At Least 12 Ambushes Against Police In Michoacán This Year: 8 Dead, 12 Wounded

By: Cecilia Sierra | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
Morelia, Michoacán, October 25, 2016 — There have been 12 ambushes against municipal, state, and also federal police forces so far this year in the state of Michoacán. 
In addition, the attacks on law enforcement have left eight police officers injured by gun fire.
The attacks have occurred on state highways, especially in the vicinity of remote communities of the municipalities, as has happened in the most recent events in Acahuato, Cancita and Las Yeguas, in Aguililla y Apatzingán.
There are also cases of attacks against municipal police forces from Ixtlán and Gabriel Zamora that killed two police officers; of the Director of Public Safety of Tiquicheo along the highway Mil Cumbres-Morelia; of Ziracuaretiro and San Pedro Barajas in La Huacana; where a federal highway police officer died and left another one severely injured.
In addition to these violent acts, is the ambush suffered by the mayor of Pungarabato, Ambrosio Soto Duarte, that took the life of the mayor and his driver, and also left two police officers injured along the highway San Lucas-Ciudad Altamirano.
Along with the municipal, state, and federal police forces are also the former autodefensas that became a part of the former Fuerza Rural, and which have also fallen prey to ambushes.

Such was the case of a command of the Fuerza Rural, which was also a victim of an ambush by an armed convoy in San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro-Uruapan, which received at least three gunshots in May 2016.
Source: Quadratin

A Short History of Mexican Drug Cartels

Posted by Chuck B Almada, Republished from a San Diego Union-Tribune article
Written by Kristina Davis
October 21, 2016

A gun decorated with gold belonging to Mexican drug lord of the Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, is displayed in the Drugs Museum at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense in Mexico City.

 Contraband has been flowing across the Mexico border into the U.S. for the past century, beginning with alcohol during Prohibition and moving onto drugs, namely marijuana and later cocaine.

The birth of Mexico’s major cartel can be traced to Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, nicknamed “The Godfather,” who in the 1980s became the country’s liaison with Colombian cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar of the infamous Medellín cartel.
Gallardo went increasingly underground after the arrest of his cartel’s co-founder, Rafael Caro Quintero, for the murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique Camarena in 1985, and the drug lord later held a summit among Mexico’s larger drug traffickers. The meeting divided up Mexico into “plazas” — or regions — to be controlled by various drug-trafficking organizations.
The agreement solidified major players in the trade, including the Sinaloa Federation and the Arellano Félix brothers of Tijuana.
Since then, drug lords have come and gone — and new groups have risen to power as loyalties fade, political protection changes, and killings and arrests leave vacuums in leadership to be filled.
In Tijuana, law enforcement’s takedown of the Arellano Félix Organization led to a split in the group and a bloody war for control of the drug corridor. The Sinaloa, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, has dominated for the past several years, although the group has been the subject of a piece-by-piece takedown by U.S. authorities nationwide, including in San Diego.

The Sinaloa are also facing a new threat by the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación, a newer player from central Mexico that has quickly expanded its influence. The cartel, often called CJNG, has been recruiting former members of the Arellano Félix Organization and urging Sinaloa traffickers to flip.

The war on drugs has been costly, in both lives and resources.
Mexico has felt the brunt of the violence, with assassinations of drug gang affiliates, law enforcement officers, crooked officials, snitches, journalists and civilians.
Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón in 2006 waged a fierce battle against the cartels, deploying the military to the streets and the countryside to wipe out the drug trade. Violence escalated as a result.
Mexican media and researchers who have closely tracked drug violence estimate 45,000 to 55,000 organized crime-style killings in Mexico from 2007 to 2012 during Calderón’s administration.
Some of the bloodshed has spilled into the U.S.
In 2002, an enforcement crew that used to do work for the Arellano Félix Organization, called Los Palillos, moved from Tijuana to San Diego for safety. They brought with them cartel-style violence that resulted in kidnappings, killings and bodies dissolved in vats of acid in a San Ysidro horse corral. Seventeen people were indicted in San Diego; others remain at large.
Putting a figure on the economic impact of violence in Mexico and the war on drugs in general is not easy.
In 2015, the economic impact of violence in Mexico — with much of that violence believed to be drug related — was pegged at $134 billion, according to the London-based Institute for Economics and Peace.
In the U.S., untold billions have been spent combating traffickers.
The U.S. has worked to tighten security at the border, an effort that has included a massive hiring push by the Border Patrol and deployments of National Guard troops to the border.
In 2007, a formalized partnership was developed between the U.S., Mexico and Central America to go after the drug trade. From 2008 to 2015, the U.S. set aside $2.3 billion for Mexico under the agreement.
Would legalizing marijuana in California have a visible effect on law enforcement, on the courts, on government coffers, on taxpayers?
No one knows the answer for certain. It could be one question voters consider as they head to the polls Nov. 8.

Chapo’s Extradition Appeal Denied

Posted by Chuck B Almada, Republished from a BBC articleOctober 20, 2016A Mexican judge has rejected an appeal by drugs lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman against his extradition to the US.The foreign ministry approved the extradition in May but Guzma…

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Judge who handled El Chapo’s cartel case is assassinated

Anonymous Guest Reporter material from the Sun and aristegui news

A judge who has investigated some of Mexico’s biggest drug gangs — including El Chapo’s feared Sinaloa Cartel — was assassinated on Monday.

Shocking footage shows Vicente Antonio Bermudez Zacarias being shot in the head while he was out jogging in Metepec, 30 miles west of Mexico City.

The mystery gunman runs behind him before shooting him in the back of the head at point-blank range. Bermudez, 37, lies dying in the street as the gunman flees. According to local reports, he was rushed to a hospital, where he later died.

President Enrique Peña Nieto condemned the murder and ordered the attorney general’s office to take over the investigation.

Bermudez became a district judge in December 2013 and served in the Fifth Tribunal for appeals and civil judgments in the State of Mexico when he was killed.

His cases included one involving the Los Cuinis drug cartel and a tax fraud investigation against powerful businessman Naim Libien Kaui, whose family is accused of links to drug traffickers.

Most recently, he had suspended the extradition of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the US to face drug trafficking charges.

El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel is infamous for its willingness to execute or corrupt officials, and the notoriously brutal drug lord has twice escaped top-security prisons.

However, it is not yet known who was responsible for the killing and authorities say a motive has not been determined.

“I have given instruction to the attorney general to take up this case, undertake the corresponding investigations and find those responsible for this terrible event,” Peña Nieto said.

Supreme Court president Luis Maria Aguilar Morales also urged authorities to ensure the safety of judges.

“Federal judges are people who dedicate their lives, their personal, moral and physical integrity to serve federal justice in our country,” Aguilar said.

“They require security and peace conditions that guarantee their independence because in an atmosphere of peace and security, judges can reflect on their decisions.”