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February 2010
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House of Death

NPR has the first of a three-part series titled The Case Of A Confidential Informant Gone Wrong by Carrie Kahn.

It’s the story of one of the uglier episodes in the ugly business of using informants in the drug war. The U.S. government paid and worked with an informant with full knowledge that he was, on an ongoing basis, participating in brutal murders in Mexico, all so they could try for a higher level collar. And they did so without informing the Mexican government about the murders or where the bodies were buried.

The informant would bring the duct tape to bind the victims and the quicklime to dissolve their bodies to the House of Death, whenever called by his cartel boss to prepare for a “barbeque.” He even held victims down while they were being murdered.

For this, he was paid a quarter million dollars by the U.S. Government, and encouraged to continue. Once the story broke, now the U.S. wants to deport the snitch in the hopes that he’ll be killed in Mexico.

The lawbreaking went high in our government, but they’ve tried to pawn it off as just the actions of a couple of agents (as though a couple of agents could organize a cross-border operation with a well-paid snitch involving major cartel targets and murder without higher-ups knowing).

This case needs more visibility, and it’s good to see NPR covering it.

Eventually, U.S. officials told Mexican authorities about the bodies buried at the House of Death.

Lorenza Magana, who works with victims of violence in Juarez, sat vigil with relatives of missing family members outside the house the night that Mexican authorities began unearthing the remains.

“We stayed there all night and watched as they pulled out bodies,” Magana says. “It was so horrible. With every new body, the smell would hit us — it was horrible. We came back night after night to see how many they dug up.”

In all, there were 12 victims. Magana says she couldn’t believe it when she found out that Lalo, the gatekeeper of the death house, was a U.S. government informant.

The story probably wouldn’t be out there at all if it wasn’t for Bill Conroy’s tireless coverage for years at NarcoNews.

Update: Here are the other two parts of the NPR series on informants.

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13 comments to House of Death

  • claygooding

    The evil our government bureaucrats are capable of and have committed,not only on foreign soil,but here as well just to protect and justify their budgets.
    But you have to remember that the ONDCP and all agencies under him,are required by our congress to keep schedule 1 drugs illegal,by any means necessary. By using a murderer
    as an informant so they can make upper level arrests,they can show some positive success in their war on drugs. Even though it has not slowed down the drugs or the flow of cash from our country.

  • kaptinemo

    “The U.S. government paid and worked with an informant with full knowledge that he was, on an ongoing basis, participating in brutal murders in Mexico, all so they could try for a higher level collar.”

    Now, tell me again about the DrugWar’s moral foundation? DrugWarriors believe themselves to be wearing the ‘white hats’, and morally superior to their enemies, the cartels. Hence their high-handedness in dealing with any ‘druggies’ they catch.

    Like the Bowers Incident, If anything, this shows how completely corrupting of its’ proponents the DrugWar is. The DrugWarriors were aware of the risk of shooting down innocent people over the Andes in their pursuit of the cartels…but they did it anyway. Likewise, this ‘House of Death’ incident shows the same kind of justification: DrugWarriors were willing to allow people to be slaughtered in order to aim for a ‘bigger collar’.

    But it’s all good, right? Because….it’s (superhero echo chamber voice) “All for the CHIL-DRENNNNNNNNNN!” Who can get any damn’ illicit drug they want, any time they want, anywhere…as they have for decades.

    All those lives ,known and unknown, wasted year after year after year…to ‘protect children’…who aren’t ‘protected’ at all, but are sometimes shot dead in wrong-house drug raids. Insanity, thy name is DrugWar…

  • Just me

    Just sickening !!! If anyone has any doubts that drug war is insane and needs to end needs thier head checked for loose screws!!

  • bobreaze

    Sorry I dont have an open thread but here is a link to a review on an indie film that some of the readers here might enjoy reading.
    The film is Police adjective. Its about a cops daily life and an assignment for him to bust a high school marijuana dealer. Seems like it might be good.

    http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/02/13/weekend-weirdness-review-police-adjective-a-superb-dark-comedy-about-the-absurdity-of-a-pot-bust/

  • Servetus

    No doubt about it. Striking a deal with the DEAvil is bad business.

  • Cyberdyne Systems

    It’s no fun when the rule of law is dead. Accept the consfearacy no one runs anything, no one is in power, no one cares. Thank the supremes and career politicians. Thank the Gordon Geckos of high finance. Thank the alphabet soup agencies who must justify their bloated salaries by making work.

  • Cliff

    Where are the Congressional hearings? Where is the outrage by those who allegedly represent us? Who will be called ‘on the carpet’ for this travesty? (crickets chirping)

    IIRC, this story has been around for at least a year.

  • Ed Dunkle

    bobreaze: thanks for the movie tip. Looks very promising.

  • Just me

    Is it just me or has societies throughout history been rules by those on the edge of insanity? Maybe there should be a law concerning no one rules…Ya I hear the laughing…

  • Cliff

    IMHO this is just the very tip of the dirty informant iceberg which the SS Titanic Drug War Failure just collided with.

  • Just me

    Speaking of the depths these drugwarriors will go to just to keep this lie going, have a look at this story over at MPP…and they say its for the kids….

    http://blog.mpp.org/tax-and-regulate/could-marijuana-save-the-12th-grade-in-utah/02162010/#utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogmpp+%28MPP+Blog%29

  • DavesNotHere

    The Snitching Blog (link on right under Blogs, thanks Pete) has a post with some links to more good articles on this horrific abuse of government power.

    http://www.snitching.org/

  • Narco News has been covering The House of Death for several years. They were some of the first to break the story. Everybody who reads this blog should also be a fan of Narco News.

    http://www.narconews.com/houseofdeath/

    Thanks for posting!