him, laughing loudly. Rodriguez fired his gun, killing Danaher and injuring two others.
In lobbying jurors for a lenient sentence, defense attorney Bill Stradley blamed the tragedy on his client's misunderstanding of the state's "stand your ground" law. Something he predicts will happen with other Texas gun owners in the future.
"And they will find themselves, like Raul Rodriguez, charged with murder," said Stradley, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"Raul believed he had a right to be where he was. But he had two seconds to make that call, to pull that trigger."

Death sentence handed down in Tucson against Shawna Forde, a resident of Washington State who headed the Minutemen American Defense group. She was convicted Feb. 14 of first-degree murder for orchestrating the killings of Brisenia and Raul Junior Flores of Arivaca, Ariz., a small community just north of the Mexican border.

“I think that the nation as a whole sees us as the wild, wild West, that things like that are going to be OK with us,” says Angie Thomas, who sat on the jury. “And they’re not.”

The case has drawn back the curtain to reveal the dark side of the debate raging in Arizona over illegal immigration.

Ms. Thomas and fellow jurors were told during the trial that Ms. Forde and accomplices gained entry to the Flores home with the expectation of finding drugs there, which could be sold to finance Minutemen American Defense's border-control operations. Finding no drugs, the intruders made away with inexpensive jewelry but, prosecutors said, not before fatally shooting young Brisenia and Mr. Flores. Both victims were American citizens born in the US.

“I see Shawna Forde as someone who would have liked to have been the face of a movement,” Thomas says.

Arriving at the death sentence was difficult, Thomas says, but it was aided by a picture of Brisenia presented during trial that was etched in her mind: “A little girl, with bright red fingernails; she’s wearing a white T-shirt and turquoise-colored pajama bottoms. She’s on a love seat. It’s a perfect, innocent picture until you realize that half of her face has been blown off.”

Brisenia’s mother and Mr. Flores’s wife, Gina Gonzalez, was wounded during the shooting but survived. She testified that her daughter was shot point-blank as the girl pleaded for her life.


The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the lawlessness that followed Hurricanes Katrina and Ivan left people feeling unsafe. Prodded by the National Rifle Association, under its first female president Marion Hammer, Florida launched the "stand your ground" movement in 2005.

The fatal encounter between a 17-year-old black teenager and a mixed-race neighborhood watch volunteer has created a furor over "stand your ground" laws, which have been enacted in more than 20 states; legislation is pending in others. That Florida, the epicenter of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case, was the first to pass the law in 2005 adds to the debate. But for George Zimmerman, this defense might not even apply, according to some legal experts.

Regardless, the case has led to legislators second-guessing the law—including the men who sponsored and signed the Florida bill, and major businesses are backpedaling from a lobby group that has helped promote the defense.

Is "stand your ground" actually relevant to George Zimmerman? In terms of legal defense, maybe not. "Stand your ground" is an expansion on the so-called Castle Doctrine, the right to defend one's homestead. Instead of defending yourself on your own personal property, though, "stand your ground" lets you carry that immunity into public property, which can include places of business, like a bar.

I don't think based upon Zimmerman's explanation to the police that he has a valid Stand Your Ground claim. He's not saying that he was assaulted frontally and then made a decision not to retreat because he thought he had to use deadly force.

He's basically saying old-fashioned self-defense: I was struck, I was knocked down, I was on the ground, and I had to physically defend myself. There's nothing added to his claim by the Stand Your Ground law, and I would love to have legislatures around the country look at it and say, you know, this worked for 220 years and we don't need to add anything to it. If you've got a right of self-defense, great. And if you don't have a right to defend yourself, if you think it's OK to shoot somebody because their dog pooped on your lawn, then we don't agree with that, and it's a crime. (Former assistant state attorney (Florida) Abe Laser, April 12, "Talk of the Nation," NPR)

Supporters such as former Republican senator Durell Peaden and Rep. Dennis Baxley, who co-sponsored the bill, or former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who signed the bill into law, have said Zimmerman lost his right to this defense when he sought out Martin. Bush stated that "Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back."

But since the law may be confusing to enforcement—the controversy blew up when Sanford police declined to make an arrest—it has bolstered critics ranging from State Senator Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to call for widespread reform.

Who makes the decision? Rather than ask how relevant "stand your ground" is in the Martin-Zimmerman case, the real question may be who makes the decisions in the first place. The Sanford city manager claimed that the law "prohibited" police from making an arrest. Should police make the arrest and leave it to the district attorney to bring charges, as would happen in self-defense cases? Should such cases appear before a judge? Does a jury make the call?






The mother of a 15-year-old boy with autism who was fatally shot by police in his home Wednesday is facing off with suburban Chicago police officers who say the officer acted appropriately.

Stephon Watts, 15, who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when he was 9, had had 10 previous interactions with Calumet City, Ill. police in the last two years, including at least one where police discharged Tasers to subdue him, the Chicago Tribune reports. Watts' father called the police Wednesday after arguing with his son, who didn't want to go to school, having been instructed by social workers that Watts should be handled by authorities when agitated.

Asperger's syndrome interferes with social skills, but sufferers often have normal to high intelligence. Police say they found Watts armed with a knife in the basement of his parents' home, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. When one officer sustained a defensive wound to his left forearm, two other officers on the scene fired their weapons. Steven Watts, Stephon's father, says his son was shot once in the leg, and then again in the head.




(Reuters) - Two men suspected of killing three people and wounding two others in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the weekend were ordered held on bail of more than $9 million each in their first court appearance Monday morning, according to local media.

Roommates Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, were arrested early Sunday.

Authorities are charging both men with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with intent to kill and a single complaint of possession of a firearm while committing a felony, the Tulsa World reported on its website.

Shortly before the killings, which took place on Friday, England had lamented on his Facebook page that two years had passed since his father was killed by a black man, who he referred to with a racial slur.

The victims of the killings were black while England and Watts are white. Harris said hate crime charges would be considered if the evidence supported it.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has called for an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Pillay said she was shocked the gunman, George Zimmerman, was not arrested. She also expressed concern about Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows the use of deadly force in situations where there is a belief of a threat.



Trayvon Martin’s family wants federal scrutiny of the case to extend to the actions of a state prosecutor who declined to press charges

By Michael Vasquez
mrvasquez@MiamiHerald.com

The former prosecutor assigned to the Trayvon Martin case participated in a “suspicious” meeting with police on the night of the disputed shooting, Martin’s family alleged on Monday.

In a letter sent to sent to the U.S. Department of Justice — which is already reviewing Trayvon’s Feb. 26 death — Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump accused State Attorney Norm Wolfinger of holding a meeting with Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee just hours after Martin had been killed. It was in that meeting, Crump wrote, that the two men “disregarded the lead homicide investigator’s recommendation to arrest George Zimmerman for manslaughter.”

Wolfinger’s response to this new allegation was fast and forceful: the prosecutor insisted that “no such meeting or communication occurred,” and he blasted the Martin family’s letter as “outright lies.”

“I have been encouraging those spreading the irresponsible rhetoric to stop,” Wolfinger said in a written statement.

Crump also addressed an police surveillance videotape of Zimmerman arriving at the Sanford Police station - a video that ABC News said it enhanced for improved quality. The enhanced video shows what appear to be injuries to the back of Zimmerman’s head.

Even if Zimmerman was injured in a scuffle with Trayvon, “is that enough to justify killing an unarmed teen?” Crump said.

Prior to Monday’s letter by the Martin family, the Department of Justice had already started an investigation into Trayvon’s death. But this new letter revealed the family wants federal scrutiny to extend beyond the circumstances of the teen’s death, and into the actions of Wolfinger, who two weeks ago recused himself from the case.

In the early aftermath of the shooting, Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee defended Zimmerman’s actions, but it has become clear in recent days that Sanford investigators closer to the ground wanted to press charges.

Crump, the Martin family attorney, wrote in Monday’s letter that the lead homicide investigator in the case, Chris Serino, has in fact signed an affidavit documenting his opinion that Zimmerman should be arrested on manslaughter charges.







Trayvon, of Miami Gardens, was visiting his father’s girlfriend, who lives in the Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community, a newer, multi-ethnic development about five miles away from the old historic part of town.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/26/2730089/sanfords-image-take-a-blow-against.html#moreb#storylink=cpy

YouTube comments:

  • They already said he DID NOT live there. He had jumped the fence. Call me what you will but what I say is right. If a race war breaks out you will be hiding just as cowards do. Sit around on a computer talking shit and then it happens. People killing people all around you, where would you go and what would you do? I found a woman that 2 black guys stabbed, beat and set on fire. That didn't make national headlines because she was? WHITE. MENTAL MIDGET would better describe you. Uninformed as well
  • If you attack someone chances are you? will be shot. SHUT UP and stop trying to cause more shit by calling out the white race. Where will you be if they start a race war? hiding somewhere blaming the white race begging someone to protect you. News flash smartass. If you are white the blacks will be trying to kill you as well. GOOD GOD get a brain
  • If they are suspected of breaking the law by trespassing it is not called stalking you idiot. You do realized that? treyvon stood 6' 3"? That is not a little guy. At least know something of what you are talking about BEFORE attacking people on here. Don't make yourself look any dumber than you are on certain subjects. Defending someone that was breaking the law and attacking a person watching over other peoples property means you get shot. THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE






Even if Treyvon fought to defend himself he? is still on the right.

Tensions between police in Sanford, Fla., and the black community were already strained before the shooting of Trayvon Martin.








Calls to 911

"It's easy to label this as an act of white racism, but it's really an act of stereotyping, which many groups are capable of and it is occurring in the context of extraordinarily permissive laws," said Manuel Pastor, a professor of American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

On Twitter, there was genuine confusion about Zimmerman's race. Is he Latino or white? Is Hispanic a race, or not? Shouldn't he, a Latino, have known better than to engage in racial profiling? Might he be Jewish, based on his last name? Many said his Hispanic lineage had nothing to do with the fact that the justice system had failed Martin, while some said Zimmerman's identity was very important.

"I'm actually happy that George Zimmerman is Hispanic so the usual white people are all guilty by virtue of their skin color stuff won't work," said a March 22 tweet by John Hawkins, who described himself as a professional blogger at Right Wing News.

Hispanic people can be black, white, Asian or mixed. Some 18 million Latinos checked the "some other race" category on their 2010 Census forms – which admonished in bold letters that Hispanic is not a race. So many Hispanics identified themselves as white, the overall number of white people in the United States increased.

"We sit in this in between place in the United States. In the U.S., when we think about race, it's usually black and white. ... Latinos complicate that dichotomy," said Cynthia Duarte, associate director of research for the Institute of Latino Studies at Notre Dame.

On voter registration forms, George Zimmerman identified himself as Hispanic, as did his mother. His father, Robert, listed himself as white on voter registration forms. Zimmerman's mother, Gladys, is originally from Peru.

Ethnicities in Peru run the gamut. Descendants of the original people or Amerindians of Peru, those who were under rule of the Inca empire, are the largest ethnic group, followed by those who are a mix of Spanish and Amerindian ancestry, also known as mestizos. Whites are about 15 percent of the population, followed by blacks, Asians and other groups. Class distinctions based on race and language persist in Peru, with whites at the top of the societal hierarchy and indigenous people often at the bottom, a vestige of Spanish colonialism.

Neither Zimmerman nor his family members were available to comment about their family history. Beyond what's in the police report, Zimmerman has yet to give his side of what happened the night of Feb. 26, when he called police to say he was following a "suspicious" person he believed was on drugs, while Martin, wearing a hooded sweat shirt, walked through the gated Sanford, Fla., townhome community where Zimmerman lives. Police have not charged Zimmerman, who told them he shot Martin in self-defense, something considered justified homicide under Florida's "stand your ground law."

George Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman, appeared on an Orlando-area news broadcast to defend his son, and told a reporter that Trayvon Martin said to his son: "you're going to die tonight."


Zimmerman's father outlined the scuffle that was part of Zimmerman's report to the police, which was made public yesterday. The threat the elder Zimmerman attributes to Martin did not appear in that report.

Zimmerman told police that on the night of the shooting that a fight began after Martin sucker-punched him, climbed on top of him, and repeatedly banged his head into the ground.

"After nearly a minute of being beaten, George was trying to get his head off the concrete, trying to move with Trayvon on him into the grass. In doing so, his firearm was shown. Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of 'you're going to die now or you're going to die tonight,' something to that effect. He continued to beat George and at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did."

According to Tampa Bay Fox affiliate WTVT-TV, what the witness says he saw could bolster Zimmerman’s claim that he shot Martin in self-defense:

“The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: ‘help, help…and I told him to stop and I was calling 911,” he said.

Trayvon Martin was in a hoodie; Zimmerman was in red.

The witness only wanted to be identified as “John,” and didn’t not want to be shown on camera.

His statements to police were instrumental, because police backed up Zimmerman’s claims, saying those screams on the 911 call are those of Zimmerman.

“When I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point,” John said.

On Friday night, Zimmerman attorney Craig Sonner appeared on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” and said he client sustained a broken nose and a head laceration on the night of the incident.

“His nose was broken, he sustained injury to his nose and on the back of his head he sustained a cut that was serious enough that probably should have had stitches…it was an injury that was done by Trayvon Martin,” Sonner said.

When police approached Trayvon's body on the grassy path between the townhouse back porches, they found no I.D. on him. Police ran his fingerprints, but found no record that would help identify him.

When he didn't return back to the townhouse, there would be another 12 hours before Tracy Martin found out his son was dead.

"I started making calls to see if he was arrested," he said.

Calls to 911 led him to missing persons, where he left a description of his son. Soon a marked patrol car followed by detectives arrived at Green's rented townhouse.

"It was drizzling a bit, I said, 'lets go in the house.' He [the detective] pulled out a card and said he was from major crimes. Then he said he wasn't sure, he had sketchy details, but there was an altercation, and Trayvon was shot once in the chest."

The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case said that the Sanford Police Department asked the state attorney's office for an arrest warrant to charge George Zimmerman early in the investigation, but the state's attorney's office decided to wait.

The Miami Herald reported that the local police initially went to the Seminole State Attorney with a request to file charges and the police report labeled the case as "homicide/negligent manslaughter."

"The state attorney impaneled a grand jury, but before anything else could be done, the governor stepped in and asked us to pick it up in mid-stream," Angela Corey, the special prosecutor on the case said.

Chris Serino, the lead detective on the case, expressed doubts around Zimmerman's account of the shooting, according to ABC News. Serino filed an affidavit on the night of the shooting in which he said that he was unconvinced of Zimmerman's version of events.

"I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP," he said. "Every organization imaginable is trying to get some notoriety or profit from this some way. But there's so much hate. I've never been involved in hate and George hasn't. It's really unbelievable."

"I just hope at one point, they're willing to go beyond the hate that they have."

But Robert Zimmerman's detailing of the altercation between his son and Martin aired the same night that ABC News broadcast police surveillance video showing Zimmerman the night of the shooting which seems to contradict his son's story. A handcuffed Zimmerman is shown being led by police into the station, and he has no visible injuries or blood stains on his body.

Before George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin on February 26, a 911 call recorded the voice of someone screaming. Whether that person was Martin or Zimmerman -- who police say claimed he was attacked by Martin before the fatal incident -- has been an open question since the calls were released by the Sanford, Florida police department.

Also, it’s important keep in mind that all of this footage was taken after Zimmerman received treatment from an EMS team at the scene.

I would presume that in a fight as severe as the one described by Zimmerman, the injuries would have to be substantial. One would expect to see Zimmerman with an obviously broken nose, facial abrasions and head bandages, but we aren’t seeing any of that yet.

Much of what I’ve written has centered around the narrative that Zimmerman was in a situation where he was being pinned down and severely beaten by Trayvon Martin. Those were his statements, they have been supported by at least one witness, and especially by his voice screaming for help on 911 recordings.

If Zimmerman was not injured badly enough for it to be obvious on police station tapes, why was he screaming bloody murder on the 911 calls?

Reports from the EMS team who treated him at the crime scene and other medical personnel will be critical in deciding how injurious this attack really was, and whether Zimmerman’s reaction can be considered appropriate.

Let’s hope someone in Sanford was competent enough to have documented Zimmerman’s injuries properly.


The Orlando Sentinel consulted two voice experts to try to settle the debate
, and both came to the same conclusion: The cries could not have come from George Zimmerman.

Yesterday, the special prosecutor in the case said that police at the scene requested a warrant for Zimmerman's arrest, but were rebuffed and told to wait.



In the video, apparently taken by surveillance cameras outside and inside the police station, Zimmerman’s face and head are clearly visible and show no injuries consistent with the kind of fight Zimmerman's statement described.

Zimmerman, 28, the neighborhood watch captain at the Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community, is seen arriving in a police cruiser. He gets out of the car with his hands cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is clean-shaven and appears several pounds lighter than in ubiquitous mug shot of him taken in 2005 when he was arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer.

The video’s release comes amid shifting public perception of Martin, whose baby-faced image has become the face of the so-called “Trayvon Martin movement for Justice” that has captivated much of the U.S. Earlier this week, school officials in Miami released Martin’s disciplinary record, showing that he had been on a 10-day suspension when he was killed. According to reports, school officials found an empty baggy that contained marijuana residue. Meanwhile, some websites have replaced widely circulated family photos of Martin with pictures of him sporting removable gold tooth caps. Other websites have picked seemingly random photos of other youth in questionable or offensive poses and claimed that they are of Martin.

Martin’s family has called the counter-offensive an assault on Martin’s character and a “smear campaign.” Tracy Martin, the teen's father, told HuffPost earlier this week, “I refuse to let them assassinate my son’s character." He added: "The question should not be why was he suspended from school, it should be why did this man kill him in cold blood."

Zimmerman shot Martin to death the night of Feb. 26. Martin had been walking toward his father's girlfriend's house shortly after 7 p.m. and Zimmerman spotted him and called 911 to report a "suspicious" person. Zimmerman followed Martin, disregarding a police dispatcher who told him "we don't need you to do that." Police said early in the investigation that Martin noticed he was being followed, asked Zimmerman what he wanted, and a physical encounter ensued.

In the recently released police reports, Zimmerman told police he got out of his vehicle to follow Martin, but lost sight of him. As he walked back to his vehicle, Martin attacked him from behind, punched him in the nose, knocked him down and began smashing the back of his head into the sidewalk, police reports say Zimmerman told officers. During the tussle, Zimmerman pulled the 9 mm handgun he carried and shot Martin in the chest, he told police.

Lawyers for the Martin family said Zimmerman was the aggressor. The lawyers said Martin's girlfriend in Miami was on the phone with him just moments before he was killed. The girlfriend has told ABC News and family lawyers that Martin told her someone was following him. She said she heard someone ask Martin something, then what sounded like someone pushing him. The phone sounded like it was then knocked to the ground and went dead, the girl said.



The funeral director who handled Martin's funeral said there were no cuts or bruises on the teen's hands that would suggest a violent struggle or fight.

“I didn’t see any evidence he had been fighting anybody,” Richard Kurtz of Roy Mizell and Kurtz Funeral Home in Fort Lauderdale, told television talk show host Nancy Grace.

Police took Zimmerman into custody after they arrived. He was questioned and released later that night. He remains free as the Seminole County State Attorney's Office reviews the police investigation and decides whether to file charges. The U.S. Justice Department also is investigating.

Zimmerman, the 28-year-old Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watch volunteer who shot the unarmed 17-year-old Martin to death last month, was fired from a job securing illegal house parties for “being too aggressive,” according to the New York Daily News, which quoted a former colleague of Zimmerman’s. According to the co-worker, Zimmerman worked for two agencies that provided security for house parties from 2001 to 2005.

“Usually he was just a cool guy,” said the former co-worker, who the newspaper didn't name. “But it was like Jekyll and Hyde. When dude snapped, he snapped.” The Daily News said Zimmerman earned $50 to $100 a night for the parties. He was fired for being too aggressive with patrons.

“He had a temper and he became a liability,” the newspaper quoted the former co-worker as saying. “One time this woman was acting a little out of control. She was drunk. George lost his cool and totally overreacted,” he said. “It was weird, because he was such a cool guy, but he got all nuts. He picked her up and threw her. It was pure rage. She twisted her ankle. Everyone was flipping out.”



Where Zimmerman may fit within the range of Hispanic identity is another matter. Although Robert Zimmerman described his son as "Spanish speaking," it's clear from the 911 call made that night that George Zimmerman is comfortable speaking English. Some Latinos may not consider Zimmerman to be truly Latino, since only one of his parents is Hispanic.

Some Hispanics, mostly in the Southwest, will say they are Spanish to make clear they identify with Spanish explorers who came to the Americas in the 1500s. In Texas, Latino has only recently become an identifying term; Tejano, Chicano or Mexican American have been more common. Cubans, who make up a large share of Hispanics in Florida, are more likely to identify as white than Puerto Ricans, whose presence is growing in Florida.




Why didn’t the Sanford, Fla., police arrest George Zimmerman after he shot Trayvon Martin Feb. 26? That’s a question that today is more relevant than ever amid reports the lead investigator in the case thought Mr. Zimmerman should be charged with manslaughter for his actions. The investigator, Chris Serino, was unconvinced by Zimmerman’s assertion that he resorted to deadly force in self-defense, according to ABC News. Mr. Serino filed an affidavit to that effect on the night of the killing. But Serino’s superiors, in turn, were apparently unconvinced by Serino’s reasoning. They did not take Zimmerman into custody because of two words: “probable cause.” “The Sanford police said this is why they did not arrest Zimmerman: they did not have probable cause to believe that he had broken the law,” writes legal analyst Dave Kopel, research director of the Independence Institute, on the widely read legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy. Florida’ Stand Your Ground law would have been legally irrelevant to this determination, according to Mr. Kopel. Florida has other statutes that allow the use of force against a criminal attack, as do virtually all states. Zimmerman’s story has been that he was doing exactly that: defending against an assault by Martin. In his version of events, Martin knocked him down, then straddled him and pounded his head on the ground. He did not have an opportunity to retreat, he told police.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson said Friday that Martin's killing reflects "the classic struggle of our time" and said it echoes the slaying of Emmitt Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago who was murdered in 1955 while visiting Mississippi by a group of white men. No one was ever convicted, but Till's killing galvanized the civil rights movement. An Orlando criminal defense attorney who says he represents Zimmerson told CNN on Friday that his client isn't racist and the facts will show he acted in self-defense after a fight with the teen. "I don't believe that George Zimmerman's a racist or that this was motivated by a dislike for African-Americans," said Craig Sonner. Tracy Martin often recounted how his son saved his life. The elder Martin had begun heating up some oil to fry fish and fell asleep. The grease caught fire, and when Tracy Martin awoke and tried to put out the flames, he spilled the oil on his legs, severely burning himself. Trayvon Martin pulled his father out of the home and called 911. Martin's parents kept a close eye on him, but they didn't have to be too strict, since he stayed out of trouble, Collins said. However, he had recently been suspended from school for five days for tardiness, his English teacher, Michelle Kypriss, told the Orlando Sentinel. School officials did not respond to a request for comment. Martin's father was not happy and grounded the teen for the duration of the suspension. Trayvon "knew he was wrong," Horton said. Under state privacy law, only serious felonies appear on juveniles' public criminal records, and Martin did not have one. Citing the same law, Sanford police Sgt. David Morgenstern said he could neither confirm nor deny the family's statement that Martin had never gotten in legal trouble. Martin dreamed of becoming a pilot. He had flown on school vacations to various places around the country with his mother, skiing in Colorado one year, going off to Texas another. "There's no little black kids that want to be pilots," Horton joked with him when he was about 13. "Well, I'll be the first one," the teen replied.
Our son didn't deserve to die. Trayvon Martin was just 17 years old when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Trayvon wasn't doing anything besides walking home with a bag of Skittles and some iced tea in his hands. What makes Trayvon’s death so much harder is knowing that the man who confessed to killing Trayvon, George Zimmerman, still hasn't been charged for Trayvon’s killing. Despite all this, we have hope. Since we started to lead a campaign on Change.org, more than 1,400,000 people -- including you -- have signed our petition calling for Florida authorities to prosecute our son’s killer. Our campaign is already starting to work. The FBI and Department of Justice announced they were investigating our son’s killing. Newspapers around the globe are reporting that it’s because of our petition. And the Sanford Police Chief even stepped aside temporarily because of pressure around his handling of the case. But our son’s killer is still free, and we need more people to speak out if we want justice for Trayvon. Can you please share our petition on Facebook and ask your friends and family to sign? Click here to share. You can also click here to email your friends and ask them to sign that way. We aren't looking for revenge, we're looking for justice -- the same justice anyone would expect if their son were shot and killed for no reason. Thank you so much for all you’ve done to support our family. - Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton
George Zimmerman was kicked out of Seminole State College today, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting. "Due to the highly charged and high-profile controversy involving this student, Seminole State has taken the unusual but necessary step this week to withdraw Mr. Zimmerman from enrollment," according to a statement from the college. "This decision is based solely on our responsibility to provide for the safety of our students on campus as well as for Mr. Zimmerman." Zimmerman, 28, first enrolled at the college in 2003 and was working toward a vocational certificate to become an insurance agent. He re-enrolled in 2009 and was working toward an Associate in Arts degree in a general studies program, according to the college.

A Florida police chief criticised over the investigation into the shooting of an unarmed black teenager has announced he will temporarily step down. Bill Lee has been censured by officials in Sanford, an Orlando suburb, over the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Florida Governor Rick Scott, meanwhile, announced he had appointed a new prosecutor to lead the investigation. Mr Lee explained his decision at a news conference on Thursday afternoon. "It is apparent that my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process," he said. "Therefore I have come to the decision that I must temporarily remove myself." He added: "I do this in the hope of restoring some semblance of calm to the city, which has been in turmoil for several weeks." Later on Thursday, Governor Scott announced that state attorney Norman Wolfinger would stand aside from the case. In a letter to the governor, Mr Wolfinger said his move was aimed at "toning down the rhetoric and preserving the integrity of the investigation". The governor also appointed a task force led by Lt Gov Jennifer Carroll, an African-American, to conduct hearings on the case and to make recommendations for any changes to state law. Police chief Lee's decision to stand aside comes a day after city commissioners in Sanford issued a vote of no-confidence in him. They voted 3-2 to censure the police chief, who has held his position for just 10 months. Hundreds of people attended a mass rally led by civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton on Thursday evening in Sanford to demand justice for the 17-year-old. Tracy Martin, the victim's father, was cheered as he told demonstrators: "The temporary step down of Bill Lee is nothing. We want an arrest, we want a conviction." Mr Martin's parents have met officials from the Department of Justice, who have launched a civil rights investigation into police conduct of the case. Nearly one million people have signed online petitions calling for justice.
When a rash of burglaries and other crimes broke out in and around a gated community in Sanford, Fla., residents wanted some form of protection. Someone raised the possibility of a neighborhood watch group. But only one resident seems to have come forward for the duties: George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, 28, is the focal point for national outrage over the fatal Feb. 26 shooting of an unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin. The 17-year-old was returning from a sugar run -- he'd bought a bag of Skittles and an iced tea at a local convenience store -- and was reportedly talking on a cellphone to his girlfriend when he crossed paths with Zimmerman. Zimmerman, meanwhile, had spotted the teen and called police to report a young black male acting suspiciously, according to phone logs. What happened next is a matter of debate, and will ultimately be up to a Seminole County grand jury to decide when it convenes next month. The teen's girlfriend said she could hear someone confronting Martin. But Zimmerman said that Martin was the aggressor -- and that he opened fire in self-defense. He was not arrested. The case has taken on racial overtones as it has captured public attention. A Florida grand jury is considering whether there is enough evidence to file charges, and the US justice department has launched a probe into the conduct of the local police investigation. However, further action could be complicated by a Florida self-defence law that allows the use of deadly force if a person "reasonably" believes they or another person are threatened with death or serious harm. A statement from Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte calls the death of Trayvon Martin a "tragic situation". But he emphasised that officers of the Sanford police department were "prohibited from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time". 'Crazy to wait' Speaking to NBC's Today programme, Tracy Martin, the victim's father, said the shooter was suspicious of his son "because he was young, black and with a hoodie".
If it was the other way around they would have arrested their son on the spot  Benjamin Crump Martin family lawyer
Appealing for Mr Zimmerman to be prosecuted, he added: "Let the courts decide, but I strongly feel that he needs to be arrested."
The statement from Trayvon Martin's parents comes amid continuing public outcry against police handling of the case. Appearing alongside Martin's parents, their lawyer Benjamin Crump said the shooter "needs to be arrested, prosecuted and convicted". "Now, the state needs to do it. It's crazy that this family has to wait for grand juries and stuff when, if it was the other way around they would have arrested their son on the spot."
By Rene Lynch March 20, 2012, 4:41 p.m. Police identified Zimmerman as white, but his family says he's Hispanic. Critics of how authorities have dealt with the case have launched marches, petitions and demonstrations, and civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton was expected in the area Tuesday night. Earlier in the day Tuesday, black leaders hand-delivered a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott expressing their concerns and displeasure with how the case has been handled so far. According to local media reports, Zimmerman took seriously his volunteer role as captain of the neighborhood watch group in the diverse community. He had aspirations of being a police officer at one point in his life, and had called 911 to report suspicious activity in the neighborhood nearly 50 times in the last year, according to the Miami Herald. "He once caught a thief and an arrest was made," Cynthia Wibker, secretary of the homeowners association, told the Herald. "He helped solve a lot of crimes." But others apparently felt uneasy with Zimmerman's zealousness. One African American resident, Ibrahim Rashada, told the Herald that Zimmerman seemed friendly and helpful, but Zimmerman also circulated a description of a suspect that pulled Rashada up short. "I fit the stereotype he emailed around," Rashada said. That realization led Rashada to drive downtown whenever he wants to take a walk and stretch his legs. "I don’t want anyone chasing me," he said. Zimmerman's father wrote a letter to the Sun Sentinel that insists that his son is neither a racist nor guilty of being the aggressor in the deadly encounter. The statement was published in full on the newspaper's website. It reads in part: "George is a Spanish speaking minority with many black family members and friends. He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever.... The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth." The statement goes on to suggest that the public should be outraged over the "extremely misleading" portrayal of Zimmerman, and hinted that there are key facts that have yet to be made public. "The events of February 26 reported in the media are also totally inaccurate. Out of respect for the on-going investigation, I will not discuss specifics. However, the media reports of the events are imaginary at best. At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event become public, and I hope that will be soon, everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media." ABC News has also been delving into what it suggested were irregularities with the investigation to date. For one, ABC reported, Zimmerman was not tested for drugs or alcohol on the night of the shooting, something that the news organization says is routine in many homicide cases. Moreover, a narcotics detective -- and not a trained homicide detective -- took Zimmerman's statement in the wake of the shooting, ABC said. Tracy Martin, the father of the slain teen, said police told him that Zimmerman's background was "squeaky clean." However, ABC News reported, public records show that Zimmerman was charged with battery against on officer and resisting arrest in 2005, a charge that was later "expunged" from his record. That allowed him to legally obtain the weapon he was carrying the night of the shooting. Zimmerman and his father have temporarily left their home, after they were the subject of death threats, according to media reports. Most of the attention that tape has garnered has been over the portion where the officer specifically tells Zimmerman he’s not to follow Martin. Had Zimmerman followed these instructions (which are also part of the national guidelines for any Neighborhood Watch, which Zimmerman was a part of), Martin would still be alive. However, now the attention has moved to the seconds before that back and forth. In those moments, Zimmerman can be heard moving after Martin (the sounds of his movements are what caused the officer to ask if he was pursuing Martin). In the midst of these sounds, there seems to be a quick comment made under Zimmerman’s breath and some now say is “fucking coons,” coon obviously being a racial slur against blacks.
Our son didn't deserve to die. Trayvon Martin was just 17 years old when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Trayvon wasn't doing anything besides walking home with a bag of Skittles and some iced tea in his hands. What makes Trayvon’s death so much harder is knowing that the man who confessed to killing Trayvon, George Zimmerman, still hasn't been charged for Trayvon’s killing. Despite all this, we have hope. Since we started to lead a campaign on Change.org, more than 500,000 people -- including you -- have signed our petition calling for Florida authorities to prosecute our son’s killer. Our campaign is already starting to work. Just last night, the FBI and Department of Justice announced they were investigating our son’s killing. Newspapers around the globe are reporting that it’s because of our petition. But our son’s killer is still free, and we need more people to speak out if we want justice for Trayvon. Can you please share our petition on Facebook and ask your friends and family to sign? Click here to share. You can also click here to email your friends and ask them to sign that way. We aren't looking for revenge, we're looking for justice -- the same justice anyone would expect if their son were shot and killed for no reason. Thank you so much for all you’ve done to support our family. - Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton Police arrived minutes later. After the shooting, Trayvon’s body was bagged and taken to the morgue, where he was tagged as a John Doe. Critics have noted that no one contacted Trayvon’s family even though police had his cell phone in their possession. The Miami Herald reports Zimmerman had taken it upon himself to patrol the neighborhood and had called police 46 times since January 2011 to report suspicious activity or other incidents. Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26th, but it’s only weeks later that his story is gaining national attention after a campaign led by family members and the release of the 911 tapes last week. JASMINE RAND: I mean, I think it just—it shows that the Sanford Police Department—I mean, there was either corruption or just woeful ignorance on their behalf. They were calling the family, after losing their child, harassing the parents over his phone, wanting to get—you know, get to his phone, get in his phone. And they had the phone in their possession the entire time. So, you know, there are a lot of questions that I can’t answer, because they don’t make sense.
In September 2010, Trevor Dooley stormed into a park near his home outside Tampa, angry because a teenager was skateboarding on the basketball court. Dooley was carrying a .32-caliber semiautomatic handgun in his pants, and it was visible to David James, 41, who was in the park with his 8-year-old daughter. James tried to disarm Dooley, who is now 71, and as the two men tussled on the ground, Dooley shot James in the chest, killing him. Prosecutors, not surprisingly, charged Dooley with manslaughter. But if Dooley's lawyers can convince a judge by next week that he fired the gun because his life was being threatened -- that he is therefore protected under Florida's "stand your ground" law -- Dooley may well walk away a free man. A growing number of people hope the judge will make Dooley stand trial on the manslaughter charge. But that sentiment has as much to do with another tragedy that occurred last month, 60 miles (100 km) to the northeast, in Sanford, Fla. That's the case of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed the night of Feb. 26 while walking back to the house where he was staying in a gated community. The shooter, George Zimmerman, 28, the neighborhood watch captain, was following Martin because he thought the 17-year-old, dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, looked suspicious. When the two got into an altercation, Zimmerman fired the gun he was carrying. As astonishing as it sounds, Sanford police have refused to charge Zimmerman -- although the state attorney's office now says it will convene a grand jury next month to investigate the case. The cops have been balking in large part because, under the stand-your-ground statute, they're virtually obligated to accept his argument that he was acting in self-defense -- even if it was Martin who may have felt more threatened, according to recordings of 911 calls by neighbors that were released over the weekend. The 2005 Florida law permits anyone, anywhere to use deadly force against another person if they believe their safety or life is in danger, and it's the state's usually futile task to prove that the act wasn't justified. Little wonder the St. Petersburg Times found that five years after the law was signed by then Governor Jeb Bush -- who called it a "good, commonsense anti-crime" bill -- claims of justifiable homicides in Florida more than tripled, from just over 30 to more than 100 in 2010. In that time, the stand-your-ground defense was used in 93 cases involving 65 deaths -- and in the majority of those cases, it worked. Pro-gun advocates like the National Rifle Association, which pushed hard for stand your ground, say it simply broadens citizens' capacity for self-defense. But if Dooley and now Zimmerman do walk, there may be an understandable public backlash against a statute that in reality has made the streets, bars and parks of Florida -- and of the at least 16 other states that have enacted similar laws since 2005 -- more dangerous spaces. Stand your ground, which many Floridians sardonically call "shoot first," didn't broaden self-defense as much as it broke with centuries of British and American common (and commonsense) law that absolved such deadly force only in cases involving the "castle doctrine," that is, defending one's home against a violent intruder. (MORE: Trayvon Martin's Murder: Was the Motive Self-Defense or Racism?)
In the final moments of his life, Trayvon Martin was being hounded by a strange man on a cellphone who ran after him, cornered him and confronted him, according to the teenage girl whose call logs show she was on the phone with the 17-year-old boy in the moments before neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot him dead. Martin's death Feb. 26 has stirred national outrage and protests, partly prompting the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the FBI to open an investigation into the case. ABC News was there exclusively as the 16-year-old girl told Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump about the last moments of the teenager's life. "He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man," Martin's friend said. "I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run." Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he'd managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin. "Trayvon said, 'What, are you following me for,' and the man said, 'What are you doing here.' Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn't answer the phone." The line went dead. Besides screams heard on 911 calls that night as Martin and Zimmerman scuffled, those were the last words he said. Trayvon's phone logs, also obtained exclusively by ABC News, show the conversation occurred five minutes before police first arrived on scene. The young woman's parents asked that her name not be used, and that only an attorney could ask her questions. Martin's father, Tracey Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, listened to the call along with ABC News, ashen-faced. "He knew he was being followed and tried to get away from the guy, and the guy still caught up with him," Tracey Martin said. "And that's the most disturbing part. He thought he had got away from the guy and the guy back-tracked for him." The teen was killed by Zimmerman while walking back to his father's fiancés home after stepping out to buy Skittles and some iced tea during the NBA All-Star Game. After weeks of relentless pressure, the Sanford Police have decided to release emergency and non-emergency calls placed during the incident. "These a**holes always get away," Zimmerman says in a call to a non-emergency number. Dispatcher: "Are you following him?" Zimmerman: "Yeah." Dispatcher: "We don't need you to do that." An altercation soon ensued. A few moments later a torrent of 911 calls flooded in and Martin was killed by a single bullet. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and has yet to be arrested, stoking outrage and claims of prejudice against the police department. "When George Zimmerman is arrested, tried and convicted I will get a little rest," Tracey Martin said. According to a statement by the Justice Department, "The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action and the conclusion of the investigation. … The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids. Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws." Nearly half a million people have signed an online petition on change.org urging law enforcement officials to step in and arrest Zimmerman. Protests have played out in the Florida town all week with a large gathering expected Thursday. Zimmerman violated major principles of the Neighborhood Watch manual, ABC News has learned. The manual from the Neighborhood Watch program states: "It should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers. And they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles." According to Chris Tutko, the director of the National Neighborhood Watch program, there are about 22,000 registered watch groups nationwide, and Zimmerman was not part of a registered group, which police were not aware of at the time of the incident.
The family of Trayvon Martin is asking the FBI to get involved in the investigation of the killing of the unarmed 17-year-old Florida high school student, who was shot last month by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman outside his stepmother's home. Martin, a black high-school junior, was making his way home with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea on Feb. 26 when George Zimmerman spotted him, called a non-emergency dispatch number to report Martin looked intoxicated, followed him, and then minutes later after an altercation, shot him. Zimmerman, 28, who is white, claimed self defense. He was never arrested and has been charged with no crime, sparking national outrage. ABC News has learned police seemed to accept Zimmerman's account at face value that night and that he was not tested for drugs or alcohol on the night of the shooting, even though it is standard procedure in most homicide investigations. Now Martin family attorney Ben Crump has written a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, and it's being circulated by several members of congress who are putting pressure on him to get the FBI involved. An FBI spokesman told ABC News: "We are aware of the incident, we have been in contact with local authorities and are monitoring the matter." The night of Feb. 26, Zimmerman made a non-emergency call to police before fatally shooting Martin, in which he told a dispatcher, "This guy looks like he's up to no good, on drugs or something." But law enforcement expert Rod Wheeler who listened to the tapes tells ABC News that Zimmerman, not Martin, sounded intoxicated in the police recordings of the 911 calls. "When I listened to the 911 tape the first thing that came to my mind is this guy sounds intoxicated. Notice how he's slurring his words. We as trained law enforcement officers, we know how to listen for that right away and I think that's going to be an important element of this entire investigation," Wheeler said. But Zimmerman was not tested. Martin's family is now calling on the FBI to take over what they say is a botched investigation. "We've got a fair investigation, it was the best we can do, it's in states attorney hands now," Sanford Police Department spokesman Dave Morgenstern said.
Heartbreaking tragedy: 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was visiting a relative's house in a Florida gated community when he walked to the store to get Skittles and iced tea for his little brother. He never made it home. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a self-styled neighborhood watch leader, who told police he thought Trayvon was "suspicious" in the mostly-white community.
Unbelievable twist: A man named George Zimmerman allegedly admitted to police that he shot Trayvon Martin in the chest. Zimmerman claims he acted in self defense, even though police allegedly told him not to do anything until they arrived -- and despite the fact that Trayvon was unarmed, carrying only a bag of Skittles when he died. In the two weeks since Zimmerman allegedly killed Trayvon, police have refused to arrest the confessed killer.
Hope for justice: Sybrina Fulton is Trayvon's mother, and she's leading a campaign on Change.org to get justice for her son. Tracy knows that if enough people raise an outcry, Sanford, Florida authorities will be forced to investigate Zimmerman the same way they would investigate any confessed killer. 
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Here's a lot more info about Sybrina's campaign, in her own words:
On February 26, my son Trayvon Martin was shot and killed as he walked back from a convenience store where he had just bought some candy. He was only 17 years old. 
Trayvon's killer, George Zimmerman, admitted to police that he shot Trayvon in the chest. Zimmerman, the community's self appointed "neighborhood watch leader," called the police to report a suspicious person when he saw Trayvon, a young black man, walking from the store. But Zimmerman, who is white, still hasn't been charged for killing my son. 
Trayvon was my hero. At the age of 9, Trayvon pulled his father from a burning kitchen, saving his life. He loved sports and horseback riding. At only 17 he had a bright future ahead of him with dreams of attending college and becoming an aviation mechanic. Now that's all gone.
When Zimmerman reported Trayvon to the police, they told him not to confront him. But he did anyway. All I know about what happened next is that my 17 year-old son, who was completely unarmed, was shot and killed.
I don't know if my family will ever receive justice for this terrible tragedy. It's been nearly two weeks and the Sanford Police have refused to arrest George Zimmerman. In their public statements, they even go so far as to stand up for the killer - saying he's "a college grad" who took a class in criminal justice.
Please join me in calling on the the Sanford Police Department and Florida State's Attorney Norman Wolfinger to investigate my son's death and prosecute George Zimmerman for the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin. 
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