Mexico

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/
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Organized crime-related homicides soar in Mexico
Murders attributed to organized crime broke a record in August at 2,290, a 77.8% rise over last year. It's the third month in a row with over 2,000 such murders — there were 2,264 in July and 2,249 in June. With 240 murders, Guanajuato topped the list of the most violent state. One of the year’s worst massacres was an attack on a nightclub in Coatzacoalcos that left 30 dead and 13 injured. On August 8 the Jalisco New Generation Cartel left 19 bodies hanging from an overpass in Uruapan.
A recent gun battle in Tepalcatepec between the CJNG and a rival, Juan José “El Abuelo” (The Grandfather) Farías Álvarez, left nine dead.
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Mexico seizes 25 tons of Fentanyl
The Mexican government announced the major fentanyl seizure of 25.75 tons (23,368 kilograms or 51,517 pounds) of powdered fentanyl that originated in Shanghai China and was headed to Culiacán, Sinaloa, the home base for the Sinaloa Cartel.
The Sinaloa cartel has stepped up production for the U.S. drug market.
Cops found the cargo inside a container of a Danish flagged vessel with a cargo manifest saying contents consisted of calcium chloride. Authorities took a random sampling of the powdered substance which tested positive for fentanyl. Officials seized a total of 931 sacks of the substance.

Powered fentanyl is mass-produced into the black market oxycodone M-30’s known as 'Mexican Oxy.'
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Mexican Meth production, purity up, price down
97% of the meth seized by the US occurs along the Mexican border. In 2012, agents seized 8,460kg of meth headed into the United States from Mexico; in 2017 that figure was 30,081kg. In August, Mexican cops raided four drug labs in Sinaloa. One had allegedly been producing three tons of methamphetamine every week. The DEA says that over the past 5 years the purity of the drug increased from 87.9 to 93.2% while the price per gram decreased from $81 to $70.

Profit margins on a kilogram of meth is much higher than it was for a kilogram of cocaine. With access to precursors, it's possible to produce the drug anytime, anywhere. Producing meth is also far less labor-intensive than either heroin or cocaine.
Mexican cartels' meth production increased dramatically in the mid-2000s after the US shut down super labs in California's Central Valley and passed laws restricting access to the required chemicals.

Guadalajara-based Sinaloa cartel lieutenant Ignacio "El Nacho" Coronel Villarreal became known as the "King of Crystal" due to the huge quantities of methamphetamine his organization produced.
Today, nearly every cartel in Mexico is either manufacturing methamphetamine or buying and smuggling the drug to sell at a profit in the United States.
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Damaso Lopez Nunez makes plea deal
After drug lord "El Chapo" Guzman was snapped up by the Mexican military in 2014 and later sent to the US, Damaso Lopez Nunez stepped up to fill the top chair. His ascension to the Sinaloa cartel throne lasted until May of 2017 when Nunez was himself captured and sent to the U.S.
On Friday, he cut a deal and pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking charges.
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Damaso Lopez NuñezNunez, who admitted being a cartel executive and involved in the Sinaloa drug branch for 15 years, faces at least a decade in the federal penitentiary. He is scheduled to be sentenced in late November, about when El Chapo is scheduled to go on trial in New York. Nunez engineered both of El Chapo's escapes from Mexican prisons, was deeply involved in the Sinaloa Cartel's drug trafficking and knew the organizations deepest secrets.
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Entire Acapulco Police force disbanded
Marines escort Max Lorenzo Sedano after they took control in Acapulco.Authorities in southern Mexico disarmed and placed under investigation the entire police force in Acapulco, claiming the cops were infiltrated by cartels. Officials in Guerrero state issued arrest warrants for two top Acapulco police commanders, accusing them of homicide. Law enforcement duties in the city of 800,000 will be taken over by soldiers.
Last year Acapulco had a homicide rate of 103 per 100,000, one of the highest in Mexico and the world. In Guerrero, local police have been disarmed in more than a dozen towns and cities since 2014. In the northern state of Tamaulipas, almost all local police forces have been disbanded since 2011. Local police were under cartel control to such an extent they would kidnap people and turn them over to drug gang hit men.
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Truck with 157 bodies inside abandoned in Jalisco
Overcrowding at morgues in Jalisco led authorities to store 157 unidentified bodies in a refrigerated truck near the city of Guadalajara. Neighbors' complaints about the truck caused authorities to change its location several times. It went from a morgue parking lot to another government-run lot, before it finally wound up in a field behind a housing development.
Neighbors of the area denounced the discovery twelve hours after the vehicle was abandoned due to the strong odors emanating from it. While refrigeration slows decomposition, many corpses are already rotting. Hours later the truck was moved to an industrial area of ​​the municipality of Guadalajara.
State and local authorities have struggled as bodies pile up from Mexico's rising tide of violence. Morgues in several states have run out of room for new arrivals. In Jalisco, "the physical space to keep the bodies of the dead has been outstripped ... given that every day they are finding bodies in different places, in clandestine graves, shot dead in the street, etcetera."
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Mexico: homicides up 16% in 2018
Homicides in Mexico rose by 16% in the first half of 2018, as the country again broke its own records for violence. The interior department said there were 15,973 homicides in the first six months of the year, compared with 13,751 killings in the same period in 2017. The number is the highest since comparable records began being kept.
At current levels, the national homicide rate of 22 per 100,000 population are near the levels of Brazil and Colombia. The northern border state of Baja California showed a big jump in murder rates. Home to Tijuana, Baja California saw a 44% increase. Authorities attributed the killings to battles between the Jalisco and Sinaloa drug cartels for control of trafficking routes. With a homicide rate for the first six months equivalent to 71 murders per 100,000, the state is now Mexico’s second most violent.
Mexico’s most dangerous state is Colima, on the Pacific coast, with a homicide rate of about 80 per 100,000. The Jalisco cartel is also active there.

By comparison, Honduras and El Salvador, two of the deadliest countries in the world, have homicide rates of about 60 per 100,000.
Quintana Roo, home to resorts like Cancún, Tulum and Cozumel, saw homicides rise by 132%. The state accounts for almost half of Mexico’s national tourism income.
Killings dropped in Baja California Sur, home to the resorts of La Paz and Los Cabos after a massive increase in police presence. Extra police and troops were sent in after warring drug gangs brought international attention in 2017.

In historically violent states such as Guerrero, which is a main growing area for opium poppies, numbers have dropped. Farmers in Guerrero say prices for opium paste have dropped to unprofitable levels because drug cartels are substituting it for far cheaper fentanyl.
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Mexico seizes record 50 tons of meth
Mexican marines seized a record 50 tons of crystal meth from a drug lab in the state of Sinaloa. Tons of drugs were being produced in the mountains of Alcoyonqui municipality, about 19 km outside the state capital of Culiacan.
"A clandestine narco-lab and two underground store rooms were secured and dismantled, with approximately 50 tons of processed crystal meth in solid and liquid form." the marines said in a statement. The drugs were incinerated on site due to the remote location. Mexico is a major supplier of meth to the US and the top source of heroin. The country is also the principal highway for cocaine trafficked north.
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Mexico offers $1.56M for Nemesio 'El Mencho' Oseguera-Cervantes
Mexico is offering a 30 million pesos ($1.56m) reward for information leading to the arrest of drug lord Nemesio Oseguera-Cervantes. Known as "El Mencho," Oseguera-Cervantes has risen to become Mexico's most-wanted drug lord. In March, U.S. agents named El Mencho public enemy No. 1.
The US is offering $5m for information leading to his capture.
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'El Mencho' escapes encounter with Mexican Army
A gunbattle took place this week in the town of San Julian, Jalisco. State police responded to an anonymous call of several men carrying firearms. When police arrived at the scene they were overwhelmed with firepower and called for backup. The gunmen were reportedly the personal bodyguards of Ruben Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, the leader of Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG).
During the gun battle, the gunmen deployed .50 caliber machine guns, grenade launchers, and other pieces of artillery they had mounted on vehicles. The two sides fought for almost an hour until the gunmen escaped.
See ----->'El Mencho' becomes world's most wanted drug lord
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Drug tunnel ran from KFC restaurant to Mexico home
Federal authorities have discovered a sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnel that went from a home in Mexico to an abandoned fast-food restaurant in Luis, Arizona, about 200 yards (180 metres) north of the border. Police began trailing the owner of the abandoned building, Ivan Lopez, and arrested him this month after finding methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl in the back of his truck.
The abandoned KFC which Ivan Lopez bought in April for $389,000Police don't know how long the tunnel had been used, but Lopez bought the property in April. According to court documents, the government believes Lopez is a well-trusted cartel member.

Nearly 200 cross-border tunnels that have been discovered since 1990. Border agents are seeing an increase in tunnels, which are expensive to build and take long periods of time to construct.
The tunnel will be sealed with concrete.
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New Cartel in the southern Mexican coastal state of Guerrero
Cartel Del La Sierra (CDS) announced itself by carrying out a series of brazen raids, kidnappings, and executions in Campo de Aviacion, Guerrero. The first attack took place at a local bar when 13 heavily armed gunmen pulled up in five SUVs and took seven hostages. They carried various assault weapons and grenades. They asked about members of Los Viagras or La Nueva Familia Michoacana. The gunmen kidnapped the hostages and killed them. 4 were beheaded.
Guerrero continues to see an escalating level of violence that has killed 22 police officers so far in 2018. Rival cartels are fighting for the state’s drug production areas in the mountainous regions and the shipping ports connecting to Central and South America. In late 2017, some morgues in the state closed after not being able to keep up with incoming bodies.
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Mexican Cartel leader 'El Comandante 30' finds death
A Puebla gang boss with a penchant for social media was killed by Navy marines. The man, known as El Comandante 30 was caught by federal forces as he and seven others were stealing fuel from a Pemex pipeline. A gunfight followed in which all eight were killed.
El Comandante 30 had been identified as the leader of the Los Cuijes. He earned notoriety after posting intimidating videos online, threatening rival gangs and police.

On July 4 he used a video on social media to announce his intention to create a statewide criminal organization to be known as the Safe Puebla Cartel (CPS).
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Mexico’s navy seizes nearly 2 tons of cocaine
Mexico’s navy says it has seized nearly two tons of cocaine off the country’s southern Pacific coast after one of its planes spotted a suspicious boat about 87 nautical miles off the coast of Acapulco.

The go-fast boat was carrying 75 packages weighing 4,100 pounds. One man was arrested.
Video shows Mexican marines in pursuit of a 'go-fast' boat. The chase ended in the seizure of two tonnes of cocaine.
See ----->Shootout in Matamoros
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Teen Drug Mule busted at Mexico border with massive load
A U.S. teenager living in Tijuana is in custody and facing prison time for the massive cargo found hidden in a vehicle he was driving across the U.S.-Mexico border. Cristian Araujo Aguirre, 19, was arrested Wednesday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, south of San Diego.

U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers found 11,490 fentanyl pills, 61 pounds of meth and 14 pounds of heroin inside the vehicle Aguirre was driving. Two bags and the box of pills found in a hidden storage compartment were designed to look like oxycodone, complete with the M30 marking on the pills.
If convicted, Aguirre faces a minimum of 10 years to life and a $1 million fine. Mexican drug dealers are increasingly recruiting teenagers. Some are paid as little as $400 to strap a kilo to their bodies and walk across the U.S.-Mexico border. San Diego high schools are choice recruiting grounds. Some kids are 14, 15, 16, and 17 years old. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped three teenagers with $150,000 worth of contraband strapped to their bodies in March.
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Shootout in Matamoros
Video of a shootout in Matamoros this week is evidence of how dangerous things are in Mexico. A hail of bullets by Mexican soldiers are aimed at members of the Gulf Cartel.

The shootout on the outskirts of Matamoros ends quickly with the four gang members surrendering. At least three have gunshot wounds, all had automatic weapons and bullet proof vests.
See ----->$1.8m cash, 130kg cocaine and weapons found in bunker near Texas border
See ----->Mexico; 48 assassinated in 8 states in 36 hours
See ----->Mexico: homicides up 16% in 2018
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Mexican Drug Lords compete as Narco King of Instagram
Bikini-clad women, gold-plated assault rifles, wads of cash and bejeweled pistols are appearing on the social media accounts of Mexican cartel members as they compete to be Narco King of Instagram.

Using the hashtags #narcos and #narcostyle on Instagram and Twitter, Mexican Kingpins are showing off their extravagant lifestyles – paid for by cocaine users.
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Mexico; 48 assassinated in 8 states in 36 hours
A wave of violence has left 48 people dead in eight states in just 36 hours between Thursday and Friday. Guanajuato saw 26 homicides. In Morelos, the police chief in Yautepec was shot dead inside his home. The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) has announced that it is going after the “plaza” in the state of Morelos.

In San Luis Potosí, a 44-year-old Uber driver was found dead. Another Uber driver was found dead in Los Mochis, Sinaloa. In Quintana Roo, a gun battle in Puerto Juárez — five kilometers northeast of downtown Cancún — left at least five people dead including a police officer.
See ----->Mexico: homicides up 16% in 2018
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$1.8m cash, 130kg cocaine and weapons found in bunker near Texas border
An anonymous call led Tamaulipas police to obtain a search warrant and raid a home being used as a stash house by the Gulf Cartel.

Police discovered a hidden door behind two washing machines that could only be opened through an electronic control which activated the false floor.
The faction of the Gulf Cartel which operates in Matamoros is fighting with another in the border city of Reynosa over territorial control. The fighting has led to more than 500 murders in Reynosa alone.
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Ballots and bullets: Mexico's bloody election campaign
Mexican congressional candidate Fernando Puron had just left a debate hall where he addressed public security in his northern state of Coahuila, which borders Texas. He walks over to a person holding a phone and poses for a picture. A man calmly walks up from behind and shoots him in the head, killing him before walking off.

Puron was running on an anti-cartel platform which made him a target. 136 politicians have been murdered since candidate registration for elections in Mexico opened in September.
It is by far the bloodiest Mexican campaign on record. Figures show the lengths to which the country's powerful drug cartels go to to place their allies in local government. Political violence is part of the larger bloodbath which has totaled a record 25,339 murders last year.
Security experts say the country faces a deep-rooted problem of "complicity between public officials and criminals."

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Mexico World Cup star Rafael Marquez accused of helping a drug lord
Rafael Marquez is the team’s captain and a legendary defender. He was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department last year for aiding a powerful Mexican drug trafficker. His bank accounts were frozen in the U.S. and Mexico and he was placed on a blacklist. The sanctions also bar him from playing in the United States.

Known as Rafa, he has denied allegations that he and two associates used several businesses to hold assets for well known cartel leader Raul Flores Hernandez.
Some say only in Mexico could a money launderer be on center stage. Supporters of Marquez say he has not been convicted of any crime — or even charged — and should not be prematurely penalized. At a ceremony at Mexico’s presidential palace two weeks ago, Marquez presented a green World Cup jersey to President Enrique Peña Nieto — who himself has been accused of corruption.
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Coca-Cola, Pepsi bottlers leave Mexican city due to cartel extortion

Masked protesters empty a Coca-Cola truck in Chilpancingo, November 4, 2014.
Mexicans are among the biggest soft drink consumers in the world, so residents of Ciudad Altamirano in Guerrero were hit hard when first Coca-Cola then Pepsi closed their distribution centers amid drug gang extortion. Coca-Cola employees in Ciudad Altamirano "began receiving constant threats and attacks by organized crime" a phrase that usually refers to drug cartels.

Coca Cola truck burning near Ciudad Altamirano, Guerrero
At least one employee was brutally beaten.

Complaints of "a lack of rule of law" are common in the area, which has long been dominated by the Knights Templar cartel. The cartel has splintered and formed an alliance with the local branch of the La Familia gang.
A Ciudad Altamirano store owner said the local drug gang is allowing two trucking companies to bring in soda at 50 per cent higher prices. Local stores can only buy from those firms. If they try to bring in their own soda from outside, it is confiscated at gang checkpoints on highways leading into the city.

The cartel has been extorting money from local businesses for years. 'Protection' payments are a way of life. The larger the business, the higher the payments.
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Violence Rising in Jalisco
A Mexican army helicopter has been shot at in Jalisco, killing three soldiers and injuring 12. The Jalisco New Generation gang was believed responsible. There were violent clashes elsewhere in the state. Jalisco's Governor said at least seven people had been killed and 15 injured Friday. Vehicles were set on fire and banks and gas stations were damaged across the region.
The cartel has been blamed for an attack May 22 on the former attorney general of Jalisco that was followed by gunfire and narco-blockades on the streets of Guadalajara. More than 20 police officers have been killed in attacks by drug gangs in the last two months in Jalisco state.
See ----->Mexico arrests wife of 'El Mencho'
See ----->2017 deadliest year in Mexico for Murder
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Mexican drug cartel killers dissolve 12 in a vat of acid, including three film students
Mexican investigators detected DNA from 12 separate people in residual fats found at a location where one of the killers confessed to dissolving bodies in sulfuric acid. The three students were unwittingly working on a film project at a house being watched by the Jalisco New Generation cartel. The house had once been used by a rival drug gang.
Christian Omar Palma Gutierrez is a 24-year-old rapper who built a YouTube channel with more than a half-million views based on songs describing his violent life of drugs and crime.

Palma Gutierrez confessed to working for the Jalisco New Generation cartel, Mexico's fastest-growing and most violent gang, as what the gang calls a "cook." By his account, for 3,000 pesos a week, he dumped bodies head-first into acid baths set up in water tanks in the yard of a cartel safe house.
He would come back after two days - after the acid had done its work - and open drain valves to release the fluid into the storm drain then remove remaining sludge to dump it in fields.

Some sludge remained in the bottom of the tanks, and that is apparently where investigators found the DNA.
See ----->Three Mexican film students killed, their bodies dissolved in acid
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Mexico's Tobacco Cartel
The Tobacco Cartel is attempting to control Mexico’s cigarette market by eliminating brands it doesn’t sell from store shelves. Police — or gangsters posing as police — have carried out 364 operations at stores in eight states to seize and destroy cigarettes not distributed by the company Tobacco International Holdings.

Raids have occurred in Nayarit, Veracruz, Sonora, Michoacán, Jalisco, Coahuila, Tabasco and Sinaloa.
Business owners and distributors of other cigarette brands were given fake letters from government departments that state cigarette brands other than those distributed by TIH are illegal and cannot be sold in Mexico. The Federal government says no such letters exist. “Seize and destroy operations” have been carried out by municipal, state and federal police, according to people targeted by them.
In Michoacán, the Tobacco Cartel has distributed flyers to small grocery stores stating that by order of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, only TIH cigarette brands could be sold. One of the partners of the company — and the head of the Tobacco Cartel — is thought to be Carlos Cedano Fillipini, a former police officer who has worked with several federal agencies including the Attorney General’s office. Known as 'El Rambo', he has links to the leader of the CJNG, Nemesio Oseguera or El Mencho — Mexico’s most wanted drug lord` who has a now $ 15m bounty.
TIH is a “Swiss-founded company for the exclusive purpose of having the rights of the brands registered in Mexico.” Those brands, Laredo, Botas and Económicos among others, are all much cheaper than better-known cigarette brands, costing no more than 25 pesos (US $1.30) a pack.

The illegal cigarette business is growing rapidly and now accounts for around 10 percent of the total tobacco market in Mexico.
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