How the Zetas Imposed Tyranny Inside a Mexican Prison
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new study of the Zetas’ operations in northern Mexico offers a detailed examination of the roots of the organization’s power as well as the extent of its reign of terror in 2011. The paper, called El Yugo Zeta: Norte de Coahuila,... Read more
Drug Cartels Fight for Supremacy in Michoacán
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The decline of the Caballeros Templarios has left Michoacán at the mercy of a tangle of rivals, none of whom appear able to reassert the supremacy that previously imposed a limit to the violence within the state. Recent reports from Mexican outlets point to the... Read more
Zetas-Gulf Cartel Conflict Continues to Rock Mexico’s Northeast
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The ongoing decline of the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas has left northeastern Mexico without a single dominant criminal force. But the crime groups’ longstanding rivalry has continued to see blood spilled in the key trafficking region. On the surface, the state of play in Mexico’s northeast is as... Read more
The Rise and Fall of Los Zetas
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. At the time of the Zetas formation in the early 2000s, as an armed wing of the Gulf Cartel, little seemed to distinguish the group from scores of predecessors and contemporaries. Mexico‘s cartels have long deployed teams of shock troops willing to engage in all manner... Read more
New Shows Examine the CIA’s Past Role in Latin America’s Cocaine Trade
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A pair of new television programs tackles the role of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the erection of Latin American drug routes, and while neither breaks much new ground, both reflect lingering suspicions regarding the agency’s legacy in the region. FX’s... Read more
Mexico’s ‘Kingpin Strategy’ Took Out 107 of 122 Drug Lords in Five Years
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Recent boasting by government officials in Mexico about the country’s success in capturing criminal bosses has reopened a longstanding debate about the strategic goals of Mexico’s organized crime policies. The administration of Pres. Enrique Peña Nieto recently disclosed that during his five... Read more
What It’s Like to Serve Inside the Sinaloa Cartel
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new documentary provides a detailed look at the inner workings of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, from mules loaded down with sacks of marijuana to the methamphetamine cooks working on the outskirts of Culiacán. Spanish journalist David Beriain spent weeks in northwest Mexico,... Read more
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