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"The Techtopus": Much bigger than we realized

Mark Ames follows up on The Techtopus (previously) with a new report showing a much larger conspiracy than has been previously reported: [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Mar 22, 2014 - 74 comments

I Went To Law School and Became A Drug Dealer

This response to the question, "What's it like to be a drug dealer?" goes into how the anonymous author became a drug dealer while in college. (Business Insider via Quora)
posted by reenum on Jan 20, 2014 - 48 comments

"The Logic Of Violence In Criminal War"

Criminal Cartels And The Rule Of Law In Mexico: Summary, PDF
The cartels have thousands of gunmen and have morphed into diversified crime groups that not only traffic drugs, but also conduct mass kidnappings, oversee extortion rackets and steal from the state oil industry. The military still fights them in much of the country on controversial missions too often ending in shooting rather than prosecutions. If Peña Nieto does not build an effective police and justice system, the violence may continue or worsen. But major institutional improvements and more efficient, comprehensive social programs could mean real hope for sustainable peace and justice.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 25, 2013 - 20 comments

"Level four can withstand an AK-47"

Reportero (alternate link) - follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. In Mexico, more than 50 journalists have been slain or have vanished since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón came to power and launched a government offensive against the country's powerful drug cartels and organized crime. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced? [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jan 8, 2013 - 3 comments

The tools of Mexico's drug cartels

The tools of Mexico's drug cartels
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 30, 2012 - 39 comments

"The more ghoulish and extreme the show becomes, ...the more accurately it captures the reality of the cartels and their business."

The Uncannily Accurate Depiction of the Meth Trade in “Breaking Bad”
posted by reenum on Jul 16, 2012 - 58 comments

What kind of PRI will rule Mexico?

With the election of Pena Nieto to the presidency, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ends a twelve-year absence from the seat. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 3, 2012 - 29 comments

"The Music Goes 'Round And Around"

Who's the fool in the Facebook IPO?
Anthropologist and journalist Joris Luyendijk speaks to a former investment banker about stress, disillusionment and the strategies behind the Facebook flotation.
The former MD compares it to insurance fraud: "It seems victimless while in reality everyone's premium goes slightly up."
That's the system, he says: a cartel "skimming off everyone's pensions and savings".
posted by adamvasco on May 20, 2012 - 51 comments

The Emergence of a Citation Cartel

The emergence of a citation cartel. "Cell Transplantation is a medical journal published by the Cognizant Communication Corporation of Putnam Valley, New York. In recent years, its impact factor has been growing rapidly. In 2006, it was 3.482. In 2010, it had almost doubled to 6.204. When you look at which journals cite Cell Transplantation, two journals stand out noticeably: the Medical Science Monitor, and The Scientific World Journal. According to the JCR, neither of these journals cited Cell Transplantation until 2010. Then, in 2010, a review article was published in the Medical Science Monitor citing 490 articles, 445 of which were to papers published in Cell Transplantation. All 445 citations pointed to papers published in 2008 or 2009 — the citation window from which the journal’s 2010 impact factor was derived. Of the remaining 45 citations, 44 cited the Medical Science Monitor, again, to papers published in 2008 and 2009. Three of the four authors of this paper sit on the editorial board of Cell Transplantation. Two are associate editors, one is the founding editor. The fourth is the CEO of a medical communications company." (from Scholarly Kitchen, via Andrew Gelman.)
posted by escabeche on May 15, 2012 - 26 comments

Anonymous vs Los Zetas Cartel

On October 6th, a video claiming to be by Anonymous Veracruz was posted on YouTube, requesting the release of one of their members. A member of Anonymous was kidnapped during a public demonstration, by Los Zetas Cartel (or simply Zetas) of Mexico. The video included threats of exposing those who collaborate with Zeta, from corrupt police to taxi drivers and journalists. This, in light of internet snitches hung from an overpass (warning: graphic image) and a beheaded blogger from Laredo. On Sunday, one arm of Anonymous called off their threat to Zeta via a series of Twitter posts, citing concern for those not involved. Several Twitter accounts went silent, showing signs that Operation Cartel, or #OpCartel, was over. But there are still members involved, posting on their Facebook page that those not directly involved with the efforts should not try to participate, even going as far as to recommend people do not buy or wear Guy Fawkes masks, or use such images in their online.
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 2, 2011 - 75 comments

"Everyone has pain. It's your job to find it."

Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 31, 2011 - 47 comments

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

High diving

Homemade submarines up the drug smuggling ante - CNN recaps a Vice story from 2009 where reporters toured a narco-sub seizure facility in Colombia [full video - 27:48]. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Jun 30, 2010 - 18 comments

Food cartels - haven't we seen these before?

Oil's got one. So does cocaine. There used to be one for light bulbs and another for uranium. While we know one currently exists for diamonds, some folks think the music industry has one. [more inside]
posted by Mutant on May 5, 2008 - 21 comments

Can A Little Lawsuit Shut Down A Big Tobacco Racket?

Can A Little Lawsuit Shut Down A Big Tobacco Racket? This week, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market advocacy group in Washington, filed suit in federal court to challenge the constitutionality of the massive and fantastically lucrative 1998 Master Settlement Agreement -- otherwise known as the Tobacco Deal.

Cato's take. Background from Frontline.
posted by Kwantsar on Aug 6, 2005 - 23 comments

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