Ioan Grillo is journalist who has spent the last 18 years reporting on the drug war in Mexico. His books "El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency" and "Gangster Warlords" are available now.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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livewebaddressziprecruiter, dot, com, Slash Rogan, that's Ziprecruiter, dot com Ash Rogan, Rogan, Ziprecruiter, dot com, Slash, Rogan, zip recruiter. The smartest way to hire my guest today is a journalist and author his name is YO on Grillo and uh I'm reading his book that he gave me it's called it's. I believe this is his latest. It's called El Narco inside. Mexico's criminal? insurgency, it is a fascinating subject. I really really enjoy talking on this management living in Mexico. As a journalist for eighteen
is covering this and we had a hell of a conversation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please welcome you'll on Carrillo the Joe Rogan experience. How many people get your name wrong to try to pronounce it? Well so many people, I don't even care anymore, hello, Ray comes out and because live in it's a funny name where I come from right from England, with growing up was a funny name, but in Mexico is even stranger name, so I just normally make it in I'm. My second name Grillo, which in Spanish, is good right so everyone. I messed that up too. If they see it spelled yeah this microphone benefits from your face right there we go. Yes, go on. I don't think I've ever heard that name before there's an active cool. Young referred was in he's in fantastic, four, really he's the stretchy guy, oh in fantastic four,
so yeah. He kind of he's made that name a little bit more a little bit more acceptable. How did you wind up live in Mexico City so I I came to Mexico or went to Mexico and yet year, two thousand and and a kind of messed around. For a few years in the UK wanted to get into journalism. So I found one way to get into. It was to start working in a foreign country rather than going to my local newspaper and what can go to a foreign country and start working. I had a romantic idea about Latin America. Thinking I'd be like I. Movie Salvador, You know the stones movie from yeah and how to how to a romantic about running around with grill is flying military data ships. So I in Mexico, in two thousand and got a job. An english language newspaper how old we twenty seven. When I first left the UK twenty eight when I mess around for a bit in Mexico as well. I've got the job when I was twenty. Eight Mexico City is a wild place, yeah, so pack
it's it's hard to, but I've only been there twice for UFC events yeah, but every time there I'm just shaking my head, like, I can't believe this traffic works. It's crazy! He eighteen years, nothing a lot of time in that traffic. Nobody cares, red light, green light. Will shout at you a lot you have to get used to people calling you like pendejo, sad or I tried different tactics. Not just one MAX and not get angry. Did you know how to speak Spanish before you went there? Yes, I spent one year in Spain living in Spain before I, it's been a Middle EAST as well. And but I started off when I arrived. I spoke more to spanish Spanish, which is like oh yeah. The look deal and then unchanged more to like the Mexican Spanish was like or you hey, could pass away right yeah, so When did you start getting into narco journalism? So like
privacy with romantic romantic about about might cover in in Mexico or Latin America right away, I realize all that idea of grillers and military dictatorships that they're gone. That was the last century che Guevara, all that stuff out gone, but right away. When I arrived, my very first thought. First, back in the UK, I grew up around a lot of drugs in the UK. So going back to the 80s, I grew up a lot of people taking drugs. I had a few friends who died from heroin overdoses back then back then full people died of overdoses. I had sister who went who became schizophrenic, smoking along, I love when are she was became schizophrenic and their bill of drugs being smoked around that time as well. Was it pot yeah back then it was a moroccan hashish, There is a connection you know when we Exploring that a lot lately, yeah we went to this marijuana debate between
Alex Bernstein and Doctor MIKE Heart from Canada, and we talked about it and I know people that have had that happen to them where they've had schizophrenic or psychotic breaks because of Just a massive doses of marijuana, and especially people that don't do it or people that do it. Too much for too long. It does happen. I heard that right, that's what I wonder is why they came to mind. I mean I don't know who a lot of people smoke, weed smash, lot it's fine. Now, when, when my sister had a breakdown when she was eighteen- and I was sixteen at the time and when that came out- it turned out was a my my my grandmother had. I knew she was schizophrenia right and I think I thought it was a time bomb waiting to go on yeah or if it was how much of the the the house was involved in and that there's other issues as well, so I don't really know the science of it, but bandwagon
so so I've been around a lot of drugs before so when I arrived in Mexico. Actually one of the first first arriving in Mexico ended up hanging around with some some people and they were smoking a little crack in Mexico. It's one of the first people I met wow. I went down to the beach like backpacking down to the beach, and these people were smoking. Smoking crack and I was like this- is kind of strange. I don't know these people smoking crack down here. So when I got a job at the local newspaper in English and I started looking at the crime, the first design it was on the issue of crack being sold locally and how that link to the cartels and in very soon, just very, very quick. I just fell in right away. Like I said these things happen by accident. I just fell into covering the crime beaten. This is going back to two thousand and one so two thousand one of the same in the chapel Guzman escape from prison.
Then I was calling the law then to a great Janice from Quanah has is blank one ls religion from the one who survived the shooting, bye, bye cartels and yet phoning him up all the time just getting and it give me information, give me tips and that's how we start when they're not big store. I did that back in those days was a the court martial of some generals for drug trafficking and that was really what it began back then rules for drug trafficking. How much of an issue is that mean? Corruption must be unbelievably rampant, so I mean option, even isn't strong enough word for it? Sometimes I call and so this is the world beginning, and this has been a whole crazy eighteen years of covering this stuff. This is just the very beginning, bad enough, seeing a whole lot of very crazy stuff in that time. But
I just to get a sense of how bad the corruption is all what it really means on on on on the ground level. There nine days policemen, let you in if you please many, get to know the placement in a certain town, Sun City, It's hard to know. You know how old military, guys or politicians and- and you want to believe these- are good people going to believe this good placement out there who really want to stop crime. So there's one policeman, his nickname was Tyson Tyson like MIKE Tyson. His nickname was Tyson, cruel, well built bloke well built guy and he was friendly with depressed government to were confronted with the press, and then it came out that he was actually a drug. Tell member our ranking member the drug cartel and he actually confessed. They based of a thing with the police, the the federal case when they go. I am going to confess on
camera and he confessed. Not only was he turning a blind eye, no who is carrying out murders. He was training the young kids, how to capitate people how to cut people up, and he was explaining in graphic detail how he like you know how they managed to cut limbs off. How is young people trained to cut limbs off to get them to lose their fear? So that's the level of corruption that could be a policeman you're dealing with and that's really who they are So that's one of the crazy things about the corruption down there did you have any hesitancy in getting involved in narco journalism. Knowing this I mean I would imagine that's one of the most dangerous Alvin NEWS to pursue in journalism. So this was little by little. I got involved in covering this so like right, go back. Two thousand. This hadn't happened. This war hadn't happened. It was still like a crime issue. At that moment,.
So I began to cover these things and then around two thousand and four I got a job for the Houston Chronicle at Houston. Tx I was covering as a string of covering Mexico for them. Anne I flew up to a lot to know why? But I don't- and there was a tough will beginning that which is really the beginning of the drug will, which is in Mexico a pop again. On the board with Texas in this city called Noble RL over the bridge from Laredo TX back in two thousand and four. So there's a lot of interest from the Texas NEWS was what was going on? There's a whole bunch of bodies piling up there, but again this go back to these days, and this is kind of innocent. Looking back innocent. Looking at myself, then an innocent looking at what Mexico is like, then they would simply say: go to the place. I dropped the Monterey rent, a car and just drive the car to know better with bus bomber
and now people just don't do that- there's just too much crazy stuff going on, but back then it was still like. You can just do that. So there was, we see crazy stuff like what kind of crazy stuff I mean. Now you can get stop by a an armed group driving a nice rosy. Could you could just drive along and it could be a when a group of guys with guns could stop call get someone out takes? Take you away. I mean this whole cool, a lot well Catherine about in a way even now now, when I'm, when you move around roads, it you'll be very careful how you move and how you plan the stuff we didn't want to by itself drive around these places So so back then, when this was happening and there was a these bodies. Turning trying to figure out why and- and I that was one guy interviewed who was ahead of Chamber of Commerce, I'm talk to me a interesting guy about a couple of weeks later he became the chief of police for the city.
And they all lost in the city. You scared. Can I use get about being killed, is an almost get at some of the crop. People get killed and he was shot dead. Six hours off. He gave that state They shortened dead, and that was one of the real ma cuz. If something really strange is going on in Mexico, something is like going to a rock to Mexico and then from there. It kind of just escalated and escalated and uh start work by the other media time Magazine New York Times different people. Not for what I said. I can't do the conscious write new stories about this gotta write books about this, because this stuff is big and it's complicated. It must be immensely comp. For the the people that live there. It seems like there's no escape. I mean if you can't turn to the police, the police. Are the cartel. There's the cartel, the police, all politicians most likely if they're alive, have to be compromised. Yeah I mean there's been some very, very desperate people
I mean, there's been some various inspirational people as well find this has been heroes. There are heroes, Just get more of a sense of what that means on the ground as well. I night and some of the things you see. You know some of the things that stay with me enough from for a while. It was quite romantic covering this. It was like wow I'm covering I'm going to these places where chapel goes Mann is from now I got the villager me. His mother meets family, I'm writing about these crazy people, but then you start seeing the human pain in all of this one of many stories. You, stick with me, was a mother in Monterey, school teacher know when you have armed guards leaving around there was so like boutique effectiveness of a population has attacking the school population. And one mother. She was in our home with her two children in Monterrey and a
it was like in the night just chilling in their house and in the door broke down and about fifteen guys in bulletproof jackets all came in long arms taking stuff from the house held the family in a pin him down, and he said to her mother, which of your children, are the oldest and she was like dinner. Her apply, I mean which of your children, the oldest, had ordered. How do I reply to that? Just couldn't speak and the eldest daughter, two sons, one hundred and eighteen one fifteen, the eighteen year old, was a philosophy student and he said I'm the oldest soccer you're coming with us and took him away and next day she got a phone call
Sangaku. We got your son. Give us this amount. Money will give him back. So she went round tonight. Relative just got the money. She wanted. The money right away. She turned up with money, gave some money and then they just cut off the course she hadn't heard from him since and I have been seeing her face- the devastation on the page that I just couldn't go more life after that and there's not knowing not having the closure, and I met her, When I went to report on one of the worst atrocities, which was forty nine bodies, who will be decapitated, Capitated had their hands and feet cut off and being dumped on a road And they were taken to Morgan Monterey arrived, but the more because I was inside the mall to smelling the smell of the day, but it is kind of weird smell. You get from not decaying flesh kind of the sweet smell you get from around as places where you can smell that the bodies
Okay, I was inside the mall. I cannot use outside the morgue. I was trying to see if it has some might be among those people mon. I bought wow. But you know it's it's so insane that this is right next door to America,. And there's so little effort put on doing something about it, including doing something to mitigate the influence of illegal drugs by making drugs legal, and that would be one gigantic step, you're not going to stop people from doing drugs. I mean this is an illogical, ridiculous approach. I don't think people should do most of those drugs, but when you make, drugs illegal criminals are going to sell those drugs, and this is exactly what you have right next, order. American, it's just unbelievably insane that there's this amount of crime, drive away from San Antonio, yes, and and
not that issue of the money and the economics of this yeah. So I mean you look a cocaine, so you could tell you what the that was full main drugs. Now it's you got fentanyl coming as well in the drawer and cut those making Fenton to make it making it. Yet I made a making a bring in because this making it is allowed? One lab. I was in Nogales, but you know how off guard if they bust a lab in Nogales, run the board the making of the lab that making the front fender and bring up a, but is what is that you go down the full main drugs, historically marijuana, heroin, cocaine and crystal Meth, and this goes back a hundred years like so Sinaloa, which is the cradle of mexican Rafting some of those blocks is leased. A mafia lies in our estimates. Can drug cartels where it began. I began right so go back to nineteen fourteen you had in the USA, the to Harrison's Narcotics Tax act
when they made they restricted, opium and cocaine in the United States and from nineteen fifteen. They began a cross border trade from Mexico to the United States. So that's when I started all the way back then so over one hundred years ago, some of the very first people doing it were actually chinese Mexicans that were chinese immigrants that arrived in Mexico. They began doing this. They bought opium, from China planted it in Mexico, as I'm the first people receiving it with chinese Americans. Some of these very early cases of case from nineteen sixteen investigative documents about this case. Where was chinese, Mexicans trafficking to Chinese Americans here in California, and at that time there was a governor of Baja California involved right back, then. What is the solution? Is there the solutions to this. Well, I mean I'll get. You know, I think a lot of
Carbon is you get very weary? You want to see solutions yeah, you want to find solutions, and you want to come with that optimism of finding solutions, and you want to justify why you doing this. What you're doing this for, but to tell the stories, but to look for solutions, this, and it gets worry about that. There's three areas. I believed all citizens. First, I do agree with you on the idea of drug policy reform. Again it is tough up hill battle. I may not be going back to. Twelve. I wrote editorials about one of the reasons you should legalize marijuana is because of the marijuana come from Mexico, which goes to cartels, which pays killers which pays for corruption, But at the same time, marijuana, love, legal
the United States and the violence as she just got worse in Mexico, so you've also got the issue of heroin cocaine, math fentanyl and you got the cartels going to punch, bother rackets. Now they steal crude oil. It's a big deal, they steal billions of dollars worth of crude oil. Graham, was down there from pipelines, can tap into a pipeline or something yeah. You cut a pipeline. You have, you know a plan to tap to drill two holes in the pipeline. He did a whole to put to take the oil out, you drill a hole to put water in to try and keep it the pressure the same. Maybe so it's a crazy video recently in a small town in Mexico, where a bunch of there was a tap open, a really really bad tap, always just sprang out and a bunch of people were lining up just to pick up the oil from the pipeline, an exploded and just it was just like crazy death toll yeah. I did see that from from from that, but uh
I do believe in in in in drug policy reform we have to talk about. This has to be on a table. I'm in America no one knows really what Americans spend on drugs, but as the survey which you can find online, if you just tap and what do Americans spend on illegal drugs an it is an estimate of one hundred billion dollars a year, so you know that amount of money. I mean that's an estimate, I mean it could be right. You know it's hard to know, there's a very round number but like, one hundred billion dollars a year. Now, if you think about that pumping into these cartels year after year, I'm in decades, you know how much of that you know if it's thirty billion of that guy down in Mexico in over ten years, three hundred I think that he is close to a trillion dollars that ready crates this monster, but I said and there is well I'm not believe in drug policy reform. I mean I don't know how I mean really if they want to needs it because heroin addicts by lot of heroin so
the one you say from that you could. I know you can stop a lot of heroin and I love that money with. Does money goes to these people who are doing this stuff? but a secondary, I believe, is, is social work in the neighborhoods. A lot of talk to I've done a lot of interviews, with particular with the assassins with the killers in cartels in Mexico and and was around that America often traveling around Jamaica on Brazil, Central America, Colombia Talkington to the killers, especially I'm. When I sit down with the I try and get their life story like how did they first get into this 'cause you're not born doing this stuff, and often I mean in some cases there's different profiles, there's some of them uh. It is one one guy. This is done, Honduras, which is also crazy, Scituate
it was a guy there. I actually met him before had met him when I was doing some reporting down there back in twenty fifteen and he was driving for us and he was also carrying a gun to help protect us with the journeys to that I been hit before being a c shop before and
then? I met him again off to isn't going to tell his story, which kind of typical of love these guys and he described how he been abandoned, hi as a kid by his parents, and I had this- will hate that he had with the world love. Can I just the world, I'm Anne describe the first time that he carried out multis and it will. This is a step up and he carried out. They already do you to talk. He documented and all these kids, he dot and the capitation see Don is kind of crazy stuff, but the first time account I mode was proper that that the free case when he was the fourth and they got a a family. They went to a house, could the what they call family and the book to the family I describe. Would he described on and described later on? You know how he became a hired killer,
and the thing about him like some of these people who think they're psychopaths they just they really don't care the summer and really do have these conflicts inside the house. I think he was someone released about that interview and he had and it's hard to to balance that someone who does evil but also has been a victim as well a victim in a victimizer, and you feel that pain since since then he's himself in being murdered But yeah he's a is, you know one so how you get social work to reach people from a very young age, because often they recruited into organized crime in at one thousand two hundred and thirteen years old so he butchered his family. His fourteen was stealing money from them was so the story with that was he. He said that he was hanging around with these basically street kids and one of the other. Kids said I know where there's some money in the house, we can get some money in the house. So they went in there and killed his family and
it turns out: there's no money there and the reason the other kids said go. There was 'cause he'd actually been living with his family and he said they've been abusive to him, so he wanted to like revenge revenge on his family, for what was so pretty sick about is to when he was describing it was they had this family and they would distort them defending themselves they would like, one by one, not condemn in a in a room and take them one by one. Take them out, but shouldn't have it once did we not was done on. I think I mean the action excel, but how like teenage kids can think about that?
stuff and then later on, when he was talking about the decapitations, he was talking about. They get contracts with the capitation inside the quite like they say like we want this killing. We wanted to capitated guy. We want this dog want to see video of the guy in the Capitec. We want that. We want to suffer and when he hacks their heads off, there's sometimes still be a moment when I, when the life goes out of them and when the body is still like, twitching lucky says they can still see like with a bit like nerve seems like a chick in like a headless. Chicken is a bit apart when there's still like twitching a bit even after they United they've lost the conference, seven that connections there now when you're interviewing these people. How nervous are you
I mean this seems like if you're putting all this stuff down, you could implicate them in some crimes and it seems like it would very convenient for them to try to get rid of you. So does this whole bunch of different situations around any fees are sometimes of a few people in prisons a lot of time in prisons. I'm Linda this to me years to get to know these people festival. You know not what it was like a I when I first I doing this always lot. When how do I get how to reach them stuck on a drug rehab places talking to people in drug rehab, going into prisons and inside out? What a? So I did a lot of interviews in the in in one prison uncle to not prison is in the printed out. What is in a christian evangelical wing that
And they were going to his weird christian. You know like Christian our discovery of God there and then through the on the street, often like through contact. I mean we're all the time through contacts on the street um in Honduras, a lot of great contacts with a friend who is a journalist who grew up in his neighborhood all these guys it snows loads of these guys from growing up now, there's different different things. You know they have been bad situations. I think anybody covering this had some bad situations. Sometime people get angry people threaten them and so forth, but a lot of the time when you talk to people and one thing you have to be very long time- you have to be very stringent about protecting their identity and re.
Serious about book. It is being cases where various cases where other people interviewed killers and shown that entity either through them, China, face or through, like some dumb thing being shot, I'm Dave being themselves murdered in a blue chip off to these that give these interviews or, like all the things that happened, to be the right into some of the family or rested. Also, if so, you really got to protect people's identities. In a way in terms of when they talk and stuff? And I don't really feel nervous when these people are probably feel more nervous here? Talking that's just I think it is like on a big show, it's a different different.
When you're like talking to first, you know you start with easy questions. Like anything, you start talking about how, in how you know, people, human human beings and people have gotten. People are complicated and I haven't just interviewed in I've also got drunk with some of these people and hung around with some of these people for time trying to get closer like I spent time to try and understand their world a bit more. What's the most time we've ever spent with these people, I mean several days several days, yeah, like you know, like I mean now see them see him again, hang out with. You know, hang out with him in different places, not all the time. Sometimes just sit down do interviews and just leave but it is it's complicated world for them. It's it's the normality nicely for them as normal. It's it's! What Dave? What they've lived? What they've been through was happy
around them. I'm in this level of murder. That's happened, alot part of Latin America. Now it's crazy, but in these areas in his we talk to other people who are just on the edge of this would have family members involved in this, and it's just they live. In this I mean these are levels of violence and it's interesting to compare historically these levels of violence, because you look at some of the worst cities like San Pedro Sulah, Honduras, Caracas, Cedar Harris, and these are places which have levels of violence which are like way worse than medieval Europe Alot place in medieval Europe. I mean look at the figures for one hundred thousand, because some of them have over one hundred one hundred thousand hundred five thousand thousand, I'm medieval Europe lot. These cities were like twenty one, one hundred thousand so their way worse, now way worse in the wild west than like. Now there are some place in the United States today, large or not
I've done some research recently in Baltimore MD, and I was kind of interesting to compare that to Latin America and that's a high level as four thousand one hundred thousand. That's not as the. Level, but a significant still more than Medieval Europe, yeah wow Baltimore florist in medieval Europe. Yeah they a like you, get. They might be, there might say. Well, Jerusalem in this time or in a line I'll? Let you gotta, try. You know it's hard to know. It really dig down exactly that. There was outbreaks of violence and killing and serve but the overall average I would average yeah. That's a significant leap, hundred percent leap. Yeah, absolutely what about South side Chicago? It's not that I mean like the level I think in Chicago comes out around when or something so. It's not now the a med that, if the whole city now these new again, what what things about the file to the United States compared to lead America, when both
more is is, is, is, is a significant part to FED ex well. The city of Baltimore is a very small place. What I talking about it's in Mexico, you having ties states that are like woody bottom or taught countries in Latin America was in the US, tends to be neighborhoods, which of violent. So, if you really focus on the south side of Chicago is probably similar levels to Baltimore. Thank you nice to, but If you look at the whole city, you've got neighbors that are pretty safe in Chicago as well. Now, through all of this time that you spent down in Mexico, have you seen it you've seen it escalate. You've seen it get worse and worse yeah. So there was first, this really big escalation happen in two thousand and eight was the first bigger.
Relation. What was the cause of that? So you had. There was a steady. Buildup, though, is happening uhm and then in two thousand and six do you have the President Felipe Calderon declared a military crackdown on drug cartels and after that those big response and things that really getting out of hand? We'd already seen violence escalating before running, in my idea. My kind of theory behind this is that you had in Mexico back in the twentieth century, more of a top down um, centralized government controlling everything you had the PRI in power and they were basically they will have to get through corruption. So back then they'd have the drug cartels working for them.
An interesting story, gone bad, then, to the nineteen day, nine. Seventy store in a book called drug Lord by Terrence, Papa, who interviewed a a drug trafficking, the eighties when he got the his job as the head, half an a plus, which is the head of a certain territory when he got the job he went with the state police. At a time. I said I want to become the head of the plaza and they took him in and tortured him for two days ally and I beat the crap out of him put electric shocks on his notes. One of the the big tool to Damascus put water laced chilly in his nose. It's not a one of these big say whole face burns is a lot torture techniques. They have an off the two days of talking said and well done. You know you, you survive well, you've got the job so we know what it shows is that the police had the upper hand appease control this. They were like okay, we control this racket and we can fuck around and torture and kill drug traffickers when we like,
you know what the presidency I mean there was in that time. Carlos Salinas became President ninety four, his brother, Raul Salinas there, the Swiss investigators bank account and said he had one million dollars in bad counts. We said no, they believed it was drug money. So right up to the presidency, this was being run When Mexico change democracies, when I arrived in Mexico, was tending to the moccasins lot, wow great, the marks is going to happen. Free markets gonna happen no, when the good days at a twenty our first center now. But what happened was you look? Political control shifted, so you had a bunch of different political parties and fighting over the drug trade, and I was one time in regular ed. Oh, when the federal police had a shootout with the municipal police, they were fighting each other, probably 'cause. They work for different drug cartels. So that's what started, but then you had the techniques,
The technique of beheading wasn't really a big deal. It was very very rarely used up until around two thousand and six and one of the first incidents was in Acapulco in two thousand and six here in about June. Two thousand and six now it might have been after inspired by the hi the the call we in a video which is shining for the mexican TV mom when that came out in a decapitated, the Gonna rock and they decapitate first was two policemen, a capitais. Later that year in September, two thousand and six there was five heads. They rolled onto a disco, dance floor and then his thing just became just escalated. It became this kind of like using his terror public terror. So two thousand and six two thousand and eight was a big escalation and then
two thousand and eleven twelve were like crazy and then it subsided a bit in a pub dividers got a bit less public and it was more like hidden like mass grave stuff. In other words, mass grave does being discovered. So far was in Veracruz. Now I've been to the side of it and it was two hundred and fifty bodies were found in this mass grave in one place, and it was right next to a housing estate and those families who saw one of the saddest things with you seek you see that it is bicycles and basketball, hoops and stuff right next to this and the field. Next, to that they double up two hundred, fifty bodies and the smell would like emanating to this housing estate. I in a middle class, the dream of becoming middle class. That was the the kind of some in this house. Is that right? Next to it is, But when I say a lot of these stories- and I mean these are crazy your is by love, the weird thing is:
ms, could leave normality around. This is not Is this not we see every day this happens, but it was just to normality that could just be like you're outside here in in la normal people living normal lives around this as well. What is the response in Mexico? What it it mean after they wanted to have this military action against the cartels. Obviously that hasn't really put a dent in it. What's the current thought process behind dealing with this, so there's been a bunch of like citizen protest movement, various times June, recent years or more numbers. That was very interesting thing. I could Javier Sicilia a poet and a writer who- son was murdered an he when it first happened, his son was murdered and he just came out says the press ways like in Ark on this. Just like this is just Mexico's gone. I can't I can't deal with. Is my sons being
and then he began talking in very in and I he went to the street and people coming out publicly crying, and it was one of the first Times there's a realization, a lot of innocent people. Time with this, I'm people come out and we now went to some of these things. People come out flying family members, and should I see a sense with with Victor, see because there's a for a long time, since he simply bad guys, killing bad guys, and that wasn't the case now. The current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who just won the election last year and just took power on December first, so he's got to mix things one of them is this idea of the war's over I'm going to create peace. We can have forgiveness, reconciliation
You know it's hard to know what that really means, and his second thing is: we need to have more of a unified state, please so like what I described before about you. Had local police fighting the federal please so we gotta have so he's got this idea now, the National Guard, which is a kind of hybrid between military and police thing around, and that's basically his his kind of two thrust season. Now he's only been in power. A couple of months January was still a bad month in terms of murders in terms of bodies. Last year, with three thousand one hundred and thirty three thousand dead last year, which is the size of Mexico equivalent of United. Aids having close to a hundred thousand. Imagine what that would mean in him in a United States. If you have that many people dying in a year, I want the and the whole year the year. How does the host yeah now when these People are when they're being recruited by the car
els when the police officers are being recruited? The big issue must be, It must be two issues right safety like if they don't join the cartel. They probably get murdered and two the amount of money. The cartel would then would be far more than the government would give them to be a legitimate police officer, yeah sure not just like God, no offense to plop them long platter, platter plumber, like silver or lead? You want to have the silver of of the bribe the lead of the bullet, but even beyond that, for a long time. A lot of these people who join the police alike from the beginning that you know have taught I've gotten video made a video back in twenty ten in Seattle. What is of a bunch of rappers just hang around in the middle of all this and one of their friends were saying, and they were talking, and these people were saying you know some of them being done for taking drugs over the border. There been in gangs and stuff
and one of them is like. I want to be a policeman and he was like. I want to be a policeman and make some money. You know basically through corruption set so that it is like that is the mentality of somebody's people joining the police from early on another guy guy open open the first book with his guy who became a policeman when he was eighteen. He was basically a hard. Tough guy played american football from durangos. Can a policeman is eighteen and in the place, learn to torch, went on to murder. He said as well, I'm not in the place- and I just thought twenty off for two years- just left the place and went full time and crimes let so, you you've got a situation where you know it's not is easy. Worse even is beyond that the bad that people imagine of corruption, God so All of this, essentially is escalated from the time you came to Mexico, So when you came back so it's almost like
who got in I mean if it was a story you got in at almost the perfect time yeah, yeah, yeah, parable way, yeah yeah, yeah yeah I mean. Is I mean, like you know you, don't you don't do these things on purpose? You know you don't think I'm for loop back. Twenty years ago, I'm eighteen years I've been in Mexico. Now how, growing up in Mexico and in that sense I never look back and I think that's it now. In terms of myself, seeing this I it's I mean nothing for anybody. It's painful. I mean how you process. Level of death that level of matter level of suffering, hi its it's is, is horrible stuff to see and and it's
You still have a lot of people separated from that in our families, people bring up children and in a you, want to separate in it kids from that. So off often like class, kids in Mexico, quite sheltered, 'cause families wanna share them as much they can from from from violence, and just not let him see that side of things how much of that do you have to deal with in Mexico City Mexico City is about the same murder rate as Houston to Mexico. City is not super now it's still not super safe, but it's not supervisor so Mexico City is kind of and parts of Mexico, which of which Effetti Safe now the state of Yucatan where murder is. Is the same matter. Level is Belgium, so you've got away within Mexico. We don't have this level of
to Mexico City is. It is a great city because it is a great city to to living in many ways. Apart from the traffic and pollution and various things, I mean is a bunch of things that are, and I love all of Mexico and I love all of Latin America. I love even even the bad places. I still love I enjoy going to these places. I enjoy meeting people there. In a hang out in these areas. There's a lot of good things about him still but deal. With all the horrific tragedies that you report about an experience. Do you look for Escape route I mean, are you? Are you looking to get the fuck out of Dodge. Yeah I mean there's been different time. Where I I ii thought I wanted to stop now cover other things. Yeah as a journalist in Colorado Springs. And is doing as well as Janice could has, who called Jesus Esquivel a great mexican Janice, who just I just want to cut the tried about chat.
Over in New York and who's been covering this for years. One of the really great mexican correspondence is covered this drug stuff, and he was like he just said to me. Oh, better, I've got some stuff. Maybe I can give you this is the I'm going This is the last thing I'm going to do covering trucks. Now we know we know we'll see we'll see. If that's true uh, I think all the time you get a you get call is still doing the stuff, an opportunity when you've cover something people want more people are interested is at and the relevance to this. I think some of the other struggles beyond like v, the danger and stuff is simply a man with Janice Hymns and been a bad way. I love the media in a bad way. I just simply game now trying to become a freelance Jennifer love being for NAS and the style of independence. I love being a write books and travel and write magazine stories, make documentaries and do these things, but light just can have an economic base for that night's
This is the generator lots in the time that I've been doing it. Have you personally been targeted at all, so there's a couple of situations are hard up I mean I I mean first, I want to know I'm going to have to give some uh come respect and condolences to so many colleagues, mexican colleagues who have been murdered and being being murdered, threatened had to leave the country in various things and they've. Had it bad, including a friend, good friend, a great Khali called hobby about this, who was shot dead in twenty seventeen may two thousand and seventeen and click add a guy or known since two thousand and eight Greg I got drunk with him in the Cantina very generous guy route. Eight books, a charismatic
Like I mean, I really love the guy who was shot dead and many other stories, so so I kind of don't want to give my own compare mine waste, a lot of them in many ways, but yeah sure there's been times one time in it was the state called Mitchell Can- and this was two thousand and fourteen. And there was a thing that happened there when a lot of regular. People rose up with guns against the cartels they were known, as outer defense, as or like self defense courts, and there rose up to fight the cartels and uh They they bunch of guys with guns that was kind of crazy situation where there was this, like almost like a trench warfare happen between cartels and these self defense groups. And then what happens. A lot of regular gangsters started center with self defense groups as well No just come up, so it was self defense groups nowadays guys around street with guns. You know, what's going to go out with all guns, so anyway,
I went down a drive down at the end of this. I would be not been covering this right through it been fairly okay to take the self defense squads. The off the fences were pretty easy, going to work with, but drive down there to to Mitchell Con. And I want to do some stuff on it and I'm going to meet a friend my journey. She just backed out at the last minute as went down there anyway and arrive Dad knows about fifty guys arrived in this place near the city. Could a passing down and there's about fifty guys who supposedly a self defense, scored in a parking lot getting ready to go on a mission to try and take down this drug trafficker a collector. I know like the seeing is that there's a guy would like signing them up for this kind of mission and there's a bunch of guys they were, and they had very
weaponry. They had a K. Forty seven's that out fifty that grenade launches. I'm on that on that on the topic guns, I'm and beneath that guns they had the grenades strapped to him last he couldn't. It's libraries on belts, around ammunition belts around him. I'm not crazy. Like you know, like you see the old, we stop him and I will crazy, like this broader stuff, and then uh. I was so in realized quickly. These were not self defense classes were narcos were gangsters. Then they did. You know they came out with their brother uh. You know how long you been in self defense. You know. Movement are couple days now I know like, and then they had like guns with diamonds in Hefei um wins have faced empire the boss. And Amanda. Ok, we know that was kind of like uhm joking with these guys and take some photographs at him, so they were posing for photographs
said it was sitting there with not posing with guns and stuff in there, and they said they say they have a the word. Wed always is like snowy white boys, love blondie, me looking at if you'll White in Mexico you'll get good well. So a lot? Well, how much do prostitutes cost in your country? as a heart attack, you have to go there and see in the way Well, do you like take? Do you like taking meth? Do you like taking meth and I'm ok. I know there were still like I'm joking, and this guy turned came up among them. He said the out the first of the big guy and he said he was carrying a big guy, he's got, there would be massive head. And he said to me a bit aggressively. Just don't take my photo I'd like yeah, no problem. I want your photo and then a guy came up and said to the other guys what are you doing? Is it da a guy here, said the agent among
you taking your photographs, an you know, we are doing, and I was like I'm not I'm, not even american and british, and he said I know you know. Is it the a got? My my my brother was arrested in Texas in the d, a garb tend to be a journalist, some bullshit story I said look. I can knock a shea my website, so they got the cell phone out and and look to the cell phone and found on my website And the guy calm down a bit, he said you know if you, if I see you, I'm gonna put a bullet in your head, I'm gonna throw grenade at you it's in the attic, so I left the Nile kind of try to talk. Left and yeah And they went and then I didn't publish the photographs to got in there by the photo one of the guys, sent me an email saying what happened to photographs my emails on my website, so I just ignored it.
And I think a lot of them got killed in a big fight out with the federal police afterwards thousand one Hon and it's been, it's been a few more. So it's a lot of touch and go yeah in these situations. Yeah the the federal police. Do they have a plan to try to eradicate these mobs or is it a lot of lip service like? Is it really possible to eradicate these gangs or just one of those things where they say going to do something, but they have to kind of protect themselves. You know this uh there's been different different times I mean sometimes there's been, the federal police have done well done, after particular, guy or sometimes with the Americans. You know, there's been
I'm in a rest of very many significant king pins. Ms, what is the door to a deeper questions? Is that like, when you take down some of these king pins, it was the other people who will fight over the same territory mmhm. So, for example, in night you take out, chapel was man, and then you get a fight among his sons and some are one of the lieutenants over it over the empire. Now, what's happened, marred the reasons the violence is increased in Mexico. It's because they've had these on single attacking cartels over the years. The And you end up with like the tenants than taking over and then that attends taking over and then that attends taking over that's what happened in Chicago as well. All right, I spoke to a police officer in Chicago when he said the violence escalated after some big gang arrests, mmhm and once they
I had gotten some leaders of some gangs and other people tried to fill the void yeah exactly exactly so So then you get some of the people who is in power now uh very young, very violent people and people who are not as smart noise noise mature, deleted. Yes, I see the so you end up. These did a five minute territory, so you have people controlling broadly having big cartel somebody to who controls it. Now off the country you're, not with these caught the little of these gangs controlling part of the state knows one stay cool good adult which you see in this will not cartel fragmentation. I knew what maybe twelve different groups in this one state and you get like a place where they going to want the boys are up and down the road and then in our group controls it passing a certain point. So there was some. Some friends went out there
um seven journeys went up there and got held up on this road up there, two thousand and seventeen as well, and they got there in a car going like two vehicles and about two hundred guys blocked the road. And the leader of this group is a global equity and what a polite hi like at his name, blondie ally and he's, like maybe twenty three years old, about two hundred guys that they said some of the kids talked with one of the friends whose and this is somebody so kids was young- is like ten years old among the of people. And they they held him up. They took away to one of the vehicles. They took away all their laptops cameras. All the equipment stack 'em in the car to go. Do you have to be? careful when you traveling that you don't have like an obviously expensive, laptop or camera something along those lines. I think from the point of view of it and they can they can take it away. I'm going to make this happen a lot lot of cases recently. Colleagues, just being
hi I mean you get like an armed group in a take away that the path that led the holding down take all that stuff. So you don't so going on various colleagues photographers if your freelance photographer right and you lose a good camera, hi Diana then. In a like, you know, some of the tv people have less expensive cameras and they used to remember a few years ago a tv group interview some gang members are in Honduras and they stole their camera and it was at that time is like an eighty thousand dollars camera and the tv network. I don't know what the tv network about New was more pist about losing the camera. It was about these guys. You know going well. It sounded now. Having guns pointed to him, what is the altitude in Mexico, especially amongst people who we are studying the narco wars with all this build that Wall Stuff this what's going on in America there's this is
very strange right versus left polarization over here about whether or not there should be a wall between United States and Mexico. Sure I mean. Well I mean the thing with Mexicans. Of the very anti Trump in Mexico is is, is the night from Trump is very unpopular from the very beginning? And I, when he said I know, rapists and murderers, yeah someone's doing the raping yeah? How many is kind of you know? If you look at surveys, the level is very low does anybody like my Trump in Mexico there like there's, always contrarian somewhere? I mean I've. Seen numbers like you know, people say like eighty percent or something I think is terrible. So means there must be a twenty percent somewhere. I don't. I haven't, met a Mexican who's been like pro tree, I mean I never have. I met a Salvadoran who was pro Trump one time, Indiana heater guy been deported and he was like. I know you know this guy Trump going to turn out to be a great president. So.
So I see that now Mexico is very, very anti trump in The wall I mean is in terms of what I it's out of the smugglers most talking to a smuggler in no gallus about this, and he was describing he hates used from Know Gallos from a neighborhood called Buenos Aires, which is right on the border with the United States. There's no gallus Sonora, no Gallus Arizona, so in the gallus, Sonora and Arizona, and he was from the neighborhood right on the border there and he described that he first took people over the board with United States.
Back in the 1980s when he was at school as a high school, and the reason is that time is just an old fence and there was a hole in the fence needs to go through into United States and go back into Mexico, just an old wire fence and the first time he took people through people derive from Southern Mexico. So you know how to get the US and they'd say: oh you know this way and they give him a tip. For the first time I got the equivalent of about zero dollars and fifty cents what you made to take people to the United States, zero dollars and fifty cents. Nowadays, the have gone into the US is five thousand dollars is what you paid to go legally to the United States, five thousand dollars who sang wow. Look at that increase every time that the US puts more security. It means it's more expensive, is more expensive. That means more money going to criminals, which means there's now an industry doing it. So now the cartels make a big percentage of that money of human smuggling into the USA S,
Uhm but like in terms of the wall, I mean the when I try first, came in at the line that Mexico is going to pay for it, and and this kind of lying in a right. The beginning, he threatened mexican President saying if you, if you don't agree to if the wall down while going to come, meet me and then it was like Wow he's really going to shake down Mexico for like billions of dollars. You can try do that and that was kind scary. Moment then theme from the point of Mexico when he first got the powers like he's going to do that and then he's going to or three million and he's going to kill NAFTA. Actually, those things haven't really come to pass. Actually, if you look over the last couple of years of Trump has some really hit. Mexico, very, not to the concern was that he was going to take money that should be allocated to other ways it's going to help Mexico and he was try to take that and use it to build the wall.
I mean nobody knew when he first came in. Is that I'm a mess because gonna pay for this school right? The wall just got ten foot higher member that yeah it was like. It was like. You know how you gonna do that you can even stop threatening mexican military and say give us money. I mean it was kind of like a like is it is a shake down good, take them is kind of it's kind of crazy diplomatic thing when he first got into that was scary. For a moment. From the point of view of Mexico, but I think after last couple. Yes, I'm really hit Mexico with that now he. To build the wall. Now it there's a big fashion in terms of the spending here, but if he wants to build it, or extend ics. There is warden sections in the board already. If he wants to extend it, you know it won't, stop a lot of the hard drugs. I mean if you look at heroin, cocaine crystal Meth high value drugs. They normally go through the port of entry right, so shipping yeah, I mean they goats or
the proposed of entry through, like a I mean you have two can cost rent because trucks I mean you you go through. If you look at our the Laredos Laredo Laredo. One of the reasons that was a big fire in the war started there in Mexico is because it's very valuable territory, there's something like eight thousand trucks. Go over that border every day. Now you have eight thousand trucks. How many of those can you search in a day and also the way they can hide this stuff in truck? They can hide drugs in like a metal, they can put them in some kind of metal, Container Cearley up solder, it up put a bunch of stuff, it doesn't smell. Somebody had to say I'm going to open that with a blowtorch and will just searching after rip that vehicle apart to find the drugs they were putting 'em inside wheels, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah inside other stuff, that's like that's like
There's this song this as it that's when the old tricks from like the seventy there's a song as a when the first novel corridors that drug about its a it was cold contraband, and and treason from the nineteen seventy that was about hiring hiding marijuana, packing nine ties by then but yeah, but now the the trap, because now, like super sophisticated, that's some weird trap, because we have to take a bunch of stuff like open the dole move, some stuff to a tragedy to the open find drugs. This, like some tricks or door, has to be active Imagine if there's a will there's a way and there's that much I mean I remember, hearing that from my son- a reliable source, but from the sopranos they were talking about. Only twenty percent of all the shipping containers get brought into America get searched yeah. Well, that's that's crazy, yeah, absolutely so so closer to the hard drugs are getting a lot of time through on through the ports of entry,
they have their another classic trick they have. Is you get? They allow some to get busted. To allow one guy to get busted. They set somebody up so they're taking some drugs through they get. They get Losted or the energies on them and then meanwhile, more drugs are through and is the United States border. That's tested catching this guy yeah, so they're not getting there not getting tested in Mexico as they crossover right, it's only in the United States border yeah, some, Sometimes they might catch him in Mexico, sometimes, but the majority of the United States the United States Border patrol guys, are they ever caught being corrupt, yeah? Absolutely yeah. There's been cases of of US border patrol and customs entry people who have being gap court taking a bunch of money taking bribes allow in allowing some cost, through course,
send pics through so yeah? How does one fix this? I mean if you had a magic wand, you're going to wave it over Mexico and fix this problem, I'll give you if somebody said you on you've been in the business for a long time, we're going to let you dictate how this takes place. So let's say yeah three things so like drug policy reform, so we gotta talk about how we deal with this drug situation. So I mean, like I mean I'm not the some of that is There is now an EMT put a better idea to me about how to what America, what Americans take so many drugs. I mean I I come from a drug. Taking can be myself in the UK. I guess so, maybe not that different. Well, I think there's a lot of answers to that the biggest is in in tire that most people don't Why what they do and they want an escape. I think this probably the biggest one. The there's some
ridiculous number that was just we're just who is the number on the podcast of how many people actually was it? There was a Johann Hari. Wasn't it yeah? talking about the number of people that actually enjoy their jobs? Sixty seven percent people of in this country don't like what they do, or you know, or just just what sleepwalk to their life? There's another significant percent that hate what they do and then there's a few left that love what they do. I mean it's. A a small number of people, maybe myself or maybe like yourself that actually enjoy what they do for a living and feel like they're following the passion. Most people are just working a job and they fucking hate it. And then, when they get off work, they want to get sucked up and a lot of these the you know they have logical issues or suffering from abuse child abuse
trying to I mean there's been some significant statistics about childhood abuse and how many people from childhood abuse wind up, using and abusing drugs and becoming addicted and even overdosing on drugs, and it's ridiculously high. It's about pain, in suffering and trying to remove that pain and suffering from your life, and you know, people that don't know how to make healthy choices and don't have friends that are making healthy choices and don't know what to do with their life. That's a big big part of it. There's another part of it because it's illegal, but something about things that are illegal, that are intoxicating and enticing you know, when you look at the statistics in HOLLAND in particular, where marijuana is been, you know you could buy it in coffee shops forever, not that many people smoke marijuana in HOLLAND. If it's a lot of marijuana, tourism, especially back in the day now that America has legal marijuana have almost everywhere. Not a lot of people are going to HOLLAND specifically to get Fuckd up, but it was always the thing
and when we were younger, was Isaac. Hayes in your HOLLAND go get high. I know it's going on the brings a teenage willing and open over there for some of that, when I'm alone on a boat and arrived, Amsterdam back in those days yet the It made me made me smile smile. What you're saying is there about enjoying the job It's true I mean when he said that I do love do and enjoy what I do. So that's gonna tell you I wanted so that thing, but but so so I mean in terms of the issue of drugs. We have to talk about this. How can we stop american stop spending that money or now that money is going to be spent not to be got into a black market. I I and and destabilizing these countries but also a lot of issues in Mexico as well. Like in social work. How do you change the reality? And again so you know people, who are abused and suffer taking drugs, but people are abused and suffer in Latin America becoming assassins
because one of the weird things are not on a moral level on level of morality, and I knew a lot of kids growing up who sold drug And it wasn't really An amazing, immoral thing to think about in I sell drugs is easy step to take on going tomorrow. Some lead in a cell, some speed in cells next to see, and then later on, when I heroin whatever, but for somebody to commit a murder, I seems like a big. It did a lot bigger deal. How do you get into how you cross that line to becoming a matter? How did they cross that line so easily why I think it goes back to that young boy. You were talking about that butcher that family he Band and angry and hurt just so much pain that the suffering that's often the case they want other people to. For when you see people that are doing terrible things to be, but they're almost always suffering there almost always wanting other people to feel what they feel they are lashing out. That's uh
that social work aspect you discussing so critical and something that we've discussed about this country that how few people are putting, I mean the mean and very few politicians very few People that are running this country are putting efforts into trying to heal these communities that have suffered from which is years and years of systemic racism years in years of just embedded, poverty, that's almost impossible to escape years and years of crime and drugs, and just growing up in this community of despair. This is what we're talking about with Baltimore this is, what we're talking about with Southside Chicago and various cities all over this country it just they don't get better man, they date stay fuckedup. You know I had Michael would who is a police officer from Baltimore, and he was discussing what it was like being in Baltimore as a police officer and then looking at some documents from the 1970s that detailed the crime in the very
areas that he was patrolling in and the same crime in the same area in this sense of just overwhelming futility like there was nothing that he was going to be able to do. This is going to put a dent in this 'cause. This was a lot of it was a product of areas in Baltimore, where there law, You were not allowed to sell homes to black people in these certain areas, so they kept these people in these poor areas even though they had this desire to escape into the the more affluent or safe. Communities that weren't allowed to for a time, I mean there's so much of that in this country that the the people that are in control, but everybody just wants to get elected. Everybody just wants to you know. Wants to get elected, then they're looking to get re elected, so they spend a gigantic percentage of their time campaigning, no it no universal effort on the part of all citizens of the country to try to Look at all these areas and say these are up. This is us,
just because you don't live in the south side of Chicago that those are human beings. Those are just like you and I you could have been them. Could have been you if you they were you and you were then, wouldn't you hope that you would help with you Did someone would come in and try to fix this area. Someone would try to Portman. We pour so much money into foreign countries. We pour so much money in the subsidizing, various industries that a lot of people disagree with? You know when there's I mean I'm, not an economist. I don't know what economic sense that on any of that stuff makes. But I do know that money is allocated in a lot of different ways and the idea So it's going to be better for all of us, it's not better. For uh, still keep these communities as up as they are right now and There's no effort, nothing very little done no movement! No change! No Ganttic step no ten year plan to Iraq gang violence. No ten year plan to eradicate illegal drug sales and murder, so the
in this great social work. There are some great social workers down there, and so there are some heroes in this place. Is there somebody? I talked to a lot based and said what is monk who Sandra who grew up in his neighborhood? She wanted, people introduced me to young gang members in this area. She used to work in a factory there going to social work and now she's a psychologist and yes you can somebody who really will do the welcome reach people and we're more like save lives. ' you know somebody, you know basic stuff, you really get in the community and trying to reach they have to reach the kids when they're, often twelve, eleven twelve. And you can often see in these areas where the kids are going to get into this we're going to be recruited by the cartels who are going to get the gangs, because there's certain profiles in these people they haven't, got their families. I was talking to some guys in the white list from the body last Tecca, which is the big gangs that started in the USA, actually among prisoners and spread into Mexico and became like a paramilitary group in Mexico
about how they recruit people. And then this guy was saying, like you know, we will see now see from these young kids. Who's gonna be able to Kaelin. Now he's gonna be a real fight and he's not. I know if these people have gotten in I've got parents who love them and say for these guys on the net on the net. Going to work for me. I need I need someone who is, like God, hate who's got anger in them, and I can do something. We wanted those kind of perverse opposite of this stuff really. But so, if people don't have that families, and and and this makes my guess, think, a bit more sympathize. Guess as well the tonight, the idea of how important family is hard porn. Loving parents is we are together or separately, not loving parents and having that and uh but if you don't have that, you need social worker need people who can offer something and try, and now there an interesting mayor of Medellin, could and rescue Ajado and hear these ideas of trying to change the reality of the city
and he said I'm going to build the most, he was a mathematician. So it's is a mathematical problem, this issue and I'm going to build the most beautiful building in the ugliest part of the city and the worst part of the city. To make, and force people who want to see we made a conservatory in put it in there in the poorest neighborhood, so that people who want to be in this concept we have to travel to the poorest. Neighborhoods so there trying to change the reality, because if you see around you horrible neighborhood, a dirt ST, no light nothing working. Now. What do you turn into? And if you see a nice environment around you, can you change people that way wow. How did it work in a it for what it is hard to know exactly because so there was a truce between some of the gangs There is well for a while was it related to the construction of the conservatory. I theme I have. The government was involved in the trees on truth or not, but there was for a time the murder rate did drop quite dramatically in Medellin um, neither '
People carried on another Marian has improvement. Medellin Medellin Colombia was the worst. Violence in the world back in the nineteen nineties, and it's it's not a native missed a night people do like this city Non midi. While so it had. Some impact yeah, absolutely yeah, then the social workers, I'm sure they have some impact on individual people, but I would imagine that the overwhelming volume of children that are being recruited. This is very hard to put a real dent in it. Well, I think, instead of what is it had an effect 'cause when that was the most violent city in the world around two thousand ten, two thousand and eleven, and now, with this turf war there between us in the Sinaloa cartel, which is chapel Guzman against uh what is Cotto and there was a woman that was nine thousand killed in a city of four years of out of that war, crazy AL's cover covering it and just driving around from scene to scene to block a massacre him Moscow that is driving around bang. Bang things.
A Tofte was there was a lot of social work put into the city, described by then she said: there's a uhm. I like a waterfall of aid money. I mean there was like USA, USA, id and stuff, we start putting mine into this, and all the different groups and the murder rate did really drop so, and it hasn't gone back up to that level. Since so I think it does have a real effect when it's put c arm in a does have an effect on these things, but so, when you talk to and a water got about a magic wand and they so many in making a police force that I see protects the community or making a police force. That has some kind of effect. I mean I grew up. England, which is a not for he is safe, place relatively nice to not like police and not hate the night, and the police would have grown up hi, and now I appreciate wow. You know you have
so actually protected community in some way and the same in the United States. I mean the United States, the police, to protect people to a large extent compared to these countries, an in obviously there's issues here is or issue of racism and killing and violence and so forth, but still, I think, a lot of the people who believe that there, you know a lot of people They have guns for self defense and I respect the right to have guns the deceptive fence. Really in America you generally safe because the police a pretty hot and clamping down, but how do you craft police force, which really has the will to protect people? And how do you have that? You know the with the with the the will and the passion and commitment to help people in Mexico? That would be Abbey Dream, the people that have dealt with police officers that are corrupt have a very difficult time hearing what you're saying right build that those people would be angry. What you're saying saying? No, no,
The police officers here are corrupt. They are bad. There is racism. There are real problems yeah. There is, but I think, there's also a real problem being a police officer period. I think police officers have an insanely difficult job and I think most we're dealing with PTSD. I think, there's a giant percentage of like all over the world and and add to that, are constantly dealing with violence and the threat of violence and arrest. Criminals and being shot at in people lying to them. I just don't think I I think most people are very ill equipped to handle something like that. I mean I agree: this did not yet there are definitely problems with the police on. There are problems when the police shootings a rabbi real problems, please killing innocent people here is very real. I need a blue color for improvement and in others, people families again suffer
from that from that violence, I don't want to belittle there's no, no you're, not! I know you're not just have to sort of clarify, because I know so many people be hearing this and going yeah. Mexico is terrible. The United States, I mean, there's a ton of video the real issue, though, is we're also dealing with The sheer number of interaction the police have with people with the vast City of them are fine yeah things like say, the crime of kidnapping, kidnappings are horrific, antisocial crime on the horrific crime destroys lives, there's
one video, real video, which really made me sick, which was given to a family of a kid of Buck fourteen year old kid who was taken and they send this video to his family in Mexico, and they were beating this kid and saying to his kid. You know this is in a glass and the camera is your fault beach to their mom. This is your fault. Look at your kids, getting beaten, you're going to give me the money so asking for like. Was it two hundred thousand dollars mark this time, uh those kind of crime in the kidnapping? doesn't happen in the United States on a very big level, because you've got fictive norm Forsman, so some of them in that amount was always a one conference nose in a row. Nice will not stop those people calling for the abolition of the piece on the should be a place.
So you really want to live like with no police will only with dysfunctional police when they can just kidnap your kid. I like seeing the video to like that and you've got no protection from that kind of thing. Right I mean there's definitely problems here, but also you've got to see the other side of having a predisposed. Please for some. What that means is just such a staggering difference between the United States and Mexico in that regard and the regard to gang violence, drug violence, just oh overall murders and the stories that we hear from over there is so different. The fact that you could is draw a little line in the dirt you crossed set line, you're in Hell. And then cross this line. You're in Houston, I mean that's fun crazy, yeah I mean again, I mean I'll, get criticized, sometimes from Megan mexican government sources all Mexicans? tourism sources in there like I'm, covering this off, so I'm showing the worst on it.
And give it a store it picture sometimes because you know, when I tell a story of forty nine decapitated bodies with their hands and feet, corral people think wow. You know soon. Say this stuff and some guy describing the captain people with this kind of does not people outside don't say it was well, it's not a state is a great country. I still love the United States. But I I love Mexico more and more about Mexico, besides food I mean, I would say generally the atmosphere is good. I just feel Phil people are nice. Generally, I think, despite of these horrific violence, do you think it's because they don't have the same sort of ruthless ambition that people, the United States have I think there is a sense we took before why people into drugs- and one thing that occurred to me- is this kind of hyper competitiveness of society and people can feel like failures like, if you feel
a fairly, if you feel like, I guess- well maybe social media effectiveness as well, because you see what people have and expect you to have more and you feel you haven't lived up to it. I think in Mexico, people if you're broken the United States when you come off and maybe feel like a personal failure, how come you're living in America and you're broke right, whereas in Mexico lots of people are broke, so you, like you, don't feel that in same kind of personal failure. With that when I'm there. One thing that always strikes me is how happy people seem and that I think, there's a certain stress level that a lot of Americans put themselves into where they're constantly. Pursuing Mateer possessions, material wealth and success, and that often times this leads to breathe? exacerbated stress levels and it's not. It doesn't make you happy like the whole idea of having things
in our mind, is some day. If I buy this car I'll be happy. If I live in this neighborhood I'll be happy and then so they work twelve hours a day to try to. That dream, and there never happy and there stressed out, and even though the majority, the United States, I mean there's some insane number like thirty. Four, if you may, Thirty five thousand dollars a year. You are in the top one percent of the world, so there's a giant image of this country? That's in the top one percent of the world, yet the over, or happiness level, at least from what I've read is quite a bit below, all the people in Mexico, J almond, yet love these things and how it? How do you see what happens will make your own happiness or sense of of success or failure hi? So yes, so this left, that's part of it. I mean I I'm the food is great: the food, the food, the food on my giant fan, I'm asking for he. I love it. There's a place down here that there take the guys here at work here all the time it is
as mexican as you get. No one speaks English there. They have mexican soap opera, playing on the television and the food, is just sensational. It's so good, yeah yeah. So so. Some of these things as well as that, but but before we do not this border between Mexican, the US yeah, it's it's a huge arm is that a vast difference between countries and cultures and and the interaction. Another issue, I guess, is the issue of guns going south and we talked about other drugs come up. It was a lot of firearms. A lot of firearms like that. It's furious deal. Yeah the error code thing that went down years ago with a well, so It was some sort of a sting yeah. They sold guns those guns, wind up being used to kill Americans and even american police officers yeah so that was so. The ATF were going off this. In this I mean number of guns, knows really show how many guns are going down, but there was one study that it came to conclusion
about two over two hundred thousand guns every year go from the United States into Mexico, so so that. Isn't it that's an insane number. Two hundred thousand guns, I nine the guy in prison instead of Weiss for gun trafficking hi, He would drive every weekend from Mexico City United States by like ten to fifteen, mostly AR fifteens some guns guys as well. Right and down into into Mexico, and it's pretty easy to get into Mexico. So you drive in a in is like is, is, is hey it's The is very easy. Basically, most time you gonna come He would actually hide them in fridges on an stoves and would pay an import tax with the justice does mom bought, but he was buying them and he said said this is and how deep
The guns said I would no idea to what I did. You showed by guns that are nothing until the nobody was seventy nine enough in the two to be buying from the. Gun shows see by from gun, shows, but then what he would do was he would use their private sale loophole, which they're trying to close. Now, yes so he will go in there, and then I went to the guns it to a gun show in Mesquite in Greater Dallas area, known as the gun show Capital of America and went to a gun, show there and asked people can do so. Many guns you know live here. Can you send me guns and further that are now. You need to be texture, isn't something that you should consider these guns and it was the reason they get out as they say, it's a private sale right. However, some of them. I know some of that. The pro gun people gag talking about this, but I saw it with my own eyes: they've got a whole bunch of boxed up Ar15 rifles and they're selling them as being private, setters, so yeah private cell. Now. Here
Just simply bind his guns and taking him down. I saw right in front of me as well. Somebody who said to the person I can't I can't buy was looking for a different gun and said now I can't buy it. I don't have I can't use id to buy the gun on the person. You know still happy like even the private sale loophole, if you in theory, if you suspect the person, is a criminal or were using for criminal per you shouldn't sell gun, but at that and Kay, and so one thing, and then you really want to people. People really want people who could they could be yes, thirteen undocumented. They can still walk in and buy guns in some of these places. But then. I'm so that's a big issue as well gun shows are pretty bizarre, yeah walking around with a bunch of people just itching to shoot somebody. They're, just hoping somebody breaks in their house. I know a guy who keeps a gun his ankle at all times. He keeps one in his back. He's got a
he's, got a holster that he carries with him. Sometimes it carries a knife as well, literally begging for someone to with them. I mean I've got no problem with that, people who, like our the guy from the Alaska Machine Gun Association? he had a the about two hundred guns in is is based on two hundred guns and not to have a problem with with with people with doing that, but then still like how do you stop the guns going to criminal to sign the gun, the criminals in in Baltimore right? I listen if, indeed, in Baltimore gone traffic, who's taking guns in the city of Baltimore, the idea of the gun show loophole is very strange. It's very strange. That's allowed in this is coming from someone me personally who owns guns, and I believe in the second amendment, and I just I don't think that the way to stop people from doing illegal activities is to make those activities illegal for people who don't do anything illegal
So the real issue is the psychology behind people that are willing to shoot people in the first place and the deal with the overall mentality of these human beings and try to figure out what's wrong with, society curated base level at a human level. That's what's really wrong, so the inanimate object of that's the problem is the human things that are willing to use these guns to commit horrific acts. That's what I think, but when you have something like drug cartel, which exists or gangs which exists, and then you have this thing gun show and then you this gun show loophole well boy. You gotta, in giant hole in your damn. You got reporting right through right there, how do you not fix that up? If you are a person who believe in second amendment, you believe in legal and responsible gun use, you should be angry at that. That is, that represents a gigantic and then also represents a threat to legal gun ownership, because if this keeps happening and people
getting outraged and more mass shootings happen with illegally acquired guns after awhile. While you know, there's good I want to come to some sort of a real conflict with people yeah, I'm actually doing a new book about gun trafficking. So I'm really interested to hear about his issues. What the actual room for compromises along with no or like someone like yourself, who believes in the second amendment how much room for compromise do you think there is on these issues. I may like closing on show loophole the other thing like, for example, the issue fifty cals yeah, not fifty cals in Mexico, the cartels because you fifty cals they use them to set up ambushes the user to hit our military whose please vehicles so that, though, the set some aside a mountain and not fifty thousand got back back and not go right through daily based all size bullets yet crazy. Now If you aren't quite that big, Dick big gas bullets now yeah. I understand I said: look these Mets completely. Military are corrupt as well, but you know if you are an honest one or whatever you're going in a car
starting hit, one of those guns, your vehicle. Then they open up on you, say. Is there any room there? Do you think for like a clamp down on fifty cars? I've never had that discussion I have a friend who has one Fifty caliber, it's ridiculous. I mean the idea that you're using it for self defense unless you're going to war with russia- or you know, fighting against some gang cartel gang. That's invading your city. That seems that some military weapon. I mean it's the same, When I think for having a fighter jet hellfire missiles do, I think, should be able to own assess nut and fly a little print plane around sure? Ok, do I think you should be able to own a jet Well I mean there are a lot of rich folks with private jets. Ok, do I think You should be able to own a fighter jet that ghost
the speed of sound. Like oh, I mean it's just a faster jet right, yeah, ok, ok, do you think you should be able to own a fighter jet with fifty caliber guns, strapped to it? Oh well, what the fuck is that starting a war. If we do it is, is like these levels that things get to you know that's. This is the argument against automatic weapons. You can't use automatic, like certain states, have regulations in terms of what you can and Now you can't even have a silencer. I don't know why, because it very bad to have that loud, bang of a gun, it's terrible for your ears and if you're, Hunter order, someone who likes to shoot target practice or something that's a terrible thing for your ears and there's a suppressor that put on the end of the barrel and will mitigate that, but for whatever and I think mostly because of films and public perception people. Those silencers are only used by assassins or something like that using to kill people, so they
to convert the the semi automatics from the states to in Mexico the combat the fedora my so they they they do that here too, and then, of course, you know about bump stocks, yeah yeah yeah, which makes it much more free with the trigger much much easier to fire rapidly. Rather, So how do you feel about the issue? You know one of the issues is of having a database like the ATF or they're not allowed to have a searchable database on guns in the United States, so they have like they have like paper files and stuff they go through still. They can't have like a digital database on guns. That seems ridiculous. Doesn't it yeah the thing, the thing of it: okay, stay! The these are the gun lobby, see the idea of a gun registry is being step to take away their guns because, like once, you start registering, they can go to afterwards and say: well, we know where the guns are or whatever. But how do you think this accessibility on the issue of like the gun, a lot having sex
databases are not with a car like you, have a license plate and if there's a hit and run yes type it in, and you know whose car is within seconds we've tracing you can't you find a gun at a crime scene, whatever you can't just trade, you know put a button to go. Bang that's right is they have to go through paper? I have to go through a whole formal trace and go through this kind of search so this flexibility on the issue as well. Or how do you feel about yourself? Wife, myself feel there should be a traceable database? I mean if it's just like r, and I'm glad you brought up that analogy, because when you, when you get a car you have to know how to drive a car you have to We have a license to drive a car. You have to take a test. You have to a written test and you of take a physical driving test with an instructor they have to see and think about how many more people drive cars than own guns. So it's possible to do this with guns. Yet it's not done when I bought. My first unlike you, go like what like? That's it
okay, not a criminal. What we did check check on you, you're, not a criminal. Here's a gun, I bought a Pist, about a thirty eight revolver, that was my first gun and I went to the the gun range and practice with the gun, and I read about how to do it and I talked to instructor about safety and put goggles on and earmuffs and you know, make sure you're protected and how to properly the gun, while you shoot in all these different things, but it's stunning to me that you don't have to do that. I mean you, can own a hundred and fifty guns and know how to operate. Zero of them and they're all yours, you didn't you don't even have to prove you know what the and safety is you have to prove. You know anything. That's that's crazy, not me as far issue guns are not, and this is a breeding research with new pickup and shooting a few guns in places I'll. I would have to Serbia and arrived in Serbia on hand over a team of friends in the. U K got drunk with them a ride in a hang over, not admit, mmhm. The contact as I want to go to a gun club and he took me into a nuclear bomb, CA.
And for an Ak47 just came off the plane like well, they had a crazy or whatever you want to fight at a crazy amount of guns there. So I can see it's fun to fire these things. Do you think they actually are good in self defense, I mean you actually think I don't know it makes God have guns. I I wouldn't. When I travel in the field, I want go security. Terry Security's going to be more of a hindrance because they try to tension. Yeah try to tension. Yeah and it got a guy basically my hands up and said that this is a this is may some day most of the situations there. You gotta have a lot of people with heavy guns, you're not going to gun these guys. Yes, in in Central America is a bit different in Honduras? They was with guys with guns they're, not out of choice of choosing security, because the journeys himself was carrying a gun. I had friends carrying guns.
And he was he was carrying a mini. He was driving his Jennifer in a month or in Castro's name, is great Genest who's driving around and he had a mini uzi um on his lap as he was driving around to crime scenes and running around doing stuff. But do you do you think guns are actually effective for self defense means you have guns for self defense and believe and that would simply just enjoy the sport of shooting guns. Well, I hunt in one of the things they have used. Although I archery hunt now most the most of the hunt I go on when I go to these places to to bow Hunt specifically but I have rifles for hunting I, have handguns for self defense in it and entirely on the situation, that's like saying do you think cars are effective to get you where you want to go? Well, they are effective. If you drive careful
and you, you know, use the blinkers and look when you change lanes and you know make sure you observe the speed limit and all the different laws and are aware don't crash in anybody. But if you're an asshole, no they're not affect you going to end up dying in a car accident you're going to flip your car over the side of the road? If we're in terrible situation. It is better to have a gun that did not have a gun if you know how to use it. If someone breaking into your house there is been. There is list stories of people protecting their families from bad guys when they have guns they these are real stories. They do exist. There are people that I've talked to they eat would find them. There's countless stories there's also, countless stories of people leaving their guns, unlocked and char child gets ahold of it and kills himself accidentally there's as of children accidentally killing their mothers. There's little stories too? So can a gun be effective in self defense, for sure
That's why the military use them. That's why police officers use them? That's why people train, they go to the range and they take tactical courses to learn how to use a gun for self defense. Absolutely a gun, can be used for self defect. It's the best thing for the tool for self defense other than you know, obviously living in a good neighborhood. Having a a security alarm. All these different steps, a dog dogs, are good, a dogs, that's a trained dog but yeah absolutely can protect you, your new situation, someone breaks in your house and you should that person dead, that's you're you're your safer then that person killing you that has happened, but it's a the meat is a gross generalization. That's an entirely. And upon the situation that you find yourself in. But if you're, not if you're, not protected by If you don't understand how to use it, if you're not trained, if you don't, If you don't have training to keep, you
get together when go south, because when you're in a situation in your life, is in danger if you've never been in a high pressure situation before. How do you know you? Can together and together and even hit something you're aiming at people have wild trigger panic. They. They have a really hard time dealing with life or death situations if they haven't served in the military or been some very, very high stress situations, we have to learn how to control yourself under extreme and pressure conditions. There's a lot there's a lot of factors there I would say the same thing as like you. You would also say that with martial arts, like can you defend yourself? If you know martial arts well depends and what you know I mean some martial arts are fucking horse you just a lot of people out there practicing nonsense someone who actually knew how to fight just punched him in the face they would be doomed and then there's other people out there, that are experts. That would be very calm. If someone tried to fight them and they would know
to do what not to do, and if the person was an arm they would be able to easily dispatch them. It really is dependent upon the situation. How much effort you put into it? How much thought you put into it and but there? a lot of people out there if you broke into their house you're, making a huge mistake, because they're trained and- and ready because they don't want to be a victim. It doesn't mean they're bad people, and I think we we have a in this country, where we look at things they're very binary there, one or zero they're, good or bad guns are bad guns. Are I don't want to go on, dug up bad guys. Take your gun, sometimes sure. Sometimes Sometimes you kill the bad guy and you protect your family, though too that's real to gain a lot of respect for people having having guns for self defense. We're talking about about shooting I've been around a few shootouts in Latin America and over in Haiti
an one thing about that from a journey's point of view and being around and I've been seeing a lot of violence as well, a lot people fighting even going back to England, people having physical fights over knives and that kind of thing. So one of the differences I think with guns is- It is for you kansi bullets. It is a it says it has a small thing, but like you, because the the things her we see a guy with a knife right, like the guy scare, or you can see. You can imagine that knife sticking into you, but the gun It's like you seeing you know the object you can't see really the polygon and so one of the time one of them shows in Haiti. And I wanted to cover the earthquake in two thousand and ten, which was real sad. You know, like crazy amount of dead there uh
and we're covering the looting afterwards and the police came and started firing right into where people with Luther know who the cameraman and the place to find Bang Bang and then it then and it during the same situation, not not right, not seen that, but and now a scene take the shot and killed somebody, the playtest, barring the looters, another looks like running when the police do firing order firing again with how high with normal firing. You know Bang finders, but it's done and the cameraman I was with. We just sat in his lap filming this. I think this is one of the problems that wall of cameramen get shot in these places. You stuff you like watching on tv. I don't want because you feel, like you know, using the lacing ladder some, look at look at what I'm watching you know and you're, seeing this line are saying that run we gotta go like the fire ring is like
we got to get the shot it was we call a guy that does. It is another sad sad thing of a of a of a guy filming, a mathematical Genest Cool Bradley Road in will hi in a rest in peace who was killed in Mexico back in two thousand six and he was filming a shooting and the state of Oaxaca, and he filmed these. These guys shooting and he fell and was hit an account on Filmon three films on death. I mean you can definitely see. Ok, uhm yeah saddles for news agency with that day when he was when he was killed in yeah, there's a lot of courageous camera people, and you know they get locked into that job and it becomes normalized almost like you were saying. The people that live in these war torn areas becomes a normal way of life to them, and although there are a lot of murders, if you're there
on a daily basis. It seems like almost like a regular life a lot, cameraman cameramen, I mean they're, courageous people, you see this to go over to war zones and film? What's going on in Africa, I understand you know. I've met some of these guys. There's just crazy way of life to just accept the fact that you're, an observer that might be a victim and capturing all this. So people like me, can get a some, have a perception to what's going on in that part of the world all over the Philippines Southern Philippines and saw the fight against the islamic state there in twenty and it was interesting seeing that combat violence, a comma normally in in Mexico, so that was ISIS. They took over the city calmer all week and it was in a Why are they called? It was interesting, was more self contained, they had an error code main battle area, the Mmpi main battle area. So
in that area was ISIS and the Philippine Army just gone out all the time, just like constant, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang and planes going over and bombing but actually even when you're outside that main area, even if you'll in the woods outside it, and even if you like, six hundred meters, a second amatus format but as you're not in the find the fighting is over there. Where is in some, not Mexico, South America looked on this fighting is kinda happening every with no real control over Wayne, where the main battle area is but they didn't are there any journalists inside like deep into the main battery? Didn't really let any journalists in with sitting outside and hearing this constant ricochet of gunfire? And but sometimes bullets will come out of the area. So there was an australian guy and I think he bent over to pick up some cookies Anna bullet him in the neck. I saw the x ray actually bullet,
that it in the side of his neck, a nasty a tape was taken. It was so it must have been at the end of its terminal, velocity yeah yeah, so it must be in a far far far shot. Yeah yeah, went through something else for hit him yeah yeah. So so he say, and everything going too fast, that's crazy that I didn't exactly say what kind of things okay yeah. I think I love you so with it more that guys, lucky yeah. It's shot in the neck in your okay. So but but yeah eight times in a some people have really been in there was they were they had a the one of the guys, I'm one of the police special forces guys had a camera on his helmet. I knew what he he showed me that for and he was right there right inside there going there like really really close buildings fighting with Islamic ISIS people and it was the
same techniques, I talked with generally had a big chart showing how the techniques of guerrilla warfare had evolved from like Falluja Aleppo most. And how this kind of weird new form of guerrilla warfare. They have I've like fighting house to house so this is suicidal kind of global. Their rise up and they'll be like super close fighting, really close over and then, when the ball may hide in, like in the basements and stuff and they've they've drill holes in the walls they can fire through, try and fight through and the footage he had a seven foot as he had from being locked inside close up, not bonding between a room by taking people out and it was like wow. This is just crazy. I was trying to persuade the guy they. Let me put out footage out there Can I really like you, look kinda crazy video game kind of cooler warfare. Also called warfare called called
call of Cuda Code Code Code of Judah yeah, I mean Mexico right now is almost like a war. I mean call the drug war, but because there's no, it's not like a Army versus army more. We don't think about it that way, but from terms of the amount of violence that goes on over there and the amount of casualties. It rivals, it's going on in the world right now. Yes, so I'll be talking about this over the years with some like experts agree, code, Robert Bunker, Banka, an external research for the Pentagon, and he investigates this stuff good. Sullivan from here in California, is a police officer who so did a bunch of research, and you know, go a doctor in and starting up the stuff as well, talk to them about their ideas about what this means. You know what is the um? How can define this in terms of warfare and how does it fit in
and they directed me to one a book by an israeli historian called the transformation of war hi, and this is written back in the early nineteen nineties and he basically predicted then you're gonna see a transformation in war and armed conflict around the world, and you know we have like nuclear weapons, but they use this in these situations. Nuclear weapons, you con, use a nuclear weapon to sell the poem in Mexico. You can't use a nuclear weapon to deal with the islamic state hi into these internally says in countries. So if you look at a Mexico is kind of weird hybrid hybrid, so so between crime and war. So I use the word crime wars in some of these places. So my Mexico, El Salvador Guatemala, Honduras, where you I mean there are some situations in Mexico. Would it be get a call in a there was a group who who the hell is going to generation cartel?
Somebody had guys shot down a military helicopter using an rpg7 wow Ahmet killed eight soldiers in a fatal policeman in there There was one shootout which involved two thousand federal, please hi and five hundred is a cat. A lot five hundred cartel hit men had this crazy battle for mutual. Can sometimes, yes, you get the acid so to look more like a kind of regular conflict, but generates all you know what way more kind of hybrids is kind of weird mix, and I've tried to get head round is for long time. For some years I was trying to figure this a civil war room. Should we look at this and then it becomes a code this in It was. You know, Robert Bunker, when he talked to him one time and he said- and I like this- doesn't fit into this theories. You know it's not quite war, it's more than crime, it's a weird hybrid in between to kind of crime war and that's the way you got understand.
These things, but a lot of the conflicts around the world today. This is spreading. I mean you look at some earlier. You look at Libya. You look at all these places. That kind of weird mix- instability, yeah I mean this is what love refugees are fleeing from and I was down in Tijuana for the modern caravan that came through Mexico, Central Americans, you know which caused a big big storm. Hey here, after the election. What was that leg was overblown uh? I think it was a big deal. Was it a public
the event like is that why they were doing it, making it such a big deal and everybody's walking tours the border like there is a bit more than that. I think there was this caravan had started a few years ago and they start off in Mexico for security. That would be an issue back a few years ago, where the cartels will kidnap migrants on mass. They will just get loads of migrants and you think these people are poor. How can they make money from them, but they'd get them put them in camps and they never have family in the United States. Should I say: ok, we got fifty people in a camp. We want five, in dollars of each one of you of your family, not gives number gonna quit family. Okay, send us the money that and some of the the growing okay two thousand, and I would
but it's a sound like a you making money off pull people, but you deal in mass you do it ten thousand people and you get a couple thousand dollars. He says a lot twenty thousand dollars to under the tournaments, like twenty million dollars, so they start doing caravans the strength to avoid these mass kidnappings. What was different about the latest caravan, the the S became, became a common crossing borders these to be gone through parts of Mexico. Together then they start crossing borders. Now the caravan began in October. Right over twelve and there was a cool for them to meet, and my friend all in again the journey is done in Honduras. He was down there filming with his tv crew. Putting on tv are they down here. They're going on this caravan, it's only went boom and light. Lowe's people saw it on tv and that I'm going I'm leaving I'm leaving now the desperation was so heavy in Honduras is in a real meltdown kind of stage on those bad,
Venezuela's worse, but Honduras might be like two for you, a real meltdown cases in Latin America right now, so people will You must talk to some of these people, they would say, like I saw it on tv, and I say I'm going to decide it right away. I'm going to get my bag, I'm going to go, so they arrived in the when they they went through Guatemala. Guatemala in a became big, like seven thousand people arrive at the at the border with Mexico and in a festival they try to I think there was a push and shove on the border and tear gas was fired and they went down and crossed the river in some of them walking across with a rope some going across on hi. This is kind of crazy scene into the scene. Down there was school it off the bridge, and then there came as it was kind of cut a big deal. I not only the idea women in bathing. All men so forth was it was. It was almost out of blown but, like I think it was significant, seems quite stark scenes of what happened down there,
What was the overall goal to make it through to the United States yeah, I'm in a different people at different ideas: It's kind of weird things you know like it was girly night states. Now some people had no idea where they were going had no rule plan. Some people, some have had very clear cases of being, like I'm, a refugee understanding, a bit about refugee legislation and I'm not fleeing very specific cases where they've been targeted by gangs working corrupt leaders who want to kill them have like hack them and they run. In luck. I want to seek refuge in the United States or in Mexico, someone seeking refuge in Mexico, which is not the safest place to seek refuge. I mean, like there's, been cases of people who have one camera man who fed Duras and was killed in Mexico's there ever been ever any discussion of the United States military intervening and trying to do something about the cartels so there's been,
K. U s US forces lot US marshals arm sometimes did not. I did you did Mexico's my proudest constitution, I'm very proud of his sovereignty and doesn't want us force acting in Mexico, and I had the idea to kind of idea really, if a US military military's pretty out there, how is pretty Abby, I like it, wouldn't help babies be pulled down into more pro and maybe not that in Mexico folder. But there have been some cases of USA doing some kind of activity in Mexico like, for example, when they went off. The chapel was Mann when they got him and there's a big shootout, know they've gotten the first time actually without shots fired and then he went to prison. Gate that one escape from, but he's just keep more than once right skip twice yeah. Did he get helicoptered out once not night? At the happy prisons
yeah, which is crazy. He had the one tunnel escape, would yeah electric bike, which is crazy, yeah the when he went John and went to the bathroom, just step behind the door and he's gone. Yeah was insane. It was weird when I went to New York right now? bring him in the court New York like seeing him in the flesh. After all these years, covering this stuff and I saw him- and it was like I mean I've been to his village before I talk to his mother- had stayed the night with his cozen in his village wow up in the mountains You know see, what's it like up there, it's quite rugged. Since I Sierra Madre hi a sly Kat, you go to a in a car up in unlike wood in a in a four by four serious off road up and down. I
and there's people with no one around Nab fully armed, so guys, like ski mosque, guy like camouflage gear, camo, guess key Moscow, a k, forty seven just like or not call bikes striving. Around the area wow and we went out there with a colleague and a photographer. I've story for Time magazine, and we we we were not bad driving to the village. I had a ball a bottle of whiskey thinking that the kind of offer to the to the family members sailing has a is a bottle of whiskey to and when we arrive There- and he said we could stay at his house and I bought out by the whiskey selling his and he said we don't drink in this house. We Christians, wow And drink- and this is nice guy- he was like evangelical Christian 'cause it, we'd sit there talking and he be like, quoting the Bible well and comma stuff in your nose.
The is not understand, and it's just an evangelical church right there, which is supposedly by chapel, which mother goes to right in front of our house, and we sat a three hour evangelical service sitting there with you know Chapo's mom, that these family members we see it now and the company? Was it only got some friends here, because he would he would he was basically we said, like you stay with me in a U Marshall's ability something happens in on. I have to pay for this right. So would I yeah we are going to behave ourselves and in in in in the village and any safety that said that we were able to have up. Have somebody from England here and somebody from the? U S and come out in this in this chess ceremony so yeah yeah really really bizarre scenes of that, and it was so bizarre did you talk to them about the contradiction of being evangelical Christian, being involved, and essentially a mass murder and drug running operation. So, because it is supposed
and he was like a cattle rancher now than exactly you know, I will do the he's he close in a he had a now than I how much you might be involved in the possibly his his his. He says. He's he's he's he's a he's, a farmer that I'm the mother Chapo's mother who's. Eighty eight was ACA. Then now is look eighty, nine. Ninety, now our hum. You know she talks about her son with kind of pride. I didn't, I didn't push too hard and there's a band or something around and stuff. I did not push too hard, igniter um, but be a humming they? This is. This is the way life from these. These so seeing him in the coal was kind of bizarre, seeing you know seeing him right there and in New York, because, like Brooklyn now right there bro yeah and they pull it all of these crazy characters, as as carpeting witnesses avoid fourteen cooperating witnesses
a bunch of other gangs they protect those people, yeah, I heavily heavily protected, I mean I, I think I think it was ethically very questionable why there all of those people in and they were they bought. It One guy, whose name is chip better, who confessed himself as many as a hundred fifty killings, and maybe the normal I and- and he makes a deal likely, makes a deal to call, pray against El Chapo, so you get into a kind of weird intrigue dash about what the government was doing. This whole case, It is a history that in this country, with prosecuting the mob in the John Gotti and Sammy, the bull Gravano, whose admitted murder and talked about the murders and that he committed and still they allowed him to get free yeah one of his one hit John Gotti's lawyer. We were the last
chapel, of course, yeah and El Chapo is it going to show is weird: it was like in a New York and his show they were putting on there. It felt kind of disconnect with the 'cause I've been seeing over the last few years and it didn't really. Why is it in New York? They they invite him in a bunch of places, and I think shows New York for the reason they wanted the show wow. I think I think they bought in a more than fifty witnesses at three, not three months of trial. What was his defense they, they really try to be a defense of the one to give a defense of how does it kind of comes government conspiracy of like showing things out fast and furious? You may
mentioned like saying: oh, how come the governments trafficking guns, God tells and one of the witnesses had before one of Miss against them before use this weird defense called public authorities, saying he had permission from the United States government to traffic drugs. So basically saying, there's kind of conspiracy involving the mexican government started: corrupt and working with cartels. The US government is corrupt and working cartels and having very sciences and El Chapo's kind of a full guy that they put in this blame on. Now that didn't really they've got the US prosecutors shut that down in the judge. They just said you can't talk about this stuff. You can't say so I went fast and furious came up. They said no, you can't talk about it. You can't talk, you can't do couldn't talk about it in a cool. Well, that's ethically, ambiguous right! It's like that's a real thing that happened yeah, so you know we can't talk about that and then the defense
quite a bit. Well, we had audios of their chopper and they already know how you know it's him. And is he really the main guy in this in the lower cartel? Now there is- as well, I'm very possibly is not the top guns in a call to let my will be another guy called miles, a bother, who's ready, the number one and he might be more emblematic figure, but for some reason, El Chapo became the most famous in the world, and so this other guys he still free yay, still free. What is his name again, Mayo Zambada, and where is he in some way mountains in Mexico throws in the mountains. Often I mean one of these weird things you think like. If your drug, Lord and you've got all of the money, you know, you've got millions billions, they say, let's say hundreds of millions. They exaggerate how much money some of these guys have. Individually, but then you've got on the well. You could go somewhere out, but these guys tend to be in at places that they they there that that people would like somebody
people are people who are very uneducated, going to chapel, whose, as a kid, he was carrying sax full of oranges to sell almost no education and they start handling hundreds of billions of dollars that dealing with a billion dollar international business and they've got their capacity to understand and deal with that, but same time, there's still really hyper local in some ways, there's still like people who they understood, and there were they understand it from their environment to control and become masters of their environment, to become kind of powerful in that place. Who was in that place? But you know they couldn't. You know the idea of them going to like sitting in ITALY in a cafe and going to run it and then it it is going to be on. There would have to be there near the business 'cause. Otherwise someone would just take it over right, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah. That's probably have to run that thing with an iron fist, Yeah I mean you could think that, or maybe like yeah. I guess I so
Did you get your christian 'cause? Then you won't rip you off yeah but how my also? How much money do you need to make sure that you get out maybe again with corruption I mean this issue of like a lot of police in Mexico, poor. So that's why they take deals. There's an ex governor called Thomas Addington who I met a few years ago when he was governor of Tamil Lepus State, and that again he he was not a taking money from drug traffickers off the left, big company going to drug trafficking himself. I thought if they will, but you made a couple of million right. Do you need to make it not ten million? But then again the same with, understand Business Wikipedia, which was that incentive. Why do they think they always want to make I don't know I mean we were talking about that recently with Jeff Bezos and we found out even has a hundred and fifty billion dollars like one You just say we're good we're good. I mean I don't know, I think it becomes
it's a game more than it is anything else like there might as well be playing parcheesi or monopoly or whether they're trying to win. You know they're trying to constantly win they also you have an obligation because you're a ceo of this company. So you running this enormous business. It's earning money for all these other people as well. It's all very complicated though that has to do with a lot of psychological factors. Were people can't put things into perspective and they get caught up in the race yeah? I guess you have a drug traffickers, it thinking, that same thing with a making of and also like, like, like you, know, people of painted me involved in this world they may a lot of money, but they spend a lot of money so yeah why these numbers are wrong like which app are, they said, he's worth fourteen billion dollars. That's what the US government said in that case he's worth fourteen billion, then he's
He was back to me either. Fourteen billion is when you take the value of drug use, and he he he traffic. Can you add in the opposite, is for a billion dollars worth for real all the time you're paying back supplies, you're paying people off your own money and you know, and it hi, hippos and yeah cold covered rolls royces yeah. This is of that I think Some of that was my been exaggerated. With him he had a lot of kind of more like middle class houses. One of the last, the last hideout he was called and it was more like a middle class to normal, mouse. But you have a lot of those with a fork happened with Sean Penn why was Sean Penn up there talking to him? That was so strange. Yes, the photograph of Sean Penn shaking hands and then and then call Mcgregor wore that same t, shirt and took the same pose on when he is going to fight Eddie Alvarez. I believe it was yeah. What was that
right like why was Sean Penn visiting him yeah bizarre moment I mean you, have I an actor who's played gangsters areas, Is there an actor who's played gangsters with a gangsta who that having the movies made about him and there was a woman that Sean Penn knew that hook this all operation as the? U she's a famous mexican actress, yeah Elle, okay, so to the storehouse Doris, but they she is yeah hello, my town, around a murderer used to be married to Madonna. Doris tried to extricate the cost. The you see that when she was an actress Aaron, I'm a tv series about drug traffickers which have now become a huge debt in in that America, they called out like telenovelas means, like soap, operas, connecting series tv series and a whole bunch
made about drug traffickers, gymboree popular, I choosing one called latino there, sort of the queen of the south, and in that she played this truck traffic and off the woods in some kind of we a moment. After was a thing. She was not really into how Roland stuff she came out with this message. He wrote saying into Mexico since such designs, tragic situation in Mexico, when I wide eyed, but I calm in a drug, traffic is common, like hi traffic with love. I trust you more than I do. The government I, which is the sentiments that some people have, but I was kind of strange thing going to be out there thing for a tv star to
and then chapel El Chapo, apparently became con as in Emma with a seeing her on tv hi and they started kind of communication now showing pain then got involved in this I like was, and I'm going to, go there as well, and we can talk about the idea of you know the the meeting was as well talking about making of movie or tv series of Historii our chapel, giving the rights, the Kate, the Castillo and Sean Penn was kind of involved in this uh. Now Sean Penn as a bit of discussion, not now that Sean Penn Que the Casteel fell out of it is they have different versions of what happened, but I Sean Penn's I'd gone, write the story for rolling stone about how experience
yeah, so they went in and and this meeting was arranged and I went out to the mountains and when the photo was taken tonight, I eat that point. He didn't have to give an interview to Sean Penn, but I had a dinner and had a meeting. Often and and then left then they were meant to Austin was there was in a big attempt to hit chapel, but he escaped to that's when somebody will say that the mexican government have followed the men in the use that that tries to try to get to the chapel, but he did escape. You must call call close to their question all this by Skate- let's make sense- I mean how else would Sean Penn be able to slide through is a famous actor? I bet he doesn't speak Spanish, yeah, hi titles, indicted dust. I mean I I don't know eight if it's If he was falling in love, saying that he was indicated anyway, no, I'm leading
but it's something that I think about all the time I think about. Ok, if I'm going to meet criminals, uhm am I being followed and am I going to lead? You know, what's my connection with law enforcement convection with criminals, so very difficult thing that I've been banning and thinking about for a lot of years. So anyway the chapel is scapes and then said he couldn't meet up again for the interview, because it was too hot for him. So they made this video interview where he was sent some questions and he videoed himself. Answering the questions which is kind of interesting was the first kind of statement he made and he said I know various things. I've been doing it since I was fifteen, didn't really give much away and then he was caught and when he was caught they were like. We gotta move the stories, and then the story came out like bang after he was caught in early. Six. Things would to have some sort of an impact in them catching up must of. If it is
possible. I think, makes sense. Yeah, it's possible, I mean chap, I think was pretty had already been caught before it was caught in two thousand and fourteen was imprison escaped in twenty fifteen through that tunnel. And then was cool again in two thousand and sixteen so Yeah I mean, maybe it had an impact on you know I don't know, but they were looking for him yeah. They were looking for him and I seem to have lost a lot less protection than he before and I got back a few years. I know he had enormous protection and there's mountains. I mean in a village, you see, there's a how's above, like there's kind of Maine. Clearing where is mother's compound is, I know so pretty basic still at village, then, from there. You see a I'm a house on a hill in the part as well chapel for long time is going to stay in the house when up and what is in the run into pastas. Yet so much protection nannies on the minute they will come close. All the mounting you've got. Hundreds of people in radio sign in here come
the clear man. What a crazy world you study. Really it's a it's amazing. I really appreciate you coming here and and talk to me about this, and this book is del narco. Do you have more books that are available yeah sure, so my first books are not cut. My second book is a gangsta warlords which also has um stuff on the MS thirteen on the gangs in Brazil, the guns in Jamaica, as well as Mexico, and I'm working on my third book now and the third book. Is about about gun trafficking, Well, listen! Man! I really appreciate the time and you've lived. A very, very fascinating life stay safe out there, man great to be here. Thank you, brother appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. One for tuning into the show, an thank you to our sponsors thing thank you to zip recruiter. Ladies and gentlemen, do you need to hire someone, but please stop fucking around and go to ziprecruiter dot com, slash.
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Transcript generated on 2019-11-10.