The investigation and recent arrest of four prominent Generals in the Mexican Army on charges of protecting cocaine flights for Mexican drug cartels began with a series of seismic shifts in the drug trade that were set in motion more than five years ago by two American-registered planes from St Petersburg Florida —a DC9 airliner (N900SA) and a Gulfstream business jet(N987SA)—caught carrying almost 10 tens of cocaine on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.
The four Generals, one of whom held the second highest position in the Defense Ministry, were caught up in an investigation which began after two drug traffickers agreed to cooperate with authorities.
Both admitted participating in the November 2007 murder of the Director of Civil Aviation in the Yucatan, Jose Luis Soladana Ortiz, gunned down for reneging on an agreement to allow drug flights from South America—like the Gulfstream business jet from St. Petersburg— to land at the international airport in the resort city of Cancun.
Soladana's action remains unexplained.
But the results were only too visible: the disappearance or murder of airport personnel, including three tortured bodies dumped alongside a road on the same day Soladana Ortiz was shot seven times at point blank range.
An American war, Mexican blood
The tangled story of the two busted American planes which would eventually lead to the indictment of the Mexican Generals is riddled with complicity at the highest levels of the governing elites in both Mexico and the U.S.
So far, however, only Mexicans have been charged with any crimes in the two massive drug moves.Also, so far, only Mexicans have been dying because of it.
The Mexican war on drugs, launched in 2006, has since left over 50,000 people dead. The army has gained sweeping new powers.
In Mexico the newly-indicted Generals are widely thought to be just the tip of an enormous iceberg of official complicity on the local, state, and federal level. General Angeles, the last to be detained, was a close aide to Guillermo Galvan, the current secretary of national defense.
Generals today…..Bankers tomorrow?
Moreover the drug trafficking conspiracy for which the Generals were indicted was aided by cronies of former Mexican President Vicente Fox, whose currency exchange, Casa de Cambio Puebla, laundered the drug money through American banks that was used to purchase both the Gulfstream, and the DC9 caught eighteen months earlier, carrying an astonishing 5.6 tons of cocaine.