Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mexican Kidnappers Use Government Databases to Target Victims

These enormous centralized databases do pose some risks.

The big Equifax fiasco was dangerous in part because the information on 143 million people wasn't even minimally encrypted, not that that would stop a determined hacker but even worse, last Wednesday, in testimony to a U.S. Congressional Committee the interim CEO said he wasn't sure the data was being encrypted even now.

So, on to Mexico where I'm guessing encryption in general is superior to Equifax's but not by much.
From the very brave souls who compile Borderland Beat:

Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Reforma
Further Reading on the topic Insight Crime
Mexico City (October 29 2017).- To select their victims of extortion and kidnapping, organized crime groups have used federal government databases.

A report from the National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information for Combating Crime (Cenapi) of the PGR indicates that the the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, in particular the Gonzalez Valencia brothers, pioneered the implementation of this technique, from paramilitary groups in Colombia.

Since the 1990’s, the Cuinis found in the kidnapping of avocado workers an alternative entrance to drug trafficking, that they carried out by accessing information from the former Secretary of Agriculture.

"It was an 'intelligence system', which consisted of reviewing the department of health registry of the then Secretary of Agriculture to know who were the farmers with large areas of avocado production - where their gardens were located - and how much their sales reported for export," says the document, signed on July 4, 2016 by Víctor Hugo Pérez Castro, director of the Cenapi sector, and handed over to a federal judge.

 "To the wealthy farmers," he says, "a quota was imposed on them and those who refused, or their relatives, were kidnapped or killed, as a form of pressure until they gave way."

This tactic, says the intelligence agency of the Attorney General, began to be replicated by other criminal groups such as La Familia Michoacana, in the middle of the last decade, and by the Knights Templar, at the beginning of the present, converting villages like Tancítaro, the largest producer of avocado, "as a source of financing parallel to drug trafficking."

The document states that, although there is talk that between 12 and 18 people are members of Los Cuinis clan, the ministerial authority has fully identified 9 of them as part of the structure of the organization....MORE
A word of caution, if you go exploring the BB site be aware there is some gruesome stuff going on in the narco/cartel world.