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Traffickers

WORLD
April 2, 2010 | By Tracy Wilkinson
Drug traffickers fighting to control northern Mexico have turned their guns and grenades on the Mexican army, authorities said, in an apparent escalation of warfare that played out across multiple cities in two border states. In coordinated attacks, gunmen in armored cars and equipped with grenade launchers fought army troops this week and attempted to trap some of them in two military bases by cutting off access and blocking highways, a new tactic by Mexico's organized criminals.
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WORLD
August 8, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: a memorial to the thousands of victims of the drug violence that has convulsed Mexico for most of the last decade. Washington, after all, has its Vietnam War memorial. New York has its monument at the site of the World Trade Center. But even as the winning design was being announced, Mexico's tribute was stricken by the conflicting visions and bitter disputes that have driven wedges into Mexican society. Innocent civilians, police officers on duty and soldiers fighting drug cartels are among the more than 50,000 dead in the government's crackdown on the cartels.
NATIONAL
June 24, 2010 | By Richard A. Serrano, Tribune Washington Bureau
A top Colombian drug lord whom the United States has long considered one of the most dangerous smugglers pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to trafficking tons of heroin and cocaine into the U.S. Francisco Gonzalez-Uribe had been awaiting trial in New York on charges of running a criminal enterprise dating back at least to 2007 that was accused of shipping loads of drugs to New York and other U.S. cities. Federal prosecutors are likely to seek a sentence of life in prison with no parole.
WORLD
July 19, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
At least eight alleged drug traffickers were killed during a raid in a Rio de Janeiro shantytown, police said. A state police spokeswoman said officers were met by gunfire when they arrived at the Minha Deusa slum. The agents seized drugs, rifles, grenades and ammunition, she said. Rio is one of the world's most violent cities and the site of frequent shootouts between police and drug gangs.
WORLD
October 18, 2009 | Associated Press
Drug traffickers shot down a police helicopter during a gun battle between rival gangs Saturday, killing two officers in a burst of violence just two weeks after the city was chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Ten suspected drug traffickers were also killed during the fighting in a shantytown, along with two bystanders, officials said. Bullets flying from the Morro dos Macacos, or Monkey Hill, slum in north Rio de Janeiro hit the pilot of the police helicopter in the leg as he hovered above the shootout, causing the craft to go down.
OPINION
July 2, 2010
Although Guatemala abandoned military rule in 1985 and ended a civil war against leftist guerrillas in 1996, the violence that always has seemed startlingly at odds with the country's natural beauty has not been eradicated. On the contrary, the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the recent resignation of the chief of a U.N. commission responsible for battling crime and corruption and from a devastating report by the International Crisis Group is that the brutality is as entrenched as ever.
NEWS
April 13, 1989 | From Associated Press
The Reagan Administration undermined its own war on drugs as it "delayed, halted or interfered" with operations that jeopardized support for its policy in Central America, a Senate panel reported today. The government looked the other way, according to the report, when law enforcement agencies learned that drug traffickers were protected and aided by some U.S.-supported Nicaraguan rebels, members of the Honduran military, Panamanian strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega and Bahamian officials.
NEWS
February 6, 1987 | WILLIAM D. MONTALBANO, Times Staff Writer
Carlos Lehder, a boastful cocaine kingpin of unsurpassed ambition and appetite, is the biggest fish ever netted in the flagging international war against drugs. A devotee of the Beatles, Adolf Hitler and violence, Lehder invested cocaine millions in quest of respectability and political power in Colombia. Denied those goals, he laughed at the law, and he was accused of trailing a cape of bribery, intimidation and murder from the United States through the Caribbean and into backland Colombia.
NEWS
October 11, 2009 | Mike Melia, Melia writes for the Associated Press
With a stucco mansion in the hills outside San Juan and four luxury cars, including a Corvette, Wilfredo Rodriguez lived well for a part-time worker on an airport ground crew. U.S. prosecutors say Rodriguez, who wrapped cargo in plastic for American Airlines, built his fortune over the last decade by smuggling drugs aboard commercial flights -- one small slice of the hundreds of tons of South American cocaine that flow through Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland each year. His arrest last month highlights the challenges for law enforcement authorities on this U.S. Caribbean territory, as traffickers flood the island with drug money and make it one of the most violent places under the American flag.
WORLD
March 5, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Five youths were tortured, sprayed with bullets and dumped in an empty lot in Tijuana, where the army is battling a rise in killings by powerful drug cartels. The handcuffed bodies were found a day after soldiers fought drug traffickers in a five-hour shootout in the city. The gun battle killed a police officer and a suspected gang member. "We think this is another message to discourage major blows to organized crime," a spokesman for Baja California state's security ministry said.
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