Thursday, November 29, 2012

Liquid Meth - in Tequila Bottles

No, you don't have to put your liquid methamphetamine in a tequila bottle to pass it through US Customs from Mexico, but if it's included in a larger shipment of tequila, the chances that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will pick up on it is minute because the factory-sealed bottle is proof against discovery. Even half a dozen bottles mixed in with a hundred tequila bottles improves the value of the imported goods many times. It's even more effective if it's being shipped from a "Trusted Facility" under the aegis of CTPAT.

The comparatively new liquid form of methamphetamine was first produced by Los Caballaros Templarios in Michoacan but it's now being produced nationwide since the 'cook was turned' by the Sinaloa Federation.

Oddly enough, it started as a project to supply methamphetamine to prisons (for profit and as a service to comrades behind bars). Even prisoners need a pick me up - and so do guards who are in need of taming. Letters were sent to Amaloya and other maximum security institutions wherein the paper inside of the envelopes were dosed in liquid meth. It didn't take long to get from there into the tequila bottles.

Liquid packages of meth are very easy to "kiester-stash" in the rectum of the transporter, and nearly impossible to detect. If the packaging fails, the transporter will immediately die, but most don't and they're packing upwards of two liters per passenger - pack the car six deep and do the math. CPB can put the dogs on the car and the people but the 'mules' usually make it through. From what I've heard, it's easier to body pack it than solid meth because it can be manipulated into the colon and/or vagina easier in its liquid form. Never having personally participated, I have to take people's word for it.

Best of all, liquid meth is considerably "stronger" than crystals. Well, that's what they say. However 96% pure crystal meth is likely about as potent as the crystals in solution. The quality of the acid-washed crystal meth coming out of Mexico is very pure and it's 'crystal clear'. It can be injected or simply consumed orally. Both will give you a considerable punch. If the process doesn't include an acid injection process, the solution will be amber...the color of much of the tequila that you'll find in your local market.

Hecho en Mexico!

I hear your question. "How can US Customs determine whether the bottle contains pure liquid methamphetamine or tequila?" 

The obvious answer is that they need to break the seals (and ruin) every bottle crossing the border. With the North American Freed Trade Act (NAFTA) in place, that's not practical. And the lawsuits which surely result if they don't find what they are looking for... 

Please don't think that Mexico only supplies the US with liquid meth. Tequila exports from Mexico to Spain are up 500% in the last six years.

But it's really even better than that for the business of narcotrafficking. On January 17, 2006, in Washington DC, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) - Ambassador Rob Portman and Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Sergio Garcia de Alba signed an historic agreement on cross-border trade in tequila. This signing ceremony was the culmination of two years and 10 rounds of negotiations between the United States and Mexico.

Tequila is an alcohol beverage distilled from the agave plant and has been given worldwide recognition as a distinctive product of Mexico. As such, while ‘Tequila’ can only be produced in Mexico, bulk shipments of finished tequila, destined for bottling abroad, had been allowed. In August 2003, the Mexican Standards Bureau announced a proposal that the official standard for tequila would be amended to require that all tequila be ‘bottled at source’, in order to be labeled as tequila. This would have created a de facto ban on exports of bulk tequila.

If the draft standard had been adopted, it would have threatened the huge investments U.S. companies have made to build bottling plants and develop brands in the United States. Prompt action by the USTR and the cooperation of Mexican officials allowed tequila to flow uninterrupted for two years during the negotiations. In addition, during the signing ceremony, Ambassador Portman stated, "I want to thank the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Department of Treasury, as well as the Departments of State and Commerce, for their invaluable assistance in these negotiations."

The U.S.-Mexico tequila agreement will ensure that bulk exports of tequila from Mexico to the United States, valued at $400 million per year, continue without interruption. The U.S. is Mexico’s largest export market for tequila, accounting for 50 percent of Mexico’s total production.

If you have any questions regarding this agreement please contact the International Trade Division, US Department of the Treasury, Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau. (MOU between Mexico and the US)

ABC News Report on a recent arrest 

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    Alcalde Maria Santos Gorrostieta

    Dr. Maria Santos Gorrostieta MD, age 36, was a former mayor of the small Mexican town of Tiquicheo (2008-2012) and became famous for her refusal to be cowed by the drug gangs battling for control of the western state of Michoacan. Los Caballeros Templarios (LCT) abducted the mayor in front of her young daughter, they tortured and eventually murdered her and the LCT Cartel dumped her mutilated body by the side of the road as a message to any future politician who would stand up to them.

    Did their tactics work? The answer is a resounding YES!

    During her term as mayor, she survived at least two assassination attempts, including one that killed her husband Jose and another that left her body peppered with bullet holes and scars.

    Although Mexico has been a producer of, and transit route for, illegal drugs for decades, in recent years the country has found itself caught up in violent turf wars between powerful and well-financed cartels. In 2006 Mexico’s newly-elected President Felipe Calderon launched a military assault on the gangs. But although some key players have been killed or captured, the carnage has continued. Indeed some claim it has got worse, due to splits between formerly allied cartels. Official estimates say 50,000 people have been killed since the crackdown began, but others put the toll at twice that. (Daily Mail)

    The unassuming hamlet where Dr. Santos presided sits on the smuggling route between the Port of Lazaro Cardenas and the Mexican interior. Most Cocaine and methamphetamine precursors that land on Mexico's West Coast pass through the ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas. LCT controls Lazaro Cardenas and jealously guards it's transportation corridors.
    In October 2009 a group of gunmen shot her at least seven times in an ambush in which her husband was killed. Three months later, another armed gang opened fire on her brother’s car while she was in the passenger seat. Shortly afterwards she made the front pages after she went public with photographs of her wounds in Tiquicheo’s municipal newsletter. “I wanted to show you my wounded, mutilated body,” she wrote, “because I’m not ashamed of it. It’s living testimony that I am a strong and righteous woman, and despite my wounds, I’m still on my feet.”
    The Mexico City Daily has also said that there were at least two other assassination attempts that she never reported.
    On November 12, according to the newspaper El Universal, Maria Santos Gorrostieta was driving her young daughter to school in the city of Morelia when she was ambushed by a gang of armed men who pulled her from her car and beat her up in full view of passers-by. Witnessess described how she begged the men to leave her child alone and then got into her abductors’ car, leaving her daughter, screaming but unharmed, in the road.

    Five days later the badly mutilated body of a woman, who had evidently been tortured before she was killed, was found dumped by a roadside. It was later identified as Maria Santos Gorrostieta.

    "Her brave defiance may have cost the mother-of-three her life. The official cause of death was a blow to the head but she had been stabbed, her legs and hands had been bound and her waist and chest were covered in burns, suggesting she had been tortured." (Gateway Pundit)


    I have asked people who I know in LCT why they (the cartel) tortured and murdered Alcalde Dr. Santos, who was the mayor when they abducted, tortured and murdered her. (There are accounts out there that she was a former mayor and that's not the case) The simple reply was, "She didn't agree to play ball. We offered her money and she refused. We didn't treat her any worse than we treated anyone else who didn't go along with the reality. We tried to explain it to her again and again. Finally we did what we had to do."

    Over the next while, I'm going to see what else I can find about the motivation for this murder, but I think that I understand why LCT had to eliminate her. Cartels rule (particularly in Michoacan and Gurrero) through fear. If somebody, particularly a woman, stands up against them, and prevails, their grip on the area vanishes. MEXGOV has boasted that La Familia Michoacan has been eliminated, but it's obvious that LFM, and it's child, LCT, has not. LCT can put between 2,000 and 3,000 fighters in the field on short notice, carrying a mixture of military and civilian weapons. They know Michoacan and they are very difficult to eradicate.

    It's also possible that Dr. Santos' murder was somehow approved (US Military Slang: Fragged) by the local MEXGOV people in Michoacan who had been taking pay-offs from LCT all along. Dr. Santos made them look bad. If that's true, don't hold your breath for a resolution to the kidnap-torture-Murder.

    The Methamphetamine Market in France

    Mexican Methamphetamine
    Mexican methamphetamine 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. There was a time when the Mexican cartels had to import meth into Europe, but that is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

    La Familia Michoacan/Los Caballeros Templarios cook in Africa (in five locations) and ship to France, Spain, The Netherlands and Great Britain. The Sinaloa Federation (El Mencho Faction) has done that one better by setting up clandestine laboratories in Europe to service the European market. France is home to some of the larger and more sophisticated cooking operations. I do understand that the French may be insulted by this revelation, but that doesn't change the fact that it's the case.

    Having been to Interpol Headquarters (Lyon, France) as a guest on more than one occasion, I understand that France together with The Netherlands (Europol) hosts the international crime fighting efforts against such things. The Mexicans, with a substantial bankroll to back up their expansion, sought out the most corrupt and likely unemployed segment of French society to help them with both security and distribution. Yes, the French Muslim Community was and remains committed to the cause. The vast sea of unemployed inner city youths are both willing and able to help the Mexican drug cartels.
    France has a well established, well trained, well paid, and highly professional police force. And if you ask them how all of the methamphetamine (90%+ purity) arrived in their nation, many would tell you that it's smuggled in. That may have been true once. Not so much these days.

    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. By including the locals in the profit making, they expand by forming alliances, taking advantage of existing distribution networks.

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    Murder Rate - Mexico

    On August 20, 2012, Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) recently reported that 27,199 murders were committed in 2011. This represents a 5.6% increase when compared to 2010, and marks 2011 as the most violent year during the Calderon administration. This reporting represents a situation where a body was found and identified positively as to have been killed in a particular year it also includes both accidental and intentional homicides. (Mass graves are not included because no year of death can be fixed. Neither are kidnapped and presumed murdered or are people (narcos) who simply vanished and were never found included in these numbers) 

    Additional statistics regarding homicide rates per year in Mexico were reported as follows:

    • 2011: 27,199 – 24 per 100,000 inhabitants
    • 2010: 25,757 – 23 per 100,000 inhabitants
    • 2009: 19,803 – 18 per 100,000 inhabitants
    • 2008: 14,006 – 13 per 100,000 inhabitants
    • 2007: 8,867 – 8 per 100,000 inhabitants
    • 2006: 10,452 – 10 per 100,000 inhabitants
    • 2005: 9,921 – 9 per 100,000 inhabitants

    States with the highest number of murders reported during 2011 were listed as follows:

    • Chihuahua: 4,502. 2011 rates represented a 30% reduction when compared to 2010 murder rates.
    • Mexico State: 2,613
    • Guerrero: 2,425
    • Nuevo Leon: 2,177
    • Sinaloa: 1,988

    · States with murder reductions during 2011 when compared to figures reported during 2010 were San Luis Potosi, Durango, Campeche, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Morelos, Sinaloa, Baja California, and Sonora.

    · The murder rate in 21 states increased during 2011 when compared to figures reported during 2010. Details regarding some of these states with increases are listed below:

    Murders per year

    • 2005: 9,921
    • 2006: 10,452
    • 2007: 8,867
    • 2008: 14,006
    • 2009:19,803
    • 2010: 25,760
    • 2011: 27,199

    States with the highest number of murders:


    • 2005: 569
    • 2006: 648
    • 2007: 518
    • 2008: 2,601
    • 2009: 3,671
    • 2010: 6,407

    Mexico State

    • 2005: 2,016
    • 2006: 1,747
    • 2007: 1,238
    • 2008: 1,579
    • 2009: 1,860
    • 2010: 2,111


    • 2005: 591
    • 2006: 789
    • 2007: 766
    • 2008: 1,005
    • 2009: 1,855
    • 2010: 1,555

    Nuevo Leon

    • 2005: 150
    • 2006: 168
    • 2007: 279
    • 2008: 241
    • 2009: 343
    • 2010: 951


    • 2005: 344
    • 2006: 360
    • 2007: 380
    • 2008: 340
    • 2009: 693
    • 2010: 461


    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Naming a Few Names

    My attorney wanted me to add this disclaimer: While this blog strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the I make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this site, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site. No warranty of any kind, implied, expressed, or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of third party rights, title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or freedom from computer virus, is given with respect to the contents of this website or its links to other Internet resources.

    Reference in this site to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the the blog owner or his/her representatives.

    Precursors - with Insurance

    Transportes Castores ( is wholly owned by Juan José Esparragoza Moreno (El Azul). The transportation company is used to bring precursors into Mexico. The company charges for "insured and guaranteed" delivery. So their prices are higher, but you're going to receive what you ordered on time.

    How and Why El Bronco bit the Dust

    On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, Nicolas Balcazar Lopez, alias "El Bronco" and / or "Commandante Nico", was informed by Chapo Guzman directly that he was expected to 'take a hit' for Jesus Alfredo Beltran Leon Guzman Salazar, who had been taken into custody previously (SEMAR got the right man). Chapo said that Bronco should anticipate arrest on Thursday (June 21) by SEDENA. 

    On Friday, June 22, SEDENA arrested Bronco at his golf country club (where he plays every day) at Tlajomulco de Zuniga, Jalisco, a suburb of Guadalajara. SEDENA also arrested Javier Giles and Santos Lopez, Bronco's bodyguards/drivers.

    Nico had been the #2 man in Guadalajara and the clock had been running on him for some time. When SEMAR arrested him in December, Raul Flores Flores moved some pieces around the board and the government released him. By June, his drug use and his general malaise made his continued usefulness to the Sinaloa Federation moot. Sure, he knows things today, but he's not going to give it up. And frankly most of what he would have to say is well known to SEDENA.

    The Saga of Luis and Esteban Rodriguez Olivera

    Both Luis and Esteban are in custody in the United States, having been extradited. In their day, they cut a very impressive swath through the drug business. Neither of them are cooperating with the government, but this is their story.

    Luis started in the drug business with Alfredo Barba (union and political leader), and Javiar Garcia Panyagua, who was killed earlier this year in Gudadlajara. 

    Luis and his brother, Esteban, worked for their "Godfather" (Raul Flores Flores) early in their drug careers. They used to care for one of his ranches. Their "Godfather" co-signed for their first narcotics load. Exploring who their godfather is and how he mentored them in the drug business would be an interesting discussion for another blog. 

    Luis' early business expanded with Alfredo Barba. He and Barba are very close and used to go to Las Vegas, whore and gamble. I checked and neither of them are 'rated players', which means they didn't win or lose big, but they went there a lot. We're in the late 1990's and early 2000's now. Luis moved loads from Colombia to Cancun. Javier moved them from Cancun to Guadalajara or Mexico City. From there, they had an 'open door' to Chicago, where they moved 500k loads by aircraft once or twice a week. Their period of maximum intensity took place between 2000 and 2004 on this route. In 2004, the Chicago door closed.

    Luis Rodriguez popped on DEA's scope as an "independent" drug trafficker (one not affiliated with a cartel who may pay 'flooring' to move drugs through a region). DEA didn't know that Luis and his organization was part of the Sinaloa Federation. There are a number of components of the Federation that DEA never classified as such. 

    El Cid rides again! With Los Caballeros Templarios...

    (Historical Context) Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (1043 – July 10, 1099), known as El Cid Campeador ("The lord-master of military arts"), was a Castilian nobleman, military leader, and diplomat. He was the subject of the oldest extant Spanish epic poem Cantar de Mio Cid. 
    After his death, but still during the siege of Valencia, legend holds that Jimena, his wife, ordered that the corpse of El Cid be fitted with his armor and set atop his horse Babieca, to bolster the morale of his troops. In several variations of the story, the dead Rodrigo and his knights win a thundering charge against Valencia's besiegers, resulting in a war-is-lost-but-battle-is-won catharsis for generations of Christian Spaniards to follow.

    Nazario Moreno Gonzalez
    If you were to ask any of the members of Los Caballeros Templarios (LCT), they would tell you that they follow the LIVING Nazario Moreno Gonzalez (El Chayo, El Mas Loco) despite the fact that the Mexican government killed him on Decamber 9, 2010. In much the way that Elvis sightings are common, LCT members are constantly reporting that they - and more likely others have claimed to them that they've seen El Chayo at various occasions since his death.

    I've spoken to a number of hard core LCT people to include port and plaza managers and they all affirm that El Chayo is alive and well. For all I know, he is. I didn't see his corpse. LCT essentially treats El Chayo the way the Christian Spaniards did with El Cid...

    La Tuta is only one of the old leaders who is still running around and can be seen here and there. Servando Gomez Martinez is very thin and doesn't look well these days. 

    LCT has been buying up every round of .38 Super ammunition that they can get their hands on. In fact, I have a suspicion that since the only place .38 Super is popular is in Mexico, most of that ammunition made in the US makes its way eventually into Mexico. (due to the way that the law is written, .38 is the largest caliber allowed to be held by non-Mexican Military inside of Mexico)

    I personally believe that the incoming Pena Nieto Administration will leave LCT alone so long as they stay in Michoacan and parts of Colima. A friend of mine in LCT said, "Good luck with that." However there is a certain pragmatism that comes with the changing Mexican view of the drug war and I feel that pragmatism will win out. They'll still cook methamphetamine for destinations in the United States - but it will work out better for them if they're unmolested and they 'stay on the reservation'. LCT, as with LFM before it, is a regional cartel and a mafia that has very strong local roots, unlike the Sinaloa Federation.

    Saturday, November 24, 2012

    Agencia Federal de Investigación - Genesis

    This is the way it was a decade ago.
    This article, circa 2002, illustrates how and why the changes in the law enforcement section of the Procurador General de la República (PGR) took place. Historically, Mexican law enforcement organization has been organized and reorganized as scandals rock the organizations. Irrespective of the scandal, US Law Enforcement never seems to undergo the same level or rebranding and reorganization.
    As you read this article (if you make it through the tome), you should keep in mind that the AFI was disbanded in 2012 - due to corruption issues. 
    What I would like you to take away from this is the question - What would it take to create a law enforcement agency in Mexico that was not almost completely corrupt? 
    Major Changes in the Mexican Attorney General's Office 
    Federal Agency of Investigation Replaces the Federal Judicial Police 

    by CW4 Thomas S. Davidson II, US Army 

    During his presidential campaign, Vicente Fox made no specific public statements concerning the restructuring of Mexico's various police and public-safety agencies, except to state unequivocally that he would be sponsoring a budget for public safety of at least 3% to 4% of the GNP in order to combat the major crimes of kidnapping, drug trafficking, robbery, and alien smuggling.1 Yet, within nine months of his inauguration, he effected major and significant changes in the Attorney General's Office (PGR) (Procuraduría General de la República).2 This paper examines the beginnings, missions, subordination, coordination, personnel, and future plans for the Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI) (Agencia Federal de Investigación). The tasking and mission overlap of the Federal Preventive Police (PFP) (Policia Federal Preventiva) and the AFI will be covered in another paper.

    On 1 November 2001, by publication of an Executive decree in the Official Gazette of the Federation, the Federal Judicial Police (PJF) (Policía Judicial Federal) was effectively disbanded. In its place stands the AFI.

    During the AFI's inception period, there appeared to be much resistance among career PGR administrative personnel in regards to the elimination of the PJF and the acceptance of the AFI. Of particular note is that the first mention of the AFI on the official PGR web site is 7 November 2001 -- only after the publication of the new organization in the Official Gazette of the Federation. Until late 2001, the only items that had been published on the web site were announcements for the training academy and crime bulletins dealing with arrests made by AFI personnel. However, since the middle of February 2002 and as the AFI becomes more and more a reality for the PGR mid-level and career personnel and the Mexican people, more and more AFI material is appearing on the PGR site. During February and March 2002, a number of interviews were given to the media by various high-level PGR personnel concerning the AFI. 

    Official documentation detailing the missions and objectives of the AFI is extremely limited. This stands in stark contrast to the relatively new (1998) Federal Preventive Police (PFP) (Policía Federal Preventiva), which is subordinate to the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública) and has its own subordinate web pages. 


    The first official, semi-public mention of the dissolution of the PJF and the institution of the AFI was made by Federal Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha during a four-hour meeting of all Deputy Federal Prosecutors and PGR department heads on 16 February 2001. It was during this meeting that Macedo also announced that during the Fox administration there would be major changes in the organizational structure and mission of the PGR. The AFI is perhaps the most powerful new agency in the remodeled PGR.

    On 19 February 2001, the Mexican newspaper La Jornada published an interview based upon a 16 February 2001 meeting with Alfonso Navarete Prida, the director for the Attorney General's office for Interagency Cooperation and Development. During this interview, Navarete detailed the various changes to take place within the PGR. Among the many changes planned were the disbanding of the PJF, the initiation of AFI operations in June 2001, and the types of controls to be used within the AFI to prevent corruption.5 

    • The closest thing to official documentation to the AFI mission can be found in the Presidential Decree on 1 November 2001, which authorizes the director of the AFI to do the following: 
    • Consolidate into the AFI all personnel currently carrying out PGR police functions; 
    • Coordinate the execution of arrest and detention orders, serving of subpoenas, and other judicial orders; 
    • Coordinate, supervise, and evaluate the results of AFI investigations and, as necessary, share the results with other units; 
    • Participate in the various conferences and meetings concerning Operations and Tactical Intelligence.6 
    During the first six months of 2001, the press and media speculated that the AFI was to have a number of criminal investigators and that it would be dedicated primarily to fighting organized crime.7 Much reference is made to the AFI's being created to resemble the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. In fact, FBI and DEA agents have provided training in Mexico and in the U.S. to PFP and AFI personnel.8 Another major area of cooperation between the U.S. agencies and the Mexican agencies (AFI and PFP) is the interchange of sensitive information of common interest, usually related to drug and human trafficking.

    During the 19 February 2002 press conference Navarete stressed that with the advent of the AFI, the policies governing investigations and evaluations of individual PGR agents will change. There will now be a central police intelligence structure and databases for tactical information and operations. Each agent will be assigned a task or mission on a daily basis. Agent reports will be submitted daily, thereby enabling supervisors to track not only individual accomplishments and activities but also the unit's as a whole.10 

    The AFI will be the primary force for crimes dealing with kidnapping, money laundering, illegal immigration, ecological crimes, drug trafficking, and any other crime as specified by the attorney general. The AFI will also be responsible for coordinating with the Secretariat of the Navy concerning the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) (Sistema Automatizado de Identificación de Huellas Dactilares) 11. The Secretariat of the Navy in coordination with the Secretariat of Public Security is the primary agency for the maintenance and distribution of the AFIS.12 

    The AFI will be the primary Mexican police agency for working with INTERPOL and will provide the necessary link between INTERPOL and all other police elements in Mexico.13 


    In the Presidential decree of 1 November 2001 President Fox officially reorganized the PGR and required the various elements to work in conjunction with the AFI. By issuing a decree -- rather than changing the constitution -- Fox gave the new agency an official standing as a general directorate rather than as a ministry. 

    Under this decree a number of new PGR elements were established while other elements had their missions changed. All of the new and reorganized elements are directed to work hand in glove with - if not under the direct supervision of - the AFI. The new elements created include: four separate agencies dealing with election fraud and crime; the Police Planning Directorate; the Police Investigation Directorate; the Tactical Analysis Directorate; the Police Deployment Directorate; the Regional Directorate; the Special Operations Directorate; and the Inspector General Directorate. Other established PGR elements which are required to work closely with the AFI are marked with an asterisk (*) on the chart titled "Major PGR Elements and National Systems," as shown in Attachment 1.14 


    In April 2001, the first Initial Police Training Course for 468 future AFI investigators was begun at the PGR's Training Academy (ICAP) (El Instituto de Capacitación) in the state of Mexico. The course was a three-month course using a modified PJF training program with three areas of specialization - investigative techniques, tactical analysis, and operations. This adaptation became the basis for the second and future AFI training course. The three specialization courses have a common core, including morals and ethics -- a component that had not been in the original PJF course. A total of 460 students successfully graduated from the initial course.15 

    The next class of 543 AFI investigators graduated on 20 September 2001, and President Fox gave the commencement speech. The graduating class consisted of 495 men and 48 women with an average age of 26. All were high school graduates, 408 had some college, and 33 had bachelor degrees.16 

    The classes received by these agents, in contrast to the first class of AFI agents, were new and not merely a restructured PJF course. In addition to a strict background investigation, the new agents underwent intensive training in weapons, computer technology, criminal photography, and human rights. The PGR and the ICAP work closely with the National Institute for Criminal Science (INACIPE) (Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Penales). The INACIPE is a Mexican-government sponsored institute that enjoys a good international reputation as an institute of higher learning for criminology. Students may take individual classes or even attain a Doctor of Science in Criminal Law or Criminal Science. The ICAP and the INACIPE will be the subject of another paper. 



    Current AFI personnel levels are estimated to be at 2,500. This number includes technicians, administrative personnel, and agents. As of February 2002, the AFI had permanent, dedicated facilities in 15 Mexican states. These facilities contain new national computer systems including the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and the National Balistics Identification Database (Banco Nacional de Elementos Balisticos). AFIS terminals are located in the Baja California, Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Yucatán, and Mexico City. The Ballistics Database currently has 6,820 samples - all from AFI agent weapons. The AFI is also maintaining a national criminal tactical intelligence database to which the army, navy, PFP, and other PGR elements contribute.17 


    The AFI is a Fox initiative. He and his administration planned, formed and legalized the AFI. The PFP is a holdover from the Zedillo Administration. Fox's presidential rival during the last campaign, Francisco Labastida Ochoa, Secretary of the Interior in 1998, had been tasked by President Zedillo with the development of the PFP. 

    During his campaign, it appeared as if Fox had planned to eliminate the PFP. Since his inauguration, however, he has supported the PFP under the auspices of the Public Security Secretariat. The Fox administration appears to be using the PFP more as a reaction force, where the use of the military in a police role would be politically detrimental. A prime example is the occupation of the campus and arrest of demonstrators at the Autonomous National University of Mexico by the PFP in 2001. 

    Although there has been no publicized display of interagency rivalry between the PFP and the AFI, the overlapping missions will eventually cause problems among the agents and legal jurisdictions. 


    The AFI is now operating as an official government entity. It has already begun to receive substantial support both in the government and among the civilian populace. Only time will reveal what impact the AFI will have on the Mexican society. If the AFI and the PFP are successful and eliminate rampant corruption in their ranks, they will have effectively established a new baseline and role model for all federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies. 

    Once this new baseline is established, the U.S. drug enforcement, police, and border agencies can expect better and more complete cooperation from the new Mexican federal agencies.


    1. "Puntos principales del programa de Vicente Fox" [Vicente Fox' Primary Election Platform], 30 November 2000 (13 March 2002). 

    2. "Fox en Vivo, Fox Contigo, del 22 de septiembre de 2001" [Fox Live, Fox with You, 22 September 2001], 22 September 2001, Art=1892&Orden=Leer (14 March 2002), Section: Weekly Radio Address . 

    3. "Diario Oficial de la República" [Official Gazette of the Republic], 31 October 2001, (13 March 2002), Section: Procuraduría General De La República. 

    4."En junio operará la agencia que suple a la PJF" [The agency replacing the PJF begins operating in June], 19 February 2001, (11 March 2002). 

    5. "Informe de Acciones y Resultados: Procuraduría General de la República" [Actions and Results: Federal Attorney General's Office], 23 May 2001, http:// (14 March 2002). 

    6. Ibid. 

    7. "Fijan nuevos criterios para frenar el descrédito de la PGR" [New Criteria To Stop Public Scorn of PGR], La Jornada, 17 February 2001, (12 March 2002). 

    8. "Cooperación Más Estrecha en Materia de Seguridad entre México y Estados Unidos" [Closer Cooperation between Mexico and the US in Security Matters], Borderlines 84, Volume 9, No. 11, December 2001, spanish/2001/bl84esp/bl84seg.html (13 March 2002).

    9. "Informe de Acciones y Resultados: Procuraduría General de la República."

    10. "En junio operará la agencia que suple a la PJF."

    11. Ibid.

    12. "S/2001/1254...en virtud de la resolución 1372..." [S/2001/ Conjunction with Resolution 1372...], 27 December 2001, S1254.pdf (14 March 2002), UN Security Council.

    13. Ibid.

    14. "Diario Oficial de la República." 15.Ibid. 

    16. "El Presidente Fox Encabezó la Ceremonia de Graduación..."[President Fox Presides over the {AFI} Graduation Ceremony], Boletín No. 627/01 20 September 2001, http://, (11 March 2002). 

    17. "Entrevista que concedieron los Licenciados María de la Luz Lima Malvido..."[Interview with Maria Lima Malvido], 7 February 2002, http:// (12 March 2002).

    Illegal Alien Bodycount

    Jose Luc Ramirez Jaramillo  (DOB: January 6, 1963 - California ID Card #C0803985) was detained by the San Luis Rey de Colorado, Mexico, police department. Ramirez is an alien smuggler and remains very active in the Yuma area, smuggling Mexican nationals across the US Mexican Border through the Indian/Native American/Mestizo reservation. 

    According to the San Luis Colorado Police Department, Ramirez is known for abandoning his smuggled humans in the desert without water. If anyone in the US was to ask, the police believe that he's responsible for at least one death, and likely many more because of this practice. Since his activities violate no Mexican law, he's beyond their reach. They detained him a couple of weeks ago on investigation of murder due to his smuggling practices but weren't able to pursue it and released him.

    These border deaths are from back in 2006 when the economy in the US boomed and more people were crossing to find work. Today USGOV seems happy because the border death body count is down. However, there are simply fewer people crossing, so proportionately fewer people die.
    72 bodies were found in the eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas near the U.S. border, south of Brownsville, Texas. 58 men and 14 women from Central and South America were found by Mexican marines, who have been left searching for a cause of the murders. Mexican authorities are confident that the perpetrators were members or former members of the drug cartels. SOURCE :

    official figures show that every year 200 Central Americans are murdered or die in Mexico while attempting to reach the United States, but unofficial data highlighted in the last five years and as part of drug raid in the kidnapping of migrants, this figure could exceed 400 deaths. SOURCE:
    Make of all of this what you will.

    Friday, November 23, 2012

    Legalized Marijuana in US States and the Cartels

    Fox News posited this question: Will change in state pot lawschange how drug cartels do business?
    Pot-supporting crowds cheered on election night as Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Many expected Mexican drug cartels, who earn billions of dollars a year by smuggling marijuana into the United States, to be in a state of panic – but one expert said they will carry on just fine if pot is legalized.

    “The cartel is going to likely adapt to that situation and move other types of drugs into those two particular states,” said Alex del Carmen, a professor of criminology at the University of Texas-Arlington.

    Del Carmen said if marijuana laws in the United States change, the cartels will adjust and likely concentrate on harder drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine.

    “You look at what we’ve done on the border by adding more agents, by being able to improve our technological devices," he said. "And the cartel has always managed to get drugs to the U.S. in spite of our efforts.” (Fox News)
    Though I am not the voice of Mexican Drug Cartels, I can answer the question better by reporting that President-elect Pena Nieto is pushing both houses of the Mexican Legislature to ratify a bill that makes it legal to use Marijuana 'recreationally'. So Mexico may beat the US to the punch. Let me also say that if the drug cartels were not fine with this, it would not pass into law. But I predict that it will do just that.

    The domestic producers in California and the chronic growers in Canada will feel the economic pinch from legalized pot. There are regions of California that depend on the cash crop that Marijuana brings them (most are on welfare while they grow) who will have to survive ONLY on their welfare money from the State of California -- and it will devastate Mendocino County, Humboldt County, etc.

    Consider this: Who owns most of the resorts in Mexico? And what do they grow? And what would be a the biggest incentive to get (drug fogged) Gringos to come to Mexico on vacation? Why WOULDN'T the drug cartels be in favor of legalization. It's good for business.

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    PGR - The Changing Face of Drug Enforcement in Mexico

    President-elect Pena Nieto has been working collaboratively with President Calderon Hinajosa recently to complete key changes/reforms into place within Procurador General de la República, PGR, (Attorney General's Office) which began in 2009.  

    AFI Disbanded

    On Thursday, July 26, 2012, Agencia Federal de Investigación, AFI, officially disbanded. The AFI had been patterned after USGOV's Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    The AFI replaced the Federal Investigations Agency, which was believed to be a nest of enforcers for the Sinaloa Federation Drug Cartel - but the AFI was itself, very troubled. The Attorney General's Office reported in December 2005 that 1,500 of 7,000 AFI agents — nearly 25% of the force — were under investigation for suspected criminal activity and 457 were facing charges. In November 2008, Rodolfo de la Guardia García, the No. 2 official in the AFI (from 2003–2005), was placed under arrest as investigators looked into the possibility that he leaked information to the Sinaloa Cartel in return for monthly payments.
    Policía Federal Ministerial (PFM) (Federal Ministerial Police)  

    The formal transition of both agents and responsibilities from AFI to the PFM occurred by a decree passed on April 26, 2012. The new police agency is housed under Procuraduría General de la República, PGR, and is similar to the U.S. Marshals Service. PFM manages:
    • Witness Protection
    • Compliance with court orders
    • Monitors Centro Federal de Arraigo
    • Locates fugitives through liaison with Interpol
    • Maintains security over court-related activities

    Note that the PFM is out of the drug enforcement businesses that created such opportunities for corruption within the AFI.

    Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (SIEDO) 

    The Office of Special Investigations on Organized Crime (OFDI) is now officially The Office of Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SIEDO). The official name change took place on July 23, 2012. However it's still unclear what their role will be within the reorganized Attorney General's Office. With a staff of 200, they are much the same as USDOJ's Organized Crime Strike Force, but the cartel issue in Mexico is vast, and accounts for roughly 25% of the Mexican economy (drug business and legitimate business owned or controlled by organized crime) by some accounts.
    SIEDO was formed in the wake of a 2003 scandal that found agents in the Attorney General's anti-narcotics prosecution office, FEADS, actively working for or protecting Mexican drug cartels. As a result, SIEDO was formed with 117 agents whose backgrounds and psychological profiles were intensely researched, in the hope that agents prone to Cartel corruption would be weeded out before they could enter the force.
    The Heart of the Matter

    Policía Federal has doubled in size in recent years, and has been promoted by both American officials and President Felipe Calderón as an important tool against organized crime. However there is a snake in Eden. The entire force at the Mexico City airport was replaced after two officers, believed to have been involved in the drug trade, killed three colleagues in the food court of a terminal in June. 
    The federal police have “been held up as a shining example of police reform” during Mr. Calderón’s tenure, “but recent indications suggest that there are problems of integrity in its ranks,” said David A. Shirk, a scholar who studies Mexican justice at the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego. (NY Times)
    President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, who will take office on Dec. 1, has proposed folding the federal police agency into the Gobernacion (The Department of the Interior), rather than keeping it under independent cabinet level leadership. One can only suspect this has to do with corruption concerns.

    The US State Department reports indicate that just 2 percent of people arrested on drug-trafficking charges are convicted. So we're back to the problem with Procurador General de la República and the courts.
    “One of the biggest challenges for the next government is making the P.G.R. work,” said Shannon O’Neil, an expert on Mexico at the Council on Foreign Relations. “During the Calderón administration, this is probably the element within the state security apparatus that has fallen behind, losing resources and momentum to the federal police. But if you can’t successfully prosecute the guilty — and free the innocent — you can’t strengthen the rule of law in a real, lasting way.” 
    The way forward in Mexico would seem to be an avoidance of drug related arrests and prosecutions and a change of focus. This may reduce corruption and actually give the rule of law some teeth. (you simply ignore the laws that are problematic) Maybe then, the Attorney General of Mexico can rise above the 2% success rate.

    How will USGOV take the news?

    Moving Drugs Down-Under for Fun and Profit

    The Australians and New Zealanders seem to have a craving for methamphetamine that has been well established, but now, there's heroin. And it's not the good (and comparatively expensive) China White (#4 Heroin) that's hitting the streets. Mexican Black Tar (#3 Heroin) is making its inexpensive appearance in the slums and among the motorcycle gangs in Australia. Armani Stelio - on behalf of her brother, Sam Ibrahim - founder of Notorious (original gangster), just placed a large order from Los Caballeros Templarios (LCT), grown in Gurrero, refined in Michoacan. Their motto is "Only the dead see the end of war" but #3 heroin will certainly hasten the journey. One would have thought that he'd reach out to his shirt-tail cousins in the Middle East for heroin, but the Mexican version is less expensive and there is a lot less scrutiny at the point of export.

    LCT now has a representative cell in Sydney handling the orders so it makes the matter of requesting methamphetamine (ice) or heroin much simpler from Mexican suppliers than it was in the past. Rumors being what they are, Notorious has an interest in selling (not merely using) to boost their profits, to enrich their membership and to expand their reach. Somebody needs to reach out to Detective Tim Chao and let him know that Notorious also plans to expand their sales operation into New Zealand.

    Primer on Heroin Manufacture (Appendix: White Powder)

    Heroin is derived from the fruit/flower of the opium poppy. In Southeast Asia, the growing season begins in autumn and about 120 days later harvesting can begin (in the spring). Papaver somniferum is one of the few species of poppy that produces opium. The flowers are colorful and vary in hue. Once they fall away, a green pod remains, which continues to grow. Opium alkaloid is only produced during the terminal ripening process, which lasts about two weeks.

    While the fruit is still on the stem, incisions are made in the sides of the pod. Common practice requires the sap to seep out of the pod overnight for collection each morning for (roughly) the ensuing week.

    Raw opium is converted to morphine base through boiling. The raw sap that was collected from the plant pod dissolves in boiling water and any obvious impurities such as plant fibers are scooped from the liquid opium. Quicklime is mixed with water and is then added to the boiling liquid opium. The morphine alkaloid reacts with the lime and impurities precipitate to the bottom of the pot. The liquid is poured through a filter into another container and ammonia is added and the mixture is heated. As it heats, the morphine solidifies and precipitates to the bottom of the pot. The liquid is separated off from the solid and what remains is #1 Heroin or morphine base. 

    The next step in the purification process necessary to create a usable narcotic requires acetic acid to combine with the morphine base. The mixture is heated to 85 degrees centigrade for two hours. This process chemically binds the morphine to the acid and creates chemical heroin.

    Water is added to the chemical heroin and since heroin is water-soluble it becomes a solution. Common sodium carbonate is added to the heroin solution and the precipitate is taken from the bottom of the pot. That is #2 Heroin or heroin base.

    From heroin base the manufacturer can make #3 Heroin (20 to 30 percent pure), often called brown heroin or smoking heroin. It has the general granular consistency and color of (unrefined) brown sugar. To make #3 Heroin, hydrochloric acid and caffeine are mixed with the heroin base and stirred until it dries. Mexican Heroin, also referred to as “black tar heroin” is essentially crude #3 Heroin with more impurities in it than is typically found in #3 Heroin. The impurities make the drug more toxic but occasionally add a more potent effect (depending on who made it). (Emphasis added)

    In order to make #4 Heroin from heroin base, hydrochloric acid and ether are added. The process is complex, toxic and hazardous because of explosive fumes. Once the heroin base passes through this process, it’s usually around 90 per cent pure and is referred to as China White. China White (or #4) Heroin is a fine white odorless and colorless powder.