Posts Tagged ‘Sinaloa Cartel’

El Salvador’s Military, Arms Trafficking, and a Mexican Cartel Converge in Honduras

| May 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
From In Sight

By Cesar Castro Fagoaga, Suchit Chavez, and Jessica Avalos

n March 2011, shortly before a group of El Salvador soldiers were linked to the seizure of 1,812 M-67 grenades, Honduran authorities dismantled a Mexican drug trafficking cell in possession of 14 rocket launchers belonging to the Salvadoran Armed Forces.

The official story began on March 17, 2011, with two weapons busts in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. One occurred in a warehouse in Rio Bermejo that belonged to Eduardo Elias Handal Saybe, and the other in a residence in the Lomas de San Juan neighborhood. It was the warehouse, full of weapons, that most caught the attention of the authorities.

There were so many weapons that then Defense Minister Marlon Pascua said he had never seen that many under those circumstances, Honduras newspaper La Prensa reported.

But it was not just weapons that were hidden in the cellar of the warehouse. ... Read More

Drug traffickers shoot down plane in northern Mexico, kill 6 people

| May 14th, 2015 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

Six people were killed when suspected drug traffickers shot down a small plane in Urique, a city in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, state officials said Wednesday.

The victims were aboard an air taxi that was on its way from the northwestern state of Sinaloa to Chihuahua when it was shot down by drug traffickers on Tuesday.

The reason why the plane was shot down has not been determined, the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office said.

“After searches, patrols and sweeps in towns outside the city of Urique, a Cessna-type plane was found Tuesday afternoon in the Arroyo de Tubares, located in Las Cieniguitas, on the border of Chihuahua and Sinaloa,” the AG’s office said in a statement.

The bodies of six men, including pilot Eleazar Ramirez Perez, were found at the crash site and taken to the coroner’s office.

The 58-year-old Ramirez ... Read More

Guatemalan drug ‘Queen of the South’ jailed in US

| May 6th, 2015 | No Comments »

Marllory Chacon Rossell, who was called the Queen of the South by the Guatemalan press, surrendered to US authorities last year.

She is reported to be helping them with key information.

In return, the judge agreed to keep her sentence and release date under seal for five years for her safety.

Prosecutors agreed in December to recommend that Rossell should serve less than a 10-year sentence in return for pleading guilty.

The US Treasury Department described her as “one of the most prolific narcotics traffickers in Central America”.

Based in Guatemala but also operating in Honduras and Panama, Rossell’s organisation supplied cocaine shipments to Mexican drug enterprises including Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel.

Her organisation was also believed to have laundered tens of millions of US dollars in drugs proceeds each month, making her the most active money launderer in Guatemala.

... Read More

Tijuana Cartel Resurgent in Mexico: Official

| February 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
From In Sight


Mexico’s Tijuana Cartel is reportedly marshaling its forces in an attempt to gain back some of its lost glory, according to one security official, providing a look at the current state of a once powerful criminal empire that has since fallen into decline.

Some leaders of the Tijuana Cartel have left prison and are once again engaging in criminal activities in the border city, Tijuana’s Public Security Minister Alejandro Lares Valladares told investigative magazine Zeta Tijuana. Juan Lorenzo Vargas Gallardo, alias “El Chan,” is in charge of restructuring the organization, the magazine reported. However, several other former heads of the cartel have also taken on leaderships roles, including Manuel Lopez Nunez, alias “El Balas,” and Pedro Quintero Velazquez, alias “El 5-8.”

Lares Valladares also said that violent confrontations between the Tijuana and Sinaloa Cartel are ongoing in the region. In recent years, the Sinaloa Cartel has largely taken over drug ... Read More

Mexico AG: Captured drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman won’t be extradited to US anytime soon

| January 28th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

By MARIA VERZA, Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Captured Sinaloa drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman will not be extradited to the United States anytime soon, Mexico’s top prosecutor said Tuesday.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said he was expecting to receive a formal request later in the day from Washington, which also wants to prosecute Guzman on drug trafficking charges. But U.S. authorities will have a long wait.

“I could accept extradition, but at the time that I choose. ‘El Chapo’ must stay here to complete his sentence, and then I will extradite him,” Murillo Karam told The Associated Press in an interview. “So about 300 or 400 years later — it will be a while.”

Murillo Karam later clarified that he was referring to the time that it would take for Guzman to complete his sentences, “given all the crimes ... Read More

Confirmed: U.S. Will Request That Mexico Extradite Drug Lord Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán

| January 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »


Washington has decided to request the extradition of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, who is now in a maximum-security prison outside Mexico City. Mexico’s Attorney General José Murillo Karam said he expects the U.S. government will ask for Guzmán’s extradition in the “next hours.” During a press conference in Mexico City on Tuesday, Murillo Karam said there will be “no problem to process the request to decide, at the right time, what would be most appropriate.”

The “right time,” according to Mexican sources, would be after Guzmán is fully prosecuted and sentenced in Mexico, where he faces eight active criminal cases. Guzmán, who topped the list of most wanted drug criminals in the world and was captured last year, would not need to finish serving his sentence in Mexico in order to be sent to the U.S., according to Mexican diplomatic sources. Therefore, if the prosecutions proceed as ... Read More

Organized crime could undermine benefits of Mexico’s energy reform programme

| November 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times


How much of a risk are Mexican drug lords and the country’s volatile security situation for the landmark energy reform? The head of one company that has a services contract with Mexican state giant Pemex smiles ruefully.

At its worst point – some three to four years ago – a full 40 per cent of the acreage the company is working on was a no-go area, and that was despite some of the processes being automated, says the executive, who asked not to be named.

Things have improved somewhat, but it is all relative: the proportion of the area his company is working on that can only be visited with the army, in helicopters, has shrunk to 20 per cent.

“Security will be a problem,” says the executive, highlighting the elephant in the room when it comes to the industry’s otherwise rapturous reception of Mexico’s energy reform.

... Read More

Drug Cartels Find Argentina Attractive Transit Way

| November 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

Guatemalan authorities have captured Efraín Cifuentes González, also known as “El Negro Sosa,” considered one of the most important members of the Sinaloa cartel operating in Guatemala.

Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla told The Associated Press that the alleged drug trafficker was arrested on Thursday evening in the village of Las Cruces, in the northern department of Petén.

“A formal operation was launched Thursday night to move into position and start the raid. [He] was hiding in a house surrounded by a swamp; he tried to flee, there was crossfire, no injuries, and he was finally captured,” López Bonilla said.

According to information from intelligence officials, who asked not to be identified by name because they were not authorized to speak on record, Cifuentes is linked to the Sinaloa cartel and controls the movement of drugs through Guatemala into Mexico.

After being trained ... Read More

Drug Cartels Find Argentina Attractive Transit Way

| November 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press


The large electrical transformers bound for Mexico were the perfect place to hide cocaine. It was a matter of chemistry to dilute the drug into an oil mixture that could be concealed as coolant, a job handled by a Mexican engineer working discretely in a suburban warehouse near Buenos Aires.

The transformers carrying 2 tons of liquefied cocaine from Bolivia were loaded onto a cargo vessel at a Buenos Aires port and shipped out to sea. But investigators had been watching the operation and when the shipment arrived, an Argentine judge was on hand to insist on a test that, to the astonishment of authorities at one of Mexico’s most secure ports, revealed the drug.

The traffickers, Judge Sandra Arroyo said, had used “an ingenious and logistically novel method for the deception.”

The interception earlier this year called attention to a worrying trend in Argentina, the increasing use ... Read More

Mexico: Caught in the crossfire

| October 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Jude Webber

Their 43 expressionless faces stare out from a double-page advertisement by Mexico’s government in the national press. The banner headline reads: “Reward”.

But they are not the grainy photos of drug lords with prices on their heads. These underprivileged youths from a rural teacher-training college, missing and feared dead after clashes with local police on September 26 are, as activist priest Alejandro Solalinde says, the brutal reminder that “Mexico is sown with corpses”.

Despite a manhunt for the students and their abductors, the only clues appear to lead to mass graves on the hilltops outside the town of Iguala, 130km south of Mexico City. Residents say the area echoes at night with shots and screams. Pictures on social media of a body dumped in the street after the disappearances spread the horror worldwide: its bloodied face was stripped of skin and its eyes gouged out.

This is not “Mexico ... Read More

Why are the Sinaloa Cartel the World’s Most Powerful Gangsters?

| September 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
International Business Times

By Lewis Dean

The FBI landed a blow to the world’s most powerful gang last week when it seized $100m (£62m) from the feared Sinaloa drugs cartel.

Nearly 1,000 officers took part in the major Los Angeles takedown in an attempt to destabilise the Mexican racket.

At one location during the operation on Wednesday 10 September, FBI agents seized nearly $3m in cash and searched dozens of businesses in the city’s trendy fashion district alleged to have laundered money for Mexican drug cartels.

Crimes the cartel are accused of – including drugs trafficking, hostage taking, and money laundering in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the US and Mexico – built former gang leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman a $1bn fortune and in 2012 a berth at number 63 in Forbes magazine’s The World’s Most Powerful People list (in 2013, he dropped to 67).

But, despite his vast empire, the net was closing in on the man dubbed Chicago’s Public Enemy ... Read More

Honduran city’s violence adding to immigration surge

| September 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Philly Inquirer Logo

By Michael Matza

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Shot twice in the face by two men on bicycles as he changed a car tire, Omar Gabaretta, 34, died Sunday and was brought to the morgue in this steamy city, which has the world’s highest homicide rate.

On Monday, his cousin Claudia, 28 and pregnant, went there in a red pickup with a simple, black-painted coffin to claim his body. Distraught and not eager to talk, she said she did not know why her cousin, a machinist, was killed. He was the first in his family to die violently, she said, and he now is part of a familiar story.

Violence, corruption, unemployment, grinding poverty, and a crop-destroying drought are among the factors that fueled this summer’s surge of illegal immigration to the United States by Central Americans. The largest group – including thousands of unaccompanied minors – came from Honduras.

It is not hard ... Read More

US Targets Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Seizing $100 Million in Cash

| September 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Latin American Herald Tribune

LOS ANGELES — In a major takedown in Los Angeles, nearly 1,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers seized approximately $100 million in cash, arrested nine subjects, and searched dozen of businesses in the city’s downtown fashion district alleged to have laundered money for Mexican drug cartels.

The ongoing investigation—three indictments have been unsealed — is specifically aimed at the Sinaloa Cartel and its activities, including narcotics trafficking, hostage taking, and money laundering in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the U.S. and Mexico.

In one case, the cartel used a fashion district business to funnel ransom payments related to a kidnapped U.S. citizen who was held hostage and tortured by cartel members in Mexico.

“The victim, who worked as a distributor for the Sinaloa Cartel, was kidnapped after 100 kilograms of cocaine he was supposed to distribute were seized by U.S. law enforcement,” said Bill Lewis, assistant director in charge of our ... Read More

Mexico drug kingpin Juan José ‘el Azul’ Esparragoza believed to have died

| June 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK


Juan José Esparragoza, one of the architects of Mexico‘s global drug trafficking empire – and a key figure in the Sinaloa cartel – has reportedly died of a heart attack at 65.

The investigative weekly Río Doce, based in the northern state of Sinaloa,reported the death late on Sunday on its website, citing anonymous police sources and people close to the family of the trafficker known as “el Azul”, or the Blue One.

Radio Formula reported on Monday that the attorney general’s Office had started an investigation into “rumours” of El Azul’s death. The FBI’s website retained the crime boss on its most wanted list, alongside a five million dollar reward for information leading to his capture.

The death of Esparragoza would be the second blow to the Sinaloa cartel this year, following the February arrest of its most famous kingpin, Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán. It would leave Ismael “el Mayo” Zambada, as the only ... Read More

Honduras Extradites Drug Suspect to US, a First

| May 9th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
ABC News

Honduras has extradited a suspected drug trafficker to the United States for the first time, the U.S. State Department said Friday.

Carlos Arnoldo Lobo, 40, was extradited on Thursday, spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Lobo, who is indicted on U.S. drug trafficking charges in the Southern District of Florida, was arrested March 27 when Honduran security forces surprised him in a bakery in San Pedro Sula near the Caribbean coast. His extradition was approved in April, and the Supreme Court upheld it last week.

Also in April, the U.S. Treasury Department levied sanctions against Lobo under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act for allegedly moving multi-ton loads of cocaine for Mexican, Guatemalan and Honduran drug kingpins and their organizations.

The action seized his property and interests in property in the United States and prohibits U.S. citizens from engaging in transactions with him.

The Treasury Department alleges that ... Read More


| April 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New Yorker

How the world’s most notorious drug lord was captured.


One afternoon last December, an assassin on board a K.L.M. flight from Mexico City arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. This was not a business trip: the killer, who was thirty-three, liked to travel, and often documented his journeys around Europe on Instagram. He wore designer clothes and a heavy silver ring in the shape of a grimacing skull. His passport was an expensive fake, and he had used it successfully many times. But, moments after he presented his documents to Dutch customs, he was arrested. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had filed a Red Notice with Interpol—an international arrest warrant—and knew that he was coming. Only after the Dutch authorities had the man in custody did they learn his real identity: José Rodrigo Arechiga, the chief enforcer for the biggest drug-trafficking organization in history, Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.

To work ... Read More

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


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

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

| February 25th, 2014 | No Comments »


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

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

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


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

Page 1 of 812345»...Last »