Monday, May 1, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: Mexican Bubbly

(Sound of cork popping)

"Restricted spyware used to harass advocates of Mexico’s soda tax" by Nicole Perlroth New York Times  February 11, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — The links sent to the men were laced with an invasive form of spyware developed by NSO Group, an Israeli cyberarms dealer that sells its digital spy tools exclusively to governments and that has contracts with multiple agencies inside Mexico, according to company e-mails leaked to The New York Times last year.

Leaked e-mails last year, huh?

NSO Group and the dozens of other commercial spyware outfits that have cropped up around the globe over the past decade operate in a largely unregulated market. Spyware makers like NSO Group, Hacking Team in Italy, and Gamma Group in Britain insist they sell tools only to governments for criminal and terrorism investigations.

Well, because of, you know....

But it is left to government agents to decide whom they will and will not hack with spying tools that can trace a target’s every phone call, text message, e-mail, keystroke, location, sound, and sight.

Hi (blog editor frowning).

The discovery of NSO’s spyware on the phones of Mexican nutrition policymakers, activists, and even government employees, like Barquera, raises new questions about whether NSO’s tools are being used to advance the soda industry’s commercial interests in Mexico.

The soda industry has poured over $67 million into defeating state and local efforts to regulate soft drink sales in the United States since 2009, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. But the tax in Mexico — Coca-Cola’s biggest consumer market by per capita consumption — posed an exceptional threat.


"On the pro-tax side are big donations from billionaires, and opposing them are the companies in the deep-pocketed beverage industry."

I don't like either $ide, and did you $ee the guy with the bigge$t buuuuuuuuurp!

After the tax passed in 2014, Coca-Cola pledged $8.2 billion worth of investments in Mexico through 2020. And soda makers have lobbied against the tax through industry groups, like ConMéxico, which represents Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Lorena Cerdán, director of ConMéxico, said the group had no knowledge of, or part in, the mobile hacking.

The timing of the hacking coincided with a planned effort by advocacy organizations and health researchers to coordinate a mass media campaign to build support for doubling the soda tax, an effort that stalled in Mexico’s Congress in November.

Look at them fill you up with fizz while distracting you from the serious implications of the spyware. It's about sodas!

“This is proof that surveillance in Mexico is out of control,” said Luis Fernando García, director of the Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales, a Mexican digital rights nonprofit.

NSO Group’s spyware is increasingly turning up on the phones of journalists, dissidents, and human rights activists. The spyware was discovered on the phone of a human-rights activist in the United Arab Emirates and a prominent Mexican journalist in August. 

Um, HELLO!!!!!! 


In interviews and statements, NSO Group claims to sell its spyware only to law enforcement agencies to track terrorists, criminals, and drug lords. NSO executives point to technical safeguards that prevent clients from sharing its spy tools.

An NSO spokesman said the company had no knowledge of the tracking of health researchers and advocates inside Mexico....


My feeling on this "leaked" article is that rather than the NYT proving its journalistic integrity and getting an important item out there, it's a way for Israel to say we have this. Let's the world know they are watching us all. The same logic applies to something like this.

More Mexico:

"Climate change turns Mexico City into a parched and sinking capital" by Michael Kimmelman New York Times   February 18, 2017

MEXICO CITY — The effects of climate change are varied and opportunistic, but one thing is consistent: They are like sparks in the tinder. They expose cities’ biggest vulnerabilities, inflaming troubles that politicians and city planners often ignore or try to paper over. And they spread outward, defying borders.

Around the world, extreme weather and water scarcity are accelerating repression, regional conflicts, and violence. The Pentagon’s term for climate change is “threat multiplier.”

Never mind that the AmeriKan war machine is the biggest contributor to the greenhouse gases causing the alleged global warming -- which is what is responsible for all the wars!!! 



Better find a cave to hide in as the water rises and the salt marshes disappear:

Hurricane Newton slams into Mexico’s Los Cabos resorts

At least the porpoises were saved.

"Eruptions at the Colima volcano in western Mexico continued Saturday, forcing authorities to evacuate hundreds of people from three hamlets on the volcano’s slopes. The civil defense office in Jalisco state said glowing-hot rock continued to flow down the volcano’s southern and southeastern slopes, and vapor and ash emissions continued. Eruptions Friday sent lava or glowing rocks down the volcano’s slopes and a column of ash and vapor into the air. Also known as the Volcano of
Fire, the 12,533-foot volcano is 430 miles west of Mexico City (AP)."

I'm thinking Mexicans have bigger problems than the weather:

"Priests’ murders rattle Mexican city gripped by violence" by Christopher Sherman Associated Press  September 24, 2016

POZA RICA, Mexico — In this eastern Mexican oil region already weary of rising gangland violence and extortion, the abduction and murder of two priests last week sank many residents only deeper into despair.

The killings in Poza Rica, a city in the troubled Gulf state of Veracruz, also came at a moment of heightened tension between the Roman Catholic Church and Mexico’s government.

Church leaders are increasingly frustrated by authorities’ inability to protect their priests under President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration, and the church is openly opposing his proposal to legalize gay marriage by encouraging the faithful to join demonstrations around the country.

‘‘This, in combination with the recent protests of gay marriage coordinated by the church, I think we’re seeing a new low point in the relationship between the church and the PRI,’’ said Andrew Chesnut, chairman of Catholic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, referring to Pena Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party.

‘‘I think the overarching picture is that . . . the open-season on priests has just proliferated with the intensification of the drug war.’’

Pope said take them on and this is the result.

When Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz were found bound and shot to death outside Poza Rica last Monday, it brought to 14 the number of priests slain in Mexico since Pena Nieto took office in late 2012. At least 30 have been killed since 2006.

And last Thursday, church officials made a public plea for the life of yet another priest, who was reportedly kidnapped from his parish residence in the western state of Michoacan and has not been heard from since.

What happened to Nabor and Suarez, and why, remains murky.

Murky is pre$$ code for cover up or the withholding of information.

The church saw it as the latest example of state authorities smearing victims in investigations that were cursory at best.

Veracruz state prosecutor Luis Angel Bravo dismissed suggestions that a drug cartel may have been involved, although the Zetas and the Jalisco New Generation gangs are battling for control in Veracruz, including in Poza Rica.


Who else could it be?

Locals have gotten accustomed to hearing about grisly murders. The city of 195,000, has recorded 41 killings in the first eight months of this year — more than three times the toll for all 2015.

Only this time it wasn’t faceless strangers assumed to be cartel operatives, they were priests, respected community leaders.

Friends and parishioners were outraged by the suggestion that the priests had been partying with their killers and expressed deep skepticism about the credibility of the investigation so far.

Mexicans are just like any other citizens of the world when it comes to their government.

At Suarez’s funeral, Rev. Lorenzo Rivas, who attended seminary with the young priest, said his only vice was volleyball: “He was not a person who liked alcohol.”

Bravo, the prosecutor, later appeared to walk back his comments somewhat, saying he did not mean to criminalize the victims.

Yeah, well, damage done.

Also at the funeral, one woman slipped a note to a reporter urging an investigation of what she called persecution of bishops for opposing the gay marriage proposal.

Veracruz has been governed for decades by Pena Nieto’s party, and current Governor Javier Duarte is widely reviled for alleged corruption and for crime rates that have spiked on his watch....


Time to start digging:

"7 bodies found in Mexico clandestine grave" Associated Press  November 23, 2016

MEXICO CITY — Soldiers and police found an outlaw camp in southern Mexico where a kidnap victim was rescued, body parts were found in a cooler, and seven bodies were extracted from clandestine burial pits.

The grisly find was made Tuesday in a part of southern Guerrero state where rival drug gangs have been engaged in a wave of extortion, kidnappings, and turf battles.

Roberto Alvarez, the Guerrero state security spokesman, said a joint army-police patrol received a tip that people were being held at a rural encampment near a mountain in Zitlala, near the violence-plagued town of Chilapa.

The patrol went to investigate, found the camp, and freed a kidnapped man. They found no suspects but did find gun magazines, vehicles, and the cooler with human remains.

Army troops cordoned off the area, and investigators were working to identify the bodies.

Drug gangs frequently decapitate their victims and put their heads in coolers.

Survivors have testified in the past that criminal gangs in Guerrero sometimes operate rural camps where they hold, torture, and kill kidnap victims.

And on Wednesday, state prosecutors said the body of another man was found buried in a clandestine grave near Guerrero’s Pacific coast.

Guerrero has seen an upsurge in gang-related violence. In recent days, groups of dismembered or decapitated bodies have been found dumped on roadsides in different parts of the state.

In response, the government announced Monday that it is stepping up the use of joint police-army patrols in areas known to be particularly violent. 

How is that going to help? The government is working with and protecting the gangs!

The largely rural, impoverished state had 1,832 reported homicides in the first 10 months of 2016. If that rate continues unabated, Guerrero would be on track to have a homicide rate of about 60 per 100,000. That would rival the recent peak year of violence in the state, in 2012, when there were about 68 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.


Also seeMexican official: 250 skulls found in clandestine graves

"Mexico has so many graves, lacks space for bodies exhumed" by Mark Stevenson Associated Press  March 17, 2017

MEXICO CITY — A Mexican prosecutor said Thursday that Veracruz state’s clandestine graves were of such an industrial scale that backhoes or bulldozers were probably used in creating them, and so many bodies were dumped that officials aren’t digging in some places because they don’t have enough space to hold the remains. 

Then they are MASS GRAVES, aren't they?

Veracruz state Attorney General Jorge Winckler confirmed that victims’ advocates were led to the site by a map drawn for them by someone who was familiar with the pits. The person handed them the grisly map on condition of anonymity. The eerie, hand-drawn map marked the graves with dozens of small X’s and included a phrase blaming the killings on the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

That gang moved in to Veracruz around 2011, sparking bloody turf battles with the ferocious Zetas cartel.

The Zetas? Who are they?

Btw, the U.S. favorite was the Sinaloa cartel.

But Winckler said it appeared that authorities from previous state administrations must have been aware of the carnage. He said heavy machinery must have been used to create paths to some of the grave sites.

‘‘It is impossible that nobody realized what was going on here, how vehicles were coming and going,’’ Winckler said. ‘‘If that is not complicity on the part of authorities, I don’t know what it is.’’

That's what I was thinking. Surveillance satellites and such would have seen all that.

That was an apparent reference to the administration of fugitive former governor Javier Duarte and his predecessors.

Duarte resigned as governor two months before his term ended last year and disappeared. He faces charges that include money laundering and organized crime, and officials claim he thoroughly looted state coffers.

RelatedFugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Guatemala

But local police forces in several Veracruz communities have been arrested and charged with helping kidnap people and turning them over to drug gangs....


Time for the funerals:

"In Mexico, Day of the Dead gets the Hollywood treatment" by Mark Stevenson Associated Press  October 29, 2016

MEXICO CITY — Hollywood movies, zombie shows, Halloween, and even politics are fast changing Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations, which traditionally consisted of quiet family gatherings at the graves of their departed loved ones bringing them music, drink, and conversation.

Mexico’s capital was holding its first Day of the Dead parade Saturday, complete with floats, giant skeleton marionettes and more than 1,000 actors, dancers, and acrobats in costumes, but that impressive spectacle has never been a part of traditional Day of the Dead celebrations.

The idea was born out of the imagination of a scriptwriter for last year’s James Bond movie ‘‘Spectre.’’ In the film, whose opening scenes were shot in Mexico City, Bond chases a villain through crowds of revelers and a parade of people in skeleton outfits and floats.

It’s a bit of a feedback loop: Just as Hollywood dreamed up a Mexican spectacle to open the film, once millions had seen the movie, Mexico had to dream up a celebration to match it.

Mexico City authorities even promised that some of the props used in the movie would appear in the parade. The government board sponsoring the march called it part of ‘‘a new, multi-faceted campaign to bring tourists to Mexico during the annual Day of the Dead holiday.’’

Add to this the increasing popularity of ‘‘Zombie Walks’’ around Day of the Dead, and the scads of Halloween witches, ghouls, ghosts, and cobweb decorations sold in Mexico City street markets, and some see a fundamental change in the traditional Mexican holiday.

Johanna Angel, an arts and communication professor at Mexico’s IberoAmerican University, said the influences flow both north and south. She noted that US Halloween celebrations are now including more Mexican-inspired ‘‘candy skull’’ costumes and people dressed up as ‘‘Catrinas,’’ modelled on a satirical 19th century Mexican engraving of a skeleton in a fancy dress and a big hat.

Related: Halloween 2016

‘‘I think there has been a change, influenced by Hollywood,’’ Angel said. ‘‘The foreign imports are what most influence the ways we celebrate the Day of the Dead here.’’

Traditionally, on the Nov. 1-2 holiday, Mexicans set up altars with photographs of the dead and plates of their favorite foods in their homes. They gather at their loved ones’ gravesides to drink, sing, and talk to the dead.

In some towns, families leave a trail of orange marigold petals in a path to their doorway so the spirits of the dead can find their way home. Some light bonfires for the same purpose, sitting around the fire and warming themselves with cups of boiled fruit punch to ward off the autumn chill.

These days, many cities set up massive, flower-strewn altars to the dead and hold public events like parades, mass bicycle events, and fashion shows in which people dress up in ‘‘Catrina’’ disguises.

Some say the changes don’t conflict with the roots of the holiday, which they say will continue.

Samuel Soriano, a 35-year-old insurance executive, decorates his Mexico City home Halloween-style (think giant spider webs and inflatable tombstones) and each year hands out candy to about 100 trick-or-treaters. But in his dining room, he has a more traditional Dia de los Muertos shrine with portraits of departed loved ones, candles, decorative skulls and marigolds.

‘‘We decorate for the sheer pleasure of it, and to see the smiles on children’s faces,’’ Soriano said. ‘‘We also celebrate Day of the Dead. . . . There’s no reason to see it as a contradiction.’’

On a recent ‘‘Zombie Walk’’ — in which hundreds paraded through Mexico City in corpse disguises one week before the Day of the Dead — most participants said it was just good, clean fun.

‘‘We are not fighting against our cultural traditions,’’ said Jesus Rodriguez, one of the organizers, as he waved a fake plastic arm he was ‘‘gnawing’’ on. ‘‘On the contrary, if you take off the zombie’s flesh, there are skeletons, there are Catrinas.’’

Yet Mexico’s traditional view of the dead was never ghoulish or frightful. The dead were seen as the ‘‘dear departed,’’ people who remained close even after death. Could the outside influences threaten that? 

Like this subtly insulting article?

‘‘I don’t think that will change,’’ Angel said. ‘‘I think Mexico maintains the sense of remembering the dead with closeness, not fright.’’

Indeed, Mexicans still enjoy the graveside celebrations. Some popular cemeteries grow so packed and rowdy that authorities have been forced to ban alcohol sales at nearby stores.

And Mexicans have changed the holiday themselves, without outside influences, making it a time to express social protest and social causes.

Many have erected public shrines for the nearly 30,000 disappeared in Mexico’s drug war. In downtown Mexico City in recent years, prostitutes have put on skull masks and erected a shrine to murdered prostitutes.

Day of the Dead — itself an amalgam of Spanish and pre-Hispanic beliefs — seems likely to survive, despite the rapid changes, in a festival-loving country that has long managed to successfully absorb many outside influences. 

Well, I suppose they need to do something to get away from the drug violence.

‘‘Any opportunity for a festival is welcome,’’ Angel noted, ‘‘and with any influences from at home or abroad, and in all possible combinations.’’

As the arm-gnawing zombie Rodriguez put it, ‘‘We love these days, Day of the Dead, Halloween, and Zombies, that is the reason why this crowd is here year after year.’’


I don't want to spoil the party, but ever notice the Zioni$t pre$$ describes all other groups of people as a little quirky and a little nutty at times? All except for our benevolent, well-adjusted Jewi$h ma$ters.

Speaking of nuts:

"Mexican police are searching for gunman who opened fire on an official of the US consulate in the western city of Guadalajara. The attorney general’s office said Saturday the official was wounded by a gunshot Friday in Guadalajara. Surveillance video of the attack shows the gunman following the official in a parking garage. The official, whose name was not released, was dressed in shorts. The attacker doesn’t appear to try to approach the official. Instead, the gunman waits for him to exit the parking garage and fires a round into the car’s windshield. The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information on the attacker (AP)."

"Victim in Mexico diplomat shooting is BC grad, reports say" by Jeremy C. Fox Globe Correspondent  January 09, 2017

The US Embassy in Mexico has not identified the official, and the US State Department did not respond to an inquiry from The Boston Globe on Sunday evening.

Christopher Ashcraft’s family could not be reached for comment, but a Facebook account for a man who identified himself as his father asked for prayers for Ashcraft, who reportedly was in stable condition.

The office of Mexico’s federal attorney general said Sunday that ‘‘a US citizen was identified and detained for his presumed involvement in the case. This person will be deported to the United States, to determine his legal situation.’’

The identity of the suspect was not released, and authorities did not comment on a possible motive.

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement thanking Mexico for the quick arrest.

‘‘On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I want to thank the government of Mexico for their swift and decisive arrest of a suspect in the heinous attack against our Foreign Service Officer colleague,’’ Kerry said. ‘‘My thoughts and prayers remain with this officer and his family during this difficult time. I wish him a speedy recovery.’’

Was it a gun from the Fast and Furious operation?

The FBI had offered a $20,000 reward for information on the attacker, and surveillance cameras photos of him had been widely circulated.

Jalisco state is dominated by the hyperviolent Jalisco New Generation cartel. There was no immediate evidence of any cartel link to the attack.

The US Embassy in Mexico City urged citizens to limit their movements in the Guadalajara area. ‘‘They should also take care not to fall into predictable patterns for those movements that are essential,’’ the statement continued. ‘‘They should vary the times and routes of their movements.’’

Like Hitler used to?

It was unclear if that was a reference to the apparent stalking of the US consular employee by the gunman and what appeared to be an attempt to kill him.

Surveillance video of the attack shows the gunman following the official in a parking garage. The official was dressed in shorts. The attacker doesn’t appear to try to approach the official while he is walking, but instead waits for him to exit the parking garage in his vehicle and fires a round into the car’s windshield.


Didn't really want to kill him?


Just a lone nut, right?

Look who was on the bus with him:

Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman extradited to US

Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ faces US authority

El Chapo’s new home

Drug lord’s lawyers say jail conditions are too strict in N.Y.

He’s locked up 23 hours a day and was even denied water.

Looks like torture to me:

"‘El Chapo’ complains about conditions at high-security Manhattan jail" by Alan Feuer and Joseph Goldstein New York Times  April 25, 2017

NEW YORK — The conditions on 10 South are bleak. Its half-dozen cells are never dark and are perpetually monitored by cameras. The prisoners inside never go outdoors.

Most days, they get an hour to themselves in a tiny “recreation” room with a treadmill, a stationary bike, a television and a window offering fresh air and a view of Lower Manhattan. Many are not allowed to speak with one another, but then again they rarely come face to face.

As the most secure wing of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the federal jail in Manhattan, 10 South is so austere that a high-ranking mobster who spent several years there once described it as “a torture chamber.” The unit has housed some of the country’s most notorious defendants, from operatives for Al Qaeda to at least one notorious foreign arms dealer — all of whom were subjected to its harshness before they were convicted of a crime.

The most recent — and perhaps most renowned — prisoner of 10 South is Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo. In January, Guzmán was abruptly flown on a Mexican police jet to an airport on Long Island, then driven to the jail in an armed caravan. Ever since, he has been protesting his conditions of confinement and has taken up an unlikely role as an advocate for prison reform.

The italics are what the web version added to my print copy.

In a series of court filings, Guzmán’s lawyers have complained on his behalf that from the moment he arrived at 10 South, he has been locked in his cell for 23 hours a day, except for lawyer and court visits, and has been denied all contact with his family and the media. The lawyers claim that he is the most closely guarded inmate in the United States and that the terms of his imprisonment have hindered his ability to prepare for trial. Not only have they asked Judge Brian M. Cogan of US District Court in Brooklyn to loosen the restrictions he faces; they have also asked that a researcher from Amnesty International be allowed inside 10 South to investigate conditions.

That was when the printed Globe told me the visit was over.

It is a strange turn of events that Guzmán, a serial prison escapee who stands accused of killing thousands during Mexico’s bloody drug wars, has claimed the moral high ground as a critic of the penal system. After all, he twice broke out of high-security correctional facilities in Mexico — first in a laundry cart and then by way of a mile-long tunnel dug by confederates into the shower of his cell. Given his history, federal prosecutors have defended the restrictions as a necessary measure, arguing that Guzmán retains “unparalleled connections” to his associates in the Sinaloa drug cartel — and has a “proven history” of murdering his enemies even while under lock and key.

Though his environment is forbidding, some of the grievances he has lodged with jail officials — there have been at least 11 of them as of last month — have been decidedly small-bore. In one motion, Guzmán’s lawyers claimed that the tap water had disturbed his throat, prompting him to ask for bottled water. They also said their client briefly feared that he was hearing voices, though the government contends that he was merely picking up the sounds of a radio being played nearby.

That said, the restrictions in 10 South are so severe that loneliness seems to motivate some inmates to break the unit’s rules. One of those inmates, Oussama Kassir, once greeted a fellow Muslim prisoner in Arabic while being escorted down the hall “in the clutch of two prison guards,” according to an affidavit filed by his lawyer. For that infraction, Kassir lost his telephone privileges for four months.

You can take a drink of loneliness and see what it does to you after ten years.

Kassir was on 10 South for a year and a half, starting in 2007, while awaiting trial on charges that he had tried to establish a jihadi training camp in Oregon. During that time, he also went on a hunger strike to protest his conditions, losing over 25 pounds. Jail officials eventually “began force-feeding Mr. Kassir, which caused him great pain,” his lawyer, Edgardo Ramos, wrote in the affidavit.

Few inmates have spent as much time on 10 South as Vincent Basciano, who prosecutors say is a former acting boss of the Bonanno crime family. According to his lawyer, Mathew J. Mari, Basciano once described 10 South as “a
torture chamber that is a tool the government uses to try to make a defendant cooperate.” Currently serving life in prison on racketeering charges, Basciano was eventually moved from the solitary wing to the nation’s most secure federal prison, the so-called Supermax in Florence, Colo. He described the Supermax as “a five-star hotel compared to 10 South,” according to Mari. 

Anyone with a brain knows that. They may even torture your kids in front of you.

The Bureau of Prisons refused to identify the inmates who are now housed at 10 South. But interviews with lawyers and a review of court documents indicate that Guzmán’s neighbors include Muhanad Mahmoud al-Farekh, a Texan who is accused of being an Al Qaeda commander and whom the government once considered killing with a drone strike in Pakistan; and Maalik Jones, a Maryland man accused of fighting alongside the al-Shabab militant group in Somalia.

Until last month, an Al Qaeda operative named Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun was also on 10 South. His behavior was loud and erratic and, according to his lawyers, he had a mental illness. He argued with himself frequently and vocally and at one point tried to knit what was described in court as a suit of armor out of milk cartons.

According to a psychologist who examined him, Harun slept on the floor of his cell to avoid his prison bedding, which the defendant claimed hindered his body “from recharging electrons.” Lawyers visiting their clients on 10 South have said they often heard a din emanating from one of the cells, which they believe to have been Harun’s. 

The shrinks helped established the guidelines and even led some interrogations themselves.

The cells on 10 South are generally 17 by 8 feet. But prosecutors say that Guzmán has the largest cell on the wing and that prison officials have adequately addressed some of his complaints. For instance, he now receives six small bottles of water every two weeks, court papers say. The prosecutors also note that he has a radio and was permitted to buy a clock from the prison commissary. Though the clock was taken from him a few days after he bought it — “with no explanation and no refund,” according to his lawyers — he recently got it back.

As an added security measure, the government has denied Guzmán family visits, including from his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, a former beauty queen whose father, authorities say, cultivated poppies and marijuana for one of her husband’s top lieutenants. His lawyers — currently, public defenders — claim that keeping Guzmán from his wife has infringed on his ability to seek advice as he decides whether to hire private counsel. The prosecution has, as well, sought to screen any non-Americans on Guzmán’s legal team, concerned that a spy for the cartel might infiltrate his defense. 

They are keeping his family from him as a form of pressure, and even if the defense is infiltrated they have the lawyer-client privilege.

As for his request for an investigation by Amnesty International, the prosecutors recently asked Cogan to deny it, saying that the group had “no oversight authority” over the prison and was “not a party to this prosecution.”

Even with these various restrictions, however, Guzmán has almost daily visits from a small army of lawyers, paralegals, investigators and interpreters — an unusual privilege for an inmate on 10 South. According to court papers, he spends an average of 21 hours a week with his defense team, suggesting that his isolation is considerably less severe than other prisoners’.

And yet, it would seem, the indignities of life behind bars have gotten under his skin. Last week, his lawyers filed a motion saying that although he is allowed to watch TV in the rec room, the set is not visible from the exercise bike, forcing him to choose between watching and working out. This, the lawyers noted, was one of the “nonsensical obstacles” that “further Mr. Guzmán’s sense of frustration and isolation.”

Nor is he permitted to choose the channel, since officials at 10 South have “imposed some sort of programming limitation” on Guzmán, his lawyers said. Among the few shows that Guzmán has been able to view is a “nature program about a rhinoceros” that, they said, has been “replayed numerous times.”


I wonder where he laundered all the drug loot:

"Drug cartel banked its cash in New York" Associated Press  October 23, 2016

NEW YORK — Prosecutors say Mexican crime cartels used a series of novel schemes to bring billions of dollars in drug proceeds back from the United States without drawing scrutiny from bank regulators.

Or maybe the government turned a blind eye?

The cartels collect much of their cash proceeds from the US market by sneaking it across the border. But using regular banks remains in the mix, said James Hunt, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York office.

Yeah, the banks love the bottom-line boosting loot.

The trick is keeping deposits small, because banks are required to report cash deposits of $10,000 or more to the government. The benefit, Hunt said, is that if investigators do catch onto such a scheme, less cash gets confiscated.

SeeSince ’07, DEA has seized $3.2b from people never charged with crimes

So they let drugs into communities on purpose?

Wasn't a journalist murdered for that?

Before they went to prison last month, a Mexican woman and her Alaskan brother were used to launder up to $1 million a month collected from drug wholesalers doing business with the Sinaloa cartel, prosecutors said.

Oh, the Sinaloa cartel. Now we know the U.S. government was looking the other way!


So what banks were they using, and why didn't my pre$$ say?

Time to drive back to Mexico:

"‘Gasolinazo’ infuriates Mexico, taints flagship energy reform" by Nacha Cattan Bloomberg News  December 29, 2016

MEXICO CITY — Mexico is bracing for a series of protests as the opposition threatens a ‘‘peaceful revolution’’ after the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto announced plans to raise gasoline prices by the most in two decades.

Gasoline will soar as much as 20 percent in January as the nation moves away from subsidies that have burnt a hole in public coffers, the Finance Ministry led by Jose Antonio Meade announced this week.

The price slam, or ‘‘gasolinazo’’ in Spanish, is going to hit hard, with Mexicans tying with South Africans on spending more of their annual income on fuel than residents of 59 other countries tracked by Bloomberg.

Related: Zumaing Through South Africa

The dollars status as a reserve currency for petroleum products is what subsidizes my gas. That's why my country wages wars (that and if Israel tells us to).

The hike may also taint Pena Nieto’s flagship energy reform passed in 2013, emboldening opposition leaders such as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to strike out against the overhaul that opened the industry to foreign investment for the first time in almost eight decades.

Venezuela did the opposite.

‘‘This is very grave, because it will give a bad name to the energy reform, even though it isn’t the fault of the reform,’’ said Alejandro Schtulmann, president of Mexico City-based political-risk advisory firm Empra. ‘‘Lopez Obrador could empower his rhetoric by saying he’ll make changes to the energy reform.’’

Pena Nieto had said the overhaul would help lower energy prices by increasing competition. Now, the hashtag #ReformaEnergetica has become a trending topic on Twitter, with many people saying they’d hoard fuel from gas stations that are already suffering shortages in several states.

Illegal gasoline sales have cropped up in 10 states amid the scarcity, Reforma newspaper reports....

How you Mexicans like being lied to?


RelatedMexican drivers flood into Calif. to buy cheaper gasoline

Are they driving back, too?

Also see:

Police: 9 dead, 70 hurt in blast at Mexican fireworks market

29 dead, scores hurt in explosion at fireworks market in Mexico

That's enough Mexican fireworks for today.


"Mexico: Video of soldiers killing detained man sparks uproar" AP  May 11, 2017

MEXICO CITY — A video that purportedly shows Mexican troops detaining and shooting dead an apparently wounded man is drawing criticism and calls for an investigation.

The security camera footage first published by Diario Cambio is purportedly related to incidents May 3 in Puebla state, where the military said clashes with fuel pipeline thieves left 10 people dead.

In the video, heavily armed agents are seen firing on a car and detaining at least three people. One is seemingly wounded and is dragged by soldiers. As he lies face-down on the ground, a soldier appears to fire a close-range gunshot at his head.

Have they been trained by the Israelis?

In a statement Wednesday, the Defense Department said military and civilian authorities will investigate the video’s authenticity and whether a crime was committed."

They aren't just accepting it like the ma$$ media fictions we are fed?