November 17, 2013 |
APATZINGAN, Mexico - In this city in western Mexico, sympathy runs strong for the Knights Templar, a cult-like drug cartel that has used extortion and intimidation to control much of the local economy and undermine government. A few miles up the road, however, amid the lime groves and avocado fields of Michoacan state, residents have taken up weapons to run the Knights Templar out of their towns. They call themselves "self-defense" squads, their territory "liberated. " For the moment, the two well-armed camps are being kept apart by a stepped-up but tenuous federal military deployment.
November 7, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - The city of Lazaro Cardenas is a scrappy Mexican success story. The once-obscure industrial port, between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, has grown significantly over the last decade, using cheap domestic dock labor and a direct railroad connection to Texas to attract international cargo ships that might have otherwise gone to the Port of Los Angeles. But it also has earned a darker reputation. Precursor chemicals for methamphetamine are widely known to be smuggled in to Lazaro Cardenas in multi-ton batches on ships arriving from Asia: One typical bust in December 2011 netted 1,600 barrels that had originated in Shanghai.
October 19, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY -- Gunmen dressed as clowns burst into a children's party and shot to death the eldest brother of one of Mexico's erstwhile largest and feared drug-trafficking families, Mexican officials and press said Saturday. Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was killed in the Baja California city of Cabo San Lucas while attending the party at a local hotel on Friday, the reports said. Arellano Felix was the oldest of seven brothers who ran the Tijuana drug cartel that once dominated that border city.
October 9, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - Seven people were killed in a shootout between police and suspected members of “an organized criminal group” in Tepatitlan, a city of 136,000 residents northeast of Guadalajara, Mexico, officials in the state of Jalisco said Wednesday. Three police officers were killed and four were injured in the shootout Tuesday night, according to a statement released the next day. Four of the suspects also died, and a fifth was reportedly arrested. State investigators told the Guadalajara newspaper El Informador that the civilians involved in the shootout were members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG. State officials said that a group of local police surprised the men, who were “consuming drugs in a public street.” Mayor Jorge Eduardo Gonzalez Arana told local media that the confrontation began after a neighbor called and complained about four people shooting their weapons in the air. [Link in Spanish]
October 4, 2013 |
After 10 years of death-dealing, scorched-earth cartel warfare and twice the total body count of U.S. forces in Vietnam, it's high time an American audience found out just what is happening down south of the Rio Grande. No single recent work on the subject peers more deeply than Anabel Hernández's "Narcoland," an investigative magnum opus by a Mexican journalist driven by purpose verging on despair. Empirically devastating, Hernández's book delves into the rusty filing cabinets of cold cases, shelved for making the people in power uncomfortable.
September 27, 2013 |
An Army officer with more than 20 years in uniform has been indicted in New York, accused of acting as a contract killer and the leader of a band of mercenaries who provided security for international drug cartels, officials said Friday. Joseph Manuel Hunter, 48, whose nickname was Rambo, and four of his marksmen were arrested this week as part of a long-running undercover operation spanning several continents, federal prosecutors said....