Thursday, October 21, 2010

two packs of smokes and a big bag of chips, a kilo of sirloin, 9 liters of gas, a tasty taco and toss in a few grenades

The following from: Borderland Beat

Mexican Cartels Purchasing Grenades for $6.50



How much is six dollars and fifty cents? What can you buy with $6.50? Just off the top of my head, in the U.S., I'm thinking I could buy a couple gallons of gas, a pack of smokes, or maybe a value meal from one of my favorite fast food joints.

In Mexico, on the other hand, with roughly $80 pesos, I can buy two packs of smokes and a big bag of chips, a kilo of sirloin, about 9 liters of gas, or a tasty 8 taco breakfast washed down with an ice cold bottled Coca-Çola.

Or, for those same $80 Mexican pesos, according to a report made public in ElNorte, with the right connections, I could buy myself a grenade from Guatemala.

Eduardo Valiente Hernandez, commissioner of the Federal Police in Nuevo Leon, revealed that while Mexican military and federal forces continue to seize large amounts of weapons seizures, Mexican cartels are able to continuously replenish their losses in Central America for ridiculously small amounts of money.archivo granada
"The problem is the ease with which weapons can be purchased, for example, a grenade can be purchased for $80 pesos in countries like Guatemala," said Valiente Hernandez in his conference "Security and Crime in Nuevo León".
"Eighty pesos per grenade!, And it's is very easy to transport them."

Last night a grenade, which did not explode, was thrown at a police headquarters located in Valle Verde in western Monterrey.

On Monday, October 18, around midnight, unidentified persons threw a grenade that exploded in the parking lot of a gas station in San Nicolas de los Garza, shrapnel damaged a gas pump.

On October 2, another grenade was tossed into the main square of Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, injuring 14 people, including 6 children.

The information Commander Valiente has released matches that of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives which reported that most of the grenades used by drug cartels in Nuevo Leon are coming from Central America, not from U.S. weapons trafficking.
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Bill Newell, regional director for Arizona and New Mexico A.T.F., said there are indications that several of the explosives seized in the State were acquired through connections with corrupt officials in Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador.

"There is legal trade in military weapons around the world," said Newell, whose office works with the PGR in tracing the weapons confiscated.
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"There are countries that can not manufacture weapons and go to a country like the United States, Belgium, Britain, South Africa and Korea and buy their military grenades, bullets, and rifles."

"These sales are part of a legal trade, and we have seen that the vast majority of grenades that have been seized (in Nuevo León), and were of American origen, were sold between 1988 and 1990 to countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Belize."

"and what happened in those years? The civil wars ended. We began seeing more and more connections with Los Zetas last year, for example, in Guatemala there were several grenade seizures in Zeta training camps."

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Newell added that properly stored, grenades have an estimated shelf life of 30 years, but mismanagement reduces the period, which explains why many which have recently been thrown in the city have failed to detonate.

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