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A Searing Indictment of American Government Officials in Mexico's Drug Cartel WarsTim King Salem-News.com
95 years after Pancho Villa, the polarity of the threat against civilians reverses.
(SALEM, Ore.) - City and police officials in New Mexico are behind bars and facing federal charges for smuggling deadly weapons to Mexican drug cartel members. It happened in Columbus; a small town associated with a historic border raid by Pancho Villa.
The hands of officials may well be drenched in blood, but the trail isn't supposed to lead north. Just how wide and deep this crimson river flows can only be a matter of speculation at this point.
A few months ago Salem-News.com was reprimanded by the Mexican Consulate in Washington D.C. for a story we published titled: US Special Forces are Operating in Mexico .
It turns out our primary contact in Mexico, Robert 'Tosh' Plumlee, was right all along, and new developments, nothing less than sinister, may show that the involvement of American officials goes well beyond training the Mexican Army, which was the reported connection to the U.S. military presence.
In February, Erin Rosa wrote the article US Teaching "Counterinsurgency" Courses To Mexican Military in Drug War, confirming without question with the inclusion of a released government document in PDF form, that the U.S. government has indeed had been sending forces in Mexico.
Along with listing the training of Mexican forces outside of Mexico, the report details the usage of “mobile training teams,” or, “mobile education teams,” generally used for military courses inside of Mexico. In August 2009, a mobile training team with the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), a military school that teaches special forces tactics, trained the Mexican Army and Navy, the report shows. Unlike reports in previous years, the document does not detail the exact location where these trainings took place.
The first article was followed by a reaction piece titled: Mexico Denies US Special Forces Presence South of the Border.
This story evolves from Thursday's arrest of officials in Columbus, New Mexico, a place ironically synonymous with a deadly 1916 border raid involving General Francisco 'Pancho' Villa.
Columbus, in the early spring of 1916, was a sleepy little border town much like it is for the most part today. New Mexico State University maintains a page on the event that took place almost exactly 95 years ago, that left 18 local residents dead; and also claimed the lives of 70 to 75 troops under the command of Villa known as 'Villistas'. He and his men attacked Columbus from the southwest at approximately 4:20 a.m.
Though they pillaged more than they killed, the sounds of the attack caught the attention of a contingent of U.S. Army officers and soldiers, awakened by the commotion, In response to the attack on Columbus, the soldiers directed streams of lead from a Benet-Mercier machine gun in front of the Hoover Hotel and produced what NMSU writers deemed, "a murderous rain of bullets." 
I find it interesting that in 1916, the U.S. government was able to summon the resources to maintain 350 soldiers at a camp adjacent to Columbus. Their counterattack the night Villa and his men invaded Columbus dealt a strong blow to the Mexican border raider and folk hero's efforts to terrorize the American border population. Today, as billions are spent maintaining wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also a command in Africa, there apparently aren't 350 soldiers left to reestablish the army camp at Columbus.
Instead it was provided with a police station staffed by four human beings. Four cops, for a town located on the edge of the battlefield of a deadly Mexican drug war, which has led to the largest groups of murder victims ever discovered in the nation's history; that was 2010.
The cartel members give their soldiers white drugs that rot their brains, essentially turning them into obedient zombies of addiction.
Though there is integrity in Mexican police and military forces, there is also rampant corruption that is no secret to the world.
The indictment of the Columbus law enforcement officials is the result of an intensive year-long investigation initiated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), that later expanded to include the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Las Cruces Branch Office.
Background on Raid
What we know is that the Columbus, New Mexico police chief, mayor, a person described as a 'village trustee' and 8 other people, were charged with crimes related to firearms trafficking to Mexico.
Reports describe their initial federal court appearance in tragic terms; around 60 family members of the accused tried to hide their anguish as the former officials were marched in with shackles, wearing jail jumpsuits. Columbus police officers Robert Valenzuela and Derek Smith attended the court proceeding. They were not among those charged.
The accused officials include Columbus Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Columbus Chief of Police Angelo Vega.
Espinoza was quoted in a USA Today article this week saying, "But Mayor Espinoza says people have moved to Columbus from Palomas, people with no apparent source of income and nice homes, big cars and plenty of spending money."
As this article indicates, the connections between Pancho Villa in 1916 and today is not as distant as one might think:
From the article Pancho Villa now celebrated in New Mexico:
Mayor Pro Tem Roberto Gutierrez's son Blas Gutierrez, was one of the defendants. In a Deming Headlight report, Ashley Meeks explained that suspects were taken down in two raids that were executed Thursday morning. Federal authorities served ten search warrants at homes, one business and the Columbus Police Department. According to the 84-count federal indictment, the group is charged with a conspiracy to smuggle approximately 200 weapons that are favored by Mexican drug cartel members. The weapons were reportedly purchased at Chaparral Guns, owned by one of the defendants, 50-year old Ian Garland of Chaparral, New Mexico.
Garland is charged with making false statements to acquire the weapons over a 14-month period that is said to have started in 2010, and lasted through this year.
During the raids Thursday, more than 40 weapons were seized by authorities who say the guns were in the process of being shipped into Mexico. Twelve weapons recovered in Mexico, have been connected to the alleged illegal purchases in New Mexico.
A Hero for Today
Many of our readers, particularly those familiar with the extremely controversial death of Marine fighter pilot Colonel Jim Sabow at MCAS El Toro in Southern California, recognize the name Tosh Plumlee. Associated with the CIA for many years, Tosh filled a shadowy role in American history; flying missions to support the covert Iran/Contra drugs for weapons smuggling program under former President Ronald Reagan.
Jim Sabow's death happened six years after the Iran/Contra hearings, yet it was connected to the program's continuance long after it was exposed and supposedly halted. The ranking Marine officer learned about C-130's landing with drug shipments in the middle of the night on his California Marine base, raised attention over it and ended up dead in a 'suicide'. I am serious when I say that all forensic evidence supports murder.
After flying in support of CIA operations in the 80's, Tpsh Plumlee would later contact Senator Gary Hart's office, who in turn advised Senator John Kerry of Plumlee's role in the covert Iran/Contra operations. Plumlee brought the information about his role in the drug and weapons operations to light in February 1991, one month after the suspicious death of Col. Jim Sabow. At the time, Kerry served as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Communications. Details about Latin America and the delivery of drugs to the United States as part of the covert Iran/Contra operations in the 1980s, are now a matter of public record.
Let's rewind to a 2009 Narco News article published by Bill Conroy titled: Drug-war virus spreading like the Swine flu
Plumlee points to a small U.S. border community of some 2,000 people where this infection can be seen running its course. Columbus, N.M., is located in southern Luna County, about 70 miles west of El Paso, Texas; some 32 miles south of Deming, N.M.; and just across the border from Palomas, Mexico.
A person, once involved in covert government operations who still has endless connections in the spook world, can be a great asset to the present day crime fighting setting. Tosh has released his findings to reporters like Bill Conway and myself, and the information has been widely read and republished on blogs all over the world. The Mexican Consulate really freaked out over this story, and it seems now, that everything may have just become clearer. I am not making accusations, but reporting the U.S. military connection really irked Spokesperson Ricardo Aklay in his letter to us, and he was clear that he was bothered by the reference to weapons.
It seems impossible to assume that these officials in Columbus were operating without support from other governmental entities. We can leave it at that.
No matter what, feeding 'favored' weapons to the Mexican cartels is about as inhumane of an act as anyone could name.
The information goes out and nobody can reel it back in.
Today one small town is back in control of people loyal to the U.S. side; people who are not directly supporting the rampant murderous violence.
You ask how bad it can be?
I only need to reference the article: Bodies of 72 Migrants Discovered Near US Border.
The federal government is wise to pay close attention to the information published regularly by a handful of sources that operate with a level of knowledge and integrity that is sadly lacking in the money-driven mainstream media world.
It is a testimony to both new online media, and the dedication to justice that lurks in the souls of even the most shadowy former government operatives.
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