Mexico Deploys Troops to Take Over Unruly Cities

May 14, 2014

armyThe Wall Street Journal, 5/13/14

Mexico’s government began dispatching federal police and troops on Tuesday to take over the northern border state of Tamaulipas from local forces after a wave of violence between rival drug gangs flared in recent weeks.

The initiative came after dozens of people have been killed across the energy-rich state as rivals from the local Gulf Cartel and Zetas gang fight one another for control of drug-trafficking routes as well as extortion, kidnapping and human-smuggling rackets, officials say. Federal troops in recent weeks have clashed with gang gunmen in the border cities of Reynosa, Matamoros and Tampico.

With both its long coastline and border with Texas that allows access to U.S. markets, Tamaulipas has been a prime drug-trafficking region for decades. It was ground zero to the wave of extreme drug-related violence that engulfed the country over the past seven years, leaving about 100,000 people dead or missing.

“We are going to re-establish the conditions that permit the state’s people to recover the tranquillity they deserve,” Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio-Chong told state and federal officials in Reynosa, in announcing the surge.

Mr. Osorio-Chong said federal forces would set up command in four regions in the state to close off smuggling routes and go after crime bosses. He didn’t specify how many forces were involved, but similar previous operations involved thousands.

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Federal police, soldiers to patrol Mexico state

April 1, 2014

federal police mexicoMiami Herald, 3/31/14

Mexico’s government is sending federal police and soldiers to help quell an increase in violence in Mexico state, the country’s most populous state that borders the capital. Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said Monday federal forces will patrol and also carry out operations at bars and night clubs, where shootouts and killings have been a common occurrence in recent months. Osorio Chong says the federal government is sending the help at the request of Mexico state Gov. Eruviel Avila.

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Why Mexico’s meth country is totally tweaking out

November 15, 2013

Global Post, 11/15/2013

Policia Federal by Flickr user Frecuencias populares!!! find link to photoIn Michoacan’s meth heartland, a drug gang has gone medieval, militias are up in arms, and the government has put boots on the ground. Didn’t Mexico see this coming?

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Downed plane in Venezuela draws questions from Mexico

November 8, 2013

Los Angeles Times, 11/7/2013

Photo by Flikr user Rennett StoweWhen a high-ranking officer in the Venezuelan military posted the picture of the burned-up remnants of a small Mexican aircraft this week on Twitter, it launched a flurry of questions. Who had been in the plane? What had it been doing in Venezuela? Was it involved in the drug trade? Why had it gone up in flames? And where was the crew?

Those key questions remained unanswered Thursday afternoon, two days after Venezuelan military officer Vladimir Padrino Lopez posted the photo of the blackened, smoking ruins of the plane, which he identified as a small Hawker passenger jet. The mystery was threatening to create a row between two nations whose diplomatic relationship has been particularly rocky in recent years.

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Mexico’s new government continues with predecessor’s old drug war strategy it criticized

August 19, 2013

m16 gun closeupThe Washington Post, 8/18/2013

With the capture of two top drug lords in little more than a month, the new government of President Enrique Pena Nieto is following an old strategy it openly criticized for causing more violence and crime.

Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino, a top leader of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel, was detained Saturday in a military operation near the Texas border, just weeks after the arrest of the leader of the brutal Zetas cartel near another border city, Nuevo Laredo. Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong took his post in December saying the strategy of former President Felipe Calderon to take out cartel leaders only made drug gangs more dangerous and violent. The new administration would focus less on leaders and more on reducing violence, he said.

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Napolitano Pays Last Visit To Border Cities, Announces New Security Plans

July 24, 2013

janet-napolitanoFox News Latino, 7/23/2013

U.S.-Mexico security cooperation has never been better than it is right now with the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, according to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Napolitano, who is leaving her post to head the University of California, met with Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong Tuesday in the border city of Matamoros, Mexico and announced plans for a bi-national security communications network and coordinated patrols between U.S. Border Patrol and Mexico’s Federal Police.

Napolitano’s visit comes one week after the capture of alleged Zeta leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, which appeared to be the result of U.S.-Mexico intelligence sharing. Mexico would not say what role the U.S. played in the capture, but the arrest and killing of many top drug lords has come with intelligence from U.S. law enforcement

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The Cost of Immigration Reform / Pacto por México Comes Back – Weekly News Summary: May 10

May 10, 2013

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank made headlines following their release of a study claiming immigration reform would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion over 50 years. Liberal and conservative critics spoke out against the study, and one of its authors became entangled in racism accusations. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Strassel argued the Republican Party is actually quite unified in its support of immigration reform, which makes a repeat of the failed reform efforts of 2007 unlikely. On Thursday, the bill survived its first day under review by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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