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Foreign News Report
M3 Report staff will be unavailable from May 21st through May 30th. There will be no M3 Reports during this period. Additionally, during the summer months, there may also be occasional brief interruptions to our publications.
El Universal (Mexico City) 5/19/09
The headline reads: Zetas milk Pemex and sell to businesses.
An investigation by the Mexican Department of Justice (PGR) into the extraction of combustibles from the pipelines of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in the state of Veracruz has located more than 70 companies that acquired the stolen diesel. Initially the crime is attributed to organized crime, specifically the Gulf drug cartel. Investigation so far has determined that a distributor, AETSA in Mexico state, distributed the diesel to several firms up to four times a week in quantities of 2,000 to 5,000 gallons. The article continues with examples of preliminary evidence pointing to the Gulf cartel as tapping Pemex pipelines to sell to businesses with the knowledge and protection of major businessmen.
El Universal’s editorial on the matter:
The narco business.
The success of the war against narcotraffic is measured — according to television spots — in terms of arrests and seizures, certainly historic in the past three years. But while the drug traffic becomes more difficult, extortion, kidnapping, sexual exploitation and other destroyers of the social fabric are becoming the new sources of money for the cartels.
In Tijuana, thugs charge between 500 to 23,000 dollars monthly to merchants and businesses in exchange for not burning them down or for leaving their relatives in peace. The same is happening in Veracruz, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Michoacán and other states. The Institute of Citizen Studies, regarding insecurity, estimates that during 2007 there were 6,500 kidnappings, more than 17 per day. Mexico is the second largest producer of child pornography in the world. Now we learn from the PGR of the theft from a Pemex pipeline by Los Zetas.
The diversification of the criminals corroborates that they are no longer ranchers with old codes of ethics, concerned about their communities. They are cold assassins, kidnappers, deserters from elite military groups who use business strategies to make up for the troubles that the federal operations cause them.
The problem no longer is the narcotraffic in itself; it is the context of impunity that allows the joining of businessmen who buy stolen diesel with narcotraffickers dedicated also to kidnapping and extortion. For that reason the answers from authorities mean little, like the governor of Veracruz who proposes — in answer to the robbery of combustibles — to raise the penalties and make it a make the stealing of pipelines from Pemex an organized crime.
If Mexico’s struggle is not only against narcotrafficking, but also against organized crime, then it is necessary to change the system that permits police and politicians, businessmen and prison authorities to be part of the huge business of violence.
A district judge in the Mexican state of Zacatecas has authorized a formal 30-day detention of 44 prison guards while the investigation of the escape of 53 of their prisoners is being conducted. The coordinated prison break at Cieneguillas, Zacatecas [reported earlier], is believed to be the work of Los Zetas, the militant arm of the Gulf drug cartel. Also ordered detained for 30 days were both the director and ex-director of the prison.
El Debate (Sinaloa) 5/19/09
Using a “molecular detector GT-200”, units of the Mexican Army seized more than four metric tons of marihuana from a tractor-trailer truck before it crossed into the US at Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. The detector, using gamma rays, registered positive for the drug, leading to further inspection of the truck. The driver was arrested.
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