War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:15 pm

Did transphobia help kill Colombia's peace referendum?


As the "cool Pope" and other conservative religious leaders wage a war on "gender ideology," one of the biggest casualties may have been the peace vote to end Colombia's decades-long civil war.

Trans rights are increasingly used as a wedge issue by conservatives, and it often involves moral panics around "protecting children" from LGBT people in general and transgender people in particular.

The controversy began earlier this year when an unfinished draft of a teaching handbook, produced by the education ministry in tandem with international agencies including UNICEF, was published online. One sentence sparked particular fury: “One isn’t born a man or a woman, but rather learns to be one, according to the society and age in which they grow up,” it read. That passage, along with false versions of the handbook and other misinformation, circulated widely on social media. Critics accused then-Education Minister Gina Parody, a lesbian, of trying to indoctrinate students with “gender ideology,” a term used by many conservative groups and leaders throughout Latin America. Parody quickly became the center of a smear campaign, while others argued children needed to be protected from same-sex marriage. That was when the lines between the handbook controversy and the peace deal vote started to blur.

Did an Anti-LGBT Panic Help Defeat Colombia’s Peace Deal?(Americas Quarterly)
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby MinM » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:16 pm

Christopher Woody ‏@chrstphr_woody

The Jalisco cartel has become a crystal-meth superpower, and it’s vying for the top of Mexico’s narco underworld
http://read.bi/2dirRcD
Image

George Knapp ‏@g_knapp

Wells Fargo knew about scheme to create fake accounts ten years ago:
https://news.vice.com/story/wells-fargo-bank-scandal
Image

8bitagent » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:39 pm wrote:I posted this in a "liberal" forum a few weeks ago when I was accused of making up the claim that the CIA/west is still connected to drug smuggling

Wells Fargo's Wachovia Bank Caught Behind the Mexican Drug Cartel money to the tune of 384 billion dollars:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs

UN official: drug money kept banks afloat after 2008 crash
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2009/d ... ief-claims

Top Afghan drug lord on CIA payroll
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/ ... 62,00.html

Top Mexican Drug Lord: I work for the CIA
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 704AAkF3Kw

Fox News: US military protecting and helping cultivation of heroin poppys


Former DEA head admits CIA involved in drug smuggling

elfismiles » Wed May 16, 2012 8:20 am wrote:via stratfor ... nice map.


Shifts in cartel areas of influence in Mexico's Drug War

Image

http://app.en25.com/e/es.aspx?s=1483&e= ... a3cc700801
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:34 pm

Stock Fraud, Drug Trafficking, & the ‘Alt-Right’
Posted on September 28, 2016 by Daniel Hopsicker

http://www.madcowprod.com/2016/09/28/st ... alt-right/


Donald Trump, Banana Republican
Posted on October 10, 2016 by Daniel Hopsicker
http://www.madcowprod.com/2016/10/10/do ... more-12969
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Mon May 07, 2018 9:54 am

These concerns apply more generally to deep state dynamics:


Michael Cohen and the Mueller “Investigation”

So, the real questions for Trump’s criminality (at least regarding purely capitalist standards) would be ones that revolve around his business associates, for whom he purchased real estate, why so many deals were on a cash only basis, why it is that so many Russian mafia types own condo apartments in his New York Trump Tower, his relations with such types as convicted swindler Felix Sater or his former personal helicopter pilot and convicted drug runner Joseph Weichselbaum.

Why isn’t Mueller asking such questions?

First because the scandal would be too explosive. Even President Trump has to command some respect from the US public. The fact that he’s nothing but a two-bit scam artist would be too shocking for US capitalism. But even more a problem is the fact that the entire real estate industry is rampant with this same sort of money laundering. And it is the real estate industry that dominates local politics in many major US cities. That includes cities run by Democrats, including the liberal wing of the Democrats. In other words, if Trump’s role as a money launderer were to be revealed, it would tend to open up the money laundering role of this major industry as a whole and would tend to reveal how the backers of many major local politicians are also involved.

Oh, the scandal!

So, Mueller must just nibble around the edges.


Image
Michael Cohen


More: https://oaklandsocialist.com/2018/05/06 ... stigation/
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:50 am

https://aeon.co/essays/how-a-growing-ma ... -the-mafia

The big squeeze

Sicily’s mafia sprang from the growing global market for lemons – a tale with sour parallels for consumers today

The Sicilian mafia is probably the most famous criminal organisation in the world. It’s been known to exist at least since the 1870s, when a Sicilian landlord documented how a local group of mafia members threatened and harassed his business to the point that he had to escape from the island. Over the years, the Cosa Nostra and its North American offshoots have been depicted in numerous books, movies and works of popular culture. Yet the origins of the mafia have been regarded as something of a mystery. What factors explained its sudden appearance in Sicily after Italy’s unification in 1860-61? Were the mafiosi truly ‘men of honour’, as they called themselves, protecting poor, ordinary citizens from an oppressive state – or did their activity arise as a bulwark against communism?

Recently, the economists Arcangelo Dimico, Alessia Isopi and I showed that a major catalyst for the rise of the mafia in Sicily was, somewhat surprisingly, the surge in demand for lemons and oranges that began in the first half of the 19th century. But to understand how fruit cultivation could lead to organised crime, we need to go back even further, to the conditions prevailing in the British Royal Navy in the 18th century.

Before 1800, sailors on long-distance voyages throughout the world were plagued by scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. Early symptoms included malaise and fatigue, while the more advanced stages of the illness might involve loosening or losing teeth, emotional turbulence, fever and convulsions. The death rate on long-distance voyages was typically high.

At the time, nobody had systematic knowledge of what causes scurvy, although they had derived sporadic insights. Then, in the mid-1700s, James Lind, a Scottish physician in the Royal Navy, conducted the first ever clinical trials on sick sailors. A control group was given the usual food served on ships, while a small group was fed portions of fresh fruit as treatment. Unsurprisingly (to us), this second group got better, and Lind published his findings in A Treatise of the Scurvy (1753). However, the research was largely ignored until the 1790s, when the Sick and Hurt Commissioners of the Royal Navy began recommending that lemon juice be regularly served to the whole fleet.

As knowledge of the beneficial effects of citrus spread through Europe, lemons became an increasingly precious commodity. The island of Sicily off the ‘toe’ of Italy was one of the few regions in the world that could meet the fresh demand. Lemons and other citrus fruits had been introduced to Sicily by the Arabs in the 10th century, who saw the opportunity afforded by the island’s hot coastal plains and exceptionally fertile soil. However, due to their sensitivity to frosts, lemons could be grown only in certain locations, slightly above the coastline. Prior to the early 19th century, lemons were mainly used for decoration and perfumes; Sicily’s main export goods at the time were wine, olives and wheat.

The recommendations of the Sick and Hurt Commissioners in Britain changed all this. In the coming decades, a great share of Sicilian agricultural production was redirected towards producing citrus fruits for the international market. However, the shift to large-scale lemon cultivation was not quick or easy. Only certain areas of the island were suitable, and even those required a lot of money to get going.

Once the seeds were sown, the young trees had to be pruned, fertilised and watered. The lemon farmers typically used horse-powered mills to water the plants at least once a week. In order to protect the trees from thieves and harmful winds, the groves were often shielded by high walls and fences. Unprotected groves with ripe lemons were otherwise an easy target for burglars or brigands. Several years of investment could easily be destroyed by marauders, or stolen during a single dark night. So in the mid-1800s, when export revenues started to soar, the groves were typically protected by armed guards.

Between 1837-50, the number of lemon barrels exported from the Sicilian harbour of Messina increased from 740 to 20,707. By the late 1800s, exports had grown dramatically. According to the British historian John Dickie’s book Cosa Nostra (2005), 2.5 million cases (each containing more than 300 pieces of Italian citrus fruit) arrived every year in New York during in the 1880s, most of them shipped from the Sicilian port city of Palermo.

The boom in demand for citrus generated huge profits for the lemon cultivators of Sicily. But just who were these farmers and what sorts of conditions were they working in?

Sicily in the early first half of the 19th century was characterised by fragile public institutions and a weak rule of law. Bandits roamed the countryside, and theft and poverty plagued the population. The roots of these problems ran deep. The island’s strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean made it an obvious target for numerous foreign empires throughout history: after being dominated by the Ancient Greeks and then the Romans, Sicily fell under the control of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Spanish and French rulers. Then, after the Napoleonic wars at the start of the 1800s, Sicily was ruled by Bourbon kings based in Naples, forming what was known as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1816-60). At this time, Sicily was generally a poor and underdeveloped region, and social unrest was common. Feudal structures remained despite attempts at reform, and major rebellions were suppressed by the Bourbon government in 1820 and 1848.

Between 1860-61, Sicily was conquered by troops from the mainland and became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Italy. The de facto capital was in Piedmont, to the far north. It soon became clear that many Sicilians were unhappy about the new arrangement. The intruders from the peninsula spoke a dialect of Italian that Sicilians struggled to understand and, in the eyes of many islanders, the Piedmontese state was just another foreign power trying to impose its will on the underdeveloped island.

It was in this post-unification environment, with its toxic mix of weak government institutions and large inflows of cash from the lemon industry, that the organisation known as the mafia first appeared. The word mafiosoderives from Arabic, meaning ‘swindler’ or ‘cheater’. But in Sicily, the label didn’t have negative connotations. Rather, it suggested someone who deserved respect because he stood up for the local population against the lawless brigands and militias who roamed the countryside and threatened farmers.

The mafia placed its own people as wardens of groves, who appropriated parts of the harvest directly

Landowners began engaging local groups of such strongmen to protect the valuable lemon groves. At the same time, this ‘protection’ sometimes took on the character of extortion, and was more or less forced upon citrus growers. The first recorded example of such ‘unwanted’ protection comes from 1872, concerning a certain Dr Galati, a landlord who owned a lemon grove outside Palermo. Soon after he had acquired the grove, Galati learned that its warden had stolen fruit off the trees and taken a big portion of the sale price of lemon harvests for himself. Galati fired the warden and hired a replacement but, not long after this event, the new caretaker of the grove was shot. The police investigation proved inefficient. Soon, threatening letters began to arrive, demanding that Galati reinstall the previous warden. His refusal was followed by a series of assassination attempts, and eventually the doctor fled.

The Galati incident shows how groups of local ‘men of honour’, referred to as cosca, had managed to infiltrate not only the local villages, but also the police, politics and eventually the various markets that surrounded and supported the citrus industry. The coscas were secret groups whose members swore an oath of silence about the organisation and its activities, and soon controlled important parts of the supply chain for lemons. The mafia often tried to place its own people as wardens of groves, which allowed them to appropriate parts of the harvest directly. They could then develop monopolies and hike prices for buyers, and sometimes even act as intermediaries between producers and exporters in Palermo and Messina. Despite the drawbacks, in the chaotic environment of Sicily at the time, the local mafiosi were often preferred to the representatives of the oppressive Italian state. Given the large revenues from the citrus trade, there was still money to share around among both landowners and the mafia.

However, the newly minted Italian state soon identified the mafia as a problem. In 1877, the Italian parliament approved an extensive inquiry into the conditions of the agricultural sectors in the country, a key part of which concerned Sicily. An MP from Sicily, Abele Damiani, was made responsible for the local investigation, which was carried out during 1881-86. The inquiry sent a survey to all local pretori (lower court judges) in Sicily. Among other things, they asked: ‘What is the most common form of crime in the district? What are their causes? What are the most important crops or plants?’ The mafia came up again and again as the most serious problem in town.

We used this information to investigate whether there is a robust statistical relationship between the presence of the mafia and the cultivation of citrus, while also controlling for other factors such as the extent of cultivation of other crops, population density, and the extent that land was collectively owned by multiple parties. Our analysis shows that the prevalence of citrus-growing is generally a strong determinant of the existence of local mafia groups in the 1880s. The correlation remains even when we use a later inquiry from 1900, and when we use a measure of land’s suitability for citrus cultivation to complement actual observed citrus production.

Other scholars – including Dickie and the Italian historian Salvatore Lupo – have noticed that organised crime in Sicily arose alongside the demand for lemons. Previous studies have demonstrated that the mining of sulphur also played a role; others have argued that the drought of 1893 led to the rise of socialist fasci (‘league’) organisations, against which local landowners hired the mafia to protect them. Nonetheless, our empirical analysis supports the hypothesis that the market for citrus fruits was a major factor behind the rise and consolidation of the Sicilian mafia.

At the end of the 1900s, the Sicilian economy was hit by economic stagnation. The lemon industry faced severe competition from new citrus groves in Florida. As a result, tens of thousands of poor Sicilians emigrated to the United States, escaping chaotic conditions back home.

This wave of emigration brought not only Sicilians but the mafia to the US, too. Mafia groups were soon established in poor Italian neighbourhoods in New York City, and spread to other cities such as Boston and Chicago. The Sicilian mafiosi blended with southern Italians and criminal groups from other ethnicities to form the special variant of the American mafia. Meanwhile, in Italy, the Sicilian mafia, along with the Camorra in Naples and the ’Ndrangheta in Calabria, remained a major threat to the rule of law, up until the present day.

Is this story of criminal gangs that arose from poor governance combined with the exploitation of natural resources unique to Sicily? Not at all. In fact, economists and political scientists have coined the term ‘the resources curse’, to describe the frequently perverse effects of high profits from resources in underdeveloped regions of the world.

The most blatant contemporary example is so-called ‘conflict diamonds’. About a decade ago, the illicit trade in diamonds in countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia led to the emergence of local strongmen who could control revenues from the trade. Eventually, they formed private rebel armies, with the primary aim of extracting profits from exporting to unscrupulous buyers with connections to Western countries. Like the mafia in Sicily, the rebel groups controlled both the production and trading networks, and used physical violence to force local populations to comply. Eventually, a UN-sanctioned policy framework was put in place (the Kimberley Process) that managed to curb the illegal trade. Part of the reason the wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Angola came to an end was that diamond profits could no longer finance the countries’ warlords. However, in eastern Congo, many rebel groups are unfortunately still financed by illegal exports of other ‘conflict minerals’, such as coltan, an essential component in mobile phones and other electronic appliances.

The story of the rise of the mafia in 19th-century Sicily reveals how mixing valuable resources and weak institutions produces a volatile cocktail. It’s one that can cause decades of suffering and poverty for local populations. Even the demand for seemingly harmless goods such as lemons can easily lead to the emergence of dangerous groups and criminal gangs. Although the Sicilian mafia no longer seem to be entangled with citrus cultivation, you are probably carrying a trace of other mafia-like organisations – embedded in your jewellery, or within your phone.



American Dream » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:15 am wrote:This helps put things in context:

Why do we like mafia films?

by Matthijs Krul

Bolshevism is knocking at our gates, we can’t afford to let it in… We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled. We must keep the worker away from red literature and red ruses; we must see that his mind remains healthy.” – Al Capone

The genre of the mafia film, and related media such as mafia-related thrillers and so forth, remains one of the fixed stars at the firmament of popular culture. Movies like The Godfather, Scarface have become all-time classics, while television series such as The Sopranos rival with them for the considerable audience interested in such works. What characterizes many of the most successful media in this genre is not so much having the mafia as a subject, but that more often than not they are seen from the point of view of the gangsters themselves. Portrayed as flawed, greedy, but witty and inventive fighters against establishment and order, bound by an idiosyncratic but honest honor code, the mafiosi seem to figure as ideal anti-heroes. Of course, that the life of the mafia boss gives plenty of opportunity for filmmakers to incorporate high doses of violence and sex in their films is also an important part of the deal. This fits perfectly with approaches such as HBO’s standard formula for successful television series, which is simply repackaging sex and violence into a thin intellectual wrapping so that people don’t feel unsophisticated or vulgar for watching it.

In principle, there seems nothing wrong with this. After all, the mobsters in question are rarely portrayed as particularly good or nice, and antiheroes are a common and appreciated trope of scriptwriting. Moreover, for good reasons few people identify strongly with the FBI or other police organizations dedicated to maintaining the law and order against which the mafia supposedly rebel in vain, so that the latter can appear both as antihero and as underdog – certainly an irresistible combination. However, it seems to me that especially on the left, the politics of this genre is not sufficiently examined. Of course, there is a considerable amount of writing on the notions of masculinity and outward aggression. For example The Sopranos explicitly plays on the theme of the fragility of masculinity and the absurd lengths to which the mafia members will go to sustain it. Similarly, much has been written on the nature of the mafioso as a self-made man, as a social climber, and the mythology of the rags-to-riches dimension inherent in the criminal career, but this remains focused on the level of the mafioso as individual. In this narrative, the mafia film is an example of how the criminal story of ‘bootstrapping’ becomes the anxious dream, an object of jealousy as well as a source of repulsion, for Western audiences in times of diminishing social mobility.

In a different interpretation, Fredric Jameson’s famous essay on The Godfather in his article “Reification and Utopia” focuses on the mafia as a cypher for the essentially criminal and pervasively parasitical power of capitalism itself, this is still robbing the mafia as protagonist of its historical and economic origins. Put differently, for Jameson “mafia movies thus project a “solution” to social contradictions – incorruptibility, honesty, crime fighting, and finally law-and-order itself – which is evidently a very different proposition from that diagnosis of the American misery whose prescription would be social revolution.” This means the mafia protagonist is merely the ‘dark side’ of capitalism to play off against the fantasy of the Party of Order, the possibility of a restoration of order and moral values within capitalism that would free us from its negative, destructive forces and restore a sense of Gemeinschaft. The mafia film is for him therefore an exercise in moral judgement on the ‘illegitimate’ side of capitalism, ignoring that capitalism is always criminal.(1)

But what is less examined is the position of the mafia genre from a historical and comparative perspective. That is to say, while the structure of the mafia honor code and its significance – and of course the talents and techniques of filmmaking itself as they are expressed in Scarface or the like – are familiar points of inquiry, this still takes the concept of the mafia film with the mafia as protagonists for granted. Instead of this, I would suggest the political implications of the mafia film can be understood differently if we focus on the economic historical function of the mafia as an institution. In that case, the seemingly self-evident acceptance of the mafioso as antihero protagonist should be seen by any radical politics in a much more negative light than Jameson and the other psychological readings suggest. For what is at stake is more than just an ambiguity towards capitalism as a whole: the mafia as antihero protagonist is itself a politically reactionary instrument.

Few people seem very aware of the origins of the mafia beyond a conception of them ‘coming from Italy’ as a peculiar kind of organized crime, and then with Italian settlers in North America taking up root in the big cities of that continent. However, the mafia was always more than just a simple gang, or even a confederation of gangs. Such a thing does not come about naturally; neither do their strict hierarchies, honor codes, and the clan-like structure. We must not naturalize this, but examine it historically. What we find then is that the origins of the mafia lie in Italy, but in a particular context: namely in the struggle between the landlords, often absentee landlords, and the peasantry of the Mezzogiorno. From the high Middle Ages onwards, after the establishment of serfdom in the Kingdom of Naples (which also controlled Sicily) and its maintenance under the rule of Aragon, the interests of absentee landlords were protected during the periodic risings of peasant rebellions or foreign invasions (such as by the North African muslim states) through organized groups of guardians of their fiefs. It is in this that traditionally the origins of the mafia are found: representatives and guardians of the interests of the feudo, the large landowners, from the period of serfdom up to the 19th century or so.

So the mafia from the get go are an outright reactionary organization serving the interests of the large landowners, the latifundists.(2) This also explains their ongoing hostility, up to the present day, towards the political and social organizations of the poor rural populations in Italy and towards the political left (the PCI) and its trade unionists, whose members they often sought to assassinate. However, we should not simply project the feudal origins onto present-day mafia activity. In the course of the 19th century, southern Italy became subsumed to the rule of capitalism, and with it, the structure of its social relations changed, and the mafia along with it. As Salvatore Lupo describes in his History of the Mafia, feudalism decayed into fragmentation of landownership and urbanization plus export-based agriculture and mining became economically dominant trends in Sicily and elsewhere.(3) This meant that the raison d’être of the mafia shifted along with it. Partially, with the various rounds of redistribution of land in southern Italy, the mafia interposed itself effectively between the large landowners and the peasantry, controlling the process of distribution to their own advantage. As Lupo writes: “they [the mafia] were organizers of cooperatives and won much of their power base by serving as intermediaries in the transfer of land from the large landowners to the peasants, and therefore by placing themselves firmly astride the collective movements precisely in the postwar years following the First World War and the Second World War.”

Similarly, with increasing export orientation of tenant farming, for example in citrus fruits, and with the development of urban markets linked to the rising world market of the capitalist era, it is precisely in the interstices between rural production and urban marketing that the mafia found its strongest foothold.(4) In Palermo, Lupo identifies their base of operations as the suburban and rural terrain belonging to the city proper: “In particular, in what in the nineteenth century was called the agro palermitano , or Palermo territorial countryside, midway between city and countryside, in the borgate and in the villages of the hinterland, the Mafia groups established a system of control over the territory that set out from the dense network of guardianìe (custodianships). They ultimately seized control of both legitimate and illicit business, cattle rustling, smuggling and contraband, and the early commercial intermediation of citrus fruit and other products of the area’s rich agriculture. In a more recent era, the same area proved to be the more or less natural marketplace for the expansion of real estate and for speculation in that field—age-old locations and age-old power bases finding new op­portunities for profit. The Mafia’s introduction into a transoceanic migratory network and its involvement with long-distance trade, such as the citrus fruit business, simply laid the groundwork in terms of mentalities and abilities well suited to smuggling tobacco and narcotics.”

It is important therefore, as always with such phenomena, to not simply ascribe the persistence or nature of the mafia to quaint and romantic holdovers from the feudal era. Their utterly reactionary role in terrorizing the peasantry of the Mezzogiorno and acting as guardiani of the latifundists is clear enough. But in the modern period, capitalist relations have not caused them to wither away, but rather to strengthen their operations. The role of the drug trade and other activities immediately related to the world market, and their operations in land and housing speculation and in protection rackets, are all examples of how the mafia’s traditional role as intermediaries have taken on new forms in the capitalist period. This is no different in New York than in Palermo. Whereas previously they operated directly in the interests of the agricultural ruling class, with the slow disappearance of this class and its significance, they became intermediaries of the new ruling order in a more abstract way – intermediaries wherever money was to be made, licitly or illicitly, always by interposing themselves between producers and the realization of the value of goods.

In other words, they now act as intermediaries on behalf of the ruling class not as a sociological phenomenon, but to the driving force of capitalism in a more abstract sense, intermediaries on behalf of capital in general. This clarifies on the one hand their mixture of clan-like structure with a strongly entrepreneurial focus, and on the other hand the ambiguity inherent in the much vaunted honor codes of the mafia, the omertà. As Lupo describes, and the mafia films invariably portray with great seriousness, the mafia always like to conceive of themselves as bound by ancient honor codes which require them to support the weak and attack the strong. More often than not, they see themselves as good, traditional Catholics and are quite insistent on enforcing its religious principles, including its inherent homophobia and patriarchal attitudes.

But it is impossible to comprehend why both the makers and the viewers of the mafia genre take this at its word. In a classic example of Hobsbawm’s ‘invention of tradition’, the more the modern mafia appears as an agent of capital, and pursuing the most violent and regressive forms of capitalism imaginable, the more the mafia is keen to present itself as defenders of traditional values. As Lupo notes: “In that ideology there is a certain degree of self-persuasion, a great deal of overweening ambition, and an even greater degree of propaganda destined to clash in the great majority of cases with a far different reality… Greed and ferocity, as will be documented in the pages of this book, are intrinsic characteristics of the Mafia of both yesterday and today, and both Mafias are and were capable of slaughtering innocent people, women and children, in defiance of their codes of honor… Sicilian and Italian American mafiosi continue to declare their hostility to drugs, which destroy the sociocultural ties of the community, even when they are caught red-handed dealing narcotics.” And so forth.

Similarly, this kind of hypocrisy of the mafia code, a lie and misrepresentation at its very base, also applies to the mafia’s relations with the state. In reality, the mafia is not so much anti-state nor a protector of traditional communities against state interference as it is, once again, a mediator between state and citizens, in its own interests. The history of Italy during fascism shows that the mafia and fascism could find a lot to agree on and to respect in each other’s work: they were really not so very different, and many of the mafia’s main figures were enrolled into the official fascistic militias, against the partisan activities of the resistance of the left based in workers and peasants’ movements. Equally, after WWII Italian politics has seen a consistent corruption and collusion between mafia and state figures, especially but not exclusively among the parties of the right and center. Occasional bursts of arrests of leading mafiosi then appear as the state’s means of keeping the mafia in the place where they want it: enablers of the political programmes of the Italian right, but not too much of an independent power outside its own sphere. The mafia have often chafed under this yoke – leading occasionally to outright war with the state, always with the mafia as the losing side – but on the whole accept the deal in return for their increasing, rather than decreasing, dominance through terror over the producers and small capitals of southern Italy in the course of the 20th century. The same is true in those places in North America where the mafia was and is sufficiently established to undertake the same role, such as in some parts of Canada and in cities like New York and especially Boston.


Continues at: http://mccaine.org/2013/11/06/why-do-we ... fia-films/ [/quote]
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:27 pm

A Prime Minister, a Drug Pilot, an Oligarch, & RussiaGate

BY DANIEL HOPSICKER · PUBLISHED AUGUST 29, 2018 · UPDATED AUGUST 29, 2018

(WARNING: A long-ass read. But worth it)

ImageRussiaGate is all about the Mob, says the current meme. Not ‘The’ Mob, or just one Mob, but a gamut of players— Russian, American, British, Israeli, Saudi—belonging to a global criminal network connecting the forces of transnational organized crime across nation-states, time-zones, and continents.

‘Transnational organized crime’ doesn’t have quite the same ring as ‘The Purple Gang’ or ‘Murder Inc.’ But the Obama Administration considered it enough of a threat to national security to issue an unusual 2012 warning.

Evidence of the network can be seen in some strange and unlikely places, like Sarasota, Florida; and some strange and unlikely people as well, like Omarosa Manigaul0t-Newman, whose connection to RussiaGate players was only recently revealed.

First to Sarasota, where two local grifters plied their ‘craft:’ Jonathan Curshen, currently serving 20 years in federal prison, and Andy Badolato, currently free as a bird. Curshen is a dual British-U.S. citizen who operated out of Sarasota and Costa Rica, after serving an internship in fraud and financial crime on Vancouver Canada’s wild-and-wooly stock exchange.

Badolato, Steve Bannon’s former chief lieutenant, surfaced in the media after Bannon switched his legal residence in a panic before the 2016 election to Badolato’s beach-front pad on Casey Key in Sarasota, to avoid a vote fraud rap while his candidate was strenuously decrying…vote fraud.


The ‘players’ in RussiaGate’s Sarasota thread

ImageAndy Badolato and Jonathan Curshen participated in a number of continuing criminal conspiracies together, along with a colorful cast of co-conspirators whose importance to RussiaGate is growing all the time.

Curshen and Badolato were partners in what’s known as a “hyena pack”engaged in stock fraud and related financial crime. Each was an officer in a number of dummy front companies, supposedly independent of one another, but acting in concert with interlocking ownership.

The crew was led by a wily 30-year veteran of scams and white collar crime, a man whose name was already famous from previous scandals, Adnan Khashoggi, Saudi arms dealer, long-time CIA ‘fixer’ and Iran Contra middleman.

Khashoggi, who died recently, was at the height of his powers in the early 2000’s, and pulled off an ingenious scam using a company he controlled called GenesisIntermedia to steal $300 million from investors with the help of Germany’s criminal Deutsche Bank. The bank later paid a fine of $270 million to the U.S. Government. Khashoggi walked.

Rounding out the hyena pack was Khashoggi’s long-time lieutenant Ramy El-Batrawi—an Iran Contra figure in his own right—and an assortment of retired CIA and DIA assets including Glen Kovar, who once claimed that he had invented ‘Smokey the Bear’ while he was ‘sheep-dipped’ as an employee of the U.S. Forest Service while really working undercover for the CIA.


Continues: http://www.madcowprod.com/2018/08/29/a- ... ussiagate/
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:43 pm

The biggest corruption scandal in Latin America’s history

And possibly the whole world.

By Sam Ellis Oct 30, 2018, 1:40pm EDT


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMXumMJZYYI

In 2014, Brazilian police stumbled onto the largest corruption scheme ever discovered in the country’s history. They had arrested a minor criminal who revealed that he was laundering money for Petrobras, Brazil’s massive state-owned oil company. With that revelation, Operation Car Wash was born, an investigation that found billions of dollars in bribes were being paid between a coordinated ring of Petrobras executives, construction companies, and politicians.

The investigation even reached the highest levels of Brazil’s government. One president has been convicted, and another has been charged with corruption.

The scandal nearly put Brazil out of business. It helped pitch the country into a deep recession, wiped out nearly 500,000 jobs, and threw Brazil into a political crisis. And the consequences went well beyond Brazil. Politicians in several Latin America countries were found to be involved in the corruption.

Watch the video above to understand how Operation Car Wash uncovered the scandal and how the region is still dealing with the fallout, four years later.
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby JackRiddler » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:06 pm

And now this?

Do you endorse this overheated propaganda (ooooh! the biggest corruption scandal of ALL TIME!!!) from of all things the neoliberal propaganda outlet Vox? I mean, why are you posting this? It completely confuses and glosses over the establishment coup d'etat against Dilma Rousseff and the hijacking of the just concluded campaign by imprisoning Lula. That was the key move in electing a fascist whose first move will be to attempt genocide against the remaining indigenous peoples. Did you watch this thing? The key developments politically are given starting around 6:45. Rousseff's impeachment had nothing to do with Car Wash. The charges against Lula were completely made up. Temer imposed the worst austerity yet, and his reputation may have been "damaged" but when the motherfucker and his party was nailed on far worse charges, nothing happened. None of this is mentioned. Temer remained in his stolen office, continued the destructive policies, and will get away with all of it. The video seems to play along with the theme that somehow Dilma and Temer are the same lot and equally caught up in the "corruption." You know the result of such confusionism: Bolsonaro. Vox is reproducing the lies from the Brazilian oligarch media, and you know what? They may not even have a clue. This is low-grade shit, fucking lazy. I see little evidence in it they have anyone permanent on the ground in Brazil, or that the author of the video speaks Portuguese.

.
Last edited by JackRiddler on Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:12 pm

I personally think that the charges were instrumentalized but that the corruption was real. You are entitled to your own perspective but I'm not going to get into a thing with you.
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby JackRiddler » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:15 pm

I think next you should do Benghazi.
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby Elvis » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:25 am

JackRiddler » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:06 pm wrote:And now this?

Do you endorse this overheated propaganda (ooooh! the biggest corruption scandal of ALL TIME!!!) from of all things the neoliberal propaganda outlet Vox? I mean, why are you posting this? It completely confuses and glosses over the establishment coup d'etat against Dilma Rousseff and the hijacking of the just concluded campaign by imprisoning Lula. That was the key move in electing a fascist whose first move will be to attempt genocide against the remaining indigenous peoples. Did you watch this thing? The key developments politically are given starting around 6:45. Rousseff's impeachment had nothing to do with Car Wash. The charges against Lula were completely made up. Temer imposed the worst austerity yet, and his reputation may have been "damaged" but when the motherfucker and his party was nailed on far worse charges, nothing happened. None of this is mentioned. Temer remained in his stolen office, continued the destructive policies, and will get away with all of it. The video seems to play along with the theme that somehow Dilma and Temer are the same lot and equally caught up in the "corruption." You know the result of such confusionism: Bolsonaro. Vox is reproducing the lies from the Brazilian oligarch media, and you know what? They may not even have a clue. This is low-grade shit, fucking lazy. I see little evidence in it they have anyone permanent on the ground in Brazil, or that the author of the video speaks Portuguese.

.


Bravo. Agree completely. Vox has some good stuff as bait but consistently comes down on the side of neoliberal economic violence.
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:22 pm

The lesson of Brazil

Image
Brasil students debate resistance to Bolsonaro

The shock

At this point, everyone is in shock. The natural reflex is to point to the dreadful manipulation of the right, through the use of the media, elite corruption and repression. That’s completely true. The election campaign that just ended illustrates the tremendous slippage of the current liberal democracies, and not only in Brazil (think of the United States). There is a strong tendency to turn politics into a huge show where anything can be said. One might have thought, however, that the left, the PT and the popular movements should have seen it coming. The victory of a fascist comes two years after President Dilma Roussef was overthrown in a “constitutional” coup, the logical and natural consequence of which was Lula’s imprisonment. Even before that, in 2013, the right had taken the initiative by organizing real mass movements in the street to confront the inanities of the PT government, unable to tame the repression and reorient the country to the needs of the people instead of mounting megalomaniac projects (the Olympics, among others). With various media, police and judicial operations, the PT apparatus found itself in hot water. These episodes, events, scandals and other phenomena have of course been reflected in and mobilized by a highly-organized Right in Brazil, deeply embedded in the state apparatus, “armed” by a vast coterie of “service” intellectuals and firmly seated in a racist and reactionary culture that is the legacy of 500 years of social apartheid and slavery.

Dark spots of the left

That being said, it is necessary to look elsewhere. A product of the great workers and democratic struggles of the 1980s, the PT emerged from oblivion with a project of emancipation that boasted some new features. The need to “democratize the democracy” and redistribute wealth to the popular sectors resulted in a broadly attractive and arguably hegemonic project. This kind of “not so quiet revolution” seemed an ideal way to change this country without too many clashes and grinding of teeth. Once elected in 2012 after a decade of slow and partial victories, the PT enjoyed a state of grace, spurred by an economic boom propelled by rising resource prices. This giant country of agrobusiness and mining and petroleum industries amassed a lot of money, and this allowed Lula and his government to redistribute part of the wealth without harming the interests of the better-off sectors. They were never supporters of the PT but they could tolerate it with the thought that the new governance had the effect of pacifying popular demands and moderating more radical sectors. For example, PT governments continued to refuse the major demand of the MST to implement an extensive agrarian reform, thereby reinforcing the power of agrobusiness, the most dynamic sector of Brazilian capitalism. The same thing can be said for the political system.

Shortly after Lula’s election, some dissident sectors had dared to take their distance by insisting that no real change could occur in Brazil without a ruthless fight against a thoroughly rotten political system. Elected officials at all levels, civil servants, members of the judiciary and the repressive apparatus were gangrened by perverted manipulative practices and a corresponding ideology in which the supreme principle is personal profit, anchored in a deep hatred of the people. Lula and the PT leadership simply chose to live with this system.


More: http://lifeonleft.blogspot.com/2018/11/ ... razil.html
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:25 am

Brazilian elections: some very real lessons


Corruption

Meanwhile, two other processes were at work that would lead to the present crisis:

First was the massive corruption that permeated Brazilian government. This corruption is present in all capitalist regimes everywhere. In the United States, for example, it is quite open and takes the name of “campaign contributions.” In Brazil, its scale is connected with the constitutional set-up that left the Brazilian congress an unruly mob of different and competing relatively small parties. The result is that the president has to make deals with the leaders of every one of the different parties by offering them bribes.

Central to this are the scandals revolving around Brazil’s national Bank for Economic and Social Development, a bank so huge

Image
Belo Monte dam project.
Massive corruption is involved in securing contracts for projects like this.


that it is even greater than the World Bank. It made loans both domestic (for example for the development of the huge Belo Monte Dam) and international, and its bonds are traded on Wall Street.

Odebrecht

Central to its developmental loans is the operation of the major construction contractor Odebrecht, which according to Forbes is seen as “public enemy No. 1”. An international contractor, they built part of the Miami International and Ft. Lauderdale International and Airports and are currently building the Grand Parkway in Texas.

Massive and widespread bribery has been involved in securing these contracts. The same Forbes article describes video footage seen by millions of Brazilians in which, “you can hear these people in their own words. You can see sacks of money being delivered to congressmen’s houses.”

Under the Roussef government, the conservatives went onto the attack. They used this corruption to get her out, although the person who replaced her – Michel Temer – was every bit as corrupt and probably more so.

Violence

The corruption and the increasing poverty (as Brazil’s economic expansion ground to a halt) also led into another crisis – that of crime, especially violent crime. In 2017, murders reached 30.8 per 100,000 Brazilians (over 60,000 in total). There were over 60,000 rapes reported and an average of 606 cases of domestic violence reported daily. Much of the murder took place in Brazil’s poorest slums, where criminal gangs were running wild.

Police

The police also are running wild. Paid low wages, they are notoriously corrupt… and murderous. In 2017, the police killed 5,000 people, which is a 25% increase over the previous year. Many of those killed are the street children.

Rise of religious fundamentalism & reaction

The poverty, corruption and turmoil combined with the inability of the workers’ movement (in the form of the PT) to find a solution. It opened the door to the rise of religious extremism as an apparent explanation and solution to this chaos. Inevitably, the solution involves massive repression and authoritarianism. This is part of a global development. In India, this comes through the rise of Hindu extremism. In Myanmar, it is the Buddhist hierarchy that plays that role. In many predominantly Muslim countries, it is Islamic extremism. And in countries like the US and Brazil, it is Christian fundamentalism or evangelism.

Image
An Assembly of God congregation
Like all fundamentalists from all religions, Brazil’s evangelical
churches play a confusing and reactionary role.


Historically, Brazilian religious life was dominated by the Roman Catholic church. No longer. By 2010, 25% of the population consider themselves to be evangelicals, some 20% of federal elected officials are evangelicals, and this year some 500 evangelicals ran for public office.

As is pretty universal among religious fundamentalists of all stripes, sexism and intolerance of those with different sexual orientations is essential to the evangelicals, and Bolsonaro played to this. “I would rather that my son died” than be gay, he said, for example. An open sexist, he has also in effect defended rape. This also plays to the evangelicals.

Similar to Trump, Bolsonaro has openly appealed to the country’s traditional racism. But this is overlooked by some black voters because he appears to offer the only alternative to the high murder rate (because of the higher poverty rates due to racism, it is 9 times as high among black men as among whites). According to one estimate a plurality of Brazil’s black voters voted for Bolsonaro.

Brazil is a country with a historically strong military, as the long military dictatorship shows. Bolsonaro has played on those traditions and has praised the military dictatorship.

Image
Bolsonaro’s base


https://oaklandsocialist.com/2018/11/04 ... l-lessons/
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:52 am

PUTTING BRAZIL IN CONTEXT: THE FALL OF THE WORKERS PARTY

Image
Former Workers Party (PT) Presidents of Brazil, Lula de Silva and Dilma Rousseff, on stage at a campaign rally.

Introduction by Adam Weaver


With the election of far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency of Brazil many are struggling for answers as to how the world’s fifth most populous country elected a president who openly praises the Brazil’s former dictatorship and has threatened to jail left political opponents. At the same time the charismatic former Worker’s Party (PT) president, Lula de Silva, is blocked from running as he remains jailed on corruptions charges instigated by the right wing.

The context of Bolsonaro’s victory is driven by the country’s deepest economic recession since the end of the dictatorship, corruption scandals that have discredited existing political institutions and parties, and a 2016 parliamentary coup initiated by the right-wing to oust Dilma Rousseff of the PT from the presidency. Factors that are not to be forgotten are the support Bolsonaro received from right-wing media, illegal campaigning by wealthy backers, support from Koch brother funded organizations, and the counsel of former Breitbart News editor and Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

But the story would not be complete without an understanding of the decline of the PT. As Jewish Marxist philosopher Walter Benjamin noted, “every resurgence of fascism bears witness to a failed revolution.” Lula de Silva, a union leader and former metal worker, rose to global prominence with his 2003 election to the Brazilian presidency and association with the PT hosted World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre, Brazil 2001, 2002 and 2003. But similar to the ill-fated Syriza of Greece, the PT has transitioned from political darling to quickly forgotten footnote for many. Once in office Lula embraced a rhetoric of “fiscal responsibility” and a practice austerity measures, cutting social programs and attacking labor rights. Some progressive reforms were enacted, such as increases in minimum wage and cash transfer programs, but overall the PT faced the classic contradictory dilemma of attempting to implement their program or actually governing.

Rodrigo Santaella, an activist with Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), a left leaning split from the PT that emerged after Lula’s pension reforms and which assassinated Afro-Brazilian activist Marielle Franco was an elected official of, describes the trajectory of the party as such:

“The Brazilian left was, since the end of the 70’s, all focused on building PT as an alternative political tool for the working class and social movements in the country. … Around 1988, PT had begun to grow inside the state’s institutions and this started to increase the pressure to adapt to the bourgeois social order, with the same process happening also in the labor movement. After PT’s defeat in the 1989 elections, in which the party still had a very radical program and also an activist-centered form of organization, the central part of its leadership, with Lula at its head, proposed that it was necessary to moderate the program in order to achieve electoral power. A right-wing of PT, which papered over the class struggle and sought broad alliances with moderate and right-wing forces, slowly gained dominance within the party. This also started to change the internal organization of PT, and since the 90’s it turned from a militant party with the priority of organizing branches to a party organized around elections, with professionalized campaigns, private financing, etc. … The tendency of moderating in order to win elections accelerated, and in 2002, with a big businessman as his vice-presidential candidate, Lula was finally elected. At that point, the compromises and alliances that PT had would leave a definitive mark on its public policies, reforms and government programs that came later. This showed that the party was completely adapted to the neoliberal global order, though with some peculiar characteristics, such as the increase of the social compensation programs like the Zero Hunger campaign.”

The below article, “Life After Dilma” by Jeffery R. Webber was originally published in Jacobin in May 2016. It opens with the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff and in an ominous foreshadowing of the current moment notes that Jair Bolsonaro “dedicated his [impeachment] vote to Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, chief of secret police during the military dictatorship,” a reference to the torture that Rousseff endured as a captured Marxist guerrilla. But more importantly the piece discusses the structural pressures the PT faced once in power and how ultimately it became another chapter in the long tale of “the left in power.”

Life After Dilma

By Jeffery R. Webber

Millions of Brazilians were glued to their televisions on April 17, waiting for the results of the Congress’s impeachment vote. They came through late: the 513-seat lower house of Congress voted 367 to 137 in favor of impeachment charges against President Dilma Rousseff. The Senate is expected to vote to formally open the impeachment trial and prompt Rousseff’s suspension as president on May 11.

For a moment it seemed the vote in the Senate might be canceled. On May 9, seemingly out of nowhere, Waldir Maranhão, a member of Congress for the center-right Partido Progressista (Progressive Party, PP), and interim president of the lower house since last Thursday, suspended the impeachment process, citing at least four procedural irregularities in the voting process of April 17. Maranhão insisted that the Senate cease its proceedings on the matter and send it back to the lower house for further deliberations.

Having none of this, the president of the Senate, Renán Calheiro, called Maranhão’s decision an “anti-democratic idiocy” and announced that the process would proceed in the Senate as scheduled.

Calheiro is a member of the Partido do Movimento Democrático (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, PMDB) — once an ally of the government, but now its leading nemesis. On the eve of the reckoning in the Senate, and in lieu of action by the Supreme Tribunal, it appears as though Rousseff’s presidency will be suspended.

Coup in Congress
The spectacle in the lower house in mid-April was as ugly as it was farcical. In the ten-second speeches members gave before voting, the vast majority of the opposition did not invoke the actual impeachment charges — that Rousseff tinkered with government accounts to conceal the true size of the deficit.

Instead, the speeches were rallying cries about god and country, alongside a string of fringe irrelevancies.

No doubt the darkest harbinger of things to come was Congressmember Jair Bolsonaro’s intervention who dedicated his vote to Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, chief of secret police during the military dictatorship that began in 1964.

In obvious reference to the torture Rousseff endured as a Marxist guerrilla during the authoritarian period, Bolsonaro praised Brilhante Ustra as “the terror of Dilma Rousseff.” Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo then used his time to note that “they lost in ’64 and they lost in 2016.”

The Senate’s electoral structure, where the more densely populated, richer, and intensely anti-government states of the south and southeast are relatively underrepresented, is slightly more favorable to Rousseff than the lower house. But unlike in the lower house, where a super-majority of two-thirds is necessary for impeachment, the Senate only requires a simple majority.

Estado São Paulo predicts that forty-six of eighty-one senators favor an impeachment trial, with only twenty expressly against. If the Senate votes as expected, Michel Temer, leader of the centrist PMDB, the vice president, and former ally of the government, will assume powers as acting president.

The final stage is a Senate vote to impeach, which would take place in late June. This vote requires a supermajority. If it succeeds, Temer will be the country’s formal president until the next scheduled elections in 2018.

How did Latin America’s biggest economy and most important political power come to this point?

Global Slump and Corruption
The country’s steep economic downturn since 2011, when the global crisis made its delayed landing in the country, is certainly one catalyst. In 2010, a counter-cyclical stimulus package produced 7.6 percent growth, seemingly extracting the country from the global downturn. But that illusion was quickly shattered.

Between 2011 and 2014, economic growth averaged 2.1 percent annually, half of the 4.4 percent growth Brazil enjoyed between 2004 and 2010.

Then the economy shrank by 3.8 percent in 2015, transforming the country long touted in the financial press as one of the fastest-growing economies in emerging markets into one suffering its deepest recession since official records began. Projections of a further 3 percent fall in 2016 are similarly dour.

The economic crisis has had dramatic political consequences. The renowned “realism” of Rousseff’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party, PT) worked in a period of high growth with strong external drivers: the rich could get exponentially richer, and the poor could become less poor. But that model has since come crashing to the ground.

At the same time, a massive corruption scandal called the petrolão (big oily) has added fuel to the fire. It began in 2014, when Sergio Moro, a little-known judge from the southern state capital of Curitiba launched an investigation into a currency dealer suspected of tax evasion.

The scope of the operation widened, eventually revealing “an extraordinary tale of large-scale bribery, plunder of public assets, and funding for all major political parties, centered on the relationship between Petrobras and some of its main suppliers — precisely the stalwarts of the PT in the oil, shipbuilding, and construction industries.”

As of March 2016, Operation Car Wash (as the investigation was called) has led to the arrest of 133 people. Some of the richest business figures in the country from sixteen different companies — among them, Camargo Corrêa, OAS, UTC, Odebrecht, Mendes Júnior, Engevix, and Queiroz Glavão Engenharia — are incarcerated.

Politicians of every stripe — those opposed to and those aligned with the government — are embroiled in the affair, including members of the PT, the PMDB, the PP, the Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (Brazilian Social Democratic Party, PSDB), and the Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro (Brazilian Labor Party, PTB).

The hypocritical intensity of the impeachment effort defies satire.

Forty of the congress members who voted against Rousseff themselves face criminal indictments; the Car Wash investigations have implicated fifteen more — including several members of Temer’s PMDB.

The day after the lower house made the impeachment vote, a former Petrobras executive claimed that Calheiros, the PMDB speaker of the Senate, accepted bribes of six million dollars from an oil rig supplier. Meanwhile, the electoral authority continues to investigate both Temer and Rousseff for using money from the Petrobras corruption scheme to fund their reelection campaigns in 2014.

Eduardo Cunha, until last week the right-wing evangelical speaker of the lower house, ally of Temer, and a central protagonist in the impeachment drive, faces separate corruption charges involving secret Swiss bank accounts that hold roughly thirty-seven times his declared wealth at home. The Supreme Court already indicted this surrealist avenger for corruption and money laundering.

Even though “the big oily” seems to cover everyone, mainstream newspapers and TV channels have focused their scrutiny almost exclusively on the PT’s involvement. In what became a major media event, investigators detained and questioned Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (the former leader of the PT and two-term president) over claims that he acquired a beachside apartment and a rural getaway through illegal kickbacks.

Rousseff tried to appoint Lula as her chief of staff, which would have shielded him from prosecution from any judicial body below the Supreme Court. Federal judge Catta Preta Neto blocked the appointment, illegally publicizing an illegal recording of a conversation between Rousseff and Lula that, according to the opposition, irrefutably proves that Lula’s brief chief of staff appointment was made only so that he could escape jail time.

At the same time, Preta Neto posted pictures of him and his family participating in anti-government demonstrations on his Facebook wall. Revealing the crass politicization of some sections of the judicial apparatus, he wrote beneath the photos: “Help topple Dilma and be able to fly to Miami and Orlando. If she falls, the dollar will drop.”

Slaying Lula, who had eighty percent approval ratings at the close of his second term and remains intensely popular, would slay the PT. It would also redirect attention from the many opposition leaders implicated in the scandal.

Continues: http://blackrosefed.org/brazil-in-conte ... ers-party/
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Re: War on Drugs, Money Laundry and Plan (Destroy) Mexico

Postby American Dream » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:39 pm

THE SECRET TRIAL OF ‘EL CHAPO’ GUZMAN

BY DANIEL HOPSICKER · DECEMBER 31, 2018


Everyone’s on the take… except in the U.S.?

ImageIn the two months of testimony so far in El Chapo’s trial, nearly every level of the Mexican government from the President on down: from Generals to prison guards, from airport officials to the Mexican Attorney General, has been shown to be on the take. All have been compromised.

Even the architect of the Mexican government’s war on Mr. Guzmán and his allies — Genaro García Luna, the former public security director — is taking briefcases stuffed with cash.

When El Chapo sent his regular bribe to one former army official, Mexican General Gilberto Toledano, he told the bagman delivering the bribe to “Give the General $100,000 and a hug from me.”

One of the trial’s star witnesses, ‘El Chupeta,’ who the DEA once called the biggest drug trafficker since Pablo Escobar, calmly told the jury an entire wing of his North Valley cartel was devoted just to doling out payments.

“It’s impossible to be the leader of a drug cartel in Colombia without corruption,” he explained. “They go hand in hand.”

Mexican presidents Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto, Venezuelan Presidents Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro, and every one of Columbia’s recent Presidents, including Alvaro Uribe, who in retirement today oversees the resurgent Medellin cartel… all have a piece of the action.

Not to mention every tin-horn General in Honduras, and fascistic Central American dictators whose iron rule is responsible for the hordes of civilians who have been fleeing to our shore.

Donald Trump’s mentor Roy Cohn was right.

“Don’t tell me what you’re charged with,” he reportedly told clients. “Just give me the name of the judge.”


Read more: http://www.madcowprod.com/2018/12/31/th ... po-guzman/
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