Tagged: Sinaloa cartel

Mexican cartel shootout leaves 26 dead or wounded in latest violent clash

(THE GUARDIAN) — By David Agren in Mexico City

A battle between rival drug cartel factions in Mexico’s northern Chihuahua state left at least 26 dead and injured, officials have confirmed, in the latest series of violent incidents that have sent the country’s murder rate soaring.

Chihuahua state officials say the shootout occurred in the hamlet of Las Vargas, deep in the rugged Sierra Madre mountains, where the illegal drugs business has deep roots in the local community and economy.

Details were scant, but experts say that the security situation in Chihuahua has deteriorated in recent months as criminal groups squabble over the remains of the empire once controlled by Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

The shootout was just the latest atrocity in a wave of violence extending the length of Mexico, which has sent the country’s homicide rate soaring to levels not seen in two decades. It came after a weekend attack in neighboring Sinaloa, where a confrontation between accused cartel members and state security forces left 19 suspects dead and five police injured.

Mexico recorded 11,155 homicides over the first five months of 2017, according to federal crime statistics. May, meanwhile, was Mexico’s most murderous month since 1997, when the country started accumulating such statistics, with 2,186 homicides committed.

Analysts attribute the rising violence to a confluence of factors, including changing dynamics in the illegal drugs business. Mexican cartels are shifting focus in their smuggling operations to the US from marijuana to heroin, unleashing a wave of violence in the opium poppy-producing state of Guerrero that has left entire villages have emptied.

[READ MORE]

Judge presiding over ‘El Chapo’s’ case shot, killed while jogging outside home

(MY SAN ANTONIO) — The judge who presided over Sinaloa Cartel drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s case was shot in the head while jogging outside of his home Monday near Mexico City, according to media reports.

Judge Vicente Bermudez Zacarias, 37, was the judge presiding over Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s case, according to SDP Noticias. Zacarias lived in Metepec, which is 45 miles west of Mexico City.

SDP Noticias reported that the person who shot Zacarias fled the scene. Zacarias later died at the hospital in Metepec.

[READ MORE]

Carnage and corruption: upstart Mexican cartel’s path to top

By Dave Graham

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – In barely four years, a little-known criminal gang has grown to challenge the world’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, for domination of the Mexican underworld, unleashing a new tide of violence.

Once minions of Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel, traffickers of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) have turned on their former masters, seizing territory and buying off thousands of corrupt police.

Led by former policeman Nemesio Oseguera, aka “El Mencho”, the gang soon carved out an empire at the expense of weaker rivals.

The speed of its ascent shows how quickly power can shift in Mexico’s multi-billion-dollar drugs trade.

Juggling interests from China to North Africa and eastern Europe, the CJNG’s bloody advance has pushed murders to their highest levels under President Enrique Pena Nieto, who vowed to restore law and order when he took office in late 2012.

All but four in a 2009 list of Mexico’s 37 most wanted capos are now dead or in jail, and Pena Nieto did initially succeed in reducing violence.

But a resurgence that led to 3,800 murders between July and August highlights the government’s failure to beat down cartels without new ones springing up in their place.

Pena Nieto recently sought to allay security concerns by announcing a plan to step up crime prevention in the worst-hit areas. He did not set out the details of his plan, but urged states to speed up efforts to put local police under unified statewide command.

[READ MORE]