Mexico’s oil industry now has an organized crime problem

energy - oil_rig2/6/2016 Business Insider

Mexican oil prices fell after a brief rally earlier this week, slipping to $24.47 a barrel on Tuesday and prolonging the slide of one of the country’s most lucrative exports.

In addition to the continuing downstream pain — or the brutally low prices oil is being sold for on the market — Mexico’s oil industry is dealing with a severe theft problem preventing an increasing amount of its production from ever getting to market.

Pipeline theft in Mexico rose 52% in 2015 according to an Associated Press report, a spike that comes after a 43.7% annual increase recorded in 2014.

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Headlines from Mexico

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  1. Francisco Javier Hernandez Garcia, the alleged leader of Beltran Leyva cartel has been detained. Featured on the Mexican government’s list of 122 most-wanted drug traffickers, Hernandez Garcia was arrested with another man when they were found with weapons and suspected drugs in Sinaloa state.

    Read more: El Universal, Jornada, Milenio, Reuters México, Univision

  2. In the continuing case involving Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, this week actress Kate del Castillo is being pursued by Mexican authorities for her involvement with the former cartel leader. The Mexican Attorney General issued a subpoena in January for her to discuss her possible business relationship with El Chapo, and she did not respond.

    Read more: El Universal, Excelsior, Milenio, Jornada, CNN Expansión

  3. The Zika virus is rapidly spreading and Mexico is not being excluded. There are now 37 reports within the country, with four in Nuevo León, a state on the U.S. border, and 4 in the southern state of Oaxaca. The Secretary of Health reported that three of the total 37 cases were imported, one of these from Colombia, and the other 34 became sick while in Mexico.

    Read more: Excelsior, El Universal, CNN Expansión, Milenio

  4. The Congress of the Union met this week to begin the second ordinary period of the 63 legislature. They plan to discuss and vote on laws against corruption and promoting transparency, including reforms in regards to public security. Of the 500 federal delegates, 372 were present, as well as 76 of the 128 senators.

    Read more: Excelsior, Milenio, El Universal

  5. The Mexican peso fell today responding to an employment report released by the U.S. Additionally, the Mexican Stock Exchange also fell slightly after the publication of data from the U.S. showing low job creation.

    Read more: El Universal, CNN Expansión, El Financiero 

Five Security Priorities for Mexico

1/27/2016 Viridiana Rios, The Expert Take

expert I (2)The Mexico Institute of The Wilson Center gathered a group of academics and experts on security issues, to discuss how Mexico’s security panorama has changed over the last year. The consensus is clear: Mexico’s violence issues are reviving. 

Homicides in Mexico increased by 11% during the last year, reversing the decline in violent crime that had started in 2012 (SNSP 2016). Mexico finished 2015 having about 46 homicides per day, 4 more than the 42 homicides per day that the country had in 2014. To put this number in perspective, from 2012 to 2014, on average, the total number of homicides has declined by about 2,400 every year, but in 2015 it increased by 1,360.

It is time for Mexico to take action. The last time that Mexico saw its homicide rate begin to tick up, rising from a low point in 2007, it took just three years for homicides to double (SNSP 2016). From 2007 to 2010, homicides increased from 10,253 to 20,680 in Mexico as a result of the fracture of large drug trafficking organizations into smaller rival ones. Mexico has still not fully recovered from such a spike in violence. The country is still 66% more violent than it was in 2007.

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[Video] U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Drug War

1/17/2016 Washington Journal, C-SPAN

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Duncan Wood talked to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal about the recapture of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and its implications for U.S.-Mexican cooperation in future anti-drug trafficking efforts.

Watch the Video.

NarcoData: The 40 year-history of drug cartels in Mexico

10/27/2015 El Daily Post

narcodataNarcoData is a data journalism project in which Animal Politico and El Daily Post explain the evolution and growth of organized crime in Mexico.

There are nine active cartels in Mexico, a country threatened by violence.

Drug cartel leaders become the stuff of legend…Organized crime in Mexico is disproportionately large and its framework is difficult to understand because the cartels don’t just participate in the rapidly growing drugs market, they also sponsor dozens of criminal cells that extort and terrorize the public.

Animal Politico identified the need to explain the growth of organized crime and created NarcoData — an interactive website that offers an in-depth study of the past four decades of organized crime in Mexico — so that our readers can more easily understand how it has evolved.

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EVENT TOMORROW! Follow-Up to the Investigations of the Disappearance of 43 Students in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico

the_week_that_was_from_latin_america_and_caribbean_40482081WHEN: TOMORROW, October 21, 2:00-3:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Board Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

In September 2014, a group of 43 students from a teachers college disappeared in the southern Mexican city of Iguala in the state of Guerrero. Their disappearance left Mexicans horrified and outraged, shocked the international community, and led to nationwide protests.

Through an agreement with the Mexican government and the families of the disappeared students, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights appointed a group of international experts to provide technical assistance to the Mexican government in its investigation of this case. In September 2015, the results of the six-month investigation became known to the public. The results have been controversial as some experts agreed with the investigation’s findings of major holes in the government’s case, while others criticized it for its shortcomings. The Mexican government responded to the report by stating that they would carry out a new investigation and a second opinion from other renowned experts to determine what happened the night the students were presumably killed.

Please join us for an event following up on the investigations of the disappearance and a discussion on the implications for U.S. cooperation with Mexico.


Under Secretary Roberto Campa
Under Secretary for Human Rights, Ministry of the Interior

Deputy Attorney General Eber Betanzos
Deputy Attorney General for Human Rights, Office of the Attorney General of the Republic

Under Secretary Miguel Ruiz Cabañas
Under Secretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

Kingpin El Chapo Guzmán’s Prison Escape Triggers Wave Of Extraditions From Mexico To The U.S.

10/1/2015 Forbes

19437624579_88eab701c8_bIn a painful admission that its prisons have been compromised by powerful drug cartels, as proven by the recent spectacular escape of drug lord Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán from a maximum security prison, the Mexican government has taken the unprecedented move of extraditing 13 high-level criminals to the U.S.

The Department of Justice disclosed Wednesday that 13 individuals, including alleged high-level cartel members, arrived in the U.S. late in the day and were placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals Service. They will face charges of drug trafficking-related crimes, homicide, money laundering and rape pending in Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, California, Illinois, Arizona and Arkansas.

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