Mexican official: CIA ‘manages’ drug trade

Mexican official: CIA ‘manages’ drug trade

Spokesman for Chihuahua state says US agencies don’t want to end drug trade, a claim denied by other Mexican officials.

Chris Arsenault | 24 Jul 2012 14:16 GMT | Politics, US & Canada, United States

The CIA refused to comment directly on the allegations of complicity made by a low-level Mexican official [Reuters]

Juarez, Mexico – The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces “don’t fight drug traffickers”, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera, instead “they try to manage the drug trade”.

Allegations about official complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials. However, an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico’s most violent states – one which directly borders Texas – going on the record with such accusations is unique.

“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”

A spokesman for the CIA in Washington wouldn’t comment on the accusations directly, instead he referred Al Jazeera to an official website.

Accusations are ‘baloney’

Villanueva is not a high ranking official and his views do not represent Mexico’s foreign policy establishment. Other more senior officials in Chihuahua State, including the mayor of Juarez, dismissed the claims as “baloney”.
“I think the CIA and DEA [US Drug Enforcement Agency] are on the same side as us in fighting drug gangs,” Hector Murguia, the mayor of Juarez, told Al Jazeera during an interview inside his SUV. “We have excellent collaboration with the US.”

Under the Merida Initiative, the US Congress has approved more than $1.4bn in drug war aid for Mexico, providing attack helicopters, weapons and training for police and judges.

More than 55,000 people have died in drug related violence in Mexico since December 2006. Privately, residents and officials across Mexico’s political spectrum often blame the lethal cocktail of US drug consumption and the flow of high-powered weapons smuggled south of the border for causing much of the carnage.
Drug war ‘illusions’

Meeting the Juarez cartel

“The war on drugs is an illusion,” Hugo Almada Mireles, professor at the Autonomous University of Juarez and author of several books, told Al Jazeera. “It’s a reason to intervene in Latin America.”

“The CIA wants to control the population; they don’t want to stop arms trafficking to Mexico, look at [Operation] Fast and Furious,” he said, referencing a botched US exercise where automatic weapons were sold to criminals in the hope that security forces could trace where the guns ended up.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms lost track of 1,700 guns as part of the operation, including an AK-47 used in 2010 the murder of Brian Terry, a Customs and Border Protection Agent.

Blaming the gringos for Mexico’s problems has been a popular sport south of the Rio Grande ever since the Mexican-American war of the 1840s, when the US conquered most of present day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico from its southern neighbour. But operations such as Fast and Furious show that reality can be stranger than fiction when it comes to the drug war and relations between the US and Mexico. If the case hadn’t been proven, the idea that US agents were actively putting weapons into the hands of Mexican gangsters would sound absurd to many.
‘Conspiracy theories’

“I think it’s easy to become cynical about American and other countries’ involvement in Latin America around drugs,” Kevin Sabet, a former senior adviser to the White House on drug control policy, told Al Jazeera.
“Statements [accusing the CIA of managing the drug trade] should be backed up with evidence… I don’t put much stake in it.”

Villanueva’s accusations “might be a way to get some attention to his region, which is understandable but not productive or grounded in reality”, Sabet said. “We have sort of ‘been there done that’ with CIA conspiracy theories.”

In 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published Dark Alliance, a series of investigative reports linking CIA missions in Nicaragua with the explosion of crack cocaine consumption in America’s ghettos.

In order to fund Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua’s socialist government, the CIA partnered with Colombian cartels to move drugs into Los Angeles, sending profits back to Central America, the series alleged.

“There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, or on the payroll of, the CIA were involved in drug trafficking,” US Senator John Kerry said at the time, in response to the series.

Other newspapers, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, slammed Dark Alliance, and the editor of the Mercury News eventually wrote that the paper had over-stated some elements in the story and made mistakes in the journalistic process, but that he stood by many of the key conclusions.

Widespread rumours

US government has neglected border corruption

“It’s true, they want to control it,” a mid-level official with the Secretariat Gobernacion in Juarez, Mexico’s equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security, told Al Jazeera of the CIA and DEA’s policing of the drug trade. The officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he knew the allegations to be correct, based on discussions he had with US officials working in Juarez.

Acceptance of these claims within some elements of Mexico’s government and security services shows the difficulty in pursuing effective international action against the drug trade.

Jesús Zambada Niebla, a leading trafficker from the Sinaloa cartel currently awaiting trial in Chicago, has said he was working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency during his days as a trafficker, and was promised immunity from prosecution.

“Under that agreement, the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of [Jesus Zambada’s] father, Ismael Zambada and ‘Chapo’ Guzmán were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tonnes of illicit drugs… into… the United States, and were protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels,” Zambada’s lawyers wrote as part of his defence. “Indeed, the Unites States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

The Sinaloa cartel is Mexico’s oldest and most powerful trafficking organisation, and some analysts believe security forces in the US and Mexico favour the group over its rivals.

Joaquin “El Chapo”, the cartel’s billionaire leader and one of the world’s most wanted men, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 by sneaking into a laundry truck – likely with collaboration from guards – further stoking rumours that leading traffickers have complicit friends in high places.

“It would be easy for the Mexican army to capture El Chapo,” Mireles said. “But this is not the objective.” He thinks the authorities on both sides of the border are happy to have El Chapo on the loose, as his cartel is easier to manage and his drug money is recycled back into the broader economy. Other analysts consider this viewpoint a conspiracy theory and blame ineptitude and low level corruption for El Chapo’s escape, rather than a broader plan from government agencies.

After an election hit by reported irregularities, Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is set to be sworn in as Mexico’s president on December 1.

He wants to open a high-level dialogue with the US about the drug war, but has said legalisation of some drugs is not an option. Some hardliners in the US worry that Nieto will make a deal with some cartels, in order to reduce violence.

“I am hopeful that he will not return to the PRI party of the past which was corrupt and had a history of turning a blind eye to the drug cartels,” said Michael McCaul, a Republican Congressman from Texas.

Regardless of what position a new administration takes in order to calm the violence and restore order, it is likely many Mexicans – including government officials such as Chihuahua spokesman Guillermo Villanueva – will believe outside forces want the drug trade to continue.

The widespread view linking the CIA to the drug trade – whether or not the allegations are true – speaks volumes about officials’ mutual mistrust amid ongoing killings and the destruction of civic life in Mexico.

“We have good soldiers and policemen,” Villanueva said. “But you won’t resolve this problem with bullets. We need education and jobs.”

Follow Chris Arsenault on Twitter: @AJEchris

One comment

  • theunhivedmind

    Many people have exposed the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with the control and flow of drugs into the United States and around the world. The CIA also like to use proxies to cover their tracks so they allow the Chinese raced Te-Wu to riddle the East Coast with China White heroin and the same on the West Coast using the Japanese Yakuza. The CIA and the hidden Deutsche Verteidigungs Dienst run by George H.W ‘poppy’ Scherff (Bushfraud) all work for the New Venice Empire (Britain) who for instance dominate the drugs trade of Americas region of the world including Colombia.

    The HongKong Shanghai Banking Corporation is still to this very day the kingpin of the drug trafficking takings and this leadership has been the same ever since the Honourable East India Company came about thanks to the likes of the Worshipful Company of Mercers. The first target was China with the Opium Wars aided by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London and the London Missionary Society. The visible head of the drugs trade are the Houses of both Windsor and Bourbon the Royals of the European region.

    Look into the work of both Gary Webb and Brian Downing Quig when it comes to the many CIA connections to the drugs trade. Please remember that both of these men were assassinated because of their investigative truth research. You should also look into the work of Michael Ruppert a former LAPD Narcotics officer who we’re led to believe only recently committed suicide. George H.W Scherff (Bushfraud) is the being who helped destroy American society with Crack Cocaine which was jointly created by both the CIA and MI6 after they studied a particular tribal people who made up a similar but natural cocaine based product.

    British Intelligence and the CIA destroy the U.S with very high grade but cheap heroin. In order to get the middle and upper classes taking heroin the Worshipful Society of Apothocaries of London and the Worshipful Company of Barbers (big pharma) push opioid painkillers through the medical system. Eventually doctors remove the opioids from the patient who has now become reliant and addicted. What is their next move? Street heroin bought in by the intelligence network. Those who’re still on the pain-killers end up dropping them for the cheaper to buy street drug. Now because the heroin has gone from a 17% purity to a 80-90% purity there no longer is a need for the majority to inject heroin. This kind of purity means there is no longer the stigma associated with heroin of the needle using junkies and thus heroin becomes a more socially accepted drug as people start chasing the dragon by smoking the poison. Now if you think New Venice isn’t socially engineering people onto heroin then I suggest you watch the movie ‘Hackney’s Finest‘. In this British (New Venice) movie you will see how ‘normal’ it is for youth to be smoking heroin out of foil almost as normal as puffing on a tobacco cigarette.

    The biggest dope dealing intelligence agency on the planet is the British Secret Intelligence Service it rules the drugs trade lock, stock and barrel. British Intelligence created the Central Intelligence Agency using Sir William Stephenson who joined most of the Office of Strategic Services together with many from the Nazi SS aided by many Nazi funds. The real global economy is based not on black gold (oil) but on brown gold (heroin/opium).

    .·´ ¸.·★¨) ¸.·☆¨)
    ★(¸.·´ (¸.*´ ¸.·´
    `·-☆ The Unhived Mind

    Hackney’s Finest data

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