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
Did Sean Penn’s Meeting With El Chapo Help Authorities Track Down the Kingpin?
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. When Mexican authorities captured Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in January 2016, they suggested that their success stemmed in part from an October 2015 meeting the kingpin held with Hollywood star Sean Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Now, extensive reporting... Read more
Mexican Organized Crime Groups Are Now Stealing Octopuses
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. More than a dozen trailers transporting multi-ton shipments of frozen octopus have been reported stolen in Mexico in the last month, illustrating how crime groups are constantly seeking new revenue streams, even in seemingly unlikely places. Since a devastating earthquake rocked Mexico City on Sept. 19, 14... Read more
Mexico Victims’ Survey Belies Growing Homicides
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A survey of crime victims in Mexico shows that perceptions of insecurity and the number of victims have stayed relatively stable despite the country being on pace for one of its most violent years on record. In 2016, there were an estimated 24.2 million... 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
Forty-Three Students Vanished And There’s Still No Justice
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. It remains unclear exactly how 43 students from a rural teacher’s college in Mexico disappeared three years ago. And much of what is known about the case has come not from the Mexican government, but rather from investigations by journalists and non-governmental groups, illustrating the... Read more
Mexico Has No Clue What to Do About Vigilante Militias
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The presence of armed civilian self-defense groups across Mexico will only cause “anarchy,” according to the country’s interior minister. His recent comments underscore a lack of coherent public policy on key security issues, as well as the precarious situation faced by citizens exposed to... Read more
Mexico’s Sky-High Murder Rate Rises Again
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new report on high-impact crimes in Mexico underscores that violence and insecurity continue to be grave problems, raising further questions about the country’s lack of effective strategies to combat growing violence. The report from Mexico’s National Citizens Observatory, the 2016 Incidences of High Impact Crimes in Mexico, is an annual... Read more
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