Aug 202012
 

Mexican Drug Trafficking (Mexico’s Drug War)

 

New York Times
June 12, 2012

 

Although Mexico has been a producer and transit route for illegal drugs for generations, the country now finds itself in a pitched battle with powerful and well-financed drug cartels.

In January 2012, the Mexican government reported that 47,515 people had been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderón began a military assault on criminal cartels soon after taking office in late 2006.

The official tally, provided by the attorney general’s office, included data only through September 2011, and it showed that drug-related killings increased 11 percent, to 12,903, compared with the same nine-month period in 2010. Still, a government statement sought to find a silver lining, asserting that it was the first year since 2006 “that the homicide rate increase has been lower compared to the previous years.”

But that was unlikely to calm a public scared by the arrival of grisly violence in once-safe cities like Guadalajara and in the region around Mexico City. 

Read the full article at… Direct Link:  http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/mexico/drug_trafficking/index.html

Aug 202012
 

Police in Arizona arrest 20, dismantle drug trafficking cell of Sinaloa Cartel

 

CNN
by Michael Martinez
July 7,2012

 

Three tons of marijuana, fifty pounds of meth and over two million dollars are just some of the items confiscated during a drug cartel bust in Arizona.

 

Authorities in Tempe, Arizona, dismantled a drug trafficking cell associated with Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, arresting 20 people and seizing three tons of marijuana, 30 pounds of methamphetamine and $2.4 million in cash, police said.

A six-month investigation by Tempe police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency also concluded with the seizure of an airplane, 10 vehicles and 14 firearms, police said Friday.

17 arrested in Philadelphia drug case

The cartel delivered illegal drugs in Tempe and branched out to customers in New York, Alabama, California and other states, police said.

“This operation demonstrated a collaborative effort by state and federal law enforcement agencies,” Tempe Chief of Police Tom Ryff said in a statement.

The drug trafficking “stretched across the Mexico border and into Arizona and beyond,” said Doug Coleman, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Phoenix office.

On the border: Guns, drugs — and a betrayal of trust

In small-town USA, business as usual for Mexican cartels

The Sinaloa Cartel is one of Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking groups, and cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera is widely known as Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive. Forbes magazine has placed him on its list of the world’s most powerful people, reporting his net worth at $1 billion as of March.

 

** Related Article:  The Reach of Mexico’s Drug Cartels

 

Direct Link:  http://articles.cnn.com/2012-07-07/justice/justice_arizona-cartel-bust_1_drug-trafficking-mexico-s-sinaloa-cartel-mexican-cartels?_s=PM:JUSTICE

Jul 112012
 

2 arrested, 4 on loose in case of slain border agent Brian Terry

 

KPHO CBS 5 News

By Steve Stout

By Breann Bierman

Jul 09, 2012 
Brian Terry was killed in a 2010 shootout with suspected drug smugglers and illegal immigrants.

TUCSON, AZ (CBS5) -

Two people have been arrested and four people remain on the loose in the murder investigation of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol Agent.

 

>>>> News Video Segment #1

 

>>>> News Video Segment #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FBI said at a news conference Monday that five suspects have been indicted on charges related to agent Brian Terry’s death.

According to the indictment which was unsealed Monday morning, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with crimes including of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

A sixth suspect, Rito Osorio-Arellanes was arrested and charged only with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.

FBI announced Monday they are offering a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrests of the four suspects they are still searching for, who they believe are in Mexico.

Agent Brian Terry was killed during a shootout with suspected illegal immigrants and drug smugglers in December 2010 in the desert near Naco.

Guns involved in the botched federal gun-walking case known as Fast and Furious were found at the scene.

The family of agent Brian Terry said Monday that they are pleased that progress has been made in the murder investigation.

The family’s attorney, Patrick McGroder said, “The Terry family once again asks that the Attorney General and the Department of Justice comply with the request for documents made by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee so that all Americans can know who approved of the operation in order that those individuals can be held accountable for their decisions. Agent Terry died as a hero protecting this country; he and his family rightly deserved a full and thorough explanation of how Operation Fast and Furious came to be.” Click here to read full statement from the family.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

 

Direct Link:  http://www.kpho.com/story/18979173/2-arrested-4-on-loose-in-case-of-slain-border-agent

Apr 022012
 

DHS Uses Wartime Mega-Camera to Watch Border

 

WIRED

By Spencer Ackerman

April 2, 2012

 

 

The Department of Homeland Security wants to mount a powerful camera on a Raven Aerostar blimp like this to spy on miles of border at once. Photo: Raven

 

 

One legacy of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has arrived on the southern border of the United States. The Department of Homeland Security recently completed tests of a powerful camera, one that cut its teeth in the war zones, that captures video of entire miles of border in a single frame. DHS thinks mega-cameras on blimps and aerostats might be the future of border security — if its analysts can only keep up with the glut of data they’ll gather.

The system itself, a wide-area surveillance camera suite known as Kestrel, earned its stripes during the wars. That got DHS interested. “You had this imager flying that was able to archive and save imagery and reconstruct [bomb] emplacement so troops could go after [insurgents] later,” John Applebee, who manages the border camera program for DHS, tells Danger Room. “It also was used for other things every day, like troop protection or perimeter protection, just as we imagine its uses along the continental borders of the United States.”

So for a week of tests, the department mounted Logos Technologies’ Kestrel imager on a 75-foot long Raven Aerostar aerostat tethered 2000 feet above the Arizona desert. DHS reports in a statement that Kestrel helped spot “more than 100 illegal attempted entries and alleged illicit activities in progress.”

“We can see miles from this with a single image frame,” Applebee enthuses. “Within every pixel, you have high-resolution, good, detailed resolution, like high-d-caliber imagery. In every frame, across the frame.”

This is hardly the first time that wartime surveillance technology has made its way home from the battlefield. DHS flies unarmed drones above the northern and southern U.S. borders, snapping pictures. (They carry an “excellent camera system,” Applebee allows, but unlike Kestrel, “you need to know where to point it.”) Police departments nationwide have started using smaller spy drones as well. Earlier this year, DHS expressed interest in camera systems that can spy on four square miles at once, well within the range of the military’s new mega-cameras. Kestrel’s 360-degree camera suite is a step in that direction.

But the migration of those military tools comes the migration of some of the military’s problems. Specifically: the “persistent” video taken by the powerful cameras creates a fire hose of data that analysts struggle to interpret.

And if the glut of video overwhelms the military, DHS — whose annual budget is under $60 billion, an order of magnitude less than the Pentagon’s — is in deep trouble. Applebee is up front about it. “They have the people,” he says. “We do not.”

The answer, he hopes, will come from software. “We’re looking closely at the developments in the military and intelligence communities for ways the software and analysis can be automated, so can we use software tools as a tripwire to signal us and call agent to attention once [the camera observes] a movement has occurred in a given region,” Applebee says. Darpa, the Pentagon’s blue-sky researchers, for instance, are interested in something akin to a “thinking camera” that pre-sorts imagery according to an algorithm based on what an analyst hopes to find.

And perhaps after those pre-selecting imagery tools come online for the military, it won’t take long before civilian law enforcement puts them to use. Applebee certainly hopes so. He sees the wide-eyed Kestrel as a huge help for “securing large areas from illegal intrusion.” Imagine what the next generation of cameras will let him see.

 

Direct Link:  http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/04/homeland-border-camera/#more-77264

Jan 222012
 

 

 

Mexico’s Drug War Bloodies Areas Thought Safe

The New York Times

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
January 18, 2012

 

MEXICO CITY —

The Mexican drug war that has largely been defined by violence along the border is intensifying in interior and southern areas once thought clear of the carnage, broadening a conflict that has already overwhelmed the authorities and dispirited the public, according to analysts and new government data.

Last week, two headless bodies were found in a smoldering minivan near the entrance to one of the largest and most expensive malls in Mexico City, generally considered a refuge from the grisly atrocities that have gripped other cities throughout the drug war.

Two other cities considered safe just six months ago — Guadalajara and Veracruz — have experienced their own episodes of brutality: 26 bodies were left in the heart of Guadalajara late last year, on the eve of Latin America’s most prestigious book fair, and last month the entire police force in Veracruz was dismissed after state officials determined that it was too corrupt to patrol a city where 35 bodies were dumped on a road in September.

Damien Cave and Karla Zabludovsky contributed reporting.