U.S. authorities have temporarily closed their consulate in the Mexican city of Reynosa due shootouts between the Gulf drug cartel and former allies “Los Zetas,” a band of special forces deserters turned hired guns.
In different cities in Tamaulipas signs have been appearing – allegedly signed by the Gulf cartel – calling upon the public to remain calm and assuring that the organization does not threaten the population.
This could have been a scene straight out of Steven Soderbergh’s movie Traffic. The NY Times is reporting that one of the most notorious Mexican cartel kingpins was killed last night by Mexican Navy forces in a brutal shootout that took place in an upscale apartment complex in Cuernavaca.
In rare stunning footage released by the US Navy, a crew of Mexican drug traffickers lit a yacht on fire and then jumped into the sea after they were cornered by authorities. Reportedly over half a ton of cocaine was on board and is now sitting at the bottom of the Pacific.
A new law was enacted today in Mexico that allows for ‘personal use’ of narcotics with no prosecution. This means one can be stopped with small amounts of cannabis, meth, cocaine, LSD and even heroin on the streets and not be sent to the 5 star accommodations of a Mexican jail cell. Under the previous law, the possession of any amount of drugs was punishable by jail.
Michocan, Mexico is the epicenter of La Familia, one of the most ruthless drug trafficking groups in Mexico. Arnoldo Rueda Medina, one of La Familia’s main operatives was arrested last week which has set off a wave of violence in retaliation.
12 Federal Agents were assassinated last week with their corpses left alongside of the road and with a note attached to their bodies. La Familia publicly takes credit for the killings.
The President’s words ring hollow in the midst of this mess. “We cannot, we should not, we will not take one step backward in this matter,” Calderon said Tuesday. Michoacan is the home state of President Felipe Calderon and since his public announcement of a government crackdown on the Cartel there have been over 11,000 assassinations. Unsurprisingly, the Mexican public does not approve of his handling of the drug war.
Amado Carillo Fuentes aka “Lord of the Skies”
Country: Mexico, USA
Product: Cocaine, Marijuana
Amado Fuentes was the boss of the Juarez Cartel and one of the most feared and sought out drug lords in all of Mexico. The DEA estimates that he is one of the biggest drug traffickers of all time, transporting more than four times the amount of cocaine than anyone else of his era. His operation is considered one of the most lucrative, reaching a cool 25 billion.
At this stage in the game it is not an overstatement to say that what began as a concern in the Mexican government over the increasing stronghold of the Drug Cartel has become an all out bloody war filled with a staggering amount of murders and beheadings, an increase of state militia to almost 300,000 army officers, and a top to bottom scale of corruption that includes everyone from the financial, political and law enforcement world. The effect of such an entrenched and complicated situation is nothing short of vertigo.
- Boing Boing reports journalist Radley Balko is making fun of the Office of National Drug Control Policy for their new anti-pot disinformation campaign, which “suggest that drug users can look forward to a career as a ‘burrito taster,’ a ‘couch security guard,’ or ‘remote control operator.’ Balko calls it “lame” and challenges his readers to compile a master list of admitted pot smokers — current or former — who have gone on to lead successful lives.”
So far, the list includes: Obama, Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Palin, Gore, Bill Bradley, Clarence Thomas, Newt Gingrich, George Pataki, Michael Bloomberg and this commenter, Sid: “I smoke every single day, multiple times a day. It seems like a majority of my waking hours are spent buzzed. I work as a trader at a hedge fund (up quite a bit on the year). I make millions of dollars a year, and the majority of my job performance is done while buzzed.”
- Three Britons appeared in court in connection with a 1.7-ton haul of cocaine worth 572 million pounds, seized from a yacht off the south-west coast of Ireland. Irish navy, police and customs busted the yacht named “Dances With Waves” and arrested men by the last names of Doo, Mufford, and Wiggins. Last year, 1.5 tonnes of coke washed up on County Cork, in what local joggers called the best day of their lives. [BBC]
- Mexican drug cartels chop your head off and leave their calling card in your mouth. It’s the gringos that’ll fake your plane crash. Mexican authorities concluded as much this week when they ruled out a bomb as the cause of a fatal plane crash that killed at least thirteen, including Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino; President Calderon’s enforcer in their war on drogas. The plane crashed in the center of Mexico City in midday traffic – another “Goddam!” moment for nearby joggers. No trace of explosives were found the engine did not fail the Learjet. [BBC]
- The Marijuana Policy Project has a handy cheat sheet for related ballot initiatives around the country. Most states showed some common sense, with the exception of goddam California—so much for treatment and decriminalization [MPP]
- And lastly, something completely different … and necessary in Honor of Michael Crichton: “One Velociraptor Per Child”