Cartel gun battle with armored trucks kills 8 in Mexico

04/26/2021

Source: AP News

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — A raging gun battle between rival Mexican drug gangs near the U.S. border left eight people dead and a string of burned-out armored trucks littering a roadway.

Residents of the northern border state of Tamaulipas said Monday the gun battles occurred Saturday and continued into Sunday in the hamlet of Santa Rosalia, located in the border township of Camargo. The residents asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

They said burned bodies were found lying in or near the burned out trucks, at least three of which had welded steel plates that served as improvised armor.

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OAS rights group: ‘Critical’ levels of impunity in Mexico

04/25/2021

Source: The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico is suffering “critical” failures in law enforcement and some of the worst levels of journalist killings outside a war zone, the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights said in a report.

The Mexican government said Sunday that it is “strengthening its work” in the areas criticized by the commission, which is a body of the Organization of American States.

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Violence erupts as Mexico’s deadly gangs aim to cement power in largest ever elections

04/20/2021

Source: The Guardian

Violent clashes between rival Mexican criminal groups – and their alleged allies in the security forces – are escalating ahead of mid-term elections in June, triggering a string of political assassinations and the forced displacement of thousands.

State and federal security forces have actively colluded with – and even fought alongside – the warring factions, according to local civilians, civil society activists and gunmen from various factions.

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Mexico moves to require biometric data from cellphone users

04/14/2021

Source: AP News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Activists and opposition figures cried foul Wednesday after Mexico’s Senate passed legislation to require cellphone companies to gather customers’ identification and biometric data, like fingerprints or eye scans.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party supported the bill, saying it is needed to fight crimes like extortion and kidnapping that frequently involve the use of cellphones.

The legislation, which was already passed by the Chamber of Deputies, would give cell companies two years to collect the data and make it available to the government.

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Mexico’s navy turns over 30 marines in disappearances cases

04/12/2021

Source: AP News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s navy said Monday it turned 30 marines over to civilian prosecutors to face justice in the cases of people who disappeared during anti-crime operations in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo in 2014.

The navy said there were outstanding warrants for the 30 charging them with “acting in violation of their duty.”

The military personnel were handed over to the federal Attorney General’s Office late last week, the navy said.

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U.S. sanctions Mexican cartel suspects linked to high-profile attacks

04/07/2021

Souce: Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The United States has sanctioned two suspected members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) accused of helping organize an attack last year on Mexico City’s police chief and the murder of a former governor of the Jalisco state.

Carlos Andres Rivera Varela, a dual Mexico-Colombia citizen, and Mexican national Francisco Javier Gudino Haro are alleged to be members of a CJNG faction operating out the western beach resort of Puerto Vallarta.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury alleged that the duo “helped orchestrate assassinations using high-powered weaponry on behalf of CJNG”, a gang notorious as one of Mexico’s most violent.

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Mexico president justifies release of kingpin targeted by US

04/07/2021

Source: AP News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday defended the 2013 ruling that freed one of the drug lords most wanted by U.S. authorities, even though Mexico’s Supreme Court later ruled it was a mistake.

Rafael Caro Quintero walked free while serving a 40-year sentence for the torture-murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985, and has since apparently resumed his role as violent drug trafficker.

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Mexican police arrest partner of Salvadoran woman killed during police encounter

03/31/2021

Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican authorities have arrested the partner of a Salvadoran woman who died after a Mexican female police officer was seen in a video kneeling on her back, a case that triggered an outpouring of anger in Mexico, media reported on Tuesday.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador this week said 36-year-old Victoria Salazar Arriaza had been subject to “brutal treatment and murdered” after her detention on Saturday by four police officers in the tourist resort of Tulum on the Caribbean coast. An autopsy showed Salazar’s neck had been broken.

Her death, which had echoes of the case of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in May as a Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck, sparked outrage on social media and calls by El Salvador’s president for the officers to be punished.

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The death truck: how a solution to Mexico’s morgue crisis created a new horror

04/01/2021

Source: The Guardian

On the southern outskirts of Guadalajara, early in the morning of 15 September 2018, a large container, the type normally attached to a lorry, sank into the soupy ground beside a rutted country road. The refrigerated container could store up to 18 tonnes of material, cooled to -40C. Across its white exterior, a cartoon polar bear in a blue work shirt smiled and gave a thumbs up.

A container like this was a common enough sight in the neighbourhood of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga. What attracted attention was the smell. Sitting there, slumped between cornfields on one side and dilapidated concrete houses on the other, it gave off a thick, cloying odour. Some said it reeked of rotting cabbage and fish, others mentioned putrid meat. But they all agreed: the container exuded death.

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Dodging bullets in Fresnillo, Mexico’s city of fear

04/01/2021

Source: El País USA

Sometimes Mariano Rosales has just enough time to lower his grocery store’s metal shutters and lock himself in the cellar with his wife. But there are moments when the bullets start firing so close that the couple just hit the aisle floor, their eyes trained on packs of Doritos. In his 12 years running his store in Fresnillo, in Mexico’s Zacatecas state, Rosales has never been more afraid. “We are scared to death. We spend all day praying to Christ,” said the shopkeeper.

His fears are hardly unfounded. Fresnillo recently received the unwelcome accolade of being named the least safe place in the country according to its own residents, in a survey for Mexico’s national statistics agency. Inter-cartel violence is the top of the city’s concerns as elections loom on June 6.Three weeks ago in front of Rosales’ store, a group of sicarios – hired cartel assassins  killed the city’s deputy director of urban development while he was standing in the door of his own home. A few days earlier a lawyer was shot dead on the same street as he was leaving his office. And one week ago, three more neighbors were shot a couple of blocks down the street. The day the city official was shot dead, 14 other people were murdered in this city of 250,000 souls. Little surprise then that the survey found 95 percent of Fresnillo residents feel living in their city is unsafe.

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