Alleged cartel boss “Mr. Polite” nabbed in Mexican border city

02/20/2018 CBS News

policemanAn alleged top boss of the Gulf drug cartel was captured by Mexican marines Monday in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, which for years has been terrorized by gangland violence. A statement from the Mexican navy said the suspect it identified only as Jose Alfredo, with no last name, was arrested in the city of Matamoros, which is across from Brownsville, Texas.

“Presumably he was the leader of a criminal organization in the region,” the statement said.

A state government official with knowledge of the case confirmed that the detained man was Jose Alfredo Cardenas, alias “the Accountant” and “Mr. Polite.”

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Mexico probes police in disappearance of three Italians

02/19/2018 Reuters

Mexican Police officer with machine gun by flickr user dream2lifeMexican authorities said on Monday they are investigating whether police in the western state of Jalisco participated in the disappearance of three Italian citizens there.

The Naples natives reportedly went missing on Jan. 31 after being detained by police at a gasoline station in the municipality of Tecalitlan in southern Jalisco.

State authorities are “evaluating, using available information” whether police were involved in the disappearance, said Jalisco general secretary Roberto Lopez.

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Skeptical U.S. Rebuffs Mexico’s Request for Aid in Spyware Inquiry

02/20/2018 The New York Times

technology-785742_960_720American officials have rebuffed repeated requests from Mexico to help investigate the use of government spying technology against innocent civilians, wary that Mexico wants to use the United States as cover in a sham inquiry, senior American officials say.

The Mexican government has been on the defensive for months, battling revelations that surveillance technology it acquired has been used to spy on some of the nation’s most prominent human rights lawyers, academics and journalists.

Days after The New York Times revealed the extensive spying campaign, Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, acknowledged that the government had purchased the spying technology. He quickly ordered a federal investigation into any misuse, and Mexican officials said they would ask the F.B.I. for help.

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Mexico admits government spies tail candidate

02/14/2018 The Washington Post

security cameraMexico’s Interior Department acknowledged Wednesday that a federal intelligence agency sent a plainclothes agent to tail an opposition presidential candidate, even though the candidate never asked for and apparently did not want a tail.

There have long been fears the ruling party was using the National Center for Security and Investigation for political spying. But few suspected the monitoring would be so clumsy.

Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete said that the agency, known as CISEN, had put a tail on candidate Ricardo Anaya solely for security reasons, and said authorities had thought he had been informed.

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Mexico cartel holds two special agents hostage

02/12/2018 BBC News

mexico flagTwo members of a special investigative police force who disappeared in Mexico a week ago have been shown in a video posted on YouTube.

The two agents from the Criminal Investigation Agency appear sitting in front of five masked men who force them at gunpoint to read a statement.

The armed men are believed to be members of the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

The cartel has been expanded rapidly and aggressively across Mexico.

Mexico’s Attorney General Raul Cervantes recently declared it the nation’s largest criminal organisation and it has been blamed for a series of attacks on Mexican security forces and public officials.

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At UCSD, experts to explore new strategies for the war on drugs

02/07/2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

drug dog sniffing suitcaseWith casualties mounting and victory nowhere in sight, is it time to chart new strategies in the nation’s battle against drug abuse?

On Friday, UC San Diego will host “Rethinking the War on Drugs and U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation,” a conference dedicated to finding practical solutions to an intractable problem. Speakers will include a former White House adviser plus policymakers, researchers and journalists from both countries.

“The cooperation of the U.S. and Mexico is more critical now than ever,” said Rafael Fernández de Castro, director of UC San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies.

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A Mexican journalist’s life hangs in the balance

12/11/2017 The Washington Post

Excluding countries at war, few places are as dangerous for journalists as Mexico, where 73 members of the profession have been killed since 2010, including at least 11 this year. Drug cartels and organized crime, as well as corrupt government security forces, have played a role in the carnage, which has forced some journalists into hiding and others to flee the country. Impunity is the rule; few of the murders are solved.

Among those who fear for their lives is Emilio Gutierrez, who, with his then-teenage son, crossed into the United States in 2008 after writing critical stories about abuses committed against civilians by the Mexican army in prosecuting its war on drugs in Chihuahua, then Mexico’s most violent state. Mr. Gutierrez’s hurried departure was prompted by the news, conveyed to him by a friend with contacts in the security forces, that a military officer had ordered him killed.

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