His role in ‘Narcos: Mexico’ nailed the real price — and victims — of the drug wars

Source: NBC News

Luis Gerardo Méndez almost didn’t get the role that has thrust him into the international limelight: an earnest but flawed police officer obsessed with the unsolved killings of young Mexican women amid drug cartel turf wars in the hit Netflix series “Narcos: Mexico.”

After a successful audition and meetings with the show’s producers, a call from his agent interrupted his premature celebrations.


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


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.


The true godfathers of ‘Narcoland’

m16 gun closeupCNN, 11/06/2013

Since December 2010, I have lived with death threats because I have documented and revealed corruption at the highest levels in the Mexican government. My family has been attacked, I have to live with bodyguards and some of my sources have been killed or are in jail.

But my case is just one of many. A large number of journalists and human rights activists — as well as those who denounce corruption in Mexico — receive similar threats or have been killed. And the biggest danger is not in fact the drug cartels, but rather the government and business officials that work for them and fear exposure.

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Mexican Cartels Become Web Savvy By Using Social Media For PR, Selfies

Twitter_256x256Fox News Latino, 11/05/2013

Only a few years ago, drug dealers were using pagers and pay phones to avoid detection from authorities in the illicit business. Now, with the advent of social media, many web-savvy Mexican narcos have joined the likes of Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber by using Twitter, Facebook and other online tools to run PR campaigns, post selfies, brag about their wealth and even target rivals.

Like any burgeoning business, Mexico’s drug cartels are using the web to conduct very successful public relations campaigns that put those of their counterparts in Colombia and Myanmar in the 1980s to shame.

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Mexico and Costa Rica sign extradition agreement to fight drug traffickers (in Spanish)

The Associate Press, 8/23/11

Los presidentes de México, Felipe Calderón, y Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, firmaron el lunes un acuerdo de extradición y otro de intercambio de información y experiencias en la lucha contra el narcotráfico durante una visita de la mandataria centroamericana a este país.

También suscribieron un acuerdo de devolución de vehículos y aeronaves robados, informó la Presidencia mexicana.

“Hoy sabemos que los grupos de la delincuencia organizada están actuando con una violencia que no conoce fronteras ni patrias y que se constituye como uno de los principales desafíos a nuestro regímenes democráticos”, dijo Calderón el lunes en la residencia presidencial Los Pinos.

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Mexico Now Embracing U.S. Training in Drug War

drug_war_02The Arizona Republic, 10/29/09

SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, Mexico – At a police academy ringed by brick walls and razor wire, dozens of American agents are helping to train Mexican police recruits as part of a $1.4 billion U.S. aid project aimed at helping Mexico fight its drug cartels.

The program, which opened without fanfare in July in the central city of San Luis Potosí, marks a major change for Mexico, which is sensitive about foreign meddling and has long resisted large-scale U.S. training of its police and soldiers.

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Drug Cartels in the U.S. (in Spanish)

policeEl Universal, 10/20/09

The drug cartels operating in the United States have an army composed of ex-police officers, ex-soldiers, young people between 13 and 19 years old, as well as women.

Their missions are well defined. The more experienced engage in buying informants. The women seduce agents and bribe them. The young people guard cargo, and transport and sell drugs.

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