This Is What Happens to a Disarmed Populace: They Lose Their Right to Free Speech

Sinaloa Governor Mario López Valdez (courtesy borderlandbeat.com)

The Sinaloa cartel is the drug thugs that the ATF “allowed” to smuggle U.S. gun store guns into Mexico via Operation Fast and Furious. They’re the cartel that got a free pass from the DEA “allowed” them to launder tens of millions of dollar of cash. They’re the cartel America backed to offset the rise of Los Zetas; following the same “support the weak cartel against the strong cartel” strategy the CIA employed in Colombia. The Sinaloa cartel control Sinaloa (obvs). And what happens when a disarmed populace is at the mercy of a vast criminal enterprise that’s corrupted all formerly democratic institutions (e.g., politicians and judges)? Free speech disappears. Here’s the report from borderlandbeat.com:

Perhaps it is best to begin by saying that Governor Mario López Valdez is in a fight with Sinaloa’s critical press. He has abused it, and he has besieged it. He doles out punishments by withholding government publicity funds, for example, or simply harasses its journalists. Such is the case of the newspaper Noroeste, which has suffered a campaign of aggressions that affected, obviously, even its general director.

Nothing less than a shooting. An assault, supposedly. Nobody could believe it.

Recently, the State Congress approved reforms to the Organic Law of the State Attorney General which will limit the scope of the media, who will no longer have access to information about investigations and who, by law, now, will only be able to “report” official press releases.

And these press releases have to be delivered by another organization, a very specific one: that which guards access to public information. And always and only when they are in compliance with the requisites identified in transparency laws.

To restate: even the press releases will require a bureaucratic process.

Reporters will not have access to crime scenes, any audio, video, or photographs of the people involved in a criminal event, or to the use of information related to public security or the pursuit of justice. It’s like that.

No representative from the Attorney General’s office will be able to give information to media outlets without the express authorization from the State Attorney General or from the organization guarding access to public information.

Yes, it’s like that. It’s not a joke. It’s not Iraq or Iran; it’s not China or North Korea. It’s Sinaloa.

Governor Mario López Valdez has been accused of having links with organized crime. His police forces have been accused of manipulating evidence and falsifying guilt. His administration has been fingered as an assailant of journalists. And few of these suspicions have been cleared.

In response, however, comes this law.

As journalists we are part of the mechanism of democracy. Access to information is a necessity for that great resource, the free press, to function.

Now the journalists of Sinaloa must await press releases in their offices, or risk subverting the law in a way that could send them to prison.

Mario López Vladez has constructed, for himself and his own, a hidden castle. They will live there as they please. They will act there as they wish. Not ruled by a king, but by a dictator.

These are bad times for Sinaloa. These are bad times for democracy
If you recall, after the Chapo capture, the governor said he was told nothing about the operation., which no doubt was a big part of the plan.

A year ago a video was sent to Riodoce accusing the governor of ties to the Sinaloa Cartel. Below is an article from Justice in Mexico about the incident.

Another Mexican state governor is in the media spotlight, this time for alleged ties to the Sinaloa Cartel. Around the same time as the corruption scandal surrounding Tabasco Governor Andrés Granier broke in late June, and just a week before former Quintana Roo Governor Mario Villanueva was sentenced to 11 years by a U.S. federal judge for corrupt ties to drug trafficking, a video surfaced online through Ríodoce news outlet accusing Sinaloa Governor Mario López Valdez of working with the Sinaloa Cartel to defeat cartel rivals and gain control of territory in Sinaloa. López, more commonly known as ‘Malova,’ has denied the allegations.

The video itself features López’s bodyguard, Frank Armenta Espinoza, calmly speaking to the camera as he details interactions the governor had with the Sinaloa Cartel’s two leaders, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambado García and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera. Armenta explicitly points to a meeting with El Mayo and El Chapo that he joined López at in Quilá, Sinaloa near the start of the governor’s term in office (2011-2016). Armenta accuses López of working directly with members of the Sinaloa Cartel in a collaborative effort to defeat the coalition among the Beltran-Leyva Organization, the Carrillo-Fuentes Cartel, and Los Zetas in northern Sinaloa, while simultaneously assisting the Sinaloa Cartel in gaining full control of the state

To allegedly assist the Sinaloa Cartel, Armenta said that several state officials were promoted to increase protection of the cartel and its interests. One such promotion was the appointment of Jesús Antonio Aguilar Íñiguez, also known as Chuytoño, as the head of the Ministerial Police (Policía Ministerial, PM)

Armenta alleges that Chuytoño has headed the effort to coordinate the Sinaloa Cartel’s control, a role in which he also promoted Jesús Carrasco as the Chief of Police in the municipality of Ahome to combat activities against the Sinaloa Cartel in the northern part of the state. Carrasco, who has since been replaced by Gerardo Amarillas Gastelum as chief of police, is accused of having committed crimes including extortion, assassinations, robberies, drug trafficking, and supporting the Sinaloa Cartel.

The video also contains audio clips of alleged discussions held between Governor López and various officials in Sinaloa including Chuytoño, Carrasco, General Moisés Melo García of the military, and El Carrizo Police Commander José Ángel Castro Flores. The audio clips reveal numerous conversations pertaining to organized crime activities such as drug trafficking, murders, and robberies.

Not only have the allegations in the video caught the public’s attention, but so too did the timing of its release. On June 22, 2013, Ríodoce streamed the 55-minute long video online after it was sent to its website. The sender had included a note with the video footage stating, “Please review the link as it reveals very important information. Watch the video.” The video, featuring bodyguard Frank Armenta, came three weeks after Armenta was kidnapped on June 4 as he was returning to his home located in the town of Callejones de Guasavito in the municipality of Guasave.

Although his whereabouts were and still remain unknown, the video footage of Armenta detailing Governor López’s alleged ties to the Sinaloa Cartel was the first sign of the bodyguard since his disappearance. For his part, López immediately partnered with the State Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado, PGJE) stating they would do everything in their power to get the guard back, including the use of land and water operatives.

While the source of the video’s audio clips are unconfirmed, López, however, has wasted no time in negating all accusations made by Armenta, including the validity of the audio. While he recognizes that the voice in the clips is his, he asserts that it was distorted using advanced technology to piece together phrases he said during various speeches to create inaccurate statements. He believes the video was made under threat to Armenta and went on to say that it is a tool that is being used by organized crime to “discredit his government.”

If the audio clips are proven true, it reveals a network of government, police, and military officials who will be linked to protecting and serving the interests of the Sinaloa Cartel within the state. For example, one audio clip reveals a conversation between Governor López and General Melo García in which López thanks the general for his support in assisting the municipal and state police in several distinct areas in the state. In response to the audio surfacing, General Melo García replied that it was not his problem nor did he have an opinion on the matter.

Due to growing concerns among residents in Sinaloa and pressure from Governor López, the government of Sinaloa has released an eight point response to the video seeking to assure residents that the video was used to fool the public and is a direct attack to discredit the government’s actions against organized crime groups.

 

comments

  1. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    You don’t say.jpeg

    Sadly nothing is going to happen unless you get a ton of senators to start reading Borderlands Beat articles on the floor.

  2. avatar Scrubula says:

    This will likely be the watergate of the obama administration (even though it is a million times more destructive).

    1. avatar XDs 45 says:

      I hope to hell something finally is…

  3. avatar Jay1987 says:

    @Scrubula: Uhh ok forgive me for the stupid question but what does this have to do with Obola (Obama)?

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Let me fix it for you:

      Perhaps it is best to begin by saying that the President is in a fight with America’s critical press. He has abused it, and he has besieged it. He doles out punishments by withholding government publicity funds, for example, or simply harasses its journalists.

      Remember how the WH Press Corps had a hissy fit about lack of Administration access last week, and earlier this week our esteemed Empty Suit allowed two, count ’em, two questions after his audience with the press?

      Does that clarify things a little?

  4. avatar ProfBathrobe says:

    This post actually made me kind of nauseous. I mean, this is happening in the nation directly south of the United States? And US government agents have directly contributed to this? What the hell happened to get us to this point?

    And for the sake of your own damn dignity please do not respond with just “libtards”.

    1. avatar Scrubula says:

      When the founding fathers envisioned a government that was afraid of it’s people, they were absolutely right. This is the result of years of illegal and immoral actions that continued because the people doing them knew they could hide and obscure as much evidence as possible.
      It’s been what, 2 years since the fast and furious scandal?
      To those who don’t know what I mean by watergate scandal, I will explain.
      When Nixon’s scandal was uncovered, it’s entirely possible he never knew about it. Either way, doesn’t matter. He intentionally withheld evidence and delayed the punishment of those involved, and now it is his scandal, like it or not. What has Eric Holder, appointed by Obama, head of DOJ done? Has he been punished yet? Is it likely that his conviction is being delayed?
      I see many similarities between the two events.
      http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/27/world/americas/operation-fast-and-furious-fast-facts/index.html
      “June 20, 2012 – President Barack Obama asserts executive privilege over the documents sought by the investigating committee. This prevents future prosecution of Holder”
      From CNN, at that.

  5. avatar ThomasR says:

    Are you crazy? Of course the War On Drugs is needed. If we didn’t outlaw drugs, everybody would be using them. What? You mean just regulate and tax them like alcohol and tobacco? No! inconceivable! We wouldn’t get our kickbacks and bribes!

    Nope; keep them illegal; it’s better this way. For us.

    1. avatar John E> says:

      While I agree the decriminalization of Marijuana is inevitable, we are seeing the black market of illegal marijuana flourish in Colorado because…cheaper.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        “While I agree the decriminalization of Marijuana is inevitable, we are seeing the blackfree market of illegalunregulated marijuana flourish in Colorado because…cheaper.”

        Fixed it for you. 🙂

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Too many Federal, state and local Government salaries and toyz depend directly on the War on Drugs continuing.

  6. avatar Excedrine says:

    This is my surprised face.

    This is also happens when the government gets involved in anything. Even “fighting” (READ: financing and assisting) crime. Every single “Representative” and “Senator” should be on trial for crimes against Humanity and high treason (not to mention war crimes). They don’t deserve to live freely like the rest of us.

  7. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    What would happen if all “drugs” were made legal overnight? Would the world end? Would the damage to society and the cost of abuse not pretty much cease like a spilled beer on a hot parking lot surface? The game is not worth the candle, in other words. The “war on drugs” was lost long ago and it’s a matter of keeping PD budgets inflated at this point. Along with courts, and DAs, and private for-profit prisons. People will poison themselves no matter what. No prohibition has ever worked at any point in history, no matter how Draconian the punishments.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Again; 40 years of “war on drugs”, uncounted lives ruined, trillions of dollars spent, freedoms discarded, and today you can buy any drug you want on any streetcorner in America. Isn’t it time for a change?

      1. avatar Ted says:

        Street corner? You don’t even have to go that far.

        Every school in America has drugs. Every prison in America has drugs. Every institution in America has drugs.

        I don’t even use them, and I can see how easy they are to get.

  8. avatar rlc2 says:

    Why does this bring to mind the examples of:

    Senator Assault Rifle Feinstein suggesting bloggers are not journalists,
    or
    Senator Dirty Harry Reid saying the FCC should regulate talk radio?
    or
    Sec State Her Royal Clitnot saying, “What Does It Matter?”
    You dont think Benghazi was her first rodeo on gun-running, to bad guys over some border do ya?

    I mean, its not like the StateRunMedia™ is going to hold them to any sort of a standard….

  9. avatar LC says:

    Thats what many arent getting about the whole “south of the border” fiasco: Uncle sam is contributing to an immense human crisis going on here, whether its through banking, the disastrous war on drugs BS, to funneling guns to the cartels.

    Its almost like they are trying to work against the best interests of the American and Mexican people.

    1. avatar WV Cycling says:

      I remember viewing a news piece from a recent Mexican President (EDIT: Vincente Fox) after he was out of office stating that NAFTA was just the beginning, and that the economics for North America must feel a vice like pain in order to collapse the dollar and go to a continental currency.

      I know the Amero Dollar thing was a scam, but I still feel like we will be taken over by the control of our market, not our government.

  10. avatar the ruester says:

    “…stating they would do everything in their power to get the guard back, including the use of land and water operatives.”

    Hm. Attorney General+Land and Water Operatives=Mexican BLM? Or are we talking Mexican SEALs, here? Either way, that guard is a dead man, they will certainly find his corpse, or “find” it, if you know what I mean.

  11. avatar Paco says:

    Yes, the right to carry arms may be the last thing preventing us from full on tyranny, but it has not prevented much of the rest of the Bill of Rights from being scrapped.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      CORRECT!!!!

  12. avatar LarryinTX says:

    While not unexpected, actually reading this is pretty shocking. Looks like maybe we need to kiss off the Middle East for a decade or two and get into a new immigration reform program, ie, invade and conquer several countries to the south, like everything north of Panama, and commence the process of making them states. Leaving this shit going on 100 yards south of our own border is unacceptable. And our military would be doing something for *US* for a change. And for our neighbors. I bet even Sinaloa would be impressed at what an Abrams tank can do to their plans! “Good morning! Surrender or die!”

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Revive “The Monroe Doctrine?” Hmmm…

  13. avatar Accur81 says:

    To me the chaos in Mexico is an easy answer to AR-15 ownership. Disarmed Sinaloans live under oppressive cartel control, who in turn pull government strings. Sinaloa and borderland Mexico could also be a glimpse into the future of America if we continue in liberal progressive policies. There are certainly parts of LA that are not much different than Mexican slums.

    Should we continue to celebrate illegal immigration, promote gun control, and continue funding cartels with government sponsored wars and arms deals, then I see the corruption of Mexico easily penetrating the US Border.

  14. avatar Daniel says:

    So, Jose Canseco is running the cartels, now?

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