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CitiCrap Banks on Banamex's laundromat

by Michael Rupert Wednesday, Jun. 06, 2001 at 8:36 AM

These are nightmares come true. Citibank buys Banamex - Mexico's second largest bank for $12.5 billion and Asa Hutchinson is appointed head the Drug Enforcement Administration. The level of criminality in the US financial and political systems has reached a threshold where it can no longer be spun into something which John Q Public can ignore ......


All Hell Breaks Loose
Michael C. Ruppert

[ Copyright 2001. Michael C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications.
This story appeared as the lead essay in the May 31, 2001 issue. Because of
the urgency connected to these two stories it is posted on the web site ahead
of our standard 30 day embargo.]

May 31, 2001 - These are nightmares come true. Citibank buys Banamex -
Mexico's second largest bank for $12.5 billion and Asa Hutchinson is
appointed head the Drug Enforcement Administration. The level of criminality
in the US financial and political systems has reached a threshold where it
can no longer be spun into something which John Q Public can ignore and where
US drug "enforcement" efforts are now revealed to be nothing more than a
reaction to the imperative of "managing" the drug trade so as not to lose
control of the trillions of dollars at stake. Crime has become, overtly, the
largest free enterprise in the world.

On May 17 Citigroup, America's largest financial institution commanding some
$700 billion in assets announced a $12.5 billion purchase of Banamex's parent
company controlling some $39 billion in assets. The move will place Citigroup
in control of one of the major - and proven - money laundering institutions
in Mexico and allow Citigroup (first time for a US company) to penetrate the
Mexican stock market.

Now consider that Citigroup has on its Board of Directors the likes of Robert
Rubin (former US treasury Secretary), John Deutch (former CIA Director) and
Gerald Ford. In 1999 Citigroup was slammed by the Congress and the GAO for
laundering (1994) more than $100 million in drug money for Raul Salinas,
brother of the Mexican president. It was also found to be complicit in the
laundering of money for corrupt officials from Nigeria, Pakistan, and Gabon
through its exclusive private banking operations for the rich. [See story
below]. The Peruvian journal La Republica, on May 21, disclosed that until
last year Peruvian strongman and CIA creation Valdimirio Montesinos had moved
more than $18 million through Citibank. Montesinos, a former drug lawyer and
graduate of the School of the Americas, was until then the national security
chief for Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. News reports by Peter Gorman,
published at www.narconews.com have
strongly indicated that
managed the "silent-coup" that overthrew Fujimori after Fujimori decided to
oppose US intervention in Colombia. [See story this issue].

In 2000, then Treasury Secretary Rubin led an "all out" offensive (Operation
Casablanca) against Mexican money laundering. One of the banks targeted was
Banamex which was exposed as being a willing participant in the trade. U.S.
Customs Agent Bill Gately, who later retired in disgust, accused Rubin of
deliberately shutting down the investigation before it got to the highest
levels. He did it on 60 Minutes. Could Rubin, knowing that he would soon be
at Citigroup, have been softening up Banamex for the buyout to gain control
of the drug flows?

The Citigroup dirt descends to even the personal level as Marc Weill, 44, the
son of Chairman Sandy Weill, was exposed in the AP last November as having a
cocaine addiction which necessitated that he relinquish control of
Citigroup's $113 billion investment portfolio. Consider also, that John
Deutch, who joined Citigroup in 1996, brought with him the former Executive
Director of the CIA, Nora Slatkin as an alleged quid pro quo for her stalling
an investigation into Deutch's mishandling of thousands of pages of CIA
files. Did Citibank get the files?

Banamex owner Roberto Hernandez is overtly connected to drugs. He will now
join Citibank's board. After having lost a Mexican lawsuit against Por Esto
Publisher Mario Menendez in which the courts found that Por Esto's
allegations connecting Hernandez to hundreds of tons of cocaine smuggling
near Cancun were valid, Hernandez went on to sue Menendez and veteran
journalist Al Giordano in New York State [FTW - Feb, 2001]. That suit has
sparked a huge public outcry and garnered Giordano and Menendez the support
of some of the most powerful lawyers in America. Known locally as the
"Cocaine Peninsula," Hernandez's property in Yucatan has been photographed
littered with smuggling equipment yet it has served as a vacation spot for
Mexico's president-elect Vicente Fox, (July, 2000) and President Bill Clinton
(August, 2000). In true bi-partisan spirit, however, Fox shared Dallas-based
media adviser Robert Allyn with candidate George W, Bush throughout their
respective 2000 campaigns. To complete his end of the Citigroup transaction
Hernandez relied upon the brokerage house of Goldman Sachs (once headed by
Rubin) and the Wall Street law firm of Sullivan, Cromwell. Sullivan, Cromwell
is a CIA affiliate which gave us Allen Dulles (CIA Director) and John Foster
Dulles (Secretary of State).

As for Asa Hutchinson, the Republican Congressman from Arkansas whom
President Bush has nominated to head the DEA, nothing speaks more eloquently
of the outrage than the words of veteran Arkansas journalist Mara Leveritt
[See story this issue]. His complicity in covering up an enormous volume of
cocaine smuggling in Mena, Arkansas connected to the Contra war is
"slap-in-the-face" obvious. No more can the Democratic side of Congress react
to Mena as a right-wing conspiracy. This time the dirt lies on a member of
the "Shi-ite" faction of the Republican Party.

It doesn't matter anymore whether the American public chooses to notice. The
fait accompli is that drug money and criminal money are now out of the closet
as the most important determinants of economic success for the US financial
system. The careless arrogance of these moves only reveals the utter
confidence in Washington, on Wall Street and in the banking system that no
voices from the wilderness can stop it. Will the defection of Vermont Senator
Jim Jeffords out of the Republican Party on May 24 make a difference? Sure
the Democrats will now control the committees overseeing the Citigroup buyout
and the Hutchinson confirmation. But the scythe of dirty money has cut
heavily down both sides of the aisle. -- I'm not holding my breath.
Mike Ruppert -- 5/31/01

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