Archive for category Mexico

Film: Sicario

This looks good. I have written in the past about the brutality of the drug war in Mexico, and the all out warfare that the cartels conduct against one another. Finally it looks like Hollywood is willing to go down south and explore this brutality. The director is Denis Villeneuve and his work is pretty intense.

The film will be in theaters September 18, 2015 and it will star Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber and Jon Bernthal. It has already shown in the Cannes Film Festival and it did really well. –Matt



Website for the film here.

In Mexico, SICARIO means hitman.

In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent [Emily Blunt] is enlisted by an elite government task force official [Josh Brolin] to aid in the escalating war against drugs.

Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past [Benicio Del Toro], the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything that she believes in order to survive.

A Lionsgate presentation, a Black Label Media presentation, a Thunder Road production, a Denis Villeneuve film.

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Law Enforcement: Over 1,286 US Cities Report Presence Of Mexican Cartels

This is an excellent graphic giving a visual representation of where the cartels are, and a general idea of their activity. If you click on the image, you should be able to get a bigger picture of it and really dig into the data. All of this data was extracted from reports issued by the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center. The 1,286 number is startling.  No telling how many more cities have reported since 2010? Here is a quote:

The numbers could rise in coming years. The Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center estimates Mexican cartels control distribution of most of the methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana coming into the country, and they’re increasingly producing the drugs themselves.
In 2009 and 2010, the center reported, cartels operated in 1,286 U.S. cities, more than five times the number reported in 2008. The center named only 50 cities in 2006.
Target communities often have an existing Hispanic population and a nearby interstate for ferrying drugs and money to and fro, said author Charles Bowden, whose books on the Mexican drug war include “Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields.”
“I’m not saying Mexicans come here to do crime, but Mexicans who move drugs choose to do it through areas where there are already Mexicans,” he said.

Also, if you are wondering what happened to the DoJ’s National Drug Intelligence Center, it was closed and folded into the DEA recently. But you can still read through their archives here. –Matt


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Funny Stuff: The Every Day Carry For Cartel Bosses

This guy was just captured by authorities and he is a big fish. El Gordo is one of the two top leaders of the Gulf Cartel! But what I was intrigued with, and got a chuckle from, was his ‘every day carry’ below. lol

Two hand grenades, one AR-15/M-4, three magazines, six phones, a wad of cash, a gold chain, and wait for it……a tablet (iPad maybe?). Now that is a multi-tasker! –Matt


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Technology: Google Declares War Against The Cartels!!

Eduardo Guerrero, a Mexico City-based security consultant, wasn’t optimistic that technology alone can disrupt narcotraffickers.
“You should never underestimate the power of these guys,” Guerrero said. “They’re probably even aware of what’s going on here, and will figure out a way to use it to their advantage.”
Even Google’s Schmidt conceded that better use of information isn’t enough.
“I think at the end of the day, there really are bad people, and you have to go in and arrest them and kill them,” he said.

Check this out. It looks to me like Google is picking a fight with the cartels down south. lol Thanks to Borderland Beat for posting  this story and this will be interesting to watch. Especially if they can actually come up with a sound anonymous tip line service that is completely safe and easy to use.

Google’s ideas include creating a network so citizens can safely report cartel activity without fear of retribution. It wants to make sharing real-time intelligence easier among police in different regions. It can identify how individuals are connected to each other, to bank accounts and even to corrupt government officials. It can create community Web platforms for citizens to share information and name and shame criminals.

‘Name and shame criminals’ or to ‘safely report cartel activity without fear of retribution’ would be a pretty big technological hit on the cartels. Let’s just hope that Google has posted close protection agents around those individuals tasked with coming up with this stuff. lol Because to the cartels, the weakest point and the easiest way to counter this stuff to them, is to kidnap the guys who figured it out and force them to give up the secrets. Or bribe, steal, or whatever. There are no rules with these guys, and everything is fair game.

Either way, I wish Google luck and I look forward to seeing these tools in action. –Matt


Google searches for ways technology can harness Mexico’s narcotraffickers, global crime
July 19, 2012
Google, so far, has won the search engine wars. Now it wants to target international crime, including Mexico’s powerful drug cartels.
Eric Schmidt, Google Inc.’s executive chairman, has taken a keen interest in Mexico, where more than 47,500 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against the cartels in 2006. Schmidt recently visited most of Mexico’s most violent cities, Ciudad Juarez, where civic leaders asked if he could help.

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Law Enforcement: Colombia’s Legendary Police Chief Heads To Mexico

Very interesting news. If Nieto wins the election in Mexico, this would be the guy he would be using for battling the cartels. Naranjo has the track record of cleaning up Colombia, and he is a foreigner in Mexico. Which makes me wonder how Mexicans would view this move? Will this be a boost or negative when it comes to votes? –Matt



Colombia’s legendary police chief heads to Mexico
June 16, 2012
A signature trophy that Gen. Oscar Naranjo has carefully displayed in glass at Police Intelligence headquarters is odd by any measure: the neatly folded uniform of a rebel commander slain in 2008, clearly showing the holes from the shrapnel that killed him.
The four-star general, who retired as Colombia’s police director this week, is proud of that and the others that line a hallway at the Police Intelligence Directorate in northern Bogota. They are testament to an intelligence empire he built that is unrivaled in Latin America.
Naranjo, 55, has played a central role in the capture or death of nearly every top Colombian drug trafficker, beginning with Pablo Escobar. The dismantling of the Medellin and Cali cocaine cartels and the splintering of successor trafficking organizations into ever-smaller groups was, as much as anyone’s, Naranjo’s doing.
On Thursday, Mexican presidential front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto said Naranjo has agreed to serve as his adviser on fighting drug trafficking if Pena Nieto wins the July 1 election.
The candidate has pledged to reduce violent crime affecting ordinary people in Mexico’s drug war, a contrast to President Felipe Calderon’s strategy of going after drug kingpins. Analysts have said Pena Nieto’s strategy could mean that drug dealers who conduct their businesses discreetly will be left alone.
But Naranjo, standing with Pena Nieto at a news conference, said all cartels should be treated equally because “there can’t be inequalities in the treatment of criminals.”

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Crime: Santa Muerte Or The Saint Of Death, Has A Following Among Criminals

This is a great report on the significance of Santa Muerte to criminals. She is definitely spiritual enemy number one! –Matt


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