Growers fret as Mexico moves to legalize marijuana

04/15/2021

Source: Yahoo! News

BADIRAGUATO, Mexico (AP) — For the first time that María can remember, half of her marijuana harvest is still in storage on her ranch in Mexico’s Sinaloa state months after it should have been sold.

Sitting in her wooden house tucked into the same mountains that produced some of the world’s most notorious drug traffickers, including Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the 44-year-old mother of four thinks she knows why: expectations Mexico will soon legalize marijuana.

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How American guns help Mexican cartels overwhelm Mexico’s police and military

04/02/2021

Source: Business Insider

Ciudad Juarez, MEXICO — Almost 50 years after Mexico’s first law to restrict the use of firearms was implemented in an attempt to keep the country at peace, Mexico finds itself flooded with foreign weapons.

Mexico’s prohibitive laws against firearms have not stopped thousands of weapons from being used in its streets, directly threatening its own security forces.

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

04/02/2021

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.

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Exclusive: U.S. investigations into cartels paralyzed by standoff with Mexico

03/30/2021

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. efforts to battle powerful drug cartels from inside Mexico have ground to a halt since January as strained relations between the two countries have frozen attempts to corral drug kingpins, according to current and former senior officials in both nations.

Until recently, U.S. and Mexican authorities routinely, if cautiously, shared intelligence on major cases. But in December, Mexico enacted a law requiring U.S. authorities to report their law-enforcement contacts in the country to the Mexican government, which American investigators widely view as corrupt. The new policy has led investigators on both sides of the border to pause their cooperation, fearful that the new disclosure rules could compromise cases – or worse, get informants or Mexican officials helping the Americans killed.

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Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel built an empire on cocaine, but it’s betting on another drug to feed US appetites

2/4/21

Source: Business Insider

Culiacán, MEXICO — Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel built an empire on cocaine, but it’s shifting its focus to a new, more powerful drug in in response to changing demand in the US.

Although the cartel, known for its now-jailed kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is still a huge distributor of cocaine in the US, the organization is betting on fentanyl to feed the demand for opioids north of the border while keeping the cartel on top in Mexico.

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Mexico poised to curtail cooperation with U.S. in fight against drug cartels

12/16/2020

Source: CBS News

Mexico City – The lower house of Mexico’s congress overwhelmingly approved a law Tuesday limiting foreign agents operating in the country and lifting their immunity in a decision that could impact its relationship with the U.S. government, a key partner in its fight against drug cartels. One senior U.S. official told CBS News the law was “a disgrace,” and would severely complicate the fight against the cartels.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador supports the bill and is expected to sign it into law. The legislation is seen as a direct backlash to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s arrest in Los Angeles of former Mexican Defense Minister General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, who was indicted on drug charges earlier this year.

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Legalization Advocates Hope to End Mexico’s Drug War

12/12/2020

Source: Foreign Policy

Adetermined political movement to end the war on drugs has taken shape across Europe and North America. Harm reduction advocates say lives can be saved and resources spared, if only the state would move away from punishing drug users. Perhaps, some predict, the state could even get into the business of regulating the production and sale of once-illegal substances.

Just last month, voters in Oregon and politicians in Vancouver, British Columbia, approved plans to decriminalize all illicit drugs, paving the way for a health care approach. They’re following the example of Portugal, which decriminalized drugs in 2001 and has seen overall success. More than a dozen U.S. states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis, as well as Canada, South Africa, Uruguay, and a smattering of other countries and jurisdictions.

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Mexico fast-tracks law that could limit anti-drug cooperation with U.S.

12/11/2020

Source: The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Outraged by the arrest in California of a former defense minister, the Mexican government is championing a law that is likely to throttle cooperation with U.S. anti-drug agents and the FBI, setting up a potential crisis in relations as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to assume office.

The legislation has taken the U.S. government by surprise. It was introduced shortly after American authorities tried to defuse tensions with Mexico by dropping drug-trafficking charges against Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos — a highly unusual move.

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Mexican Cartels Are Now Cooking Chinese Chemicals in Dutch Meth Labs

12/08/2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

MOERDIJK, Netherlands—When police raided a barge moored here last year, they found more than just a sophisticated crystal meth lab that started sinking as they inspected it.

The setup—Mexican cooks using Dutch equipment to process chemicals from China—offered a window into the new global drug economy. A number of recent Dutch narcotics raids have snagged Mexican nationals, including ones linked to the violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Mexico’s cartels rule world’s vast fentanyl market in race for huge profits

12/08/2020

Source: The Guardian

Jorge A is Mexican businessman employed by an import-export company that specializes in the trade of tequila and agricultural and chemical products. But in January 2016, he was a long way from his home in Culiacán, capital of Sinaloa state.

Two associates accompanied him as he travelled from Shanghai to Hong Kong, Japan, and finally, India.

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