Friday, October 12, 2012

Mexican Drug Lord Terrorist Endorses Obama's OPEN and UNDEFENDED BORDERS With Narcomex






Ruthless Drug Lord Takes Control of Deadly Cartel

By RANDY KREIDER and MARK SCHONE | ABC News – 2 hrs 19 mins ago

ABC News - Ruthless Drug Lord Takes Control of Deadly Cartel (ABC News)

The new head of the Zetas drug cartel is a former Dallas resident who is scorned as a traitor by many of his own cartel soldiers and mocked as an ex-"car washer" by his enemies, but has risen to power thanks to a fearsome reputation for violence.

"[Miguel Angel Trevino Morales] is extremely brutal, to the point of sadism," says George Grayson, an expert on the Zetas. "He is prepared to advance his interest through unspeakable violence." Grayson's recent book on the cartel, "The Executioner's Men," opens with a scene in which Trevino Morales slowly beats a female police officer to death, in front of her colleagues, with a two-by-four.

Trevino Morales, also known as El 40 or the Monkey, became the uncontested head of the Mexico's most feared drug cartel when former kingpin Heriberto Lazcano was killed in a shootout with Mexican Marines on Sunday. Lazcano had been linked to hundreds of murders, including the massacre of 72 civilians, but Trevino Morales is allegedly even more bloodthirsty. One of his preferred methods of dealing with enemies, say authorities, is burning them alive.

Trevino Morales, 41, was born in Mexico but spent some of his formative years in Dallas, Texas, where authorities say he had a criminal record as a teenager. He has a dozen siblings and reportedly still has family in the Dallas area.

According to the Associated Press, he became a teen go-fer for the Los Tejas gang, which was powerful in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.

Trevino Morales joined the Zetas soon after their formation. The Zetas began in the late 1990s as the security wing of the Gulf Cartel. The 14 core members of the Zetas, including Heriberto Lazcano, all had military backgrounds, and took ranks based on when they'd joined the group. Lazcano was known as Z-3. By 2004, due to the death of Z-1 and the arrest of Z-2, Lazcano had become the leader of the Zetas.

Trevino Morales, who did not have a military background, got the designation 40, with his brother taking number 42. In 2005, Miguel Trevino Morales became the boss of the Nuevo Laredo "plaza," or drug territory.

As a newly minted underboss, Trevino Morales had traditional gangster tastes for fast cars, women and fancy guns, and reportedly liked to hunt game imported from Africa. He also, however, developed a developed a particular reputation for brutality in group already renowned for violence. His favored methods for dispatching enemies were dismembering them while still alive, or making them into a "guiso," or stew -- stuffing them in 55-gallon oil drums, adding gasoline and burning them alive.

By 2009, Trevino Morales had been named in multiple federal indictments in Texas, D.C. and New York for alleged crimes ranging from drug trafficking, kidnapping, and money laundering to ordering a half dozen murders in Laredo, Texas. The DEA offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction, and accused him of controlling more than 200 operatives and smuggling hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. weekly.

Early the next year, the Zetas finally split from the Gulf cartel after the Gulf Cartel crossed Trevino Morales. In January 2010, the Gulf Cartel tortured and killed one of his close friends. Trevino Morales responded with an ultimatum demanding that the cartel give up the killer. "Hand over the assassin of my friend," demanded Trevino Morales. "If you don't comply, there will be war."

The order was ignored, and Trevino Morales allegedly began killing members of the Gulf Cartel en masse. The Zetas, now an independent cartel with Trevino Morales second in command, were soon battling the Gulf Cartel for control of Northern Mexico, and winning.

Civil War Inside the Zetas Drug Cartel

By 2011, however, there was a schism within the new cartel between Trevino Morales and those loyal to Heriberto Lazcano. When Zetas boss "El Mamito," Enrique Rejon Aguilar, was arrested in July, he said that he had been betrayed. Though he did not name any names, the next month someone uploaded a slickly produced music video to YouTube that bluntly accused Trevino Morales of being a "Judas" who was disloyal to Lazcano and had betrayed Mamito and other Zetas to the authorities.

Addressed to all the members of "the Mafia," every major drug organization in Mexico by name, and to the general public, "The True Story of Z 40" uses a specially written "narcoballad" to detail the alleged offenses of Trevino Morales against his fellow Zetas, especially leader Heriberto Lazcano.

One of the first images in the five-minute video is a picture of Judas whispering in the ear of Jesus. It then shows repeated images of Trevino Morales with the words "El Judas" under his face, and displays arrest photos of all the Zetas bosses he has allegedly betrayed, who were "captured because they trusted Z 40." Intended as a warning to Lazcano, it asks "El Lazca" why he thinks so many of his underlings have been arrested.

The video also mocks Trevino Morales as a former car washer for Los Tejas, and plasters his face onto photos of police officers and a shiny-suited pop idol.

Rival groups have also disparaged Trevino Morales as a car washer. In March, Joaquin Guzman, AKA El Chapo or Shorty, the head of Mexico's other dominant drug organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, sent his men into Trevino Morales' territory to murder and dismember Zetas soldiers. He issued a public challenge to Trevino Morales on huge banners above the body parts of his victims.

One banner, accompanied by seven severed heads, accused Trevino Morales of failing to use his own head, and of being Heriberto Lazcano's jockstrap. "You will always be a car washer to me," said the banner, which was signed "El Chapo." Another mocked Trevino Morales as a shoeshine boy, car washer and traitor who killed innocent people.

In the summer of 2012, Trevino Morales' brother Jose, a U.S. citizen, was arrested in the U.S. for moneylaundering after allegedly channeling the Zetas's drug money through a successful horseracing operation. Not long after his arrest, the split within the Zetas apparently cost 14 lives. The survivor of a mass execution in San Luis Potosi state in mid-August said that the victims and the killers were Zetas. Authorities believe the massacre was revenge by Trevino Morales on "El Taliban," a leader opposed to EL 40's ascent.

By the end of August, U.S. officials began saying that Trevino Morales seemed to have merged as the winner in the Zetas' civil war, and had officially taken operational control of the Zetas in Mexico from Lazcano.

High-ranking Zetas then began to fall. El Taliban was arrested in late September, "The Squirrel" just last Saturday. Lazcano, who was attending a baseball game with two other men, died in a firefight on Sunday.

Grayson speculates that Trevino Morales may have shared information with U.S. authorities to get better treatment for his brother Jose, who is in U.S. custody.

Trevino Morales must now direct the Zetas against the combined strength of the Gulf Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel and other players, who have united to drive the Zetas from their "plazas." Grayson says that with Lazcano's death, El Chapo Guzman of the Sinaloa cartel will be aided in his primary goal of taking control of Nuevo Laredo, El 40's home base. Guzman has already dispatched what Grayson calls "shock troops" to help the Gulf Cartel fight the Zetas.

El Chapo's troops will be facing younger, less experienced, and less disciplined Zetas plaza bosses than in the past, says Grayson. But he also notes that the Zetas new leader, in addition to being more violent than his predecessor, may be more cautious and wily as well. "El 40," says Grayson, "would never have been at a baseball game."


Mexican cartels flood U.S. with cheap meth

Mexican drug cartels are quietly filling the void in the nation's drug market created by the long effort to crack down on American-made methamphetamine, flooding U.S. cities with exceptionally cheap, extraordinarily potent meth from factory-like "superlabs."

Associated Press


Mexican drug cartels are quietly filling the void in the nation's drug market created by the long effort to crack down on American-made methamphetamine, flooding U.S. cities with exceptionally cheap, extraordinarily potent meth from factory-like "superlabs."

Although Mexican meth is not new to the U.S. drug trade, it now accounts for as much as 80 percent of the meth sold here, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. And it is as much as 90 percent pure, a level that offers users a faster, more intense and longer-lasting high.

"These are sophisticated, high-tech operations in Mexico that are operating with extreme precision," said Jim Shroba, a DEA agent in St. Louis. "They're moving it out the door as fast as they can manufacture it."

The cartels are expanding into the U.S. meth market just as they did with heroin: developing an inexpensive, highly addictive form of the drug and sending it through the same pipeline already used to funnel marijuana and cocaine, authorities said.

Seizures of meth along the Southwest border have more than quadrupled during the last several years. DEA records reviewed by The Associated Press show that the amount of seized meth jumped from slightly more than 4,000 pounds in 2007 to more than 16,000 pounds in 2011.

During that same period, the purity of Mexican meth shot up too, from 39 percent in 2007 to 88 percent by 2011, according to DEA documents. The price fell 69 percent, tumbling from $290 per pure gram to less than $90.

Mexican meth has a clearer, glassier appearance than more crudely produced formulas and often resembles ice fragments, usually with a clear or bluish-white color. It often has a smell people compare to ammonia, cat urine or even burning plastic.

"You can look at it and see it has a much more pure look," said Paul Roach, a DEA agent in Denver.

The rise of Mexican meth doesn't mean American labs have disappeared. The number of U.S. meth labs continues to rise even as federal, state and local laws place heavy restrictions on the purchase of cold and allergy pills containing pseudoephedrine, a major component in the most common meth recipe.

The crackdowns that began a decade ago have made it more difficult to prepare large batches, so many American meth users have turned to a simpler method that uses a 2-liter soda bottle filled with just enough ingredients to produce a small amount of the drug for personal use.

But south of the border, meth is being made on an industrial scale. Sophisticated factories put out tons of the drug using formulas developed by professional chemists. The final product often is smuggled into the U.S. taped beneath tractor-trailers or hidden inside packages of other drugs.

While clandestine U.S. labs generally supply rural areas, Mexican meth is mostly targeted to urban and suburban users. Increasingly large quantities are turning up in dozens of American cities, including Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Chicago, St. Louis and Salt Lake City, according to the DEA.

The marketing format follows a well-established pattern. By simultaneously increasing the purity and cutting the price, the cartels get people hooked and create a new customer base.

"They're marketing geniuses," said Jack Riley, the agent in charge of the DEA office in Chicago.

When Illinois authorities recently confiscated 1,000 pounds of Mexican marijuana, they found 10 pounds of meth hidden among the pot - essentially a free sample for the distributor to give out to drug users, Riley said.

Until recently, meth was seldom seen in major urban areas, except in biker gangs and parts of the gay community, Riley said.

"We've never really seen it on the street like we've seen cocaine and heroin," Riley said. He worries that if the estimated 180,000 members of street gangs in Chicago get involved in meth trafficking, violence could follow.

Like the U.S., Mexico has tightened laws and regulations on pseudoephedrine, though some labs still are able to obtain large amounts from China and India. To fill the void, cartel chemists have turned to an old recipe known as P2P that first appeared in the 1960s and 1970s in some parts of the western U.S.

That recipe uses the organic compound phenylacetone. Because of its use in meth, the U.S. government made it a controlled substance in 1980, essentially stopping that form of meth in the U.S. But in Mexico, the cartels can get phenylacetone from other countries, DEA experts said.

In the third quarter of 2011, 85 percent of lab samples taken from U.S. meth seizures came from the P2P process - up from 50 percent a little more than a year earlier, DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said.

Federal agents say the influx of meth from Mexico illustrates the difficulty of waging a two-front war on the drug in neighboring countries. When one source of the drug is dealt a setback, other suppliers step in to satisfy relentless demand.

Considering the relatively untapped market of bigger American cities, the rise of Mexican meth is not surprising, said Illinois State University criminologist Ralph Weisheit, a meth expert.

"It's something that was inevitable," Weisheit said. "This wasn't hard to predict."

American authorities are not the only ones taking notice. The sharp spike in meth activity also is evident from the other side of the border. Seizures of labs and chemicals have increased nearly 1,000 percent in the past two years.

Last year, Mexican authorities made two major busts in the quiet central state of Queretaro, seizing nearly 500 tons of precursor chemicals and 3.4 tons of pure meth with a street value of more than $100 million. In Sinaloa, investigators found a sophisticated underground lab equipped with an elevator and ventilation systems as well as cooking and sleeping facilities. The facility was reachable only by a nearly 100-foot tunnel with its opening concealed under a tractor shed.

And in February, soldiers in western Mexico made a historic seizure: 15 tons of pure methamphetamine, a haul that could have supplied 13 million doses worth more than $4 billion.

The meth problem is spilling into other parts of Latin America too. In December and January, Mexican authorities seized nearly 900 tons of precursor chemicals at Mexican ports, almost all of it bound for Guatemala, which seized about 1,600 tons of meth precursors in 2011 - four times the 400 tons seized there a year earlier.

For now, cocaine remains far and away the cartels' most profitable drug. The RAND Corp. estimates the annual street value of cocaine is about $30 billion, heroin about $20 billion and meth about $5 billion.

But cocaine is getting more expensive and less pure. According to the DEA, the price per pure gram of cocaine rose 59 percent from 2007 through September 2011. At the same time, the purity level dropped 25 percent.

Cocaine also typically comes from Colombia, meaning Mexican cartels serve as middle men who compete against each other to smuggle it into the U.S. That marginalizes their profits.

Because methamphetamine is a synthetic drug the cartels can make for themselves, the profit potential is enormous.

"It's not plant-based," Weisheit said. "It can be completely produced in Mexico. It's very compact, and that makes it easy to smuggle."


Associated Press writers Mark Stevenson in Mexico City and Christopher Sherman in McAllen, Texas, contributed to this report.


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