‘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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Exclusive: U.S. investigations into cartels paralyzed by standoff with Mexico

03/30/2021

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. efforts to battle powerful drug cartels from inside Mexico have ground to a halt since January as strained relations between the two countries have frozen attempts to corral drug kingpins, according to current and former senior officials in both nations.

Until recently, U.S. and Mexican authorities routinely, if cautiously, shared intelligence on major cases. But in December, Mexico enacted a law requiring U.S. authorities to report their law-enforcement contacts in the country to the Mexican government, which American investigators widely view as corrupt. The new policy has led investigators on both sides of the border to pause their cooperation, fearful that the new disclosure rules could compromise cases – or worse, get informants or Mexican officials helping the Americans killed.

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Mexico moves to legalize cannabis use, a modest step toward de-escalating drug war

03/30/2021

Source: Yahoo! News

Mexico’s lower house of Congress in March handily approved a bill to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. The bill is now with the Senate, where it is likely to pass, as Mexican senators have previously voted to legalize cannabis.

If that happens, Mexico will join Uruguay and Canada in allowing people to use cannabis recreationally, albeit in more limited fashion.

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Mexico Set to Legalize Marijuana, Becoming World’s Largest Market

03/10/2021

Source: The New York Times

MEXICO CITY — Lawmakers in Mexico approved a bill Wednesday night to legalize recreational marijuana, a milestone for the country, which is in the throes of a drug war and could become the world’s largest cannabis market, leaving the United States between two pot-selling neighbors.

The 316-to-129 vote in Mexico’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, came more than two years after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the country’s ban on recreational marijuana was unconstitutional and more than three years after the country legalized medicinal cannabis.

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Mexico’s landmark cannabis bill one step closer to becoming law

03/09/2021

Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Two special committees of Mexico’s Lower House of Congress late on Monday approved a draft bill to decriminalize marijuana and sent it on to the full chamber, bringing it a step closer to creating one of the world’s largest markets for the drug.

The bill, backed by the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, would mark a major shift in a country bedeviled for years by violence between feuding drug cartels.

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Mexico moves closer to becoming the world’s largest legal cannabis market

03/06/2021

Source: NBC News

Mexico is inching closer to becoming the world’s largest legal cannabis market as lawmakers prepare to debate a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana.

The Chamber of Deputies, Congress’ lower house similar to the U.S. House of Representatives, will take up the issue early next week, Martha Tagle Martínez, a member of the chamber’s health committee, said in a series of tweets.

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U.S. Tells Mexico Drug War’s Failure Requires New Strategy

03/03/2021

Source: Bloomberg

A top White House official told Mexican officials that key aspects of the two countries’ fight against drug trafficking aren’t working and that the U.S. is open to pursuing new strategies together, according to people familiar with the message.

Juan Gonzalez, senior director for the Western Hemisphere on the National Security Council, made the comments last week on a call between Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversation was private.

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Mexico Could Soon Become the Largest Legal Marijuana Market in the World

02/25/2021

Source: The Nation

When a crew of cannabis activists reached the Mexican Senate here in Mexico City in February 2020, shovels in hand, they started digging up the yellow-tipped bushes near the security check, then the knee-high grass that surrounds the plaza. They planted skinny cannabis stalks, and smokers dropped their own cannabis seeds into a glass jar, each one a tithe for their cause. The operation was a gleeful but pointed jab at the politicians inside, who had used marijuana and other drugs to justify an ongoing war, carried out in partnership with the United States, that had made Mexico one of the most violent countries in the world. They were far more likely to be taken out by a bullet, the activists said, than by smoking a joint. They wanted to make sure reform would be done right.

The stunt was just the latest sign that Mexico’s marijuana-legalization movement, which once consisted of a handful of protesters, had transformed into a diverse and vocal lobby.

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U.S. arrests wife of Mexico cartel chief El Chapo on drug charges

02/22/2021

Source: Reuters

Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, a regular attendee at her husband’s high-profile U.S. trial two years ago where he was convicted of trafficking tons of drugs into the United States, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.

Her arrest is the highest profile U.S. capture of a Mexican on drug charges since former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos was detained in October, and experts said it indicated a deterioration in bilateral security relations.

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Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel built an empire on cocaine, but it’s betting on another drug to feed US appetites

2/4/21

Source: Business Insider

Culiacán, MEXICO — Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel built an empire on cocaine, but it’s shifting its focus to a new, more powerful drug in in response to changing demand in the US.

Although the cartel, known for its now-jailed kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is still a huge distributor of cocaine in the US, the organization is betting on fentanyl to feed the demand for opioids north of the border while keeping the cartel on top in Mexico.

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