Grind for October 22nd
“‘I’ll be back’ always sounded a little girly to me.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger
Mexican officials catch son of El Chapo, but release him to prevent further violence
Mexican security forces on Thursday stormed Culiacan to capture Ovidio Guzman Lopez, son of notorious drug lord “El Chapo” (Joaquin Guzman).
Ovidio was captured during an hours-long shootout that caused panic throughout the city, with cartel members engaging in more than 70 separate fights with law enforcement.
Members of the Sinaloa cartel attacked army barracks, government buildings, and gas stations, set fire to vehicles, and conducted a jailbreak that freed 55 inmates.
“The criminal organization’s ability to call on its members and power of response was underestimated,” noted Mexican Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval.
As the fight dragged on, authorities decided to release Ovidio to prevent further harm – prompting critics to accuse the government and police of being influenced by cartels.
“The capture of a criminal cannot be worth more than the lives of the people,” said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in response to the criticism. “Many citizens, people, human beings were at risk.”
The battle, which resulted in seven deaths, was the third major fight of the week. At least 13 police officers were killed Monday during a clash with the Jalisco cartel and 15 people died Tuesday during a shootout in Guerrero.
Thursday’s operation was launched after a judge’s order demanded Ovidio be extradited to the United States, where he and one of his brothers face charges of conspiracy to distribute illicit drugs.
Ovidio and his brothers are believed to have taken on key roles in the cartel following their father’s extradition to the US in 2017. El Chapo was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.
In the meantime, homicides in Mexico are on pace to reach a record high of 37,000 for 2019. To compare: the United States has roughly 15,000 homicides each year with a population three times that of Mexico.
“[President] Lopez Obrador was confident his call for peace and love – and not going after narcos – would lower violence,” says analyst Raul Benitez, referring to a policy that focuses on reducing poverty rather than attacking cartels. “It shows the peace-and-love strategy is not working.”
Even worse, some worry that releasing Ovidio sends a clear message to other cartels that officials will surrender in the face of widespread violence.
Hillary Clinton says Russia is “grooming” Tulsi Gabbard
During a recent appearance on the “Campaign HQ” podcast (hosted by a former Obama aide), Hillary Clinton seems to have accused presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard of working with Russia.
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians,” said Hillary. “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”
She also accused Jill Stein, who ran against Trump in 2016, of working with Russia: “That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset…They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you that they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”
Gabbard, a congresswoman representing Hawaii and a military combat veteran, is an anti-war activist who has accused the US Government of waging a “regime change war” in Syria.
In January 2017, she met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a “fact-finding” mission to the region. She did not notify top Democratic lawmakers of the meeting.
Gabbard says she did not go to Syria with the intention of meeting Assad, but couldn’t resist when the opportunity arose. “I did so because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace. And that’s exactly what we talked about.”
Gabbard described the recent claims about her alliance with Russia as “completely despicable.” In August, she promised on live TV not to run as a third-party candidate if she fails to win the Democratic nomination.
Last week, she issued a delicious rebuke to the former Secretary of State:
“Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know – it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s clear now that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”
Is it possible that Hillary is planning to join the race?
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… Research indicates that plants grow healthier when they are stroked