Mexico Topples Oil Theft Ring, But Cartel Threat Lingers Over State Petroleum Company

August 11, 2014

08/08/14 Vice News

oil pipeline150Mexico has taken down a criminal ring dedicated to stealing oil from its state petroleum monopoly Pemex, authorities said on Wednesday night, part of efforts to clamp down on out-of-control oil thefts that have grown exponentially in recent years during the country’s drug war.

The federal attorney general’s office said five people were arrested in connection with a cell of oil thieves, after 14 search warrants were served in three regions of the country. Authorities seized ten properties, at least $20,000 dollars, and numerous tractors, trailers, firearms, luxury vehicles, and jewels.

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Mayor of Mexican town of Ayutla shot dead in Jalisco

August 5, 2014

08/04/14 BBC News

machine gunThe mayor of the town of Ayutla in the Mexican state of Jalisco has been shot dead by unidentified gunmen.

The mayor, Manuel Gomez Torres, was killed with one of his employees as he returned to his farm on Sunday evening.

The motive for the killing is not yet clear, but police said they suspected a criminal gang to be behind it.

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México: emboscan vehículo militar y matan a cuatro soldados

May 14, 2014

Latitudes Press.El Comercio, 5/13/14

Un comando integrado por unos 30 hombres armados emboscó un convoy militar en una carretera de Jalisco, oeste de México, causando la muerte de cuatro militares e hiriendo a otros dos, informó a la AFP una fuente castrense.

El grupo de civiles armados se posicionó en la vía que conduce al municipio de Guachinango, en la Región Sierra Occidental de Jalisco, para esperar que pasara el vehículo militar, informó un mando del ejército bajo el anonimato.

“Sabemos que fueron más de 30 hombres armados a bordo de ocho camionetas de lujo, atacaron a los elementos con granadas y se suscita el tiroteo”, precisó la fuente a la AFP, que confirmó el deceso de cuatro soldados y el estado grave de otros dos como consecuencia de sus heridas.

Según algunos testigos, los sicarios chocaron intencionalmente una camioneta contra el vehículo oficial y lanzaron granadas contra ambas unidades, que se calcinaron mientras la balacera se extendía durante algunos minutos.

“Yo estaba en el remolque cuando se estacionaron las camionetas, los esperaron unos cinco minutos y empezó la balacera. Yo me resguardé en el piso de la unidad”, dijo a AFP un empleado de la Secretaría de Agricultura, desplegado en el lugar para realizar revisiones zoosanitarias.

Sobre el camión militar fallecieron dos soldados, el cuerpo de otro quedó bajó el vehículo pesado, y el cuarto en el fondo de un barranco de unos 20 metros, constató la AFP.

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5,000 evacuated after Mexico pipeline spews gasoline geyser apparently caused by fuel theft

October 31, 2013

pipellineThe Washington Post, 10/30/2013

A geyser of gasoline spewed into the sky from a state-owned pipeline in western Mexico, forcing officials to evacuate about 5,000 people Wednesday. Authorities blamed the accident on fuel thieves tapping into the pipe.

Gasoline plumed above a field close to a housing development in Tlajomulco, a town near Guadalajara, which is Mexico’s second-largest city and the capital of Jalisco state.

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Nestle to Build $400 Million Plant in Western Mexico

October 23, 2013

jaliscoLatin American Herald Tribune, 10/22/2013

Swiss food giant Nestle plans to build a $400 million plant in Ocotlan, a city in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, press reports said Tuesday.

The company, which currently has 14 plants and employs 16,000 people in Mexico, will create 350 jobs at the new facility, which will be one of the multinational’s largest plants, the Reforma newspaper said.

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Three police, four suspected cartel members killed in Mexico shootout

October 10, 2013

jaliscoLos Angeles Times, 10/09/2013

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.

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Op-ed: Drug war holds Mexico back from joining developed nations

August 27, 2013

Road - highway interchangeBy David Horsey, Los Angeles Times, 8/27/2013

Because of the vicious, unending drug war within its borders, Mexico teeters between becoming a fully developed country and sliding into failed-state status. With a growing economy, more jobs and a once-out-of-control birthrate now brought to a First World level, Mexico has huge potential. But a nation with a government that cannot protect its citizens, defeat criminal gangs or root out corruption is a nation without control of its destiny.

On Aug. 17, the bodies of nine men were found by the army near the border between the states of Michoacan and Jalisco where vigilante groups have been battling the Knights Templar drug cartel. There is nothing remarkable about this. Only the day before, eight other bodies were found near Michoacan’s border with Guerrero while eight other dead people were found elsewhere in a mass grave.

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What Does A Recent Mass-Kidnapping / Murder Mean For Mexico City’s Longstanding Fight Against Crime?

August 27, 2013

hands in handcuffsForbes, 8/26/2013

In 2011 and 2012 as organized crime-related violence claimed thousands of lives in states such as Guerrero, Jalisco, and Tamaulipas, Mexico City remained a relative oasis from violent crime, reporting a murder rate roughly on par with New York City’s.

But, a series of violent incidents have occurred in 2013. In addition to the mass kidnapping in May there have been a number of other disturbing organized crime-style assassinations. While cartel battlegrounds in Acapulco and the surrounding state of Guerrero continue to be hotspots of organized crime-related violence. There has also been a notable increase in violence in and around Mexico City. Mexico State, for instance, the state surrounding Mexico City, reported 1,217 homicides between December 2012 and July 2013. During this time period, Mexico City reported 525 homicides, second only to Acapulco in terms of total murders reported.

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Gunmen ambush, kill Mexican navy vice admiral

July 29, 2013

m16 gun closeupThe Washington Post, 7/29/2013

Gunmen ambushed and killed one of Mexico’s highest ranking navy officials and the officer escorting him Sunday in the rough western state of Michoacan, authorities said. Two other people were injured in the shooting in an area where a fight between rival drug cartels has caused a new outburst of violence.

The state prosecutors’ office said the attack on Vice Adm. Carlos Miguel Salazar happened on a dirt road near the town of Churintzio. The motive was unclear, but Salazar is the top navy commander in the neighboring Pacific coastal state of Jalisco.

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Mexico rescues 275 workers from ‘slavery’

June 12, 2013

tomatoesAFP, 6/12/2013

Mexican authorities have rescued at least 275 people who were being held in slave-like conditions at a camp where tomatoes are sorted and packed for export, officials said. Thirty-nine teenagers were among those being held against their will at the Bioparques de Occidente camp in Toliman, in the western state of Jalisco, regional prosecutor Salvador Gonzalez said late Tuesday. Five foremen were arrested for “grave violations and crimes, including the illegal privation of liberty and human trafficking,” Gonzalez told AFP.

The victims were rescued when a worker escaped and made it to the state capital Jalisco to file a complaint. Gonzalez said the contractors ran ads on the radio seeking workers, and offered room and board. But when the workers arrived they found themselves in overcrowded housing and were paid half of what had been offered, much of it delivered in vouchers redeemable at the company store, where items were sold at a high markup.

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