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Greedy gringos going for the whole enchilada

10 March 2010

Is no sector of the Mexican economy untouched by the gringos?

New York Times this morning:

Authorities say a U.S.-born hitman is fighting the brother of a deceased drug lord for control of the Beltran-Leyva cartel, marking what may be the first time an American has risen to the very top ranks of Mexican gangs.

The Times article is a AP wire report, which makes me wonder if the description of  Édgar Valdez Villarreal, as “U.S.-born” instead of  “U.S. citizen”, or even “American” isn’t intentional.

As it happens, Valdez’ nickname, La Barbie —  is due as much to his gringo-tude as to his blond hair and blue eyes — something I picked up from a five year old Vanguardia (Chihuahua) article.  La Barbie, as far as I can remember, has always been identified as a U.S. citizen here, and while I don’t have his birth certificate, there’s never been any question about the Laredo Texas born hitman’s citizenship.

I don’t mean that the Associated Press is involved in some conspiracy or conscious institutional bias against Mexican-Americans, but only that by using “U.S. born” the article is meant to distance itself from U.S. responsibility in the “drug war” and cast doubt on Valdez’ nationality.

The AP article mentions, after several paragraphs, Juan Garcia Abregu, a cocaine smuggler of the 1980s who claimed to have been born in the United States after he was arrested.  As often is the case, the AP adds extraneous and irrelevant information, by design or accident, suggesting that U.S. citizens are not involved in the narcotics industry in Mexico.  This is the flip side of those “AMERICANS KILLED IN MEXICO” stories that mix accidents or fights or robberies with those killed by their fellow gangsters.

Of course U.S. gangsters (and banksters, and policemen and politicians) are involved in the narco-biz.  Malcolm Beith echoes my suggestion this morning, speculating on complete legalization of the narcotics production and export business.  One benefit I hadn’t considered would be the effect of Mexican regulations on business ownership of Mexican companies.  Even with NAFTA, a firm having real property in Mexico has a “Mexican jurisdictional persona” — in other words, agrees that as a business, it is subject to Mexican law.  An above-the-board narcotics enterprise would have to make the percentage of foreign investment (and the investors) public knowledge, and — who knows — maybe bring back some of those supposed billions of dollars being earned by Mexican labor to Mexico.

And, while I have no opinion on the widely-held belief that the Calderón government “favors” Chapo Guzmán’s Sinaloa operation, I would point out that it, at least, and as far as I can tell, is 100 percent Mexican, whereas the others seem to have significant U.S. participation.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dominic Corva permalink
    11 March 2010 10:18 pm

    thanks for your continued terrific reporting on everything Richard! do you by any chance have a link to articles that suggest the Calderon Admin is favoring the Sinaloa DTO? been reading (and by this I mean mostly filtered and translated work) various versions of this but haven’t till now heard an assertion of which specific DTO was rumored to be allied with the state …

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