Crimes and Their Punishments – Through the Ages

Punishments for Crimes through the ages – from the bizarre to outrageous, from the sublime to the ridiculous. We don’t know how lucky we are!

Many of us are apt to complain about sentences handed out by our Courts for crimes these days – too harsh, too lenient. But a quick look at some punishments for crimes through the ages, including in some countries today, we should really consider how much we really have to complain about.

Not only have punishments been truly shocking (and in some instances still are), but even some of the crimes are truly unbelievable.

Many Sydney criminal lawyers would have had their work cut out for them if some of these historical crimes were still on the statute books! Lucky for us that our complaints about the justice systems these days are limited to whether an offender should be given a jail sentence or community service, or whether a 2 year sentence is sufficient or whether 5 would have been better, and so on.

Thank goodness we don’t have to contend with crimes for which the penalty is being tortured to death by some truly unimaginable means. Criminal lawyers in Australia, as in Europe, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and others, these days don’t have to plead for the type of mercy that offenders of times gone by had to. And of course, some of these barbaric practices do still exist today in other parts of the globe, as you can see below.

Some Crimes and Some Punishments You Won’t Believe

Take a look …

Crimes and Their Punishments

Trump’s budget is hiding a ‘radical’ change in immigration law — and it could mean war for sanctuary cities

trump budget

The Trump administration tucked into its 1,284-page budget proposal appendix a new plan to compel cities and counties to assist federal authorities in detaining and deporting unauthorized immigrants.

The budget proposal was released Tuesday and has already garnered bipartisan criticism, with multiple lawmakers labeling it “dead on arrival.”

But several proposed statutory changes nevertheless offer insight into the Trump administration’s frustration with so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions and recent court rulings that stymied an executive order on the matter.

The ongoing debate over sanctuary cities has prompted confusion among jurisdictions that don’t define themselves by the term, but still employ policies that limit their cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions alleviated some of those cities’ concerns Monday, when he released a memo clarifying that Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities pertained only to compliance with a federal law regulating communication between government entities on people’s immigration or citizenship statuses. Under the federal statute 8 USC 1373, Sessions wrote, jurisdictions may not obstruct or restrict the exchange of such information.

Yet Trump’s budget proposal undercuts Sessions’ memo by including an amendment to 8 USC 1373 that dramatically expands the amount of information covered under the statute.

Instead of exchanging only immigration and citizenship statuses, localities would also be required to share information on immigrants’ removability, inmates’ scheduled release dates and times, home addresses, work addresses, or contact information of suspected unauthorized immigrants.

Donald Trump

Beyond that, Trump’s budget also proposes a significant change in federal law that would compel local police departments and jails to honor federal requests to detain suspected unauthorized immigrants for up to 48 hours to allow federal immigration agents to take custody.

Those federal requests, known as detainers, are currently voluntary unless they are accompanied by a court order or warrant. This has caused friction between presidential administrations and localities for years, yet no federal law currently exists to compel such cooperation, and federal courts have even ruled in the past that honoring detainers can violate inmates Fourth Amendment rights.

Immigration and sanctuary advocates have already voiced their criticism of the items in Trump budget. The left-leaning Center for American Progress has called the proposal “a radical re-definition of immigration law.”

“I am deeply, deeply troubled by this change. It makes me angry,” Philip Wolgrin, the center’s managing director of immigration policy, told USA Today.

“The sneaky Sessions ploy has been brought from the back pages of the budget document into the sunlight, where it is likely to shrivel up and die,” the immigration reform group America’s Voice told Fox Business.

SEE ALSO: ‘It is dumb on crime’: Sessions’ order for harsher drug sentences meets bipartisan backlash

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Criminal Minds stars 'might quit' over gender pay gap – Digital Spy – DigitalSpy.com

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Contract negotiations for the 13th season of Criminal Minds are underway, but while people such as Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler have signed on to return to the long-running CBS drama, two of its stars are holding out.

Deadlinereports that actresses AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness are trying to negotiate fairer pay for themselves before committing to another run.

Their characters JJ and Penelope have been on the show since the first season, originally as guest stars before being promoted to regulars.

Actresses A.J. Cook (L) and Kirsten Vangsness arrive at the CBS, CW, Showtime Summer TCA Party at Pacific Design Center on August 10, 2016 in West Hollywood, California.

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The publication states that they previously managed to negotiate better pay back in 2013, when they were receiving less than half of their male co-stars’ salary, but this time they are willing to quit the show if they don’t achieve some sort of parity.

Kristen Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Shemar Moore as Derek Morgan, Joe Mantegna as David Rossi in Criminal Minds S10E01
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This situation is similar to what happened with The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, who held off signing up for two more seasons.

Mayim Bialik & Melissa Rauch

It was at first reported that the original five main cast members of the show all agreed to take a pay cut in order to help Bialik and Rauch achieve parity, but now it seems this may not have been the case.

Bialik herself recently said: “I’m a person who plays dress up for a living and I’m grateful to do that at all.”


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The Supreme Court's Immigration Law Showdown – The Atlantic

Former CIA director: Here's why people should care about the Russia controversy

John Brennan CIA

Former CIA director John Brennan reflected on the US’s lengthy history as a nation Tuesday when asked why Americans should care about the Russia firestorm during congressional testimony.

“So, not for my sake, but for America’s sake: As someone who has devoted your entire life to public service, in your own words, please tell my constituents … why they should care,” about the investigations, Democratic Rep. Danny Heck of Washington asked Brennan. “Why do you care, sir?”

“Because for the last 241 years, this nation and its citizens have cherished the freedom and liberty this country was founded upon,” Brennan said. “Many, many Americans, brave Americans over the years, have lost their lives to be able to protect that freedom and liberty,” and that of other countries around the world. 

“Our ability to choose our elected leaders as we see fit is, I believe, an inalienable right that we must protect with all of our resources and all of our authority and power,” Brennan added. “And the fact that the Russians tried to influence that election so that the will of the American people was not going to be realized by that election, I find outrageous and something that we need to, with every last ounce of devotion to this country resist, and try to act to prevent further instances of that.”

“And so therefore,” he continued, “I believe that this is something that’s critically important to every American. It’s certainly very important to me — for my children and grandchildren — to make sure that never again will a foreign country try to influence and interfere in the foundation stone of this country, which is electing our democratic leaders.”

Watch below:

The investigations surrounding Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and whether any associates of President Donald Trump were involved, picked up steam over the last two weeks, after the president abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey. He had been spearheading the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

Trump later said he had fired Comey with his mind on “this Russia thing.” Trump also reportedly shared highly classified information with Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting the day after he fired Comey. During that meeting, Trump reportedly called Comey a “real nut job” and said the firing had taken “great pressure” off him. 

On Monday, The Associated Press reported that former national security adviser Michael Flynn would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and decline a subpoena issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee for documents related to his interactions with Russian officials from June 2015 to January 2017.

Monday evening, The Washington Post reported that Trump asked the Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Adm. Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, to push back against the FBI’s Russia probe by publicly denying any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election. Both Coats and Rogers rebuffed Trump’s request, according to officials who spoke to The Post. 

In his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Brennan said he was concerned by some “interactions” between Trump campaign operatives and Russian officials during the election. 

SEE ALSO: ‘Things keep getting worse for the White House’: Trump may hire a private attorney amid the Russia firestorm

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Criminal Minds' AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness 'might quit' if they don't get equal pay with male co-stars – DigitalSpy.com

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Contract negotiations for the 13th season of Criminal Minds are underway, but while people such as Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler have signed on to return to the long-running CBS drama, two of its stars are holding out.

Deadlinereports that actresses AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness are trying to negotiate fairer pay for themselves before committing to another run.

Their characters JJ and Penelope have been on the show since the first season, originally as guest stars before being promoted to regulars.

Actresses A.J. Cook (L) and Kirsten Vangsness arrive at the CBS, CW, Showtime Summer TCA Party at Pacific Design Center on August 10, 2016 in West Hollywood, California.

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The publication states that they previously managed to negotiate better pay back in 2013, when they were receiving less than half of their male co-stars’ salary, but this time they are willing to quit the show if they don’t achieve some sort of parity.

Kristen Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Shemar Moore as Derek Morgan, Joe Mantegna as David Rossi in Criminal Minds S10E01
Related Article

This situation is similar to what happened with The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, who held off signing up for two more seasons.

Mayim Bialik & Melissa Rauch

It was at first reported that the original five main cast members of the show all agreed to take a pay cut in order to help Bialik and Rauch achieve parity, but now it seems this may not have been the case.

Bialik herself recently said: “I’m a person who plays dress up for a living and I’m grateful to do that at all.”


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Longtime Vero Beach lawyer tapped to lead statewide criminal defense association – TCPalm

VERO BEACH — Longtime Vero Beach lawyer Andrew Metcalf has been tapped to lead the state’s top nonprofit group dedicated to advancing the work of criminal defense attorneys across Florida.

In June, Metcalf, 46, a partner in the Green & Metcalf law firm, will be voted in as president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Inc., which has about 2,000 members who promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and support legislative policies that foster judicial reform.

It’s the first time in the association’s 30-year history that a Treasure Coast attorney has been voted in as president, Metcalf said.

More: Immigration: Local law enforcers differ on detainers

“The thing that makes me most proud is … that lawyers from Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Palm Beach are more commonly nominated to this position and more commonly elected,” Metcalf said Tuesday. “To be elected by a group of peers statewide was a big honor. And I’m even more humbled to know that no other attorney in our (19th Judicial) circuit has been president. That covers Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.”

He’ll serve as president for one year after an induction ceremony during the group’s annual meeting June 9.

Current president Lisa Call, an assistant federal public defender in Jacksonville, said when Metcalf is inducted next month, it’ll cap what’s been a five-year commitment.

“Andy would have been elected in 2013 to be the secretary of FADCL,” she said, “and then you move up through the officer ranks.” 

Call said Metcalf is ready for his new role.

“I think Andy was nominated because he had served on other committees and was a very active chapter representative and director at large … and won the election,” she said. “He’s going to bring a lot of energy and excitement and you know, if he’s a marathoner and a triathlon, he’s got the endurance for this.”

Metcalf has been involved with the Tallahassee-based group since 1997 when he launched a private law practice with partner Norman Green. He’s also a past president of the Indian River County Bar Association.

More: ICE arrests 20 immigrants in Martin County in larger ‘targeted’ removal action

For 20 years, Metcalf has represented clients in all sorts of criminal cases, including drug and sex offenses, murder and fraud charges, in addition to DUI and vehicular homicide.

He said attorneys who join the criminal defense organization receive invaluable legal resources and can tap into a wealth of experience from seasoned attorneys.

“I don’t care how senior of an attorney you are, there’s always someone who knows a little bit more than the topic you’re on because they’ve done it,” Metcalf said. “That network is a very powerful thing … to be a complete criminal defense lawyer and to be able to network instantly with thousands of other lawyers, I see no reason to not be a member of this organization.”

Metcalf also practices family law handling cases involving divorce, paternity, child custody, alimony and domestic violence.

More: Convicted murderer Brooks Bellay back in courtroom | Video

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Images show how the deadly Manchester blast unfolded

manchester explosion

Police in Manchester, England, said at least 19 people were confirmed dead following reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert. Police said dozens more people were reported injured.

Police said the situation was being treated as “a terror incident until police know otherwise.”

People were warned to avoid the arena area, while Manchester’s Victoria transit station was shut down during the police investigation. Many Manchester taxis offered free rides to people stranded in the area.

Here’s how the chaotic and deadly night unfolded in Manchester:

SEE ALSO: 19 dead in explosion at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

At 10:54 p.m. local time, Greater Manchester Police announced via Twitter officers were responding to “reports of an incident at Manchester Arena,” where singer Ariana Grande was finishing her concert.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/866774284018102274
Police responded to reports of an incident at Manchester Arena. Please stay away from the area. More details to follow….

 

There was chaos in the arena while people scrambled to escape, many holding pink balloons that had been released during the show.

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The situation was updated to a “serious incident” at 11:29 p.m. local time. People were encouraged to avoid the area as ambulances and emergency services rushed to the scene.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/866783026218455042
Emergency services responding to serious incident at Manchester Arena. Avoid the area. More details will follow as soon as available

 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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'Criminal Minds': Kirsten Vangsness & A.J. Cook In Limbo Over Parity Push As Joe Mantegna & Matthew Gray Gubler … – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE:Criminal Minds veterans Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler have closed new deals to continue on the long-running CBS drama series, recently renewed for a 13th season. However, I hear Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook are currently at an impasse in their negotiations as the actresses are seeking parity with their male co-stars.

The duo, who are negotiating together, took a similar stand during the 2013 negotiations as the two at the time consistently had been paid less than half of what their male counterparts including Gubler and Shemar Moore were making. Back then, Vangsness and Cook eventually reached new agreements with ABC Studios, CBS TV Studios and CBS, though I hear they are willing to walk this time if they don’t get some parity with their veteran co-stars, putting the return of their respective fan-favorite characters Penelope and J.J. in limbo. I hear the studios behind the series did not begin talks with Vangsness and Cook until after completing deals with Mantegna and Gubler.

In addition to Mantegna and Gubler, set to return next season are recent Criminal Minds cast additions Adam Rodriguez, Damon Gupton and Aisha Tyler along with Paget Brewster, who rejoined the crime drama this season after a four-year break.

ABC Studios and CBS were taken to task on the treatment of Criminal Minds female cast members in 2010 when they opted not to bring back Cook for Season 6 and to reduce the episodes of Brewster, leaving Vangsness as the only remaining full-time female cast member. The move led to an outcry from fans. Cook and Brewster subsequently were reinstated.

Both Vangsness and Cook have been on Criminal Minds since the beginning. Vangsness started as a recurring in Season 1, quickly getting promoted to a regular. She also co-starred on the 2011 spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. Cook has been a series regular for the entire run except for Season 6, when she guest starred.

CBS sibling Showtime and Warner Bros. TV recently went through a similar push for parity on Shameless for stars Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy, as did CBS and WBTV on The Big Bang Theory,with co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch seeking pay on par with their co-stars’. Both lengthy negotiations reached successful conclusions, which observers are also hoping for on Criminal Minds. 

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US prosecutors may try to disqualify Watts as attorney in – mySanAntonio.com

State Sen. Carlos Uresti’s legal defense could be facing a potential setback even before he begins in earnest fighting the criminal charges against him.

San Antonio attorney Mikal Watts on Friday said federal prosecutors have indicated they will seek to disqualify him from defending Uresti in at least one of two indictments unsealed Tuesday.

Prosecutors likely will file a motion contending Watts has a conflict of interests because he previously represented Denise Cantu, a Harlingen woman identified in one of the indictments as “Victim 1.” In all likelihood, Cantu will be a witness against Uresti in that case.

Uresti and Watts represented Cantu in a 2010 wrongful-death case after the rear tire on her Ford Explorer blew out, causing the SUV to veer into a grassy median, roll over and kill her 13-year-old daughter, 4-year-old son and two friends.

Cantu won a large legal settlement and later, said to be at the suggestion of Uresti, invested the bulk of the proceeds in fledgling frac-sand company FourWinds Logistics, which ultimately went bankrupt in 2015 and folded. Cantu lost most of her $900,000 investment.

Uresti failed to disclose to Cantu that he was collecting a commission and a cut of the profits on her investment, the indictment states. Uresti also gave Cantu legal advice regarding investing in FourWinds despite also representing the company, the document adds.

Uresti is facing 11 counts in the indictment, including securities fraud, wire fraud and acting as an unregistered securities broker. He’s facing two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering in the second indictment. He has denied the allegations.

On Friday, Watts disputed that he had a conflict that would lead to his removal from the case.

“My attorney-client relationship with Denise Cantu ended at the end of that (wrongful-death) case,” Watts said. “The law is that when the task is performed and the case ends, the attorney-client relationship ends absent an agreement in writing by the parties to continue it. I haven’t talked to Denise Cantu in five years, and unless and until she decides to hire me on another matter that I agreed to accept representation on, I am no longer her lawyer.”

Watts added the work he performed in Cantu’s case “is not substantially related” to the criminal case against Uresti. San Antonio lawyer Jorge Aristotelidis also is on the Democratic senator’s legal team.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Blackwell, one of the prosecutors in the criminal cases against Uresti, declined to comment Friday.

Cantu opposes Watts representing Uresti, according to Oscar R. Alvarez, a McAllen lawyer who filed a lawsuit against Uresti on Cantu’s behalf this year in an attempt to recover some of the money she lost in FourWinds.

“Denise does not think it’s fair,” Alvarez said. Watts and Uresti both “used to represent her, and now there’s a conflict between them (Cantu and Uresti) and (Watts is) taking sides.”

Bruce Campbell, a Dallas attorney specializing in legal ethics, said it’s difficult to predict whether a judge would remove Watts from the case.

“It’s going to come down to a question of whether the matters are substantially related or not,” Campbell said. “That’s going to be the linchpin of that issue, unless Mr. Watts has obtained a waiver from Ms. Cantu.”

Cantu never signed a waiver of conflict with Watts, Alvarez said.

Prosecutors may have another reason for seeking to remove Watts: He could be called as a witness.

“I anticipate that will be one of the arrows in their quiver that they will shoot at me,” Watts said. But “the law frowns on that because of the potential for abuse.”

Watts said he didn’t know whether prosecutors will try to remove him as Uresti’s attorney in the bribery case, in which Uresti also is accused of funneling money from a Reeves County businessman to a former county judge to secure a medical services contract for a jail complex.

Uresti faces up to about 200 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines if convicted on all charges in the two indictments.

In an unrelated case, federal prosecutors in San Antonio this year persuaded a U.S. magistrate judge to remove the lead defense lawyer for the president of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club because he might have a conflict of interests. U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad said the lawyer might be forced to be a witness to dispute the allegations of two of his former clients.

Watts said there’s always an “ulterior motive” when a motion to disqualify a lawyer is filed.

“You’re trying to weaken your opposition,” he said before sharing a conversation he said he had with Uresti’s prosecutors.

“I said, ‘I see why you guys want to disqualify me,’” Watts said. “‘After, I would not want to tangle with a man with such considerable criminal law experience as me.’ We all had a big laugh about it.”

The punchline is that the nationally renowned plaintiffs lawyer has defended only one criminal case in his entire career — his own.

In 2015, Watts was indicted on charges of making false claims and identity theft in relation to litigation involving BP over the 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Watts defended himself during the trial and ultimately was acquitted by a jury on all 66 charges.

pdanner@express-news.net

Twitter: @AlamoPD

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The US and Mexico may be teaming up to fight heroin, but the enemy is tougher than it appears

Mexico opium poppy field soldier troops

At the beginning of April, the Mexican army took US military officials, UN personnel, and officials from the US embassy on a tour of a half-dozen sites in the Golden Triangle — the heart of Mexico’s heroin country — to witness the destruction of opium poppies.

The trip marked the first time in at least 10 years that the Mexican army had allowed US and UN officials to observe poppy eradication, and, according to Reuters, more trips were being arranged.

The visit could put Mexico on the same footing as anti-drug operations in places like Colombia and Afghanistan.

It also coincides with US President Donald Trump’s efforts to address a withering opioid epidemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in the US.

But if the US and Mexico are about to make the opium-poppy eradication a joint effort, they may find their progress stymied by conditions on the ground and the nature of their foe.

A US official told Reuters that the area of poppies under cultivation in 2016 was estimated at 32,000 hectares in 2016. In 2015, US data showed there were 28,000 hectares estimated to be under cultivation — triple the area under cultivation recorded in 2012.

Last year, Mexico for the first time released its own data on cultivation, reporting an average of 24,800 hectares under cultivation between July 2014 and June 2015. The Mexican defense secretariat also said it destroyed 22,235 hectares of opium poppies in 2016 and 26,249 hectares in 2015. (Through the end of April 2017, the Mexican government says it eradicated 15,179 hectares of poppies.)

Mexico opium poppy plant eradication soldier

What effect this eradication has on the overall crop level is not clear. Data on production and eradication is varied and, in some places, incomplete. Estimates of cultivation in Mexico are also based on satellite imagery, not like census-based programs that more confidently measure cultivation and eradication.

“We don’t know with any level of precision how heroin production has evolved in recent years,” Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope wrote in February 2016.

Moreover, according to Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, it can be hard to accurately gauge how many plants exist and are destroyed, especially when relying on aerial observation and fumigation.

“People automatically do a formula that there’s so many plants per meter and therefore they destroyed so many plants that would have produced a certain tonnage of opium, for example, and that is not correct either, because a lot of times they spray fields where the plant density is just very loose,” Vigil, who, as a DEA official, worked in Mexico in the 1990s, told Business Insider.

“We’re not talking about plants that are densely concentrated per square meter. You could have one plant per square meter. So they destroy 10 hectares and probably destroyed very few plants,” Vigil said.

Opium poppy destroyed Mexico

Manuel eradication has been common in Mexico’s war on drugs. Military units have been stationed in areas of high cultivation like Sinaloa (which is also a hub of organized-crime activity) and Guerrero states, and they are frequently pictured crawling poppy-covered hillsides rooting out the pink-tipped bulbs that would eventually yield opium.

But aerial fumigation has also been used in places with a high incidence of cultivation, like the states Chihuahua, Durango, Sinaloa, and Guerrero, at times of elevated cultivation activity.

Fumigation squadrons are deployed in MD-530F helicopters and Cessna 182SL planes. Bell 407 and Bell 206 helicopters are also used when aerial-fumigation teams need to access remote or hard-to-reach spots.

In Guerrero, where poppy cultivation — and criminal activity related to it — has grown precipitously in recent years, manual eradication has been replaced in some cases by fumigation. One official told Excelsior the chemical used was only harmful to poppy plants, not to other crops or underground water systems. (The Mexican defense secretariat has in the past classified the exact chemicals used in aerial fumigation, calling it a matter of national security.)

Mexico opium poppy plant eradication soldier

According to Vigil, Mexican authorities tasked with aerial fumigation in the past have tried to mask the true amount of poppies destroyed, often to bolster their totals.

“The estimates are nothing more than estimates,” Vigil, author of “Metal Coffins: The Blood Alliance Cartel,” told Business Insider.

“And it is very, very difficult to come up with an accurate figure, simply because many times the Mexican government over exaggerates how many hectares they have sprayed in the eradication program,” he added. “And many times they purposely skew those numbers by, for example, spraying the same field twice and counting it as two separate fields.”

If observers are deployed on eradication missions in the future, Mexican forces may also find ways to deceive them, Vigil said.

“It would be very difficult for them to verify [eradication totals] because they’re not going to be out there on every spray mission, and even if they were, they really don’t know how many fields they’re going to spray. They could take them to the same field the following day and spray that same field that they observed 24 hours previously,” leading observers to think a different field had been sprayed, Vigil added.

heroin origins sources DEA

As much as 94% of the heroin that enters the US comes from Mexico, US assistant secretary for state for narcotics William Brownfield said earlier this year. (Mexico has also become a transit point for potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which are sometimes added to heroin and can be fatal even in small doses.)

Mexican-made heroin, and the Mexican criminal groups pushing it, has largely replaced heroin produced in Afghanistan and Colombia. According to estimates by the DEA, close to 80% of the heroin found in wholesale-level seizures was sourced to Mexico.

The most recent US efforts to support Mexican eradication are at least a year old, dating to when Brownfield told Congress more work needed to be done to destroy poppies. Since then, despite turmoil introduced to the relationship by Donald Trump rise to the presidency, bilateral anti-drug efforts have gone smoothly.

Brownfield said the US has also offered to fund the eradication efforts, “should we reach a basic agreement in terms of how they would do more and better eradication in the future.”

Mexican soldiers troops opium poppy flowers

“That is on the table, but I don’t want you to conclude that it’s a done deal, because we still have to work through the details,” he told Reuters.

He did not specify an amount of money the US could provide.

This summer, the Mexican army is reportedly set to roll out hardware and software developed by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime that would permit troops to send information on destroyed fields in real time.

And, Brownfield said, the US could offer more vehicles or fund helicopter flights to reach the remote parts of the country — typically mountain highlands — where poppies are grown.

“Our cooperation with the Mexican government on the heroin challenge is in fact good, and it is better than it has ever been in the past,” Brownfield said.

SEE ALSO: Police busted 5.5 metric tons of cocaine — the latest shipment from a growing South American drug hotspot

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