Mexican Drug War

RSS Feed for this category

Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed more than 28,000 people, the government reported in August. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war.

Pres. Calderon, whose crackdown helped spark the multi-year wave of violence
Friday, September 24

In Nuevo Leon, the mayor of the town of Doctor Gonzalez was shot and killed outside his home alongside his personal assistant. The motive for the killing remains unclear. Doctor Gonzalez is just over 30 miles from Monterrey.

Saturday, September 25

In Obregon, Sonora, a known-drug boss and reputed member of the Sinaloa Cartel was shot and killed with two other people. Reyes Castro Molina, 48, had previously been suspected of involvement in the assassination of Mexican singer Sergio Vega. Several days ago, a note threatening Molina was left with two dismembered bodies near the town of Sinaloa De Leyva. Molina attempted to flee while shooting at his attackers, but died after being hit by an AK-47 round.

Sunday, September 26

In Chihuahua, the bodies of six young men were discovered in an automobile. The bodies, which were discovered on the Jimenez-Villa Lopez highway, had been dead for at least two days. They had all been tortured and shot in the head.

In Ciudad Juarez, a man was killed and cut into pieces and left on a street corner. Additionally, his eyes had been gouged out and his genitals removed, according to one report. A note left by his killers accused the dead man of "killing innocent women" and being in the employ of a drug boss.

Additionally, a suspect in a July car bomb attack which killed three people was captured in the Ciudad Juarez. Jose Ivan Contreras Lumbreras, 27, allegedly killed a man and dressed him in police uniform to lure police to the bomb.

In Sinaloa, a 12-year old boy was shot in the head and killed after gunmen attacked the ranch in which he slept.

Monday, September 27

In Tancarito, Michoacan, the mayor and a city advisor were stoned to death and left in the bed of a pickup truck. Tancarito Mayor Gustavo Sanchez and city advisor Rafael Equiha were found near the city of Uruapan. Tancarito, a small town of 26,000, has long suffered from high levels of drug-related violence. Last year, the entire police force of 60 officers was fired after doing nothing to stop a series of drug-related attacks. Gustavo Sanchez is the fifth Mexican mayor to have been killed in the last six weeks.

In Coahuayana, Michoacan, five gunmen and a marine were killed in a firefight. Eight gunmen and a marine were killed in Reynosa.

In the city of Chihuahua, gunmen stormed a state police facility and stole arms and ammunition. Nobody was injured or killed in the incident. The raid is unprecedented as it is the first time a state police facility has come under this sort of attack. Approximately 43 assault rifles and 26 pistols were taken, along with grenades, body armor and tactical gear. Mexican news sources reported that the men were dressed in CIPOL (the state police intelligence unit) uniforms.

Tuesday, September 28

In Morelia, Michoacan, a judge has dismissed criminal charges against five police officials who had been arrested for links to drug trafficking organizations. The four state police and one city police officer were all from the port city of Lazaro Cardenas. All had been accused of protecting members of La Familia.

Total Body Count for the Week: 103

Total Body Count for the Year: 8,152

Read the previous Mexico Drug War Update here.

Mexico

Why So Many Mayors Are Now Targets in Mexican Drug Prohibition War

Location: 
Mexico
Raul Benitez, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, says that the spate of recent deaths may be no coincidence: It comes as the federal government is increasing intelligence capabilities and taking a harder look at collusion between traffickers and local police and authorities, as it looks to centralize the police force. Therefore, many mayors who once may have turned a blind eye to trafficking exploits in their towns might now be refusing to cooperate. “If the mayor is an obstacle, that is when the problem starts,” says Mr. Benitez.
Publication/Source: 
The Christian Science Monitor (MA)
URL: 
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2010/0928/Why-so-many-mayors-are-now-targets-in-Mexican-drug-war

Fifth Mayor Killed in Six Weeks in Mexico’s Drug Prohibition War

Location: 
Tancitaro, MIC
Mexico
A mayor who took the job when every other official in his town quit out of fear of drug traffickers was reported slain, the fifth Mexican mayor killed in six weeks. Authorities said Gustavo Sanchez, mayor of the town of Tancitaro in Michoacan state, had apparently been beaten to death with rocks.
Publication/Source: 
Boston Herald (MA)
URL: 
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/international/americas/view/20100927fifth_mayor_killed_in_six_weeks_in_mexicos_drug_war/srvc=home&position=recent

Mexican Drug War: Mayors Forced to Live in US

Location: 
Mexico
Mexican mayors have been forced to move to the US for safety in the face of threats from drug traffickers. Five mayors have been murdered in the past six weeks, with a total of 10 killed this year. About 15 mayors have been killed since President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexico's drug traffickers shortly after taking office in December 2006.
Publication/Source: 
Sify News (India)
URL: 
http://sify.com/news/mexico-drug-wars-mayors-forced-to-live-in-us-news-international-kj1kubijegi.html

Mexican Drug Wars: Press Freedom Is the Latest Victim (Opinion)

Location: 
Mexico
Delia Lloyd opines on freedom of the press in Mexico being curtailed by prohibition-related violence. She concludes with "I've got news for you, Mr. President. You may not want to say it out loud, but Mexico has become Colombia."
Publication/Source: 
Politics Daily (US)
URL: 
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/09/25/in-mexican-drug-wars-press-freedom-is-the-latest-victim/

Mexican Mayor Slain in Drug War

Location: 
Doctor Gonzalez, NLE
Mexico
Authorities say gunmen have killed the mayor of a northern Mexican town — adding to a string of attacks on political figures in the drug prohibition-plagued region. Mayor Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas was gunned down yesterday along with another employee of the town named Doctor Gonzalez, about 50 kilometers east of Monterrey. Rival gangs have been battling to control drug routes through Nuevo Leon and neighboring border states.
Publication/Source: 
CBC Radio-Canda (Canada)
URL: 
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/09/24/mexico-mayor024.html

Mexican Journalists Seeking Protection After Reporting on Drug War

Location: 
Mexico
Mexican journalists gathered yesterday to denounce the violent retaliation they have suffered for reporting on the drug prohibition war and questioned the federal government's ability to protect freedom of expression.
Publication/Source: 
The Dallas Morning News (TX)
URL: 
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/world/stories/DN-journalists_24int.ART.State.Edition1.478dac1.html

Mexican Drug Traffickers Reaching Deeper Into San Diego County for Teen Smugglers

Location: 
CA
United States
Mexican drug trafficking organizations are reaching neighborhoods far from the border. Authorities said potential recruits in the South Bay used to be the primary targets, but now teens living deeper into San Diego County have been among the growing number of recruits. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Joe Garcia said, "I think parents in all neighborhoods need to be concerned."
Publication/Source: 
KGTV (CA)
URL: 
http://www.10news.com/news/25123542/detail.html

Mexico Drug War Update

by Bernd Debusmann, Jr.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed more than 28,000 people, the government reported in August. The increasing militarization of the drug war and the arrest of dozens of high-profile drug traffickers have failed to stem the flow of drugs -- or the violence -- whatsoever. The Merida initiative, which provides $1.4 billion over three years for the US to assist the Mexican government with training, equipment and intelligence, has so far failed to make a difference. Here are a few of the latest developments in Mexico's drug war:

Wednesday, September 15

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/el-diario-juarez.jpg
In Tamaulipas, 22 gunmen were killed during a two-hour gun battle with the army. The incident began when soldiers investigating suspicious activity came under fire. Twenty-five rifles and several grenades were seized during the incident.

In a separate incident, 19 gunmen were killed in a clash with the army in Nuevo Leon.

Thursday, September 16

In Ciudad Juarez, a young photojournalist was shot and killed in a parking lot. Luis Carlos Santiago, 21, worked for the Juarez daily El Diario. He became the second reporter from the paper to have been killed in two years. In 2008, the newspaper's lead crime reporter was shot and killed outside his home. A prosecutor assigned to his killing was also assassinated. A second photojournalist was critically wounded.

On Sunday, El Diario published a front-page editorial directed at the cities drug cartels, asking "What do you want from us?" and said that the cartels had become the de-facto authorities in the city. That prompted strong criticism from the Calderon administration, which said you cannot negotiate with criminals.

Friday, September 17

In Ciudad Juarez, eight people were killed when gunmen opened fire inside a crowded bar just after 4:00am. The seven men and one woman were aged between 20 and 35. The former owner of the bar, Wilfred Moya, was shot and killed at the same location about two years ago.

Sunday, September 19

In Guerrero, the bodies of six police officers were recovered from a ravine. This brings the total death toll from a mass abduction of nine police officers who were taken captive by gunmen in the community of El Revelado to eight. Of the bodies that were recovered Sunday, four were dismembered. A note threatening authorities was left alongside the bodies. No motive or suspects have been announced in the attack.

Monday, September 20

In Ciudad Juarez, authorities released four men who had previously been accused of 55 murders, due to a lack of evidence. The men had been in custody in Mexico City for two months before being returned to Juarez, and are mandated to come to another hearing on Thursday, although they are no longer incarcerated. All four are suspected of belong to the Artist Assassins, a local drug gang which is allied to the Sinaloa Cartel.

Tuesday, September 21

Near Ciudad Juarez, a mob beat to death two alleged kidnappers. Federal police intervened, but the crowd blocked their squad cars and the two men died of their wounds. The town of Ascension, where the incident occurred, has been particularly hard hit by drug-related kidnappings and killings.

Wednesday, September 22

A Ciudad Juarez newspaper editor has been given asylum because of threats against his life in Mexico. Jorge Luis Aguirre is the editor of the online newspaper La Polaka. Last year, he testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about his experiences as a journalist in Mexico. More than 30 journalists have been killed or have vanished since 2006.

Total Body Count for the Week: 187

Total Body Count for the Year: 8,049

Read the previous Mexico Drug War Update

Mexico

Threatened Mexican Journalist Granted US Asylum

Location: 
Mexico
A Mexican journalist threatened by drug gangs said he had been granted political asylum in the United States to escape the drug trafficking organizations' increasingly violent campaign to silence the media.
Publication/Source: 
Reuters
URL: 
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2115054820100921

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School

StopTheDrugWar Video Archive