Dark Alliances Redux: The Globalization of the Narcotics Trade a.k.a. the “War on Drugs”

by Scott Creighton

In memory of Gary Webb. The courage he possessed is far too rare in this country.

At the North American Leaders’ Summit which just took place last week President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met in Ottawa to discuss the future of economic prosperity (for a few) in this North American Union of ours. It’s being called the Three Amigos summit.

In the press conference, President Obama addressed what he called “serious concerns” being held by a number of citizens across the world about the impact of globalization and how unfair it is to so many people. He said folks have “legitimate” grievances because, in the past, free trade agreements, like the one they were there to discuss, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), haven’t always worked out so well for the workers, small business people and the quickly dwindling middle class in Mexico, Canada and the U.S.

Of course, his response to how to “fix” it involved signing bigger and better “free trade” agreements, that way they can dictate conditions on more countries across the world. He’s speaking of the TPP and TTIP of course.

Fix the problems created by unfair “free trade” agreements by signing bigger and more oppressive “free trade” agreements. That’s the solution from our glorious leader. Not “end NAFTA” and negotiate new unilateral “fair trade” agreements that put U.S. workers and businesses first. No, fix NAFTA by signing the TPP and the TTIP. Bigger, more oppressive NAFTA.

Around the same time, a couple barely noticed articles popped up over at Telesur which I thought needed a little more attention.

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The information war in Mexico: journalists murdered, citizens monitored

by Kade Crockford and Paola Villarreal, Privacy SOS

On July 31, 2015, assassins broke into an apartment in Mexico City and executed five people: photojournalist Ruben Espinosa, 31, community organizer and human rights activist Nadia Vera, 32, student Yesenia Quiróz, 18, and two unnamed women. Their bodies showed signs of torture.

Espinosa and Vera had fled to Mexico City from the state of Veracruz, 200 miles east the capital, on the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ), Veracruz is not only one of the most dangerous states in Mexico for journalists, but one of the most dangerous regions in the world.

At the time of their murders, Espinosa and Vera were living in Mexico City because their criticism of Veracruz’ governor, Javier Duarte, was met with threats, surveillance, and harassment, forcing them into exile in their own country. During Duarte’s governorship, at least twelve journalists have been murdered in suspicious circumstances that activists and fellow reporters call political assassinations.

Espinosa arrived in Mexico City in June, and was very vocal about his experience, speaking out against the culture of corruption and violence that drove him from his home. On July 1, 2015, he told a fellow reporter why he left Veracruz for what he thought would be a safe haven in the nation’s capital.

[read more here]

Dark Alliances: How the DEA, Big Banking and Death Squads Made Sinaloa the Last Cartel Standing in Mexico

by Scott Creighton

(The title of this article pays tribute to one of the most courageous and dedicated journalists of our time, Gary Webb. There have been many others who have covered this issue, notably Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair Alfred W. McCoy , Michael Levine and Michael Ruppert just to name a few.)

It is said they operate more like a corporation than a drug gang. There’s good reason for that. It’s what they are.

The Sinaloa Cartel (a.k.a. “Guzmán-Loera Organization”, “The Federation” and “The Blood Alliance”) ships more harmful illegal drugs into this country by far than any other single group in the world.

According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, within the U.S. the Sinaloa Cartel is primarily involved in the manufacture and distribution of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and MDMA.[20]

The Sinaloa Cartel is also the #1 importer of all those trendy, tasty flavors of high-end pot a few of you can buy legally in a couple states. So as the push to legalize continues, the Sinaloa corporate brand (and all those who essentially have stock in it) sits back and smiles.

And now, according to Tomás Zerón, the director of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) within Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR), Sinaloa stands almost alone atop a pile of rotting corpses of what used to be a myriad of drug gangs in Mexico.

That’s because we made them that way.

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More than 100,000 march in Mexico City over disappeared students

by Rafeel Azul,  from WSWS

A mass protest march of more than 100,000 students, teachers, education workers and ordinary citizens took place in Mexico City on Wednesday, November 5, in solidarity with the 43 missing teaching students, normalistas, of the Ayotzinapa Normal School, who have been missing for over 40 days.

This was the third mass demonstration and by far the largest and angriest. Many of the participants directed their anger at President Enrique Peña Nieto, demanding that he resign. One protest sign denounced him “for corruption, betraying the nation, ineptitude,” calling him a “repressor and assassin.”

Others carried signs that said, “It was the State.” Leading the march were students from Mexico City’s National Autonomous Metropolitan University (UNAM), the Polytechnic Institute, rural teaching colleges, and Iberian-American University, who all had joined a massive nationwide 72-hour student strike.

[read more here]