Will There Be Blood?

July 30, 2015

07/30/15 US News

energy - oil_rigOn one particular pipeline being built in Mexico’s desert, work stopped at 5 p.m. No exceptions.

“After 5:30, when the cartels start moving drugs, they have to leave the site. And the cartel made it very clear that if they saw them after 5:30, they would be butchered. So they enter into an ‘agreement,'” says Miriam Grunstein, a professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon and attorney who advised the unnamed pipeline construction company that entered into the understanding.

“It’s very spooky, but that’s how it works,” she says.

Pick your euphemism, but oil and gas companies are certainly no strangers to working in “volatile,” “dynamic” or “uncertain” settings, whether they be in Angola, Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria or Papua New Guinea, not to mention Iraq after the U.S. invasion. Now Mexico may soon join that list: Last year, his country faced with a potential credit downgrade and hungry for cash, President Enrique Pena Nieto announced Mexico would begin allowing foreign companies to drill for oil and gas alongside the state-owned company, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, which has controlled exploration and production since 1938.

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‘El Chapo’ Guzman will be Mexican President Pena Nieto’s legacy

July 20, 2015

7/20/15 BBC News

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

It was either anger or laughter. But it was humour that won out, at least for the first 24 hours.

Pretty soon, fake selfies appeared on social media showing El Chapo outside Trump Tower smiling. A dig, of course, at businessman Donald Trump who outraged Mexicans recently when he said those who came to the US were “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they’re rapists”.

Sarcasm and dark humour are what seem to be getting Mexicans through these difficult times.

And these times are excruciating for President Enrique Pena Nieto too.

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Mexico offers $3.8M reward for ‘El Chapo’

July 15, 2015

07/15/15 USA Today

Mexico BricksThe Mexican government put a $3.8 million pricetag on his head, the Chicago Crime Commission once again dubbed him Public Enemy No. 1, and Donald Trump had a beef with him on Twitter.

Still, Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman remained a free man Tuesday, three days after he disappeared from a Mexican prison shower, slipped through a mile-long tunnel and vanished into the night.

The director of Altiplano, the notorious yet apparently pregnable maximum security prison 50 miles outside of Mexico City, and two other prison employees have been fired. Mexico’s Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong provided few details, other than to say all “had something or a lot to do with what happened.”

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Mexico drug lord Guzman’s escape tunnel is a minor engineering masterpiece

July 13, 2015

06/13/15 Los Angeles Times

Photo by Flickr user Dexter Perrin

Photo by Flickr user Dexter Perrin

The tunnel stretched a mile long, from the jailhouse shower to an empty building in a cornfield, and was deep enough for drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to stand upright as he made his escape.

A minor engineering masterpiece, some might say, equipped with ventilation, lighting, oxygen tanks, scaffolding and a motorcycle contraption for removing the tons of dirt being excavated.

Guzman, Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, escaped sometime Saturday night from a maximum-security prison through the clandestine passageway, authorities announced Sunday.

He had often used tunnels, as well as bribes and murder, to stay steps ahead of the law during his last decade on the lam. Yet, after his capture last year, the president of Mexico said losing him again would be “unpardonable.”

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Mexico drug lord’s son freed, and arrested again

July 2, 2015

07/02/15 Yahoo News

prisonMexico City (AFP) – The son of Mexico’s most wanted drug lord was re-arrested Wednesday shortly after he had been freed for a second time in six months. Ruben Oseguera, alias “El Menchito,” had been detained just a week ago over allegations that he is the second-in-command of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel. But a federal court in the central State of Mexico ordered the 25-year-old suspect’s release, saying the authorities failed to prove his links to the gang. Authorities arrested him again after his release, this time over his “presumed participation in the disappearance of two people,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

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Ex-Mexican Cartel Leader Gets 30 Years Prison in US

July 1, 2015

07/01/15 ABC News

Photo by Andrew Bardwell from Cleveland, Ohio, USA, WikiCommonsA former leader of Mexico’s notorious Gulf drug cartel has been sentenced to 30 years in a U.S. prison and fined $100 million. Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez was sentenced Tuesday by a judge in Beaumont, Texas, on drug and money laundering convictions. Saenz-Tamez is a 23-year-old resident of the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas (tahm-uh-LEE’-puhs). He was arrested in October during a shopping trip to Texas.

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Only two drug cartels left in Mexico and all others have splintered, top official says

June 16, 2015

06/16/15 Fox News Latino

Mexican_drug_cartels_2008It’s been over eight years since former Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared an offensive on the country’s drug trafficking organizations that left over an estimated 100,000 people dead on both sides.

In the coinciding years, a slew of drug cartels have risen to prominence to fill power vacuums left following the death or capture of their counterparts. But now, according to a high-ranking Mexican official, there are two cartels operating in the country: the stalwart Sinaloa cartel and the newer Jalisco-New Generation cartel.

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