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WORLD
May 27, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
CULIACAN, Mexico - The cartel henchman nicknamed "El Loco" was reported behind the latest atrocity in Mexico's ever-more-depraved drug war: mutilating 49 people and piling their bodies - heads, hands and feet missing - by the side of a road leading to the U.S. border. Authorities say he acted this month on orders from the top commanders of the brutal Zeta paramilitary force, who wanted to send a message to the long-dominant Sinaloa cartel and its allies, in a new phase of a conflict that has claimed more than 50,000 lives in less than six years.
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WORLD
December 18, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Five high school students waiting for a bus were killed Wednesday when a pickup truck being chased by Mexican army forces careened out of control and plowed into them in the violent northern border city of Reynosa, authorities said. The pickup's occupants, thought to be likely drug cartel henchmen, escaped, authorities said. The youths ranged in age from 13 to 15. A woman and a 5-year-old girl, waiting in cars nearby, were injured. Hours after the incident, dozens of parents and teachers from local schools blocked a main Reynosa highway to protest.
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FOOD
April 7, 2011
Zetas with garlic and Pasilla chiles Total time: 20 minutes Servings: 4 to 6 Note: Pasilla chiles are available in Latin markets as well as the Latin section of many well-stocked grocery stores. Epazote, a fresh herb, is generally available at Latin markets. Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try this or any other recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, we would like to know about it so we can showcase it on our food blog and occasionally in print.
WORLD
November 4, 2013 | By Richard Fausset, This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom.
MEXICO CITY - While millions of Mexicans celebrated the Day of the Dead holiday in peace this weekend, violence erupted in numerous areas of the country as well, including a series of drug cartel-related gunfights Sunday in and around the border city of Matamoros that left at least 13 people dead. On the other side of the country, the Mexican military on Monday reportedly disarmed the entire police force in the municipality of Lazaro Cardenas, home to the Pacific Ocean port of the same name, with troops taking over the police functions in the area.
WORLD
October 23, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MONTERREY, Mexico - It is one of those small, hopeful signs that this traumatized city may be awakening from the nightmare of Mexico's drug wars: Armando Alanis once again feels safe enough to stop off for a late-night nosh at Tacos Los Quiques, a beloved sidewalk food cart. "We couldn't have done this two years ago," Alanis, a 44-year-old poet, said recently as he chowed down on tacos gringas in the dim glow of inner-city streetlights. "It would be wrong not to recognize what we have regained.
WORLD
January 8, 2009 | Reuters
Mexico has captured one of the founders of the Gulf drug cartel's brutal "Zetas" squad of hitmen that is behind much of the country's bloodshed, the attorney general's office said Thursday. Miguel Angel Soto Parra, arrested Wednesday in Mexico City, is a former police officer who was one of the earliest members of the Zetas, a group of hitmen made up largely of army deserters, a source at the attorney general's office said. President Felipe Calderon has scored a number of big arrests since he sent the army to crack down on drug gangs.
WORLD
July 15, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- The top leader of the vicious Zetas drug-trafficking paramilitary cartel was captured Monday, Mexican authorities announced. Mexican naval special forces seized Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias Z-40, in Nuevo Laredo, a border city across from Laredo, Texas, in the state of Tamaulipas, long a Zeta stronghold, government security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said. This is the most significant blow to organized crime since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office more than seven months ago. His government will certainly attempt to use the arrest to prove its commitment in the drug war -- a commitment that has been questioned in many circles, including among U.S. officials who had previously worked extremely closely with their Mexican counterparts but found the rules changing under the new administration.
WORLD
July 16, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
He was notorious for an assassination method known as “ the cookout ” - stuffing his victim into a barrel, dousing him with gasoline and roasting him alive. Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the Zeta drug cartel commander arrested Monday by the Mexican navy, also burnished his reputation for cruelty with massacres of migrants, 72 in one incident three years ago in Tamaulipas state and 192 more a year later. In his 2011 book “ The Takedown ,” about atrocities committed by drug lords and organized crime captains, author Jeffrey Robinson quotes witnesses as recalling how Treviño enjoyed driving around his Nuevo Laredo turf and deploying his hit men with orders to "kill this one and kill that one. " He once had his driver veer from the roadway to run over a dog, Robinson wrote.
WORLD
July 16, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY _ Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, top leader of the vicious Zetas drug-and-extortion cartel, was in a cell in Mexico City on Tuesday, awaiting interrogation and possible extradition to the United States. Treviño, known as "40," was transported to the capital late Monday after his capture in the border city of Nuevo Laredo by Mexican navy special forces following what authorities described as a long pursuit based in part on U.S.-supplied intelligence. Mexican media showed images of him striding in to the federal prosecutor's organized crime unit, wearing a black polo shirt, escorted by military guards but without handcuffs or other restraints.
WORLD
July 16, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- The capture of the top leader of Mexico's savage Zetas cartel will likely have surprisingly little effect on the trafficking of cocaine and other illicit substances to the United States, or on the violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives here in recent years. If anything, the violence, at least in the short term, could surge as rivals and potential successors of Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias Z-40, battle to take his place or his turf. But for President Enrique Peña Nieto the capture is a small coup.
WORLD
October 23, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MONTERREY, Mexico - It is one of those small, hopeful signs that this traumatized city may be awakening from the nightmare of Mexico's drug wars: Armando Alanis once again feels safe enough to stop off for a late-night nosh at Tacos Los Quiques, a beloved sidewalk food cart. "We couldn't have done this two years ago," Alanis, a 44-year-old poet, said recently as he chowed down on tacos gringas in the dim glow of inner-city streetlights. "It would be wrong not to recognize what we have regained.
WORLD
October 9, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - Seven people were killed in a shootout between police and suspected members of “an organized criminal group” in Tepatitlan, a city of 136,000 residents northeast of Guadalajara, Mexico,  officials in the state of Jalisco said Wednesday. Three police officers were killed and four were injured in the shootout Tuesday night,  according to a statement released the next day. Four of the suspects also died, and a fifth was reportedly arrested.  State investigators told the Guadalajara newspaper El Informador that the civilians involved in the shootout were members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG.  State officials said that a group of local police surprised the men, who were “consuming drugs in a public street.” Mayor Jorge Eduardo Gonzalez Arana told local media that the confrontation began after a neighbor called and complained about four people shooting their weapons in the air. [Link in Spanish]
WORLD
September 26, 2013 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - Four men were killed and five people seriously injured early Thursday at a bar outside the northern city of Monterrey when assailants burst in and opened fire on patrons, officials with the state government of Nuevo Leon said. The shooting in the Monterrey suburb of Santa Catarina comes a little more than three days after gunmen killed 10 people, including a young girl, at a party celebrating the victory of a baseball team near the border city of Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have split, at least for a while. "Catherine and Michael are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage," a rep for the actress said in a statement Wednesday. The Hollywood power couple, who married in 2000 and have two children together, haven't been photographed together since April 22 and decided to separate in May after he returned from the Cannes Film Festival, People first reported. Neither has taken action toward divorce or legal separation, the mag said.
WORLD
August 17, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - The leader of the Gulf cartel, one of Mexico's oldest drug-running organizations, was captured by the Mexican army Saturday, officials said, dealing a new blow to a decades-old enterprise whose power has waned in recent years with the rise of other criminal groups. Mario Armando Ramirez Treviño, 51, who is wanted in the United States, was arrested Saturday morning, according to a government statement. Mexican news organizations reported that he was detained in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, near the Texas border.
WORLD
August 17, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - The leader of the Gulf cartel, one of Mexico's oldest drug-running groups, has been captured, Mexican officials said Saturday. Mario Armando Ramírez Treviño was apprehended by the Mexican army Saturday morning, according to a government statement. The arrest took place in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, near the Texas border, Mexican media said. Ramirez, 51, known as “El Pelon,” or “The Bald One,” was indicted on drug distribution charges in a U.S. federal court in 2008.
WORLD
July 15, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY - The top leader of Mexico's most feared and violent drug-trafficking paramilitary cartel, the Zetas, was captured Monday, Mexican authorities announced, the first significant blow to organized crime in the young government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexican naval special forces seized Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias Z-40, before dawn Monday in Nuevo Laredo, a border city across from Laredo, Texas, in the state of Tamaulipas, long a Zeta stronghold, government security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said.
WORLD
January 19, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
Mexican authorities said Tuesday that they have arrested a founding member of the notorious Zetas gang who oversaw the smuggling of drugs and migrants in southern Mexico. Flavio Mendez Santiago, 35, and a bodyguard were captured Monday in the southern state of Oaxaca, from which Mendez allegedly relayed drug shipments and moved migrants from Central and South America north to the U.S. border. The former soldier allegedly joined the Zetas when the gang was formed in the 1990s by ex-members of elite military units.
OPINION
July 26, 2013 | By Ricardo Ainslie
Last week, Mexican authorities arrested Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the leader of the Zetas, Mexico's deadliest and most feared drug cartel. In Mexico, the news was met with relief, although there is also apprehension that his arrest will lead to a convulsion of violence; historically, taking out cartel kingpins has meant power struggles within organized crime groups, schisms that leave many dead in their wake. Treviño Morales, known as Z-40, was apprehended - along with a bodyguard and a third man, reported to be the cartel's accountant - without a shot being fired as he traveled along a back road near Nuevo Laredo and the U.S. border.
WORLD
July 17, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Indian authorities on Wednesday were trying to determine how food served as part of a free school lunch program got tainted with insecticide, leading to the deaths of at least 22 children and the hospitalization of more than two dozen others. The children, who were between the ages of 5 and 12, attended a school in a small village in the eastern state of Bihar. After eating a lunch of potatoes, soybeans, rice and lentils on Tuesday, they began complaining of severe stomach pain and were vomiting, authorities said.
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