Tag Archives | Mexico

Schwarzenegger Asks: Why Not Build Prisons in Mexico?

SchwarzeneggerKevin Yamamura writes on the Sacramento Bee:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday offered yet another way California can save on incarcerating illegal immigrants: pay to build prisons in Mexico. Schwarzenegger said in a Sacramento Press Club speech that rather than raise taxes, the state could find money by cutting pension costs, allowing offshore oil drilling and lowering prison expenditures. His budget calls for an $880 million infusion from the federal government to pay for housing illegal immigrant prisoners who have committed crimes in California. The governor also wants to rely more on private prison companies.
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From Spas to Banks, Mexico Economy Rides on Drugs

From Reuters:

At a modern factory in a city whose main claim to fame is an image of the Virgin Mary revered for granting miracles, Mexican pharmaceuticals firm Grupo Collins churns out antibiotics and other medicines.

But the United States contends that the company in Zapopan is not what it seems. The U.S. Treasury put Grupo Collins on a black list in 2008, saying the firm supplies a small drug cartel in western Mexico with chemicals needed to make methamphetamines.

Grupo Collins, which has denied any connection to organized crime, is one of dozens under suspicion of laundering money for the nation’s booming drug business, whose growing economic impact now pervades just about every level of Mexican life.

Mexican cartels, which control most of the cocaine and methamphetamine smuggled into the United States, bring an estimated $25 billion to $40 billion into Mexico from their global operations every year.

To put that in perspective: Mexico probably made more money in 2009 moving drugs than it did exporting oil, its single biggest legitimate foreign currency earner.

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Mexican Journalist Killed in Apparent Drug Hit

From Reuters:

Mexican police said on Saturday they found the body of a crime reporter abducted last month by apparent drug traffickers, the third murder of a journalist in recent weeks.

The remains of radio journalist Jose Luis Romero were discovered wrapped in plastic near the city of Los Mochis in the western state of Sinaloa, a hotspot in Mexico’s drug war.

The latest victim in an upsurge of attacks on the media, Romero was kidnapped on December 30 at a seafood restaurant. His hands and a leg were broken before he was shot to death, police said.

Across Mexico, a war between rival cartels for control of the multibillion dollar drug trade has killed 17,000 people since President Felipe Calderon launched his anti-drug campaign at the end of 2006.

Attacks on the media have mounted as drug gangs seek to silence journalists who report on the drug killings.

[Read more at Reuters]

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Mexico’s Crystal Cave: The Deadliest Place On Earth?

Wondering where the deadliest place on Earth is? It could be Mexico’s Cueva de los Cristales. It’s an underground palace of glittering crystal where the temperature hovers in the 120s and the humidity is 100% — a combination “so deadly that even with respirators and suits of ice you can only survive for 20 minutes before your body starts to fail.”

Originally discovered by accident by miners tunneling deep into the earth, the Cave looks like something out of a Jules Verne story. Explorer Paul Williams went there to shoot footage for a BBC special and posted the resulting photos on his blog.

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Mexican Drug Gangs Worship “Saint Death”

From The Times Online:

She was yet another desolate victim of the endless drug wars ravaging the northern Mexican borderlands, one of more than 2,600 people murdered in Ciudad Juarez last year. When police found her body in a residential area close to the Rio Grande river, there were two distinctive signs that she had been caught up in the bloodsoaked feuding between the rival Juarez and Sinaloa cartels.

First, her head had been crudely hacked off — a trademark cartel warning to rivals. Second, her torso bore a distinctive tattoo of a cackling skeleton dressed in suggestive female clothing.

Police recognised it at once as Santa Muerte — best translated as Saint Death, a macabre feminine icon who has replaced the Virgin Mary as an improbable source of unholy comfort to Mexico’s legions of gangsters and hitmen.

“If you revere her and are faithful to her, she might look after you.

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Mexico Nabs 3rd Brother in Reputed Drug Family

From Yahoo News:

The capture of a reputed kingpin following the death of his brother has knocked out most of a brutal drug trafficking dynasty after a Mexican crackdown on corruption stripped the Beltran Leyva cartel of many snitches within security forces.Carlos Beltran Leyva was arrested in the Pacific coast state Sinaloa, where he and several of his brothers were born and allegedly started their gang. A judge ordered him held for at least 40 days while officials investigate possible charges of organized crime, the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Sunday.

His capture came just two weeks after his brother Arturo, known as “the boss of bosses” of the cartel, was killed in a shootout with marines at a luxury apartment in the city of Cuernavaca.

Carlos Beltran‘s arrest gave Calderon back-to-back victories in the drug war and underscored the government’s determination to destroy the cartel despite the threat of reprisal attacks.

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FDA Continues World Colonization, Opens Another International Facility In Mexico

Mike Adams for Natural News:

In its supposed efforts to improve food safety, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the opening of its third Latin American facility located in Mexico City. Since an increasing quantity of fruits, vegetables, and medical devices are being imported into the U.S. from Mexico, FDA officials believe setting up outposts there will improve the food safety process.

Throughout the past year, FDA has opened ten facilities around the globe. Because of numerous recent contamination outbreaks, regulators claim that establishing permanent international offices will improve their ability to operate effectively.

The agency plans to work collaboratively with international governments and food regulators to harmonize regulatory standards, establish new food safety guidelines, and improve product handling safety protocols.

U.S.-based staff is now working in FDA facilities in China, India, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and several European countries. Native regulatory agencies in these countries are still said to be in charge of monitoring food safety, but FDA is there to provide an additional point of control for helping these agencies meet U.S.

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Mexico: Top Drug Cartel Leader Killed

From CNN:

In a strong blow to one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels, Mexico’s navy killed a top drug kingpin in a shootout Wednesday at an upscale resort.Arturo Beltran Leyva, head of the Beltran Leyva cartel, was killed in the Mexican city of Cuernavaca, the navy said.

Six other cartel members died in the gunbattle at a housing complex called Altitudes, navy spokesman Adm. Jose Luis Vergara said Thursday. He added that one of the gang members killed himself as authorities closed in.

Three navy personnel were wounded by hand grenades, one fatally, President Felipe Calderon said from the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Navy 3rd Petty Officer Melquisedet Angulo Cordova died while being treated for his injuries, he said. One of the other two navy men was in serious condition, and the other was in stable condition, Vergara said.

The Beltran Leyva cartel is one of the most violent and feared drug organizations in Mexico.

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Mexico’s Drug Cartels Siphon Liquid Gold

You’ve got to give it to the Mexican Drug Lords, they’ve got chutzpah by the tankerload. From the Washington Post:

MALTRATA, MEXICO — Drug traffickers employing high-tech drills, miles of rubber hose and a fleet of stolen tanker trucks have siphoned more than $1 billion worth of oil from Mexico’s pipelines over the past two years, in a vast and audacious conspiracy that is bleeding the national treasury, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials and the state-run oil company.

Using sophisticated smuggling networks, the traffickers have transported a portion of the pilfered petroleum across the border to sell to U.S. companies, some of which knew that it was stolen, according to court documents and interviews with American officials involved in an expanding investigation of oil services firms in Texas.

The widespread theft of Mexico’s most vital national resource by criminal organizations represents a costly new front in President Felipe Calderón’s war against the drug cartels, and it shows how the traffickers are rapidly evolving from traditional narcotics smuggling to activities as diverse as oil theft, transport and sales.

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Narco-Bling Overdose Leaves Museum in a Fix

Adam Thomson in Mexico City reports for the Financial Times:

When it first opened in 1986, the Drugs Museum at the Defence Ministry in Mexico City was a humble, one-room affair with few exhibits and even fewer visitors. Today, it is running out of space.

Three years after President Felipe Calderón declared an all-out war against Mexico’s drugs cartels and hundreds of seizures later, every inch of the museum’s walls are covered with photographs and memorabilia of drugs busts, and its display cabinets are bursting with narco-bling.

“We have run out of space,” admits Captain Claudio Montane, the museum’s curator. “The collection continues to grow but there is no more room to show it.”

A flurry of glitzy seizures this year has added even more pressure to the already-cramped exhibition. Take the 12 pistols that entered the collection last month and once belonged to Héctor Manuel Sauceda Gamboa, a trafficker who died in February in a hail of bullets during a shoot-out with police and military.

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