Guatemala troops tied to border drug war
San Antonio Express-News | August 18, 2005
By Jesse Bogan
LAREDO — The Homeland Security Department is warning South Texas law enforcement officers, mainly Border Patrol agents, about the possibility of rogue Guatemalan commandos who may be training drug cartel gunmen on a ranch south of McAllen in Mexico.
The July 28 intelligence alert is unsubstantiated, but officials said they now routinely circulate such reports if they can't rule them out.
It states about 30 men once part of the Guatemalan "Kaibiles" special forces unit are reported to be training members of the Zetas, a paramilitary enforcement arm of the Matamoros-based Gulf Cartel, between Rio Bravo and Villa Hermosa in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
"The Zetas alone are a formidable group and pose an ominous threat," according to the six-page warning obtained by the San Antonio Express-News. "If this information is substantiated, the addition of former or rogue Guatemala 'Kaibiles' soldiers may only worsen this threat."
It continued: "The purpose of this alert is to inform Border Patrol agents about possible Zeta activities and how it may affect (the patrol's) operations and safety."
The warning was circulated as a precaution, federal officials said. It could be a false alarm, but the far-fetched sometimes has turned out to be real in Mexico's ongoing drug cartel wars, raising uncertainty among law enforcement officials.
In Nuevo Laredo alone, the dead this year include a police chief, a city councilman and so many police officers it's hard to keep count.
In one night, 44 kidnapped people were rescued, then quickly detained on suspicion of working for drug gangs. The entire city police force was suspended and disarmed for a time and 41 officers arrested after a clash with Mexican federal agents.
But rumors sometimes are just that. A suspected mass grave on the outskirts of the city, which is across the border from Laredo, didn't pan out. Nor did a highly publicized FBI warning in February about a threat that 250 members of the Gulf Cartel planned to kidnap and kill two U.S. agents in Texas.
The information couldn't be corroborated and the FBI retracted the warning.
Officials also scurried after a Mexican report said the Zetas had obtained surface-to-air missiles off the Nicaraguan black market.
The latest warning says ex-members of Guatemalan "counter-guerilla special forces" may have been recruited by the Zetas to "aid in the conduct of illegal activities in Mexico and the United States."
The information came from an FBI analyst with the McAllen Intelligence Center, an information clearinghouse run by the FBI with representatives of various law enforcement agencies that monitor the drug trade.
The head of the intelligence center, FBI agent Manuel Perez Jr., declined to reveal the source of the report, but said it was enough to merit an alert.
"It's raw, unverified information, but what was important for us — especially in the wake of 9-11 — any raw, unverified information that we think has some potential officer-safety implications or national security aspects, we get it out to the intelligence community to see whether or not that is going to precipitate other agencies to say, 'We have additional sources here that can confirm that,'" he said.
"Right now, we haven't received any type of confirmation," Perez added.
It might not be true, but "nobody wants to be the one who sat on it a week or two waiting to see if it's true," said a senior federal law enforcement official on the border who was aware of the warning and who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"Now, virtually everything gets out. We sometimes refer to it as trying to drink water out of a fire hose," he added.
Tensions have run high the past two years among law enforcement agencies as a war for drug shipping routes into several South Texas cities such as Laredo, McAllen, Roma, and Brownsville, continues. Some 800 people in Mexico are believed to have been killed this year as a result of the war, largely between the Gulf Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel led by Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
The areas are controlled by the Gulf Cartel and its Zetas, originally a group of 31 highly trained Mexican army commandos who switched from counter-drug operations to hiring themselves out as the cartel's muscle, according to U.S. government sources. Today, the group has grown much larger and has spawned imitators.
According to the July 28 warning, new recruits "have bolstered Los Zetas ranks within the last 18 months." It added, "They are allegedly more violent than their leaders and may be behind much of the drug-related turmoil occurring along the border."
The warning states the Zetas employ military tactics and are blamed for "hundreds of violent drug-related murders, the execution of journalists, and have committed murder in Dallas, McAllen and Laredo."
The warning mentions other recent reports, including information that the Zetas may have "directed smugglers to engage law enforcement personnel or face execution."
It states "U.S. law enforcement have reported bounties offered by Los Zetas of between $30,000 and $50,000 for the killing of Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement officers."
San Antonio-based FBI spokesman Rene Salinas said the information hadn't been confirmed.
Border Patrol headquarters in Washington wouldn't comment on the warning, but noted that risks go with the job. Four agents have been killed since March, 2003, all in accidents.
The last agent to be killed by gunfire was Alexander Kirpnick, 28, in 1998 near Nogales, Ariz., by drug smugglers.
Patrol spokesman Mario Villarreal said rumors about bounties placed on officers have circulated in the past, adding: "This type of information is a concern not only to U.S. Customs and Border Protection but to our partners in law enforcement that work closely with us along our nation's border."
The name of the elite Guatemalan unit, accused of human rights abuses during Guatemala's civil war in the 1980s, comes from Kaibil Balam, a Mayan leader who avoided capture during the Spanish conquest.
According to a Web site about the unit, its members wear maroon berets and have the motto: "If I advance, follow me. If I stop, urge me on. If I retreat, kill me!"
The Secret Border Wars
Mayhem and terror in Southern states to protect government drug cartels
Infowars Network | August 14, 2005
By Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
|While the threat of terrorists attacking the US is regularly one of the top news headlines on a daily basis, real terror that has already claimed the lives of 600 people this year is being routinely ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media.
Mexican drug commando organization los Zetas has been carrying out kidnappings of American citizens and politically motivated assassinations which have stretched from the border town of Nuevo Laredo through to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio all the way to Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta, Ga.
If Al-Qaeda had infiltrated the US and carried out hundreds of assassinations and kidnappings including those of FBI and DEA agents as well as police chiefs, do you think the media would be interested? Of course they would and yet this very scenario is being played out with scant coverage in local newspapers and the occasional wire blurb.
A February 2005 wire report describes just two of the incidents that have claimed the lives of over a hundred people just in the last month.
"Federal and Dallas authorities have blamed the following incidents on the Zetas: At 1:20 a.m. on Dec. 5, a gunman stepped out of a red sports car with a semi-automatic weapon and opened fire on three suspected drug traffickers as they played pool in the open garage of a home in the 5100 block of Mimi Court in Oak Cliff. Christian Alejandro Meza, 26, alias Juan Antonio Ortega, a parolee from Wichita, Kan., who was wanted on weapons charges, died of multiple wounds to the abdomen. Two other men were severely wounded and are being held on drug charges."
"On Sept. 28, police found the bodies of Mathew Frank Geisler and Brandon Gallegos, both 19 and from Laredo, in a burning 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe in a field near the corner of Morrell Avenue and Sargent Road, in the Cadillac Heights area of Oak Cliff. Both men had been shot, and the case probably involved drugs, according to police accounts."
"A federal investigator said that "without a doubt" both incidents were carried out by the Zetas."
"We're seeing an alarming number of incidents involving the same type of violence that's become all too common in Mexico, right here in Dallas," said the former Dallas narcotics officer. "We're seeing execution style murders, burned bodies and outright mayhem. It's like the battles being waged in Mexico for turf have reached Dallas."
Los Zetas, Mexican drug commandos trained in the U.S. at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia to be the elite "special forces" of the Mexican military are now murdering police and conducting hits all over the South West US.
The town of Nuevo Laredo is basically under a state of siege, causing the US to close their consulate in the city on August 8th, after bazookas, grenades and machine guns bombarded nearby buildings. This followed the murder of Police Chief Alejandro Dominguez, who was assassinated only hours after taking office.
Eighteen other police have been killed in Nuevo Laredo alone, along with police and border patrol on the US side.
A Mexican federal agent was also gunned down in Brownsville, Texas in late May. Violence against border patrol agents at a record high.
Los Zetas wear black military style uniforms and in every way are an organized, regimented force which poses a threat to the US ten times greater than Al-Qaeda, yet a majority of US citizens have little idea who they are or the carnage that they are causing.
On July 26 the United States renewed a travel warning for U.S. citizens crossing the border into Mexico. The U.S. ambassador in Mexico, Tony Garza, said that the violence saw no sign of abating.
With the rampage spreading further and further into the States, one would expect the US government to be doing their up most to tighten the border and protect the country from increased infiltration from the Zetas death squads.
They have done the exact opposite.
After President Bush attacked the Minutemen as "vigilantes," the Border Patrol in Arizona were ordered to stand down and not arrest people illegally crossing the border, in order to make the Minutemen look bad and ineffective.
The establishment media played their part in demonizing the Minutemen as a racist lynch mob, when in reality the Minutemen are just concerned citizens sitting in lawn chairs with binoculars, in many cases on their own land, trying to aid the border patrol in protecting America.
Bush continues to sign legislation like CAFTA and further enhancements of he FTAA, easing border controls which harm America not only economically but also make it less secure.
Why would the US government make it easier for drug smuggling death squads to enter the country? Because the US government controls los Zetas and uses it as the front group for their narco-empire.
Retired DEA Agent Celerino "Cele" Castillo III served for 12 years in the Drug Enforcement Administration where he built cases against organized drug rings in Manhattan, raided jungle cocaine labs in the amazon, conducted aerial eradication operations in Guatemala, and assembled and trained anti-narcotics units in several countries.
Castillo dismisses media reports that the los Zetas crime wave was simply a case of blowback after the US government trained them at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia in the 70's and 80's.
||Castillo affirms that truth is that they are still working for the US government in protecting drug routes to keep the wheels of Wall Street oiled. Castillo has gone on the record to state that the commandos are working directly for the US government drug cartel in carrying out hits on rival drug smugglers who aren't paying their cut.
During an appearance on the Alex Jones Show in June, Castillo outlined his claims.
Cele Castillo: "That same blueprint they used in Guatemala and in Vietnam they have now brought it to Iraq and the same Colonel who ran the death squads down in El Salvador Colonel James Steele is now running those commando unit death squads in Iraq. So basically we have the same individuals, same cell groups that were in Vietnam that came to central America and Miami and so forth and are now in Iraq and some of them are being trained here in south Texas. There's warehouses down here we're they're training more Zetas individuals that work for the cartels.
Alex Jones: "Now for those that missed that, you have evidence as a former veteran, peace officer and then head DEA agent in Latin America and you live in south Texas, that down there they are training these los Zetas groups and again they're now targeting rival cowboys that are not paying their cut, do you agree with that statement?"
Cele Castillo: "Absolutely but not only that just recently last month we had a female US customs agent driving down the highway and a couple of individuals drove up to her and just shot the hell out of the car and she got hit on the ankle and they're not gonna take any more prisoners. They're now gonna target FBI agents, DEA agents and people that were able to get away from...."
Alex Jones: "And Bush has ordered the border patrol to stand down there in the Tuscon sector because, this was official, because it was cutting in on their drug profits."
Cele Castillo: "Well exactly and now they're planning to come to south Texas and they're gonna do the same thing here in south Texas and there was a story just today in the paper which says border patrol agents say you know what we can't stop these people from coming across the border and the reason that we can't stop them is because our government is not letting us do it."
Alex Jones: "Well I read in the Brownsville paper, the Dallas Morning News you name it that they're conducting murders all over Texas and killing police officers but it's a national secret Cele, it's in regional papers....
Cele Castillo: "Well one of the most major things that people don't realize that's going on is a lot of these people getting murdered are informants for the DEA and FBI and basically people don't wanna admit the fact or let the public know that these people are informants working for the government."
Now we understand exactly why the US government is trying to keep the secret border wars under wraps, because los Zetas are their hired thugs doing their dirty work.
The Bush administration and their mouthpieces are ramming it down our throats that Al-Qaeda is about to attack and yet trained death squads are already marauding all over the southern states assassinating police and federal agents and kidnapping American citizens.
Once again it is down to us, the alternative media, to give this story some traction and prevent the terror gangs of los Zetas and their handlers, the US government, from flooding the streets of the US with more drugs and killing innocent people in cold blood.