January 1, 2012 |
With a title that translates as the punning "Miss Bullet," the Mexican film "Miss Bala" is based in part on the real-life story of a beauty pageant winner who was arrested alongside a drug gang and paraded before the media amid accusations of corruption behind her crown. It aims to not only be a provocative, thoughtful action film for the art house, looking at the overwhelming problems of the drug-trafficking epidemic in Mexico, but "Miss Bala" also marks an ambitiously bold step forward for director Gerardo Naranjo.
November 27, 2011 |
The U.S. government has blacklisted more Mexican individuals and companies this year than any other single country or group — and that includes North Korea, Iran, Syria and Al Qaeda. Three hundred Mexicans and 180 Mexican companies are on the so-called kingpin designation list, the Treasury Department's roster of people and entities suspected of laundering money for drug traffickers or working for them in other capacities. U.S. banks, companies and people are barred from doing business with them.
November 14, 2011 |
President Felipe Calderon's sister appears to have lost her bid for governor of Michoacan during violent state elections, and she alleged Monday that drug traffickers helped tip the race in favor of one of her opponents. Preliminary results gave the lead in the race for governor of the western state to Fausto Vallejo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. "The intervention by organized crime during the entire election process and especially yesterday is alarming, not just for Michoacan but for the entire country," Luisa Maria Calderon said in a radio interview a day after Sunday's vote.
November 14, 2011 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2011 |
A federal appeals court panel struck the conviction of a drug runner Tuesday because a prosecutor had suggested to a San Diego jury that an acquittal would "send a memo to all drug traffickers" that they could get away with smuggling if they claimed they were being threatened by Mexican cartels. The three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the conviction of Arturo Sanchez was the result of "improper argument" designed to stir jurors' passions, fears and vulnerabilities.
October 14, 2011 |
A high-ranking member of the Zetas crime group suspected of widespread drug trafficking has been arrested, Mexican officials said Thursday. Carlos Oliva Castillo, known as "Frog," was captured Wednesday in the northern city of Saltillo, where he allegedly ran drug-trafficking operations spanning several states, said Col. Ricardo Trevilla, spokesman for the armed forces. Gunmen sought to rescue Oliva by trying to distract soldiers with gunfire around the city, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2011 |
Authorities arrested 10 members of the Vagos motorcycle gang suspected of drug trafficking and a rash of violence during a series of raids early Thursday across Southern California, a crackdown that comes less than two weeks after a Vagos member allegedly killed a rival Hells Angels member at a Nevada casino. The arrests were the result of an 18-month investigation led by state investigators into one of the most "violent criminal" motorcycle gangs in the nation, authorities said.
September 12, 2011 |
Based on the compelling life story of international drug trafficker Howard Marks, "Mr. Nice" stars an understated Rhys Ifans as the titular kingpin. Though the film takes a while to cast its spell, writer-director-cinematographer Bernard Rose's close observation of Marks and those around him becomes increasingly involving and allows Rose to comment on the widespread failure of the war on drugs. It would seem that Marks was a born con man. A superlative student, he left behind his small-town Wales childhood to attend Oxford, where he quickly was caught up in the sex-and-drugs culture of the '60s.
September 11, 2011 |
Violence-weary Guatemalan voters went to the polls Sunday to pick a new president, with a former general, who vowed to get tough on crime, taking the early lead. Sporadic bloodshed, including a shooting that left a police officer dead, was reported as voters elected a president and vice president, representatives of Congress and hundreds of mayors and municipal council members. Otto Perez Molina, promising a mano duro , or firm hand, against crime, had led nine other candidates in preelection polls.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2011 |
Sixty reputed members of an Iraqi drug-trafficking organization in El Cajon have been arrested and authorities seized more than $630,000 in cash, 3,500 pounds of marijuana, dozens of high-powered firearms and several explosive devices, law enforcement officials said Thursday. The organization was run out of a social club and has suspected links to the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico and an Iraqi organized crime syndicate in Detroit, according to law enforcement officials. The social club, located on East Main Street, has been a "hub of criminal activity conducted by Iraqi organized crime," El Cajon police Chief Pat Sprecco said.