Monday, April 23, 2012


Posted: 23 Apr 2012 08:21 AM PDT

Here's a short report from Al Jazeera on what Mexican drug lords do with their profits. It notes that the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has slapped sanctions on some 500 business entities in Mexico due to alleged links to the narcotics trade. It also notes something about the empty restaurants that seem to stay in business endlessly: They may be fronts for organized crime.



“He told about marijuana and cocaine routes to California, New York and the Great Lakes. He described the shooting deaths of 30 people at a horse track in Mexico, and a hidden mass grave with 20 bodies, including two U.S. residents.”

From a Mexican kingpin to an FBI informant

After agents arrest a drug cartel chieftain named Jesus Audel Miramontes-Varela, he becomes one of the bureau's most valuable sources of information, according to confidential interview reports.

By Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times

8:12 PM PDT, April 21, 2012

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WASHINGTON — Police and federal agents pulled the car over in a suburb north of Denver. An FBI agent showed his badge. The driver appeared not startled at all. "My friend," he said, "I have been waiting for you."

And with that, Jesus Audel Miramontes-Varela stepped out of his white 2002 BMW X5 and into the arms of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Over the next several days at his ranch in Colorado and an FBI safe house in Albuquerque, the Mexican cartel chieftain — who had reputedly fed one of his victims to lions in Mexico — was transformed into one of the FBI's top informants on the Southwest border.

Around a dining room table in August 2010, an FBI camera whirring above, the 34-year-old Miramontes-Varela confessed his leadership in the Juarez cartel, according to 75 pages of confidential FBI interview reports obtained by The Times/Tribune Washington Bureau.

He told about marijuana and cocaine routes to California, New York and the Great Lakes. He described the shooting deaths of 30 people at a horse track in Mexico, and a hidden mass grave with 20 bodies, including two U.S. residents.

He told them about his African lions, which he had acquired as circus cubs. The story about feeding one of his enemies to them was false, he claimed, but he said he had seen plenty of "violence and suffering." He told agents he was desperate to trade his knowledge for government protection. He wanted a new life for himself and his wife and three daughters.

A week later Miramontes-Varela pleaded guilty in federal court in New Mexico to a minor felony as an illegal immigrant in possession of a firearm. Then he disappeared, almost certainly into the federal witness protection program.

FBI officials in Arizona and Washington declined to comment about Miramontes-Varela, citing bureau policy against discussing informants. But the documents tell plenty.

During the interview sessions, Miramontes-Varela "provided significant information about drug trafficking activity," the documents said, leading to several successful unnamed law enforcement operations in the U.S. and Mexico.


After Miramontes-Varela was stopped in Brighton, Colo., agents took him back to his ranch. They advised him and his wife, Mari, that he was "the subject of an FBI investigation for his involvement in drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, money laundering and the interstate transportation of stolen property."

In Spanish, they read him his Miranda rights. He called an attorney; they spoke quietly in Spanish. Miramontes-Varela hung up and turned to the agents. "Yes," he said. "He told me to do as much as I can for you."

Miramontes-Varela signed the Miranda waiver and looked up at the agents. He asked, "Where do you want to start?"

First, they said, any guns?

Miramontes-Varela mentioned a black 9-millimeter semiautomatic Glock pistol he said he bought after being shot at in El Paso. The agents asked to see it. "Yes, yes, no problem," he said. He walked to a floor safe in a far corner of the living room, unlocked it and handed the weapon over.

Agents drove the couple to the FBI safe house in Albuquerque. Inside, they pointed to two cameras. One was in the master bedroom, where Miramontes-Varela and his wife would stay. Agents showed that that it was unplugged and that they had covered it with a white plastic bag. "Very nice," Miramontes-Varela said.

Miramontes-Varela talked to them around the dining room table. That is where the other camera was. It stayed on.


His story poured out. He was born the third of 10 children in Terrero, Mexico, and grew up in Namiquipa, northern Mexico. He married when he was 18, his bride 15. They sneaked though Nogales, Ariz., coming to the U.S., he said, "to make money."

They settled in Denver. Miramontes-Varela installed drywall. But in the late 1990s a brother, Yovany, lost an arm in a tractor mishap, and Miramontes-Varela returned home. He grew apples and traded in cattle.

In early 2002, he said, the Juarez cartel came to Namiquipa. Pedro Sanchez, known as El Tigre, controlled things. He offered Miramontes-Varela a job collecting a monthly $35,000 "tax" from marijuana growers.

Every 15 days, growers carted 20 tons to a local warehouse. It was shipped north through El Paso, the proceeds funneled back to the cartel and the growers.

One day the military arrived and gunfire ensued. "The mayor and town treasurer were killed," Miramontes-Varela said. Later, El Tigre was arrested.

In 2008, Miramontes-Varela said, he fled with his family to El Paso. When he failed to return, the cartel burned his ranch and stole his cattle, all 120 cows. He was done with the violence, he said.


That part, according to the FBI, was not true. Miramontes-Varela shuffled between ranches in New Mexico and Colorado, they said, often in an armored car with bodyguards, and set up his own drug- and gun-smuggling operation.

When a courier was arrested with 18 kilos of cocaine, Miramontes-Varela offered the man's family the choice of one of his 16 homes in Mexico, including his "big house," according to telephone wiretaps outlined in the documents.

In March 2010, the FBI listed him as head of the "Miramontes-Varela Drug Trafficking Organization," tied to the Juarez, Sinaloa and Los Zetas cartels. From two confidential sources and two wiretaps, agents learned that his organization had stolen tractors in the U.S. and driven them to Mexico as payment for lost loads. One debt alone reached $670,000. They learned that one of Miramontes-Varela's bosses in Mexico, "Temoc," was tortured and killed by the Sinaloans.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also wanted him arrested. It had tracked $250,000 in illegal gun purchases to Miramontes-Varela and his brother through its ill-fated Fast and Furious gun-smuggling surveillance operation in Arizona.

FBI agents rigged a 24-hour pole camera outside his ranch near Santa Teresa, N.M. But Miramontes-Varela figured it out. Five of his men in two vehicles followed a surveillance agent for 90 minutes, then slashed his tire.

More ominously, the FBI learned Miramontes-Varela and his organization had bribed U.S. officials in El Paso and New Mexico. They decided it was time to bring him in.

On Aug. 18, 2010, they followed him from his Colorado farm. He briefly visited a Walgreens, then the State Patrol pulled him over. The time was 11:20 a.m. They had him.


In the safe house dining room, agents brought out maps, and Miramontes-Varela sketched in smuggling routes. He said weapons were easily acquired in this country, including .50-caliber rifles. "Good for long-range sniper fire," he said.

He filled in the cartel hierarchies too. One chieftain had arm and shoulder scars from bullet wounds. At the horse track murders, the chieftain wore a mask. Some switched sides; others died when loads went missing.

And he told them about that mass grave in Palomas, Mexico. Authorities dug up 20 decaying corpses. Miramontes-Varela, the FBI's new informant, was right.


Pinal County Sheriff: Mexican drug cartels now control parts of Arizona

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Posted: 06/11/2010

CASA GRANDE, AZ - Two men shot earlier this week could be the result of the ongoing battle between Mexican drug cartels now spilling over deep into Arizona, officials say.

Pinal County investigators say  an area  known as the smuggling corridor now stretches from Mexico's border to metro Phoenix.

The area , once an area for family hiking and off road vehicles has government signs warning residents of the drug and human smugglers.

Night vision cameras have photographed military armed cartel members delivering drugs to vehicles along Highway 8.

"We are three counties deep. How is it that you see pictures like these, not American with semi and fully automatic rifles. How is that okay?" asked Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Babeu said he no longer has control over parts of his county.

"We are outgunned, we are out manned and we don't have the resources here locally to fight this," he said at a Friday news conference.

Five weeks ago Deputy Louie Puroll was ambushed and shot as he tracked six drug smugglers. 

Sheriff Babeu said the ambush mirrored military tactics.

Even more disturbing, Babeu said the man who called in to 911 operators for help seemed to know a lot about the sheriff deputy's case.

"He told operators they could find him where the deputy was shot and talked about our search helicopter. Things that were talked about on the news," Babeu said.

When operators asked the fatally wounded man how he knew the area, he claimed he sold cantelope near mile post 150.

Both men were found dead several hours later.

Detectives say next to them was a Bushmaster automatic rifle used by police officers for patrolling. It does not appear to be stolen.

Investigators also revealed that an autopsy showed strap marks on one of the men that likely came from hauling heavy loads, they suspect were drugs.

One of the men, deputies say, was voluntarily deported seven times.

Babeu said he doesn't believe the drug cartel problems will not be solved when SB 1070 becomes a law, or with President Obama's promise of 1,200 troops spread out among four border states.

"It will fall short. What is truly needed in 3,000 soldiers for Arizona alone," Babeu said.



What is the response of Barack Obama, who took an oath to see to it that federal laws are faithfully executed?

He is siding with the law-breakers. He is pandering to the ethnic lobbies. He is not berating a Mexican regime that aids and abets this invasion of the country of which he is commander in chief. Instead, he attacks the government of Arizona for trying to fill a gaping hole in law enforcement left by his own dereliction of duty.


Whose Country Is This?

Pat Buchanan
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

With the support of 70 percent of its citizens, Arizona has ordered sheriffs and police to secure the border and remove illegal aliens, half a million of whom now reside there.

Arizona acted because the U.S. government has abdicated its constitutional duty to protect the states from invasion and refuses to enforce America's immigration laws.

"We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," said Gov. Jan Brewer. "But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created an unacceptable situation."

We have a crisis in Arizona because we have a failed state in Washington.

What is the response of Barack Obama, who took an oath to see to it that federal laws are faithfully executed?

He is siding with the law-breakers. He is pandering to the ethnic lobbies. He is not berating a Mexican regime that aids and abets this invasion of the country of which he is commander in chief. Instead, he attacks the government of Arizona for trying to fill a gaping hole in law enforcement left by his own dereliction of duty.

He has denounced Arizona as "misguided." He has called on the Justice Department to ensure that Arizona's sheriffs and police do not violate anyone's civil rights. But he has said nothing about the rights of the people of Arizona who must deal with the costs of having hundreds of thousands of lawbreakers in their midst.

How's that for Andrew Jackson-style leadership?

Obama has done everything but his duty to enforce the law.

Undeniably, making it a state as well as a federal crime to be in this country illegally, and requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they have a "reasonable suspicion" is here illegally, is tough and burdensome. But what choice did Arizona have?

The state has a fiscal crisis caused in part by the burden of providing schooling and social welfare for illegals and their families, who consume far more in services than they pay in taxes and who continue to pour in. Even John McCain is now calling for 3,000 troops on the border.

Police officers and a prominent rancher have been murdered. There have been kidnappings believed to be tied to the Mexican drug cartels. There are nightly high-speed chases through the barrios where innocent people are constantly at risk.

If Arizona does not get control of the border and stop the invasion, U.S. citizens will stop coming to Arizona and will begin to depart, as they are already fleeing California.

A country that cannot control its borders isn't really a country anymore, Ronald Reagan reminded us.

What we are talking about here is the Balkanization and breakup of a nation into ethnic enclaves. A country that cannot control its borders isn't really a country anymore, Ronald Reagan reminded us.

The tasks that Arizonans are themselves undertaking are ones that belong by right, the Constitution and federal law to the Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Homeland Security.

Arizona has been compelled to assume the feds' role because the feds won't do their job. And for that dereliction of duty the buck stops on the desk of the president of the United States.

Why is Obama paralyzed? Why does he not enforce the law, even if he dislikes it, by punishing the businessmen who hire illegals and by sending the 12 million to 20 million illegals back home? President Eisenhower did it. Why won't he?




Because he is politically correct. Because he owes a big debt to the Hispanic lobby that helped deliver two-thirds of that vote in 2008. Though most citizens of Hispanic descent in Arizona want the border protected and the laws enforced, the Hispanic lobby demands that the law be changed.

Fair enough. But the nation rose up as one to reject the "path-to-citizenship" -- i.e., amnesty -- that the 2007 plan of George W. Bush, McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama envisioned.

Al Sharpton threatens to go to Phoenix and march in the streets against the new Arizona law. Let him go.


Let us see how many African-Americans, who are today frozen out of the 8 million jobs held by illegal aliens that might otherwise go to them or their children, will march to defend an invasion for which they are themselves paying the heaviest price.

Last year, while Americans were losing a net of 5 million jobs, the U.S. government -- Bush and Obama both -- issued 1,131,000 green cards to legal immigrants to come and take the jobs that did open up, a flood of immigrants equaled in only four other years in our history.

What are we doing to our own people?

Whose country is this, anyway?

America today has an establishment that, because it does not like the immigration laws, countenances and condones wholesale violation of those laws.

Nevertheless, under those laws, the U.S. government is obligated to deport illegal aliens and punish businesses that knowingly hire them.

This is not an option. It is an obligation.

Can anyone say Barack Obama is meeting that obligation?


The Administration's Phantom Immigration Enforcement Policy

According to DHS’s own reports, very little of our nation’s borders (Southwestern or otherwise) are secure, and gaining control is not even a goal of the department.

By Ira Mehlman
Published on 12/07/2009

The setting was not quite the flight deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln with a “Mission Accomplished” banner as the backdrop, but it was the next best thing. Speaking at the Center for American Progress (CAP) on Nov. 13, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared victory over illegal immigration and announced that the Obama administration is ready to move forward with a mass amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens already living in the United States.

Arguing the Obama administration’s case for amnesty, Napolitano laid out what she described as the “three-legged stool” for immigration reform. As the administration views it, immigration reform must include “a commitment to serious and effective enforcement, improved legal flows for families and workers, and a firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here.”

Acknowledging that a lack of confidence in the government’s ability and commitment to effectively enforce the immigration laws it passes proved to be the Waterloo of previous efforts to gain amnesty for illegal aliens, Napolitano was quick to reassure the American public that those concerns could be put to rest.

“For starters, the security of the Southwest border has been transformed from where it was in 2007,” stated the secretary. Not only is the border locked up tight, she continued, but the situation is well in-hand in the interior of the country as well. “We’ve also shown that the government is serious and strategic in its approach to enforcement by making changes in how we enforce the law in the interior of the country and at worksites…Furthermore, we’ve transformed worksite enforcement to truly address the demand side of illegal immigration.”

If Rep. Joe Wilson had been in attendance to hear Secretary Napolitano’s CAP speech he might well have had a few choice comments to offer. But since he wasn’t, we will have to rely on the Department of Homeland Security’s own data to assess the veracity of Napolitano’s claims.

According to DHS’s own reports, very little of our nation’s borders (Southwestern or otherwise) are secure, and gaining control is not even a goal of the department. DHS claims to have “effective control” over just 894 miles of border. That’s 894 out of 8,607 miles they are charged with protecting. As for the other 7,713 miles? DHS’s stated border security goal for FY 2010 is the same 894 miles.

The administration’s strategic approach to interior and worksite enforcement is just as chimerical as its strategy at the border, unless one considers shuffling paper to be a strategy. DHS data, released November 18, show that administrative arrests of immigration law violators fell by 68 percent between 2008 and 2009. The department also carried out 60 percent fewer arrests for criminal violations of immigration laws, 58 percent fewer criminal indictments, and won 63 percent fewer convictions.

While the official unemployment rate has climbed from 7.6 percent when President Obama took office in January to 10 percent today, the administration’s worksite enforcement strategy has amounted to a bureaucratic game of musical chairs. The administration has all but ended worksite enforcement actions and replaced them with paperwork audits. When the audits determine that illegal aliens are on the payroll, employers are given the opportunity to fire them with little or no adverse consequence to the company, while no action is taken to remove the illegal workers from the country. The illegal workers simply acquire a new set of fraudulent documents and move on to the next employer seeking workers willing to accept substandard wages.

In Janet Napolitano’s alternative reality a mere 10 percent of our borders under “effective control” and sharp declines in arrests and prosecutions of immigration lawbreakers may be construed as confidence builders, but it is hard to imagine that the American public is going to see it that way. If anything, the administration’s record has left the public less confident that promises of future immigration enforcement would be worth the government paper they’re printed on.

As Americans scrutinize the administration’s plans to overhaul immigration policy, they are likely to find little in the “three-legged stool” being offered that they like or trust. The first leg – enforcement – the administration has all but sawed off. The second – increased admissions of extended family members and workers – makes little sense with some 25 million Americans either unemployed or relegated to part-time work. And the third – amnesty for millions of illegal aliens – is anathema to their sense of justice and fair play.

As Americans well know, declaring “Mission Accomplished” and actually accomplishing a mission are two completely different things. When it comes to enforcing immigration laws, the only message the public is receiving from this administration is “Mission Aborted.”


Lou Dobbs Tonight
Thursday, May 28, 2009

 Plus drug cartel violence is spreading across our border with Mexico further into the United States. Mexican drug cartels are increasingly being linked to crimes in this country. Joining Lou tonight, from our border with Mexico is the new “border czar” Alan Bersin, the Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs.



Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, September 28, 2009

And T.J. BONNER, president of the National Border Patrol Council, will weigh in on the federal government’s decision to pull nearly 400 agents from the U.S.-Mexican border. As always, Lou will take your calls to discuss the issues that matter most-and to get your thoughts on where America is headed.


“According to a report President Felipe Calderon gave to Congress this month, just 12% of criminal investigations under his administration have ended in convictions. Government figures obtained by The Associated Press earlier this year show that three-quarters of the drug suspects arrested since Calderon took office in late 2006 have been freed.”






Organized Crime in Mexico Jeopardizes Prosperity of North America, Mexico’s President Says

Friday, March 04, 2011
Edwin Mora

A man is reflected in a bullet riddled window of a gym in Tijuana, Mexico, Monday Feb. 28, 2011. According to police at the scene, a man was shot to death by unknown gunmen inside the gym while he was working out. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

Washington ( - Mexican President Felipe Calderon, during his visit to Washington, D.C., this week, said that organized crime in Mexico threatens the “future prosperity” of the entire North American region.

“Now more than ever we cannot ignore the fact that organized crime is a trans-national problem,” he said on Thursday at a forum sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. “It has its origins on both sides of the border. It’s a clear and present danger to all our citizens.

“It’s clear to me that the solution must come from both sides of the border,” he said. “We have found renewed cooperation to face this problem in the Obama administration, but there’s no doubt that more must be done and very soon.”

“Make no mistake, the future prosperity of Mexico, the U.S., and the North American region is at stake,” he added. “Mexico is fully committed to doing our part.”

The Mexican leader said that the United States must do more to curtail its demand for drugs, dismantle the financial operations of criminal groups, and put a stop to the “uncontrolled sale of assault weapons to criminals,” which, Calderon said, are being used against citizens and law enforcement from both Mexico and the United States.

Calderon highlighted the death of Jaime Zapata, a U.S. special agent who was allegedly killed in Mexico by members of a drug cartel, as an example of the mortal toll that is part of fighting organized crime. 

“As we anticipated, the fight against organized crime takes time. It costs money, and suddenly human life as well, such as the case with Special Agent Jaime Zapata who died recently [in Mexico] at the hands of merciless gunmen while helping to make North America a safer place,” said Calderon. 

He pointed out that many members of the Mexican military and police force have also lost their lives to combating organized crime and keeping drugs out of Mexico and the United States.

The public forum that was sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars followed Calderon’s visit with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders.




30 Gulf cartel suspects captured in north Mexico 

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican marines captured 30 suspected Gulf cartel members and seized an arsenal of weapons during two days of raids in a northern border state torn by drug gang battles, officials announced Wednesday.

The marines, acting on intelligence obtained by the navy and other agencies, conducted the raids in Matamoros and Reynosa, two cities across the border from Texas in the state of Tamaulipas, Rear Adm. Jose Luis Vergara said.

The troops seized more than 50 guns, two shoulder-fired rocket launchers, 21 grenades and ammunition.

The 30 suspects, including one woman, were paraded before reporters at an air base in Mexico City, handcuffed and flanked by masked marines in black-and-white combat gear. They were lined up in front of a helicopter, the arsenal of weapons laid out in front of them.

Despite the display, the navy gave no indication of how significant the arrests were in the government's efforts to destroy the Gulf cartel, which is waging a bloody turf war in Tamaulipas with its former ally, the Zetas gang of hit men.

Vergara said all 30 are believed to belong to the Gulf cartel but gave no details on their alleged roles in the gang. He took no questions.

Parading drug suspects in front of the media is a near-weekly ritual in Mexico that has come under increasing criticism from human rights groups.

Last week, opposition politicians grilled Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna about the practice during a congressional hearing, calling it propaganda meant to deflect the public's concerns over the power of drug gangs.

According to a report President Felipe Calderon gave to Congress this month, just 12% of criminal investigations under his administration have ended in convictions. Government figures obtained by The Associated Press earlier this year show that three-quarters of the drug suspects arrested since Calderon took office in late 2006 have been freed.

Drug-gang violence has claimed 28,000 lives since December 2006, when Calderon deployed thousands of troops and federal police seeking to wrest territory from the drug lords.

Since the split between the Gulf and Zetas gangs this year, Tamaulipas and neighboring Nuevo Leon state have seen some of the most horrific attacks, including the assassination of a gubernatorial candidate and several mayors and the August massacre of 72 migrants.

In the latest violence, attackers threw an explosive at city hall in Matamoros early Wednesday, injuring three people, the federal Attorney General's Office said.


Obama Quietly Erasing Borders (Article)


Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, September 28, 2009

And T.J. BONNER, president of the National Border Patrol Council, will weigh in on the federal government’s decision to pull nearly 400 agents from the U.S.-Mexican border. As always, Lou will take your calls to discuss the issues that matter most-and to get your thoughts on where America is headed.


By Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic

On May 9, a 15-year-old girl walked into Arizona through the San Luis port of entry, near Yuma, with 5 pounds of marijuana strapped around her belly, Customs and Border Protection records show.

She was busted by customs officers.

Later that day, a 16-year-old boy tried the same thing with 2 pounds of cannabis taped to his legs. He, too, was arrested.

The marijuana, with a combined street value of $72,000, was confiscated.

The juveniles — both U.S. citizens — were turned over to police, but others keep taking their place.

In the past two years, Homeland Security officials have witnessed a disturbing development along the Mexican border: kid smugglers.

"It's going up," said Michael Lowrie, a public-affairs agent for the U.S. Border Patrol. "Not a whole lot, but more than we've seen in, well, pretty much ever."

The Border Patrol does not keep data on juvenile drug runners caught trying to sneak into Arizona. Customs and Border Protection records show 130 minors were caught attempting to bring drugs through entry ports from Sonora into Arizona during fiscal 2009, an 83% increase over the previous year.

Teresa Small, a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman in San Luis, said narcotics organizations are recruiting American teens with claims that they won't face major punishment if caught.

"Drug-trafficking organizations lead them to believe they will not have a substantial sentence," Small said. Prison terms are not uncommon for teen smugglers.

The problem escalated last year to a point where federal and local authorities created programs to warn Yuma County students about the dangers and consequences of drug smuggling. The federal campaign includes a presentation by border agents.

Judge Maria Elena Cruz said she has noticed a surge of young smugglers who are stunned when she orders them incarcerated.

Small said most of the youthful offenders are Americans with family members in Mexico. She said port officers generally refer suspects to local authorities for prosecution under Arizona law, rather than to the federal justice system.

"One thing for sure: They will get the hardest punishment possible," Small said.

Still, the cases pile up.

On June 24, Customs and Border Protection reported, a 16-year-old American boy was arrested at the San Luis port of entry with cocaine taped to his leg.

"They think they're going to get away with it or get a slap on the wrist," Lowrie



Gov. Brewer: Most border-crossers are drug 'mules' for Mexican cartels

Expanding on comments made at a candidates' debate, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said today she believes that most illegal immigrants crossing the border are "mules" carrying drugs for Mexican cartels.

"I believe today, under the circumstances that we're facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in," Brewer told the Associated Press.

"There's strong information to us that they come as illegal people wanting to come to work. Then they are accosted and they become subjects of the drug cartel," she said.

During the June 15 Republican debate she said she believed that most illegal immigrants did not enter the United States for work. She then associated illegal immigrants with drug smuggling, drop houses, extortion and other criminal activity, according to AP.

The state law she signed making it a crime to be in Arizona illegally will take effect next month.




Lou Dobbs Tonight
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon started his crackdown on drug cartels and corrupt law enforcement two years ago, more than 4,000 people have been killed. The death toll among law
enforcement has topped 500. Kidnappings and violence are spreading across the border, and now the AP reports Mexican cartels have green-lighted hits against targets in the U.S. We’ll talk to Phoenix police about becoming the kidnapping capital of the nation and the rapid increase in other crimes linked to Mexico the city is coping with.


Lou Dobbs Tonight
 Monday, June 16, 2008

 Tonight, we’ll have all the latest on the devastating floods in the Midwest and all the day’s news from the campaign trail. The massive corporate mouthpiece the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is holding a “North American Forum” to lay out its “shared vision” for the United States, Canada and Mexico – which is to say a borderless, pro-business super-state in which U.S. sovereignty will be dissolved. Undercover investigators have found incredibly lax security and enforcement at U.S. border crossings, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. This report comes on the heels of a separate report by U.C. San Diego that shows tougher border security efforts aren’t deterring illegal entries to the United States.


Lou Dobbs Tonight    

And there are some 800,000 gang members in this country: That’s more than the combined number of troops in our Army and Marine Corps. These gangs have become one of the principle ways to import and distribute drugs in the United States. Congressman David Reichert joins Lou to tell us why those gangs are growing larger and stronger, and why he’s introduced legislation to eliminate the top three international drug gangs.



Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, September 28, 2009

And T.J. BONNER, president of the National Border Patrol Council, will weigh in on the federal government’s decision to pull nearly 400 agents from the U.S.-Mexican border. As always, Lou will take your calls to discuss the issues that matter most-and to get your thoughts on where America is headed.



Obama soft on illegals enforcement

Arrests of illegal immigrant workers have dropped precipitously under President Obama, according to figures released Wednesday. Criminal arrests, administrative arrests, indictments and convictions of illegal immigrants at work sites all fell by more than 50 percent from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2009.

The figures show that Mr. Obama has made good on his pledge to shift enforcement away from going after illegal immigrant workers themselves - but at the expense of Americans' jobs, said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the Republican who compiled the numbers from the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Mr. Smith, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said a period of economic turmoil is the wrong time to be cutting enforcement and letting illegal immigrants take jobs that Americans otherwise would hold.


From the Los Angeles Times

Less cocaine on U.S. streets, report says

The National Drug Threat Assessment cites increased drug seizures on smuggling routes and Mexico's war on organized crime.

By Richard Marosi

December 16, 2008

Reporting from San Diego — Mexican drug trafficking organizations are expanding their control of U.S. markets but appear to be struggling to keep cocaine and other illegal drugs on American streets, according to a government report released Monday.

Cocaine remains the leading drug threat, though marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal substance, according to the National Drug Threat Assessment report. Profits from those drugs, along with methamphetamine, heroin and others, range from $18 billion to $39 billion for Mexican and Colombian trafficking groups.

Cocaine availability continued to decline in many cities, a trend the report attributed to Mexico's ongoing battles with traffickers and to increased seizures by U.S. authorities. The shortages have pushed the price of cocaine up 41% since 2006, from $87 to $123 per gram, the report said.

Meanwhile, some methamphetamine production appears to be shifting back to the U.S. after successful efforts by Mexico to crack down on the precursor drugs needed to produce the drug there, according to the report.

The study, along with a recent survey by the University of Michigan showing drug use as reported by high school students had declined 25% since 2001, was cited by the Bush administration as evidence of progress in curbing drug availability and use.

"There will be more work done after I'm out of here," President Bush said last week after a meeting on drug use reduction, "but we have laid the foundation for a successful effort against drug use, drug supply and helping those who have been addicted."

Critics say the administration's strategy has failed to curb America's enormous appetite for drugs, through prevention and treatment. In 2008, the federal government spent $13.6 billion on drug control, with 64% going toward law enforcement. About 36%, or $4.9 billion, was aimed at treatment and prevention.

"At the very best it's containing the problem, not solving it," said Mauricio Cardenas, director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank. "Focusing entirely on supply and eradication is not taking us too far. We have to bring demand and consumption into the picture."

From 2003 to 2007, cocaine production in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru increased from 790 to 865 metric tons, the report said. Less cocaine reached America's streets in 2007 in part because of several exceptionally large seizures of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific route, the report said.

The Mexican government's offensive on organized crime appears to be disrupting traditional trafficking routes, with cartels increasingly moving drugs through California rather than Texas, according to the report. Cocaine seizures in 2007 at California ports of entry exceeded the totals in Texas for the first time since 2004, according to the report.

Marijuana continues to be America's illegal drug of choice; levels of marijuana use are higher than any other drug. Meanwhile the average potency of marijuana increased in 2006 to the highest levels ever recorded, in part because of improvements in cultivation techniques, the report said.




Posted by Kim Priestap

Can you believe the nerve of these people? Nine state legislators from the Mexican state of Sonora traveled to Tucson to complain about Arizona's new employer crackdown on illegals from Mexico. It seems many Mexican illegals are now returning to their hometowns and the officials in the Sonora state government are ticked. A delegation of nine state legislators from Sonora was in Tucson on Tuesday to say Arizona's new employer sanctions law will have a devastating effect on the Mexican state. At a news conference, the legislators said Sonora - Arizona's southern neighbor, made up of mostly small towns - cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers here return to their hometowns without jobs or money. The law, which took effect Jan.1, punishes employers who knowingly hire individuals who don't have valid legal documents to work in the United States. Penalties include suspension or loss of a business license. They're teed off because their own citizens are returning to their hometowns, placing a huge burden on their state government. They want to tell them how the law will affect Mexican families on both sides of the border 'How can they pass a law like this?' asked Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano- Gamez, who represents Nogales. 'There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona,' she said in Spanish. 'Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems' it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs, she said. ' We are one family, socially and economically,' she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona. Wrong!!! The United States is a sovereign nation and its states and its citizens are not responsible for the welfare of Mexico's citizens. It's time for the Mexican government to stop parasitically feeding off of the United States and start taking care of its own citizens. Too bad all the states don't pass a law just like it. Maybe that's the answer since congress will not do anything.


“I know that many aliens who come here to work want to remain here, yet all too many come to the United States with a "looter" philosophy, giving the lawful immigrants who want to share in the “American Dream” a bad reputation.” Recently I wrote a commentary about the movement of cash out of the United States through remittances and other methods by illegal aliens who came here with the single-minded focus of securing illegal employment to send money home to assist their family members. The amounts of money that are consequently drained from our economy are huge and do not include the other costs our nation incurs because of the 40 million illegal aliens who are estimated to be residing and working in our country illegally. This article, originally published in the Christian Science Monitor, focuses on the impact of the reduction in the value of the dollar on the illegal aliens who are draining billions of dollars out of our nation's economy – but nothing is said about the impact of this loss of money on the economy of the United States and on the ability of the average American to meet his expenses. So-called "man in the street" interviews of lottery ticket purchasers (that broadcast journalists frequently conduct when lottery jackpots soar into the stratosphere) often include a person with a distinctive foreign accent (not necessary Spanish) and the question is asked, "If you win the $120 million prize what will you do?" In so many of those cases, the answer is quick and to the point, "I am going home to my country!" In my former INS experience, it was not uncommon for the illegal aliens I arrested to make it clear that they were here for one purpose: to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible and send it all home. I know that many aliens who come here to work want to remain here, yet all too many come to the United States with a "looter" philosophy, giving the lawful immigrants who want to share in the “American Dream” a bad reputation. Part of the problem is that the relationship that businesses have with the United States is one of greed. These companies couldn't care less about the damage that they do to this country or the average working American. They are happy to exploit the illegal aliens and in so doing, get a lucrative piece of the action. And the bankers and money wire services like Western Union have become the silent partners of the illegal aliens. Of course, if the American dollar plummets far enough many illegal aliens will probably just head home, leaving this country in financial disarray. But when you read about the amounts of money being sent out of the United States that is lost to our economy, you must realize that the money you are reading about is not being earned by Americans or by lawful immigrants, because they have been displaced by illegal aliens who are willing to work for substandard wages. Unfortunately, Congress has just passed what has been billed as an "Economic Stimulus Package." This bill will undoubtedly be signed into law by the President and will call for taxpayers to be mailed one-time rebate checks that (it is hoped) will be used to spend on consumer goods that – get this – for the most part are not even produced in the United States. A large part of the problem we are having right now is that Americans are not saving enough money. Our citizens have been cashing in the value of their homes with second mortgages and huge credit card debts and now, the value of most of those houses has fallen into the basement! There is an utter lack of fiscal responsibility in abundant evidence in Washington and around kitchen tables across the United States and meanwhile, the front runners in the Presidential elections are eager to provide amnesty and thus more incentives for still more illegal aliens to drain still more money out of our economy. They will do this through remittances and other means of sending money back home. They will do this when they show up in the emergency rooms of hospitals across our nation demanding medical treatment without medical insurance. The criminal element of this massive influx of illegal aliens will injure and kill more victims in our country, destroying lives and the lives of family members of the victims of those crimes. Some of the crimes will also result in property losses and in fraud. Identity theft is the fastest growing white collar crime in America today and is often motivated by organized rings that sell these stolen identities to illegal aliens seeking illegal employment. The Congressional Budget Office has recently done a study that concludes that contrary to the assertions of the open borders / pro-amnesty crowd, illegal aliens represent a net drain on the economy. Finally, the attacks of September 11, 2001, in addition to the death and destruction they wrought, hammered our economy and the economies of other countries. Trade suffered, travel and tourism suffered – yet the travel and hospitality industries are pushing a program known as "Discover America" wherein they are attempting to have the United States government expand the Visa Waiver Program beyond the current 27 participating countries to as many as 39 countries.


In the end, the United States and its working poor and middle class that is shouldering the greatest burden of the open borders and cash movement mess. Interestingly, with all of the interviews that were conducted in the article linked above, not a single interview was conducted to find out what the impact of the decline of the dollar has had on the average American family. ................



Arizona and Indiana Move Forward With Immigration Enforcement Bills

Faced with rising unemployment and the federal government’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws, state legislatures are moving to address these issues on their own. Last week, senate committees in Indiana and Arizona voted to move forward with two enforcement-oriented bills.

On January 20, 2010, the Indiana Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor passed Senate Bill (SB) 213 by a unanimous vote of nine to zero. (Roll Call Vote # 6791, January 20, 2010).  Sponsored by State Senators Mike Delph (R-Carmel), Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville), and Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn), SB 213 would require all state agencies, municipalities, and employers that contract with state and local government entities in Indiana to use E-Verify.  SB 213 would also require the state’s Department of Labor to verify citizenship before determining eligibility for unemployment benefits and prohibit the enactment of sanctuary ordinances throughout the state.  (Senate Bill No. 213; Bill Summary; and Press Release, January 6, 2010). The bill will now move before the Senate Committee on Appropriations for further consideration. (Committee Report, January 21, 2010).

Also on January 20, the Arizona Senate Committee on Public Safety and Human Services approved SB 1070 by a vote of four to three. (Committee Meeting Video, January 20, 2010).  Entitled the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” SB 1070 would prohibit Arizona police departments from adopting sanctuary policies that prevent officers from asking individuals about their immigration status. SB 1070 would also establish a new state trespassing statute that would make it illegal for any person to be present on any public or private land in Arizona in violation of federal immigration law. The bill, which has drawn support from the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and the Arizona Police Association, must now pass the State Senate’s Rules Committee before receiving consideration before the full Senate. (The Arizona Republic, January 21, 2010). A similar bill passed the Arizona State Senate last year, but stalled in the House. (KSWT, January 20, 2010).



California Attorney General Jerry Brown warned that as the U.S. government focuses so intently on Islamic extremist groups, other types of terrorists – those involved with the same kidnappings, extortion and drug cartels that are sweeping Phoenix – are overlooked.

"Those [criminals], for the average Californian or the average America, may be a more immediate threat to their well being," Brown said.


Kidnapping Capital of the U.S.A.

Washington Too Concerned With al Qaeda Terrorists to Care, Officials Say


February 11, 2009

 In what officials caution is now a dangerous and even deadly crime wave, Phoenix, Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America, with more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City and over 370 cases last year alone. But local authorities say Washington, DC is too obsessed with al Qaeda terrorists to care about what is happening in their own backyard right now.

Wave of abductions hit Phoenix. Is Washington paying enough attention?

"We're in the eye of the storm," Phoenix Police Chief Andy Anderson told ABC News of the violent crimes and ruthless tactics spurred by Mexico's drug cartels that have expanded business across the border. "If it doesn't stop here, if we're not able to fix it here and get it turned around, it will go across the nation," he said.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown warned that as the U.S. government focuses so intently on Islamic extremist groups, other types of terrorists – those involved with the same kidnappings, extortion and drug cartels that are sweeping Phoenix – are overlooked.

WATCH: Phoenix: Kidnapping Capital of U.S.

U.S. Guns Arming Mexican Drug Gangs; Second Amendment to Blame?

 "Those [criminals], for the average Californian or the average America, may be a more immediate threat to their well being," Brown said.

In fact, kidnappings and other crimes connected to the Mexican drug cartels are quickly spreading across the border, from Texas to California. The majority of the victims are either illegal aliens or connected to the drug trade.

An ABC News' investigation uncovered horrific cases of chopped-off hands, legs and heads when a victim's family doesn't pay up fast enough.

"They're ruthless, so now they're ripping each other off, but doing it in our city," Anderson said.

To try and combat the crime wave, the Phoenix police have created a special unit to handle the kidnappings called the Home Invasion Task Force, which has pulled more than a dozen officers off other assignments. The crimes are occurring across the valley and in all types of neighborhoods, authorities warn.


Stolen identity. It’s all part of the Mexican invasion!

Report: E-Verify misses half of illegal workers

Employee-screening system often thwarted by stolen IDs

103 commentsby Daniel González - Feb. 26, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

Two years after Arizona began requiring all employers to use a federal online program to ensure a legal workforce, a new study indicates that illegal workers are slipping through the system more than half of the time by using stolen identities.

Fifty-four percent of the illegal workers whose names were run through the program nationwide were wrongly found to be authorized to work, according to the report by Westat, a Maryland research company hired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to evaluate the system, known as E-Verify.

The system's high inaccuracy rate for illegal workers using stolen identities has greatly alarmed business groups in Arizona.

The state's 2008 employer-sanctions law mandates that employers use E-Verify and gives authorities the power to close down businesses found to be knowingly hiring illegal workers.

"Arizona employers are relying when they sign up for E-Verify that this is an accurate program," said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "If the system is busted, it's obviously unfair to punish employers."

In 2008, Arizona became the first state in the nation to require all employers to use E-Verify. Since then, more than 33,000 Arizona businesses have signed up for the program, the highest number of any state, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which oversees E-Verify.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has raided 30 businesses under the employer-sanctions law and has arrested hundreds of workers accused of using forgery, fraud and identity theft to gain employment illegally.

In November, County Attorney Andrew Thomas also filed a complaint against a custom-cabinet and -furniture business, the Scottsdale Art Factory.

And, in December, Thomas announced sanctions against a water park, but the sanctions never took effect because the park closed after it was raided. The water park has since reopened under new management.

State Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who co-sponsored Arizona's sanctions law, said he is disappointed E-Verify has such a high inaccuracy rate for illegal workers, but he defended the program.

"It's disappointing to know that the best tool available is not that effective, but it's better than no tool," he said.

"It also shows the need to improve the system," either through enhancing photo checks or introducing biometric checks, such as fingerprint scanning.

Arizona's sanctions law spurred other states to pass similar laws as part of an effort to crack down on illegal immigration. Eleven other states now require at least some, if not all, businesses to use E-Verify.

The program is voluntary in other states. A total of 188,358 businesses out of about 7 million employers have signed up to use E-Verify nationwide. However, some members of Congress are pushing to make E-Verify mandatory nationwide.

E-Verify allows employers to use an online program to run a worker's information against Homeland Security and Social Security databases to check whether the person is authorized to work in the U.S.

The Westat report, which studied data from September 2007 to June 2008, found that 93 percent of the workers checked by employers were accurately deemed authorized to work. The system wrongly flagged less than 1 percent of legal workers as being unauthorized.

About 6 percent of the people run through the system should not have been authorized to work, the report said, but nearly 54 percent of them were wrongly deemed authorized. That 54 percent amounts to about 3.3 percent of the total workers run through the system.

The accuracy checks are estimates based on federal records and interviews with employers, workers and federal staff.

Last fiscal year, about 8.5 million queries were run through the system.

Bill Wright, a spokesman for the CIS in Washington, said the Westat report shows that overall, E-Verify is effective at preventing illegal immigrants from getting jobs, but he acknowledged the system has problems screening out those using stolen identities.

"I don't mean to trivialize it. Certainly, it's an issue," he said.

The government recently added a tool aimed at cutting down on the number of illegal workers who slip through E-Verify using stolen identities by letting employers match photos on green cards against photos in government immigration databases, he said.

The government also wants to work out agreements with states that incorporate driver's-license databases into the E-Verify system to further screen out illegal workers using stolen identities.

Marc Rosenblum, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a research group in Washington, D.C., said the fact that 54 percent of illegal workers are slipping through E-Verify shows that the program is not an adequate tool.

"That's a pretty bad success rate," he said. "The bottom line is we can't expect E-Verify to solve the problem by itself."

Jim Harper, director of information-policy studies at the Cato Institute, said the study shows E-Verify is not only ineffective but that the program likely has spurred more illegal immigrants to use stolen identities to circumvent the system.

"The chances are very strong that is what happened," Harper said. The institute is a libertarian group in Washington, D.C., that favors increases in legal immigration over enforcement measures to solve illegal immigration.

In the past, illegal immigrants mostly used fake documents with invented Social Security numbers to get jobs. But recently, law-enforcement officials in Arizona have seen an increase in identity theft involving Social Security numbers and other information belonging to real people.

"We've probably arrested 30 individuals (since November) that all had to do with identity theft involving real (Social Security numbers)," said David Lugo, a detective who investigates document fraud for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The increase in identity theft comes as the state's ability to investigate such crimes has been diminished. In November, the Arizona Fraudulent Identification Task Force made up of investigators from several law-enforcement agencies was eliminated due to budget cuts, said Lugo, a former member.

Republic reporter JJ Hensley contributed to this article.