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.
May 15, 2008 |
About 30,000 Hondurans wearing white and waving handkerchiefs marched in the northern city of San Pedro Sula to condemn a bloody crime wave fueled by violence between rival drug gangs. "We want peace, we want peace!" shouted the marchers who took to the streets of the country's second-largest city, home to drug traffickers fighting to control routes of Colombian cocaine bound for the United States. Some marchers carried photographs of relatives killed in the violence.
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.
September 24, 1989 |
Two captured men have confessed to killing a popular presidential candidate, the army says, and a congressional leader said he was contacted by Colombia's two most notorious drug lords with a new offer to negotiate. Bogota's half a dozen daily newspapers quoted an army general Saturday as saying the army now knows who hired the alleged assassins of Sen. Luis Carlos Galan, whose Aug. 18 killing led the government to declare war on drug traffickers. But Gen.