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WORLD
May 13, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - Mexican authorities responding to an anonymous tip discovered about 50 mostly mutilated bodies dumped on the side of a highway between Monterrey and the U.S. border, a region where rival gangs are battling for control over a lucrative drug-trafficking corridor. The bodies of at least 43 men and half a dozen women were found Sunday in plastic garbage bags near the town of Cadereyta Jimenez, the location of a large state-run oil refinery, officials in the state prosecutor's office told The Times.
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WORLD
May 15, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood and Alex Renderos, Los Angeles Times
At least 27 people were slain early Sunday in a remote area of northern Guatemala that has become a key base for Mexican drug-trafficking groups, authorities said. Police said a small army of gunmen attacked workers on a coconut farm in the northern province of Peten, a zone that has become increasingly dangerous as Mexican drug smugglers extend operations in Central America to escape a crackdown at home. The victims included 25 men and two women, all of whom were decapitated, according to Jaime Leonel Otzin, director of Guatemala's National Civil Police.
NATIONAL
May 23, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A Mexican drug cartel commander pleaded guilty Thursday to murder and attempted murder in a 2011 ambush south of the border that left one American agent dead and a second injured, and which sharply strained U.S.-Mexico relations. The commander, Julian Zapata Espinoza, 32, also known as Piolin, joined three other defendants who had previously pleaded guilty to various charges related to the shooting. The developments in federal District Court in Washington also provided new details about the attack.
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
February 12, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Mexican soldiers have arrested a suspected drug cartel hit man on accusations that he orchestrated the killing of retired army Brig. Gen. Mauro Enrique Tello, who had been hired to root out corruption in the resort town of Cancun, a Defense Department official said. Prosecutors also asked a judge to place under arrest Cancun Police Chief Francisco Velasco as they investigate whether he protected the Zetas, a group of hit men for the Gulf cartel, said Marisela Morales, deputy attorney general for organized crime.
WORLD
June 22, 2011 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
A top leader of the notorious La Familia drug-trafficking gang, locked in an especially deadly internal fight in recent months, has been captured by Mexican federal police, authorities announced Tuesday. Jose de Jesus Mendez, alias "El Chango," one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords, was taken into custody in the central Mexican state of Aguascalientes, apparently without a struggle, authorities said. Mendez led a faction of La Familia, the ruthless and sometimes cult-like network that authorities say specializes in producing and shipping methamphetamine to the United States.
WORLD
December 21, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
  Authorities disbanded the police force in the port city of Veracruz on Wednesday and handed patrol duties to the military in a bid to clean up corruption. The Mexican navy and state police took over enforcement after Veracruz state officials laid off 900 officers and 46 administrative workers. Veracruz becomes the latest city where the military is on patrol. State spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said the move aimed to "create a new police model" that will demand officers who are better trained and "more committed to the public security function.
WORLD
September 13, 2012 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - Authorities have captured the top leader of the Gulf cartel, a potentially fatal blow to one of Mexico's major drug-trafficking networks that could also unleash a violent power struggle that would pose an immediate and explosive challenge to the incoming government of President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto. It is the second big catch of a suspected Gulf cartel capo in 10 days and essentially wipes out the leadership of an organization that once dominated large parts of Mexico.
NEWS
July 3, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The state of Texas is warning Americans to avoid travel to the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo this holiday weekend because of an anticipated surge in drug cartel violence aimed at Americans. In a news release   Saturday, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Webb County Sheriff's Office said their sources indicated that the Zetas drug cartel was "planning to target U.S. citizens who travel to Nuevo Laredo this weekend. "  Steven C. McCraw, the department's director, also said in the statement:  "According to the information we have received, the Zetas are planning a possible surge in criminal activity, such as robberies, extortions, car-jackings and vehicle theft, specifically against U.S. citizens.
WORLD
September 5, 2012 | Tracy Wilkinson
Mexico's U.S.-backed naval special forces have captured a man believed to be one of the two top leaders of the Gulf cartel, a drug-trafficking organization that once dominated the northeast border region but has recently engaged in devastating battles with the vicious Zeta paramilitary force, authorities said Tuesday. Mario Cardenas Guillen, alias El Gordo ("Fatso"), was paraded before reporters in Mexico City on Tuesday after his capture Monday in the northern border state of Tamaulipas.
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