#Narconoia Update: Feb. 27, 2014

Danny Benavides (@Terrornoia)
Traces of Reality
February 27, 2014


Starting with this blog post, I will be posting semiweekly selected links on two broad subjects in which I hold immense personal interest: terrornoia (e.g., the War On Terror™, American empire, the covert world of the terror industry, and Al Qaeda franchising in the Levant/Sahel/Caucasus), and narconoia (e.g., the War on Drugs™ along the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, the insurgency of the region’s cartels, plata o plomo, the narco-culture phenomenon).

“Terrornoia” and “Narconoia” are apt portmanteaus to describe the viewpoint to be found within: the fear and potency of these violent, low-intensity conflicts that generate big-picture consequences and offer a pretext for expanding wars abroad for the military-industrial cryptocracy, while sacrificing liberties at home on the altar of national security statolatry.

In addition to these semiweekly links on Terrornoia and Narconoia, I will also be contributing a blog to Traces of Reality. Each week, I’ll post my opinions and analysis of current events that I’m following, which may or may not necessarily be related to the narco/terror-scape. While there already exists a wide spectrum of content covering these issues, I hope I’m able to offer a non-interventionist perspective and discernment to the nuanced subject matter that is deserving of your attention.

I aim to provide thoughtful, informative, and interesting reads (from conventional press and the blogosphere alike) which can serve as a snapshot of political violence in these flashpoints and powderkegs where clandestine criminal cells, state actors, deep-state operatives, and guerrilla proxies shape the worlds of terrornoia and narconoia.


Background on “El Chapo” & the Sinaloa Cartel

Cocaine Incorporated: How a Mexican Drug Cartel Makes Its Billions via Patrick Radden Keefe @ The New York Times [an excellent read from 2012 for background to El Chapo's Sinaloa Cartel empire]

Will 2014 Be The Year Mexican Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Is Caught? via Dolia Estevez @ Forbes [a prescient piece that I had initially dismissed as premature]

TIME Magazine’s Pay-to-Play Puff Piece on Mexican President Provokes Widespread Ridicule in Mexico via Bill Conroy @ Narconews [separating propaganda from reality, Conroy is always excellent]

Saving Mexico? Selling Mexico? Slaying Mexico? via Daniel Hernandez @ Vice News [another great takedown of Time's "perception management" of EPN]

Grounded Theory Study Defining Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Cross-border Violence via Clint Osowski @ Small Wars Journal [a dry read, but interesting analysis]

Man and myth: Joaquin ‘Shorty’ Guzman via Will Grant @ BBC News [a quick read with notable remarks from recent Demanufacturing Consent guest, author Ioan Grillo]

El Chapo via Marcy Wheeler @ Emptywheel [assessing the revelations from last year's Washington Post story about U.S.-Mexican intel sharing]

An International Kingpin via Margarito Solano @ Southern Pulse [an informative article about Chapo's global reach]


Michoacan’s vigilante autodefensas in turmoil, Gulf Cartel members scooped up

Cracks Show in Michoacan Vigilantes’ Leadership via Omar Sanchez de Tagle @ InSightCrime [gangs and countergangs]

Sheriff Treviño didn’t know about signs bought by drug trafficker, printer says in affidavit via Ildefonso Ortiz @ The Monitor [Hidalgo Country Sheriff continues to play dumb after "Panama Unit" fallout]

Southmost murder suspect identified as Gulf Cartel leader via Sergio Chapa @ Valley Central [another cartel chief caught along with several operatives]

Federal agents catch four in Gulf Cartel gun sting via Ildefonso Ortiz @ The Monitor [more Golfos apprehended]


Truth & consequences in the wake of Chapo’s arrest

‘Chapo’ Guzman Capture Provides Glimpse of Mexico’s Past, Future via Steven Dudley @ InSightCrime [sober, on-point analysis]

El Chapo and the Mexico Drug War: The Need to Legalize Drugs, Not Capture Drug Lords via Juan E. Pardinas @ Reforma [translated]

Video: Chapo’s Culiacán Escape Tunnels via “Chivis” Martínez @ Borderland Beat [always outstanding content at BB]

Mexican drug lord hid in mountains, homes, sewers via Tracy Wilkinson, Richard A. Serrano and Richard Fausset @ Los Angeles Times [lots of great info]

An Inside Look at Life Behind Bars for Chapo Guzman at Altiplano Prison via “Chivis” Martínez @ Borderland Beat [a reposted piece worth a look]

Will Chapo’s Capture Change Anything? via Melissa del Bosque @ Texas Observer [ignore the hype, writes Del Bosque, a past guest on TOR as well]

Why ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Bust Was a Mistake via Dan Freed @ The Street [blunt, but realistic assessment]

“El Chapo” Arrested—Why Now? via Douglas Lucas @ WhoWhatWhy [the question on the lips of most observers of the Mexican drugwar]

Will Mexican cartels go the way of Colombia’s crime syndicates? via Tim Johnson @ McClatchy News [forecasting Mexico's future against Colombia's after the killing of Pablo Escobar]

Will El Chapo Rule From Prison? via John P. Sullivan @ The Daily Beast [business as usual -- it wouldn't be the first time!]

Mexican drug kingpin’s capture leads to speculation about US pressure via Jo Tuckman @ The Guardian [very intriguing, especially when read alongside Dana Priest's WaPo piece quoted in Marcy Wheeler's blog above]

Arrest Unlikely to Break Cartel via Ginger Thompson and Randall C. Archibold @ The New York Times [a fantastic read, despite the ho-hum title]

Even caged, Mexican kingpin El Chapo can bite via Dudley Althaus @ Global Post [from cartel fragmentation, to controlling operatives from behind gars, Mexico's drugwar is nowhere near over]

PGR Explains Indentification Process Used on El Chapo via “Chivis” Martínez @ Borderland Beat [to dispel ultra-skeptics]

Los Zetas celebratory over the capture of Chapo via “Chivis” Martínez @ Borderland Beat [While Zetas rivals celebrate, Sinaloans rally to protest Chapo's arrest]

El Chapo Guzman and Narco-Democracy in Latin America via Sofía Ramírez Fionda @ PanAm Post [a fascinating read by one of Guillermo's colleagues]

Alleged kingpin faces indictments in multiple jurisdictions, including El Paso via Diana Washington Valdez @ El Paso Times [as I wrote in my article, Chapo is a prized trophy that the U.S. and Mexican governments will try to claim]