the Mexican Drug War

Yep, another six ounces of weed, stopped at the border. Totally worth all that chaos.

Was driving on the highway yesterday, heading home, and there were at least two of these huge pickup trucks (fancy ones), complete with police lights and blinking white lights (I forget what they're called but certainly not official). They were clearly working together, they stuck very close next to each other.

It was pretty weird because they were speeding like they were in Fast & Furious, they repeatedly got behind us and turned on their police blinky lights so we'd move out of the way, and when they passed us they'd match our speed and look at us. Pretty unnerving. For like an hour.

They'd move ahead and repeat with other cars, we'd lose sight of them, and a few minutes later we'd notice they were behind us again. Couple of times they did this.

There's usually some federales or military people at various points in this highway. Last night? Nothing.

We got into the city and we were pretty paranoid by then, took a detour from our regular path just to check they weren't really following us (can't really take detours in the highway or you end up in another state...)

We weren't followed, and after talking about it we figured it wasn't bout us, if it were they wouldn't be so obvious about it. They were probably looking for someone, and our car might have matched the description.

Never figured out if it was narcos, or undercover police, or what. But it's kind of sad that you have to think about this stuff during a normal day.

And then you realize you don't have any f*cking idea what to do in case of a shooting or a violent situation.

Like I was thinking, the other day there was a shooting in the street. What if you're caught in the middle of it, in your car? Do you stay in your car, or do you run away and leave the car there? I dunno. Just get out of the car and drop to the floor?

In the narco-blockades last week, a couple of people including a child were killed by stray bullets, so it's a pretty real concern lately.

If those guys were looking for us and wanted us to stop, what could we do, realistically? Can't really outrun them, those trucks were FAST.

Guess I watch a lot of movies but I don't really have any clue what to do in one of those situations.

Please move to Texas. Please, before something happens to you. I'm being serious. That is horrifying.

MyBrainHz wrote:

Please move to Texas. Please, before something happens to you. I'm being serious. That is horrifying.

See, I was going to say Canada.

necroyeti wrote:
MyBrainHz wrote:

Please move to Texas. Please, before something happens to you. I'm being serious. That is horrifying.

See, I was going to say Canada.

I hear you guys had a crazy weekend.

Mex, I'll be in El Paso visiting my grandparents next month. Meet me there and head back to Jersey with us.

Seriously.

Accuracy for your average gunman is pretty good at 20ft but at 40ft only a real marksman will have much luck. If you find yourself in the middle of a shootout the first thought should be to get out of dodge. When running, you should zig-zag to reduce chances of being hit and once you get more than 50ft from the shooter(s) you should seek cover, preferably in a room or area with multiple escape paths. If you can get into a room, you should immediately use whatever furniture is available to block the doors and windows, not only to slow pursuit, but also to inhibit visibility of anyone coming after you, at that point it's always best to look for another means of escape, but if that's not an option the pursuer will be vulnerable if they try to come through the barrier, find a blunt object and try to strike the weapon and disarm them when they attempt to come through the barrier.

If you're out in the open, the best thing to do is to get flat on the ground, with your arms tight to your sides. This will protect you from a stray bullet except for a head shot, which there isn't much you can do anyways. Laying flat though makes it very difficult in a cross fire for a shooter to hit you on accident, unless they have the high ground. Laying flat can also make people assume you're already dead.

If I'm in a running vehicle, I'm either flooring it or putting it in reverse and driving in the other lane to get as much distance as possible between myself and the shootout. If you can at least get outside of the 40ft range if you have to abandon the car and seek cover the chances of being shot are reasonably low, but bad luck is bad luck.

How do you know all this?

http://www.wikihow.com/

Of course, the best advice is not to be there.

Well, once you know that 40 feet is a hard shot for a non-expert marksman, the rest kind of follows.

So on GWJ, bandit is giving mex advice on how to dodge bullets. Mex, come to the US. I know we say terrible things about it all of time time, but you don't have to dodge bullets. Be safe.

Mex, dodge bullets? Ha! He'll just say 'hit it!' to his medic and mow down all opposition.

Of course, his friends might all want to play Spy....

DSGamer wrote:

Mex, come to the US. I know we say terrible things about it all of time time, but you don't have to dodge bullets. Be safe.

Though if you miss dodging bullets, there are certainly neighborhoods where you can feel like you're back home again.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has said the war on drugs has failed, and it is time to end the "taboo" on discussing decriminalisation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-lati...

Business as usual in Mexico
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2...

6 years later:

Mexican President Felipe Calderón confirms he will leave the country after his mandate ends, because it's not safe (in spanish)

http://eleconomista.com.mx/sociedad/...

Well played, Calderón, well played (troll face)

That's just a shame.

He'll have to move REALLY far away. The cartels will probably have no trouble nailing him anywhere in North or South Americas.

Wow... screw up the country so bad you don't even dare live in the mess you created.

You guys should make him stay.

Malor wrote:

You guys should make him stay.

He would just start a new cartel to replace the one he had with the government.

Hi,

First poster here.

I have been skimming through the thread and found no traces of you talking about one of the key roots of the mexican drug war problem: Supply lines. While Colombia is one of the obvious one it seems you people in the US and Mexico are entirely ignoring Venezuela altogether. You guys can fight cartels and invest as much money, throw in all the military or get Superman, Batman or El Chapulin Colorado, the results will be the same. If the governments of the Americas stopped turning a blind eye on the supply lines and the politics behind it Mexico would have a fighting chance. Colombia produces it, but Venezuela has now become a very well established (it always has been since the Pablo Escobar era) platform for exporting drugs. hugo chávez (lowercased intentionally as scum doesn't deserve proper capitalization) and the 4 reigning cartels have become very friendly to drug trafficking by providing safe routes and protection to exporting operations. I am not trying to derail the thread but let's take a quick look at how supplying to the mexican cartels work:

In short -for the uninitiated that know very little- it goes like this:

1) FARC and Narcos in Colombia produce the drugs.
2) Drugs cross the colombian-venezuelan border without too much hassle through jungle-dense borders.
3) Venezuela's GVT, a now key ally warrants protection to all those people and escort the drug shipments by air and sea using the venezuelan army and navy to international waters/lands. It is not uncommon for Spanish authorities to find out that shipments seized in their waters reached international latitudes thanks to the venezuelan navy. The drug also travels to Center-America using small airplanes on illegal runways but there are strong suspicions they also use regular commercial and military ones to reach Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Those cessna-planes used to be well received in Honduras until the day zelaya (another scum) was ousted from Honduras presidency. Drugs from Venezuela have also been reported to go to Western African countries where tracking is more difficult.
4) Sometimes, Cartels will use improvised subs that are manned by 2 or 3 people. Those subs are primitive 8 seats fishing boats refitted to partially sink below sea-level as to only leave a small portion to navigate. Those subs cost around 1 million dollars to produce and are usually built amidst the colombian jungles by the many rivers that flow through them. Primitive wharf facilities are in place and construction is supervised by expert engineers. Subs of this kind are meant to reach Mexican shores in a few days only. There are a few variants to the sub thing but the most advanced one in prototype phase is the unmanned-gps-driven-narco-sub. Fully immersed under water and fully automated using GPS tracking. I wouldn't be surprised they got it working already.

So to sum things up, the mexican drug wars are most likely going to go on and on for years to come until people start looking at suppliers and other facilitating actors. To make things worse, Obama's recent declarations of Venezuela not being a threat to the US shows how blind people in North America really are. The US knows Venezuela has befriended most terrorist organizations in the world but it's more important to get cheap oil from chávez and export as much as you can and pretend nothing's going on. And before you curse democrats, know that bush jr. didn't move a finger while he already knew some of this...

DR GRiM wrote:

So to sum things up, the mexican drug wars are most likely going to go on and on for years to come until people start looking at suppliers and other facilitating actors. To make things worse, Obama's recent declarations of Venezuela not being a threat to the US shows how blind people in North America really are. The US knows Venezuela has befriended most terrorist organizations in the world but it's more important to get cheap oil from chávez and export as much as you can and pretend nothing's going on. And before you curse democrats, know that bush jr. didn't move a finger while he already knew some of this...

We've been targeting the suppliers ever since we've had a War on Drugs. Hell, we've spent $20 billion over the years helping Columbia, Venezuela, and Mexico fight the narcos in their countries and that hasn't gotten us anywhere. In fact, coke is now 80% to 90% cheaper now than it was 30 years ago and 15 million more Americans use drugs than did back in the 70s.

By every measure the War on Drugs has been an absolute failure. We can't curtail the demand for drugs, so any money we spend on drug intervention in supplier states will have zero impact on the overall supply of drugs. As long as people want drugs, other people will make them. Especially when there's lots of money to be made.

Also, Mexico will continue to continue to be the most important player in the our War on Drugs because it does a lot more than simply transport cocaine. About 60% of the money Mexican drug cartels make comes from weed. And then there's Mexican meth, which has all but replaced domestically produced meth.

OG_slinger wrote:

and that hasn't gotten us anywhere. In fact, coke is now 80% to 90% cheaper now than it was 30 years ago

Gotten us cheaper drugs!

ZaneRockfist wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

and that hasn't gotten us anywhere. In fact, coke is now 80% to 90% cheaper now than it was 30 years ago

Gotten us cheaper drugs! :roll:

OG_slinger wrote:

And then there's Mexican meth, which has all but replaced domestically produced meth.

Thanks Obamacare!

You seem to misunderstand the situation. All DEA personnel has been evicted from Venezuela. There is no cooperation from the GVT with any foreign agency whatsoever and UN insiders have anonymously admitted the amount of blips coming from Venezuela shores looks like a rave party when seen from a satellite. Instead, hugo chávez actively deals and protects drug shipments using the state's resources. We're not talking about a guy who discovered the benefits of drug money yesterday it seems, but a guy who has been involved in such activities since 1987 when he was captain if the report from a former general who tried to nail him back in the days can be believed.

There is also a clear and huge difference between targeting suppliers and fighting a government entirely hellbent on damaging the "EMPIRE" (USA). chávez not only helps drugs to be sent to Central America, he also helps with money laundering to finance terrorism much like the castros did except oil money is plentiful in Venezuela. The US agencies have the intel and the former colombian president confronted chávez in a summit with it but got the same vague answers. We're talking about 80 something FARC camps in Venezuela that suddenly vanished. Colombia had a deal with the US to have an AWACS airplane patrol the Colombo-Venezuelean border but chávez pressed real hard to make sure it wouldn't happen as it would have been a huge problem for his operations. AWACS can intercept communications and do lots more.

So in short, you people are financing a war on drugs in Colombia that is showing clear progresses and has actively reduced FARC to a contingent of around 7000 men which is an all-time low but on the flip side Venezuela has become a sanctuary and an active helping hand in shipping, distributing and escorting. FARC protects wharves that build the subs among many illegal activities. Disrupting those guys would effectively give Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala a break since cartels are moving their operations in those smaller countries where law enforcement is weak.

About chávez:
If you think chávez is not part of the problem and that Obama is right, I recommend you to check some hair-raising work a spanish reporter has done. He posed as a palestinian looking forward to avenge the death of his wife and was resolute to infiltrate terrorist organizations. He went through lots of research to create a solid alibi and fake identity, fully aware that he could end dead if he failed. He had done work in the past infiltrating Neo Nazi orgs and Human trafficking circles and he is also a wanted man by those guys who want his head real bad. The reporter went on to darken his skin, circumcision and the whole deal. Took fake photos of a fake wife and crafted a nice story. Do you know where he was sent to learn how to fire all kind of guns, plant bombs and whatnot? Venezuela. Not far from Caracas. He taped the whole thing with a hidden camera and became the right arm of EL CHACAL who is in prison. He became the webmaster for his site and helped handling logistics and propaganda for left-winged radicals. He went to one of a very benign leftist exposition in Oslo with another chacal friend and after a while THE CHACAL using his free time to make a call talked to the audience through speakerphone (from France). The message: "There is no such thing as innocent victims" . We're talking big bad guys here, with lots of leverage. I'll link you to to the videos on youtube when I'll be able to hoping someone has subbed them already since everything is in spanish. After seeing those videos you'll understand better how it relates to drugs and Mexico and how dangerous chávez really is.

Either Obama is one hell of a genius and has something in store for the upcoming elections to be held in Venezuela on October 7th -which will most likely be full of fraud and unfair campaigning against the opposition's candidate- or he's really a foreign policy turd. But whatever the case, I can guarantee you Mexico, the US and region in general would benefit crime-fighting-wise by having chávez removed from power.

So what are you saying? That we should invade Venezuela to cut off the flow of coke and money?

We spent $6 billion over the years in Columbia trying to shut off cocaine at its source through eradication programs and providing the government with oodles of military hardware, training, and support. You know what happened? Nothing. Columbia is still the world's largest producer of cocaine in the world. Trying to cut off drugs at the source simply doesn't work.

A good book on this is The Cobra by Forsythe, it is fiction but a good story about trying to shut down the drug trade. They go after the distribution network.

OG_slinger wrote:

So what are you saying? That we should invade Venezuela to cut off the flow of coke and money?

We spent $6 billion over the years in Columbia trying to shut off cocaine at its source through eradication programs and providing the government with oodles of military hardware, training, and support. You know what happened? Nothing. Columbia is still the world's largest producer of cocaine in the world. Trying to cut off drugs at the source simply doesn't work.

I am worried about your answers on the topic but not surprised. I am starting to believe you don't mind a narco-state actively undermining Colombia's effort to get rid of the problem. You complain it's not working but focusing on Colombia alone is probably part of the problem. No, wait. IT IS PART OF THE PROBLEM. If I understand what you imply it's completely ok for the cancer to spread. So let's just give up and let those guys have a field day? You don't mind Cuba and Venezuela conspiring on all levels to send the region into chaos and promoting drugs and violence in Central America and Mexico?

For the record, you don't need to invade Venezuela. A few things to try:

1) Stop buying oil from Venezuela but it's a bit too late for that.

2) Speed up the interrogation process of defectors currently negotiating with the FBI and DEA agency. We're talking about one of the Supreme Court top dogs that had his hand in pretty much every dirty business you can think of and also other former key figures willing to talk. That magistrate gave an interview before surrendering to the FBI in Costa Rica and made sure he brought plenty of evidence but he isn't the first to cooperate so the US had time to do some research. Take it seriously, do your homework, hurry the hell up.

3) Be more vocal on the international scene about chávez regime, use what the US has left of their diplomatic leverage before the American States Organization is beheaded for good. Take that evidence to the UN like you mean to. Don't wait for Iran to fully transfer more technology to Venezuela because it's gonna end in the wrong hands. The FARC has been trying to acquire 50 kgs of enriched plutonium and came close. chávez recently bought 5 billion in russian weaponry and switched the de facto rifle to the AK-103 that uses the same rounds the AK-47 colombian guerrillas use. Unmanned drones are being built in Venezuela thanks to Iran and russian ground to air missiles in the wrong hands sounds like more trouble. See where I am going with this? You guys are fighting narcos that are being supplied in Venezuela...

4) As I said earlier, it's key to erradicate FARC and ELN guerrillas but if chávez is helping them you are wasting money, blood and sweat. 6 billion dollars isn't that much money given drugs generate far more directly and indirectly.

5) Get that AWACS to patrol the border. Colombia is playing happy-tree-friends with Venezuela because of exporting debts chávez has been slow to pay. Time to show some teeth and to put some pants on.

Got any better ideas?

You're asking OG to come up with a better idea than escalating the drug war?

Where's the line between "you break it, you buy it" and being the world's police force here? Actively intervening in Latin America has never gone well for the US.