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Old 12-15-2016   #301
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Default Pangas, Trickery, Intimidation, and Drug Trafficking in California

Pangas, Trickery, Intimidation, and Drug Trafficking in California

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Old 02-09-2017   #302
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Default FARC Plays Dominoes as Drug Cartels Occupy Colombian Villages

FARC Plays Dominoes as Drug Cartels Occupy Colombian Villages

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Old 05-14-2017   #303
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Default Narconomics

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel
by Tom Wainwright

https://www.amazon.com/Narconomics-H...0&sr=1-1-spell

After reading this book, I feel fully qualified to run a drug cartel now. O.K., maybe not, but a fascinating read nonetheless that provides great insights not only into the cartel business from production to distribution, but provides great analysis based on economics on why are expensive drug war (globally, not limited to the U.S.) is failing miserably.

I would love to see this type of analysis conducted for COIN, and instead of listening to the same old tired theories being repeated, actually pull the data and analyze it objectively. It provides a very different, as it did for this study of cartels.

Not surprising, he explains how the DEA's focus for marijuana and cocaine coming from Mexico missed the shift to Meth and now Heroin. His point was the drug market changes frequently based on fads, yet law enforcement has been slow to adapt. He also points out that the crackdown on illegal immigration under Obama (yes its true) on the U.S. southern border, resulted in the Cartels moving into the human trafficking business and professionalizing it. It is a major paradigm shift from the coyotes leading people across the Arizona desert on a high risk crossing. Instead, the cartels move them to holding areas where they get three meals a day, medical care, and access to an internet caf so they can stay in contact with their families. The agreed upon prize to move them into the U.S. (roughly $1,500.00) comes with a guarantee. The traffickers will conduct as many attempts as required to get them into the U.S.

His analysis on the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado was interesting. As one law enforcement explained, there is nothing stopping people from buying it legally, and then driving across the border and selling it illegally. You're average Joe Blow is creating a new gray market. They did a cost analysis on how this will impact the cartels who still move marijuana and the cartels will be less competitive in most places outside of Texas (even more so that more states have legalized it). However, if the legalization trend continues, there is no reason Mexico won't grow it legally at a cheaper price and put the U.S. growers out of business eventually. Darn NAFTA.

He covered the drug trade in New Zealand, somewhat surprising to me, but a local music star Matt Bowden in NZ established a multimillion dollar business producing synthetic drugs for legal highs, always changing the formula to stay one step ahead of the law (until he couldn't). The author points out that relative safe drugs became more dangerous over time because they safer ones were outlawed. Interesting point, considering in other countries, certain drugs like ecstasy that were relatively safe, but the crack down on it, pushed the crowd into more dangerous drugs (supply and demand).

He didn't take easy on the cartels, he provided good coverage on the violence and what drives it and what tends to bring it down. At the end of the book he cited four mistakes we are making in the war on drugs:

1. The obsession with supply: He points out that the demand for drugs is inelastic, so even if we force the price of drugs up that will simply result in more money for the cartels. The producers get paid pennies anyway and that won't change. Obviously his point is to focus on demand, but we all know that is easier said than done.

2. Saving money early on and paying for it later: Back to point one, we are cutting costs by reducing funding for prevention programs, but increasing funds for law enforcement. Our bloated prison system is very expensive (even more so that we privatized much of it). He claims we're spending enough on fighting drugs, but we're spending it on the wrong things.

3. Acting nationally against a global business: I found his comments on target in this area. The richest countries are funding the UN's efforts to eradicate the crops in poor countries, so the rich countries are happy with the way the war is being fought even though it isn't making a difference. The drugs are not valuable at the production end, they're not valuable until they're a finished product ready for distribution, but we don't focus on that. Instead we're burning bridges with countries and their citizens in multiple developing nations to protect our citizens from their own bad habits?

He does point out this is changing, because the lines between producer and consumer are blurring, as developing countries with larger middle classes are now consuming drugs at an increasing pace.

4. Confusing prohibition with control: He uses the term balloon squeezing and herding cockroaches to capture the futility of trying enforce prohibition. He suggests that the legalization of marijuana so far appears to be mostly positive compared to trying to enforce prohibition, which is a very expensive and ineffective effort. What about harder drugs, he doesn't claim to have an answer, but points out that England, Switzerland and other European countries have already legalized heroin in a very limited way. Some doctors have permission to prescribe heroin free of charge to addicts. The idea is addicts are gradually able to wean themselves off, and since it is free the government has reduced the number of robberies they committed by 90%.

I think you'll enjoy the book.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-14-2017 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Copied from 2017 What are you reading thread. 50,934v when reopened.
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Old 06-14-2017   #304
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Default The Zetas: Don’t mess with us. One town's tale

A Pro-Publica report:
Quote:
In March 2011 gunmen from the Zetas cartel, one of the most violent drug trafficking organizations in the world, swept through Allende and nearby towns like a flash flood, demolishing homes and businesses and kidnapping and killing dozens, possibly hundreds, of men, women and children.

(Shortly after) But unlike most places in Mexico that have been ravaged by the drug war, what happened in Allende didn’t have its origins in Mexico. It began in the United States, when the Drug Enforcement Administration scored an unexpected coup. An agent persuaded a high-level Zetas operative to hand over the trackable cellphone identification numbers for two of the cartel’s most wanted kingpins, Miguel Ángel Treviño and his ​brother Omar. Then the DEA took a gamble. It shared the intelligence with a Mexican federal police unit that has long had problems with leaks — even though its members had been trained and vetted by the DEA. Almost immediately, the Treviños learned they’d been betrayed.
Link:https://www.propublica.org/article/a...and-the-us-dea
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-14-2017 at 03:23 PM. Reason: 54,232v. Copied to Small War in Mexico thread.
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Old 12-13-2017   #305
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While MS-13 has been operating in neighboring Suffolk County for the past decade, its increasing infiltration of Nassau is alarming authorities — and terrifying residents more used to worrying about the traffic on the Long Island Expressway than gang warfare.
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MS-13’s motto is “murder, rape, control.’’
Authorities consider it the world’s most dangerous street gang at the moment, and its heavily tattooed, machete-wielding members easily live up to the hype.
The gang was born in Los Angeles in the 1980s in the wake of deadly civil wars wracking the three countries forming the so-called “Northern Triangle’’ at the top of Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
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Refugees from those countries fled to the United States, landing mostly in poor LA neighborhoods, leaving them vulnerable to Mexican street gangs already in power. The refugees banded together to fight back, taking cues from the Mexican gangs while forming their own version of a ruthless organization.
The new gang of street terrorists dubbed themselves Mara Salvatrucha 13, or MS-13 for short. The name is believed to be a combination of the Spanish word mara, or “gang,’’ Salva for Salvador and trucha, street slang for staying vigilant. The number 13 supposedly refers to M’s place in the alphabet — an homage to Mexico, the home country of the gangs that gave it its start.
Quote:
About three decades after first hitting the US, the gang has now infiltrated more than 40 states with 10,000-plus known members, according to FBI estimates. Their numbers in New York are murky, but one thing is certain: Long Island has become one of the gang’s major East Coast strongholds after Washington, DC, and its surrounding areas, authorities say.
The gang follows work opportunities, officials say: Where there are wealthy areas in need of cheap immigrant workers, you will find MS-13.
https://nypost.com/2017/12/12/scourg...y-north-shore/
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-13-2017 at 10:10 PM. Reason: 66,439v
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Old 12-16-2017   #306
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A self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying more than 3,800 pounds of cocaine was stopped by the U.S. coast guard. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the incident happened on November 12th (off the coast of Texas).
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ine/939668001/
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #307
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Quote:
The Islamist militant group Hezbollah exploded into a major cocaine trafficker for the United States over the past decade — and it happened under former President Barack Obama's watch to help score a nuclear deal with Iran, a report revealed Monday.
Project Cassandra, a campaign launched by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2008, found that the Iran-backed military and political organization collected $1 billion a year from money laundering, criminal activities, and drug and weapons trade, according to Politico. Over the following eight years, the agency found that Hezbollah was involved in cocaine shipments from Latin America to West Africa, as well as through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/hezbollah...001923525.html
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