After escape, Mexico cartel boss faces altered drug business

July 22, 2015

7/22/15 Yahoo News / Associated Press

Mexican_drug_cartels_2008Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has a lot to catch up on as he returns to a drug-trafficking landscape that has shifted considerably during his 17 months behind bars.

Rival cartels have been vanquished, and infighting among factions in Guzman’s own Sinaloa gang has killed dozens in the resort area of La Paz and Los Cabos on the Baja peninsula. A new and rapidly strengthening international cartel is waging a fierce battle against soldiers and police in western Mexico, even using a rocket-propelled grenade to force down a helicopter — a style at odds with Guzman’s more corporate-like Sinaloa.

Other Mexican or Colombian cartels working with street gangs in Central America may have stolen some of Guzman’s transit routes.

Read more…


At Breakfast to Talk El Chapo, Drug War Veterans Serve Up Cynicism

July 21, 2015

7/20/15 Pro Publica

Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

The slight man at the breakfast table seemed more like an evangelical minister than someone who once brokered deals between Mexican drug lords and state governors. He wore a meticulously pressed button-down, a gold watch, gold-rimmed glasses, and a gold cross around his neck. His dark brown hair was styled in a comb-over. And when his breakfast companions started to tuck into their bowls of oatmeal and plates of salmon benedict, he cleared his throat and asked for a moment of silence.

“Would you mind if I say grace?” he asked.

The gathering last week at Le Peep café in San Antonio would seem unusual almost anywhere except south Texas, where Mexico kind of blends into the United States — and so does the drug trade. Seated next to the cartel operative was a senior Mexican intelligence official. And next to him was a veteran American counternarcotics agent. They bowed their heads for prayer and then proceeded to talk a peculiar kind of shop.

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‘El Chapo’ Guzman will be Mexican President Pena Nieto’s legacy

July 20, 2015

7/20/15 BBC News

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

It was either anger or laughter. But it was humour that won out, at least for the first 24 hours.

Pretty soon, fake selfies appeared on social media showing El Chapo outside Trump Tower smiling. A dig, of course, at businessman Donald Trump who outraged Mexicans recently when he said those who came to the US were “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they’re rapists”.

Sarcasm and dark humour are what seem to be getting Mexicans through these difficult times.

And these times are excruciating for President Enrique Pena Nieto too.

Read more…


PHONE EVENT: The Escape of El Chapo Guzmán and the Struggle Against Organized Crime

July 20, 2015

Exclusive Dial-In Event:

ElChapoWHEN: Wednesday, July 22 at 9:30am

DIAL-IN INFO: 

Toll Free #: 888-947-9018
Conference #: 1-517-308-9006
Conference Passcode: 13304

Click here to RSVP.

On Saturday, July 11, around 9 p.m., drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo” Guzmán, escaped, for the second time, from a maximum security prison in Mexico.

The Mexico Institute is delighted to present a dial-in event in which expert analysts will offer their take on the broader implications of this escape on the future of Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico security relationship. The event will address four specific questions:

1. How damaging is the escape for the credibility of the Mexican government’s struggle against organized crime?

2. What steps is the government taking to try to recapture El Chapo, and what elements are missing from that effort?

3. How does El Chapo’s escape impact on the panorama of organized crime in Mexico? Will we see a resurgent Sinaloa Cartel now that its leader is free?

4. What impact will the escape have on bilateral relations with the U.S., on trust levels between security agencies, and the ongoing debate over extradition?

Join us BY PHONE for a discussion of this current event, the response by both governments, and the meaning of El Chapo’s escape for Mexico’s international image, with Mexico security experts Duncan Wood, Alejandro Hope, Steven Dudley, and Eric L. Olson.

Speakers

Alejandro Hope
Director de Política de Seguridad, IMCO

Steven Dudley
Co-Director, InSight Crime

Eric L. Olson
Associate Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center

Moderator

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.


As Mexico takes down kingpins, pace of killings only accelerates

July 7, 2015

7/3/15 Dallas News 

chihuahua-mapIn this border city across from El Paso, Mexican soldiers discovered and dismantled a car bomb this week in a highly populated neighborhood.

The discovery came just days after the head of the Sinaloa cartel was captured in the state capital, Chihuahua City.

Across the central Texas border near Laredo, thugs last month shot at a helicopter, apparently mistaking its occupants for Mexican marines. The personnel were members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, and the helicopter took two bullets in U.S. airspace. In response, two Black Hawk helicopters now patrol the border in the Laredo region. To the south, in and around the industrial city of Monterrey, a recent killing surge left 25 people dead in one weekend.

Read more…


32 in U.S., Mexico Accused of Running Sinaloa Cartel Gold-for-Cash Money-Laundering Scheme

February 13, 2015

Fox News Latino, 2/13/2015

goldThirty-two people from the United States and Mexico are accused of running a multistate gold-for-cash scheme that laundered more than $100 million in U.S. profits for Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, a complaint unsealed this week in federal court in Chicago says.

The cartel associates used cash from narcotics sales to purchase scrap and fine gold — including from Chicago-area jewelers — then sent it to metal refineries in Florida and California; plants sometimes transferred payments for the gold directly to Mexico, the complaint says.

Read more…


Mexico Say Expects Kingpin Extradition Request From U.S. Soon

January 21, 2015

Reuters, 1/20/2015

handcuffsMexico’s attorney general said on Tuesday he expects the United States to submit an extradition request soon for drug lord Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, who was Mexico’s most wanted man until his capture last February.

“I’m aware they’re going to ask me, and it won’t be a problem to do all the paperwork to determine at the time what will be most convenient,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo told reporters in Mexico City of the U.S. extradition request.

Read more…


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