CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 |
California has emerged as the major gateway for methamphetamine into the country, with Mexican organized crime groups smuggling an estimated 70% of the U.S. supply through state border crossings, according to a report released Thursday by state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. The 98-page report on trends in transnational organized crime also cites maritime smuggling, money laundering and criminal alliances between Mexican drug cartels and Southern California gangs as growing public safety threats.
March 10, 2014 |
MEXICO CITY - If nothing else, the slaying of cartel boss Nazario Moreno Gonzalez by Mexican soldiers may have burst the bubble of mysticism that had made him one of the stranger figures to emerge in the country's drug war. Moreno, whose nicknames included "El Mas Loco" ("The Craziest"), was a founder of Michoacan state's La Familia drug cartel and its offshoot, the Knights Templar - groups that have moved massive amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs north to the United States.
March 9, 2014 |
MEXICO CITY -- You only die twice -- or so it seemed for Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, leader of Mexico's notorious Knights Templar drug cartel. In December 2010, Mexican officials believed that they had killed Moreno, known alternately as "El Chayo" and "El Mas Loco" ("The Craziest"), in a shootout in the troubled state of Michoacan. His body was not recovered, however, and m any locals doubted the story. Since then, western Mexico has been rife with rumors that the charismatic leader had been seen.
March 2, 2014 |
MEXICO CITY - With the arrest of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the leadership of Mexico's largest and most sophisticated illegal drug operation has probably transferred to Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, a 66-year-old former farmer with a knack for business - and maintaining a low profile. But Zambada is likely to discover, much as Guzman did, that inheriting the throne of top capo comes with a series of complications worthy of a Shakespearean king. Like his predecessor, Zambada is a country boy made good who hails from the badlands of Sinaloa, the traditional heart of Mexican drug-smuggling culture.
February 24, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - As Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman sits locked in the basement of a Mexican prison, the U.S. Department of Justice is debating whether to seek the drug lord's extradition to face prosecution in one of several American communities that have indicted the violent Sinaloa cartel on charges of pushing millions of dollars of heroin and cocaine. Federal prosecutors in at least four U.S. cities would like to bring the cartel leader to trial. In Chicago, Guzman and 10 others have been indicted by a federal grand jury in the most sweeping case, accusing the cartel of shipping tons of drugs and threatening to behead the agent in charge of the local Drug Enforcement Administration office.
February 24, 2014 |
BADIRAGUATO, Mexico - Now that the Mexican government has nabbed the country's most-wanted drug lord, Fernando Antonio Robles is worried about the future. Robles is a 16-year-old bricklayer's apprentice in the wild drug-producing municipality where Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman grew up. In this hardscrabble patch of mountainous Sinaloa state, more than 74% of the people live in poverty. And yet the tiny county seat is full of fine new, freshly painted houses. Robles knows that many of them were built by El Chapo's men. "A lot of people are going to be unemployed," Robles said while loitering with a friend on the handsome town square, "because a lot of people worked for him. " The arrest of Guzman on Saturday in the resort city of Mazatlan, a few hours' drive and a world away from Badiraguato, was greeted with delight by the Mexican government.