Tagged: Sinaloa

Veteran reporter Javier Valdez is 6th journalist murdered in Mexico since early March

(CHICAGO TRIBUNE) — Javier Valdez, an award-winning reporter who specialized in covering drug trafficking and organized crime, was slain Monday in the northern state of Sinaloa, the latest in a wave of journalist killings in Mexico.

Valdez is at least the sixth journalist to be murdered in Mexico since early March, an unusually high number even for one of the world’s deadliest countries for media professionals.

Valdez was shot to death in the early afternoon in the state capital of Culiacan, near the offices of the publication he co-founded, Riodoce. State Prosecutor Juan Jose Rios visited the scene and said authorities were investigating all possible motives, including that the killing could have been due to Valdez’s work, though he gave no details.

The national newspaper Milenio reported late Monday that another journalist and her son were shot dead by gunmen in the city of Autlan in Jalisco, another state known for cartel activity. Jalisco officials did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking confirmation.

Riodoce reported that Valdez was driving about a block from its offices when he was intercepted by gunmen. Valdez was also a correspondent for the national newspaper La Jornada, which reported that he was pulled from his car and shot multiple times.

Images in Mexican media showed a body lying in a street covered by a blue blanket and surrounded by 12 yellow markers of the kind typically used to flag evidence such as bullet casings.

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Mexico’s brutal drug violence has hit a new level of complexity

(BUSINESS INSIDER) — By Christopher Woody

Public displays of brutality have become common as drug-related violence roiled Mexico over the last decade.

The recent discovery of a man’s body on top of a hospital in northwest Mexico, apparently dropped there from an airplane, takes that brutality to a new level of complexity.

The body reportedly landed on the roof of a hospital in the town of El Dorado, about 38 miles southwest of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state.

Witnesses reported seeing a person thrown out of a plane flying low over a Mexican Institute of Social Security hospital on April 12, a health official told Reuters, saying the incident occurred around 7:30 a.m.

Officials were unable to identify the body, clad in a red shirt, gray socks, and without pants, due to damage from the fall, though Mileno reported that it had signs of torture.

State prosecutors said the body had signs of severe trauma in line with “impact on the hard surface.”

“It is a man, but we don’t know more … The impact of the fall makes it more difficult to be able to identify him or the wounds he suffered,” Antonio Garcia, spokesman for the IMSS, which runs the hospital, told The Washington Post.

“I can’t recall anything like this happening before,” he said.

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Mexico arrested the son of a shadowy Sinaloa cartel boss ‘El Azul’

(BUSINESS INSIDER) — The Mexican government announced the arrest of Juan Jose Esparragoza Monzon, aka El Negro, on January 19 in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state.

Monzon is reportedly the son of Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, aka El Azul, perhaps the most reclusive and shadowy of the top three figures in the powerful Sinaloa cartel, alongside Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, the latter of whom was recently extradited to the US.

Mexican National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said the anti-drug squad of the country’s federal-police force captured Monzon, 45, and that he “is likely responsible for coordinating a drug distribution network” and “is also likely responsible for administering financial resources of a criminal organization.”

Monzon is also suspected of investing the those financial resources in purchasing property in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Jalisco, Sinaloa, and Querétero, where he is also suspected of involvement in criminal activities, according to Proceso.

Sales also said that Monzon was accused of generating violence in the border cities of Mexicali and Tijuana, the latter of which is ground zero for an ongoing clash between the Sinaloa cartel and the ascendant Jalisco New Generation cartel.

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Mexico grants extradition of drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to U.S.

(USA TODAY) — Convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman can be extradited to the United States, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said Friday.

The process can still be appealed, which means it could take weeks or months before the Sinaloa cartel leader may be sent north. Guzman’s lawyers have 30 days to appeal the decision.

Juan Pablo Badillo, one of Guzman’s lawyers, told Reuters he would file “many” legal challenges in the coming days.

If the extradition goes through, Guzman, who has escaped Mexican prisons twice and led authorities on a months-long search in 2015, will be transferred to U.S. Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas, according to a Mexican government website. The charges are conspiracy, organized crime, weapons possession, murder and money laundering. He will also be prosecuted in the Southern District of California on charges related to cocaine trafficking, according to the Mexican authorities.

The department said Friday that the United States has guaranteed that Guzman would not face the death penalty, which is not applied in Mexico.

Guzman made world headlines in July when he slipped out of his cell in the maximum security Altiplano federal prison and through a mile-long tunnel to freedom. The dramatic escape prompted a worldwide manhunt which concluded in January with his arrest following a deadly shootout in Los Mochis, a Mexican coastal city of 250,000 in Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa.

Attorney General Arely Gómez González said the search had drawn few valuable clues until Guzman reached out to actors and producers and began planning a biopic. That tipped off investigators to his location, and Gómez said a journey to the rugged Sierra Madre by American actor Sean Penn drew authorities to Guzman.

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