Financial Times, 11/23/2012
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.”
BBC News, 11/17/2012
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.
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.
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.
The Washington Post, 11/12/2012
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.
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.
The Washington Post, 11/8/2012
The decision by voters in Colorado and Washington state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana has left Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto and his team scrambling to reformulate their anti-drug strategies in light of what one senior aide said was a referendum that “changes the rules of the game.”
It is too early to know what Mexico’s response to the successful ballot measures will be, but a top aide said Peña Nieto and members of his incoming administration will discuss the issue with President Obama and congressional leaders in Washington this month. The legalization votes, however, are expected to spark a broad debate in Mexico about the direction and costs of the U.S.-backed drug war here.
Foreign Policy, 11/01/2012
For the vast majority of us, who don’t have access to high-level law enforcement data, the best way to keep track of Mexican drug cartel activity is by reading the newspaper. But with information often dispersed in local sources and reporting on the ground becoming increasingly dangerous, it can be difficult to get a big picture view of how the drug war is progressing. But a new tool developed by two Harvard graduate students could help provide such a broad view.
Viridiana Rios and Michele Coscia have created an algorithm they call MOGO (Making Order Using Google As an Oracle) which processes Google data to track cartel activity. “MOGO does the jobs we could never do,” Rios told me in a phone interview today. “It reads all of the newspapers that have ever been published in the last 20 years and extracts information about whether and when a particular cartel is mentioned and where that cartel is mentioned. We get the organization, the municipality in which it is supposedly operating, and the year in which the note was published.”
Rio’s and Coscia’s full report, CosciaRios_GoogleForCriminals