We can target all the drug kingpins in Mexico we want, but that’s a losing strategy

06/11/2021

Source: AZ Central

While the migration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border has monopolized recent headlines, another crisis has been unfolding along the same border: the flow of illegal and increasingly deadly drugs into the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a grim statistic in December that passed largely unnoticed amid the pandemic: the United States registered more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period.

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Prison releases signal the return of Mexico’s drug lords from the 1990s

06/01/2021

Source: El País

In the early 1990s, Mexico lived through the bloody rivalry between the Sinaloa cartel and the Tijuana cartel, in the country’s first major narco war. The fallout would leave a nation strewn with corpses and lay a path for every other conflict that has come since. Until then, drugs in Mexico had been controlled by a tight group of allied criminal organizations, which split into factions following the arrest of drug boss Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo. His nephews would go on to lead the Tijuana cartel, also known as the Arellano Félix cartel, while infamous Mexican narco trafficker Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada led the Sinaloa cartel. The intense rivalry between these criminal organizations would change Mexico forever.

This year, the United States will release Vicente Zambada, the first-born son of El Mayo, along with Eduardo Arellano Félix, one of the seven siblings who took over from their uncle in the rival group. The collaboration agreements with US justice, particularly concerning the cartels dealings with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), mean that the pair will not spend the rest of their lives in jail. Zambada betrayed his own father in 2019, revealing everything he knew about the cartel at Joaquín “El Chapo” Gúzman’s trial in New York, even after being groomed to serve in it since birth. Vicente had been extradited in 2010 and cooperated with the authorities since then; although the latter have not confirmed a date, he either has been already released or will soon be at some point this year. Although Eduardo Arellano Félix played a smaller role in the Tijuana cartel, he acted as informant and his sentence is due to expire in August.

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Mexico City marchers on Mother’s Day demand authorities find missing children

05/10/2021

Source: The Hill

Hundreds of demonstrators marched in Mexico City on Monday to mark Mother’s Day, demanding that authorities find their missing children.

The march is an annual event that takes place every Mother’s Day in Mexico City, The Associated Press reports. According to the Mexican government, more than 80,000 people have gone missing since the drug war in Mexico began in 2006.

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Mexico’s cartels are experimenting with control of another part of the cocaine trade

05/07/2021

Source: Business Inisider

MEXICO — Mexican drug cartels’ longstanding attempts to bring coca plantations out of South America and onto their turf may be bearing fruit.

Mexico’s military found and destroyed a 4-hectare plantation of coca in the mountains of Guerrero state in February. This was the third time authorities have found coca plantations in Mexico. The other two were found in the state of Chiapas, near the border with Guatemala, in 2014 and 2020, according to reports.

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El Güero Palma will remain in detention for “unclear” complaint: AMLO

05/04/2021

Source: The Yucatan Times

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported that the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) found an “unclear” complaint against the drug trafficker Héctor El Güero Palma Salazar and requested his detention to define the legal situation.

In the morning conference, the head of the federal Executive clarified that the accused left the Altiplano prison to be transferred to the FGR detention center where he remains deprived of his liberty.

In this regard, he said that the period of detention granted by a federal judge to the FGR will allow authorities from other countries to report if there is an extradition process and discard pending investigation files against one of the founders of the Sinaloa cartel.

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Mexico worries about scorn if another drug lord is released

05/03/2021

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador worried Monday that yet another shadowy release of a drug lord is about to make Mexico a target of international ridicule.

Almost eight years ago, drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero walked out of a Mexican prison late at night with an improperly ordered release. He has since returned to drug trafficking and unleashed bloody turf battles in northern Mexico border state of Sonora.

On Saturday, another top capo of the Sinaloa cartel was about to walk in similar circumstances.

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U.S.-Mexico Efforts Targeting Drug Cartels Have Unraveled, Top DEA Official Says

05/03/2021

Source: NPR

A senior Drug Enforcement Administration official told NPR efforts to target drug cartels operating inside Mexico have unraveled because of a breakdown in cooperation between law enforcement agencies and militaries in the two countries.

“We’re willing to share [intelligence] with our counterparts in Mexico, but they themselves are too afraid to even engage with us because of repercussions from their own government if they get caught working with DEA,” said Matthew Donahue, the DEA’s deputy chief of operations.

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Growers fret as Mexico moves to legalize marijuana

04/15/2021

Source: Yahoo! News

BADIRAGUATO, Mexico (AP) — For the first time that María can remember, half of her marijuana harvest is still in storage on her ranch in Mexico’s Sinaloa state months after it should have been sold.

Sitting in her wooden house tucked into the same mountains that produced some of the world’s most notorious drug traffickers, including Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the 44-year-old mother of four thinks she knows why: expectations Mexico will soon legalize marijuana.

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How American guns help Mexican cartels overwhelm Mexico’s police and military

04/02/2021

Source: Business Insider

Ciudad Juarez, MEXICO — Almost 50 years after Mexico’s first law to restrict the use of firearms was implemented in an attempt to keep the country at peace, Mexico finds itself flooded with foreign weapons.

Mexico’s prohibitive laws against firearms have not stopped thousands of weapons from being used in its streets, directly threatening its own security forces.

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‘An atmosphere of terror’: the bloody rise of Mexico’s top cartel

04/02/2021

Source: The Guardian

It was mid-spring when residents of the wasteland behind Guadalajara’s international airport noticed a dog roaming their community with a strange object in its mouth: a human forearm.

Search teams in the ramshackle neighbourhood of La Piedrera entered a roofless red brick shack flanked by trees decked with bright orange mistletoe. Under several layers of dusky earth they made an even more grotesque discovery.

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