The chief hit man of legendary drug kingpin Pablo Escobar says ‘El Chapo is a dead man’

8/25/15 Business Insider

ElChapoJhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, alias “Popeye,” is one of few surviving members of Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel. He served as the infamous drug kingpin’s head of assassins.

In an interview with the Mexican news magazine Proceso, Popeye, who is a year removed from a 23-year prison term, said Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán would not be captured, but killed, should authorities try to apprehend him again.

Though Popeye thinks El Chapo could be found through a joint effort between uncorrupted police and military forces, American agents, and cooperative criminal elements, he said it would not be “convenient” for the Mexican government or for El Chapo if the fugitive drug lord survived.

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Mexico Disappearances on the Rise? Alarming Numbers Revealed; Relatives Told to ‘Accept the Facts’

8/24/15 Latino Post

mystery manThere are about 25,000 people who have gone missing in Mexico since 2006, but according to relatives of the missing persons, the government is not doing anything about it. In a report by the Los Angeles Times, it is not clear how many of the missing persons are victims of foul play, but many of them are feared dead, nonetheless.

One of the most high-profile cases happened just last year, when 43 students from a rural school in Guerrero were hauled off by the police.They were believed to have been working with a drug gang. The act of taking the said children caused national and international outrage from citizens and various human rights groups.

Fox News Latino also reported that of the over 25,000 disappearances in Mexico, more than half of them happened during the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto which started only in December 2012.

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Mexico expects agreement on arms trade treaty fine print at meeting

8/24/15 Reuters

Via Flickr - Pithawat Vachiramon
Via Flickr – Pithawat Vachiramon

Signatories of a major treaty aimed at regulating the international arms trade should agree a number of key steps for its implementation at a conference this week, host nation Mexico said on Sunday.

Officials from over 100 governments are expected to attend the first conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a pact to regulate the trade that took force in December but has yet to agree fine print on how it will be implemented.

During the Aug. 24-27 meetings in the Mexican resort of Cancun, signatories are hoping to set out rules of procedure for the ATT and discuss the financing of a secretariat that will oversee efforts to police the multi-billion dollar business.

“We expect to reach agreement on all the issues on the agenda,” said Jorge Lomonaco, Mexico’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, who is overseeing the conference. Among the issues on which Lomonaco expressed optimism were agreeing on a financial regime for the states parties to the ATT and the basis for decision making within it, he said. Arms control groups hope decisions by the states parties will be made by majority vote, rather than unanimity, which would give individual countries an effective veto.

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Police bust kidnap ring in northern Mexico, free 11 victims

8/24/15 Yahoo News

imagesMexican officials say federal police have arrested a cell of the Gulf Cartel in the border state of Tamaulipas and freed 11 kidnap victims showing signs of severe malnutrition and torture.

A statement from Tamaulipas security officials says the victims were kidnapped while traveling on roads in the state that borders Texas and the Gulf state of Veracruz, and were being held for ransom. Ten people were detained, including the cell leader.

The statement Sunday said police found human remains in a septic tank of the house where victims were held in Pueblo Viejo, Veracruz, near the Tamaulipas border. They said they do not know how many bodies were thrown there.

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Peña Nieto exonerated by government probe

8/23/15 Financial Times

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters
Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Mexico’s government on Friday exonerated President Enrique Peña Nieto, his wife and finance minister of any charges of conflict of interest over house purchases from favoured contractors that sparked a major credibility crisis.

Virgilio Andrade, head of the Public Function ministry which is investigating public servants, announced the findings of the six-month probe at a two-and-a-half hour news conference. The 60,000 pages of evidence and documents, and written interviews with 111 public officials, led Mr Andrade to conclude that the president and Luis Videgaray, the finance minister, had not acted improperly under Mexican law, since their roles gave them no formal power to award public works contracts.

He noted that contracts for the houses, bought before they took federal office, had not been amended to bring them financial gain. The first lady is not a public servant. However, Mr Peña Nieto offered an unprecedented “sincere apology”, saying that despite having been exonerated of wrongdoing, he appreciated that many Mexicans had been indignant.

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2 Mexican drug traffickers arrested in Colombia

8/21/15 Fox News Latino

Flag-Pins-Mexico-ColombiaTwo suspected members of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel were arrested in the Colombian Caribbean city of Cartagena by police officers working with Interpol, police spokesmen said.

Osvaldo Contreras Arriaga and Omar Ayon Diaz were arrested on Wednesday.

The two Mexican citizens were the subjects of alerts issued by Interpol.

The suspects face drug and money laundering charges in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego.

“These two people were arrested at Rafael Nuñez International Airport when they tried to enter Cartagena accompanied by relatives from Panama and Mexico,” Cartagena Metropolitan Police commander Brig. Gen. Carlos Rodriguez told EFE. The suspects “are wanted for laundering more than $45 million from smuggling drugs from Mexico into the United States,” the police chief said.

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Brazil cleans up its act, so should Mexico

8/21/15 Financial Times

Flag-Pins-Mexico-BrazilNobody here can do the maths!” Alberto Youssef despaired in an expletive-filled phone conversation wiretapped by Brazilian prosecutors three years ago. Mr Youssef, since convicted of helping to move $444m to offshore bank accounts in thousands of separate transactions, is a money launderer-turned-whistleblower in Brazil’s so-called Petrolão — the sprawling corruption scandal that has hit the highest levels of government.

The scandal, which saw billions of dollars skimmed from construction contracts taken out by Petrobras, the state-controlled energy company, to be used as kickbacks for politicians, has filled Brazil’s streets with protesters and led to calls for the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, the most unpopular president in Brazilian history. Quite some maths.

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