Incident takes place at a time when that Mexican peninsula is a theater of war among Cuban-American drug traffickers handling the lucrative business of illegal emigration
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD—Granma International staff writer
A private jet which crashed in the vicinity of Cancun on September 24 with a cargo of six tons of cocaine and heroin aboard had been utilized by the CIA in recent months for transferring prisoners to and from the U.S. interrogation camp on Guantánamo. The aircraft, a Grumman Gulf Stream II model, with U.S. registration number N987SA, officially belongs to a company in the south of Florida, which bought it just eight days before the presumed accident, the circumstances of which are murky.
The mysterious incident that recalls the large-scale trafficking operations attributed to the CIA in the 80s, came at a time of bloody warfare among Cuban-American drug traffickers who have taken over the lucrative business of the illegal emigration of Cubans in Yucatan. The wave of violence, apparent for some months, reached an alarming level the same weekend of the air crash with the murder of another émigré Cuban in a well known public place in the tourist complex.
Press agencies in Cancun and Mexico report how the luxury Gulf Stream II was bought in August from a New York company owned by one William Achenbaum by a Florida company called Donna Blue Aircraft run by two Brazilians, Joao Luiz Malago and Eduardo Dias Guimaraes.
Achenbaum’s employees refused to answer questions. Malago and Dias Guimaraes said that they had sold the plane on September 16 to two Florida pilots, Clyde O’Connor and Greg Smith, who paid them – it is not known how – two million dollars in cash.
The Federal Aviation Administration is now saying that it was never informed of the sale and that, in consequence, never dispatched any certificate. O’Connor’s company, Execstar Aviation of Fort Lauderdale, is not answering the telephone, according to the Miami press.
Two days after the purchase, the aircraft left Fort Lauderdale, Florida for Cancun, Mexico and then for the José María Córdoba aiport in Río Negro, Colombia, 40 kilometers from Medellín, the heartland of Colombian traffickers, from where it returned to Cancun.
HAND OF THE CIA
The same jet appears on the 2003-2005 list of CIA secret flights established by a European Union commission given the intense traffic of aircraft handled by the U.S. intelligence agency for transferring prisoners, often illegally kidnapped, via various compliant countries.
However, the Mexican ¡Por Esto! daily affirmed in its September 29 edition that the CIA used the plane on four occasions in recent months.
The national press notes that all files relating to the powerful jet were blocked in the Cancun Airport information system by the airport authorities themselves.
In the midst of contradictory reports, it was stated that the pilot, a Mexican by the name of Edick Muñoz Sánchez, had been transferred to the capital for interrogation.
But ¡Por Esto! revealed on September 30 that “Edick or Eric Muñoz Sánchez was not known to the Association of Aviation Pilots (ASPA) or to various flying schools in Mexico City.
The journalist, known for his investigations, noted: “To date, the Attorney General’s Office has NOT brought before the public opinion that young man initially identified as South American and subsequently as from the Federal District, with white skin and delicate features.”
Meanwhile, two other crew members from the plane, a man and a woman, managed to escape from the location of the accident in a truck stolen in Cancun and which reappeared some few hours later in Mérida.
The incident illustrates the level of drug trafficking in that part of the Yucatan Peninsula with the complicity of Miami Mafiosi who, for a few years now, have been using Cancun as a playing field.
It is not by chance that the accomplices of Luis Posada Carriles selected Isla Mujeres, in the vicinity of Cancun, for rescuing the international terrorist, a fugitive from Venezuelan justice.
EVIDENCE POINTS TO MIAMI
The Grumman’s forced landing in a forested area of Yucatan in circumstances still to be clarified, occurred hours after the execution of a criminal of Cuban origin in right in the middle of the Cancun hotel area. The man, Maximiliano Rey Mota, aged 43 was linked to the Cuban mafia operating in Quintano Roo.
Rey Mota was killed with a single R-15 bullet in the presence of his partner in the Coral Negro handicrafts complex.
A number of aspects related to former killings in the peninsula point to members of the Cuban mafia operating in Miami. Cuban Americans recently murdered include Manuel ‘El Many’ Duarte Díaz, Luis Lázaro Lara Morejón, his friend María Elena Carrillo Sáenz, Jesús Aguilar Aguilar and Edwin Park Gómez.
The situation is so grave that Karen Martin, the US consul in Mérida in Yucatan suddenly materialized just hours after the last crime, seeking involvement in the investigation.
Karen Martin affirmed that her country is fully prepared to cooperate in order to clarify the eliminations.
While the Miami FBI has distinguished itself from the outset by its characteristic inertia in the face of activities of the Cuban-American mafia, the diplomat insisted that if it can be confirmed that these crimes are related to organized crime in the United States, her government would be prepared to cooperate in order to clarify the facts and punish the guilty.
Since January, 26 people have lost their lives in this wave of violence.