U.S. Government and Top Mexican Drug Cartel Exposed as Partners
Alex Newman January 14, 2014
Relying on over 100 interviews with current and former government functionaries on both sides of the border, as well as official documents from the U.S. and Mexican governments, Mexico’s El Universal concluded that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Justice Department had secretly worked with Mexican drug lords. The controversial conspiring led to increased violence across Mexico, where many tens of thousands have been murdered in recent years, the newspaper found after its year-long probe. The U.S. agents and their shady deals with Mexican drug lords even sparked what the paper called a “secret war” inside Mexico.
The newspaper’s investigation also confirmed long-held suspicions that U.S. authorities were signing secret agreements with Mexican drug cartels — especially Sinaloa, which CIA operatives have said was a favorite for use in achieving geo-political objectives. Supposedly without the knowledge or approval of officials in Mexico, ICE and DEA, with a green light from Washington, D.C., made deals with criminal bosses allowing them to avoid prosecution for a vast crime spree that has included mass murder, corruption, bribery, drug trafficking, extortion, and more. In exchange, cartel leaders simply had to help U.S. officials eliminate their competitors — certainly a win-win scenario for crime bosses who prefer to operate without competition or fear of prosecution.
As The New American first reported in early 2011, a high-ranking operative with the Sinaloa cartel had outlined elements of the criminal agreements with U.S. authorities in official court documents. “The government of the United States and its various agencies have a long history of providing benefits, permission, and immunity to criminals and their organizations to commit crimes, including murder, in exchange for receiving information against other criminals and other organizations,” trafficker Jesus Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada-Niebla argued in U.S. court filings cited by El Universal. The New American has also reported extensively on the Zambada-Niebla case and what it reveals.
Experts quoted in the Mexican paper echoed other analysts who have spoken out in recent years, saying that the U.S. government scheming handed the Sinaloa cartel de facto status as the primary powerhouse. In fact, during the period when El Universal says the relationship between American officials and Sinaloa chieftains was most active — 2006 through 2012 — drug war-fueled violence in Mexico surged to unprecedented levels. There are numerous indications that despite official denials, top Mexican officials may have been aware of the schemes, or even involved in them.
Also part of the U.S. government deal with Sinaloa, analysts and Zambada-Niebla have said, was the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” gun-running program to arm Mexican cartels at U.S. taxpayer expense. Most recently, a whistleblower from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) said that U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, killed with a Fast and Furious gun, was murdered by criminals working for the FBI. “It is clear that some of the weapons were deliberately allowed by the FBI and other government representatives to end up in the hands of the Sinaloa Cartel,” stated a motion filed in U.S. court by Zambada-Niebla’s defense team, adding that the U.S. government has documents showing that the weapons were provided by authorities pursuant to the agreement with Sinaloa.
According to former officials and drug kingpins, the agreements between Sinaloa and Washington also allowed the criminal empire to ship multi-ton quantities of hard drugs across the border into the United States. In all, El Universal said there had been at least 50 meetings in Mexico between U.S. government agents and senior Sinaloa bosses, along with many more phone calls and e-mails. The criminal syndicate’s leaders “were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States and were also protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution,” Zambada-Niebla’s court filings state, adding that the U.S. government has the documents proving it. “Indeed, United States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.”