A few weeks ago ago we began collecting
news stories and
brief blurbs from drug stories that made the papers or the wires.
As the stories piled up, the dawning
realization of the immensity
of the industry was a shock, even to someone who's been writing about it for
A week of stories about the drug trade also
reveals just how thoroughly the business has corrupted government and law
enforcement officials in every country (including the U.S.) it touches.
There are no trade publications, no Autoweek
or ComputerWorld, covering the illicit narcotics industry. But if
there were, we bet it would run a weekly column filled with items about drug
trafficking, like this one.
It might even be called "This Week in Drugs."
been a banner year for seizures. Four tons, six ton, even 23 tons of cocaine in
one fell swoop. You even think: maybe the surge is working.
But weekly seizures of enough cocaine to fill
a slow train don't even make a dent in the trade.
And then you realize there is nothing like
a 1-to-1 correspondence between tons of cocaine seized and
tons of cocaine going up American noses.
There is no correlation.
The whole exercise begins to
feel a little silly and theatrical, a charade, or maybe even something more
Do they hold try-outs for this "Home Team?"
there have been significant seizures and arrests, it is also true that in those
with drugs seized are replaced by others who continue the business,"
said Michael Shifter, the deputy director for regional analysis of the group
Every time the DEA or Mexican military or Colombian police bust
a 10 ton-load of cocaine, they have also just created a 10 ton sales opportunity for
someone else's cocaine.. because seizing 10 tons of cocaine
doesn't diminish the volume of U.S. sales at all.
In reality, big seizures allow the
drug cartel with ready resources to
spot sales and increase market share.
This lucky cartel, on whose
behalf someone else's drug are being busted, is usually called the
Mexican Governor: Progress in War on
200 fewer gangland style executions in Michoacan this year
Morelia, Mich.. Tuesday December 11, 2007
... Michoacan Governor Lazaro Cardenas Batel
acknowledged progress in the fight against organized crime. He emphasized that
this year there have been about 200 executions less than during 2006.
This doesn’t mean the problem has been
overcome, he hastens to add. “What’s important is that a significantly lower
number of violent events than we had at this point last year, roughly 200 less,
and that’s something.”
point since last year, Mexico averaged more than 10 murders a day related to
1.8 Tons of Cocaine Seized Near El Salvador
El Salvador, Saturday, December 8, 2007
The destruction of the last load of cocaine
seized off the coast near the El Salvador port of Acajutla, will be on
Wednesday Dec. 19. The prosecutor in
the case hopes that the Tribunal against Organized Crime in Santa Ana would
bring forward the date when the 1.8 tons of cocaine can be burned to as soon as
"We requested the drug be destroyed as soon as
possible. Their seizure has meant wear to the police, who had to appoint several
agents exclusively to guard it day and night in Narco Division.”
Leader of Anti-Drug Civic Group attacked by 20
Repels attack armed with only an assault rifle
Hours before the incident in Tijuana, the
leader of a civic organization denouncing the violence of organized crime in the
state of Baja California barely escaped with his life in after being attacked by
Armed with an assault rifle left by one of his
bodyguards, Alberto Capella, president of the Citizen Council for Public
Security, was able to keep at bay for a quarter of an hour the attack by 20
thugs trying to enter his home.
November 29, 2007
Attorney General Deplores Attack
Mexico City .- The Attorney General of the
Republic, Eduardo Medina Mora, deplored the attack on the head of the Citizen
Council for Public Safety in Tijuana, Baja California, and ordered that he be
provided with security.
Colombian authorities seize 3.8 tons of
cocaine in Caribbean
BOGOTA, December. 7 (UPI) --
Coast Guard and Navy Colombian
officials of the Prosecutor's Office and the Administrative Department of
Security (DAS intelligence), found and seized 3.8 tons of cocaine in the
Caribbean coast northwest of the country, official sources reported. Colombia is the leading producer of the drug world with
more than 600 tons per year.
Navy seizures this year: 67 tons of cocaine.
Total Armed Forces of Colombia Seizures: 139.4
tons of cocaine
Guatemala— Two men killed when small plane
crashes in jungle
Authorities said the twin-prop, six-seat
Beechcraft King Air plane went down near the Mexican border in Peten — a
sparsely populated region frequently used as a route to ship South American
cocaine toward the U.S. market.
Police reported finding cash and cocaine aboard the aircraft.
Looking for pilots of aircraft with drugs in
Honduras – Search for two pilots on Atlantic coast
TEGUCIGALPA - Authorities searching for the
two pilots of a Venezuelan-registered plane allegedly carrying cocaine and
landed in the vicinity of a city on the Atlantic coast of Honduras.
The plane made an emergency landing at dawn on
Thursday on land owned by the banana company American Standard Fruit Co,
about 350 kilometers north of Tegucigalpa, on a landing strip frequently used by
light aircraft to spray or fertilize plantations of Standard Fruit, operating
here since 1898.
The authorities have indicated that each year
pass through the Honduran territory at least 100 tons of cocaine from Colombia
to the United States.
After burning of 23.5 tons of cocaine in
20 Mexican Senators receive death threats at home
Manzanillo, Colima, Nov 28.
Threats to kidnap Federal Deputies are
under investigation by AttorneyGeneral Eduardo Medina Mora, who stressed that
this crime will be fought "for all"
PAN members in the Chamber of Deputies will
all change their telephone numbers to prevent further blackmail.
Mexican States Prepare for War… With Each
Colima and Jalisco: home states of warring drug cartels
The border region between Colima and Jalisco
increasingly looks like a war zone, and yesterday reached a dangerous level,
facing an armed invasion by a neighboring state.
The Federal Preventive Police took control of
the conflict zone bordering maintaining Colima and Jalisco, in order to provide
protection to the people, by agreement of the governors of those entities,
Silverio Cavazos Ceballos and Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, respectively.
Former Colombian senator gets 25 years in U.S.
Convicted of drug trafficking & money laundering
WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (ANSA) - Former Colombian
senator Samuel Santander Lopesierra, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in the
United States for drug trafficking and money laundering. Lopesierra was accused
of washing millions and smuggle more than two tons of cocaine from Colombia to
the United States.
Scuttled by crew on high seas with 12 tons of cocaine from
Friday December 7, 2007 (Reuters) -
A submarine capable of transporting 12 tons of cocaine,
which apparently was full, was sunk by its four crew members after the Coast
Guard Colombia and the United States intercepted in the waters of the Pacific
Ocean, military authorities said on Friday .
"The four crew members, before being loaded on
a boat for a United States Coast Guard, opened the valves and caused the sinking
of the submersible," an official said in a press conference.
17 Subs Seized by Colombian Navy Since 2005
12 in Pacific; 5 in Caribbean.
The Pacific coast of Colombia is a key route
for drug traffickers to send shipments of cocaine into Mexico and the United
Since 2005 the Colombian navy has seized 12
submarines in the Pacific, while five similar ships were found in the Caribbean.
Cadiz, Spain: Four arrested. 2.2 tons of
(CADIZ), December 7. (OTR / PRESS) -
Police have dismantled a network of drug
trafficking in the Cadiz town of La Línea de la Concepción, which resulted in
the arrest of four involved. Also seized were up 2.2 tons of cocaine and up to
31,000 euros in cash. The arrested, of whom three of them had family
relationship, using a flat franc in the municipality, where he conducted illegal
Formal prison Zetas arrested with 11 tons of
17:40 A federal judge issued detention order
against eight alleged members of the mercenaries known as "Los Zetas"
related to the seizure of 11.7 tons of cocaine in Tampico, Tamaulipas.
Capture of suspected drug traffickers and mass
Colombia 11/29/2007 - The anti-narcotics police
captured 11 suspected members of an international network specializing in heroin
trafficking, including five suspected drug traffickers sought in extradition by
the United States.
According to information provided by the
police, the focus of the operations of the band was at the international airport
in Rionegro Medellin.
Why Hughes Helicopter Luvs
War on Drugs:
U.S. and Spain increase
aid to Guatemala to combat drug trafficking
28-November-07 GUATEMALA (AFP) -
United States and Spain offered to increase their cooperation in combating drug
trafficking in Guatemala, where circulate annually about 300 tons of cocaine
into the United States market, so that the support would include military
aircraft and ships.
The American embassy said in a statement that
18.7 million donated this year "would increase further with the Initiative
Merida proposed recently by President George W. Bush, and that would give
Guatemala 9.2 billion extra for combating drug trafficking. "
The greatest contribution of resources in the
fight narcotics is the use of helicopters, the cost of which is estimated at 12
Captured extradition to serve the Northern
Colonel Cesar Pinzon,
director of the DIJIN, confirmed to the W capture of the alleged drug trafficker
Javier Estupiñan Estupiñan member of the criminal organization known as the
culimochos, in the service of the cartel in the north Valley.
"This person had their impact on the
departments of Chocó, Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Narino relationship with the
shipping of large amounts of drugs in speedboats toward Central America, Mexico
and the United States," signaled the colonel.
Estupiñan, in the extradition request, was
responsible for organizing the shipping route, the issue of fuel in the high
seas and the whole issue of the organization logistical The culimochos that in
the past year has sent five tons of drugs to the outside world.
The Dijín tries to establish linkages between
other Estupiñán with the finding of 5 tons of cocaine were found buried in the
sand in Guayaquil.
Costa Rica-- Tico boat carrying 4.5
tons of cocaine seized
Seven fishermen detained 135 kilometers
from the coast
The fishing Costa Rican Yorleni II,
coastguards arrested by Americans more than 135 kilometers from the Pacific
coast, was involved in a "relay race" carrying 4.5 tons of cocaine to Mexico. In
the holds of the vessel Mexican authorities found 4.5 tons of cocaine.
"Costa Rican fishermen are meeting Colombian
drug speedboats. This operation confirms the existence of a direct link between
Colombian and Mexican cartels," remarked the minister of Public Security,
"Fishermen Ticos have not wanted to understand
that this area has become a fortress with radars, satellites, helicopters and
patrol boats. It is a mistake to participate in this activity,” warned Berrocal.
Costa Rica has seized more than 60 tons in
New arrested in Panama linked to drug
Panama, December 3 (PL)
made further arrests of suspects linked to an international gang of drug
traffickers who enjoyed the complicity of members of the Technical Judicial
Police (PTJ), judicial sources said today.
Narcoviolencia way down, says Mex Govt:
Just 2500 gangland execution so far this year…
December 10, 2007, 06:21 pm ET
MEXICO (AP) - The murders linked to the
violence generated by drug traffickers in Mexico show a downward trend, although
the Attorney General's Office admitted that 2007 will end with levels similar to
those of the previous year.
The attorney general Eduardo Medina said
Monday at a press conference with international media that the decline is the
result of operations the government launched in December 2006.
Murders related to drug trafficking last year
reached 2,500. Ending them is the goal
of president Felipe Calderon.
However despite the deployment of more than
25,000 military the power of the narcos remains.
Mexico to protect former governor from
extradition to US
2007 The Associated Press
A judge granted former governor Mario
Villanueva for a moratorium that for the moment not be extradited to the United
States, where he is wanted for drug trafficking.
The Judicial Council announced Tuesday night
in a statement that the judge Martha Lamile Ortiz protected provisionally
Villanueva while ultimately resolves one under which brought its defense against
extradition granted by the Mexican government in November.
Villanueva, who ruled the southern state of
Quintana Roo from 1993 to 1999, is the first former local agent faces a process
of extradition to the United States for drug trafficking.
Villanueva was exonerated of charges of drug
trafficking and organized crime.