About Bill Conroy

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US Government Accused of Seeking to Conceal Deal Cut With Sinaloa “Cartel”
Oct 5 2011 - 6:38pm
U.S.-Backed Programs Supplying the Firepower for Mexico’s Soaring Murder Rate
Apr 20 2011 - 7:46pm
U.S. Private Sector Providing Drug-War Mercenaries to Mexico
Apr 13 2011 - 8:11pm
Tahrir and Beyond: Ten Days That Shook My World
Mar 26 2011 - 1:06am
Why Is TeleSur a Flop? Look No Farther than Its Libya Coverage
Feb 24 2011 - 11:39pm

Zetas burn media's script in war on drugs

The violence plaguing the border town of Nuevo Laredo, sister city of Laredo, Texas, has led to travel advisories being issued by the State Department and dire warnings from U.S. officials that narco-traffickers are on the hunt for U.S. citizens.

The truth is that the violence in Nuevo Laredo is a direct byproduct of narco-capitalism. Sure, if you happen to be on the wrong street corner when a gunfight breaks out, you are in danger, just like you would be in any inner city in the states when rival gangs pull out their pieces and start shooting at each other.

In addition, just like in any big city in the states, you have to be careful of the company you keep.

“Narcotics is the underlying reason (for the violence) but not for those caught in the middle,” explains one federal law enforcer who works the border near Nuevo Laredo. “I am sure some of the victims were just too friendly with bad people and were taken somewhere for a good time, and it got out of hand, and they were killed. But it seems the majority of them were indeed linked to narcotics, since guns, paraphernalia were found. It’s too much of a coincidence that they disappear without a trace and then are later found in deep-concreted holes in the back of narco’s houses. Sad but true.”

Nuevo Laredo: a case study in macro narco-economics

The border town of Nuevo Laredo, sister city to Laredo, Texas, has been the scene of an intense turf battle between rival drug organizations over the past couple years.

The showdown is supposedly between the armed soldiers of two Mexican narco-traffickers who are waging a battle to gain control of the lucrative trade route that runs from Nuevo Laredo, across the border into Laredo, and north along Interstate Highway 35 to San Antonio, then Dallas – from where it spokes out into the rest of the United States.

The two rival drug lords at the center of the turf war are allegedly Osiel Cardenas Guillen and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Cardenas, who has been in jail on drug charges in Mexico since 2003, reportedly oversees his narco-trafficking organization from prison. His group, often referred to in the mainstream press as the “Gulf cartel,” has controlled the Nuevo Laredo market for years.

Cardenas’ primary enforcers are the Zetas, a group composed of former elite Mexican military commandos who deserted their posts to take up arms as mercenaries in the narco-market.

However, in recent years, Guzman has made inroads into the Nuevo Laredo market by waging a bloody street war against the Cardenas organization and the Zetas.

Another Travesty of Justice in "House of Death" Case

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio has done it again. In what can only be seen as an effort to tie off all the loose ends in the cover-up in the House of Death mass murder case, U.S. federal prosecutors have decided not to pursue Mexican state judicial police comandante Miguel Loya Gallegos.

State Department claims the zombies are back again!

Most of us have watched at least one of those B-rated zombie movies, like “Night of the Living Dead.”

So we all know that no matter how many zombies are put out of their misery, there are always more of them in the shadows coming up out of the ground.

Well, it seems U.S. State Department officials have lifted their Mexico travel-warning script right out those zombie-movie plots.

On Tuesday, only a few days after a giant march in Mexico City in support of popular presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador -- who is not a favorite son of the Bush administration -- the U.S. State Department reissued a travel warning for the Mexico border region. The warning cites the continuing threat of violence against U.S. citizens due to violent narco-traffickers.

Is U.S. Marshal guilty of murder or of being black?

Arthur Lloyd, 53, is driving his SUV down a wide boulevard, Rockville Pike, in Montgomery County, which is in Maryland near Washington, DC. His entire family – wife and five children – are packed in the vehicle with him. They are heading to Mid-Pike Plaza in Rockville to buy a toy for one of his daughters.

It is only days before Halloween, and the roadway is packed with afternoon rush-hour traffic. Somewhere in the course of his trip to the shopping center, Lloyd did something to annoy Ryan Stowers, a 20-year-old who had only recently enlisted in the Navy. Stowers, who is from Redding, Calif., is driving a Chevy Camaro.

Maybe Lloyd cut in front of Stowers when he was switching lanes, maybe Lloyd came up to close to Stowers' bumper at some point, or maybe Stowers mistakenly blamed Lloyd for something another driver did. Whatever set Stowers off that day is not clear, but what he did next set in motion a chain of events that ultimately cost him his life.

U.S. prosecutors cut deal to bury the House of Death

U.S. Department of Justice officials have taken the predictable path in the House of Death mass-murder case. They have allowed the snake to swallow its tail.

U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in San Antonio, Texas, announced earlier this week that his office cut a plea bargain with Heriberto Santillan-Tabares, who U.S. prosecutors claim is a top lieutenant in Vicente Carrillo Fuentes’ Juárez drug organization.

Santillan had been charged with cocaine and marijuana smuggling along with five counts of murder. His case was slated to go to trial this May in federal district court in San Antonio.

The plea deal caps more than a year-long effort by federal prosecutors and ICE officials to keep a lid on the U.S. government’s complicity in multiple murders in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez.

Homeland Security memo reveals terrorism records are being sanitized

A memo leaked to Narco News by some brave soul within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers a revealing insight into the so-called war on terrorism. In short, the memo seems to show that for at least one federal law-enforcement agency, investigating terrorism is not unlike the childhood game of “Duck, Duck, Goose.”

The memo, issued on March 28 by a high-ranking official with DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), essentially orders supervisors in the field to sanitize terrorism-related case files maintained in a major law-enforcement computer system called TECS. All told, TECS contains about 12,000 terrorism-related “records,” of which about 4,000 have been generated by ICE, according to the memo.

ICE supervisors, per the memo’s instructions, are to "modify or remove all ICE-generated TECS records designated as ‘terrorist.’”

In other words, the memo instructs ICE supervisors to ensure that if they come across a goose in the game of find-the-terrorist, then they should call it a duck.

As a result, based on the memo’s instructions, existing records originated by ICE and deemed to be terror-related are to be purged from the TECS computer system by reclassifying them to make them appear to be unrelated to terrorism. The deadline for completing this 4,000-record sanitizing task is April 11, two weeks from the issue date of the memo.

FOIA documents in House of Death case now online at Narco News

DEA supervisor Sandalio Gonzalez fired off a letter in February 2005 to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in El Paso, Texas, that blew the whistle on an alleged cover-up within the U.S. justice system.

The letter exposed federal agents’ complicity in multiple murders in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez. The homicides were tied to an investigation into Heriberto Santillan-Tabares, who U.S. prosecutors claim is a top lieutenant in Vicente Carrillo Fuentes’ Juárez drug organization.

Santillan has been charged with cocaine and marijuana smuggling along with five counts of murder. His case is currently pending in federal district court in San Antonio, Texas, and is slated for trial in May.

Watchdog agencies asleep at the House of Death

The first major sign that DEA supervisor Sandalio Gonzalez had hit a nerve with his letter of protest over the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s handling of the House of Death murders materialized in May 2004.

The blowback came at him through a legal case he has pending against DEA. In 2002, Gonzalez filed a discrimination lawsuit against the agency in federal court in Miami. The case, which is still pending, stems from a stash of cocaine that came up missing after a 1998 raid of a house in suburban Miami.

Prior surveillance of the house indicated there should have been about 32 kilograms of cocaine on the premises, but the total amount accounted for after the search fell 10 kilos short of that mark.

Gonzalez suspected foul play. He says the same Miami-Dade Police team involved in the raid was responsible for “compromising three prior drug cases.”

Former DEA supervisor's letter opens new door on House of Death

Narco News has uncovered a well-kept secret through a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Following is the list of government agencies who don’t want you to know this secret, and which have to date, to one degree or another, contributed to keeping it covered up: The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio, the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and at least two agencies charged with investigating corruption in federal law enforcement -- the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.

But before revealing the details of the secret, some background is in order. Last month, Narco News reported the following:

A startling claim has surfaced in a document filed in federal court by a former DEA supervisor. The claim raises serious questions about a U.S. Attorney’s handling of evidence in the case of accused murderer and drug-trafficker Heriberto Santillan-Tabares.

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