Friends Can Also Betray You

Mexicans pay in blood for America's War on Drugs.

Miguel is no longer simply an exile. He is no longer a victim. He is dirty, likely a criminal, never a real part of the press and hardly eligible for political asylum if he was never even a reporter. Now he is the basic Mexican, a person vilified if he complains about the fist of the state in his face. And Miguel and Vanessa are among the lucky few who just might qualify for political asylum in the United States. For the millions living in terror of the Mexican government and of Mexican drug gangs, there is no such hope.

Sara Salazar spoke about her family at a press conference in El Paso on February 8, 2012, the anniversary of the kidnapping and murders of Elias, Luisa and Magdalena Reyes:

"My family were always hard workers, honorable, always helping the poor. Our hard struggle began when the soldiers came into our houses looking for weapons, drugs and other things they said we had but they never found. But they kept on persecuting us because we got in their way.... My daughter Josefina denounced them...and they persecuted her to the death. We continued to protest, but what could we do, since it was the government that was after us? We got in their way.... I had ten children and only four of them are left. They have killed them all. And what can I do? I have gone to demand that they find who killed them, but the files are nothing but blank pages. They have done nothing. We have no protection in Mexico. No protection. This is all I can say to you. Now my heart is dry."

Image from the streets of the port city of Veracruz, Mexico,
This photo by Miguel Angel Lopez Solana.
Image from the streets of the port city of Veracruz, Mexico, 2007-2010.
Image from the streets of the port city of Veracruz, Mexico,
This photo by Miguel Angel Lopez Solana.
Image from the streets of the port city of Veracruz, Mexico, 2007-2010.

by Molly Molloy

Editor's Note: Molly Molloy, Border and Latin American Specialist at the New Mexico State University Library, has made it her mission to document the number of people killed in Mexico's wave of violence. Using official government reports as well as press accounts, Molloy has created a detailed record of the violence in Ciudad Juárez since 2008 and makes her data available to reporters and other researchers; she also distributes daily "news and analysis" through the Frontera-List that is read by subscribers ranging from international human-rights groups to U.S. congressional staffers. Molloy and author Charles Bowden first teamed up when Molloy did research for his 2010 book Murder City, which covered homicides in Juárez. They also co-edited El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin, published in 2011.

In Mexico, you get to be a criminal as soon as the Mexican government kills you. Until that moment, most people who knew you had no idea you were a bad person. I will explain. This will take a little patience, but when you get through the numbers, you will be an expert on how to lie about murders.

Most U.S. and international press accounts of homicides in Mexico during President Felipe Calderón's term (December 2006 through November 2012) rely on two official tallies. The first was posted in January 2011 on the president's Web site; it covered December 2006 through December 2010 and totaled 34,612. A literal translation of the description of the victims tallied here is: "deaths due to presumed criminal rivalries."

 Another report appeared in January 2012, this time from the Attorney General of Mexico. It covered December 2006 through September 2011 and tallied 47,515 homicides. The murders in these reports are designated as "drug-war-related" or "organized crime-related" based on superficial observations of crime scenes such as the kinds of weapons used, the number of people reported to be involved in the attacks, whether the body is mutilated in some way, whether there are signs or symbols left on or near the bodies, and a variety of other criteria deemed to indicate some relationship to the drug business. These official reports echo over and over in the media as real numbers even though the Mexican government itself admits that fewer than 5 percent of the crimes are investigated.

 I have tried to gather more complete homicide data from Mexican government agencies that have reported consistently over the years and with a bit more distance from the political necessities of the Calderón administration, though there are inconsistencies in all of the data available.

 The Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) compiles homicide data from death certificates; homicides may be homicidios dolosos, comparable to aggravated or intentional homicides in the U.S., or other lesser classifications such as negligent or accidental homicides. INEGI data covering 2005 through 2010 includes all homicides and shows sharp increases, from a low number of 8,867 in 2007 to a high figure of 24,373 in 2010.

 Since 2010, I have used the data reported by the National System for Public Security (SNSP), which compiles crime statistics sent in by local and state police agencies. SNSP reported a total of 22,223 aggravated homicides (homicidios dolosos) in 2011. The latest SNSP data shows 8,662 homicides from January through May 2012, an average of 1,732 per month, thus leading to an estimate of 10,394 homicides in Mexico for the first half of 2012. Extrapolated through the end of 2012 at the same monthly rate, we can estimate total homicides for 2012 at 20,788.

 Despite this slight decline from 2010 and 2011 numbers, using the estimate based on the first six months of 2012 and the actual reported numbers from Mexican government sources for 2007 through 2011, we can estimate the total homicides through June 2012 at 99,667. Assuming that a similar rate of murder continues through the remaining months of this year, the homicide toll at the end of Calderón's presidency will add up to 110,061 victims.

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The CIA's role in the international drug trade, dating back to 1949, is not a theory but a well-documented "fact." The sources include former CIA and DEA agents.


"CIA are drug smugglers." - Federal Judge Bonner, while head of the DEA


In 1989, 'The Kerry Committee' found that the United States Department of State had made payments to drug traffickers, concluding that members of the U.S. State Department themselves were involved in drug trafficking. Some of the payments were made even after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies, or even while these traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.




* Shortly after World War II, The OSS (the predecessor of the CIA) formed a strategic alliance with the Sicilian and Corsican mafia. 


* During the 1950s, In order to provide covert funds for forces loyal to General Chiang Kai-Shek who were fighting the Chinese communists under Mao Zedong, the CIA helped the Kuomintang (KMT) smuggle opium from China and Burma to Thailand, by providing airplanes owned by one of their front businesses, Air America.


* During the long years of the cold war, the CIA mounted major covert guerilla operations along the Soviet-Chinese border. In 1950, for their operation against communist China in northeastern Burma, and from 1965 to 1975 [during the Vietnam war], for their operation in northern Laos, the CIA recruited (as allies) people we now call drug lords. 


* Throughout the 1980s, in Afghanistan, the CIA's supported the Mujahedin rebels (in their efforts against the pro-Soviet government) by facilitating their opium smuggling operations. - A small local trade in opium was turned into a major source of supply for the world markets including the United States. This lead ultimately to Afghanistan becoming the largest supplier of illicit opium on the planet, a status only briefly interrupted when it was under Taliban control.  


* Also during the 1980s, the Reagan Administration funded a guerrilla force known as the Nicaraguan Contras (even after such funding was outlawed by Congress) by cocaine smuggling operations. - An August 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News (by Pulitzer Prize-winner Gary Webb) clearly linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the CIA and the Contras.


Follow this link to an electronic briefing book compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive. It includes the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations and collaboration with, and protection of, known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included.


* In November 1996, a Miami grand jury indicted former Venezuelan anti-narcotics chief and longtime CIA asset, General Ramon Guillen Davila, who was smuggling many tons of cocaine into the United States from a CIA owned Venezuelan warehouse. In his trial defense, Guillen claimed that all of his drug smuggling operations were approved by the CIA.


* The Dirección Federal de Seguridad was a Mexican intelligence agency created in 1947, and was in part a CIA creation. DFS badges were handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers and were a virtual license to traffic.' "The Guadalajara Cartel" (Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s) prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro, a CIA asset.



For far more detailed information kindly google any of the following: 


"The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic" by former DEA agent Michael Levine

"Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion" by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb

"Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press" by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair

"The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade" by Alfred W. McCoy

"The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace" by James Mills

"Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA" by Terry Reed, (a former Air Force Intelligence operative) and John Cummings (a former prize-winning investigative reporter at N.Y Newsday). 



The marijuana prohibition and the drug war are *not* mandated by American authorities, they're mandated by the United Nations.


The United Nation's "Single Convention" treaty denies the US federal government the right to choose the best way to regulate marijuana and other recreational drugs, the federal government in turn denies the States this same right, and the feds and the States together deny the American people the right to decide whether they'll choose to consume marijuana.


In this way we're kinda like a dysfunctional family - dad gets his feelings hurt at work and yells at mom, mom hits the kids and the kids kick the dog (over and over and over again).


*IF* our federal legislators want us to respect them for keeping marijuana illegal then they need to get us out of the Single Convention and then vote to keep marijuana illegal. Right now their votes to keep marijuana illegal are irrelevant - our legislators aren't keeping marijuana illegal, they're just letting the UN impose whatever laws it likes onto the United States. So are we supposed to be the greatest country in the world or are we supposed to be a lap dog for the United Nations?


I think the DEA works with the cartels and the Mexican government all for the money, to keep the machine running.

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