The Center for Security Policy (Center) reports that a massive shoot-out between members of the Northeast Cartel (CDN) and the Mexican Army rocked the city of Nuevo Laredo on Tuesday directly across the border from Laredo, Texas. The incident forced the temporary closure of the international bridges as well as the U.S. Consulate. As reported by the Center, videos of the attack on social media showed numerous burning vehicles and the sounds of automatic weapon fire. Mexican military installations and the U.S. Consulate reportedly came under fire. The attack was reportedly a response to the arrest and deportation to the United States of CDN Cartel leader Juan Gerardo Treviño, following an operation by Mexican authorities.
Treviño, also known as El Huevo (The Egg) was wanted in the United States on money laundering and drug trafficking conspiracy charges. He also faces numerous charges in multiple Mexican states, including murder and terrorism. Treviño comes from a family with a long history of narcotrafficking, with his Uncle Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales having been the last leader of the notorious Los Zetas cartel, of which the CDN is a splinter faction.
This is not the first time CDN fighters, whose armed wing operates under the name Tropa Del Infierno (Troops of Hell) have caused concern for U.S. diplomatic security. In January of 2020, the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo was forced to increase security following a series of CDN gunbattles targeting Mexican police. CDN has a history of establishing armed blockades and conducting ambushes of police forces in the Mexican half of a city which sits astride the border, particularly in response to Police operations or even rumors of arrests.
This ability to project violence to threaten the Mexican state has worked for other Cartels to effectively “de-arrest” leaders captured by law enforcement. In October of 2019 Mexico arrested, and then was forced to release, Ovidio Guzmán López, the son of notorious Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán.
While Mexican authorities (and likely their U.S. counterparts) are to be commended on the successful operation to capture El Huevo, the CDN’s ability to project a violent response yet again shows that the situation in Mexico is developed far beyond a law enforcement matter and has effectively reached a full-blown insurgency. The United States needs to reconsider its lack of commitment to addressing the growing instability of its southern neighbor and begin to make the safety and security of its citizens along the border a top priority now.
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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