April 16, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - Operation Cleanup was a showcase effort to stamp out corruption within Mexico's elite organized-crime bureau. Twenty-five top law-enforcement officials were arrested in the weeks after the operation was launched in 2008, most accused of acting as highly paid moles for a leading drug cartel, the very villains the officials were supposed to be chasing. Today, the cases against them are a shambles, yet another example of Mexico's systemic corruption and a weak judiciary unable to fix it. The operation is also the most high-profile prosecution among the many that fell apart under the government of President Felipe Calderon, which ended nearly five months ago. This week, a federal judge freed the highest-ranking of those ensnared by Operation Cleanup.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2012 |
A former Mexican liaison officer who worked closely with U.S. law enforcement was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to passing on sensitive information to organized crime members in Tijuana, federal authorities said. Jesus Quiñonez Marquez, 51, the former top liaison official for the Baja California attorney general's office, was arrested in 2010 as part of a wide-ranging investigation targeting the remnants of the Arellano Felix drug cartel. Quiñonez, in his plea agreement, admitted that he provided information to help crime bosses avoid arrest in a double homicide case in Tijuana.
July 19, 2012 |
MOSCOW - A senior Muslim cleric was killed and another seriously injured in what appeared to be coordinated attacks Thursday in centralRussia's Tatarstan republic. Valiulla Yakupov, the Islamic chief ideologue in the predominantly Muslim region, was shot by gunmen several times about 10 a.m. as he was leaving his home, officials said. The injured cleric managed to make his way to his car parked nearby, where he died, Eduard Abdullin, spokesman for the Tatarstan branch of the Russian Investigative Committee, said in televised remarks.
June 5, 2012 |
Los Angeles and Orange counties ranks among the top 10 locales nationwide plagued by organized retail crime, a survey finds. Organized crime has become increasingly sophisticated as groups of thieves -- sometimes organized into gangs -- hit up stores and make off with thousands of dollars in merchandise that is later returned or sold. According to the National Retail Federation's annual organized crime survey, the stagnating economy has exacerbated the problem -- in the last year, 96% of retailers said they were victims of organized crime, up from 94.5% in the previous year.
May 19, 2012 |
ROME - A bomb exploded at the entrance of a high school in southern Italy named for the wife of a slain anti-Mafia judge, killing a 16-year-old girl and injuring at least four people as students were arriving at school for Saturday classes. Police were investigating the possibility of organized-crime involvement in the attack in the Adriatic port city of Brindisi, but authorities said it was too early to exclude other possibilities. They noted that the school is named for Francesca Morvillo, the wife of anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone.
April 3, 2012 |
Javier Guzman, a 25-year-old industrial engineer, eased his SUV toward the curb on a recent Sunday as a masked state police officer in the middle of the road signaled him to pull over. Guzman rolled down his window, greeting the officer with a " buenas tardes . " "Do you live here? Where are you coming from?" the officer asked. "I live here, this car is mine," Guzman replied. He had nothing to hide, yet began coughing nervously. The officer, dressed in black, from combat boots to ski mask, circled the vehicle.