Police Corruption

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Dominican Presidential Candidate Says Legalize Drugs

A Dominican presidential candidate who is also a prominent government official and head of one of the parties that make up the current government said Monday he favors drug legalization. Luis Acosta Moreta, nicknamed "El Gallo," told the program Propuesta on Channel 45 Monday that drug prohibition creates corruption and social decay.

Luis "El Gallo" Acosta Moreta (udc.org.do)
Acosta Moreta is the director of the Dominican Republic's Community Development Agency. He is also the head and presidential candidate of the Christian Democratic Union, one of the minor parties in the governing "Progressive Bloc" dominated by President Leonel Fernandez and his Dominican Liberation Party. Elections are set for next May.

The government attacks the effects of drug trafficking, but not its causes, Acosta Moreta said, adding that neglect of the poor left them vulnerable to the blandishments of traffickers. Those same traffickers fund cultural and sports activities in the barrios, he said.

The corruption that comes with drug prohibition infects the police, too, he said. "It's there where this social decomposition begins in which you hear a police corporal speaking of mansions and SUVs, because that's what we're living through, for which I totally agree that drugs should be legalized," Acosta Moreta proclaimed.

In its most recent annual report on the global drug trade, the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs described the Dominican Republic as "a major transit country for illicit drugs originating in South America" and one where drug-related law enforcement corruption is "endemic."

As they confront the consequences of drug prohibition, the list of Latin American politicians embracing radical drug policy reform just keeps on growing.

Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Sleazy, sleazy. That's what a Missouri drug court monitor is accused of being, plus we have a crooked Puerto Rican cop and a sticky-fingered Louisiana narc. Let's get to it:

In St. Louis, Missouri, a former Lincoln County sheriff's deputy was indicted November 3 on federal charges he sexually abused five female drug court participants he was monitoring. Scott Edwards, 49, was a part-time tracker for the drug court program between February 2009 and November 2010. He had sexual contact with three of the victims and "engaged in acts that resulted in bodily injury and included aggravated sexual abuse" with two others, according to the indictment. He also allegedly "restrained and confined one of the female victims by force, intimidation, and deception." He faces five civil rights-related charges: two felony counts of deprivation of rights under color of law including aggravated sexual abuse, one felony count of deprivation of rights under color of law including kidnapping, and two misdemeanor counts of deprivation of rights under color of law including sexual contact. An attorney for the five women said Edwards threatened them with jail time if they didn't have sex with him, used drug court funds to rent hotel rooms so he could have easier access to them, and that when the women complained to drug court team members, they were ignored.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former Puerto Rico police sergeant was sentenced November 4 to 12 ½ years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to import drugs from Colombia aboard ships. Victor Esquilin Rosa had also been charged with providing protection to drug traffickers who visited the US Caribbean territory. Esquilin is the latest of dozens of Puerto Rico police officers accused of drug trafficking in recent years.

In Bastrop, Louisiana, a Morehouse Parish Sheriff's office narcotics deputy has resigned following an audit that found what the sheriff called "a very small amount of funds" missing from an account used to purchase drugs from unsuspecting dealers. Lt. Chris Balsamo, a 14-year veteran with the department, submitted his resignation Tuesday. The sheriff said $100 was missing from a safe where money to make buy-bust cases was kept. An internal investigation is ongoing and its results will be forwarded to the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office for review.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

An investigation into a dope-slinging Brooklyn cop has opened a window on a wider culture of corruption in the NYPD, plus your typical handful of corrupt cop cases. Let's get to it:

In New York City, at least 16 NYPD officers were arrested Friday in a ticket-fixing probe that originated with a complaint about a corrupt cop peddling dope out of a barbershop. The officers pleaded not guilty to hundreds of charges including misconduct, grand larceny, records tampering and obstructing governmental administration. Officer Jose Ramos, who owned a barbershop through which drugs were allegedly trafficked and who was at the root of the ever-broadening investigation has pleaded not guilty to drug and other charges. As police wiretapped Ramos, they overheard numerous conversations with people asking if Ramos could fix tickets for them, and the investigation expanded from there. Most of the other cops arrested were members of the Patrolman's Benevolent Association. Hundreds of NYPD officers swarmed courtrooms in Brooklyn to protest the charges, arguing that fixing tickets was a professional courtesy, not a crime. 

In Washington, Indiana, a Daviess County sheriff's deputy was indicted Friday on charges he helped a woman avoid drug arrests in exchange for sex. Chief Deputy Ronald Morgan is charged with bribery and assisting a criminal. Morgan went down after investigators learned that a Washington woman questioned last month about a meth lab had avoided arrest in the past by exchanging sexual favors with Morgan in return for tips about police investigations. If convicted, Morgan faces between two and eight years in prison. He was freed Friday after posting $750 bond.

In Memphis, Tennessee, a Memphis police officer was indicted October 27 as part of a two-year investigation into marijuana and methamphetamine trafficking. Officer Eric Johnson, 24, is charged with trafficking more than 2.2 tons of pot. Twenty-four other people were also indicted, including one person charged with meth distribution. No word yet on formal charges or whether Johnson has made bail.

In Denville, New Jersey, a Denville township police officer was arraigned October 26 for allegedly stealing narcotics from the evidence room. Officer Eugene Blood, 38, is charged with official misconduct, burglary, theft and attempted theft of controlled dangerous substances, attempted burglary and criminal mischief. Blood joined the department in 2003 and was named evidence custodian in 2007 until he was transferred back to patrol division in December. He was suspended without pay in August after an investigation into missing drugs began in April.


In Walla Walla, Washington, a former Washington State Penitentiary guard was arraigned October 26 on charges he intended to smuggle marijuana to a prisoner. Christopher Flippo, 25, was busted back in May when prison officials found pot and $200 cash in his vehicle in the prison parking lot. He allegedly told prison investigators he intended to take the pot into the prison and that he had been smuggling marijuana and tobacco to a prisoner since October. It's not clear what the exact charges are.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Texas DA gets greedy, and so do a California narc, a California prison worker, a Washington state evidence clerk, and a Washington, DC, police officer. Let's get to it:

In Center, Texas, the Shelby County District Attorney's office is one focus of a federal criminal investigation into allowing arrested drug traffickers to buy their way out of trouble by letting the county seize their cash. The feds are now reviewing whether DA Lynda Kaye Russell cut illegal deals with defendants in a bid to bolster her county's asset forfeiture account, which took in more than $800,000 in less than a year. An Associated Press investigation found "numerous examples of suspects who went unpunished or got unusually light sentences after turning over tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars." In one case, a man caught with 15 kilos of cocaine and $80,000 in cash got probation after forfeiting the money to the DA; in another, a woman found with $620,000 in cash stuffed in Christmas presents walked free after turning over the money. Shelby County's law enforcement practices gained national notoriety in 2008 when a still pending class action lawsuit accused the county of targeting black motorists and threatening to jail or prosecute them if they didn't agree to forfeit their cash. Russell has been DA since 1999 and implemented a "drug enforcement" program on the highway through the county in 2006.

In Oakland, California, a former San Ramon police officer and Contra Costa sheriff's deputy was arraigned Tuesday on federal charges related to the ongoing Central Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team (CCNET) corruption probe. Louis Lombardi, 39, is accused of stealing cash and drugs during police raids, selling marijuana and methamphetamine, and conspiring with his CCNET commander to set up a marijuana grow operation. He faces nine felony and misdemeanor counts and is looking at up to 60 years in prison. His attorney says he will cop a plea shortly. Three other CCNET officers, including its former commander, have already been charged in the case, and a fourth is likely to be charged soon.

In San Rafael, California, a former California Department of Corrections warehouse supervisor was arraigned Monday on charges he brought marijuana to San Quentin Prison to sell to an inmate. Robert Alioto, 48, had been arrested on October 5 and was fired the next day. He was charged with bringing a controlled substance into a state prison, selling or furnishing a controlled substance to a prisoner, and possession of marijuana for sale. He's looking at up to five years in prison if convicted.

In Washington, DC, a former Metro DC police officer was sentenced last Friday to 15 years in prison for his role in the botched attempted robbery of a drug dealer that resulted in the fatal shooting of one of the would-be robbers by one of his companions. Former officer Reginald Jones, 42, acted as a lookout from his patrol car as five men attempted the robbery. As the drug dealer was being assaulted, his girlfriend ran to Jones' police car seeking assistance, but Jones instead sped off. He pleaded guilty to second degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery.

In Port Angeles, Washington, a former Clallam County sheriff's evidence officer was convicted last Friday of stealing money from the evidence room. Staci Allison was accused of making off with at least $8,600 and, despite her protestations of innocence, she was convicted on counts of first-degree theft and money laundering. She's looking at up to 10 years in prison when sentenced next month.

Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed around 40,000 people, including more than 15,000 last year. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest or killing of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Tuesday, October 11

In Veracruz, the young son of a Zeta boss who was killed in May was kidnapped by armed men dressed in fatigues. A friend of his was also taken. His father, Rolando Veytia Bravo, "El Manitas," was allegedly the Zeta boss for Veracruz until being killed in a shootout with the military in May.

Wednesday, October 12

In Saltillo, Coahuila, a high-ranking Zeta commander was captured. Carlos Oliva Castillo, "La Rana," is alleged to be the third highest ranking member of the organization and is thought to have ordered the August 25 attack on a casino in Monterrey which left 52 people dead. His arrest sparked a series of gun battles throughout the city as cartel gunmen attempted to rescue him from the Mexican military. His bodyguard and girlfriend were also taken into custody.

In Ciudad Juarez, at least 16 people were murdered.  Among the dead were three anti-extortion investigators with the state Attorney General's Office who were gunned down near a high school. Additionally, a municipal police officer was shot and killed while waiting for his family in a supermarket parking lot.

Thursday, October 13

In Sinaloa, five gunmen were shot and killed by municipal police and soldiers. Four were detained, including two who were wounded.

Friday, October 14

In Mexico City, President Calderon acknowledged that the state of Veracruz had previously been left in the hands of drug traffickers. Violence has increased dramatically in Veracruz this year. Former Veracruz Governor Fidel Herrera Beltran, who left office in December 2010, has repeatedly been accused of having allowed the Zetas to operate freely. He has rejected the accusations.

Saturday, October 15

In Matamoros, a prison fight left 20 inmates dead and 12 wounded. The fight apparently began between two individuals, but others soon joined in. It took authorities several hours to reassert control of the facility.

In Piedras Negras, Coahuila, 61 hostages were rescued from a safe house where they were being held captive. Three armed men guarding them were taken into custody. Shoot-outs were reported in the area throughout the day as the city was cordoned off and swept by the military.

Sunday, October 16

In Vallecillos, Nuevo Leon, nine suspected Zetas were captured by members of the army. At least 21 gunmen were killed by troops during three days of operations. Authorities suspect that a Zeta training camp was located in the area. Vallecillos is roughly 100 miles from Monterrey.

Tuesday, October 18

In Veracruz, authorities announced that nearly 1,000 police officers have been fired in an effort to root out corrupt elements of the force. The 980 officers were fired after failing lie detector tests and other parts of the vetting process.

In Mexico State, authorities announced the capture of a founder of a criminal network that operates in the Acapulco area. Christian Arturo Hernandez Tarin, "El Cris," was arrested with three associates. His organization, the "Street Sweepers," was formerly an underling of Edgar Valdez Villareal, "la Barbie."

[Editor's Note: We can no longer tally this year's drug war deaths in Mexico with accuracy. The figure for this year's deaths is an estimate, no more, until there is some official toll reported.]

Total Body Count for 2007 (approx.): 4,300

Total Body Count for 2008 (approx.): 5,400

Total Body Count for 2009 (approx.): 9,600

Total Body Count for 2010 (official): 15,273

Total Body Count for 2011: (approx.): 8,000

TOTAL: > 42,000

Mexico

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A quiet week on the corrupt cops front this week, with only two reports. But one of them raises interesting questions: Why does a drug task force commander who steals from suspects and tries to cover up his crimes only get probation, when the suspects if convicted may get prison? Let's get to it:

In Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a Williamsport police officer was sentenced October 12 to 18 months probation for abusing his power as head of a local drug task force and profiting from items seized from drug suspects. Thomas Ungard, Jr., the former coordinator of the Lycoming County Drug Task Force was convicted of tampering with public records and obstructing justice in the five-year-old case. The judge in the case has suspended the imposition of sentence while Ungard appeals his conviction. He was convicted in part thanks to the testimony of another Williamsport police officer and task force member, Dustin Kreitz. Kreitz had also been charged in the scandal, but pleaded no contest earlier this year to a theft charge in exchange for his testimony against Ungard. But now, Kreitz has withdrawn his plea and is set for trial early next year.

In Wetumka, Alabama, an Alabama Department of Corrections jail guard was arrested October 16 on charges he smuggled contraband including drugs and cell phones into the Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore. Guard Leonard Purter has since resigned, and at last report, he was residing at the Elmore County Jail. It's unclear what the formal charges are, and local officials said an investigation is continuing.

Cop Admits Planting Drugs on Innocent People to Meet Arrest Quotas

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/newyorkmarijuanaarrests.png

Hmm, maybe the reason so many people still support the war on drugs isn’t because they’re stupid jerks. Perhaps they just haven’t yet had the pleasure of getting spontaneously framed, arrested, and jailed for made-up cocaine crimes concocted by dirty drug cops.

A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

"As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division," he said.

NYPD officials did not respond to a request for comment. [NY Daily News]

What, did you think they were going to apologize? Because that would be a lot like admitting that it’s wrong to do these sorts of things. I can absolutely guarantee you that there are plenty of people in law enforcement who think that the worst thing about this whole episode is that it’s causing people to say unreasonable things about the cops.

I, on the other hand, am quite convinced that the worst thing about this mess is the part where they framed some random dudes for fake crimes. That is an act so extraordinarily corrupt, so corrosive to the concept of a free society, that it’s a wonder the politicians have yet to declare war on it.

Imagine for one second, at the risk of your head exploding, that despite the laws of economics, human nature and common sense, it somehow turned out to be the case that the vigorous enforcement of our drug laws actually led to a reduction in drug activity. Imagine that, and ask yourself what would happen if one day these quota-driven drug detectives couldn’t find enough dope dealers to drag downtown on drug charges. It chills the blood to imagine the multitude of malicious schemes that would emerge to ensure that the people whose job it is to put other people in prison are always busy doing just that.

Ex-NYPD Narc Testifies Cops Routinely Planted Drugs on Innocent People

A former NYPD narcotics officer has blown a festering police misconduct scandal sky-high with testimony this week that police regularly planted drugs on innocent people to meet arrest quotas. The former narc, Stephen Anderson, was testifying as a cooperating witness in the trial of another officer after he was arrested for planting cocaine on four men in a bar in Queens.

In two days of testimony at the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn last week, Anderson described how rules were routinely broken or ignored so that narcs could make their monthly arrest quotas. His testimony shone new and unflattering light on the department in a scandal that was originally cast as police not turning in all their drug evidence so they could give it to their snitches as rewards for services rendered. One police official at the time characterized it as "noble corruption," done for a worthy cause.

But Anderson's testimony painted a picture of much baser motivations than bending rules in order to get information on drug deals. Anderson alleged that police routinely used drugs they seized but failed to turn in to plant on totally innocent people, without regard to the consequences.

In one case, Anderson described buying three bags of cocaine at a Queens nightclub, then giving two of the bags to a fellow officer, who planted them on and arrested four innocent people.

In court, Justice Gustin Reichblach, who is hearing the case without a jury, pressed Anderson on what he and his comrades had done to innocent people. "What was your thought in terms of saving his career at the cost of those four people who had seemingly no involvement in the transaction?" he asked.

The practice was called "attaching bodies" to the drugs, Anderson responded, adding that four years of life as a narc had numbed him to corruption. "It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators," he said. "Seeing it so much, it's almost like you have no emotion with it. The mentality was that they attach the bodies to it, they're going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway, nothing is going to happen to them anyway. That kind of came on to me and I accepted it -- being around that so long, and being an undercover."

The allegations about systematic corruption in NYPD narcotics units has led to the dropping of more than 400 drug prosecutions by prosecutors in Brooklyn and Queens because the officers in the cases are tainted by the scandal. The city is also busily settling civil suits filed by those wrongfully arrested, and is paying out an average of $1,000 for each hour of wrongful detention.

Such corrupt misbehavior on the part of narcotics officers was not a surprise to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), which has been monitoring the NYPD and has also been strongly critical of the department's long-standing policy of arresting people for small-time pot possession. It is decriminalized under state law, but NYPD would force people to take bags of pot from their pockets, then charge them with misdemeanor public display of marijuana, a policy reversed under public pressure just weeks ago.

"One of the consequences of the war on drugs is that police officers are pressured to make large numbers of arrests, and it's easy for some of the less honest cops to plant evidence on innocent people," said DPA's gabriel sayegh. "The drug war inevitably leads to crooked policing -- and quotas further incentivize such practices.

"Whether the issue is planting drugs (like this instance) or falsely charging people for having marijuana in public view (as is the case with the majority of marijuana arrests in NYC) the drug war corrupts police, ruins lives, and destroys trust between law enforcement and the communities that they serve," said Sayegh.

New York City, NY
United States

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Dirty cops popped up all across the South this week, and a crooked California prison guard, too. Let's get to it:

In Helena, Arkansas, five Helena-West Helena police officers were arrested Tuesday as part of a major drug trafficking crackdown that also involved public corruption. More than 800 federal and local police took part in mass arrests that targeted 70 people on federal charges. The police action, code named Operation Delta Blues, targeted crack cocaine sale and money laundering, but also swept up the Helena-West Helena police on corruption charges. The officers arrested are Helena-West Helena Police Department officer Herman Eaton, 46; Helena-West Helena officer Robert "Bam Bam" Rogers, 35; Helena-West Helena Sgt. Marlene Kalb, 48; Marvell police officer Robert Wahls, 42; and former Phillips County Deputy Sheriff Winston Dean Jackson, 44, who's now a Helena-West Helena police officer. They face a variety of drug trafficking and other charges.

In Caruthersville, Missouri, the Caruthersville police chief and an officer were arrested October 6 and charged with forgery and theft. Chief Chris Riggs and Officer Marcus Hopkins each face multiple counts of forgery, while Riggs also faces one count of theft. Their exact misdeeds have not been revealed, but the investigation was conducted by the Missouri Highway Patrol Drugs and Crime Division. Both men are free on $200,000 bonds. Riggs remains police chief.

In Bayou La Batre, Alabama, a former Bayou La Batre police officer was arrested October 7 after a months-long investigation into missing drug money by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. Former officer Jason Edwards had been in charge of confiscated drug money when some turned up missing in March. He resigned over the summer. At last report, Edwards was out on bail pending trial.

In St. Martinsville, Louisiana, a St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office jail guard was arrested October 5 for allegedly smuggling contraband into the St. Martin Parish Correctional II Facility. Officer Freddie Abraham, 20, is charged with malfeasance in office, criminal conspiracy, attempted introduction of contraband in penal institutions, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was last reported in jail trying to make a $30,000 bond.

In Blacksburg, South Carolina, a former Cherokee County sheriff's department narcotics officer was arrested October 5 for engaging in sex acts with a confidential informant who had pending charges. Albert Phillips, 41, is charged with misconduct in office for the acts, which took place between December 2008 and January 2009. He resigned in January 2009.

In Petaluma, California, a guard at San Quentin state prison was arrested October 6 for selling drugs at the prison and accepting bribes. Robert Alioto, 48, was booked on suspicion of requesting or receiving a bribe, possession of marijuana for sale, sales or transportation of marijuana, conspiracy and selling drugs to a person in custody. Officials had few details. Alioto is free on $50,000 bail.

Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed around 40,000 people, including more than 15,000 last year. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest or killing of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Wednesday, October 5

In Culiacan, Sinaloa, a top Sinaloa cartel leader was arrested without incident. Noel Salguiero Navarez, "El Flaco Salguiero," was the head of La Gente Nueva, which is considered the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel operating in Chihuahua and several other states. He is also thought to have been leading the Sinaloa Cartel's push to take Ciudad Juarez.

Thursday, October 6

In Veracruz, 32 bodies were discovered at three locations. The discovery came after Marines took eight members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel prisoner, who then led them to the locations. The government alleges that these men, who call themselves Zeta-Killers, are also responsible for the 35 bodies found on September 20.

Additionally, 12 members of the Zetas were captured, including Aguiles Amaranto Cruz Hurtano, the Zeta boss for the Veracruz region.

Friday, October 7

In Veracruz, Attorney General Reynaldo Esperez Perez resigned his office in the area. Escobar Perez was in office for only seven months. He is to be replaced by his deputy.

Near Monterrey, authorities announced that several police officers are being detained for allowing kidnap victims to be housed by their kidnappers in a local jail while negotiations were taking place. The hostages were rescued earlier in the week. The officers are thought to have been working for the Zetas.

Saturday, October 8

In Veracruz, 10 more bodies were discovered. Seven of the dead were discovered in the bed of a truck and the other three were found on roadsides in two different locations.

In Linares, Nuevo Leon, the entire police force of over 100 men was taken into custody for possible corruption and ties to drug trafficking groups. They were all driven out of the town on buses while the investigation continues. Mexican soldiers and federal police will take over policing duties in the town.

In Ciudad Juarez, at least seven people were killed. Among the dead were three men who were gunned down in the parking lot of a store in front of dozens of horrified witnesses.

Sunday, October 9

In Zacatecas, six police officers were killed in an ambush. The policemen were returning to the city of Valparaiso from a party when they were intercepted by a group of men wielding assault rifles and hand grenades.

In Ciudad Juarez, at least seven people were murdered in four separate incidents. In one incident, two boys, aged 16 and 17, were gunned down inside a home in the El Papolote area of the city. Later that afternoon, three men were killed inside a home in the Fray Garcia de San Francisco area.

Tuesday, October 11

In Mexico City, the Navy announced that 11 cartel members were killed and 36 captured during five days of raids in several parts of Tamaulipas. Additionally, four tons of marijuana was seized from two locations and 251 grenades were confiscated.  Among those captured was the Gulf Cartel chief for the city of Miguel Aleman.

In downtown Monterrey, three men were shot and killed in separate incidents. In one incident, a 51-one year old man was shot and killed with an AK-47 after his car was intercepted by unknown gunmen.

Wednesday, October 12

In Reynosa, authorities discovered the body of the Gulf Cartel’s main financial operator. Cesar Davila Garcia, "El Gama" had had apparently been killed by unknown parties with a 9 mm handgun that was found at the scene. At one point, Davila Garcia had been the personal accountant of former Gulf Cartel leader Ezequiel Cardenas-Guillen, "Tony Tormenta," before his death in November 2010. He was briefly given control of the Tampico region before being sent to Reynosa to assume his duties as the cartel's main financial operator

[Editor's Note: We can no longer tally this year's drug war deaths in Mexico with any degree of accuracy. The figure for this year's deaths is an estimate, no more, until there is some official toll.]

Total Body Count for 2007 (approx.): 4,300

Total Body Count for 2008 (approx.): 5,400

Total Body Count for 2009 (approx.): 9,600

Total Body Count for 2010 (official): 15,273

Total Body Count for 2011: (approx.): 7,800

TOTAL: > 42,000

Mexico

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