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June 2, 2012 | Steve Lopez
Illegal drugs by the tons are smuggled into California each year by sea, by land and by air. Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin are either produced in or pass through Mexico, where 50,000 people have been killed in the last six years in an escalating war among cartels. Some of the victims have been beheaded, mutilated or left hanging from bridges, not necessarily because of their involvement in the trade, but as a diabolical demonstration that the drug lords will stop at nothing to dominate the market.
January 14, 2005 | Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer
Once Mexico's deadliest drug trafficker, the weakened Arellano Felix cartel of Tijuana has merged with another gang in a desperate bid for survival, the country's narcotics prosecutor said Thursday. Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, deputy attorney general for organized crime, said recent intelligence showed that the Tijuana cartel had merged with the so-called Gulf cartel, led by Osiel Cardenas, to fend off usurpers.
November 14, 2011 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
The manner in which drug traffickers have undermined Mexico's democracy was illustrated Sunday in Michoacan, home state of President Felipe Calderon and site of violent local elections. Dozens of candidates dropped out of their races because of threats from drug-trafficking cartels. A mayor was assassinated a week before the vote as he campaigned on behalf of Calderon's sister, who is running for governor. Luisa Maria Calderon led most polls going into Sunday's vote, and her win could serve as a morale boost for her brother's conservative National Action Party, or PAN, ahead of next year's presidential election.
May 8, 2011 | By Rubén Martínez
Last year I visited a friend of mine, journalist Raúl Silva, in a working-class neighborhood of Cuernavaca. A popular destination for tourists and students of Spanish, the city, about 60 miles south of the Mexican capital, was on edge. Only a few weeks before, a drug gang had audaciously displayed its power, issuing a curfew one Friday night, warning that anyone out after 8 p.m. might be "mistaken" as an enemy and killed. A terrified public huddled indoors, and although no serious violence occurred, the incident left a deep scar.
August 14, 2010
More than 28,000 people have died in Mexican President Felipe Calderon's nearly four-year war against drug cartels. The government of Mexico says a majority of those killed were traffickers, dealers and their associates, including kingpins Arturo Beltran Leyva in 2009 and Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel Villarreal last month. According to the U.S. State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy report issued in March, removing such important cartel leaders has "narrowed the operating space of criminal gangs, who are now fighting among themselves for diminishing territory and profits.
July 10, 1990 | From Reuters
OPEC appears to be edging toward a price and production accord that may begin to erase a glut that has slashed world oil prices by a third this year. Key ministers report progress in strategy sessions ahead of a conference of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Geneva on July 25. They say the goal is a pact to restore average spot prices to OPEC's declared target of $18 per barrel. Benchmark prices in Europe are around $14, down from $21 at the start of the year.
The top Baja California federal prosecutor has been replaced amid a string of unsolved killings of senior law enforcement officials--a bloody barrage for which Tijuana's notorious drug lords are responsible, federal authorities said Tuesday. A top Mexican official said his government is outraged by two recent slayings on its doorstep in Mexico City and views them as a direct challenge by the Arellano Felix brothers, the reputed leaders of the Tijuana cartel.
When cocaine boss Amado Carrillo Fuentes died in July 1997 during plastic surgery to disguise his identity, some predicted the collapse of his Juarez cartel, one of the hemisphere's premier drug-smuggling gangs. But the four suspected burial sites of Juarez cartel victims discovered this week near the border city of the same name provide gruesome evidence that Mexico's major drug gangs remain powerful and vicious threats, both to Mexico and the United States. The key Mexican drug cartels, U.S.
March 15, 2003 | Marla Dickerson, Times Staff Writer
Soldiers from the Mexican military seized reputed narcotics kingpin Osiel Cardenas in a wild shootout near the Texas border Friday, striking a blow at one of this nation's most brazen drug cartels. At least three soldiers were injured in the firefight that raged for more than an hour on the streets of Matamoros, a gritty industrial city across the border from Brownsville, Texas.
October 9, 2008 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
Federal authorities Wednesday announced indictments against the alleged leaders of six drug distribution rings charged with transporting cocaine and methamphetamine for one of Mexico's largest drug cartels. Thirty-five people face smuggling and conspiracy charges in what authorities described as a trafficking network based in the Imperial Valley. About $20 million in drugs and cash were seized during the 18-month investigation, according to federal prosecutors.
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