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Drug Cartels

December 18, 2010 | By Ken Ellingwood and Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
The curly-haired suspect in the sweatshirt faced the flash of news cameras, looking impossibly small. "When did you start to kill?" he was asked. "How much did you earn?" "How many did you execute?" He said he began killing at age 11. A drug cartel paid him $200 a week. He'd killed four people. "How?" came the final question. "I cut their throats," he replied. Then masked Mexican soldiers hustled him off, the way they do other drug suspects. The detainee's name was Edgar Jimenez Lugo, but everyone knew him as Ponchi.
March 25, 2009 | Josh Meyer
The Obama administration said Tuesday it is speeding hundreds of federal agents and intelligence analysts to the Mexican border, along with specialized technology, as part of an ambitious new plan to attack the powerful drug cartels and prevent violence from spilling into the United States. The initiative represents the most determined U.S.
January 25, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
During a one-day trip south of the border, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday lauded Mexico for battling drug cartels she once compared to an insurgency. Clinton said President Felipe Calderon has been "courageous" in shouldering his share of the two nations' battle against cross-border criminal networks. "This is very hard, and what President Calderon has done is absolutely necessary," Clinton said after meeting with Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa in Guanajuato, a colonial-era mining city.
December 12, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Mexico's new government announced that it was sending more than 6,500 soldiers, marines and federal police to the western state of Michoacan to crack down on execution-style killings and beheadings that have left hundreds dead. The operation is the first major offensive against drug gangs by President Felipe Calderon, who was sworn in Dec. 1 after narrowly winning election on a law and order platform.
March 5, 2012
War without end Re " A drug war success story? ," Opinion, Feb. 29 William C. Rempel's Op-Ed article on the 1989 cocaine bust in Sylmar that ultimately strengthened the Mexican drug cartels illustrates the folly of the continuing war on drugs. This war is an arms race in which the opponent has no morals and no qualms about a scorched-earth strategy. Increasingly, the casualties are innocent people and entire economic sectors, such as Mexican tourism and trips by charitable organizations to the country.
August 4, 2010 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Wednesday delivered an uncommonly blunt and dispiriting assessment of the broad sway held by violent drug traffickers throughout the besieged country. From the "most modest little towns" to major cities, Calderon said, traffickers attack, intimidate and blackmail Mexican citizens as part of an illegal business that goes far beyond the simple transport of narcotics. "Their business is no longer just the traffic of drugs. Their business is to dominate everyone else," Calderon said.
September 11, 2010 | times staff reports
El Salvador's president, Mauricio Funes, the country's first leftist leader since the end of its civil war in 1992, finds himself preoccupied with a deepening struggle against criminal gangs and international drug cartels. Since winning office in 2009, Funes has deployed the army to back up police, who are trying to curb a drug-fueled homicide rate that claims about 12 victims a day. On Thursday, he signed a controversial law criminalizing gang membership. The gangs responded by shutting down nationwide public transportation with the threat of violence.
October 31, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Mexican drug cartels, attracted by the state's rich soil and remote forests, grew nearly three-quarters of the pot seized in California this fall, state officials announced Tuesday. That marks a dangerous shift toward large and sophisticated growing operations, said Sonya Barna, commander of the Department of Justice's Campaign Against Marijuana Production. "It used to be an industry controlled by hippies with small gardens," Barna said.
September 25, 2010 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
Car bombs. Political assassinations. Battlefield-style skirmishes between soldiers and heavily armed adversaries. Across big stretches of Mexico, deepening drug-war mayhem is challenging the authority of the state and the underpinnings of democracy. Powerful cartels in effect hold entire regions under their thumb. They extort money from businesses, meddle in politics and kill with an impunity that mocks the government's ability to impose law and order. The slaying of a gubernatorial candidate near the Texas border this year was the most stunning example of how the narco-traffickers warp Mexican politics.
June 19, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An accused leader of one of Mexico's most notorious drug cartels pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of selling cocaine in a San Diego motel. Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, one of seven brothers allegedly behind the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel, admitted selling about half a pound of cocaine to an undercover police officer in 1980. He faces up to 15 years in prison, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Laura Duffy.
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