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Drug Cartels

January 28, 2011 | By Nicholas Riccardi and Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
A 59-year-old American missionary was shot in the head and killed in northern Mexico, possibly because one of the local drug cartels coveted her heavy-duty pickup truck, authorities said Thursday. Nancy Davis' husband, Sam, drove the bullet-riddled blue 2008 Chevrolet against traffic to the border Wednesday afternoon. He crossed the bridge into Pharr, Texas, where he told authorities that the couple had been ambushed about 70 miles south of the border on a Mexican highway by gunmen in a black pickup, according to the Pharr Police Department.
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.
May 13, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A severed head, accompanied by a defiant note from organized crime gangs and two hand grenades, was found outside a military barracks in Veracruz state. The box also held a message saying gangs would continue operating despite the presence of troops. The victim was a 37-year-old auto mechanic kidnapped four days earlier. President Felipe Calderon has sent more than 24,000 soldiers and federal police to areas ravaged by violence, much of which is attributed to powerful drug cartels.
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.
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.
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.
July 21, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Soldiers in Tijuana have arrested a woman accused of laundering billions of dollars in drug profits for one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels, prosecutors said. Ivonne Soto Vega, described by authorities as the chief money launderer and top financier for the ruthless Arellano Felix drug smuggling organization, was arrested Wednesday night, according to a statement released by federal prosecutors.
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