With Cash and Commandos, U.S. Escalates Its Battle Against the Mexican Cartels

They are going WILD hard over weed. What about the Fiscal Cliff? Lol. Shit.

 

Mexico Drug War Cartel Country The U.S. military is getting ready to send its elite troops to help in the fight against Mexico’s drug lords. American special operations forces will expand their training of Mexican commando teams, teaching them to hunt cartel chieftains like they were al-Qaida extremists. It’s a sign the U.S. is preparing for a long shadow war against the cartels.

The training, detailed in documents obtained by the Associated Press, will be reportedly conducted under an expanded special operations program based at the U.S. Army Northern Command’s headquarters — which oversees the Pentagon’s military operations on the continent. The program has previously tutored “Mexican military, intelligence, and law enforcement officials to study U.S. counterterrorist operations,” according to the AP. But in a memo reportedly obtained by the news agency, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta authorized an expansion of the program that could “eventually triple from 30 [people] to 150,” placing a general instead of a lieutenant colonel in charge, and creating a new headquarters.

That doesn’t mean the U.S troops will be hunting the cartels themselves. American officials reportedly deny that special forces will be operating within Mexico, due to Mexican laws preventing foreign agents from operating on national soil with weapons. But the U.S. government has other means to attack the cartels — including the power of the purse.

The Treasury Department on Thursday slapped sanctions on an obscure but deadly drug cartel that’s been gaining strength of late. The Treasury Department calls them the Meza Flores Drug Trafficking Organization, named after its leader, Isidro Meza Flores or “Chapito Isidro.” And on Thursday, the department announced it has added the group to its list of designated foreign narcotics traffickers. Under a U.S. law called the Kingpin Act, that freezes the group’s assets within U.S. borders and allows the government to slap hefty penalties on U.S. citizens caught doing business with them.

But in Mexico, the group has gone by other names, such Los Mazatlecos and La Oficina, or “The Office.” They are “one of the primary rivals to the Sinaloa Cartel in the Mexican state of Sinaloa,” the Treasury Department noted in a statement. Because of this, the cartel has fought an “extremely violent turf war … which has resulted in the quadrupling of drug-war killings in the last four years and an increase in kidnappings and arson within the state of Sinaloa.”

The cartel is also responsible for smuggling vast amounts of cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine into the United States, according to the Treasury Department. In addition to sanctioning the cartel, the U.S. has also moved to add Chapito Isidro’s family to its list, including his wife, parents, sister and uncles. Also on the list are several companies allegedly owned by the family, including a gas station, a “grain transportation company,” and a construction company.

Source: http://www.wired.com

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