Posts Tagged ‘Joaquin Guzman’

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman: The rise and fall of Mexico’s drug lord

| March 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

It was nighttime in May of 1990, in the heyday of the cocaine boom across America. Twenty Mexican federal police officers and a handful of U.S. Customs agents, acting on a tip, descended on a stucco home on the edge of Agua Prieta, Mexico — a stone’s throw from Arizona. “Policia,” they yelled, guns drawn, before busting down the front door.

The house was empty but looked lived in, with dishes in the kitchen and toys in the backyard. The officers moved quickly to a spacious game room, complete with a bar and a pool table, set atop a three-metre-by-three-metre concrete panel on the floor.

An informant had told them that what they were looking for was under the pool table. They moved it aside and went to work with a jackhammer. Then, a stroke of luck: One of them turned the knob of a faucet and suddenly the floor panel rose into ... Read More

Obama Administration To Mexico: Hand Over ‘El Chapo’

| February 27th, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

BY SHANE HARRIS

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told members of Congress Wednesday that he “wholeheartedly” wants to see captured Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman brought to justice, but he stressed that extraditing him to the United States will be difficult and is far from a certain outcome.

During testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee, Johnson joked that successfully extraditing Guzman to the United States would be easier than settling who among the half dozen U.S. attorneys vying to prosecute him should get the first crack. Guzman has been charged in at least seven district courts in the United States, including in Chicago, where he was named Public Enemy No. 1 last year, a notorious title first applied to Al Capone.

Johnson, who was making his first appearance before the committee since he was confirmed in December, deferred specific questions about the administration’s efforts to extradite Guzman to the Justice ... Read More

‘El Chapo’ not likely to be leaving Mexico soon

| February 26th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman appears set to remain in Mexico’s highest-security prison for the foreseeable future, as the government puts off U.S. extradition in a move that could bolster President Enrique Pena Nieto’s nationalist credentials but also shine a spotlight on the country’s woeful judicial system.

Experts say Pena Nieto’s administration and those of his predecessors have proven unable to match headline-grabbing arrests like Guzman’s with complex, long-term investigations and prosecutions of deep-rooted criminal networks. Cases have stalled and cartels have continued to operate. Last year, one of Guzman’s closest allies walked out of the prison where the U.S. said he was running drugs from behind bars.

The Mexican government says there is no way Guzman will repeat the 2001 escape that let him roam western Mexico for 13 years as he moved billions of dollars of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin around the world. Authorities here say they want ... Read More

Cocaine Boss’s Capture Signals Progress in Mexico’s Drug War

| February 25th, 2014 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

BY JONATHAN LEVIN & NACHA CATTAN

The capture of the world’s most-wanted narcotics boss shows Mexico is making headway in a drug war that has curbed economic growth while helping to leave at least 92,000 people killed or missing since 2006.

Mexican security forces captured Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman early Feb. 22 in the Pacific beach town of Mazatlan after trailing him for more than a week. Thirteen people were apprehended in all, with no shots fired. Authorities also seized guns, a rocket launcher and 43 vehicles.

Guzman’s arrest caps a 13-year manhunt by Mexican and U.S. authorities and marks a victory for President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in 2012 after pledging to scale back the military’s role in fighting organized crime to curb bloodshed. Further progress against drug trafficking could help boost gross domestic product, according to Alonso Cervera, the chief Latin America economist for Credit Suisse Group AG in Mexico City.

The ... Read More

Amid the coverage of Ukraine, is a crisis in Venezuela being ignored?

| February 25th, 2014 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

BY ADAM TAYLOR

Over the weekend, the situation in Ukraine became one of the biggest stories on the planet. On both Saturday and Sunday, stories from the protest-wracked nation ran above the fold on the front page in the print edition of The Washington Post. The dramatic story also appeared on the top of the New York Times’ front pages. It appeared to be a major story for almost all news outlets.

What was going on in Ukraine was clearly momentous. On Saturday, Viktor Yanukovych had fled the capital, his extravagant home now open for the world to see, while his rival Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison and vowed to run in newly announced elections. The situation is by no means resolved, but it did look like a real breakthrough for the Euromaidan protests.

Ukraine wasn’t the only news story in the world, however. On the surface of it, there is a similar situation brewing in ... Read More

U.S. to Seek Extradition of Mexican Drug Kingpin Guzman

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

BY MARK HOSENBALL & JOHN SHIFFMAN

U.S. prosecutors plan to seek the extradition of Mexico’s most wanted man, drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, to face trial in the United States after he was captured in Mexico.

Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, said on Sunday his office would request Guzman’s extradition to face a variety of charges.

Guzman, caught on Saturday in Mexico with help from U.S. security forces, had long run Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa Cartel. His capture marks a major victory in the fight against drug gangs in Mexico.

It was not immediately clear whether Mexico would agree to extradite him any time soon. Sensitivities over the issue could mean he is more likely to face justice first in Mexico, where he still has an outstanding term to finish. He broke out of prison, reportedly in a laundry cart, in 2001.

The United States had a $5 million ... Read More

Adiós, El Chapo

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

BY DOUGLAS FARAH

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is taking a victory lap of sorts after the capture of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel, taking to Twitter to herald his country’s security forces and accepting congratulatory phone calls from an array of world leaders.

But Nieto might want to think twice about popping the champagne: If history is any indication, Guzmán’s fall points to a difficult and likely violent time ahead, both in Mexico and the United States.

When Pablo Escobar, the notorious head of the Medellín cartel was killed in 1993, his demise was widely celebrated. When the competing Cali cartel’s leaders, brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, were arrested a few years later there was talk of the end of mass cocaine trafficking. Variants of those optimistic predictions are repeated with every major arrest.

Taking out kingpins in transnational criminal organizations has enormous benefits, ... Read More

How Mexico Nabbed a Drug Kingpin

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal BY JOSÉ DE CÓRDOBA & SANTIAGO PEREZ

Before dawn this month, a convoy of Mexican marines quietly surrounded a house in the Spanish colonial city of Puebla and arrested an alleged drug trafficker also wanted for questioning over the kidnapping of a Mexican politician.

Little did the marines know then, but his capture would become a vital piece of the puzzle that would help Mexican and U.S. officials several days later to nab the world’s most sought after drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

U.S. and Mexican crime-enforcement officials hailed Saturday’s arrest as the biggest blow to organized crime since the 1993 killing of Colombian capo Pablo Escobar.

Mr. Guzmán’s capture ends a 13-year manhunt ever since his daring 2001 escape from a Mexican federal prison. U.S. officials say his Sinaloa Cartel is probably the world’s biggest drug-trafficking group, responsible for as much as a third of the cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines smuggled into the ... Read More

US drone, phone taps used to hunt Mexican drug lord

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
From AFP

BY LAURENT THOMET

Mexico City – US authorities announced plans to seek the extradition of Mexico’s most powerful drug lord after his capture in a US-backed operation that included a drone, cellphone intercepts and elite Mexican marines.

As prosecutors in New York prepared their request, new details emerged Sunday from the manhunt that led to the capture of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, whose empire has smuggled drugs to the United States, Europe and Asia.

The US surveillance drone was used for two weeks between mid-January and mid-February to back up a massive operation in the northwestern city of Culiacan, a US government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Guzman eventually slipped out of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, after escaping through tunnels under one of his safe houses as the marines closed in on him, Mexican and US officials said.

Under pressure, the 56-year-old drug capo, who had ... Read More

With Drug Cartels Encroaching, Life Has Hardened On The Mexico-Guatemala Border

| January 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

BY NATHANIEL PARISH FLANNERY

CIUDAD HIDALGO, MEXICO –  Hugo Rivera, a wide shouldered state trooper with fifteen years on the force and three years of experience in the state border patrol peered through the window of his truck, looking out at the verdant hills in Mexico’s southernmost state, Chiapas. As he drove, Rivera glanced at the cows grazing in a dew-covered field on the side of the road.

“We’re here to prevent crime through our presence,” he explained.

His AR-15 rifle jostled on the seat next to him as he navigated a stretch of puddles and potholes in the narrow road near Mexico’s border with Guatemala. “We see a lot of cases of Central Americans coming up to rob the migrants. The ones with the tattoos stand out. MS-13, [Barrio] 18 – there are a lot of bad guys coming out of El Salvador,” he said.

Out on the Suchiate River, which forms the ... Read More

Guatemala detains 21 people for allegedly laundering money for Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel

| December 4th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY –  Guatemalan authorities say they have detained 21 people who allegedly laundered money for Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Interior Secretary Mauricio Lopez says the 16 men and five women laundered about $46 million through an agricultural company.

Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz said Tuesday that the bulk of the money was sent from Guatemala to Mexico.

She says the investigation began when the national banking system reported suspicious deposits and money transfers by the company Comercializadora de Frutas y Verduras Internacional SA to Aguacates y Frutas Tecario SA de CV, a company in Mexico.

The Sinaloa cartel is Mexico’s most powerful drug organization.

Click here for original ... Read More

Drug War Continues But Most Of Mexico Is Safe For Travel And Business, Experts Say

| November 26th, 2013 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

BY ANDREW O’REILLY

Tucked into a protected bay on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Acapulco has in recent years become the poster child for how the country’s vicious drug war has turned a once idyllic tourist destination into a killing field.

Headless bodies, gang rapes of tourists and hours-long shootouts have driven even the hardiest of visitors away from the city’s famed beaches and high-rise hotels. Foreign visitors flying in have decreased from over 350,000 in 2006 to fewer than 61,000 in 2012 and the once popular spring break destination saw the number of U.S. college students visiting drop by 92 percent in the last three years.

While Acapulco – and border cities like Ciudad Juárez and Reynosa – have dominated the headlines for the gruesome drug violence, much of Mexico’s 761,606 square miles remain relatively safe for both tourists and business interests. Analysts and travel experts tend to agree that Mexico is both as ... Read More

Mexican Trafficker With Ties To Sinaloa Cartel Extradited To U.S. From Panama

| November 14th, 2013 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

An accused drug dealer facing conspiracy charges in connection to a smuggling operation that allegedly moved large amounts of cocaine from Central America to Mexico was extradited to the United States from Panama.

Juan Juárez Orosco, aka “El Abuelo,” was arraigned Sunday in New York City after he was extradited last Friday.

Court documents allege that Juárez led a large-scale drug trafficking ring throughout Central America and Mexico over the last two decades. The 64-year-old Mexican was considered one of the most highly sought-after drug traffickers in the world thanks to his deep ties with illicit organizations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

“Juárez’s trafficking organization was responsible for the importation of massive quantities of cocaine, across oceans and continents, into the United States,” Acting U.S. Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said in a press release.

Over the last decade, it is believed that Juárez and his cohorts worked closely with Colombia’s Norte Valle Cartel and ... Read More

The true godfathers of ‘Narcoland’

| November 7th, 2013 | No Comments »
From CNN

BY ANABEL HERNANDEZ

Editor’s note: Anabel Hernandez is an investigative journalist from Mexico. An English translation of her book “Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers,” has just been published. Hernandez has worked on national dailies including Reforma, Milenio, El Universal and its investigative supplement La Revista. She currently contributes to the online news site Reporte Indigo. In 2012, Hernandez was awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom award in recognition of her work exposing drug cartels.

Since December 2010, I have lived with death threats because I have documented and revealed corruption at the highest levels in the Mexican government. My family has been attacked, I have to live with bodyguards and some of my sources have been killed or are in jail.

But my case is just one of many. A large number of journalists and human rights activists — as well as those who denounce corruption in Mexico — receive similar threats or have been killed. And ... Read More

Heroin Pushed on Chicago by Cartel Fueling Gang Murders

| September 17th, 2013 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

BY JOHN LIPPERT, NACHA CATTAN, & MARIO PARKER

The two Mexican couriers were hauling a tractor-trailer full of cash: $3 million collected for drugs sold on the streets of Chicago. Juan Gonzalez and David Zuniga were driving their rig through Indiana in October 2011, transporting the money to Mexico. As they stopped to fix a flat tire, three members of the Gangster Disciples, Chicago’s biggest street gang, held them up at gunpoint.

The gang had bought the drugs — and now these members wanted the money back. They pistol-whipped and handcuffed Zuniga. As the gangsters were hooking their own purple Kenworth cab to the money-laden trailer, Gonzalez fled through a cornfield and called the police.

After a 15-mile chase north along Interstate 65, lawmen intercepted the rogue truck, arrested the gang members and recovered the loot, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its October issue.

Gonzalez, who worked for Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, made a surprising request that ... Read More

MEXICO’S NEW DRUG WAR: CATCH AND RELEASE?

| September 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
The New Yorker

BY PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE

One morning earlier this summer, on a dirt road outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexican authorities stopped a pickup truck carrying Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the legendarily sadistic leader of Los Zetas, an ultraviolent criminal organization that has become one of the dominant players in Mexico’s drug trade. The origin story of the Zetas is telling: the first members were defectors from Mexico’s élite special forces, who traded allegiances in the drug war and went into business with the cartels. With the destructive imagination of a serial killer, Treviño Morales, who was known as Z-40, presided over innumerable acts of torture, murder, and dismemberment, and became, in the process, a symbol of the recent reign of terror in Mexico. His capture was celebrated as an indication that Mexico’s new President, Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office last year, might be capable of truly confronting the ... Read More

Mexico captures alleged cartel operator linked to 350 murders

| September 3rd, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

MEXICO CITY –  Mexican police captured an alleged former Sinaloa drug cartel lieutenant accused of involvement in the killings of more than 350 people found in various mass graves in 2011, officials said Thursday.

Police in the northern state of Chihuahua detained Mario Nunez, a 39-year-old also known as “M-10,” on Wednesday in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said.

Nunez, a former police officer, began working with the Juarez Cartel before joining the rival Sinaloa organization allegedly led by Mexico’s most-wanted man, Joaquin Guzman.

The government partially blames Nunez for an upsurge in drug violence that brought shootouts in broad daylight, ambushes of police and kidnappings to Ciudad Juarez, which is across from El Paso, Texas.

U.S. court documents say Guzman, known as “El Chapo,” hired Nunez and gave him the job of snatching the smuggling corridors into the U.S. from the local Juarez Cartel, through ordering gangs ... Read More

WHAT CAPTURING A DRUG KINGPIN MEANS FOR MEXICO’S MOB SCENE

| August 1st, 2013 | No Comments »
World Crunch-01

SANTIAGO - The recent capture of Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, kingpin of the notorious Zetas gang, deals a serious blow to the most-feared drug cartel in Mexico. It also refutes speculation that President Enrique Peña Nieto is dedicating fewer resources to the war against cartels in an attempt to curb the violence they generate.

As a presidential candidate, Peña Nieto promised to reduce the growing number of homicides and kidnappings in the country. He emphasized public safety rather than the war against drug trafficking. This worried the country’s partners in the North and some locals that military action against the cartels would lose priority under the new government.

Mexican marines captured Morales after intercepting a pickup truck in the outskirts of the border city Nuevo Laredo, where the Zetas’ operations are headquartered. The narco-chief was travelling with bodyguards, an accountant, eight firearms and $2 million in cash.

It is the Nieto administration’s first ... Read More

Crime in Mexico: Zeta zeroed

| July 19th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Economist

FOR a government that has promised to reduce violent crime, there can have been little better news than the arrest of Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales on July 15th. The head of the Zetas, a drug, kidnapping and extortion gang so notorious many Mexicans only whisper its name in public, Mr Treviño is allegedly responsible for orchestrating some of the country’s most sickening acts of violence in recent years. They include many beheadings, and the massacre of 265 migrants in 2010-11.

Yet the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president since last December, is keen to play down drug-related violence. It reacted to its first toppling of a suspected kingpin in a markedly different way from its predecessor. Mr Treviño was not paraded in front of the press. There was little drama: he was detained with two alleged accomplices by a navy helicopter at 3.45am just south of the United States border ... Read More

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales’s Legacy on Mexico’s Drug War

| July 18th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Daily Beast

BY SCOTT C. JOHNSON

Before his arrest Monday, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, known as Z-40, rose to the top of one of the most notorious cartels through brutal violence—and a sophisticated money-laundering scheme. Scott Johnson on what Morales’s legacy means for the bloody drug war.

There are many ways to climb through the ranks of a Mexican drug cartel: family connections, business acumen, and the ability—some might say willingness—to follow orders, no matter the order.  Most take time, patience, perhaps even a little bit of subtlety.

And then there is the quick way: repeated acts of mind-numbing, outrageous violence. For Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, known as Z-40, the leader of arguably the most feared and certainly the most violent cartel operating in Mexico, the path of violence wasn’t simply a means to the top—it was a way of life.

A unit of Mexican Marines arrested Morales without incident early Monday morning, putting an end (at ... Read More

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