The trial of El Chapo and the crime-fighting plan of AMLO

11/16/2018 – The Economist

Source: The Economist

CHIEF AMONG the signs that not all is well in Mexican law enforcement is the trial of the country’s most wanted man. It began this week in New York, because each time Mexican authorities locked up Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, allegedly the boss of the Sinaloa drug gang, he escaped. After his third capture, in 2016, Mexico extradited him to the United States. That has not reduced bloodshed in Mexico. As the accused kingpin stood in the dock, Mexico’s president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, unveiled a plan that he said would end a misguided, decade-long war on drugs.

The subject of ballads and gory television series, El Chapo provokes fear even in New York. A juror broke down in tears upon learning of her selection for the trial. Prosecutors accused him of smuggling 150,000kg (330,000 pounds) of cocaine into the United States. But his lawyer insisted that there had been a mix-up. Mr Guzmán was never in charge of Mexico’s biggest drug-trafficking gang, he said.

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El Chapo Trial Turns to Tales of Greed and Gore

11/16/2018 – New York Times

el chapo
Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

The assassin’s bullet whizzed past Jesus Zambada García’s ear and knocked him to the ground. He wasn’t dead, just wounded. The gunshot sliced a deep, red groove into his head.

Ambushed by his attackers at a Mexico City store, Mr. Zambada stumbled to his feet and came up shooting. With a panicked spray of gunfire, he hit one of them. The other ran away.

“I’m alive,” he told a jury on Thursday, “because the bullet did not penetrate my skull.”

This tale of an attempted hit came on Mr. Zambada’s second day as a witness against his former boss in the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the Mexican crime lord known as El Chapo.

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Migrants Streaming Into Tijuana, but Now Face Long Stay

11/16/2018 – New York Times

Source: CNN

TIJUANA, Mexico — About 2,000 Central American migrants had already reached the Mexican border city of Tijuana and another 1,200 from a second caravan set out from Mexico City toward the border Friday.

With shelters already full, authorities in Tijuana opened a gymnasium and gated sport complex for up to 1,000 migrants, with a potential to expand to 3,000.

But at least that many migrants were still on the road or trickling into the city aboard buses, and a third caravan was still waiting in Mexico City. Tijuana faced a potential influx of as many as 10,000 in all. The city’s privately run shelters are meant to have a capacity of 700.

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Mexico’s High Court Tosses Law on Policing by Military

11/16/2018 – New York Times

close up court courthouse hammer
Photo by Pixabay on

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Supreme Court invalidated a controversial law signed last year that created a legal framework for the military to work in a policing role in much of the country, ruling Thursday that the measure violated the constitution by trying to normalize the use of the armed forces in public safety.

Deep-rooted corruption and ineffectiveness among local and state police forces has led Mexico to rely heavily on the military to combat drug cartels in parts of the country.

But military commanders have long expressed uneasiness about what was essentially an open-ended policing mission. The armed forces have been implicated in a number of human rights abuse cases.

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‘It’s a Crisis of Civilization in Mexico.’ 250,000 Dead. 37,400 Missing

Lizbeth Ortega in the room where her missing daughter Zumiko shared a bed with a younger sister, Liliana.
EL FUERTE, Mexico—One recent day, a line of grieving mothers armed with picks and shovels worked their way across a muddy field looking for Mexico’s dead and missing, their own children among them.


“It smells bad here,” said Lizbeth Ortega, a member of Las Rastreadoras de El Fuerte, or the Trackers of El Fuerte, a group of mothers who look for missing people.

The mothers literally wear their pain. Some don white T-shirts, like Ms. Ortega’s, which has a blown-up photograph of her daughter Zumiko, kidnapped almost three years ago and still missing. On the back, her shirt says “I’ll search for you until I find you.”

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Mexico President-Elect Will Continue to Lean on Military

14-11-18-FOTOS-10-AMLO-PRESENTACIÓN-PLAN-NACIONAL-DE-PAZ-Y-SEGURIDAD-1024x605.jpgBy The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday he will continue to rely heavily on the military for internal security and appeared to dismiss aspirations of Mexico someday having effective civilian police forces.

In announcing his security plan for the next six years, Lopez Obrador said he would seek a constitutional change for the creation of a 50,000-strong National Guard initially composed of members of the army, navy and federal police that would be operational within three years.

Mexico’s previous two administrations have relied heavily on the military to combat drug cartels and perform policing duties, in some cases after local police forces deemed deeply corrupt were disbanded.


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U.S. alone in opposing U.N. refugee text over sovereignty concerns

11/14/2018 – Reuters

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States was the only country on Tuesday to oppose an annual draft U.N. General Assembly resolution on the work of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) because it said elements of the text ran counter to the Trump administration’s sovereign interests.

The resolution has generally been approved by consensus for more than 60 years. But this year Washington asked for a vote.

The draft text was adopted by the General Assembly human rights committee with 176 votes in favor, while there were three abstentions and 13 countries didn’t vote. It is now due to be formally adopted by the 193-member General Assembly in December.

U.S. Ambassador for economic and social affairs Kelley Currie told the committee that while the United States valued much of what was contained in the resolution and an attached Global Compact on Refugees, some U.S. concerns were unaddressed.