WORLD: Syria: The Revolt Continues (UPDATED), # Hamas protests UN plans to teach Holocaust in Gaza, # US, Russia still divided on missile shield, # LOUISIANA OIL SHEEN REPORTED AGAIN

March 22, 2011


The Revolt Continues (UPDATED)

by Michael Ledeen

If Assad were to fall, it would reverberate all over the region, and greatly weaken the Iranian regime, making Syria possibly the most important ongoing revolt in the Middle East right now. Typically, it is getting far less coverage than the other “crises,” but we’ll try to remedy that a little at the Tatler. (UPDATE: “More Syria: Tanks Move In To Dara’a.”)

As Bahrain Reels, Iran Stretches Its Tentacles

by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi

The mullahs seize an opportunity.

Vitter wants answers on Brazil drilling loan; Paul wanted answers too

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wants answers from the US taxpayer supported Export-Import bank about a $2 billion loan to Brazil for offshore drilling. Vitter’s home state is suffering under a moratorium imposed by President Barack Obama. Vitter said Louisianians “are frustrated” and he wants to know “why permitting domestically is nearly stalled…”

(PJM Exclusive) Iran Orders Attacks on Saudi Interests Worldwide

by ‘Reza Kahlili’

Furious over Bahrain, Iranian leaders are openly recruiting suicide bombers to strike at the kingdom.

EPA’s Greenhouse Power Grab: Baucus’s Revenge, Democracy’s Peril

by Marlo Lewis

Adopting the Baucus amendment would put Congress’s legislative stamp of approval on EPA’s end-run around the legislative process.

Shariah Flaw In Fla.

Jurisprudence: Polls show that more than one in five Americans worry that Shariah law will creep into our courts, as it has in Europe. A Tampa judge’s deferral to the Quran only compounds those fears.

Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Richard Nielsen earlier this month ordered the use of Islamic law in a Tampa lawsuit over the control of a local mosque, the Islamic Education Center of Florida. Some $2 million in state funding is at stake.

Mosque leaders tried to resolve their dispute through an Islamic scholar, but the deal broke down. And the lawsuit was refiled. Now, in a bizarre ruling, Nielsen has taken it upon himself to find out whether these Muslim parties properly followed the teachings of their holy book during arbitration.

US, Russia still divided on missile shield

7 hours, 43 minutes ago


(AP) U.S. and Russian defense leaders said Tuesday they are still divided over the planned missile defense system in Europe but will continue talks to try to resolve the differences.The issue, which has been simmering for several years, was a major topic during a meeting between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and …

Middle East

Saudi Arabia to hold municipal elections in April

6 hours, 28 minutes ago


(AP) Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday it will hold municipal elections next month after a delay of a year and a half that had angered rights activists.In a setback to reform advocates, the voting on April 23 will not be open to women.The kingdom held its first municipal elections in 2005, the …


Cuba’s Castro: I quit as party chief 5 years ago

10 hours, 56 minutes ago


(AP) Fidel Castro’s surprise announcement that he stepped down as head of the Communist Party five years ago _ despite widespread belief he remained in charge _ marks the bizarre end of an era for a nation, and a man, whose fates have been intertwined for more than half a century.The …



Group: Vietnam detains US activists

3 hours, 48 minutes ago


(AP) A U.S.-based pro-democracy group says two Vietnamese-Americans have been detained in Vietnam and another released after participating in a protest in Ho Chi Minh City.Viet Tan, otherwise known as the Vietnam Reform Party, said in a statement Tuesday that two of its members, Jennifer Truong, 44, of Fountain Valley, Calif., …

AP Interview: Chile president to ask for CIA files

2 hours, 7 minutes ago


(AP) Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said Tuesday that he’ll accept President Barack Obama’s invitation to formally request classified U.S. intelligence documents that may identify Chilean agents responsible for more than 1,200 human rights violations during the Pinochet dictatorship.Pinera made this pledge _ his most specific yet on Chile’s unresolved human rights …

Middle East

Hamas protests UN plans to teach Holocaust in Gaza

5 hours, 50 minutes ago


(AP) The United Nations has launched a new plan to teach the Holocaust in Gaza schools, drawing fierce condemnation from Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, school teachers _ and even the body tasked with peace negotiations with Israel.If implemented, it would be the first time most Palestinian children learn about Jewish suffering. …

Surge in Sudan violence raises worry independence won’t bring peace

This is not what most southern Sudanese thought freedom would look like. In the two months since voters overwhelmingly endorsed forming a new country after decades of civil war, Southern Sudan has slipped dangerously backward into violence. Once-dormant warlords have roared back to life, and new insurgencies against the southern government are gaining steam. » read more

Latin America

Guatemala first lady seeks divorce to succeed pres

13 hours, 43 minutes ago


(AP) A court official says Guatemala’s first lady is ending her eight-year marriage so she can seek to succeed her husband as president.Guatemala’s constitution prohibits members of a president’s extended family from running for the presidency.Judiciary spokesman Edwin Escobar says divorce proceedings began Monday between Sandra Torres de Colom and President …


Obama says US ready to help Chile in rights cases

14 hours, 21 minutes ago


(AP) President Barack Obama said he’s ready to help Chile solve human rights crimes committed during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, but avoided agreeing Monday to a U.S. apology for meddling in the country’s affairs.It was the first question at Obama’s joint news conference with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. A …




Budget Nuclear Option: Shut Down Obama Until the Election

by Peter Ferrara

It’s time for Republicans to go on the offensive.


Middle East

Ex-Israeli president Katsav sentenced to 7 years

16 hours, 49 minutes ago


(AP) An Israeli court ordered former Israeli President Moshe Katsav to prison for seven years Tuesday following a rape conviction, rejecting his attorneys’ request for leniency and making him the highest-ranking Israeli official ever sentenced to jail.The silver-haired Katsav remained stoic throughout most of the reading, but he broke down in …

Obama Punked by the Arab League on Libya

by Patrick Poole

Welcome to Barack Obama’s AWOL presidency.

Palin stays mostly out of sight for Israel visit

18 hours, 1 minute ago


(AP) Sarah Palin stayed out of sight Monday during her first trip to Israel, dodging paparazzi staking out hotels and holy sites in hopes of getting a glimpse of the former Alaska governor who might run for president.A visit to Israel, a key U.S. ally, has become almost a rite of …

Taliban assassination campaign impedes governance

10 hours, 59 minutes ago


(AP) For seven years, Rahim Baz Mohammad was an Afghan police detective on a spectacularly perilous beat _ a province sitting directly between the capital and Taliban strongholds to the south and east.His case files bulged with kidnappings and murders. Recent victims included a government reform official shot to death in …


$500,000 gone from tsunami-cracked bank vault

10 hours, 59 minutes ago


(AP) The earthquake and tsunami that pulverized coastal Japan crippled a bank’s security mechanisms and left a vault wide open. That allowed someone to walk off with 40 million yen ($500,000).The March 11 tsunami washed over the Shinkin Bank, like much else in Kesennuma, and police said between the wave’s power …

Russia’s leaders disagree on Libya, Putin rebuked

11 hours, 32 minutes ago


(AP) Russia’s two leaders are openly disagreeing over the U.N. resolution authorizing international military action against Libya, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin comparing it to the medieval crusades and President Dmitry Medvedev warning him to watch his use of words.Their statements represented a rare open clash on foreign policy.Putin, who served …

Group: Vietnam detains US activists

12 hours, 50 minutes ago


(AP) A U.S.-based pro-democracy group says two Vietnamese-Americans have been detained in Vietnam and another released after participating in a protest in Ho Chi Minh City.Viet Tan, otherwise known as the Vietnam Reform Party, said in a statement Tuesday that two of its members, Jennifer Truong, 44, of Fountain Valley, Calif., …


Power crumbling, Yemen leader warns of civil war

AP – 32 mins ago

Anti-government protestors gesture during a demonstration demanding... AP

SANAA, Yemen – Yemen’s U.S.-backed president, his support crumbling among political allies and the army, warned that the country could slide into a “bloody” civil war Tuesday as the opposition rejected his offer to step down by the end of the year. Tens of thousands protested in the capital demanding his immediate ouster, emboldened by top military commanders who joined their cause. Full Story »

Wen urges US to ease restrictions

Premier Wen urged the US to ease high-tech export restrictions to China, which will reduce trade deficit.
China to boost overseas trademark protection

US to benefit as Japan produces less

The US is expected to fill some void left by Japanese manufacturers, many of which suspended operations after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.


In open letter, Mexican drug lord’s family claims he is mistreated in prison

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | Borderland Beat Reporter Ovemex

Associated Press

The imprisoned “godfather” of Mexican drug trafficking is looking more like a grandfather these days, with cataracts, deafness, ulcers and a hernia, his family wrote in a rare open letter to Mexico’s top police official Tuesday.

The wife and children of imprisoned drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, 67, said in a letter to Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna that Felix Gallardo is not getting the proper medications for his multiple ailments and is being mistreated in prison. The letter was published as an almost full-page ad in Mexico City newspapers.

“For more than three years, without any justification, prison authorities have kept him segregated, isolated and without contact with other inmates, and have prevented him from participating in any physical, sports or educational activities,” according to the letter, in which the family also gave their address: in a swanky southern Mexico City neighborhood.

Historically, the families of top Mexican drug traffickers seldom, if ever, make public statements or publish their addresses, though authorities often know where they live.

By tradition, relatives are not usually targeted by law enforcement officials unless there is hard evidence they participated in the drug trade or laundered drug money, and occasional police raids on the homes or detentions of traffickers’ relatives have drawn criticism and even retaliatory attacks from crime gangs.

In a rare 2004 protest, about 100 people who identified themselves as wives and relatives of drug suspects demonstrated outside the Mexican Congress to demand better conditions at the Altiplano maximum-security prison just west of Mexico City, the same facility where Felix Gallardo is being held. The protesters would not identify the inmates they were related to, however.

But Felix Gallardo’s family said they were moved to publish the open letter – in which they asked for a meeting with Garcia Luna – because they claim he is being held in “inhuman” circumstances in a special lockdown section amid “unhealthy conditions, humidity, a lack of ventilation, bad odors and darkness.” Arrested in 1989, he is serving a 40-year sentence on drug-trafficking, bribery and weapons convictions.

In the 1980s, Felix Gallardo commanded the Guadalajara cartel, then Mexico’s most powerful gang, and what is considered a precursor of the brutal Sinaloa cartel. The gang also served as a training ground for many of today’s top drug traffickers.

But lately, Felix Gallardo’s biggest sin has allegedly been possessing cigarettes in his cell. Prison authorities canceled his rights to personal visits for four months starting in February as punishment, even though cigarettes are sold to inmates at the prison store, the family’s letter claimed.

A spokesman from Garcia Luna’s office said officials had no comment.

Felix Gallardo had been among the most flamboyant of the early drug lords in the 1970s and ’80s. On one website, he appeared in old photos wearing tightly tailored shirts and bell-bottom pants. It was not clear if anyone connected to the imprisoned drug lord had operated the site, which has since been shut down.

It is hard for many Mexicans to think of Felix Gallardo as a victim; he is reputed to have punished a subordinate’s alleged betrayal by killing the subordinate’s children, cutting off the head of his wife, and sending the head to him in a box.

But the drug trade in his day was far less violent than the current round of cartel turf battles, which have cost more than 34,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon launched an anti-drug offensive in late 2006.

On Tuesday, prosecutors in the northwestern state of Sinaloa reported that seven men were shot to death in a town just south of the coastal city of Mazatlan. State prosecutors said a convoy of at least 10 vehicles carrying men armed with assault rifles drove into the town of El Espinal late Monday and opened fire on a group of residents who had gathered on the street to chat.

It was the second such large-scale killing in and around Mazatlan this month. On March 8, gunmen opened fire outside a nightclub in Mazatlan, killing six people.

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Yemen’s Government Poised to Fall »

by Ryan Mauro

Internal media believe President Saleh has twenty-four hours left. …

March 22 2011 / Comments (6) / Read More »

A State Held Hostage »

by Rich Trzupek

Why the events in Indiana are more troubling than the recently concluded battle in Wisconsin….

March 22 2011 / Comments (13) / Read More »

America’s Descent into Strategic Dementia »

by Caroline Glick

Egypt and Libya reveal what the administration should be thinking, but isn’t. …

March 22 2011 / Comments (15) / Read More »

The Perilous Intersection of Mexico’s Drug War & Pemex

| Borderland Beat Reporter Gari

By: Jeremy Martin and Sylvia Longmire
Journal of Energy Security

The stillness of early Sunday morning December 19, 2010 was shattered by a thunderous explosion. Residents across San Martin Texmelucan, a small town about 60 miles from Mexico City, were awakened to the latest, and one of the most deadly incidents, involving possible fuel theft at Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company. Many were more than just jolted awake: Over 100 homes were damaged or completely destroyed; 30 people perished and more than 50 were injured. It was a national calamity for a nation and state oil firm that sorely did not need it.

Explosions, shootouts, deaths and violence have been increasingly seared into the collective minds of citizens in Mexico and the United States as the drug war persists. The battles between the government and competing cartels have been well-documented and the topic has coursed through the agenda of a series of high-level bilateral meetings between the two nations, most recently during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Mexico.

But what has also percolated just below the surface is an alarming intersection between the drug violence and Mexico’s energy sector. For Mexico and Pemex, the increased intensity of the drug war and its damage is but the latest in a string of challenges, and a twist that has seemingly linked two previously unconnected drags on the nation.

Indeed, oil—and energy more broadly—is not a sector of the economy where Mexico needs any further impediments. Pemex’s huge hurdles, which are derived largely from its inability to replace declining oil production and navigate a burdensome nationalistic legacy, are legendary. And the commensurate fiscal implications are enough to keep policy makers on both sides of the border awake at night.

Mexico’s drug war

The drug war in Mexico is being fought on two fronts. First, roughly seven major drug trafficking organizations, or DTOs, are fighting against each other for control of lucrative drug smuggling corridors, or plazas, into the United States. Second, they are also fighting a massive military and law enforcement offensive under the direction of Mexican President Felipe Calderón, who decided upon entering office in 2006 that existing levels of drug trafficking and associated violence would not be tolerated.

The DTO’s took exception to Calderón’s new mandate, and fought back with a vengeance. Their attacks against each other and against government forces have included beheadings and dismemberments, targeted assassinations, mass murders, grenade attacks, public daylight shootings with high-powered assault rifles, and even the occasional use of car bombs. The result has been the death of more than 34,000 people, including an increasing number of innocent bystanders who have nothing to do with the drug trade. Last year, with over 15,000 deaths associated with the battle, was the deadliest yet.

Figure 1 – Map of Mexican DTO Areas of Operation

Despite the seemingly unending violence and impenetrability of DTO defenses, their drug trafficking activities—and subsequently their drug-related profits—have been taking a hit from the combination of Mexican and US law enforcement actions. The escalating violence is partly a result of increased competition for more tightly guarded plazas and an increase in drug seizures on both sides of the border.

For these reasons, DTO’s have expanded their business to include kidnap-and-ransom operations, extortion, human smuggling, and oil theft. As will be discussed below, this has brought an increasing overlap between DTO activity and Mexico’s oil industry.

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  9. 19,000 Jobs Worth $1.1 Billion in Wages Lost Nationally Since Offshore Drilling Moratorium Imposed (CNS)

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Saltillo falling under narco-violence

| Borderland Beat Reporter Ovemex

By Javier Estrada, CNNMexico

Amanda Garcia’s peaceful life in Saltillo, Mexico, was shaken this past March when she witnessed a military convoy heading at full speed and against traffic on one of the city’s important avenues.

The lawyer had taken an alternate route to get home sooner and be with her 7-year-old son. It had been a difficult day in Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila state: Seven people had been killed and four police officers were injured in a series of firefights that caused alarm throughout the city, the state attorney general’s office said.

A few yards from reaching her home, she was stopped at a military checkpoint.
“When I parked I saw at least six soldiers in front of my car, getting out of their vehicle and aiming at me, asking me to get out. One came close to my door and I heard a sound I had never heard before, apparently of a weapon when you take the safety off. Few times in my life had I felt so scared,” she said.
After an inspection, the soldiers told Amanda that they were looking for a vehicle similar to hers and that she was free to return home.

“Usually, the presence of the army does not make me nervous at all, to the contrary. But that day, I really thought they were going to shoot at me,” she said. “I’ve never seen the city so empty.”

Two days later, a soldier died and another was injured in a confrontation with suspected drug traffickers, after four cartel roadblocks were reported in various parts of the city, according to the attorney general’s office.

Saltillo, with some 700,000 residents, is a colonial city that until recently was known for its auto industry — General Motors, Chrysler and Freightliner have plants there — and construction. However, the situation has changed progressively until the city has reached notoriety for other reasons.

According to a report from intelligence company Stratfor, the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels formed the New Federation, an alliance combating the Zetas cartel, and launched an offensive to control the trafficking routes in Mexico’s northeast.
“There were pacts here, and now those pacts are broken and a battle has begun between various criminal groups for this territory. This is evident,” said Raul Vera, the Catholic bishop of Saltillo.

The Coahuila attorney general’s office declined to let any of its officials be interviewed to give their version of escalating violence in the region.

“This was something that has been coming for a while, not only the dispute for control of the territory for the routes, but also for control of the population, through terror, (and) control of the economy,” said Blanca Martinez, director of the Fray Juan de Larios Human Rights Center.

In the four years of Felipe Calderon’s term so far, more than 34,612 drug-related killings have been recorded in Mexico, of which 659 happened in northern Coahuila, according to the federal government. Of these, a little more than 3% occurred in Saltillo.

Like neighboring states Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, all on the U.S. border, Coahuila has seen peaks in violence associated with the capture or killing of important trafficking leaders who had influence in the region.

“The people in the city are afraid. It can be felt in the streets, homes, with friends. All the conversations are about security now,” said Jorge Muniz, a young graphic designer who lives in the city.

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“Narco” Economics 101

Monday, March 21, 2011 | Borderland Beat Reporter Gerardo
La economia del narcotrafico

Jorge Luis Sierra
Revista Contralinea

An analysis of the economic impacts drug trafficking has uncovered facts that shed light on the current fight against organized crime organizations.

Control of informal economic activity
A current trend in the behavior of organized crime groups is their monopolization and control of the full range of illegal activity in territory under their control. These activities range from arms and human trafficking, to car theft, extortion and kidnapping. However, the need to broaden their salary base and increase their income has led organized crime to impose a “tax liability” to those businesses or individuals operating in the informal economy that do not pay their taxes regularly to tax authorities.

An example of this “taxation” is seen in the border state of Tamaulipas, where small shops, street vendors and street merchants are forced to pay a financial contribution to organized crime, usually in the form of protection fees. There is, of course, no record of the gains in income from this expansion, but testimony from small businesses in that border region indicate that even the most humble sellers were ordered to pay their “taxes”. What is certain is that this is one of the reasons for the decline of all business activities in the Tamaulipas border with Texas.

Creating a workforce skilled in violence
The increased government pressure and increased inter-cartel competition has forced drug trafficking organizations to “paramilitarize” and develop methods and places for education and training in tactics and handling of firearms. Young people belonging to street gangs or simply living in unsafe slums began to receive training that immediately led to a spike in the level of specialization in violence.

Recent estimates by researchers at Harvard University indicate that the cartels have produced nearly half a million jobs, most of them dedicated to the cultivation, protection, harvesting and processing of marijuana and opium poppy (“To be or not to be a drug trafficker-modelling criminal occupational choices” Viridiana Rios 4-27-2010).

The latest figures from the Mexican government itself establish that the seizure of these drugs has declined. This may be explained by the high concentration of federal troops in urban areas according to a report on drug control strategy released earlier this month by the U.S. Government (2011 INCSR country report-Mexico)

In addition to rural employment, the cartels have generated a significant criminal workforce in the cities. The same Harvard study estimated that for every 100 farmers engaged in the production of drugs, there are 46 other individuals involved in other phases of the drug trafficking industry, including protection of command cells, operations, surveillance, intelligence and the enforcement of its own rules through the use of kidnappings and assassinations.

Expansion into new areas of crime.
Drug traffickers have built parallel businesses that were until recently “under the radar” of police and military authorities. One is the theft of oil, condensate and jet fuel from PEMEX ( Petroleos Mexicanos, the State owned oil conglomerate). The cartels would then introduce the product into international markets through a network of U.S. and Guatemalan companies. Although several of these companies have been prosecuted in the U.S., the thefts from PEMEX continue.

Legislators believe that the profits Mexican criminal groups accrue from the sale of hijacked petroleum products amount to several billion dollars annually.

Cash flows
The flow of “drug” money into the Mexican economy has had minimal impact on the economic development of the areas most affected by violence. An analysis by the University of San Diego established that most inhabitants of Mexico’s border with the United States receives an annual per capita income of no greater than $ 7,000. On the U.S. side of the border, most inhabitants receive a per capita annual income of no higher than $14,000, which puts most of the inhabitants of the entire border region below the poverty line.

$6,000 to $12,000 annually

The workforce employed by the drug trade has a salary just over that amount. On average, a young man who is employed as a hitman, guard or caretaker of the drug gangs get an income that fluctuates between $6,000 and $12,000. This income is paid only partly in cash, payment is also in drugs and other perks like a car, cell phone, and so on.

The research out of Harvard University shows that the 468,000 individuals employed by organized crime account for an important part of the profits generated by drug trafficking. The lowest levels of gunmen, which number about 145,000 individuals, together receive about 1.74 billion dollars a year. The corrupt police and military commanders take a total cut similar to that above, but the number of people receiving this money is significantly lower. The rest of the profits remain in the hands of the cartel leaders.

Estimates of the global profits of organized crime in Mexico cover a wide range, anywhere between 12 billion to 80 billion dollars annually. A more measured analysis that includes the cost of operations and drug seizures indicate that the earnings of Mexican drug traffickers are between 3 billion and 9 billion dollars annually.

Whatever the actual amount of drug profits may be, the fact is that Mexican organized crime has a similar or greater economic power to that of the joint police and military forces engaged in combat against them. The drug trafficking groups have been acquiring an arsenal of light military-type weapons that have helped to counter the government offensive with a historical wave of violence.

Those areas of Mexico without systematic attention from the government or that are poorly valued in today’s security strategies have produced a void that favors the constant renewal of organized crime in the country.

The crux of the fight against cartels lies not only in a combat of military strength vs. strength, but in the dismantling of the forms of wealth accumulation of drug traffickers. This would work on several fronts: one, the most immediate, is the social and economic development in areas of urban and rural poverty where organized crime feeds its ranks.

Another front that is slower, because of the time it takes to document ongoing money laundering, is to seal the mainstream economy and industry from the input of money of illegal origin. The third front is much more complex, and involves reducing the market for drug consumption through health policies, education and, above all, the legalization of drugs. While there is none to very little progress in attacking these conditions, drug traffickers will continue to exploit the voids in Government policy.

* The author, Jorge Luis Sierra, is a specialist in military and national security, and is a graduate of the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, National Defense University in Washington D.C.

La economia del narcotrafico
To be or not to be a drug trafficker: Modeling criminal occupational choices.
2011 International narcotics control strategy report, U.S. State Department

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Faith-based efforts being ignored


As the world watches the horrific images of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which destroyed northeastern Japan, onlookers are hearing little of the critical relief efforts Christian groups are providing on the ground.

White House silent on Utah’s ‘independence’


Advocates for tougher enforcement of U.S. immigration laws say the federal government has the obligation to challenge Utah’s effort to become a “sanctuary state.”

Take Action Against the Delegitimization of Israel Today »

by Nichole Hungerford

Voice your objection to the boycott of the Jewish State. …

March 22 2011 / Comments (7) / Read More »

Remembering the Prototypes of Evil »

by Fern Sidman

Before there was Ahmadinejad, there were Achashveirosh and Haman. …

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Executed two women and a man in Praxedis

Tuesday March 22, 2011 | Comments: 370 Comments

The Attorney General of the State of Chihuahua reported that during the morning a couple was found inside his home run, like a woman riddled, that in the town of Praxedis G. Guerrero.

At dawn today, authorities found the body of Guadalupe Delgado Perez, 45, who was gunned down inside his home.

The woman’s body showed marks of violence, as two bullet wounds in the head.

The reported arrest of Commander Chema, a member of Los Zetas in San Luis Potosi

Tuesday March 22, 2011 | Comments: 216 Comments

During the afternoon it was confirmed that on 12 March personal Mexican Army conducted a detailed operational where it obtained the arrest of Jose Maria Leal Pantoja, better known as Chema Commander.

According to research military Leal Pantoja was placed successor as leader of the Zetas in the Plaza de San Luis Potosi, after he managed to catch Julian Zapata, alias El Piolin.

The capture was made possible by an anonymous citizen in the colony said Rivas Guillén, in the municipality of Soledad de Graciano Sanchez, was the offender.

José Natividad Cortez captured Balcazar aka The Teacher, leader of La Familia Michoacana in Leon, Guanajuato

Tuesday March 22, 2011 | Comments: 552 Comments

After the morning of today would be known by the attorney general of Guanajuato, a senior leader of La Familia Michoacana had been captured in the state, just now confirmed the identity of the detainee.

Were from the Police Federal Ministerial, who managed to capture the one identified by authorities as Jose Natividad Cortez Balcazar, who also goes by the name of Ricardo Gomez Segovia and / or Candelario Chavez Espinoza, aka The Teacher , The Richard o The friend, who is considered the leader of the criminal group in the city of León.

Shootout in Ciudad Juárez: three executed

Tuesday March 22, 2011 | Comments: 76 Comments

During the morning, around 10:20 hours, again a risk situation occurred in Ciudad Juárez, men Dresses in black came to the colony streets Riveras del Bravo, and began to make shots with firearms.

Four men were aboard a vehicle type Tsuru, when they realized that the gunmen began shooting at them, so decided to get off the car and ran for shelter, but the bullets hit.

The sound of high-powered bursts of residents from the area caused to panic about the situation, as a small kindergarten students called Soledad Mota, located very near where the shooting appeared. Teachers reassured place and shelter for children who listened scared nervous and heavy detonations.

General Gift Zetas Bibiano leave Villa in Cancun

Tuesday March 22, 2011 | Comments: 558 Comments

The reactions from members of organized crime groups are present after the recent appointment of General Carlos Bibiano Villa Castillo as the new director of the Ministry of Public Security in the state of Quintana Roo, who until a few weeks ago was the proprietor of Municipal police in Torreon.

Police authorities came during the morning to Tikal Subdivision, a residential area of ​​Cancun, where they found the disemboweled body of a young man, who had been brutally tortured, his head was covered with tape Also responsible for executing his left hand with two cards that were targeted narcomensajes Villa Castillo, as if it were a welcome.

The narcomensajes said the following text Complete:

Crystal Cathedral covenant chaffs choir


A California mega-church’s stance on homosexual marriage has left some choir members upset, while others say it’s the right move by church leaders.

3 accused of trying to buy military weapons for Sinaloa cartel

| Borderland Beat Reporter Ovemex

By Carol Cratty,
Senior Producer

Three people have been charged with trying to buy a Stinger missile and other military weapons for a Mexican drug cartel, according to an indictment unsealed last week in Phoenix. The government says the plot was foiled because the people the alleged conspirators were dealing with were federal undercover agents and a government informant.

“The object of the conspiracy was to obtain and possess military-grade weaponry, and to then export and transfer that weaponry to the Republic of Mexico, and supply that weaponry to a Mexican drug trafficking organization,” says the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

The three defendants named in the indictment are David Diaz-Sosa, Jorge De Jesus-Castenada and Emilia Palomina-Robles.The charges against them include conspiracy to acquire and export an anti-aircraft missile, conspiracy to possess unregistered firearms and transfer firearms for use in a drug trafficking crime.

Court documents say the alleged conspirators’ shopping list included: a Stinger surface-to-air-missile at a negotiated price of $200,000; a Dragon fire anti-tank weapon for a cost of $100,000; a Law Rocket anti-tank weapon for $20,000; and two AT-4 recoilless anti-tank guns for $20,000. The indictment says the defendants were to pay with some cash and also with illegal drugs.

According to the indictment, the conspiracy began in November 2009 with David Diaz-Sosa allegedly acting as the “primary broker” in trying to buy weapons on behalf of a man he identified only as Enrique LNU who worked for a cartel.

Another court filing said that Diaz-Sosa had said the weapons were “destined for Yucatan, Mexico to be divided between Chapo Guzman, Mayo Zambada, and Demacio Lopez,” alleged leaders of the Sinaloa drug cartel. The documents said that Enrique LNU wanted specific weapons that would “do the most damage.”

The court filings said the suspects were shown weapons or fakes but never bought actual arms.

The defendants were arrested more than a year ago and have remained in custody. The court filings were sealed until last week. Prosecutors often ask that an indictment be sealed while trying to find and arrest other conspirators.

Adrian Fontes, lawyer for defendant Emilia Palomina-Robles, told CNN it is highly unusual for a case to remain under seal for so long.

“Were they trying to see if they could make the charges stick?” Fontes asked. “The government will have a tough time proving all the allegations.” Fontes said his client had entered a not guilty plea.

Calls to lawyers representing the other two defendants were not immediately returned.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the investigation in this case is continuing. The three defendants are scheduled to go on trial April 19.

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Watered down’ Christianity on display near U.N.


A critic of liberal theology isn’t surprised that the United Methodist Church took part in a supposed prayer event last week for Japan that also involved other non-Christian religions.

Cameron County assistant DA dies in Matamoros

| Borderland Beat Reporter Gari

The Associated Press

BROWNSVILLE — A 26-year-old Cameron County prosecutor has been found dead in Mexico.

Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos says the circumstances of the death of Assistant DA Arturo Jose Iniguez of Rancho Viejo are under investigation. A statement Sunday from the district attorney says the body was found in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville.

Villalobos says the weekend death “is considered an open and ongoing investigation.”

The district attorney’s office did not immediately provide more details Monday to The Associated Press. Iniguez joined the DA’s office in 2007. He is survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter.


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3-day wait for abortion


South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a law Tuesday requiring women to wait three days after meeting with a doctor to have an abortion, the longest waiting period in the nation.

Democrats continue assault on marriage


poll vote button 2In the wake of President Obama’s decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, liberal Democrats – led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York – have decided to take advantage of the situation and have introduced a bill to overturn it.

Sex-change bill ‘deceptive’ in nature


A dangerous bill going before the California Assembly Judiciary Committee today would permit individuals undergoing a sex-change process to receive a new birth certificate.

Huckabee: Listen to soldiers on ‘gays’ in military


Mike Huckabee, a possible player in the 2012 presidential sweepstakes, says he would support legislation aimed at reinstating the 1993 law that prohibits homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

Dismembered man found in Caderyeta, Nuevo Leon

| Borderland Beat Reporter Ovemex

Elements of the Army found the dismembered body of a person inside a minivan which was abandoned in the bottom of a drainage canal off of San Mateo Road in Cadereyta.

The discovery was made around 7:00 p.m. Sunday, when a military convoy patrolling the area came across a green Ford Windstar with the driver’s door open.

At this time it is known the torso of a man, believed to be in his thirties, was recovered from the vehicle.

Although it has been reported several messages threatening a rival cartel were found written on both the interior and exterior of the vehicle, the content has not been made known.

Source: Grupo Reforma


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