Espionage Files: The Story of Los Pepes, The Paramilitary Group that Took On Pablo Escobar and Won

pepes

Los Pepes: The Paramilitary Group That Took On Pablo Escobar And Won

(click on the link above to be re-directed to source page)

I am a sucker for all things historical as you know, and I have been watching the second season of Narco’s on Netflix which chronicles the story of Pablo Escobar’s rise and meteoric fall as one of the most notorious drug czar’s ever to live.

As many of you may or may not know, Escobar’s story is one of not only drugs and crime but politics and government corruption (the 2 typically go hand in hand) that span 3 decades of Columbia’s bloody history.

Escobar partnered with M-19 Communist guerilla’s to attack the Palace of Justice in 1985. In doing this, Escobar created the term “Narco-Terrorist” and at the same time made enemies with the violent but effective anti-communist Autodefensas Paramilitary Group known as “Los Pepes”.

Now it goes without saying that certain American “Alphabet agencies” were interested in helping see that both Communism and Escobar were taken out of the picture quickly and quietly, so CIA involvement in the supplying of arms and intelligence to right-wing paramilitary groups was pretty much a given during this time.

As you can see this is interesting history, if you are willing to dig into it a bit.

More to come on this topic.

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

Cartel Corner #87: The Lime Grower Vs. The Cartel

Hipolito Mora at his families lime ranch in La Ruana, Michoacán, Mexico, Tuesday, December 15, 2015. Hipolito Mora was one of the original founder of the autodefensa movement, which saw vigilantes spread across the state of Michoacán and drive out the cartel group the 'Knights of Templar'. Since the uprising began in 2013, other criminal groups have filled the space of the previous cartel and many look at the autodefensa movement as a failure. Mora has had many challenges over the last three years, including being sent to jail twice and having his son killed in a shootout Dec. 16, 2014 during a shootout with a rival group. This ranch is a very important place for Mora. "This is where I expect to die" said Mora, motioning to the hills surrounding the ranch, which would make for a great spot for a shooter to hide. "My son and I had plans to build up the house and make this out place, it was out dream, but that was before." (Brett Gundlock/Boreal Collective)

How A Lime Grower Led An Uprising Against One of Mexico’s Bloodiest Cartels

IT WAS WINTER in the pocket of Mexico known as Tierra Caliente, the Hot Land. The sky was cloudless and the sun’s rays were casting flickering reflections off the convoy coming into focus: two behemoth SUVs, one black, one silver, passengers invisible behind tinted windows, a police pickup bringing up the rear. The vehicles kicked up clouds of dust as they pulled to a stop. The doors swung open. Boots, shoes, and sandals connected with the dirt. More than half a dozen well-armed men, and one woman, stepped out.

They weren’t the most imposing gunslingers in the world. Most wore basic navy blue polo shirts with white screen-printed badges on the chest. Some were middle-aged with considerable bellies lapping over their belts. Still, their firepower — mostly AR-15 assault rifles — was considerable. Several wore bulletproof vests strapped with ammunition. One of the men, the fittest of the bunch, dressed in khaki cargo pants with dark wraparound sunglasses and a sidearm strapped to his hip, had the swagger of an American military contractor escorting some important diplomat in a foreign war.

The martial demeanor made sense. Guard duty was exactly what the group was doing. Their cargo stepped out of an armored Chevrolet: a short, stocky man, 60 years old, with a close-cropped gray beard and a white Panama hat. His name was Hipólito Mora Chávez. In 2013, he kicked off an armed citizens’ rebellion against a cult-like drug cartel in his home state of Michoacán, the geographic launching point on Mexico’s Pacific coast for much of the methamphetamine trafficked to the United States.

They called themselves autodefensas, self-defense groups. For a moment, their uprising was Mexico’s biggest story. For some, they symbolized a courageous effort on the part of ordinary citizens to accomplish what the government was unable or unwilling to do, dismantling a notorious criminal organization that had terrorized the Hot Land for years. For others, they were unaccountable vigilantes representing a dangerous slide into anarchic chaos.

Read the Remainder at The Intercept

Crusader Corner: Meet “The Soldiers of Odin”, A European Anti-Immigration Vigilante Group

Groups like this have been around for some time in Europe since this whole muslim invasion began. Of course the liberal media and governments have tried to suppress them, but a Man has a right to do what he has to do to protect his family and Community. America should take a cue from groups like this because soon we will have the same problem in larger numbers most likely. -SF

ODIN

The Soldiers of Odin, a far-right vigilante group whose members have patrolled streets in Finland saying they want to protect locals from immigrants, have started spreading to other Nordic and Baltic countries, worrying authorities.

Named after the king of the gods in Norse mythology, the self-proclaimed patriots say they want to be the eyes and ears for the police who they say are struggling to fulfill their duties. But critics say they are jumping on the back of Europe’s migration crisis to propagate a racist and dangerous agenda.

With some 250,000 asylum seekers moving into the region as a whole over the last year, fleeing brutal wars and desperate poverty in their home countries, the group has triggered fears of a rise in vigilantism.

The Soldiers are now expanding outside Finland, wearing similar black jackets adorned on the back with a Viking, his mouth covered with the relevant country’s national flag, and the name of the group written in English.

In Estonia, the group held their first meeting in mid-February, with local media reporting that 60 people attended.

“We don’t want refugees to come here,” Indrek Olm, who said he was one of the leaders of the group in Estonia, told Reuters later in the month. “We will start going on patrol to make sure they don’t do something illegal.”

The Baltic country of 1.3 million has almost no asylum seekers or refugees. But the authorities nonetheless do not like the Soldiers of Odin.

“Self-proclaimed patrol gangs do not increase the Estonian people’s sense of security in any way, rather the opposite.” Prime Minister Taavi Roivas said on Twitter.

In Norway, police have expressed concern about how the arrival of some 31,000 asylum seekers in the country of 5.2 million last year will affect far-right groups.

“We consider the threat from right-wing milieus to be increasing. The asylum issue is fuelling right-wing activity, radicalization and recruitment,” said the Police Security Service in its latest threat assessment last month.

The Soldiers of Odin held their first patrol in Norway on February 13 in Toensberg, a town of some 42,000 about 62 miles to the south of Oslo.

“Our main goal is to prevent violence, the sale of drugs and not least sexual assaults,” Ronny Alte, then spokesman for the Soldiers of Odin in Norway, told Reuters. Alte has since quit the group over differences about the organization’s stance.

“And if you look at these problems … it is unfortunately the case that immigrants, and not least illegal immigrants, are over-represented in these cases,” he claimed.

Other patrols have taken took place in several cities, while others were stopped by police. In the city of Kristiansand in the south, the Soldiers of Odin were told by police they could only distribute free buns and coffee.

The Soldiers of Odin do attract support in some quarters.

“Every citizen who wants to contribute towards reducing criminality and insecurity should be applauded,” Jan Arild Ellingsen, a lawmaker from the populist Progress Party, a member of Norway’s ruling coalition, told broadcaster NRK.

But his statement was condemned by Norway’s prime minister. “The Soldiers of Odin have no place in the work to keep our streets safe. Dangerous values,” Erna Solberg said on Twitter.

Read the Original Article at Vice News

Matthew Bracken Talks SHTF and Dirty Civil War

MB1

MATTHEW BRACKEN is a former Navy SEAL (BUD/S Class 105), a Constitutionalist, and a self-described “freedomista”.  This interview was first published in the Fall 2014 issue of Forward Observer.

You might think that the most courageous thing Matt Bracken’s ever done is taking a SEAL team to Beirut, Lebanon in 1983, the same year of the Marine Barracks bombings… but you’d be wrong.  Bracken is standing up as a bulwark for Liberty in the face of growing danger to those who speak out against the regime.

FO: What are some of the threats that pro-Liberty Americans will see in the next few years, and what can we expect? More lawfare? Actual conflict? A fight for the Republic?

MB: All Americans face the risk of chaos, anarchy and starvation resulting from the collapse of our electrical grid. Electricity has become our oxygen, necessary to sustain our civilization, and I see at least a dozen ways it could be disrupted with catastrophic results. To the extent that pro-liberty Americans are also “preppers,” they will be better prepared to face the dire consequences.

Absolutely I see “lawfare” by our rogue federal agencies against patriots continually ramping up. With no consequences resulting from scandals such as Fast and Furious and the targeting of patriots by the IRS, Team Tyranny feels emboldened and will only make life harder for those who defy them.

As far as an actual fight for the republic, it could happen, for example, after a hypothetical future Waco incident. In that case, I could envision federal agents being lured into ambushes and so on. The ambushes could be false flag operations or actual attacks by frustrated Americans, but the result could be a shooting war, with patriots being “disappeared” on one side of the ledger, and federal agents and officials being assassinated on the other. This would probably turn into a “dirty civil war” similar to what happened in Northern Ireland or Argentina in the 1970s, but obviously on a far more vast scale.

You mention that there are at least a dozen ways that our electrical grid could be disrupted. What do you see as the most likely causes for grid-down?

Anything from a solar flare to a cyber-war with a national entity could take down the grid. In the event of a civil war, there will be a strong urban vs. rural dynamic, and one way that rural participants will strike at their urban antagonists will be to strike at the grid carrying power to the cities. The Metcalf power station incidents in California last year seem to have been a dry run or proof of concept drill. A dozen teams of riflemen could put our grid at danger with a coordinated attack.

Groups from the former Sendero Luminoso in Peru to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico to Al Qaeda in Yemen have attacked major power grids. In America, we have allowed electricity to become our oxygen, and it’s naive to expect that in any type of future war, (civil, international, or terrorist), antagonists will not attempt to cut off that oxygen and kill their enemies en masse. Our power grid is our exposed jugular vein.

What are the best ways Patriots can protect themselves during this time? How long might a “dirty civil war” last?

If [Social Network Analysis] is used to target patriots–and it will be– then there is not much anyone can do for self-protection, other than move to an area where Federal Law Enforcement Agents (FLEA) are afraid to operate, if such places will even exist. Nobody will be able to live a normal life if there is the constant risk of a Soviet KGB- style arrest by plain-clothed teams of anonymous agents. My goal is to remind [law enforcement officers] and especially the FLEAs to think very hard about following orders facilitating secret arrests. The blow-back against all of them and their collaborator for employing Gestapo tactics against Americans will be incredibly ferocious.

Once patriots begin to disappear, Rule 308 will be used against any identifiable FLEA targets, and the dirty civil war will turn into a nightmare that could last for years. There is no way to predict which side would win, or what America might look like at the end. But once a war of secret arrests and assassinations begins, it will be very hard to stop.

My goal with much of my writing is to warn all potential sides that a dirty civil war must be avoided if at all possible. The only thing worse than a dirty civil war would be America turning into a Soviet-style totalitarian dictatorship. Uncounted millions of scoped deer rifles tell me that turning American into a dictatorship would be almost impossible, and I hope that the FLEAs who might study this Q&A also give my short story “What I Saw at The Coup” and my essay “Dear Mr. Security Agent” a very close reading. The shape of the next few years will depend largely on the honor and integrity of our LEOs and FLEAs, and how strongly or weakly they adhere to their oaths to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

What’s your take on the current militarization of the police? Are these police MRAPs just a useful way to re-purpose military vehicles or something worse? What roles do you see the police taking in any Constitutional crisis?

Federal LEAs are attempting to co-opt local law enforcement agencies, turning them into their “grunts” for perimeter security around federal actions and other duties where sufficient armed manpower is required. There are simply not enough federal agents to conduct all of the raids they might envision conducting, and also at the same time provide all-around security for the federal agents from potentially enraged local citizens.

[Mine Resistant Ambush Proof vehicles], latest generation night vision and commo gear and so on are the “gifts” that the feds are be- stowing upon local LEAs in order to make them dependent upon federal largess and beholden to federal masters. In the near term this strategy might be effective, but in the event that an actual dirty civil war is ignited, the loyalty of local LE to their FLEA masters cannot be assured. At the least, some constitutionally-minded local LEOs will warn patriots of planned raids and arrests, resulting in FLEAs being ambushed on the way to their targets, or at their targets.

Look to Mexico today to see what an American dirty civil war will look like. It will be impossible to tell the genuine “on duty” LEOs from “off duty” LEOs in so-called death squads, from criminals posing as LEOs. This would obviously be an extremely dangerous environment for freedomistas, as we see today in Mexico.

CW2 cube

Your Civil War 2 Cube (above) has been immensely popular. We see Suburbia is kind of trapped between Rural and Urban. What do you think the suburban spaces will look like during conflict?

Not all suburbs are alike, obviously. A suburb located between Asheville, NC and the mountains is not the same as a suburb located between megacities in the DC-Boston corridor. In general, I agree with the hypothesis of the book “A Failure of Civility.” A well-located suburban subdivision offers enough manpower to mount a guard force, as well as containing a useful collection of skills from doctors to electricians. During the Dark Ages the walled city or town was the best model for success. Farmers did not live in distant, lonely farm houses; it was simply too dangerous to be that isolated.

What’s your message to those who have no bug-out plan out of urban or suburban areas? What advice can you offer about sheltering in place?

Stocking up on food and water might be critical for surviving a short catastrophe or power outage, so it is something that is well worth doing. If the power stays out for months or longer, “bugging in” won’t work. If the environment is too dangerous to permit safe travel, then all of the food that is consumed must be generated within your own zip code. How many American zip codes generate enough food, right now, to ensure the survival of their inhabitants? What if those food sources are without electricity, fuel, or needed chemicals during the growing season? In any case, if the power goes out, the food will stop moving. Starvation will begin in just a few weeks, while it will take months or years to start new agricultural projects at the local level.

If you must shelter in place in suburbia, I’d recommend following the advice in [A Failure of Civility]. Attempt to interest your neighbors in preparing for various scenarios. No single house in suburbia can become a successful fortress. Suburbs must be defended at their gates, with a quick reaction force ready to respond. Former military buddies in your neighborhood might become the nucleus of the nascent defense force. I cannot recommend the book “A Failure of Civility” highly enough.

Fast-foward: we have a domestic conflict over a Constitutional issue. What happens to the military? What’s your opinion on how they align themselves with the regime or with Freedom Forces?

I cling to the hope that most of the military will not be willing to perform raids upon American homes. However, they will be capable of following most general orders and they will be effective at cordoning towns and cutting off travel options, which can be just as deadly if the cordon means that local inhabitants can neither leave nor bring in food supplies. A pandemic resulting in city-wide quarantines is one easy to imagine scenario. Soldiers don’t need to shoot you to kill you. They can pin you in place until you starve to death. Ask the Ukrainians. For actual raids and assaults upon American citizens, the military and FLEAs will develop units made up of individuals selected for their loyalty to the federal government, and their willingness (or even eagerness) to shoot “enemies of the people.” Social Network Analysis will not only be useful for finding and targeting “enemies of the state,” it will also be extremely useful for locating the sociopathic killers among the wider military, LE, and prison populations (gang members).

These willing killers can then be brought together into very dangerous “hunter-killer teams” to do the dirty “wet work” required by Team Tyranny. In the event of a grid collapse, most members of the military and LE will desert at the first opportunity, in order to take care of their own families. In the event of an economic collapse, they will also desert if they are not paid, or if they are paid in meaningless scrip with no purchasing power.

Many members of the special operations community hear the call to defend Liberty at home. If conflict is inevitable, where do these former leaders fit in?

I believe that the Constitution will remain our most important defensive bulwark. The Constitution will be our most effective litmus test for separating the oath takers from the traitorous oath breakers. Former military and LE leaders should take every opportunity to remind their active duty brothers of their sworn oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They should also politely remind them that Team Liberty will have a very long memory when it comes to dealing with traitors. There will be no statute of limitations for traitors, and justice might eventually be dealt out under the well-known Rule 308. Loyalty to the Constitution must be a constant theme, both among friends and on social media. No active member of the military or LE will be permitted to plead ignorance when it comes to upholding the Constitution. We must remind them of that fact as often as possible, until it is ringing in their ears.

What are a few things outside of physically and mentally preparing that Patriots can do to help the fight for Liberty right now?

Unless one’s personal strategy is to remain a “gray man,” or in effect an unknown “stay behind agent,” patriots should be loud voices for liberty both in person and in social media. Don’t cower in fear of Team Tyran- ny. Social Network Analysis means that they already know who you are, where you live, and what your views are. Take every opportunity to stand up for freedom and liberty, and make the Constitution your byword. Take every opportunity to remind active military and LE that we expect them to uphold their sworn oaths to defend the Constitution, and that we are paying very careful attention to the oath breakers among them. The boys and girls down in the fusion centers must be made to understand very clearly that they will be held accountable for their actions, and that “I was just following orders” will not be an acceptable excuse for acting against the Constitution as the minions of Team Tyranny.

You’re a big proponent of hitting the water to escape civil unrest. Why do you prefer that to a rural retreat or a mountain location?

Rural retreats, once located, are too easy to besiege with sniper tactics and other means. FLEAs actually prefer it when patriots move to remote locations: it makes them easy to isolate and eventually they can wind up in a Waco or Ruby Ridge situation.

On the other hand, all of the oceans are connected. A forty-foot sailboat can carry enough food and water to last its crew for months. A sailboat can leave port and wait out a pandemic or social disorder while spending weeks or even months at sea before returning, or a sailboat can voyage non-stop to another country or even to another continent where conditions might be better. Obviously, sailing is not a viable option for everybody. It requires some physical stamina and agility, and a resistance to motion sickness.

What are the most likely threats you’ll face while bugging out on a boat? What are your expectations?

Once at sea and more than 50 or 100 miles from land, the ocean becomes a very low threat environment. Oceans are so vast that the odds of randomly crossing the path of another vessel are astronomically small. Post SHTF, few will be out wasting precious fuel motoring around the oceans looking for random prey. Pirates (including those wearing uniforms with numbers on their bows) always congregate near ports and will transit mainly along coasts. Near land, a speedboat can obviously overtake a sailboat. Get- ting clear of the coasts and gaining the anonymity of the open ocean is always the first priority during dangerous times.

In the event that a motor vessel with superior armaments does spot a sailboat and determine to attack it, the sailboat is going to be in a very tough situation. However, this “worst case” (and very unlikely) ocean scenario is no worse than being besieged on land in a remote rural retreat. The other big risk comes in port, when corrupt officials might decide to take your boat under color of law. But being able to cross oceans means having the flexibility to leave a dangerous or corrupt nation and sail directly to a safer place. Or leave a very dangerous state in America, and sail directly to another one. For example, during a SHTF scenario, a sailboat could easily transit directly from New York to Texas, while that same trip might be impossible by road.

A 40-foot sailboat could leave Florida, gain the safety of the open ocean, and next make port weeks later in Iceland or Argentina. Imagine how far a 40 foot RV, loaded with sup- plies, would make it on the inter- states after the SHTF. Not very far, with road blockages, check points, and ambushes around every curve. A sailboat over the horizon on the open ocean has effectively disappeared from the grid matrix. It can also reappear at the moment and the location of its choosing.

In your book, Domestic Enemies: The Reconquista, you write about a concerted effort by enemies to re-conquer the American Southwest. Although it’s “fictional”, your writing tends to foretell non-fictional events. Where are we right now in the Reconquista conflict and what happens next?

The Southwest is now in a death spiral as far as liberty, freedom and prosperity go. Several generations of anti-American and pro-Aztlan radicals have graduated from universities across the Southwest, and today they are judges, federal attorneys, district attorneys, FLEAs, mayors and police chiefs. This allows them to take leftist “lawfare” to a much higher and very dangerous level. Witness the Reese case in Deming, New Mexico: it is a model for future abuses of official power. Ideologically motivated federal attorneys are able to cherry pick judges who are fellow travelers, with the outcomes of selected cases preordained. This corruption of official power will get worse and worse, until patriots either flee the South- west, surrender, or retaliate in anger, leading to a “dirty civil war.”

The anti-American cabal largely running the Southwest today is fully committed to open borders and amnesty citizenship for illegal aliens. We are well past the demographic tipping points. The Southwest will become more and more like Mexico: extremely dangerous and totally corrupt. As I mentioned above, soon we will see assassinations and ambushes by shadowy groups that might be made up of cartel killers, or “off-duty” policemen, or federal agents, or a very dirty combination of them. Study the Reese case very carefully: it shows the future. Corrupt police shielded drug cartel smuggling routes in Luna County, New Mexico. Corrupt police were blackmailed by ideologically corrupt ATF and FBI agents into providing libelous testimony in order to railroad the Reese family. The false and fabricated case was put forward by corrupt leftist federal attorneys to corrupt leftist judges. Leftist reporters in the media turned a blind eye to the ideological corruption. Justice is effectively dead in New Mexico. What is waiting around the corner ahead of us is a fatally corrupt Southwest that is indistinguishable from the worst of Mexico. There is no turning back from that outcome that I can see.

In our previous issue, we took a look at Balkanization and secession. Where do you see America in another 10 or 20 years? What do the political structures and geographic boundaries look like?

There are many potential outcomes, one being a post-apocalyptic landscape resembling my short story “Alas, Brave New Babylon.” Unfortunately, I see almost every scenario resulting in attacks against the power grid, and the consequences will be hard to imagine if our electricity is cut for even a few weeks. If we somehow manage to avoid a grid- down scenario, I think that America will follow in the footsteps of the Soviet Union in terms of possessing a decrepit nuclear deterrent, with a collapsed economy that will not support superpower-level military operations either abroad or at home. If the troops cannot be paid in a currency of value, they will not follow orders. We may eventually devolve into “Argentina with nukes.”

Something like the scenario in my novel “Foreign Enemies and Traitors” is possible: a regional breakup, with Washington DC only in full control of a rump USA, mainly in the Northeast. The Southwest will resemble Mexico: corrupt to the marrow and far too dangerous for anyone to live a normal life. The Northwest and the South might do better, depending on how the collapse and breakup proceeds. On paper, the United States might still have 50 states, but I don’t think that Washington will be able to dictate terms to all of them. Federal taxes will not be collected, and the remaining federal forces will mainly be situated around Washington DC and the Northeast corridor, to protect the nominal national leadership.

But if at some point the power grid is taken down, our cities will explode, and all bets are off. If people don’t have time to read my long novels, I wish that they would read “Alas, Brave New Babylon,” “What I Saw at the Coup,” and the other short works on the Bracken Anthology. Links to the individual essays and stories are located on my website gratis. I hope this Q&A encourages people to read them. These are extremely dangerous times. Forewarned is forearmed.

MATTHEW BRACKEN is a former Navy SEAL (BUD/S Class 105), a Constitutionalist, and a self-described “freedomista”.  You can find more information about him and his books, which are highly recommended, at http://enemiesforeignanddomestic.com and Amazon.

Read the Original Article at Forward Observer

FBI Negotiates as Oregon Holdouts Demand Immunity

The four remaining militiamen occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon are negotiating with the FBI, and have said publicly that they will only surrender if they receive a guarantee that they will not be arrested.

“If Obama can release five terrorists, ISIS-supporting terrorists, for one treasonous prisoner, then of course any deal is possible,” one militiamen said in YouTube livestream broadcast from the wildlife refuge on Saturday, apparently referring to the swap of Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay that freed Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from five years of militant captivity in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2014.

Tensions in the standoff remain high four days after Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, a spokesman for the armed group that seized buildings at the refuge in early January, was killed in an operation that led to the arrests of occupation leader Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, and four others as they traveled on a nearby highway. The FBI asserts that Finicum reached for his gun during the incident, and released video footage of the encounter that shows Finicum fleeing police in a pickup truck, swerving into a snowbank to avoid a roadblock, and exiting his vehicle before being shot.

Ammon Bundy has issued messages through his attorney urging those remaining at the refuge to stand down, saying they would continue to fight through the courts.

In the Saturday livestream, titled “Response to Ammon Bundy,” an unidentified militiamen could be heard talking as the camera focused on a small campfire. He referenced Finicum’s death and said “the fight is going to keep going.”

“A lot of people feel like LaVoy — he can’t speak here now — but a lot of people feel like he was a man that was a coward or anything, and he stood his ground, and so let’s not let his death be in vain, let’s not let this event be trampled over,” the militiaman said, adding that the idea of the occupation was that “everybody was supposed to hold their ground.”

Read the Remainder at Vice News

Malheur, Oregon SITREP – 0400L 28 JAN 16

Finicum

Situation Report (SITREP) – 0400L 28 JAN 16

It’s been a very long 36 hours since yesterday’s events began unfolding. Avoidable tragedy struck Tuesday afternoon when LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed. Since then, there have been at least four different accounts of what happened. We’ve seen wild and inaccurate speculation about what’s going on at the Refuge, which has been contradictory to on the ground reporting.

In these times, we need to focus on discerning facts from opinions, and separate what’s more likely to be true from what’s less likely to be true through a structured process. What follows is my personal account of following the situation, including talks with sources on the ground and on conference calls with Sergeant Major Joseph Santoro (U.S.A., Ret.), Stewart Rhodes, State Representative Matthew Shea (R-WA), Jason Van Tatenhove, and others.

Here’s what we know.

– Just before 5:00 pm localon Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Oregon State Police (OSP) made a felony stop on two vehicles carrying Ammon Bundy and six other individuals headed to a community meeting in John Day, Oregon, in neighboring Grant County. During the stop, which occurred on federal land just inside the Malheur National Forest, law enforcement personnel fired shots, wounding Ryan Payne and killing LaVoy Finicum. Here’s a breakdown of the four known accounts.

  • Ammon Bundy allegedly called his wife to tell her that LaVoy Finicum was unarmed and had his hands up when shot and killed. Ammon received this account second-hand and was passing on what he was told. We know that the altercation with LaVoy occurred outside the line of sight of Ammon Bundy.
  • Victoria Sharpe was allegedly in LaVoy’s vehicle during the shooting, and she claims that around 120 rounds were fired during the altercation, and that LaVoy had his hands up while walking towards FBI and OSP officers. FBI and OSP officers, according to Victoria Sharpe’s account, shot Lavoy and continued to shoot him after he fell down. At one part of her account, Victoria says that LaVoy was shot three times after falling down, and at a second part, she claims that LaVoy was shot at least six times after falling down.
  • Mark McConnell’s account draws heavily on the alleged first-hand accounts of Shawna Cox and Ryan Payne. Mark’s statement claims that LaVoy drove through the felony stop further north up the road. According to Mark, Shawna Cox continues the story she related to him, saying that they drove towards the FBI-OSP road block, where LaVoy then attempted to drive around the road block. After the truck got stuck, LaVoy exited the vehicle and charged law enforcement personnel. Mark cites the stories of Shawna Cox and Ryan Payne that LaVoy was not on his knees and was not cooperative when he was killed.
  • Finally, according to a joint FBI-OSP statement published Wednesday morning, three shots were fired during the stop. It provides no additional information about the altercation.
  • (Analyst Comment: Each of the three eye witness accounts agree that LaVoy drove his truck past the felony stop, towards the road block. Each of the three eye witness accounts agree that LaVoy had his hands up in the air, and two claim that he was walking towards FBI and OSP personnel when shot and killed. From there, the eye witness accounts get very contradictory. The accounts of Shawna Cox and Ryan Payne, according to Mark McConnell, support the limited information provided by the FBI-OSP statement. The account of Victoria Sharpe is the outlier. Two things are sure for me: there was no “shoot out” as the media has reported. According to each of the eye witness statements above, no possibility exists that LaVoy Finicum fired at police. After surveying three weeks of his video statements about the potential for his death, and speaking with him in person a little over a week ago, I’m more inclined to believe that LaVoy was shot on his feet than on his knees. “I’m not going to end up in prison. I would rather die than be caged. And I’ve lived a good life,” he told reporters during the first week of the occupation. He went on record numerous times later saying, effectively, that he was going to walk away after the mission was accomplished or that he was going to die trying. If we’re to believe LaVoy’s conviction that he would have rather died than go to prison, then in the face of overwhelming odds that he would be arrested, we must accept the possibility that he died for the cause. If Shawna and Ryan’s accounts, as told by Mark McConnell are accurate, then he was walking towards police when he was shot. That increases the likelihood of a wrongful death scenario, and gives no credence to the claim that he was executed while on his knees. Additionally, we need to ask why non-lethal/less-lethal means weren’t used in order to subdue LaVoy, especially if his hands remained up.)

– After the felony stop, Sergeant Major Joseph Santoro (U.S.A., Ret.) began communicating with FBI contacts. A top priority for SGM Santoro, acting in coordination with Oath Keepers National, Stewart Rhodes, State Representative Matthew Shea (R-WA) from the Coalition of Western States (C.O.W.S.) and a Coalition representative at the Refuge, was to work with the FBI in order to give enough time for women and children at the Refuge to leave. He repeatedly expressed his concern that an FBI action on the compound would result in further loss of life, including the potential for harm to women and children. SGM Santoro convinced his FBI contacts to delay any action on the Refuge, while a C.O.W.S. representative at the Refuge worked to get the women and children packed up to leave. Through numerous phone calls and face to face coaxing, a majority of the occupiers agreed to leave. Additionally, a YouTube video posted by David Fry early Thursday morning confirms that conditions at the Refuge were ‘chaotic’ as occupiers packed up to leave as quickly as possible.

– According to sources at the Refuge, there weren’t enough vehicles to transport everyone who wanted to leave the Refuge. SGM Santoro relayed that to the FBI, and the FBI contacts instructed those without a vehicle to drive a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) vehicle parked at the Refuge into Burns and park it at a location where it would later be picked up by BLM officials.

– According to sources at the Refuge, Jason Patrick, who decided to stay, became angry that most occupiers were leaving, and refused to move a vehicle so that they could leave the Refuge Headquarters. Those leaving were forced to drive through private property in order get back to a highway, where they began their trip back into Burns, and then home.

– At approximately 0200L on the morning of 27 January, sources in contact with the FBI claimed that the remaining occupiers were given until 0400L to vacate, implying that action might be taken to remove them if they stayed past the deadline. At 0400L, no action was taken, and as of 0100L on Thursday, 28 January, no direct action has been taken at the Refuge.

– On Wednesday afternoon, Duane Ehmer, the cowboy who infamously rode his horse while hoisting an American flag, was arrested by the FBI.

– On Wednesday evening, negotiations with Jason Patrick were finally successful and he agreed to leave the refuge. According to sources familiar with the story, the FBI told Jason Patrick that he was free to leave, however, he would be arrested if he had an outstanding warrant. After walking seven miles out of the Refuge to the FBI checkpoint to be picked up, he was arrested by law enforcement at 1910L due to an outstanding warrant. (Analyst Comment: Jason Patrick was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. Being one of the more ardent protesters at the Refuge, the FBI likely considered him to be one of the top instigators, especially after he decided to stay as most others left.)

– A video posted to YouTube early Thursday morning indicates that five occupiers remain at the Refuge. In the video, David Fry says they’re refusing to leave because one individual has an outstanding warrant and will be arrested. They told their FBI negotiator that they would all leave if his warrant is revoked. No further information is available.

– There are efforts underway to organize large gatherings in Salem, Oregon to protest the killing of LaVoy Finicum in front of the governor’s office and another building. There’s also a protest being scheduled in Eugene.

Read the Original Article at Forward Observer

 

Daughter of Murdered Oregon Protester Robert “Lavoy” Finicum Speaks Out

Robert-LaVoy-Finicum-unarmed-when-federal-agents-killed-him

The FBI was “hellbent on war.”

Ammon Bundy, the leader of a group of protesters occupying federal land in eastern Oregon, was taken into custody Tuesday night and the group’s spokesman, Robert “Layoy” Finicum was shot dead by law enforcement.

One of Finicum’s daughter’s claims the circumstances surrounding her father’s death make those involved guilty of murder.

The FBI and Oregon State Police arrested Ammon Bundy, 40, his brother Ryan, 43, Brian Cavalier, 44, Shawna Cox, 59, and Ryan Payne, 32, at around 4:25 p.m. local time on U.S. Highway 395, according to Fox News. The group was reportedly traveling to the town of John Day, approximately 70 miles from where their protest is taking place in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, when they were pulled over.

Three others who participated in the the standoff with the federal government over land use were also arrested: Joseph O’Shaughnessy, 45, and Peter Santilli, 50, were arrested in the nearby town of Burns, Ore., and Jon Ritzheimer, 32, turned himself in to the Peoria, Arizona, police department.

The FBI states that all eight men face federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

Fox News reports it is not clear what the circumstances were regarding the arrest of Bundy’s group, which resulted in shots being fired and the death of Finicum. The protest group wrote on its Facebook page:

“Levoy Finicum was Shot and murdered in Cold blood today in Burns Oregon by the FBI and State Law enforcement. He had his hands up and was shot 3 Times. This Man Is one of the best Patriots, Husband, Father, Grandfather, friend and Neighbor, that this world will ever know. Spread this far and wide!”

A Facebook account reportedly operated by one of Finicum’s 11 children, Thara Tenney, also said Finicum was cooperating, according to Fox.

“I want the world to know how my father was murdered today,” Tenney’s post said. “His hands were in the air and he was shot in the face by the American authorities. Ammon Bundy reported there are six witnesses to this evil.”

With the group’s leaders in custody, and one dead, it’s unknown whether the occupation will continue to play out over the next hours and days.

Read the Original Article at Western Journalism