TORONTO – A new book detailing the links between Mexico’s drug cartels and Canada’s technology-savvy, diverse and widespread organized crime group known as “Wolfpack” was released on Tuesday.
In “The Wolfpack,” writers Luis Horacio Najera and Peter Edwards use their decades of experience writing about organized crime, both in Canada and Mexico, to detail how organized crime works in Canada after a Millennial gangster group sought to fill the void left by the death of Montreal godfather Vito Rizzuto.
The Wolfpack, made up of an ethnically diverse and geographically remote mishmash of Canadian underground criminals, has strived to bring a steady supply of cocaine from El Chapo Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel to Canada via the ports and skies of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
“They are linked by the Internet, not by geography,” said Edwards, describing the Wolfpack in an interview with CTVNews.ca Tuesday. “Some are in Vancouver, some are in Montreal, some are in Toronto and it doesn’t really matter – they can move around.”
Edwards said this greatly sets them apart from the organized criminal groups he wrote decades ago that operated in a “geographic center.”
“You could say, ‘this group is from Woodbridge, these groups from Simcoe Street and Oshawa,” he said. “With the Wolfpack, there is no room, there is only a shared feeling or a need for the Internet.”
Najera said in an interview with CTVNews.ca that the internet has changed everything when it comes to organized crime.
“The technology, the Internet, is changing a lot of the dynamics of power, relationships, contacts and businesses, both legal and illegal… Internet has become a platform where they do not necessarily always have to be physically. together, ”he said. “Do you remember the good old days or the movies when the Mafiosi would meet in a dark place, or in a lousy warehouse, and they would sit and discuss business?” Those days are pretty much over now.
The book details how much technology played a role in the operation of the Wolfpack, with pages of ciphertext included showing how the members planned to move tons of cocaine, hinted at girlfriend issues and planned assassinations.
The cast of Canadian characters includes the leader of the Wolfpack, Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil, Hells Angel Larry Amero, the hitman Dean Michael Wiwchar, the gangsters John Raposo and Martino Caputo, as well as other members of the Red Scorpions, the Hells Angels and the United States. Gang of nations and factions of Italian, Irish and Portuguese family crime syndicates.
The authors were able to access these texts and a myriad of other intricate details thanks to one of the criminals, Niagara cocaine baron and Wolfpack member Nick Nero, who left a Blackberry in the air. free with a sticky note listing his encrypted username and password – something that was quickly picked up by police when he was arrested in 2013.
“Nero,” as it is mentioned in the book, has the dubious honor of being described as “stupid as a bag of hair,” a title the authors say cannot be extended to Mexican counterparts in the Wolfpack cartel. .
“The level of sophistication of the cartels surprised me,” said Edwards. “They’re not drug addicts, they’re not stupid guys, they’re smart people who know what they’re doing… the pandemic didn’t seem to hurt them at all.”
Mexico has been plagued by cartel violence for decades, and the book details the graphic violence that has become too regular in the headlines.
Occasionally a Canadian is swept up, like the Montreal police officer who was off duty on vacation in 2011, who was beaten so badly for taking pictures of another police officer exchanging courtesies with the Hells Angels and other gang members that he had to undergo major surgery.
The Wolfpack book reveals the officer was near a notorious Cancun hangout for gang members around the world, and gives a more nuanced idea of how organized crime in Canada is closely linked to the Mexican underworld .
The authors said they hope their book describes how widespread the illegal drug trade is in Canada, how authorities need to move beyond busts, and how the drug and addiction narrative needs to change.
“It’s not just the Wolfpack as a group, it’s them as a process,” said Edwards. “Even when the Wolfpack is long forgotten, what they have done is show the new way to move drugs.”
“You have to look at where the money is going, how much is invested here, how much is going into real estate, how much is going into other things, I mean, this is the next phase,” he continued.
Najera echoed this sentiment.
“You have to follow the money and also rethink the way the government, but also … society, perceives the use and abuse of illegal drugs … it is a public health problem and the rhetoric has to change,” he said. declared Najera.
And for those who believe that the violence in Mexico could not make it to Canada, Najera, who dedicated the book to 12 fellow journalists who were murdered or lost their lives writing about the cartels, launched a dark warning.
“Don’t underestimate the power of criminal organizations,” Najera said of the cartels and their Canadian counterparts. “Sometimes you think, ‘These guys are killing each other in Mexico, we’re safe here.’
“No… they have tentacles all over the world and they have muscles that if necessary they will flex,” he continued. “The consequences are going to be terrible.
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