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Drug Violence

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WORLD
October 23, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MONTERREY, Mexico - It is one of those small, hopeful signs that this traumatized city may be awakening from the nightmare of Mexico's drug wars: Armando Alanis once again feels safe enough to stop off for a late-night nosh at Tacos Los Quiques, a beloved sidewalk food cart. "We couldn't have done this two years ago," Alanis, a 44-year-old poet, said recently as he chowed down on tacos gringas in the dim glow of inner-city streetlights. "It would be wrong not to recognize what we have regained.
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WORLD
February 17, 2014 | By Tracy Wilkinson and Kathleen Hennessey
MEXICO CITY - Twenty years after their countries signed a landmark regional trade agreement, the presidents of the United States, Mexico and Canada will meet this week to attempt to strengthen the economic ties envisioned in that pact, correct the omissions and find ways to expand. Trade and commerce are expected to dominate the agenda when President Obama meets with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts - President Enrique Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Stephen Harper - in the Mexican city of Toluca, just west of Mexico City, on Wednesday.
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WORLD
May 27, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
CULIACAN, Mexico - The cartel henchman nicknamed "El Loco" was reported behind the latest atrocity in Mexico's ever-more-depraved drug war: mutilating 49 people and piling their bodies - heads, hands and feet missing - by the side of a road leading to the U.S. border. Authorities say he acted this month on orders from the top commanders of the brutal Zeta paramilitary force, who wanted to send a message to the long-dominant Sinaloa cartel and its allies, in a new phase of a conflict that has claimed more than 50,000 lives in less than six years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2013 | By Cindy Chang and Kate Linthicum
He was 10 when the gangsters flung rocks through the windows, and 12 when they beat him black and blue. At 15, a gang member shot at him while he was shopping at a grocery store - and killed his cousin instead. At 17, he left Honduras for the United States. He applied for political asylum, telling a judge that if he returned home, the gang that had slain his father would kill him, too. Now 20, working as a gardener and living with his mother and siblings in Los Angeles, the man is one of a growing number of Central Americans asking for asylum.
WORLD
March 6, 2009 | Ken Ellingwood
Buried under two months of winter in Buffalo, N.Y., Kim Kramer could take no more. "I came home and said, 'I've got to get out of here,' " said Kramer, a 44-year-old teacher. Two weeks later, she was awash in sunshine here on Mexico's Caribbean coast, sipping a midday Hurricane and looking pleasantly thawed. Before Kramer got on the plane to Cancun, though, she made sure to check: Was it dangerous to go there?
WORLD
May 8, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
Bearing white balloons and fake bloodstains, tens of thousands of demonstrators crowded Mexico City's historic downtown Sunday to call for an end to the country's unrelenting drug violence. The primary target of the protest was President Felipe Calderon, who has ruled during a period of extraordinary bloodshed. More than 34,000 people have been killed since Calderon declared an all-out assault on drug cartels after taking office four and a half years ago. Demonstrators, holding placards saying "No more blood!"
WORLD
January 14, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
The black-and-white photos still hang in the faded Hotel Los Flamingos. Over there is the muscled star of "Tarzan," Johnny Weissmuller, who owned the hotel for a time during Acapulco's heyday. There's Maureen O'Sullivan. Tyrone Power. Errol Flynn. Fred MacMurray. They all came, mixed booze in a coconut ? called it a Coco Loco. When mortals gazed at Acapulco, they saw romance itself smiling back. So they came too. As did a fortress of high-rise hotels that packed the beach and diminished the very thing everyone was chasing.
WORLD
April 21, 2011 | By Tracy Wilkinson and Cecilia Sanchez, Los Angeles Times
The ritual exodus from Mexico City for Easter holidays usually launches around Palm Sunday, then shifts into full gear by right about now. This congested capital of about 20 million people virtually empties out, blissfully so for those who remain. But this year there have been signs that Mexicans were reconsidering their holiday travel patterns. And that bodes ill for public faith in the government's efforts to make the country safe. With a vicious war against drug cartels claiming hundreds of lives a month, and with that violence moving into traditional tourist areas such as legendary coastal enclave Acapulco, some Mexico City residents have decided it's better to forgo the annual spring trip and stay at home.
WORLD
April 2, 2012 | By Kathleen B. Hennessey and Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - President Obama hosted the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Monday in a White House summit aimed at boosting the region's growing economic ties, but the scourge of drug violence in Mexico muddled the message and highlighted friction between the neighbors. Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and the three announced an initiative to cut regulations that constrict trade across the northern and southern borders. But Mexico's drug war, which has killed tens of thousands of people, dominated a Rose Garden news conference.
WORLD
May 6, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
Public dismay over Mexico's drug violence mixed with election-season jockeying have put President Felipe Calderon on the defensive amid finger-pointing over the carnage. Following the slaying of a poet's son and discoveries of hundreds of bodies in mass graves in northern Mexico, critics have stepped up charges that the conservative Calderon is the author of a failed anti-crime strategy. A massive demonstration to protest the country's rampant violence is planned Sunday in Mexico City.
WORLD
December 14, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY -- Eleven people were found slain Saturday  in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, in a rural area riven by political and agrarian disputes, though the motive for the killings was not immediately clear. The bodies were discovered in the morning in the municipality of Santiago Juxtlahuaca, on the western side of the state, about a six-hour drive southeast of Mexico City. Ten burned bodies were found in a Chevrolet Suburban, and the 11th was found a few yards away with a gunshot wound in the head.
WORLD
November 22, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - No one ever said it was easy being a mayor in Mexico, where corruption is as common as cacti, politics is a Machiavellian game of three-dimensional chess and drug cartels are often more powerful than local governments. But in recent days, Mexicans have seen the depth of the challenge facing the men and women charged with running the 2,438 municipios , roughly the equivalent of U.S. counties, that are supposed to be a building block of governance here. The mayor of Santa Ana Maya, a rural municipality in Michoacan state, was killed this month after complaining that cartel members were regularly demanding a chunk of the federal money meant for public works projects in his area, a practice he said was widespread.
NATIONAL
November 13, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON -- A top leader in the Mexican drug trade, who at his peak oversaw the distribution of eight tons of cocaine a month, has been captured by authorities in Panama and secretly extradited to the U.S., law enforcement officials said Wednesday. The cocaine trafficking of 64-year-old Juan Juarez Orosco, known as “El Abuelo,” or “the Grandfather,” allegedly began two decades ago -- long before the cartel wars exploded in recent years. Considered one of the most-sought-after drug lords in the Western Hemisphere, he is accused of using smuggling routes from Central America along the Atlantic coastline of Mexico and then north into the United States, officials said.
WORLD
October 23, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON -- International inspectors expect to destroy Syria's ability to produce new chemical weapons by Nov. 1, the first major deadline in the United Nations-ordered disarmament of the country's entire chemical arsenal, officials said Wednesday. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the watchdog group overseeing the disarmament effort, said equipment used to produce or mix toxic gases and nerve agents has been destroyed at almost all of the declared facilities inside Syria.
WORLD
October 23, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MONTERREY, Mexico - It is one of those small, hopeful signs that this traumatized city may be awakening from the nightmare of Mexico's drug wars: Armando Alanis once again feels safe enough to stop off for a late-night nosh at Tacos Los Quiques, a beloved sidewalk food cart. "We couldn't have done this two years ago," Alanis, a 44-year-old poet, said recently as he chowed down on tacos gringas in the dim glow of inner-city streetlights. "It would be wrong not to recognize what we have regained.
WORLD
October 4, 2013 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY -- At least 12 people were killed and many more injured Friday morning when a passenger bus overturned on a highway west of the Mexican capital, according to government and media reports. The accident occurred on a highway linking the Mexico City suburb of Naucalpan with the city of Toluca, according to a statement released by the Naucalpan municipal government. The news service Milenio reported that the driver lost control of the bus at around 7 a.m., causing it to overturn and plunge into a ravine.
WORLD
March 24, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
Pope Benedict XVI traveled to Mexico on Friday, urging this nation's Catholics to resist the temptations of violent drug traffickers and calling for change in Cuba. This is Benedict's first voyage to the Spanish-speaking Americas; after three days in Mexico, he continues to Cuba, the first papal visit to the island nation since John Paul II's historic trip to Havana in 1998. Landing on a sun-drenched afternoon in Mexico's conservative and traditionally Catholic midsection, Benedict was greeted by President Felipe Calderon.
WORLD
March 27, 2009 | Ken Ellingwood
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, ending a two-day visit to Mexico that centered heavily on the drug war, toured a state-of-the-art police center and condemned drug violence in a meeting with university students Thursday. "This situation is intolerable for honest, law-abiding citizens of Mexico, my country or of anywhere people of conscience live," Clinton told the students in Monterrey, a business hub 120 miles south of the U.S. border.
WORLD
September 2, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
SAN CRISTOBAL, Mexico - Former President Vicente Fox grew up on a farm here in rural Guanajuato, one of Mexico's most conservative states. He is the kind of guy who wears big belt buckles, collects hand-tooled saddles and worships the free market. Ask him about his experience with the drug culture and the big man with the cowboy-movie mustache exhibits a kind of straight-laced pique: Never smoked pot, he says. Hardly knew anyone who did. But Fox has always fancied himself a policy maverick.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Long before Mexico descended into its "drug war," the phrase itself was invented in another country. In the 1980s the underground industry that processed coca into cocaine and shipped it northward to U.S. consumers transformed Colombian society. It created powerful drug barons who became public villains and icons, and it saw a country and its public institutions nearly consumed by a culture of violence. Juan Gabriel Vásquez's deeply affecting and closely observed new novel takes up the psychic aftermath of that era, as residents of Colombia's capital, Bogota, struggle to make sense of the disorder and dysfunction that's enveloped their daily lives.
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