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Category Archives: Transnational Criminal Organizations

US Intelligence Support to Mexico’s Counter-Cartel Operations

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Monday, April 29, 2013 at 7:04 PM

This Washington Post article by Dana Priest is an excellent primer for those looking for an introduction to the particulars of US intelligence support to Mexico’s counter-cartel activities, as well as the looming issue of whether Mexico’s new president, Enrique Pena-Nieto, will pull back from this relationship.  Key nuggets in the article include:

The Haqqani Network to Be Designated, at Last, as an FTO

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Friday, September 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM

The State Department has announced that it will, at long last, designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.  Apart from the rhetorical value of the designation, the main consequence is to attach to the Haqqani Network an array of liabilities under the headings of U.S. domestic criminal law and immigration law.  Most notably, . . .
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Civilian Criminal Jurisdiction Over Military Defendants: A New Day in Mexico?

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Monday, August 13, 2012 at 1:04 PM

One of the many difficulties that arise when a state employs its military to conduct operations within its own borders is the question of whether alleged abuses committed by the military should be tried in military tribunals or instead in the regular civilian courts. Mexico has been grappling with this issue for some time.  Generally speaking, . . .
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US-Mexican Intelligence Cooperation Against Cartels: An Interesting Section in the Draft Intel Authorization Act

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Friday, July 6, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Two short items involving drug cartel violence in Mexico and the related issue of US cooperation with Mexican authorities in counter-cartel efforts. First, as readers presumably know, Mexico has just elected a new president: PRI’s Enrique Pena Nieto.  It will be very interesting to see how his policies differ from Calderon’s vis-a-vis the cartels.  Early . . .
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Prosecution and Cartel Violence: An Interesting New Case in the US

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Monday, March 26, 2012 at 4:26 PM

United States v. Corly et al., announced today, is a very interesting case. From the DOJ press release: …The criminal complaint indicates that as they began discussions about the distribution of marijuana in the Columbia, S.C., area, Mickle and Epps allegedly told undercover agents about a friend in the military who could provide military weapons to them.  . . .
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Arrest in an Alleged Iranian Plot to Kill the Saudi Ambassador to the United States

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:45 PM

This is a pretty remarkable development.  Authorities have arrested a dual US-Iranian citizen on charges that he conspired with a senior official of Iran’s Qods Force (of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States (potentially through the bombing of a restaurant in the United States), and potentially . . .
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Second Circuit Affirms in Arms Sale Stemming from Sting

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Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 10:14 PM

A Second Circuit panel has affirmed, in United States v.Kassar (2d Cir. Sep. 21, 2011), the conviction of three defendants who were convicted on charges stemming from a sting operation involving a faux effort by the FARC to obtain weapons for use against U.S. personnel.  It’s a fascinating fact pattern.  As for the issues treated . . .
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New Details on US-Mexico Intelligence and Logistical Coordination against Cartels

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Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Another Mark Mazzetti story from the past week that deserves your attention: this piece, which sheds some additional light on the intelligence and logistical support that the United States is providing to Mexico’s conflict with the cartels.   The story primarily focuses on “boomerang” operations in which Mexican security forces preparing to conduct a raid on . . .
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Matt Dahl on Cybercrime and the Executive Order on Transnational Criminal Organizations

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Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Matt Dahl is a 2009 graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law who works on legal and policy issues for a cybersecurity company in Virginia.  We are pleased to welcome his guest post, which discusses the potential application to cybercriminal groups of the recent IEEPA-based executive order on Transnational Criminal Organizations: The Executive . . .
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U.S. Involvement in Mexico’s Cartel Wars Deepens, in a Largely Positive Way

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Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 7:24 PM

U.S. involvement in Mexico’s struggle against violent drug-trafficking organizations has deepened recently, according to Ginger Thompson’s piece in the New York Times today: When violence spiked last year around Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, Mr. Calderón’s government asked the United States for more access to sophisticated surveillance technology and expertise. After months of negotiations, the United States . . .
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Material Support to … Transnational Criminal Organizations?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 5:28 PM

I’ve written a lot over the years about the way law responds to changing practical phenomena such as the emergence of non-state actors as a strategic threat, ala al Qaeda, as have many others.  This vein of scholarship often emphasizes themes of globalization and the decline of the Westphalian model in which sovereign states are . . .
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The Narcotics/Weapons/Transnational Organized Crime Nexus

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 4:55 PM

There are few topics more slippery–and more emblematic of the current age–than the intersection of transnational organized crime, narcotics, illicit arms, and violent non-state actors.  On that front, this has been a busy week.  Consider the pair of indictments announced today out of the Southern District of New York, one involving Hezbollah and the other . . .
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Meanwhile, in Mexico…

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Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Alfredo Corchado of the Dallas Morning-News has an article that will be of interest to anyone trying to come to grips with whether a state of armed conflict can be said to exist in some areas of Mexico.  In particular, the story is of interest with respect to the question of territorial control by a non-state . . .
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Should Mexican Cartels Be Designated as Terrorist Organizations?

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Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Rep. Michael McCaul proposes doing just that, in this legislation, with the goal of enabling material support prosecutions under 18 USC 2339B against those who supply guns (or just about anything else) to the six cartels named in the bill (Sinaloa, Gulf, La Familia, Beltran-Leyva, Los Zetas, and Arellano Felix Organization).  Here is the key passage from his . . .
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