CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2011 |
Second of four parts G abriel Dieblas Roman took orders from cartel bosses in Mexico, hard men who ruled by fear, but he wouldn't approve a shipment without talking to a plucky, middle-aged woman from Compton. Guadalupe "Lupita" Villalobos ran a storefront botanica where Virgin of Guadalupe statuettes sat beside grinning Saint Death skeletons. She would threaten to turn neighbors into toads, and her clients believed she could divine the future by studying snail shells scattered on a tabletop.
June 28, 1986 |
Alongside a railroad track that runs through Culiacan, the steamy capital of Sinaloa state, there is an ornate shrine to a turn-of-the-century bandit. Legend has it that this bandit was a kind of Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. People here all but worship him, and pilgrims come to the shrine in search of miracles. They rub his plaster head.
January 9, 2011 |
The bodies of at least 25 people, 15 of them with their heads cut off, were discovered Saturday in the resort city of Acapulco, authorities said. Drug cartel violence has increasingly plagued Acapulco as rival gangs fight for control of the local market, occasionally spilling into the tourist areas of the city. Even though most of Saturday's killings appeared to have steered clear of those sections, the violence damages the reputation of a once-glamorous city struggling to make a comeback amid President Felipe Calderon's drug war. The grimmest discovery came as police were investigating a burning car in a shopping center parking lot early in the morning: the decapitated bodies of 15 people.
February 26, 2010 |
The claim has floated around for months, circulating among academics and critics of President Felipe Calderon's military-led war on Mexican drug gangs. It goes like this: Army and police operations that have included massive arrests, confiscation of drug shipments and numerous deadly shootouts, have left the largest and most powerful of the cartels relatively unscathed. The so-called Sinaloa cartel, based in the drug-rich Pacific state of the same name, has been allowed to escape most of the government's firepower and carry on with its illegal business as usual, according to this theory.
July 3, 2010 |
Fifteen years ago, Sinaloa state's moneyed elite wouldn't give Jesus Vizcarra the time of day. His murky past and reputed personal ties to major drug traffickers kept him out of the top social clubs and business associations. Today the same power brokers who once shunned him are Vizcarra's enthusiastic backers as he emerges as the solid favorite to become governor of the key state. To critics, Vizcarra's election on Sunday would be the culmination of a steady penetration by narcotics traffickers into Mexican political power.
July 6, 2010 |
Political parties across the spectrum looked for ways to claim bragging rights Monday after gubernatorial elections in a dozen states yielded surprises but no clear overall victor. With results still being tallied, the outcome so far offered something of a boost to President Felipe Calderon, whose conservative party avoided an embarrassing sweep by joining with leftist parties in several key states. Those oil-and-water alliances stunned the surging Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in two states it has long ruled: Oaxaca and Puebla.