BBC: Mexico — the town that said ‘No’

BBC: Mexico — the town that said ‘No’

October 17 2016 — The Mexican state of Michoacan was the birth place of the Mexican drug war. The town of Cheran is much like other mainly indigenous communities, but it is unique; Cheran has no mayor, no police, and political parties are banned. There are no elections here. Cheran governs itself, after it fought […]

InSight Crime: Criminal Groups Benefit from Mexico’s Crackdown on Migrants

Criminal groups and corrupt officials are the main beneficiaries of a US inspired shift in Mexico's policy that is endangering migrants, according to a new report, and the recent US decision to allow more Central American immigrants refugee status will do little to protect them from abuse south of the Rio Grande.

InSight Crime: Criminal Groups Benefit from Mexico’s Crackdown on Migrants

July 28 2016, InSight Crime, Deborah Bonello — Criminal groups and corrupt officials are the main beneficiaries of a US inspired shift in Mexico‘s policy that is endangering migrants, according to a new report, and the recent US decision to allow more Central American immigrants refugee status will do little to protect them from abuse south of […]

InSight Crime: Reporter Murdered in Veracruz, Mexico Was Under Police Protection

The third reporter murdered in the southern Mexico state of Veracruz this year was gunned down in front of his family despite being under police protection at the time, illustrating the dangers of working as a journalist in a hub for drug and human trafficking that is plagued by corruption-fueled violence.

InSight Crime: Reporter Murdered in Veracruz, Mexico Was Under Police Protection

July 25 2016, InSight Crime, Deborah Bonello — The third reporter murdered in the southern Mexico state of Veracruz this year was gunned down in front of his family despite being under police protection at the time, illustrating the dangers of working as a journalist in a hub for drug and human trafficking that is plagued by corruption-fueled violence. Pedro Tamayo […]

InSight Crime: Mexico President Claims Homicide Drop Despite Uptick in Killings

The public relations campaign for Mexico’s militarized crackdown on organized crime and its effectiveness in restoring public security continued this week, but the data doesn't back up President Enrique Peña Nieto's claims.

InSight Crime: Mexico President Claims Homicide Drop Despite Uptick in Killings

July 14 2016, InSight Crime, Deborah Bonello — The public relations campaign for Mexico’s militarized crackdown on organized crime and its effectiveness in restoring public security continued this week, but the data doesn’t back up President Enrique Peña Nieto’s claims. The president assured Mexicans that on a national scale there have been important reductions in […]

InSight Crime: Latest Guerrero, Mexico Arrest Promises Little Change in Insecurity

The capture of an alleged local Knights Templar chief on the coast of Guerrero promises to bring down insecurity in one of Mexico's most violent states, say authorities. But it will take more than that to stave the soaring homicide rate in the country's top heroin-producing region.

InSight Crime: Latest Guerrero, Mexico Arrest Promises Little Change in Insecurity

The capture of an alleged local Knights Templar chief on the coast of Guerrero promises to bring down insecurity in one of Mexico’s most violent states, say authorities. But it will take more than that to stave the soaring homicide rate in the country’s top heroin-producing region.

InSight Crime: UN Reports Small Decrease in Bolivia Coca Cultivation

Coca cultivation in Bolivia has reached its lowest levels since United Nations monitoring began in 2003, moving the country closer to policy makers' de facto cap on coca crops. But as transnational drug trafficking intensifies, the world’s third-largest coca producer remains under pressure to do more.

InSight Crime: UN Reports Small Decrease in Bolivia Coca Cultivation

Coca cultivation in Bolivia has reached its lowest levels since United Nations monitoring began in 2003, moving the country closer to policy makers’ de facto cap on coca crops. But as transnational drug trafficking intensifies, the world’s third-largest coca producer remains under pressure to do more.

InSight Crime: Criminal Activity Spreading Fire in Guatemala’s Maya Reserve

Criminal groups are burning huge swathes of protected forests in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve to put down more landing strips for moving drugs out of the country, increasing the environmental damage caused by a variety of criminal activity in the zone.

InSight Crime: Criminal Activity Spreading Fire in Guatemala’s Maya Reserve

Criminal groups are burning huge swathes of protected forests in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve to put down more landing strips for moving drugs out of the country, increasing the environmental damage caused by a variety of criminal activity in the zone.

InSight Crime: Elites, Organized Crime Share Long History in Tamaulipas, Mexico

The future of the recently elected governor in Tamaulipas, one of Mexico’s most criminally infested states, depends on punishing his predecessors for past sins of corruption and collusion with criminal networks, according to the author of a new book on the subject.

InSight Crime: Elites, Organized Crime Share Long History in Tamaulipas, Mexico

The future of the recently elected governor in Tamaulipas, one of Mexico’s most criminally infested states, depends on punishing his predecessors for past sins of corruption and collusion with criminal networks, according to the author of a new book on the subject.

InSight Crime: Mexico Publishes Poppy Cultivation Data for First Time

Mexico has for the first time released its own estimates for the amount of land dedicated to poppy cultivation, and the figures contradict expectations that the government would downplay the extent of its poppy problem.

InSight Crime: Mexico Publishes Poppy Cultivation Data for First Time

Mexico has for the first time released its own estimates for the amount of land dedicated to poppy cultivation, and the figures contradict expectations that the government would downplay the extent of its poppy problem.

InSight Crime: Alleged Operative in European Crime Syndicate Arrested in Spain

News of the arrest of the right-hand man of alleged British drug kingpin Robert Dawes -- accused of trafficking drugs from South America to Europe -- has emerged. The Spanish Civil Guard took Dutchman Emiel Brummer into custody on the coast of Malaga, Spain, following a joint operation with the Dutch police and help from Interpol.

News of the arrest of the right-hand man of alleged British drug kingpin Robert Dawes — accused of trafficking drugs from South America to Europe — has emerged. The Spanish Civil Guard took Dutchman Emiel Brummer into custody on the coast of Malaga, Spain, following a joint operation with the Dutch police and help from Interpol.

InSight Crime: Mexico’s Public Security Lost 13,000 Weapons in 10 Years

Nearly 13,000 guns have been lost or stolen from Mexico’s public security agencies over the last ten years, according to a recent report, a telling reminder that the country's black market weapons don't just come from north of the border.

InSight Crime: Mexico’s Public Security Lost 13,000 Weapons in 10 Years

Nearly 13,000 guns have been lost or stolen from Mexico’s public security agencies over the last ten years, according to a recent report.

InSight Crime: Are Zetas, Mexico Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity?

Mexico's Zetas crime syndicate and the government forces tasked with fighting it are both likely guilty of crimes against humanity according to a new report that calls for the establishment of an international body to independently investigate atrocities and fight impunity in the country.

InSight Crime: Are Zetas, Mexico Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity?

Mexico’s Zetas crime syndicate and the government forces tasked with fighting it are both likely guilty of crimes against humanity, says a new study.

InSight Crime: Accusations Cloud Mexico’s Upcoming Elections

The run-up to Mexico's June 5 gubernatorial elections has been beset with reports linking candidates to organized crime, and voters could knock President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional - PRI) out of historical strongholds for the first time in states long infected by criminal gangs.

InSight Crime: Accusations Cloud Mexico’s Upcoming Elections

The run-up to Mexico’s June 5 gubernatorial elections has been beset with reports linking candidates to organized crime, and voters could knock the PRI out of historical strongholds for the first time.

LATimes: Video: How Mexican Marines blasted into El Chapo’s hide-out in a volley of gunfire

January 11th 2016 — More cinematic touches to the already-incredible story surrounding the recapture of fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman emerged Monday, when authorities released a video of the raid on the house where Guzman was holed up with his henchmen. The assault on the house in Los Mochis, Mexico, started just after […]

LATimes: Actress Kate Del Castillo urged ‘El Chapo’ to use his power for good, brokered meeting with Sean Penn

January 1oth 2016, Deborah Bonello — Mexican film and TV actress Kate Del Castillo has long been a household name in her home country, known for playing tough female roles and speaking out on social issues. She also has openly expressed admiration for drug kingpins — she played one in her most famous role — and once urged Joaquin “El […]

LATimes: ‘It was like an action movie,’ neighbors say of El Chapo’s capture in Mexico

9th January 2016, Cecilia Sanchez, Deborah Bonello and Tracy Wilkinson — His house was nothing special, a single-story, tree-shrouded home in a middle-class neighborhood in this seaside city. And there the world’s most sought-after drug kingpin hid for months until his capture in a deadly shootout. Neighbors noticed his comings and goings, but without special attention. […]

LATimes: Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman captured in deadly shootout after six months on the lam

January 8th, Cecilia Sanchez, Deborah Bonello and Tracy Wilkinson — In a deadly, predawn shootout, Mexican naval special forces on Friday captured Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the world’s most sought-after drug lord and commander of a vast narcotics empire that stretches across continents. “Mission accomplished,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on his Twitter account. “We’ve got […]

LATimes: A mayor in Mexico is shot dead a day after taking office

January 6 2016 — Gisela Mota was sworn into office as mayor of the small city of Temixco in the state of Morelos on New Year’s Day, after promising to help free the small town from the grip of organized crime. Less than 24 hours later, the 33-year-old politician was dead — the latest of […]

LATimes: Mexican marijuana farmers see profits tumble as U.S. loosens laws

LATimes: Mexican marijuana farmers see profits tumble as U.S. loosens laws

“I’ve always liked this business, producing marijuana,” the 50-year-old farmer said wistfully. He had decided that this season’s crop would be his last.

LATimes: In Mexico’s Guerrero state, priests are a prime target for drug gangs

LATimes: In Mexico’s Guerrero state, priests are a prime target for drug gangs

November 29th 2015 – Father Oscar Prudenciano Gonzalez opened his arms wide to his congregation on a recent Sunday morning in the San Gerardo church of Iguala, in the state of Guerrero. “We are going to pray for those families who have missing people,” he said. “That God gives them the strength, the peace and the […]

LATimes: Former TV comedian sweeps to power in Guatemalan presidential race

LATimes: Former TV comedian sweeps to power in Guatemalan presidential race

October 25 2015, Guatemala City, Anna-Cat Brigida and Deborah Bonello — Jimmy Morales, a political neophyte and former TV comedian, swept into office as Guatemala’s new president Sunday when more than two-thirds of voters backed him in a second round of polling in presidential elections. Fed up with a political system infected with corruption, nepotism and […]

LATimes: In Mexico City, a body hanging from a bridge portends a shift in violence

LATimes: In Mexico City, a body hanging from a bridge portends a shift in violence

October 21 2015 — The dead man’s body was bound up like a mummy, his hands roped behind his back and his head covered with a black sack. Tied by the waist, he was discovered dangling shoeless from a bridge over a busy street around 5 a.m. Monday — a shocking sight for thousands of […]

LATimes: ‘El Chapo’ is wounded but not caught as Mexico’s military roars into terrified villages

LATimes: ‘El Chapo’ is wounded but not caught as Mexico’s military roars into terrified villages

Three helicopters swooped overhead. The biggest one, dark gray, had the face of a shark painted on it, and the emblem of the Mexican marines. She thought it was preparing to land, but instead it opened fire.

LATimes: The families of Mexico’s ‘disappeared’ people keep searching

LATimes: The families of Mexico’s ‘disappeared’ people keep searching

October 3 2014 — The man’s voice cracked, then he sobbed as he spoke. “The government has everything and we have lost everything,” he said. “Please help us to keep looking and digging, to give us the resources we need.” Mario Vergara, 40, stood crying on a verdant hill on the outskirts of Iguala in […]

LATimes: Two of Mexico’s most notorious criminals are in custody in the United States

LATimes: Two of Mexico’s most notorious criminals are in custody in the United States

One is an American citizen who rose through the ranks of one of Mexico’s most vicious drug cartels. The other is a former cop who left the police force to take up a life of crime. Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villarreal and Jorge Eduardo “El Coss” Costilla Sanchez were in custody in the United States […]

LATimes: Relatives of 43 missing students in Mexico seek answers one year later

September 25 2015 — Estanislao Mendoza was one of dozens of people to go on a hunger strike camped out on Mexico City’s Zocalo. His son, Miguel Angel Mendoza Zacarias, was one of 43 students detained and abducted the night of Sept. 26, 2014, by local police in the Mexican city of Iguala, in the […]

LATimes: Protesters in Mexico attack government office over missing students

September 21 2015 — Protesters in Guerrero, Mexico, attacked the local prosecutor’s office in the state capital of Chilpancingo on Monday, local media said, in what could be the beginning of social unrest tied to the first anniversary this week of the disappearance of 43 students. Local media reports said protesters arrived aboard several buses […]

LATimes: More arrests are made in prison escape of Mexico’s ‘El Chapo’

September 19 2015 — Thirteen more people have been arrested in connection with the July jailbreak of the world’s most wanted drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Few details were provided by authorities. But local media cited sources within the Mexican Attorney General’s office as saying the detained included Celina Oseguera Parra, the country’s former […]

AJE: Mexican residents take on gangs to save trees

AJE: Mexican residents take on gangs to save trees

September 8 2015 — The people of Cheran in South West Mexico are attempting to repair the damage to their forests caused by illegal loggers. Shot and edited by Deborah Bonello. Production by John Holman and Deborah Bonello for AlJazeera English.

LATimes: Who will face comedian in Guatemalan presidential runoff? It’s too close to call

LATimes: Who will face comedian in Guatemalan presidential runoff? It’s too close to call

September 7th 2015, Deborah Bonello, Anna-Cat Brigada — Guatemalans will have to wait to find out who will face TV comedian and political rookie Jimmy Morales in the next round of presidential elections. The nation’s electoral authority declared Monday that it needed more time to determine who won second place in the initial round. Sunday’s […]

LATimes: Runoff expected in Guatemala race as ex-president waits in a military jail

LATimes: Runoff expected in Guatemala race as ex-president waits in a military jail

Guatemalans voted Sunday in an unusual presidential election that came days after the incumbent president resigned and was jailed in a corruption scandal. Early results were inconclusive, but most pundits expected the election to lead to a runoff among the top finishers next month. After months of peaceful protest and a week that saw the […]

LATimes: Mexico’s deportations of Central American migrants are rising

LATimes: Mexico’s deportations of Central American migrants are rising

September 4th 2015, Mexico City — Mexico is on track to catch and deport thousands more Central American migrants than the United States this year, according to a new report. By the end of this year, Mexico is expected to have deported 70% more Central American migrants than it did in 2014, according to the […]

LATimes: Guatemala’s ex-president tells court he’s ‘an honest person’

LATimes: Guatemala’s ex-president tells court he’s ‘an honest person’

September 4 2015, Mexico City — Guatemala’s former president was back in front of a judge on fraud charges Friday morning after spending the night in a military jail. Otto Perez Molina went from president to prisoner on Thursday after his resignation was accepted by the nation’s Congress. The 64-year-old former general stepped down after […]

LATimes: Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina resigns in face of arrest warrant

LATimes: Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina resigns in face of arrest warrant

September 3 2015, Mexico City — Guatemalan legislators Thursday accepted the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina, who this week lost his immunity from prosecution and saw an arrest warrant issued for him in connection with a corruption scandal. Perez Molina, who had said he would not resign, changed his position after the nation’s prosecutor […]

LATimes: Mexico’s Peña Nieto acknowledges ‘a difficult year’ and public anger

LATimes: Mexico’s Peña Nieto acknowledges ‘a difficult year’ and public anger

September 2nd 2015, Mexico City — Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday acknowledged that the nation has experienced a “difficult year” that has generated “anger” and damaged the public mood and trust. The first half of his presidency has been characterized by a stagnant economy, corruption scandals and horrifying human rights abuses, as well […]

LATimes: For Mexico’s Peña Nieto, the state of the union is troubled

LATimes: For Mexico’s Peña Nieto, the state of the union is troubled

September 2 2015, Mexico City — Three years into an administration characterized by stagnant economic growth, corruption scandals, hair-raising human rights abuses and an agenda of constitutional reforms that have so far failed to deliver, it’s unsurprising that the popularity of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is at an all-time low. As Peña Nieto prepared […]

LATimes: Families of the missing say they are stonewalled by Mexico state authorities

LATimes: Families of the missing say they are stonewalled by Mexico state authorities

August 23 2015, Mexico City — A candle has been burning for almost a year in the modest front room of the tiny two-bedroom apartment that Guadalupe Reyes shares with her husband, Bernardo, and their 10-year-old daughter, Tania. Next to the candle is a picture of their older daughter, Mariana. Her 19th birthday was this […]

BBC: Escaped drug lord El Chapo revered in home state

In his home state of Sinaloa, there’s a certain pride about the infamous capo, despite the violent crimes his cartel has committed. Some people say he should be honoured with a monument or chapel.

LATimes: El Chapo’s escape from prison is good for business in his hometown

A new shipment of caps arrived at Isaias Rodriguez’s Culiacan store, black canvas with the image of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman embossed in gold on the front.

LATimes: Another death in Mexico: Man who led search for the missing

LATimes: Another death in Mexico: Man who led search for the missing

August 9th 2015 – The leader of a civilian group that has spent the last 10 months searching for bodies of 43 missing students and others in the hills of Mexico’s Guerrero state was found shot to death in his taxi, authorities said. Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco, 45, was killed early Saturday night on the […]

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