Mexico’s cartels rule world’s vast fentanyl market in race for huge profits


Source: The Guardian

Jorge A is Mexican businessman employed by an import-export company that specializes in the trade of tequila and agricultural and chemical products. But in January 2016, he was a long way from his home in Culiacán, capital of Sinaloa state.

Two associates accompanied him as he travelled from Shanghai to Hong Kong, Japan, and finally, India.


Mexico’s President Pushed Hard for Release of General Arrested in U.S.


Source: The Wall Street Journal

MEXICO CITY—The October arrest in the U.S. of Mexico’s former defense minister sparked anger among senior Mexican military officers, a key factor that led President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to push hard for the release of the influential general.

Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who served as defense minister from 2012 to 2018, was arrested for allegedly taking bribes to protect the operations of a drug cartel. The surprise arrest in Los Angeles, as the general and his wife were starting a California vacation, stirred an outcry among high-ranking Mexican officers.


Special Report: Burner phones and banking apps: Meet the Chinese ‘brokers’ laundering Mexican drug money


Source: Reuters

GUADALAJARA (Reuters) – Early next year, a Chinese businessman named Gan Xianbing will be sentenced in a Chicago courtroom for laundering just over $530,000 in Mexican cartel drug money.

Gan, 50, was convicted in February of money laundering and operating an unlicensed money-transfer business that whisked cartel cash from U.S. drug sales offshore. Gan has maintained his innocence; his lawyers say he was entrapped by U.S. authorities. The trial garnered few headlines and little of the public fascination reserved for kingpins of powerful narcotics syndicates that U.S. federal prosecutors said Gan served.


Mexico issues warrant for ex-security chief accused of aiding cartel


Source: Yahoo! News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has issued an arrest warrant for a former security minister wanted on corruption charges and may request his extradition from the United States where he is being held awaiting trial, an official told Reuters.

Ex-Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna pled not guilty last month to U.S. charges involving a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme allegedly designed to boost the Sinaloa cartel once headed by jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.


The Shadowy Drug Cartel That Brought Down Mexico’s Former Top General


Source: VICE

MEXICO CITY – The family holiday of Mexico’s former defense minister, retired General Salvador Cienfuegos was cut short when he flew into Los Angeles last week. He was arrested before he could leave the airport. Most knew Cienfuegos as the man who led Mexico’s efforts against drug cartels from 2012 to 2018, but U.S. law enforcement accused him of being known as “El Padrino”, or the Godfather in the criminal underworld.

Proof of how Cienfuegos assisted a little-known group called the H-2 Cartel between 2015 and 2017 to move “thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States” by “ensuring that military operations were not conducted against the H-2 Cartel” and “initiating military operations against its rival drug trafficking organizations,” was the basis of the arrest, according to American officials.


Mexico confirms talks with US over ex-defence minister’s arrest


Source: Al Jazeera

Mexico confirmed on Wednesday that its top diplomat, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, spoke to United States Attorney General William Barr about the arrest of former Mexican Secretary of National Defense and retired army general Salvador Cienfuegos on US soil.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a regular government news conference that Ebrard is in talks with Barr and that a diplomatic memo had been sent.


Mexican President Orders Inquiry Into Report That Aide Paid Shell Firms


Source: U.S. News & World Report

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged authorities on Monday to look into a report accusing a top aide of financial impropriety, while calling it part of a media campaign aimed at bringing his administration into disrepute.

Newspaper El Universal said Lopez Obrador’s private secretary Alejandro Esquer had hired shell companies in the 2018 presidential election campaign when Esquer was finance secretary of the ruling National Regeneration Movement party (MORENA).


Mexico tried, failed to get warrant for ex-cabinet secretary


Yahoo! News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president confirmed Tuesday that federal prosecutors had tried to get an arrest warrant for former Treasury and Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray, but said a judge rejected the request.

Videgaray, currently a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, is considered the political figure closest to former President Enrique Peña Nieto, in whose 2012-2018 administration he served.


Violent criminal groups are eroding Mexico’s uuthority and claiming more territory


Source: The Washington Post

JUAN ALDAMA, Mexico — This time, the assassins came early. It was 8:30 a.m. when they surrounded the police station in this rural town. The pop-pop-pop of bullets echoed for blocks. By the time security forces arrived, Ricardo Barrón Guzmán lay dead, the second police chief gunned down here in 14 months.

This sleepy town of 13,000, set amid the bean and corn fields of Zacatecas state, used to be known for the heroes it offered to the Mexican Revolution and the migrants it sent to the United States. The police chief’s killing in September reflected its new notoriety: Juan Aldama has become another front in an increasingly complex struggle by crime groups in Mexico to control territory.


Mexico’s Former Defense Minister Is Arrested in Los Angeles


Source: New York Times

MEXICO CITY — A former Mexican defense minister was arrested on Thursday night after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport with his family, according to the Mexican government, becoming the first high-ranking military official to be taken into custody in the United States in connection with drug-related corruption in his country.

The former official, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, who was Mexico’s defense minister from 2012 to 2018, was arrested by American officials at the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration and will face drug and money-laundering charges in the United States, according to a federal law enforcement official in New York.