The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
Heroin consumption has risen dramatically in Mexico, mirroring trends in US demand for a drug that is increasingly locally produced and whose production and movement is often overseen by Mexican cartels.
The US DEA's top official has claimed criminal organizations from Mexico are "setting up shop" in the states of Washington and Colorado following marijuana legalization, a politically charged statement that fails to give a full picture of the situation.
US authorities have discovered a home in Texas where human smugglers were keeping over 100 undocumented migrants against their will, providing a high-profile example of how organized crime manifests itself north of the border.
Members of the Texas-born Barrio Azteca gang are receiving training from Mexico's Zetas, according to the testimony of a former gang member, a sign the group is evolving and deepening its role in organized crime beyond the border region.
The United States has grounded a fleet of drones used to monitor the border with Mexico following the crash of an unmanned aircraft, an event that distracts from larger issues surrounding the use of drones to monitor and combat transnational crime.
A US Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for providing information that helped traffickers move drugs into the United States from Mexico, in a case which underscores the growing problem of corruption among US border officials.
The United States freed and deported around 20 Mexican criminals who went on to murder at least 12 people, illustrating a troubling long-term trend and leading the Baja California state government in Mexico to call for urgent action.
In 2010 Ciudad Juarez was one of the most violent and dangerous cities in the world, a frontline battleground in the "War on Drugs." Then, in 2011, the crime rate began to fall sharply—and kept falling. Today, the city has morphed back into a lively border city with bustling markets and active nightlife. The Juarez Metropolitan Police take the credit, but in fact, much of the credit should go to the 177 private security companies who guard stores, patrol the streets and serve as personal bodyguards.
Heightened border security measures under the Obama administration have reportedly prompted Mexico's human smugglers to charge high prices and switch to new tactics.
The White House's newly released 2013 National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy continues the Obama administration's shift towards training, institution building, and civil society investment, and calls for deepening cooperation between the two countries, despite recent tensions.