Another Mexican mayor assassinated

September 27, 2010

At this rate, being elected mayor in northern Mexico is beginning to resemble getting a promotion to admiral in the Imperial Navy in Star Wars. This time, it was the mayor of Doctor Gonzalez, in Nuevo Leon:

Armed assassins have killed a fourth Mexican mayor in less than six weeks’ time as drug war violence continues to engulf formerly calm parts of the country, authorities said Friday.

Gunmen Thursday night ambushed Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas at his ranch home near the industrial center of Monterrey in northern Mexico. Rodriguez was mayor of the town of Doctor Gonzalez, just northeast of Monterrey.

Also Friday, Ricardo Solis, who was to be sworn in as mayor of another town in two weeks, was shot by an armed commando in the border state of Chihuahua, news reports from the region said. He was in critical condition.

Rodriguez was killed along with an employee by gunmen who lay in wait for the mayor, said Alejandro Garza, attorney general for the state of Nuevo Leon, where Doctor Gonzalez and Monterrey are located. Garza said the motive for the shootings remained under investigation.

The Mexican President expressed his condolences  and condemned the killing, which is about as effective as a sternly worded letter of concern from the UN.

I’ve written recently about Monterrey .

UPDATE: Have they implemented Shariah law? A Mexican mayor has been found stoned to death. (via quirky1too)


Colombian military sends FARC terrorist to Hell in style

September 27, 2010

The American military (and it’s rumored, the Israelis) have been training the Colombian military since the 1990s under Plan Colombia to improve their professionalism and effectiveness in their battle with various guerrilla groups and their allied drug cartels. They’ve learned well, having made great strides in the last decade: several terrorist groups have disarmed, while the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) have suffered serious setback and are on the run. They’ve also greatly improved their human rights record.

And they’ve also developed a sense of style. First it was the daring rescue by helicopter of Ingrid Betancourt, and now they’ve killed FARC’s second-in-command, tracking him down via a GPS device hidden in his boots:

The implanting of the GPS chip was possible after authorities intercepted a communication from the guerrillas requesting special shoes for the guerrilla leader, reported Colombia’s El Expectador.com (in Spanish).

According with the version of a security agent interviewed by RCN Radio (audio in Spanish), Briceño was suffering of diabetes that affected the blood circulation in his feet which, in recent months, caused him serious sores forcing him to use special footwear.

  • “The Colombia Security Agency intercepted the communication from the guerrillas requesting special shoes and was able to intervene in the delivery of the boots, which were shipped to him with a GPS microchip. The device allowed establishing the precise location of Mono Jojoy,”


said the unnamed security official.

When the guerrilla leader received the boots did not notice the tracking system installed, which was broadcasting his position for several days. Briceño’s location was determined in a jungle area of the Macarena Mountains, Meta Department, in central Colombia.

Briceño then awoke a few days later to find over 30 Colombian Air Force planes and helicopters raining flaming death on his camp.

I bet they got this trick from the Israelis. It just sounds like a Mossad tactic. Regardless, well done, Colombia.

(via Fausta)


Paying ransom only helps al Qaeda

September 27, 2010

There’s an interesting article at the Terror Finance Blog about the increase in the use of kidnapping to raise funds for jihadist groups, specifically Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), bin Laden’s North African franchise:

Kidnapping-for-ransom is considered by many experts as an “alternative source of terrorism financing.” But the recent abduction of five French nationals in Niger by the Al Qaeda’s Islamic Maghreb terrorist group (AQIM) highlights a worrisome regional trend that emerged in 2003, when AQIM first launched a major hostage taking campaign targeting foreign tourists.

Since then, AQIM has developed a growing criminal industry that sustains itself through huge ransoms they extort and drug trafficking.

It is estimated that the kidnap-for-ransom business in the Sahel region alone, put at least $65 million in the coffers of AQIM since 2005. More than 90% of the group’s funding derives from this single financial source. The rest comes from drug trafficking and donations.

The kidnapping business is so good, that hostage taking in the Sahel region had risen 150% between 2008 and 2009. The average ransom for the release of a Western hostage is $6.5 million.

Since 2008, AQIM raised more than $25 million from ransom for foreign nationals in the Sahel region. This makes AQIM richer than “Al Qaeda Central”, whose annual income was recently estimated by U.S. officials to be between $5 million to $10 million.

The article then goes on to talk about efforts to criminalize the payment of ransom, though I suspect that would be an exercise in futility when governments themselves can pay ransom via back-channels. Italy infamously paid ransom to Iraqi terrorists to recover journalist Giuliana Sgrena in 2005, while France has been rumored to have criticized Spain for paying ransom to AQIM. (Though Paris now denies this.)

But the real problem here (aside from paying kidnappers at all) is that this money is then used by AQIM (and al Qaeda, which surely gets a cut) to finance not only further kidnappings, but terrorist operations in North Africa, Europe, and around the world. Operations that get our people killed. In effect, governments and corporations are financing the hijackers and suicide bombers sent against us. And you can bet some of this money is going to research into easy means of mass destruction, such as poison gas.

Harsh and heartless as it would be to do so, the only way to stop these kidnappings is to refuse to pay any ransom; rather than treating the terrorist kidnappers are criminals, they should be hunted down and killed. And yes, that is in full recognition of the possible consequences.

If, instead, we keep paying, we’re only giving them the rope they’ll use to hang us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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