TWO DAYS IN CARACAS: A Chapter Comment

Posted: August 10, 2015 in Chapter Comments, Two Days in Caracas
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Chapter 3

South of America’s border. Los Zetas, the most powerful drug cartel in Latin America, has joined up with Hezbollah and the Al Quds force from Iran to create a deadly alliance to transport both drugs and illegals into the United States.

According to Americas Report, a publication put out by the Center for Security Policy, the two organizations are now engaged in a myriad of illegal activities together. These activities include the drug trade, money laundering, and human trafficking. In addition, Hezbollah has been allowed to open up cultural centers and camps in many Latin American cities, which are being used as training centers for sleeper cells in the United States.

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roger Noriega believes an attack on the U.S. by Hezbollah is possible. He recently testified before Congress about such operations in Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, and how this alliance is gaining ground in Central America and Mexico. Much of what Noriega outlined in various reports on this subject forms the underlying basis of the plot lines for Two Days in Caracas.

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER THREE:

Bledsoe looked at me as if he didn’t quite believe I was being forthcoming with him.

“Does the Agency know how Ahmed arrived in the States in the first place?”

“Carlton said he flew to Mexico City from Damascus on a Lebanese passport. Once he got to Mexico, he disappeared. But since Hezbollah has ties with the Zeta drug cartel, our analysts believe the cartel helped him make his way up to Nuevo Laredo, over the U.S. border, and then on to Dallas. They’re still pulling the data threads on that connection though.”

Bledsoe said, “I know the cartel must be involved in this, and I’ll tell you why.”

He opened the red folder and removed a single sheet of paper. “About a year ago, after I made several unsuccessful attempts to obtain any intel on the drug cartels operating here, I finally recruited an asset inside the Zeta ring. His name is Hernando, and, although he’s a very low-level employee, he’s a solid source of information.

“Right now, all he does is take care of administrative details and run errands. I’ve been very cautious about using him because I want his bosses to trust him completely. That way he can work his way up the ranks and be privy to the kind of information we can use to bring down the cartel’s entire network. I’ve been carefully grooming him for over a year now. It’s been a slow process, but I’m certain we’re going to get some results soon.”

“I haven’t forgotten your cautious nature, Toby.”

He stared at me for several seconds, probably trying to decide if my remark was meant as a compliment or a criticism.

I tried to look non-committal.

He went on. “For the past six months, the cartel’s been ferrying drugs into the States using couriers who pose as tourists from San José. Since my asset arranges visas and airline tickets for them, I asked him to photocopy the passports of the mules they were using to move their product north. Here’s the list I made after he gave me the passport copies.”

He handed me the sheet of paper he’d been holding in his hand.

As I scanned the contents, he asked, “Anything jump out at you?”

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