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Wednesday, 01 September 2010 17:15

20,000 Migrants Kidnapped per year in Mexico

Twenty thousand migrants per year are kidnapped in Mexico by criminal groups, ElSalvador.com says, citing Mexican and international monitoring organizations. The startling number appears just days after 72 migrants were found shot and killed execution style in the Tamaulipas state in northern Mexico. Many of these migrants ride the so-called “train of death” to reach the border. As this CNN report makes clear, it is a treacherous trip.
Published in News Analysis

A new study by the Congressional Commission on Development of the Municipalities in Mexico says that drug trafficking groups control 8 percent of all the municipalities, or 71, according to EFE news agency. Another 63, or 195 of the 439 municipalities, are infiltrated by traffickers.

Published in News Analysis
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 17:18

'Barbie' Talks?

Mexican authorities are making it seem as if Edgar Valdez Villareal, alias “La Barbie,” is cooperating with them following their recent capture of the drug lord. The police released a video, seen here on El Universal’s website where the former top level security guard for Arturo Beltran Leyva, who tried to start his own organization following the death of his boss in December 2009, talks about his meetings Mexico’s most wanted traffickers, including Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo.”

Published in News Analysis
Thursday, 02 September 2010 19:18

'Zetas Control Human Trafficking in Hidalgo'

A report in Milenio describes how the Zetas control the human trafficking trade in the central state of Hidalgo, where an estimated 500,000 migrants (mostly Central American) pass each year.
Published in News Briefs
Friday, 03 September 2010 19:30

More Kidnappings of Migrants

Authorities reported several more kidnappings of migrants in Mexico, including a case in Tijuana where 17 migrants continue missing, La Hora newspaper reports. Other cases stretched from Cuncún to the border with Guatemala.
Published in News Analysis
Friday, 03 September 2010 19:38

Mexican Military Kills 25 Suspected 'Zetas'

The Mexican military announced it had killed 25 suspected members of the Zetas criminal organization in the municipality of Treviño, Tamaulipas, while they rescued three kidnap victims from a farm, according to an Associated Press report.
Published in News Analysis
In an illustration of the reach of the Beltrán Leyva Organization, an associate of Edgar Valdez Villareal, alias La Barbie, is facing trial in Costa Rica for drug trafficking, according to a report by La Nación newspaper. Walberto Salazar Cuero, alias Guavita, is the owner of a small fishing fleet. He allegedly helped Valdez move upwards of three tons of cocaine per month along the Pacific Coast. The cocaine is thought to come from the 30th Front Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC) guerrilla group.
Published in News Analysis
Monday, 06 September 2010 18:13

Guatemalans Working with Zetas Sentenced

Six Guatemalan former military were sentenced to prison this week in Mexico for working with the Mexican criminal group the Zetas, Prensa Libre says. The Guatemalans allegedly helped the Mexican group free several of their comrades from a holding center. They said they were contracted to work as halcones or lookouts. Guatemalan former military have reportedly joined the Zetas in droves, especially its special forces, the Kaibiles.
Published in News Analysis
Monday, 06 September 2010 18:30

New Trade for Traffickers: Cattle Rustling

Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) like Mexico's La Familia, is entering the cattle rustling business, according to a lengthy article in El Universal. The organizations are using their superior firepower to steal the cattle, at times on the roads in broad daylight, victims tell the newspaper. The cattle is sold in the black market or to slaughter houses that are not vigilant of the paperwork. Two of every three robberies is not reported, the story adds. The robberies have gone up between 30 percent and 50 percent in the states of Mexico, Chiapas, Coahuila, Jalisco, Michoacán, Querétaro, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas.

Published in News Analysis
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 19:39

McClatchy: Marijuana Booming

Mexico’s marijuana business is booming, according to a McClatchy report in the Miami Herald. The story says that production is up 35 percent and 32,000 tons of the drug were produced in 2009, still much smaller than U.S. production, which is closer to 76,000 tons. It adds that peasant farmers who grow the drug, mostly in the so-called Golden Triangle of Durango, Sinaloa and Chihuahua states, do not see much risk because the army manual eradicates it; or much profit (slightly more than corn), but that the drug is the traffickers’ “cash cow.”
Published in News Analysis
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InSight Crime Special Series

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

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Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

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The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

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Juarez After The War

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As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality.

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The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

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InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

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Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

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FARC, Peace and Criminalization

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The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

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Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

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Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

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Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

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