Skip to comments.El Chapo's Arrest: Money Laundering and Mexico's Drug War
Posted on 04/27/2014 12:34:08 PM PDT by mgist
El Chapo's Arrest: Money Laundering and Mexico's Drug War
El Chapo Guzmán escorted by marines. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)
With the capture of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán on February 21, a number of questions have surfaced regarding the association and assistance between the U.S. government, big banks, and arguably the worlds most powerful drug trafficker. Guzmán had been the head of the Sinaloa cartel, an organization with a global reach and responsible for an estimated 30% of the cross border drug trade. His takedown has been hailed as a monumental victory for law enforcement and the global War on Drugs. However, using history as a guide, it would be irresponsible to think that the arrest will make a significant dent in the drug trade or that this is a simple case of the good guys coming out on top.
While El Chapo may have risen up the ranks of the cartel, and into Forbes magazine's list of the 100 most powerful people, he did not get there just through being incredibly shrewd or ruthless. Anabel Hernández, investigative reporter and author of Narcoland, raises an important question about who are the real kingmakers in the drug trade, stating that Semi-illiterate peasants like ... El Chapo would not have got far without the collusion of businessmen, politicians, and policemen, and all those who exercise everyday power from behind a false halo of legality. We see their faces all the time, not in the mug shots of most wanted felons put out by the Attorney Generals Office, but in the front-page stories, business sections, and society columns of the main papers.
The Mexican and U.S. governments have openly identified many other high level, influential figures involved in the drug trade. The major problem with this is that they are working for some of the worlds largest banks. It is a case of immunity and impunity for some and incarceration for others predominately the poor and people of color.
On January 6, the Mexican newspaper El Universal revealed that between 2000 and 2012, in exchange for information on rival cartels, the Bush and Obama administrations allowed the Sinaloa cartel to import tons of cocaine into the United States. The primary rival of concern was the Los Zetas cartel, whose influence extends to actual control of eleven Mexican states
The reality is one in which the line between the criminality of the drug trade and the legal economy is totally imaginary. Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, revealed in 2009 that there is evidence that the proceeds of organized crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to many banks on the brink of collapse as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, and that "Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities... There were signs that some banks were rescued that way."
In a 2010 interview with the Bloomberg News, Martin Woods, the former director of Wachovias anti-money-laundering unit in London remarked that Its the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy If you dont see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 22,000 people killed in Mexico, youre missing the point. This connection becomes incredibly clear when we look to the connection of HSBC helping the Mexican cartels funnel hundreds of billions of dollars.
HSBC in Mexico (cyph3r/Flickr)
According to legal documents for the case filed in 2012, HSBC admitted that it failed to apply legally required money laundering controls to $60 trillion in wire transfers alone, in only a three year period, $670 billion of which came from Mexico. $60 trillionthat is approximately 85 percent the entire world's GDP in 2012. In a settlement to put an end to the probe into their money laundering activities in late 2012, HSBC agreed to pay a fine of $1.9 billion. While HSBC may have been associated with the largest money laundering operation in U.S. banking history, it is by no means alone.
In 2010, Wachovia was sanctioned for failing to apply adequate money laundering controls on $378.4 billion in transfers originating from Mexico. Until HSBC was caught, it was the largest violation of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Actwhich according to the U.S. Treasury Department requires that U.S. financial institutions to assist U.S. government agencies to detect and prevent money laundering. However, under a deferred prosecution agreement, Wachovia only had to pay a $160 million fine for its role in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars. Jeffery Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case remarked that Wachovias blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations.
Bank of America has also been connected to Mexican drug money, as accounts in Oklahoma City were used to buy planes to transport cocaine, according to a Bloomberg investigation. Additionally, in 2006, the Bank of America acknowledged that it had overseen the laundering of $3 billion originating from South America in a single Manhattan branch. While the monetary figure is comparatively small in relation to the scandals that HSBC and Wachovia would later involved in, when pressed as to why no indictments were sought against the bankers involved, Manhattan district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau simply remarked because we dont want to put banks out of business. This remark was later echoed by Justice Department prosecutor Lanny Breuer, who stated that "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would certainly have lost its banking license in the United States, the future of the institution would have been under threat, and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."
It has become very clear that banks such as HSBC, Wachovia, and the Bank of America are integral components of the drug trade, which operate with impunity. While El Chapo may deservedly so spend the rest of his life behind bars, there are many more in the financial sector who have similarly profited off of crime and should be there with him. Whistleblower Martin Wood highlights this connection stating that "These are the proceeds of murder and misery in Mexico, and of drugs sold around the world. But no one goes to jail. What does the settlement do to fight the cartels? Nothing. It encourages the cartels and anyone who wants to make money by laundering their blood dollars." While pushing further on the topic of direct, multifaceted U.S. involvement in the international drug trade is a taboo subject, to ignore its role as a key source of profit for banks, prisons and the military is even more dangerous and costly.
This is why we have an unprecedented amount of cheap, pure, deadly heroin everywhere. This is why opiates have surpassed alcohol and car accidents becoming the primary cause of accidental deaths and the media remains silent. This is why cities are claiming a heroin epidemic, and Holder's ridiculous response is providing pharmaceutical overdose antidotes to first responders. The DEA is MIA.
Soros has spent $billions lobbying for drug legalization, including heroin. He got what he wanted, and opiates is pill form are even being prescribed for children. The US has officially become a narco nation.
> This is absolutely true. The government is complicit. Remember FAST and Furious? This is why the ATF was giving guns to cartels.
What a way to make money. Arm the carels to assist in transporting the drugs, sell them on the streets, bust the dope houses and the addicts that they are distributed to, seize the drugs, then redistribute them ad nauseum and repeat the cycle. The court system gets to make a killing on fines and inflated court fees while seizing their assets and toys and sharing the booty like pirates, either selling them or landing in the hands of the corrupt court system administrators, LEOs, or agency heads.
Its pretty bad when you DO know who the bad guys are and its not the criminals...
Nothing blanket amnesty for illegal Mexicans won’t fix. Smuggling drugs and humans across the southern border is a job Americans won’t do.
Actually the money is going directly into campaign coiffeurs from Wall Street banks and pharmaceutical lobbying. Opiates have now become the leading cause of death surpassing alcohol and even car accidents.
Pharma’s and Wall Streets political donations have turned the FDA and the FCC, into otherwise useless, campaign finance for favors departments. Pharma companies legally pedal opiates that are more addictive than crack, while the FDA gives clueless doctors and consumers the false cover of “regulation” and “safety” of pills than have killed and destroyed lives. The FCC turns a blind eye to the Wall Street bankers openly laundering cartel money, while generously greasing political palms.
Pharmaceutical companies top the lobbying list with almost $3 Billion from ‘98-’13. Soros alone has poured $billions into the drug legalization effort, and discrediting the war on drugs efforts.
In addition, the LEOs, DEA, and other government departments get fancy military ‘toys’ to counter the cartels and smugglers...
Ok, I’m confused. Who arrested him? I thought the cartel WAS the Mexican govt!
Im not sure who arrested him either. The US media claims it was several US agencies. I’m not sure why he is in jail in Mexico when he has escaped before. Some claim the man arrested was an actor. In Obama’s America, everything remains a mystery.
If you want to see real money laundering look at the movie business.
Yes, I meant the SEC turns a blind eye to rampant money laundering. JP Morgan openly launders money in Caracas. Despite numerous reports that resulted from lawsuits, nothing is done about it.
El Chapo was (ahem) "caught" in broad daylight at a posh hotel---he was instantly recognizable. This guy even made Forbes magazine's list of the 100 most powerful people-----he did not get there by being a nice guy---just by being his ruthless, violent self.
El Chapo would not have ascended the ladder of infamy without the collusion of businessmen, politicians, policemen, and the power elite wearing a mask of legality.
The faces are familiar---amnesty-worshipping politicians, open borders types---bold face names on front-page news stories, business sections......soiling the pages of print and electronic media.
My guess is conniving Mexico arranged this as a sop to Obama and the amnesty crowd----so Obama can say "see, we caught 'im."
This has nothing to do with amnesty. The crooks are Wall Street bankers, Holder, and every Federal agency out there. It ridiculous to be caught up with amnesty while our federal government has turned into a narco nation. We are NO BETTER than our corrupt Mexican neighbors.
Americans don’t seem to get the fact that this drug legalization effort is simply social engineering with $billions of cartel dollars. Obama was bought and paid for by Soros and the crooks behind him. Thus the reason Americas agenda is Soros’ agenda.
Business WANTS an endless supply of cheap labor——supplied by illegals.
Ay Dios Mio. Focus! American children are being exposed to PURE dangerous heroin that is cheaper than a pack of cigarettes. It is so pure that they can snort it, and quickly become addicted.
This is unprecedented. NEVER in US history has such cheap, high quality heroin inundated cities across the country.
Despite the fact that our country has a serious epidemic of opiate addiction, and deaths surpassing those of car crashes and alcohol, the FED is doing nothing. The NSA spies on law abiding citizens every key stroke and phone call, and the FED sees no evil with drugs?
Heroin destroyed China. This is Obama’s major crime. Amnesty is a ruse. There are serious crimes taking place against Americans and we are all being misled and duped like innocent infants.
Its a good thing Soros is getting up in age. I don’t the world could put up with Dr. Evil for 20 more years. If he goes Transcendence on us I’ll just put the gun to my head while I still can...
The community that 0 organized was controlled by a black Muslim street gang who was started by a Mexican drug cartel
JJs half bro Noah Robinson ( as in M Robinson 0) is doing life for his involvment with the gang
For more information FR mail me
Or a better breakdown:
More recent data not available...
Fight the Free Sh☭t Nation
BINGO! Someone gets it.
Vicious Mexican gangs and drug cartels are said to operate freely across the border in Austin---the Texas state capital---right under the noses of pols and L/E.
REFERENCE-- 'Its like a job fair in here:' Mexican cartels tap US prisons to get criminal talent ....
Daily Mail ^ | 9 June 2013 / FR Posted by Fractal Trader
Resourceful Mexican drug cartels are recruiting convicts in US prisons to work for them as as drug runners, assassins and enforcers when they are released.
One US prisoner who is nearing the end of a 10-year sentence said he was approached by Mexican drug gangs who wanted to give him 20kilograms of cocaine to sell when he got out - worth nearly half a million dollars on the street.
The US prisoner said the Mexican drug gangs are beginning to see American prisons as a 'job fair' that can supply an endless stream of talent in the United States as prisoners are released back into society.
A federal incitement recently revealed that the federal prison at Forrest City, Arkansas, was being used as a recruitment center for the Gulf Cartel 'The conditions are perfect right now for the cartels,' the prison inmate told the Daily Beast. 'They have a pool of captivated untapped talent and ready-made resources which they can access in our prisons. I'm telling you, its like a job fair in here.'
Last month, the FBI indicted 16 members of the Gulf Cartel for bringing more than 100kilograms of cocaine into northern Arkansas, alleging the Mexican crime syndicate recruited numerous drug runners from the Federal Correctional Complex at Forrest City. The recruits were hired to distribute the cocaine for the cartel after they were released from prison. (Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ..
Your graph is so pretty. Opiates are now the leading cause of accidental deaths, surpassing car crashes and alcohol. http://elitedaily.com/news/world/prescription-painkillers-overtake-car-crashes-leading-accidental-death-us/
Here in Ohio they have clamped down on the prescription opiate supply. The addicts can’t get their pills so they just buy the cheap heroin.
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If you want to know what’s really going on with Russia look at the percentage of GNP that is involved with production of drugs from Afganistan poppies
Then compare past drug trafficking routes with the new easier to access Europe route through the newly acquired peninsula
Follow the (drug) money!
I went to the CDC site that was vaguely pointed to in the article you referenced and was unable to find the study sort of cited. Sad that there is no data more current than preliminary 2011 data. The existing CDC data does not back up your reference. Sorry.
Exactly my point. Americans are being distracted, duped, lied to, and conned.
A focus on addiction, the countrys leading cause of accidental death
Over on Wonkblog, theres a lengthy discussion between Stanford addiction expert Keith Humphreys, PhD, and Harold Pollack, PhD, on drug overdoses, the recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, and ways to prevent others from dying. The entire piece is worth a read, but a few parts jumped out at me:
HP: Many people dont realize that overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. I gave a talk about five years ago in Chicago, and I mentioned that we had more overdose deaths than traffic fatalities. My audience literally did not believe me. People were absolutely convinced that I had mis-transcribed the numbers. Every year, America loses a little over 32,000 people in auto crashes, and something like 38,000 from overdose deaths annually.
Yikes... really - what is that meat sold at Taco Bell?
A mexican drug lord pled guilt today near my local. He pled guilty to heroin trafficking. Have not heard the sentence, to be imposed, but everyone should know, I will pray the sentence is stiff enough this person never sees freedom ever again. Yes, when it comes to jobs, those violating the American People's trust just come here to do what Americans will not do. No doubt, obama did not catch this criminal. Instead obama supports and shakes the hands of criminals.
Most of these cartel guys that are imprisoned still control their cartel and live like kings on the inside, much like our mafia leaders did. El Chapo has been jailed before and bribed his way out. Most think he is still running his operation from behind bars; and the fact that their has not been a major bloodbath for the top spot leads one to believe it.
Thanks Tammy ... I understand.