May 18 2009

More signs of a failing Mexico

Category: Mexicoharmonicminer @ 9:51 am

Suspected drug gang frees 53 from Mexico prison

Suspected members of a Mexican drug cartel disguised as federal police swept into a prison in the northern state of Zacatecas on Saturday and freed 53 inmates, police and army officials said.

The early-morning jailbreak, which took less than five minutes and involved no violence, was carried out by 20 heavily armed men who arrived in 10 vehicles and a helicopter, they said.

All of the escaped prisoners are believed to be members of the armed wing of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, one of the country’s most powerful criminal organizations.

The men were allowed into the state prison after saying they were there for a prisoner transfer, officials said.

Some 40 guards and administrators who were on duty at the time are in custody, Zacatecas Governor Amalia Garcia told a news conference.

“There is evidence that the guards and prison authorities were accomplices,” he said.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has staked his presidency on crushing drug gangs that killed 6,300 people last year across the nation. The United States is increasingly alarmed by the violence, fearing it could spill across the border.

Zacatecas has so far seen little of the drug-related violence that has rocked other northern states.

Garcia said state and federal police along with the army were searching for the prisoners. Earlier reports had said 59 inmates escaped.

This is simply unimaginable in any semi-intact nation. An ENTIRE prison staff appears to have been bribed to lay down for a jail break, warden, guards, the whole nine yards. And the bad guys arrived in 10 vehicles and a helicopter? This is a level of security that a head of state might get.

It’s getting harder and harder to pretend that Mexico is just another nation that happens to be on our border. Its government is failing in the most basic ways and at its most basic functions. What will the USA do as it becomes more and more obvious that Mexico is on the verge of becoming a North American Somalia, or Sudan? Oh, the local issues are different… and yet, they’re the same, with warlords, a vulnerable civilian populace, and a weak government with a corrupt military. Forget Somalia and Sudan; this is starting to sound like Pakistan. Fortunately, Mexico doesn’t have nukes that can fall into the hands of the warlords….

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Apr 15 2009

Most weapons in Mexican drug wars are not from the USA

Category: guns,Mexicoharmonicminer @ 8:42 am

Golden Lies Too Good To Ignore

April 5, 2009: The mass media were embarrassed recently when someone did the math and revealed that the hot headline “90 Percent of Illegal Guns In Mexico Come From The U.S.” turned out to be false. However, the real story was not that the actual number was 17 percent. Nor was it that the “90 percent” number came from someone (accidentally or purposely) who misread the data (90 percent of the guns identified as of U.S. manufacture were, using their serial numbers, indeed traced back to the U.S., and not some other country they had legally been exported to.) The real story was that there were so many sources of illegal weapons in Mexico, with the U.S. being one of the more difficult places to get weapons from. It’s much easier to get a load of weapons in via ship, in a container labeled as something else. Port officials in Mexico are easier to bribe, than U.S. or Mexican border guards. South America is a magnet for international gun runners, many of them now swing by Mexico regularly, to take orders and make deliveries.

Like I said.

As usual, don’t believe ANYTHING the major media says about guns in the hands of US citizens.  They simply have an agenda, and it is to cancel the 2nd Amendment, one way or another.  And they count on the general ignorance of the non-gun owning populace to tell their lies.

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Mar 23 2009

The Deteriorating State of Mexican National Security

Category: Mexico,national securityharmonicminer @ 9:11 am

In the last year, 150,000 men have deserted the Mexican military forces.  Read that number again.  What do you suppose they’re doing now?   If even 10% are now using their military training for other purposes, we have a big problem, and indications are that the percentage is much higher.  Mexico is in the midst of an insurgency, not just a crime wave.  It’s safer in Baghdad right now.  Is Mexico about to become the failed state on our border, our Pakistan-style “no go” area, providing a safe haven for gangs preying on the US population?  Well, no, it’s not about to become that…  it’s already happening.

American Sentry

Three sources underscore the severity of the situation in Mexico and its potential near term and far reaching effects to US National Security

As our operations wind down from the successes in Iraq, and the National Command Authority is ramping up our presence in Afghanistan with an additional 17000 combat forces, little has been addressed in the mainstream policy wonkery about Mexico’s instability and brush with Civil War between the brave, but by all measures ineffectual, Mexican security and law enforcement forces, and the ruthless, well funded, well equipped, and increasingly brash Drug Cartels. I have been monitoring this for several weeks, and there are those within the periphery of National Strategy and Policy that recognize this as a serious emerging problem, but is just now getting some greater play within the Mainstream Media. What coverage it does get focuses on the crime and corruption aspects and doesn’t link the severity and scope as a National Security issue for the US. I am more and more convinced that this is in fact a serious challenge to US national security, and three recent reports substantiate my position.

The first of these predictions that got considerable play back in January came from the outgoing Director of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden. He commented in numerous interviews that the CIA concluded that after a potential development of a nuclear weapon from Iran, the possibility and ramifications of Mexico failing as a state as a result of the inability of the Federal government quelling the violence perpetrated by the Cartels in their continued fight for smuggling routes and market share was the second most threatening issue to US National Security. With Al Qaeda lurking around, having found proof of their desire to weaponize a biological or chemical agent to unleash on innocent Americans, let alone a dirty bomb, that is quite a statement on Hayden’s part…and ominous.

The second such report was from the Department of Defense in the form of the 2008 Joint Operating Environment Report, or JOE. It concluded that a failed state in Pakistan, the chance of nuclear technology or weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, was most disconcerting. The JOE, however, listed Mexico as a failed state was also the number two threat to US National Security. (http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2008/JOE2008.pdf)

The third, and in my assessment, the most concise and telling (at least in an unclassified venue) was a recent trip to Mexico and a report conducted by retired Army General, Barry McCaffery in December 2008 while he attended the International Forum of Intelligence and Security Specialists which acts as an advisory board to the Mexican Federal Law Enforcement leadership. ( http://www.mccaffreyassociates.com/pdfs/Mexico_AAR_-_December_2008.pdf) Though McCaffery’s report goes beyond the standard USG reporting that is swaddled in a law enforcement perspective, it has some stark and convincing statistics and conclusions that highlight this issue, for me anyways, as a national Security challenge, and beyond the single scope approach as a law enforcement challenge specifically relating to the drug trade.

Much more at the link.

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Mar 04 2009

USA Gunshops Arming Mexican Gangs?

Category: guns,media,Mexicoharmonicminer @ 10:27 am

U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels – NYTimes.com

The Mexican agents who moved in on a safe house full of drug dealers last May were not prepared for the fire power that greeted them.

When the shooting was over, eight agents were dead. Among the guns the police recovered was an assault rifle traced back across the border to a dingy gun store here called X-Caliber Guns.

Now, the owner, George Iknadosian, will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would send them to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

Mexican authorities have long complained that American gun dealers are arming the cartels. This case is the most prominent prosecution of an American gun dealer since the United States promised Mexico two years ago it would clamp down on the smuggling of weapons across the border. It also offers a rare glimpse of how weapons delivered to American gun dealers are being moved into Mexico and wielded in horrific crimes.

Maybe some of this is true. But some fundamental facts:

1) It isn’t an “assault rifle” if it isn’t capable of fully-automatic fire. It doesn’t matter if it is a “military style” weapon, or “looks like” an assault rifle, if it only fires one round for each pull of the trigger.

2) No American gun store can legally sell fully-automatic weapons to anyone who has not cleared VERY high hurdles of authorization under existing federal law, as well as state law. No one can just walk into a gun shop and buy one after filling out some paperwork. Most gun shops don’t have ANY automatic weapons for sale, because their opportunity to sell them is so limited, and the process so cumbersome, that stocking any would just tie up cash in inventory that is almost never sold.

3) It appears that no new law is required, because the gun shops that are knowingly aiding “straw purchases” are already breaking federal and state laws.

4) No weapon that is really an “assault rifle” can be purchased easily, and the chances of a “straw purchase” of such a weapon are exceedingly slim, because by definition it is fully automatic and requires extreme levels of authorization and qualification.

5) Articles such as the one quoted above usually omit these facts, using the term “assault rifle” to mean anything that simply looks “military style” and is semi-automatic, like many modern hunting rifles. They also tend to tar an entire legal industry with the misdeeds of a few. On that grounds, of course, the New York Times should be closed, permanently, given the number of lies it tells, and laws it breaks (even when they cannot be prosecuted for political reasons).

6) If you hear of Mexican shootings involving “machine guns” (i.e., fully automatic weapons), those guns were not bought using “straw purchases” from American gun stores.

7) The level of corruption in the Mexican police and military is so huge that many automatic weapons that are used illegally probably came directly from military stores.

8) Mexico has an enormous coastline, mostly very lightly patrolled.

Does anyone have any doubt that large numbers of weapons enter Mexico that way, including fully automatic assault weapons? What would make a smuggler take the risks of bringing South American drugs into Mexico, and not the illegal weapons necessary to defend the trade?

So: while no doubt some USA weapons have made their way into Mexico and been used in crimes, this kind of report has only one clear aim, and it is to add to the drumbeat for yet more restrictive USA gun laws.

But what else would we expect from the New York Times?

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Mar 01 2009

Pray for missions groups

Category: Mexico,ministry,missionsharmonicminer @ 10:26 am

I am not certain of the value of all the short term missions trips that high school and college students make to Mexico over Spring Break. I’m not saying there is NO value. But I always wonder if that value is more in terms of general inter-cultural contact than actual benefit to the indigenous population of Mexico. And I always find myself wondering if more good would be done by giving the enormous amount of money, spent in sending all those students to Mexico, directly to the missions groups who live there year-round, as opposed to parachuting in and leaving a few days later.

I am not suggesting “neglecting” Mexico, but I am suggesting that sending a hoard of students who consume voluminous resources is perhaps not the best stewardship of those resources, which could be directly given to the professional missionaries who LIVE there, and who could really use the help.

It is, of course, much less glamorous to students to raise some money and just send it somewhere than to raise some money and GO somewhere.  I get that.  It’s not as much fun.  The emotional high of “being a missionary” is missing.  They don’t have a story to tell after coming home.  But the Great Commission does not say, “Go on cool missions trips.”  It presupposes some amount of wisdom and discernment in what we do and how we do it.

Things have really, really deteriorated in Mexico, and it now appears very possible that some “short term missions trip” is going to end tragically, and that tragedy will cause a re-thinking of the purposes of the entire program.  Many who have made these trips for years will disagree, pointing out that it hasn’t happened yet.  The “frog in boiling water” analogy comes to mind, of course.

Below is an excerpt from one of thousands of articles on this topic of Mexico’s collapse as a polity.  People who know what’s going on in Mexico are worried, and delivering warnings.  We should listen, and carefully consider the programs now in place.  It is popular for Christians to discuss “counting the cost” in these circumstances, but when that phrase is used, the assumption is always that, whatever the cost, it must be paid.  I am not so sure.

This entire article is worth reading, and discusses, among other things, the warning by the US State Department to students planning to go to Mexico on Spring Break.

ThreatsWatch.Org: RapidRecon: We’ve Been In Denial

The drug violence in Mexico killed more than 5,800 people last year; since January 1, 2009, the murder rate has already hit 1,000! The revelation of warning students on Spring Break to avoid “crossing the river,” is ludicrous. All of a sudden this is “sage advice”? That anyone would vacation or worse, send a child to a university in Mexico given the lengthy trail of violence in Mexico is beyond my imagination.

To paraphrase: Maybe it’s better to stay away, and live to minister another day.

An excellent place to start is in the USA, which has enormous opportunity for ministry. What could tens of thousands of college and high school students accomplish in local USA communities that could use the help?  What relationships could they establish that could continue year-round?

Those whose administrative expertise and public relations savvy have gone into building very large programs of short term missions to Mexico might consider what could happen in the USA, if programs of similar size, enthusiasm and funding were directed at the neediest areas here.  And those same people should very prayerfully be considering what the effect will be on the entire enterprise if one carload of students is machine-gunned for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In discussing this with a friend who is involved in planning these kinds of programs for a large institution, I was told, “Oh, the odds aren’t even one in ten thousand of there being any kind of trouble.”  Considering how many people go on these trips, those are very poor odds.  And I’m afraid the odds aren’t actually that good.

Pray for our missionaries, and for discernment on the part of program planners.

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Jan 04 2009

It ain’t all pinatas and margaritas

Category: Mexicoharmonicminer @ 2:11 am

ThreatsWatch.Org: RapidRecon: Mexican Violence Continues to Unfold

Last week in Ciudad Juarez Mexico, four police officers were murdered in four separate attacks. This brings the 2008 murder toll in Juarez alone (across the border from El Paso) to 1,300; in all of Mexico, the death toll has reached more than 5,300 – more than twice 2007. This is based on government figures.

All of this happens in a year following the deployment of over 20,000 military troops across the country by President Calderon in an attempt to quell the violence of the drug cartels. The change in Administration will not change the danger posed to Americans by the continuing and expanding drug cartel violence. At the same time, reports of drug cartel-related violence crossing the border to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas continue. Further, the blending of the drug cartels with youth gangs now threatens to spread to border cities. The question of border (in)security is much more than the continuing flow of illegal immigrants.

If it wasn’t such a serious situation it might not be believable. In an unrelated crime, last week anti-kidnapping consultant Felix Batista was kidnapped in Mexico.

In high school, I lived for a year in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and we used to go to Juarez just to do something different, see the world, etc. I’m thinking that wouldn’t be such a great idea this year. Mexico seems not only to be a third world country, it seems on the way to becoming another Somalia, characterized by factions at war, kidnapping, the inability of the central government to keep the factions under control, the whole nine yards.

Build the fence, Mr. President-elect. Yesterday.

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Dec 22 2008

When La Raza loves your work, you’re doing the wrong thing

Category: illegal alien,Mexico,national securityharmonicminer @ 10:53 am

A recent appointment by President-elect Obama draws praise from the National Council of La Raza, a frightening thing indeed when one considers the basic intent of La Raza, which is essentially open borders between the US and Mexico, at a minimum.

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) hailed today’s announcement by President-Elect Barack Obama that Cecilia Muñoz will become the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in his administration. Muñoz currently serves as Senior Vice President for NCLR’s Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation.

“I am deeply honored and very heartened that one of the Obama Administration’s first Latino appointments is someone who has so ably served this organization and the Latino community with dedication and distinction for more than 20 years,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

“Cecilia leaves a legacy of advocacy and accomplishment virtually unmatched in the Latino community, and we will miss her greatly,” continued Murguía. “But I can say with absolute certainty that no one will work harder for her country and for the ideals and priorities of the Obama Administration. We congratulate her and salute President-Elect Obama for this inspired appointment.”

“We hope to see more Latino appointments in the upcoming weeks,” concluded Murguía.

Combined with the appointment of (anti-fence) Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as head of Homeland Security, this is pretty bad news to anyone who had any hope of Obama finishing the fence, let alone delaying the declaration of straight amnesty for illegal aliens, past and future.   Cecilia Muñoz is a well-known open borders activist.

Obama may be planning a “moderate” foreign policy, but it’s getting ever clearer that domestic policy is going to go pretty far left, as Obama pays off on his campaign obligations.

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Oct 15 2008

Dressing for success in Mexico

Category: Mexicoharmonicminer @ 9:34 am

In Mexico, a boutique caters to the fearful high-fashion crowd with bullet proof clothing of all kinds.

There is a whole lot of shooting going on in Mexico today. Every day, the papers are full of victims, bodies lying out in grotesque poses with bullet wounds all about. Some are garden-variety crime victims, but the drug cartels that control much of the Mexican countryside are behind the overwhelming majority. They pay off politicians and police officers and act as shadow governments in town after town along their transit routes. Cross them, and they do not hesitate to pull the trigger.

The rash of drug violence, together with a surge in kidnappings for ransom, has shaken everyday Mexicans. Ask a stranger for directions on the street these days, and fear is the first emotion that crosses the person’s face. He or she might recover enough to describe how to go this way or that.

Studies have shown that more and more anxious Mexicans are pouring their money into defensive measures. Families and businesses across Mexico invest $18 billion in private security measures, a recent study by the Center for Economic Studies of the Private Sector found. Some people are trying to get their hands on weapons, which are tightly regulated here but widely available on the black market. To some, bulletproof fashion is the logical next step.

I could use some of this brand of haute couture myself. I go to faculty meetings. I have in-laws. I even go to Costco.

Weapons in Mexico are “tightly regulated but widely available on the black market”, and people are getting shot constantly, thus proving just how well gun control actually works.

In the meantime, Mexico’s government is so corrupt, at all levels, that I see no solution in sight that doesn’t involve a major revolution of some kind.

What I do know is that the USA can’t solve Mexico’s problems for it, and keeping illegal immigration fairly easy simply enables Mexico to maintain the status quo.

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Jun 11 2008

Going South

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:34 pm

Things are going south down south of here.

The state department travel alert of about two months ago is chilling, especially in “summer vacation” time in Mexico.

Armed robberies and carjackings, apparently unconnected to the narcotics-related violence, have increased in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Dozens of U.S. citizens were kidnapped and/or murdered in Tijuana in 2007. Public shootouts have occurred during daylight hours near shopping areas. [emphasis mine]

This is really encouraging. Although it may not be so different from Detroit, or Washington DC. Baghdad might actually be safer. Although perhaps I’m misjudging; maybe its just the excitement generated by those “after Cinco De Mayo” sales.

Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles. [emphasis mine]

Support your local fake police. And, of course, the fake troops.

Obviously, those gun control laws in Mexico are really working well. (Scroll to the 12th paragraph at this link.)

Violent criminal activity fueled by a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the lucrative narcotics trade continues along the U.S.-Mexico border. Attacks are aimed primarily at members of drug trafficking organizations, Mexican police forces, criminal justice officials, and journalists. However, foreign visitors and residents, including Americans, have been among the victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region. [emphasis mine] In its effort to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed military troops in various parts of the country. U.S. citizens are urged to cooperate with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways. [emphasis mine]

Let me see if I understand this. US citizens are routinely murdered or kidnapped. The bad guys sometimes wear official uniforms. But if someone in an official looking uniform tries to stop you at a “checkpoint” on the road, be sure to cooperate.

I suppose that makes sense, state department style.

Recent Mexican army and police force conflicts with heavily-armed narcotics cartels have escalated to levels equivalent to military small-unit combat and have included use of machine guns and fragmentation grenades. Confrontations have taken place in numerous towns and cities in northern Mexico, including Tijuana in the Mexican state of Baja California, and Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez in the state of Chihuahua. The situation in northern Mexico remains very fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements there cannot be predicted. [emphasis mine]

You mean they don’t have a schedule? What in the world is wrong with these citizens? Don’t they understand they’re supposed to announce public demonstrations of popular will? I’m just stunned that they would be so inconsiderate.

U.S. citizens are urged to be especially alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region. [emphasis mine] While Mexican citizens overwhelmingly are the victims of these crimes, this uncertain security situation poses risks for U.S. citizens [emphasis mine] as well. Thousands of U.S. citizens cross the border safely each day, exercising common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas of border towns during daylight hours. It is strongly recommended that travelers avoid areas where prostitution and drug dealing occur.

Uh, not to be disrespectful, but…. we’re talking about MEXICO here. Where, exactly, is it that prostitution and drug dealing don’t occur? I’m sure there are such places. I’m also sure that no tourist is going to know where these things don’t happen, short of never leaving the hotel (although I understand a Mexican concierge will get you nearly anything), even though there will be places where they obviously do, and which wise tourists will avoid.


Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles, particularly in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana. There is no evidence, however, that U.S. citizens are targeted because of their nationality. [emphasis mine]

Obviously, the people who wrote this howler think we’re so drowsy by now that we just aren’t paying attention. Exactly how many Swedes are driving US licensed automobiles into Mexico?

I have an idea. If you drive into Mexico, just don’t look American! Wear a turban. Wear a burka. Wear a skullcap. Wear a spiked Prussian helmet.

Whatever you do, wear armor.

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