Mexico arrests 32 policemen for alleged organised crime ties

July 29, 2014

07/28/14 Telegraph

police mexico scazonMore than 30 police officers have been arrested in Mexico for alleged organised crime ties and possible involvement in the killing of fellow cops, authorities said on Sunday.

Those detained include a former top public safety chief from the town of Tarimbaro, an ex-commander of the same unit and 18 more active duty agents, a public safety source in the troubled state of Michoacan said.

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Legal U.S. Pot Won’t Bring Peace to Mexico

January 22, 2014

marijuana leafBloomberg, 01/21/2014

Since Jan. 1, Colorado has had a legal marijuana market. The same will soon be true in Washington State, once retail licenses are issued. Other states, such as California and Oregon, will likely follow suit over the next three years.

So does this creeping legalization of marijuana in the U.S. spell doom for the Mexican drug cartels? Not quite. The illegal marijuana trade provides Mexican organized crime with about $1.5 billion to $2 billion a year. That’s not chump change, but according to a number of estimates, it represents no more than a third of gross drug export revenue. Cocaine is still the cartels’ biggest money-maker and the revenue accruing from heroin and methamphetamine aren’t trivial. Moreover, Mexican gangs also obtain income from extortion, kidnapping, theft and various other types of illegal trafficking. Losing the marijuana trade would be a blow to their finances, but it certainly wouldn’t put them out of business.

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Mexico extradites top cartel member

November 22, 2013

San Antonio Express, 11/21/2013

Mexican Police catch drug dealer photo by Jesús Villaseca P Latitudes PressMexico extradited an alleged former top member of the Zetas drug cartel Thursday to face narcotics trafficking and money laundering charges in Laredo, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent said.

Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office would not confirm or deny Thursday afternoon that Iván Velázquez Caballero, known by the nickname “El Taliban,” had been sent to the U.S. But Mike Vigil, the former chief of international operations for the DEA, said Velazquez is now in the country.

Velázquez is one of more than 30 people charged in a massive conspiracy indictment, alleging that, between 2000 and 2008, the Zetas smuggled large amounts of drugs into the U.S. and committed homicides in Texas as part of their narcotics trafficking operations.

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The Majority Of Mexico’s Prisons Are Controlled By Inmates

November 20, 2013

The Business Insider 11/19/2013

prisonViolence has increased in Mexico’s prisons and the majority are controlled by inmates, the National Human Rights Commission said.The commission found in an annual report that 65 of the country’s 101 most populated prisons were under the control of convicts in 2012, a 4.3 percent increase from 2011.

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Mexico City’s Fraying ‘Pax Mafiosa’

October 16, 2013

Mexico City - nunavut (Flickr)Forbes, 10/15/2013

Over much of the past decade, as Mexico has seen a significant spike in violence related to organized crime, Mexico City has remained relatively tranquil. To be sure, the violent crime rate in the capital city has ticked up steadily since 2006, but nothing like what other parts of the country have witnessed.

The reason for the relative calm is a “Pax Mafiosa” that reigned in the city—at least until recently. Many Mexican capos (cartel bosses) own houses in Mexico City, send their children to local schools and use the capital as a place to meet with corrupt officials. A longstanding pact ensured that organized criminal groups would not compete over drug dealing and trafficking operations in the city in return for a tacit agreement from the local security forces that their relatives would be allowed to go about their daily business without being harassed.

That deal now appears defunct.

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99% of kidnappings in Mexico went unreported last year

October 4, 2013

Quartz, 10/3/2013

mx_crimes_200The latest public security report, released by Mexico’s statistics bureau (INEGI) earlier this week, reveals the extent of the country’s rampant and virtually unpunished kidnapping problem. According to the report, a mind-boggling 105,682 kidnappings were committed in Mexico last year, of which an incredibly small 1,317 were reported to local or federal authorities. In other words, 99% of kidnappings in Mexico flew under the radar last year.

Many kidnappings are drug-related, and therefore often kept from authorities because victims involved in the drug trade want to avoid backlash or crackdowns on other offenses. But a good deal of the 100,000+ abductions went unreported on suspicion that nothing would be done, or worse, that more harm would come to the involved parties.

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Violence Sets Mexico City on Edge

August 26, 2013

gun - crime sceneThe Wall Street Journal, 8/25/2013

For the past few years this sprawling capital has weathered the country’s drug war as an island largely free from the violence that the drug trade brings. But a series of high-profile kidnappings and murders has raised fears that crime is once again on the rise in Mexico City. In contrast to the nation’s cartel wars, in which thousands of people have been slaughtered by the country’s drug gangs, the recent killings in Mexico City have been far fewer, and appear to involve local street gangs. But many cases have been no less grisly.

One of the most notorious involves authorities’ discovery late last week of a mass grave holding the bodies of 13 people in a poor Mexico City suburb. Officials on Friday confirmed that five of the bodies belonged to a group of 12 young people who vanished in a mass kidnapping in May from a nightclub in the Zona Rosa tourist district—the first such crime the capital had seen in years.

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