*NSFW* The Official Drug Cartel Discussion and Video Thread *NSFW*

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Farva, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Angry Dolphin

    Angry Dolphin In that cool mountain air on a appalachian trail

    do you think the country will ever come back from the cartels?
     
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  2. BP

    BP Bout to Regulate.
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    Just fuck that country so much. There is so much cool shit to do and great places to visit. And the cartel leaders and the govt just don't give a fuck. Would make for a great backpacking/motorcycle trip from north to south. 10 -15 years ago Juarez and TJ were cool as fuck to go to and get drunk. I work just north of a smaller border town and the corrupt ass shit that goes on down there is insane. Its sad.
     
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  3. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    Not really, the PRI (ruling party) back in the day had an agreement with the cartels where they wouldn't mess with them under the condition that the cartels keep the violence away from the general public. The PAN kinda ruined that goodwill and I don't think it will ever go back, the more cartels they bust up the more smaller and more agile the cartels become
     
  4. Illinihockey

    Illinihockey Well-Known Member
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    Puerto Vallarta no good to go to now?
     
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  5. El_Pato

    El_Pato Nunca Caminaras Solo
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    I was in Guyamas a month ago. Pretty fun trip. Planning on driving to Mazatlan in December
     
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  6. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    No your totally good to go
     
  7. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    My parents live in Mazatlan currently so they make that drive from Mazaltan to California once in a while, thank goodness they haven't had any issues yet
     
  8. Jack Parkman

    Jack Parkman Well-Known Member
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    @ValerieChinn: WDRB Investigation uncovers Mexican drug cartel linked to Kentucky. http://t.co/4fg3sTDIfd
     
  9. RoyalShocker

    RoyalShocker But I don't wanna be a Nazi
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    Colombia did, I think it's certainly possible.
     
  10. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    Mexico is a different beast, when your neighbor next door is the biggest consumer of drugs, you will never rid yourself of having drug money have influence over your country.......especially when you are a third world country............only chance for this to ever change starts with the U.S. getting a handle on its drug problem
     
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  11. CraigAnne Conway

    CraigAnne Conway Putting that ball into the basketball ring
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    mc415 and El_Pato Will Playa Del Carmen be safe in 3 weeks?
     
  12. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    Yup that's all good for sure
     
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  13. Emma

    Emma Wisconsin Sports
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    What would happen if I, 23 year old white male, were to walk around various parts of Mexico?

    Various meaning 1-10 how dangerous the place may be.
     
  14. Daniel Ocean

    Daniel Ocean I only lied about being a thief
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    You'd get the bad rape not the good rape.
     
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  15. Emma

    Emma Wisconsin Sports
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    sounds unpleasant
     
  16. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    Depends what part? Stay out of Guerrero, michoacan and the border states and you would be just fine. A beginner trip that would be good would be to go to Mexico City and Guanajuato (San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato) and see how you felt there......Or Mexico City down to Oaxaca that's a good way to see more authentic Mexico than the resort towns and be pretty safe.
     
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  17. Emma

    Emma Wisconsin Sports
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    So say I wander into a bad part of a bad town. Am I 100% a goner?
     
    #467 Emma, Sep 16, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
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  18. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    Nope you would be safer than a local Mexican, usually fucking with a gringo brings too much heat from the authorities it's not worth the hassle
     
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  19. Whiskers McSchitty

    Whiskers McSchitty Who ate the Cat?!?
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    fucking white bread ass honkey would end up a crouton, heathen
     
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  20. CraigAnne Conway

    CraigAnne Conway Putting that ball into the basketball ring
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    Does anyone know about how bad the seaweed situation currently is on the eastern yucatan coast?
     
  21. RoyalShocker

    RoyalShocker But I don't wanna be a Nazi
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    It's basically the wild west down there until they routinely start killing/kidnapping Americans. We tend not to care what happens to natives, but if American lives are threatened- it will end poorly for them.
     
  22. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    I just read Dreamland, by Sam Quinones. It's primarily about the spread of heroin throughout rural America by one small group from Xalisco, Nayarit.
     
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  23. CraigAnne Conway

    CraigAnne Conway Putting that ball into the basketball ring
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    That's a great book.
    Has anyone read any other good cartel books?
     
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  24. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    I just bought El Narco. I'll get to it in a couple of weeks.
     
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  25. CraigAnne Conway

    CraigAnne Conway Putting that ball into the basketball ring
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    Just looked that up. Will be buying as well. looks great
     
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  26. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    Great book!
     
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  27. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    Narcoland is a great book if you want a thorough history of Narcos from the beginning till now
     
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  28. wes tegg

    wes tegg I'm a Guy's guy, guys.
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    I'm about 100 pages into El Narco. It's solid, but I don't love the writing style. Still, plenty of interesting info.
     
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  29. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    I would also recommend watching the documentary Cartel land
     
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  30. Tony Ray Bans

    Tony Ray Bans Most Overlooked. Most Overbooked.
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    when they reveal that those cops are cooking meth I was like "ok, these people are fucked" talk about hopeless man :(
     
  31. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    That's Mexico in a nutshell for you! If you don't mind all Spanish there is a show in Spain called "Policia Internacional" you can YouTube the episodes, but they have one in Michoacan that's pretty good too
     
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  32. Killy Me Please

    Killy Me Please I lift things up and put people down.
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    New information has emerged as to how cartel kingpin 'El Chapo' Guzman was able to evade Mexican marines sent to recapture him last week, with reports he fell from a small cliff while being chased by special ops forces.

    Despite sustaining a broken leg and injuries to the face in the fall, Mexico's most wanted man was still able to get away.


    According to CNN, who cited Mexican officials, the Sinaloa cartel chief was spotted near the town of Cosala, in the Sierra Madre mountains, on October 9, however marines did not move in because he was with a girl.

    When he was spotted again without the child, special forces went after him on foot, at which point Guzman fell off the cliff.


    Scroll down for video

    [​IMG]


    +6
    Escaped again: Sinaloa cartel chief 'El Chapo' Guzman (pictured during 2014 arrest) fell from a cliff as Mexican marines moved in on foot to capture him last week, breaking a leg and hurting his face, but was carried off by bodyguards

    [​IMG]


    +6
    Marines tracked Guzman to the Sierra Madre mountains after U.S. drug agents intercepted data from his phone, but the kingpin slipped the net (pictured, marines clear marijuana from the same mountains in 2009)

    His bodyguards are said to have rushed to the bottom of the ravine and collected Guzman, carrying from there through the thick bush.

    It was in these parts they were able to further evade authorities and get away.

    NBC News previously reported that Guzman suffered face and leg wounds in the escape.

    The marines had first approached Guzman's supposed hideaway by helicopter, but were forced to retreat after coming under fire from people believed to be his guards.

    They later launched another assault on foot, but by the time they arrived, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa Cartel was gone.

    Instead they found only medication, cell phones used to trace them, and two-way radios.

    After Guzman's escape troops shut off 13 communities from Jesus Maria – 30 miles north of the state's capital Culiacan – to the nearby states of Durango and Chihuahua, in order to search for him.


    Hundreds of troops were said to have flooded the area and many locals fled their homes, however the search for the crime boss has shown up nothing since.

    Guzman's gang are in control of the vast northwest region he is hiding in, meaning there is likely no shortage of people willing to assist him, either through loyalty or fear.

    He is the billionaire boss of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, and was locked up after his capture by security forces in northwestern Mexico in February 2014.

    Until then, Guzman had been on the run from another prison break he staged in 2001 after he was carried to freedom, hidden inside a laundry basket.

    Guzman escaped for a second time on July 11 this year after his cartel's engineering unit created a mile-long tunnel leading under the jail.

    Emerging underneath the shower in his cell, CCTV shows El Chapo escaping into it through a hatch hidden in his shower before feeling to gang territory.



    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-forces-managed-evade-them.html#ixzz3pCFoL9FV
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
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  33. Hoss Bonaventure

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    That dude jumped off a cliff all Harrison Ford style.
     
  34. CraigAnne Conway

    CraigAnne Conway Putting that ball into the basketball ring
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  35. We$tTxO&G

    We$tTxO&G Well-Known Member
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    that's incredible. There is no hope for that country.
     
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  36. steamengine

    steamengine I don’t want to press one for English!
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    I'm going to San Miguel in December. Can't wait.
     
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  37. We$tTxO&G

    We$tTxO&G Well-Known Member
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    why?

    thoughts and prayers.
     
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  38. mc415

    mc415 Well-Known Member
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    San Miguel is completely safe it has one of the largest community of retired Americans in Mexico. It's a beautiful town and totally chill. The same can be said for city of Guanajuato which is close to San Miguel.
     
  39. CraigAnne Conway

    CraigAnne Conway Putting that ball into the basketball ring
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    FWIW, Playa Del Carmen 2 weeks ago was absolutely wonderful. Fucking beautiful weather and beaches. Totally opposite of the Mexico I'm used to (Monterrey, Juarez, Queretaro, SLP, Matamoros, etc)
    The Sargassum seaweed problem was non existent for the first 5 days we were there. It did start to move in on the last 2 days in Playa. It was really only an issue if you were swimming in the ocean, but after you got 30 yards into the water, you were past it.
    One of the days we took the ferry to Cozumel and rented a scooter. Drove it completely around the island. On the east side of the island the seaweed is terrible. It has piled up on the beaches and started to rot. The smell is horrible,
    Other than that, Cozumel was excellent. Great bar hopping.
     
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  40. 941Gator

    941Gator TMB's resident beach bum
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    Not to hijack Mexico thread but San Juan ("old San Juan") Puerto Rico is awesome for a couple trip. Also cheap from east coast. Seems relevant to people wanting to vacation, but scared of Mexico.
     
  41. fish

    fish Impossible, Germany
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    Our experience in Tulum in May was fortunate as we were there before the seaweed really became an issue. We saw it a bit for a couple days but the rest was fine.
     
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  42. Dutch

    Dutch Make it easy on yourself Dutch

    Cartels have been here (KY) for a while to be honest.
     
  43. angus

    angus Well-Known Member
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    30 lives extinguished, but no regrets: A killer's story

    By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO December 15, 2015 4:17 PM


    [​IMG]
    • IGUALA, Mexico (AP) — The killer says he “disappeared” a man for the first time at age 20. Nine years later, he says, he has eliminated 30 people — maybe three in error.

      He sometimes feels sorry about the work he does but has no regrets, he says, because he is providing a kind of public service, defending his community from outsiders. Things would be much worse if rivals took over.

      “A lot of times your neighborhood, your town, your city is being invaded by people who you think are going to hurt your family, your society,” he says. “Well, then you have to act, because the government isn’t going to come help you.”

      He operates along the Costa Grande of Guerrero, the southwestern state that is home to glitzy Acapulco as well as to rich farmland used to cultivate heroin poppies and marijuana. Large swaths of the state are controlled or contested by violent drug cartels that traffic in opium paste for the U.S. market, and more than 1,000 people have been reported missing in Guerrero since 2007— far fewer than the actual number believed to have disappeared in the state.

      The plight of the missing and their families burst into public awareness last year when 43 rural college students were detained by police and disappeared from the Guerrero city of Iguala, setting off national protests. Then, suddenly, hundreds more families from the area came forward to report their kidnap victims, known now as “the other disappeared.” They told stories of children and spouses abducted from home at gunpoint, or who left the house one day and simply vanished.

      This is a story from the other side, the tale of a man who kidnaps, tortures and kills for a drug cartel. His story is the mirror image of those recounted by survivors and victims’ families, and seems to confirm their worst fears: Many, if not most, of the disappeared likely are never coming home.

      “Have you disappeared people?” he is asked.

      “Yes,” he replies.

      In Mexico and other places where kidnapping is common, the word “disappeared” is an active verb and also an adjective to describe the missing. Disappearing someone means kidnapping, torturing, killing and disposing of the body in a place where no one will ever find it.

      To date, none of the killer’s victims have been found, he says.

      For months, the AP approached sources connected with cartel bosses, seeking an interview with someone who kills people on their behalf.

      Finally, the bosses put forward this 29-year-old man, with conditions: He, his organization and the town where he met with reporters would not be identified. He would appear on camera wearing a ski mask, and his voice would be distorted. And one of his bosses would be present throughout.

      In jeans and a camouflage T-shirt, the hit man looked younger than his 29 years. He wore a baseball cap with a badge bearing the face of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and “prisoner 3578” — Guzman’s inmate number before he escaped through a tunnel from Mexico’s maximum-security prison in July, cementing his image as a folk hero.

      “Of all the bad lot,” the killer said, Guzman “seems to be the least bad.”

      The killer — who does not work for Guzman — does not see himself as bad. Unlike others, he says, he has standards: He doesn’t kill women or children. He doesn’t make his victims dig their own graves. He raises cattle for a living and doesn’t consider himself a drug trafficker or a professional killer, although he is paid for disappearing people. While he acknowledges that what he does is illegal, he says he is defending his people against the violence of other cartels.

      The killer wears a bag with a strap over his chest in which he carries several walkie-talkies and cell phones, one of which he used to take calls and issue orders: “Muevanse,” he said — move on. “Esperense ahí” — wait there. Just before the interview begins, he puts the bag aside, and slips on the ski mask. He sits in a plastic armchair.

      There are many reasons people are disappeared, the killer says. It may be for belonging to a rival gang, or for giving information to one. If a person is considered a security risk for any reason, he may be disappeared. Some are kidnapped for ransom, though he says he does not do this.

      Each kidnapping starts with locating the target. The best place is at a home, early in the morning, “when everyone is asleep.” But sometimes they are kidnapped from public areas. If the target is unarmed, two men are enough to carry out a “pickup” or “levanton,” as the gang kidnappings are known. If he is armed, it requires more manpower.

      The victim is taken to a safe house or far enough out into the woods that no one will hear him during the next step: “getting information out of them by torture.”

      He rests his forearms on the chair and moves his hands over his knees as he speaks about torture. He describes three methods: beatings; waterboarding, or simulated drownings in which a cloth is tied around the mouth and nose, and water is poured over it; and electric shocks to the testicles, tongue and the soles of the feet.

      He has no training in torture. He learned it all by practice, he says. “With time, you come to learn how to hurt people, to get the information you need.”

      It usually takes just one night. “Of the people who have information you want, 99 percent will give you that information,” he says. Once he gets it, he kills them. “Usually with a gun.”

      The problem is that people under torture sometimes admit to things that are not true: “They do it in hope that you will stop hurting them. They think it’s a way to get out of the situation.”

      That may have happened to him three times, he says, leading him to kill the wrong men.

      The dead are buried in clandestine grave sites, dumped into the ocean, or burned. If the organization wants to send a message to another cartel, a victim’s tortured body is dumped in a public area. But the 30 people he has “disappeared” all have been buried, he says.

      By the official count, 26,000 Mexicans have been reported missing nationwide since 2007, just over 1,000 of those from Guerrero. But human rights officials and the experience of families from the Iguala area indicate that most people are too afraid to report kidnappings, particularly in areas where police, municipal and state officials are believed to be operating in tandem with the cartels. The official tally has just 24 missing from the Costa Grande area, where the killer says he has been involved in the killings of 30 people.

      “The (disappeared) problem is much bigger than people think,” the killer says.

      The killer has a grade-school education. He wanted to continue studying, but when he was a child there was no middle school in his town. “I would have liked to learn languages … to travel to other places or other countries. I would have liked that,” he said.

      Some in his circumstances use drugs, but he says he doesn’t. “When people are on drugs, they’re not really themselves,” he says. “They lose control, their judgment.”

      He says no one forced him to join his organization. His parents and siblings don’t know what he does, but he thinks they can guess, since he is always armed: He usually carries a .38-caliber pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle.

      He isn’t married and has no children. Although he would like to have a family, he knows his future is uncertain. “I don’t really see anything,” he said. “I don’t think you can make plans for the future, because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”

      “It’s not a pretty life,” he says.

      Life in an area torn by drug disputes is rarely pretty. For years, Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel controlled drug production, coastal access and trafficking routes in Guerrero. The Beltran Leyva brothers took over until the Mexican government killed Arturo Beltran Leyva in a shootout in December 2009, and then the state’s opium and marijuana business was divided up among half a dozen smaller cartels, including Guerreros Unidos, los Rojos, Los Granados and La Familia, from neighboring Michoacan state.

      Besides running drugs, some Mexican cartels operate extortion rackets and control human trafficking to the United States. Where needed, they buy off politicians and police forces to make sure nothing gets in the way of business. When necessary, they kill those who fail to cooperate.

      The violence spikes when cartels are fighting each other for control of territory, or when the military launches operations to strike the cartels. An anti-narcotics military operation prevented the killer’s arrival at a pre-arranged location on the first try, but the next day he and his bosses made it to a house on a humid stretch of the Pacific Ocean known as the Costa Grande, an area lush with groves of coconuts and mangos — other exports for which cartels take a cut.

      In recent years, residents of a number of towns and cities have taken up arms to protect themselves against drug cartels. In several cases, authorities have claimed these vigilantes are allied with rival gangs, and pass themselves off as self-defense groups to gain greater legitimacy.

      Federal authorities told the AP that several drug gangs in Guerrero, including those that operate on the Costa Grande, act as self-defense groups to generate support from local residents.

      “I can’t say I’m a vigilante,” says the killer, “but I am part of a group that protects people, an autonomous group of people who protect their town, their people.”

      He recognizes he would be punished if caught by the authorities. “For them, these (killings) are not justifiable under the laws we have, but my conscience — how can I put this — this is something that I can justify, because I am defending my family.” A rival gang, “would do worse damage.”

      The killer fears dying, but he fears being captured by a rival gang even more. He knows better than most what will happen to him: “If I died in a shootout, for example, the suffering wouldn’t be as bad.”

      With the same lack of emotion with which he described torture, the killer addresses his murders.

      “Whatever you want to say, you’re hurting someone and in the end, you kill them, and that leaves people hurting, the family hurting,” he said. “It’s the kind of thing that causes stress and remorse, because it’s not a good thing.”

      But he tries not to think about it too much, and while he can remember the number of people he has killed and the places he buried them, he says he cannot recall his victims. “Over time,” he says, “you forget.
    http://news.yahoo.com/30-lives-extinguished-no-regrets-killers-story-050502381.html
     
  44. angus

    angus Well-Known Member
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  45. Mitch Cumstein

    Mitch Cumstein yells at cloud
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    Cartel Land is on A&E tonight
     
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  46. newengland

    newengland pahk the cah in hahvahd yahd
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    Boston Globe recently published an article about how an informant got the FBI close to some of Chapo's family members.

    Once again, they sat across a table from one another, the FBI agent and Boston cop on one side and the man they had come to call “The Gentleman” on the other. This time, they were at a Border Cafe in Saugus. The waiter brought fajitas and quesadillas, but no one touched them. They were for show.

    “Work with us,” the FBI agent said to the taciturn, dignified man across from him.
    The agent couldn’t count the number of times he’d made that proposition. He and the cop had been pursuing The Gentleman for eight months. He was a rare find, a veteran of the higher-levels of international drug smuggling with widespread connections.

    If they could get him to agree, he could lead them on one of the biggest busts in the history of the local drug task force. But every time they asked, he said no. The risks were too big and the payoff too small.

    “What’s in it for me?” The Gentleman always said

    Still, he kept agreeing to meet. And they kept putting the question to him. Now, the agent sensed a shift; they felt tantalizingly close.

    That night at Border Cafe, in the fall of 2008, The Gentleman had a new query: How would such an arrangement work?

    Before the dinner was over, The Gentleman had agreed to share his old contacts in the Medellin drug cartels, and his connections with organized crime families in the United States. But more enticingly, he would share information about the Mexican cartel members he had met in prison, the ones who had invited him to join them when he was released.

    In exchange, the government would return several parcels of land in the area that he once held but were seized when The Gentleman was convicted two decades earlier of cocaine and marijuana trafficking. That was what was in it for him — getting the land had sentimental meaning, he said.

    The agreement sparked two international drug operations over four years — later recounted to the Globe by the agents and described in court records — that brought investigators and The Gentleman, secretly working as an informant, from Boston to Arizona, over the Mexican border, to Spain, and, finally, back to Massachusetts.

    The investigations netted nearly 20 arrests and the seizure of hundreds of pounds of cocaine and a thousand pounds of marijuana. It also brought to light the direct connection between the region’s demand for illegal drugs and the largest, most violent drug trafficking organization in the world, the Mexican-based Sinaloa cartel, and its notorious leader, Joaquin Guzman, known as El Chapo.

    Law enforcement sources agreed to share the account with the Globe provided that the newspaper keeps The Gentleman’s identity confidential.

    The Mexican cartels have long been a concern for law enforcement, but in recent years local investigators have grown increasingly worried about the Sinaloa, which began in the late 2000s to spread its operations to the Northeast — threatening to bring with it the violence that has terrorized Mexico.

    “We’re not as far removed from what’s going on down there as people would like to believe,” said FBI Special Agent Stephen J. Kelleher, one of the lead investigators in the case.

    ‘We’re not asfar re-moved from what’s going on down there.’

    [​IMG]
    Few among law enforcement at the time would be so naïve to think that any single undercover operation could take down an international drug operation. But federal and state investigators had long been looking for a way to disrupt the cartel’s growth in the Northeast.

    Was living crime-free
    They needed someone like The Gentleman, who had been living crime-free in the Boston area upon his release from prison in the early 2000s, but who had maintained his reputation in the underworld of drug traffickers. Few knew the business as he did.

    Before his conviction he had, for decades, trafficked hundreds of thousands of pounds of cocaine and marijuana along the Eastern Seaboard. He entered the trade at the time of the Colombian drug wars of the 1980s and had connections in organized crime circles. He had dealt personally with the feared Ochoa Vazquez brothers, the violent siblings who helped found the Medellin Cartel
    Now, he was living in the Boston area and, after much cajoling, was willing to cooperate with the FBI. He could begin his undercover operation anywhere — Colombia, the Mafia — agents sent him to Mexico.

    One of his first stops would be Aqua Prieta, to meet the son of a someone he had met in prison: Fidencio Serrano-Esquer, a small, stocky man in his early 30s, who had established his own marijuana- and cocaine-dealing network. They called him Fito, and word was that he had ties to the upper echelons of the Sinaloa.

    Fito also apparently had a connection to a drug dealer in Massachusetts, a man he identified to The Gentleman one night during a meeting in Mexico as Kosta, a real estate agent and an author. He showed him a picture of Kosta on his phone.

    It was a disclosure that immediately worried and intrigued local authorities — who now realized the Sinaloa already had a foothold here, taking over operations from the Dominicans who had long controlled the market, and they had no idea how large it was. Or how violent.

    Because of The Gentleman’s trusted reputation, Fito introduced him to higher-ups within the Sinaloa organization. But The Gentleman needed to convince cartel members that he was there to do business. He needed to show he was a capable partner.

    He told his FBI handlers about the cartel’s plans: They wanted to expand to Europe — and wanted his help. The FBI came up with a scheme.

    A team of undercover agents from a specialized FBI squad would work with The Gentleman and pose as Italian gangsters. They would meet with cartel members and set up fake fruit distribution companies — one in New Hampshire — that, they would say, could be used to ship hundreds of thousands of pounds of cocaine to Spain, where the Sinaloa was looking to expand. The gangsters would ship the drugs for the cartels in exchange for 20 percent of the product.

    Over several meetings that spanned well over a year into spring 2010, the undercover operatives met with cartel members at hotels from New Hampshire to Miami to the US Virgin Islands. They sat with Jesus Manuel Gutierrez Guzman, a cousin of El Chapo, who negotiated on El Chapo’s behalf.

    The scheme was taking shape. But El Chapo wanted one final assurance before he would sign off on the deal. He wanted to meet one of his new partners. He wanted to meet The Gentleman.

    The FBI undercovers could not accompany The Gentleman, and they could not listen in on the conversations because US eavesdropping warrants would not extend into Mexico.

    So he would travel alone. He arrived in Culiacan, Mexico, in April 2010, where he was told to stay in a hotel for several days. Finally, Gutierrez Guzman arrived with another member of the cartel and brought him to a farm where they boarded a small plane on a dirt air strip.

    The Gentleman later could not say for sure, but told the FBI he believes they flew east, into the mountains, for an hour. They arrived on a landing strip so remote and rugged that The Gentleman feared they would run off it.

    Before the plane had even stopped, several men on ATVs — they were wearing military uniforms, but he couldn’t be sure they were Mexican military — pulled alongside, and escorted them to a compound.

    What he saw amazed him: They had created a small village, with houses and dining areas. Guards were stationed nearby. Women were cooking in a kitchen.

    “They had a whole little community going on,” The Gentleman later reported to his FBI handlers.

    He was told he would have to stay the night. The plane would not leave until the next morning. He would have dinner with El Chapo, a buffet of chicken and rice, sweet bread, tortillas, and hot peppers.

    “You’re going to sit right here, next to me,” El Chapo told him. To The Gentleman, he looked just as he did in pictures — that stone-cold stare. He had a mustache, and wore a baseball cap.

    At dinner, as the women brought them plates, The Gentleman sensed El Chapo’s eyes on him, and on his hands as he held his fork. Undoubtedly, he was trying to detect whether The Gentleman’s hands were shaking. “I try to hold it together as best as I can, I just keep eating, making small talk,” The Gentleman later recalled.

    El Chapo proposed the use of planes to fly cocaine from Bolivia. But the Gentleman maintained that his contacts wanted to use cargo containers on ships. The boss conceded. He would give his blessing.

    The next day, after the plane had returned The Gentleman to Culiacan, a cartel member stopped the car at a church on a dirt road outside of town, and lit a candle.

    “People go up there, and don’t come back,” he told the Gentleman. But he had. And now the operation was in motion.

    Agents see opportunity
    Fito, The Gentleman’s original contact with the Sinaloa cartel, told The Gentleman he would be making a cross-continent trip to Boston in the fall of 2010.

    Federal agents immediately saw this as an opportunity to identify his Massachusetts connection, the mysterious “Kosta.” A federal judge in Massachusetts approved a warrant to track Fito’s cellphone.

    They tracked Fito leaving Tucson, to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. A day later, he was at a Marriott hotel in the Woburn area. Hours later, at the Burlington Mall, according to the GPS data.

    Authorities quickly set up surveillance at the mall, and watched as a rented Chevrolet Suburban pulled into a parking lot. Later, a Mercedes-Benz with Arizona plates parked nearby. Then another car. Each had bike racks with bikes on them, an obvious attempt at camouflage.

    In the shadows of a mall eatery, the Cheesecake Factory, agents watched as several men jumped out of each car and began loading duffel bags into the rear of the Suburban. One man reached into his pocket, pulled out a wad of cash that looked to be several thousand dollars, and stuffed it into a duffel bag.

    One of the undercover agents watched as a woman passed by with a baby in a stroller, oblivious to what was happening.

    This confirmed for the agents that there was indeed a Massachusetts player in the drug organization, but they still needed to figure out who it was.

    One of the lines that Fito’s phone had called belonged to the parents of a man named Mihalakakis Costa. They learned, however, that he had changed his name to John Kosta while he was in state prison years earlier for marijuana dealing. He had houses in Phillipston and Arizona. And, he had been reporting on income forms that he was an author and a real estate agent.

    The agents showed Kosta’s driver’s license photo to The Gentleman. He recognized him. It was the same man in the photo that Fito had shown him a year earlier in Mexico.

    “This is my guy in Boston,” The Gentleman recalled Fito saying. “He called him Kosta. He was an author and a real estate agent.”

    “That’s the guy,” he told the agents.

    Shaped by prison term
    Kosta, 40 years old at the time, was a bullish figure, an intimidating presence whose time in state prison had shaped him. He built a boxing gym in Fitchburg to train his children to fight. And his Phillipston compound was stocked with an arsenal of guns.

    At dawn on Aug. 7, 2012, a swarm of FBI agents and other law enforcement officials crept up the side roads of Phillipston toward his compound, but he simply walked out the front door, surrendering. He had seen them coming on his personal surveillance cameras.

    But he had also known they would be coming for some time.

    Seven months earlier, while Kosta and several cohorts were making a cross-country delivery of marijuana, police in South Dakota stopped one of the vehicles that was traveling in the convoy for speeding.

    Inside the white pickup truck, authorities found 980 pounds of marijuana — an estimated $3.9 million in street value, the largest seizure in that state’s history. The driver, one of Kosta’s muscle men from Ipswich, was arrested.

    [​IMG]
    SOUTH DAKOTA HIGHWAY PATROL

    South Dakota Highway Patrol in January 2012 intercepted 980 pounds of Mexican cartel marijuana that John Kosta, of Phillipston, shipped from Arizona to Massachusetts.



    Authorities waited to arrest Kosta and other defendants, however, because the original source of their case — The Gentleman — was still working another investigation, this one in Spain.

    Finally, the morning of Aug. 7, 2012, the same morning Kosta was arrested in Massachusetts, authorities in Spain opened one of the cargo containers that had made its way from South America. Inside, they found about 760 pounds of cocaine. Several of the Sinaloa cartel members who were in Spain at the time, including El Chapo’s cousin, were arrested. A warrant is out for El Chapo’s arrest.

    Two separate busts, four thousand miles apart, all stemming from a Mexican dinner in Saugus four years earlier.

    Last month, the last person in custody to appear in court, Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela, was sentenced by a judge in New Hampshire to 17 years in federal prison.

    The Gentleman is now living under an alias. His family property has been returned.
     
    Mitch Cumstein, mc415 and -Prime- like this.
  47. Arkadin

    Arkadin inefficiently efficent and unclearly clear
    Donor

    I wonder if the gentleman was one of the operation jackpot guys... He at the very least was close to them
     
  48. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin tough love makes better posters
    Donor
    South Carolina GamecocksBaltimore OriolesBaltimore RavensLiverpool

    You're selling Mexico short. They're not going to always be a third world country. As their economy grows they will have to address the cartel problem.
     
  49. Mitch Cumstein

    Mitch Cumstein yells at cloud
    Donor
    Boston BruinsTampa Bay BuccaneersBoston Red SoxMinnesota Golden GophersNew England PatriotsFlorida State SeminolesBoston CelticsJacksonville Jaguars

    a glib response to that would be that the cartel is the economy
     
  50. Tony Ray Bans

    Tony Ray Bans Most Overlooked. Most Overbooked.
    Texas Tech Red RaidersDallas Cowboys

    Has anyone seen Sicario with Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brollin? Saw it last night. Shit was wild
     
    BamaNug and Daniel Ocean like this.