Archive for category Mexico

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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Industry Talk: Security Contracting On Both Sides Of The US-Mexican Border

Armed private security is a booming business in many parts of Latin America, and demand for personal protection services in Mexico is growing at least 20 percent a year, driven by foreign and local business executives looking to safeguard their families and employees, according to Robert Munks, a senior Americas analyst with London-based IHS-Jane’s, which tracks global security trends.

Here are two great articles that cover the current situation of security contracting both in Mexico, and on the US side of the border. The bottom line is that business is good for US executive protection providers in places like Texas, and business is good for Mexican security companies on their side of the border.

The first article talks about business on the US side and mentions a few companies that folks can check out if they are interested. The companies listed are Texas Professional Bodyguards LLC, BlackStone Group Security, Reynolds Protection and Sentry Security and Investigations LP. These are all Texas companies and it sounds like all of them have seen an increase in business.

The reason for the increase is pretty simple. Affluent Mexicans that come to the US fear getting attacked by sicarios hired by the cartels. Here is the quote that perked me up.

In Texas, crimes linked to cartels include 25 homicides since 2009 and 120 kidnappings and extortions reported since 2004 that have involved drugs and immigrants unlawfully in the country, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. At least one Austin homicide in the past five years has been cartel-related, police have said.

The second article is a Washington Post article and it describes the private security market on the other side of the border. They basically cover what is already known and that is Mexican security companies are doing well, but US companies are limited because of the firearms restrictions. Although there is a lot of money for training and support related stuff, the reality is that you just won’t see many armed US (or other) security contractors down there because of Mexico’s Article 27 firearms codes.

On the other hand, they do mention a few companies that are operating across the border. They are DynCorp International, Kroll, Spectre Group International LLC, SECFOR, and Robert Oatman.

Personally I think Mexico is foolish for not tapping into this wartime security contracting industry. If the laws were changed and there were provisions that allowed security contractors to be armed and operate in Mexico under some type of SOFA, then you would see this side of the industry getting more involved. I mean if you have entire towns in Mexico that have become vacant because of drug violence, then that might indicate that they do not have enough competent security folks to meet then need. Just saying….

Of course training and logistical support will be there and I expect to see more of that as time goes by. Just look how much money has already been spent according to this quote?

American security aid pays for some of those programs, while other contractors are paid by the Mexican government, whose spending on security jumped from $1.7 billion in 2005 to more than $12 billion in 2011, according to the think tank Mexico Evalua.
There are no precise figures on the number of U.S. security contractors working in Mexico, but the Pentagon and the State Department spent $635.8 million on counternarcotics contracts in Latin America in 2009, a 32 percent increase from 2005, according to an analysis prepared by the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in June.

That is a lot of cash being dedicated to the cause and the companies will certainly provide whatever services that are needed. –Matt


Private security for Mexican citizens a growing business in Austin, state
By Jazmine Ulloa
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012
Some private security companies in Austin and across Texas have begun tapping into a burgeoning demand: personal protection services for wealthy Mexican citizens visiting the United States.
The increase over the past two years correlates with a wave of Mexican citizens, typically well-off business owners and entrepreneurs, looking to relocate to Texas in the wake of the bloodshed seething south of the U.S.-Mexico border, and some security businesses have noted the rising need statewide, agents said.
“There is a growing niche for personal protection (among Mexican citizens), but it is a very low-key niche,” said Philip Klein , CEO of Klein Investigations and Consulting and founder of Texas Professional Bodyguards L L C, which has offices in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. “There are very few of us who can provide these high-end services, and a lot of us don’t talk about it.”
An example of the security trend was revealed this month when the American-Statesman reported that several Austin police officers were paid cash by an affluent Mexican citizen to watch over his daughter while she attends college. Two officers have left the Austin Police Department since federal and local authorities started criminal and administrative investigations into the off-duty employment, police have said.
But an increasing number of Mexican clients are opting for private security companies, which must meet licensing, registration and insurance mandates, private security professionals said.

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