The key to bringing down El Chapo? Flipping his IT guy.

1/9/2019 – The Washington Post

In February 2010, Cristian Rodriguez showed up at a Manhattan hotel expecting to attend a business meeting of sorts.

An information technology expert living in Colombia, he had previously set up an encrypted communications system for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, making it impossible for law enforcement to eavesdrop on phone calls placed by the alleged leader of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel.

Joining him in New York was a potential client who needed a similar system for his own shadowy crime syndicate — or so Rodriguez thought.

In fact, the man — who posed as a Russian mobster, according to the New York Times — was actually an undercover agent.

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Shunning Wall Talk, AMLO Wants Trump to Aid Central America

12/13/2018 – The Washington Post

13-JULIO-2018-AMLO-POMPEO-1024x683By Nacha Cattan

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador chose not to respond to the U.S. president’s provocations about paying for a border wall and insisted Donald Trump pay to aid Central Americans.

Lopez Obrador, or AMLO as he’s known, said he didn’t discuss the wall in his first phone call with President Trump the prior evening. Instead, he called on Trump to join Mexico in the nation’s pledge to pay $5 billion next year to stem migration through jobs and development programs in Mexico and Central America after Trump tweeted that Mexico would pay for the wall.

Trump “invited me, and I’m also able to go to Washington, but I think for both him and me, there needs to be a motivation, and the most important one would be to sign this accord” to fund Central American development, Lopez Obrador said at a press conference Thursday. “I consider this to be more important, or as important, as the free trade agreement.”

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UN Group Slams Mexican Plan to Hold More Suspects Pending

12/13/2018 – The New York Times

Flag-of-the-United-Nations.jpgMEXICO CITY — A U.N. rights group is criticizing a proposal by Mexico’s leftist Morena party to broaden the list of charges that require suspects be jailed while on trial.

The bill passed last week by Mexico’s Senate adds four crimes to those considered so serious that suspects can’t be released on bail or personal recognizance.

The list currently includes serious crimes like murder, rape or terrorism, and the measure would broaden add corruption, weapons possession, child sex abuse and fuel theft from government pipelines.

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Mexico Passes Law Restructuring Attorney General’s Office

12/12/2018 – The New York Times

camara-de-diputados-subasta-34-vehiculos-en-austeridad-republicana-high.jpgBy Reuters

MEXICO CITY — The lower house of Mexico’s Congress has passed legislation aimed at restructuring the Attorney General’s Office amid a growing wave of homicides in the country.

The bill must still be signed into law by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Lopez Obrador’s Morena party backed the measure, which gives the Senate a role in proposing candidates to fill the top prosecutor post, which has been vacant for over a year.

Opposition parties criticized the bill, saying it does not guarantee enough independence or oversight for the new attorney general.

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AMLO Targets Salaries of Mexico’s Supreme Court Judges

12/12/2018 – Bloomberg

El-presidente-de-México-Andrés-Manuel-López-Obrador.-EFE-4By Eric  Martin

Mexico’s new President described the salaries of the nation’s Supreme Court judges’ as an “injustice” on Tuesday after they rebuffed his party’s attempt to lower them. A look at the numbers suggests that the leftist leader may have a point.

Speaking at his daily news conference on Tuesday morning, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lambasted what he claimed was a 600,000 peso ($29,731) monthly income. While that may overstate the amount because it includes some benefits like insurance, a more conservative estimate puts their annual pre-tax pay at about $269,000. That’s roughly equal to the $267,000 salary for U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts and more than the $255,300 for the eight Associate Justices.

Mexico’s per capita gross domestic product is less than $9,000 a year, one sixth that of the U.S., and it’s routine for workers in Mexico to earn a fraction of those in America for the same job, in part because Mexico’s cost of living is far lower. Mexico’s lower salaries in the automotive industry, for instance, were a key point of contention during this year’s talks to overhaul the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Mexico’s new president must address the epidemic of mass graves

From 2006 to 2016, almost 2,000 mass graves used by criminals to disappear people were discovered in Mexico, according to official records. This barbaric practice took place in 24 states, affecting 1 in 7 municipalities.

These are some of the results of a year-and-a-half-long investigation led by a group of journalists concerned about the systematic and widespread practice of disappearing people. During the past two administrations, 37,000 have gone missing.

Our investigation — which discovered 1,978 clandestine graves, the municipalities where they were located and the number of bodies and remains extracted — shows more than double the highest number of graves reported during the same period by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), a federal government agency.

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Mexico’s President, Judiciary in Standoff Over Pay

12/11/2018 – The New York Times

10-12-18-FOTO-02-CONFERENCIA-DE-PRENSA-MATUTINA-PRESIDENTE-DE-MÉXICO-ANDRÉS-MANUEL-LÓPEZ-OBRADOR-770x553.jpgMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s new president said Monday that salaries for some in the country’s judicial branch are “offensive” and that he will leave it to the Congress to implement his call for austerity.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador showed no sign of budging in his standoff with Mexico’s judges, who have balked at his demand that no public salaries exceed his own.

Since Lopez Obrador has pledged to only take a salary of 108,000 pesos ($5,300) per month, many in the federal government will face a pay cut.

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