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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.
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.
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.
March 18, 2010 | By Ken Ellingwood
Residents of this scruffy border town thought they had seen the worst of the violence five years ago, when rival drug gangs staged wild gunfights in the streets and a new police chief was slain just hours after being sworn in. The warfare gave way to an uneasy calm after one of the warring groups took de facto control. The number of deaths here ebbed, even as violence soared out of control in other border cities, such as Ciudad Juarez, about 500 miles to the northwest. Now, like a recurring nightmare, dread again hangs over Nuevo Laredo amid a new bloody feud that has ignited widespread fear of a return to the earlier carnage.
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.
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.
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.
November 24, 2011 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Killers dumped the bodies of more than 20 men near a well-known monument in the western city of Guadalajara, reports said Thursday. The city last month hosted the Pan-American Games amid tight security because of recent drug-related fighting. Mexican media said 23 victims were found in three vehicles at a traffic circle that is the site of the 150-foot Arches of the Third Millennium, a series of yellow arcs arrayed in a curving pattern above the intersection of two major avenues.
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.
March 5, 2011 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
A gun used in a fatal attack on a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Mexico last month has been traced to a Texas man suspected of attempting to deliver at least 40 firearms to a Mexican drug cartel, federal authorities said Tuesday. Thomas Crowley, spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Dallas, said the weapon was one of three used in the Feb. 15 attack on Agent Jaime Zapata and his partner, Victor Avila, who survived. FOR THE RECORD: Gun arrests: An article in the March 2 Section A about the connection between three Texas men and a weapon used in the fatal shooting of federal officer Jaime Zapata and the wounding of his partner, Victor Avila, incorrectly identified the officers as Border Patrol agents.
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