April 18, 2011
Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin, Texas, has introduced legislation designed to label Mexican drug cartels as “foreign terrorist organizations.” If enacted, the law would also subject U.S. gun runners to charges of supporting terrorism, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Rep. McCaul calls for decisive steps to end the drug war in Mexico.
In March, Obama and Mexican president Felipe Calderón agreed to broaden the effort to fight against the cartels, including an effort to crack down on gun smuggling from within the United States. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said last December that 80 percent of the weapons used by Mexican drug traffickers come from the United States.
It was later reported that only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.
Rep. McCaul’s legislation would target the Arellano Feliz Organization, Los Zetas, the Beltran Leyva Organization and LaFamilia Michoacana, the primary criminal organizations said to be responsible for drug trafficking.
If adopted, McCaul’s proposal would enable prosecutors to seek up to 15 additional years in prison and up to $50,000 in additional fines for each conviction of providing “material support or resources” to the four designated cartels, the Chronicle reports.
McCaul admits drug cartels are not “driven by religious ideology” of the sort that allegedly motivates al-Qaeda, the Taliban or Hezbollah. However, the Mexican gangs are “using similar tactics to gain political and economic influence,” relying on “kidnappings, political assassinations, attacks on civilian and military targets, taking over cities and even putting up checkpoints in order to control territory and institutions.”
“Cartels increasingly used military-style terrorist tactics to attack security forces. There was no evidence of ties between Mexican organized crime syndicates and…. terrorist groups,” the State Department said in a report made public last August.
While the State Department admitted there is no connection between drug cartels and terrorists, this is not the with banks. A number of elite banks – including Wachovia, owned by Wells Fargo, Bank of America, American Express, Citigroup and European banks HSBC and Banco Santander, and money-transfer giant Western Union – have a substantial track record of money laundering drug cartel profits.
It can be argued that these banks are in fact financing the drug business in Mexico and elsewhere.
According to reports published by Bloomberg and the UK Observer, Wachovia laundered $378.4 billion, processed through money exchangers, plus $4.7 billion handled in bulk cash, in the three-year period of 2004 to 2007.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
In 2006, Mexican soldiers seized a DC-9 jet containing 5.7 tons of cocaine, worth an estimated $100 million. The plane’s ownership was traced and it was discovered that it had been purchased by a cartel with money funneled through Wachovia.
Banks are up to their necks in the murderous Mexican drug trade. According to a 1998 GAO report, Citibank helped the brother of a former Mexican president secretly funnel as much as $100 million in alleged drug money out of Mexico and into Swiss bank accounts. In Hidden Fortunes: Drug Money, Cartels and the Elite Banks, author Eduardo Varela-Cid documents how the Bank of Boston laundered $ 1.2 billion for the trafficker and mob boss Genaro Angiullo.
The CIA, established in the late 1940s by Wall Street lawyers, has served as a handmaiden to the banker drug business for decades – beginning with Corsican criminal syndicates and expanding to Indochina, South America, Panama, and most notably in Afghanistan where it currently lords over a prized opium cultivation and heroin production.
Alex Jones details the Afghan drug trade and Geraldo Rivera’s report on U.S. troops protecting opium fields.
Wachovia is not likely to included on the list of terrorist organizations if Rep. McCaul’s legislation makes it into law. In March, the U.S. government formally dropped all charges against the bank as part of a settlement agreement reached at a U.S. District Court in Miami a year ago.
“No big U.S. bank has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again,” reported Bloomberg’s Michael Smith.
Wachovia received a light wrist slap “for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures” and thus giving international cocaine cartels “a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” according to federal prosecutor Jeffrey Sloman.
Drug profits are more than a profitable side business for banksters, however. Evidence reveals it serves as pillar for the economic system and props up the Ponzi scheme stock market racket.
In 2008, Antonio Costa, chief of the U.N. office on drugs and crime, said illegal drug profits were “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks during the contrived banking crisis that year.
According to former Wall Street insider Catherine Austin Fitts, the liquidity of the NY Stock Exchange is so dependent on high margin cocaine profits that the Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange acknowledged he is making “cold calls” in rebel controlled peace zones in Colombian villages.
“I presume [Richard] Grasso’s trip was not successful in turning the cash flow tide. Hence, Plan Colombia is proceeding apace to try to move narco deposits out of FARC’s control and back to the control of our traditional allies and, even if that does not work, to move Citibank’s market share and that of the other large US banks and financial institutions steadily up in Latin America,” she writes.
Designating the Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations will likely result in another expensive boondoggle in Mexico similar to the one in Columbia, where more than $6 billion was squandered in a supposed effort to staunch the follow of cocoa.
Under Plan Columbia, Washington sent pilots and choppers to Colombia, trained commandos and furnished weapons to fight traffickers and terrorists. “But instead of cutting drug production in half by 2006, as Plan Colombia intended, the acreage of land dedicated to coca cultivation is up 15 percent since 2000 and now yields 4 percent more cocaine than it did eight years ago,” Newsweek reported in January, 2009.
McCaul’s effort will be sold as a response to terrorism but will instead increase the amount of drugs flooding into the illicit market. It will also pile up a lot more bodies in Mexico where the war against the cartels has claimed more than 30,000 lives as of 2010.
The banks will continue to be issued a free ticket – and when caught in the act, slapped on the wrist – and billions will continue to be poured into the stock market in order to prop up the creaky U.S. economic system.
Dead bodies on the streets of Mexico and increasingly in the United States will continue to be written off as the price of doing business as the elite peddle their poison.