Posts Tagged ‘DEA’

NORIEGA Y CARDENAS: Washington no debe olvidar a Venezuela

| March 21st, 2014 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

POR ROGER NORIEGA Y JOSÉ R. CÁRDENAS

La anexión rusa de Crimea es una violación flagrante a las normas internacionales que exige una reacción internacional concertada. No obstante, mientras los  ‘expertos’ en política exterior se acomodan en su zona de confort eurocéntrica , Washington no debe descuidar sus intereses estratégicos en un mundo cada vez más interconectado.

Tome en consideración a Venezuela. Un país con una gran riqueza petrolera, con lazos históricamente profundos con Estados Unidos y estratégicamente situado en medio de las principales rutas de contrabando de drogas hacia Estados Unidos. Por más de 30 días, Venezuela ha estado rodeada por protestas callejeras que han sido reprimidas brutalmente por el gobierno. Desafortunadamente, parece que sólo un pequeño grupo en el Congreso de EE.UU está interesado en una respuesta eficaz por para lidiar con el caos que se vive en Venezuela.

Existen muchas razones por las cuales el gobierno de EE.UU debe poner ... Read More

Honduras y EEUU: Socios en la Guerra contra las Drogas

| March 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
PanAm Post

POR MARCELA ESTRADA

A los narcotraficantes “se les acabó la fiesta”, según el Presidente de Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández. Desde su investidura el pasado enero, Hernández ha concentrado todos sus esfuerzos para luchar contra el narcotráfico en su país. Honduras, como otros países de Centroamérica, se ha convertido en un centro logístico y en lugar de tránsito para el tráfico de estupefacientes, provenientes de Sudamérica con destino a México y a los Estados Unidos. Por esta razón, el primer mandatario ha accedido a trabajar de cerca con el gobierno de Barack Obama, a través de una operación de bloqueo naval y aéreo en las costas hondureñas.

El Ministro de Defensa de Honduras, Samuel Reyes anunció la semana pasada que el Comando Sur de los Estados Unidos reactivaría su servicio de guardacostas en aguas internacionales cerca de Honduras, y de esta manera, fortalecer el escudo naval hondureño. Desde esta semana, el gobierno estadounidense enviará cuatro buques armados, ... Read More

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman: The rise and fall of Mexico’s drug lord

| March 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

It was nighttime in May of 1990, in the heyday of the cocaine boom across America. Twenty Mexican federal police officers and a handful of U.S. Customs agents, acting on a tip, descended on a stucco home on the edge of Agua Prieta, Mexico — a stone’s throw from Arizona. “Policia,” they yelled, guns drawn, before busting down the front door.

The house was empty but looked lived in, with dishes in the kitchen and toys in the backyard. The officers moved quickly to a spacious game room, complete with a bar and a pool table, set atop a three-metre-by-three-metre concrete panel on the floor.

An informant had told them that what they were looking for was under the pool table. They moved it aside and went to work with a jackhammer. Then, a stroke of luck: One of them turned the knob of a faucet and suddenly the floor panel rose into ... Read More

‘El Chapo’ not likely to be leaving Mexico soon

| February 26th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman appears set to remain in Mexico’s highest-security prison for the foreseeable future, as the government puts off U.S. extradition in a move that could bolster President Enrique Pena Nieto’s nationalist credentials but also shine a spotlight on the country’s woeful judicial system.

Experts say Pena Nieto’s administration and those of his predecessors have proven unable to match headline-grabbing arrests like Guzman’s with complex, long-term investigations and prosecutions of deep-rooted criminal networks. Cases have stalled and cartels have continued to operate. Last year, one of Guzman’s closest allies walked out of the prison where the U.S. said he was running drugs from behind bars.

The Mexican government says there is no way Guzman will repeat the 2001 escape that let him roam western Mexico for 13 years as he moved billions of dollars of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin around the world. Authorities here say they want ... Read More

How Mexico Nabbed a Drug Kingpin

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal BY JOSÉ DE CÓRDOBA & SANTIAGO PEREZ

Before dawn this month, a convoy of Mexican marines quietly surrounded a house in the Spanish colonial city of Puebla and arrested an alleged drug trafficker also wanted for questioning over the kidnapping of a Mexican politician.

Little did the marines know then, but his capture would become a vital piece of the puzzle that would help Mexican and U.S. officials several days later to nab the world’s most sought after drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

U.S. and Mexican crime-enforcement officials hailed Saturday’s arrest as the biggest blow to organized crime since the 1993 killing of Colombian capo Pablo Escobar.

Mr. Guzmán’s capture ends a 13-year manhunt ever since his daring 2001 escape from a Mexican federal prison. U.S. officials say his Sinaloa Cartel is probably the world’s biggest drug-trafficking group, responsible for as much as a third of the cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines smuggled into the ... Read More

US drone, phone taps used to hunt Mexican drug lord

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
From AFP

BY LAURENT THOMET

Mexico City – US authorities announced plans to seek the extradition of Mexico’s most powerful drug lord after his capture in a US-backed operation that included a drone, cellphone intercepts and elite Mexican marines.

As prosecutors in New York prepared their request, new details emerged Sunday from the manhunt that led to the capture of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, whose empire has smuggled drugs to the United States, Europe and Asia.

The US surveillance drone was used for two weeks between mid-January and mid-February to back up a massive operation in the northwestern city of Culiacan, a US government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Guzman eventually slipped out of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, after escaping through tunnels under one of his safe houses as the marines closed in on him, Mexican and US officials said.

Under pressure, the 56-year-old drug capo, who had ... Read More

¿De qué servirá la captura del Chapo Guzmán?

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Excelsior

LEO ZUCKERMAN

Primero, lo obvio: Joaquín Guzmán era un prófugo de la justicia. El Estado estaba obligado a detenerlo. Su captura indudablemente representa un triunfo para el presidente Peña. La pregunta es si dicho arresto ayudará o no a resolver el problema de la violencia en México.

De ninguna manera puede menospreciarse lo logrado por el presente gobierno. La de Guzmán era una cuenta pendiente que tenía el Estado mexicano frente a un delincuente que se había fugado de un supuesto penal de máxima seguridad. Cada año que pasaba se incrementaba la vergüenza pública de no poderlo atrapar. Capturarlo es una reivindicación para las autoridades y un triunfo paraPeña.

Sobre todo para su imagen. Recordemos que hace unas semanas, el Presidente fue a Davos a presumir las múltiples reforma aprobadas durante el primer año de su sexenio. Al terminar, la primera pregunta que le hicieron fue sobre el tema de seguridad. Peña se incomodó. Quedó claro que a los ... Read More

Testimony of Douglas Farah: Terrorist Groups in Latin America: The Changing Landscape

| February 5th, 2014 | No Comments »
US House of Representatives

Testimony of Douglas Farah

President, IBI Consultants LLC

Senior Non-Resident Associate, Americas Program, CSIS

Before the House Foreign Affairs

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade

“Terrorist Groups in Latin America: The Changing Landscape”

February 4, 2014

2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Sherman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the FARC and lessons learned.  The U.S.-Colombia partnership is one of the most successful in recent times.

I have had the privilege of working in Colombia since 1989. I have seen the nation teeter on the edge of the abyss in the 1990s, to emerge as a regional model of democracy and economic development.

The FARC, despite the ongoing peace talks with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos in Cuba, remains engaged in criminal enterprises ... Read More

The case of Paraguay: A challenging ally

| January 21st, 2014 | No Comments »
Center for Security Policy

BY LUIS FLEISCHMAN

The land-locked country of Paraguay, neatly tucked between Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia is seldom given much notice. However, there are elements of the country that are worth taking a look at.  Last April Paraguay elected a new president, Horacio Cartes.

Cartes is a member of the Colorado party, a party that held Paraguay’s presidency for 60 years. Thirty five of those years were ones   of dictatorship. Cartes, however, joined the Colorado Party only four years ago.

Cartes’s election took place ten months after former President Fernando Lugo (2008-2012) was impeached and deposed by the Paraguayan congress.  That move by the Paraguayan legislature was seen by many countries in the region as a coup and as a result of that Paraguay was suspended from the South American Free Trade zone (Mercosur) as well as from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and faced regional isolation.

The election took place against the ... Read More

Crime and the Systemic Failures of Government in Venezuela

| January 13th, 2014 | No Comments »
Mexi Data

BY JERRY BREWER

Why must a personal tragedy, such as the murder of former beauty queen and Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her husband — last week in Venezuela, bring such an intense public outrage worldwide, with a weak leftist President Nicolas Maduro racing to silence the publicity?

Although these recent killings in Venezuela entail a well-known celebrity, the mother of a young daughter that survived the shootings, this particular attack sadly shadows the many thousands of murders that preceded this particular mayhem.

Venezuela is, and remains, one of the most violent nations in the world.  In a country where the political apparatchik falsely claims that crime is falling, killings “rose to 24,763 last year,” leaving the country with one of the world’s highest homicide rates (according to the non-governmental group Venezuelan Violence Observatory).

In stark comparison, the United States, with a population ten times that of Venezuela has about 14,000 homicides a year.

Of ... Read More

Los narcotraficantes amenazan los logros democráticos en Centroamérica

| January 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

POR ELLIOTT ABRAMS

Elliott Abrams es es un académico especializado en estudios del Medio Oriente para el Consejo de Relaciones Exteriores. Fue asesor adjunto para seguridad nacional en la administración de George W. Bush y secretario de Estado adjunto para asuntos interamericanos en la administración del presidente Reagan.

Hace tres décadas, el presidente Ronald Reagan convocó a un grupo de líderes republicanos y demócratas – conocida como la comisión Kissinger – y le encargó hacer recomendaciones sobre cómo Estados Unidos podría ayudar con mayor eficiencia a los países de América Central a erradicar la presencia soviética  y los movimientos guerrilleros cubanos mediante la promoción de la democracia y el desarrollo económico. Reagan se enfrentó a una fuerte oposición por parte de algunos sectores en Washington, pero sus políticas – y los sacrificios de muchos amigos de Estados Unidos en la región – ayudaron a materializar tres décadas de relativa paz y crecimiento ... Read More

Drug traffickers threaten Central America’s democratic gains

| January 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

BY ELLIOT ABRAMS

Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration and assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs in the Reagan administration.

Three decades ago, President Ronald Reagan convened a group of Republican and Democratic leaders — known as the Kissinger commission — and charged it to make recommendations on how the United States could best help the countries of Central America thwart Soviet- and Cuban-supported guerrilla movements by promoting democracy and economic development. Reagan faced fierce opposition from some quarters in Washington, but his policies — and the sacrifices of many U.S. friends in the region — helped bring about three decades of relative peace and economic growth in Central America.

Unfortunately, those gains are at risk. The region’s challenges today are less about ideology than about criminality and corruption ... Read More

Spain’s ABC: Diplomats confirm Venezuelan links to drug trafficking

| December 16th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
ABC Madrid-01

BY LUDMILA VINOGRADOFF

Information published by ABC regarding negotiations between Nicolás Maduro’s staff—when he was foreign minister—in an FMLN drug trafficking operation in El Salvador, has corroborated suspicions that existed in Venezuelan political and diplomatic circles.

“This news confirms what many already knew about the significant and growing presence of drug trafficking in Venezuela and its important relations with the top echelon in the government and the Armed Forces,” former Venezuelan ambassador to Sweden and Guyana, Sadio Garavini commented. “Venezuela has become a center of command and control of international drug trafficking since the expulsion of the DEA (U.S. anti-drug agency) of the country and the indefinite suspension of the effective partnership with former United States cooperation in the fight against drugs.”

_____________

“This news confirms what many already knew about the significant and growing presence of drug trafficking in Venezuela and its important relations with the top echelon in the government and the ... Read More

Diplomáticos confirman la conexión de Venezuela con el narcotráfico

| December 13th, 2013 | No Comments »
ABC Madrid-01

POR LUDMILA VINOGRADOFF

La información publicada por ABC sobre la mediación del gabinete de Nicolás Maduro –cuando era ministro de Exteriores– en una operación de narcotráfico del FMLN de El Salvador ha venido a corroborar las fuertes sospechas que en medios políticos y diplomáticos venezolanos existían sobre el particular. «Esta noticia confirma lo que ya muchos sabíamos sobre la relevante y creciente presencia del narcotráfico en Venezuela y sus importantes relaciones con sectores de la cúpula del Gobierno y de las Fuerzas Armadas», asegura el exembajador venezolano en Guyana y Suecia, Sadio Garavini. «Venezuela se ha convertido en un centro de comando y control del narcotráfico internacional desde la expulsión de la DEA (la agencia estadounidense contra la droga) del país y la suspensión indefinida de la otrora efectiva colaboración con Estados Unidos en la lucha contra el narco», añade Garavini, quien asimismo puso de relieve cómo contribuye a ese tráfico ilícito «la corrupción en los cuerpos de ... Read More

Spain’s ABC: Venezuela arranged drug trafficking access for Salvadoran FMLN

| December 12th, 2013 | 6 Comments »
ABC Madrid-01

José Luis Merino, a leader of the left-wing Salvadoran political party, arranged a drug lord’s meeting with the Colombian FARC on a flight coordinated with the office of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

By Emili J. Blasco

Washington Correspondent

Diario ABC de Madrid

Two months before the presidential elections in El Salvador, new links between the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) and international drug trafficking have come to light. After chavista aid failed to secure the Honduran presidency for the Zelayas two weeks ago, the reelection of the ruling FMLN would entail a radicalization of the political environment in El Salvador and its integration into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), the international bloc promoted by the populist left in Caracas. Honduras and El Salvador are crucial transit points for the flow of drugs stemming from Colombia and Venezuela on its way to Mexico and the United States.

As new evidence reveals, when Nicolás ... Read More

Anti-Drug Efforts Succeeding in Colombia

| December 5th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

BY DANIEL WISER

Joint anti-drug efforts between the United States and Colombia have reduced cocaine production and violence and could serve as a model for other regional countries aiming to build better democracies, experts say.

For the joint initiative, known as “Plan Colombia,” the United States provides airplanes, helicopters, and special operations training and advice to Colombian forces. Lawmakers have appropriated more than $8 billion for the program between 2000 and 2012, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.

Recent statistics suggest that money was well spent. Peru surpassed Colombia last year in farming of the coca plant, the source of raw materials for cocaine, for the first time in two decades, according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. The U.N. estimated that Colombia produced 270 fewer metric tons of cocaine last year compared to 2006.

Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón Bueno also said the U.S. partnership has helped cut off funding for the ... Read More

DEA: Coca Down In Colombia And Cartel Infighting In Mexico Means Less Cocaine In U.S. Streets

| November 22nd, 2013 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

BY ANDREW O’REILLY

Cocaine availability in the United States has decreased in recent years, while the availability of heroin and methamphetamine have soared in certain regions of the country, a new study by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) found.

The National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, which compiled illegal drug trends through 2012, found that infighting between Mexican cartels, declining coca production in Colombia and ramped-up drug-interdiction efforts in the U.S. have all contributed to the decline in the availability of cocaine. In 2011 approximately 37,200 pounds of cocaine were seized along the U.S. border with Mexico while in 2012 only about 15,700 pounds were seized, according to the National Security Service statistics.

“This is a very important shift because cocaine has traditionally been the main driver of profits for transnational organized crime groups,”Andrew Selee, vice president for programs at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C, told Fox News Latino. The RAND Corporation estimates ... Read More

Mexican cartels abet heroin and meth surge in U.S., DEA study says

| November 21st, 2013 | No Comments »
From the Los Angeles Times

BY RICHARD FAUSSET

MEXICO CITY — The availability of heroin and methamphetamine in the U.S. is on the rise, due in part to the ever-evolving entrepreneurial spirit of the Mexican drug cartels, according to a new study released by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The report, which analyzes illicit drug trends through 2012, also notes that cocaine availability was down across the United States. It offered various possible reasons for the decline, including cartel versus cartel fights over drug routes in Mexico, declining production in Colombia and various anti-narcotics strategies that have put more heat on the groups that control production and shipment of the product.

The yearly report, released Monday and known as the National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, is an effort to describe “the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs.”

The report is a synthesis of quantitative data and survey feedback from more than 1,300 state and local ... Read More

Cuba, Venezuela and Drug Trafficking: Waging the Anti-USA ‘New Cold War’

| November 18th, 2013 | No Comments »
Mexi Data

BY JERRY BREWER

As in the game of chess, calculated positional play allows complex strategic plans to sometimes reach fruition through tactics and moves that set up threats and defenses. Position, control, and dynamic imbalances set the stage for desired results, along with sacrifices that need to be made.

The vicious scourge of drug trafficking, and the accompanying massive death tolls and misery within this hemisphere, are believed by many to be strategically driven, facilitated, manipulated, and/or orchestrated by rogue state governments in the Americas.

Cuba was long suspected of state complicity in drug trafficking, as far back as the 1960s, whereas in the 1980s strong evidence of the Cuban drug connection was shown.

With Venezuela as a tool for vociferous recriminations against the United States (via the buffoonish-like bully pulpit of Venezuela’s late strong man Hugo Chavez), Fidel Castro evidently found, and anointed, Chavez as a pawn to personify his personal and intense ... Read More

Bolivia Says Most of Its Coca for Traditional Uses

| November 14th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

BY CARLOS VALDEZ

A study released Wednesday by Bolivia’s government says 58 percent of the country’s coca crop is devoted to traditional uses, meaning the rest is processed into cocaine.

The long-awaited European Union-financed study said 31 percent of Bolivia’s 10 million people consume coca, a mild stimulant used in religious rituals and chewed and taken in tea to fight off fatigue and altitude sickness.

President Evo Morales promised the study early in his presidency and Interior Minister Carlos Romero said the field work began in 2010.

Morales, who took office in January 2006, remains head of a coca growers union and his core constituency is in the coca-growing Chapare region, where he first released the study Tuesday night.

The president’s backers have long maintained that to meet traditional needs, Bolivia needs four-fifths of the 25,300 hectares (98 square miles) of coca that were under cultivation in 2012.

Bolivia’s opposition ... Read More

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