Tom Diaz

Posts Tagged ‘National Drug Threat Assessment 2009’

CALLING CALIFORNIA: “MEDICAL MARIJUANA” IS A FRAUD — YOU HAVE THE WORST OF BOTH WORLDS

In bad manners, Corruption, Crime, Cultural assassination, Drugs, Marijuana Debate, politics on October 23, 2009 at 12:48 pm
Inhaling the Smoke of This Weeds Is Supposed to be Good for What Ails You?  Or Are its Dispensers Just a Front for More of the Same Criminal Trafficking in a Banned Drug?

Inhaling the Smoke of This Weed Is Supposed to be Good for What Ails You? Or Are its Dispensers Just a Front for More of the Same Criminal Trafficking in a Banned Drug?

This piece from Charles Lane’s Washington Post blog provides a nice, cold-eyed summary, making [my words here] the point:  “Medical marijuana” is a fraud and the Obama administration is ducking the issue:  Should we flat-out legalize this drug, or should we tolerate and maybe even encourage (as do the Holder guidelines on weed) the continued hypocrisy of phony “medicinal” uses.

I originally thought the new Obama/Holder weed guidelines were an elegant solution:  stand back and let the states develop policy and reach a national consensus.  I now see them as a political base-holding confection.  The states, if California is an example, and it is, are developing neither policy nor consensus.  They are waddling along with a sick and corrosive system that is partially legal and overwhelmingly criminal, following a lobby that intensely wants every American to light up and enjoy, meanwhile rewarding criminal gangsters with a facade of legality.

Attorney General Eric Holder Announces Obama Administration's "Medical Marijuana" Tolerance Guidelines

Attorney General Eric Holder Announces Obama Administration's "Medical Marijuana" Tolerance Guidelines

And where is the Washington “law enforcement establishment” — the suits di suits — on this?  Neutered and silent, complicit, reminding one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Dereliction of Duty when another Democratic President, Lyndon B. Johnson, used his forceful political persona to send “American boys” to fight a war he said they never would.  Nice backdrops for media conferences.

The original Post blog site from which this excerpt is taken contains data on medical surveys about how phony the so-called “medicinal” properties, at least as administered through a cigarette with no production standards, are.

‘Medical marijuana’ is a Trojan horse

…decriminalization of marijuana is worth debating. I have no objection to letting AIDS patients and other truly desperately ill people smoke marijuana if it makes them feel better. I have no objection to the administration of THC, pot’s active ingredient, in properly tested and dosed pharmaceuticals. What I do object to, strongly, is the claim that smoked marijuana is some sort of wonder cure with a multiplicity of proven, but officially repressed, therapeutic uses.
….
Why does this bug me so much? It always bugs me when some group of true believers tries to foist its views on the public in the guise of science (e.g., “creation science”). This is especially pernicious when it involves selling phony remedies for real diseases (or real drugs for phony diseases)…
….
“Medical marijuana” is obviously a Trojan horse for legalization of pot as a recreational drug. In a democracy, people should pursue their policy objectives openly, not under false pretenses. In that respect, I thought that the attorney general created a certain amount of inevitable confusion when he announced his non-prosecution policy toward consumers and sellers of pot under state “medical marijuana” laws, while continuing to pursue large-scale traffickers and growers. Is marijuana a sometimes-therapeutic substance, as the AG implied by referring to “medical marijuana” smokers as “patients,” and those who provide pot to them as “caregivers” following “treatment regimens?” Or does pot have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” as federal law provides — and, I would add, the evidence suggests? To be sure, the Justice Department’s directive to prosecutors focused on individuals with “cancer or other serious illnesses” who are complying with state law. But since many people who don’t have cancer or anything close to it are getting high under medical pretenses, plenty of ambiguity remains.

What Lane does not get into here is how the present phony, runaway “medical marijuana” system simply drives up demand — “patients” are pouring out of the woodwork because, “Hey, dude, it’s legal!” — which demand is met not by doctors and laboratory technicians in white coats ensuring a uniform product free of impurities, but criminal networks large and small selling illicitly grown, insecticide-laced, who-knows-what weed.  Fairly Civil was told during a visit to California that the bigger criminal networks, including the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations, are cranking up to help meet the supply, and even forcing out those beloved hippy pot farmers whose righteous sense of  “serving” the self-medication community disappears into a liquid stream down the leg when confronted with DTO or gangster firepower.

Weed and Weapons In Oregon

Weed and Weapons In Oregon

Nothing stops a small-time farmer like looking down the barrel of a Kalashnikov clone.

Here’s another point I heard from the parent of a 16-year old boy.  Yes, he’s smoking, and guess where he gets his weed?  From the children of other parents who procure their “legal” drugs at “medical marijuana” shops on jacked-up licenses, and then dispense it to their own medically-needy children.  These aren’t East L.A. stereotypes, these are whatever passes for upper middle class in L.A.  See, they would rather “know” where their kids are getting their drugs (i.e., from their own trendy parents) than worry about some “dealer” seducing them.  How sick and disgusting is that?  The parent-victim of this system that I talked to doesn’t want her son smoking, but she is caught right smack between the do-gooders and the traffickers.

This is exactly an example of the kind of evil some state and local law enforcement personnel understand and want to shut down.  But, for some reason, many politicians in California want to actually encourage and expand this criminal shambles and resist cleaning it up.  Cui bono?

Ironic, but this state may fast be sliding into No Country for Either Old Hippies or Old Values….If you like your budget system, you’re gonna love where this is going.

Let's See:  Smoking Tobacco is a Public Health Hazard.  Smoking Marijuana is Medicinal?  Oh-h-kay...

Let's See: Smoking Tobacco is a Public Health Hazard. Smoking Marijuana is Medicinal? Oh-h-kay...

THE MEXICAN MAFIA — NATIONAL AND TRANSNATIONAL POWER, PART TWO

In Crime, Drugs, Gangs, Guns, Latino gangs, Mexico, RICO, RICO indictments, Transnational crime on August 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm
Cartels and Drug Routes Depicted in 2008 by Stratfor, Private Intelligence Service

Cartels and Drug Routes Depicted in 2008 by Stratfor, Private Intelligence Service

This three part series posting excerpts from federal court cases on the Mexican Mafia (“Eme” or “La Eme”) continues with a look at the powerful prison gang’s trans-border connections.  (The first posting, here, provided an overview of Eme’s organization and its operations).

U.S. government reports about drugs and gangs often discuss the links among U.S. prison and street gangs, drug trafficking, and the Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), or cartels.

But these reports are more often than not maddening in their generality.  They lack what some call fine detail or “granularity.”  Empty calories come to mind.

A recent federal RICO case brought against members of the Mexican Mafia in San Diego provides some interesting detail to fill in some of the blanks, at least in one major racketeering case.

First, the generalities.

The Mexican Side — The Drug Trafficking Organizations

Probably every sentient being in the United States gets it by now that the Mexican DTOs are the wholesale source of most illicit drugs trafficked in the United States.  To set the stage, however, here is an excerpt describing the nature and role of the DTOs from the National Drug Threat Assessment 2009, published by National Drug Intelligence Center (December 2008).  The excerpt touches on the relationships between U.S. gangs and the DTOs, but only in the most general way:

Mexican DTOs are the greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States; they control most of the U.S. drug market and have established varied transportation routes, advanced communications capabilities, and strong affiliations with gangs in the United States. Mexican DTOs control a greater portion of drug production, transportation, and distribution than any other criminal group or DTO. Their extensive drug trafficking activities in the United States generate billions of dollars in illicit proceeds annually. Law enforcement reporting indicates that Mexican DTOs maintain drug distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors in at least 230 U.S. cities. Mexican drug traffickers transport multiton quantities of drugs from Mexico into the United States annually using overland, maritime, and air conveyances. The use of varied conveyances enables Mexican drug traffickers to consistently deliver illicit drugs from Mexico to warehouse locations in the United States for subsequent distribution.

Mexico- and U.S.-based Mexican drug traffickers employ advanced communication technology and techniques to coordinate their illicit drug trafficking activities. Law enforcement reporting indicates that several Mexican DTOs maintain cross-border communication centers in Mexico near the U.S.-Mexico border to facilitate coordinated cross-border smuggling operations. These centers are staffed by DTO members who use an array of communication methods, such as Voice over Internet Protocol, satellite technology (broadband satellite instant messaging), encrypted messaging, cell phone technology, two-way radios, scanner devices, and text messaging, to communicate with members. In some cases DTO members use high-frequency radios with encryption and rolling codes to communicate during cross-border operations.

Mexican DTOs continue to strengthen their relationships with U.S-based street gangs, prison gangs, and OMGs for the purpose of expanding their influence over domestic drug distribution. Although gangs do not appear to be part of any formal Mexican DTO structure, several Mexican DTOs use U.S.-based gangs to smuggle and distribute drugs, collect drug proceeds, and act as enforcers. Mexican DTOs’ use of gang members for these illegal activities insulates DTO cell members from law enforcement detection. Members of most Mexican Cartels–Sinaloa, Gulf, Juárez, and Tijuana –maintain working relationships with many street gangs and OMGs.

The U.S. Side — The Prison and Street Gangs

The National Gang Threat Assessment 2009 (National Gang Intelligence Center, January 2009) discusses — again in a general way with a few lame “examples” — the interfaces of U.S.-side gangs with the Mexican DTOs and other criminal organizations:

Gang Relationships With DTOs and Other Criminal Organizations

Some larger gangs have developed regular working relationships with DTOs and other criminal organizations in Mexico, Central America, and Canada to develop sources of supply for wholesale quantities of illicit drugs and to facilitate other criminal activities. According to law enforcement information, gang members provide Mexican DTOs with support, such as smuggling, transportation, and security. Specific examples include:

Some prison gangs are capable of directly controlling or infuencing the smuggling of multihundred kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine weekly into the United States.

Cross-Border Gang Activity

U.S.-based gang members are increasingly involved in cross-border criminal activities, particularly in areas of Texas and California along the U.S.-Mexico border. Much of this activity involves the trafficking of drugs and illegal aliens from Mexico into the United States and considerably adds to gang revenues. Further, gangs are increasingly smuggling weapons from the United States into Mexico as payment for drugs or to sell for a significant profit. Examples of such cross border activities include:

Street and prison gang members have established networks that work closely with Mexican DTOs in trafficking cocaine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States for distribution.

Some Mexican DTOs contract with gangs in the Southwest Region to smuggle weapons from the United States to Mexico, according to open source information.

A Case In Point

This is where specific facts alleged in an actual case help fill in the picture.

The following excerpt from an affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint in the pending case of United States V. Mauricio Mendez (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Docket No. 3:09-mj-00473-RBB, filed Feb. 13, 2009) alleges in some detail how the drug trade is actually working on the ground between at least this Mexican Mafia crew and a Mexican DTO:

Beginning in early 2008, a drug trafficking group associated with the Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization began to interact with, and pay “taxes” to, the Mexican Mafia.  The Arellano-Felix group paid its “taxes” to the Mexican Mafia primarily by providing representatives of the Mexican Mafia with drugs.

In early September 2008, agents recorded a meeting between the leader of the Arellano-Felix group and defendants [Mauricio] Mendez and [Ruben] Gonzalez.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Arellano-Felix group’s aiding another Mexican drug trafficking group associated with the Mexican Mafia.  One of the leaders of the other drug trafficking group was defendant Jorge Lerma-Duenas.  Lerma-Duenas’ group claimed to have a means of smuggling bulk shipments of marijuana and other drugs through the international ports of entry by using commercial trucking from Mexico.  However, Lerma-Duenas’ group claimed that a switch in the drivers of the commercial trucks had interfered with their smuggling scheme.  Mendez stated that he and other gang members intended to travel to Mexico in order to disable the uncooperative driver so that the other, co-opted driver could retake the route — it was Mendez’s stated intent to break both of the uncooperative driver’s legs.  Mendez sought the Arellano-Felix group’s aid in providing additional security for Mendez for the trip to Mexico.  The leader of the Arellano-Felix group agreed to provide security for Mendez but also sought to form a larger relationship with Lerma-Duenas’ drug trafficking group in order to use Lerma-Duenas’ trucking route to smuggle marijuana for the Arellano-Felix group.  Over the next weeks, agents recorded more meetings in which these topics were discussed between the leader of the Arellano-Felix group, Mendez and Lerma-Duenas.  Mendez also brought members of his crew to these meetings…

Cross-border relations apparently are not limited to the business of drugs.  The affidavit also describes a 2008 kidnapping and attempted murder in San Diego that was commissioned from Mexico:

The next series of events arises out of the armed kidnapping and subsequent attempted murder of a male victim by defendant Mendez’s crew.  In a recorded meeting, Mendez admitted that the kidnapping was committed on behalf of individuals in Mexico.  The kidnapping was foiled when the victim succeeded in fleeing his kidnappers.  At the time, one of the kidnappers…attempted to shoot the victim but missed.  Officers recovered a .40 caliber shell casing at the scene of the shooting.

The affidavit and a subsequent indictment detail many other violent criminal acts committed by this Eme crew.  But these paragraphs speak directly to the relationship of at least this crew and the Mexican side of the violent drug trade.

“Tom Diaz has worn out some shoe leather—much like a good detective—in gathering facts, not myths or urban legend. “

—Chris Swecker, Former Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

“Few people know more about the subject than Tom Diaz and no single book tells the whole story better than No Boundaries. If you really want to know what organized crime in America looks like today, then read this alarming book.”

—Rocky Delgadillo, former City Attorney of Los Angeles

Order No Boundaries from Amazon.com

VIOLENT OUTLOOK FOR TRANSNATIONAL LATINO STREET GANGS AND MEXICAN DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATIONS IN 2009

In Corruption, Crime, Gangs, Latino gangs, Mexico, Transnational crime on February 2, 2009 at 9:54 pm
Latino Gangs Are Expanding Geographic Reach in U.S. and Some Are Moving Into Wholesale Drug Trade from Traditional Retail Sales.  Both Moves Promise More Violence in Turf Wars.

Latino Gangs Are Expanding Geographic Reach in U.S. and Some Are Moving Into Wholesale Drug Trade from Traditional Retail Sales. Both Moves Promise More Violence in Turf Wars.

A flurry of new information and expert opinion issued within the last several weeks indicates that the United States will see increased violence involving Latino street gangs, like Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), during 2009.  More violence is also predicted in Mexico, as the Mexican  government continues its war on the powerful Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs), also called “cartels.”

Fairly Civil has already reported the news from the National Drug Threat Assessment 2009 that some street gangs are moving beyond their role as the nation’s primary retail drug outlets and “increasing their involvement in wholesale-level drug distribution.”

The National Gang Threat Assessment 2009, released today and available in a PDF file here, confirms that assessment.    “Gang members are the primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs. They also are increasingly distributing wholesale-level quantities of marijuana and cocaine in most urban and suburban communities,” according to the new report.

The National Gang Threat Assessment reports two other elements that — combined with the move into wholesale drug trade — are likely to increase the potential for violence.

One is the continued territorial expansion of gangs:

Gang members are migrating from urban areas to suburban and rural communities, expanding the gangs’ influence in most regions; they are doing so for a variety of reasons, including expanding drug distribution territories, increasing illicit revenue, recruiting new members, hiding from law enforcement,and escaping other gangs. Many suburban and rural communities are experiencing increasing gang-related crime and violence because of expanding gang influence.

Competition Over Retail Customers Usually Means Armed Violence in the Drug Business

Competition Over Retail Customers Usually Means Armed Violence in the Drug Business

“Tom Diaz has worn out some shoe leather—much like a good detective—in gathering facts, not myths or urban legend. “

—Chris Swecker, Former Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

“Few people know more about the subject than Tom Diaz and no single book tells the whole story better than No Boundaries. If you really want to know what organized crime in America looks like today, then read this alarming book.”

—Rocky Delgadillo, former City Attorney of Los Angeles

Order No Boundaries from Amazon.com

Expansion into new territory means friction with existing drug distributors — possibly other, smaller bore gangs — and the resulting necessity to “rationalize” markets.  As a knowledgeable FBI agent told me in the course of my researching my upcoming book –No Boundaries: Transnational Latino Gangs and American Law Enforcement (U. of Michigan Press, 2009) – the gangs don’t sit down to negotiate “rationalizing” markets.  They whip out the guns and start shooting.  Last gang standing gets the market. (In this regard, retired Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Gang Sergeant Richard Valdemar has a short piece here, useful for navigating the sometimes-confusing nomenclature (e.g., sureno and norteno) of the California-based  gangs that could be infiltrating your placid  neighborhoods far from the West Coast.)

Even more troubling is the Gang Threat Assessment report’s carefully understated notice of the  potential for confrontation between U.S.-based gangs and the Mexican DTOs:  “Some gangs traffic illicit drugs at the regional and national levels; several are capable of competing with U.S.-based Mexican DTOs.” (My emphasis.)

Roll that phrase around in your mind one more time.  Competition in the business of trafficking illegal drugs almost certainly means violence.  But the Mexican DTOs have proven themselves to be capable of unbounded levels of well-armed and bizarrely cruel violence — from attacking police stations with rockets, to rolling severed heads into bars, to boiling bodies in vats of acid.  If a U.S.-based gang or gangs goes up against the Mexican DTOs, a blood bath could result.  In this regard, it is worth remembering that the Mexican DTOs basically did to the Colombian cartels what this pregnant line suggests:  grew up and took over the old Colombian drug distribution system.

Mexican Drug War Will Continue to Get Worse Before It gets Better(Reuters Photo)

Mexican Drug War Will Continue to Get Worse Before It gets Better(Reuters Photo)

Meanwhile, the private global intelligence firm Stratfor, has released the following assessment of the future of tortured Mexico in its (subscription)  Annual Forecast 2009 for Latin America:

Regional Trend: Mexico’s Cartel Crisis Will Build

At the time of this writing, there are no reasons to expect the level of violence in Mexico’s cartel wars to lessen. The death toll of drug-related violence in 2008 was about 5,700, more than twice the previous year’s figure. There are no signs that competition among the cartels is diminishing, and the government does not appear to be letting up on its assault on the cartels. The cartels have demonstrated the ability to undermine the effectiveness of law enforcement around the country and have even demonstrated the ability to strike at government targets in Mexico City. An increase in either the frequency of attacks or the severity of intimidation tactics by cartels against Mexican law enforcement is all but certain. Escalation could include the use of devices such as car bombs and other methods of targeted assassination. As the global recession generates more unemployment, the likelihood of more violence, civil unrest, rising crime and a surge of cartel recruits will only increase.

But although Stratfor sees the situation in Mexico on a continued downward spiral, we do not envision a sharp escalation of violence spilling into the United States in 2009. The cartels must balance the need to move their product across the border with their need to fight law enforcement interference, and it is not in their interest to provoke a substantive response from the United States. For now, Mexican cartels use U.S. street and prison gangs to manage drug distribution and retail inside the United States. That relationship will continue, and potentially increase during 2009, but not to the extent that the cartels’ bases of operations will move north of the border. An increase in cartel-related gang violence in the United States is likely in 2009, but a massive increase in cartel violence that severely impacts U.S. civilians – or a high-profile increase in cartel corruption of U.S. politicians and law enforcement (congruent to the situation on the Mexican side of the border) – would be counterproductive. As long as that is true, the side effects of the cartel war that spill over the border will remain a law enforcement challenge – as opposed to an existential threat – for the United States.

NORTH AMERICAN GANGLAND — CROSS-BORDER CRIME FROM MEXICO TO CANADA BY DRUG-TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATIONS AND LATINO STREET GANGS

In Crime, Gangs, Guns, Latino gangs, Mexico, Transnational crime on January 26, 2009 at 12:04 pm
Curtis Publishing Co.)

The Mounties Always Get Their Hombre (Image: Curtis Publishing Co.)

“Gangs are increasingly conducting criminal activity across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders,” according to the “Strategic Findings” on gangs in the National Drug Threat Assessment 2009, released in December 2008 by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The report’s sections on gangs and drug trafficking organizations are important reading.  Together they provide more confirmation that — in the eyes of law enforcement agencies throughout North America — “street gangs” are no longer gritty neighborhood affiliations of marginalized youngsters.  They have morphed into deeply rooted criminal organizations with strong ties to transnational organized crime.  In the case of Latino street gangs, this means in particular the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) that control most of the wholesale drug trafficking in North America.

Tough Guys Edward James Olmos, Bruce Willis, and Don Johnson.  Olmos Later caught hell from the Mexican Mafia for his portaryal of that organization in his film, "America Me."

Miami Virtue: Tough Guys Edward James Olmos, Bruce Willis, and Don Johnson. Olmos later caught hell from the Mexican Mafia for his portrayal of that organization and one of its founders in his film, "America Me."

The Mexican DTOs have pushed aside the old Colombian cartel apparatus in the United States, which still exists but is much less important than in the Miami Vice era of the 1980s.  According to the 2009 Threat Assessment, “Mexican DTOs are the greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States; they control most of the U.S. drug market and have established varied transportation routes, advanced communications capabilities, and strong affiliations with gangs in the United States.”  This is, of course, why the war going on in Mexico today is so important to the United States.

Law enforcement officials have a range of opinions about how integrated Latino street gangs have become with the DTOs.  But virtually all informed officials agree that, at a minimum, street gangs are the primary retail outlets for drugs and serve as important auxiliaries to the core DTOs (which are themselves somewhat fluid).  This is one of the themes I developed in my forthcoming book No Boundaries:  Transnational Latino Gangs and American Law Enforcement (University of Michigan Press, 2009).  [And, yes, that was yet another shameless plug.]  The DTOs love the gangs because they are already in place and know the U.S. system.

Box Stores Move The Goods More Efficiently Than Local Mom and Pop Stores

Box Stores Move The Goods More Efficiently Than Local Mom and Pop Stores

An ominous development noted in the Threat Assessment:  “Gangs are also increasing their involvement in wholesale-level drug distribution.”  This cannot be good.  Think of “mom and pop” stores displaced by one of the big “box store” chains.  As gangs move into wholesale trade, the illegal drug distribution structure becomes more integrated, more efficient, more profitable, more able to corrupt government officials, and more capable of reaching out violently anywhere on the continent to enforce rules, payback intramural offenders, and claim more territory.  These results will in turn put more stresses on state and local law enforcement organizations.

Naturally, international borders are key points at which the criminal synapses connect.  Here is how the Threat Assessment summarizes the gangs’ cross-border roles:

Gangs are increasingly conducting criminal activity across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. Gangs smuggle drugs, firearms, and aliens across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. Most gang-related criminal activity along the U.S.-Mexico border occurs in South Texas and California. Several regional- and national-level gangs operate in the Del Rio/Eagle Pass, Laredo, and Lower Rio Grande Valley areas of South Texas. Street and prison gangs such as Mexikanemi (Texas Mexican Mafia), Tri-City Bombers, Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos, and Texas Syndicate transport and distribute illicit drugs throughout the South Texas area. Some of these gangs have established associate gangs or chapters in border cities in Mexico, according to law enforcement reporting. A number of gangs based in San Diego and Los Angeles also conduct cross-border smuggling operations. Street and prison gangs such as Sureños 13, 18th Street, and Mexican Mafia (La Eme) maintain significant influence over most of the local suburban and rural gangs in San Diego and Los Angeles. These gangs work very closely with Mexican DTOs located in Tijuana, Mexico, to smuggle drugs and illegal aliens into the United States.

It’s worth noting that although the United States complains about drugs pouring in, it is the “narco-state” of firearms.  The Wild West U.S. civilian gun market fuels the war in Mexico and is the source of virtually all of the handguns used in crime in Canada.  You’re doing a hell of a job on the rest of the world, NRA!

MS-13 Gangsters Arrested and Perp-Walked in El Salvador

MS-13 Gangsters Arrested and Perp-Walked in El Salvador

The Canadian case is instructive.  According to the report, “Gangs pose a growing problem for law enforcement along the U.S.-Canada border, particularly the border areas in the New England and Pacific Regions.”  News reports confirm this “growing problem” (as did the report of a Canadian government official at an international anti-gang conference, sponsored by the FBI and the Salvadoran National Civil Police, I attended in El Salvador two years ago as an observer).  For example, the Canadian new service, Canwest, reported on May 23, 2008 about this MS-13 presence:

Admitted Salvadoran killer Jose Cardoza Quinteros, of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha gang, was deported this week by the Canada Border Services Agency after initially being granted refugee status by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Cardoza Quinteros, who admitted when he arrived in Canada to committing four murders and throwing grenades into crowds of rivals, had argued he could face harm if sent to El Salvador. Canwest News Service has learned he was removed to the U.S., and not to his native country.

Similarly, in June of last year, the news agency AFP reported:

Toronto police dismantled the Canadian operations of a violent gang with Central American roots by arresting 17 local members, authorities said Thursday. “We are confident, with the conclusion of this investigation, that we have identified individuals who were responsible for establishing an MS-13 clique here in Toronto,” police chief William Blair told a press conference.

The Toronto police claim to have “dismantled” MS-13 reminds me of similar claims made by the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1980s after about the same number were rounded up and deported.  It didn’t happen then, and I doubt that it has happened in Canada.

God bless the cops, but this problem is not going to go away unless “Change” is made — big time — in how the U.S., Mexico, and Canada confront the DTOs and the gangs.

“Tom Diaz has worn out some shoe leather—much like a good detective—in gathering facts, not myths or urban legend. “

—Chris Swecker, Former Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

“Few people know more about the subject than Tom Diaz and no single book tells the whole story better than No Boundaries. If you really want to know what organized crime in America looks like today, then read this alarming book.”

—Rocky Delgadillo, former City Attorney of Los Angeles

Order No Boundaries from Amazon.com

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