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I had never heard of MS-13 until last year.
Since then, I run across a mention of them nearly every week without even trying.
My post yesterday dealt with the latest strategy to fight this alarming and deadly gang.
MS-13 have had an incredible and terrifying expansion in the United States. I recently saw a History Documentary Channel film on them and would like to share it with you along with a bit of California gang history.
For my European readers, this gang might appear to be an American and Central American phenomenon, however, primary school children in North Brabant, The Netherlands, are beginning to copy MS-13’s violent behaviour (see here and here).
California gang organisation
In California, gangs operate on a North-South divide. The boundaries are marked by the towns of Delano and Bakersfield.
Gangs from the North are called Norteños: Northerners. They affiliate with the larger criminal organisation Nuestra Familia, which formed in 1968 in the Soledad Correctional Facility, located in Monterrey County. Their main income comes from drugs: cocaine, heroin, cannabis and methamphetamine. Nuestra Familia’s Wikipedia entry points out:
While members of the Norteños gang is considered to be affiliated with Nuestra Familia, being a member of Nuestra Familia itself does not signify association as a Norteño.
The number of the Norteños is 14. N is the 14th letter of the alphabet and is the first letter in Nuestra Familia. They write the number 14 as XIV or X4. They tattoo themselves with four dots. Their colours are red and black.
Sureños — Southerners, also SUR (Southern United Raza) — are gangs that operate from the southern part of the state, although some have a presence in northern California. They affiliate with the organisation Mexican Mafia, created in 1957 at what was then the Deuel Vocational Institution (now an adult prison) in Tracy. It has no original connection with Mexico, but rather Hispanic youth gangs in Los Angeles. Mexican Mafia has no connection with the New Mexican Mafia.
The number of the Sureños is 13. M is the 13th letter of the alphabet and the first letter in Mexican Mafia, also known as La Eme: The M. They write the number 13 as itself but also as XIII, X3, uno tres, trece. They tattoo themselves with three dots. Their colours are blue and grey.
In addition to drug trafficking, Sureños are also very violent. They kidnap, murder, assault and engage in human trafficking.
MS-13 is a Sureño gang.
The rift between the northern and southern gangs took place in 1968:
While La Eme had initially been created to protect Mexicans in prison, there was a perceived level of abuse by members of La Eme towards the imprisoned Latinos from rural farming areas of Northern California. The spark that led to the ongoing war between Norteños and members of the Mexican Mafia involved a situation in which a La Eme allegedly stole a pair of shoes from a Northerner. This event put into motion the longest-running gang war in the state of California and the founding of Nuestra Familia.
MS-13: from LA street punks to big players
There is some dispute about the etymology of the name. Some sources state the gang is named for La Mara, a street gang in San Salvador, and the Salvatrucha guerrillas who fought in the Salvadoran Civil War. Additionally, the word mara means gang in Caliche slang and is taken from marabunta, the name of a fierce type of ant. “Salvatrucha” may be a combination of the words Salvadoran and trucha, a Caliche word for being alert. The term, “Salvatruchas” has been explained as a reference to Salvadorian peasants trained to become guerrilla fighters, referred to as “Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front.”
InSight Crime has a good translation of a history of MS-13 which appeared in Spanish on the El Faro site. Insight Crime’s Geoffrey Ramsey explains more before going into Sanz and Martinez’s history from El Faro. Emphases mine below:
While the MS-13 is more commonly associated with menacing tattoos and violent initiation ceremonies, El Faro’s two-part investigation (See Part I and Part II, in their original Spanish) into the gang’s history shows that this was not always the case. When starting out at the bottom of the food chain in Los Angeles’ gang underworld, the Mara found itself attacked from all sides. The authors, Jose Luis Sanz and Carlos Martinez, claim that the gang’s fearsome reputation had to be earned, and was the result of persecution from white and Mexican gangs in the city …
The transition into one of the most ruthless transnational criminal gangs was not an easy one. The Mara Salvatrucha, like other street gangs, emerged from humble beginnings. While most analysts believe that the gang got its start in Los Angeles-area prisons in the 1990s, its roots date back farther than that, to a small group of teenagers in the Salvadoran community in the 1970s:
In the late ‘70s in LA, the Mara Salvatrucha was just a bunch of ragged teenagers, mostly heavy metal fans. They called themselves “stoners” in reference to rock and the influence of the Rolling Stones, as did other youth gangs — like the Mid City Stoners and The Hole Stoners — who listened to rock and smoked marijuana on street corners and parks in their neighborhoods.
No member of the Mara Salvatrucha Stoners was over 18 years. Most had come to the United States recently, with his parents fleeing poverty in El Salvador. They were the most recent batch of migrants to arrive and none could say that their “territory” was entirely theirs, with no blacks, Mexicans or Koreans.
Still, speaking within the Mara Salvatrucha of stoners is to invoke the pure, the original, the real thing. In the Mara, which maintains a blurred memory preserved by oral traditions, they say that none of these early pioneers are alive, but gangsters who cooly claim to have joined in those early days are aware of the prestige this gives them. Invoking the blurred past is a hallmark of the constant war for respect being waged in the gang.
The LAPD has records of the Mara Salvatrucha Stoners dating back to 1975. Researchers like Tom Ward, of the University of California, have documented the foundation of small cliques or core stoners of the MS in 1978.
It is uncertain when it first began, but some veteran Salvatruchos from LA in the late ‘70s claim that a dozen stoners began meeting regularly at the Seven Eleven that still exists at the intersection of Westmoreland Avenue and James M. Wood Street. There, at that Seven Eleven, is probably where the first clique of the Mara Salvatrucha began. There are still, in Los Angeles and El Salvador, gang members who belong to it.
The Salvatruchos felt tough. Their tight jeans torn at the knees, black shirts with album covers of ACDC, Led Zeppelin or Kiss, and long hair all shouted defiance. They were involved in fights with similar groups, stole car cassette players and became infamous in schools like Berendo Middle School, four blocks from the intersection of Normandie Avenue and Pico Boulevard. Some even boasted of being satanic while singing Hell Bent for Leather, by Judas Priest. But they hardly had any ambition beyond going to the next concert and feeling powerful by raising their fists into the air and raising two fingers, simulating a pair of horns. For the moment.
Sanz and Martinez explain MS-13’s evolution from petty crime into extreme violence as the gang expanded in Los Angeles. Prison served as an enabler, with members getting acquainted with each other and trading information:
Salvadorans formed their own gang to stand up to pressure from other Latinos, finding themselves looked at in disgust by Mexicans and their descendants. It is not easy being the new kid on the block and expecting others to invite you to play with them. Even if the game consists of waging war …
By 1985 most of the MS cliques had moved past their stoner identity and in the following years took up small-scale drug trafficking, or extorted money from corner drug dealers in their areas.
Controlling the street made no sense if you could not get financial benefit from it. They competed with other gangs in order to win in all categories: presence, control, violence … money. [MS-13 affiliated woman] La Chele remembers how the homies came out of jail talking in new terms about the arts of intimidation and power, learned from long cell conversations. She, herself near the end of a brief stay in a prison, found herself bringing order to her clique, which was losing money because it only taxed local drug dealers once a week.
“The homie who was in charge of extortions asked me, ‘How do you think you can improve our method, coming out of jail?’ And I said, “Simon, you got to charge rent every day, plus the corner dealers can see that red truck of yours from a mile away. When they see it they hide and that’s why you don’t·manage to get anything.”
It took a long time for MS to earn enough street cred so that they could get a powerful ally in the gang world. Sanz and Martinez tell us:
The number 13 is actually a name that indicates homage to a criminal force majeure, the Lords, the Mexican Mafia, which reigns in Southern California. The Mara Salvatrucha would take several years to build that friendship and that number.
MS-13 now an international menace
This brings us to the 45-minute film from History Documentary Channel, MS-13: World’s Most Dangerous Gang. It was made in 2016. Some dates differ to what Sanz and Martinez above documented, e.g. when the gang was founded. A summary of the film follows:
The documentary features the story of Wally, a student at Hollywood High and an Iranian immigrant, having a snack in a neighbourhood restaurant with a friend. On December 17, 2002, an MS-13 girl approached Wally and asked him where he was from, meaning what gang was he with. A few minutes later, a group of male gang members and the girl surrounded him, brutally beating him up. They fled. Bleeding, Wally got up off the floor. He thought that was the end of the incident. Suddenly, a gang member walked back in with a gun and shot him at point blank range.
The senseless attack occurred because the girl and the male gang members were angry when Wally said he was from Iran. He had no gang connection. But Wally protested his innocence in vain.
Wally survived the beating and the shooting, but was now a quadriplegic, in a wheelchair and on a ventilator 24/7. Fortunately, he was able to testify in court against his attackers. He died four months later.
Marvin ‘Spy’ Guerra was among the defendants in court. He had joined MS-13 in October 2002. Guerra was the guy who went back to the restaurant to shoot Wally. He did that to make a name for himself.
Guerra aimed the gun close to Wally’s face. Wally’s only option in a split second reaction was to put his hand in front of his face. The bullet went through Wally’s hand and into his neck. Guerra had crippled Wally for life.
Guerra received a life sentence. He is eligible for parole in 15 years, therefore, soon.
Another senseless attack — a massacre — took place in San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras. On December 23, 2004, MS-13 members there opened fire on a bus full of families at 6:30 p.m. Women, children and the elderly died in a bloodbath. A Honduran law enforcement official said it was like ‘something out of a Hollywood movie’, so horrific it didn’t seem possible in real life.
The massacre was organised and executed by a Los Angeles MS-13 member.
Two cars blocked the bus, one from the front and the other at the back. MS-13 members first killed the bus driver. They then sprayed the bus with bullets. That wasn’t enough. The gang members then went inside the bus to make sure everyone was dead. The law enforcement official said:
It was like a war zone, because the weapons were war weapons — M16s, AK-47s.
Twenty-eight people died, six of whom were children.
Fortunately, Honduran police were able to capture all but one of the killers — the mastermind behind the attack, from Los Angeles. His name is Eber Anibal Rivera-Paz, known as El Coche, or The Tapeworm. He was part of an MS-13 clique the Normandie Locos, referencing Normandie Avenue in Los Angeles.
The Tapeworm had been deported in the 1990s back to Honduras, where he started an MS-13 clique which he headed. He ordered the bus massacre in order to get back at police who were cracking down on the gang.
He made his way back to the United States but was quickly sent back to Honduras by airport immigration. Somehow, Honduran officials were unable to identify him upon his return. Furthermore, someone should have been waiting for him at the airport. When he saw no one was there, he continued on his way.
The Tapeworm has not been seen since. He could be in Honduras. He could be in the United States. He could be anywhere.
Since the 1980s, MS-13 has been growing at a ‘phenomenal rate’, with a presence in 41 or 42 states today as well as in Latin America.
In its infancy, MS-13’s original members had not belonged to gangs in El Salvador. They only formed a gang once they met in Los Angeles near Lafayette Park.
By 1979, approximately 700,000 Salvadorians fled the guerilla war in their own country for the safety of the United States. They settled near MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. One law enforcement official interviewed said that more than 95% of these immigrants wanted to work hard and build a new future for themselves. However, some young Salvadorians felt the tension on the streets near the park, which a Mexican gang, 18th Street, controlled. Salvadorians were not welcome.
Julio Cabrera, a former MS-13 member, said that when he joined in 1987 as Flipper, MS-13 and some of the other gangs got along and partied together. That changed in short order once MS-13 got involved in drug dealing and violence. Eventually, MS-13 began infringing on 18th Street’s territory.
In 1990, a fight broke out at a neighbourhood party and an 18th Street member shot an MS-13 member. Some say the shooting started a fierce war between the two gangs. Gunfights took place nightly.
By then, Salvadorians who had fought in their civil war began arriving in Los Angeles. Some joined MS-13. They were tough. They had military training. A law enforcement official says that they had seen and engaged in so much ruthless and extreme violence — e.g. cutting people’s arms off with a machete, setting people alight — that it was routine.
When Charlie ‘Angel’ Vasquez’s family arrived in Los Angeles in 1979, he was eight years old. He joined the Parkview Locos, a clique of MS-13 and got two tattoos, one on each arm. One says Mara 13 and the other 213, the city’s telephone area code. He said he was an ‘adrenaline junkie’ at the time and found the gang violence ‘exciting’.
He met the aforementioned Julio Cabrera, who helped initiate him into MS-13. The initiation rite consists of getting brutally beaten up by other gang members for 13 seconds. Vasquez says that if a member is enjoying watching someone getting beaten up, he’ll count to 13 more slowly.
Such violence and notoriety, Vasquez says, attracted hundreds of new recruits around the city. Not only was MS-13 shooting people without a second thought, they also had a reputation for rape. Vasquez said that he disapproved of rape, but a lot of his fellow ‘homies’ didn’t mind.
MS-13 also had a well known reputation for murder, which Vasquez also participated in. In 1991, he got into a heated argument with a rival black gang member. The black punched him then ran off. Charlie caught up with him. Out of his box on drink and cocaine, Charlie couldn’t stop punching his rival. When he stood back, he saw his clothes were covered in blood. His rival died.
Police arrested Vasquez at the scene. Vasquez felt no remorse for what he had done. In fact, he said that he felt proud, especially because his victim was black:
Hispanic gang members are racist.
Whilst in Los Angeles County Jail, he contemplated his next victims (‘Chinese? Cops?’) and his next crime:
You can’t help but think of evil things to do.
Meanwhile, the war with 18th Street was escalating. Drive-by shootings were commonplace, and innocent people were getting shot, sometimes fatally.
Enter the Mexican Mafia, which decided to stop the carnage. It was bad for their business. People stopped hanging out on street corners waiting for their drugs.
The truce took place at Elysian Park. The LAPD filmed it. The Mexican Mafia divided the area around MacArthur Park between the two gangs.
That was when Mara Salvatrucha added 13 to its name. That numerical addition increased their prestige. Soon they branched outside of Los Angeles. New territory was easy to find.
By the early 1990s, police forces noticed that MS-13 random violence was taking place far away from Los Angeles.
As the LAPD began cracking down on the gang, members moved elsewhere in the US. This gave them the opportunity to lie low from the police as well as operate in a new environment.
A law enforcement official said that it is easy for the gang to blend in to new surroundings. MS-13 members work by day, often in the building trade or menial labour, so appear to be straight arrows to employers. They enjoy working hard and will move anywhere there is job growth and steady employment.
BUT — well meaning parents also move their MS-13 teenage children to other parts of the country in the belief that they will quit the gang. Joker, who was a member of the Parkview Locos (affiliated with MS-13), said that his mother told him they were going to move to Virginia, where she had family. After six months, Joker picked up where he left off when he happened to meet other LA members there. He wasted no time in setting up a new branch of MS-13 in Fairfax County, Virginia. He began recruiting in middle schools and high schools.
Joker was not alone. This happened all over the United States. By the end of the 1990s, there were 10,000 MS-13 members across the nation.
In Dallas in 2001, the body of a young man was found in the woods. He had been shot execution style — and sodomised.
In Virginia in 2003, hikers found the body of a pregnant teenager along the banks of the Shenandoah River. She had been stabbed 16 times, her head nearly severed.
My post from yesterday has more recent cases.
The Clinton administration instituted new laws to crack down on illegal immigration in the 1990s, closely tied to gang violence.
The aforementioned Tapeworm — who ended up in Honduras — was one of the members deported.
Hundreds of other MS-13 members were deported back to their Latin American countries of origin. They quickly established and led MS-13 branches. They were big fish in a little pond.
However, there was a more pragmatic reason. They returned with no money and no job, just the clothes on their back. Many had no family, so crime and violence were the only options they knew and the ones that came easiest.
Around this time, MS-13 took root in El Salvador.
The aforementioned Julio Cabrera was sent back to El Salvador. The kids on the street thought he was a Hollywood movie star. He started several cliques in the MS-13 style. He had no end of recruits. The gang culture grew quickly.
Charlie Vasquez, who was doing time for beating a black gang member to death, was offered a plea bargain and was deported to his native El Salvador. Unlike a number of his fellow members, he took the opportunity to turn his life around south of the border.
Central America became a gangster’s paradise
The teenage recruits that deported MS-13 members cultivated were eager to get the full gang experience.
American culture is a big deal there, and anyone from Los Angeles earns instant respect and adoration.
Police forces in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala were overwhelmed by a sudden crime epidemic, which included families being terrorised, sometimes massacred. Victims were afraid to notify the police, and there were cases where police were afraid to confront the gang members or investigate those crimes.
In 2004, laws began changing in California, making it easier not only for people to speak up but also for police to arrest gang members, even for loitering.
However, MS-13 lives on: where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Since 2006, the FBI has developed a good working relationship with law enforcement in Central American countries.
Jail and prison have served to further MS-13’s reach.
One prison in San Salvador is comprised of MS-13 members only. The inmates hide their telephones and can easily communicate with MS-13 members in the United States. Heinous crimes have been engineered and committed.
The same thing happens from US prisons to Central American MS-13 cliques.
Human trafficking, drugs and money laundering are highly likely to be international operations.
Fortunately, as some MS-13 members get older, they leave. They find jobs and raise families. Some become willing informants, a great asset to the authorities. They get their tattoos removed. Some help young teens avoid gang life. Others turn towards the Church. One former MS-13 member has become a pastor.
MS-13 is an international scourge. Let us hope that the US Attorney General and law enforcement agencies both in the US and Central America can eradicate it.
Coming up on Monday: MS-13’s surprising new market
President Donald Trump’s supporters are in a quandary these days.
Some — myself included — are bemused by the sudden neo-con foreign forays, wishing he had pursued ‘America First’ policies and left the overseas conflicts alone for the time being.
That said, many Americans approve of Trump’s performance so far, as the Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday, April 19, 2017, indicates:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-two percent (52%) disapprove.
Other polling companies and polling aggregator sites consider Rasmussen to be too ‘right wing’. To them, Rasmussen has this message:
The same pollsters who called the presidential election wrong last November show the president with a worse job approval rating than we do. We called it right in November, so you decide who’s got it right now.
Reassuring those of us who thought he had gone soft on the domestic front, Trump tweeted:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions followed up on Tuesday, April 18, with his announcement regarding America’s gangs, especially MS-13:
Sessions said, in part (emphases mine below):
In February, President Trump issued an executive order to us to interdict and dismantle transnational criminal organizations, and today we’ll be proposing concrete ideas to follow through on President Trump’s directive.
So let me state this clearly. Under President Trump, the Justice Department has zero tolerance for gang violence. Transnational criminal organizations like MS-13 represent one of the gravest threats to American safety. These organizations enrich themselves by pedaling poison in our communities, trafficking children for sexual exploitation and inflicting horrific violence in the communities where they operate.
MS-13 has become a symbol of this plague that has spread across our country and into our communities. There are over 30,000 members abroad with their headquarters in the El Salvadoran prison system. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center, MS-13 now has more than 10,000 members in at least 40 states in this country – up significantly from just a few years ago.
Because of an open border and years of lax immigration enforcement, MS-13 has been sending both recruiters and members to regenerate gangs that previously had been decimated, and smuggling members across the border as unaccompanied minors. They are not content to simply ruin the lives of adults – MS-13 recruits in our high schools, our middle schools and even our elementary schools.
Just a few days ago, law enforcement believes that members of MS-13 murdered four young men and dumped their bodies in a park on Long Island. Last month, it was two teenage girls in Los Angeles who were killed with machetes and baseball bats. A few weeks ago, the FBI added an MS-13 member to their Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List for a suspected brutal murder with a baseball bat and screwdriver – all purportedly to earn his MS-13 tattoo. Violence is an initiation rite. They’ve killed mothers alongside their children and vice versa. They have gang raped and trafficked girls as young as 12 years old.
We cannot allow this to continue. We will secure our border, expand immigration enforcement and choke-off supply lines. If you are a gang member: We will find you. We will devastate your networks. We will starve your revenue sources, deplete your ranks and seize your profits. We will not concede a single block or street corner to your vicious tactics.
The Daily Mail has another MS-13 report dated March 2, wherein Houston gang members kidnapped two teenage girls and held them hostage for two weeks. The gang members shot and killed one of them. The other they plied with drugs and drink and took turns sexually assaulting her. They also forcibly tattooed her. The Mail has pictures of the young defendants, who are smiling and waving to the camera. The report states that they are illegal aliens from El Salvador with a deep interest in satanism.
Sessions spoke to Tucker Carlson on Fox News later that day:
Sessions explained that until 2009 — first year of the Obama administration — law enforcement authorities had made significant progress in stemming the growth of gangs such as MS-13. Since then, gang numbers have increased. He blamed this, as he said in his statement above, on lax border policies and sanctuary cities. He also cited the Obama administration’s lax attitude to what are known as the Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC).
A graph from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) shows that the number of UACs more than doubled between 2008 and 2009 alone, from under 10,000 to approximately 20,000. By 2014, that number had risen to 70,000. The administration took action to reduce the number to 40,000 in 2015, but, in 2016, the number soared once more to over 70,000.
The CIS report — from May 2016 — says:
The initial response of the Obama administration to the surge in 2014 was to present these minors as victims of human trafficking, covered by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008, signed by President Bush and reauthorized during the Obama administration in 2013. TVPRA requires the screening of unaccompanied children as potential victims of human trafficking. The attempt, however, was quickly dropped and the case for smuggling upheld instead. It is true that the vast majority of UACs who are illegally entering the United States are smuggled and not trafficked. (Cases such as those forced to work on egg farms in and around Marion, Ohio, remain the exception.3) …
In July 2014, President Obama expressed his desire to set up a refugee/parole program in Central America.8 What the president suggested was screening children in their home countries to determine whether or not they qualify as refugee applicants, then flying those who do directly to the United States. These in-country screening programs are not common and were used as exceptional humanitarian recourses by the United States following, for instance, the Vietnam War and the 1990 Haiti earthquake …
As for humanitarian parole, parents in the United States need to prove they are able to financially support their child. The parolees are granted work authorization for two years (renewable).
The reason for this initiative’s lack of success is rather simple, as we are reminded by MPI [Migration Policy Institute]: “The United States is home to an estimated 1.3 million Salvadoran, 902,000 Guatemalan, and 534,000 Honduran immigrants. A majority of these immigrants are unauthorized and unlawfully present and therefore could not meet the program’s lawful presence requirements for parents.” MPI also notes that under existing U.S. laws those parents legally present in the United States can (and probably already did) sponsor their children for immigrant visas instead of going through burdensome processes.
In 2016, the Obama administration decided to expand that refugee/parole programme:
Despite the fact that this new addition to the existing (and somewhat unpopular) CAM Refugee/Parole Program was mainly designed in response to the increasing number of unaccompanied children crossing into the United States illegally, this new setting could benefit every person — adults included (“vulnerable families and individuals”) — from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who seeks asylum. The government’s primary concern, however, is still focused on providing children from Central America with a safe alternative to crossing the border on their own.
Whether Central American children meet the definition of refugees, however, raises serious doubts.
When asked to give his opinion as to why children from Central America were coming to the United States, Thomas Homan, executive associate director of Enforcement and Removal Operations within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), replied, “Based on my experience, I think there are some that are skipping fear, but I think there are many more that are taking advantage of the system.”20
The Conservative Treehouse has pulled graphics showing where these UACs ended up (first graphic) and the top cities are for ICE arrests. Notice the pattern between the two.
What happens when UACs arrive in the United States? Whilst not wishing to say that all of the 227,149 who have entered between 2009 and 2015 — according to a Fox News report which cited US Border patrol numbers — are criminals or turn into criminals, their vulnerable status presents ripe fruit for the picking by gangs such as MS-13.
That Fox News article, from September 15, 2016, states:
They remain in federal custody until a sponsor can be located, at which time they are often sent to communities where they are ripe for recruitment by Latin gangs such as the infamous MS-13.
“Our safety standards have increased,” Andrea Helling, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told FoxNews.com. “In the last few months screening procedures of children and sponsors has increased in their intensity which we hadn’t done previously.”
Some observers say that, at the least, the process sends a steady stream of loosely supervised youths lacking in language and coping skills right into the waiting arms of criminal gangs. At worst, the unaccompanied minors were already initiated into the gangs before they arrived at the border.
Indeed. The CIS paper states that this is true in many cases:
a report published last year by the Migration Policy Institute on “In-Country Refugee Processing in Central America” concluded that, despite the fact that many of these Central American children are “threatened by gang violence and have clear protection needs, being forced to join a gang or experiencing violence do not generally qualify as a basis for refugee status or fall readily into one of the refugee definition categories.”24
And MS-13 is rapidly expanding across the United States.
Fox News describes the Los Angeles gang’s growth in New York state and, surprisingly, not in the New York City boroughs:
MS-13 is believed to be among the largest street gangs on New York’s Long Island, and more than 250 members have been convicted on federal felony charges since 2003. Federal prosecutors there have pinned more than 20 murders on the violent gang.
The number of UACs in New York had grown rapidly by 2016:
Long Island has received 2,093 unaccompanied children, and between October 2013 and July 2016, all of New York received 12,478 children from Central America. The overwhelming majority of the kids are not criminals and likely have competent sponsors. But some are.
Just one or two miscreants can cause a lot of crime. Imagine adding to already existing criminal numbers in a particular town or county:
In June 2015, MS-13 members and El Salvadoran immigrants Jose Cornejo, 17, Bryan Larios, 18 and Joel Escobar, 17, all of Brentwood, N.Y. were charged with the brutal rape of a 16 year-old girl on a local golf course.
Earlier this week, Joshua Guzman, 15, was shot and killed in the Long Island city of Hempstead. While not an unaccompanied immigrant, the boy’s father, Raul Guzman, told Newsday his son was under pressure to join a gang. Police believe his murder may be related.
Other American states are similarly affected by an influx of UACs and gang activity:
MS-13 has a foothold in numerous other communities, where unaccompanied minors are being sent. Texas, which has seen a spike in MS-13 crime has received 15,999 over the same period. The 2015 Texas Department of Public Safety Gang Threat Assessment found MS-13 boasts some 800 members, and authorities explicitly blamed the flood of unaccompanied children being placed in the state.
“The influx of illegal alien gang members crossing the border into Texas in 2014, along with reports of extremely violent murders committed by its members in the Houston area, positions the gang as one of the most significant gang threats in the state for this upcoming year,” the report stated.
Other areas that have seen an influx in MS-13 crime are Maryland, Texas, and Virginia. Fairfax County, Va. has seen a 160 percent increase in MS-13 related incidents through April compared to the previous year.
From this, it would appear that some of these sponsors are gang members themselves. Also, it would be relatively easy to see where a UAC coming from a gang in Central America could lie and say he was victimised and would have to escape to the US. It would be a ruse to move up in the gang world, one which already would have been arranged by his home base in Central America and the recipient ‘sponsor’ in the United States.
Being in the US would offer greater prestige and richer pickings than staying south of the border. Consider it a promotion, if you will.
It is not beyond belief that we could find a gang network, particularly MS-13, funneling these boys to the US with sponsorship arrangements having been made in advance.
It will be interesting to see what transpires this year through Attorney General Sessions’s efforts.
Tomorrow: the unlikely, yet true, story of MS-13
At the weekend, ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids occurred in several American cities.
This generated much hand-wringing in the United States.
However, as we know, President Donald Trump is a man of his word:
Combined with this are concerns about his long-term plans for a wall dividing the US and Mexico.
The most high-profile deportation involved Guadalupe García, 36, who had lived illegally in the United States for 22 years and is a mother of two. García is a convicted felon. She was arrested in 2009 for having a false Social Security card and was then convicted of identity theft, which is a felony. García was allowed to live freely, provided that she checked in with ICE agents in Phoenix every six months. When she went to see them last week, she was detained and deported to Mexico.
However, Americans who are worried for García and other illegal immigrants from south of the border should be comforted in knowing that those who might be rounded up for deportation will fight for their notional rights. In reality, they are fighting for a privilege which has not been given them.
On February 12, 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that 49 out of 50 illegal aliens at a meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, would prefer to be detained in the United States than return to Mexico:
All but one of about 50 undocumented Mexican migrants at a meeting Saturday indicated they would rather risk detention and long court battles in the U.S. than return to Mexico voluntarily.
The majority of migrants at the meeting in Phoenix, which included Mexican officials, signaled in a show of hands that they were ready to fight deportation in U.S. courts.
“Even if that means detention for weeks?” asked former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda.
“Even if it takes months,” shouted one woman. “Even if it takes years,” another yelled. “We are here to fight.”
The WSJ says that Castaneda hopes this will be the case, because:
the legal system would break down, bringing deportations to a halt.
The article says that Mexican legislators present at the Phoenix meeting were seeking ways to stop co-operation with the US, whether commercially or with regard to law enforcement. However:
not all legislators were on board with those calling for a tough negotiating posture. “If we bet on confrontation without first trying to convince, then we are making a big mistake,” said Gabriela Cuevas Barron, from the opposition conservative National Action Party, who heads the Mexican Senate’s foreign relations committee.
About 80% of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S., she said. “We should negotiate more forcefully, but we don’t have a blank check,” she said.
Interestingly, some illegal aliens at the gathering urged Mexico to provide more job opportunities and they would return (emphases mine):
they said they were forced to leave because its widespread corruption, violence and terrible education system killed economic opportunity.
“In Mexico, we don’t have any opportunity, we don’t have any education, and you can’t get a job unless you have connections,” said Maria, a woman who wouldn’t give her last name. “Here my son graduated from university. If I lived in Mexico, I would be selling chewing gum in the street.”
It’s amazing that poor Mexicans still have to sell gum on the streets. I saw it non-stop — even into the early hours of the morning — in Acapulco in 1979. There were small children out in the streets with boxes of Chiclets. I used to pay for a whole box every day just to get a few of them them to go home. They all agreed but said:
That’s not how it works. You’re only supposed to buy a small box!
It blew my mind, I can tell you. But I digress.
Back on topic, one has to wonder about the legality of Mexicans holding an anti-US meeting with their own government officials on American soil. Americans are very forgiving people.
The readers’ comments following the WSJ article ask many good questions. One, why would an illegal alien be able to obtain due process of law when they are not legally resident in the US? Two, who paid for Maria’s son’s education: the taxpayer? Three, why should illegal aliens expect state money, e.g. legal defence, when Americans are trying to keep their own heads above water?
Where they go
The WSJ has a helpful table showing where 11.1 million illegal immigrants settle.
In first place is New York City and northern New Jersey with 1.1m, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim with 1m. After that, it’s Houston with 575,000, Dallas/Fort Worth with 475,000, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach with 450,000, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin with 425,000 and Washington, DC/Arlington/Alexandria with 400,000.
Other population centres follow, with significantly fewer illegals.
Mexican immigration law
Don’t think that Mexico has a similarly lax application of immigration law.
A Washington Times article from 2010 discussed the Mexican opprobrium to a law that Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer (R) signed, which allows state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants.
The article states that, ten years earlier — 2000 — Mexico enacted the Reglamento de la Ley General de Poblacion — the General Law on Population. These are its provisions:
Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years. Visa violators can be sentenced to six-year terms. Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals.
The law also says Mexico can deport foreigners who are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” violate Mexican law, are not “physically or mentally healthy” or lack the “necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents.
It is fine — and correct — for Mexicans to restrict entry. However, it should be the same for the United States, which still has applicable laws on its books.
Those laws just haven’t been enforced for many years. Why were there amnesties by presidents Reagan and Bush II? Because the people entering illegally were in violation of the law. See US Title 8 Code 1325. Illegal entry has been — and continues to be — an imprisonable offence.
Despite such a federal law, then-president Felipe Calderon called the Arizona law:
“racial discrimination” … and vowed to use all means at his disposal to defend Mexican nationals against a law he called a “violation of human rights.”
Fast track from countries south of Mexico to the US
In 2014, Dr Jerome Corsi, an investigative journalist and author, wrote an article for WND called, ‘Mexico, Guatemala Fast-Track Delivery of Illegals to US’.
It concerns Mexico’s Regional Visitor Card, which allows people — including unaccompanied minors — from other Central American countries to pass through Mexico legally for a limited amount of time so they can reach the US border.
When this policy was introduced, Greece’s — yes, Greece’s — former prime minister George Papandreou lectured the United States on its responsibility to take in these illegal aliens. Corsi tells us:
Papandreou encouraged the United States to extend the legal right to Central American immigrants to stay in the U.S., housing them in temporary shelters where they can receive secure and humane treatment while the United States creates for them a pathway to citizenship, as well as providing the right to seek employment and the opportunity to be reunited in the United States with their families.
The flood of illegal alien immigrants from Central America, especially children, has spiked in recent months, with tens of thousands flooding into the United States. The U.S. government already is transporting them to multiple other locations to house them.
A wall along Mexico’s southern border
Apparently, that did not work out too well, because two years later, in September 2016, the Daily Mail reported that Mexicans want a wall built along their country’s southern border. The influx and criminality of incomers from other Central American countries is too great:
while Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has mocked Trump’s plans, many Mexicans praised the concept of a border wall.
‘Trump’s idea of a border wall is a good one but it should be on the southern border with Central America in order to stop the flow of Central Americans from entering both countries,’ the El Mañana board wrote in July.
The paper also called for proper immigration checkpoints on the southern border.
El Mañana even criticized Hillary Clinton for failing to raise the issue of border security.
The newspaper says that many illegal immigrants turn to crime as shelters can often only provide a few days of food and bedding.
‘Many of these migrants when they are unable to find an honest way of life turn to robberies, kidnappings, extortion, and in the worst cases join the ranks of organized crime,’ El Mañana’s piece claimed.
It seems, however, that it’s okay for illegal aliens to enter into the United States and put Americans at risk.
The Gateway Pundit covered the same news with the title, ‘What Hypocrisy? Mexico Announces Plans for GREAT WALL on Southern Border with Central America’.
Mexico wants as few poor people as possible
Poor people are a drain, don’t you know?
So, Mexico reasons, let’s get our poor — and anyone transiting through — to the US. Let them take care of the poor.
Ironically — once in the US — Mexico’s poor are assets to their home country.
The Mexican government knows that.
The aforementioned WSJ article states:
Mexico’s government hasn’t endorsed the strategy, but President Enrique Peña Nieto recently budgeted about $50 million to the country’s 50 consulates to help pay the costs of defending migrants who are in the U.S. illegally and facing deportation.
There’s a reason for that.
The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) has an excellent rundown of Peña Nieto’s reasoning:
the dependency on the Mexican economy created by $25 billion in remittances sent home from Mexican nationals illegally living/working in the U.S. …
… the hidden scale, and almost unquantifiable scope, of the exfiltration of U.S. dollars -legal and illegal- into Mexico.
American taxpayers as voters have no idea of the scale for how much money flows out of the U.S. into Mexico. The reason no-one knows about it, and the reason economists cannot discuss it, is because the answer reveals a politically inconvenient discussion.
If accurate quantification was ever given sunlight, Americans, or more accurately ‘tax-paying Americans‘ would be able to see how much the United States actually subsidizes the nation of Mexico, and how much we’ve been ripped off.
Anyone unprepared for what follows should take a seat now and swallow any drink:
While the actual valuation of the outflow of dollars into Mexico is unknown, there are indicators it could be greater than our current economic trade deficit with China, $500+ billion.
Only a few indicators have ever reached visibility. One such indicator being the outbound U.S. Western Union wire transfers, remittances, which now exceed the entire Mexican Energy Sector (oil and gas) combined.
An honest evaluation of all possible currency transfer streams puts the outflow well over several hundred billion per year. Well over.
CTH explains that Mexico is experiencing a lot of domestic turmoil right now: a depreciating peso, increased inflation and petrol prices that are higher in relative terms that America’s.
Fox News reports that this has led to looting and unrest in the capital:
MEXICO CITY – Sometimes-violent protests and looting over gasoline price hikes in Mexico are continuing and officials say that so far they’ve left one policeman dead and five injured, 300 stores looted and over 600 people arrested.
The country’s business chambers says the combination of highway, port and terminal blockades and looting have forced many stores and businesses to close and threaten supplies of basic goods and fuel.
CTH tells us that the Mexican government is angry about Trump’s proposed wall.
…. Do you still think that Mexico has leverage in the conversation about the Southern Border Security Wall. Any leverage at all…?
The aforementioned Jorge Castaneda — a former foreign minister — told CNN that, if Trump pursues his plans, Mexico will unleash drug cartels on the US. Hasn’t it done that already? In any case, how can a former foreign minister speak for the current government?
openly admits Mexico could stop the border crossings if it wanted to, but instead chooses to use immigration as a weapon against the United States.
At least it’s out in the open.
There is much more to come in this political and human drama.
None of this comes as news to Donald Trump. No doubt, this was one of the many reasons he ran for president.
However, expect this conflict to have many subplots. Stunning surprises will unfold this year. Stay tuned.
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was sworn in as the 84th Attorney General of the United States on February 9, 2017.
Jeff Sessions was sworn in on National Pizza Day.
This is a serendipitous coincidence as he will oversee the break up of criminality and corruption, including child sexual abuse and human trafficking. In other words, Pizzagate.
Many of us who have scratched even the surface of this horrifying scandal cannot look at our favourite Italian pie without feeling queasy. Thank goodness for calzones.
President Donald Trump knew about the sexual abuse of children as long ago as 2012:
Now he is in the White House and has Jeff Sessions as chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer for the United States.
Pizzagate and human trafficking
Fortunately, while Democrats were delaying on approving Trump’s cabinet appointments, law enforcement carried on with their work.
On February 4, 2017, Homeland Security and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) issued a new appeal to Americans. Note the pizza place and the gate nearby:
Many of us are awaiting an Executive Order or Executive Action something like this (courtesy of The_Donald):
On February 1, 474 people were arrested and 28 sexually exploited children were rescued in a sting operation across the state of California, led by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Twenty-seven adults were also rescued from exploitation:
More will surely follow higher up the tree. Hollywood actors have been saying for several years that child sexual abuse is rampant in the entertainment industry.
On February 3, police in Pennsylvania were making arrests and continued to receive tips concerning a group of men involved in sexual abuse of at least one boy.
On February 5, news emerged about a state bill in Utah has passed the (state) House Committee regarding human trafficking. If passed by Utah’s House, the death penalty — either legal injection or firing squad(!) — would be brought back for convicted human traffickers.
Also on February 5, a child sex trafficking bust took place in Haiti. That link, from The_Donald, has links to several articles about the raid at the Kaliko Bay Hotel. This could be very relevant to the United States, as some nefarious Americans masquerade as missionaries or child welfare workers. The Haiti Sentinel reports (emphases mine):
31 minors, all girls aged 13-17, were rescued in an anti-child-trafficking sting operation undertaken by the Haitian National Police on Sunday. Among the arrested were 9 adults, foreigners, including missionaries among them.
All 31 children were being held in a single room, number 155, at the Kaliko Bay Hotel in Côte-des-Arcadins …
The investigation began in December and remains ongoing to uncover the true breadth of the operation that appears to include non-governmental organization and international elements. Assistance was given by fellow missionaries to police, which aided in the operation.
Investigators believe the syndicate was preparing to take the children over the Dominican Republic border to then leave the island. Police and other public officials are also investigating possible sexual exploitation being that all the minors were female …
The article also mentions Pizzagate.
It is highly likely that Sessions will be investigating government employees for child pornography and/or sexual abuse. This ‘cheat sheet for journos’ explains the gaps in investigations as well as a bit about those who have been charged over the past few years. An eye-opener, to say the least.
Oddly enough, the only Democrat — Joe Manchin of West Virginia — to vote for Sessions is anti-paedophile!
This week, Trump’s Executive Order (EO) restricting immigration from seven countries for 90 days was halted by the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco.
Sessions can help find a way to enforce US Code 1182 – Inadmissible Aliens, particularly the following clause:
(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.
No one raised an eyebrow when Obama issued a similar order for the same seven countries, but now that Trump is doing it, he’s ‘literally Hitler’. Perhaps Trump would have been successful had he written in his EO that he was extending Obama’s.
Security at highest government levels
Sessions will have to put tight vetting procedures in place for security at the highest levels, including information technology departments.
On February 4, The Daily Caller reported that three brothers who worked in IT for the House Permanent Select Committee:
were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computers without permission.
Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday …
I am amazed that three brothers were allowed to work together in the same department in one of the highest centres of American government. What were their superiors thinking by hiring all three?
The Conservative Treehouse explains:
… the House Intelligence Committee is part of the deepest oversight network with responsibility over the most sensitive and secretive government intelligence, including covert anti-terrorism activity.
Also, reflecting on the death of the Navy SEAL in Yemen days before during a critical intelligence gathering mission (emphasis in the original here):
the recently authorized Trump operation in Yemen would have been a part of the advance briefing to this very select oversight committee. The exact same oversight committee these three brothers worked in the IT department for….
♦ Does the firing have any potential attachment to the outcome in Yemen?
♦ Exactly like Benghazi, the Washington DC cover your a[–] machine would never, ever allow sunlight upon such a consequential intelligence compromise. They would never allow, nor even launch, an investigation in that regard. Too dangerous.
So you decide.
The Daily Caller article also states that the computer of Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was forced to resign on July 24, 2016 as head of the Democratic National Committee, might have been compromised by these three men. WikiLeaks released a series of her emails which were critical of Bernie Sanders’s campaign against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress …
A criminal investigation into five unnamed people began late last year related to serious and potentially illegal violations of House IT policies, Politico reported Thursday. Chiefs of staff for the members were briefed Thursday by the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said the investigation was still ongoing, and arrests have not been made but staff were “asked to update their security settings.”
Interestingly, Hina Alvi, the woman who owns the house in Virginia where the brothers live, also works in IT for the House of Representatives. Politico says she is married to Imran and is also under investigation.
Sessions will also have to figure out a way to get local police not to stand by idly while ‘protesters’ harm innocent people and damage public or private property.
He will also need to ensure through the relevant law enforcement agencies that agitators and activist groups are thoroughly investigated and, where necessary, prosecuted.
The latest instance was in Berkeley last weekend, where a mob violently reacted to a scheduled appearance by young British conservative Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California (UC) Berkeley.
UC Berkeley denied that its faculty or students were part of the melée, however, members of the public are less sure:
Berkeley Police stood and watched as the mayhem went on unabated.
Washington DC’s finest were also lax in preventing Trump supporters from harm during the inauguration.
Safety of American citizens at home
For years, Americans have read of illegal aliens committing harrowing acts against American citizens who are minding their own business.
Trump mentioned several of these crimes during his presidential campaign in 2016. He also had their families speak of the harrowing incidents at some of his rallies.
A lesser known case is that of Earl Olander, 90, who was brutally murdered on his Minnesota farm by two illegal aliens from south of the border. Olander hired one of the men to paint his house in 2014. His niece said that the farmer was very kind to him and bought him snacks and beverages from a nearby shop. On April 8, 2015, the house painter returned to Olander’s house — with an accomplice — to bind him with duct tape and beat him to death. On May 6, 2016, the two men were given sentences of 37 years each. They will be deported after they complete their sentences. Breitbart reported:
Olander spent his last minutes on Earth blinded, bound, and bleeding to death on his living room floor while listening to Vergara and Benitez tear through his home. Police didn’t find him until a day or two later.
It was his Bible that Vergara and Benitez stole that led police to find him: Someone cleaning out the apartment the killers fled found the Bible stuffed with Olander’s savings bonds and after learning Olander was a murder victim called authorities.
Also in Minnesota, in December 2016, a Somali refugee who had been in the US for only three months raped a woman on a bus. If found guilty of this felony, he could receive up to 30 years in prison. Breitbart tried to find out what refugee programme he entered under but received no response. Gateway Pundit has several links about the story, including Breitbart‘s. Alarmingly, he was released from the Northwest Regional Correction Center on $5,000 bond on condition that he does not leave Minnesota. Who knows where he could be now?
Trump had this to say at Sessions’s swearing-in:
Afterwards, he signed three EOs: one for a task force on crime reduction and public safety, one for preventing violence against federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement officers and one for enforcing federal law with respect to transnational criminal organisations and preventing international trafficking.
We can be certain that the next eight years will be busy ones for Jeff Sessions. I wish him Godspeed! A nation’s prayers are with him!
And if he can make pizza great again, we will be eternally grateful.
This week, the regional minister of the interior of North Rhine-Westphalia made public the statistics surrounding Cologne’s New Year’s Eve nightmare.
An article from Le Monde on April 5, 2016, states the nationality and refugee status of the 153 ‘suspected of committing assault’ as follows:
- 4 Germans
- 103 Moroccans and Algerians
- 47 nationality unknown (e.g. no papers)
Twenty-four suspects are still in ‘preventive custody’.
Of those arrested:
- 68 are asylum seekers
- 18 are illegal immigrants
On February 17, Le Monde published an article on the refugee status of the assailants wherein Ulrich Bremer, Cologne’s chief prosecutor, said:
The overwhelming majority arrived in 2015.
The foreign defendants, in a very, very great majority, arrived in Germany during 2015, whether they arrived illegally in this country or whether they are asylum seekers. It would not be accurate to say that we’re talking about people who have lived in Germany for a long time.
So, there you have it. Consider that quote emboldened in triplicate and highlighted in all the colours of the rainbow.
Number of reports
Police in Cologne:
- Received 1,527 official complaints
- Have a list of 1,218 victims
- Recorded 626 sexual assaults
One Le Monde reader wrote on April 8 that Cologne police said 2,000 individuals were involved in assaults on New Year’s Eve. Interesting. What happened to the overwhelming majority of them?
Other unanswered questions remain. We still don’t know what happened to the defendants who are no longer in custody. Were they convicted of anything? Do they have pending court cases? Are they on the loose, perhaps even out of the country by now?
For now, at least we have some statistics.
It’s not nice to call people liars, but, in this case, the accusation fits.
Remember when the media suppressed this story? It only came to worldwide attention through independent sites such as Breitbart. Social media trended on it and the MSM had no choice but to report it. The MSM were hoping they would not have to publish the raw truth. Withholding the truth is as big a lie as a deliberate distortion of the facts.
Left-wing handwringers were worried that publicising it would cast aspersions on refugees. In fact, refugees cast aspersions on themselves through these heinous crimes against women from their host country.
Le Monde‘s readers react
When the April 5 article appeared, investigations were still going on into cases of sexual assault by French soldiers in Central Africa. Readers were careful to mention that.
Most comments concerned the Moroccans and Algerians. Four follow:
Having lived in Morocco for a year and having come to an appreciation of the kindness of the population, unfortunately, I have to mention the lack of consideration of their men towards women. The firm police stance and rigorous morals result in outbursts. Left in a tolerant European country where women don’t hide themselves, a minority [of men] behave like animals. Therefore, this is a problem of cultural inadaptation and has nothing to do with sociology, as intellectuals and do-gooders would have you believe.
It’s better to talk about refugees rather than state the facts!
Appalling. How can Moroccans and Algerians be refugees? Furthermore, 47 have no clear status. Finally, these 153 haven’t committed 1,200 sexual assaults, so we’re missing a number of non-identified [suspects]! Therefore, we cannot draw any definitive conclusions except to note that there is certainly a real problem … It was deliberately premeditated and poses a serious problem with regard to cultural differences.
The political and educational systems as well as society in Morocco and Algeria over the past 25-30 years have created two tiers of youths: those who do well in their studies, their work and the business world and those who are marginalised and excluded from the system who become either delinquents or radicals.
Since the events of New Year’s Eve, the German government has made it policy to return Moroccans and Algerians who have entered the country illegally back home. It is unclear how well that will work in practice.
Refugee situation in Europe
Onto the larger question of refugees, without papers, it is unclear who Germany is accommodating within its borders. Legitimate refugees have ways of applying for asylum via legitimate channels, aided by equally legitimate human rights organisations and procedures. Those people will not show up by boat or by a 1,000-mile land crossing. Germans and other Europeans need to think more logically and less emotionally about this problem.
It is unclear how the agreement with Turkey on refugee resettlement will work. On April 8, The Guardian stated that this was the second day of implementing the agreement:
The deal is designed to send back all migrants and refugees who enter Greece illegally, including Syrians, in return for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and rewarding it with more money, early visa-free travel and progress in its EU membership negotiations.
Hmm. What happens once or if Turkey becomes part of the EU in a few years’ time? We will be back to square one.
On Maundy Thursday — March 24, 2016 — a Christian-friendly Muslim was brutally murdered in a district of Glasgow.
There was little reporting after Easter weekend. Move along, there’s nothing to see.
Asad Shah, 40, was a newsagent who owned his own shop in Shawlands, Glasgow. He moved from Pakistan to Scotland in the 1990s and, by all accounts, was a happy, outgoing man who had many friends and acquaintances.
Asad was an Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi). They are among the most peaceful Muslim groups. Because the Ahmadis reject violence and jihad, they are also among the most persecuted. Fundamentalist Muslims do not consider Ahmadis to be true Muslims.
They have high respect for Jesus. They believe that, after His death, He was transported to Pakistan and was buried there. His notional tomb is a site of Ahmadi veneration. (See Jean Devriendt comment to Le Monde‘s article.)
This is an important detail, because Asad had a Facebook account on which he posted his final message at 5:10 p.m. on Maundy Thursday:
Good Friday and a very Happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation … Let’s follow the real footstep of beloved holy Jesus Christ and get the real success in both worlds.
One cannot help but hope that Asad’s soul is with our Lord and that he has found ‘success’ in the world to come.
Scotland’s Daily Record reported on March 29 that Asad also posted his own videos with peaceful messages on his Facebook page. In November 2014, a London-based Muslim group opposed to Ahmadi teachings posted them on Daily Motion, a video hosting site, and accused him of being a ‘false prophet’.
Hours after Asad posted his Easter message, he was stabbed in the head with a kitchen knife then was stomped on outside his shop. The Daily Record reported that a man from Bradford (northern England) named Tanveer Ahmed was charged with his murder on March 29 in Glasgow Sheriff Court and remanded in custody. He is due to appear in court again this week.
The case is being rightly treated by authorities as ‘religiously prejudiced’.
Of course, when it was initially reported and few details were available, author Douglas Murray noted:
Most of the UK press began by going big on this story and referring to it as an act of ‘religious hatred’, comfortably leaving readers with the distinct feeling that – post-Brussels – the Muslim shopkeeper must have been killed by an ‘Islamophobe’.
Had that been the case, by now the press would be crawling over every view the killer had ever held and every Facebook connection he had ever made. They would be asking why he had done it and investigating every one of his associates.
The truth turned out to be something quite different. Consequently, the media lost interest. The last reports that I could find are dated March 29, 2016.
On Easter Sunday, The Guardian reported that Scotland’s only Muslim minister Humza Yousaf tweeted:
No ifs, no buts, no living in denial – vile cancer of sectarianism needs stamped out wherever it exists – including amongst Muslims.
The paper also reported the statement which was issued on behalf of the Ahmadi community:
In any society, all members of the public have a right to safety and it is up to the government and police to protect members of the public as best they can. It is up to the government to root out all forms of extremism and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community has been speaking about the importance of this for many years.
Friends and acquaintances of Asad have generously raised more than £90,000 pounds to help his family.
The Guardian reported that Asad’s younger sister, who lives in England and travelled to Scotland to be with family members, expressed her deep gratitude to the donors. Of her late brother, she extolled his humble, gentle nature and said he was:
A real gentleman. He embraced Scotland and Glasgow. He was so proud to be a Glaswegian and so loyal to the city. He knew so many people.
May Asad rest in peace. My condolences to his family and friends who will miss him greatly.
Yesterday, one of my readers, underground pewster, sent in the Yahoo!News link to the horrifying fatal stabbing of a Swedish social worker at a youth home for male refugees in Molndal, southwest Sweden.
Her murderer is a 15-year-old.
I replied that the young woman probably considered her work as a vocation.
It turns out she did.
The Daily Mail revealed that Alexandra Mehzer, 22, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, anticipated returning to university to earn a Master’s degree in social science. One of her cousins described her as:
She told Swedish media: ‘It is so terrible. She was a person who wanted to do good, who wanted to be good.
‘And then he murdered her when she was doing her job. We have cried a lot. She was such a nice person, warm and happy.’
Alexandra’s mother, Cheméne Mehzer, said the same, adding that her daughter was
a just and fair human being. There were so many who loved her. She was my daughter, my friend.. my mate.
The fatal attack took place before 8 a.m. on January 25, 2016, when the attacker set upon her. Alexandra had been working at the small refugee centre for only a few months. The centre accommodates ten ‘unaccompanied’ youths between the ages of 14 and 17.
It is unclear where the other nine youths were at the time. However, soon after the attack happened, a group of them overcame the boy and held him until the police arrived. He was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Alexandra was rushed to hospital in Gothenburg, but doctors were unable to save her.
Police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg gave no information on the assailant’s nationality or motive. However, he did tell Swedish media:
These kinds of calls are becoming more and more common.
We’re dealing with more incidents like these since the arrival of so many more refugees from abroad.
Alexandra’s murder took place as National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson requested 4,100 extra officers and support staff to cope with the recent spate of attacks and criminal activity on the part of newcomers to Sweden. Deportation is a real possibility, provided it can be arranged with the home country.
Eliasson said (emphases mine):
We are forced to respond to many disturbances in asylum reception centres. In some places, this takes significant police resources.
This was not the case six months ago and it means that we won’t be able to respond as effectively in other areas.
The Mail tells us:
According to the Swedish Migration Agency, the number of threats and violent incidents at asylum facilities more than doubled between 2014 and 2015.
In 2014, there were 148 incidents but in 2015 that number jumped to 322.
The article says that police are also struggling with spontaneous arson attacks on asylum facilities, stricter border controls introduced on January 4 and the higher terrorist threat level as a result of the Paris attacks last November.
Police union director Lena Nitz explained that Swedish police have long been underfunded and understaffed. She said:
It is obvious that the migrant situation is a great strain. It has become clear that the situation is completely unsustainable.
Last year, Sweden, with a population of 9.8m, took in 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015. Since then, the government has tightened asylum rules.
However, in Stockholm, unaccompanied migrant minors — boys — are already wreaking havoc at the capital’s largest aquatics centre Eriksdalsbadet and at the central railway station.
Over the past three weeks, four cases involving girls under the age of 18 have been filed. These are complaints of indecent assault experienced at Eriksdalsbadet. The incidents took place in hot tubs, swimming pools and in the changing rooms.
Another Mail article discusses the Moroccan boys’ gangs which are making Stockholm’s central railway station a no-go zone. The fearless groups of children are not above attacking security guards, either.
Police estimate there may be 200 youths in total. Some are only nine years old.
It is thought that the youths have run away from state homes for juvenile migrants. In the centre of Stockholm, they can live as they please on the streets, earning their way by stealing and amusing themselves with assaults on girls and young women.
One Stockholm police officer said:
These guys are a huge problem for us. They steal stuff everywhere and assault security guards at the central station …
They grope girls between their legs, and slap them in the face when they protest. All police officers are aware of this.
I would never let my children go to the central station. No officer would.
The theory behind this situation is explained in an article about Pakistani Muslim attacks on innocent Christian girls — a horrifying and highly recommended read.
The article quotes the late Majid Khadduri, the founder of Johns Hopkins’s SAIS Middle East Studies Program. He held a variety of ministerial roles in the Middle East then taught at SAIS from 1950 until 1980. He died in 2007 at the age of 98. He was widely respected for his knowledge of Muslim law and society. He explained the thinking behind the Muslim spoils of war:
The term spoil (ghanima) is applied specifically to property acquired by force from non-Muslims. It includes, however, not only property (movable and immovable) but also persons, whether in the capacity of asra (prisoners of war) or sabi (women and children). … If the slave were a woman, the master was permitted to have sexual connection with her as a concubine.
This belief has been applied against non-Muslims, ‘infidels’, in various European nations over the years and has escalated this year.
Westerners see the acceptance of migrants as being compassionate and merciful.
Young migrants might well see it as an invitation for invasion and an opportunity to exploit.
And where are the Christian refugees in all of this? Should we not have taken them in first then made a considered decision about Muslim migrants later?
On the same day that the drugs on the dark net article appeared in The Observer (covered in yesterday’s post), the paper interviewed Lawrence Gibbons, who heads the strategic drugs disruption unit at the UK’s National Crime Agency.
He began his career with the Flying Squad, so is determined to get his man.
It’s a good interview and well worth reading. I rarely read about drugs these days and learned quite a lot.
Gibbons said that the online market on the dark net is the way young people purchase their drugs. He warned that even though the encryption there is difficult to hack, it can indeed be done. That means no one is 100% anonymous.
He and his officers work on various aspects of illegal drug supply: class A drugs, new ‘legal’ highs which he and his team refer to as NPS (new psychoactive substances), cutting agents and, not surprisingly, the dark net. He readily admits they cannot tackle everything drug-related, so they address the biggest issues.
The team’s biggest achievement recently has been their disruption of the cocaine cutting system in the UK (bold emphases in the original, those in purple mine):
A kilo block of cocaine enters the UK in its raw form, anywhere from 75% to 90% pure. It is being sold on the streets from 0% purity to 25% purity. Everything else has been added. Organised crime gangs multiply their profits by adding ‘cutting agents’ [for example, benzocaine, novocaine, phenacetin]. We have concentrated a lot on that, to the point that we have altered and disrupted that marketplace. In many cases the dealers involved have been charged and convicted with conspiracy. They are receiving custodial sentences of 10 to 20 years, because they are the key enabler of a drug’s supply.
The drug world has changed dramatically with 21st century communications. Gibbons said it is now easy for dealers and gangs to talk to each other internationally via teleconferences. He said that some laws will need to be changed as more than one country can be the focus of an investigation for the same gangs or person:
With the internet the criminality might be occurring in the UK, but the individual might be purporting to be in Brazil, and actually be in Spain. That makes the legal issues much more complex; legislation will have to keep pace with that.
He and his team focus on ‘prevention and disruption’ rather than conviction, sentencing and seizure as their main aims. They hope their work brings about behavioural changes.
As far as present drug trends go, cocaine is undergoing a revival. Some of the NPS (what we call ‘legal’ highs) sold online actually contain controlled substances. However, even the online sellers could not determine what was in some NPS.
On this subject, he said:
If I told you to go and swallow bleach you wouldn’t do it, but if I told you I had this great new drink …
Kids, as we know, can be tempted to try anything. That is what I keep at the back of my mind when I ask myself why I’m doing this. If a white powder comes online tomorrow advertised as the new whizz bang pop, and no one knows exactly what it is, who knows if that isn’t going to be the next drug that kills our children?
Readers responding to the article said this is why we need legalisation. Yet, that will not solve an intractable problem which lures young people into trying drugs, especially the latest ones.
The curiosity accompanying youthful drug experimentation can lead to a great many problems. And legal highs are not necessarily safe ones. These past posts explore a few of them:
All the braying that Tobacco Control do about the ‘dangers’ of second-hand smoke, proved to be bogus, and the promotion of smoking cessation, a money-spinner for Big Pharma, is but one distraction from another, more immediate, health hazard.
That health hazard is crime.
I wrote some time ago about the time in the 1970s when my elderly grandmother who, awakened from a sound sleep, managed to swiftly make her way to the front room to scare away three or four teenage burglars who broke into her house in the middle of the night.
My grandmother had a weak heart. She could have suffered a fatal heart attack or a stroke. However, the Lord was with her and gave her the stamina to sit up the rest of the night near the front door waiting until the morning when the glazier and locksmith would be able to come to secure her entryway.
Today, most of us know someone who has been a victim of crime. We may have been robbed, mugged or raped. Some of our family members or friends might have met with death at the hands of an assailant.
Children are also victims of crime, that of sexual assault, starvation or fatal beatings.
If these alarming events do not have an immediate effect on health, what else could?
And yet, governments are spending money on Tobacco Control?
They would do better to start health campaigns against all crimes against the person. Furthermore, crime is damaging not only to the victim, as horrifying as that is, but also to the physical and mental wellbeing of family members.
Here are a few recent news stories (emphases mine below):
Father-of-two Shammi Atwal, 44, was shoved into the road as he struggled against a group of up to ten raiders armed with a sledgehammer and metal bars …
Mr Atwal’s uncle Tarsem Singh, 65, described his nephew today as an “honourable hard working family man” …
“He had a good business because he was dedicated. He did charity work at the Sikh temples in Ilford and Barking. He would help anyone out. He will be so missed by so many people. He was very honourable and one of the nicest people you could meet and a wonderful father.”
Child T – suffered months of beatings before he was finally taken into care. The child was brought to hospital at least twice, with more than 50 bruises on his body at one stage, and described being repeatedly assaulted with a belt, a stick and a cable by his Polish parents, a report published on Thursday revealed …
Haringey also failed to protect Victoria Climbie when the eight-year-old was tortured and murdered 13 years ago by her great-aunt and her boyfriend …
Speaking at the publication of his report into the death of 17-month-old Peter Connelly, also known as Baby P, Mr [Graham] Badman [chair of Haringey’s Local Safeguarding Children’s Board] said the case contained many lessons for child protection agencies around the country. He said in October 2010: “We make it very clear that Peter’s death could have and should have been avoided. There have been significant changes to the way in which Haringey services are conducted. If Peter Connelly is to have any legacy at all it’s that children are safer.”
A nurse who let a three-and-a-half week baby bleed to death after carrying out a circumcision using just scissors, forceps and olive oil has been banned from practising in the UK.
Grace Adeleye, 67, performed the dangerous African treatment known as a ‘clamp and cut’ on Goodluck Caubergs for a fee of £100 at the baby’s home in Chadderton, Greater Manchester …
Adeleye had previously received a 21-month jail term suspended for two years at Manchester Crown Court and quickly announced she would be retiring from nursing.
The court heard the nurse had performed thousands of similar procedures with each one costing £100 as she operated from a mobile clinic.
Many of the parents whose babies Adeleye treated were unaware that the simple procedure is available on the NHS.
This case in Clermont Ferrand is ongoing. Authorities still do not know who beat little Fiona — her mother accuses the boyfriend, who, in turn, accuses the mother. The mother is a drug addict and her boyfriend is a drug dealer and user, said to be violent. The mother also has a two-year old daughter. The mother and boyfriend took the two-year old with them when they buried Fiona’s naked body in a wooded park near Clermont Ferrand. Despite several police searches, the body has not been recovered.
Each has received a prison sentence of 20 years. The mother’s defence counsel said they intend to appeal. Excerpts, translated:
The two accused admitted to multiple rapes and assaults between 2009 and 2010, some of which were recorded on a mobile phone.
‘Sabrina B’s conduct cannot even be compared to that of an animal towards her young,’ decreed the Attorney General.
As for Lionel Barthélemy, ‘he’s a sadist in its purest state’ …
In the parlour of the prison at Toul [Bas-Rhin], ‘a place of tolerance where one can do anything, no matter what’, according to the Attorney General, Sabrina blindfolded her son and held him down whilst his stepfather raped him.
6/ Murder rates for 2012 in three cities (United States, emphases in the original):
Chicago tallied 500 incidents of what the FBI calls “murder and nonnegligent manslaughter,” making for a higher total than New York City’s 419 murders and Detroit’s 386 murders.
7/ Children’s worker accused of punching woman and stealing welfare benefits card (United States, emphases mine):
COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Safe Passage worker who is supposed to be helping get kids to school safely is now accused of punching a mother in the face and stealing her Link benefits card in two separate incidents, according to police.
A police report filed against Lashia Brown, 22, doesn’t specify when the alleged incidents happened or where, but it indicates she was employed during one of the alleged crimes as a Safe Passage worker, part of the teams of residents charged with getting Chicago kids to school safely …
Brown is accused of using the stolen Link card to withdraw $435, according to court papers.
The alleged victim, Dominique Mccregg, 27, said Brown was wearing a Safe Passage jacket when Mccregg’s Link card was stolen at a CVS.
In a separate incident, Mccregg was with her 3-year-old daughter when Brown attacked her. Mccregg said that happened at an In-N-Out Food Mart in the 4200 block of West Madison Street.
Stephane Turk, in his late 60s, defended his action, saying he fired in self-defence in September 2013. He is accused of voluntary homicide. He had to be under medical supervision for several hours after his arrest.
He is being held house prisoner by police in a location in the Côte d’Azur region. Public support has been behind him from nearly 1 million Frenchmen who indicated their support on a Facebook page which has his story.
The other robber is still on the run, having taken the loot from the jewellery store from his dead accomplice’s arms and speeding off on a scooter.
Turk’s shop had also been broken into in 2012.
There are loads of other stories. Search on any major city. Search on ‘mom’s boyfriend’. Search on drug-related crime.
Crime is a tremendous health hazard. It is a pity that it has been swept under the rug at the expense of Tobacco Control efforts. If all the Tobacco Control money were ploughed into crime fighting — namely, increased police training and presence — we probably wouldn’t be in the state we’re in now.
In July, I wrote a piece on France’s Health Minister Marisol Touraine (Parti Socialiste), who said that smoking was France’s greatest public health issue.
Not only does she want to see smoking banned nearly everywhere outdoors, she also wants e-cigarettes banned from open-air areas. They set ‘a bad example’ for other French citizens, especially children. Think of the children!
At the time, I wrote:
Meanwhile, France has a chronic shortage of doctors in rural areas and they have little urgent weekend medical coverage elsewhere. But that seems much less urgent. I read in last week’s Marianne that Touraine is planning on closing a small ER in central Paris.
Furthermore, her department has set up state-sponsored shooting galleries for hard drug users. It seems heroin is all right, but tobacco is taboo …
Also, what about encouraging children to have sex before they even understand what it is? What about youth crime which damages youngsters psychologically as well as physically? It is sad to read about young French girls being raped in public places; only last week a 13-year old was raped on a street in Marseille in broad daylight.
See my series of articles under ‘the bogus science behind Tobacco Control’ on smoking bans and the big lie about second hand smoke. Even first hand smoke is up for question. As for fertility? The postwar years had the greatest number of smokers and the greatest number of babies born in the Western world. Not to mention that our life expectancy is the longest it’s ever been — long before smoking bans.
It seems as if many non-smokers automatically go along with government and health experts (I use the word advisedly) advocating even more restrictions on tobacco. They see these experts as clean-living angels. They are today’s priests, and secular pietism is the new religion.
You’ll notice that in July I mentioned the trauma — which may also result in illness — that victims of crime experience. Yet, this is never addressed by health ministers anywhere.
So, I was rather intrigued to find an article at the French site L’Internaute and the original source in Le Parisien saying that … Marisol Touraine’s son is serving a three-year prison term for extortion.
On September 10, 2013, Le Parisien reported (emphases mine):
According to our information, Gabriel Reveyrand de Menthon, age 22, son of the current Minister for Social Affairs and Health has been held since the beginning of September at La Santé [irony — ‘santé‘ means ‘health’] Prison in Paris. A sentence, which follows a conviction in March, of three years by the judges of the 10th correctional court of the Paris Tribunal. No appeal has been lodged.
The paper went on to say that the crime took place at 11:30 a.m. in Paris’s 13th arrondissement on May 2, 2011. Mme Touraine’s son needed money to pay off a debt.
He and an accomplice went to the flat of a 59-year old woman who lived in a building near the Minister’s residence. They were wearing balaclavas (knit face masks) and had a replica firearm.
The victim told Le Parisien:
I was very shocked by this, even though he was not physically violent towards me. I’ve known this boy for many years.
They asked me for my debit card. I gave them my PIN but was mistaken in the emotion of the moment. One of them went to a Post Office cash machine to withdraw the money. During that time, the other held the weapon against my temple. When the other came back, he wasn’t very happy that the transaction hadn’t worked. So, I told them I had some cash in the house, then they left.
The two made off with €990.
The accomplice was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Mme Touraine’s son has also been ordered to not only return the €990 but another €3000 as a moral debt. The victim’s lawyer says that she has not seen either of these sums come her way.
Mme Touraine has written a letter of apology to the victim. Neither she nor her lawyer have any comment to make on the story.
The moral of the story is that often those who try to dictate the lives of others — law-abiding taxpayers — would do well to clean their own houses first.
You can imagine that if this had happened to one of Sarkozy’s ministers, the Socialists would have been baying for his resignation.
Yet, in this case, Socialist reaction has been lenient towards Mme Touraine. ‘She can’t help what her son does.’
No, but if you do not have some moral control over your own family, you are probably unlikely to be able to fulfil your professional duties in an ethical manner.
In closing, as I write, I’ve just heard yet another French public health advert for smoking cessation. I can think of many worse health problems in life … crime, for one.