Mexico’s new attorney general sworn in to office

10/27/16 The Indian Express

A former Mexican senator and law professor has been sworn in as the federal attorney general. Members of Mexico’s Senate confirmed former colleague Raul Cervantes with an 82-3 vote in a fast-track session Wednesday, a day after he was nominated.

Cervantes replaces Arely Gomez, who weathered one of the roughest periods for Mexico’s top prosecutor in the wake of the disappearance of 43 college students in 2014.

Read more…

Top Investigator in Case of Missing Students in Mexico Resigns

09/14/16 The New York Times

16755068770_143d2d4146_o.jpgMEXICO CITY — The chief of criminal investigations for Mexico’s attorney general resigned late Wednesday amid an internal affairs inquiry into his office’s handling of the case of 43 college students who vanished nearly two years ago.

A brief government statement said the attorney general, Arely Gómez González, had accepted the resignation of Tomás Zerón de Lucio from his post as head of criminal investigations, and “wished him success in his personal and professional projects.”

Read more…


The Missing Forty-Three: The Mexican Government Sabotages Its Own Independent Investigation

4/22/16 The New Yorker

Oaxaca por Ayotzinapa

The official scenario, according to the Mexican government, of what befell the forty-three students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Normal School, in Ayotzinapa, in Guerrero state, on the night and morning of September 26 and 27, 2014, is generally referred to as the “historical truth.” Say those words anywhere in Mexico, and people know what you mean. The phrase comes from a press conference held in January, 2015, when the head of the government’s Procuraduría General de la República (P.G.R.) at the time, Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, announced that the forty-three students had been incinerated at a trash dump near the town of Cocula by members of the Guerreros Unidos drug-trafficking gang, after being turned over to them by members of the Iguala municipal police. This, he declared, was the “historical truth.”

As had already been widely reported, the forty-three students were among a larger group of militantly leftist students who, that night in Iguala, had commandeered buses to transport themselves to an upcoming protest in Mexico City. They’d driven from Ayotzinapa that afternoon in two buses they’d previously taken, and then, the government said, they took two more from Iguala’s bus station. Three other people were killed in initial clashes with the police, and most likely with other forces, in Iguala that night; many more were injured. According to Murillo Karam, the “historical truth” was partly drawn from the confessions of detained police and drug-gang members, including some who admitted that they had participated in the massacre of the students at the Cocula dump, and claimed to have tended the fire and disposed of the remains afterward. Some of those remains had allegedly been deposited by gang members in a nearby creek. Nineteen severely charred bone fragments had been sent to a highly specialized lab in Innsbruck, Austria, which had yielded one positive DNA identification, of a student named Alexander Mora Venancio. That identification seemed to support the P.G.R.’s story that the students had been killed at the dump.

Read more… 

A look at seven emerging cartels Mexico just recognized

9/4/15 Economic Times – India

Mexican_drug_cartels_2008Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has identified seven new criminal organizations that it has identified as cartels for their range of criminal exploits.

The new organizations are smaller, less entrenched, and are less powerful than the older generation of Mexican cartels which were massive sprawling criminal enterprises.

Instead the new cartels, Insight Crime notes, have largely spawned from mid-ranking members of former Mexican cartels, such as the Zetas.

Mexico is currently carrying out a “kingpin strategy” against criminal organizations in the country.

Read more…

Senate Passes Political Reform – Energy Reform Next, Stolen Radioactive Material, and Mexico´s Competitiveness vis-à-vis China – Weekly News Summary: December 6

coffee-by-flikr-user-samrevel1The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English language press had to say…

This week the Washington Post noted that Mexico’s Senate passed the most dramatic political reform attempt in decades which would allow re-election of federal legislators, create new election oversight and make the Attorney General’s office independent from the executive. It also highlighted that the Senate is moving on to energy reform, which is considered the most critical part of the reform package that President Enrique Peña Nieto is pushing to have passed before the end of this year. The Economist noted that it will be difficult for Mexico´s left to stop the Energy Reform after Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador suffered a heart attack on December 3rd. His absence weakened a blockade of the Senate that he had promised. Meanwhile, the Financial Post was not enthusiastic over the Energy Reform. In an article published this week, it argued that that even if the proposed reform is passed within a year, it could take up to 10 years for production to begin in the deep-sea reserves. Additionally, the profit-sharing contracts may not be as profitable as anticipated, as the terms under the proposal stipulate that foreign companies would receive a share of the revenues from the fields, rather than the oil and gas to sell themselves.

In another note, the BBC reported on Wednesday that a truck carrying medical radioactive material had been stolen near Mexico City. Mexico’s Nuclear Security Commission said that at the time of the theft, the cobalt-60 teletherapy source was “properly shielded”. Nonetheless, the Washington Post noted on Thursday, that the theft of the material sparked international concern over the possibility that the cobalt-60 could be used in a “dirty bomb.” By Wednesday afternoon, the same news outlet reported that authorities had found the stolen the radioactive material. The National Journal claimed that after the theft, a group of critics questioned if the International Atomic Energy Agency’s radiological security rules were enough for securing radioactive materials.

Continue reading “Senate Passes Political Reform – Energy Reform Next, Stolen Radioactive Material, and Mexico´s Competitiveness vis-à-vis China – Weekly News Summary: December 6”

Mexico Senate approves major political reforms

The Washington Post, 12/4/2013

Mexican_SenateMexico’s Senate has passed the most dramatic political reform attempt in decades that would allow re-election of federal legislators, create new election oversight and make the Attorney General’s office independent from the executive.

The Senate approved the overall reform late Tuesday, but continued to debate certain details early Wednesday. The reform measure still has to be approved by the lower House.

Read more…


Mexico Receives Letter From Drug Capo Sought by US

ABC News,

5582822219_182abf7ec5_oFugitive drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero sent a letter to the Mexican government asking officials not to give in to the United States’ demand for his capture and extradition to try him for the 1985 killing of a U.S. federal agent.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam confirmed on Tuesday that he received the letter, which was also addressed to President Enrique Pena Nieto and the Interior Ministry. He said excerpts that appeared in the investigative magazine Proceso were correct, but would not elaborate further on its contents.

Read more…