Top Mexican Drug Cartel Leaders Captured or Killed in Recent Years

February 27, 2015

The Associated Press, U.S. News and World Report, 2/27/2015

hands in handcuffsMEXICO CITY (AP) — Recent captures or killings of top Mexican drug cartel leaders:

— Feb. 27, 2015: Authorities say federal police capture Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, one of the world’s most-wanted drug lords who once terrorized Michoacan state as leader of the Knights Templar cartel.

— Oct. 9, 2014: Mexican officials announce the arrest of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, purported leader of the Juarez cartel.

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Servando ‘La Tuta’ Gomez, Mexico’s Most Wanted Drug Lord, Captured: Officials

February 27, 2015

Raul Torres and Erin McClam, NBC News, 2/27/2015

Getty Images

Getty Images

One of the most wanted drug lords in Mexico has been captured, authorities said Friday.

Servando Gomez, known as La Tuta, the leader of the Knights Templar cartel, was arrested overnight, Mexican authorities told Telemundo.

Gomez was the target of a push by President Enrique Peña Nieto to regain control of the state of Michoacán, which has been wracked by clashes between the cartel and heavily armed vigilantes trying to oust them.

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Mexico Complains About Remarks Attributed to Pope Over Drug Image

February 24, 2015

Reuters, 2/23/2015

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Reuters/Tony Gentile

aid on Monday it would send a letter to the Vatican to complain about remarks attributed to Pope Francis about the risk of Argentina suffering a criminal “Mexicanization” due to the spread of drug gangs there.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade said his government had expressed concern that the country was being “stigmatized” as a land of drug traffickers in an email attributed to Francis published in Argentina over the weekend.

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NEW PUBLICATION: Violence and Insecurity in Guerrero

February 5, 2015

By Chris Kyle

Resilient Communities Series15This paper is a continuation of the series Building Resilient Communities in Mexico: Civic Responses to Crime and Violence, a multiyear effort by the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego to analyze the obstacles to and opportunities for improving citizen security in Mexico.

Insecurity and violence associated with organized criminal activity are pervasive in Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero.  The state’s homicide rate is the highest in the country and extortion and kidnapping are commonplace.  For perpetrators, there is near complete impunity.  The state is divided into territories within which either drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) or community policing networks exercise control over local policing functions.  Local, state, or federal authorities occasionally join this competition, but for the most part policing powers are held by others.  In rural areas competition between groups of traffickers over the state’s prodigious narcotics output has created violent no-man’s-lands in buffer zones between territories controlled by rival groups.  In cities violence is mostly a byproduct of efforts to establish and preserve monopolies in extortion, kidnapping, and retail contraband markets.  Despite claims to the contrary by state and federal authorities, there has been no discernible improvement in public security in recent months or years.

Restraining the violence in Guerrero will require that state authorities make a systematic effort to address two existing realities that sustain the criminal activities producing violence.  Thus, this paper examines the security situation in the state of Guerrero, including the operation of drug trafficking organizations, and proposes possible solutions to the security crisis.

Read the paper here.


Mexico Say Expects Kingpin Extradition Request From U.S. Soon

January 21, 2015

Reuters, 1/20/2015

handcuffsMexico’s attorney general said on Tuesday he expects the United States to submit an extradition request soon for drug lord Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, who was Mexico’s most wanted man until his capture last February.

“I’m aware they’re going to ask me, and it won’t be a problem to do all the paperwork to determine at the time what will be most convenient,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo told reporters in Mexico City of the U.S. extradition request.

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RAND: Mexico Is Not Colombia

June 13, 2014

06/10/14 Insight Crime

mexican drugsA new report from a leading think tank makes the case that the challenges in the drug war facing Mexico are not the same as those in Colombia, and seeks to outline a new paradigm to serve as a replacement.

The new report titled Mexico Is Not Colombia: Alternative Historical Analogies for Responding to the Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations was published by RAND earlier this month. The main point made by authors Christopher Paul, Colin P. Clarke and Chad C. Serena is clearly indicated in the title.

As the authors point out, the differences separating Mexico and Colombia are myriad and hugely influential: “[In Colombia], the circumstances and the threat differed from contemporary Mexico in several important ways: the nature of the perpetrators, territory, geography, targets, and tactics; the character of the violence; and the state’s ability to respond.” More specifically, Mexico has long had a stronger state that exercises greater control over the national territory than did Colombia in its worst moments; Mexico’s gangs are far less aggressive toward state actors and the general public; and Mexican organizations don’t have the vast sanctuary of the insurgent-controlled jungles.

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Sen. Klobuchar pressing Mexico on heroin cartels and sex rings

April 15, 2014

mexican drugsStar Tribune, 4/15/14

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar is pressing Mexican law enforcement authorities to acknowledge responsibility for spiking numbers of heroin and sex-trafficking incidents that increasingly are ravaging neighborhoods and families across the United States — including Minnesota.

In a series of meetings in Mexico City, Klobuchar is joining North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Cindy McCain, wife of Arizona Sen. John McCain, in urging the Mexican government to intensify its work on both sex trafficking and the illegal movement of heroin into the United States.

“One of the things we can acknowledge when we’re meeting with them is that we have our own issues on this,” said Klobuchar in an interview from Mexico. “We’re not just telling them, ‘Do this or do that.’ We are saying we have our own issues.”

The domestic heroin crisis is escalating rapidly, particularly in the Midwest. Hospital emergency department visits for heroin in the Twin Cities nearly tripled from 2004 to 2011. The number of heroin deaths in the metro area has tripled since 2011, to 63 last year.

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