CBS News reports that U.S. gave me immunity to Mexican drug suspect.
(emphasis mine) [my comment]
26, 2011 8:29 AM
Mexican drug suspect: U.S. gave me immunity
By Sharyl Attkisson
A Mexican drug suspect awaiting trial in Chicago is making a startling claim. He insists he can't be prosecuted because he worked as an informant and had a secret immunity deal with the U.S. government.
Prosecutors say Vicente Zambada-Niebla oversaw drug running on a massive scale into the U.S. But now, from behind bars at a maximum security prison in Chicago, he's making his own explosive accusations -- that U.S. government agents have been aiding Mexico's infamous Sinaloa cartel -- even tipping off leaders on how to avoid capture.
CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports that Zambada's court filings claim federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents gave him, cartel kingpin Chapo Guzman, and other Sinaloa leaders "carte blanche" to "operate their drug business without interference," as long as they snitched on other cartels. For years, Zambada's attorney argues, Sinaloa leaders helped "authorities capture or kill thousands of rivals." Their chief rivals are the Zetas, considered the most vicious and ruthless of all.
?c in court documents, prosecutors do admit THE U.S. HAD A SIGNED COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH A DIFFERENT SINALOA CARTEL LEADER.
That agreement was with Sinaloa cartel lawyer Humberto Loya-Castro. Starting as early as 2004, Loya passed information to the DEA from cartel leaders including Zambada -- the one now on trial. In return, Zambada claims, the U.S. dismissed a major case against Loya and agreed to "not ... interfere with" the cartel's "drug trafficking" or actively prosecute their leadership.
Jordan points out that Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was once on the CIA's payroll. And that in Colombia, the U.S. worked with select cartels, allowing them to continue drug smuggling operations in the U.S. as long as they helped in destroying the more dangerous Cali and Medillin cartels.
The Examiner reports that drug trafficker's claims on Operation Gunwalker gain some credibility.
Drug trafficker?fs claims on Operation Gunwalker gain some
Dave Gibson, drug cartel Examiner
October 10, 2011
The same drug trafficker, Vicente Zambada Niebla, who now claims the U.S. government entered into a deal with the Sinaloa drug cartel to allow tons of drugs into the country over the last five years, has also alleged that thousands were murdered in Mexico as a result of the now, infamous ATF scheme.
Though the U.S. government has denied his claims, it now appears that they may have some merit.
In April, Mexican authorities uncovered a cache of weapons, including 40 assault weapons purchased under the ATF's Operation Gunwalker (aka Fast and Furious) program in a home in Ciudad Juarez. The arsenal belonged to Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, the top enforcer in the Sinaloa Cartel, according to recently released government documents.
In addition to the assault rifles, an antiaircraft gun and a grenade launcher were also found in the house.
At the time of the seizure, Chihuahua state Gov. Cesar Duarte said: ?gWe have seized the most important cache of weapons in the history of Ciudad Juarez.?h
Gov. Duarte was not yet aware that THE ATF WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING MOST OF THE WEAPONS TO THE CARTEL OPERATIVE.
Though Torres Marrufo has been indicted in the United States, he remains at-large at this time.
An unidentified U.S. government source recently told The Los Angeles Times: ?gThese Fast and Furious guns were going to Sinaloans, and they are killing everyone down there. But that's only how many we know came through Texas. Hundreds more had to get through.?h
In August, attorneys for Vicente Zambada Niebla filed documents in U.S. District Court in Chicago claiming that the government allowed him to bring cocaine into the U.S. in exchange for information on rival cartels.
Also, included in those briefs, is Zambada Niebla?fs assertion that approximately, ?gthree thousand people?h were killed in Mexico with weapons from Operation Gunwalker (aka Fast and Furious), ?gincluding law enforcement officers in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, headquarters of the Sinaloa Cartel.?h
His attorneys wrote: ?gMr. Zambada Niebla believes that the documentation that he requests [from the US government as part of his court case] will confirm that the weapons received by Sinaloa Cartel members and its leaders in Operation ?eFast & Furious?f were provided under the [immunity] agreement entered into between the United States government and [Chapo Guzman confidante, DEA cooperating source and possible CIA asset] Mr. Loya Castro on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel?c.?h
Although the feds have denied the allegations, they have also requested that testimony from Zambada Niebla?fs trial be kept hidden from the public.
On September 9, prosecutors filed a motion in U.S. District Court seeking to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), in the trial. The CIPA was enacted over 30 years ago to prevent public disclosure in criminal cases of classified information.
Fast and Furious" was part of a trend of state-sanctioned law-breaking
The Hawaii Reporter reports that Operation Fast and Furious Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg.
Operation Fast and Furious Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Zambada IS NOT THE ONLY PERSON TO CLAIM THAT THE DOJ SANCTIONS ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES IN ORDER TO GET CLOSER TO THE CARTELS. Days after prosecutors denied Zambada?fs allegations, a former law enforcement officer went to the El Paso Times with allegations that THE FBI HAD ALLOWED DRUGS TO CROSS THE BORDER AS PART OF A LARGER INVESTIGATION. William Dutton, a former New Mexico livestock investigator, claimed that during his 18 months working with the FBI, HE ACCEPTED SEVERAL SHIPMENTS OF NARCOTICS ON THE AGENCY'S BEHALF. "The drugs were concealed in horse saddles, and we started getting a lot of them," Dutton told the Times. "But the FBI kept putting me off when I asked for the money to pay the cartels for the drugs. I had to use my own funds. The FBI still owes me thousands of dollars for these out-of-pocket expenses.?h
While the burden of providing actionable evidence is on Dutton and Zambada, the burden of justifying drug war collateral damage is on the Justice Department. Mexico's drug-related death toll for the last five years is creeping toward 50,000 people. Guns from Operation Fast and Furious have been recovered not just across northern Mexico, but also in Texas. Those same guns were used to kill not just a U.S. Border Patrol agent, but also the brother of Chihuaha State Prosecutor Patricia Gonzalez and roughly 150 other Mexicans. If that weren?ft bad enough, Mexico Attorney General Marisela Morales still has not been briefed on the supposedly rogue operation by her U.S. counterparts, a fact that lends weight to Zambada?fs claim that the Sinaloa Cartel worked with the DEA without the knowledge of officials in Mexico.
If the U.S. can?ft enforce its own drug laws without first violating them, perhaps it?fs time for a new strategy.
Gunwalking case gets more dangerous?
For more, see "Grenade-walking" part of "Gunwalker" scandal - CBS News
Guatemala Times reports about Mexico's maze of mirrors.
Mexico?fs maze of mirrors
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 07:01 Carlos Antonio Flores Pérez
Mexico?fs government has led a five-year war against organized crime that has turned parts of the country into sites of atrocious violence, claimed more than 40,000 lives, and generated heated debate over its priorities and preferences. ?c
Images of the carnage have travelled the globe: beheadings, maimed corpses, brutal tortures, massive clandestine graves which together have generated a mountain of dead bodies. In only four years, the toll of murders supposedly related to organized crime exceeds 40,000.
Besides many members of criminal groups slaughtered by their rivals, this figure includes a candidate for state governor, several municipal majors and security force officers of different ranks. Civilians who did not have anything to do with the conflict, and only had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time – leading to their death at the hands of one of the rival factions, including the armed forces - count for up to 10 per cent of the total.
The fight against organized crime has been the priority of Felipe Calderón?fs government since it started. However, almost five years on, the violence is unrelenting, and the country has grown tired of an apparently never-ending war and its maze of mirrors, where few things are what they first seem to be.
History and El Chapo
The problem is that arresting El Chapo might not exactly be one of the Mexican government?fs priorities. Indeed, the fight against drug organizations appears quite inequitable. Where as the Sinaloan group is responsible for around 45 per cent of drug trafficking, the number of their members arrested (941) until January 2010 represented less than two per cent of the whole (53,174). The harshest fight has been mostly against Sinaloa?fs rivals, and this inequality has not only been noted by analysts, but also by criminals, who OPENLY ACCUSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OTHER AUTHORITIES OF PROTECTING EL CHAPO. In a country in which some of the anti-drugs czars have even been arrested for shielding drug traffickers, this would not be surprising.
Suspicions look north
What comes as a major surprise, however, is evidence appearing to show that THE GOOD WILL TOWARD THE SINALOA CARTEL, or at best, the incapacity to prosecute its associates, MIGHT NOT BE LIMITED TO MEXICO.
For instance, in June 2009, the Justice Department (DOJ) of the United States asked a federal judge to throw out drug charges against Zhenli Ye Gon, a Chinese businessman and naturalized Mexican, who was found to own 205 million US dollars in cash, seized in his Mexico City house, and which were purportedly obtained by selling pseudoephedrine in order to manufacture methamphetamines for the Sinaloa cartel.
The federal attorney?fs failure to find supporting evidence – a witness recanted on his former statements, and some others refused to testify – resulted in a rather unusual turn of events. Despite the well-known problems of the Mexican justice system, the prosecutors worked on behalf of Ye Gon?fs extradition to Mexico, where, they said, the authorities had a stronger case against him. Ye Gon had formerly stated that the millions in cash seized at his house were remnants of illegal funding for the ruling party PAN?fs political campaigns. The extradition to Mexico has already been granted and, in this country, relatives of Ye Gon have obtained the protection of a federal court, which has dismissed any charges of organized crime, drug trafficking and money laundering against them.
Another case emerged in April 2006, when a DC-9 jet transporting 5.7 tons of cocaine landed in a southeastern state of Mexico. The drugs belonged to the Sinaloa cartel. An investigation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration discovered that the plane had been bought with money laundered in Wachovia Bank, part of Wells Fargo. Signs that Wachovia was not complying with money laundering laws appeared as early as 2005-2006, when an officer of the bank?fs British branch discovered that certain crucial documents were missing, pointing in turn to massive illegal money transfers involving Mexican currency exchanges.
Between 2004 and 2007, Wachovia had processed 378 billion US dollars which had been sent from those Mexican casas de cambio, but did not fulfil the proofs of legitimate origin imposed by anti-money laundering laws. More than likely, this was blood-soaked money. The bank was punished by the Justice Department. However, the fine was for 50 million US dollars, less than two per cent of the bank?fs profits for 2009 of 12.3 billion dollars. No one went to jail, and by the end of the affair, a cost-benefit analysis would seem to have been quite favourable for the bank. Antonio María Costa, former head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, once declared that drugs money might be the only liquid investment capital in the context of a global economic crisis.
During his ongoing trial before an American court, Vicente Zambada, the extradited son of Ismael Zambada, aka El Mayo, the other most powerful baron within the Sinaloa cartel, appeared to confirm the suspicions raised in these cases. He alleged that along with other high-ranking members of the organization, he had cut deals to operate as DEA informers, providing the organization with information about their rivals and obtaining de facto permission for their trafficking business.
The Daily Caller reports that 38 congressmen demand Eric Holder's resignation.
a victim?fs family speaks, 38 congressmen demand Eric Holder?fs resignation
Published: 12:43 AM 11/10/2011 | Updated: 8:14 PM 11/10/2011
By Matthew Boyle - The Daily Caller
Republican congressmen Bill Flores of Texas and Frank
LoBiondo of New Jersey have added their names to a list of
members of Congress calling for Attorney
General Eric Holder?fs immediate resignation, INCREASING
THAT LIST'S NUMBER TO 38.
A spokesperson for Flores said he is calling for Holder?fs resignation ?gin light of Tuesday?fs testimony?h before the Senate Judiciary Committee. During that hearing, Holder deflected questions about who he is holding accountable for the scandal-prone Operation Fast and Furious, changed the timeline of his recollections, refused to provide details about a letter to Congress containing at least one false statement, and said he had not spoken to the family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
On Tuesday former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke admitted to leaking documents aimed at smearing Fast and Furious whistle-blowers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. When Burke resigned in August, Holder issued a glowing statement saying he ?gdemonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney?fs office.?h
On Wednesday afternoon, Terry?fs family broke their nearly year-long silence since his murder, issuing their first statement about what they think of the congressional investigation into the scandal. The Border Patrol agent was killed in December 2010 by a gun trafficked into Mexico as a result of Operation Fast and Furious.
?gMr. Holder needs to own Operation Fast and Furious,?h the Terry family?fs statement read. ?gIn the end, Mr. Holder may chose not to apologize to the Terry family for the role that ATF and DOJ played in the death of Brian Terry, but the Attorney General should accept responsibility immediately. It is without question, the right thing to do.?h
The Justice Department and the White House continue to ignore calls for Holder?fs resignation despite their steady growth in recent weeks. DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler again wouldn?ft comment when TheDC asked her Wednesday for a response to news that 38 congressmen now think Holder should resign immediately.
Members who have previously called for Holder?fs immediate resignation include: Rep. Connie Mack, Rep. Walter Jones, Rep. Dan Burton, House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica, House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves and Reps. Ted Poe, Blake Farenthold, Louie Gohmert, Quico Canseco, Rodney Alexander, Paul Gosar, Allen West, Tim Huelskamp, Mike Pompeo, Duncan Hunter, Devin Nunes, Dennis Ross, Trent Franks, Lynn Jenkins, Raul Labrador, Joe Walsh, Gus Bilirakis, Paul Broun, Randy Hultgren, Stephen Fincher, John Culberson, Michael Grimm, Andy Harris, Mike Coffman, Kenny Marchant, Thaddeus McCotter, Diane Black, Bob Latta, Denny Rehberg and Vicky Hartzler.
My reaction: The gunrunning scandal is
continuing to grow.
1) 38 congressmen now think Holder should resign immediately.
2) In addition to guns, the US allowed thousands of ("Grenade-walking") into Mexico.
3) The guns/grenades ended up in the hands of US-supported El Chapo. This wasn?ft an accident.
Conclusion: The fact that US government's connections to drug trafficking are being openly exposed is evidence that events are spiraling out of control. I will post more examples of this.
If you are confused about why the US government openly works with the largest drug dealers in the world, watch The ESF And Its History (part 5) below.
Sorry for the downtime on MarketSkeptics, I needed a break.