Mexico’s drug war leaves 39,000 unidentified bodies in its morgues


Source: The Gaurdian

Mexico’s militarised crackdown on organised crime has left nearly 39,000 unidentified bodies in the country’s morgues, which are often unable to handle the volume of corpses brought in for autopsies.

A new investigation by the investigative NGO Quinto Elemento Labs found that an alarming number of people were simply buried in common graves without proper postmortems. Some were left in funeral homes and more than 2,500 bodies were given to medical schools.


Coronavirus disrupting U.S.-Mexico action against meth labs, says U.S. Attorney General


Source: Rueters

The novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted joint U.S.-Mexico actions against methamphetamine labs operated by Mexican cartels, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Thursday.

Barr made two trips to Mexico in December and January, which he said led to greater cooperation between the two nations in combating Mexican drugs cartels, including a step up in extraditions of gang leaders.


Mexico Auctions Seized Jewelry to Fund Road Building

7/28/19 – AP

By Amy Guthrie


A white gold bracelet adorned with crocodiles and encrusted with 1,331 diamonds glittered from a display case, not far from a yellow gold pendant in the shape of a bullet covered in 450 tiny black diamonds. Those were just two of 2,000 pieces of jewelry seized from criminals and tax cheats that the Mexican government put to auction Sunday.

The sale offered a glimpse into the eccentric tastes of Mexico’s criminal underworld, while reinforcing a perception among the new government’s supporters that it is more transparent and humble.

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How a group of mothers uses drones to unearth the casualties of Mexico’s drug war

5/6/2019 – The Verge


By Danielle Mackley

 Carlos Casso Castro has been missing since December of 2011. Two days before Christmas, he called his mother, Dr. Rosalía Castro Toss, from his black Mazda. He and his partner were running errands, and yes, he told his mother, they were coming to the family holiday dinner the next day. He hung up. They both vanished.

A social studies teacher in Veracruz, Roberto Carlos is one of more than 40,000 people in Mexico who’ve disappeared since the 2006 outbreak of the country’s war on drugs. Most are victims of organized criminal groups and corrupt state authorities. They all leave behind desperate families — like Dr. Castro, who did what any parent would after the disappearance. She went searching for answers.

Dr. Castro visited countless authorities to demand an official investigation, none of whom have solved her son’s case. She tracked down witnesses herself, who told her that a truck had cut off her son’s car on the highway, and a group of heavily armed men had taken him and his partner away. She dug into abandoned fields rumored to be body dumps, but found nothing.

Charges in Mexico-NY fentanyl smuggling case

03/27/2018 The Washington Post

drug dog sniffing suitcaseAn alleged drug trafficker was accused on Tuesday of flooding the New York City area with large quantities of fentanyl from Mexico at a time when overdoses related to the powerful opioid have skyrocketed.

Francisco Quiroz-Zamora faced drug-trafficking conspiracy charges following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and other law enforcement agencies.

Quiroz-Zamora, 41, was arrested in a sting operation late last year after he traveled to New York City to collect a payment from an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer, authorities said. An indictment in state court charges him in connection with the seizure of more than 44 pounds of fentanyl last year at a hotel in the Bronx and at an apartment in upper Manhattan used as a stash house.

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Mexico’s war on drugs: what has it achieved and how is the US involved?

12/8/2016 The Guardian 

drug warWhy did Mexico launch its war on drugs?

On 10 December 2006, the newly inaugurated president, Felipe Calderón, launched Mexico’s war on drugs by sending 6,500 troops into his home state of Michoacán, where rival cartels were engaged in tit-for-tat massacres as they battled over lucrative territory. The surge in violence had started in 2005, and a string of police and military operations by his predecessor Vicente Fox had failed to stem the bloodshed.

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Mexico’s president says he is open to legalizing medical marijuana

4/19/16 Reuters

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera salute during the military parade celebrating Independence Day at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico CityMexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Tuesday he is open to the legalization of medical marijuana in Mexico and that his government would announce new measures in the coming days.

“I am giving voice to those who have (in public forums) expressed the necessity of changing the regulatory framework to authorize the use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes,” Pena Nieto said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Speaking at a special session where world leaders gathered to rethink global strategy in the war on drugs for the first time in two decades, Pena Nieto said drug use should be addressed as a “public health problem” and users should not be criminalized.

Pena Nieto, who has traditionally been a vocal opponent of drug legalization, also called for a global shift in dealing with drug consumption while continuing to fight organized crime.

“We should be flexible to change that which has not yielded results, the paradigm based essentially in prohibitionism, the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ … (which) has not been able to limit production, trafficking nor the global consumption of drugs,” he said.

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Fresh Thinking on Drug Use

4/12/16 Human Rights Watch

drugsFor the past decade, Mexico has pursued a “war on drugs” with catastrophic consequences — drug-related violence has taken the lives of tens of thousands of people. Last month, the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled that prohibiting the personal use of marijuana violates a constitutional right to the “free development of one’s personality.” The ruling, while limited to marijuana, represents an important step toward a new approach to drug policy that could help make Mexicans healthier and safer.

We hope that Brazil´s Supreme Court will follow Mexico’s example. The Brazilian court is considering whether a law that makes possession of drugs for personal use a crime violates a constitutional right to privacy. If the court strikes down the law, Brazil will join a growing list of countries that are liberalizing their policies toward drug use – from Portugal, which in 2001 decriminalized the personal use of all drugs without apparent ill effect, to Uruguay, which in 2013 became the first country fully to legalize and regulate marijuana.

Even the United States, traditionally one of the most zealous enforcers of a prohibitionist approach to drug control, is starting to soften. Almost half of its 50 states have legalized marijuana in some form, and the Obama administration is taking a hands-off approach to the states’ experiments.

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Mexico Paves the Way for Marijuana Legalization

11/5/2015 Huffington Post Live

CW huffpostMexico’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that individuals have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for personal use. Is this pushback to years of strict U.S. drug policy imposed on Mexico? And what does it mean for the region’s war on drugs?

The Mexico Institute’s Deputy Director Christopher Wilson joined Huffington Post Live to discuss the Mexican Supreme Court’s ruling and its effect on the U.S.-Mexico relationship and the war on drugs. Other guests included Sylvia Longmire, Author of ‘Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars’ and ‘Border Insecurity’; Isaac Campos, History Professor, University of Cincinnati, Author of ‘Home Grown’; and Hannah Hetzer, Policy Manager of the Americas, Drug Policy Alliance.

Click here to watch the segment on Huffington Post Live.

Mexico ruling opens door to legalizing marijuana

11/4/2015 The Financial Times

Mexico’s Supreme Court on Wednesday opened the door to legalising the recreational use and cultivation of marijuana — a potentially far-reaching first step in a country where cartels make about a third of their income from selling illegal weed.

With four votes in favour and one against, the court’s criminal chamber declared that individuals should be allowed to grow and distribute pot for their personal use, paving the way for further legal action to change Mexico’s current drug laws.

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