Ex-DEA Official: Police, Cartel Linked

Ex-DEA Official: Police, Cartel Linked
Posted by FoM on December 03, 1999 at 06:19:35 PT
By Rene Romo, Journal Southern Bureau
Source: ABQjournal
The discovery of secret graves believed to hold victims of Mexican drug traffickers has spotlighted a longtime concern of citizens here and of American politicians -- corruption within the ranks of Mexican drug fighters. 
Several suspected burial sites are being investigated this week by special teams from Mexico and the United States. So far, the remains of six bodies have been recovered at one site. Phil Jordan, former head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's intelligence center in El Paso, said American authorities have known since the early 1990s about the alleged involvement of Mexican police in killings ordered by Mexican drug lords. Jordan, in a telephone interview with the Journal on Thursday, said it would not surprise him if there were other northern Mexico ranches owned by drug lords that contain hidden graves. "Some of the killings were carried out by law enforcement at the request of cartels," Jordan said in the interview. "In Mexico, that's reality." An FBI spokesman in El Paso, Al Cruz, declined to comment on Jordan's assertions. Absent from the joint Mexican and American teams investigating four grave sites south of Ciudad Juarez are officials of the Chihuahua state attorney general's office. Officials of that office were questioned by reporters at a news briefing Thursday about the absence of state police in the current investigation. Juan Manuel Carmona, spokesman for the state judicial police here, said later that it is not unusual. He said federal authorities investigate all major drug-related crimes, including drug-related killings. Mexico's national attorney general's office has said it is investigating the graves in connection with the disappearance of 100 people over the past four years who are believed to be victims of violence by Juarez drug traffickers. U.S. federal law enforcement sources have said the investigation of mass graves was touched off after a former Mexican police officer went to the FBI with information about the killings. Arturo Gonzalez Rascon, Chihuahua state attorney general, denied Thursday that state police were not invited to be part of the joint investigation. "It's not true. We have different strengths, the state and federal agencies," Gonzalez said. However, he added, "There is involvement possibly of members of security units as much from state agencies as federal, but this is not the reason. There has been a longstanding and constant working relationship between all institutions in the state of Chihuahua." Meanwhile, many Juarez residents are as wary of police as they are of drug traffickers. Lorenza Benavides de Magaña, co-director of the Association of Relatives and Friends of Missing Persons here, said she trusts the FBI more than Mexican authorities. An Amnesty International report issued last year said evidence in some cases of so-called "disappeared" persons indicates victims were last seen in the custody of people believed to be members of Mexican security forces -- possibly federal forces. Benavides' organization has collected reports on 196 people missing from Juarez since 1994, and she said she was hopeful that American investigative assistance will help solve at least some of the cases of the "disappeared." Benavides said Mexican authorities have not solved a single case of the city's many missing people, or desaparecidos. Researcher Peter Archard of Amnesty International, which has long called for an independent investigation into Mexican missing person cases, said in a news release Thursday, "To date, little if any progress has been made in resolving these cases." U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, on Thursday thanked Mexican Attorney General Jorge Madrazo for his cooperation with American law enforcement in the investigation of suspected burial sites, launched this week south of Juarez. "The willingness of these criminal organizations to use violence and corruption is a threat to Mexican democratic institutions and law enforcement on both sides of the border," McCaffrey said in a prepared statement. Jordan said it was commendable of Mexican authorities to invite the FBI to aid in the investigation at the suspected grave sites. However, he added, "If Mexico wanted to show its sincerity, they would invite the DEA and FBI to help round up the 30 to 40 indicted higher echelon (cartel leaders) ... "That would make a significant dent against these organizations," Jordan said.Published: December 3, 1999 Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999 Albuquerque JournalRelated Articles:Agents Knew of Graves in '93 - 12/02/99 Heating Up On Drugs, Mexico - 12/02/99 Relatives Fear Worst - 12/02/99 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 03, 1999 at 20:03:19 PT
My Thoughts!
I believe that if a person doesn't hurt anyone except himself it shouldn't be against the law. If it is distasteful to some people that shouldn't give them a right to make a law against it. That is worse! That is immoral to me!
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Comment #1 posted by Doctor Dave on December 03, 1999 at 08:47:40 PT
Didn't we try prohibition in the 1920's?
During our last experiment with prohibition, it just led to increased prices, violence, and police corruption.Definition of insanity: doing the same thing again and again but expecting different resultsHistory student tenant: If we don't learn from our past, we may be doomed to repeat itI rest my case.Doctor Dave"A nation that makes war on huge numbers of its own people can never truly be free."
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