Mexico captures drug kingpin’s father-in-law

May 1, 2013

hands in handcuffsLos Angeles Times, 4/30/13

On the eve of President Obama’s trip to Mexico, Mexican authorities on Tuesday announced the capture of a key drug cartel operative, the father-in-law and associate of one of the world’s most-wanted fugitive kingpins. The major arrest — the first under new President Enrique Peña Nieto — comes as the extraordinarily close U.S.-Mexican cooperation in the drug war is undergoing significant changes.

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that officials of the 5-month-old Mexican administration were alarmed to discover how deeply involved U.S. advisors were in sensitive areas of security and law enforcement during the six-year government of former President Felipe Calderon. As a consequence, the new government plans to narrow American participation in its agencies and activities, confining U.S. contacts to more limited channels. The development is unnerving U.S. officials, who have overseen a program of nearly $2 billion in support to Mexico’s drug war, including the training of police and judicial institutions.

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Mexican Billionaires Have Strong Year, With 18.4% Increase In Wealth

March 8, 2013

Mexican pesoForbes, 3/7/2013

The combined net worth of Mexico’s billionaires reached $148.5 billion, an increase of 18.4% from the previous year’s total of  $125.1 billion.  Based on the new Forbes Billionaire ranking’s data,  these gains slightly outpaced the growth in the amount of wealth held by the entire 2013 billionaire list, which after adding 210 new billionaires,  grew by 17.4% from $4.6 to $5.4 trillion.

The largest contributing factor to the leap in total wealth held by the super-rich in Mexico  is the addition of five new-comers and two comebacks to the rankings. The new billionaires are Eva Gonda Rivera (Femsa) ,  Rufino Vigil Gonzalez (Industrias CH), Jose and Francisco Calderon Rojas (Coca-Cola Femsa), Max Michel Suberville (Coca-Cola Femsa) and Juan Gallardo Thurlow (Cultiba). After having fallen bellow the 1 billion benchmark a few years ago,  Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala (Grupo Modelo) and Alfredo Harp Helu (Banamex) are back in the rankings. The removal of drug kingpin Joaquin El Chapo Guzman from this year’s list and the 2012 death of Roberto Gonzalez Barrera brings the total of Mexican billionaires to 15, up from 10 the previous year.

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Forbes drops drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman from billionaires list

March 5, 2013
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

CNN, 3/4/2013

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.

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How the Sinaloa cartel won Mexico’s drug war

February 28, 2013

drug_war_02Global Post, 2/28/2013

Neat, freshly painted buildings and a renovated church line the central square. Shiny SUVs rest curbside. Some lack license plates, as if the law doesn’t apply. Mansions crown the surrounding hills. Badiraguato, a town of 7,000 in Sinaloa state, shouldn’t have such wealth. It’s among the poorest municipalities in Mexico. But you’re better off not asking questions here.

This is a secretive place, hot and quiet in the Sierra Madre foothills. There’s an army barracks, but soldiers mostly stay inside. It’s the heart of drug country, home to Mexico’s most powerful criminal syndicate: the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

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Report of shooting involving drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was mix-up

February 22, 2013
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

The Washington Post, 2/22/2013

A Guatemalan official said Friday there was no evidence that Mexico’s most-wanted drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, had been killed in a shootout in the rural north, calling such reports a misunderstanding.

Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told local media that the original account was based on testimony from residents in San Valentin near the Mexican border, but that soldiers and police scanning the area found no sign of any confrontation.

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Guatemala checking Mexico drug lord death

February 22, 2013
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

Al Jazeera, 2/22/2013

Guatemalan authorities are investigating whether Mexican drug cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was killed in a clash between traffickers and its forces in Peten near the border with Mexico. Officials on Thursday said fingerprints and photos were taken to determine whether Mexico’s most wanted man was dead in the gunfight in a jungle area of the Peten Department. The information was being cross-checked with Mexican authorities.

“The first information we have is that it could be him,” Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez told local radio, cautioning that authorities could not be “100 percent” certain. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said he had no information yet to confirm whether Guzman was killed and that he was “hoping to get some information” soon.

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Daughter of Mexican drug lord held in San Diego

October 17, 2012

AP, 10/16/12

The daughter of one of the world’s most sought-after drug lords has been charged with trying to enter the United States on someone else’s passport, U.S. officials said, becoming the latest family member to become ensnared in U.S. courts.

“You kind of surmise that there’s some family connection back to Southern California,”

Eric Olson, associate director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute said of the daughter’s arrest.

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Daughter of Mexico drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman held in San Diego on immigration charge

October 16, 2012

The Washington Post, 10/16/2012

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

The daughter of one of the world’s most sought-after drug lords has been charged with trying to enter the United States on someone else’s passport, U.S. officials said, becoming the latest family member to become ensnared in U.S. courts.

Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, 31, was arrested Friday at San Diego’s San Ysidro port of entry.

The significance of the arrest will depend on what Guzman Salazar can tell authorities about her father, like whether she can provide phone numbers, said David Shirk, director of the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute.

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Did US Link Arrests to ‘Chapo’ to Influence Mexico Elections?

June 28, 2012

InSight, 6/27/12

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

When brothers Felix and Kevin Beltran Leon (pictured) were arrested on June 22, many news sources incorrectly identified him Felix as the son of Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo.” When his true identity was revealed a day later, it was dismissed as an embarrassing mishap for Mexican authorities.

Now however, it has emerged that there may be more to this initial mix-up. La Jornada reports that the defense lawyer of the brothers, Juan Heriberto Rangel Mendez, is claiming that his clients were offered incentives to pretend that they were related to El Chapo. Rangel says that the brothers spoke with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), personnel who said the ruse only had to last until the upcoming July 1 elections, after which they would be freed.

Felix refused to cooperate, according to Rangel, despite the assurance of officers that he would be freed if he did so.

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US blacklists sons of Mexico drug lord Joaquin Guzman

May 9, 2012

BBC News, 5/9/2012

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

The move bars all people in the US from doing business with Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, and freezes any US assets they have.

Joaquin Guzman, on the list since 2001, runs the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.

Mexico has seen an explosion of violence in recent years as gangs fight for control of trafficking routes.

The US administration “will aggressively target those individuals who facilitate Chapo Guzman’s drug trafficking operations, including family members,” said Adam Szubin, director of the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control .

“With the Mexican government, we are firm in our resolve to dismantle Chapo Guzman’s drug trafficking organisation.”

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