February 28, 2013
Global 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.
December 26, 2012
Miami Herald, 12/26/2012
A group of armed men stormed a town in the mountains of the western state of Sinaloa on Christmas Eve and shot nine men to death with assault weapons, then dumped their bodies on a sports field as part of a war between Mexico’s two most powerful cartels, officials said Wednesday.
December 12, 2012
The Guardian, 12/11/2012
U.S. authorities defended their decision not to prosecute HSBC for accepting the tainted money of rogue states and drug lords on Tuesday, insisting that a $1.9bn fine for a litany of offences was preferable to the “collateral consequences” of taking the bank to court.
The bank processed cash for Mexico‘s Sinaloa cartel, regarded as the most powerful and deadly drug gang in the world, among others. At least $881m in drug trafficking money was laundered throughout HSBC accounts. In order to handle the “staggering amounts of cash”, the bank even widened the windows at some branches to allow tellers to accept larger boxes of money.
November 5, 2012
Mexico’s army arrested a lieutenant to Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman who they believe ordered the killing of anti-violence activist Nepomuceno Moreno, authorities said Sunday. Mexico’s defense department said Jesus Alfredo Salazar Ramirez was arrested in Huixquilucan in Mexico state on Thursday, and that there is an arrest order for him issued by a court in Texas for intent to distribute cocaine
November 5, 2012
Washington Post, 11/3/2012
A few miles west of downtown, past a terra-cotta-tiled gateway emblazoned with “Bienvenidos,” the smells and sights of Mexico spill onto 26th Street. The Mexican tricolor waves from brick storefronts. Vendors offer authentic churros, chorizo and tamales. Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood is home to more than 500,000 residents of Mexican descent and is known for its Cinco de Mayo festival and bustling Mexican Independence Day parade. But federal authorities say that Little Village is also home to something else: an American branch of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.
October 17, 2012
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.
September 25, 2012
InSight Crime, 9/21/12
A retired Mexican general allegedly offered to serve as the Sinaloa Cartel’s main contact with the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), a glimpse at how security officials are sometimes co-opted by “Chapo” Guzman.
The retired brigadier general, Juan Manuel Barragan, reportedly met with two representatives sent by Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo,” in December 2011, reported Mexico newspaper Reforma. He allegedly offered to help set up meetings between the cartel and Mexico’s top security officials, including the secretary of defense, the attorney general, and the head of the joint chiefs of staff, in exchange for $10,000…
According to Reforma, the two Sinaloa Cartel representatives asked to meet with Barragan in a Mexico City restaurant, Bros Oyster Bar, on December 21, but ended up meeting with him in his office in the SEDENA headquarters on December 24. The cartel emissaries taped the meeting. During the recording, Barragan reportedly said that he was attempting to set up a meeting with Defense Secretary Guillermo Galvan, but that the date kept getting postponed. Reforma reported that the video ended up in the hands of the military Attorney General’s Office two days later, perhaps suggesting that the meeting was a sting operation.
Barragan also supposedly said that he would give Galvan a $13,000 Rolex watch as a gift, engraved with Galvan’s name on the back, as a “token of appreciation” from El Chapo.
August 24, 2012
Fox News Latino, 8/23/12
A split in the leadership of Mexico’s violent Zetas cartel has led to the rise of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, a man so feared that one rival has called for a grand alliance to confront a gang chief blamed for a new round of bloodshed in the country’s once relatively tranquil central states.
Trevino, a former cartel enforcer who apparently has seized leadership of the gang from Zetas founder Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, is described by lawmen and competing drug capos as a brutal assassin who favors getting rid of foes by stuffing them into oil drums, dousing them with gasoline and setting them on fire, a practice known as a “guiso,” or “cook-out”.
Law enforcement officials confirm that Trevino appears to have taken effective control of the Zetas, the hemisphere’s most violent criminal organization, which has been blamed for a large share of the tens of thousands of deaths in Mexico’s war on drugs, though other gangs too have repeatedly committed mass slayings.
August 8, 2012
The Los Angeles Times, 8/7/12
On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced it was freezing the assets of three Belize residents alleged to be drug traffickers and “key associates” of the Mexican drug trafficking group. The Treasury Department has also prohibited U.S. citizens from doing business with the suspects or their companies…
Belize, along with El Salvador, was added to that U.S. “blacklist” of 22 nations in September in a presidential memorandum that noted numerous recent drug and weapons seizures on the Mexican side of the Mexico-Belize border, as well as the presence of Mexican cartels including the Zeta gang, the ruthless rival to the Sinaloa cartel.
The three suspects targeted Tuesday are John Zabaneh, described by U.S. officials as a “critical figure” with ties to Colombian suppliers and Mexican buyers; his nephew Dion Zabaneh, and a “close associate” named Daniel Moreno.
July 10, 2012
Fox News Latino, 7/7/12
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and police in the Arizona city of Tempe have arrested 20 members of a criminal gang linked to Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, authorities said.
In addition to the arrests, made within the scope of “Operation Nayarit Stampede,” authorities also confiscated $2.4 million in cash, an airplane, 10 vehicles, three tons of marijuana and 30 pounds of methamphetamine