Recent testimony by captured drug cartel leader Vicente Zambada in Federal Court points to DEA and FBI protection and collaboration with one of the most dangerous and powerful criminal organizations in the world: the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. South of the border, a brave Mexican journalist exposes how the Mexican government not only protects the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, but also works as an ally to eliminate their rivals and competitors.
By Mario Andrade
April 15, 2011
Almost four years ago, on September of 2007, the Mexican military caught and confiscated an airplane with almost 4 tons of cocaine in the state of Yucatan. A month later, there was a plane crash in the same region, involving a similar aircraft –a Gulfstream II with registration N987SA, belonging to a U.S. company known as Donna Blue Aircraft Inc. When authorities arrived at the crash site, they discovered around 4 tons of cocaine onboard the aircraft. The narcotics reportedly belonged to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, under the command of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, whom according to Forbes Magazine, is among one of the wealthiest men in the world. However, the airplane did not belong to Guzman; it was later discovered by both Mexican authorities and independent news sources that the aircraft was used for CIA rendition flights. Mexico’s leading newspaper, El Universal, obtained the flight records and other documents related to the ownership and recent flight information and confirmed that it was a CIA aircraft.
Captured drug lord Vicente Zambada said in court that he worked with the DEA and FBI.
A year later, one of the members of Guzman’s inner circle, Vicente Zambada, was captured and later extradited to the United States. Last week, at a federal court in Chicago, Zambada presented evidence stating that U.S. Government agencies, such as the D.E.A. and the F.B.I. protected him and worked with him. Furthermore, he’s not just making baseless accusations; Zambada is actually naming names, such as “the DEA Regional Assistant for South America, the Director General of the Office of the DEA in Mexico, the DEA agents commissioned in Monterrey, Hermosillo and Mexico City , including but not limited to those who are named Eduardo Martinez “Manny” LNU, “David” LNU, and Stephen Monk, as well as other people, including FBI agents whose names are unknown but the defendant agencies are known for, ” according to court documents. In the document, Zambada states that the U.S. Government agencies were in contact with him and were fully aware of his operations between January of 2004 and March of 2008, just months before his arrest.
Who are the real drug lords?
In a recent interview with the newspaper Diario de Juarez, Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez, who’s living in exile in Italy, stated that in the Mexican Drug War, the federal government and the United States D.E.A. only go after the Sinaloa Drug Cartel’s competitors. She indicated that the protection that Sinaloa receives from the government is ‘systematic’ and embedded in the drug war policy. She also accused Felipe Calderon of protecting the Federal Public Safety Director, Genaro Garcia Luna, who many accuse of having ties to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, and plays the most significant role as the government liaison with organized crime.
Anabel Hernandez, author of the book "Los Señores del Narco"
In her new book “Los Señores del Narco” (or the Narco-Lords), she provides detailed information about how Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the alleged leader of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel is an Orwellian creation of the Mexican government, almost a mythical and elusive character, who’s story about how he broke out of prison in 2001 using a laundry truck is completely bogus. She finds it hard to believe that Forbes Magazine listed Guzman among the richest people in the world, given the fact that he’s illiterate and cannot do basic math. “When he was captured, his testimony made absolutely no sense; he couldn’t come up with the exact figures he was supposedly paying his people; he could not do basic additions or multiplications,” she said.
Further in the interview, Hernandez said that the real drug trafficking is done by people other than the typical drug dealers, who are only figure heads in this so-called “drug war.” The real drug lords are not wanted by police or federal authorities; they are people well established in the political and economic systems, as well as many other areas of government, from where they have established a wide network of complicity to money laundering and protection of the drug cartels. “These are people in positions of power, who use their power for trafficking, or who at one point of another it has been proven conclusively that their careers -whether they are businessmen, politicians, governors, presidents, secretaries of state or police chiefs- have been financed by drug money or are deeply linked with drug trafficking,” she said.