View Full Version : U.S. Issues Mexican Narco-Trafficker’s Revelation Exposes Drug War’s Duplicity

04-27-2011, 10:18 PM
Posted by Bill Conroy - April 25, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Trail of Government Intrigue Leads Back to Cocaine Jet That Crashed in Mexico’s Yucatan

A high-level player with one of the most notorious narco-trafficking organizations in Mexico, the Sinaloa “cartel,” claims that he has been working with the U.S. government for years, according to pleadings filed recently in federal court in Chicago.

That player, Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia — one of the purported top leaders of the Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization. Zambada Niebla was arrested in Mexico in March 2009 and last February extradited to the United States to stand trial on narco-trafficking-related charges.

The indictment pending against Zambada Niebla claims he served as the “logistical coordinator” for the “cartel,” helping to oversee an operation that imported into the U.S. “multi-ton quantities of cocaine … using various means, including but not limited to, Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, private aircraft … buses, rail cars, tractor trailers, and automobiles.”

The revelation that Zambada Niebla claims to have been a U.S. government asset, working with its sanction, is a shocking development in the so-called drug war and has gone largely un-reported by the U.S. media. The claim, if true, adds credence to theories long in play that the Mexican and U.S. governments are essentially showing favor toward the Sinaloa drug organization and its leadership, including El Mayo and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Lorea, as part of a broader strategy to weaken and ultimately eliminate rival narco organizations. U.S. and Mexican government officials, of course, have consistently denied that any such arrangement is in place.

Zambada Niebla’s allegation of U.S. government complicity in his narco-trafficking activities is laid out in a two-page court pleading filed in late March with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. The pleading asserts that Zambada Niebla was working with “public authority” “on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”); and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).

“Public authority for the defendant’s [Zambada Niebla’s] acts began from at least on or about January 1, 2004 and continued to and included on or about March 19, 2009,” the court pleading alleges.

In addition to the narco-trafficking charges pending against him in Chicago, Zambada Niebla also stands accused of serving as an enforcer for the Sinaloa organization.

“Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla sought to obtain weapons from the United States … and discussed the use of violence in ‘the Smoke,’ a coded term for Mexico City, Mexico, an area of Mexico in which narcotics trafficking was controlled by the Beltran-Leyva Cartel, so that public and governmental blame for such an act of violence would fall on Arturo Beltran-Leyva and the Beltran Leyva Cartel, and not the … Sinaloa Cartel,” U.S. government court pleadings in Zambada Niebla’s case state.

Arturo Beltran-Leyva was killed in late 2009 by elite Mexican Navy forces, assisted by the U.S. government, in a bloody shootout near Cuernavaca, in the Mexican state of Morelos.

Coincidentally, in late March of this year, seven young men, including the 20-year-old son of Mexican poet and journalist Javier Sicilia, were murdered in the state of Morelos in a senseless and vicious attack by suspected narco-thugs. The murders of these innocent young men, amplified by the anguish of a beloved public figure and father of one of the victims, has sparked a rapidly expanding nonviolent, civil-resistance movement in Mexico that, as one of its major goals, seeks to put an end to the tragic drug-war carnage enabled by the failed bellicose policies of Mexican President Felipe Calderon — policies that have cost the lives of some 40,000 Mexicans since late 2006.


Zambada Niebla’s contention that he is essentially a U.S. government informant also takes on added intrigue with respect to another series of legal cases now pending in the U.S. and Panama.

To understand the threads that connect those cases, it is necessary to revisit the mysterious crash of a Gulfstream II corporate jet on Sept. 24, 2007, in Mexico’s Yucatan region. Onboard that jet was an estimated four tons of cocaine, which appears to have been loaded onto the jet in Colombia.

The Gulfstream II sported a tail number, N987SA, linked by European investigators to past CIA rendition operations.

Narco News has previously reported that the bill of sale for the Gulfstream jet — which was sold only weeks before its crash landing — lists an individual named Greg Smith, whose name also shows up in public documents that indicate he worked as a pilot in the past for an operation involving the FBI, DEA and CIA that targeted narco-traffickers in Colombia.

A CIA asset named Baruch Vega, who was a key player in those undercover operations, also confirmed the information related to Smith. Narco News has not been able to track down Smith, or his partner in the jet-acquisition deal, Clyde O’Connor, for comment.

Vega also claims that the cocaine load on the jet was purchased through a syndicate of Colombian narco-traffickers that included a professed CIA asset named Nelson Urrego, who was was arrested by Panamanian authorities in 2007 a little more than a week prior to the crash of the Gulfstream II jet. Urrego is only now being brought to trial in Panama on money laundering and drug-trafficking charges.

The Gulfstream II jet, according to Mexican authorities, was among a number of aircraft acquired by the Sinaloa drug organization via an elaborate money laundering scheme involving a chain of Mexican casa de cambios (currency exchange houses) overseen by alleged Sinaloa organization operative Pedro Alfonso Alatorre Damy, according to Mexican government and U.S. media reports.

Damy was arrested in Mexico in November 2007. He has been indicted on a series of charges in the U.S., including conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to launder money, but as of this week, despite a request by the U.S. government for his extradition, Damy remains in custody in Mexico, according to Alicia Valle, special counsel to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

more at http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2011/04/mexican-narco-trafficker-s-revelation-exposes-drug-war-s-duplicity