International effort targets drug cartels operating in Chicago

08/16/18 Chicago Tribune

chicagoCalling Chicago’s place in the Mexican cartel network a major cause of the city’s stubborn violence problem, federal and local law enforcement promised Wednesday to work closer with their Mexican counterparts to more effectively pursue drug kingpins.

The new effort will include a Chicago-based enforcement group that officials said will focus on cartel leaders in Mexico, in an effort to disrupt revenue streams and hold those leaders accountable for the havoc they cause here.

Brian McKnight, special agent in charge of the Chicago office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said the new coordination will allow for easier targeting of every player in the drug networks regardless of which country they are in.

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US energy secretary: Mexico’s energy independence good goal

08/16/18 Washington Post

Rick PerryU.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he supports the plans of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to increase the country’s energy independence, even if it could mean fewer purchases from U.S. refineries.

The U.S. is opening new markets for its energy products daily and having Mexico develop its own energy resources will only benefit North America’s economic security, Perry said.

Perry spoke to reporters Wednesday in Mexico City after meeting with Lopez Obrador’s pick to become Mexico’s energy secretary, Rocio Nahle. He spoke on condition the remarks would not be released until Thursday.

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USTR Lighthizer eyes NAFTA ‘breakthrough,’ Mexico urges flexibility

08/16/18 Reuters

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M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday expressed hope a breakthrough could be made in coming days on reworking the NAFTA trade deal, though his Mexican counterpart said flexibility was needed to reach agreement.

Lighthizer was speaking in Washington during the latest round of high-level talks between U.S. and Mexican officials to rejig the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, with a deal still elusive a year after the renegotiation began.

“I’m hopeful that in the next several days we’ll have a breakthrough,” Lighthizer said in response to a question from U.S. President Donald Trump on how talks were progressing during a U.S. cabinet meeting at the White House.

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Mexico unsure if it will finish NAFTA talks with U.S. in August

08/15/18 Reuters

Guajardo 5Mexico’s economy minister on Wednesday said that Mexico and the United States may not meet an August goal to finish bilateral talks to revamp the NAFTA trade deal, which is beset by disagreements over automobile trade rules and other issues.

Top Mexican officials started their fourth week of talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington over a new North American Free Trade Agreement.

Asked if the August goal was still viable, Guajardo said, “That is why we are here. We are fully engaged. We don’t know if there will be a successful conclusion.”

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Mexico Offers $1.6 Million for Information Leading to Drug Lord’s Arrest

08/15/18 New York Times

Photo: Milenio

Mexico is offering a 30 million pesos ($1.56 million) reward for information leading to the arrest of drug lord Nemesio Oseguera whose cartel is blamed for driving heroin shipments to the United States, the attorney general said on Wednesday.

Known as “El Mencho,” Oseguera has risen to become Mexico’s most-wanted drug lord after Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was extradited to the United States last year to face trial.

In March, U.S. agents in Chicago named El Mencho public enemy No. 1 and blamed his gang for using “extreme violence” to expand their share of the heroin trade. The United States is offering $5 million for information leading to his capture.

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U.S. and Mexico to Set Up Joint Team to Fight Drug Cartels

08/15/18 New York Times

CartelThe U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Mexico will set up a joint team based in Chicago to target Mexican drug cartels, their leaders, and finances, officials said on Wednesday.

The team will aim to slow the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico into Chicago and other U.S. cities and stem a deadly drug epidemic hitting the United States, the U.S. officials said at a joint news conference.

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The Latest: Mexico says capture of drug lord a priority

08/15/18 Washington Post

Francisco_Arellano_Felix_arrested_by_the_DEAThe Latest on announcement in Chicago of new plans to battle Mexican cartels (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Drug Enforcement Administration officials in Chicago have unveiled some additional strategies in combating Mexican drug cartels alongside members of the Mexican government, military and federal police.

Mexico’s deputy attorney general also told a joint news conference Wednesday that one priority is to capture the leader of the increasingly powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes.

A DEA report last year called the cartel “one of the most powerful and fastest growing.” Also on Wednesday in Mexico, authorities said they were offering a 30 million peso ($1.6 million) reward for the capture of Cervantes.

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