Border Patrol agent who picked up drugs along fence for apparent traffickers gets prison

04/25/2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

iceFor 10 years, Noe Lopez wore the olive green uniform of a Border Patrol agent.

On Wednesday, the olive green garb he wore in a San Diego courtroom was markedly different. It was that of a federal inmate.

“You held a position of trust,” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw scolded Lopez. “This was the ultimate betrayal and breach of that trust.”

That betrayal played out at the end of 2016, when the agent coordinated drug load drop-offs along remote portions of the U.S.-Mexico border fence and then picked up the loads while on-duty.

Read more…


Study finds record violence costing Mexico billions of dollars

04/11/2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

la-fg-tijuana-journalists-violence-photos-005As fighting among drug trafficking groups drives up violence in Mexico to record levels, a new study released on Wednesday measures the economic impact in 2017 at $249 billion in losses — close to 21 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Authors of the study presented at the University of San Diego say that focusing on homicides alone fails to address the broad range of factors that drive the violence, and affect the well being of Mexicans on a multitude of levels. To bring down the violence will mean addressing issues such as corruption and the weak rule of law, the study states.

“ ‘End drug violence’ is not an actionable policy statement for peace building,” states the “Mexico Peace Index” report by the Australia-based Institute for Economics & Peace, an independent non-partisan think tank. “A much broader peace-building strategy is needed to address the causes as well as the symptoms of lawlessness.”

Read more…

Torture on YouTube, drugs in jalapeño cans: That’s part of what the government says it has on ‘El Chapo’

04/11/2018 CNN

El chapo guzman
Source: Reuters

When Mexican cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman goes on trial in New York, federal prosecutors are expected to unveil evidence ranging from details of his sensational prison breaks to the drug ledgers of associates, from footage of tons of cocaine concealed in US-bound cans of jalapeños to YouTube video of a rival’s torture.

The conspiracy trial is set to begin in September, but a 90-page government memo filed in Brooklyn federal court this week outlines the evidence prosecutors hope to present as well as what they don’t want the jury to hear.

Read more…

1 policeman, 8 gunmen killed in shootout in western Mexico

04/02/2018 The Washington Post

jaliscoMEXICO CITY — Prosecutors in western Mexico said Monday that one police officer and eight gunmen were killed in a shootout in the state of Jalisco.

The state prosecutor’s office said officers were patrolling the town of Jalostotitlan when assailants opened fire on them from several vehicles. Following the gunfight, the dead gunmen were found inside pickup trucks and SUVs or on the ground around them.

Three police officers were wounded in the shootout late Sunday.

The Jalisco drug cartel is active in the area.

Read more…

Fury as Mexico presidential candidate pitches amnesty for drug cartel kingpins

12/4/2017 The Guardian

A leading Mexican presidential candidate has been accused of wanting to explore a deal with the devil in an attempt to bring peace to the country.

Speaking in the violence-wracked southern state of Guerrero this weekend, Andrés Manuel López Obrador floated the idea of an amnesty for drug cartel kingpins, saying he wanted a dialogue on the drug war that has cost the country an estimated 200,000 lives over the last decade.

“If it is necessary … we will talk about granting amnesty so long as the victims and their families are willing,” he said.

Read more…

Zetas-Gulf Cartel Conflict Continues to Rock Mexico’s Northeast

11/14/2017 InSight Crime

The ongoing decline of the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas has left northeastern Mexico without a single dominant criminal force. But the crime groups’ longstanding rivalry has continued to see blood spilled in the key trafficking region.

On the surface, the state of play in Mexico’s northeast is as it has been for most of the past decade: Both the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas maintain tight control over different parts of Tamaulipas — the crucial border state that birthed both groups — but neither is strong enough to defeat the other.

Government forces, particularly the marines, have maintained a degree of consistent pressure on crime groups operating in Tamaulipas.

Read more…

Treasury Sanctions Individuals Supporting Powerful Mexico-Based Drug Cartels

10/27/16 U.S. Department of Treasury 

download (1).jpgWASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned nine Mexican individuals linked to the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and its close ally, the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), which were initially sanctioned on April 8, 2015.   The nine individuals are designated as  Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for providing material assistance to the drug trafficking activities of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes (a.k.a. “Mencho”) and his brother-in-law, Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, the respective leaders of CJNG and the Los Cuinis DTO.  As a result of today’s action, any assets these individuals may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

Read more…