Homicides are on the rise in Mexico after years of decline, and it’s the result of a new criminal dynamic

07/28/2016 Business Insider

gun - crime sceneAfter several years of declines, Mexico’s homicide rate has started to rise, with the total body count for the first half of 2016 the highest since 2012.

The total number of homicides in the first half of this year — 10,301, or about 57 a day — is about 15% more than the 8,979 in the same period in 2015, though it is fewer homicides than in the first halves of 2011 and 2012, when the drug war’s violence was considered to be at its peak.

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Zeta Trial Brings More Tales of Terror and Corruption

07/15/16 InSight Crime

RubenMoreiraAs the trial of Zetas Cartel leader Marciano Millán Vázquez continued in San Antonio, Texas, witnesses took the stand to described how drug traffickers co-opted and controlled media outlets in Coahuila, allegedly bribed the state’s governor  and how Vázquez committed and ordered multiple brutal murders.

Adolfo Efrén Tavira, a former Televisa producer and trafficker for the Zetas, testified for the prosecution. According to Tavira, at Televisa he would edit drug traffickers’ names out news reports, and he would lean on and pay reporters from other media outlets in the area to do the same, Proceso reported.

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Panama, Mexico Agree to Joint Crime Fighting Effort

07/11/16 InSight Crime 

Panama&MexicoPanama and Mexico signed a series of agreements during a regional security summit in Panama City, highlighting the push in Latin America to foster cooperation between nations in the struggle to combat organized crime.

Panama officials reported that the two countries signed 43 agreements aimed at controlling organized crime on the sidelines the Interpol Americas Regional Conference held in Panama City July 6-8.

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Northeast Mexico Sees Eruption of Violence

07/11/16 Insight Crime

Tamaulipas.jpgTamaulipas was the scene of two killings involving multiple victims over the weekend in a spate of violence that may have been precipitated by changing political and criminal dynamics in the northeastern Mexico state.

Early on July 9, a group of armed assailants in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, broke into a residence and killed 11 members of a family, reported Milenio. Less than one hour later, attackers entered a different home in Ciudad Victoria, killing three and injuring four. Of the 14 fatalities, 11 were women and five were minors, according to Milenio.

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Zetas drug gang ‘used Mexico prison as extermination camp to kidnap and kill 150’

6/9/2016 The Telegraph

Coahuila_en_México.svgMembers of the Zetas drug gang used a prison in northern Mexico as their private house of horrors where they tortured and killed kidnapping victims and underworld enemies, public prosecutors in the state of Coahuila have said.

Between 2009 and 2012, Piedras Negras prison became a virtual extermination camp, ruled with impunity by the notorious crime cartel as an operational base for their reign of terror in the US-Mexican border region.

After an investigation into the three-year period, authorities estimate that around 150 people were murdered inside the prison, with their bodies being burnt or broken down in acid-filled tanks before the remains were disposed of in a river some 20 miles away from the jail.

It is not clear to what extent the prison’s official guards actively cooperated with gang members or whether they merely allowed them to act with impunity in exchange for keeping order among inmates.

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Alan Pulido: Freed Mexico footballer fought kidnapper

5/30/2016 BBC News

11318499224_a287faa403_mPulido, who plays for the Greek club, Olympiakos, cut his wrist when he punched a glass pane on a door as he tried to escape before police arrived.

Pulido, 25, was abducted at gunpoint on Saturday night in his home town of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state.

A 38-year-old man has been arrested.

Officials say the man had confessed to belonging to a local criminal gang. Police are searching for another three men believed to have been involved in the kidnapping.

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Judge in Mexico Says El Chapo Can Be Extradited to U.S.

5/9/2016 The New York Times

elchapoMEXICO CITY — A Mexican judge has ruled that the country’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, can be extradited to the United States, where he would face federal charges of drug trafficking and far slimmer chances of escaping prison, as he has done twice in his home country.

The ruling essentially creates the basis for the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Mexico to grant the final approval for the extradition of Mr. Guzmán, known as El Chapo, or Shorty, within the next 30 days.

“The ball is now in the Foreign Ministry’s court, and they have a month to execute the process or not,” said a spokesman for the judiciary in Mexico who could not be identified because of government policy. “They have been notified and received the file.”

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