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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Texas-born cartel boss sits at center of case against three Mexican generals

    Texas-born cartel boss sits at center of case against three Mexican generals

    It looks like Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villarreal, the Laredo-born kid who grew up to become a feared drug cartel operative in Mexico, sits at the center of criminal charges against three Mexican generals.

    Valdez Villarreal has been in Mexican custody for nearly two years as his Houston lawyer fights to get him shipped home to face U.S. trial, instead of staying in Mexico where he’s got many enemies.

    As noted by the Associated Press and other media, the generals stand accused of cooperating with the Beltran Leyva drug cartel, of which La Barbie allegedly was a top lieutenant, in years past.

    The government’s case against the generals appears anchored in testimony from a La Barbie associate, — a protected witness codenamed Jennifer — who says the Texan helped bribe the officers to facilitate cocaine shipments into Mexico.

    A Mexican judge ruled Tuesday that federal prosecutors’ evidence warranted putting the officers on trial. They are the highest-ranking Mexican army officials arrested since the jailing on corruption charges of Army Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, then Mexico’s drug czar, in 1997.

    The Attorney General’s Office has lodged charges of “organized crime to further drug trafficking” against current and former generals Tomas Angeles Dauahare — who retired four years ago as Mexico’s deputy defense secretary — Ricardo Escorcia, Roberto Dawe Gonzalez. Retired Lt. Col. Silvio Hernandez Soto faces the same charges.

    Valdez gained international fame during the 2004-2005 battle for Nuevo Laredo between the Gulf Cartel, its then Zetas allies and the Sinaloa gangs, of which the Beltran Leyva clan was then a key faction.

    Valdez allegedly became a top enforcer for clan head Arturo Beltran Leyva, nicknamed the “Boss of Bosses,” who was killed in Cuernavaca by Mexican marines in December 2009.

    Following Arturo’s death, Valdez and the Beltran Leyva lieutenants fell into bloody internal feuding. The turmoil ultimately led to La Barbie’s arrest.

    Texas-born cartel boss sits at center of case against three Mexican generals | Narco Confidential | a Chron.com blog
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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    I wonder how military grade weapons that can be traced to the US wind in the hands of Drug Cartels. Another political lie. JMO

    Mexican Generals' Alleged Ties To Cartels Spell Trouble For Military-Based Drug War



    By Ryan Villarreal:

    August 1, 2012 2:40 PM EDT

    Four senior Mexican army officers are facing charges from state prosecutors for alleged ties to a drug cartel. It's the most high-profile military corruption case in the past 15 years.

    Gen. Roberto Dawe Gonzalez and three retired officers, Generals Tomas Angeles Dauahare and Ricardo Escorcia and Lt. Col. Silvio Hernandez Soto, were arrested in May in connection with an investigation of the now-defunct Beltran Leyva Cartel and have been held in custody until their hearing Tuesday, when the Mexican Attorney General's Office formally filed charges of "organized crime to further drug-trafficking" against them.

    Specifics about the case have not been released, but also charged in the case is Edgar Valdes Villarreal, aka "La Barbie," the Mexican-American gang boss who rose to the leadership of the Beltran Leyva Cartel through a bloody path and was later arrested in Mexico City in 2010.

    The deployment of the army in Mexico's streets to combat the drug cartels has been an integral strategy in outgoing President Felipe Calderon's anti-drug policy over the past six years.

    The Mexican army is an institution considered to be less prone to corruption than local law enforcement, which has generally been true, but this recent corruption scandal among high-ranking officers threatens to severely diminish confidence in the military's capacity to fight the war on drugs.

    Gen. Dawe commanded an army base in Colima state on Mexico's Pacific coast along a key drug-trafficking route, while Gen. Escorcia, before retiring in 2010, was head of the military in Morales state where the Beltran Leyva Cartel was dominant.

    Gen. Angeles served as assistant defense minister from 2006 until his retirement in 2008, and Lt. Col. Hernandez retired from the army in 2002 and became a top police commander in Sinaloa state, the home territory of the Sinaloa cartel, considered not only the most powerful drug-trafficking organization in Mexico, but arguably the world.

    While the details of these four officer's alleged crimes will have to wait to be unveiled over the course of the trial, the charges indicate the possible presence of corruption at some of the highest levels within the military.

    However, this is not the first high-level corruption scandal involving the drug cartels to hit the Mexican military, even at the highest level.

    In 1997, army General Jose de Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, who headed the country's anti-narcotics agency, was found to be on the payroll of the Juarez cartel, then Mexico's most powerful criminal organization.

    As a result, Mexico's four-year-old National Institute to Combat Drugs was shut down and its 1,100 agents purged.

    "If the charges against Angeles and the other officers are true, Mexicans are bound to experience a similar sinking feeling," wrote Time magazine's Latin American Bureau Chief Tim Padgett in a May 2012 article.

    "Now, as then, the only real remedy is to phase out Mexico's reliance on the military and develop genuinely professional, investigative police forces."

    But that is a monumental task that requires extensive law enforcement and judicial reform and will ultimately be left to President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, who takes office in December, to see through.

    Read more on Pena Nieto's drug war strategy here.

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