Posts tagged ‘Mexico’

Computer files link TV dirty tricks to favourite for Mexico presidency ………………

http://www.guardian.co.uk

Network alleged to have sold favourable election coverage to top politicians

A supporter of defeated Mexican presiden

A supporter of defeated Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador demonstrating in August 2006. Photograph: Alfredo Estrella/AFP

Mexico‘s biggest television network sold prominent politicians favourable coverage in its flagship news and entertainment shows and used the same programmes to smear a popular leftwing leader, documents seen by the Guardian appear to show.

The documents – which consist of dozens of computer files – emerge just weeks ahead of presidential elections on 1 July, and coincide with the appearance of an energetic protest movement accusing the Televisa network of manipulating its coverage to favour the leading candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto.

The documents, which appear to have been created several years ago, include:

• An outline of fees apparently charged for raising Peña Nieto’s national profile when he was governor of the state of Mexico.

• A detailed media strategy explicitly designed to torpedo a previous presidential bid by leftwing candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador, who is currently Peña Nieto’s closest rival.

• Payment arrangements suggesting that the office of former president Vicente Fox concealed exorbitant public spending on media promotion.

While it has not been possible to confirm the authenticity of the documents – which were passed to the Guardian by a source who worked with Televisa – extensive cross checks have shown that the names, dates and situations mentioned largely line up with events.

There is also evidence that actions suggested in the proposals did take place. The allegations come at a crucial time for Peña Nieto, the candidate of the ideologically nebulous Institutional Revolutionary party: recent opinion polls show his substantial lead beginning to erode as Televisa’s role as political kingmaker has become a central issue of the campaign.

In a country where newspaper readership is tiny and the reach of the internet and cable TV is still largely limited to the middle classes, Televisa – and its rival TV Azteca – exert a powerful influence over national politics.

Televisa, the largest media empire in the Spanish-speaking world, controls around two-thirds of programming on Mexico’s free television channels. The documents appear to have been developed within Radar Servicios Especializados, a marketing company run by a Televisa vice-president, Alejandro Quintero.

Contacted by the Guardian, Televisa declined to clarify the relationship between Radar and the core company, or Quintero’s role at the two companies without first seeing the documents. A spokesman refused to comment on the allegations without seeing the files. “We cannot give an opinion about imformation and/or documents we do not know,” he said.

Many of the computer files seen by the Guardian were saved under the name of Yessica de Lamadrid, who at the time was a Radar employee and Peña Nieto’s lover.

De Lamadrid told the Guardian that she believed the documents were forgeries. She said the promotional projects she worked on for politicians never put content up for sale.

One of the documents is a PowerPoint presentation which explicitly states its aim of making sure “López Obrador does not win the 2006 elections”. That bitterly contested election saw the leftwing candidate lose a commanding lead and ended with him claiming he had been cheated.

It was apparently created just after midnight on 4 April 2005, hours before President Fox was reported to have met the heads of Televisa and TV Azteca.

Fox was facing growing criticism for an attempt to get Lopez Obrador, then mayor of Mexico City, impeached over a minor planning dispute. The document outlines short-term measures for controlling the backlash, a period of national mourning for the recently-deceased Pope John Paul II to distract attention from the growing row. The next day Fox declared a day of mourning for the pontiff.

Longer-term strategies proposed to “dismantle the public perception that Lopez Obrador is a martyr/saviour,” by boosting news coverage of crime in the capital and revisiting old corruption cases involving his former allies. The plan also envisaged “promoting personal stories of crimes suffered [in the capital] by showbiz celebrities” and “urging the inhabitants of the Big Brother house” to do the same. Some Televisa celebrities did just that, both on showbiz programmes and in the Mexican version of Celebrity Big Brother broadcast that May.

The document also advises that scriptwriters of a popular political weekly satire show called El Privilegio de Mandar should make the character who represented López Obrador appear “clumsy” and “inept.” The final episode of the show, broadcast immediately after the 2006 elections – when the result of a recount was still pending – ended with a non-humorous speech by an actor calling on López Obrador to accept defeat.

A former Televisa employee, who is not the source of the documents, told the Guardian that they attended meetings within the company where the anti-López Obrador strategy was discussed. “There was a strategy and there was a client who paid a lot of money,” the source said.

Most of the other documents are strategies and associated budgets apparently aimed at promoting political clients through TV adverts and programmes.

They include three Excel spreadsheets titled “Enrique Peña Nieto: Budget 2005-2006” apparently created at the start of his term as governor of the state of Mexico.

All three spreadsheets detail nearly 200 news reports, interviews and features. The earliest version puts the total cost of these services at 346,326,750 pesos (about $36m at the time, or £23m today). The latest includes a “50% rate reduction”.

A paper document containing the same figures seen by the Guardian was cited by López Obrador during the a presidential debate last month, in which he repeated claims that Peña Nieto was a TV product. Peña Nieto and Televisa suggested the document – first published in the left-leaning news magazine Proceso in 2005 – could have been a forgery.

The document was obtained by investigative journalist Jenaro Villamil who has always refused to reveal the identity of his source. In the past Televisa has accused Villamil of being on a mission to smear the company.

Asked if the state of Mexico had ever paid for coverage on Televisa, Peña Nieto’s campaign team refused to comment. In a written response, David López, who is Peña Nieto’s head of communication and previously held the same post at the state of Mexico, said: “During Enrique Peña Nieto’s term as governor of the state of Mexico (from 2005 to 2011) no contract existed of that kind.” Lopez added that “all the publicity contracts for the communication of government activities and the sums involved have been transparent and put on the internet.”

Mexican politicians have long been criticised for spending lavishly to promote the achievements of their administrations, amid suspicion of creative accounting that masks the real cost to the public.

Media expert Raúl Trejo said the kinds of practices detailed in the document did not appear to be illegal under Mexican law, but, if true, would be unethical. The only document detailing services apparently delivered refers to a TV campaign ahead of President Fox’s fifth state of the nation address on 1 September, 2005.

The document describes an “agreed fee” of 60m pesos (around $6m) covering the production of six TV adverts featuring Fox, as well as media training for five of his ministers and a series of interviews with them. The Guardian has verified that at least three of the interviews took place. The section which could prove most controversial refers to arrangements for payment, which suggest deliberate manipulation to conceal the extent of spending. The document says that “as agreed” the presidential office has been billed directly for only 3m pesos, adding that invoices for the remaining 57m pesos will be sent out when “the presidential office tells us which other parts of the government to bill for what services.”

The files also contain proposals, budgets and promotional material involving several other politicians including the former minister of Tamaulipas state, Tomás Yarrington accused by US prosecutors of laundering money for the Gulf drugs cartel. Yarrington’s lawyers have denied the allegations of money-laundering.

Another politician mentioned in the documents, former senator Demetrio Sodi, said he had no knowledge of a promotional strategy drawn up by Radar shortly before his unsuccessful bid to become mayor of Mexico City.

Sodi said it was unlikely that the document was a forgery, but insisted that he had never paid for favourable coverage. He suggested the document might have originated among people who, unknown to him, wanted to support his candidacy.

None of the other politicians named in the documents would talk to the Guardian. The current wave of protests against perceived media dirty tricks was triggered on 10 May when Televisa first ignored an anti-Peña Nieto protest at a private university where he was giving a campaign speech – and then gave wide coverage to accusations that the protest was staged by non-student troublemakers.

One protester at a recent demonstration carried a placard proclaiming: “Not even my mother manipulates me like Televisa.”

As the protests against alleged media bias gather pace, Televisa has become keen to prove that its coverage is balanced. It now covers the protest movement in detail, and the anchors of its main news shows recently put Peña Nieto through a gruelling interview. The network has also announced that it will broadcast the next presidential debate on 10 June on its most popular channel, which during the first debate was reserved for a talent show.

The former Televisa employee said that while the network was happy to promote Peña Nieto when “he was the best product,” this did not necessarily mean long term commitment. The source pointed out that prior to the dirty tricks campaign against him, Lopez Obrador was on very good terms with the network.”Never lose sight of the fact that this is a business. The loyalty is to the position, not to the person.”

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North American Union A Stepping Stone To One World Government ……

Is Obama Admin Fabricating Iranian Assassination Plot To Distract From Fast & Furious Investigation? ………

preparing another Invasion ? US Officials say Mexico could become the next Iraq or Afghanistan ………

US Drug Thirst, Gun Sales Must Share Blame for Monterey Casino Tragedy, Mexican President Says …..

http://www.truth-out.org

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Saturday 27 August 2011
by: Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers | Report

President Felipe Calderon. (Photo: Gobierno Federal / Flickr)

Mexico City – His voice cracking with emotion, President Felipe Calderon said Friday that the United States bore some blame for “an act of terror” by gangsters who doused a casino with gasoline and set a blaze that killed at least 52 people.

The attack Thursday in Monterrey, an industrial city of 4 million barely a two-hour drive from Texas, stunned Mexicans and seemed likely to mark a watershed in the country’s intensifying war against criminal syndicates.

In a 20-minute televised address to the nation, Calderon gave an unusually blunt assessment of the causes of Mexico’s surging violence before flying to Monterrey to place a wreath at the burned-out hulk of the Casino Royale.

He referred repeatedly to the attack as a terrorist act, elevating the conflict to a new level, at least linguistically, and casting it in terms of a broader struggle for control of Mexico.

He said rampant corruption within his nation’s judiciary and law enforcement bore some blame.

But in unprecedented, direct criticism of the United States, Calderon said lax U.S. gun laws and high demand for drugs stoked his nation’s violence.

He appealed to U.S. citizens “to reflect on the tragedy that we are living through in Mexico.”

“We are neighbors, allies and friends. But you, too, are responsible. This is my message,” Calderon said.

He called on the United States to “once and for all stop the criminal sale of high-powered weapons and assault rifles to criminals that operate in Mexico.”

Calderon declared three days of national mourning. The motive of Thursday’s attack wasn’t clear, but authorities indicated that it might have been part of an extortion campaign against one of many casinos that operate in Mexico on the margins of the law.

Calderon’s blast at the United States underscored frustrations here that there’s little appreciation north of the border for the role Americans have played in strengthening the cartels that are responsible for the grisly violence that’s claimed as many as 40,000 lives in the last five years.

With weapons bought in the United States, the gangs, whose roots lie in drug smuggling but which have branched out into a variety of criminal enterprises, are better armed than the police tasked with combating them.

While Calderon’s government has captured dozens of mid- and upper-level gangsters, beheadings, public executions and kidnappings are epidemic, and many Mexicans feel less safe than ever.

“Part of the tragedy that we Mexicans are living through has to do with the fact that we are next to the world’s greatest drug consumer,” Calderon said in his speech, “and also the greatest global arms vendor that pays billions of dollars each year to criminals.”

In a statement, President Barack Obama condemned “the barbaric and reprehensible attack” and lauded Mexico’s “brave fight to disrupt transnational criminal organizations that threaten both Mexico and the United States.”

Of the 52 who died in Thursday’s firebombing, 35 were women, mostly in their 40s, 50s and 60s, who were passing time in the casino on a weekday afternoon, civil defense officials said.

Ten people were injured in the blaze.

A video taken by a closed-circuit camera that overlooks the casino’s entrance showed that the attack unfolded in only two and a half minutes.

Four vehicles can be seen pulling into the driveway of the Casino Royale, on San Jeronimo Avenue in a posh area of western Monterrey, at 3:48 p.m.

Gunmen jump out of the cars and enter the casino, carrying three canisters apparently filled with gasoline.

Moments later, gamblers and employees are seen scuttling from the building.

Black smoke then pours from the casino as the assailants jump into the vehicles and drive off.

Witnesses who fled the casino said the gunmen shouted at gamblers to flee before setting the building ablaze, indicating that they didn’t seek a high casualty count.

Initial reports said the gunmen sprayed gunfire inside the casino, but Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina said none of the 52 victims discovered by Friday morning had bullet wounds.

“It was an indescribable scene,” said Reynaldo Ramos of Monterrey Civil Defense.

Most victims died from smoke inhalation rather than direct contact with fire, he said.

Cell phones on the bodies of victims rang constantly as rescuers removed them, he added.

He said some 300 people were in the casino at the time of the attack.

No arrests were made immediately.

The Attorney General’s Office offered a $2.5 million reward for information leading to the conviction of the attackers.

Monterrey is seen as a bellwether for Mexico’s rising chaos.

Home to some of Mexico’s biggest companies and with the highest standard of living in the nation, with a per capita income of $18,000 per year, the city has been identified with booming entrepreneurship.

As recently as early last year, Monterrey was hailed as a safe, prosperous city, a Mexican version of Dallas or Houston.

But a turf war between large criminal syndicates, the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, now unfolds in city streets daily.

Drive-by shootings, roadblocks, gangland grenade attacks and bodies hanging from overpasses are common.

Earlier this week, gangsters hung a still living victim by the neck from a pedestrian walkway in the city in broad daylight, then took potshots at the victim with weapons.

Local media said that one of the main investors in Casino Royale is a company, Atracciones y Emociones Vallarta, that operates 26 casinos across northern Mexico.

Its owners are reportedly relatives of a former mayor of Monterrey.

Gangs routinely shake down casinos for payoffs.

On Wednesday, gunmen threw a grenade at a casino in the city of Saltillo in northern Coahuila state.

Anger at Calderon, who’s in the final 15 months of his six-year term, boiled over on social media, a sign of the sagging support for his policy of direct confrontation with cartels.

Since he came to office in late 2006, Mexico has tallied around 40,000 murders.

“Sometimes I would like to leave the country but it is MY COUNTRY. Make them leave,” a Twitter post by Roduguevara said.

© 2011 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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U.S Government Smuggled Missles, Grenades And Other Military Grade Weapons To Mexico Drug Cartels …….

  – July 23, 2011 at 2:36 am – Permalink Source via Alexander Higgins Blog

Another Mexico Drug Cartel Leader Arrested, Says Guns Supplied Exclusively By U.S Government

The U.S government weapons smuggling scandal grown from a simple gun smuggling scandal into a full blown military grade weapons smuggling scandal following the arrest of a Zetas cartel leader.  Law enforcement officials report the U.S government has supplied the Zetas cartel with, among other things, “an array of military grade weapons, grenade and grenade launchers, high-powered rifles, body armor, anti-aircraft missiles, and night vision goggles.”

The nation was shocked when  the U.S government was caught red handed smuggling guns to drug cartels in Mexico after government supplied guns were linked to the murders of law enforcement officials working along the U.S. Mexico border.

The scandal deepened when the hacker group ‘Anonymous’ leaked reported government documents on the Internet which appear to show that the leader of the La Familia cartel in Mexico was actually the feds point man for the gun smuggling operation.  Although the revelations revealed in data release was not confirmed by the Obama administration the information became part of a congressional investigation into the scandal.

Soon after the news of La Familia cartel scandal broke, the leader of the Zetas cartel leader Jesús Enrique Rejón Aguilar, aka El Mamito was arrested in Mexico. During an interrogation by the police, El Mamito stated  the Zetas cartel was exclusively supplied guns by the U.S. government.

Critics charged that while the Obama administration was smuggling guns to criminals they were using the violence perpetrated by those same criminals as a justification to take guns away from U.S. citizens.

As the congressional investigation into the scandal continued  new discovered evidence revealed the government gun smuggling operations were not limited to Mexico. In fact, congressional leaders uncovered  a sister operation ran out of Florida being used to smuggle guns into Puerto Rico and Honduras.

As the Obama officials moved to distance themselves from the growing  scandal Kenneth Melson, the ATF’s acting director, came forward and accused the Justice Department covering up evidence to shield officials from the scandal.

Today comes reports that  a wide array of U.S. government military grade equipment is being stashed in safe houses inside of the U.S., that that controlled and owned by the Zetas drug cartel, from where they are smuggled into Mexico.

According to conservative examiner Anthony Martin, “The weapons stashes discovered b law enforcement, Border Patrol, and other agencies contain ample evidence of dozens of ‘smoking guns’–literally and symbolically–that prove the cartel is in the weapons smuggling business. However, the cartel has more than just smoking guns.”

Martin’s  labeling of the weapons as ‘more than just smoking guns’ just may be the understatement of the year

“The El Paso Times reported that officials have discovered an array of military grade weapons, grenade and grenade launchers, high-powered rifles, body armor, anti-aircraft missiles, and night vision goggles,” writes Martin, “The nature of the weapons that have been discovered would seem to confirm suspicions that the cartel obtains these weapons from the U.S. Government.”

Martin quotes the El Paso Times:

“Jesús Rejón Aguilar, the number three man in the Zeta’s hierarchy, disclosed last week that the Zetas bought weapons in the United States and transported them across the Rio Grande. Mexican federal authorities captured Rejón on July 3 in the state of Mexico, and presented him to the news media the next day. His recorded video statement was uploaded on YouTube.

[Former CIA Agent Phil] Jordan agreed with Plumlee’s allegations that the Zetas are operating in the Columbus-Palomas border.

Plumlee, who has testified before U.S. congressional committees about arms and drug trafficking, said the roads in Southern New Mexico provide smugglers easy access to Mexico’s highway networks.

This is very strong evidence and brings the gun smuggling operations to an entirely new level as the military grade weapons are being used by the cartels to commit acts of terrorism in Mexico and inside the United States.
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Imperialism: Bankers, Drug Wars and Genocide

by Prof. James Petras
Global Research, May 19, 2011
In May 2011, Mexican investigators uncovered another mass clandestine grave with dozens of mutilated corpses; bringing the total number of victims to 40,000 killed since 2006 when the Calderon regime announced its “war on drug traffickers”. Backed by advisers, agents and arms, the White House has been the principal promotor of a ‘war’ that has totally decimated Mexico ’s society and economy.

If Washington has been the driving force for the regime’s war, Wall Street banks have been the main instruments ensuring the profits of the drug cartels. Every major US bank has been deeply involved in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in drug profits, for the better part of the past decade.

Mexico ’s descent into this inferno has been engineered by the leading US financial and political institutions, each supporting ‘one side or the other’ in the bloody “total war” which spares no one, no place and no moment in time. While the Pentagon arms the Mexican government and the US Drug Enforcement Agency enforces the “military solution”, the biggest US banks receive, launder and transfer hundreds of billions of dollars to the drug lords’ accounts, who then buy modern arms, pay private armies of assassins and corrupt untold numbers of political and law enforcement officials on both sides of the border.

Mexico’s Descent in the Inferno

Everyday scores, if not hundreds, of corpses – appear in streets and or are found in unmarked graves; dozens are murdered in their homes, cars, public transport, offices and even hospitals; known and unknown victims in the hundreds are kidnapped and disappear; school children, parents, teachers, doctors and businesspeople are seized in broad daylight and held for ransom or murdered in retaliation. Thousands of migrant workers are kidnapped, robbed, ransomed, murdered and evidence is emerging that some are sold into the illegal ‘organ trade’. The police are barricaded in their commissaries; the military, if and when it arrives, takes out its frustration on entire cities, shooting more civilians than cartel soldiers. Everyday life revolves around surviving the daily death toll; threats are everywhere, the armed gangs and military patrols fire and kill with virtual impunity. People live in fear and anger.

The Free Trade Agreement: The Sparks that lit the Inferno

In the late 1980’s, Mexico was in crisis, but the people chose a legal way out: they elected a President, Cuahtemoc Cardenas, on the basis of his national program to promote the economic revitalization of agriculture and industry. The Mexican elite, led by Carlos Salinas of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) chose otherwise and subverted the election: The electorate was denied its victory; the peaceful mass protests were ignored. Salinas and subsequent Mexican presidents vigorously pursued a free trade agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Canada , which rapidly drove millions of Mexican farmers, ranchers and small business people into bankruptcy. Devastation led to the flight of millions of immigrant workers. Rural movements of debtors flourished and ebbed, were co-opted or repressed. The misery of the legal economy contrasted with the burgeoning wealth of the traffickers of drugs and people, which generated a growing demand for well-paid armed auxiliaries as soldiers for the cartels. The regional drug syndicates emerged out of the local affluence.

In the new millennium, popular movements and a new electoral hope arose: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). By 2006 a vast peaceful electoral movement promised substantial social and economic reforms to ‘integrate millions of disaffected youth’. In the parallel economy, the drug cartels were expanding and benefiting from the misery of millions of workers and peasants marginalized by the Mexican elite, who had plundered the public treasury, speculated in real estate, robbed the oil industry and created enormous privatized monopolies in the communication and banking sectors.

In 2006, millions of Mexican voters were once again denied their electoral victory: The last best hope for a peaceful transformation was dashed. Backed by the US Administration, Felipe Calderon stole the election and proceeded to launch the “War on Drug Traffickers” strategy dictated by Washington .

The War Strategy Escalates the Drug War: The Banking Crises Deepens the Ties with Drug Traffickers

The massive escalation of homicides and violence in Mexico began with the declaration of a war on the drug cartels by the fraudulently elected President Calderon, a policy pushed initially by the Bush Administration and subsequently strongly backed by the Obama – Clinton regime. Over 40,000 Mexican soldiers filled the streets, towns and barrios – violently assaulting citizens – especially young people. The cartels retaliated by escalating their armed assaults on police. The war spread to all the major cities and along the major highways and rural roads; murders multiplied and Mexico descended further into a Dantesque inferno. Meanwhile, the Obama regime ‘reaffirmed’ its support for a militarist solution on both sides of the border: Over 500,000 Mexican immigrants were seized and expelled from the US ; heavily armed border patrols multiplied. Cross border gun sales grew exponentially .The US “market” for Mexican manufactured goods and agricultural products shrank, further widening the pool for cartel recruits while the supply of high powered weapons increased. White House gun and drug policies strengthened both sides in this maniacal murderous cycle: The US government armed the Calderon regime and the American gun manufacturers sold guns to the cartels through both legal and underground arms sales. Steady or increasing demand for drugs in the US – and the grotesque profits derived from trafficking and sales— remained the primary driving force behind the tidal wave of violence and societal disintegration in Mexico .

Drug profits, in the most basic sense, are secured through the ability of the cartels to launder and transfer billions of dollars through the US banking system. The scale and scope of the US banking-drug cartel alliance surpasses any other economic activity of the US private banking system. According to US Justice Department records, one bank alone, Wachovia Bank (now owned by Wells Fargo), laundered $378.3 billion dollars between May 1, 2004 and May 31, 2007 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Every major bank in the US has served as an active financial partner of the murderous drug cartels – including Bank of America, Citibank, and JP Morgan, as well as overseas banks operating out of New York , Miami and Los Angeles , as well as London .

While the White House pays the Mexican state and army to kill Mexicans suspected of drug trafficking, the US Justice Department belatedly slaps a relatively small fine on the major US financial accomplice to the murderous drug trade, Wachovia Bank, spares its bank officials from any jail time and allows major cases to lapse into dismissal.

The major agency of the US Treasury involved in investigating money laundering, the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, deliberately ignored the blatant collaboration of US banks with drug terrorists, concentrating almost their entire staff and resources on enforcing sanctions against Iran . For seven years, Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey used his power as head of the Department for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to pursue Israel ’s phony “war on terrorism” against Iran , rather than shut down Wachovia’s money-laundering operations with the Mexican drug terrorists. In this period of time an estimated 40,000 Mexican civilian have been killed by the cartels and the army.

Without US arms and financial services supporting both the illegitimate Mexican regimes and the drug cartels – there could be no “drug war”, no mass killings and no state terror. The simple acts of stopping the flood of cheap subsidized US agriculture products into Mexico and de-criminalizing the use and purchase of cocaine in the US would dry up the pool of ‘cartel soldiers’ from the bankrupted Mexican peasantry and the cut back the profits and demand for illegal drugs in the US market.

The Drug Traffickers, the Banks and the White House

If the major US banks are the financial engines which allow the billion dollar drug empires to operate, the White House, the US Congress and the law enforcement agencies are the basic protectors of these banks. Despite the deep and pervasive involvement of the major banks in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit funds, the “court settlements” pursued by US prosecutors have led to no jail time for the bankers. One court’s settlement amounted to a fine of $50 million dollars, less than 0.5% of one of the banks (the Wachovia/Wells Fargo bank) $12.3 billion profits for 2009 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Despite the death of tens of thousands of Mexican civilians, US executive branch directed the DEA, the federal prosecutors and judges to impose such a laughable ‘punishment’ on Wachovia for its illegal services to the drug cartels. The most prominent economic officials of the Bush and Obama regimes, including Summers, Paulson, Geithner, Greenspan, Bernacke et al, are all long term associates, advisers and members of the leading financial houses and banks implicated in laundering the billions of drug profits.

Laundering drug money is one of the most lucrative sources of profit for Wall Street; the banks charge hefty commissions on the transfer of drug profits, which they then lend to borrowing institutions at interest rates far above what – if any – they pay to drug trafficker depositors. Awash in sanitized drug profits, these US titans of the finance world can easily buy their own elected officials to perpetuate the system.

Even more important and less obvious is the role of drug money in the recent financial meltdown, especially during its most critical first few weeks.

According to the head of United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, “In many instances, drug money (was)… currently the only liquid investment capital…. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor…interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities… (there were) signs that some banks were rescued in that way.” (Reuters, January 25,2009. US edition). Capital flows from the drug billionaires were key to floating Wachovia and other leading banks. In a word: the drug billionaires saved the capitalist financial system from collapse!

Conclusion

By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, it has become clear that capital accumulation, at least in North America, is intimately linked to generalized violence and drug trafficking. Because capital accumulation is dependent on financial capital, and the latter is dependent on the industry profits from the multi-hundred-billion dollar drug trade, the entire ensemble is embedded in the ‘total war’ over drug profits. In times of deep crises the very survival of the US financial system – and through it, the world banking system – is linked to the liquidity of the drug “industry”.

At the most superficial level the destruction of Mexican and Central American societies – encompassing over 100 million people – is a result of a conflict between drug cartels and the political regimes of the region. At a deeper level there is a multiplier or “ripple effect” related to their collaboration: the cartels draw on the support of the US banks to realize their profits; they spend hundreds of millions on the US arms industry and others to secure their supplies, transport and markets; they employ tens of thousands of recruits for their vast private armies and civilian networks and they purchase the compliance of political and military officials on both sides of the borders

For its part, the Mexican government acts as a conduit for US Pentagon/Federal police, Homeland Security, drug enforcement and political apparatuses prosecuting the ‘war’, which has put Mexican lives, property and security at risk. The White House stands at the strategic center of operations – the Mexican regime serves as the front-line executioners.

On one side of the “war on drugs” are the major Wall Street banks; on the other side, the White House and its imperial military strategists and in the ‘middle’ are 90 million Mexicans and 40,000 murder victims and counting.

Relying on political fraud to impose economic deregulation in the 1990’s (neo-liberalism), the US policies led directly to the social disintegration, criminalization and militarization of the current decade. The sophisticated narco-finance economy has now become the most advanced stage of neo-liberalism. When the respectable become criminals, the criminals become respectable.

The issue of genocide in Mexico has been determined by the empire and its “knowing” bankers and cynical rulers.

 Global Research Articles by James Petras.
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