Thursday, May 23, 2013

Valor por Tamaulipas

Be without fear in the face of your enemies.
Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death.
Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.

There are a lot of courageous people in Mexico who push back on the drug dealers and corrupt government officials who keep them in business. Valor por Tamaulipas ("Courage for Tamaulipas") is a Facebook page that covers security updates in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. It was founded by an anonymous user on 1 January 2012, shares information with other social-media users on the drug-related violence across Tamaulipas and through adjoining regions.

Valor por Tamaulipas routinely posts messages and photos of crime scenes on their page. In a country where many journalists have been assassinated for writing about drug trafficking and organized crime, the page survives under anonymity, but it has not been immune to threats.

In early 2013, a Mexican drug trafficking organization issued fliers offering a reward of $600,000 pesos ($46,000 USD) for anyone that could give out information to locate the admin of Valor por Tamaulipas, or any of his family members. The admin, however, openly defied the criminal organization's threat.

This is a tribute to that Facebook site and to courage.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Russian Federation- Spies in Latin America

The Russians are Back!
General Victor Ivanov

Those of us who check traffic on narco-blogs have noticed a regular increase in the number of hits from the Russian Federation, which is taking a much greater interest in North America and Latin American affairs (through the Internet) than they have since the fall of the old Soviet Union. Some of the readers here may find this interesting and others may say, "Yesterday's News".

The Russian Federation is funding an anti-narcotics and intelligence training center in Nicaragua. I'm not sure when it will stand up, but my sense is that it should be operational by the end of summer. The Russians want it to be a fusion center for law enforcement throughout Central America. Since the US-Mexican relationship has been 'frosty' since Presidente Pena Nieto took office, the Mexicans are likely to send people to be trained there too. Russian Federal Drug Control Service Chief, Victor Ivanov stated that thirty Russian subject matter/police experts will train about 100 Latin American police students every year. (more information on this)

This blog has shared information on the details of the trafficking arrangements with Russian Mafia groups who purchase drugs from Mexican Drug Cartels in the past. The Russians are taking their efforts to control the nearly one billion metric tons of cocaine that flow through Central America on an annual basis. Most of the cocaine that moves through Central America lands in the United States and Canada. The cocaine that makes its way to Russia either moves from Brazil and through Africa to Russia or from Ecuador and Peru to Russia. 
Panamanian President Manuel Noreaga
wears his Israeli jump wings proudly.

Is Central America a big hub for Russian-bound cocaine? No, not so much. But Russia and Nicaragua have old ties so it makes sense that the center goes there.

What is the REAL reason for setting up this academy? The Russians are taking a play from the Israeli playbook. The students develop personal friendships with their teachers and the Russians provide a turn-key intelligence system that they use. The Russians then develop reliable local government sources in Latin America. It works. They simply re-inventing the Israeli wheel. (note defunct Panamanian dictator Manuel Noreaga, left)

I give the Russians high marks for having the wisdom and foresight for getting back in the game. If I was a Russian (and I'm not), I'd do the same thing. The cost of seeding people with whom you have a relationship in their own governments is much cheaper and more effective than cold recruiting.

Russia is moving big on Brazil in terms of both intelligence collection and economic ties as is China. While the Chinese are not so obtuse as to put an intelligence/anti-narcotics training center in Nicaragua, they simply work differently than the Russians. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Obama LIES on the Stump in Mexico (again)

President Obama has been beating up Americans again while on the stump in Mexico, he lies when he does it, and it's irritating. 
(Fox News) "Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States," Obama told the crowd. "I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will. But at the same time, as I've said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people.  
"That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States," he said.  
Most narcos carry fully automatic AK-47 rifles. Last I heard, those were illegal in the United States in just the same way as they are in Mexico. The same goes for RPG-7's (that the Mexicans all call "bazookas" - not to be confused with the American Rocket Launcher M1A1 - made famous in the Second World War).

Yes there are handguns that originate in the US and make it across the border into Mexico and yes, they are used in roughly 8% of the firearms related crimes in Mexico. If you include firearms possession crimes (where the only crime is possession), that number is about 20%.

And then there is the Obama Administration and Operation Fast and Furious, where they specifically armed the drug cartels with weapons made in America for the purpose of supporting their thesis that US weapons were used by drug cartels to commit crimes. Obama's hands are dirty -- and he continually distorts the truth when it comes to firearms statistics. The truth today is that Mexico is a net IMPORTER of illegal firearms into the US, not the other way around. Why is that? Because the Obama Campaign has caused an increase in the price of firearms in the US and it's profitable to smuggle them north of the border.