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Trusted Mexican official on trial for working with Narcos

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As reporters clambered for a spot in Brooklyn federal court house, federal prosecutors laid out their opening arguments Monday against a top Mexican official, Genaro Garcia Luna, who was once a trusted ally of the United States in its continuing fight against Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels.

Luna, 54, who headed the Mexican Federal Police, was considered one of the few state officials brought into the circle of trust by U.S. intelligence and narcotics officials targeting the Sinaloa and Beltran Levy cartels.

What U.S. officials didn’t know at the time is that their ally was believed to be making millions of dollars aiding and abetting the cartels.  He led Mexico’s Federal Investigative Agency from 2001 to 2005. It wasn’t until 2006, that he was named the secretary of public security, putting him in charge of the Mexican Federal Police.

Luna, is being accused by prosectors for providing direct aide to  Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman – former head of the Sinaloa Cartel – and the leaders of the Beltran Levy cartel, which is responsible for moving hundreds of millions of dollars in cocaine and other illicit narcotics into the United States. He is also suspected to  of being behind the killing of a top DEA informant that worked closely with U.S. officials.

Charging these officials in the United States sends a clear message to the cartels but it also exposes how vulnerable our nation is to the growing power of the narco-terrorist organizations, said Derek Maltz, who headed DEA’s Special Operations.

“There is wide spread systemic corruption in Mexico and Central America that enables the cartels to operate with impunity,” said Maltz. “Unfortunately, American families and communities are suffering and historic numbers of young citizens are dying from the deadly drugs. I look forward to hearing the dramatic testimony that will expose the “triple agent” to the world. Maybe then will the American citizens recognize the level of the threat to our citizens.”

Maltz pointed out that the Eastern District of New York Prosecutors “had the courage to expose this nightmare to the world just like they did with El Chapo. These ruthless Narco terrorists need to be held accountable and gave Justice.”

Maltz also warned that it is  “corrupt officials like Luna help the Mexican Terror Cartels daily by providing sensitive information and creating safe routes for the deadly drugs to be imported into the US. They get huge rewards and live the rock star high lives are our families suffer. I applaud the law enforcement officials and US Attorney and Assistants who recognized the importance of exposing the truth to the public. ”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Pilmar said, according to reports that Luna “kept taking dirty money and cocaine kept flowing into the United States…Because he controlled the country’s entire police force, the defendant thought he was above the law … No one is above the law.”

Luna’s connection to the death of a DEA informant is described in detail in a report on The Intercept:

García Luna’s alleged role in the DEA informant’s death came to light during the sentencing of another Mexican security official accused of crimes in the U.S.: Ivan Reyes Arzate, also known as “La Reina.”

According to over 200 pages of court records, La Reina was a Federal Police officer from 2003 to 2016. He rose through the ranks and in 2008, was promoted to commander of the Federal Police’s Sensitive Investigative Unit, also known as the SIU. La Reina’s top boss, as with all Federal Police officials, was the secretary of public security, García Luna.

The SIU was the premier Federal Police unit working with the DEA in Mexico — or it was supposed to be, having been specially created for that purpose. All SIU members, including La Reina, received special training from the DEA in Quantico, Virginia. The DEA relied on the SIU for operations, surveillance, and high-profile arrests.

“We have very special or specific people that we work with who we have tried to vet and make sure that we can trust them,” one DEA agent said in court, “because of the corruption that we know sometimes exists in those other countries and around the world.”

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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