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arms trafficking

Cannabis in the Balkans: from criminals to capitalists?

Posted on January 25th, 2019 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

EuropeA contraband cannabis economy booms in the Balkan Peninsula, where the wars of the 1990s spurred an underground dope-for-guns network that still thrives today. But amid EU pressure to crack down, a legal industry is now starting to emerge.

Yemen war fuels dope-for-guns trade

Posted on March 29th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Middle EastThe dizzyingly escalating crisis across the Middle East was ratcheted up several degrees last week as Saudi Arabia and its Gulf State allies intervened in Yemen, launching air-strikes against the Shi'ite rebels that have seized much of the country. Saudi troops are amassing on the border and there are fears that the air campaign, dubbed "Operation Decisive Storm," may soon be followed by a ground invasion. Within Yemen, Sunni tribes and militants in al-Qaeda's orbit are also battling the Shi'ite rebels, known as Houthis. (CNN, Al Jazeera, March 29; Yemen Post, March 22)

Latin America's cartels build their own arms industry

Posted on February 20th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

narco-tankYet more grim evidence emerged this week that Mexico's warring cartels are becoming a real military force and underground parallel state in the country's lawless northeast. Small Wars Journal on Feb. 13 noted a press release from the Mexican attorney general's office, the PGR, announcing that federal police and army troops had raided a winery near Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, where 13 vehicles were being fitted with armor plating. Small Wars Journal calls it a "narco-tank factory." A huge amount of ammunition was also confiscated in the raid, although it seems the people who were running the workshop all escaped. The PGR said they believe the makeshift factory was being run by the Gulf Cartel.

US Border Patrol smuggled arms for Sinaloa Cartel?

Posted on June 19th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

MexicoMexico's El Universal reports June 18 that a protected witness testified to the Prosecutor General of the Republic (PGR) that members of the US Border Patrol collaborated with the Sinaloa Cartel in arms trafficking to the powerful criminal organization. The sworn testimony is being used as evidence in the case against the cartel's recently apprehended kingpin, Joaquin Guzmán Loera AKA "El Chapo"—who is accused, along with numerous other charges, of supervising the Gente Nueva gang, the cartel's armed wing. 

Honduras: police seize $50,000 gold-plated AK-47

Posted on January 14th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Central AmericaAuthorities in Honduras on Jan. 7 announced the seizure of a gold-plated, jewel-encrusted AK-47 assault rifle, complete with two silver magazines. The rifle, estimated to be worth more than $50,000, turned up in a raid along with other military equipment at a ranch in Choloma, some 300 kilometers from Tegucigalpa, where two security guards were detained. Authorities said the gold-plated rifle had an engraving associated with the Malverde drug gang, which is allegedly in league with Mexico's notorious Zetas. "It's an exclusive design and a fine carving," said National Police chief Leo­nel Sau­ce­da.

Blood Ganja

The most enlightened cannabis connoisseurs—those who still have a link back to the values that defined the hippie culture—tend to be conscious consumers when it comes to food or computers or whatnot. They may buy organic tomatoes, boycott Taco Bell to support exploited farm workers in Florida, and petition Apple about the brutal conditions in their Chinese assembly plants. But do they pay as much attention to the source of their preferred smoking herb? 

Is there blood on your ganja?

Honduras: 300 police rifles "disappear" as drug running soars

Posted on November 10th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Honduran police officials gave contradictory responses on Nov. 1 to a report published the day before about the disappearance of some 300 light automatic rifles (FAL, from the initials in Spanish) and 300,000 5.56-caliber bullets from a police unit. The weapons, which were in the control of the Cobras special operations police group, were taken from a Tegucigalpa warehouse in August or September; the Tegucigalpa daily El Heraldo broke the story on Oct. 31.

Mexico: both US parties hit by gun walking scandal

Posted on November 10th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

MexicoA scandal involving US law enforcement programs to let guns "walk" into Mexico has now widened to include the 2001-2008 administration of former president George W. Bush, a Republican, as well as the administration of current Democratic president Barack Obama. The latest revelations concern a program codenamed Operation Wide Receiver, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) reportedly allowed some 350 or 400 guns to enter Mexico illegally during 2006 and 2007.

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