November 11, 2012
A Mexican assassin who turned protected government witness against an accountant for the Sinaloa cartel has revealed in testimony that the cartel purchased weapons from the U.S. border patrol, according to Revista Contralinea (see translation from Spanish here).
WASR-10 rifles, a knock-off of the AK-47, were obtained from the Border Patrol and used in a turf war against rival drug gangs from Santa Ana to Nogales, Mexico. The Sinaloa cartel sent assassins to kill members of the Zetas and Beltrán-Leyva cartels and take control of the sale of cocaine and marijuana in the area, according to the informant going by the name “Victoria.”
The Los Angeles Times reported in October, 2010, that the war between the rival cartels was “a siege of medieval proportions that has cut off a region about the size of Rhode Island… There have been massacres and scores of kidnappings, but the war has gone largely unnoticed because of its remoteness, intimidation of journalists and the slow-motion tactics.”
Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as the Sinaloa Cartel’s “logistics coordinator” and who faces drug charges in the United States, claims the Fast & Furious operation was not not about tracking guns, but supplying the Sinaloa Cartel with weapons to eliminate rivals.
Business Insider reported in October that emails leaked from Stratfor cited a Mexican diplomat as stating the U.S. government works hand-in-hand with the Sinaloa cartel. Stratfor’s intelligence corroborates a claim by a Sinaloa insider that cartel boss Joaquin Guzman works for the U.S. government and that the cartel was “given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago.”
On July 24, Aljazeera reported statements made by a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico implicating the CIA other international security forces in management of the lucrative drug trade.
A mid-level officer with Mexico’s version of the Department of Homeland Security also said the CIA is involved in the Mexican drug trade. “It’s true, they want to control it,” the anonymous official said.
“Credibility issues with employees of the notoriously corrupt Mexican government aside, the latest accusations were hardly earth shattering — the American espionage agency has been implicated in drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Vietnam to Latin America and everywhere in between. Similar allegations of drug running have been made against the CIA for decades by former agents, American officials, lawmakers, investigators, and even drug traffickers themselves,” writes Alex Newman.
In addition to the CIA, U.S. banks have worked closely with the drug cartels. In 2006, it was discovered that the financial services company Wachovia was laundering billions of dollars for the Sinaloa cartel.
Wachovia, however, is merely the tip of the iceberg. Illicit drug money is so instrumental to the health of banking institutions it saved them from collapse during the financial crisis in 2008.
According to Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, drug money was “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks during the period when many faced collapse and were subsequently deemed “too big to fail” and were bailed out by American taxpayers.