Author Topic: 10 tons of cocaine seized in Mexican port town  (Read 153 times)


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10 tons of cocaine seized in Mexican port town
« on: October 06, 2007, 12:26:59 AM »

The suspected drug trafficker was arrested last week.

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican soldiers seized at least 10 tons of cocaine Friday after a gun battle with drug smugglers in an eastern port town, the army said.

The shootout took place in Tampico in Tamaulipas state, which is territory claimed by the Gulf cartel, one of the two most powerful drug gangs in Mexico.

The Defense Ministry denied earlier government and media reports that as many as 15 people had been killed in the shootout, but said that at least 10 tons of cocaine had been found in a large truck in the steamy Gulf of Mexico town.

The haul was being weighed and could be bigger than initially reported, the army said.

Seven men were arrested in the raid, which resulted from a tip that led the soldiers to the traffickers. Those arrested were unloading bales of cocaine from the truck, the army said.

Since taking office in December, President Felipe Calderon has deployed thousands of troops across Mexico to go after the dominant Gulf and Sinaloa cartels.

Visiting Tamaulipas on Friday, he spoke of his clampdown on the violent and wealthy gangs that smuggle huge amounts of cocaine, amphetamines and marijuana into the United States.

Among recent successes in the offensive, police last week arrested Sandra Avila Beltran, reputedly a top trafficker who is nicknamed "Queen of the Pacific." She was arrested with her Colombian boyfriend, reputed drug lord Juan Diego Espinoza Ramirez, in an upscale Mexico City neighborhood.

A judge Friday ordered Avila Beltran to stand trial on charges of organized crime, money laundering and conspiracy to traffic drugs. She says she made her money selling clothes and renting houses.

The ruling means that Avila Beltran, who is wanted in the United States, won't be extradited until her trial is completed here, Avila Beltran, known for her good looks, has been romantically linked to several top traffickers.

Mexican prosecutors have accused Avila Beltran of being the Sinaloa cartel's liaison with other drug gangs and of facilitating the movement of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico, including 9 tons confiscated from a ship in the Pacific port of Manzanillo in 2002.

U.S. Embassy personnel were not immediately able to say what charges Avila Beltran faces in the United States.


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Re: 10 tons of cocaine seized in Mexican port town
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 04:03:41 AM »
Mexican troops seized at least 10 tons of cocaine Friday after a shootout with smugglers in the Gulf Coast port of Tampico.

Eight men, all of them from the Tampico area, were arrested at the scene, a trucking warehouse near Tampico's airport. The Defense Ministry said officials received an anonymous tip about the warehouse.

When military personnel showed up at the facility, the ministry said, the troops encountered armed men blocking the street as others were unloading cocaine from a tractor-trailer. Then the gunbattle broke out. The ministry denied media reports that people on both sides had been killed.

Coming just nine days after the seizure of 3.2 tons of cocaine from a plane forced down by the military on the Yucatan Peninsula, Friday's seizure gave a significant boost to President Felipe Calderon's offensive against Mexican drug gangs.

"We have redoubled the effort to enforce the law in Mexico," Calderon said Friday in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, of which Tampico is the largest city, according to El Universal newspaper.

Negotiators are fine-tuning an agreement in which some $1 billion in U.S. anti-narcotics aid will be sent to Mexico in the next few years.

"Today marks another historic success for the Mexican government's counter-drug initiatives," U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza said.

'Successful impact'
Garza praised the "the unwavering commitment of the Calderon administration," which he said was having "an immediate and successful impact on the drug cartels and in blocking their criminal operations."

There was no information about the ownership of the cocaine. Tampico is considered the territory of the Gulf Cartel, which is based in the Mexican cities bordering South Texas. Tampico is located on the coast about 250 miles south of Brownsville.

The reputed leader of the Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cardenas, is in U.S. federal custody in Houston awaiting trial on narcotics-related charges. Calderon ordered Cardenas extradited to the U.S. earlier this year.

Officials have said the cocaine seized in Yucatan belonged to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, reputed head of the so-called Sinaloa Cartel of western Mexico, with which Cardenas' gang has been warring for three years.

That feud, over smuggling routes into the United States through Texas, has claimed thousands of lives — nearly 1,500 of them this year alone.

Faced with the wave of drug-related violence upon taking office last December, Calderon ordered some 20,000 troops to take up law enforcement duties in major drug smuggling areas.

The measure had little effect at first. But the number of underworld killings sharply dropped through the summer amid reports that the warring cartels had called a truce. While the bloodshed was focused in Nuevo Laredo and other areas bordering Texas in past years, violence in those cities has largely abated so far this year.

Friday's seizure also came just several weeks after a call by the Mexican government's senior human rights official for removing the army from the drug war, citing a rash of rapes and abuses of civilians at the hands of soldiers. Neither Calderon nor other senior officials have responded to that suggestion.


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Re: 10 tons of cocaine seized in Mexican port town
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 06:30:59 PM »
10 tons!! I could retire and keep some for the stash ;D
are you people that dumb and
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