Borderland Beat

City in Mexico Bans Narco Songs

El Charly of Beltran Leyva organization caputred in Monterrey Nuevo Leon

DEA agents have sex parties in Colombia, Cartels foot the bill

City in Mexico Bans Narco Songs

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 10:55 PM PDT

Borderland Beat  posted by DD from material from InSight Crime, CNN, Elijah Wald

Photo from Borderland Beat Story by Lucio R. at http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2015/03/narco-corrido-singer-rogelio-brambila.html

With the recent spate of killings of Narcocorrido singers (as reported here on BB) in the last few weeks, inevitably the issue of banning Narcocorridos surfaced again.   The City Council of Chihuahua City, capitol of the Northern state of Chihuahua, has passed an ordinance banning the performing and distribution of Narcocomidos.  Violators are subject to fines of around $20,000 dollars and up to 36 hours in jail.

The capital's city council has decided to put the ban into action and stiffen the penalties as they believe narcocorridos promote crime and violence while apologizing for and glorifying organized crime figures.  The council's decision followed a shooting at a narco corrido concert in the nearby city of Parral that reportedly left two dead and one wounded.

In 2011 the state of Chihuahua Legislature approved a statewide ban on narcocorridors but it was never implemented by local municipal authorities.  In 2011 Sonora's Governor Mario López Valdez issued a ban on  Narcocorridos or corridos about crime in bars, pubs, restaurants  and nightclubs.in the state.  Violators would have their liquor licenses canceled or revoked.

The Federal Supreme Court overturned  Lopez's  ban as being unconstiturional and over-reaching his authority and  it was considered contravening Mexico's Freedom of Expression laws.

Tijuana city, Baja California state and Nuevo Leon state have all imposed similar bans.

As reported on Borderland  Beat by Buggs, during the Calderon administration  a PAN legislator  tried unsuccessfully to make performing or producing drug ballads punishable with up to three years in prison.

Wikipedia defines narco-corrido as:

"  A narco-corrido (Spanish pronunciation: [narkokoˈriðo], Drug Ballad) is a subgenre of the
Mexican norteño-corrido (northern ballad) music genre, a traditional folk music from northern  Mexico, from which other several genres have evolved. This type of music is heard on both sides of the US–Mexican border. It uses a danceable, accordion-based polka as a rhythmic base. The first corridos that focus on drug smugglers—the narco comes from "narcotics"—have been dated  by Juan Ramírez-Pimienta to the 1930s. Early corridos (non-narco) go back as far to the Mexican Revolution of 1910, telling the stories of revolutionary fighters. Music critics have also compared narcocorrido music to gangster rap.

There have been calls for censorship of corridos associated with drug trafficking or the crime world ever since Los Tigres del Norte hit with "Contrabando y Traición" and "La Banda del Carro Rojo" in the 1970s, but these calls have intensified in recent years.

"Los Tigres Del Norte 1" by Dwight McCann / Chumash Casino Resort Santa in Ynez, California

InSight Crime reported that Tigres del Norte was banned from playing one of their more popular songs, "La Granja," at a music awards ceremony in Mexico. The video and lyrics are critical of the government's fight against the drug cartels, using a farm as a metaphor for Mexico, and·animals to represent the main actors. The drug gangs are depicted as an angry Rottweiler, and a fox (an apparent jab at former President Vicente Fox) is depicted as starting all the trouble by letting the dog loose, while pigs in a barn -- who may represent Mexico's elite or the US -- are described as happily feasting on corn, only caring about "profits." Meanwhile, a giant wall is built around the farm, keeping the poor farmers from escaping, a metaphor which needs little explanation.

Is "La Granja" a political critique of Mexican drug policy, as Los Tigres del Norte insist, or is it veiled message of support for the criminal groups that are fighting the government, as the authorities have argued?

Many other narcocorridos raise similar questions about the line between describing the reality of drug trafficking, and glamorizing or professing support for it.

"The corridos are attempts by Mexican society to come to terms with the world around them, and drug violence is a big part of that world," Mexico's former foreign secretary Jorge Castañeda told the New York Times. "You cannot blame narcocorridos for drug violence. Drug violence is to blame for narcocorridos."

InSight Crime listed the top 5 of what it considers the most notorious and controversial narco-corridors;

1) Angel Gonzalez, "Contrabando y Traicion">

Often described as the first narcocorrido, the song was popularized when Los Tigres del Norte recorded a version in 1974. The lyrics tell the story of a woman, Carmelia, who smuggles drugs into the US and then kills her lover. Gonzalez has said that Carmelia is fictional, which has not prevented some women from claiming to be the original inspiration. As the genre developed, many narcocorridos began paying homage to real life traffickers. (See video, below).

2) Tucanes de Tijuana, "El Mas Bravo de los Bravos"

A popular young band, the Tucanes de Tijuana recorded several songs that praised Raydel Rosalio Lopez Uriarte, alias "Muletas," the alleged second-in-command of a faction of the Tijuana Cartel before his arrest in 2010. "El Mas Bravo de los Bravos" (The Toughest of the Tough) is just one of them. The group also wrote a song about Lopez's boss, Teodoro Garcia Simental, which has only been released online. During a Tijuana concert in August 2010, the group's frontman stated, "My regards to El Teo and his partner Muletas. Long live the mob!" The incident led Tijuana police chief Julian Leyzaola to ban the group from playing in the city.

3) Valentin Elizade, "A Mis Enemigos"

Elizade was killed in 2006 when gunmen ambushed him after a concert in Reynosa. A popular conspiracy theory behind his death involves "A Mis Enemigos" (To My Enemies), which some have interpreted as a challenge to the Zetas, although they are not named in the song.

4) Gerardo Ortiz, "Los Duros de Colombia"

With the rise of social networking sites like Myspace and YouTube, narcocorridos steadily gained popularity outside of Mexico's northern border states. Ortiz's song, an ode to Pablo Escobar of the Medellin Cartel and the Cali-based Rodriguez brothers, was one of the earliest signs that the genre had gained an international reach. Ortiz later survived an assassination attempt in 2011.

5) Oscar Ovidio, "El Corrido de Juan Ortiz"

Guatemalan singer Oscar Ovidio composed this song about the exploits of one of the country's most notorious drug traffickers, alias "Juan Chamale." In the late 2000s, as Mexican traffickers steadily gained a foothold in Central America, the narcocorrido was another export that appeared to follow them.

A brief history of early attempts at censoring narco-corridors from the book Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas, by Elijah Wald.

Chihuahua. The state's human rights representative calls for a ban on radio play of narcocorridos, but without any success.  The Chamber of the Radio and Television Industry (CIRT, proposes an agreement "like those in Sinaloa and Baja California," in which radio broadcasters would voluntarily cease playing narco songs

Sinaloa, 3/2. The state's CIRT announces a "voluntary" ban on broadcast of narcocorridos.

Sinaloa, 3/11. Citing the successful censorship of narcocorridos, the State Prosecutor announces plans to prohibit the performance of such songs at live concerts.

Tijuana, BC, 3/14. PRD proposes regulations controlling the broadcast of narcocorridos on radio and television.

Tijuana, 3/15. Representatives of the radio programmers agree that it might be good to censor this music if it is genuinely harming young people. They note, however, that songs like Los Tucanes' "Mis Tres Animales" talk about drugs only in coded language, and thus can only affect people who already are familiar enough with the drug scene to understand this code.

National, 3/22. Senator Yolanda Gonzalez Hernandez of the PRI argues, citing existing laws against encouraging criminal acts, she calls for "restrictions on reproduction of certain works, though not impeding their creation." (Hence, she argues that this is not censorship, since people are welcome to write the songs or make the records. She just does not want them to be allowed on the airwaves.)

Coahuila and Tamaulipas, May. In Saltillo, Coahuila, the deputies of the Local Congress unanimously approved a statement to eliminate narcocorridos from the radio in Coahuila. Deputy Elida Bautista Castañón said, "It is known that man tends to imitate what he sees and hears, so it is logical that a person will act violently if all day long he is seeing scenes of crimes and listening to the adventures of a drug trafficker whose aim is to illegally enrich himself."(DD note; Emphasis added is mine.  Proof that legislators don't have to pass a IQ test to hold office)

, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, members of the city's Cultural Commision asked the City Hall to take the relevant action to prohibit narcocorridos in the radio and television stations.

Coahuila, 6/20. The state congress calls for measures like those in force in Sinaloa and Baja California.

National, 11/7. Roque Chávez López, president of the Consulting Council of the CIRT declares that "The radio broadcasters of the country want to say no to everything that speaks of violence.

National, 12/5. Senator Javier Corral, Senator from Chihuahua and head of the Commission of Comunication and Transport, calls for national restrictions on narcocorridos.

DD; Thankfully all the legislators went home for Christmas after that.  .But all that happened just  in the year 2001,

If you want to see what happened in latter years click on the link to Alijah Wald at the start of this history.

I agree with Walds statement that:

"While both drugs and crime cause real problems for society at large, and for many individuals, I am extremely dubious about the purposes of such censorship. It seems to me to be a attempt by politicians to get publicity as defenders of public morals and safety without doing any of the difficult things that would be necessary to genuinely deal with the problems, such as providing poor people with other ways to improve their economic situation."

I am not a fan of narco-corridors, but I think attempts at censorship, which is a form of prohibition, will be just as unsuccessful as the prohibition on drugs has been.  If you think they have not become part of the culture both in Mexico and to a fast growing extent in the US, just go to YouTube and do a search "narco-corridors" and you will get 217,000 results which  suggests Mexico has no hope of pulling the plug on the music.

As one college student said that when he heard the news on the radio that the Chihuaha City Council had approved a ban on narco-corridors he "thought it was a joke".


El Charly of Beltran Leyva organization caputred in Monterrey Nuevo Leon

Posted: 28 Mar 2015 12:59 AM PDT

Translated for Borderland Beat from a Milenio News Flash by Otis B Fly-Wheel

Otis: the article title states he is BLO but the fact he was captured in Monterrey in Nuevo Leon suggest he could be José María "El Charly/Z-43/El Amo/El Chema" Guizar Valencia, identified as important on BB reporter Itzli post on the BB Forum and the BB mainboard see link

Have authorities captured this man

Milenio article:
After an operation in the south of Monterrey, the Marines detained a man known only as "El Charly" who operated in the Town of San Pedro.

A member of the Beltran Leyva Cartel was detained after an operation carried out by the Marines in the south of Monterrey.

The man only identified as "El Charly", who operated in the town of San Pedro Garza Garcia, Otis : readers might recognise this place from article about the capture of Z-42.

Yesterday around 16:00 hours, Marines searched two buildings in Lomas del Hipico Colonia, located about the Valle Atlo highway, in Monterrey. Subsequently the units searched the buildings caught the detainee and left heading towards the state highway.

Marines sealed access to this colonia for two hours while carrying out searches

More details and updates will be posted when available.

El Charly is now identified as Carlos Adrian Contreras Cepeda, who at the moment of his arrest was carrying arms and drugs. The arrest happened when the Marines inspected a car, in which the presumed criminal was travelling. The said criminal had a rifle, hand gun, five spare magazines, 84 rounds of ammunition, and more than 4,600 packets of drugs with the characteristics of Marijuana and Cocaine.

The Marines took him into custody and read him his rights.

The person, his guns, presumed drugs, vehicle and effects were put at the disposition of agents of the Public Ministry of the Federation in the town of General Escobedo, Nuevo Leon.

Updated article in Spanish at Milenio

DEA agents have sex parties in Colombia, Cartels foot the bill

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 12:39 PM PDT

Lucio R Borderland Beat material from AP and Politico

"Agents were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members.  Some DEA agents who participated in the parties denied knowing about cartel involvement, but the IG report says "information in the case files suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds.

The sex parties occurred in government leased living quarters where "agents' laptops, BlackBerry devices and other government-issued equipment were present," posing a security risk and "potentially exposing them to extortion, blackmail, or coercion." ..........

Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly had "sex parties" with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia, according to a new inspector general report released by the Justice Department on Thursday.

In addition, Colombian police officers allegedly provided "protection for the DEA agents' weapons and property during the parties," the report states. Ten DEA agents later admitted attending the parties, and some of the agents received suspensions of two to 10 days.

The stunning allegations are part of an investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general into claims of sexual harassment and misconduct within DEA; FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Marshals Service. The IG's office found that DEA did not fully cooperate with its probe.

The congressional committee charged with federal oversight is already promising hearings and an investigation into the allegations.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told POLITICO on

Thursday he wanted the agencies involved to swiftly fire those involved and that his panel would immediately start digging into the allegations.

"You can't ignore this. This is terribly embarrassing and fundamentally not right," the Utah Republican said. "We need to understand what's happening with the culture … anytime you bring a foreign national into your room, you're asking for trouble."

The congressional committee was first briefed on the IG's report Wednesday. The House is about to depart on a two-week recess but Chaffetz said there would be major action coming from the Oversight panel when the House returns in April.

"We have to understand issue by issue what is happening. We need to understand how these people are being held accountable. There should be no question about the severity of the punishment," Chaffetz said. "I don't care how senior the person is, they are going to have to let these people go."

The Oversight panel is also investigating allegations into the Secret Service that agents there hired prostitutes in Colombia while advancing a trip for President Barack Obama.

The Oversight committee will hold a hearing on April 14 at 10 a.m., and the DEA and DOJ inspector generals are invited testify.

Moreover,the report states that DEA, ATF and the Marshals Service repeatedly failed to report all risky or improper sexual behavior to security personnel at those agencies.

The report covers the period from 2009 to 2012, although some of the incidents occurred long before that.

The DEA "sex parties" in Colombia, though, are by far the most damaging allegations.

"The foreign officer allegedly arranged 'sex parties' with prostitutes funded by the local drug cartels for these DEA agents at their government-leased quarters, over a period of several years," the IG report says.

The parties reportedly took place from 2005 to 2008, but the DEA's Office of Professional Responsibility became aware of them only in 2010, after it received an anonymous complaint. DEA supervisors, however, had been aware of the allegations for several years because of complaints from management of the building in which the DEA office in Bogotá was located.

"Although some of the DEA agents participating in these parties denied it, the information in the case file suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds. A foreign officer also alleged providing protection for the DEA agents' weapons and property during the parties," the report said. "The foreign officers further alleged that in addition to soliciting prostitutes, three DEA SSAs [special agents] in particular were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members."

The IG's office asserts that DEA officials did not fully comply with their requests for information during the probe.

"We were also concerned by an apparent decision by DEA to withhold information regarding a particular open misconduct case," the report states. "The OIG [Office of Inspector General] was not given access to this case file information until several months after our request, and only after the misconduct case was closed. Once we became aware of the information, we interviewed DEA employees who said that they were given the impression that they were not to discuss this case with the OIG while the case remained open."

The report adds: "Therefore, we cannot be completely confident that the FBI and DEA provided us with all information relevant to this review. As a result, our report reflects the findings and conclusions we reached based on the information made available to us."

Spokespersons for DEA and ATF said the agencies would not comment on the report and referred all questions to the Justice Department.

"The Department is already working with the law enforcement components to ensure a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment and misconduct is enforced and that incidents are properly reported. The Department is also committed to ensuring the proper preservation and disclosure of electronic communications, including text messages and images," said Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice.

Other allegations outlined in the report include:

* A deputy U.S. Marshal "entered into a romantic relationship" with a fugitive's spouse and would not break off the relationship for more than a year, even after being told by supervisors to end it;

* An ATF "Director of Industry Operations" had "solicited consensual sex with anonymous partners and modified a hotel room door to facilitate sexual play." The ATF employee even disabled a hotel's fire detection system, and when caught by the hotel, said he had done it before;

* "For over 3 years, an ATF Program Manager failed to report allegations that two training instructors were having consensual sex with their students. According to the incident report, the Program Manager learned the same instructors had engaged in substantially the same activities 3 years earlier but had merely counseled the training instructors without reporting the alleged activities" to the Internal Affairs Division.

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