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News Link • Mexico

Mexico's cartels build own national radio system


The alert goes out from a taxi driver or a street vendor, equipped with a high-end handheld radio and paid to work as a lookout known as a "halcon," or hawk.

The radio signal travels deep into the arid countryside, hours by foot from the nearest road. There, the 8-foot-tall (2-meter-tall) dark-green branches of the rockrose bush conceal a radio tower painted to match. A cable buried in the dirt draws power from a solar panel. A signal-boosting repeater relays the message along a network of powerful antennas and other repeaters that stretch hundreds of miles (kilometers) across Mexico, a shadow communications system allowing the cartel to coordinate drug deliveries, kidnapping, extortion and other crimes with the immediacy and precision of a modern military or law-enforcement agency.

The Mexican army and marines have begun attacking the system, seizing hundreds of pieces of communications equipment in at least three operations since September that offer a firsthand look at a surprisingly far-ranging and sophisticated infrastructure.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
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How long and how much work did it take for the Zetas to get to this point?

We, as freedom lovers in the United States have lots of freedoms right now that the Zetas never had. But our freedoms are being stripped away by our Government just like the Zetas freedoms were stripped from them by the Mexican Government.

We may not have the need to build hidden radio towers and stations right now, but maybe we do have the need, and just don't know it. Consider. The FCC limits our radio broadcasting usage. We are used to this, because we seem to have an organized nationwide radio listening system that is quite nice. But this system also infringes the rights of poorer people to simply get out there and build radio stations.

Now if we were only talking about radios, it would be one thing. But the point is that Government is messing around in our lives in a whole lot of ways that we don't even realize, simply because they are not very harsh ways, and we have gotten used to them.

There is a term that is used for the way Government limits our freedom. It's called "farming." Take a look at the way a farmer plants his crops. Or take a look at the way he handles his dairy herd or hen-house. There is lots of freedom in all of it - freedom for the individual wheat plants to sway in the breeze, freedom for each dairy cow to wiggle in her stall or run across the field, freedom for the chickens to perch where they want in the hen-house. But the freedom is limited so that the farmer can make money off the farming that he does. This is the same way the Government gives us our freedom - limited so that they can make money off us all in the form of taxes.

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