Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico: The woven web becomes more tangled.

This article caught my eye and I read it, did a little Google action on it which led to more links which led to, well, you know the drill. It concerns one Jesús Argüelles Mandujano, aka Felipe de Jesús Argüelles Mandujano, aka "El Rayo", former Chief of Police of Cancún.

In November of 2003, 5 agents of the AFI (kind of like our FBI) were executed in Cancún. In December of 2004, just over 1 year later, Chief of Police Argüelles Mandujano -- "El Rayo" -- along with some other city, state and federal officials, were taken into custody and sent off to a federal prison in Mexico state. Their arrests were propogated based on information obtained from four "protected witnesses", known by code names as "María", "Rosendo", "Arturo" and "Samantha". The first three appeared in court yesterday in a "careo" against ex-chief Argüelles Mandujano who had just been flown back to Cancún to face a criminal court judge. I don't know what happened to "Samantha".

A "careo" is, literally, a face-to-face confrontation between an accused and his/her accuser(s) in front of a judge. The judge gets to use this faceoff as a means to determine which side is most likely telling the truth. These "careos" are a good reason why sex crimes go unreported here or, if reported, un-prosecuted. A lady knows she is going to have to face her attacker, in close proximity, in front of a judge who has the power to declare the accused innocent on the spot, depending upon how much the judge has been paid by the lawyer and family of the accused, and allow him to walk out of the courtroom along with his accuser. An uncomfortable thought for most ladies, I'm sure.

In any event, I Googled 'ol Jesús, or Felipe de Jesús, or "El Rayo" and guess whose name also popped up? Remember this guy?

That's right, it's Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola, pimp king of Cancun

Three months ago, the Cancún offices of the daily Por Esto!, out of Mérida, Yucatan, were bombed, or rather, hand-grenaded. Por Esto! says that it was the work of Martíns and a group of narco traffickers known as "Grupo Tabasco". The daily charges that the bombing was planned in Martíns night club/whorehouse "The One" and carried out by Martíns personal chief of security, one "Edgar", aka "La Guacha". The newspaper further alleges that Martíns helped Edgar, La Guacha, escape Cancún on the night of the bombing and moved him to the USA where he is currently in hiding. Calling all CIA and DEA!!

But, oh my, the newpaper doesn't stop there. Por Esto! says that its facility in Cancún was bombed because the newspaper has in its possession documents and a list of local businessmen and politicians who have been benefiting from drug proceeds by laundering the money through their hotels, restaurants, night clubs, tourist docks and piers, salons, boutiques etc..

And who handles all that cash -- we're talking tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of Yankee dollars here? Why, our old buddy, pimp Raúl Martíns. Need a gigantic loan that a bank won't touch? See Raúl at The One. Need a politician or group of politicians bought off and you're just a bit short of the necessary cash? See Raúl at The One. Or, on the other hand, if you've got a dozen suitcases stuffed with several millions in hundred dollar bills and need someplace to "invest" it all, see Raúl at The One. "We washee weely kleen."

Grupo Tabasco, according to Por Esto!, is headed by Clemente Soto Peña aka "Jesús Canchola" and Joel Montoya Félix aka "El JR". These guys, along with Edgar "El Guacho", make their money dealing cocaine out of some 600 drug houses throughout Cancún and Quintana Roo's gold coast. In other words, they cater to tourists as well as rich Mexicans who have homes, villas and condos in the area. This is the high end retail end of the drug business in Mexico.

The newspaper charges that former governor Joaquin Hendricks "covered up" the formation of Grupo Tabasco during his reign. It is alleged that "El Rayo", now on trial for the murder of the 5 AFI agents, became chief of police after working his way up through the ranks by means of murder. This gave Grupo Tabasco control of the police force in Cancún and carte blanche for both their drug distribution/sales operations as well as the money laundering operation which was spearheaded by Martíns along with his businessmen and politician buddies.

A retired Mexican army colonel managed to get himself appointed chief if staff of the local police force. What he found horrified him. He went public with the information that he personally knew of at least 167 drug houses in Cancún. He further stated that "organized crime in Cancún is a 'floating business' that changes location all the time." Col. Wilfrido Flores Saucedo and his bodyguard, Alejandro Morales Xicoténcatl, were found machine-gunned to death in their car last June in downtown Cancún.

Add into the mix the secret videos that Martíns is known to have made of local businessmen and politicians playing with Martíns imported Argentine beauties, bombed Jewish social centers and Israeli embassies in Argentina, and it's a real cesspool. By "secret videos" I mean that one doesn't know they exist until one refuses to go along with some sleazy scheme or another. Then, out pops the weasel. And one usually just decides to go along so as to, uh, get along.

Por Esto! charges that the bombing of its Cancún offices was planned during a meeting in The One by Martíns, "El JR", "Jesús Canchola", "El Guacho" and a guy named Mariano Galué Ancona, an ex-assistant police chief to "El Rayo". Now, how do you suppose that the newspaper Por Esto! would come by all of that information? The girls are talkin', Raul, and they'll burn you yet.

We hope.

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