Mexico News

Tracking Hidden Graves Across Mexico

Tracking Hidden Graves Across Mexico

A government report gives a sense of the number of clandestine graves across Mexico, drawing further attention to the government's flawed procedures for tracking disappearances.   Read More

Mexico Profile



Mexico is home to the hemisphere’s largest, most sophisticated and violent organized criminal gangs. These organizations have drawn from Mexico’s long history of smuggling and its close proximity to the United States, the world’s largest economy, to grow into a regional threat. Their networks stretch from Argentina into Canada and Europe. They traffic in illegal drugs, contraband, arms and humans, and launder their proceeds through regional moneychangers, banks and local economic projects. Their armament, training and tactics have become increasingly sophisticated as the Mexican government has ramped up efforts to combat them, and they have faced increased competition within Mexico. They have penetrated the police and border patrols on nearly every level, in some cases starting with recruits for these units. They play political and social roles in some areas, operating as the de facto security forces.

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More Mexico News

  • Tracking Hidden Graves Across Mexico

    A government report gives a sense of the number of clandestine graves across Mexico, drawing further attention to the government's flawed procedures for tracking disappearances.  

  • New Strategy, Familiar Result: Militarization in Mexico

    A Blackhawk helicopter used by the Mexican military

    Mexico's spending on defense equipment -- much of which is intended for use in combating organized crime -- via a US military assistance program has skyrocketed the past year, raising doubts about the Mexican government's willingness to scale back militarization of the country's drug war.

  • Blacklisted by the US, Mexico Gas Stations Still in Business

    Mexico's state-owned oil company, Pemex

    The United States has blacklisted nearly 20 gas stations in Mexico for their financial ties to organized crime over the last 10 years, yet a significant number are still operating and have franchise agreements with state oil company Pemex.  

  • Why Juarez's Security Success Will be Difficult to Duplicate

    A policeman at a Juarez crime scene in 2010

    Ciudad Juarez has dramatically reduced homicides in recent years, but the lack of clarity on how and why this has happened makes it difficult to replicate this success in Mexico's current violence hotspots.

  • How the US Govt Gets It Wrong with the Zetas

    Captured Zetas leader Alejandro "Omar" Treviño Morales, alias  "Z42"

    A US government cable that reportedly speculates who would replace the Zetas' recently captured leader misses the point when it analyzes the criminal organization: it's not about who runs the group, it's about how the group makes its money. 

  • The New Criminal Players in Mexico's Embattled Michoacan State

    Recently released vigilante leader Hipolito Mora

    It would be easy to think that given all that has happened in Mexico's Michoacan state over the last few months, everything has changed. Knights Templar leader Servando Gomez, alias "La Tuta," entered the Mexican prison system, while the charismatic leader of the Michoacan self-defense groups, Hipolito Mora, recently exited it. But while the names of those who lead criminal groups may change in this Pacific state, the inertia of Michoacan's institutions remains the same -- as well as the criminal groups that take advantage of this.

  • City in Mexico Bans Narco Songs

    Popular Narco Corrido band Los Tigres Del Norte

    A ban on music inspired by drug trafficking and organized crime bosses underscores the illicit trade's impact on modern Mexican culture.

  • Mexico's Plan to Rearm Military Hits Roadblock

    Mexico's "fire snake" rifle

    Under Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's national defense plan, the army is supposed to phase out 121,000 German G3 H&K rifles, which date back to the 1950s and which are still used by most soldiers. The replacement weapon is the so-called “fire snake” rifle, produced locally in Mexico, and designed specifically to combat organized crime.

  • Political Candidate in Mexico Murdered as Elections Near

    Mayoral candidate, Aide Nava Gonzalez

    A mayoral candidate in Mexico's turbulent state of Guerrero was found dead draped in a threatening message from a local criminal organization, a case that reveals the importance of political collusion for organized crime groups in Latin America.

  • The UN's Top Recommendations for Ending Torture in Mexico

    At the end of a report that describes "disturbing" levels of impunity around torture cases in Mexico, the United Nations offers dozens of recommendations to combat the problem, the majority of which have to do with confronting ongoing, severe dysfunction in the justice system.