The mysteries of Chicago, where Vicente Zambada Niebla.
February 1st 2012 · 2 Comments
When Judge Ruben Castillo opened the folder and took a quick look at all the secret documents that Justice Department prosecutors in the United States gave him about the case Vicente Zambada Niebla.
He had no need to look confused his interlocutors and then comment that “review in detail both classified material” would take several weeks, so decided to postpone the trial.
Whatever the judge Castillo has seen this Wednesday January 25 in the fourth 383 of the Federal Court for the Northern District of Chicago, remains a mystery.
The one fact is certain is that the series of agreements that ensures Vicentillo at the time existed between the Government of the United States and the Sinaloa cartel, have trapped one of the most outrageous lawsuits that would have been filed so far against a Latin American drug trafficker .
United States could be involved in a new international scandal if the secret documents filed by U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday in federal court in Chicago confirm that DEA indeed did promise Vicente Zambada Niebla immunity for drug trafficking.
That possibility would have forced the federal judge Ruben Castillo to postpone the trial until next Vicentillo October 9, according to this because the documents filed by prosecutors Thomas Shakeshaft, Andrew Porter, Michael Ferrara and Marc Krickbaum contained many details classified and the Court needed time to examine them.
“Read all of this will take at least three weeks, so the delay is necessary,” the judge told prosecutors. The start of the trial was scheduled for 13 February.
The defense had no hand to submit to the judge’s decision, although according to the lawyers, they do not have access to the contents of documents so that if there is something that benefits Zambada Niebla, this will not be used or for or against.
This means that only the judge will know the truth regarding the content of the documentation, and if at any Vicentillo paragraph shows that the immunity given by the DEA, the judge might even release him to have been part of a prearranged agreement, explained the defense at the time.
However, according to a motion filed by prosecutors last September, the U.S. government claimed that this commitment could not have existed since neither the DEA nor any other U.S. federal agency authorized to make such promises. The coin seems to be in the air.
Unlike other bosses extradited to the United States, Vicente Zambada Niebla is the only one who has decided to GET WITH facing the U.S. government.
At the time, for example, Benjamin Arellano Felix negotiated his sentence to 25 years. Just did Osiel Cardenas Guillen. Not so Vicentillo, who when arrested in Mexico City in March 2009 and extradited a year later, the son of Ismael on May Zambada felt betrayed and decided to expose the entire sewer alleged corruption among the cartel would Sinaloa and the U.S. government.
Apparently, and according would bolster their DEA in 2011, came to interview Vicentillo several U.S. officials just a couple of hours before the arrest.
A year after the extradition and still confident that there was an alleged agreement, the Vicentillo asked to be left at liberty to reveal otherwise the “covenants” that would have made the U.S. government.
In reply, as recorded in the file 09-CR-383, Zambada Niebla was confined to a room ten feet by five, and banned all types of interaction with other prisoners and two guards only have access to it. Then spent months to see sunlight. Gringa was the answer. The war was declared.
Preamble of war
Which boxers fight where both fighters promoting a fight, trial United States v. Vicente Zambada Niebla has been full of hope, apparent agreements, threats and retaliation.
On the one hand reveal Vicentillo said the alleged agreements between both parties and fulfilled. U.S. denied everything, but in response he isolated and incommunicado detention altogether. Judge Ruben Castillo for his part, was in the middle of everything and only intervened to delay the hearings until last Wednesday, delayed for nearly eight months the start of the trial.
Jerry Norton, a professor at Loyola University School of Law, Illinois, found that it was common in such cases are prolonged trials, mainly so that both parties are prepared, but acknowledged that the weather was a little longer than normal.
“Delays are made by the judge when his case is complex and both sides should better prepare their cases, this might be the reason why in this case the judge delay the start of the process,” Norton said Ríodoce.
Certainly the beginning of trial was scheduled after completion of the presidential elections in Mexico and the United States in the latter country on election day will be February 20, while in Mexico will be July 1.
Randall Sanborn, Justice Department spokesman, said the decision to postpone the trial was only the judge, but did not say whether this had anything to do with the elections in Mexico or the United States.
“The trial is scheduled for October 9 and is all we can say at this point,” Sanborn said in a brief statement to Ríodoce.
32 months of shadows
The further delay in the trial Vicentillo will keep at least until October this year in prison, which will mean 32 months in a U.S. prison.
This is the chronology of Vicentillo, from the time of his arrest until the date on which the trial will begin.
March 18, 2009. The Army are arrested in Mexico City. According to reports, “just to meet with DEA agents at the Sheraton Hotel in Mexico City.
February 18, 2010. Mexico to extradite him to the United States, who claims to two different courts in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC, where he faces charges for the introduction of hundreds of tons of drugs to that country.
February 23, 2010. Zambada Niebla is presented to Judge Ruben Castillo, who pleads not guilty to the charges against him.
April 4, 2010. The journalist Julio Scherer Garcia in Proceso magazine published an unusual interview with Ismael on May Zambada.
April 21, 2010. Cancels the pre-trial hearing because the request for a Protective Order Tests. Hearing is rescheduled for July 6.
July 2, 2010. Again cancels the pre-trial hearing for alleged irregularities in the process. Rescheduled the hearing for September 29.
September 29, 2010. The first hearing is scheduled for April 25.
November 10, 2010. Vicentillo Prosecutors and lawyers have a shortlist of potential evidence at a hearing before the trial. A new hearing is rescheduled, this time the March 30, 2011.
March 15, 2011. Vicente Zambada Niebla lawyers filed a motion with the judge, revealing that the defendant promised the DEA immunity for the movement of drugs into the U.S. in exchange for providing information on cartel enemies.
March 28, 2010. Judge Ruben Castillo cancel the hearing scheduled for March 30. He points to the June 15 as the new date for the hearing.
June 15, 2010. Lawyers for Vicente Zambada Niebla Castle in court accused of inhumane conditions that keep the Vicentillo. The judge promises to take action on the matter, but fixed for February 13, 2012.
June 27, 2010. Zambada Niebla lawyers file a motion to require the judge Ruben Castillo open an investigation and determine why the accused is kept in complete isolation and total situation “inhuman” within the prison.
July 29, 2010. The Vicentillo attack again and this time revealed that for years has “carte blanche” by the DEA for drug trafficking, and other details of the pact between the U.S. and the Sinaloa cartel.
September 9, 2011. The U.S. government denies Zambada Niebla offered immunity or any other member of the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for information.
October 24, 2011. Zambada Niebla lawyers introduced a new motion to require the prosecution to disclose information that shows that, indeed, the Public Authority acted Vicentillo and that America does immunity promised to cooperate with them.
November 3, 2011. Vicentillo rearranged to a medium security prison in Milan, Michigan.
November 10, 2011. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says they can not present evidence that the defense because it requires classified material, whose content can not be aired publicly.
January 25, 2012. Judge Ruben Castillo postponed the start of trial for the Oct. 9, saying having to read several packets of classified material that prosecutors delivered.
The EU laboratory
Miguel Angel Vega
In late 2007 and early 2008, U.S. officials envisioned that in the not too distant future, the war that led the administration of Felipe Calderon against the cartels in Mexico could jump the border into their country. That’s when U.S. federal agencies identified some strategies that stop violence.
Among them was the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Snuff (ATF), which then planned a strategy that would not affect their countrymen, but that did not include residents of the other side of the border, ie the Mexicans.
They started the operation Fast and Furious, which allowed the entry of more deliberately 2 000 heavy weapons into Mexico, then trace the fate of them and come up with the leaders of the cartels that were causing so much violence in Mexico.
Thus the U.S. finished putting together the Sinaloa cartel, but also to other cartels in Mexico, including the Beltran Leyva, causing an escalation of death as never before in the history of this country.
However, the operation gradually went out of control and the ATF had no need to cancel the project. All had failed. But no matter, at least in Mexico had failed and did not affect American communities, it would have been the conclusion of the high command of the ATF.
Only that this time, an American agent itself had been killed because of the operation. His name was Brian Terry, Border Patrol agent who was killed with one of the weapons that were part of the operation.
Until then the United States was aware of what they had done. It was when John Dodson, of the federal agency, revealed that he could not bear the death of Terry, then publicizing the operation, which otherwise would have remained anonymous.
As fast and furious, there have been a large number of operations that the United States orchestra and conducted in secret in Mexico, including money laundering and undercover agents, and no one stop to prohibit or place unlawful activities carried out by the U.S. Government Mexico.
“You should state what they do here and give details of all their activities,” claimed Senator Felipe González, secretary of the House National Security Bicameral Senate.
A couple of weeks a new operating ATF was released by the Los Angeles Times, White Gun, believed to be launched early 2009 and was operated together with Fast and Furious, allowing between the introduction of thousands of weapons to Mexico.
“Apparently there were many weapons the ATF let into this country. How many? Nobody knows, “said a source from the U.S. Congress asked by the U.S. newspaper.
For that matter, no results or comments by the U.S. government, however, it makes clear that all the territory south of the border and inhabited by more than 113 million people, is made in the area where U.S. covert operations practices her that not only violate the human rights of Mexicans, have also left a trail of death, terror and tragedy that inevitably have beaten the safety of their communities, as confirmed PGR numbers: 2 000 826 organized crime-related deaths throughout Mexico, a figure that soared in the 2008 to 6000 837, in 2009 were 9 000 614, while in 2010 were 15 000 273 executions.
Coincidentally wake of all that death has occurred when the United States has implemented the Fast and Furious operating, White Gun, as well as the introduction of U.S. covert agents and with money laundering programs for several million dollars since 1984 makes the DEA in Mexico. Without considering the accusations of Vicente Zambada Niebla, who says that the Yankees gave him “carte blanche” for drug trafficking.
Violence will not stop: WOLA
To the Office of Human Rights in Latin America Washington, DC (WOLA), the problem of violence in Mexico derives from the ease that is in U.S. to any person over 21 years, acquiring heavy weapons .
Maureen Meyer, to consider the rights in Mexico, WOLA, said it was too risky Ríodoce the U.S. implemented such operations when they were unable to legislate gun control and see how it tracks down those who buy and destinations give high-impact devices.
“I think we should review operations and punish those responsible if there is, but above all should not be politicized as they have done recently, but found a solution that truly stop the flow of arms to Mexico and thus stop the violence in this country,” said defender of human rights.
In both the U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder, acknowledged in recent days have misrepresented information on Fast and Furious and accepted responsibility for the failed operation.
In a letter to the Judiciary Committee of that country, Holder said that there were flaws, but these were not intentional, but caused by a series of errors resulting from the initial reports sent to legislators.
For his part, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, considered important to continue the research and come to the end all, to punish those responsible, including, at the same Holder.
“I have said that Holder should not continue as head of the Justice Department and is something that should be discussed,” said the legislator.
So far no one has faced charges for any of the operations, whether or White Fast and Furious Gun, and only ceased to ATF Director Kenneth Melson, who was who headed the agency when mounted two operations.
White Gun: cartel
Sinaloa was the recipient
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Sinaloa cartel was operating the final destination of White Gun, which like Fast and Furious allowed the introduction of an unknown number of high-impact weapons in Mexico.
According to U.S. newspaper report, White Gun was aimed at nine leaders of the Sinaloa cartel, including Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.
Everything would have started with an investigation carried out an ATF agent, Hope A. MacAllister, who needed permission from Mexican authorities to verify weapons recovered by soldiers and federal agents to see whether these belonged to a OS that were part of White Gun, an operation other than Fast and Furious.
Report does not specify how many or what kind of weapons are guarded by the Mexican Army, they were found only artifacts that were linked to their research.
MacAllister mentions how he discovered that the Sinaloa cartel rode a training camp in the mountains of Durango, near the suspected hideout of Guzman Loera, and that the criminal group sought to strengthen its arsenal with grenade launchers and .50-caliber machine guns.
To realize these actions, a member of that cartel identified as Vicente Fernando Guzman Patino, contacted undercover agents from the ATF with the intent to buy weapons, to whom he said had $ 15 million to spend on arsenal and not worry about money, because he wanted the bigger guns and extravagant.
After the meeting, an agent and Patino Guzman met again outside a restaurant in Phoenix, where the alleged seller was the criminal five weapons in the trunk of your vehicle, including a Bushmaster rifle and a pistol .50
However, after that meeting, in which the offender appeared to be ready to buy, the reports do not mention Guzman Patino and whether they managed to acquire some of the weapons.
Fast and Furious Gun and White are just two of the operations disclosed that, in turn, succeeded another call receiver, enabling the entry of more than 350 guns into Mexico between 2006 and 2007, showing how for years the U.S. government used as a backyard into Mexican territory. Ironically, for decades in Europe and other first world countries have been described Mexico as the U.S. backyard.
Castillo, the trial judge
Judge Ruben Castillo is the first federal judge in Illinois Hispanic and one of the candidates of President Barack Obama to hold office in the Supreme Court.
Castillo is a lawyer and graduated in 1979 at Northwestern University.
57, a judge has been committed to improving the criminal justice system.
At the same time is recognized as a staunch advocate of tough penalties in cases of crimes involving fraud and abuse by those responsible for large corporations, particularly banks or investors.
Son of a Mexican father and Puerto Rican mother, Castillo was born in Chicago and raised in West Town, a working class neighborhood northwest of the city.
Castillo worked for five years in a private law firm in 1984 before joining the prosecutor for the Northern District of Illinois where he was assistant prosecutor known for his work with federal agencies.
When President Bill Clinton appointed him in 1994 to integrate the District Court of the United States in northern Illinois as the first Latino judge, Castillo had returned to private practice and was a professor at Northwestern University.
Five years later, Clinton also appointed him vice president of the Sentencing Commission, an independent agency of the judicial system which provides guidelines on sentencing in the federal criminal system.
In this role he advocated for judges to exercise greater discretion in sentencing when, in opposition to the strict mandatory minimum sentences because, in his opinion, may lead to “disparities and racial prejudice.”
In his work as an assistant prosecutor or during the 17 years it has been a magistrate, Castillo has been threatened and received special protection for some cases it has had to judge.
According to MALDEF, in 1995 first appeared in court Hispanic judge directing the inexperienced lawyer named Barack Obama, who represented a lawsuit against Citibank for denying mortgages to minorities.
The same lawyer who later became a representative and senator from Illinois, and in 2008 became the first black U.S. president.
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