LA Weekly points out that the arrest of Jose Luis Saenz was facilitated by a Mexican deportation of the mafia hit-man, not an extradition. The mag profiled Saenz in its 2010 cover piece titled: “East Los Angeles Hit Man Trained by Mexican Cartels“. He was wanted for a couple of street corner killings, the rape murder of his pregnant girlfriend and the slaying of a Whittier man in connection with a $600,000 drug debt.
This from LA Weekly:
For years, nobody has had a death wish strong enough to rat out Smiley for these killings, save for young Juan Pena. Dying several years ago of childhood leukemia, he fingered his blood brother Saenz for the executions on North Clarence Street.
But Smiley, with his intense black eyes and his quick, deviant mind, vanished from the local cops’ radar for 10 years — to Mexico for some of that time, the FBI says, where he morphed from East L.A. tagger and Cuatro Flats gang member to a connected, Mexican-cartel drug “soldier” — simply put, a high-level executioner, and then trafficker, operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.
Here’s video of the Whittier slaying — warning it is graphic:
Reports that two Mexican drug cartels have joined forces and have a combined fighting force of 100,000 foot soldiers has some local officials concerned that the drug war south of the border could spill into our communities.
The idea of such an alliance reminds me of the gang truce between rival hispanic street gangs that led to the rise of La Eme in the 1990s.
In any event, Mexican President Felipe Calderon defended his country’s efforts agsinst Narco-Terrorists in Mexico City this afternoon. Here’s Bloomberg’s take:
March 12 (Bloomberg) — Mexican President Felipe Calderon delivered his strongest defense yet of his government’s fight against drug cartels, alleging some U.S. officials are corrupt and accusing the media of lying.
“To say that Mexico doesn’t have authority over all of its national territory is absolutely false and absurd,” Calderon said today in Mexico City.
Mexico hasn’t lost any territory to traffickers, Calderon said. He criticized the media for mounting a campaign of “lies” against Mexico. His comments come two days after Dennis Blair, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said Mexico isn’t in charge of parts of the country.
Calderon, 46, came to power in 2006 promising a crackdown on the cartels. He has sent tens of thousands of soldiers to areas where smugglers battle over routes into the U.S. Retaliating for arrests and record drug seizures, gangs beheaded rival smugglers, assassinated police officials and executed entire families.
The drug war is reducing annual gross domestic product by 1 percentage point, according to the government. Narcotics-related deaths more than doubled last year as Calderon‘s crackdown disrupted drug operations and increased competition for the best supply routes to the U.S.