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Feds let Mexican cartel hit men kill in United States.

The U.S. government allowed Mexican drug cartel hit men working as "confidential informants" for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to murder people inside the United States, an American federal law-enforcement supervisor told the private intelligence firm Stratfor in e-mails dated April 1, 2011, and released by WikiLeaks. ICE neither confirmed nor denied the allegations when contacted by THE NEW AMERICAN.

The explosive leaked documents containing the claims were part of a massive batch of e-mails, dated between July 2004 and December 2011, stolen by hackers from the Texas-based intelligence-gathering firm Stratfor. Among other startling allegations, official sources in the Mexican and U.S. governments told the company that American special-operations forces were in Mexico under the guise of fighting the drug war.

Additionally, a U.S.-based Mexican diplomat and other sources claimed that Washington, D.C., was working with certain favored drug cartels--especially Sinaloa--in an effort to put smaller criminal organizations out of business. The e-mails echoed allegations made in numerous reports and statements by officials, drug-cartel operatives, and other sources, indicating that the U.S. government was deeply involved in the narcotics trade.

Perhaps the most astounding information, however, had to do with the U.S. government allegedly allowing Mexican cartel hit men across the border into the United States to murder targets. A Stratfor source identified in the documents as "US714," whom the firm described as a "US law enforcement officer with direct oversight of border investigations," made that explosive accusation in an e-mail dated April of last year.

"Regarding ICE screwing up informants: They [ICE] were handling big hit men from Juarez and letting them kill in the U.S.," explained the federal law-enforcement supervisor, who in a separate e-mail also said American troops were already in Mexico engaged in joint operations with Mexican forces.

Instead of expressing shock about the major allegations against ICE, a Stratfor employee responded by mentioning that the intelligence-gathering outfit had already written about the issue, pointing to a 2009 piece published online entitled "Confidential Informants: A Double-Edged Sword." In that article, Stratfor highlighted the story of a confidential ICE informant, Ruben Rodriguez Dorado, who was involved in the murder of yet another confidential ICE source in Texas.

When asked by THE NEW AMERICAN about the federal law-enforcement supervisor's allegations in the correspondence with Stratfor, ICE refused to either confirm or deny the accusations. Instead, ICE spokesman Brandon Montgomery, with the Department of Homeland Security, offered a statement explaining the importance of confidential informants to criminal investigations.

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"Confidential Informants (CI) are an extremely valuable and necessary part of law enforcement efforts to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations. One of the most effective ways to do this is by turning insiders within these organizations and utilizing their information as CIs," Montgomery explained. "Insiders can provide information that cannot be obtained through any other means."

According to Montgomery, ICE will substitute an undercover federal agent for its confidential informant as soon as possible to ensure that the investigation is carried out by trained law-enforcement professionals. "ICE initiates a CI through a regulated and controlled process and ICE takes significant steps, including training of ICE agents and audits of CI files when working with CIs," the spokesman concluded.

Analysts focused on the Mexican drug war and the roles of U.S. officials, meanwhile, were not surprised by the most recent allegations leveled against ICE. In fact, as has been noted by multiple analysts, it would not be the first time that the U.S. government has been involved in eerily similar scandals.

"Though Stratfor source US714's revelation may seem too dark to be true, Narco News has already documented, via the multi-year House of Death investigative series, that ICE, with the approval of US prosecutors, allowed one of its informants to participate in multiple murders inside Mexico in order to make a drug case," wrote investigative reporter Bill Conroy, one of the premier journalists covering the broader drug war, on August 20, 2012.

The so-called House of Death scandal surrounded another ICE informant, Guillermo "Lab" Ramirez Peyro, who was simultaneously working with the Juarez cartel. In that case, federal officials knew their paid informant was involved in torture and multiple murders, yet continued to give him what numerous analysts and other officials described as a "license to kill."

Whether or not the whole truth will ever emerge about the federal government's nefarious activities surrounding the drug wars remains unclear. But from what is already known, the picture that emerges is highly disturbing, according to analysts--at least that much is clear. Activists say it is past time for Congress to find out what exactly is going on and hold those responsible for criminal activity to account.
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Title Annotation:EXTENDED INSIDE TRACK
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 10, 2012
Words:784
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