Alleged cartel boss “Mr. Polite” nabbed in Mexican border city

02/20/2018 CBS News

policemanAn alleged top boss of the Gulf drug cartel was captured by Mexican marines Monday in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, which for years has been terrorized by gangland violence. A statement from the Mexican navy said the suspect it identified only as Jose Alfredo, with no last name, was arrested in the city of Matamoros, which is across from Brownsville, Texas.

“Presumably he was the leader of a criminal organization in the region,” the statement said.

A state government official with knowledge of the case confirmed that the detained man was Jose Alfredo Cardenas, alias “the Accountant” and “Mr. Polite.”

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Mexico probes police in disappearance of three Italians

02/19/2018 Reuters

Mexican Police officer with machine gun by flickr user dream2lifeMexican authorities said on Monday they are investigating whether police in the western state of Jalisco participated in the disappearance of three Italian citizens there.

The Naples natives reportedly went missing on Jan. 31 after being detained by police at a gasoline station in the municipality of Tecalitlan in southern Jalisco.

State authorities are “evaluating, using available information” whether police were involved in the disappearance, said Jalisco general secretary Roberto Lopez.

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Skeptical U.S. Rebuffs Mexico’s Request for Aid in Spyware Inquiry

02/20/2018 The New York Times

technology-785742_960_720American officials have rebuffed repeated requests from Mexico to help investigate the use of government spying technology against innocent civilians, wary that Mexico wants to use the United States as cover in a sham inquiry, senior American officials say.

The Mexican government has been on the defensive for months, battling revelations that surveillance technology it acquired has been used to spy on some of the nation’s most prominent human rights lawyers, academics and journalists.

Days after The New York Times revealed the extensive spying campaign, Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, acknowledged that the government had purchased the spying technology. He quickly ordered a federal investigation into any misuse, and Mexican officials said they would ask the F.B.I. for help.

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Mexico cartel holds two special agents hostage

02/12/2018 BBC News

mexico flagTwo members of a special investigative police force who disappeared in Mexico a week ago have been shown in a video posted on YouTube.

The two agents from the Criminal Investigation Agency appear sitting in front of five masked men who force them at gunpoint to read a statement.

The armed men are believed to be members of the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

The cartel has been expanded rapidly and aggressively across Mexico.

Mexico’s Attorney General Raul Cervantes recently declared it the nation’s largest criminal organisation and it has been blamed for a series of attacks on Mexican security forces and public officials.

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Mexico’s women prisoners: doubly punished for not living up to female roles

02/12/2018 El País
Image result for women in jailThe number of women in Mexican prisons, many of whom are jailed because of toxic relationships with their husbands, boyfriends, father and brothers, has increased in the past three years, jumping by 72% in 2015, and by 103% in 2016 and 2017 That’s according to a report from the non-profit advocacy group Equis Justicia para las Mujeres A.C., based on a study of three of Mexico’s 102 women’s penitentiaries.

There are 9,601 women detained in state prisons and 1,121 in federal prisons. In total, they represent 5.1% of the prison population, compared to the 217,000 men in jails, according to 2016 data from Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

Around 53% of the women were jailed for health-related crimes, in particular drug trafficking. While there is no set criminal pattern, the not-for-profit says these women share many characteristics – they are poor, have a low level of education, belong to marginalized communities and, before being locked up, worked in humble positions (as cleaners, food sellers or traffic light street vendors).

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Mexico: Zetas drugs cartel leader caught

02/09/2018 BBC

Image result for José María Guízar ValenciaA leader of the notorious Zetas drug cartel has been caught in Mexico City, according to Mexican authorities.

José María Guízar Valencia is wanted in the US, which had offered a $5m (£3.6m) reward for his capture.

Known as Z-43, he is a dual US-Mexican citizen and is thought to have run the Zeta’s south-eastern operations.

The US state department said he was responsible for “importing thousands of kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine to the US every year”.

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At UCSD, experts to explore new strategies for the war on drugs

02/07/2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

drug dog sniffing suitcaseWith casualties mounting and victory nowhere in sight, is it time to chart new strategies in the nation’s battle against drug abuse?

On Friday, UC San Diego will host “Rethinking the War on Drugs and U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation,” a conference dedicated to finding practical solutions to an intractable problem. Speakers will include a former White House adviser plus policymakers, researchers and journalists from both countries.

“The cooperation of the U.S. and Mexico is more critical now than ever,” said Rafael Fernández de Castro, director of UC San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies.

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