August 8, 2010 |
Nearly four years after President Felipe Calderon launched a military-led crackdown against drug traffickers, the cartels are smuggling more narcotics into the United States, amassing bigger fortunes and extending their dominion at home with such savagery that swaths of Mexico are now in effect without authority. The groups also are expanding their ambitions far beyond the drug trade, transforming themselves into broad criminal empires deeply involved in migrant smuggling, extortion, kidnapping and trafficking in contraband such as pirated DVDs.
April 13, 1989 |
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.
February 6, 1987 |
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.
October 11, 2009 |
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.
June 24, 2010 |
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.
March 5, 2008 |
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.
March 21, 1986 |
Mayor Edward I. Koch wants President Reagan to pull $100 bills out of circulation because the notes are "the backbone currency of drug traffickers." In a letter to Reagan dated Wednesday, Koch recommended that all $100 bills be eliminated and that a redemption program for the currency be set up. The redemption program proposed by Koch would require those who turn in more than $10,000 in $100 bills to explain how they acquired the currency.
May 5, 2010 |
The Almanzas slowed down as they drove their black pickup past what they believed to be an army checkpoint in violent northeastern Mexico. They rolled down their windows, they say, so the soldiers could see they were a family. But the masked men in uniform instead opened fire, and two Almanza children, aged 9 and 5, were killed. Fifteen days earlier and just 100 miles away, two promising university students were killed at the gates of their school during an army battle with drug traffickers.