Mexico president justifies release of kingpin targeted by US

04/07/2021

Source: AP News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday defended the 2013 ruling that freed one of the drug lords most wanted by U.S. authorities, even though Mexico’s Supreme Court later ruled it was a mistake.

Rafael Caro Quintero walked free while serving a 40-year sentence for the torture-murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985, and has since apparently resumed his role as violent drug trafficker.

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Mexican drug cartels are increasingly using kids as hired assassins

8/11/15 LMT Online

Subcomandante Marcos EZLN - From TumblrYou can see their young eyes peering through face masks, or smirking with a high-powered weapon in their hands. They are known as child hit men, and for Mexican drug cartels they are a disposable part of the narco trafficking business. Mostly young males, the new breed of hit men are both victims of cartels as well as “victimizers” for carrying out cartel violence, a report by the newswire service EFE said. And for many of the recruits who hail from impoverished backgrounds, the dangerous cartel life is the only one they know.

The use of adolescents and teens in the drug trade isn’t new, either. “El Ponchis” is one of the most well known youth hit men to gain notoriety in Mexico. He confessed in 2010 to being a narco killer and was imprisoned for a few years until he was released and allowed to go to Texas. He had been part of cartel since he was 11 and by his early teens had decapitated four people, according to a confession he made about working with the Pacifico Sur drug gang.

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As Mexico Arrests Kingpins, Cartels Splinter and Violence Spikes

8/12/15 New York Times

Mexican_drug_cartels_2008For nearly a week, gun-toting masked men loyal to a local drug gang overran this small city along a key smuggling route. Police officers and soldiers stood by as the gunmen patrolled the streets, searching for rivals and hauling off at least 14 men who have not been seen since.

“They’re fighting over the route through Chilapa,” said Virgilio Nava, whose 21-year-old son, a truck driver for the family construction supply business who had no apparent links to either gang, was one of the men seized in May. “But we’re the ones who are affected.”

For years, the United States has pushed countries battling powerful drug cartels, like Mexico, to decapitate the groups by killing or arresting their leaders. The pinnacle of that strategy was the capture of Mexico’s most powerful trafficker, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as El Chapo, who escaped in spectacular fashion last month from a maximum-security prison.

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As Mexico takes down kingpins, pace of killings only accelerates

7/3/15 Dallas News 

chihuahua-mapIn this border city across from El Paso, Mexican soldiers discovered and dismantled a car bomb this week in a highly populated neighborhood.

The discovery came just days after the head of the Sinaloa cartel was captured in the state capital, Chihuahua City.

Across the central Texas border near Laredo, thugs last month shot at a helicopter, apparently mistaking its occupants for Mexican marines. The personnel were members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, and the helicopter took two bullets in U.S. airspace. In response, two Black Hawk helicopters now patrol the border in the Laredo region. To the south, in and around the industrial city of Monterrey, a recent killing surge left 25 people dead in one weekend.

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Op-Ed: Halt war on drugs, target the kingpins

Cynthia Tucker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/19/2009

Noticeably absent from Obama’s list of corrective measures was any pledge to reinstate the ban on assault weapons, which expired in 2004. Bullied by the gun lobby, Obama and fellow Democrats are afraid to press a common-sense measure that would take weapons of war off the streets here and out of the hands of drug thugs in Mexico.

Given that cowardice, it’s probably futile to suggest that Obama do something visionary, if radical, about the market for illegal drugs in this country:

Walk away from the failed and costly “war on drugs”; significantly reduce the amount of money spent on enforcement against penny-ante dealers and users, abandon draconian laws that give stiff prison sentences to nonviolent drug offenders, spend the money instead on rehabilitation for addicts.

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