NEWS ABOUT: drug cartel

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Man Stuns Cops by Confessing Life as Hitman

Jose Manuel Martinez suspected in as many as 40 deaths

(Newser) - When police arrested Jose Manuel Martinez, they suspected him only of the 2013 shooting of a man who made the mistake of insulting his daughter. So they were taken aback and a bit skeptical when the 51-year-old said he'd been a cartel hitman since age 16, and a good... More »

Mexico: We Killed Druglord ... Again

Nazario Moreno reportedly died in gunfight 3 years ago

(Newser) - Mexican officials say they killed a Mexican drug kingpin three years after the government supposedly killed him the first time, Reuters reports. Nazario Moreno was leader of the drug cartel La Familia when officials said he died in a two-day gunfight with government agents—but as his cartel morphed into... More »

World's Top Drug Kingpin in Underground Cell

US aiming to extradite Joaquin Guzman

(Newser) - Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, is being held in an underground cell near Mexico City following his arrest this weekend —and US federal prosecutors in New York want to extradite him. He's wanted in six districts in this country, NBC News... More »

Mexico Arrests Suspected Drug Capo Wanted in US

US offered $5M reward for capture of Tirso Martinez Sanchez

(Newser) - Mexican officials say federal police have arrested a man suspected of leading a drug cartel that moved 76 tons of cocaine into the US between 2000 and 2003. The US posted a $5 million reward for the capture of Tirso Martinez Sanchez, who was arrested yesterday in the city of... More »

Mexican Inmate: I Was Duped Into Digging Tunnel to US

Authorities don't believe him, 16 other inmates

(Newser) - Who digs the stunning drug tunnels snaking between the US and Mexico? According to 17 inmates in a Mexican jail, they're dug by unwitting slaves like them. One man tells NPR that a man lured him to a warehouse in Tijuana in 2012 by promising to take him to... More »

Vigilantes Take Mexico Town in Fight With Cartel

Say they're headed for cartel headquarters

(Newser) - More than 100 vigilantes poured into a western Mexico town yesterday, disarming police and battling with alleged cartel members before eventually taking control of the town of Nueva Italia. Upon arrival in Nueva Italia, they were welcomed, the AP reports. But gunfire soon began in the town's center and... More »

Mexican Killer, 17, Goes Free, Moves to Texas

US citizen Edgar Jimenez Lugo has finished 3-year sentence

(Newser) - After serving three years in a Mexican detention center, a 17-year-old who says he killed four people has been released—and his next stop is San Antonio, Texas. There, the US-born Edgar Jimenez Lugo, also known as "El Ponchis," will be sent to a "support center,"... More »

This 20-Year-Old Is a Suspect in 79 Murders

Juan Pablo Vazquez was arrested earlier this month

(Newser) - He's just 20 years old, but Juan Pablo Vazquez is believed to have killed 79 people ... at least. Reuters reports that Vazquez was nabbed this month in northern Mexico, and has since confessed to having a hand in 45 murders; he is being investigated in connection with another 34... More »

Notorious Mexican Gangster Killed—by Clown Assassin

Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix ran Tijuana cartel

(Newser) - It's an ignoble ending for one of Mexico's most notorious cartel chiefs: Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was shot dead in Cabo San Lucas on Friday, and as a spokesman for state prosecutors tells Reuters , "A person dressed as a clown took his life." The costume actually... More »

Mexico: Calderon Drug War Spawned 60 New Cartels

New AG says just 10 big ones existed when Calderon took office

(Newser) - The bloody war President Felipe Calderon launched in 2006 to squash Mexico's big drug cartels instead created scores of smaller ones, the country's new attorney general says. "I would calculate there are between 60 and 80 (new cartels), both medium-sized and small," Jesus Murillo told Mexican... More »

25K Missing in Mexican Drug War

Leaked list arrives day before Calderon's exit

(Newser) - More than 100,000 murders were recorded in Mexico during Felipe Calderon's presidency—and now, a day before he leaves office, a staggering new figure has emerged. Some 25,000 people have gone missing over the past six years, according to an unreleased list by the country's attorney... More »

Mexican Beauty Queen Killed in Shootout

20-year-old may have fired back at army

(Newser) - A Mexican beauty queen was shot dead in a gun battle between the military and the drug traffickers she was traveling with, a crime that echoed a recent hit Mexican movie. The body of Maria Susana Flores Gamez, the 20-year-old winner of a statewide beauty contest in Sinaloa, was found... More »

2-Year-Old Mass Graves Uncovered in Mexico

Bodies of 11 men found in them, near US-Mexico border

(Newser) - Mexican authorities have discovered 19 bodies—some old, some new—near the US border. Eleven of the bodies were found in mass graves, where they appear to have rested for two years, officials say. Those bodies were buried amid intense fighting between drug cartels in the area, near Ciudad Juarez,... More »

Mexico Nabs Cartel Leader: Officials

Alleged local Zetas boss said to have ties with cartel's top commander

(Newser) - Mexico has arrested an alleged local leader of the violent Zetas drug cartel, which has taken control of much of Coahuila state, the country's navy says. Said Omar Juarez was captured in the state's capital, Saltillo, with weapons and what appeared to be cocaine and marijuana, the navy'... More »

America's New Meth Source: Mexican Cartels

80% of US-sold meth is from Mexico: DEA

(Newser) - With US authorities battling stateside meth makers, Mexican "superlabs" are stepping in to take advantage of a shrunken supply. Cartels are sending purer, cheaper methamphetamine across the border—so much of it that 80% of the stuff now sold in the US is from Mexico, the Drug Enforcement Administration... More »

Mexico: Zetas Boss Killed in Firefight

'Executioner' Lazcano blamed for hundreds of killings

(Newser) - The leader of the bloodthirsty Zetas drug cartel has apparently been killed in a firefight with marines in the northern border state of Coahuila, the Mexican navy said yesterday. The navy said there was strong evidence the body of one of two men killed in the shootout was Heriberto Lazcano,... More »

Border Patrol Agent Fired First: Probe

Nicholas Ivie died when fellow agents returned fire

(Newser) - Details are emerging on the probe into Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie's death , which sparked debate over border security and drug-cartel violence coming from Mexico, the AP reports. Apparently Ivie responded to a sensor tripped in southern Arizona and fired on two other agents thinking they were smugglers, according... More »

Mexican Teen Hitman Suspected in 50 Murders

Alleged cartel assassin Francisco Miguel N., age 16, is arrested

(Newser) - Initially, police arrested Francisco Miguel N. for carrying a gun and drugs. But once he was in custody, the 16-year-old from Sinola made a confession: He was an assassin for Los Mazatlecos, a criminal group attached to the Beltran Leyva drug cartel. Now prosecutors believe the teen participated in at... More »

Mexico Nabs Gulf Cartel Boss 'Fatso'

Arrest seen as major blow to fading drug war power

(Newser) - In a huge victory for President Felipe Calderón, Mexican authorities have arrested the head of the infamous Gulf Cartel: Mario Cardenas, alias "Fatso." Marines captured Cardenas in a raid in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas on Monday, and authorities showed him off to the media yesterday, Reuters... More »

Uruguay's Prez: Legalize Pot

Users could sign up for registration cards to buy the drug

(Newser) - Uruguayan President José Mujica wants to end the reign of violent drug cartels in his country, and he thinks legalizing marijuana may be the answer. He released a proposal last month calling for the formation of a government-run industry that would manage the cultivation and sales of the drug, reports... More »

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