At least 50 missing after traveling on Mexico’s “highway of death”


Source: Yahoo! News

At least 50 people are missing in Mexico after embarking on three-hour car trips between the industrial hub of Monterrey and the border city of Nuevo Laredo, a stretch of road local media have called “the highway of death,” AP reports.

The big picture: About a half-dozen men have reappeared alive, beaten, saying only that armed men forced them to stop on the highway and took their vehicles, per AP.


In Mexico, cartels are hunting down police at their homes


Source: AP

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The notoriously violent Jalisco cartel has responded to Mexico’s “hugs, not bullets” policy with a policy of its own: The cartel kidnapped several members of an elite police force in the state of Guanajuato, tortured them to obtain names and addresses of fellow officers and is now hunting down and killing police at their homes, on their days off, in front of their families.

It is a type of direct attack on officers seldom seen outside of the most gang-plagued nations of Central America and poses the most direct challenge yet to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s policy of avoiding violence and rejecting any war on the cartels.


‘Huge incentives to kill’: Mexico crime groups target election candidates


Source: The Guardian

Tuesday started off like any other day on the campaign trail for José Alberto Alonso, a union leader running for mayor in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco: he kissed his family goodbye, boarded his Nissan Extreme SUV and headed off to start knocking on doors.

But barely 200m from his home, a motorcycle closed in and the pillion passenger pulled a handgun, peppering the car with bullets. Alonso’s bodyguard returned fire, and the attackers fled. The candidate had escaped injury, but was later sent to hospital suffering from stress.


Coronavirus: Pfizer confirms fake versions of vaccine in Poland and Mexico


Source: BBC News

US pharmaceutical company Pfizer says it has identified counterfeit versions of its coronavirus vaccine in Mexico and Poland.

The doses were seized by authorities in the two countries and confirmed by tests to be fake.

In Mexico, they had false labels, while the substance in Poland was believed to be anti-wrinkle treatment, Pfizer said.


Mexico’s navy turns over 30 marines in disappearances cases


Source: AP News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s navy said Monday it turned 30 marines over to civilian prosecutors to face justice in the cases of people who disappeared during anti-crime operations in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo in 2014.

The navy said there were outstanding warrants for the 30 charging them with “acting in violation of their duty.”

The military personnel were handed over to the federal Attorney General’s Office late last week, the navy said.


‘An atmosphere of terror’: the bloody rise of Mexico’s top cartel


Source: The Guardian

It was mid-spring when residents of the wasteland behind Guadalajara’s international airport noticed a dog roaming their community with a strange object in its mouth: a human forearm.

Search teams in the ramshackle neighbourhood of La Piedrera entered a roofless red brick shack flanked by trees decked with bright orange mistletoe. Under several layers of dusky earth they made an even more grotesque discovery.


Oxygen Shortage in Mexico Spurs Profiteering


Source: Insight Crime

With oxygen in short supply in Mexico amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a black market is expanding — in another example of medical shortages spurring fraud and profiteering.

On February 1, Ricardo Sheffield, the head of Mexico’s national consumer protection agency, PROFECO, said that more than 130 online ads and 1,200 Facebook profiles were fraudulently selling oxygen cylinders, Excelsior reported.


Mexico arrests ex-governor in case of tortured journalist


Source: Yahoo! News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The arrest of a former Mexican governor on charges he ordered the torture of a journalist gave hope to activists who believe the case could reveal the ties between powerful businessmen, politicians and organized crime and strike a blow against Mexico’s notorious impunity.

Mario Marín, who governed the central state of Puebla from 2005 to 2011 for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, was arrested Wednesday in Acapulco and transported to a jail in Cancun. He is charged with human rights violations in relation to the illegal arrest and torture of journalist Lydia Cacho who in her 2005 book had detailed the role of other powerful men in a pedophilia ring that preyed on young girls.


In Mexico amid Covid pandemic, oxygen demand has led to crime


Source: NBC News

MEXICO CITY — Mexico continued to post near-record rates of coronavirus deaths Tuesday, and the huge demand for oxygen canisters has led to frauds, robberies and other crimes against families trying to care for relatives at home.

Mexico posted a near-record 1,743 newly confirmed Covid deaths, bringing the total to over 152,000, and 7,165 new infections.


Report: Witness implicates Mexico’s army in abduction of 43


Source: AP

MEXICO CITY (AP) — New testimony by a cooperating witness directly implicates Mexico’s army in the disappearance of 43 college students in a 2014 incident that continues to haunt the country, according to a newspaper report Wednesday.

The newspaper Reforma said the witness, presumably a gang member identified only as “Juan,” alleges soldiers held and interrogated some of the students before turning them over to a drug gang.