Disorder On The Border
Stories Of Illegal immigration, drugs, violence and corruption.
C SPAN: Obama KNEW about Gun Walking into Mexico in March 2009
The Obama Gate Tapes!
Locals: Arizona border is not secure
Illegal crossings may be declining, but ranchers near the Mexican border feel as vulnerable as ever, from drug smugglers.
Casey Wian reports.
Mexican journalists learn to shoot in self-defence
Mexico is one of the world's most dangerous countries to be a journalist, with at least 82 killed while doing these jobs since 2000. Now the Mexican military is offering journalists training courses for self-defence that go far beyond what's usually on offer to the press - journalists are taught to fire automatic weapons and take part in a simulated shootout.
Family of Slain Border Agent Seeks Answers
Family members of Brian Terry, an Arizona U.S. Border Agent killed in connection with a botched gun-smuggling operation, say they won't have closure until someone is held accountable for his death.
Arizona Immigration Law Cleared to Take Effect
Arizona's immigration law is set to take effect. It requires Ariz. police to check the immigration status of people they stop while enforcing other laws, who are suspected of being in the U.S. Illegally.
HSBC Said to Have Laundered Mexican Drug Cash
An investigation has found that lax controls at HSBC
allowed Mexican drug cartels to launder billions of dollars
through its U.S. operation and other illicit transactions.
Arizona Rep. David Schweikert on the UN Arms Trade Treaty and Fast & Furious
High Court Rejects Part of Ariz. Immigration Law
The Supreme Court struck down key provisions of Arizona's crackdown on immigrants Monday
but said a much-debated portion on checking suspects' status could go forward.
Latino Group to Push on in Immigration Reform
Latino workers' union reacts to the Supreme Court's ruling on illegal immigration
saying the fight against racial profiling goes on.
The court upheld part of the law requiring police check the status
of anyone thought to be in the US illegally.
hire illegals as border patrol officers.
It is evident that they are better at getting across the border
than Migra is at stopping them!
Az Gov Brewer: 'Heart' of Immigration Law 'Constitutional'
Arizona officials are declaring victory after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld part of the state's immigration law,
but immigrant rights groups are promising more legal challenges.
Sheriff Arpaio: "I'm Not Stopping Anything, I'm Going to Continue to Enforce Those State Laws"
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio reacts to the Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's immigration law.
NRA CEO: "Fast & Furious Was About a Political Attack on the Second Amendment"
NRA CEO Wayne Lapierre on group's letter calling for Attorney Gen. Holder's resignation for the "Fast and Furious" program.
NRA CEO on Fast & Furious: "Obama Admin. Facilitated Crime to Further Political Agenda"
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre on the investigation into the "Fast & Furious" operation.
NV: Wayne LaPierre has made one glaring error.
American people do know the "truth". What we want is the paper trail of "evidence", which the people and congress know exists.
Here is "evidence in the following video, that "fast and furious"
was ordered by Obama. Also note that the following video from You Tube
may suddenly disappear, as ordered by those wishing to destroy existing evidence!
Holder threatens Constitutional Crises!
Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday admits to stone walling congress by withholding information,
and claiming special privilege! Many calling for Holders resignation over fast and furious.
Sen. Grassley: Impeachment not likely
The Senate must vote with a 2/3rds majority.
Mexican Cartels Get Comfortable In U.S. Cities
Here is a prime example of left wing fuzzy thinking by MSM.
The drug cartels are taking over the country.
So, in place of condemning an inadequate boarder policy,
that allows drugs and violence to flow freely into the country, they claim that Americans are big customers.
As if it were Tortillas, or beer, that was being imported.
So what! If adults want to abuse drugs, they should be able to do it, right!
What the left is not telling you is that Middle Eastern terrorist groups are also in the Game!
That's right! Your money is going to the enemy.
As if that were not enough,
children and young people are getting access to these deadly drugs!
Gov. Scott calls on DHS to give FL the SAVE Database
Governor Scott tells Neil Cavuto he'll fight to protect the rights of eligible voters.
Megyn Kelly interviews Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Megyn Kelly interviewed America's toughest sheriff Joe Arpaio
regarding A Department of Justice lawsuit filed against him.
4 Billion in Tax Dollars to Illegal Immigrants
An IRS loophole allows illegal immigrants to obtain over 4 billion dollars PER YEAR in tax payer money
- an existing problem that the IRS is ignoring.
Should Illegal Immigrants Be Allowed to Vote?
Well, Well, Well, guess who we caught at the demonstration against Arizona's immigration law, outside of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Commies! lol, who wudda thunk it!
It looks like a lot of them can't even speak English, and they want to vote.
Whenever there is something stinking in Denmark, you can bet there is a commie in the wood pile!
Looks like ole Joe McCarthy was right. Now, the 5th columnists are getting so brazen,
that they stand right outside the SCOTUS demanding special treatment,
and carrying their commie propoganda! Do you suppose that any of them has a green card?
Where are the stinking cops!
They will bust Americans for dancing or selling cool aid in DC,
but will not lift a finger against a pack of commie infiltrators,
bent on the destruction of the Republic!
mmmmm mmmmmm mmmmm Barack Hussain Obama!
After viewing the video below, scroll back up and follow these links to these special sections where we uncover more commies behind some recent troubles.
There IS a Communist, Satanic, New World Order Conspiracy!
The New World Order satanic commies have nearly consolidated their hold on the world.
Next step, the near extinction of humans through birth control,
controlled health care, civil disorder, control of food, fuel and
money supply, and global warfare using chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
Obama/Black Panthers/Uhurus/Weather Underground/Communists
Live Long And Prosper: Coincidence?
Just a simple and harmless trekke gesture
under the radar racist dig.
Could it signal that Obama is closing the rift to radical racist black militant revolutionaries.
Obama has been showing a great deal of stress over the coming 2012 presidential election,
and has basically given up on the white working class voters
that have suffered under his economic policies.
The White working class voters were largely responsible for Obama's election in 2008.
Therefore, Obama has reached out specifically to African American voters
in an attempt to win the 2012 election.
Previously, during a Q&A in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida;
a member of the Uhurus; complained that Obama was not supporting "the cause" enough.
Uhurus are a communist militant group of black racists
and convicted cop killers with close ties to the Black Panthers,
and other communist supported groups, going all the way back to the cold war era.
National Voice investigates the question
whether Obama's live long and prosper "sign",
was a signal to those black radicals bent on world domination,
that he now is "fully down with the cause".
Or, was this just a harmless move to get the trekke vote.
If you believe the latter, we have a great deal on a slightly used bridge, which may interest you!
Uhurus: Same As Black Panthers/Communists
MRCTV asks people protesting Arizona's immigration law at the Supreme Court.
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National Voice/Pine Level News Gazette
The cat with 10 lives
God bless the Republic!
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Law Enforcement Today
Law Enforcement Today is a new international web community developed by law enforcement officers for the law enforcement community, family members, friends & those who support law enforcement!
TERRORISTS CROSSING MEXICAN-U.S. BORDER
border patrol are finding muslim prayer shaws, muslim jackets with "martyr" patches on them.
Mexican Gangs Control Parts of Arizona
Mexican Gang Threatens Arizona Police
Mexican Gangs Taking Over America
ICE Union President 'Our Hands Are Tied With Regulations'
Obama Administration Caught Arming Mexican Illegal Alien Rebels
March 31, 2011 (MMD Newswire) -- One of America's largest border enforcement advocacy organizations is calling on supporters to demand that Congress use investigations, prosecutions, impeachments, military tribunals, and treason charges if necessary to bring justice to those who betrayed American citizens by arming drug and illegal alien importing invaders.
ATF Fires 'Fast And Furious' Whistleblower
New Congressional Funding to Enhance Department of Justice Southwest Border Strategy
WASHINGTON—Today’s passage by Congress of the Border Security Appropriations Bill provides $196 million for the Department of Justice to surge federal law enforcement efforts in high crime areas in the Southwest Border region, announced Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler.
“I commend Congress for passing the Border Security Appropriations Bill to add important resources to bolster security on our Southwest Border,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler. “These assets are critical to bringing additional capabilities to crack down on transnational criminal organizations and reduce the illicit trafficking of people, drugs, currency, and weapons.
“This bill will help strengthen the Department of Justice’s historic security efforts on the Southwest Border. Over the past 18 months, this Administration and this Department have dedicated unprecedented personnel, technology, and resources to the border, with unprecedented results, and we will continue to focus our efforts on disrupting criminal organizations and the networks they exploit,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler.
Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler was joined in the announcement by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; Deputy Director Kenneth Melson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart; Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; and U.S. Marshals Service Director John Clark.
Specifically, the funding will allow for more than 400 new positions and the temporary deployment of up to 220 personnel along the border as part of the Justice Department’s broader Southwest Border Strategy, including:
Target Drug Enforcement Efforts at the Cartels: Enhancing and increasing intelligence operations against drug cartels as well as adding 50 new positions in Southwest Border offices;
FBI Hybrid Squads: Creation of five additional Hybrid Squads on the Southwest Border dedicated to combating the violent crime threat along the border and expanding intelligence collection efforts;
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF): Increased funding for the Southwest Border region including its seven OCDETF Strike Forces in the area to support investigations and prosecutions of high level Mexican drug cartels;
U.S. Attorneys: Deployment of more than 30 prosecutors in targeted locations to provide additional prosecutorial resources dedicated to combating Southwest Border firearm and drug trafficking, and bulk cash smuggling;
Criminal Division: Creation of 26 positions to review wiretap requests, along with mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) and extradition requests as well as to provide additional support for the investigation and prosecution of transnational gangs, firearms, and drug traffickers, and money launderers operating along the Southwest Border;
USMS International Investigations: Deployment of more than 20 Deputy U.S. Marshals to support its international investigations, including establish offices in Mexico to address cross-border investigations and enhance USMS presence at El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) to facilitate more intelligence-driving investigations;
Immigration Litigation: Increased funding for Immigration Judge Teams to expedite the adjudication of removal proceedings involving criminal aliens;
Prisons and Detention: Increased funding for contract beds and USMS personnel to accommodate prisoner levels; and
Training for Mexican law enforcement: Additional funding to support Mexican law enforcement operations with ballistic analysis, DNA analysis, information sharing, technical capabilities, and assistance.
The Southwest Border Strategy, led by the Deputy Attorney General, uses federal prosecutor-led task forces that bring together all law enforcement components to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the Mexican drug cartels through investigation, prosecution, and extradition of their key leaders and facilitators, and seizure and forfeiture of their assets. The Department of Justice is increasing its focus on investigations and prosecutions of the southbound smuggling of guns and cash that fuel the violence and corruption and attacking the cartels in Mexico itself, in partnership with the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) and the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP).
The latest resources and funding announced by the United States build on the framework of expertise and experience that have been announced during the last year, as well as the successes these resources and funding have achieved, as part of the Obama administration’s support of the fight against the cartels.
As the largest law enforcement presence in Mexico with offices throughout, and a decades-long history of working with the Mexican government, the DEA has a strategic vantage point from which to assess the drug trafficking situation in Mexico, the related violence, its causes and its historical context. Currently, DEA has nearly 29 percent of its domestic agent positions dedicated to combating drug trafficking organizations in the Southwest Border region. Project Deliverance, announced in June 2010, led to the arrest of more than 2,200 individuals on narcotics-related charges in the United States and the seizure of more than 74.1 tons of illegal drugs as part of a 22-month multi-agency law enforcement investigation.
Through ATF’s Project Gunrunner, agents gather intelligence from federal firearms licensee records, ballistics and other laboratory analysis and trace data as well as use traditional methods of intelligence gathering to deny the “tools of the trade” to the firearms trafficking infrastructure of criminal organizations operating in Mexico and throughout the United States. As a result of Project Gunrunner, ATF seized 2,589 firearms and 265,500 rounds of ammunition destined for the Southwest Border in FY 2009.
ATF has significantly expanded its efforts by deploying GRIT teams to target areas along the border. As a result of the first GRIT team deployment to Houston, agents researched and completed more than 1,000 investigative leads resulting in the initiation of more than 275 firearms cases and seizure of more than 440 illegal firearms. GRIT teams also completed more than 1,100 federal firearms licensee (FFL) inspections.
Recovery Act funding provided Project Gunrunner with $10 million to hire special agents, industry operations investigators and others to staff new offices in McAllen, Texas; El Centro, Calif.; and Las Cruces, N.M. (including a satellite office in Roswell, N.M.,) to target the gun traffickers that enable weapons to make their way to violent criminals.
ATF has also expanded its successful eTrace initiative, which allows law enforcement agencies to identify firearms trafficking trends of drug trafficking organizations and other criminal organizations funneling guns into Mexico from the United States, as well as to develop investigative leads in order to stop firearms traffickers and straw purchasers (people who knowingly purchase guns for prohibited persons) before they cross the border.
USMS has stepped-up its efforts along the Southwest border, deploying 94 additional Deputy U.S. Marshals and sending four additional deputies to Mexico City to assist the Marshals Service Mexico City Foreign Field Office in FY 2009. Twenty-five new Criminal Investigators-Asset Forfeiture Specialists have been placed in USMS asset forfeiture units in the field. The new positions are unique in that they are solely dedicated to the USMS Asset Forfeiture Division and support U.S. Attorneys Offices and investigative agencies in investigations of cartels and other large-scale investigations.
Extraditions from Mexico reached an all-time high in 2009, with 107 individuals extradited from Mexico to the United States to stand trial for alleged crimes committed in the United States. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs has already achieved the extradition of 54 fugitives from Mexico in 2010, 22 of whom have been for drug trafficking offenses. This included the extradition from Mexico of Mario Ernesto Villanueva Madrid, the former governor of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
In addition to increased resources and funding, the Department of Justice has continued to support Mexican law enforcement through training initiatives. The Criminal Division’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT) and others are providing real time hands-on training through seminars for investigators and prosecutors in Mexico on the investigation and prosecution of complex cases, as Mexico transitions to an adversarial system. The training of 5,462 Mexican prosecutors and investigators at the state and federal level and in the executive and judicial branches has already occurred, and the department is on target to reach 9,261 trained by the end of 2010.
In addition, the OCDETF program has increased its analyst personnel along the Southwest Border and the Office of Justice Programs invested $30 million in stimulus funding to assist with state and local law enforcement to combat narcotics activity coming through the southern border and in high intensity drug trafficking areas.
06/10/10 - The results of a nearly two-year multi-agency investigation targeting Mexican drug trafficking organizations in the U.S.—especially along the Southwest border—were announced today, and the numbers speak for themselves:
In addition to the arrest of more than 2,200 individuals on narcotics-related charges, there were significant seizures, including:
... $154 million in U.S. currency;
“This interagency, cross-border operation has been our most extensive and most successful law enforcement effort to date targeting these deadly cartels,” Attorney General Eric Holder said during a press conference in Washington.
Added Kevin Perkins, assistant director of our Criminal Investigative Division, “Today we have all taken a major step forward to disrupt and dismantle transnational drug trafficking that originates along our Southwest border. Our success demonstrates what we can accomplish when law enforcement agencies in the United States and other nations work together.”
Code named "Project Deliverance," the sweeping 22-month investigation included the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Mexican law enforcement, in addition to many other local, state, and federal partners.
In one day, some 429 individuals in 16 states were arrested as more than 3,000 agents and officers fanned out across the country in a coordinated effort.
Drug trafficking across the Southwest border has led to a surge of drugs in neighborhoods across the U.S., increased border violence, kidnapping, extortion, human smuggling, and public corruption, Perkins said. “To help combat this threat, the FBI focuses on areas where we bring something special to the table—in terms of technology, manpower, or federal statutes. And we try to maximize our resources by working closely with our state, local, and international counterparts, as demonstrated by this takedown.”
The Bureau’s specific participation in Project Deliverance included 14 drug- and gang-related cases across FBI field offices in Albuquerque, Dallas, El Paso, Kansas City, Mobile, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Diego.
“The FBI is proud to be part of this effort,” Perkins added. “Today, we see the culmination of our collective efforts. We see the benefits of working shoulder to shoulder as one team.”
The 2,266 individuals arrested during Project Deliverance are charged with a variety of crimes involving conspiracy to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana, along with other violations of federal law. Many of the defendants face forfeiture allegations as well.
The coordinated takedown is part of the Department of Justice’s Southwest Border Strategy, which uses prosecutor-led task forces that bring together federal, state, and local law enforcement to identify, disrupt, and dismantle Mexican drug cartels through investigation, prosecution, and extradition of their key leaders and facilitators—and seizure and forfeiture of their assets.
“This successful operation, however, is just one battle in an ongoing war,” Attorney General Holder noted. “So long as cartels and smugglers attempt to wreak havoc on our borders, we will continue to target them with every resource available to the federal government.”
Understanding the Gang Threat On the Southwest Border
A Barrio Azteca gang member's tattoos.
Mexican drug cartels run the billion-dollar trafficking operations that bring so much crime and violence to both sides of the Southwest border. But it's street gangs that carry out the cartels' dirty work of smuggling, extortion, and murder. Understanding the gangs—their structure, culture, and tactics—is the job of agents who specialize in collecting human intelligence, or HUMINT.
In our El Paso Field Office, the HUMINT squad pays particular attention to Barrio Azteca, the city's predominant gang whose leaders regularly do business from prison—even authorizing contract killings.
“The focus of the HUMINT squad is not to worry about making individual cases,” said Special Agent Armando Ramos, a senior investigator on the team. “Our job is to see the big picture—whether it's Barrio Azteca or any other gang—so we can effectively target these groups and the larger drug trafficking organizations they associate with.”
Intelligence gathering is critical to seeing that big picture. And Agent Ramos, working closely with officers from the El Paso Police Department and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, collect intelligence in a variety of ways.
They get tips from police officers on the street, recruit sources from the ranks of disgruntled gang members, and make contact with recently arrested gang members who may be looking for a more lenient sentence in exchange for their cooperation.
“Whatever intelligence we gain, we pass on to our Safe Streets Task Force and to other law enforcement agencies,” Agent Ramos said. “We get the information out quickly to where it can do the most good.”
The actionable intelligence collected by the HUMINT squad could lead to arrests, drug seizures, or the prevention of crimes such as kidnapping or murder . There are dozens of different gangs operating along the Southwest border—some of them cooperate and some are bitter rivals—but the one thing they all share in common is violence.
Barrio Azteca—known as BA—is an extremely violent gang, with as many as 3,500 members on the street and in jail, both in El Paso and across the Rio Grande in Juarez, Mexico. Even though the Bureau put together a major racketeering case against the gang several years ago that effectively dismantled its leadership, the group has reorganized, and younger members—dubbed the “Pepsi Generation”—have been promoted to top positions.
Agent Ramos has been on the HUMINT squad for about three years and has an intimate knowledge of BA culture and its leaders. “The players are always changing, and so are their tactics,” he said. “That's why HUMINT is so valuable, because we are able to keep pace with gang activities and be proactive in our response.”
But the job requires constant vigilance, he explained, because of how integral crime and violence are to the gang's culture. BA's constitution—its “sacred bible”—lists dozens of rules members must follow. Rule Number Two is, “Always dominate your opponent.” Rule Number One: “Once you get in, you can't get out.”
“After you become a member,” Agent Ramos said, “there are only two ways to get out of BA—get killed or get arrested. With that kind of mindset, you can see why the work of the HUMINT squad is so important.”
Forging Ties in Tijuana
08/16/10 - Amid the car horns, engine exhaust, and constant flow of people on foot and in cars, Special Agent Mike Eckel inched through traffic at the San Ysidro Port of Entry—the world’s busiest land border crossing—on his way from San Diego to Tijuana. Although the Mexican city can be a dangerous place for Americans, in his role as one of the Bureau’s five border liaison officers, Eckel makes the trip about once a week.
In addition to establishing strong relationships and coordinating international investigations with Mexican law enforcement, our border liaison officers also provide valuable training.
In the late 1980s, the Bureau established the Mexican-American Liaison and Law Enforcement Training (MALLET) program to teach some of our time-tested investigative techniques such as evidence recovery and crime scene management. The weeklong courses, held about four times a year, also offer instruction in ethics and managing investigations. The training is conducted by border liaison officers and other FBI instructors.
“The training is another way we foster good partnerships,” said Special Agent Mike Eckel, one of our border liaison officers.
On this day, he will visit his counterpart at the Tijuana Police Department in hopes of locating a U.S. citizen wanted for a 2009 murder in Nevada who may be hiding with relatives in that region of Mexico.
“The idea behind the border liaison program is to build relationships and to exchange information with Mexican law enforcement,” said Eckel, who speaks fluent Spanish. “We try to take geography out of the equation so we can share intelligence and help each other and bring criminals to justice on both sides of the border.”
In the past, such relationships were difficult to cultivate in Tijuana because of the level of corruption there, according to U.S. and Mexican officials. “But the tide is turning,” Eckel said. “There is less corruption now, and the FBI and other federal entities have established solid working relationships with our Mexican partners.”
Less than an hour after crossing the border, Eckel sat in a small office in a busy Tijuana police substation. He was speaking with officer Alejandro Lares about the Nevada murder fugitive and other matters, including suspected cartel members who live freely in San Diego, where they have committed no crimes. Lares, who has been on the Tijuana force for four years, has served as the liaison officer for U.S. law enforcement for the past year.
“Today, the cartels have less power than they had in the past,” Lares said, largely because the Mexican federal government has exerted its military presence in the area. “We are moving in the right direction,” he added, but acknowledged that the crime and corruption associated with the drug trade will never disappear completely.
Thanks to drug money, the cartels have enormous power—and they use it to bribe, intimidate, and murder. To get what they want from police and government officials in Tijuana and elsewhere along the Mexican border, the cartels offer “the silver or the lead”: the silver being money and the lead being bullets.
Even well-intentioned public servants who refuse outright bribes might be compelled to look the other way if their lives—or the lives of their families—have been threatened. “And these are not hollow threats,” Eckel said. “They will kill you.”
But efforts such as the border liaison program and the determined, collaborative work of law enforcement on both sides of the border are making a difference.
“Sharing information is the key,” Eckel said. “By being able to gather intelligence and quickly analyze and share it, we can actually save lives. I have seen that happen.” Working with the Mexicans as well as other U.S. partner agencies, he added, “We help keep each other safe. We all get along extremely well, because our lives can depend on it.
When Violence Hits Too Close to Home
08/12/10 - Emerging from the port of entry’s administrative offices into a sunny San Diego morning, Special Agent Dean Giboney spoke in fluent Spanish with the man whose temporary U.S. visa he had just helped renew. The man was smiling, happy to be out of Mexico, even though he understood that being on U.S. soil was no guarantee of safety from the Tijuana drug cartel that has put a price on his head.
The kidnappings, beatings, and murders that mark the extreme drug-related violence of Mexican border cities such as Tijuana and Juarez have increasingly spilled over the border. Agent Giboney is hoping the man—we’ll call him José —can provide information that will help in the Bureau’s efforts to dismantle the cartels and the criminal enterprises they fuel.
A few years ago, José started working for the Arellano Felix Organization (AFO) in Tijuana to earn extra money. But when he saw how routine the act of murder was for the cartel—leaders thought nothing of having even their own people killed for real or perceived insubordination—he started to fear for his life and contacted the FBI to help him flee the country.
Sources like José are just one of many ways the Bureau gathers intelligence to combat border crime. Agent Giboney is particularly interested in gaining information regarding fugitives in the Los Palillos case, one of San Diego’s most notorious examples of so-called “spillover violence.”
Los Palillos—the “Toothpicks”—was a rogue spinoff from the AFO. From 2004 to 2007, the San Diego street gang carried out a brutal crime spree in which 13 people were abducted and nine were killed. Bodies turned up in cars, on jogging paths, and inside houses in quiet, residential neighborhoods.
The group’s leader, Jorge Rojas-Lopez, is serving a life sentence without parole for the crimes, and several of his henchmen are also in prison. But five members of the gang are still at large.
Rojas-Lopez—a former AFO member—was fighting the cartel for a piece of the billion-dollar drug trade, but he was also fighting for revenge, because the AFO had ordered the murder of his brother.
“This level of extreme violence is very typical of the way the cartels operate south of the border,” Giboney said.
Unfortunately, Los Palillos is not an isolated case north of the border, either.
What explains this level of brutality? “The cartels and the gang members they employ want to be Al Pacino in the movie Scarface,” Giboney said. During raids on the homes of cartel members, he has seen movie posters of the machine-gun-wielding Pacino, who played a vicious drug kingpin. “They want to live that lifestyle—the nice cars, going out to clubs, throwing money around. But once you’re in that lifestyle,” he explained, “it’s hard to get out, even if you want to.”
José understands how difficult it is to get away from the cartel. The “narcos,” as he calls AFO members, are powerful as well as ruthless, and their influence is felt at every level of Mexican society. “Whatever they want to know about you they can find out,” he said. “They will stop at nothing to protect their interests, even if it means crossing the border.”
Kidnappings by the cartels and the gangs who work for them have become a serious problem in several U.S. cities on the Southwest border. In the past, kidnap victims were usually rivals in the drug trade. Sometimes victims were kidnapped for revenge, sometimes to intimidate. And paying a ransom was no guarantee the victim would be released.
But when the gangs realized how easy—and profitable—kidnapping could be, they started abducting anyone who looked wealthy enough to command a hefty ransom, and that included Americans on either side of the border.
In the Texas border town of McAllen, for example, the rate of kidnapping has nearly quadrupled. Between October 2008 and September 2009, 42 people were kidnapped in the McAllen area, compared with 11 the previous year. And many kidnappings go unreported because the victims may be involved in illegal activity and don’t want to contact authorities.
The Southwest border, by the numbers:
2,000: approximate number of miles the U.S. Southwest border shares with Mexico;
$18-39 billion: estimated number of illegal dollars that flow annually from the U.S. accross the Southwest border to enrich Mexican drug cartels;
2,600: number of drug-related muders in Juarez, Mexico in 2009;
28,000: number of drug-related muders in Mexico since 2006;
93%: estimated amount of all South American cocaine that moves through Mexico on its way to U.S. customers;
10,000: kilograms of marijuana seized during the first five months of 2010 in the Southwest border states (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas);
6,154: total number of individual seizures of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine during the first five months of 2010 in the Southwest border states;
12: the number of FBI border corruption task forces operating along the Southwest border;
1: the number of corrupt border guards it would take to allow a terrorist carrying a weopon of mass destruction into the U.S.
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