February 21, 2012 |
It seemed a run-of-the-mill prison riot, though one that left 44 inmates beaten or knifed to death. In fact, the violence on Sunday in northern Mexico served as cover for a massive jailbreak by members of the country's deadliest criminal gang, the Zetas. Authorities on Monday revealed that 30 Zetas henchmen escaped from the maximum-security prison in Apodaca during the brawl - with the apparent complicity of guards and possibly other top officials. The deadly violence underscored the abysmal condition of Mexican prisons, which are woefully overcrowded, rife with corruption and prone to high-profile escapes.
May 19, 2011 |
Guatemalan authorities have arrested a man they say is a top leader of the drug gang blamed for last weekend's massacre of 27 farmworkers, President Alvaro Colom said Wednesday. The suspect, Hugo Alvaro Gomez Vasquez, is believed to have taken part in the killings in a northern province known as Peten, Colom said in his daily broadcast from Guatemala City. Colom called Gomez "one of the principal leaders" of the Zetas gang in Guatemala, which has served increasingly as a base for Mexican traffickers skirting a crackdown at home.
June 1, 2012 |
CULIACAN, Mexico - For generations, the extended Hernandez family tended fields of marijuana high in Sinaloa's western Sierra Madre highlands. They sold their crops to representatives of the Sinaloa cartel for a fraction of what the drug would bring at the U.S. border and eked out a pittance. Barefoot children never went to school; they just helped their dads with the planting and harvest. Women washed clothes in the river. They burned pine sap for light at night because there was no electricity.
August 30, 2010 |
For the second time in two weeks, the mayor of a Mexican city has been slain by purported drug traffickers, authorities say. Marco Antonio Leal Garcia, the mayor of Hidalgo in the violent border state of Tamaulipas, was shot to death Sunday. His young daughter was wounded in the attack. Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, is the same state where a drug gang is suspected in the massacre last week of 72 migrants and where the battle between rival cartels has left a bloody trail of death, cowed authorities and terrified citizens.
July 10, 2011 |
Gunmen targeting a rival drug cartel opened fire in a crowded bar in the northern city of Monterrey, killing at least 20 people and wounding several, authorities said Saturday. The attack occurred late Friday in the Sabino Gordo bar in downtown Monterrey, a prosperous and once-orderly industrial hub that has been buffeted by more than a year of fighting between the Zetas, known as the country's most violent drug gang, and the Gulf cartel. Authorities said most of the dead — four of them women — were bar employees.
July 21, 2009 |
Federal authorities announced indictments Monday against the reputed leaders of Mexico's Gulf cartel and its paramilitary force, the Zetas, accusing them of trafficking tons of cocaine and marijuana from South America through the Texas-Mexico border. Three of the men are identified as the "triumvirate" that manages the far-flung enterprise, dividing its territories among themselves.
March 22, 2011 |
The Mexican drug gangs rapidly infiltrating Central America call El Salvador "El Caminito," the little pathway. Once a bystander in the region's narco-business, this tiny country now finds itself enmeshed in an expanding drug trade, a shift brought on in part by the presence of a new, U.S.-funded highway that provides an overland route for shipping cocaine north. For years, traffickers used speedboats and small submarine-type vessels to move drugs from Colombia to northern Guatemala or Mexico, using water routes to circumvent much of Central America.
July 26, 2013 |
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.
April 25, 2011 |
Suitcases started piling up, unclaimed, at the depot where buses crossing northern Tamaulipas state ended their route. That should have been an early clue. Then the bodies started piling up, pulled by forensic workers from two dozen hidden graves in the scruffy brush-covered ravines around the town of San Fernando, 80 miles south of this city that borders Brownsville, Texas. At least 177 corpses have been recovered in the last few weeks, most of them, officials now say, passengers snatched from interstate buses, tortured and slaughtered.
July 16, 2013 |
SUZHOU, China -- Being a tourist in China can make one want to scream like a baby. Flight delays are epic: Beijing's airport recently ranked worst in the world for on-time departures, with 82% of planes failing to leave on time. Bad weather can bring disaster: 100 travelers were trapped last week by a landslide in Gansu province. Fellow sightseers can be uncouth: A dozen Chinese tourists were caught in early July urinating against a wall at Beijing's Summer Palace.