Is Mexico’s Narco-Televisa Scandal Mexcio's Watergate? PGR & Televisa won't cooperate with Nicaraga.

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Is Mexico’s Narco-Televisa Scandal Mexcio's Watergate? PGR & Televisa won't cooperate with Nicaraga.

DD
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This post was updated on .
Even as he prepares to take office in a month, a mushrooming scandal in Mexico threatens that country’s new President, Enrique Pena Nieto.

Some call it Mexico’s Watergate; the comparison might even be apt.

Like Watergate—which picked up momentum only after Richard Nixon had won the ’72 Presidential election—the Narco Televisa Scandal is heating up just before Pena Nieto takes office.

Watergate had a largely unexplored Mexican connection. The Narco Televisa Scandal has an American angle. Both scandals involve drug money.

The belief is wide spread that the US CIA could not have not known about the "Televisa Cocaine Caravan" which seems to have been running back and forth the length of Central America for the past 5 years.

What many people don't know is the Nixon/Watergate connection to Mexico. Acting F.B.I. Director L. Patrick Gray called CIA Director Helms to ask about the agency’s involvement in the Watergate breakin, and Helms responded, "there is no C.I.A. involvement." Yet Helms asked Gray not to inverview two unnamed individuals, and Gray told his agents to proceed gingerly with regard to the C.I.A.. He also told the agents not to interview the Mexican lawyer who moved some of the hush money to the White House.

Vernon Walters, on behalf of Nixon, asked Director Helms ask the C.I.A. to oprovide funds for the cover-up and to warn the F.B.I. that the break-in was a matter of national security. Director Richard Helms reported that he refused. In fact the agency asked the F.B.I. to back off looking at a Mexican source of money for the burgulars, saying it could endanger C.I.A. operations there.

Richard Nixon demanded all of CIA's  intelligence about its drug operations. Nixon was running what became the DEA by remote control, and for some reason wanted to use the drug agency as the nucleus of his own intelligence agency.

After the Watergate break-in, legendary agent Lucien Conein, “Black Luigi,” moved over to the DEA and was to head its Special Operations Group, which was said to be a hit squad.   Chuck Coleson later admitted that the DEA/Special Operations Group was involved in assassinations and kidnapping. Colson told Senator Lowell Weicker to look into the death of Lucien Sarti, an Italian drug trafficker in Mexico, to understand what the Special Operations Group does.

Customs people, later DEA, were most likely involved in moving money through Mexico for Richard Nixon. Leland Briggs, then a special agent in Mexico City, once saw Myles Ambrose, Assistant Attorney General Richard Kleindienst, and John Caulfield fly into Mexico City. Caulfield, a former New York policeman, was Nixon's bagman and money launderer. This was when an untraceable $50 million was flowing from Mexico to Nixon's campaign.  Later, George H.W. Bush arranged for $700,000 to pay off some of the Watergate people. The money passed through some Bush Texas friends, but many investigators think it ultimately came through the Mexican Connection which was temporarily shut down by the Barry Seal arrest. In 1974, the case against Seal and the other six fell apart.

And therein lies the rub, explaining why reaction in the U.S.—despite billions of US taxpayer dollars pouring into the black hole of  Mexico's drug war—has been a studied and exceedingly mild indifference.

“It has become known as the case of the “fake journalists,” read the lead in a recent wire report about the case distributed to American newspapers.

But this is untrue. No one in Mexico—where Televisa’s guilty involvement is almost a given—is calling it that. It is the Narco-Televisa Scandal.

Thousands of posts on Twitter discuss what happened to 18 Mexicans busted in Nicaragua driving a half-dozen satellite TV vans from Televisa.
They are at #Narco-Televisa. On the other hand, at #fake journalists, there is just one.

Why no skepticism?


There is good reason to maintain a healthy skepticism about pronouncements by Mexico’s new President, and by Televisa as well, because both Pena Nieto and Televisa are involved in major recent scandals.

Televisa and Pena Nieto together were also enmeshed in a scandal together. The Guardian published documents showing Televisa committing dirty tricks against other candidates to help Pena Nieto win the Mexico presidency, and—in a blatant pay for play scheme which listed fees for various services on offer—raising Peña Nieto's national profile while he was governor of the state of Mexico.

And Wikileaks released cables from the American Embassy in Mexico recently illustrating US concerns that the Mexican presidential election frontrunner had been paying for favorable TV coverage.

There is good reason to maintain a healthy skepticism about pronouncements by Mexico’s new President, and by Televisa as well, because both Pena Nieto and Televisa are involved in major recent scandals.

August also saw the arrest in Spain of a lieutenant for the Sinaloa Cartel whose day job was as a party functionary for Pena Nieto’s PRI. Worse, Celaya had posted pictures of himself hanging out with Mexico’s new President on Facebook.

Televisa and Pena Nieto together were also enmeshed in a scandal together. The Guardian published documents showing Televisa committing dirty tricks against other candidates to help Pena Nieto win the Mexico presidency, and—in a blatant pay for play scheme which listed fees for various services on offer—raising Peña Nieto's national profile while he was governor of the state of Mexico.

And Wikileaks released cables from the American Embassy in Mexico recently illustrating US concerns that the Mexican presidential election frontrunner had been paying for favorable TV coverage.

How Did We Get There


On August 20, border guards in Nicaragua detain 18 Mexicans—17 men and one woman. They are all wearing Televisa t-shirts, and they are traveling in six satellite TV vans emblazoned with the Televisa logo.  They carry press credentials from the network.

Customs officials received a tip from a Nicaraguan official who spent the previous evening in Tegucigalpa Honduras in the same hotel as the Mexicans. He became suspicious after hearing loose talk.  

The leader of the group, 39-year-old Raquel Alatorre Correa, will be described in newspapers in Mexico City as a “brunette with voluptuous breasts, a wasp waist and an arrogant attitude.”

She is adorned with a Cartier watch, a Bvlgari Italian ring, a triangle-shaped diamond ring, several gold chains, an IPod, a Blackberry, and a two-way radio.

She is, in short, heavily-accessorized. And so is her mansion in Merida.

Later, when authorities in Mexico raid her homes and ranches (she has 12) in the Yucatan, they find her main residence has an electrified fence, two gates, security cameras, and special outdoor lighting.







She tells border officials—who find her high-handed and petulant—that she and her fellow journalists are in Nicaragua to do a story.  When asked exactly where in Nicaragua they are headed, she says “I won’t tell you.”

A search of the satellite-TV vans is a foregone conclusion. What turns up is a surprise:

$9.2 million in cash, stuffed into built-in hidden compartments, as well as traces of cocaine. Prosecutors charge the group with money laundering, drug trafficking and organized crime.



As reported by MVS television (not associated with Televisa) :
Mexican authorities, through the Attorney General's Office, were able to identify the border point that the 18 Mexicans used, since 2008, to enter Central is located in Chiapas, and the steps are discarded by Tabasco and Quintana Roo, reported this morning in the study of MVS News , Juan Omar Fierro.

The route followed the motorcade from January 2008 until August 2012, when he was arrested for possession of 9.2 million, was the following:

In Chiapas, where six precincts customs, crossed into Guatemala.

From Guatemala to Honduras by crossing checkpoint El Florido.

From Honduras to Nicaragua passed through the hands and Los Pinos.

From Nicaragua to Costa Rica crossed by Peñas Blancas.

And finally, came to Panama by the Canoas border crossing.

Mexican intelligence knew that the 'detainees' were Televisa

The journalist Oscar Merlo, website Digital Reporter of Nicaragua, Juan Omar Fierro told staff that "security agencies, not the police, but Mexico Intelligence", Nicaraguan authorities confirmed two days after the arrest of the 18 Mexicans, it was found that they were of Televisa.

A military intelligence source Nicaragua, which provides information to Merlo for 30 years, confirmed that the ambassador of Mexico in his country, Rodrigo Labardini knew this information and I was worried about the explanation that would give Nicaragua and public opinion.


First the Crime, Now the Coverup


Less than three weeks to start in Managua the trial against the 18 Mexicans, Mexico authorities have not reported their own inquiries to their counterparts in Nicaragua.

 MVS News correspondent in Nicaragua, Calero Abel said that the Attorney General has said repeatedly that country that is still waiting for the PGR answer their requests for information and provide details of its own investigation on the 18 Mexicans were arrested on 20 August when aboard six trucks with logos Televisa and carrying $ 9.2 million in cash.

Strong evidence

Calero said the special prosecutor Armando Juarez has said have "hard evidence" that there are links between the detainees and "people connoted" Federal District. Also announced that, according to judicial sources, the expected "big revelations" in the trial.

The correspondent added that the rescheduling of the trial (which was originally scheduled for December 3) could be to prevent the defense of those arrested allege an illegal detention, and that the 18 Mexicans are under arrest for two months. In this regard, said that the delay of Mexico to deliver information, may be a desirable result negligence defense lawyers.

Questioned about the arrest of one of their TV crews, Televisa emphatically and categorically denies any link to either the Mexican suspects or the six satellite TV vans.

For good measure, and perhaps to show the earnestness of their intentions, the giant network threatens to sue the 18 incarcerated Mexicans—who are already looking at doing 30 years in a squalid Nicaraguan prison—for appropriating the company’s good name.

Next Mexico's Attorney General Marisela Morales steps into the fray, to say the suspects have falsely used Televisa’s name as a cover for criminal pursuits.

“Using the prestige or name of persons or companies without their knowledge,” she explains breezily, "is part of the way in which criminal organizations operate in Mexico and other countries.”

Despite her assurances, there is a problem: In Mexico City, journalists discover all six vans are  registered to Televisa.

Her office is later forced to admit, to much derision, that her remarks weren’t based on the results of an independent investigation, but on assurances from Televisa.

But it’s the thought that counts.

“I want to live!”

Another similarity between Watergate and NarcvoTelevisa is that Woodward and Bernstein could tell when their investigation is close to hitting pay dirt by how shrill personal attacks on the two became. As they painstakingly delved into the Miami Cuban burglar’s connections, Watergate had them looking nervously over their shoulders.

No one yet knew for certain whether being a “nattering nabob of negativism” had become a capital offense.

In Mexico— where journalists start off on much much shakier ground— the attacks are already pretty shrill. Pursuing the Narco-Televisa scandal becomes a badge of courage. Taking on the largest mass media company in the Spanish-speaking world would be no easy assignment in the best of times.

And these are not the best of times. Dozens of reporters are being murdered in the current drug war.  Reporters are being bullied—so far just in print—to leave the Narco-Televisa scandal alone.

In the columns of unfriendly journalists, reporter Carmen Aristegui stands accused of being a “manipulative freak” who is “sickly obsessed.” She has a “communication strategy Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels would have loved.”

She is said to share (with Proceso magazine) a “fixation.” To suffer from a “Fatal Obsession.”  To engage in “pure unsubstantiated sensationalism,” and to “repeat a lie a certain number of times hoping it will become the truth.”

Her reporting on the “Cocaine Caravan” scandal is “an incredible waste of resources, both financial and human.”

“Yet Aristegui persists in disguising her obsession with famous phrases like ‘the public interest’ and ‘questions that deserve answers.’”

Cooler heads observe that Carmen Aristegui has won Mexico’s National Journalism Award on four occasions, as well as the Cabot Prize from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

In a recent radio interview, she says, plaintively and poignantly, “I want to live!”

Threats to the Prisoners

Juan Luis Villagomez Torres Torres and Guillermo Hernandez, two of the 18 Mexican arrested in Nicaragua on August 20, claiming to have been hired by Televisa and ensure that the network gave them their uniforms, badges, keys to the truck where they moved and per diem .

According to the newspaper 24 Horas , the lawyer for the detainees, Johana Gonzalez Fonseca, said that two of the three defendants contend that they were hired by Televisa and were unaware that inside the van in which they were traveling (labeled with logos the company) were transported 9.2 million.

"They gave me an address that matches one of Televisa, which hired them, where they were given the keys to a vehicle (of six vans insured). I say it was a big parking garage, where there were more trucks Televisa, "said the lawyer.

Fonseca Gonzalez told the newspaper that his clients fear reprisals from the station and they are "mentally and morally wrong" and insisted versions of their clients. "Both me working for Televisa said, after I do not know what happened and did not talk about it again. Guess who fear for their lives, they have misgivings about me, we have many limitations to speak, are in a strange country. They can be many factors, "he explained.

No consular support

The lawyer also said that no consular employee has been submitted to assist Villagomez Torres Torres and Hernandez.

In response, the Mexican Foreign Ministry told the newspaper that it has granted consular care to detainees. "The Government of Mexico has fulfilled the responsibility to provide consular assistance, and has had access to detainees both when facing a migration process as when they fincaron criminal charges," reported.

"If you open your mouth, your child will bits". Torres Torres denounces threats

Johana Fonseca, attorney for Torres Torres and two other Mexicans involved in the case, spoke on Thursday with reporter John Omar Fierro, MVS News envoy to Managua, who revealed that "Juan Luis has been threatened" by a man who Managua came from Mexico.

"Don Juan Luis the first message I was told verbally to his family and said that he told his wife not to come near here, did not say who, but a man came to his cell one night. He says that in the dark, told him that if he opened his mouth I do not know what, they were going to make squares, chopped his son, "said the litigant.

Fonseca said the man was identified as Mexican counsel and to reach Managua asked about the situation of the 18 detainees.

Nicaraguan authories underwhelmed

Nicaraguan authorities seem underwhelmed with the response to requests for information they have received from both Televisa and Mexican law enforcement.  “The claim that Televisa was the victim of an illegal operation," says the Attorney General of Nicaragua, “must be supported by evidence.”

The prosecutor in the case pointedly states that he has not yet been satisfied that Televisa is not involved.

According to prosecutors, the narcos, or the narco-journalists, from Televisa have been running, for the past five years, a drug trafficking and money laundering pipeline running the length of Central America.

If six satellite TV vans bearing Televisa logos ran up and down Central America for almost five years without anyone at the network noticing, it would be of a piece with the impunity which Mexican oligarchs believe is their due.

More difficult to explain is why news reports in the U.S. dismissed claims of Televisa’s involvement out of hand, labeling the 18 Mexicans a “phony news crew” and saying they are “posing as journalists.”

As weeks pass, there are a series of revelations. The six vans, it turns out, were registered to Televisa.

Televisa's response was to insist that motor vehicle personnel had been bribed. Notorized documents make this seem unlikely. Then, too, there are letters on Televisa letterhead signed by the vice president of the news division, asking border officials to expedite the vans entrance into their country.

The 18 Mexicans may not be journalists. But that doesn't mean Televisa isn't involved.

Reporter Tim Johnson, stationed in Mexico City for McClatchy Newspapers, allows that the Nicaragua drug case is “vexing” Televisa.

BBC News point out that “2012 has not been a good year for the largest television producer in the Hispanic world."

That seems to be as pointed as criticism of elite deviants gets these days.

Somebody  must be getting very very rich.  Televisa recently reported that it's net income increased 45 per cent in the third quarter over the third quarter of last year.  The third quarter is made up of July, August, and September.  Pena Nieto was elected on July 1.

Some of this material came from the following links.  Edited by DD

http://www.madcowprod.com/2012/10/29/mexicos-narco-televisa-scandal-the-impunity-of-the-elite/
http://aristeguinoticias.com/tag/televisa-nicaragua/
http://shermsays.blogspot.mx/2010/12/watergate-part-six.html


Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
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Re: Is Mexico’s Narco-Televisa Scandal Mexcio's Watergate? PGR & Televisa won't cooperate with Nicaraga.

Baggy
This post was updated on .
Hey DD i  finished reading it and its good, just edit the paragraph under Why no skepticism,its doubledup

Wonder how many will disappear from their jail cells and vanish completely... either gettin shanked or pulling off "great escapes'' never to be seen again..

What are peoples conclusions on all this? i called it EPN's payoff.. perhaps Chapos? lacia's funding for their most recent haul of coke?mmm nah they use jets for that.. lol.
Patriotism is a propaganda tool used to make people blind to the lies of their government through unquestioning devotion.
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Re: Is Mexico’s Narco-Televisa Scandal Mexcio's Watergate? PGR & Televisa won't cooperate with Nicaraga.

jlopez
In reply to this post by DD
DD: Other details that have come up in related stories:
1.    The vans and the telecommunications equipment are fully functional. Hard to argue these are "fake" journalists because it would cost a fortune to equip each van with the same equipment used by other Televisa trucks.
2.    The woman who is the apparent leader of the group is the sister of a highly placed Televisa executive.
3.    The vans were registered to Televisa by a person with a power of attorney from Televisa. That person, a lawyer, is employed by Televisa.
4.    The Nicaragua government will use the confiscated money to build five prisons and purchase police equipment.

Pena Nieto was reared in a culture of corruption and knows nothing but corruption. His uncle, Montiel, was governor of the State of Mexico (Edomex) and got obscenely rich as a result. Pena Nieto inherited the governorship, basically, and has been busy paying back favors. Pobre de Mexico.  
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Re: Is Mexico’s Narco-Televisa Scandal Mexcio's Watergate? PGR & Televisa won't cooperate with Nicaraga.

Havana
Is Televisa the real leader of Mexico?  Unbelievable.  I wish this story would break wide open.

As far as them being journalists,  it should be pretty easy to find out just how involved they may have been in "journalism" field by thoroughly checking them out.  Most journalists make a business of becoming known.  I understand these ones had different motivations.  I would think by the nature of what they were doing, they probably could trick their van out any which way because playing a believable role, and covering their tracks would be a vital part of the scam.

This has been a fascinating story from the start and I'm so glad you guys are keeping it going.  Good job DD!
DD
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Re: Is Mexico’s Narco-Televisa Scandal Mexcio's Watergate? PGR & Televisa won't cooperate with Nicaraga.

DD
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In reply to this post by Baggy
@Baggy, Thanks for the help in editing.  If you see any more errors let me know.  
There is so much to this story that is not being told.  I had notes from various sources scattered here and there and would not be surprised if you find some more errors that I made trying to put the pieces together.

DD
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
DD
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Re: Is Mexico’s Narco-Televisa Scandal Mexcio's Watergate? PGR & Televisa won't cooperate with Nicaraga.

DD
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In reply to this post by jlopez
@jlopez.  Thanks for the info.  I did not know the woman was the sister of a high executive of Televisa.
I have been working on another major story about Televisa for a couple of months which maybe I can finish soon.  In it I reference some nefarious activities of Televisa's number 2 man.  
Any other tidbits you find that are not widely known about Televisa will be appreciated.
From a personal standpoint, it is almost scarier to post an article about Televisa, naming names, than it is to post an article on the cartels.  Maybe that is why the article I have been working on has taken so long.

DD
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.