DEA Launders Drug Profits for Mexican Cartels

December 4, 2011
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The Drug Enforcement Administration has new methods for enforcing drugs on the American public, similar to the ATF’s strategy of letting guns ‘walk’.

If you are an important member of an alleged Mexican Drug Cartel, you can have your money laundered, transferred and traced by the Drug Enforcement Administration, at an affordable price guaranteed to perpetuate the Drug War on Americans.  New York Times’ Ginger Thompson has been riding the drug range with DEA officials to report:

WASHINGTON — Undercover American narcotics agents have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials.

The agents, primarily with the Drug Enforcement Administration, have handled shipments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal cash across borders, those officials said, to identify how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are.

They said agents had deposited the drug proceeds in accounts designated by traffickers, or in shell accounts set up by agents.

The officials said that while the D.E.A. conducted such operations in other countries, it began doing so in Mexico only in the past few years. The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime. As it launders drug money, the agency often allows cartels to continue their operations over months or even years before making seizures or arrests….

If you allow enough money and guns to infiltrate Mexico, then you can direct the carnage that money and guns deliver with targeted, full bore accuracy. This policy of easy guns and money is a strategy to keep marijuana dangerous and illegal, while the same DEA enforcers raid legitimate state medical providers who wish to end the Drug War, and begin healing the nation.

Compare the Lethal Dose per Kilogram, or LD/KG of cannabis to bullets. A kilogram of weapons from the USA makes the LD/KG of marijuana more lethal than smoking an entire kilo of Mexican weed.  And it takes money to make money.  And that needs experts who can launder money.


Wachovia is one such bank that apparently laundered 378 billion dollars that was insufficiently monitored. Wachovia made millions in profits while banking cartel cash.

Investigative journalist Ed Vulliamy was interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now on October 27th, and exposes the scope of allowing laundered drug money to return to Mexico as legitimate investments:

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what you mean. What was Wachovia’s involvement?

 ED VULLIAMY: OK, what happened was various signals, various red flags went up regarding inconsistencies. My contact—they were coming through London, traveler’s checks, serially numbered, strangely signed, coming through, and irregularities spotted. And my contact’s name is Woods, put up the alarm. Rather than be sort of thanked for his vigilance, he was basically sort of told to shut up, originally, and then spat out, frankly.

 There was a prosecution. There was a settlement in the district court of Miami. And the settlement said—and it was a deferred prosecution, which means no one goes to jail, constructively, and you have to sort of behave for a year, and if you do so, the whole thing is dropped. And we have to say, it has been dropped. Wachovia has since been bought by Wells Fargo, who have cooperated with the investigation. It’s nothing against Wells Fargo.

 But what was found was that $110 million—small change—was directly connected to four drug deals in Mexico involving the Sinaloa Cartel, but that the staggering figure of $378 billion—that’s a lot of money—was insufficiently monitored. Now, we don’t know how much of that was connected to drug deals. It could be anything between naught and $378 billion. But it gives us a glimpse of the size, of the volume, the quantity of the money involved. These were coming through things called casas de cambio, holes in the wall, basically, exchange houses, not even a proper banking system. So we have a medium-sized bank, that kind of money.

 Then, I thought, well, let’s set this in context. Talked to a man called Antonio Maria Costa, who’s the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna. He’s not there any longer. He posits that the volumes of money coming in from Mexico, from—and obviously his specialty was Europe, Russia, you know, similar operations—laundering of vast quantities of the profits of drugs and, of course, the calamitous violence that is the scourge of Mexico, is basically propping up the banking system. It is a major pillar of the banking system. Without it, it would have collapsed long ago. Well, we know that the other pillar propping it up is tax dollars.

 But—and so, one has a sort of a glimpse through this case, through this afterword in this paperback edition, a glimpse of where all the money goes, you know, how—you know, we hear a lot about how the Mexican war, this catastrophe in Mexico, is crossing the border into the United States, and indeed how it isn’t crossing the border. But one way in which it sure as hell is crossing the border is hundreds of billions of dollars of blood money.

 AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to leave it there, but we’re going to do a post-show interview, and we’re going to post it online at democracynow.org. We’ve been speaking with Ed Vulliamy. He is a writer for The Guardian and The Observer, headed back to London. His book is called Amexica: War Along the Borderline, and he’s written the cover story of Harper’s, which we’re going to talk about post-show, which is called “Broken Britain.”


More to come, indefinitely.

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