Forty-five Mexican police have been arrested over alleged ties to the Zetas cartel. The police are all from the town of Cadereyta in the state of Nuevo Leon, which is on both the human smuggling route along the Caribbean Coast. It is also important as a transit zone for cocaine heading northwards. Nuevo Leon is next to Tamaulipas where several mass graves have been found, in which the Zetas are also implicated. The corruption of local police is a nationwide problem and one of the principal hurdles to more effective law enforcement.
- The Operations Centre for Regional Security of the System for Central American Integration (Centro Operativo de Seguridad Regional de los Paises del Sistema de la Integracion Centroamericana – COSR-SICA) has just been opened in Panama City. The idea is to increase regional cooperation between Central American nations in the fight against organized crime as the region battles Colombian groups coming north and the Mexican cartels moving south.
- Violence is increasing in the Colombian city of Cali, El Pais reports.· The newspaper believes that behind the rising murder rates is a new war for control of the criminal underworld sparked by the release from a U.S. jail of former Cali Cartel strongman Victor Patiño-Fomeque, alias “the Chemist,” who cooperated with U.S. authorities in return for a reduced sentence. Murders are increasing in many of Colombia’s cities as the civil conflict moves from the countryside, and new urban gangs emerge to take control of the growing domestic drug market.