Hundreds rescued from drug rehab center in western Mexico

5/19/16 CNN

Jalisco_in_Mexico_(location_map_scheme).svg(CNN)Hundreds of children, women and men who had been living at an overcrowded drug rehabilitation shelter in western Mexico were rescued in a police operation carried out Tuesday night, according to authorities.

Police found 271 people at the shelter, called “Spiritual Awakening, Alcoholics and Drug Addicts of the West,” in the city of Tonalá in the western state of Jalisco. The alleged victims were living in what authorities described as “inhumane conditions.” Police found 68 women, 91 men and 112 minors crammed into the facility.
“We’re still in the process of completing the operation. We found very serious conditions of overcrowding. We also found that people were being fed in a subhuman and inappropriate way,” Jalisco State’s Attorney Jesús Eduardo Almaguer said in a statement.
Almaguer said his office was alerted to the problem after a complaint from a woman who says she was beaten and kept from leaving the facility until she paid 1,500 Mexican pesos (U.S. $81.83) after she went there to visit a patient.

Drug-Smuggling Tunnel, Found in San Diego, Is Longest Yet

4/21/2016 The New York Times

For all the talk about a wall between the United States and Mexico, the problem with border security continues to be as much below ground as above. On Wednesday, officials in San Diego announced the discovery of another cross-border tunnel built by drug smugglers — the longest one found yet, at about half a mile.

The tunnel had rails, lighting, ventilation and even a large elevator leading to a closet in a modest house in Tijuana, United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy said. On the San Diego side, where the tunnel emerged in an industrial park in the Otay Mesa neighborhood, the authorities arrested and charged six people last week and confiscated more than a ton of cocaine and seven tons of marijuana that they said had been smuggled through the passage — the largest drug seizure associated with a tunnel….

[…]“A package of cocaine or heroin is much easier to move and hide than a person, and the profit it represents is far greater,” said Christopher Wilson, deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a policy research group. “Working with terrorists would bring a huge amount heat on the cartels, and that’s bad for business.”

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Texas native known as ‘La Barbie’ pleads guilty in Mexico cocaine conspiracy

1/6/2016 The Guardian

la barbieA former Texas high school football player whom authorities say rose from petty street dealer to the top ranks of a Mexican drug cartel was responsible for sending truckloads of cocaine across the border for distribution in the eastern US, prosecutors said.

Edgar Valdez Villarreal, 42, is known as “La Barbie” because of his light eyes and complexion. Mexican police have said they chased him across five Mexican states for a year before they captured him on a ranch outside Mexico City in August 2010. He was among 13 people extradited to the US in September to face charges.

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Leader of Tijuana Drug Cartel Captured in Northern Mexico

Newsweek, 06/24/14

prisonMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican soldiers have captured the leader of the Tijuana cartel in the northern border city, government officials said on Tuesday, in a fresh blow to the once powerful drug gang.

Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano, known as ‘the engineer’, was arrested in an army raid on a house in Tijuana on Monday afternoon, shortly after Mexico qualified for the last 16 of the soccer World Cup by beating Croatia, the officials said.

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Juarez: The sequel

ciudad juarezThe Global Post, 11/1/2013

Thousands of matchbox houses once ranked among Earth’s deadliest patches through years of criminal war in Ciudad Juarez, an industrial and narcotics corridor bordering America’ssafest large city El Paso, Texas.

More than 10,000 people were murdered across the Mexican city of 1.3 million in less than five years. Many were young men gunned down on streets like these.

But the fever has broken. At fewer than two a day, murders citywide likely will finish the year at about a seventh (14 percent) of those three years ago.

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Tunnel for Smuggling Found Under U.S.-Mexico Border; Tons of Drugs Seized

mexicos-war-on-drugsThe New York Times, 11/1/2013

A deep tunnel snaking nearly 600 yards from Mexico under the border and into a San Diego warehouse is one of the most sophisticated underground drug smuggling passageways ever discovered, complete with electricity, ventilation and an electronic rail system, federal authorities said Thursday.

The tunnel, which was shut down Wednesday night after several weeks of surveillance, took about a year to build, the authorities said. Three people were taken into custody, and federal agents seized eight tons of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine they said was connected to the investigation.

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Mexico ‘clown’ gunmen kill ex-drug chief Arellano Felix

BBC News, 10/19/2013

gun - crime sceneThe authorities in Mexico have said gunmen dressed as clowns have shot dead a former leading member of a once-powerful and violent drug cartel. Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 63, was killed in a beach resort in Baja California in north-western Mexico. He and his brothers controlled the drug trade on Mexico’s border with the United States in the 1990s. But their Tijuana cartel was gradually weakened by the capture or killing of other leading members.

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