Arrest of former defense minister shatters trust in Mexico’s armed forces


Source: CNN

(CNN) The general’s speech was forceful and unequivocal, his demeanor somber and severe. Impeccably dressed in full military uniform, Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, then Mexican Secretary of Defense, spoke before a group of thousands of Mexican soldiers under his command on a spring day in April 2016 at Military Camp Number One, near Mexico City.

“Those who act like criminals,” the general said, reading from prepared remarks, “those who disrespect people, those who disobey — not only are they breaking the law but are not worthy of belonging to the armed forces.”


Lopez Obrador criticizes DEA role in Mexico after ex-army chief’s arrest


Source: Yahoo! News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s president has criticized the historic role played by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in his country, days after a former Mexican army chief was arrested in Los Angeles on drug charges at the behest of the DEA.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador described Thursday’s arrest of ex-Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos as evidence of rampant corruption in past governments. But it also dealt a heavy blow to a powerful institution he relies on.


Who Was ‘El Padrino,’ Godfather to Drug Cartel? Mexico’s Defense Chief, U.S. Says


Source: The New York Times

MEXICO CITY — American law enforcement agents were listening in as Mexican cartel members chattered on a wiretap, talking about a powerful, shadowy figure known as El Padrino, or The Godfather.

Agents had been closing in on him for months, suspecting that this central figure in the drug trade was a high-ranking official in the Mexican military.


Thousands flock to Mexico City protest against President Lopez Obrador


Source: Yahoo! News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters marched through central Mexico City on Saturday in one of the biggest demonstrations against President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador since he took office nearly two years ago.

Many of the demonstrators who flocked to the massive main square of the capital’s historic center waved Mexican flags while some chanted “Lopez out,” according to video footage on news sites and social media.


Mexico, Plagued by Cartel Wars, on Cusp of Legal Cannabis ‘Green Rush’


Source: US Word & News Report

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – For Guillermo Nieto, a Mexican businessman who grew up smoking pot, the cannabis greenhouse on his family’s vast farmlands in Guanajuato state is part of a bigger dream. One that involves deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies.

Nieto and several Mexican businessmen have spent years positioning themselves for a time when the country opens up what would be the world’s biggest legal cannabis market in terms of population, where the drug can be lawfully cultivated and sold.


Mexico says drug cartels prey on mining companies


Source: The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Mexico launched a special government guard force for mining operations Monday, admitting that drug cartels have preyed on the companies, many of which are foreign.

The first 118 mine guards graduated Monday from a special training course. They are equipped with assault rifles.


Mexico issues new warrants in 2014 students’ disappearance case


Source: Al Jazeera

Mexico has for the first time issued arrest warrants for members of the military and federal police force in relation to the abduction and disappearance of 43 students in 2014, the Attorney General’s office announced Saturday.

Omar Gomez Trejo, the prosecutor leading the investigation, said 25 arrest warrants had been issued in total and one federal police officer was already in custody.


Parents of missing Mexico students want answers 6 years on


Source: ABC News

MEXICO CITY — Families of 43 students who were kidnapped in southern Mexico on Sept. 26, 2014 are still demanding answers about their sons’ whereabouts as the sixth anniversary of the crime approaches.

Relatives gathered Thursday outside Mexico’s Supreme Court, holding photos of their missing sons and banners demanding justice.


Mexico Reports Slight Decline in 2019 Homicides


Source: The Wall Street Journal

MEXICO CITY—Mexico registered 209 fewer homicides in 2019 than a year earlier, the first decline in five years, though the murder rate remained at its highest level in decades, the National Statistics Institute said Wednesday.

The country registered 36,476 homicides last year, down from 36,685 in 2018, according to preliminary data based on death certificates. The homicide rate was unchanged from 2018 at 29 per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest level on records stretching back 30 years.


Mexico’s drug war leaves 39,000 unidentified bodies in its morgues


Source: The Gaurdian

Mexico’s militarised crackdown on organised crime has left nearly 39,000 unidentified bodies in the country’s morgues, which are often unable to handle the volume of corpses brought in for autopsies.

A new investigation by the investigative NGO Quinto Elemento Labs found that an alarming number of people were simply buried in common graves without proper postmortems. Some were left in funeral homes and more than 2,500 bodies were given to medical schools.