cartels

Having survived two assassination attempts, Mexican mayor found beaten to death

 

  • Maria Santos Gorrostieta had been stabbed, beaten and burned
  • She defied Mexico’s powerful drug gangs, who twice tried to gun her down previously
  • She was kidnapped in broad daylight in front of her terrified daughter 
  • The former mayor leaves behind three children

This is an absolutely heart-wrenching and tragic story. If anybody ever dismisses wanting to end the nonsensical US drug war and the cause of drug legalization as something frivolous and self-serving to potheads, make sure you link them this article. 50000 Mexican people have died in cartel violence since 2006. How in the world do people anywhere in the world find this acceptable?

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Intense photos capture the protests happening in Mexico right now

Protesters set fire to the wooden door of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto’s ceremonial palace in Mexico City late Saturday night, demanding justice for the massacre of 43 missing students and that of thousands of “disappeared” Mexicans.

Mexicans have been protesting across the country for weeks following the disappearance of the students in September, and authorities arrested Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, who were deemed the masterminds of the disappearance. Authorities say Abarca ordered the attacks because the mayor presumed the students were planning to interrupt a speech that his wife was going to make on the evening of the students’ disappearance.

And on Friday, several gang members described the mass murder and incineration of the students in gruesome detail.

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It’s time the U.S. started paying attention to our neighbor to the South 

The crisis in Mexico is getting worse.

Eleven mutilated corpses were found Thursday in a mass grave in southwest Mexico. The bodies were uncovered in the same state where 43 missing students were abducted and massacred in September, the Guardian reported.

The discovery came mere hours before embattled President Enrique Peña Nieto vowed to reform Mexico’s police structure and root out collusion among law enforcement agencies, political officials and drug gangs.

“Mexico cannot continue like this”

The Mexican Doctor Who Leads a Militia Against the Cartels

Michoacan, the fertile agricultural state in western Mexico, is in the midst of war. There are three main players: the cartel known asLos Caballeros Templarios (the Knights Templar), the Federal Police and Mexican Army forces, and the armed civilian groups that have emerged in Michoacan—as well as other states—in the absence of peace and safety.

A sort of moral leader has arisen from these militia groups. Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles Valverde heads the General Counsel for Self-Defense and Community Police Forces of Michoacan. Since communities in the region took up arms to defend their towns from crime last February, Dr. Mireles has been their public voice, appearing on magazine covers and in televised interviews, defending every Mexican’s right to protect themselves from lawlessness.

Last week, photographer Hans-Maximo Musielik spent five days with Dr. Mireles, getting closer to the leader than anyone before. He documented Dr. Mireles, as well as his guards and commanders, as they kept road blocks and sought the expansion of the territory under the command of the self-defense council. On December 29, they peacefully overtook the municipality of Churumuco. Everything remained calm until January 4 when the community police forces took over Paracuaro, the tenth municipality to be added to the self-defense zone. But unlike Churumuco, the arrival of the self-defense groups met resistance, leading to fatal fighting. At least two gunmen for the Templarios were killed during the reported shootings. Two Mexican Army soldiers died in an ambush nearby. Hans-Maximo’s photos also capture the death of one member of the self-defense forces, a killing that was not counted in the major news reports.

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The world learned of her decapitation on the Internet.

Early Oct. 16, the Twitter account @Miut3 started posting disturbing images of a young woman, beheaded in the desert sand. Headphones and a keyboard were placed next to her decapitated body, a warning to observers.

The woman in the photo turned out to be @Miut3 herself. “My life has come to an end today. Don’t put your families at risk like I did,” the tweet read. “I’m sorry. I died for nothing. They are closer on our trail than you think.”

This gruesome slaying was not the latest Islamic State beheading of a Westerner. The body and Twitter account belonged to María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, the first documented case of a citizen journalist being killed for work published on social media. Rubio actively reported on alleged government collusion with criminal and drug cartels prior to her death. She posted her reports on social media and relayed information to other journalists.

Given how she died, it’s easy to assume Rubio was killed documenting the atrocities of the Islamic State (IS), which has cut a bloody swath across northern Iraq, arousing fear and indignation around the world. On June 10, the group seized Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, overnight, then captured Tikrit on the following day. On Aug. 8, the U.S. military launched its first series of airstrikes in northern Iraq and Syria, and efforts to train a proxy army to fight IS characterize the American counterstrategy.

But beheadings, massacres and wholesale killings are not limited to IS brutality, and these militants have overshadowed a crisis taking place in a country that can be seen from U.S. backyards. Americans remain largely unaware of the thousands killed by cartels every year in Mexico, and the violence doesn’t end at the border: According to Narcosphere, a website tracking drug-war violence in the U.S., as many as 5,700 Americans were killed on U.S. soil from 2006 to 2010.

Too big to jail: HSBC financed terrorists, narcotics trafficking & walked away scot-free
December 13, 2012

The New York Times reports this week that megabank HSBC has escaped criminal prosecution for money laundering that probably funded terrorists and narcotics traffickers. Why? Because regulators and prosecutors were petrified that an indictment would undermine the entire financial system. The Times quotes anonymous government sources who confessed fears about bringing formal charges because doing so would be a “death sentence” for the bank. So they let it off the hook.

That’s right, HSBC is officially above the law. Too-big-to-fail has become too-big-to-prosecute. 

A year-long investigation found that the British banking giant had blown right past federal laws by laundering billions of dollars from Mexican drug trafficking and processing banned transactions on behalf of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma. A Wednesday Times article serves up vivid passages about the shady goings-on, including HSBC officials working closely with Saudi Arabian banks linked to terrorist organizations. According to the report, “the four-count criminal information filed in the court charged HSBC with failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, to conduct due diligence on its foreign correpsondent affiliates and for violating sanctions and the Trading With the Enemy Act.”

In a statement, the bank said it “will acknowledge that, in the past, we have sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect.” HSBC apologized and promised never, ever to do it again, scout’s honor.

I’m pretty sure I know what would happen to me if I stole a loaf of bread from the corner store. But a big bank can act as financier to freaking terrorists and never worry about things like jail. Funny how a corporation is a person until it breaks the law.

Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a congressional watchdog panel, observed that “the culture at HSBC was pervasively polluted for a long time.” Now we can be certain it will remain so. Criminal activity has been legitimized. In the world of banking, crime pays, big-time.

A number of recent bank scandals, including the Barclays LIBOR rate-fixing revelation, demonstrate that big banks are behaving with blithe disregard for the law and they are avoiding criminal prosecution by paying fines – the cost of doing shady business. The prosecutors and regulators involved in the decision to let HSBC off with a wrist-slapping fine of $1.9 billion (half a quarter’s profit) have officially declared that they are not working in the public interest. They are being paid by taxpayers to protect big banks. Shouldn’t they be on the banks’ payroll?

Simply saying that a bank is too big to prosecute is a travesty of justice. If prosecutors could not charge HSBC, they could charge individuals within the bank. And if they can’t charge HSBC without killing it and endangering the whole system, then something obviously needs to change. Here’s an idea: break up the big banks.

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Do drugs? Go to prison. Lauder billions for drug cartels? Pay a fine & continue business as usual.

Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,“ says Nabor, a 24-year-old pot grower … "But now they’re paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It’s a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground.
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Fighting Mexico’s Knights Templar Drug Cartel

Exactly a year ago today, February 24, 2013, in “Tierra Caliente,” Michoacán, a group of farmers and businessmen in two communities organized themselves to take up arms against the Knights Templar drug cartel. Tired of the absence of the rule of law, the lack of governability, and persistent corruption, they took matters into their hands and formed what they called “autodefensa” militias in towns of Tepalcatepec and La Ruana. In January, we returned to meet the militia leaders, to find out what is happening today in the region known as the Hot Land.

The goal of the self-defense movement was to do away with the extreme violence that gripped “Tierra Caliente.” The Knights Templar not only had control of the production of marijuana and methamphetamine in Michoacán, they also diversified to such a point that the local communities had to pay them extortion “taxes.” Kidnappings, assaults, and homicides became commonplace. 

The Knights Templar calls itself a “brotherhood” with its own statutes and codes. Its members use military-style uniforms modeled on the Middle Ages, and even its founding “spiritual” leader, Nazario Moreno, is venerated as a saint.

Little by little, the self-defense groups have expanded into places where the Templarios are strong. In each community they enter, they build barricades and set up checkpoints at every access point. They guard towns around the clock, armed with AK-47s, AR-15s, and other weapons that they claim were decommissioned from the Knights’ forces. However, some authorities have suggested that the self-defense groups are being armed by one of the Knights Templar’s rival cartels, Jalisco Nueva Generación. The “autodefensa” groups deny the claims.

A year after the self-defense uprising, the conflict continues. Negotiations with the government have led the militias to be folded into a little-known body within the government called the Rural Defense Forces. Yet, the principal leaders of the Knights Templar remain at large and uncertainty reigns over the Hot Land. The leadership of the self-defense militias has seen splits and ruptures, increasing the tension.

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Helmet cam footage of the raid that captured El Chapo.

Watch on thepoliticalnotebook.com

This is amazing…. Mexican child actors take on crime, gangs and the drug war in a short mockumentary featuring children in the roles of kidnappers, corrupt cops and gang members. Nicknamed Niños Incómodos, or Discomforting Children, they end the video with a statement by a young girl to Mexico’s presidential candidates: “If this is the future that awaits me, I don’t want it. Enough of working for your political parties instead of for us. Enough of cosmetic changes.” All the major candidates have responded by praising the video, although other politicians who have weighed in accuse the video of sensationalism for its provocative use of children.

The mockumentary (above) is in Spanish, and not subtitled, but even if you don’t speak Spanish, it’s fairly clear what’s happening on camera.

[MSNBC]