February 11, 2014
News Observer, 2/9/14
Mexican officials say federal police have arrested a man suspected of leading a drug cartel that moved 76 tons of cocaine into the U.S. between 2000 and 2003. The U.S. posted a $5 million reward for the capture of Tirso Martinez Sanchez, who was arrested Sunday in the city of Leon.
Officials say Martinez worked with powerful cartels including the Carrillo Fuentes and Beltran Leyva organizations, as well as Colombian smugglers Victor and Miguel Mejia Munera. Martinez is being held in the high-security Altiplano prison in the state of Mexico.
January 27, 2014
Washington Post, 1/27/14
Mexican soldiers and federal police on Monday captured one of the four top leaders of Mexico’s Knights Templar drug cartel in Michoacan state, which has seen fighting between the gang and vigilante groups that have sprung over the past year. An official at the federal Attorney General’s Office, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, revealed the arrest of Dionicio Loya Plancarte, alias “El Tio,” or The Uncle.
The 58-year-old Loya Plancarte had a 30-million peso ($2.25 million) reward on his head from the Mexican government for drug, organized crime and money-laundering charges. He was considered one of the country’s three dozen most-wanted drug lords in the late 2000s.
November 26, 2012
Financial Times, 11/23/2012
Time started running out for María Gorrostieta almost as soon as she was elected mayor of Tiquicheo, a rural district southwest of Mexico City, in 2008. The area, much of it tangled with tropical vegetation, hosts wild boar, possums, coyotes and even jaguars. But it is also home to opium, cannabis, methamphetamine laboratories and the people who sell the produce – ruthless drug cartels.
Gorrostieta’s no-nonsense manner and, above all, her courage in the face of persistent threats, proved too much of an obstacle for the region’s narcotics mafia
. Last week her corpse was discovered lying at a roadside.
November 20, 2012
The Daily Caller, 11/20/2012
A spokesman for Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhán, told The Daily Caller his country’s government disputes a recent House GOP report alleging that Iranian and Hezbollah terror operatives are using Mexican drug cartels as a conduit to infiltrate the United States.
Last week, the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management released a report titled “A Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border.”
The report found that the “Southwest border has now become the greatest threat of terrorist infiltration into the United States.” It specifically cited a “growing influence” from Iranian and Hezbollah terror forces in Latin America.
November 19, 2012
BBC News, 11/17/2012
The former mayor of a town in western Mexico, who had survived two earlier assassination attempts, has been beaten to death.
The body of Maria Santos Gorrostieta, 36, was found in a ditch with a blow to the head three days after her family had reported her missing.
When she was mayor of the town of Tiquicheo she was twice shot at by gunmen, who also killed her husband.
November 16, 2012
The head of Mexico’s organized crime unit stepped down on Thursday, just weeks after announcing that members of his team had been charged with having links to the nation’s most powerful drug cartel.
Jose Cuitlahuac Salinas, head of the unit in the attorney general’s office, resigned for “personal reasons,” a spokesman for the office said.
Attorney General Marisela Morales has accepted his resignation, which was effective immediately, he added.
November 13, 2012
Alma Guillermopreita, NY Review of Books, 11/2012
Let us say that you are a Mexican reporter working for peanuts at a local television station somewhere in the provinces—the state of Durango, for example—and that one day you get a friendly invitation from a powerful drug-trafficking group. Imagine that it is the Zetas, and that thanks to their efforts in your city several dozen people have recently perished in various unspeakable ways, while justice turned a blind eye. Among the dead is one of your colleagues. Now consider the invitation, which is to a press conference to be held punctually on the following Friday, at a not particularly out of the way spot just outside of town. You were, perhaps, considering going instead to a movie? Keep in mind, the invitation notes, that attendance will be taken by the Zetas.
November 12, 2012
The Washington Post, 11/12/2012
Brig. Gen. Manuel de Jesus Moreno Avina, commander of the Third Infantry Company, arrived in the spring of 2008 in Ojinaga, across the Rio Grande from tiny Presidio in Texas’s Big Bend country.
The General, as he is known by all here, quickly began what his own officers described in court testimony as a “reign of terror.”
Instead of confronting organized crime, the Mexican soldiers here quickly became outlaws themselves. Then people began to disappear, according to the charges filed against them.
November 12, 2012
Wall Street Journal, 11/11/2012
With voters in Colorado and Washington state approving the legalization of marijuana use on Tuesday, there is hope that the U.S. may be at the beginning of the end of the long, tortuous and fruitless federal war on drugs.
Now evidence is surfacing that drug violence is affecting Mexican society more broadly than government officials want to admit. One example is that “working” for the mob in Mexico, in many cases, may not be voluntary. Some cartel employees, particularly individuals with technical and engineering skills that the mobsters need, seem to have been recruited at gunpoint.