About 40 percent of Spector's firm's time now goes to pro bono cases of Mexicans seeking political asylum in the United States. Some weeks he wonders if he can make payroll. He says, "There was a time I stopped doing these cases, and that's when I got fucked up. This is now a calling for me, not a profession."

In the United States, there are reports of a war between the Mexican government and the drug business. In the United States, drug laws fill prisons and recruit citizens to be convicts and rural Americans to be jailers. In Mexico, the whispers are of the Mexican government killing Mexicans. In Mexico, the secret history of the American War on Drugs is being written on the corpses of the Mexican people.

Carlos sits at the fiesta in his backyard surrounded by messengers from the dead.

Sara Salazar is silent, her hair gray, a face carved from stone.

Miguel Angel López Solana and his wife smile.

They also know things Americans find hard to believe.

They must tell their stories.

It is all they have left.


Miguel is determined to remember. When the killings come to his life, he sits down and writes: My father, Miguel Angel López Velasco, known as "Milo Vela," began working at Notiver about thirty years ago. My mother, Agustina Solana, was a homemaker. My younger brother, Misael López Solana, was a photojournalist and worked with my father. Milo's journalism was characterized by publicizing citizens' complaints, exposing corruption and narcotrafficking. He expressed his opinions about all of these things. Milo Vela's journalism was critical.


In the old faded photograph, Miguel the son is two years old and sits at the keyboard of a telex wire machine in the newspaper office in Veracruz.

Milo Vela spent most of his career at Notiver, the daily paper of the port city of Veracruz. He covered crime, became a columnist and edited the police section. He taught his sons not to believe in political parties, since they all lied and were corrupt. He taught his sons that news was a calling. Sometimes Miguel and his father would simply sit in a car outside of the Red Cross center waiting for an accident to be called in. They were newsmen.


Ever since I was a child, I remember that my father worked all day for the newspaper, Notiver. I only saw him sleeping while I was getting ready to go to school in the mornings, because by the time I got home from school, it would be the next morning before I would see him again in bed.... I got to know his co-workers, among them, Yolanda Ordaz [de la Cruz], who covered the police beat. Nothing kept any of them from covering any kind of news. I remember once in the 1980s, Yolanda and my father were beaten up by federal police when they went to cover an intensive operation carried out in the area near the port — apparently something to do with securing a shipment of weapons.


In 2007, a severed head is delivered to a corner near the newspaper offices. Then a video appears on YouTube claiming that Milo Vela, his reporting partner, Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz — called the "fat black woman" in the video — and the son Miguel Angel take money from the criminal group called Los Zetas and go to parties with them. Everyone but the father flees the city of Veracruz temporarily.

The family home is brick, two stories and modern, with lots of windows, two blocks from the police station. Miguel's brother Misael, 21, lives at home and works as a photographer at Notiver. Miguel lives ten minutes away and is also a photographer for the paper. They are given to family dinners and celebrations. On June 19, 2011, Miguel and Vanessa attend a Father's Day dinner and eat salpicón made with crab and a seafood stew.

There had been signs of trouble before the dinner. Something was bothering his father, but Miguel knew better than to ask. A week before, at the funeral for an uncle, he mentioned to his father the attack against another reporter.

His father said, "Don't worry."

Miguel noticed that for the past month, his father had begun calling him early each morning and again in the evening to make sure he was okay. A few days before the dinner, his father had a loud argument with the nephew of the governor over his paper's stories, and the morning after Father's Day, he had a column coming out that questioned the reputation of two candidates for chief of traffic police in Veracruz.

During his first term at Notiver in the 1980s, Milo Vela was attacked on his way home to sleep. I don't remember the date, but I do recall that his car was shot full of bullet holes.... I remember asking him once about what had happened and he didn't tell me much. "Well, I was driving down the Morelos bridge and passing the factory when these dark guys pulled out like 'bats out of hell (hechos la madre)' and I realized they were chasing me, so I sped up, but I saw they were going to catch up with me so I pulled over and jumped out of the car and ran toward the beach...." This is all he told me, but then he turned around and said, "But, Miguel, this is all over now."

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8 comments
scottidee
scottidee

seriously Charles ? seriously  Molly ?  

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

     What kind of deranged, sicko would blame the deaths at the hands of criminals on the USA.   The war on drugs not withstanding the law is the law and murder is murder.   These crimes are committed not for the cause of freedom but for $$$.  The perpetrators are thugs who prefer to take from the law abiding people than being productive members of society.

     What the author has done is akin to blaming the government for an accident caused by someone running a stop sign.  After all the government placed the sign.

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16

 @Anthonyvop1 

 

The CIA's role in the international drug trade, dating back to 1949, is not a theory but a well-documented "fact." The sources include former CIA and DEA agents.

 

"CIA are drug smugglers." - Federal Judge Bonner, while head of the DEA

 

In 1989, 'The Kerry Committee' found that the United States Department of State had made payments to drug traffickers, concluding that members of the U.S. State Department themselves were involved in drug trafficking. Some of the payments were made even after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies, or even while these traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.

 

A VERY BRIEF HISTORY:

 

* Shortly after World War II, The OSS (the predecessor of the CIA) formed a strategic alliance with the Sicilian and Corsican mafia. 

 

* During the 1950s, In order to provide covert funds for forces loyal to General Chiang Kai-Shek who were fighting the Chinese communists under Mao Zedong, the CIA helped the Kuomintang (KMT) smuggle opium from China and Burma to Thailand, by providing airplanes owned by one of their front businesses, Air America.

 

* During the long years of the cold war, the CIA mounted major covert guerilla operations along the Soviet-Chinese border. In 1950, for their operation against communist China in northeastern Burma, and from 1965 to 1975 [during the Vietnam war], for their operation in northern Laos, the CIA recruited (as allies) people we now call drug lords. 

 

* Throughout the 1980s, in Afghanistan, the CIA's supported the Mujahedin rebels (in their efforts against the pro-Soviet government) by facilitating their opium smuggling operations. - A small local trade in opium was turned into a major source of supply for the world markets including the United States. This lead ultimately to Afghanistan becoming the largest supplier of illicit opium on the planet, a status only briefly interrupted when it was under Taliban control.  

 

* Also during the 1980s, the Reagan Administration funded a guerrilla force known as the Nicaraguan Contras (even after such funding was outlawed by Congress) by cocaine smuggling operations. - An August 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News (by Pulitzer Prize-winner Gary Webb) clearly linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the CIA and the Contras.

 

* In November 1996, a Miami grand jury indicted former Venezuelan anti-narcotics chief and longtime CIA asset, General Ramon Guillen Davila, who was smuggling many tons of cocaine into the United States from a CIA owned Venezuelan warehouse. In his trial defense, Guillen claimed that all of his drug smuggling operations were approved by the CIA.

 

* The Dirección Federal de Seguridad was a Mexican intelligence agency created in 1947, and was in part a CIA creation. DFS badges were handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers and were a virtual license to traffic.' "The Guadalajara Cartel" (Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s) prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro, a CIA asset.

 

For far more detailed information kindly google any of the following: 

 

"The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic" by former DEA agent Michael Levine

"Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion" by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb

"Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press" by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair

"The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade" by Alfred W. McCoy

"The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace" by James Mills

"Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA" by Terry Reed, (a former Air Force Intelligence operative) and John Cummings (a former prize-winning investigative reporter at N.Y Newsday). 

 

StanTheMan
StanTheMan

 @Anthonyvop1 "What kind of deranged, sicko would blame the deaths at the hands of criminals on the USA."

Knowing the truth hardly makes someone a 'deranged sicko'!  These criminals were created by- and are financed by our horrible misguided laws.  None of this would be going on without the US or its prohibition.  The only 'deranged sickos' are those who support the Drug War and want this disgusting carnage to continue forever.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

 @StanTheMan Always blame the victim.  Are you part of the PR wing of the Democratic Party.

 

Sure.  The murders and rapes are not the fault of the criminals.  We forced them to be bad. 

drdlrmd
drdlrmd

 @Anthonyvop1 Gosh, i typed conspiracy theory in google and none of these were in the top thirty.  And i'm not paranoid, they really are out to get me.

StanTheMan
StanTheMan

 @Anthonyvop1 "Always blame the victim."

Huh?  Who is doing that?  The blame lies both on the perpetrators AND the cause.

 

"Are you part of the PR wing of the Democratic Party."

That is laughable.  The Democrats are equally to blame for the Drug War.  The Liar in Chief has ramped it up, especially against medical marijuana to levels never before seen.  You should note that the only candidates in the upcoming presidential election who support ending the Drug War are Republicans and Independents.

 

"The murders and rapes are not the fault of the criminals."

Of course they are, but our laws which created them, fund them and give them the only reason that they do it are also to blame.  What rapes?

 

"We forced them to be bad."

We didn't force them.  We give them the reason to do it.  Without that reason, they would not.  You and your ilk are giving them the incentive and you want to continue to do so for some reason.  Why?

 
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