Tag Archives: Felipe Calderon

Chaos and Carnage Outside a Mexican Pepsi Bottling Plant

mexicoOriginally posted at Clash Daily

The “place of eternal formation and fertility of flower buds,” also known as Uruapan, is located in the Mexican state of Michoacán and is home to avocado farms, a monarch butterfly sanctuary, and a Pepsi bottling plant. That is why having to pass seven corpses propped up on plastic picnic chairs in the middle of a traffic circle would definitely put a damper on anyone’s day.

That’s right. Dropped in the center of the city, seven men aged 15 to 40 who had been tortured and shot in the head were neatly positioned in lawn chairs with notes anchored to their chests – not with a safety pin, but with ice picks! The Post-Its did not say “Note to self: bring home a quart of milk.” Quite the contrary – all seven messages read: “Warning! This will happen to thieves”, except for the one that said “Warning! This will happen to thieves, kidnappers, sex offenders and extortionists.”

All of the alleged car washers were shot execution-style, but only some of the victims had their hands and feet bound. Those victims were probably the ones who were refusing to cooperate before having their brains blown out. Nonetheless, it goes without saying – Pepsi or no Pepsi, it looks like these fellows made either the La Familia Michoacana or the Los Caballeros Templarios very, very angry.

Although quite a sight, the Pepsi Seven weren’t the only murders in Mexico in recent days. In a neighboring town called Guerrero, the body count climbed to 14 when seven more people were shot to death in the Hotel Restorants Vegas bar in the Ciudad Altamirano region of Tierra Caliente.

According to authorities, “Fast and Furious” masked men armed with AK-47s arrived in trucks, burst into the bar and opened fire, gunning down nine people, leaving two alive in critical condition.  Although the stories vary as to the identity of those killed, most agree that among the dead were four civilians and three off-duty federal agents. That time, no notes were left behind.

The noncombatant patrons were likely innocent victims of a confrontation between armed gunmen and federal agents who, after being followed to a bank, sought refuge in the bar of the nearby hotel. The assassins followed them in and shot up the place, messing up the bar, shattering bottles of Mexican beer, and ruining everyone’s evening.

Over the last seven years, about 70,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence attributed to drug cartels. The Mexican government “estimates that at least another 26,000 have ‘disappeared’ in that same period.”

Abductions and fatal gunshot wounds aside, the mode of execution that garners the most attention is beheading. The fine art of head removal, sometimes with a steak knife and sometimes with a chainsaw, made its debut and picked up speed in Uruapan, Michoacán, home of the Pepsi Seven, after armed men in masks rolled five heads onto the dance floor of a bar as a warning to a rival gang. That special delivery also came with a note that said the act was “divine justice” on behalf of “the family.”

If you think finding seven dead bodies in an intersection is disturbing, try having your line dancing interrupted by heads rolling across the dance floor right in the middle of a well-executed synchronized dance step.

Decapitations increased during Felipe Calderon’s presidency. In 2011 between January and November, there were 493 beheadings and dismemberments directly attributed to the Zetas, who got the idea to remove heads from bodies after they mimicked al-Qaeda and received training from Kaibiles, a Guatemalan Special Forces squad.

While a gory sight to see, at least the Pepsi Seven didn’t have their faces peeled off, sewn onto soccer balls, and delivered to city hall in plastic bags. That’s what happened in Sinaloa in 2010 to Hugo Hernandez. Poor Hugo gave new meaning to the concept of being unable to “hold it together.” The deceased man’s torso was “found in a plastic container in a separate location from another box that contained his arms, legs and skull” and was also accompanied by a note that said “Happy New Year, because this will be your last.”

After Enrique Pena Nieto replaced Felipe Calderon as Mexico’s new president, he vowed to quell the chaos and carnage. Yet by mid-February of this year the bodies were really beginning to pile up, as 2,243 individuals had already been murdered in cartel-related incidents.

Granted, the lawn chair lineup was a shocking thing to discover, especially at 5:30 in the morning. However, in the overall scheme of things, intact corpses with their heads and faces still attached is a vast improvement over the bloodshed and butchery that Mexico has endured for the past six years. As for those seven bodies found outside the Pepsi plant in Uruapan, well, unfortunately for them that ‘Pepsi Day’ they had hoped for didn’t turn out quite like they expected.

Loco in Acapulco

Originally posted at American Thinker blog

In the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, a trip to “The Pearl of the Pacific,” also known as Acapulco, could get a tourist rest and relaxation, a Hollywood celebrity sighting, or at least an enviable tan. But that was then, this is now.

In the struggle for smuggling routes, the once popular tourist destination has become a “drug-battered” haven of violence and death in a conflict that has claimed over 30,000 lives since Felipe Calderon declared war on the cartels in 2006.  Presently, the Mexican drug trade is controlled by La Familia Michoacana, one of the most violent drug cartels

In January of this year, a “four-day death toll” reached a staggering 31, including one murdered man found “shot in the head and tossed under a bridge with his shirt pulled up over his head.”  Police killings and drug hits have “soared since the death of Arturo Beltran Leyva, the capo of a cartel bearing his name who was killed by Mexican soldiers in 2009.”

A Mexican weekend in January delivered 51 drug-related deaths, including “mutilations, drive-by shootings and summary executions.”  Fifteen of those murdered included the decapitated bodies of young men between the ages of 15 and 25 who were found in abandoned vehicles in Acapulco.

The headless bodies were accompanied by “three messages signed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa cartel and Mexico’s most wanted drug baron… warning against criminal groups fighting Mr. Guzman’s organisation.”

The viciousness is not exclusive to men – women as well as 15 year-old boys and now a 14 year-old girl have contributed to the ever-rising death toll.

Recently five women, all working in or at least “connected to a beauty parlor” in Acapulco, were found brutally murdered. “The semi-naked and bound bodies of two women and a 14 year-old girl were discovered in the salon … all three had their throats slashed.”  Later police found the “corpses of another two women,” known to be employees of the beauty parlor, “with cut throats dumped in the street.” Thus far “no motive was given for the killings.”

Spreading drug violence took the lives of 15,000 people just last year, which “prompted foreign governments to issue a number of travel warnings for parts of Mexico,” severely impacting Mexico’s tourism industry.

It’s unlikely that travelers would pick Tripoli or Kandahar Province to enjoy a sunny vacation; likewise for Mexico, a nation bordering the United States of America, where a war rages on and bodies continue to pile up, circumstances have gone seriously wrong in a once great resort town, giving new meaning to the words to the song: “Loco in Acapulco.”

Another ‘Fast and Furious’ Obama Fiasco

Originally posted at American Thinker

The old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Well, if that well-known idiom is true, shouldn’t the opposite also apply? If something doesn’t work, rather than reproducing the original, shouldn’t someone make adjustments, especially if failing to do so threatens America lives?

Take for example “Operation Fast and Furious,” where, in an effort to track and capture criminals south of the border, the United States Department of Justice allegedly allowed Mexican drug cartels, gunrunners, and gangs to obtain illegal weaponry. Consequently, ICE Special Agent Jamie Jorge Zapata and U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry, armed with only a government-sanctioned bean bag gun, were killed by Mexican gang members. These thugs used artillery smuggled over the border under the watchful eye of the ATF, who, somewhere along the line, lost track of the contraband.

Recently, when Mexican President Felipe Calderón came to visit with President Obama, it was reported that “the two […] came together on a policy to stop drug and weapon smuggling across the border.” Asked why he failed to inform his friend Felipe about a US operation that purposely allowed guns to make their way from Arizona into Mexico, Obama said that he “didn’t know about it.”

Under fire for an operation that allowed smuggling of U.S. weapons across the nation’s border with Mexico, President Obama said in an interview that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the controversial “Operation Fast and Furious.”

Responding to the question about U.S.-authorized gun smuggling, Obama maintained plausible deniability on behalf of both himself and the Attorney General. However, Federal Senior Agent John Dodson, whose job was to stop drug trafficking, claimed he was told to allow the weapons to “walk” across the border. Dodson contends, “The gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.”

If proven valid, the logic behind such a harebrained idea would be similar to providing U.S. surface-to-air missiles to Iraqi militants so that when American helicopters were shot out of the sky, the radical associations could be traced back to Iran and Hezb’allah.

Dodson predicts that a rogue arsenal will be “claiming victims on both sides of the border for years to come,” which most would agree is a high price to pay for refusing to close the border or take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of America’s citizens.

According to CBS news correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, “Project Gunrunner,” presently known as “Operation Fast and Furious,” was established to prevent “American weapons from getting into the hands of Mexican gangs.” Unfortunately, the endeavor has had the opposite effect. Attkinsson’s account alleges:

ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets. The idea, they said, was to gather intelligence and see where the guns ended up […] One agent called the strategy “insane.” Another said: “We were fully aware the guns would probably be moved across the border to drug cartels where they could be used to kill.”

50-caliber weapons are fearsome. For months, ATF agents followed 50-caliber Barrett rifles and other guns believed headed for the Mexican border, but were ordered to let them go. One distraught agent was often overheard on ATF radios begging and pleading to be allowed to intercept transports. The answer: ‘Negative. Stand down.’

Months after Zapata’s and Terry’s deaths, it is being revealed that the government sting operation was so incredibly incompetent that at one point, two men at a border crossing were arrested when found with “AK-47 assault rifles, Ruger .45-caliber handguns and ‘cop-killer’ pistols made to fire armor-piercing bullets.”

Then, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents ran the “guns’ serial numbers through a nationwide database,” none were flagged as stolen or suspect. Can anyone say “HHS National Electronic Health Records Database“? Thus, two men and six illegal weapons were released, one of which turned up at a “murder scene in Puerto Palomas, Mexico” a month later.

Yet despite the mess, some at the top must still believe the border “war” strategy of arming potential enemy combatants was a smashing success. Why else would the United States now be contemplating arming anti-Gaddafi rebels in Libya? The current goal is to find a legal way to “allow limited supplies of arms to the rebels.” This time, the justification for the gun-gift policy is not to identify criminals, but to help the vulnerable “defend themselves from attack.”

One minor detail: it is believed that al-Qaeda is fighting alongside the rebels and is already suspected of snatching missiles from an arsenal in Libya. Is this “common sense be damned” or the government’s attempt to follow the vapor trail of successfully launched missiles back to Osama bin Laden?

This is why bureaucratic debacles are pervasive. Government simply refuses to fix blunders, habitually perpetrates proven catastrophes, and not only preserves the dysfunctional, but also takes pride in itself for making it worse. Americans died after someone in Obama’s chain of command thought it was a great idea to arm Mexican criminals. The response to failed policy in Mexico is not to eighty-six the idea completely, but to replicate the plan in a civil war where no one is 100% sure who is friend and who is foe.

If, after the fact, American soldiers die because of arming Hezb’allah, al-Qaeda warriors, and “freelance Jihadists” disguised as Libyan rebels, what is Obama going to do — call upon the trusty “Who authorized illegal guns to Mexico?” excuse, which was that he “didn’t know about it”?

Dead Americans and piles of bodies in a Mexican war prove once again that Obama’s policies are not the answer to anyone’s ills, let alone a means to end a war. Moreover, incompetence is revealing itself as a major source of murder and mayhem both here and abroad. What reasoned, rational person would even propose that a policy that failed so miserably in Mexico be duplicated in Libya — especially on behalf of individuals who, once armed, will make bloodthirsty neighborhood drug cartels seem more like Mr. Fred McFeely Rogers?

When he admitted that he knew nothing about American guns being supplied to Mexican criminals, Barack Obama placed blame on a “big government […] with a lot of moving parts” for border patrol agents being killed with weapons the ATF knew were smuggled across the border. Regrettably, what makes things more treacherous is having a president at the controls who, rather than abandoning a failed policy, chooses to compound an already bad set of circumstances by propagating in Libya the same deadly policy proven to be a fiasco in Mexico.


Chef’s Tweets from White House Kitchen a no-no – American Thinker – May 20, 2010

Originally posted at American Thinker

“Yes we can” has been changed to “No you can’t” when it comes to Chicago superstar chef Rick Bayless twittering from the White House kitchen.

Bayless, who specializes in Mexican cuisine, was chosen to cook for the second White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderón.  However, until Bayless returns to the Frontera Grill, his Twitter account, if inside the White House, has officially turned black as mole sauce.

Rick Bayless was asked to come to Washington DC to prepare “elegantly balanced, many layered Mexican food for which he has become famous.”  The chef was chosen on date night criteria and based on “adventurous” foodies Shelley and Barry claiming to “many times” enjoy the “tasting menu at [Bayless’s] restaurant Topolobampo.” Thus Chicago’s way, way, way north of the border Mexican chef, Rick Bayless was given the Obama sombrero of epicurean approval.

While Mr. Bayless may be adept at chopping chipotle peppers, it appears the chef could be clueless to White House etiquette and state dinner confidentiality.

Apparently the Chicago chef has been bubbling over with excitement sending Tweets out to friends and fans, like a pot of appropriately diverse 28-ingredient, Oaxacan mole negro. Which by the way, Bayless prematurely revealed he plans to serve at the state dinner, as well as green ceviche with cucumber made with “herbs and lettuce” from Michelle’s garden.

Problem is, the menu and ingredients are supposed to be remain confidential. “Mrs. Obama requested secrecy so the first family’s 200 guests won’t feel as if they’d eaten the meal before they got there.”

One can imagine First Lady Michelle’s surprise when it was reported Bayless was ebulliently “babbling” away on Twitter and according to the Washington Examiner had “done interviews with the New York Times and NPR, revealing bits and pieces of the menu.”

Citing recent interviews Bayless apparently shared, “cooking at the White House does have some restrictions,” one of which is White House “officials have to know where all the ingredients come from.”  Additionally, Chef Bayless also disclosed he was told “he couldn’t bring his own knives.”

Regardless, the Chicago chef was impressed as well as pleasantly surprised that, “his type of modern cooking [would] be served at the White House” and lauded the forward thinking Obama’s for “taking the wraps off everything and saying what’s appropriate for right now.”

The chef’s presence on the White House premises when, Obama signed the Press Freedom Act this week, must have caused the chef to wrongly assume freedom also included speech through Twitter.

Unaware, Rick twittered “The White House staff could not be nicer&more professional! Most worried about ingredients, but all will b here 4 big day!”

Tweeting will full abandon, Rick was accused by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet, and reprimanded by the Obama administration, for twittering from the White House kitchen.  Bayless was told, “The kitchen is for cooking.”

In truth Bayless had been tweeting “about the upcoming dinner and about the White House kitchen, but not from the White House kitchen.” [Emphasis mine.] Lynn Sweet officially clarified the false statement and apologized for the misinformation.

Not in the kitchen, but on the White House lawn, Felipe Calderón openly “knocked Arizona law” with nary a response from President Obama.  Meanwhile the Chicago chef received a stern admonishment prohibiting tweeting about the state dinner from the White House kitchen and was sent back without a Blackberry or cell phone to silently stir the Mexican president’s simmering mole sauce.

%d bloggers like this: