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Informants and Agents?Who's a Rat Message Board

maynard
ATTN DEFENSE: TEAR YOUR SNITCH APART IN COURT.

FORMER FEDERAL AGENT CELERINO CASTILLO III

REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. CONTACT:

POWDERBURNS@PRODIGY.NET

powderburns.org



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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legal008

Whats worse than an informant? A former law enforcement officer that turns against his brothers just for a few dollars. You are a disgrace.

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jenroth

Quote:

Whats worse than an informant? A former law enforcement officer that turns against his brothers just for a few dollars. You are a disgrace.




So you agree that Informants are bad, yet you also point out that you're opinion is that citizens "charged" with a crime should not get a fair trial.
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legal008
I do believe that everyone deserves a fair trial but bear this in mind, everyone in jail is innocent. If you do not believe this, just walk into a prison and ask. Defense attorneys know what the rules and guidelines are involving informants and how to properly defend their clients without the help of a former police officer. I guess that I am basing my opinion on a federal agent helping the very people that he used to put away the same way that many on this site are negatively view what informants do. 

Without informants it would be virtually impossible to make cases against drug traffickers. Many law enforcement officers cannot stand working with informants because many informants continue to break the law with impunity knowing that they can just turn some more names and keep getting off. I have caught informants pinching dope or still conducting illegal activities. On 1 occasion I caught one pinching dope that he had just purchased for me. It was a great case (video & audio taped) against a drug dealer that we had been after for years that had been selling to school kids. This particular C.S. (informant) had been working for us for about 3 months and we were about to make some buys later in the week on a bigger target. Some of the previous buys were a bit short so I set up across from the targets house and observed him conceal some of the dope in his sock. Sure I could have ignored this and continued to utilize the informant and made some great cases without anyone knowing that this guy was playing both sides. I immediately took this guy to jail and revoked the cases that he was working off. I contacted the District attorneys office and dropped all of the cases that this C.S. had made. I lost some good cases including the one on the doper selling to kids but I retained my integrity and did the right thing. Most officers are fair and play by the rules but unfortunately their are exceptions.


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maynard
interesting note:

-When Mr. Castillo testifies as an expert witness for the defense, the prosecution ALWAYS declines to cross examine, which is hilarious. The reason being that they dont want his sworn testimony about his background appearing under oath in transcript form. He would start off by stating that he caught U.S. intelligence and Ollie North running the dope trade during the 1980's and beyond.

-He states that it is easy to find misconduct of some sort in nearly all cases. Often, this is enough to get the case dropped.


-Known as the "Castillo Special Collection", original copies of Castillo's files and photos have been donated to San Diego State University's library for display.

-Castillo's true history of Latin American politics is part of a class reader required for Education Majors at SDSU -- all future teachers

-One of the professors stated that in order to complete his credential, a former member of the Reagan presidential administration had taken his course, which included Castillo's experiences in the drug war. The professor was apprehensive that the former official would complain about the material. Much to his surprise, he approached the professor after class and stated:
"That's the way it really happened!."

-If you purchase a copy of Castillo's videotape "Powderburns" you can see his former supervisor, now a college professor, attack the camera when journalists from the television show "West 57th" attempt to interview him. You can also see the former ambassador to Guatemala deny Castillo's allegations and call the G-2 (Guatemala's torturous secret police) "gentlemen"! (the video also contains excerpts from 60 minutes, where journalists find government memos backing much of Castillo's claims)

Also included is a copy of an Iran-Contra documentary by the Australian Broadcast Channel (ABC). Ollie North's former partner General Singlab turns on Ollie with some harsh words when he finds out what he has been up to. General Dick Secord makes an appearance and states flatly to the camera that the $10 million dollars frozen in off shore bank accounts since the Iran Scandal are his and should be released "so that they can be disbursed as I see fit." Secord goes on to state on camera that "Iran-Contra was a CIA operation. That was the worst kept secret in Washington DC."

Oliver North is featured, stating in front of congress that he did lie about Iran-Contra, then the tape cuts to his campaign speech in Virginia, where he tells supporters "I never lied to congress". Then the tape cuts to the chairman of the committee who went after North. He is shocked when shown the copy of North saying he never lied to congress.

good fun!


A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard
http://www.copvcia.com/free/hall/contra1.html



Celerino "Cele" Castillo III



Author: "POWDERBURNS" Cocaine, Contras & The Drug War
2709 N. 28 1/2 St., McAllen,Texas 78501
Tele/Fax: 956-631-3818 Pager: 956-318-4913
E-Mail: powderburns@prodigy.net



WRITTEN STATEMENT OF CELERINO CASTILLO III, (D.E.A., RETIRED) FOR THE HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE

April 27, 1998
For several years, I fought in the trenches of the front lines of Reagan's "Drug War", trying to stamp out what I considered American's greatest foreign threat. But, when I was posted, in Central and South America from 1984 through 1990, I knew we were playing the "Drug War Follies." While our government shouted "Just Say No !", entire Central and South American nations fell into what are now known as, "Cocaine democracies."

While with the DEA, I was able to keep journals of my assignments in Central and South America. These journals include names, case file numbers and DEA NADDIS (DEA Master Computer) information to back up my allegations. I have pictures and original passports of the victims that were murdered by CIA assets. These atrocities were done with the approval of the agencies.

We, ordinary Americans, cannot trust the C.I.A. Inspector General to conduct a full investigation into the CIA or the DEA. Let me tell you why. When President Clinton (June, 1996) ordered The Intelligence Oversight Board to conduct an investigation into allegations that US Agents were involved in atrocities in Guatemala, it failed to investigate several DEA and CIA operations in which U.S. agents knew before hand that individuals (some Americans) were going to be murdered.

I became so frustrated that I forced myself to respond to the I.O.B report citing case file numbers, dates, and names of people who were murdered. In one case (DEA file # TG-86-0005) several Colombians and Mexicans were raped, tortured and murdered by CIA and DEA assets, with the approval of the CIA. Among those victims identified was Jose Ramon Parra-Iniguez, Mexican passport A-GUC-043 and his two daughters Maria Leticia Olivier-Dominguez, Mexican passport A-GM-8381. Also included among the dead were several Colombian nationals: Adolfo Leon Morales-Arcilia "a.k.a." Adolfo Morales-Orestes, Carlos Alberto Ramirez, and Jiro Gilardo-Ocampo. Both a DEA and a CIA agent were present, when these individuals were being interrogated (tortured). The main target of that case was a Guatemalan Congressman, (Carlos Ramiro Garcia de Paz) who took delivery of 2,404 kilos of cocaine in Guatemala just before the interrogation. This case directly implicated the Guatemalan Government in drug trafficking (The Guatemalan Congressman still has his US visa and continues to travel at his pleasure into the US). To add salt to the wound, in 1989 these murders were investigated by the U.S Department of Justice, Office of Professional Responsibility. DEA S/I Tony Recevuto determined that the Guatemalan Military Intelligence, G-2 (the worst human rights violators in the Western Hemisphere) was responsible for these murders. Yet, the U.S. government continued to order U.S. agents to work hand-in-hand with the Guatemalan Military. This information was never turned over to the I.O.B. investigation. (See attached response)

I have obtained a letter, dated May 28, 1996, from the DEA administrator, to U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D), Texas. In this letter, the administrator flatly lies, stating that DEA agents "have never engaged in any joint narcotics programs with the Guatemalan Military".

I was there. I was the leading Agent in Guatemala. 99.9% of DEA operations were conducted with the Guatemalan military. In 1990, the DEA invited a Guatemalan military G-2 officer, Cpt. Fuentez, to attend a DEA narcotic school, which is against DEA policy. I know this for a fact because I worked with this officer for several years and was in Guatemala when he was getting ready to travel to the States.

Facts of my investigation on CIA-Contras drug trafficking in El Salvador:

The key to understanding the "crack cocaine" epidemic, which exploded on our streets in 1984, lies in understanding the effect of congressional oversight on covert operations. In this case the Boland amendment(s) of the era, while intending to restrict covert operations as intended by the will of the People, only served to encourage C.I.A., the military and elements of the national intelligence community to completely bypass the Congress and the Constitution in an eager and often used covert policy of funding prohibited operations with drug money.

As my friend and colleague Michael Ruppert has pointed out through his own experience in the 1970s, CIA has often bypassed congressional intent by resorting to the drug trade (Vietnam, Laos, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc).

When the Boland Amendment(s) cut the Contras off from a continued U.S. government subsidy, George Bush, his national security adviser Don Gregg, and Ollie North, turned to certain foreign governments, and to private contributions, to replace government dollars. Criminal sources of contributions were not excluded. By the end of 1981, through a series of Executive Orders and National Security Decision Directives, many of which have been declassified, Vice President Bush was placed in charge of all Reagan administration intelligence operations. All of the covert operations carried out by officers of the CIA, the Pentagon, and every other federal agency, along with a rogue army of former intelligence operatives and foreign agents, were commanded by George Bush. Gary Webb (San Jose Mercury News) acknowledged, that he simply had not traced the command structure over the Contras up into the White House, although he had gotten some indications that the operation was not just CIA.

On Dec. 01, 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed a secret order authorizing the CIA to spend $19.9 million for covert military aid to the recently formed Contras--- hardly enough money to launch a serious military operation against the Cuban and Soviet-backed Sandinista regime.

In August 1982, George Bush hired Donald P. Gregg as his principal adviser for national security affairs. In late 1984, Gregg introduced Oliver North to Felix Rodriguez, (a retired CIA agent) who had already been working in Central America for over a year under Bush's direction. Gregg personally introduced Rodriguez to Bush on Jan. 22, 1985. Two days after his January 1985 meeting, Rodriguez went to El Salvador and made arrangements to set up his base of operations at Ilopango air base. On Nov. 01, 1984, the FBI arrested Rodriguez's partner, Gerard Latchinian and convicted him of smuggling $10.3 million in cocaine into the U.S.

On Jan. 18, 1985, Rodriguez allegedly met with money-launderer Ramon Milan-Rodriguez, who had moved $1.5 billion for the Medellin cartel. Milan testified before a Senate Investigation on the Contras' drug smuggling, that before this 1985 meeting, he had granted Felix Rodriguez's request and given $10 million from the cocaine for the Contras.

On September 10, 1985, North wrote in his Notebook:

"Introduced by Wally Grasheim/Litton, Calero/Bermudez visit to Ilopango to estab. log support./maint. (...)"

In October of 1985, Upon my arrival in Guatemala, I was forewarned by Guatemala DEA, County AttachŽ, Robert J. Stia, that the DEA had received intelligence that the Contras out of Salvador, were involved in drug trafficking. For the first time, I had come face to face with the contradictions of my assignment. The reason that I had been forewarned was because I would be the Lead Agent in El Salvador.

DEA Guatemalan informant, Ramiro Guerra (STG-81-0013) was in place in Guatemala and El Salvador on "Contra" intelligence. At the time (early 80's), he was a DEA fugitive on "Rico" (Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations) and "CCE" (Continuing Criminal Enterprise) charges out of San Francisco. In 1986, he became an official advisor for the DEA trained El Salvador Narcotics Task Force. In 1989, all federal charges were dropped because of his cooperation with the DEA in Central America. Guerra is still a DEA informant in Guatemala.

December 1985, CNN reporter Brian Barger broke the story of the Contra's involved in drug trafficking.

Notes from my Journals & Intelligence Gathering

January 13, 1986, I wrote a report on El Salvador under DEA file (GFTG-86-9145).

January 16, 1986---HK-1217W--Carlos Siva and Tulio Pedras Contra pilots.

January 23, 1986, GFTG-86-9999, Air

Intelligence in "El Salvador" TG-86-0003, Samana and Raul.

In 1986, I placed an informant (Mario Murga) at the Ilopango airport in El Salvador. He was initiated and wrote the flight plans for most Contra pilots. After their names were submitted into NADDIS, it was revealed that most pilots had already been document in DEA files as traffickers. (See DEA memo by me date 2-14-89.)

Feb. 05, 1986, I had seized $800,000.00 in cash, 35 kilos of cocaine, and an airplane at Ilopango. DEA # TG-86-0001; Gaitan-Gaitan, Leonel

March 24, 1986, I wrote a DEA report on the Contra operation. (GFTG-86-4003, Frigorificos de Puntarenas, S.A), US registration aircraft N-68435 (Cessna 402).

April 17, 86, I wrote a Contra report on Arturo Renick; Johnny Ramirez (Costa Rica). Air craft TI-AQU & BE-60.. GFTG-86-9999; Air Intelligence.

April 25,26 1986--I met with CIA Felix Vargas in El Salvador (GFTG-86-9145).

April of 1986, The Consul General of the U.S Embassy in El Salvador (Robert J. Chavez), warned me that CIA agent George Witters was requesting a U.S visa for a Nicaraguan drug trafficker and Contra pilot by the name of Carlos Alberto Amador. (mentioned in 6 DEA files)

May 14, 1986, I spoke to Jack O'Conner DEA HQS Re: Matta-Ballesteros. (NOTE: Juan Ramon Matta-Ballesteros was perhaps the single largest drug trafficker in the region. Operating from Honduras he owned several companies which were openly sponsored and subsidized by C.I.A.)

May 26, 1986, Mario Rodolfo Martinez-Murga became an official DEA informant (STG-86-0006). Before that, he had been a sub-source for Ramiro Guerra and Robert Chavez. Under Chavez, Murga's intelligence resulted in the seizure of several hundred kilos of cocaine, (from Ilopango to Florida) making Murga a reliable source of information.

May 27, 1986, I Met U.S. Army Lt. Col. Alberto Adame in El Salvador. Has knowledge of the Contra Operation at Ilopango. He was in El Salvador from 1984 thru 1987.

On June 06, 1986, I send a DEA report/telex cable to Washington DEA in regards to Contra pilots, Carlos Amador and Carlos Armando Llamos (Honorary Ambassador from El Salvador to Panama) (N-308P). Llamos had delivered 4 1/2 million dollars to Panama from Ilopango for the Contras. Information was gathered by informant Mario Murga. Leon Portilla-TIANO = Navojo 31 & YS-265-American Pilot: Francisco Viaud. Roberto Gutierrez (N-82161) Mexican (X-AB)

June 10, 1998, I spoke to CIA agent Manny Brand Re: Sofi Amoury (Cuban Contra operator and Guatemalan Galvis-Pena in Guatemala.

June 16, 1986-GFTG-86-9999, Air Intel (DEA-6) El Salvador

Early part of 1986, I received a telex/cable from DEA Costa Rica. SA Sandy Gonzales requested for me to investigate hangers 4 and 5 at Ilopango. DEA Costa Rica had received reliable intelligence that the Contras were flying cocaine into the hangars. Both hangers were owned and operated by the CIA and the National Security Agency. Operators of those two hangars were, Lt. Col. Oliver North and CIA contract agent, Felix Rodriguez, "a.k.a." Max Gomez. (See attached letter by Bryan Blaney (O.I.C.), dated March 28, 1991).

June 18, 1986, Salvadoran Contra pilot, Francisco "Chico" Guirrola-Beeche (DEA NADDIS # 1585334 and 1744448) had been documented as a drug trafficker. On this date, at 7:30a.m, he departed Ilopango to the Bahamas to air drop monies. On his return trip (June 21) Guirrola arrived with his passengers Alejandro Urbizu & Patricia Bernal. In 1988 Urbizu was arrested in the US in a Cocaine conspiracy case. In 1985 Guirrola was arrested in South Texas (Kleberg County) with 5 and 1/2 million dollars cash, which he had picked up in Los Angeles, California. (U.S. Customs in Dallas/ Ft. Worth had case on him.)

June 18, 1986, DEA 6 on Air Intelligence, GFTG- 86-9999; El Salvador.

June 27 & 28, 1986, US Lt. Col. Albert Adame spoke with US Ambassador Edwin Corr re: Narcotics.

In a July 26, 1986 report to the Congress, on contra-related narcotics allegation, The State Department described the Frogman CASE as follows, "This case gets it's nickname from swimmers who brought cocaine ashore in San Francisco on a Colombian vessel." It focused on a major Colombian cocaine smuggler, ALVARO CARVAJAL-MINOTA, who supplied a number of west coast smugglers. It was further alleged that Nicaraguan Contra, Horacio Pererita, was subsequently convicted on drug charges in Costa Rica and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. Two other members of the organization were identified as Nicaraguans Carlos Cabezas & Julio Zavala. They were among the jailed West Coast traffickers and convicted of receiving drugs from Carvajal. They claimed long after their convictions, that they had delivered sums of monies to Contra resistance groups in Costa Rica.

July 28, 1986, I Met with CIA agents Don Richardson, Janice Elmore and Lt. Col. Adame in El Salvador.

July 29, 1986, I Met with Don Richardson and Robert Chavez at the US Embassy in El Salvador.

August 03,1986, Ramiro Guerra, Lt. Col. A. Adame, Dr. Hector Regalado (Dr. Death, who claimed to have shot Archbishop Romero) and myself went out on patrol in El Salvador.

In Aug. 1986, The Kerry Committee requested information on the Contra pilots from the DEA. The Department Of Justice flatly refused to give up any information.

Aug. 15, 1986, I spoke to CIA (Chief of Station) Jack McCavett and Don Richardson; El Salvador; Re: Fernando Canelas Sanez from Florida.

Aug. 18, 1986, I received $45,000.00 in cash from CIA Chief of Station (CIA), Jack McKavett for the purchase of vehicles for the DEA El Salvador Narcotic Task Force.

Aug. 28, 1986, I had a meeting with El Salvador US Ambassador, Edwin Corr, in regards to Wally Grasheim, Pete's Place and Carlos Amador (3:00 p.m.)

Oscar Alvarado-Lara "a.k.a." El Negro Alvarado (CIA asset and Contra pilot) was mentioned in 3 DEA files. On June 11, 1986, Alvarado transported 27 illegal Cubans to El Salvador Ilopango, where they were then smuggled into Guatemala. On Sept. 28, 1987, Alvarado picked up CIA officer Randy Capister in Puerto Barrios Guatemala after a joint DEA, CIA and Guatemala Military (G-2) operation. Several Mexicans and Colombians were murdered and raped. This was supported by the CIA. DEA File TG-86-0005.

1986, DEA El Salvador, initiated a file on Walter L. Grasheim (TG-87-0003). He is mentioned in several DEA, FBI and U.S Customs files. This DEA file is at The National Archives in The Iran-Contra file in Washington D.C (bulky # 2316). Also see attached Top Secret/Declassified Record of Interview on Mr. Grasheim, by the Office of Independent Counsel, dated Jan. 03, 1991.

Sept. 01, 1986, at approximately 5:00pm, I received a phone call in Guatemala from (C.I) Ramiro Guerra, Re: Raid at Wally's house in El Salvador Wally's plane (N-246-J).

On September 01, 1986, Walter Grasheim (a civilian) residence in El Salvador was searched by the DEA Task Force. Found at the residence was an arsenal of US military munitions, (allegedly for a Contra military shipment). Found were cases of C-4 explosives, grenades, ammunition, sniper rifles, M-16's, helicopter helmets and knives. Also found were files of payment to Salvadoran Military Officials (trips to New York City). Found at his residence were radios and license plates belonging to the US Embassy. We also found an M16 weapon belonging to the US Mil-Group Commander, Col. Steel. Prior to the search, I went to every department of the U.S. Embassy and asked if this individual worked in any way shape or form with the embassy. Every head of the departments denied that he worked for them. A pound of marijuana and marijuana plants growing in the back yard, were also found.

Sept. 02, 1986, I departed Guatemala on Taca Airlines @ 7:30a.m to El Salvador.

Sept. 26, 1986, Meeting with Col. Steel Re: Mr. Grasheim (Col. Steel admitted that he had given an M-16 to Grasheim) and CIA George W. Also talked to Don Richardson (CIA) re: Ramiro Guerra. Talked to Col. Adame Re: CIA George.

October 03, 1986, Spoke to DEA Panama re: Mr. Grasheim. Was advised to be careful.

October 15, 1986, Asst. Atty. Gen. Mark Richard testified before the Kerry Committee, that he had attended a meeting with 20 to 25 officials and that the DEA did not want to provide any of the information the committee had requested on the Contra involvement in drug trafficking.

October 21, 1986, I send a Telex/cable to Washington D.C on the Contras.

October 22, 1986 talked to El Salvador Re: Grasheim.

October 23, 1986, HK-1960P Honduras. 1,000 kilos of cocaine. DEA- 6 was written on this case.

October 29, 1986 Talked to DEA HQS (John Martch) re Contras & Grasheim.

October 30, 1986, Talked to Salvadoran Gen. Blandon re: to Mr. Grasheim.

Nov. 07, 1986, Talked to John Martch 202-786-4356 and Azzam-633-1049; Home: 301-262-1007. (Contras).

Nov. 13, 1986, I Met with Ambassador Corr @2:00pm re: Mr. Grasheim. (He stated, "let the chips fall where they may." Met w/ Lt. Col. Adame.

November 14, 1986, Met with Salvadoran Col. Villa Marona re: Mr. Grasheim. He advised that the U.S Embassy had approved for Grasheim to work at Ilopango.

On January 20, 1987, Joel Brinkley (special to the New York Times) reported. "Contra Arms Crew said To Smuggle Drugs" The 3rd secret had surfaced. Brinkley wrote: "Fed. Drug investigators uncovered evidence last fall that the American flight crews which covertly carried arms to the Nicaraguan rebels were smuggling cocaine and other drugs on their return trips back to the US. Administration Officials said today that when the crew members, based in El Salvador, learned that DEA agents were investigating their activities, one of them warned that they had White House protection. The Times then quoted an anonymous US official who said the crew member's warnings which came after DEA searched his San Salvador house for drugs, caused 'quite a stir' at Ilopango."

Feb. 09, 1987, I had meeting with Lt. Col. Adame and Elmore re: major argument with DEA HQS I.A. Lourdez Border. They had just arrived in Guatemala for a two-day fact finding tour of El Salvador.

Feb.10, 1987, I met with U.S. Ambassador Corr (Salvador) re DEA HQS Intel. Analyst Lourdez Border and Doug (last name unknown) - both were rookies. In two days in El Salvador, they determined that there was no contra involvement in drug trafficking.

February 27. 1987, I spoke to Mike Alston, DEA Miami, RE: Contra pilots John Hall; Bruce Jones' airstrip in Costa Rica, Colombian Luis Rodriguez; Mr. Shrimp-Ocean Hunter Costa Rica > to Miami. Contra Operation from Central American to U.S.

March 03, 1987, met with Janis Elmore (CIA) from 9:00pm till 12:00

March 30, 1987, I invited U.S. Customs Agent Richard Rivera to El Salvador in an attempt to trace ammunitions and weapons found in Mr.Grasheim's residence. It's alleged that The Pentagon put a stop on his trace. (They were never able to trace the items).

April 01, 1987, Bob Stia, Walter (pilot) Morales and myself flew to El Salvador. Met with two CIA agents who advised us that we could no longer utilize Murga because he was now working with them).

April 07,08,09, 1987, I met with John Martch in Guatemala Re: Contras and OPR.

Sept. 27, 1987, Central American CIA agent, Randy Capister, the Guatemala military (G-2) and myself, seized over 2,404 kilos of cocaine from a Guatemalan Congressman, Carlos Ramiro Garcia de Paz and the Medellin cartel (biggest cocaine seizure in Central America and top five ever). However, several individuals were murdered and raped on said operation. CIA agent and myself saw the individuals being interrogated. The Congressman was never arrested or charged.

October 22, 1987, I received a call from DEA HQS Everett Johnson, not to close Contra files because some committee was requesting file. If you have an open file, you do not have access to the files under Freedom of Information Act.

Aug. 30, 1988, Received intelligence from (Guido Del Prado) at the U.S. Embassy, El Salvador re: Carlos Armando Llemus-Herrera (Contra pilot).

Oct. 27, 1988, Received letter from "Bill," Regional Security Officer at the Embassy in El Salvador re: Corruption on US ambassador Corr and del Prado.

Dec. 03, 1988, DEA seized 356 kilos of cocaine in Tiquisate, Guatemala (DEA # TG-89-0002; Hector Sanchez). Several Colombians were murdered on said operation and condoned by the DEA and CIA. I have pictures of individuals that were murdered in said case. The target was on Gregorio Valdez (CIA asset) of The Guatemala Piper Co. At that time, all air operations for the CIA and DEA flew out of Piper.

Aug. 24, 1989, Because of my information, the U.S. Embassy canceled Guatemalan Military, Lt. Col. Hugo Francisco Moran-Carranza, (Head of Interpol and Corruption) U.S. visa. He was documented as a drug trafficker and as a corrupt Guatemalan Official. He was on his way to a U.S. War College for one year, invited by the CIA.

Feb. 21, 1990, I send a telex-cable to DEA HQS Re: Moran's plan to assassinate me.

Between Aug. 1989 and March 06, 1990, Col. Moran had initiated the plan to assassinate me in El Salvador and blame it on the guerrillas. On March 06, 1990, I traveled to Houston to deliver an undercover audio tape on my assassination. The Houston DEA S.A Mark Murtha (DEA File M3-90-0053) had an informant into Lt. Col. Moran.

Feb. 24, 1990, I moved my family back home because DEA could not make a decision.

March 15, 1990, After 6 months knowing about the assassination plan, DEA transferred me out to San Diego, California for 6months.

April 05, 1990, an illegal search was conducted at my residence in Guatemala by Guatemala DEA agents Tuffy Von Briensen, Larry Hollifield and Guatemalan Foreign Service National, Marco Gonzales in Guatemala (No search warrant). DEA HQS agreed that it had been an illegal search requested by OPR S/I Tony Recevuto. (OPR file PR-TG-90-0068) On Sept. 16, 1991, a questionnaire was faxed to me in regards to the illegal search. (see attached)

April 11, 1991, in an undercover capacity, Carlos Cabezas's wife sold me 5 kilos of cocaine in San Francisco. (DEA # R3-91-0036; Milagro Rodriguez)

On April 16, 1991, I met with Carlos Cabezas at the DEA Office in San Francisco. He stated to me that Zavala and himself were informants for the FBI in San Francisco at the time his wife delivered the cocaine. Alvaro Carbajal had supplied the 5 kilos of cocaine. (There is an undercover audio tape available as evidence) Mr. Cabezas gave me his undercover business card. It was identified as "The California Company" at 3519-Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110 REAL ESTATE & INVESTMENTS Carlos A. Cabezas, Sales Associate Pager: 371-7108 Fax: (415) 647-0918; Res: (415 991-3104; Bus: (415) 647-8014.

May 10, 1990, DEA HQS OPR S/I Tony Recevuto returned to Guatemala and requested the U.S. Ambassador, to please grant Lt. Col. Hugo Moran-Carranza a US Visa, so that he could testify before the BCCI investigation in Miami. The ambassador could not understand why anyone, for any reason would request a US Visa for an individual who had planned the assassination of a US drug agent.

May 27, 1990, I was ordered to return back to Guatemala to pack my household goods. The threat was still very real for me. On June 01, 1990, I departed Guatemala for the last time. On June 05, 1990, another American was killed by the Guatemalan Military. Before the Kerry Committee

The CIA acknowledged drugs in a statement by Central American Task Force Chief Alan Fiers who testified: "with respect to (drug trafficking) by the Resistance Forces...It is not a couple of people. It is a lot of people."

The DEA has always stated that my reports were unfounded, but they later recanted. DEA Assistant Administrator, David Westrate stated of the Nicaraguan War: "It is true that people on both sides of the equation (in the Nicaraguan War) were drug traffickers, and a couple of them were pretty significant."

In a Sept. 20-26, 1989, series of debriefings and in subsequent debriefing on Feb. 13, 1990, by DEA agents in Los Angeles, Lawrence Victor Harrison, an American-born electronics specialist who had worked in Mexico and had been involved with the leading figures in the Mexican drug cartel, was interviewed. He testified that he had been present when two of the partners of Matta-Ballesteros and Rafael Caro-Quintero, met with American pilots working out of Ilopango air base in El Salvador, providing arms to the Contras. The purpose of the meeting was to work out drug deals.

Several days earlier, on Feb. 09, 1990, Harrison had told DEA interrogators that Nicaraguan Contras were being trained at a ranch in Vera Cruz, owned by Rafael Caro Quintero. It was at Quintero's Guadalajara ranch that DEA Agent Kiki Camarena, and his pilot were interrogated, tortured and buried alive.

January 23, 1991, letter to Mr. William M. Baker, Asst. Director of Criminal Investigative Division, FBI; from Lawrence E. Walsh and Mike Foster, requesting several FBI files on Walter L. Grasheim. (see attached)

January 30, 1991, letter to DEA Ronald Caffrey, Deputy Asst. Administrator for Operations at DEA from Craig A. Guillen, Associate Counsel of the Office of Independent Counsel; requesting Walter L. Grasheim reports. (see attached)

In 1991, a DEA General File was opened on an Oliver North in Washington D.C. (GFGD-91-9139) "smuggling weapons into the Philippines with known drug traffickers."

In 1991, before I departed the DEA, I met with FBI agent Mike Foster, investigator for The Office of Independent Counsel on Iran-Contra, where I gave him detailed information of the Contras' involvement in drugs.

October, 1994, The Washington Post reported that former Government Officials, including the DEA, CIA, State Department, US Customs and White House officials were quoted as saying that Lt. Col. Oliver North did not advise them of his knowledge that the Contras were involved in drug trafficking.

In 1997, I joined DEA SA Richard Horn in a federal class action suit against the CIA. The suit is against the CIA and other federal agencies for spying on several DEA agents and other unnamed DEA employees and their families. United States District Court for The District of Columbia; Richard Horn vs. Warren Christopher, Civil Action No. 1:96CV02120 (HHG) January 30, 1994.

This is a list of DEA case file and names of individuals that may help support my allegations.

GFTG-86-9145, GFTG-87-9145 El Salvador

GFTG-86-9999, GFTG-87-9999, Air Intelligence

TG-87-0003, Walter L. Grasheim (Salvador case)

TG-86-0001, Leonel Guitan-Guitan

DEA Informants STG-86-0006 and STG-81-0013

US Ambassador Edwin Corr

Janis Elmore (CIA 1986 through 1989). I reported to her when in El Salvador.

Don Richardson ( CIA & Political Officer in El Salvador 1986,87). I reported to him in El Salvador.

Felix Vargas (CIA El Salvador 1986, 87)

Col. James Steel ( Mil-Group Commander El Salvador).

U.S. Lt. Col. Alberto Adame (Under Steel)

Lupita Vega (the only Salvadoran which was cleared for "Top Secret")
worked in the Milgroup in El Salvador.

Felix Rodriguez (CIA at Ilopango hanger 4 & 5)

Jack McCavett (CIA Chief of Station in El Salvador).

CIA George Witter in El Salvador. He asked for US visa on drug trafficker Carlos Alberto Amador.

CIA Randy Capister (covert operation in Central America 1985 t090). Involved in several atrocities.

CIA Manuel Brand (retired Cuban-American) Guatemala

State Department (De Luoie) El Salvador

State Department RSO Bill Rouche El Salvador

State Dept. Official Del Prado (El Salvador)

DEA John Martsh (DEA HQS)

DEA Jack O'Conner (DEA HQS)

DEA HQS Agents AZZAM & Frank Torello (retired) involved in Contra ops in Europe

Salvadoran General Bustillo (retired in Florida)

US Custom Richard Rivera and Philip Newton

DEA Sandy Gonzales (Costa Rica)

Lincoln Benedicto-Honduras US Embassy-Consul General April 30, 1986. Re: Matta-Ballesteros

Some people have asked, "Why I am doing this? I reply, "That a long time ago I took an oath to protect The Constitution of the United States and its citizens". In reality, it has cost me so much to become a complete human being, that I've lost my family. In 1995, I made a pilgrimage to the Vietnam Wall, where I renounced my Bronze Star in protest of the atrocities my government had committed in Central America. I have now become a veteran of my third, and perhaps most dangerous war --- a war against the criminals within my own Government. Heads have to roll for those who are responsible and still employed by the government. They will be the first targets in an effective drug strategy. If not, we will continue to have groups of individuals who will be beyond any investigation, who will manipulate the press, judges and members of our Congress,
and still be known in our government as those who are above the law.

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard
http://www.drugwar.com/castillo.shtm

Drug War: Covert Money, Power & Policy: Castillo






Photo: Cele Castillo on patrol in Vietnam, 1971

Felix Rodriguez' deputy at the U.S. Milgroup in Illopango, CORU assassin Luis Posada Carriles, was the terminal chief that sent Eugene Hasenfus off on his ill-fated October 1986 flight. Gustavo Villoldo, who was with Rodriguez at the Bay of Pigs and hunting Ché in Bolivia, functioned as a "combat advisor" to the Contras under writtten orders from Bush aide Gregg. He helped Rodriguez and Posada turn Illopango into a major drug port, according to Celerino Castillo, the DEA's senior Country Attaché to Guatemala and El Salvador from 1985 to 1990. It was Castillo who had developed much of the DEA evidence used by Senator Kerry.

Castillo was a heavily decorated Vietnam combat veteran who had recently commanded very dangerous DEA operations in New York, Peru and Guatemala. In New York, in the early 80’s, the bilingual street wise Tex-Mex demonstrated the nerve and talent to go after major dealers, producing bust after major bust. Castillo’s biggest bust, of an extensive Sicilian heroin importing and distribution operation, actually depended on his ability to translate the Spanish Pig-Latin of the ring’s warehouse manager.

This caused Castillo to find himself, in 1984, as the only Spanish-speaking DEA agent in Peru. That, of course, is an indication of the suicidal racism endemic in law enforcement culture, as Castillo was painfully aware.

His continuing record of major busts found Castillo in tactical charge of Operation Condor, coordinating DEA, CIA and Peruvian military elements. He made the largest coke bust in Peruvian history, a cocaine manufacturing and distribution compound that housed more than 600 people:

“The South American newspapers published multi-page articles on the raid, repeating the numbers: Four tons of coca paste seized from a lab capable of churning out 500 kilos of pure cocaine every day. The Peruvian government estimated the compound’s value at $500 million. It was the biggest cocaine lab capture in South American history.... We later discovered that the lab belonged to Arcesio and Omar Ricco, members of the Cali cartel.”

The undiplomatic Castillo insisted on pointing the finger directly at the covert elements within the Peruvian command structure responsible for protecting this and other jungle refineries. This caused Castillo's transfer to Guatemala.



photo: Castillo in front of his major Operation Condor tool, a chopper


"In October of 1985, upon my arrival in Guatemala, I was forewarned by Guatemala DEA, Country Attaché, Robert J. Stia, that the DEA had received intelligence that the Contras out of Salvador, were involved in drug trafficking. For the first time, I had come face to face with the contradictions of my assignment. The reason that I had been forewarned was because I would be the Lead Agent in El Salvador."

Col. James Steele, commander of the U. S. Military Group at Ilopango, arranged for Castillo to co-train elite drug squads for Salvadoran military intelligence. Their Salvadoran trainer was Dr. Hector Antonio Regalado, D'Aubuisson's top aide. "August 03, 1986, Ramiro Guerra, Lt. Col. A. Adame, Dr. Hector Regalado (Dr. Death, who claimed to have shot Archbishop Romero) and myself went out on patrol in El Salvador." Regalado combined his training at the School of the Americas in Ft. Benning with his expertise as a dentist to inflict excruciating pain during "interrogation." It was these Nazi skills that he taught to Castillo's "drug" squads.

The situation was the same in neighboring Guatemala: "I participated in numerous joint operations with the CIA and Guatemalan security forces, principally the D-2 (Guatemalan military intelligence...)....The level of CIA and DEA involvement in operations that included torture and murder in Guatemala is much higher than the [6/28/96 Intelligence Oversight Board] report indicates. With US anti-narcotics funding still being funneled to the Guatemalan Military, this situation continues."



photo: Castillo’s evidence photo and note

“Dec. 03, 1988, DEA seized 356 kilos of cocaine in Tiquisate, Guatemala (DEA #TG-89-0002; Hector Sanchez). Several Colombians were murdered on said operation and condoned by the DEA and CIA. I have pictures of individuals that were murdered in said case. The target was on Gregorio Valdez (CIA asset) of the Guatemalan Piper Co. At that time, all air operations for the CIA and DEA flew out of Piper.”





photo: Castillo’s photos of the murdered pilots

“With every killing, G2 took stacks of cash and bags of cocaine. In a faint nod to the law, they usually turned over a portion of the confiscated dope to beef up the country’s drug war numbers. they sold the rest, or saved it to frame future victims.”



photo: One of the dead pilots, drowned in a bucket of water; Castillo's note


"The CIA, with knowledge of ambassadors and the State Department and National Security Council officials, as well as Congress, continued this aid after the termination of overt military assistance in 1990....Several contract pilots for the DEA and CIA worked out of [the Guatemala] Piper [Company in Guatemala City] and most were documented narcotic traffickers."

Castillo realized he couldn't control the situation at all. He was simply being used for his logistical clout. The Salvadoran and Guatemalan militaries controlled the actual busts, which were politicized, and from which the coke almost always found its way into the hands of military intelligence, which resold it, by the ton. These butchers were, in fact, the dealers. Castillo's stomach turned. "I realized how hopelessly tangled DEA, the CIA, and every other U.S. entity had become with the criminals."

"The CIA and Guatemalan army also label as communist sympathizers anyone who opposes the traditional oppressive role of the Guatemalan military. Therefore, they label as communists or communist sympathizers, priests and nuns who work to elevate the position of the poor in society, union organizers...indigenous leaders (the Indians are kept down so that they can be used as cheap laborers by the rich, who are supported by the military) and student activists....The CIA supports the intimidation, kidnapping and torture, surveillance and murder of these people."

"As an example, look at the case of Dianna Ortiz, the American nun who was working with poor children and was kidnapped, raped and tortured by Guatemalan soldiers....I was present at the US Embassy in Guatemala, when, just after the incident, several members of the DEA, State Department and CIA jokingly asked me if Dianna Ortiz had been good at sex. The reason they were teasing me was that she had said that an American Hispanic with possible ties to the US Embassy had been present during her torture and rape. Since everyone at the Embassy knew that I worked with the Guatemalan Military's D-2, and Sister Ortiz reported that soldiers had captured her, the people at the Embassy assumed that I was the American involved. (She was later shown photos of me and stated that I was not the person she had seen there, referred to by the soldiers as their boss.) I believe the reason that these DEA, State Department and CIA personnel would joke about such a thing is that they label Dianna Ortiz as a communist sympathizer. People with that mind set do not believe that she should be protected."

Castillo investigated Col. Julio Alpirez, who ordered the 1993 murder of captured guerrilla leader Efraín Bámaca, Jennifer Harbury's husband. Michael Devine, an American innkeeper, was also murdered by Alpirez. "He was killed in June 1990, murdered by Guatemalan soldiers, according to the IOB report. What the report does not mention, however, is that Colonel Alpirez was the director of the notorious Archivos while he was also a CIA asset and that he hadpreviously been reported to the DEA for drug trafficking. This is documented in DEA General file number GFTG-88-9077 with filename "Corrupt Official" dated June 09, 1988. I was the agent who initiated the file."

"Colonel Alpirez is also documented as a narcotics trafficker in DEA case file number TG-88-0009 entitled"Moreno-Campos, Aparicio", dated August 25, 1988 and submitted by me. In both case files, Alpirez is named along with his subordinate, Carlos Rene Perez-Alvarez, who was known as Won Ton of La Mano Blanca (the White Hand of the death squads). Carlos Rene Perez-Alvarez operated "la panel blanca" (the White Van)that has patrolled the streets of Guatemala for so many years, kidnapping and murdering people for the death squads."

"On page A-3, the report refers to a personality profile on DeVine that was 'generally positive, but noted a somewhat aggressive manner and a readiness to denounce people involved in narcotics trafficking.' The latter comment is, in my view, a key to thereason that he was killed. The connections of DeVine to Alpirez, Alpirez to the CIA, the CIA to the D-2 and the D-2 to the murderof DeVine can all be found in the IOB report, supporting what I was told about the case."

"Here is what I believe to be the truth about the DeVine case, according to my sources. 1. Colonel Alpirez was trafficking drugs. (see DEA case filenumber GFTG-88-9077 and number TG-88-0009). 2. Colonel Alpirez was a CIA asset (according to the IOB reportand numerous other sources). 3. DeVine gained knowledge of Alpirez's drug trafficking activities while Alpirez was training Kaibil forces in the Petenclose to his farm. 4. DeVine reported Alpirez's drug trafficking activities to the US Embassy in Guatemala. 5. After DeVine reported Alpirez to the US Embassy, RandyCapister, a CIA agent operating out of the embassy, contacted Colonel Francis (Paco) Ortega, former head of the D-2, and a CIAand DEA asset. He told Ortega that DeVine had reported ColonelAlpirez (another CIAasset) for drug trafficking. (per phoneconversation between myself and Randy Capister after the death of DeVine in 1990). 6. Colonel Ortega contacted the new head of the D-2, Colonel Cesar Cabrera, who had been under Ortega's command earlier (WhenColonel Ortega was head of the D-2, Cabrera was a lieutenant colonel and Ortega’s second in command). 7. Cabrera, chief of the D-2 ordered the so-called"interrogation" of DeVine and was therefore 'indirectlyresponsible for DeVine’s death' (See IOB report page A-3). (This "interrogation" included a machete blow that almost completely severed DeVine's head from his body.)" (All parentheses Castillo's)

It was Alpirez' protected drug plantations and dealing structure, two years after the murder of DeVine, that Efraín Bámaca, Commandante Everardo, threatened to expose. Although Castillo could shed professional DEA light on CIA complicity in the drug dealing of its ally, Guatemalan D-2, Walsh couldn't "declassify" Castillo's testimony, or save his career. Castillo's book, Powderburns, is essential reading for anyone after a realistic assessment of the Drug War.



Photo: Jennifer Harbury on hunger strike in front of the Guatemalan National Palace, October, 1994, with a picture of her murdered husband, Efraín Bámaca Velasquez


Although Iran-Contra Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh interviewed Castillo extensively, not one word of his verifiable, professional testimony, backed up by DEA case file and NADDIS numbers, could be found in Walsh's voluminous 1993 Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters. Walsh had no choice - Castillo's testimony had been "classified." Likewise the remarkable testimony of CIA agent Brenneke, elicited by Congressman Alexander. Explained Walsh, "In addition to the unclassified Volumes I and II of this report, a brief classified report, Volume III, has been filed with the Special Division. The classified report contains references to material gathered in the investigation of Iran/contra that could not be declassified and could not be concealed by some substitute form of discussion." Later on in the report, referring to dope-dealing CIA Costa Rica station chief Joe Fernandez, Walsh complained that "We've created a class of intelligence officer who cannot be prosecuted."

"The main target of that case was a Guatemalan Congressman, (Carlos Ramiro Garcia de Paz) who took delivery of 2,404 kilos of cocaine in Guatemala just before the interrogation. This case directly implicated the Guatemalan Government in drug trafficking (The Guatemalan Congressman still has his US visa and continues to travel at his pleasure into the US). To add salt to the wound, in 1989 these murders were investigated by the U.S Department of Justice, Office of Professional Responsibility. DEA S/I Tony Recevuto determined that the Guatemalan Military Intelligence, G-2 (the worst human rights violators in the Western Hemisphere) was responsible for these murders. Yet, the U.S. government continued to order U.S. agents to work hand-in-hand with the Guatemalan Military. This information was never turned over to the I.O.B. investigation."






Photo: The murdered Jairo Gilardo-Ocampo, José Ramón and Maria Parra-Iniguez


"I have obtained a letter, dated May 28, 1996, from the DEA administrator, to U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D), Texas. In this letter, the administrator flatly lies, stating that DEA agents 'have never engaged in any joint narcotics programs with the Guatemalan Military.' I was there. I was the leading Agent in Guatemala. 99.9% of DEA operations were conducted with the Guatemalan military."



Photo: DEA agents Von Briesen and Castillo with a machine gun toting Guatemalan G-2 agent in the background; Castillo’s note

The Office of Professional Responsibility actually used false testimony from Castillo's would-be Guatemalan assassin, Col. Moran, to force Castillo's premature retirement. Felix Rodriguez, on the other hand, was full of medals from Salvadoran generals and Col. James Steele.

Permission to reprint from Celerino Castillo & Michael C. Ruppert, "From The Wilderness"@ http://www.copvcia.com
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard

http://www.mediafilter.org/MFF/DEA.35.html




DEA'S FINEST DETAILS CORRUPTION
By John Veit

(Celerino Castillo III, one of the Drug Enforcement Agency's most prolific agents, who netted record busts in New York, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador and San Francisco, was ordered not to investigate US-sponsored drug trafficking operations supervised by Oliver North. After twelve years of service, Castillo has retired from the agency, "amazed that the US government could get away with drug trafficking for so long." In his book Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras, and the Drug War [Mosaic Press, 1994], Castillo details the US role in drug and weapons smuggling, money laundering, torture, and murder, and includes Oliver North's drug use and dealing, and the training of death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala by the DEA.)

VIETNAM BLUES
Sergeant Castillo was a doper's nightmare during his days in Vietnam. Constantly testing the reflexes and surveillance skills of his platoon, Castillo had no tolerance for soldiers stoned on heroin or OJ's (marijuana soaked with opium). Compassionate with users suffering emotional problems, Castillo took a hard line with those who compromised the safety of the unit, court-martialling anyone who failed to clean themselves up after two warnings.

With addicts dying around him regularly, Castillo vowed to make fighting narcotics his life's work once back in the states. He told the SHADOW: "Every week we would send another overdose victim home in a green bag. If the soldier was well liked, someone would pump a bullet in the soldier's body. The family would be told he died a hero's death. If the consensus was that the dead soldier had been an asshole, he would be sent home with nothing more than the needle pricks in his arm." Dope and undisciplined soldiers were problems Castillo left behind when he volunteered to join a secret sniper unit in neighboring Cambodia in 1971. The Vietcong used Cambodia as a staging ground for raids on South Vietnam since the US Congress had declared it off-limits to American soldiers. Castillo's twelve-man team would pick off commanding officers at VC bases with M-14 sniper rifles. "We never missed," Castillo recalled. "According to the Pentagon, we were never there."

These were the first of many US Government cover-ups Castillo was to be involved with in his twenty-one year career as a public servant.

OFFICER CASTILLO, TEXAS DEA 101
Things were tamer back in Edinburgh, Texas, where Castillo served as a police officer while earning a criminal justice degree from Pan American University in 1975. "I drank in every detail of the lectures, paying particular attention to any mention of drug laws. They would be my weapons in the streets." Serving first as a dispatcher at the Edinburgh Police Department, he moved to the field, using his Vietnam surveillance and combat skills well, often surprising thieves and other miscreants during the commission of crimes.

Being fluent in Spanish enabled Castillo to intimately interact with people on his beat and he became a model community police officer. His network of informants grew quickly. Unlike the felons in later assignments with the DEA, most of Castillo's informants were locals, people with families fed up with the drug trade in their neighborhood. It was when working with federal agents that Castillo saw basic classroom policing get "thrown out the window."

Two senior DEA agents, Jesse Torrez and Chema Cavazos, took Castillo on as an apprentice of sorts, taking him along when he fed them busts too big for Edinburgh's small force to handle. When Castillo got wind of any smuggling over the border, his DEA mentors summoned the federales, the Mexican national police renowned for their violence.

Mexican interrogations involved hanging the suspected trafficker by a beam and pouring seltzer up his nose. Often a cattle prod, the chicara, named after the cicada, was used to extract names of customs officials and traffickers working both sides of the border. The Americans would stand by at a distance, listening for valuable intelligence.

During other co-ventures between the Edinburgh PD and the DEA, Castillo witnessed the DEA's disregard for the safety of informants. DEA agents would often barge in minutes after a transaction was made, giving the informant's identity away instantly. Castillo had always waited long enough to create an avenue of doubt in the mind of the suspect, a necessary courtesy insuring the relationship's continuity. Like all the DEA offices Castillo later worked in, the one in McAllen, Texas was cooperatively dysfunctional, with two sets of agents pitted against each other, divided primarily along racial lines. Animosity and suspicion among agents were constants in an organization where precision and coordination is a prerequisite to mutual survival.




NEW YORK CITY: NO RULES
After six years in Edinburgh, Castillo joined the DEA. His first assignment was New York City in 1980, a far cry from Vietnam's jungles and the relatively placid living of the Rio Grande Valley. Cocaine was making a healthy return to streetcorners and the city's surviving discos. Crack pipes were making their first gasps in the city as Ronald Reagan ushered in a new era of borrowed prosperity and conspicuous decadence.

Placed in the New York office's wiliest squad, the "Raiders," Castillo watched as dealers' doors were kicked in without warrants, illegal wiretaps were performed, and Miranda rights were forgotten. During a stint at Kennedy Airport, he saw agents rip off traffickers, regularly pocketing cash, jewelry and drugs. Not being one to snitch, the young agent held his tongue. "I had always done things by the book. Here they ripped out the pages and stomped on them," Castillo told the SHADOW. "Internal Affairs was always watching, but we were protected by the cluster of New Yorkers in DEA's Washington office known as the New York Mafia." These administrative agents insured that the New York office, the country's largest, was immune from "messy internal investigations." Contacted by the SHADOW, DEA spokesman John Hughes denied that such an organization existed, stating that such a thing would, "stick out like a sore thumb."

DEA BRASS: BIGOTS WITH BADGES
The DEA has never been a pioneer of affirmative action. Most agents do not speak Spanish, despite the Agency's constant interaction with Hispanics. On several occasions, Castillo's safety was jeopardized when Spanish-challenged agents failed to recognize the bust's signal word among the rolling Spanish chatter, leaving him to improvise with armed dealers anxious for their drugs or cash.

Spanish-speaking agents follow cases from the mouth of the informant to the prison cell, their superiors often performing only administrative tasks. Despite the paucity of their investigative work, DEA administrators would rush in with the swarm of blue windbreakers the day of the bust, eager to take credit for everything. Castillo told the SHADOW, "Every Hispanic agent I knew fell into the same trap and was assigned wiretap monitoring, translations, and surveillance. We worked long hours building cases against Dominicans and Puerto Ricans and would have to stand back while paper pushers took the credit."

Being a workaholic brought quick results in the Big Apple for Castillo. In his four years working the city, Castillo orchestrated some of the biggest busts the nation had ever seen. On November 4th, 1982, twenty pounds of heroin worth $20 million were hauled in, one of the largest busts in New York City history.

With every day spent on the streets, Castillo's hatred for drugs grew with increasing vehemence. Castillo witnessed addicts of every ilk, sometimes as young as fourteen, constantly throwing their lives into the toilet so drug dealers could get rich. It would be a hard slap of reality to later discover that the United States government was instrumental in saturating American streets with life destroying drugs.

PERU: DRUG WAR FUTILITY
By 1984, the US appetite for cocaine was peaking as fields in South America were converted to accommodate the coca leaf. Castillo, the only Spanish-speaking field agent in Peru, continued his efficient work, making numerous busts in his two years there.

Working the jungles, although frustrating for Castillo, was a welcome change from Manhattan's steel maze and reminiscent of Vietnam. Stymied by the DEA's advisory status in foreign countries, however, Castillo was unable to probe too deeply into Peru's narco underworld. The Peruvian military thought their American advisor would be satisfied torching small labs and shooting down traffickers' planes. Castillo demanded to bust the big labs, the factories run by the cartels. Peru's military however, conveniently kept the larger fields and refineries off-limits to American investigation. The military claimed that the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, the Maoist guerrillas whose reign of terror included cocaine smuggling and numerous murders of government officials and civilians) controlled the areas of major cocaine production.

The last thing Peru's government wanted was to have an American agent killed by Sendero, which would jeopardize future military aid. Castillo later learned their caution was merely a smokescreen used to protect Columbian cartel-controlled airstrips and refineries from American intervention. The military, like most Peruvian governmental agencies, was largely dominated by Colombia's cartels who were adept at greasing palms and instilling fear in the hearts of potential drug enforcement heroes.

The US took a more prominent role in the Peruvian military during Castillo's four years there, with programs like Operation Condor, which used the collective services of the DEA, CIA and the armies of Colombia and Peru to fight drug trafficking. With their help, Castillo was able to coordinate more and larger busts, including South America's biggest ever: four tons of raw coca paste, three airplanes, and a gargantuan cocaine refinery able to perform every phase of the leaf's metamorphosis into nose candy. As a result, US military aid to Peru was increased.

Despite his successes, Castillo remained mired in the DEA's bigoted bureaucracy. Castillo's station chief, Peter Rieff, a non-Spanish speaker, felt threatened by Castillo and transferred him to Guatemala without the promotion originally promised after one year's service. Rieff's reasoning was, "you just haven't paid your dues, Cele."

DEA NEGLECT: AN AGENT IS MURDERED
It was during Castillo's Peru junket that DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camerena was killed by CIA informants on March 6th, 1985 in Vista Hermosa, Mexico near Guadalajara. Left alone to work Mexico with some of the country's most notoriously dangerous traffickers, Camerena often complained about not receiving enough support in the field while working undercover. "Camerena warned the DEA brass things were getting dangerous in Guadalajara. The Agency ignored him," Castillo recalled to the SHADOW after listening to audio tapes of Camarena's torture and murder. "Both of the killers worked for the CIA and were double-dipping," (snitching for the CIA while using their protected status to deal dope on the side.) Only one of Camarena's killers were caught.
Read more on this topic here

Castillo empathized with Camerena's plight. He could just as easily have been the one who dug too deeply for the cartel's convenience. Kidnapping and murdering family members of police and informants is common practice in the drug-dominated nations of Latin America. With his wife and two children following him on his long-term assignments, Castillo constantly worried that they would suffer a fate similar to El Salvador's President José Napoleon Duarte, who had to walk unarmed into a guerrilla compound in 1986 and beg for the release of his daughter in exchange for immunity for their imprisoned comrades.

During a later assignment, an informant provided Castillo with wiretapped conversations of a drug dealing Guatemalan colonel outlining an intricate plan to assassinate him. "Instead of talking about the bust the informant was setting up, Colonel Moran kept going on about how he was going to blame the rebels for my assassination. A hit squad was going to wait in the bushes and ambush me when I drove past on Highway 8 in El Salvador," Castillo told the SHADOW from his home state of Texas, where he is currently president of his local Parent Teachers Association.

Castillo had reported to his superiors that Moran was heavily involved in narcotics trafficking, frequently orchestrating cash drops to the Panama City branch of the scandal-ridden Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). After hearing the tapes outlining the assassination, DEA superiors ordered Castillo to drive down Highway 8 to El Salvador to investigate a mission of dubious importance. "I felt as if someone had painted a bullseye on the back of my head," Castillo recalled. "Tree branches were sniper rifles, I drove about ninety miles an hour most of the way."

DEA files outlining Colonel Moran's sporadic career as a DEA and CIA informant were provided to Castillo by agents sympathetic to his plight as an agency pariah. During later DEA attempts to silence Castillo, the Colonel was summoned to testify before the DEA's Office of Professional Responsibility. Moran detailed allegations to enthralled inspectors that Castillo had shot several drug dealers in the back of the head during a bust in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala in 1986. The charges were false and Moran's plot to assassinate Castillo was never mentioned during the proceedings.

DEA informants include some of the world's most disreputable rouges who often use their informant status as carte blanche to deal dope on the side. Although DEA spokesman Hughes denied to the SHADOW that such "double dipping" is tolerated, he added: "You don't use the Pope to catch drug dealers."

Hughes also denied that the agency is reckless with their overseas agents, saying they "always have a recourse for back-up, usually with local police." Local police certainly didn't help Camerena, and Castillo laughed when the SHADOW told him Hughes' remarks.

CENTRAL AMERICA: CHAOS, COCAINE, DEATH SQUADS
The Guatemala City DEA office in the US Embassy compound covers four countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Be-lize, and Honduras. In 1985, Castillo's beat, El Salvador and Guatemala, was one of the most volatile on the globe, racked by years of internal warfare, death squad violence, and narcotrafficking.

Like Peru, both governments were subservient to three related entities: the US Government, the cartels, and their militaries. The militaries operated on their own, violently rooting out sus-pected communists from their borders while trafficking drugs and weapons to support themselves. Both nations' mili-taries harbored death squads who rou-tinely kidnapped and tortured suspected subversives. It was with these elements that Castillo was forced to cooperate in forming anti-narcoterrorism units.

In training his elite drug squads, Castillo utilized the services of re-nowned death squad leaders. Dr. Hec-tor Antonio Regalado was hired as a firearms trainer for Castillo's El Salva-dor unit at the recommendation of Colonel James Steele, commander of the United States Military Group which oversaw American armed forces in Cen-tral America.

Trained at the US' School of the Americas in Ft. Benning, Georgia, Regalado often bragged of his trigger-man role in the assassination of Arch-bishop Oscar Romero, a globally be-loved human rights activist, in March 1980. Regalado was also a torture ex-pert, frequently using his skills as a dentist to extract information from nota-ble "subversives." Much to Castillo's dis-gust, the death squads' most notorious human butchers and drug dealers be-came his students and colleagues. While Castillo's classes dealt primarily with surveillance, raid tactics and firearms training, others detailed explicit torture methods. Deemed "interview tech-niques," students were instructed how to use cattle prods and hoses and to sub-merge suspects' faces in buckets of water until nearly causing drowning.

Death squad drug busts made the Mexican federales seem tame by com-parison. Standard procedure involved Castillo doing the intelligence gathering for a bust, after which the military would swarm in, interrogating and tor-turing the traffickers to death before absconding with a portion of the drugs.

One such bust happened on Septem-ber 25, 1987, when Castillo's unit busted a cocaine ring run by Guatemalan Con-gressman Carlos Ramiro de Paz. 3000 kilos of cocaine, the largest bust in Central American history, were found. By the time the coke got to headquar-ters, however, six hundred kilos were missing. A soldier laughingly admitted to Castillo that the G2 (Guatemala's elite military unit) had pilfered it.

While the G2 let de Paz live, (G2 wiretappers later relished listening to him pleading with Medillin cartel leader Pablo Escobar to have mercy on him), everyone else was hacked to death with machetes. A Mexican drug courier's daughters were gang-raped before their execution.

Castillo reported these and other de-tails of Guatemalan and Salvadoran military corruption to his station chief, Bob Stia, who reluctantly signed the re-ports. All of Castillo's reports were for-warded to the US Embassy, where they went on to Washington. DEA Washing-ton refuses to open the Puerto Barrios file, in addition to most of Castillo's reports, citing privacy restrictions. Cas-tillo has, however, made his reports available to journalists and the public.

IRAN-CONTRA-COCAINE
The Iran-Contra scandal blared across American television and newspapers, but drug activity was rarely mentioned. The American public accepted the Reagan Administration's version of Iran-Contra, which maintained that weapons were covertly sold to Iran in order to generate funds for Contra mercenary soldiers seeking to overthrow the Nica-raguan Sandanista government. The money used by US Marine Corps Lieu-tenant Colonel Oliver North and his entourage from weapons sales to Iran to fund the Contras was a "drop in the bucket," according to Castillo. He told the SHADOW, "To the best of my knowledge, most of the money to fund the contras came through narcotics trafficking."

During Castillo's first day briefing, DEA Station Chief Stia casually men-tioned an operation being conducted by North and the National Security Council in El Salvador's Ilopango airport. This operation was to dominate the rest of Castillo's life, ruining his career as an agent. Stia said North picked up where the CIA left off, in supplying the con-tras with the necessary trappings of in-surrection. US support of the contras was highly illegal, prohibited by the US congress' Boland Amendments.

While Castillo empathized with con-tra soldiers in the field, who were de-pendent upon the erratic stream of sup-plies by the US, he would not tolerate drug trafficking by anyone. Reports of the Contras dealing in narcotics had saturated the DEA Central American office. Stia always looked the other way, warning "don't interfere with their oper-ation," according to Castillo. Castillo told Stia that he would report any and all trafficking he witnessed. Castillo says this prompted a laugh from Stia, who assured him that excessively insightful investigations into the contra operation would prompt DEA brass to find an ex-cuse to pull him out of the country. It proved to be a prophetic statement.

Castillo had established an informant at Ilopango who was in charge of in-specting cargo and routing air traffic. Soon, Castillo had detailed information on "hundreds of flights carrying cash, drugs, and weapons through Ilopango. All of which was sanctioned by the US government." Unaware of Ilopango's protected status, Bobby Nieves, a DEA country attache from Costa Rica, wired Castillo in April of 1986, instructing him to in-vestigate hangars four and five at Ilo-pango, saying in his cable, "We believe the Contras are involved in narcotics traf-ficking."

Castillo was shocked to see that most of Ilopango's traffickers were protected by the National Security Council's secur-ity blanket. In the spring of 1986, the Central Intelligence Agency had re-quested a US visa for Carlos Alberto Amador to use on narcotics trafficking missions. Amador is documented in ele-ven DEA files for narcotics trafficking and was typical of Ilopango's pilots. Castillo asked US Embassy Consular General Robert Chavez to block the visa request. Chavez complied, but worried he would be later castigated by his superiors. "Everyone was afraid of what might happen to them if they sup-ported my allegations," Castillo told the SHADOW.

The El Salvador home of Walter Grasheim, known in Powderburns as William Brasher, was raided by Cas-tillo's anti-narco terrorism unit on September 1, 1986. Grasheim is a con-victed cocaine dealer and is documented in seven DEA files alleging drug traf-ficking. Grasheim's place was a bar-racks for Contra pilots stopping through El Salvador. Prostitute informants who frequented the disheveled ranch house told Castillo it was the site of many all-nighters where contra pilots and govern-ment officials including Oliver North, spent long hours "doing cocaine, having sex, and shooting rifles."

The Grasheim raid yielded "enough firepower to arm a platoon," according to Castillo. The arsenal included "cases of C-4 explosives, hand grenades, rifles, night vision equipment, helicopter hel-mets, US embassy license plates and files documenting payoffs to El Salva-doran military officials. An M-16 rifle belonging to US Military Group Com-mander Steele was also found."

Castillo called US Customs agent Richard Rivera, asking him to find the sources of the American weapons. Cus-toms called him off the case and the weapons disappeared into the prover-bial memory hole. US Customs did not return SHADOW phone calls seeking permission for Rivera to talk. Rivera, however, has since confirmed Castillo's account in eleven interviews with the mainstream press.

Castillo tried to get an American official to answer his inquiries as to how Grasheim, a civilian with no legitimate ties to the US government, had pro-cured brand-new American arms, US embassy radios, and license plates. Edwin Corr, then US Ambassador to El Salvador, denied any link between Gra-sheim and Iran-Contra, telling the SHADOW that such allegations were "absolutely false." Like most US officials contacted by the SHADOW, however, Corr effusively praised Castillo's dili-gence as an agent, but expressed bewil-derment as to why Castillo has under-taken his crusade.

PSYCHOTIC OLLIE NORTH: COKE DEALER
Jack Blum, Special Prosecutor for Senator John Kerry's (D-Mass) Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations told the SHADOW: "There is no doubt in my mind that Oliver North knew about narcotics trafficking at Ilopango." The Committee interviewed dozens of pilots who openly detailed the "guns down, drugs up" operation. One such pilot, Michael Palmer, indicted for bringing 300,000 lbs. of marijuana into the US in the mid 1908's, frequently boasted to prosecutors that his activities were supported by the US government.

During Kerry's investigation, Castillo was ordered by the DEA's Freedom of Information Office to keep his reports on the Contras active, thereby rendering them inaccessible to the Committee and the press. Lacking Castillo's reports, the Committee still concluded in 1989 that: "There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling through the war zones on the part of individual Contras, contra pilots, mercenaries who worked with the Contras and the Contra supporters in the region."

Tim Ross, a twenty-one year veteran broadcaster for the BBC in Colombia, connected what he called "Ollie North's mob" to drug dealing in that country as well. Ross told the SHADOW that "In late '84, early '85, North brought five Afghani military advisers to Colombia on a speaking tour, three left, two stayed. The two that stayed were chemists who introduced heroin manufacturing to Colombia. He also brought in an Israeli agronomist who helped to cultivate opium poppies."

Ross said that when he started investigating too deeply for North's comfort, however, he was summoned to the US Embassy in Bogota and told, "You're going to lay off this story or you are going to die" by an "ex-marine, the type of guy who used to cut Vietcong throats with his thumbnail." Ross ran the story anyway, detailing Colombia's growing heroin epidemic, but North told his superiors that the story was nothing more than "fabrications, including trumped-up fake Mexican file footage."

Released after Powderburns and partially reprinted in the Washington Post and the Virginia Pilot, 534 pages of North's personal diaries mention drug trafficking. The July 9, 1984 entry states, "wanted aircraft to go to Bolivia to pick up paste, want aircraft to pick up 1,500 kilos." The July 12, 1985 entry reads, "$14 million to finance Supermarket came from drugs." The "Supermarket" was an Honduran weapons depot used by private arms merchants to supply the Contras. North is currently under investigation by the DEA for arms smuggling, according to DEA file number GF GD 91/93. North has denied any involvement with narcotics trafficking, stating in his autobiography Under Fire, "Very little in my life has angered me as much as the allegations that I or anyone else involved with the resistance had a drug connection."

North claims that when he heard of narcotics trafficking in Central America, he dutifully reported it to the DEA and CIA. DEA director Jack Lawn, DEA spokesman John Hughes and agent Castillo, who would have been assigned to investigate such information, denied that North ever supplied them with narcotics tips.

Oliver North has been no stranger to mayhem. After serving as a Marine combat officer in Vietnam, North had difficulties readjusting to American society. In 1974, according to Parade magazine (Nov 13, 1994), North spent an evening running through a suburban neighborhood naked, waving his .45 automatic pistol and screaming, "I'm no good!" North mentions his subsequent three week stay at Bethesda Naval Medical Center's psychiatric ward in his autobiography, but cites marital difficulties and depression over the failing war as causes for his stay there.

North has Castillo largely to blame for his recent loss in the 1994 Virginia senate race. Embarking on a fifty day journey through Virginia prior to the election, Castillo went on several radio and television talk shows and made public appearances throughout the state. Usually addressing die-hard Ollie fans, Castillo's town meetings invariably ended the same way: angry patriots deflated by their hero's involvement in narcotics. Despite millions of dollars in support from Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Freedom Alliance, Ollie still managed to lose the election.

GEORGE BUSH: A TELLING GRIN
George Bush visited Guatemala City in January of 1986 for the inauguration of newly-elected president Cerezo. Castillo later compiled evidence that Cerezo's brother and top aides were involved in drug trafficking, but was instructed by Stia not to "embarrass the Guatemalan government" by pursuing the case. During Cerezo's inauguration party at US Ambassador Piedra's home, Castillo voiced his suspicions about Ilopango's drug activity. "There's some funny things going on at Ilopango with the Contras," he told Bush. Bush merely grinned and kept ominously silent. Later that day, Bush met with Oliver North at the Embassy to discuss the Contra operation.

"PROJECT DEMOCRACY" EXPOSED
Castillo constantly threatened his superiors that if they stifled his reports on "Project Democracy", as the Contra resupply operation was called, it would "come back and bite them in the butt." A Sandanista surface-to-air-missile provided the fangs they so desperately feared. On October 5, 1986, a C-123 airplane left Ilopango laden with munitions for the Contras. The plane was shot down and Eugene Hasenfus, the lone survivor, admitted to television news cameras after a few days of captivity that "the CIA did most of the coordination for flights and oversaw all of our housing, transportation, also refueling and some flight plans."

According to North's autobiography, after the Hasenfus affair, then-CIA director Bill Casey ordered North to "shut it down and clean it up," regarding the Contra resupply operation. Casey conveniently died on the second day of the Iran-Contra hearings.

DEA BRASS COMES DOWN HARD
Throughout his investigations, Castillo was warned to ignore Ilopango and the Contras, yet he persisted. Stia's original warning to Castillo came true when representatives from the DEA's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) flew in from Washington to investigate Castillo and Stia for violations of DEA rules.

Despite their problems, Stia had always respected Castillo, recommending him for a bonus and promotion in 1987. Castillo repeated every detail of his investigations to the OPR agents, constantly amazed at how little interest was shown in the contra-cocaine connection. OPR had no interest in stopping the sordid dealings of Ollie North's mob, but were looking for anything to nail Castillo so he could be discredited and removed from the agency.

Finding a series of minor violations, including socializing with an informant, receiving and soliciting gifts, possession of an automatic weapon, and misappropriation of government property, Castillo was suspended for thirty five days, then transferred back to the States. The charges stemmed not from Castillo's lack of bureaucratic integrity, but from some paperwork snafus "routinely committed by every agent in the field." Other violations, such as the routine aerial spraying of food crops, rivers, and bodies with the deadly chemical Roundup, were never investigated.

Regarding Castillo's claims, DEA spokesman John Hughes told the SHADOW, "Most of what you have is not confirmable. He may have written the reports you mention; we just don't have them in this office." CIA spokesman David French told the San Francisco Bay Guardian that Castillo's allegations, "are not something we can comment on." Despite the death threats, Castillo receives on his answering machine each week, Hughes assured the SHADOW that, "No one at the DEA bears any ill will against Cele." Ironically, Hughes added, "This is a good story and it deserves to be told."
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
THE PHONY WAR
An Interview with DEA Veteran Celerino Castillo

The following is an interview with Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
veteran agent Celerino Castillo, first published in *The New
Federalist*, October 24, 1994.

Before beginning, by way of a preface, let me state a few things.

Officer Jack McLamb (retired) of the Phoenix Police Department,
in a speech given to his fellow police officers, had this to say:

...there's been much research, *much* research, and much
documentation to the fact -- and I say *fact*, fellow police
officers (We've got some female police officers here too.
Thank you for coming.), -- but I'm telling you, I want you to
hear this, I'm talking about *fact* that we can prove, we've
got the evidence -- an evidentiary foundation that would
stack as high as *I* am, the evidence, I've seen it -- that
the U.S. government, certain factions of the U.S. government,
have been involved in importing the majority of drugs in the
United States since the '60s. Since 1960....

We have, folks, in the United States, a phony war on drugs.


Then there's former DEA agent Mike Levine, author of *Deep Cover*
and *The Big White Lie*, speaking at Northern Illinois University
in 1991:

The drug war's a sham. I threw my life to the winds believing
in the war against drugs. If I died, I believed I was dying
for a just cause....

I realized the reality of what I was doing never quite
matched what the public was seeing. DEA was designed to put
itself out of business but that doesn't happen. The opposite
happens. It's always, "We need more."

...It's all a show... The drug war is the laughing stock of
South America.


My guess is that there is a moment of truth that comes to our
soldiers in the "War Against Drugs"; a moment when they realize
it's all a crock. It seems that most choose to lay low and hang
onto their jobs when that moment of decision arrives. A few,
though, have got something that you could call "honor". When
their moment of truth arrives, they are unable to rationalize
themselves into a "go along to get along" lifestyle.

But this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world
ends, not with a bang but with a whimper. A thousand little
compromises, a thousand little rationalizations, and we have got
a world of trouble. Thank God that not all of our soldiers in
this "War Against Drugs" have turned out to have the souls of
petty bourgeois shopkeepers. Thank God there have been some great
souls among them.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +



[September 27, 1994]

WEBSTER TARPLEY:
I'd like to go immediately to the very interesting book that
you've put together [*Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug
War*]. On page 132 of that book, you describe a kind of cameo
appearance by Vice President George Bush. I believe this was in
Guatemala City in January of 1986, and that would have been
shortly after the inauguration of the new Guatemalan President
Cerezo. I'd just like to acquaint our viewers with that
conversation, the events that led up to it, that followed it, and
revolved around it, because this seems to sum up the heart of the
matter.


CELERINO CASTILLO:
Basically, what happened there, was that at that time, Jan. 14,
1986, to be exact, George Bush was in Guatemala City. At the same
time that George Bush was there, I also saw Calero, head of the
Contras, and Oliver North. And I met George Bush at the cocktail
party at the ambassador's residence, and basically, what he was
doing, was walking around, shaking hands with everybody. And he
came up to me, and asked me what my job description was as DEA
agent. And I told him that I conducted international narcotics
investigations on traffickers down in Central America. I also
advised him that I was the agent in charge of reporting for El
Salvador, and I forewarned him that there were some funny things
going on at Ilopango Airport, with the Contras. He shook my hand,
he smiled, and he just walked away from me, without saying
another word. From that moment, I knew he knew something about
the Contras.


TARPLEY:
That's what you write: "He simply smiled and walked away, seeking
another hand to shake. After that exchange, I knew that he knew."


CASTILLO:
That's correct.


TARPLEY:
What did George Bush know, and when did he know it?


CASTILLO:
Before my arrival in Guatemala, we had received intelligence that
the Contras were heavily involved in narcotics trafficking.
Basically, I was forewarned by the country attache' in Guatemala,
Bob Stia, upon my arrival, that there was a covert operation
being conducted by the White House, and run by Oliver North at
Ilopango in El Salvador.


TARPLEY:
So this was your official superior in the DEA?


CASTILLO:
That's correct.


TARPLEY:
And the first thing he did when you arrived in the country was to
tell you: Look, this is now the scene of a covert operation with
Oliver North, and they're running drugs.


CASTILLO:
That's correct, and since we had obtained intelligence already
about the Contras being heavily involved in narcotics
trafficking, he advised me to stay away from it and not to get
involved in the investigation, because that would mean that if I
started reporting that information to Washington, I would be
kicked out of El Salvador and Guatemala very quickly.

-+- The Ilopango Connection -+-

TARPLEY:
Now, when you say the "Contras," does that mean *all* the
Contras? Were there groups that were more into it, that were less
into it? Was there Calero, were there others in that group? Was
it a universal thing, that all the Contras were into drugs?


CASTILLO:
It was a universal thing. The DEA refused to accept that answer,
but we had intelligence gathered from all parts of Central and
South America in regard to the narcotics trafficking going on. We
had cables from the country attache', Bobby Nieves in Costa Rica,
advising us to look into Hangars 4 and 5 at Ilopango. And of
course, Hangars 4 and 5 were bought and paid for by the U.S.
government -- the CIA and the National Security Council.


TARPLEY:
Ilopango Airport: What is that? Is that a large commercial
airport?


CASTILLO:
No. Ilopango Airport is the military airport with civilian small
planes that arrive at Ilopango. And it's a military base, but
most international pilots who fly small planes get to arrive at
Ilopango.


TARPLEY:
Tell us what the atmosphere was at Ilopango in the middle of this
Contra dirty war, 1985, '86, '87.


CASTILLO:
We had major narcotics trafficking going through Ilopango from
Costa Rica, which is further south. We had obtained a lot of
intelligence. We had an informant placed at Ilopango who actually
did the flight plans for the Contra pilots, and everybody spoke
freely about the loads that they carried, the monies that they
took to the Bahamas and to Panama for laundering.

All this was reported to the U.S. Embassy, to the CIA, to
Washington, DEA headquarters; and nobody wanted to do anything
about it.


TARPLEY:
Tell me just briefly: what kinds of planes were these, where were
they coming from, where were they going?


CASTILLO:
The cable that we received from Costa Rica in April of 1986 came
in from the country attache', Bobby Nieves, like I stated before,
and was for us to check Hangars 4 and 5, that they had very
reliable information pertaining to the trafficking from around
Central and South America into those two hangars.

It turned out that of those two hangars, one was run by the CIA,
and the other one was run by Felix Rodriguez,
(Rodriguez is also reportedly the man who killed
Che Guevara.]

who ran the Contra operation at Ilopango.


TARPLEY:
These, then, were not jets that you would see at an American
airfield, but these were smaller planes?


CASTILLO:
Yes, smaller planes, like Caravans, Pipers, Cessnas. They were
coming in without being inspected by the Customs officials, or
anybody else.

As it turned out, the informant who did the flight plans actually
gave us copies of all the flight plans of all these Contra
pilots, and when we ran checks on the names of all these pilots,
they were all documented in DEA files as narco-traffickers. Yet
they were being hired by the CIA, Felix Rodriguez, and everybody
else, who were trying to obtain U.S. visas for them to go to the
U.S. -- even though they were documented traffickers.


TARPLEY:
So, these planes would then fly north. Could they make it all the
way to Miami?


CASTILLO:
They would go to Miami, they would go to Texas. They were going
to California; anywhere that they were able.

For example, a Contra pilot was arrested in late '85 in south
Texas with five-and-a-half million dollars cash. It was Contra
money. You know, you carry credentials from the President of El
Salvador, from the Chief of Staffs in El Salvador, the Chief of
the Air Force and so forth; they were all very well protected,
and every single pilot talked about how they had permission to
run narcotics, because they were working for the Oliver North
Contra operation.

-+- The Rodriguez Dossier -+-

TARPLEY:
Now, you've mentioned Felix Rodriguez, Max Gomez. I happen to
have read his autobiography, and he's somebody who participated
in the Bay of Pigs invasion back in the early 1960s, and it's
speculated that George Bush was involved in that.

[CN -- According to Brigadier General (retired) Russell S.
Bowen (*The Immaculate Deception*), "The truth is that Bush
has been a top CIA agent since before the 1961 invasion of
Cuba, working with Felix Rodriguez and other anti-Castro
Cubans."]

Certainly, Felix Rodriguez has been with George Bush for a very,
very long time, and what you can see in that book is, he's got a
signed photograph from George Bush telling him what a great
patriot he is.

Would you agree with that judgement on Felix Rodriguez/Max Gomez?


CASTILLO:
No, sir. If you go back to the Vietnam War, we have intelligence
where the CIA and those individuals were heavily involved in
trafficking heroin into the U.S. in bodybags and so forth.

So, Felix Rodriguez was documented, in our DEA files, as a
trafficker. He was a retired CIA agent, and they brought all
these people who were heavily involved. If you go back, most of
these Bay of Pigs operatives were all documented traffickers, who
all served time for narcotics trafficking, for gun-running. They
were all criminals; yet, they were being hired by the Oliver
North Contra operation to run the illegal narcotics trafficking
out of Ilopango [Airport].


TARPLEY:
Now, Felix Rodriguez has a DEA file.


CASTILLO:
That's correct, sir. I myself documented him involved in
trafficking with the Contras, and so forth.


TARPLEY:
Does Oliver North have a DEA file?


CASTILLO:
That's correct, sir. As a matter of fact, there's a 1991 file on
Oliver North for smuggling weapons from the U.S. into the
Philippines with known narcotics traffickers, and I'm talking
about a 1991 case. I'm not going back to the Contra issue.


TARPLEY:
This is *after* the television appearance, after the great 1987
celebrity parade?


CASTILLO:
That's correct, sir. Absolutely.


TARPLEY:
Can you make a Freedom of Information Act request, to get hold of
Oliver North's DEA file?


CASTILLO:
I tried that already, and they cited the privacy act. I asked for
my own files, that I wrote on the Contras and different
individuals, and these requests were denied.


TARPLEY:
So, I can imagine that there would be a lot of voters around
Virginia and elsewhere who would like to have a look at Oliver
North's DEA file again, with an incident from 1991?


CASTILLO:
That's correct. One of the questions I've always been asked is,
Why can't the White House get that?

Somebody else has to answer that. I don't know. It's there. They
just need to get that. That file is out of the Washington office
here in Washington, D.C.


TARPLEY:
That certainly makes you think twice.

Now, did you ever see Felix Rodriguez running around Ilopango?


CASTILLO:
Yes, sir. I saw him running around Ilopango. I used to see him
around the U.S. Embassy, having lunch with the ambassador and
others. Col. Steele from the U.S. Military Group [was] down
there. I saw him everywhere.

-+- Coverup -+-

TARPLEY:
And how about Oliver North? Did you ever see him there?


CASTILLO:
I saw Oliver North in Guatemala, not in Salvador.


TARPLEY:
And what were the circumstances where you saw Oliver North?


CASTILLO:
Well, that's when I met George Bush, on Jan. 14, 1986...


TARPLEY:
Could you just give us an idea of what kinds of people were
telling you about these activities, and what they were telling
you?


CASTILLO:
Well, go back to Ilopango. We had an informant who had worked
there, at Ilopango, for many years. He had given reliable
information to the Consulate General there, Robert Chavez, at the
U.S. Embassy, and some cocaine had been seized before. So, this
guy was very reliable. He had been reporting all this activity on
the Contras.

We had another informant who was also placed to work at Ilopango,
Salvador, and Guatemala, who was a documented informer going back
to 1981, who gave us a lot of the intelligence that we had on
this Contra operation.


TARPLEY:
Let's now turn to what you did with the information that you got,
and how you reported it. I understand from your book that one of
the first people you tried to tell about this was the U.S.
ambassador to Salvador, Edwin Corr.


CASTILLO:
That's correct. Once we obtained a lot of the intelligence and we
started writing reports, we went to the U.S. ambassador, we went
to the CIA Chief of Station, Jack McCavett, in Salvador, and Col.
Steele, who was a U.S. Military Group commander.

There was an individual, an American, who lived in El Salvador,
who was a civilian, and as it turns out, he was working for the
Oliver North Contra operation. And when we received all this
information, we reported it. I personally reported it to my boss,
first of all, Bob Stia, who kept forewarning me about my
reporting on the Contras because it was going to come back and
hurt us in Guatemala.


TARPLEY:
Did he suggest it was going to be bad for your career?


CASTILLO:
It was going to be bad for my career and his career, and he had a
couple of years left to retire, and not to make any waves. I told
him that if I actually found any evidence, that I would continue
to report the allegations that the Contras were involved in
trafficking.

I went to the U.S. ambassador, Edwin Corr. He told me right off
that it was a White House covert operation run by Col. Oliver
North, and for me to stay away from it.


TARPLEY:
So that's now the second time you got official testimony and
corroboration that Oliver North was running these activities,
first from Mr. Stia, and then from Ambassador Corr. Two different
agencies.


CASTILLO:
That's right. Then I went to Jack McCavett and Jack McCavett's
answer to me was the fact that they were being ordered to support
the Oliver North Contra operation, to go above and beyond to
support them; and also Col. Steele with the U.S. Military Group.
He, of course, was the liaison officer from the U.S. embassy into
the Salvadoran military.


TARPLEY:
Mr. Stia, your immediate superior: did he have the option of
rejecting your reports, telling you to tear them up, or file
them, or rewrite them? Or did he have to sign off on them and
send them to Washington?


CASTILLO:
One of the things a lot of people don't understand is the fact
that every time I wrote a report, or sent a cable off to
Washington, it had to be approved by my supervisor (who was Bob
Stia) *and* signed off by the ambassador of whatever country I
was sending the cable out to. So, everything was approved.
Whether DEA Washington did anything with it was a different
story. And we had a place up there they called the "Black Hole";
all these reports went in there, and they were never distributed
to the right people.

-+- Laundering the Profits -+-

TARPLEY:
Can you remember the date of your first dispatch to Washington
that basically stated these facts?


CASTILLO:
We go back to early 1986. The cable came in from Costa Rica in
April, so we continued to follow up on the request to conduct an
extensive investigation into Hangars 4 and 5, and cables started
coming and going.

Costa Rica was giving us the information that narcotics were
leaving from Aranchez airstrip in Costa Rica into Ilopango. Of
course, our informant at Ilopango was being told, by the pilots
when they were leaving, how much dope they were taking, how much
money they were flying into the Bahamas or Panama.

At one point, he saw $4.5 million cash taken from Ilopango into
Panama, to launder. These were incidents that were reported. We
have a time and date for one of the pilots, Chica Guirola,
departing El Salvador to the Bahamas where he was airdropping
monies on the Contras -- the profits of narcotrafficking.


TARPLEY:
Do you get the impression that the narcotics ultimately came from
people like the Medellin cartel, or the Cali cartel, or people
like this?


CASTILLO:
I had a CIA agent in El Salvador who actually came up and asked
me: How do you expect us to support the Contras when Congress cut
aid to the Contras? How are they going to support themselves?
Which means that we have to sleep with the cartels.

And basically, during the Kerry Committee [i.e., Senate Committee
on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and
International Operations] hearings we had a lot of informants, a
lot of individuals who flew for the Contras, who gave testimony;
but their credibility was not that good, because they were known
traffickers, and so forth. But there was a lot of testimony, a
lot of evidence to the fact that there was a lot of narcotics
trafficking.


TARPLEY:
O.K. You've mentioned the Kerry Committee. I guess that's Sen.
Kerry of Massachusetts, the Senate Investigating Committee '85,
'86, '87?

You tried to tell part of your story to them. Am I right? You
tried to inform them of what you knew?


CASTILLO:
No, not the Kerry Committee. As a matter of fact, on Oct. 22, in
1987, I got a call from Washington requesting for me not to close
the files on the Contras because the Kerry Committee wanted
copies of my reports, and under the Freedom of Information Act,
if it's a closed case they cannot have access to it.

During the Kerry Committee, we had Mark Richards, who is an
assistant U.S. attorney... He was involved in a meeting with 25
individuals from the DEA and the Department of Justice who
*refused* to give this information to the Kerry Committee.


TARPLEY:
This was the committee that investigated this "frogman"
operation?


CASTILLO:
Yes. We had the "Frogman Case" going back to 1985. A couple of
Columbians and Nicaraguans were trafficking in large quantities
of cocaine into San Francisco. It was called the "Frogman Case"
because they were bringing ships into the San Francisco area, and
a couple of frogmen would go out there and take the coke.

As it turns out, on their own testimony, testifying before the
committee, they reported that the profits from those sales of
narcotics were going to the Contras. So, we start there. In
December of 1985, a CNN reporter broke the story on the Contras'
involvement in narcotics trafficking.

So, the investigation into it started; but at no time did the
Kerry Committee *ever* contact the agents down in El Salvador who
actually conducted the investigation. I sat there and I waited
for the phone to ring, and nobody ever called so that I could
testify before that committee to advise them that large
quantities of drugs were being trafficked by the Oliver North
Contra operation.


TARPLEY:
You later also tried to get in touch with the special prosecutor,
Lawrence Walsh, in order to look into this entire matter.


CASTILLO:
That's correct. Right before I left the agency in 1991, I
secretly met with Mike Foster, the FBI agent assigned to the
Iran-Contra committee, Walsh's committee, with my attorney
present. He came, and he was just stunned when he saw copies of
my reports, cables, etc.

His thing was the fact that he had asked the DEA, that Walsh's
committee had asked and requested all this information from DEA,
and DEA *denied* the fact that there were such reports.
Basically, he was just stunned by what I showed him there. He
said, "You know, if we can prove that the Contras and Oliver
North were heavily involved in narcotics trafficking, it would be
like a grand-slam home run."

We left it that I would try to get this girl named Sandrita from
Salvador into the U.S. so that she could be debriefed by Walsh's
committee with regard to her personal knowledge of narcotics use
by some of the Contra pilots and some NSC individuals.


TARPLEY:
Well, it looks like you attempted, at one point or another, to
bring your revelations, these charges, to the attention of the
State Department, the Special Prosecutor, the FBI, the CIA. Did
you ever talk to Customs?


CASTILLO:
Yes, I sure did.

One of the things is that the DEA has not acknowledged the fact
that there are such reports. Yet, on the Kerry Committee and its
report, we have the DEA assistant administrator, Dave West, in
talking about the Nicaraguan war, saying that it is true that
people on both sides of the equation in the Nicaraguan war were
drug traffickers, and a couple of them were pretty significant.

Well if the DEA denies that, why is this man saying this?

We have the CIA chief of Latin American countries down there
stating, in the Kerry Report: We suspected drug trafficking by
the resistance forces. This is not a couple of people, it's a lot
of people.

So, we have contradictory statements from both the State
Department and the DEA, to the fact that the Contras were heavily
involved in narcotics trafficking.


TARPLEY:
When you sent these reports into Washington, who in the DEA would
get those on his desk?


CASTILLO:
Well, first of all, the chief of Latin American countries was
John Marsh, who now, I understand, is the third-ranking DEA
official.


TARPLEY:
He's moving up the ladder.


CASTILLO:
He's moving up the ladder. He is the individual who is
responsible for the cover-up of the Contras involving narcotics
trafficking. He gave me a letter of "reprimand", I guess you
could say, when I refused to stop reporting on the Contras'
involvement in narcotics trafficking. He actually wanted me to
use the word "alleged". I explained to him: How can I use the
word "alleged" when I'm seeing all this that's happening in
Ilopango? We have reliable informants in there. And he went back,
and he stated the same thing, that it would mean the end of my
career in Latin America if I kept reporting this.

-+- Assassination Threat -+-

TARPLEY:
And I understand that then the DEA actually investigated *you*,
that is, they sent some people to check up on what you were
doing?


CASTILLO:
That's correct. The pressure was on, "the hammer dropped", as
they say. They came down gunning for me.

When Kiki Camarena got killed in 1985, the administrator for the
DEA came out with a memo stating that no DEA agent is to travel
by himself in a foreign country; yet, that did not apply to me,
because I was one of two agents to cover four countries in Latin
America, which were Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.


TARPLEY:
Two agents for four countries? That was called the "war on
drugs"?


CASTILLO:
That's correct. That was called the "war on drugs in Central
America", and I was being forced to travel by land, mind you,
through guerrilla territory.


TARPLEY:
"By land" means in a car, on a country road, where guerrillas are
operating?


CASTILLO:
That's correct. It's a three to four hour drive.


TARPLEY:
Did you have an armed escort?


CASTILLO:
No, sir, I drove by myself, and most of the time my only back-up
was my informant, who travelled with me. And of course, the DEA
manual states that you cannot be with an informant by yourself;
yet, DEA refused to give out any back-up agents. That's what
happened to Kiki Camarena. Kiki had to work by himself. [CN --
Kiki Camarena was a DEA agent slain in the line of duty in Mexico
in 1985.]

We had Victor Cortez meeting with an informant in a restaurant,
he gets grabbed. Why? Because there was nobody to back him up.
And while our lives were being put on the line out there,
carelessly, by the DEA, the DEA refused to do anything about it.


TARPLEY:
So the resources are totally inadequate.


CASTILLO:
Totally inadequate, and unsafe.


TARPLEY:
Worse than that, though, it sounds like somebody was trying to
get you bumped off, or would have been glad to see you bumped
off.


CASTILLO:
That was at the very end of my career, where there was an OPR
investigator, Tony Ricevuto. We have a Guatemalan colonel who
puts a contract on me [i.e., offers to pay money in return for
the murder of Castillo], who's going to assassinate me. We had
tape recordings on him, on how he's going to assassinate me in El
Salvador and blame it on the guerrillas. And Tony Ricevuto, a
senior inspector, goes into Guatemala and speaks to the U.S.
ambassador there, requesting a U.S. visa for this colonel so that
he can testify before the BCCI [Bank of Credit and Commerce
International] investigation in Miami.

In other words, telling them that it's o.k. that he's going to
assassinate me, but they want him to testify in a trial in Miami!
That's when I knew that I was going to get hurt sooner or later.


TARPLEY:
This would have fit into a kind of general liquidation of all
sorts of people in 1986, 1987, 1988, who were very knowledgeable
about different sides of Iran-Contra. You can think of Olof
Palme, you can think of people in Germany...


CASTILLO:
There were people being taken out [i.e., murdered].


TARPLEY:
Eyewitnesses were disappearing, they were dropping left and right
in those years.


CASTILLO:
That's correct, and I was one of them who was going to be taken
out by the DEA, because they could not justify the fact that this
individual was going to assassinate me. There was a case out of
Houston, Texas, that was conducting the investigation; yet, my
own people at DEA wanted to get him to the U.S. to testify. It
was more important to them that he testify before the BCCI
investigation, than my security.

Mind you, while I was down in Central America, during my career
with the DEA, *I* *kept* *a* *daily* *journal* *of* *everything*.
Case file numbers, individuals I talked to, people who called me
to tell me to close the files, everything that the DEA had
conducted illegally, condoning murders that the DEA knew about,
down in Central America, killings and assassinations of Columbian
traffickers; the massacre of them. I have passports to prove my
allegations, and this was done with the knowledge of the DEA.


TARPLEY:
To the bottom line: The net result of everything you sent in to
DEA headquarters in Washington, was what?


CASTILLO:
Was suppressed, I guess the word is... To this day, they continue
to cover up the fact that there was a lot of intelligence
involving the CIA, involving Oliver North's Contra operation.

I have pictures, I have photos, I have documents. I have
everything that can justify what I'm saying. It's just that
people refuse to acknowledge the fact that this was going on.
There was a cover-up being conducted by the DEA on orders from
the White House.


TARPLEY:
Now, if you had to formulate charges against Oliver North, what
would you charge him with?


CASTILLO:
First of all, the violation of the Federal Narcotics Law, which
states, in general, the fact that if you have knowledge that
narcotics trafficking is being conducted, and you don't do
anything about it, you can go to jail for that.


TARPLEY:
Now, Oliver North says he's "the most investigated man on the
planet". He says, well, this is all done to death. We've been
over this terrain a million times. Nothing has ever been found.

Do you think that the investigations up to now have been adequate
on precisely this key topic?


CASTILLO:
No, sir, not at all. To start off with, it was inadequate
investigation. "The most investigated man on the planet" -- they
should have contacted the agents in Salvador, the people who
actually conducted the investigation on the Contras...


TARPLEY:
Have you found, I guess you've mentioned this now in the course
of our talk, but corroboration: have you found other people,
other sources, who also can document what you saw?


CASTILLO:
I want to go back a little bit. In September of 1986, we had an
individual who was an American, who was Oliver North's right-hand
man down in El Salvador. He was a civilian. He worked out of
Ilopango Hangars 4 and 5. He was a documented narcotics
trafficker, all the way from Panama. We call him, in the book,
"Brasher", and we hit his house. I built up a unit there, and
they hit the house. At his residence, we found what was a Contra
supply operation. We found U.S. military munitions, heavy guns,
cases of explosives, C4.


TARPLEY:
In a private home of a friend of Ollie North?


CASTILLO:
Yes, in a private home. Cases of grenades, sniper rifles,
uniforms, military equipment; and it was all U.S. military issue,
brand new, some of it.

Before I hit his house, I went to the U.S. ambassador, who denied
the fact that ["Brasher"] worked for the U.S. embassy; I went to
the U.S. Military Group commander, who denied that ["Brasher"]
worked for them. I went to the CIA, who denied. All three of
those people told me that ["Brasher"] was working for the Oliver
North Contra operation.

At the residence, all his vehicles had license plates for the
U.S. embassy. We found radios belonging to the U.S. embassy. We
found weapons belonging to the U.S. embassy. Yet, this individual
was a documented narcotics trafficker working for the Oliver
North Contra operation.

-+- Planeloads of Cocaine -+-

TARPLEY:
If you had to go back and estimate, could you give some kind of a
ballpark figure of how much drugs, I guess in this case it means
cocaine pretty much, how much cocaine, crack cocaine and other
kinds of cocaine, came into the United States as a result of
these operations?


CASTILLO:
We had thousands of kilos that came in. We had surveillance set
up up there. We saw the planes coming in. We had reports where
they came in, they dropped it off at Hangars 4 and 5; yet, we
were not allowed to touch it.


TARPLEY:
Could you just estimate, if at all possible, what percentage that
might have been of the total drug-trafficking flow into the
United States?


CASTILLO:
Maybe one percent -- and that's a lot. One percent is a lot.

Now, you're asking me about monies? Millions of dollars...

We have a guy who was an honorary ambassador to Panama, who flew
four-and-a-half million dollars from Ilopango into Panama. This
was reported to the DEA Washington...


TARPLEY:
Later on, toward the end of his term in office, George Bush came
along and pardoned quite a number of the top figures in this, and
I guess that had the effect of shutting down most of what was
left of the official investigation.

What do you think of George Bush pardoning these people?


CASTILLO:
George Bush was trying to save himself, and pardoning these
people who were known traffickers was a slap in the face to us,
the DEA agents who were out there putting our lives on the line,
going undercover in Third World countries.


TARPLEY:
And you've done undercover operations in Central America
yourself.


CASTILLO:
That's correct. So the fact that we could have another branch of
our government heavily involved in narcotics trafficking was just
devastating to me. And a lot of people go into the government and
spend twenty years and then retire; it didn't take me twenty
years to figure out that my own government was heavily involved
in narcotics trafficking, and putting our lives on the line.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we lost five agents in Peru. We
cannot work with Third World countries that are heavily involved
in narcotics trafficking.

We had documented reports on Third World countries. For example,
Guatemala. Guatemala is heavily involved in narcotics
trafficking. The Cerezo government was heavily involved, sleeping
with the cartels. Yet, it was a democracy, and the U.S.
government did not want to do anything about it.

I went undercover on a Congressman down there. He was going to
sell me 200 kilos of cocaine. When they came down to arrest them,
I was told by the U.S. embassy not to arrest him, because we were
not there to embarrass the Guatemalan government, but we were
there to help it.

The same thing happened in El Salvador. All the weapons that were
being seized by the guerrillas were being sold to the cartels.

So, we spent $1.5 million *a* *day* in El Salvador for the past
10 years, and they couldn't win the war.


TARPLEY:
Well, let's sum up now. We have a few minutes left. Do you think
that Oliver North is qualified to be a United States Senator?


CASTILLO:
No. He is a convicted felon. He lied to Congress, he is a chronic
liar. He lies to everybody. A lot of people feel that he can be
forgiven for what he did, but what I don't think they realize is
the fact that he cannot justify the narcotics trafficking that
his organization conducted in the 1980s. And he cannot guarantee
to me the fact that nobody, or none of those drugs that were
being smuggled into the U.S., that people died of, was not Contra
cocaine. So, he's got to take responsibility for what is
happening on our streets today, the cocaine epidemic that we
have.

We have more cocaine on the U.S. streets now than we did ten
years ago; yet, we spend billions of dollars in Third World
countries trying to combat this trafficking.

But Oliver North should be in jail, and not be running for the
U.S. Senate...


TARPLEY:
Would you think that the Virginia voters ought to have the right
to see Oliver North's DEA file?


CASTILLO:
Absolutely. It's there. Whether the DEA wants to continue the
conspiracy to cover it up is a different story...


TARPLEY:
You tried to tell your story inside the federal agencies for
quite a number of years, we've seen, with very limited results,
and then you turned to your book, *Powderburns*.

What made you decide to get into writing books?


CASTILLO:
I was sick to my stomach when I saw Oliver North up there.
Everybody looked up to him as a hero, "Oliver North for
President", and so forth.

I had to tell my story...

I can live with myself now. North has to hide. What conscience
does he or his family have, that they know that his organization
is responsible for a lot of deaths in the U.S.? For the epidemic
cocaine addiction that we have? What does his family think about
it?


TARPLEY:
Well, I understand you're going out on the stump in Virginia now,
in the closing days of the election campaign?


CASTILLO:
Yes, that's correct. I've always made the assumption that I'm
going to go out there and try. I'll never quit. I'll go out
there, tell them what I know. If people want to listen to me, I'm
there. If they don't, it's their prerogative. It's a free
country. If they want to elect an official who is a documented
trafficker and a convicted felon, then that's their prerogative.
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
http://www.flashpoints.net/oNorth&Drugs.html

OLLIE NORTH AND DRUGS
By Dennis Bernstein and Howard Levine
From The Texas Observer

This article is posted to the internet by permission of the
authors. NOTE: Permission is NOT given for distribution *beyond*
the internet; for such permission, contact the authors.

If Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh had wanted to know the
extent of former Colonel Oliver North's involvement in the
smuggling of drugs from Central America to the United States,
Walsh might have made at least one phone call to Celerino 'Cele'
Castillo in San Antonio.

Between 1985 to 1991, Castillo was the Drug Enforcement
Administration's main agent in El Salvador, where, he says, he
uncovered "and reported" a huge drug and gun smuggling operation
that was run out of the Ilopango military airport by the 'North
Network' and the CIA.

North, now the Republican nominee for the U. S. Senate in
Virginia, prevailed at the nominating convention last weekend by
positioning himself far to the right of his rival, former Reagan
budget director James Miller III, promising that if elected he
will work to "clean up the mess" in Washington, and cultivating
the support of the same fundamentalist Christian Republicans who
responded to the direct-mail campaign to finance the North
defense committee.

But Castillo, the first government official with first-hand
knowledge of North's drug dealing to speak publicly about it,
says North belongs in prison, not in the U.S. Senate. "We saw
several packages of narcotics, we saw several boxes of U.S.
currency, going from Ilopango to Panama," Castillo said.

According to Castillo, the entire program was run out of
Ilopango's Hangars 4 and 5. "Hangar 4 was owned and operated by
the CIA and the other hangar was run by Felix Rodriguez, or 'Max
Gomez,' of the Contra operation [directed by North]. Basically
they were running cocaine from South America to the U.S. via
Salvador. That was how the Contras were able to get financial
help. By going to sleep with the enemy down there. North's people
and the CIA were at the two hangars overseeing the operations at
all times," Castillo said.

CIA spokesman David French said Castillo's allegations are "not
something that we would comment on."

Cele Castillo joined the DEA in 1979, after a tour with the First
Cavalry in Vietnam, where he earned a bronze star, and a six-year
stint as a police officer in Edinburg. His first DEA assignment
was in New York, working undercover investigating organized
crime. After that, because of his Vietnam experience, he was
transferred to Lima, Peru, where he conducted air strikes against
jungle cocaine labs and clandestine airstrips. In 1985, he was
transferred to Guatemala, where he oversaw DEA operations in
Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. Castillo posed as a member of
one of the drug cartels, he said, and almost immediately became
aware of the drug smuggling operations at Ilopango's hangars 4
and 5. "We took several surveillance pictures...and they were
running narcotics and weapons out of Ilopango, with the knowledge
of the U.S. embassy."

Though Castillo had been reporting his findings all along, to no
avail, a December 1988 report prepared by the Congressional
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations
(the Kerry Committee) confirmed Castillo's allegations and
concluded: "There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling
through the war zones on the part of the individual Contras,
Contra pilots, mercenaries who worked with the Contras, and the
Contra supporters throughout the region."

The committee, chaired by Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, also
found that on March 16, 1987, a plane owned by known drug
smugglers was seized by U.S. customs officers after dumping what
appeared to be a load of drugs off the Florida coast: "Law
enforcement personnel also found an address book aboard the
plane, containing among other references the telephone numbers of
some Contra officials and the Virginia telephone number of Robert
Owen, Oliver North's courier," the committee reported. And on
July 28, 1988, DEA agents testifying before Kerry's committee
said it was North's idea in 1985 to give the Contras $1.5 million
in drug money being used by DEA informant Barry Seal in a sting
operation aimed at the drug cartels.

If that wasn't enough to compel investigators to pursue North
himself as a drug dealer, Castillo provided them with what should
have been the clincher. In a February 14, 1989, memo to Robert
Stia, the country attache in Guatemala, Castillo laid out in
minute detail the structure of the Ilopango operation and
identified more than two dozen known drug smugglers who
frequented Hangars 4 and 5.

Huge quantities of drugs and guns were being smuggled through
Ilopango by mercenary pilots hired by North, Castillo wrote.
"Now, all these contract pilots were documented [in DEA files]
traffickers, Class I cocaine violators that were being hired by
the CIA and the Contras," the memo stated. "And the U.S. embassy
in El Salvador was giving visas to these people even though they
were documented in our computers as being narcotics traffickers."

Among those Castillo identified was Carlos Alberto Amador, "a
Nicaraguan pilot mentioned in six (6) DEA files....The DEA was
advised by a source at the U.S. embassy in San Salvador that
personnel from the CIA had allegedly obtained a U.S. visa for
Amador." Amador, Castillo discovered, kept four planes at
Ilopango, and a frequent companion of his was was Jorge Zarcovick
who "is mentioned in twelve (12) DEA files," and "was arrested in
the U.S. for smuggling large quantities of cocaine."

Walter 'Wally' Grasheim was another smuggler tagged by Castillo.
"He is mentioned in seven (7) DEA files," Castillo wrote. "He is
documented as a cocaine and arms smuggler from South America to
the U.S. via Ilopango airport. He utilized hangars 4 and 5.
Grasheim is also known to carry DEA, FBI, and CIA credentials to
smuggle cocaine." "Wally Grasheim," Castillo said, "was an
American working hand-in-hand with Colonel Oliver North."
Grasheim lost his life while accompanying CIA contract arms
smuggler Eugene Hasenfus, whose plane was shot down during a
clandestine flight over Nicaragua in 1986.

When the DEA raided Grasheim's house in El Salvador, agents found
explosives, weapons, radio equipment and license plates, Castillo
said, adding that much of the weaponry and other material was
traced back to the U.S. embassy in El Salvador. Castillo said
that when he tried to gather more information on the munitions,
he was told by the Pentagon to drop the investigation.

It would not be the last time Castillo was told to back off. Nor
was it the last time he ignored such an order and kept on digging.

Much of Castillo's information came from a DEA informant who had
worked at the Ilopango airport, doing flight plans and keeping
flight logs. The informant, who used the pseudonym 'Hugo
Martinez,' was in an ideal position to witness and document
North's drug deals. Martinez passed the information he gathered
on to Castillo. In an interview, Martinez confirmed Castillo's
story about widespread drug and arms dealing by the CIA and the
North network at Hangars 4 and 5.

Castillo said additional information obtained after he was
transferred from El Salvador to San Francisco confirmed what he
had learned in El Salvador. While tracking drug smuggling into
Miami, Texas and San Francisco in 1991, Castillo arrested the
wife of Carlos Cabezas. In an attempt to make a deal for his
wife, who had attempted sell Castillo five kilos of cocaine,
Cabezas, a Nicaraguan, told Castillo that he was one of the
pilots who had worked for North, smuggling vast quantities of
cocaine into the United States from Ilopango. Cabezas described
in detail the operations at Ilopango and identified many of the
traffickers who worked there. The information he provided matched
Castillo's own findings.

Beginning in 1986, Castillo tried to report what he had
discovered, launch a full-scale investigation, and shut down the
smuggling operation. On several occasions, he met with Edwin
Corr, the then-U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, to tell him about
the operation. "His words to me were that it was a covert White
House operation run by Colonel Oliver North and for us to stay
away from the operation. My feeling was the fact that Corr did
not agree with what was going on at Ilopango but his hands were
tied. He was only following orders from the White House to give
all the assistance he could to Oliver North and his covert
operation." Corr, now a professor at the University of Oklahoma,
would only say, "I deny Cele's allegations that I told him to
back off *on the basis of White House pressure.*"

Castillo even managed to give the information he had gathered
directly to George Bush. On January 14, 1986, Castillo met the
then-Vice-President at a cocktail party at the ambassador's house
in Guatemala City. After describing his job to Bush, Castillo
detailed North's operation. Without missing a beat, Castillo
said, Bush "shook my hand and he walked away." [CN -- "This
scourge must stop!"]

Even though Castillo couldn't get anyone to act on his Ilopango
information, in July 1987, attache Robert Stia recommended him
for a bonus and a promotion. "Castillo is an extremely talented
agent," Stia wrote, "...a tireless worker, exceeding all
requirements of overtime and work hours. His administration of
cases is outstanding."

Nevertheless, as Castillo continued to pursue the North
investigation, he fell from favor with his superiors, who
suspended him for three days in 1990, and then in 1991
transferred him to San Francisco, where he worked undercover,
investigating Hells Angels in Oakland. In June 1992, after
further conflicts, Castillo resigned from the DEA.

Before resigning, though, in 1991, he tried to give the
government one last chance to use the information he had gathered
on North. He secretly met with FBI agent Mike Foster, who was
assigned to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh. "Foster said it
would be a great story, like a grand slam, if they could put it
together. He asked the DEA for the reports, who told him there
were no such reports. Yet when I showed him the copies of the
reports that I had, he was shocked. I never heard from him again."

On May 4, 1989, North was convicted on the relatively minor
offenses of illegally accepting gratuities (his famous security
fence), interfering with a Congressional investigation and
obstruction of justice. But even those convictions were
overturned when an appeals court ruled that they were based on
testimony North gave under a grant of Congressional immunity.

Although they talked about drugs, neither Walsh nor the Iran-
Contra committee ever seriously investigated the drug-dealing
charges. North, who did not return phone calls made to his
campaign headquarters in Virginia, has consistently denied having
been involved in drug smuggling.

Another former DEA agent, Michael Levine, said he has pored over
North's diaries and found "hundreds" of references to drugs that
"have never been investigated." For example, Levine said, on July
9, 1984, North wrote: "RDEA, Miami. Pilot went, talked to
[Federico] Vaughn, wanted aircraft to go to Bolivia to pick up
paste, want aircraft to pick up 1500 kilos."

"My god," said Levine, author of The Big White Lie, "when I was
serving as a DEA agent, you gave me a page from someone in the
Pentagon with notes like that, I would've been on his back
investigating everything he did from the minute his eyes opened,
every diary notebook, every phone would have been tapped, every
trip he made."

But both Levine and Castillo said the investigation never
happened. (DEA officials have not returned repeated phone calls.)
In an interview, the FBI's Foster said, "Of course I can't
confirm or deny that [his interview with Castillo]. I am aware of
Mr. Castillo and his position on Central America," Foster said.
"In the course of the Iran-Contra investigation, it's no secret
that I was involved in that and was the FBI investigator in that,
but I am prohibited from commenting." Foster said he is very
skeptical about the drug claims generally. "There are individuals
that have a loose relationship with the government and those
people are not all choirboys and they have been doing all kinds
of weird things. But I think you would be hard pressed to show a
concerted government backing or involvement in [drug
trafficking]."

It is just that kind of attitude, Castillo said, that led
officials to ignore North's operation, allowed him to evade
prosecution for drug dealing, and now has him poised to move into
the United States Senate.

"There was nothing covert going on in El Salvador regarding the
Ollie North operation and narcotics trafficking," Castillo said.
"What we're talking about is very large quantities of cocaine and
millions of dollars."


The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701.
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard
Right Hand, Left Hand
http://www.flashpoints.net/rightHandLeftHand.html
One drug agent's decade-long battle to expose the Contra-cocaine connection -- and how the government got in the way

By Dennis Bernstein and Robert Knight

Veteran Drug Enforcement Agent Celerino Castillo III says he never figured his toughest anti-drug case would be against the federal government that employed him for 15 years.

Last week, flanked by civil rights activist Dick Gregory and the Rev. Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Castillo staged a public protest at DEA headquarters in Washington. His demand: an official investigation into the Reagan-Bush governments' clandestine Iran-Contra policy, which allegedly flooded the U.S.'s predominantly black communities with crack cocaine during the 1980s.

This was not the first effort by Castillo to expose what he believes to be the true story. Along with other law enforcement officials, congressional investigators and investigative reporters -- most recently Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News -- Castillo has been battling for over a decade to expose the government's alleged use of drug profits to finance covert operations against Nicaragua's Sandinista government. CIA officials have consistently denied the charges.

His crusade began around January 14, 1986, when Castillo says he tried to alert then Vice President George Bush at a U.S. embassy party in Guatemala. At the time Castillo was covering several Central American countries for the DEA. Convinced that "something funny" was going on at El Salvador's Ilopango military air base -- later revealed to be a prime transshipment point for Contra drugs, arms and money -- he told Bush. "But he just shook my hand, smiled and walked away from me," Castillo recalls.

In the ensuing months, Castillo gathered his own evidence. In a Feb. 14, 1989 memo to his Guatemala-based DEA supervisor, Castillo detailed how known traffickers with multiple DEA files used hangars controlled by the CIA and by Lt. Col. Oliver North-- then the point man at the National Security Council for sharing intelligence, transportation and military facilities with Contra leaders -- at Ilopango and obtained U.S. visas, despite their background.

"There is no doubt that they were running large quantities of cocaine into the U.S. to support the Contras," Castillo told reporters in a 1994 interview on the eve of North's bid for a Senate seat in Virginia. "We saw the cocaine and we saw boxes full of money. We're talking about very large quantities of cocaine and millions of dollars."

Oliver North's own notebooks are chock full of references to drug- related Contra operations that appear to support Castillo's claims. On July 9, 1984, when the Contras were desperate for money, North wrote that he "went and talked to (Contra leader Federico) Vaughn, [who] wanted aircraft to go to Bolivia to pick up paste, wanted aircraft to pick up 1,500 kilos."

There are other documents that appear to lend weight to Castillo's charges:

An internal document of the House Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, dated June 25, 1986, concluded that "a number of individuals who supported the contras (in both the U.S. and Central America) have suggested that cocaine is being smuggled in the U.S. through the same infrastructure which is procuring, storing and transporting weapons explosives, ammunition and military equipment for the Contras from the United States."
A City of Miami Police Intelligence Report dated Sept. 26, 1984, states that money to support Contras being illegally trained in Florida "comes from narcotics transactions." Every page of that document is stamped: "Record furnished to George Kosinsky, FBI." Justice Department head Janet Reno, then Florida's chief prosecutor, apparently took no action on the allegations.
In the spring of 1986, John Mattes, a former Miami-based Federal Public Defender, began working with the office of Sen. John Kerry to investigate the Contra-drug connection. Mattes, like Castillo, had sought without success to expose link between Florida Contra training camps and drug traffickers.

"What we investigated and uncovered," Mattes recalls, "was the very infrastructure of the network that had the veil of national security protecting it, so that people could load cannons in broad daylight, in public airports, on flights going to Ilopango Airport, where in fact the very same people were bringing narcotics back into the U.S., unimpeded."

When informed about the network, Mattes said federal officials "decided that in fact they didn't want to look at the Contras. They wanted to ... try to deter us from our investigation. We were threatened on countless occasions by FBI agents who told us that we'd gone too far in our investigation of the Contras."

In 1987 and 1988, Kerry's subcommittee on Narcotics and International Terrorism took reams of testimony on the CIA-cocaine connection from CIA agents, Contra mercenaries, drug pilots, Medellin cartel accountants, and law enforcement officials. Kerry said at the time that "our covert agencies have converted themselves to channels for drugs."

Castillo is not the first DEA agent to run afoul of other government agencies in the course of overseas drug investigations. Last month, Richard Horn, a 23-year veteran of the DEA, filed a federal class action suit against the CIA, the National Security Agency and the State Department for unlawfully spying on him and other unnamed DEA employees and their families. Horn, who currently serves as a group supervisor in field division in New Orleans, La., claims in the lawsuit that illegal electronic surveillance and eavesdropping of DEA agents has been going on all over the world, undermining the ability of DEA agents to trust other U.S. government officials.

In 1994, Horn had filed a lawsuit charging the former U.S. Charge d' Affairs for Burma and Burma CIA Chief of Station with violating his civil rights by spying on him during his tour of duty in Rangoon, Burma. The defendants in that suit have successfully sought delays, claiming in part that the suit threatens national security interests.

Horn, 49, served in Burma in 1992 and 1993. To date Horn has refrained from giving interviews to the news media about his case. But one former DEA agent with 15 years of field experience in South America says he believes Horn's claim is right. "I know it right to my soul that I was bugged," the agent, who asked to remain anonymous, said in a telephone interview. "I would say things intentionally on the phone to see if I was bugged, and it would come back to me from people in Central Intelligence. They were so brazen. Central Intelligence felt they could get away with murder and I'm sure they did."

CIA Public Affairs Officer Dave Christian, asked about Horn's suit, said, "It's not a part of the CIA's mission to do anything like that [wiretap DEA agents in-country] and we don't."

In Castillo's case, both Attorney General Janet Reno and CIA director John Deutch have stated there is no evidence to support the allegations being made against the CIA. Ten years ago, the CIA dismissed allegations about its Contra-drug connection as "fantasy, the most scurrilous kind of journalism."


Robert Knight and Dennis Bernstein were founders of the Contragate/Undercurrents investigative news program for which Knight won the George R. Polk Award for Radio Reporting. Knight and Bernstein won The Jesse Meriton White Award for International Reporting and the National Federation of Community Broadcasting award for reporting on the Iran-Contra affair.

© Pacific News Service
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard
http://www.franksmyth.com/clients/FrankSmyth/frankS.nsf/0/87f1065f0d5c677f85256b7b00790677?OpenDocument

My Enemy's Friends: In Guatemala, the DEA fights the CIA
by Frank Smyth         The New Republic         June 5, 1995




Why did the Guatemalan military kill American innkeeper Michael DeVine? In April of this year, acting CIA Director William O. Studeman and other U.S. officials implicated Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, who was on the CIA payroll at the time of the crime, in the June 1990 killing. But Studeman offered no explanation for the murder, and Alpirez's motive for ordering it has remained a mystery. The New York Times reporter that DeVine may have been killed because he knew about the Guatemalan military's illegal logging of mahogany trees near his ranch in the country's northern Peten jungle. DeVine's widow says it may have been because in his restaurant he served a civilian before serving a military officer. Assistant Secretary of State Alexander F. Watson told Congress DeVine might have been killed in a dispute over missing army rifles.

There is, however, a more probable motive for DeVine's murder. For the crucial backdrop to this story is not only the involvement of the CIA with the Guatemalan military, but the involvement of the Guatemalan military in drug trafficking. From the beginning, U.S. intelligence sources say, officials have had information to suggest that drugs were behind DeVine's murder. "DeVine could have found out that there were Guatemalans dealing with drugs up there because there were," says Thomas F. Stroock, who was the U.S. ambassador to Guatemala at the time of the DeVine killing. Now a former Drug Enforcement Administration special agent says that DeVine was killed because he knew Alpirez was involved in drug trafficking.

The ex-DEA agent, Celerino Castillo III, says he worked with both G-2 (the former name of the Guatemalan military intelligence) and the CIA from 1985 to 1990. Castillo says that CIA agent Randy Capister (whose identity Stroock confirmed) served as the agency's covert liaison with G-2. Capister, Castillo alleges, learned that DeVine had found out that Alpirez was involved in cocaine trafficking and marijuana cultivation near DeVine's ranch. (DeVine, though not a DEA informant, knew U.S. officials and others associated with the U.S. Embassy). Once Capister learned of DeVine's discovery, he in turn informed Colonel Fransisco "Paco" Ortega Menaldo, then head of G-2. Colonel Alpirez was under Ortega's command within the G-2, while CIA agent Capister reported not to then-Ambassador Stroock, but to Alfonso Sapia-Bosch, then the CIA station chief. Sapia-Bosch, reached for comment, declined to make one. Says Stroock of these agents: "I had no way of knowing what they did or did not know."

What the DEA knew or knows is also in doubt. Back in 1993 the DEA stated of DeVine's murder: "There is no indication that drugs were involved in this case." But since Alpirez's role in the murder was revealed, the DEA's chief spokesman, James McGivney, has declined to answer any queries on Guatemala. Studeman, for is part, has denied that the CIA played any role in DeVine's killing. When the CIA obtained specific information about Alpirez's alleged role in the crime in October 1991, the agency turned it over to the Justice Department but withheld it from Congress.

Castillo's new charge has now led Representative Robert Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat, to re-examine what the CIA told the Justice Department. In March, Torricelli publicly revealed Alpirez's role in both DeVine's murder and that of a Guatemalan guerrilla leader, Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, who was married to American lawyer Jennifer Harbury.

In a letter to the CIA Inspector General dated May 4, Torricelli wrote that if DeVine was slain to protect a drug operation, the crime would have been politically motivated and therefore potentially subject to prosecution here under U.S. anti-terrorism laws. "If CIA officials were fully aware of the circumstances surrounding Mr. DeVine's murder when they requested a Department of Justice ruling," wrote Torricelli, "they clearly did not provide that information to the Justice Department. If that is the case, then the CIA officials involved are guilty of obstruction of justice."

Whatever the motives for DeVine's murder it's clear that the CIA adn teh DEA have often been working at cross-purposes in Guatemala. The same military that the CIA has trained and supported in its war on leftist insurgents has also provided cover for some of the major drug traffickers pursued by the DEA. Since 1989, the DEA has formallu accused at least eleven Guatemalan military officers of drug traffickin, including six Army captains, two Army lieutenant colonels, two Air Force majors and even one Air Force general; the general, Carlos Pozuelos Villavicencio, was even denied an entry visa into this country because the DEA "knows, or has reason to believe," that he is involved "in the illicit trafficking of narcotics," according to the U.S. Information Service.

Yet, as a 1994 State Department report explains, "Guatemalan military officers strongly suspected of trafficking in narcotics rarely face criminal prosecution." in most cases, the Guatemalan military has merely discharged from active service those officers named by the DEA. Says the State Department report, "In most cases, the officers continue on with their suspicious activities."

Take the case of Lieutenant Colonel Carlso Ochoa Ruiz, "a/k/a Charlie," the first officer against whom the DEA initiated prosecution. Today he stands accused in Florida of collaborating with Colombia's Cali cartel to ship multi-ton level units of cocaine to the United States. In 1990, DEA agents infiltrated Ochoa's organization, which allegedly operated from a private farm in Escuintla, near Guatemala's Pacific Coast. In October, DEA agents allegedly watched as Ochoa and others loaded cargo onto a small plane; the agents then tracked the cargo to Tampa, where they later seized a half metric ton of cocaine, with a street value of over $40 million. Ochoa was indicted in Florida's U.S. Middle District Court and the State Department requested his extradition.

In response, the Guatemalan military discharged Ochoa as well as two Army captains also implicated in the case. But that didn't stop a Guatemalan military tribunal from later reclaiming jurisdiction and ruling to dismiss all charges for "lack of evidence." The State Department then appealed the case all the way to Guatemala's Constitutional Court, whose presiding judge, Epaminondas Gonzalez Dubon, has a reputation for integrity. In March 1994 Gonzalez lived up to his reputation with an unprecedented ruling; he signed a decision declaring Ochoa's extradition to be constitutional.

It turned out, however, that there were forces more powerful than the high court. On April 1 in Guatemala City, Gonzalez was assassinated by four unidentified gunmen. Then, on April 12, the surviving judges reversed Gonzalez's decision. Ochoa, in Guatemala, is now free. The DEA's sting against Ochoa was the United State's best chance to prosecute a Guatemalan military officer: even officers under indictment are above the law.

In the increasingly isolationist post-cold-war world, it might be tempting to overlook cases such as this one. Yet there are U.S. interests at stake. Taking the war on drugs seriously means taking on Guatemala. Although in the early 1980s most U.S.-bound cocaine flowed through the Caribbean, in the 1990s the Mexican and Central American land isthmus has become the cocaine superhighway. Mexico forwards the bulk of the drug to the United States. And Guatemala serves as a warehouse for Mexico. "With hundreds of unmonitored airfields and a good network of roads leading to Mexico," reads the State Department's latest drug control report. "Guatemala became the Colombian cartel's choice in Central America for cocaine transshipment."

Now Studeman claims that the CIA must maintain contacts with Guatemalan military intelligence officers -- such as Alpirez -- to collect information about drug trafficking. The Clinton administration agrees; after cutting other CIA programs to Guatemala, it has allowed the CIA's anti-drug operations there to continue. The trouble is that the CIA has been relying for information about drug trafficking on the very institution that has been producing drug trafficking suspects wanted by the DEA. At the very least, this casts doubt on the reliability of Guatemalan military intelligence. It also casts doubt on the CIA: whatever information the CIA has provided so far has yet to lead to the prosecution of a single officer.

       
       

© Copyright 1995 Frank Smyth. All rights reserved.
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard

http://www.drugwar.com/castillonorthmay1104.shtm


CONTRA-INTELLIGENCE
ON OLIVER L. NORTH

By Celerino "Cele" Castillo, 3rd
Former Federal Drug Agent and Author of:
Powderburns- Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War



posted at DrugWar.com
May 12, 2004

"Armed speedboats and a helicopter launched from a CIA 'mother ship' attacked Nicaragua's Pacific port, Puerto Sandino, on a moonless New Year's night in 1984. A week later, the speedboats returned to mine the oil terminal. Over the next three months, they laid more than 30 mines in Puerto Sandino and in the harbors at Corinto and El Bluff. In air and sea raids on costal positions, Americans flew-and fired from-an armed helicopter that accompanied the U.S. financed Latino force, while a CIA plane provided sophisticated reconnaissance guidance for the nighttime attacks. The operation, outlined in a classified CIA document, marked the peak of U.S. involvement in the four-year guerrilla war in Nicaragua. The most celebrated attack, by armed speedboats, came Oct. 11, 1983, against oil facilities at Corinto. Three days later, Latino frogmen sabotaged an underwater pipeline at Puerto Sandino. The message wasn't lost on Exxon, Esso unit, and the international giant informed the Sandinista government that it would no longer provide tankers for transporting oil to Nicaragua."
The Wall Street Journal-March 6, 1985

---

Top Secret-
Office of
Independent Counsel
File # IC-600-1

Record of FBI Agent Michael S. Foster's interview with Walter L. Grasheim
Date of Transcription: January 3, 1991

"Grasheim came up with the idea to prepare a military raid on an airport in Nicaragua, using Tamarindo as a staging base. Grasheim told General Gorman this and then right after, Rodriguez came to see Grasheim without warning and asked to talk about the idea…Rodriguez told Grasheim that he was talking to the White House and the NSC…"

On September 10, 1985, NORTH wrote in his notebook:
"…Introduced by Wally Gresheim/Litton Calero/Bermudez visit to Ilopango to estab."

December 21, 1982, the first Boland Amendment became law. "None of the funds provided in this Act [the Defense Appropriations Bill] may be used by the CIA or the Dept. of Defense to furnish military equipment, military training or advice, or other support for military activities, to any group or individual…for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua. This act went into effect until Oct. 3, 1984, when it was superseded by a stronger prohibition known as "Boland II."

This "Boland II" amendment was designed to prevent any conceivable form of deceit by the covert action apparatus: "During fiscal year 1985, no funds available to the CIA, the Dept. of Defense, or any other agency or entity of the United States involved in intelligence activities may be obligated or expended for the purpose of which would have the effect of supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Nicaragua by a nation, group, organization, movement, or individual." The law was effective from October 3, 1984, to December 5, 1985, when it was superceded by various aid-limitation laws which, taken together, were referred to as "Boland III."

North was brought into the National Security Council staff in August 1981. One of the first assignments was to serve as the NSC staff liaison to the Kissinger Commission on Central America beginning in the summer of 1983.

After October 1984, Vice President Bush designated North to coordinate the re-supply operations for the Contra network. At the same time, he was involved in various schemes to ransom U.S. hostages being held in Lebanon, by providing arms to Iran.

For the past ten years, I've been invited to lecture in different parts of this country in regards to the criminal activities of Oliver North. This will be the second time that I know of that the Salvation Army has invited Oliver North to be their key speaker for another Republican fundraiser. During the McAllen fundraiser, the alleged reason for the invitation was that the Salvation Army captain claimed that North has saved his father life in Vietnam. I don't know what the reason is this time around, but I do know that he is once again being paid $25,000 for his lecture.

At the height of the Contra war, I was stationed in Central America for 5 years as the lead DEA agent in El Salvador. It was there that I came face to face with the contradictions of my assignments. I started to record intelligence on how known drug traffickers, with multiple DEA files, were utilizing hangars 4 and 5 at Illopango airbase in El Salvador, to transport monies and drugs. Those hangars were owned and operated by the CIA and NSC. The Contra supply operations utilized the most readily available capabilities: drug-smugglers, who had the planes and pilots to conduct clandestine flights from South and Central America to all parts of the United States. "Guns down, drugs back," was the formula.

During that period, I was warned several times by the DEA and the State Department to shut down my Contra investigations but not to close the files. The reason was that if I did not close the investigation, then the committees would not be able to have excess to the files under the Freedom of Information Act. However, I continued to file my reports on the Contras to DEA HQS. These reports on members of the Contra operators went on for several years.

During the 1980s, Felix Rodriguez was in charge of the Contras' supply network in El Salvador for Oliver North. In addition, Rodriguez hired a Cuban terrorist by the name of Luis Posada Carriles to help him run the operation. On October 1976, after an explosion sent a Cuban jetliner plummeting into the sea off Barbados, it was revealed that the mastermind behind the bombing was no other then Luis Posada. In late 2000, Posada was arrested in a plot to assassinate Cuban president Fidel Castro.

The July 9, 1984 entry in North's diary obligingly published by Senator John Kerry, states, in Ollie's own hand, "Wanted aircraft to go to Bolivia to pick up paste, want aircraft to pick up 1,500 kilos."

The July 12, 1985 entry reads, "$14 millions to finance [arms] Supermarket came from drugs."

August 9, 1985: "Honduran DC-9 which is being used for runs out of New Orleans is probably being used for drug runs into U.S." All told, Ollie referred to CIA drug dealing in more than 250 entries. Oliver north's defense has always been that he allegedly turned all of the drug information to the DEA.



"North Didn't Relay Drug Tips: DEA Says It finds No Evidence Reagan Aide Talked to Agency," reported the Washington Post on Saturday, October 22, 1994.

Several years ago, the extreme right arm of the Christian Coalition selected to support Oliver North for U.S. Senate. Their support backfired and North became one of two Republicans who lost the elections that year. During North's campaign, I traveled to the Virginia to educate concern citizens on Oliver North. I went out to "grassroots" communities, and educated them on the criminal activities that Oliver North had been involved in during the 1980s. I went as far as challenging North to a debate. Of course, he refused.

During his failed 1994 campaign, he frequently claimed that there was no basis for any charges of his complicity in drug running, because as he keeps saying, "I'm the most investigated man on this planet." The truth of the matter is that the Iran-Contra special prosecutor, Lawrence Walsh, never investigated the drug trafficking allegations, because he did not consider it part of his mandate. The special prosecutor's original mandate from Congress was defined very narrowly, concentrating on the Iranian arms sales, the "diversion" of funds from the Iranian arms sales to the Contra operation, and on the Contra support operation as a violation of U.S. law.

During all the misdirected hoopla about Iran-Contra, the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee (known as the "Kerry committee") continued its work. Jack Blum, an investigator for Senator Kerry, testified to the committee on Feb. 11, 1987 that the Contras move drugs "not by the pound, not by the bag, but by the ton, by the cargo planeloads."

In 1987, Henry Hyde, as a member of the congressional Iran-contra committee and a defense attorney, helped steer the panel away from any serious investigation of the contra-cocaine connection. His focus was to spare President Ronald Reagan and his vice president, George Bush from possible impeachment over the Iran-contra scandal and related drug crimes implicating the Nicaraguan contra army.

More help for North came from an Iran-contra committee staff member Robert A. Bermingham, in a 1987, 900-word memo, claiming that a thorough investigation into drug-trafficking charges had found no evidence that the contra leadership was implicated in narco-trafficking. However, Bermingham's memo offered virtually no documentation from - or even identification of - the "hundreds" of witnesses supposedly questioned. There were no excerpts from depositions, no quotes from the files, no references to specific records examined, no citation of which foreign governments had cooperated or how, no detailing of the witness accounts alleging contra-drug trafficking and how those stories were debunked.

Nevertheless, in March 1998, Oliver North was indicted on Iran-contra charges.

During North's testimony, he revealed the following:
· North claimed no awareness of a $200,000 investment account that Secord's business partner Albert Hakim set up for North in Switzerland. Although, he did admit that he sent his wife Betsy to Philadelphia in March 1986 to meet with Willard I. Zucker, the Secord-Hakim Enterprise's financial manager. North said he assumed that in the event of his death, something would be done "that was proper and honorable and nothing wrong in any way," denying that the investment account was bribery by Hakim. Hakim pleaded guilty on November 1989 to attempting to supplement the salary of North, based partly on the establishment of the $200,000 investment account.

On May 6, 1989, North was found guilty on three counts, which included: (1) aiding and abetting obstruction of Congress, (2) shredding and altering official documents, and (3) accepting an illegal gratuity from General Richard V. Secord.

Oliver North had teamed up with four companies owned and operated by drug traffickers - and North helped arrange State Department contracts to pay all four for shipping non-lethal supplies to the contras.

According to government documents, the companies were:

SETCO Air owned and operated by the notorious Honduran drug trafficker Ramon Matta Ballesteros and the brains behind the killing of DEA agent Kike Camarena.

DIACSA, the Miami-based headquarters for major traffickers, Floyd Carlton and Alfredo Caballero.

Vortex, an air service partly owned by drug trafficker Michael Palmer, described in court records as "working for the largest marijuana cartel in the history of the country."

Frigorificos de Puntarenas, a Costa Rican seafood exporter established by the Medellin cartel and operated by Cuban-American drug trafficking. Oliver North knew that the Cuban had a criminal record as a drug trafficker, according to the inspector general's report.

NOTE: On March 24, 1986, according to my journals, I initiated a case general file: GFTG-86-4003 on Frigorificos de Puntarenas. A day later I wrote a report on Juan Mata-Ballesteros, FGTA-78-8001: Operation Tigere.

A DEA informant, Lawrence Harrison testified that he had been present who two of the partners of Felix Gallardo and Matta Ballesteros, met with American pilots working out of El Salvador providing arms to the Contras. The purpose of the meeting was to work out drug deals. He further related that Nicaraguan contras were being trained at a ranch in Vera Cruz, owned by Rafael Caro Quintero. It was at Quintero's ranch that DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, and his pilot were interrogated, tortured and buried alive.

It will surprise many to know that the Nobel Prize winning President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, because of an in-depth investigation by the Costa Rican congressional commission on narcotics, found "virtually all [U.S. supported] contra factions involved in drug trafficking." The government banned Oliver North and other American diplomats by Executive Order, from ever entering Costa Rica for their roles in utilizing Costa Rican territory for cocaine trafficking.

Former President Bush once stated, "All those who look the other way are as guilty as the drug dealers."

Just recently, diaries, e-mail, and memos of Iran-contra figure Oliver North, posted on the Web by the National Security Archive, directly contradict his criticisms a couple of weeks ago of Sen. John Kerry's 1988 Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee Report on the ways that covert support for Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s undermined the U.S. war on drugs.

Mr. North claimed to talk show hosts Hannity & Colmes that the Kerry report was "wrong," that Sen. Kerry "makes this stuff up and then he can't justify it," and that "The fact is nobody in the government of the United States, going all the way back to the earliest days of this under Jimmy Carter, ever had anything to do with running drugs to support the Nicaraguan resistance. Nobody in the government of the United States. I will stand on that to my grave."

There are several Reports on files that will contradict North's allegations:

· Documentation of Official U.S. Knowledge of Drug Trafficking and the Contras
· Evidence that NSC Supported Using Drug Money to Fund the Contras
· U.S. Officials and Major Traffickers
· Kerry Report - Iran/Contra North Notebook Citation Bibliography
The above documentation can be located here

As Kerry's final report summarized "It is clear that individuals who provided support for the contras were involved in drug trafficking. It is also clear that the supply network of the contras was used by drug trafficking organizations, and elements of the contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers.

The report also cited former DEA administrator John Lawn, who testified that North himself had prematurely leaked a DEA undercover operation, jeopardizing agents' lives. North did it for political advantage in an upcoming congressional vote on aid to the Contras.

A government official can be found guilty of violations of The Federal Drug Conspiracy Laws, if he fails to take appropriate action in reporting drug trafficking activity.

In 1974, according to Parade magazine (Nov. 13, 1994) North spent an evening running through a suburban neighborhood naked, waving his .45 automatic pistol and screaming, "I'm no good!" North mentions his subsequent three week stay at Bethesda Naval Medical Center's psychiatric ward in his autobiography, "Under Fire".

"It is said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel but in Oliver North, it was the first one…"
Tony Jones- ABC

"I believed that he is one of the best actors that I have seen, he is able to deal in his fantasies rather then the real world…he is a habitual liar and he is just not able to tell the truth…"
"He has that ability to sell himself as a dedicate, patriotic, religious, American who only is interesting in doing what is absolutely right and he is convincing, that is why snake oil salesman, sale snake oil."
"…I am very distress by the fact that we are able, through the media to create images of people that are not true."
Gen. John Singlaub, who worked hand in hand with North

"I will tell you right now, council and all the members here gathered, that I mislead the Congress, at that meeting, face to face… I did"
Lt. Col. Oliver L. North Under Oath before congress.

"He knows better and you know better, because I didn't lie to Congress and you know I didn't."
Oliver L. North

"…It came to a disaster, including the loss of life. I wanted out of it more than anybody, but they kept urging me, the director of CIA, North and the others. North admitted to this in his testimony before Congress, to the extent of even lying to me."
Gen. Richard Secord, Oliver North's partner during the Contra years

"In every case, in every case, when there was a hint that somebody might be running drugs into this country, we turned it over to the DEA, every single time."
Oliver North

In 1991, a DEA General File (FGFD-91-9139) was initiated on Oliver North in Washington D.C. "Smuggling weapons into the Philippines with know drug traffickers."

We, Americans, are not hated by other third world countries because we practice democracy, value freedom or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these precious ingredients to people in third world countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism. War crimes also come easily because the U.S. considers itself the vehicle of a higher morality and truth and can operate in violation of law without cost. Just recently look at how we have abused the POWs in Iraq. This past week, a government official made the comment, in reference to the abuse, "this is not what America has done in the past."

Finally, yet importantly, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
Mathew 7:15
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard
Oliver North- Drug Trafficking Hero on the Lecture Circuit
http://www.drugwar.com/castillonorth.shtm

Should we forgive and forget, or hold him accountable for his extensive past drug trafficking ties?

by Celerino Castillo 3rd

posted at DrugWar.com
May 22, 2003



Author Celerino Castillo back in the day, working on anti-drug operations in Central America

Hummers, SUVs, Mercedes, and Cadillac were arriving for Oliver North and The Salvation Army’s fundraiser. I could have sworn that it was a Republican fundraiser. As the vehicles went by, some had the audacity of “shooting the bird” at us while we were exercising our First Amendment rights. It was a good thing that the camera was clicking. “Good old boys” at their best.

According to one member of the Salvation Army’s advisory board, it had been a done deal before North’s name was brought to the table for the approval. That same member further alleged that the real reason that North had been approved for the lecture was because North had allegedly once saved Captain Tom Gilliam's father’s life. Therefore, it turned out to be a pretty good payday for North.

Now, we do not dispute the fact that the Salvation Army does an excellent job in what they are suppose to do. Captain Tom Gilliam, a Salvation Army Captain, was quoted by The Monitor that, “I believe that the actions that the people (protesters) are upset about took place 20 years ago…” What the Captain failed to mention was that in 1991, the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington D.C opened a General File (GFGD-91-9139) on Oliver North for selling weapons in the Philippines with known drug traffickers.

It will surprise many to know that the Nobel Prize winning President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, because of an in-depth investigation by the Costa Rican Congressional Commission on Narcotics, found “virtually all [U.S. supported] contra factions involved in drug trafficking.” The Costa Rican government banned Oliver North and other America diplomats, by Executive Order, from ever entering Costa Rica for their roles in utilizing Costa Rican territory for cocaine trafficking. Former President Bush once stated, “All those who look the other way are as guilty as the drug dealers,”

The Captain went on to state that, “We believe in a God who forgives and forgets…” Once again, the Captain lost focus on our concerns. And, that it is his poor judgment in selecting an individual who was tainted by allegations of drug trafficking, terrorism, and felony convictions. The Captain’s selection was made for personal reasons.

Several years ago, the extreme right arm of the Christian Coalition selected to support Oliver North for U.S. Senate. Their support backfired and North became one of two Republicans who lost the elections that year. During North’s campaign, I traveled to Virginia, went out to the “grassroots” communities and educated them on who Oliver North really was. I went as far as challenging North for a debate. Of course, he refused. My first question would had been: Why did you campaign to obtain the release of Honduran army general Jose Bueso-Rosa from a federal prison, after his arrest for smuggling 763 pounds of cocaine and for murder? Bueso-Rosa’s partner in the venture was international arms dealer Felix Latchinian, who in turn was an ex-business partner of CIA agent (Cubano) Felix Rodriguez. During the 70s and 80s, Felix Rodriguez was tied to several terrorist organizations who terrorize both the United States and Latin America. Felix Rodriguez, also known as Max Gomez, was in charge of the Contra’s supply network in El Salvador, which was also involved in drug trafficking. If this sounds complicated just remember that all this drug trafficking was paid for with your taxpayer dollars.

The Captain’s poor judgment, that the means justifies the end, will hurt the Republican Party. On November 1, 2001, after several months of delays, George W. Bush changed an Executive Order that prevented the release of papers from the Reagan presidency, even though the release is mandated by The Presidential Records Act of 1978. Several years ago I was able to legally obtain Top Secret government documents, declassified, from the National Archives. Soon after the release, the government reclassified them citing National Security. These are some of the documents that President Bush wants kept secret. Some of these documents affirm the plans to mine the harbors of Nicaragua. Because of the Captain’s decision to continue in support of individuals like Oliver North, I have no choice but to release these documents to Univision and make the first offer to an American news media, Mr. North’s employer, Fox News.

We Americans are not hated by other Third World countries because we practice democracy, value freedom or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism. War crimes also come easily because the U.S. considers itself the vehicle of a higher morality and truth and can operate in violation of law without cost.

This world has become a very dangerous place to live, not just because of the evil people that control it, but also because of the individuals who do absolutely nothing to make it a better place to live. Because of the atrocities that my government committed in Central America, I’ve renounced my Bronze Star back to my government at the Vietnam Wall. I am also now capable of feeling deeply in my blood when an injustice is being committed. That is why I’ve risked the remainder of my life to demonstrate what I believe to be real. And that is that an armed struggle (pen in hand) is in order for those who are struggling to keep their freedom for telling the truth.

In conclusion, it is interesting to see whom the Captain will invite for next year fundraiser: Manuel Noriega? Why not? As the Captain states, “God forgives and forgets.” Furthermore, in Noriega’s case, it occurred 20 years ago. According to the Top Secret documents, Lt. Col. Oliver North had a very close relationship with Noriega.

Celerino “Cele” Castillo, 3rd
2709 North 28 ½ Street
McAllen, TX 78501
956-345-5770
powderburns@prodigy.net
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard

http://www.drugwar.com/castillo%20to%20hsci.shtm


Castillo Addresses the House Select Committee on Intelligence
Written Statement of Celerino Castillo, 3rd

(Former DEA Special Agent)

JULY 2000

For

THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE

The CIA Inspector General Report of Investigation

VOLUME II : THE CONTRA STORY

Released October 8, 1998

And

REPORT ON THE CIA's ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN

CRACK COCAINE TRAFFICKING IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION

FEBRUARY 2000

Several years ago, as a patriot, I took an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States and its' citizens. I fought for it in Vietnam and as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. And now, I find myself ready to fight for it once more. Sadly enough, it's a battle against the criminals in my own government. It has cost me so much to become a complete human being. I realize that by exposing these powerful criminals I have placed my life in danger. However, I strongly believe, then and now, that by placing my life on the line, I will make a difference in preserving my country from these criminals. Some of the evidence that you are about to view has never been exposed to the public. These atrocities were committed by my government, from drug trafficking to obstruction of Justice to murder, with relative at ease.

The following statement would have been my testimony before the government committees investigating the allegations of US drug trafficking. However, for apparent reasons, I was never summoned to testify. My only conndition was that if I was to be interviewed, I would be allowed to record the interview. Because of my prior experience with the government, that would had been my only proof of what I did or did not say.

You will view some, but not many, quotations that you have read in the past. However, I hope that the viewer will focus on these quotations as part of my foundation of evidence for the criminal cases. You will also view some quotations that haven't been witnessed by many. This is essentially important in building my cases against these criminals.

As a twenty year criminal investigator, specifically drug cases, I have found overwhelming evidence that would convict, without reasonable doubt, these criminals in my own government. I will also prove, emphatically and without equivocation, that high US Government officials "Obstructed Justice". These individuals should be held accountable for for deceiving the American people, judges and members of Congress.

My first responds would have been to Senator John Kerry's "Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy". At the time, as a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), I should have had a "God given right" as a citizen and as a government agent to testify before this committee. One of the reasons that the committee gave for not interviewing me, was that the DEA had established, "That no evidence was found that the Contras were involved in drug trafficking." As you read my evidence, you will sense the massive cover up by the DEA and other government agencies because they were terrified of the CIA. Most of the evidence will fall, with confirmation, that IIopango Air Base in El Salvador was the "O'Hare Airport" of drug trafficking. It still boggles my mind why a criminal investigator, for these investigative committees, never bothered to travel to Guatemala or El Salvador to interview US elements of the US Embassies. Some of these agents had gathered the intelligence and evidence that implicated the US Government in drug trafficking. The only reason I could gather would be that the committees came to an understanding with the government about the "drug issue".

"In 1995, Deutch, fired two CIA officials from the Office of Operation for Guatemala." NOTE: Chances are that they were hired back as "contract labor". "If this information turns up wrong doing, we will bring these people to justice and make them accountable." John Deutch, DCI - 11-15-96

OVERT ACT : An open, manifest act from which criminality may be implied. An outward act done in pursuance and manifestation of an intent or design. An open act, which must be manifestly proved.

Selections from the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy chaired by Senator John. F. Kerry 1988

"We permitted narcotics, we were complicit, as a country, in narcotic trafficking. At the same time, we are spending countless dollars in this country to try to get rid of this problem. As law enforcement officials risk their lives, how can you ask a DEA agent to go out their and risk his life, when there is a whole other policy out there that is willing to overlook narcotics. It's mind boggling." Senator, John Kerry, 1988
INTRODUCTION

SPRING OF 1986,...On the basis of this evidence, it is clear that individuals who provided support for the Contras were involved in drug trafficking, the supply network of the Contras was used by drug trafficking organizations, and element of the Contras themselves knowingly received financial and material assistance from drug traffickers.

NOTE: I will prove that, not only did the CIA turned a "blind eye", but were complicit in drugs and arms trafficking. Not to mention the participation in assassinations by CIA assets. As you view the evidence, you will find dates, times, places - and for the first time names of CIA officials who participated in the approval as these murders.

"There is no question in my mind, "one or more agencies" of the US government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter. Reports were reaching the highest councils of our government in the White House and the Justice Department. There is no question about that. I can document that." John Kerry

THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH RESPONSE TO CONTRA-DRUG CHARGES

In the wake of press accounts concerning links between the Contras and drug traffickers beginning DECEMBER, 1985, with a story by the Associated Press. Both Houses of the Congress began to raise questions about the drug-related allegations associated with the Contras, causing a review in the spring of 1986 of the allegations by the State Department, in conjunction with the Justice Department and relevant US intelligence agencies.

Following the review, the State Department told the Congress in April, 1986 that it had at that time "evidence of a limited number of incidents in which known drug traffickers tried to establish connections with Nicaraguan resistance groups." NOTE: John (Jack) McCavett was the CIA Chief of Station in Guatemala and El Salvador during this time period (1980s).

Spring of 1986, ...At the time, the FBI had "significant information" regarding the involvement of narcotics traffickers in Contra operations and Neutrality Act violations. NOTE: Costa Rica and El Salvador airbase "Ilopango" were the main targets of these investigations.

Footnote: See extensive FBI investigative materials released in discovery in US v Corbo and US v Calero, SD Florida, 1988, documenting information the FBI had collected regarding these matters from 1984 - 1986. See Iran/Contra Deposition of FBI Agent Kevin Currier, Appendix B, Vol. 8 pp. 205-206. FBI 302's of SA Kisyznski, released in US v Corbo, SD Florida 1988.

The FBI had already assembled substantial information confirming the Neutrality Act violations, including admissions by some of the persons involved indicating that crimes had taken place. In fact, as the FBI had previously learned from informants, that Cuban-American supporters of the Contras had shipped weapons from south Florida to Ilopango....Corbo, one of the principals in the shipment, explicitly told the FBI that he had participated in shipping weapons to the Contras in violation of US Neutrality laws.

NOTE: Did Jack McCavett know this? He states in his responds to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, that "The Contra effort at Ilopango was Closely Supervised".

In August 1987, the CIA's Central American Task Force Chief became the first US official to revise that assessment to suggest instead that the links of the Contras to narcotics trafficking was in fact far broader than that acknowledged by the State Department in 1986. Footnotes: Iran-Contra testimony of Central American Task Force Chief August 5, 1987, 100-11, pp. 182-183. "Drugs moved in and out"--"Fiers on Ilopango", interview with Iran Contra investigators, 1991

OVERT ACTS OF DRUG TRAFFICKING

1987, DEA Assistant Administrator David Westrate said of the Nicaraguan war: "It is true that people on both sides of the equation (in the Nicaraguan war) were drug traffickers, and a couple of them were pretty significant". Footnote: Subcommittee testimony of David Westrate, Part 4, July 12, 1988, p. 144.
THE CONTRA STORY VOL. II (THE AMERICAN CITIZEN)

NOTE: DEA at that time, had assembled substantial information of drug trafficking at Ilopango Air Base during Jack McCavett's watch. However, when DEA asked where SA Cele Castillo or SA Sandy Gonzlaes agent's reports were, they testified that there were no reports to implicate the Contras in drug trafficking.

Example: Walter Grasheim, US citizen, was running a covert operation at Ilopango since 1984. On May 3,1986, he was forced to land his aircraft in Florida. He had with him two suitcases which contained suspected cocaine. He alleged that he was transporting top secret documents in the suitcases for the CIA. After the incident, he went back to his operation at Ilopango.

Jack McCavett was aware of the incident and permitted him to continue his support for the Contras. Jack could had warned everyone at the embassy about the Grasheim allegation.

Overt "Obstruction of Justice" by both the DEA & CIA

THE PILOTS

Gary Wayne Betzner, drug pilot who worked for convicted smuggler George Morales, testified that twice in 1984 he flew weapons for the Contras from the US to northern Costa Rica and returned to the US with loads of cocaine. Betzner testified that his first delivery of arms to the Contras was in 1983, when he flew a DC-3 carrying grenades and mines to Ilopango in El Salvador. His co-pilot on the trip was Ricahrd Healey, who had flown drugs for Morales. Footnote: Subcommittee testimony of Gary Betzner, Part 3, April 7, 1988, pp.262-265. Address book seized by Customs, Port Charlotte, Florida, N2551, March 16, 1987.

DC-4 seized by the DEA on March 16, 1987. DC-4 was registered to drug traffickers. ...US Law enforcement personnel also found an address book aboard the plane, containing among other references the telephone numbers of some Contra officials and the Virginia telephone number of Robert Owen, Oliver North's courier. NOTE: US Col. Oliver North (DEA file # GFGD-91-9139) was working out of Ilopango during that time period. It is suspected that this DC-4 flew out of Ilopango. Jack McCavett was still in El Salvador. Who was the plane registered to? Col. North was documented in DEA files going back to 1980s. Two years before running for US Senate, he was documented "smuggling weapons to the Philippines with known drug traffickers." HOW ARE WE, AS AMERICAN CITIZENS, TO INTERPRET THIS?

OVERT ACTS OF DRUG & ARMS TRAFFICKING

In October 1984, Colombian drug trafficker, George Morales, transported a C-47 from Haiti to Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador. Morales donated the aircraft to the Contras at Ilopango. NOTE: Ilopango had been utilize by drug trafficker since 1984. Jack McCavett was in Central America or on his way at that time. He should had been brief prior to his arrival. Where are his reports? Footnote: Ibid., p. 15.

Adolfo "Popo" Chamorro gave the Subcommittee a list of flights made by that C-47 to ferry arms from Ilopango to Costa Rica and La Penca. Between October 18, 1984 and February 12, 1986, some 156,000 pounds of material were moved from Ilopango to air fields in Costa Rica. NOTE: A clear violation of the Neutrality Act. Footnote: Chamorro, ibid., pp. 11-12.

In addition, Cesar told the Subcommittee that he told a CIA officer about Morales and his offer to help the Contras.

Senator KERRY: "Did you have occasion to say to someone in the CIA that you were getting money from him and you were concerned he was a drug dealer? Did you pass that information on to somebody?"

Mr. Cesar: "Yes, I passed the information on about the --not the relations--well, it was the relations and the airplanes; yes. And the CIA people at the American military attaché's office that were (sic) based at Ilopango also, and any person or any plane landed there, they had to go..."

Morales continued to work with the Contras until January 1986. He was then indicted for a second time in Florida and was arrested on June 12, 1986. In November 1988, the DEA gave Morales a lengthy polygraph examination on his testimony before the Subcommittee and he was considered truthful. Footnote: See correspondence from DEA Mr. Lawn to Senator Kerry, Jan.13, 1989.

My Own Investigations At Ilopango: Evidence From My Journals

Note: Every DEA 6 report or cable that I submitted was approve by my Country Attache, Robert J. Stia

November 08, 1985, Placed a Contra pilot-DEA Informant (Manundo) on a flight to the US from Guatemala. This pilot had severely hurt his leg in an airplane accident in a clandestine airstrip in Costa Rica. His brother, Charlie Manundo also became a DEA informant. DEA Russell Reina was the case agent. FOOTNOTE: DEA case file TG-85-0014, Frank Carvajal-Florez

December 05, 1985, Libyans came to Guatemala in an attempt to assassinate Jack McCavett. Information was provided by the DEA Airport detail. A couple of days later, the Libyans were found murdered. Information about the Libyans was given to Cuban-American CIA Officer, Manny Brand. He then gave the order to the Guatemalan G-2. A couple of days later, the Libyans were found murdered. This was reported in the local newspaper. NOTE: The information on the Libyans was given to FBI agent Sullivan (Panama Attaché). Jack McCavett had been stationed in Libya.

Overt Act of Murder

January 13, 1986, I wrote a DEA 6 report on El Salvador (GFTG-86-9145).

January 14, 1986, Met with V.P George Bush re: Contras at Ilopango. NOTE: Bush was forewarned of the Contras-Drug connection.

January 16, 1986: Report on aircraft Colombian aircraft -- HK-1217W--Contra pilots Carlos Silva and Tulio Pedras.

January 28, 1986: Contra supporter Sofie Amuary, gave the names of Raul Samana and Adela Herrera (Brigada 2506). Salomon Nassad (Armenia) NOTE: DEA file TG-86-0003

Feb. 05, 1986, I seized $800,000 in cash, 35 kilos of cocaine, and an airplane at Ilopango airport in El Salvador. Colombian M-19 terrorist. Note: The above latter case was initiated by Jack McCavett's asset. The operation was conducted by the CIA "goon squad". The squad members were made up of several former Venezuelan Police Officers working as advisors for McCavett. Leader of this group was Victor Rivera who was involved in several murders for the CIA in El Salvador and Guatemala. This is a FACT that is well documented in DEA files. Footnote: DEA-6 Case file TG-86-0001, Giatan-Giatan, Leonel

Example: A Salvadoran Military Major was kidnapped in Guatemala by Rivera and his crew. The Major was then tortured and assassinated by Rivera. This was done with the approval of Jack McCavett and CIA agent Manny Brand. I assisted the squad in the capture of the Major in Guatemala City under the pretext that the Major was a fugitive. Who was the plane register to at Ilopango?

Overt Act on Murder

April 17, 1986, wrote DEA 6's reports on Costa Rican Contra Pilots at Ilopango. Footnote: El Salvador case file GFTG-86-9999, Air Intelligence.

March 24, 1986, I wrote a DEA 6 report (GFTG-86-4003) on the Contra operation in El Salvador. It was on Frigorificos de Puntarenas, S.A. US registration on aircraft N-68435 (Cessna 402) white/brown at Ilopango. NOTE: DEA files GFTF-86-9999 (Air Intelligence) and GFTF-86-4003, IE4-C0, Frigorificos de Puntarenas, SA. Who was the plane register to?

March 25, 1986, HK-2281P (Tail Number) Juan Mata-Ballesteros

Early part of 1986, I received a cable from DEA SA Sandy Gonzales in Costa Rica. He was requesting me to investigate Hangers 4 and 5 at Ilopango. He advised that they had received reliable information that the Contras were flying cocaine into the hangers. Both hangers were owned and operated by the CIA and the National Security Council. Operators of hanger 4 were US Lt. Col. Oliver North and former CIA agent Felix Rodriguez. (See attached letter by Bryan Blaney (OIC) dated March 28, 1991)

FOOTNOTE: Southern Front Contras 447---In April 1986, a CIA cable to Headquarters reported information from a March 18, 1986 DEA report regarding Carlos Amador. According to the cable, the DEA report noted that Amador had recently flown a Cessna 402 from Costa Rica to San Salvador where he had access to Hanger 4 (Felix Rodriguez) at Ilopango air base. The cable also indicated that a "DEA source stated that Amador was probably picking up cocaine in San Salvador to fly toGrand Caymen and then to Florida." The cable also asked that DEA request the San Salvador police investigate Amador and anyone associated with Hangar 4. It linked Amador with Hangar 14 at Tobias Bolanos International Airport in San Jose. The hangar was owned by Segio and Jorge Zarcovic. These two individuals reportedly under DEA investigation in connection with a shipment of cocaine that was seized in Miami. NOTE: See DEA 6s from Costa Rica and El Salvador.

Overt Acts of Drug Trafficking & Money Laundering

April 1986, The Consul General of the US Embassy in El Salvador, Robert J. Chavez, forewarned me that CIA Officer George Witters was requesting a US visa for a documented Nicaraguan drug trafficker and Contra pilot by the name of Carlos Alberto Amador, mentioned in 6 DEA files. NOTE: McCavett was question by me as to why the CIA was issuing a US visa to a drug trafficker. Answer: "We just need to get the guy to the US."

April 17, 1986, I wrote a Contra report DEA 6 (GFTG-86-9999 Air Intelligence) on the Contra operation on Arturo Renick and Johnny Ramirez (both Costa Ricans) at Ilopango air field. Tail numbers of aircraft: TI-AQU and BE-60 NOTE: Who did the planes belong to?

June 06, 1986, I send a DEA cable to DEA HQS re: Contra pilots, Carlos Alberto Amador and Carlos Armando Llamos (Honorary Ambassador to Panama). Llamos flew from Ilopango to Panama on an air plane tail number N-308P. Llamos delivered 4 1/2 million dollars to Panama for the Contras. Leon Portilla - TI-ANO; Navajo 31 and YS-265-an American pilot: Francisco Vidal (sic). Roberto Gutierrez (N-82161; Mexican (X-AB) NOTE: Who do these planes belong to?

June 11, 1986, Oscar Alvarado-Lara (Guatemalan Contra Pilot) DEA NADDIS number 1927543, transported 27 illegal Cubans to Ilopango, where they were then smuggled into Guatemala. Lara is documented in several DEA files and is a personal pilot for the CIA in Guatemala and El Salvador. His aircraft is identified as TG-REN. "Again this is proof that the CIA participated with documented drug traffickers." NOTE: Who does this plane belong to?

June 18, 1986, Francisco Rodrigo "Chico" Guirola-Beeche, Contra Pilot and documented cocaine and weapons smuggler, departed Ilopango with large shipment of cocaine and monies to the Bahamas.

June 21, 1986, On Chico's return flight he arrived with passengers Alejandro De Urbizu and Patricia Bernal. In 1988, De Urbizu was arrested in the US in a cocaine conspiracy case. Note: In 1985, Guirola was arrested with 5 1/2 million dollars cash by US Cutoms. It was suspected that the money came from drug traffickers in Los Angeles for the Contras. He was released because of his support for the CIA. "Once more, Guirola went back to working at Ilopago as a document drug trafficker with the approval of the CIA."

Aug. 15, 1986, I met with Jack McCavett and CIA Official, Don Richardson in El Salvador re: drug trafficker Fernando Canelas Sanez.

Aug. 18, 1986, I received $45,000.00 in cash from CIA Chief of Station, Jack McCavett. This was witnessed by DEA informant Ramiro Guerra and US Lt. Col. Albert Adame. This money was turned over to them with receipt. NOTE: This information is in my Journals and I have the original receipt of the $45,000.00.

Aug. 28, 1986, I had a meeting with El Salvador US Ambassador, Edwin Corr re: Wally Grasheim (mentioned in several DEA and FBI files), Pete's Place and Carlos Amador re: CIA US visa for Amador (documented drug trafficker ). Visa requested by CIA agent George Witter.

Sept 28, 1987, Oscar Alvarado transported CIA Official Randy Capister from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala to Guatemala City after a joint DEA, CIA and Guatemala Military (G-2) operation. In this operation several individuals were murdered by G-2 and witness by the DEA (Castillo) and CIA Officer Capister. NOTE: Reported in DEA file TG-86-0005. Also reported was Guatemalan Congressman: Carlos Ramiro Garcia de Paz, who as of this date, has a US visa.

Overt Act Of Murder

Sept. 01, 1986, Walter Grashiem residence in El Salvador was raid by a DEA task force. US military munitions were found. This individual is mentioned in The Contra Story Vol. II. He is documented in several DEA, CIA, US Customs and FBI files. Footnote: January 20, 1987, Joel Brinkley, special to the New York Times, "Contra Arms Crew said to Smuggle Drugs".

Note: In late 1984, Donald P. Gregg introduced Col. Oliver North to Felix Rodriguez, (a retired CIA agent) who had already been working in Central America for over a year under George Bush's direction. Gregg personally introduced Rodriguez to Bush on Jan. 22, 1985. Two days after his January 1985 meeting, Rodriguez went to El Salvador and made arrangements to set up his base of operations at Ilopango air base. On Nov. 01, 1984, the FBI arrested Rodriguez's partner, Gerard Latchinian, and convicted him of smuggling $10.3 million in cocaine into the US.

October 21, 1986, Sent a telex/cable to Washington DC on the Contras at Ilopango.

April 01, 1987, Bob Stia, Walter Morales and myself flew to Ilopango Airbase and met with two CIA Officials who advised us that we could no longer utilize Mario Murga because he was now working with them. Note: Mario Murga was our DEA informant who initiated the flight plans for the Contra pilots at Ilopango. CIA George Witter stole Murga from DEA so that there would be no more reporting on CIA assets.

"The CIA has jurisdiction above US federal agencies in foreign countries" ..."McCavett maintained good liaison relationships with the DEA..." John McCavett interview by HPSCI

August 30, 1988, Received intelligence from the number three man (Guido Del Prado)at the US embassy in El Salvador re: Carlos Armando Llemus-Herrera (Contra pilot ). NOTE: See DEA 6 on Carlos Armando Llemus-Herrera

December 03, 1988, Seized 356 kilos of cocaine in Guatemala DEA report TG-89-0002, Hector Sanchez. NOTE : This case was initiated on Gregorio Valdez, owner and operator of Piper Co. in Guatemala. Personal pilot of Jack McCavett, and CIA Officer Randy Capister. Mr. Valdez and Piper Co. are well documented in DEA files in drug trafficking. For several years, this company was contracted by the CIA and the DEA for support. Thousands of dollars were paid to this company even after they had been documented in DEA files. Several Contra pilots flew out of Piper. "Once more it proves that the CIA & DEA were sleeping with the enemy"

OVERT ACTS OF DRUG TRAFFICKING

Documented Drug-Traffickers (Contra Pilots) Flying Out of Ilopango

Col. Enriques Bermudez, the former Nicaraguan military attaché in Washington, D.C., who had already been placed on the CIA payroll to organize an anti-Sandinista force. Colonel Bermudez would serve as the "Commander in Chief: of the FDN forces at Ilopango. He is well documented in DEA, FBI and CIA files as a suspected drug trafficker. This goes back to 1981. This was never reported to Congress by the CIA.

Marcos Aguado, Chief pilot for the Meneses drug organization [see Dark Alliance] who operated out of the FDN clandestine military base at Ilopango. Flew El Salvadoran Air Force planes to Colombia to pick up cocaine and delivered them to US military base (Carswell Air Force base) in Texas. He was also personal pilot for Eden Pastora. Worked hand in hand with another documented drug trafficker, Duran. Aguado was sent to Ilopango to destroy the Islander aircraft, circa July 1984. In 1986, he was documented by DEA as a drug trafficker after an interview. He still flew out of Ilopago with the approval of CIA.

1987: A Congressional report identifies Aguado as an associate of Colombian drug trafficker George Morales. Oliver North aide Rob Owen also identifies Aguado as a Contra pilot operating out of Ilopango. Footnote: Southern Front Contras-277- and 278--In October 1984, the CIA got their first indication that Aguado was involved in drug trafficking. January 1986, CIA cable, Aguado associates were arrested with 600 kilos of cocaine in the US. In April 1986, CIA cable: Adolfo Chamorro "plans to denounce Aguado as being involved in drug trafficking activities.

Felix Rodriguez , In March 1986, according to a sworn statement of pilot Michael Tolliver, under Felix Rodriguez's instructions, Tolliver flew a DC-6 aircraft to a Contra base in Honduras, picked up 12 tons of marijuana, and flew the dope to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. Rodriguez paid Tolliver $75,000. Tolliver said that on another return trip to the US he carried cocaine for Rodriguez. In another circuit of flights, Tolliver and his crew flew between Miami and El Salvador's Ilopango airbase. Tolliver said that Rodriguez "instructed me where to go and who to see." While making these flights, he "could go by any route available without any interference from any agency. We didn't need a stamp of approval from Customs or anybody." Rodriguez was placed at Ilopango airbase by the National Security Council and the CIA. He worked under Jack McCavett (U.S. vs George).

In a June 26, 1987 closed session of the Kerry's Subcommittee's, Miliam Rodrigurez testified that in a meeting between Felix Rodriguez and himself an agreement was made within themselves to furnish the Contras with drug money. Felix accepted the offer and $10 million in such assistance was subsequently provided the Contras through a system of secret couriers. Gregg's notes read: Felix knew him at Bay of Pigs, also close to Tom Clines whom Felix used to know---split over Libya."

Luis Posada Carriles, In 1985, Felix Rodriguez helped Posada get to Salvador from a Venezuelan prison and brought him straight to Ilopango to work with him. Posada had participated in blowing up a Cuban airliner which took the lives of 78 individuals. Rodriguez gave him the name of Ramon Medina, gave him bogus papers and put him to work for the Contra operation at Ilopango. The job description for this individual was to be head of Logistics. Posada was a "gofor" for the Contra pilots, accommodating them with safe-houses and paying them with cash from banks in Florida and Panama.

Note: Lawrence Victor Harrison (DEA informant) testified that he had been present when two of the partners of Felix Gallardo and Matta Ballesteros, Rafael Caro Quintero and Ernesto Fonseca, met with American pilots working out of Ilopango air base in El Salvador, providing arms to the Contras. The purpose of the meeting was to work out drug deals. FOOTNOTE: DEA 6 Report out of Los Angeles "Debriefing of Harrison"

Carlos Alberto Amador, A Nicaraguan pilot mentioned in six DEA files by 1987. He is alleged to have smuggled narcotics and weapons to Ilopango from Costa Rica for the Contras. He was carrying credentials signed by General Bustillo, Chief of the Air Force at Ilopango. Individuals known to have flown with him are Carlos Viques, Jorge Zarcovick, Nicola Ly Decker, and Maria Elens Lydecker. Zarcovick was arrest in the US for smuggling large quantities of cocaine. Footnotes: SOUTHERN FRONT CONTRAS- 444-- A July 1985 CIA cable..."Carlos Amador on June 8 that a 150 kilo shipment of cocaine that had been seized near Barra Del Colorad, Costa Rica, ...was destined to the United States." SFC- 445 and 446--CIA cable Aug. 1985..."Carlos Amador was to ferry two airplanes from Miami to Colombia, via San Salvador and Belize... and used in a drug smuggling operation..." NOTE: CIA Agent George Witter attempted to give him a US visa by orders of Jack McCavett, COS at El Salvador.

OVERT ACTS OF DRUG TRAFFICKING & MONEY LAUNDERING

Francisco Rodrigo Guirola-Beeche, DEA NADDIS # 1585334 and 1744448. This individual is documented in FBI, CIA and US Custom files. On February 6, 1985 Guirola departed Orange County, California in a private airplane with 3 Cuban Americans. It made a stop in South Texas where US Customs seized 5 1/2 million dollars in cash. It was alleged that it was drug money but because of his ties with the Salvadoran death squads and the CIA he was released and the airplane given back. NOTE: In May 1984 Guirola accompanied Major Roberto D'Aubuisson, head of the death squads in El Salvador, to a very sensitive meeting with former CIA Deputy Director Vernon Walters in the US. Walters was sent to stop the assassination of the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Thomas Pickering. Guirola was documented by me at Ilopango from 1986 to 1989 while Jack McCavitt was in El Salvador.

Walter Lee Grasheim (Wally), This individual is a US citizen who was, as far as I was concerned, a mercenary operating a covert operation out of Ilopango. He arrived at Ilopango in 1984. By his own admission he claimed to be working for the CIA, US Army and other governments agencies. On Sept. 01, 1986, his residence in El Salvador was raided by a DEA Task Force. Found were huge amounts of US military munitions that he had no bussiness with, since he was a civilian. Also found was approximately a pound of Marijuana and Marijuana plants. growing in the back yard. He had just violated Salvadoran Law for having these munitions. The Salvadoran Constitution prohibits any foreign nationals or national from having war munitions. The question remains, where did he get these munitions from and who approved it? US Custom agent Richard Rivera attempted to trace the munitions but was stopped short of finding out. An arrest warrant was issued by Lt. Franco of the Salvadoran National Police. In late 1986, Grasheim threatened US Ambassador Edwin Corr, claiming that, "If he went down half of the Mil-group would go down with him."

On December 13, 1990, FBI SA Michael S. Foster, interviewed Walter L. Grasheim on behalf of the Office Of Independent Counsel on Iran-Contra. Grasheim claims that he arrived in El Salvador in early 1984. Upon his arrival, he met with Art McArney who was now employed by Bell Helicopter. Grasheim claimed to be selling night vision equipment to the Salvadoran Military. He was Litton Corporation representative in El Salvador. He claimed to have several retired special operations officers working for him . He further claimed that he was doing very well, not only financially but in assisting the Salvadoran Military.

Grasheim claims that in 1985, he had had a conversation with US Colonel Aaron Royer, who worked at Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA) at the Pentagon. Royer wanted Grasheim to meet Oliver L. North but the meeting never took place. Grasheim claims that Royer had a military items shipping list from North. Royer didn't specifically say, but Grasheim believed this was military items destined for the CONTRAS. Royer had requested that Grasheim provide him with prices and availability of various military items. Grasheim believed this was also related to the CONTRAS. Also in 1985, or early 1986, Col. Steele told Grasheim that the Contras had paid too much for their aircraft, meaning the caribou and the C-123s.

Grasheim then identified Mario del Amigo, known as "Mr. Contra" in Honduras. During that time period Grasheim and Mr. del Amigo would travel back and forth to Honduras and El Salvador. Grasheim introduced del Amigo to Rafael Bustillo, Jim Steele and others, "Who were involved with the Contras." Grasheim claims that del Amigo sold arms to the Contras and overcharged them. Del Amigo complained to Grasheim that Secord was selling arms to the Contras and overcharging them as well.

Grasheim claims that Del Amigo used to meet with various people and discuss the supply of the Contras at Grasheim's house before it was raided. Grasheim believes that maybe one of the reasons why the raid took place was because Secord's competition used it for meetings. Grasheim believed Del Amigo was running the Contra re-supply operation in El Salvador. Grasheim was in the US military from 1959 to 1961. Grasheim has never had any other affiliation with the military other than this tour of duty and he has never had any affiliation with the CIA.

Grasheim then gave up a former Marine by the name of Boykin. He was part of the Mil Group in El Salvador. Boykin retired from the Marines and went to work for the Contras. Boykin is on the cover of an old NEWSWEEK magazine concerning the Contras. Grasheim is mentioned in a story in the same magazine.

He also claimed to have known Felix Rodriguez in El Salvador when Rodriguez flew a C-12 from Panama to Ilopango. Grasheim also claimed to have known Luis Rodriguez, a close friend of Felix Rodriguez. Grasheim claims that he had learned that the US Embassy was paying for Felix Rodriguez's car and the fuel for the Contra Re-supply aircraft. He claims that the embassy would send checks to Mexico where the fuel was provided to the re-supply operation.

Grashiem acknowledged that his Salvadoran house was raided by DEA agent Celerino Castillo and the local police. Grasheim admitted that he had automatic weapons in the residence. He claims that the raid totally destroyed his business and ruined his reputation. Grasheim states that about a month and a half after the raid, he saw a "state Department guy" in New Orleans. The guy told him, "We were asked to do that (the raid)." After the raid he claims that the US embassy would not help him and that The Litton Corporation took away Grasheim's orders for equipment. Grasheim then claims that he went to the National Police and that he had been advised by the Chief of Police (Regalado) that the raid was ordered by the US embassy.

Also in 1986, Grasheim claims that the US military asked him to get night vision goggles to the Contras. Grasheim recalls the incident because he had to make up the sets himself. A US military helicopter took the goggles to the Contras in Honduras. Grasheim also claims that he met with Barbara Studley and John Singlaub and they wanted him to sell night vision equipment to the Contras. They were working with Mike Timpani, a retired US Army helicopter pilot. NOTE : Mike Timpani was the copilot and navigator of the suspicious transportation of "Lady Ellen" from the US to Ilopango. It was a 25 year-old UH-1B (rebuilt Helicopter) to be used for medevac on Contras operations. See Soldier of Fortune Magazine June of 1987 issue.

Grasheim claims that he got an idea to prepare a military raid on an airport in Nicaragua, using Tamarindo as a staging base. Grasheim told General Gorman this and then right after, Rodriguez came to see Grasheim without warning and asked to talk about the idea. Rodriguez told Grasheim that he was talking to the White House and the NSC but he didn't tell him any specifics. Rodrigues did tell Grasheim that he talked to Vice President George Bush. Finally, Grasheim admits that he knew Alan Fiers and stated he is another one who was involved in the situation in El Salvador and was aware of Contra re-supply activity. NOTE: In his interview, Grasheim admits to a couple violations of the Neutrality Act.

NEUTRALITY LAWS: ACTS OF CONGRESS WHICH FORBID THE FITTING OUT AND EQUIPPING OF ARMED VESSELS, THE ENLISTING OF TROOPS, OR THE ENGAGING IN OTHER SPECIFIED ACTIVITIES; FOR THE AID OF EITHER OF TWO BELLIGERENT POWERS WITH WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS AT PEACE.

HSCI VOLUME II: THE CONTRA STORY

CIA RECORDS: A US CITIZEN: This "US citizen" that they are discussing is Walter L. Grasheim.

1035--..."Also, no information has been found to indicate that the U.S. citizen's activities in El Salvador were related to the Contras in any manner,... NOTE: (Count 1) Obstruction of Justice by Hitz. Apparently he did not check with Iran-Contra on the Interview of Grasheim on 12-13-90 or did he?

1036---....The April 25, 1986 cable---as mentioned earlier--also made a reference to the US citizen and the Contras. This cable provided an update regarding, the arrest of American citizens suspected of being mercenaries in Brazil. According to the cable, the detainees had been visited in prison by the US citizen and another person, "both of whom are apparent friends of several of the detained mercenaries. Regarding the US citizen, the cable stated that: ...visiting US consul...who previously served in San Salvador, told [CIA] in San Salvador he was a military advisor to Contras operating on the Honduran border with El Salvador... NOTE: The CIA fails to tell us who the mercenaries were.

On March 14, 1986, eight American mercenaries were arrested by Brazilian Federal Police off the coast of Rio de Janeiro; their ship, The Nobistor, and its cargo of weapons, ammunition and other military gear was seized. Their mission was the overthrow of the west African country of Ghana. After contacting the American Consulate in Rio, "State Department Guy" Ken Sackett, told them, "I've got some close friends in immigration." We will take care of everything and make sure you're all on the boat to go home." There were identified as "The RIO 8": Steve Sosa, Julio Raul Rodriguez, John Early, Tim Carmody, Fred Verduin, Sheldon Ainsworth, Steve Hedrick and Bob Foti. Most of these individuals had seen action in various hotspots around the world ---Vietnam, Rhodesia, South Africa, EL SALVADOR ( I wonder who gave them approval ), Lebanon and other places. Twenty-five days in jail and didn't hear a word from Sackett. Sackett finally showed up and told them that, "They would be going home, that it was just a visa problem and won't need lawyers." In July they were sentence to 4 to 7 years for "Suspicious of contraband and of forming a group to create that suspicion." They were sent to Agua Santa prison where the warden advised them, "The American Consul had # * @ % them." It was obvious that "some government wanted them to vanish."

Based on the way they were treated by the "State Guy" and the obstacles their families received from US government, most of the mercs theorized the US government wanted them kept imprisoned and out of the way. If this turned out to be a US government's covert operation, too many perplexing questions might arise if the mercs were on the loose and free to talk. The FBI, US Customs and other law enforcement agencies conducted an investigation into the Ghana coup attempt . What do you think the final out come was? Why did Vol. II, The Contra Story, fail to explain the "Rio 8" mercenaries? Because it was another covert operation on top of another. Same mercenaries who, more then likely, conducted covert operation in El Salvador. FOOTNOTE: The San Jose Mercury News and Soldier of Fortune magazine 1987 issue.

1038---A March 26, 1987, cable to Headquarters reported that the US citizen and another individual had been arrested by Dominican Republic authorities upon landing an airplane in that country. The airplane contained various types of military-related equipment. NOTE: Where is the criminal investigations by our federal agencies in this case?

1047---CIA Records: Castillo's contact with CIA officials...although no information has been found to indicate the process by which the vehicle were purchased and given over to the Salvadorans, no information has been found to indicate that the transaction involved Castillo or DEA in any manner... NOTE: Count 2 "Obstruction of Justice" by Hitz. He seem to get into the habit of misleading the Congress, members of the committee and the American people.

He implies that there are no records to be found, to explain where the money was spend on. To start out with, he should have checked with the Salvadoran National police and checked out the vehicles that had been purchased. Lt. Franco could had been one of the individuals to have been interviewed about the vehicles. Did he check with DEA reports on the vehicles that were purchased? NO! Did he check with the Mil-group in El Salvador who purchase the vehicles? NO! It's obvious, that the CIA sent out a "Boy Scout" to conduct a criminal investigation. But then again, maybe they didn't want someone who would find out the truth. As I stated before, I have the original receipt of who the money was given to for the purchase of the vehicles.

1054---..."The CIA officer says he has no knowledge of drug trafficking at Ilopango..." NOTE: Where in the world was this so call CIA Official. Did he not read his own agency's report on drug trafficking during the early 1980's.

1063: "This officer (CIA) emphatically denies that he had any knowledge of Contra trafficking activities at Ilopango or elsewhere..." NOTE: This individual is Randy Capister who should be charged with murder in Guatemala for the murders of several Colombians and Mexicans. DEA file TG-86-0005, Carlos Ramiro Garcia de Paz. Capister's association with drug traffickers is also well established: Gregorio Valdez and Oscar "El Negro" Alvarado.

1064: "...he has no knowledge of any alleged Contra drug trafficking activities being conducted from Ilopango or elsewhere...or that the US citizen had no apparent links to the Contras..." NOTE: Let the record speak for it self. This CIA official should be arrested for making a false statement. I guess he forgot the information on Mr. del Amigo and Oliver North's Notebook and Grasheim interview with OIC.

On February 28, 1998, I met with Walter L. Grasheim at his attorney's office in McAllen, Texas. Grasheim had advised me that he was in the process of filing a civil law suit against the U.S government. He was requesting if I was willing to bestow upon him a deposition regarding my knowledge of him while he was in El Salvador. I advised him that I did not have a problem with telling the truth.

To make a very long story short, he admitted, in the depo, that he had manufactured night vision equipment for the Contras. He also admitted that he was on contract by the US Army to train the Salvadorans. Grasheim advised me that his case would never go to trial because he had a video of CIA Officials on search and destroy missions with the Salvadoran Military. Grasheim proceded to show the video, and we witnessed several American individuals in military uniforms on patrol with Salvadoran military. One of the American was Grasheim. Another American was seen in a class room instructing the Salvadoran Military on operations. You could witness the American cautioning (who ever was shooting the film) to stop filming. FOOTNOTE: For a nice view of a Special Forces trooper, on the ground in El Salvador, see the July 1992 issue of Soldier of Fortune magazine, "Salvador's Unsung Heroes". These US soldiers were asking for credit for a combat tour for 6 month work on covert operation in El Salvador. As a former Vietnam combative veteran, I spent 5 years in and out of Salvador not only fighting the drug traffickers but also the corruption at the US embassy and the host government. The only thing I asked for "was the truth." Please read this article because it's a blueprint of what the US government is ready to do in Colombia. Also for a good laugh read SOF magazine Oct. 1983 issue, EDITORIAL by Richard M. Nixon, Perilous Parallel: El Salvador and Vietnam. All you have to change is the name from El Salvador to Colombia for Congress's approval.

In my opinion, Gresheim was attempting to black mail the government. At the end, I was also named in his law suit as a defendant. In early part of 2000 a federal court threw out the law suit. Witness to the deposition was Grasheim's attorney: Honorable Tom Wilkins of Wilkins & Slusher 800 Neuhaus Tower PO Box 3609 McAllen, Texas 78502, W. Lee Grasheim, Tony Cordova, Tim Wilkins and myself.

"From the very beginning, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have not been able to understand that there are rules and laws that this country wants followed. If you undermine the basic values of this country, in the name of defending it, what do you have left? For several decades, the CIA has violated the laws of the United States of America and other countries. Laws that we at home, abide by and respect. They need to take seriously that no governmental institution will survive without the support of its citizens - not the Congress, not the President, but the citizens. Admiral Stansfield Turner, CIA Director 1977-1981

This reminds us that if Congress will not lead a resistance to covert power, it may respond to popular pressure. But before that happens, the press must give the American people a much better picture of the extent to which counter-terrorist campaigns have been turned into covert drug alliances in Central and South America. One of the first targets for an effective drug strategy should be Washington D.C. itself, and specifically its own support for corruption and drug-trafficking. I bring this to you as a veteran of my third and perhaps most dangerous war, the war against the criminals in my own government.

Sincerely Yours,

Celerino "Cele" Castillo, 3rd

powderburns@prodigy.net
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard
New website by Celerino Castillo III

powderburns.org



A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard
CELERINO �CELE� CASTILLO III, is a 20-year veteran of both state and federal law enforcement with 12-year service in the U. S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Mr. Castillo is a highly decorated DEA agent for his undercover operations in Central and South America. For several years, he was also placed in major cities like San Francisco and New York City for deep cover operations. He is an author of �Powderburns� Cocaine, Contras And The Drug War, and is an acclaimed public speaker and educator.

COURT QUALIFIED EXPERT WITNESS: For 20 years Mr. Castillo has qualified as an �expert witness� in criminal and civil trials, both for and against various state and federal law enforcement agencies, in the following subjects: Undercover tactics � entrapment � informant handling practices and procedures � all subjects related to drugs trafficking, money laundering, and international narcotics investigations �� police profiling � research on federal documentation for the defense. (Bates)

MR. CASTILLO has written several internationally known articles against federal law enforcement corruption: �Written Statement of Celerino Castillo III, for The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence� 1998. He was mentioned in several articles on Informant Handling for The National Law Journal. ABC's Primetime Live, Dateline NBC, Discovery Channel and other numerous news magazines have done exclusive interviews on Mr. Castillo pertaining to �Outrageous Conduct� by the U.S. Government.

MR.CASTILLO HAS CONSULTED FOR THE DEFENSE
ON THE FOLLOWING FEDERAL DRUG CASES:

1994
US vs. James Wilson, Guatemala and Florida ( Research and Testified ).

1997
US vs. Eleuterio Garcia, New Mexico (Testimony and Research)
US vs. Eddie Romero, New Mexico (Research)

1999-2000
US vs. John Vera, California (Research) hired by Public Defender�s Office
US vs. Emede Hinojosa, Texas (Research)
US vs. Alisandro Perez Jr.
Texas �Operation Impunity�(Research)
David Landa, Juan Gonzales

2001-2002
US vs. Arturo Gutierrez, Texas �Operation Spider Webb� [FBI Sting Operation] San Antonio, Texas (Research and Testimony) US vs. Juan Lozano, Texas �Operation China� (Research) Retained by family US vs. Luciano Huerta, Texas �Operation Polvo Blanco� (Research) Retained by family

MR. CASTILLO IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPERT TESTIMONY AND RESEARCH IN CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CASES. USE THE CONTACT INFORMATION BELOW FOR AN INITIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION.

Celerino "Cele" Castillo III
2709 N. 28 1/2 St. McAllen, TX 78501
Phone (956) 345-5770
E-Mail: powderburns@prodigy.net
Job History
1997-Present
Federal courts have accepted Mr. Castillo as an Expert-Witness on Outrageous Government Conduct, Informants, and Racial Profiling. (CONSULTANT)

1994-present
Author: "POWDERBURNS" * Cocaine, Contras and The Drug War * Television exclusives on ABC"s Primetime Live, Dateline NBC, and The Discovery Channel. Mr. Castillo has lectured at different universities on the drug war and Latin America Foreign Policy.

1992-1997
Private Investigator

1979-1992
Department of Justice, twelve years with The Drug Enforcement Administration (Special Agent) Specialized in undercover investigation. Was a foreign diplomat for six years in South & Central-America.

1974-1979
Detective Sgt. with a Texas Police Department

Education
Graduated 1976
University of Texas at Pan American - BS in Criminal Justice.

Military
1970-1972
Served 6 year in Active, Reserves, and National Guard US Army Sgt. - NCO School - Vietnam Veteran - (Bronze Star)
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard
                                       
wtp-cc-1.jpg Cele was an impressive speaker with a down home story about a guy that wanted to serve his country and make his family and parents proud.
wtp-cc-2.jpg Cele's story is one of how he has had to come to terms with the disallusionment of discovering his own nation's government involvement in drug traffic.
wtp-cc-3.jpg This guy said he was glad he didn't miss Cele.

Sat. March 12, 2005 3:00 - 6:00 PM:
                Cele Castillo is an ex-DEA agent who has first hand knowledge of South American drug cartels The Taphouse is proud to present this true American Patriot and servant to his country who has experienced and faced first-hand many of the truths behind the relationship between the United States and the South American cartels. You may buy his book Powder Burns - Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War.here on Saturday. Buy his book at                 http://powderburns.org
A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard

Read Powderburns Free online in PDF format
Don't forget to donate to Cele
http://www.powderburns.org



http://www.crowhealingnetwork.net/pdf/Whitehouse.pdf

(This information is an update to the book)

-The person identified as “Willie Brasher” in the book Powderburns was later identified as Walter Lee Grasheim.  Castillo never knew his real name.  Grasheim was known to carry the credentials of CIA, DEA and FBI in addition to Salvadoran military.  He openly flashed the identification to DEA employees in Costa Rica and demanded to know if his (Contra arms network) pilots were in the database.  DEA employees warned Castillo “This guy is nuts, be careful, stay away from him”.  The embassy, CIA, and US military all denied knowing or authorizing Brasher/Grasheim’s presence in the country.  However, when his house was raided, drugs and weapons (stacked floor to ceiling) were found.  Also found were ledgers indicating payoffs to the Salvadoran military and politicians.   Grasheim’s vehicles had embassy plates on them and when Castillo turned on the radios, they all had embassy and US military frequencies programmed in.   The US customs agent assigned by Castillo to trace the origin of the arms was transferred and the case squashed.  Brasher/Grasheim later called Castillo to threaten him and DEMANDED the return of his weapons.

-The CIA officer identified in the book as Randy Kapasar was a misspelling.  The name is spelled “Capister”.    When 60 minutes and West 57th television show reporters sought to interview him so that the story could be presented on television, he could not be located.

-One of the DEA agents sent to El Salvador to look into and investigate Castillo’s Contra drug allegations was a man later identified as Craig Chretian. 1n 1995 Journalist Gary Webb went to the San Diego DEA offices seeking information about Freeway Ricky Ross’ case for his series “Dark Alliance”.  Craig Chretian was the cover up person selected by the USG to meet with Webb. Chretian denied all aspects of government involvement.  When Webb successfully verified aspects of the story through other sources and spoke with Castillo (He found that Nieves was sent to El Salvador to squash Castillo’s reports years earlier) he returned to San Diego DEA headquarters to find Chretian gone—Transferred to Washington DC to replace Robert J. Nieves (Norwin Meneses handler).  Nieves retired retired within days of Webb's visit to the San Diego office.  He later turned up in the employee of Oliver North’s firm, Guardian Technologies.

 

-In 2000, PBS Frontline did a series on the Contra drug allegations:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/special/nieves.html

Rather than interview Castillo, the producer of the show chose to interview Nieves, who obliviously lies through the entire interview.  When attempts were made to contact the writer Craig Delaval to ask why he interviewed the USG cover-up man instead of Castillo, he never bothered to reply. 

(Craig Delaval is a freelance writer and filmmaker and was a production assistant for "Drug Wars." This article was edited by Lowell Bergman, series reporter for "Drug Wars.")

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard

Celerino "Cele" Castillo III
Author "Powderburns"
2709 N. 26 1/2 Street
McAllen, Texas 78601
Phone: 210-631-3818

Response by Celerino Castillo III, Ex-DEA Special Agent in Guatemala, To The IOB (Intelligence Oversight Board) Report on Guatemala (IOB Report Released June 28, 1996)

On June 28, 1996, a special panel appointed by President Clinton released its findings on CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) activities in Guatemala. This 67 page report by the IOB (Intelligence Oversight Board) reveals some of the disturbing aspects of covert operations in that country, but is incomplete and even erroneous in parts. The report alludes to the CIA's support of human rights violators in Guatemala but has barely scratched the surface in revealing the depth to which the CIA has been involved in murders and other crimes in that country.

I spent five years as a special agent for the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration) in Central America, based in Guatemala from 1985 to 1990. I participated in numerous joint operations with the CIA And Guatemalan security forces, principally the D-2 (Guatemala Military intelligence, formerly called the G-2). My biggest concern about the IOB investigation is that I see no evidence to indicate that the panel interviewed CIA or DEA agents that worked in the field in Guatemala. If they had, I am sure the report would have come to very different conclusions. The level of CIA and DEA involvement in operations that included torture and murder in Guatemala is much higher than the report indicates. With US Anti-narcotics funding still being funneled to the Guatemalan Military, this situation continues. It is important to be clear about both the CIA and the DEA support of criminal activities. I would urge the IOB to subpoena agents of the DEA and the CIA who were assigned to Guatemala to come forward. We have been ordered not to tell the truth, but many of us would do so if required to give sworn testimony. I, myself participated in several missions in which the Guatemalan Military Intelligence (D-2) killed civilians with the knowledge of DEA and CIA agents. One example in which the D-2, CIA and DEA worked together was the Puerto Barrios case, in which 2,404 kilos of cocaine was seized and in which the D-2 murdered and raped two Mexican females, torture and murder their father and several Colombians. Several US citizens were captured in Guatemala and served several years in a Guatemala prison. These Americans were on board the M/V Daring which was loaded by Guatemalan Congressman with 2,404 kilos of cocaine. CIA agent Randy Capster and myself witness the capture of the mexican females and the others involved. This was investigated by the DEA's OPR (Office of Personal Responsibility). Their conclusion was that the murders were committed by the D-2 with the knowledge of the CIA and the DEA. (See DEA case file number TG-86-0005 entitled "Carlos Ramiro Garcia de Paz", (Guatemalan Congressman). Under the Freedom of Information Act, ABC's "Prime Time Live" was able to obtain the documents that prove these allegations.

On page 20, the IOB report states that "the human rights records of the Guatemalan security services...the D-2 and the Department of Presidential Security (known informally as the "Archivos")...were generally known to have been reprehensible by all who were familiar with Guatemala. US policy makers knew of both the CIA's liaison with them and the services unsavory reputation." The report is referring to the fact that the D-2 and the archivos have been responsible for a continuous stream of kidnappings, tortures, killings and disappearances of civilians. The IOB clearly connects the D-2 and the Archivos to the CIA. ALSO, on page 19, the IOB Report alludes to the fact that there was "cooperation between the Guatemalans, the CIA and the Drug Enforcement Administration." The language here is vague, but it is important that the IOB know that the DEA has worked specifically with the D-2 on most operations in Guatemala. Therefore the IOB should investigate DEA as well as CIA activities in Guatemala. The reason that DEA agents work with the D-2 on most of their missions in Guatemala is that the US Embassy in coordination with DEA Headquarters have ordered them to do so, and because the D-2 controls all the eavesdropping equipment in Guatemala (wiretapping, monitoring fax machines and email, etc.)

The Administrator of the DEA, Thomas Constantine, claims that the "DEA has never engaged in any joint narcotics programs with the Guatemala military." (See DEA letter to Congressman Lloyd Doggett sent by Thomas Constantine, dated May 28, 1996, page 2). However, on September 13, 1989, SA Larry Hollifield and myself, as DEA agents, gave Colonel Ortega, then head of the D-2 (CIA and DEA Asset) $10,000 in traffickers funds. This is recorded in DEA case file number TG-90-0011 under the title "Dario Restrepo-Fernandez." This is only one of the many case files that documents the DEA's connections to the D-2. I know, because I filed many myself as part of my job.

The connection between the DEA, the D-2 and the CIA (as the liaison to the D-2) still exist, and anti-narcotics funds continue to support the activities of the D-2, despite the many people they murder. One example is the D-2's murder of DEA informant (STG-86-0004) Luis Montoya, "El Coyote". I have been under orders not to reveal the truth. Some of the agents have been forced to lie in their reports to hide the murders. Since we have to work with the D-2 we are not allowed to report on them. I ask that the IOB and Congress call us in for questioning. That is the only way the truth will come out.


THE MICHAEL DEVINE CASE AND THE PROTECTION OF A DRUG TRAFFICKING CIA ASSET:

The IOB Report refers repeatedly to the fact that the CIA misled Congress by not revealing that its Guatemalan assets had committed human rights violations that included kidnappings and assassination and refers to one protected CIA asset in particular, Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez. The report states on page 16 that Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez "clearly participated in the cover-up of the [Guatemalan] military's role in DeVine's death." Devine was an American innkeeper who owned an inn in Guatemala. He was killed in June 1990, murdered by Guatemalan soldiers, according to the IOB report. What the report does not mention, however, is that colonel Alpirez was the director of the notorious Archivos while he was also a CIA asset and that he had previously been reported to the DEA for drug trafficking. This is documented in DEA General file number GFTG-88-9077 with file name "Corrupt Official" dated June 09, 1988. I was the agent who initiated the file. Colonel Alpirez is also documented as a narcotics trafficker in DEA case file number TG-88-0009 entitled "Moreno-Campos, Aparicio", dated August 25, 1988 and submitted by me. In both case files, Alpirez is named along with his subordinate, Carlos Rene Perez-Alvarez, who was known as Won Ton of La Mano Blanca (the White Hand of the death squads). Carlos Rene Perez-Alvarez operated "la panel blanca" (the White Van) that has patrolled the streets of Guatemala for so many years, kidnapping and murdering people for the death squads. According to reliable DEA informants, Colonel Alpirez was Won-Ton's superior in these kidnapping and murder operations as well as in illegal drug dealing.

Both files I just mentioned are in the hands of Michael Tubach, the Assistant US Attorney involved in the ongoing Grand Jury investigation of the Dianna Ortiz and Michael DeVine cases. He showed me these reports in January, just before he attempted to discredit my testimony to the Grand Jury. I found out that the Grand Jury had been forewarned about my allegations, creating a very hostile environment for me. In defense of my character and my performance for the DEA, I would like to point out that all evaluations of my work as a DEA special agent have been "outstanding" and "excellent." ABC's Prime Time Live was able to document that fact when they researched my claims about Guatemala for an expose they aired on December 27, 1995. They did a great deal of research and found me credible.

Returning to the case of DeVine, the IOB report gives several possible motives for his murder, but consistently states that the actual killing was committed by Guatemalan soldiers. On page A-3, the report refers to a personality profile on DeVine that was "generally positive, but noted a somewhat aggressive manner and a readiness to denounce people involved in narcotics trafficking." The latter comment is, in my view, a key to the reason that he was killed. The connections of DeVine to Alpirez, Alpirez to the CIA, the CIA to the D-2 and the D-2 to the murder of DeVine can all be found in the IOB report, supporting what I was told about the case.

Here is what I believe to be the truth about the DeVine case, according to my sources.

  1. Colonel Alpirez was trafficking drugs. (see DEA case file number GFTG-88-9077 and number TG-88-0009).
  2. Colonel Alpirez was a CIA asset (according to the IOB report and numerous other sources).
  3. DeVine gained knowledge of Alpirez's drug trafficking activities while Alpirez was training Kaibil forces in the Peten close to his farm.
  4. DeVine reported Alpirez's drug trafficking activities to the US Embassy in Guatemala.
  5. After DeVine reported Alpirez to the US Embassy, Randy Capister, a CIA agent operating out of the embassy, contacted Colonel Francis (Paco) Ortega, former head of the D-2, and a CIA and DEA asset. He told Ortega that DeVine had reported Colonel Alpirez (another CIA asset) for drug trafficking. (per phone conversation between myself and Randy Capister after the death of DeVine in 1990).
  6. Colonel Ortega contacted the new head of the D-2, Colonel Cesar Cabrera, who had been under Ortega's command earlier (When Colonel Ortega was head of the D-2, Cabrera was a lieutenant colonel and Ortega's second in command).
  7. Cabrera, chief of the D-2 ordered the so-called "interrogation" of DeVine and was therefore "indirectly responsible for DeVines death" (See IOB report page A-3). (This "interrogation" included a machete blow that almost completely severed DeVine's head from his body.)

The steps I just outlined are what happened according to the information I received. I believe that the account that soldiers were attempting to recover a rifle or two rifles from DeVine was a cover story to justify an "interrogation" that resulted in his decapitation.


THE CIA'S CONTINUED PERCEPTION OF A COMMUNIST THREAT.

The writers of the IOB Report found that even after the end of the Cold War, the CIA in Guatemala continued to see themselves battling the War on Communism as their top priority. On page 20, the IOB report states "Station officers continued to view the communist insurgents--who seemed to threaten a more democratic government--as the primary enemy, and they viewed the Guatemalan government and security services as partners in the fight against this common foe and against new threats such as narcotics and illegal alien smuggling."

While in Guatemala working together with he DEA, I learned that the CIA actually planned and supervised raids, allegedly participating in the murders of the 1980's, according to my informants. CIA agent Randy Capister stated that Guatemala and El Salvador were our training ground for CIA agents, the place to see if they had what it took to be CIA operatives, In my view, the US continues to support murders in Guatemala because there is very little oversight by Congress and others over their activities, and because the CIA personnel have an attitude that it has always been that way and have not motive to change. As the IOB Reports suggests on page 20, the CIA justifies its actions by stating that they are fighting the War against Communism. There is more to this attitude that the CIA agents perceiving the rebels (e.g. the URNG and OPRA) as communist enemies. The CIA and Guatemalan army also label as communist sympathizers anyone who opposes the traditional oppressive role of the Guatemalan military. Therefore, they label as communists or communist sympathizers, priests and nuns who work to elevate the position of the poor in society, union organizers endeavoring to achieve just wages and fair working conditions (opposing the elite power structure aligned with the military), indigenous leaders (the Indians are kept down so that they can be used as cheap laborers by the rich, who are supported by the military) and student activists in the university system and the high schools (who are working for a better education and for justice in the Guatemalan society against the forces of corruption and oppression.) The CIA supports the intimidation, kidnapping and torture, surveillance and murder of these people. As an example, look at the case of Dianna Ortiz, the American nun who was working with poor children and was kidnapped, raped and tortured by Guatemalan soldiers. (The IOB report refers briefly to the incident, declining to comment because the case is presently under investigation by the Department of Justice). I was present at the US Embassy in Guatemala, when, just after the incident, several members of the DEA, State Department and CIA jokingly asked me if Dianna Ortiz had been good at sex. The reason they were teasing me was that she had said that an American Hispanic with possible ties to the US Embassy had been present during her torture and rape. Since everyone at the Embassy knew that I worked with the Guatemalan Military's D-2, and Sister Ortiz reported that soldiers had captured her, the people at the Embassy assumed that I was the American involved. (She was later shown photos of me and stated that I was not the person she had seen there, referred to by the soldiers as their boss.) I believe the reason that these DEA, State Department and CIA personnel would joke about such a thing is that they label Dianna Ortiz as a communist sympathizer. People with that mind set do not believe that she should be protected.


FACTS MISSING IN IOB REPORT ON US FUNDS GOING TO GUATEMALAN SECURITY FORCES:

Speaking of the funding of covert actions in Guatemala, the IOB Report states on page 20, "The funds the CIA provided to the Guatemalan liaison services were vital to the D-2 and the Archivos... The CIA, with knowledge of ambassadors and the State Department and National Security Council officials, as well as Congress, continued this aid after the termination of overt military assistance in 1990... Overall CIA funding levels to the Guatemalan services dropped consistently form $3.5 million in FY 1989 to about $1 million in 1995."

This last statement fails to take into account at least two factors:

  1. The DEA has also been supplying funds to the D-2 asset and yet there is no mention of DEA monetary contributions to the D-2 in the report.
  2. There is no mention of the ongoing funds confiscated in drug busts that were jointly conducted by the CIA, DEA and D-2. These moneys went into the coffers of the D-2 for further support of covert operations. For instance, $5 million in cash was allegedly taken in during the Puerto Barrios drug bust in which I participated. Informants said the money was split between the CIA and the D-2. In the field, we saw that every time there was a narcotics operation by the CIA, DEA and D-2 working together, the D-2 kept money. On every flight that came clandestine with drugs there was on average, approximately $100,000 in cash on board (intended to be front money for future illegal drug operational expenses). On several occasions I saw these moneys on the drug busts in which I participated as a DEA agent. This money was confiscated by the D-2 with the knowledge of the CIA and allegedly used as a slush fund for any type of D-2 operations.
  3. On Dec. 03, 1988, the DEA and the D-2 seized 356 kilos of cocaine (Case file number TG-89-0002, Hector Sanchez.). Several Colombian pilots were murder by the D-2 with the knowledge of the DEA. Action pictures of the D-2 were taken during the arrest and other photos were taken after their torture. This case documented the Piper Company in Guatemala City. The company is owned by Gregory Valdez also document as a narcotic trafficker in said file.

For the past several years before and after the seizure, the DEA and the CIA still rented hangers, purchase gasoline and paid large quantities of Money for storage of our helicopters and aircraft both for the CIA and DEA. Several contract pilots for the DEA and CIA worked out of Piper and most were documented narcotic traffickers. We utilized all operation with the D-2 out of Piper.


EMBARRASSMENT TO US GOVERNMENT AS REASON FO THE COVER-UP

I realize that one foreign policy objective is to save the US government from embarrassment. Therefore scandals are covered up. However, I believe there are other considerations more important than saving the US government from embarrassment. If the activities that I have described here are not exposed, then they will continue. There is too much at stake here to allow a cover cover-up. The truth must be brought to light and the facts examined and analyzed so that the problems in our system of covert activities can be addressed. Changes must be made in the congressional oversight process and in the method of recruiting and training CIA and DEA personnel. Every day more drugs flow into the US, destroying the lives of our young people. There is no excuse for the CIA and DEA aiding and abetting drug traffickers.

I still have contact with informants in Guatemala. They tell me that the CIA atrocities continue. The death squads continue, according to MINUGUA (the UN Mission to Guatemala) reports. Only by bringing in DEA agents and CIA agents to testify under oath can this situation begin to be changed. Many CIA and DEA activities go against stated US foreign policy (e.g. the support of human rights and the democratic process.) The US government entities in Guatemala have been focused on how to deal with the communists there and have totally lost sight of what drug trafficking is doing to the United States. They allow powerful individuals in Third World countries to carry on high level narcotics trafficking and justify this in the name of protecting democracies. To illustrate the magnitude of the narcotics problem in Guatemala, the most notorious drug lord (Juan Garcia Abrego) is being prosecuted in the US because of his conspiracy to export large quantities of cocaine from Colombia to the US via Guatemala. It is crucial for the US to stop supporting these activities.

Sincerely

[Signed]

Celerino Castillo III
July 22, 1996
210-631-3818

 

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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maynard

The DEAth Watch

http://freecelecastillo.com/DEAth_Watch.html

 

"From the people who brought you

 The

War on Drugs Follies

AND

The Death Squads in South and Central America "

 

"A few minutes later, the five men crouched naked in the center of the hut, their pleading eyes searching for a sympathetic face…From the corner of my eye, I saw a glint of steel…The interrogator lifted the machete and brought the razor edge down across the politician's shoulder blade, opening his back…He let out a long, anguished scream, "Mamacita Linda," he wailed, crying for a mother who could not hear him…The blood sprayed the other men, driving home the certainty of their fate."

 

                                                              Extracts from the book: (page: 191)

                                                         POWDERBURNS: The Way of the Death Squads

      Ex DEA Cele Castillo, 3rd

                                                                                         Guatemala, Central America

 

Back in the 1980s, for approximately six years, I was literally in the trenches of the Reagan/Bush so-called war on drugs in Latin America.  As a DEA Special Agent, I came face to face with the contradictions of my assignments.  At first, I was trying to stamp out what I considered Americans' greatest foreign threat, but then, I realized that we were the bad guys and for the first time in my life, I was ashamed to be an American.

 

First and foremost, my father made sure that he taught us about Duty, Honor, and Patriotism. My father was a decorated World War II veteran, a survivor of the Philippines' campaign.  As an infantry scout with the Americal Division, he had been shot six times in an ambush.  He still had copper in his legs where the Army doctors had wired the bone back together.  The Japanese killed his brother as they tried to take Alaska.  My uncle's bones remain on an icy island somewhere in the Aleutians Islands.  I would serve proudly, as they had done.  My father instructed me to pay my dues to my country, and as his only son, I did as I was told.  I too, became an infantry sergeant with the Fist Cavalry Division in Vietnam.

 

We were a family of long tradition, tracing our heritage back to the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.  I was baptized Celerino Castillo III, after my father, who carried the name for my grandfather. My son, Celerino Castillo, IV will carry the family's name to other generations. As far as I can remember, I had followed my father's footsteps.  It started when I was very young; he dressed me in military attire, with the teaching of patriotism. Like him, I competed in sports and most important, I became a Boy Scout, which teaching saved my life in Vietnam. After Vietnam; I became a police officer like he had before me. However, it was Vietnam where I had made my choice of what was to become of my career, the rest of my life.

 

The Viet Cong did not kill the first man I watched die in Vietnam. Heroin did.  He was a well-built private, about my age, with a young wife back home somewhere in the Midwest.  He had received a "Dear John" letter that day, just before we went on patrol. "It don't mean nothin'," he muttered, folding the letter and stuffing it into his Alice pack.

 

Some of the other soldiers had introduced him to heroin to take the edge off combat.  After a few weeks, he was shooting up whenever the stress overwhelmed him. That night, he hunkered down in his foxhole and cooked his powder into pure syrup.  As he drew the liquid into the syringe, his buddy tried to talk some sense into him.  The distraught private looked away and pulled the plunger back further.  After the fire fight that night we found out that the hit was too big, and too pure.

 

He was the first of many I watched fall to the "other" enemy in Vietnam.  Some soldiers simply wandered into the jungle and disappeared.  If the men who discovered the body decided he had been a good soldier, someone would pump an AK-47 round into the body.  The family would be told he died a hero's death, "Killed In Action".  It was there, that I promised myself that if I survived Vietnam, I would become a veteran of my second war, "the war on drugs".

 

After Vietnam, I became a police officer for the city of Edinburg, Texas, for approximately six years. I would work the midnight shift, and at 8:00am, I would attend Pan American University, now the University of Texas at Edinburg.  By 1976, I had graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice. In 1979, I was hired as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.  My first assignment was New York City for approximately four years. My assignment in New York City was to conduct deep undercover operation on organize crime families. We did it, the New York City way, everything I learned at the academy, went out the window.

 

Because of my expertise in jungle operations, I was assigned to Peru, South America.  The jungles were once again calling. I felt best at home in the jungles of the world. The way I analyzed my life, was that I have been on borrowed time since Vietnam, everything else was gravy. So I continued to meet the "beast" head on.  Peru was the world's top producer of coca leaves.  A thousand-mile long coca belt stretched along the Andean low - lands through the center of the country, where the Peruvian government estimated peasants illegally grew and harvested about 200,000 acres of the tall, innocent-looking coca plants.  From these remote, hostile jungles, some of the world's poorest people grew the world's richest crop.  They were mining white gold.  My mission was to stop the production of coca paste and shut down the cocaine labs.  The Colombians drug cartels finished the refining process in scattered clandestine labs, using nearly four kilos of paste to make a kilo of pure, white cocaine hydrochloride for American nostrils.

 

From the jungles of Tingo Maria in Peru to the Amazon basin, I felt like the Jacques Cousteau in a snow storm in the jungle.  I promise myself that I would leave my mark on South American in making a different on the war on drugs.  However after spending some time in the Huallaga Valley, I learned to measure my progress in small increments.  I was a guppy in a piranha tank.

 

The Colombians owned Tingo Maria.  The national currency, the sol, was nowhere to be found.  The town ran on dollars, attracting cash-hungry bankers from Lima who flew in to buy U.S. currency.  The Colombians knew they had a DEA agent in their midst.  When I passed them on the streets, they greeted me with arrogant smiles. They knew that if my made to much trouble, they could swat me like a mosquito.  They also played both sides by shoveling cash into the jaws of prospective enemies.  They purchased the loyalty of Tingo Maria's military officers, who declared a truce with the traffickers.  The first sign of something gone in disarray in the drug war was when I stumbled on to a soccer field. The Peruvian soldiers were playing their weekly Sunday futbol with the Colombians.  Now I had two beasts to face, but where would I start my assault? The factory Cocaine labs! I figure that in the borders of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil was where 100% cocaine was being produced. It was known as the triangle of the snow storm in the jungles.

 

DEA, CIA, and the Guardia Civil came up with Condor.  After prodding, CIA provided us satellite photos of the jungle to help us spot labs. I flew to Leticia, Colombia, the country's only toehold on the Amazon.  A contingent of Guardia Civil officers accompanied me, dressed in their best combat gear.  We had an appointment with the Colombian National Police to plan the first joint anti-narcotics operation ever attempted by the two countries.

 

The Colombians and Peruvians called it "Operacion Condor", in honor of the massive vulture Peruvians adopted as a national symbol.  DEA dubbed it "Relampago", the Spanish word for Lightning.  I had a day of training this special group on the air assault techniques on clandestine runways. We had to do this before the cat was out of the bag of why we were there. Our target was one hour from Leticia, deep in the Peruvian jungle in the area known as Callaru.  The airstrip, located near the Rio Tigre, was the hub for the area, where the jungle hid an estimated 110 airstrips and an untold number of clandestine labs.

 

On August 13, 1985, two Bell helicopters filled with adrenaline-pumped Colombian and Peruvian police lifted for the target airstrip. The trip brought me back to Vietnam.  We flew at treetop level, the skids almost brushing the green carpet.  Hundreds macaws, disturbed by the thumping rotors, erupted from the trees and flew below us in a red, blue, and green clouds.  We arrived to a hot LZ (landing zone). We were receiving gun fire and we landed at the end of the run way. We captured a wounded Colombia and the interrogation was initiated in the "Inca style".

 

The end result was the seizure of a half a Billion dollars cocaine lab.  It was the biggest cocaine lab capture in South American history.  After several weeks out on the operations, I wandered into the Lima office and I picked up a local newspaper left on my desk and almost choked on my coffee.  My photo, napped by a Reuter's photographer with a telephoto lens, took up a quarter of the page.  Luckily, I was wearing a large pair of Porsche sunglasses, but the DEA insignia on my Vietnam camouflage shirt was unmistakable.  The headlines screaming "Contra narcotraffico."  I had certainly believed that by putting my life on the line, once again, I had preserved my country. I had kept my promise. Because of security reason, I was asked to depart South America.  My next assignment was in Central America at the height of the CONTRA wars.  The CONTRAS were part of the civil war that fought against the Sandinista government in Nicaraqua. It was illegal for any entity of the U.S. government to overthrow the government in Nicaragua, yet we had this illegal covert operation being conducted, with "carte blanche" from the White House.

 

My orders in Central America were to train the Narco-Terrorist Units.  These units were identified as Latin America's Military's Counter-Intelligences, notoriously known as "La Dos" (G-2) and "La Mano Blanca".  The death squads mandate was to literally initiate a campaign against any individual or group of people that protested their government.  Whether it was the church or students at their university.  We need to keep in mind, that the militaries have always control their governments, whether in claimed a democracy or not.

 

My government assured me that these units were to be a major part of America's drug wars.  As I found out, these units unleashed a sadistic "scorched earth" campaign modeled in large part on lessons that its advisors had drawn from the war in Vietnam.  Basing itself upon the murderous theory that the only way to combat guerrilla resistance was to "empty the sea" in which the guerrillas swam, the army set about to commit genocide upon the indigenous population, who chose a struggle against oppression.

 

Despite the ongoing reign of terror against the peasants, the dollars kept coming.  A republic the size of Massachusetts absorbed $1.5 million a day in U.S. aid - more than $100 for every man, woman and child - yet the military government still could not exterminate the guerilla networks.

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
COUNTINUED

 

In an attempt to communicate the structure of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, I need to touch on the history of these units that scorched the earth.  History has revealed them as some of the worst human rights violators in the Western Hemisphere; more significantly, history will also reveal that U.S. government agencies were complicit in drug trafficking, assassinations, gun trafficking, and the birth of the "escuadrones de la muerte," death squads.

 

In third world countries the United States government has supported dictatorships like Gen. Augusto PINOCHET in Chile and Ngo Dinh DIEM in Vietnam.  In Central America we used the death squads in part of U. S. interest.  U.S. companies like Del Monte, and Libby took land by force in Latin America and used it for their profits.  This was done with the assistance on the death squads.

 

In September 1987, an airstrip in the U.S. company's properties (Hopi, Guatemala) was used by international drug trafficking organizations. These drug cartels had paid off the administrators of the banana farms. We conducted surveillance on the clandestine cocaine laden aircrafts that landed at the farms. The rail road cards, mostly used for transportation of banana shipment to the port of Puerto Barrios, was used to transport over 2,000 kilos (seized) of cocaine from Hopi to Puerto Barrios.  CIA agent Randy CAPSITER once told me that in these third world countries, "the U.S. had bought and paid for the countries". We chose the presidents, scheduling elections when the previous puppet wore out their welcome.  Most of the time the ruling elite and the military have a chokehold on the republic that no mere politician could pry loose.

 

The Unites States also had always supported Gen. Manuel Antonio NORIEGA, Panama's dictator. But when he refuses to train the CONTRAS in Nicaragua, the U.S. government had him arrested and extradited to the U.S. These are just a few reasons how our government built these third world counties, so called democracies.

 

In El Salvador, from 1961-1979, the death squads were initiated within a new vigilante organization called Democratic National Organization ("La Orden", which means "to keep order").  This became known as "La Mano Blanca," literally translated "a hand with a white glove that cleanses the country."  The CIA, the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the DEA violated U.S. laws.  One law in particular, the third of five Boland Amendments prohibiting U.S. assistance to the CONTRA rebels had been in effect for a year at that point and in April, 1985, the House of Representatives had rejected $14 million in non-military aid to the Contras, despite President Reagan's energetic lobbying for his favorite Rebels.  The other law was a violation of the Neutrality Act, a joint resolution providing for the prohibition of the export of arms, ammunition, and implements of war to belligerent countries; the prohibition of the transportation of arms, ammunition, and implements of war by the United States for the use of belligerent states.

 

The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America was a case heard in 1986 by the International Court of Justice which ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States. As part of its judgment, the International Court of Justice awarded reparations to Nicaragua. The International Court of Justice found that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting Contra guerrillas in their war against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua's harbors. The Court ruled in Nicaragua's favor after the States lost the argument that the ICJ lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

 

The President's Intelligence Oversight Board (1980s IOB) found that even after the end of the Cold War, the CIA in Central America continued to see the War on Communism as their top priority.  The report reveals that station officers continued to view communist insurgents who seemed to threaten a more democratic government as the primary enemy, and they viewed government and security services as partners in the fight against the common foe and against new threats such as narcotics trafficking. In my opinion, the communist in our "back yard" was a myth, a pretext to gather support from the American people to fight bogus wars.  As we know today, most of Latin America has gone "left," as they say, because the United States government has never implemented a true democracy in Latin America.  Recently, the FLMN won the presidential elections in El Salvador.

 


As I traveled through Central America for five years, I kind of figure out that the only way that I was going to do my job, was to step on toes of the White House.  There were already several serious violations that our government had been implicating in from drug trafficking, arms trafficking, or human rights violations.  Upon my arrival in Central America I was forewarned by my boss Bob STIA that what was happening in Central America were covert operations that had been green lighted by the White House.

 

At first, when I was exposed to these atrocities, I felt that an explanation would be coming soon, as how the end justified the means.  And when that didn't happened, I was in a state of denial. I could not understand why one arm of our government were putting their lives on the line, while the other, was sleeping with the evil doers.  I was so confused because we had just lost (murdered) DEA agent Kike Camarena in Mexico, and yet here we were dancing with the enemy. STIA had also warned me that if I continue to report these atrocities that I would be send back to the states, as a persona non grata.  This was not what I had joined up for; I was looking for a job when I had found this one.  But I also had to be realistic, that because of my continuing actions, no other government agency would hire me.  I also knew that my days were numbered, so I decided not to wait for the beast, but to chase it.

 

Surprisingly, I received another warning from my ex-wife.  She warned me, "your country is not going to stand by you, for embarrassing them."  I smiled with an expression of concerns.  I have never run from anything in my life, and so I did what my father had always taught me to do, do the right thing. I continued to keep journals and take lots of pictures of the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I had a feeling that one day, I would use these materials and here I am writing this story.

 

It did not surprise me that most of my life, I was always the first to get to an accident as a police officer, the first to go through the door on a drug raid, or the first out of an assault helicopter into a cocaine lab. I was realizing, I was still looking for the bullet with my name that I had evaded in Vietnam. The beast had become the hunted.  Here I was wearing several hats as a special agent of my government; I was training the death squads, running covert operation for my government, conducting undercover assignments against corrupt governments and drug cartels.  When the military of a third world government wanted to dispose of a General or Colonel, I was used to entrap him into whatever they wanted. I kept asking myself, is this my government, which 58,000 Vietnam veterans gave their lives for?

 

CIA agent Randy CAPISTER, who worked with me for approximately five years in Latin America, once said to methat Central America was a suitable place for CIA operatives to prove themselves. From the very beginning he attempted to get close to me, to spy on me.  As I later learned, he had my telephones tap because I had one of the best intelligence networks in Latin America.  I could be trusted by my sources.   He also warned me that I could write all the reports I wanted, that history would show that this was business as usual in Latin America AND that no one was going to stop the CIA of doing what they did best.  He even put a little smile on his statement. In 1994, we were both subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury in Washington D.C., as to our knowledge of what occurred in Central America during the 1980s.  Not surprisingly, our testimony was sealed for National Security purposes.

 

U.S. Army Col. James STEELE, (MILGROUP COMMANDER) had been in El Salvador for a couple of years, before I arrived in Central America. As documented, he was the primary advisor to the death squads in that country.  He was also in charged with smuggling weapons to the CONTRA operation in Nicaragua.  He took it upon himself to lie, in protecting higher ups, about his involvement to the Senate Intelligence Committee. This was well documented in the Final Report of the Iran/Contra Special Prosecutor Report.  Col. STEELE was a soldier's soldier. Every time I met with him, he wore his Vietnam jungle fatigues, heavily starched and spit-shined boots.

 

Col. James STEELE surprisingly indicated to me when I first met him, that El Salvador was the training grounds for the U.S. military to see if our special units had what it took to be a soldier's soldier. In the early 1980's, a U.S. Army Ranger unit was deployed covertly into El Salvador on a "search and destroy" mission.  This was an illegal act by the U.S. government to send U.S. troops into a combat zone in a foreign country, without the approval of Congress and Senate.  This was not the first time that the U.S. military invaded a third world country in conducting covert operations.  The civil wars were an excellent place to run operations without any check and balances. The Ranger unit was ambushed by the guerrillas (Gs) and took heavy losses.  Soon after, the body bags of the casualties were placed into a U. S. military cargo plane (C-130) and transported to a U.S. military base in Georgia, where a helicopter accident was staged to justify their deaths.  Several years back family members of the Ranger units went to the media in an attempted to ascertain what really happened to their love ones. They were not satisfied with the government's version of what had occurred.  This incident was reported in the media in one of the Rangers' family out of Seattle, Washington. At one time I had a newspaper clipping of the story, but misplaced it in thousand of newspaper clippings that I had gather over the years.  However, this information was revealed to me by U.S. Lt. Col. Albert Adame, who worked under Col. James STEELE in El Salvador.

 

In one particular case I came to Col. STEELE because an American Walter Grashien was hanging around hangers 4 & 5 at Ilopango, El Salvador.  He immediately denied that he had anything to do with him.  I gave him some intelligence that this individual was documented in FBI files and DEA files as a bad guy.  He said that GRASHIEN might be a CIA asset.  At the end of the day, no one would claim him.  When I raided his house in El Salvador, he had weapons, radios, and vehicles belonging to Col. James STEELE. It was revealed that he was part of a covert operation at Ilopango who supported the CONTRAS.

    The co-founder of El Salvador's death squads was a former major with the Salvadoran Military.  His followers addressed him as "Mi Mayor" Roberto D'AUBUISSON.   He conducted selective assassinations of community leaders, labor organizers, human rights workers, rural activists and others.  These assassinations replaced wholesale massacres.  He was also instrumental in planning and carrying out the assassination of Archbishop Romero.  Roberto D'AUBUISSON was a graduate of the notorious the School of the Americas (SOA), now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), which has an extensively documented history of training some of the hemisphere's worst human rights abusers.  It acquired its nickname the "School of Assassins" for obvious reasons.  D'AUBUISSON was also on the payroll of the CIA, like most Salvadoran Military Command.  While I was in El Salvador, the DEA received information that the El Mayor was involved in drug trafficking utilizing his shrimp company.  He requested a meeting with me to explain that the drug trafficking had been approved by the U.S. government.  He wanted to assure me that he was going to deny the DEA allegation, but on the other hand, he wanted to let me know, that he had a green light by the CIA, and that there was nothing I could do about it.  This was just another way of supplementing his income for covert operations.

 

A U. S. advisor, Lt. Col. Alberto Adame, a fellow Texan, recommended one of his friends as a firearms instructor for the newly formed DEA drug task force in El Salvador.  When he introduced the short, middle-aged man, the name clicked in my head immediately.  Dr. Hector Antonio REGALADO was a household name in the country's power corridors.  I was shaking hands with "Dr. Death," as he was known in U.S. political circles, the man reputed to be the Salvadoran death squads' most feared interrogator.  On the surface, REGALADO was a friendly, genteel man.  Underneath his gentle demeanor, though, he was the type who would shoot a man between the eyes, then spit on him to make sure the point got across.

 

In El Salvador, he was known simply as "El Doctor."  REGALADO'S prestige among the right wing stemmed from his ability to extract teeth - and information - without anesthesia.  He was also the right hand man of "Mi Mayor".  I wanted no part of "El Doctor".  I asked the Colonel if the embassy had approved REGALDO as an advisor.  He said Col. James STEELE had given REGALDO his blessing.  Because the task force funding was by way of the CIA, I had to use him as the firearms instructor.At first, I contacted Jack MACAVET, CIA chief of station in El Salvador.  As I closed the door to his office, I saw him open the top drawer of his desk and pulled a bundle of money, $45,000.00.  Before, I could ask any question he said, "Go buy yourselves some cars." I signed a receipt and gave it to him. At the end, I took my concern to my boss Bob STIA, who shrunk his shoulders and said, in broken Spanish, "Que sera, sera!" He was not about to make any waves in Washington. It was a fact; REGALADO had been green lighted before he had come to me.

 

REGALADO turned out to be one hell of a shooter.  In a demonstration to the young cadets, he pulled his .45 from its waxed holster, removed the clip, and smiled at the eager faces around him.  Without saying a word, he ran straight at the wall, his eyes fixed on an imaginary assailant to his left.  The click-click-click of the empty .45 echoed in the room as REGALADO ran up the wall and snapped into perfect back flip, landing on his feet.  The recruits looked at each other, grinning.  El doctor knew how to get his point across.  He was amazing.

 

After a couple of years working with him, he realized that he could trust me. After the attempts on his life became frequent, because for the first time, the guerillas were fighting back.  He called me one day and asked me to meet me at his office.  The fact that he could trust me was no indication that I trust him. I had learned later in life that I trusted no one, not even myself at times. I decided to bring along with me a DEA source (Ramiro Guerra) who had worked with me for a while. We picked the doctor up and drove around El Salvador for the whole day.  He literally showed us, "where the bodies were buried".  This were not quite the "killing fields" of Cambodia, but were of los desaparcidos (the disappeared).  Most of the time, the death squads' victims were never found.  Unless they wanted them to make their point and dropped you in front of the victim's homes, as an example of what was to come to those who opposed oppression.  Some of the burials later turned out to be mass graves.  I took notes and drew sketches of the burial sites as we drove.  I found Dr. Death to be a very intelligent individual who was able to remember dates and names of some of the victims. Since this intelligence information was more of a CIA issue, so I thought.  It never really crossed my mind that maybe the CIA participated in these atrocities. I delivered the intelligence to Janis Elmore, CIA political officer at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador. Well, needless to say, she turned out to be a CIA agent, whose cover was to be a political officer. The CIA had their whole operations pretty well covered at the U.S. embassy, incase information like mine was ever revealed to U.S. personnel.

 

In 1989, I was in San Salvador when members of the death squads killed six Jesuit priests.  A Salvadoran Military Major had been assigned to the task force to give and gather intelligence.  He came to me and asked to meet him at a local hotel.  He stated that he had received intelligence on some rebels that were gathering at some church grounds. I asked him why he was coming to me, when this had nothing to do with drug trafficking.  He stated that members of the Milgroup would be assigned to this operation.  Of course, by this time I knew something was not right and my instinct turned out to be right. I became involved in the initial planning of the operation as too who from the task force would take part in this operation.  However, I advised him that I would need to get approval from my supervisor. I did not need approval but that was the excuse I had to give him.  At the end, I pulled the group out of it and sure enough, it was a massacred.  As I found out later, the plot was to blame the guerillas for the murders backfired because a U.S. advisor on the operation blew the whistle after returning to the states a couple of days later. What the Major was attempting to do was to get as far away from the Salvadoran military so that others would take the fall for the massacred, but at the end, he had to use his own people and did what they did best, kill innocent people. The Salvadoran officers involved in the killings were, without surprise, graduates of the School of the America.  The United States government had a sure thing with the factor of producing these American made home grown terrorist.  Between 1989 and1990, while I was in El Salvador, Joya MARTINEZ testified about the role played by U.S. officials in death squad killings carried out by the U.S. trained first infantry Brigade's intelligence unit.  His unit performed 74 executions between April and July 1989.  He said his first brigade unit was attached to a U.S. trained ATLACATL battalion, which slaughtered the Jesuit priests.

 

           In 1987, Times Magazine reported that Central American death squads were operating in the Los Angeles, CA area.  The death squads had taken their assassinations into the U.S.  The death squads were now gunning for Salvadorans who were speaking against the Salvadoran Military in the United States of America.  These death squads members were attending protest rallies in Los Angeles and taking pictures of their targets. There were several cases where there were actual civil suits filed against members of the Salvadoran Military Generals.  At the request of the CIA agent Randy CAPISTER, I was able to obtain from one of my sources in the Guatemalan government some "blank" Guatemala passports.  According to CAPISTER these passports were going to be used by assets of the CIA to travel abroad.  CAPISTER later stated that passports were use by the death squads to enter the U.S.

 

In Guatemala, the former Vice-President of Guatemala, Mario SANDOVAL-ALARCON, became the grandfather of the death squads.  For several years, SANDOVAL was the driving force behind the Guatemalan government and became the legitimized of his paramilitary operations.  Ronald REAGAN once praised SANDOVAL for declaring war against communists in Latin America at any cost.  SANDOVAL once boasted to the mediathat he had a private army of three thousand and the ability to put thousands more paramilitary troops into action on short notice.  For his efforts, President REAGAN invited SANDOVAL to attend his inaugural ceremonies. This information is well documented in the REAGAN archives.

 

Guatemala Military Gen. Francisco "Paco" ORTEGA- MENALDO ran the death squads for SANDOVAL.  Former G-2 agents described ORTEGA'S program of surveillance backed by a web of torture centers and clandestine body dumps.  On several occasions, I traveled with G-2 to a Guatemalan base in Huehuetenango, where they maintained their own crematorium and "processed" abductees by chopping off limbs, singeing flesh and administering electric shocks. When I was stationed in Guatemala, the DEA was instructed to work with Gen. ORTEGA.  Even though the General was on the CIA payroll, DEA agent Larry HOLIFIELD paid the General $10,000.00 of trafficker's funds.  The U.S. government had also assigned other individuals to train these units.  The CIA assigned CIA agent Randy CAPISTER and CIA asset, Victor RIVERA, a Venezuelan, to work hand in hand with the Guatemalan G-2.  CIA agent Randy CAPISTER supported financial assistance and logistics.  CAPISTER was known to develop bombs out of letters and books.  Most of these explosives ended up in the hands of individuals who opposed the Guatemalan government.  The recipients were mostly professors, politicians, activists, and students.  These two individuals would travel with me all over Central America in Delta Force, American's Special Forces unit on Counter-Intelligence.

 

            I was also instrumental in the training of Guatemala's notorious Special Forces counterinsurgency Unit, LOS KAIBILES.  The unit is known for its grueling jungle-survival training.  The unit was given birth in the 1970s and named after an insurgent Mayan prince, Kaibil Balam.  The KAIBILES unit became notorious in the early 1980s, where tens of thousands of indigenous people were slaughtered as the unit swept across rural Guatemala, systematically destroying villages. There was a civil war in Guatemala and the military was always targeting the oppressed.  Most of the guerilla movement was made of indigenous people.

 

In the late 1980s, the head of this unit was Guatemala Col. Julio Roberto ALPIREZ, also another graduate of the School of the Americas and on the CIA payroll.  Col. ALPIREZ was later implicated in the murders of a Guatemalan guerrilla leader Efrain Bamaca Velasquez and in the murder of a U.S. citizen Michael Devine who resided in Guatemala.

 

In 2005, American newspapers and Mexico's Attorney General confirmed that the KAIBILES had been hired by a Mexican drug trafficking organization for their counterinsurgency operations.  The reports identified that 30 KAIBILES had found employment with the ZETAS, a group of ex-elite Mexican soldiers.

 

Even though the education you have just received is appropriate to understand the failed U.S. foreign policy in Latin America.  I offer as further evidence the following DEA cases, just some of the injustices committed by U.S. agents. Though these atrocities were covered up, I will furnish pictures of the murder victims as evidence of what DEA commits in Latin America.

 

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
Quote 0 0
maynard
CONTINUED


In 1987 CIA agent Randy CAPSITER and I, conducted one of many operations that we worked together on. During these operations, we knew before hand that individuals (some Americans) were going to be murdered.  On September 25, G2 picked up a conversation on their illegal wiretap of a Guatemalan Congressman, Carlos Ramiro Garcia de Paz's phone.   The Colombians planned to fly to Puerto Barrios, a port on the Guatemala's eastern coast, to drop off a large cocaine shipment. The mother vessel Daring cruised into the quiet waters of Puerto Barrios. The next morning the G-2, Capister and I detained the Colombians and Mexicans. In the Guatemala DEA case file, TG-86-0005, the CIA assets raped, tortured, and murdered several of the Colombians and Mexicans. These atrocities were green-lighted by the CIA agent Randy CAPISTER.  The victims were identified as Jose Ramon Parra-Iniguez, Mexican passport A-GUC-043, and his two daughters Maria Leticia Olivier-Dominguez, Mexican passport A-GM8381.  The other passport with the other girl's name has been misplaced.  Also, included among the dead were several Colombian nationals: Adolfo Leon Morales-Arcilia "a.k.a."  Adolfo Morales-Orestes, Carlos Alberto Ramírez, and Jiro Gilardo-Ocampo. CIA agent CAPISTER witnessed the torture and murder of these individuals and recorded the events on a camcorder. These individuals were taken to the end of a run way where they were placed in cargo container. CAPISTER was videotaped their interrogation. I decided to leave because I knew what was coming to them. Several Americans were arrested in the mother vessel but were not killed.  We ended up seizing approximately 2,200 kilos of cocaine. In 1989, these murders were investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility, DEA Senior Inspector Tony RECEVUTO, who determined that the Guatemalan Military was responsible for these murders.  This was always a way to protect the U.S. agents by blaming the atrocities on other groups in Latin America.

 

In another DEA case, on Dec. 03, 1988, several DEA agents, Larry HOLIFIELD, Tuffy VON BRISIAN and I, seized 356 kilos of cocaine in Tiquisate, Guatemala (DEA case file number TG-89-0002); file name Hector SANCHEZ. The DEA agent Larry HOLIFIELD green lighted the torture and murder of several Columbians that were apprehended by the G-2.

 

In a well publicized story, Sister Dianna Ortiz, an American nun who was working with poor indigenous children, was kidnapped, gang-raped and tortured by a unit of the Guatemalan G-2.  An American, who she believes was linked to the U.S. Embassy, initiated her torture.  This American was later identified as CIA agent Randy CAPISTER.  Diana Ortiz also identified a Guatemala G-2 Capt. Guillermo FUENTES-ARAGON, as one of her assailants.  On November 1989, Capt. FUENTES attended a DEA International Narcotics Enforcement Management Seminar in a school in the United States for drug enforcement.  Capt. FUENTES was involved in the two DEA cases mentioned above.

 

The goal of every investigation in the DEA was to get the drug trafficker out of Central America and into a U.S. court for trial.  Unfortunately, we too often turned our handcuffed prizes over to a Byzantine system.  Central American justice had a way of misplacing well-connected narcotics violators or releasing them for lack of evidence.  The locals saw the drug trade as a huge cash pipeline that could be tapped into almost at will, and it was standard practice in many countries to hold drug cartel operatives and their cargo of drugs for ransom.

 

Counterintelligence experts in Belize maintained an illegal wiretap on Johnny ZABANEH, a DEA fugitive and banana baron living in Orange Walk, Belize. ZABANEH was a heavy weight Lebanese and the biggest marijuana trafficker in Belize.  The U.S. government wanted him for conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana.  Belize DEA agent Russ REINA had been trying to bust him for a year.  Without an extradition treaty, we had to wait for him to leave Belize and go into another Central America country.  Finally, in November 1985, the Belizean eavesdroppers heard ZABANEH planning a trip to Guatemala to purchase some sort of equipment.  As ZABANEH arrived at Aurora Airport in Guatemala City, REINA had the Guatemalan police detain him at the airport; he ordered them to kick him out of the Guatemala back to Belize.  In Guatemala, the government could force an undesirable citizen back to his own country.  And, with ZABANEH, it was not different, except that the next flight to Belize was via Houston, Texas.  I was instructed to travel with him on the flight.  As we were on final approach into Houston, I placed Johnny ZABANEH under arrest for the outstanding warrant.  Soon after that, the DEA in Guatemala was best known as the "Body Snatchers of Latin America."

 

Our government continues with these travesties all over the world.  History will show that from Southeast Asia, to Latin America, and now to the Middle East the United States of America continues to bury its bayonets in all corners of the world.

 

Under REAGAN, John NEGROPONTE was the U.S. ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s, where he played a major role in U.S. efforts to topple the Nicaraguan government.  The political history of John NEGROPONTE shows a man who has had a career bent toward generating civilian death and widespread human rights abuses and promoting sectarian and ethnic violence.  In Honduras, he earned the distinction of being accused of widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human Rights.  He worked as a tough cold warrior that enthusiastically carried out President Ronald REAGAN'S strategy."  NEROPONTE received lots of advice from School of the Americas graduate Colonel Gustavo ALVAREZ in establishment of Honduran's military's infamous death squad Battalion 316, patterned after Argentine death squads to eliminate "subversives."  In August 2001, an excavation at a U.S. military base in Honduras best known as El Aguacate revealed 185 corpses, including two American missionaries.  In May 1982, a nun, Sister Laetitia Bordes, went on a fact-finding delegation to Honduras to investigate the whereabouts of thirty Salvadoran nuns who fled to Honduras in 1981.  The death squads savagely tortured her. While in Honduras in 1985, I also helped train Battalion 316 with the help of Col. ALVAREZ.  Several operations were conducted in San Pedro Azul on drug traffickers who were also murdered by these death squads.  In the capital of Honduras, I initiated several cases on members of Juan Ballesteros' drug cartels.

 

President Bush later rewarded NEGROPONTE by promoting him to be the first National Director of Intelligence.  He later became Deputy Secretary of State under the Bush administration.

 

Under the "Salvador Option," Col. STEELE did such an effective job in the training of the death squads that his blueprints were implemented on to the Iraq War.  In Iraq, Col. STEELE became an advisor to the U.S. ambassador, John NEGROPONTE.  NEGROPONTE was U.S. ambassador in Honduras when Col. Steele was posted in El Salvador.  Col. STEELE'S title in Baghdad was Counselor for Iraqi Security Forces.  He supervised the selection and training of members of the Badr Organization and Mehdi Army, the two largest Shia militias in Iraq.  Ironically, another American agent became Col. STEELE'S right hand man in Iraq.  The senior U.S. advisor in the Ministry of Interior was no other then Steve CASTEEL, who job was the operational control over the commandos. Agent CASTEEL was a former top official in the DEA who spent much of his professional life immersed in the drug wars of Latin America.  It is no secret that veterans of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam transferred their skills and attention to Latin America.  The Phoenix Program was initiated by CIA agent William COLBY, a career professional on covert operation at its highest order.  He came to command of the CIA's station in Saigon in the 1960s.  He ran all U.S. "intelligence" operations in the Vietnam War theater, including Operation Phoenix, A Stalin-like program that fingered and assassinated an estimated forty thousand South Vietnamese civilians. Except for the inevitable cases of wrong identification, the assassination victims were local revolutionary leaders. These skills of assassinations and torture continued to be taught at the School of the Americas as late as the 1990s.

 

           The phrase "business as usual" describes how our foreign policy works in Latin America.  There is no "check and balances" system with any of the U.S. government's agencies.  What makes this worse is the massive cover-up that our government conducts when atrocities are exposed.  Blowback has come back to haunt the United States by way of 9-11 and the tortures in Iraq. Blowback is a term used in espionage to describe the unintended consequences of covert operations.  Blowback typically appears random and without cause, because the public is unaware of the secret operations that provoked it. In its strictest terms, blowback was originally informative only and referred to consequences that resulted when an intelligence agency participated in foreign media manipulation, which was then reported by domestic news sources in other countries as accepted facts. In looser terms, it can encompass all operational aspects. In this context, it can thus mean retaliation as the result of actions undertaken by nations.

 

            The phrase is believed to have been coined by the CIA, in reference to the harmful effects to friendly forces by the enemy. These operations would later lead to confrontation with the United States.  In the 1980s, blowback became a central focus of the debate over the, REAGAN Doctrine which advocated militarily supporting resistance movements opposing Soviet-supported, communist governments. In one case, covert funding of the CONTRAS in Nicaragua would lead to the Iran-Contra Affair. While covert support led to a World Court ruling against the United States in Nicaragua v. United States.Critics of the REAGAN Doctrine argued that blowback was unavoidable, and that, through the doctrine, the United States was inflaming wars in the Third World. Doctrine advocates, principally at the conservative Heritage Foundation, responded that support for anti-communist resistance movements would lead to a "correlation of forces," which would topple communist regimes without significant retaliatory consequence to the United States, while simultaneously altering the global balance of power in the Cold War.

 

            We must always keep in mind that our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher.  For good or for ill, it teaches the whole world by its example.  Crime is contagious.  If our government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.  To declare that in this administration of the criminal law, the end justifies the means has brought terrible retribution to this country.

 

Celerino "Cele" Castillo, 3rd

Former DEA agent

Vietnam Veteran

Author of Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras & The Drug War

powderburns@prodigy.net

 

Celerino "Cele" Castillo, 3rd

2709 North 28 1/2 Street

McAllen, TX.  78501

956-345-5770

powderburns.info

 

 

        

A TAINTED DEAL ALLOWED DRUG FLOW
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/06/tainted-deal

DEA Chief Robert Bonner said CIA Smuggled Drugs


L.A. DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA's Alleged Role in the Murder of Kiki Camarena
http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-a-dogged-la-dea-agent-unraveled-the-cias-alleged-role-in-the-murder-of-kiki-camarena-5750278


"There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras."—Senator John Kerry (1996)


We live in a dirty and dangerous world ... There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. -1988 speech by Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, CIA Headquarters
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