April 24, 2013
The Miami Herald, 4/24/2013
Sandra Avila Beltran, the dark-haired Mexican beauty dubbed the “Queen of the Pacific,” has pleaded guilty to a drug-trafficking charge in Miami, closing the curtain on the once celebrity-like role of the reputed cocaine smuggler.
Avila, 52, admitted Tuesday in federal court that she helped her former boyfriend, a one-time Colombian cartel boss, evade prosecution for cocaine importation and distribution charges in the United States. She pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to his conspiracy crimes, for which the ex-boyfriend, Juan Diego Espinosa Ramirez, was ultimately convicted.
April 8, 2013
UT San Diego, 4/5/2013
Scholars from Tijuana and San Diego are key contributors to a new book that looks at the changing relationship between the United States and Mexico, examining issues such as immigration, trade, drug trafficking and water resources.
Among the recommendations of “Mexico and the United States: The Politics of Partnership,” are: increasing investment in infrastructure and education; promoting debate about whether to decriminalize marijuana possession; and collaborating on the management of aquifers beneath the U.S.-Mexico border.
March 5, 2013
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán
Fortunes forever rise and fall, but perhaps none so fast as those of drug lords. On Monday, Forbes magazine released its annual list of the world’s richest people, and for the first time since 2009, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman did not make the cut.
Guzman is the boss of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking operations. His nickname, which means “shorty,” matches his 5-foot-6-inch frame, though he has climbed to great heights in the drug business. Forbes had previously estimated his net worth at $1 billion.
January 28, 2013
El Universal, 1/28/2013
According to a report released by the U.S. Senate about the International Narcotics Control, the annual amount of money laundered and smuggled by narcotraffickers was about 39 billion dollars. The report also claims that the money was trafficked across the border by trucks and other vehicles.
This figure also demonstrates that illicit operations by Mexican cartels have increased in both the United States and Mexico since money trafficking and laundering increased from 18 billion to 39 billion between 2008 and 2012.
December 13, 2012
USA Today, 12/12/2012
Thirty-three marijuana-filled cans were found on the Arizona side of the Mexican border, apparently shot over the fence with an air-pressured cannon.
Weighing about 2-1/2 pounds each, the cans were found late last week scattered in a field here near the Colorado River, U.S. Border Patrol officials said Tuesday. The almost 85 pounds of contents were estimated to be worth $43,000.
November 21, 2012
It is hard to reconcile this sophisticated metropolitan Mexico with the grim reality of the country’s brutal narco-wars that are ravaging parts of the northern region as rival gangs battle for supremacy and market share in the lucrative business of trafficking drugs northwards into the United States. The savagery that they inflict on each other and to members of the public unlucky enough to be caught up in their crossfire is breathtaking.
Unfortunately, it is this version of Mexico that often informs the impression outsiders form of the country, particularly across the border in the United States. For some, Mexico is not just the location of brutal narco wars but with its cheaper labour, an easy scapegoat for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US. In an election year, it is easy for the triple concerns of jobs, immigration and drugs to be fused together unfairly distorting the US – Mexico’s principal trading partner – view of the country.
November 5, 2012
Washington Post, 11/3/2012
A few miles west of downtown, past a terra-cotta-tiled gateway emblazoned with “Bienvenidos,” the smells and sights of Mexico spill onto 26th Street. The Mexican tricolor waves from brick storefronts. Vendors offer authentic churros, chorizo and tamales. Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood is home to more than 500,000 residents of Mexican descent and is known for its Cinco de Mayo festival and bustling Mexican Independence Day parade. But federal authorities say that Little Village is also home to something else: an American branch of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.
October 17, 2012
The Coahuila attorney, Homero Ramos, unveiled the body of Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, alias “El Lazca,” on Tuesday morning. Lazcano’s body was stolen by an armed group from the funeral home…
“It’s a very bizarre situation, so it will raise questions in some people’s minds about what really happened,”
said Eric Olson, associate director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.
October 17, 2012
The Texas Tribune, 10/11/2012
Despite uncertainty south of the Rio Grande in the aftermath of the killing of one of Mexico’s most brutal warlords, recent successes against organized crime suggest military intervention remains the best option there, according to the former deputy director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement….Eric Olson, a senior associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., said Peña Nieto has acknowledged that there is no “magic wand” solution, but that the president-elect continues to search for alternatives.
“He has said all along that, in the short run, the military will continue to play a role but they seemed to be engaged in an search for an alternative,” he said. “One of the alternatives that they have floated is the creation of this militarized civilian force, this police militia force that would combine military [personnel] into a civilian police force.”
September 14, 2012
Los Angeles Times, 9/13/2012
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. The cartel still controls important smuggling routes to the United States through the northeastern border region.