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In search for Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

MEXICO CITY –

Chapo Sinaloa Lady

Mexican Marines are nipping at the heels of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s – or at least that’s what the minister overseeing the Marines believes.

Since Oct. 6, thousands of soldiers have been sent to the area known as Mexico’s “Golden Triangle,” the remote, mountainous region where the states of Chihuahua, Durango and Sinaloa converge.

Most of them parachuted in.

The operation was reportedly triggered by information provided to Mexican authorities by U.S. drug agents who were monitoring cell phone activity.

Around 200 people from the region, presumably scared of getting caught in the crossfire between the Marines and the Sinaloa Cartel’s sicarios, have fled to the town of Cosalá.

“The Marines told us that they want to capture the Lord,” they told reporters, and mentioned talking about soldiers attacking civilians.

“People are frightened,” Cosalá’s representative in the state legislature, Lucero Sánchez López, told TV reporters, adding that at least eight people were missing.

The most interesting fact about Sánchez  is that she has been identified by the Mexican press and the Attorney General’s office, as Chapo’s newest lover and the mother of his youngest child, an allegation she has consistently denied.

For its part, SEMAR says there haven’t been any civilian attacks, but it doesn’t deny that the Marines are carrying out an operation in that sector of Sinaloa and across the state line in Durango – a state that’s governed by Ricardo Ochoa, whose sister, Emma Coronel, happens to be Chapo’s current wife.

The presumed romantic relationship between the 57-year-old Guzmán – the world’s most wanted drug kingpin – and a 26-year-old, thick-lipped and light-haired member of the National Action Party (PAN) – has spread ever since June, when it was first reported that she visited Chapo in Altiplano prison, some 55 miles from Mexico City, in May when she was pregnant.

At the time, authorities at the prison lodged a complaint with PGR saying that Chapo received a visit from a woman who used a fake ID who was not his wife. For her part, Sánchez says that the woman photographed with the drug lord isn’t her.

The newspaper Excélsior, suggested that Sánchez first met Chapo in 2013, at a party in the Golden Triangle that both attended. A few months later, her former husband and the father of her two sons, Rubén Chavez, 27, was shot to death.

A few days after Chapo’s second escape from a Mexican high-security prison in July, the Attorney General’s office (PGR in its Spanish acronym) leaked to the media a statement by one of Guzmán Loera’s attorneys confirming that Sánchez  visited his client to discuss details of where and how their child would be raised.

A veteran columnist from El Universal newspaper, Ricardo Alemán, wrote, “Very little is known for a fact about Chapo’s children … What we do know is that Chapo’s youngest kid is the son of Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López, presently a deputy in the Sinaloa Congress from the 16th district of Cosalá.”

He added, “It is also known that Mrs. Sánchez became deputy in the state congress by virtue of Chapo’s influence in Cosalá.”

Sánchez continues to deny having a relationship with Chapo. At a session of the Sinaloa Congress in July, she said the topic was “ridiculous” and condemned  the PGR’s “coarse leaks” and said she intended to “file a claim with the [Mexican] Human Rights Commission for defamation and moral injury to me, my children and the rest of my family.”

It isn’t known whether she has filed any claim or if she has been called into the PGR for questioning. Chapo’s wife, with whom the kingpin has twin daughters, has not made any public statement on the matter.

PAN leaders have stated that Sánchez will be removed from her post if it proves that she did, in fact, visit Chapo at Altiplano.

Whether or not Sánchez is involved with Chapo, few people doubt that he’s in the Golden Triangle. What’s less clear is that Mexico’s forces will be able to catch him a third time.

“There’s hardly any other place where he could feel more secure than the Golden Triangle, where he has not only friends but family and social protection,” analyst José Reveles, author of the Spanish-language book, “El Chapo: Surrender and Treason,” told Fox News Latino.

Gardenia Mendoza is a freelance reporter in Mexico City.

 
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Posted by on 10/17/2015 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels

 

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El Chapo (Shorty) Guzman on the Lam

El Chapo (Shorty) Guzman on the Lam

Although Mexico’s attorney general has called for a “full investigation” into Guzmán’s escape, we may never know exactly what happened. But if there is a level of complicity by the state, or state agencies, this would not be illogical. Friendly relations between the state and Guzmán would have a rational motive. Not for nothing did the Sinaloa cartel, until recently, have its own hangar at Mexico City airport, not far from the President’s.

In matters mafia, one of the dilemmas is whether it is harder for a state to live with an organised, patriarchal pyramid of power, like Guzmán’s, or the myriad mini-cartels, street-gang micro-cartels, so-called combos and super-combos, that arise if the pyramid is smashed. Which is worse: a formidable power with which some kind of accommodation is possible, or a narco-nuclear-fission reactor of electrons and protons charging into one another?

Colombia had to opt for smashing the pyramid, in the form of Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel, because it was becoming a a state within a state that threatened to take over. In the improving situation for Colombians, the problem is now the miasma of uncontrollable combos.

But the Mexican experience is different. The worst violence has ravaged the country since December 1996, when President Felipe Calderón sent the army into Tamaulipas and Michoacan to deal with insurgencies in those states by the Zetas and a cartel called La Familia, which were breaking up the prevailing order of things. Once the hornet’s nest was kicked, the killing accelerated as Guzmán laid claim to the whole frontier (previously allocated by his predecessor Gallardo) and the army and police established mafia systems of their own, often in league with one cartel or another.

In this war, Guzmán and the state have a common cause against the insurgents and new-wave cartels, and it is no secret that Mexico’s best bet in bringing down the violence is to back the strongest and biggest against its rivals, or at least to act in tandem. An official of the ruling PRI party, when it was fighting the last election, talked to me about the need for “adjustments” with the most powerful cartel.

The figures speak for themselves. For a while, in 2008, Tijuana was the most violent city in Mexico, as Guzmán assailed the local Arellano Felix cartel. Soon afterwards, Ciudad Juárez became the most dangerous city in the world, as Guzmán, the local Juárez cartel, army and police factions fought over local drug markets and smuggling routes to the US.

The military went into both places, followed by the Federal police, with Guzmán’s cartel gunmen on the slipstream of both, recruiting local gangs. Now, both cities are relatively quiet; no one knows quite why, but the most common (and terrifying) explanation is that Guzmán now runs the drug business – domestic and export – in both cities, with official or semi-official blessing.

The tunnel began with a 50-by-50-centimeter (20-by-20-inch) opening inside the shower of Guzman’s cell, Rubido said. The tunnel stretched for about a mile and ended inside a half-built house

To pull off the escape, it’s likely the Sinaloa cartel had spent years infiltrating the country’s prison system, a Mexican official said on Monday. Whoever helped in the plot likely had the architectural plans for the prison that pointed them toward the shower area, the official said.

Official: 'El Chapo' escape tunnel had motorcycle track

 As authorities detailed the evidence they’d found pointing to Guzman’s escape through the underground passageway, one drug war expert questioned Monday whether the notorious kingpin even used the tunnel at all.

“If he went out that tunnel, it was with an armed escort, most likely a mix of prison guards and his own people, if the past is prologue,” said Don Winslow, who’s tracked Guzman’s career for 15 years and wrote about a fictional version of the famed kingpin’s 2001 escape in his recent novel “The Cartel.”

“My bet is that he went out the front gate, and the tunnel was a tissue-thin face-saving device for Mexican officials, the motorcycle a dramatic improvement over the laundry cart.”

How did Guzman slip by the prison’s extensive network of security systems?

It’s likely prison workers played a role, Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said Monday as he announced that he’d fired the prison’s director and other prison officials as authorities continue their investigation.

Guzman, he said, was inside a cell with 24-hour hour closed circuit video surveillance and a bracelet that monitored his every move. The video system, he said, had two blind spots that Guzman exploited. And he left the bracelet behind before he crawled into the tunnel and made his getaway.

Mexico’s attorney general said Monday that 34 people had been questioned in connection with the escape. And the country’s interior minister asked for help from the public in tracking Guzman down.

Where could he be?

It’s possible Guzman is hiding out in the sprawling metropolis of Mexico City while the search is hot, accordintg to a Mexican official.

But in the end, the official said it’s likely Guzman will head back to his home turf in the Sinaloa region on the Pacific Coast, where there’s a vast network of local residents who will help him stay out of harm’s way. Guzman is believed to have found refuge at times during his past stints on the lam in rugged mountain areas of Mexico.

No matter where he’s hiding, time is of the essence, according to Mike Braun, a former chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration who spent years tracking and gathering evidence on Guzman.

 
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Posted by on 07/14/2015 in Crime Watch, Crime!

 

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Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has escaped

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has escaped after being imprisoned on February 22, 2014. I guess he just got tired of the same daily routine, and made a change!

Joaquin

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman

MEXICO CITY – Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has escaped from a maximum-security prison outside Mexico City, the government said Sunday, his second jail break in 14 years.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, pictured after his original recapture on February 22, 2014, has escaped from a maximum-security prison outside Mexico City, his second jail break in 14 years

The kingpin was last spotted by security cameras in the shower area of the Altiplano prison, 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of the capital, on Saturday night before disappearing, the National Security Commission said.

An alarm was issued after “he was not visible” for a while and “the escape of Guzman was confirmed,” the commission said in a statement.

“An operation to locate him was deployed in the area and on roads of neighboring states,” it said, adding that flights were suspended at the nearby Toluca airport.

His first escape from prison was in 2001, when he slipped past authorities by hiding in a laundry cart.

Marines finally recaptured Guzman in February 2014 in a pre-dawn raid in a condo in Mazatlan, a Pacific resort in Sinaloa state.

Guzman was considered the world’s most wanted drug lord, whose Sinaloa cartel shipped narcotics across the globe.

 
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Posted by on 07/12/2015 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels

 

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Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino, “X-20”, alleged leader of the Gulf Cartel, was arrested

x2017082013_pMEXICO CITY, August 17. – Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino, “X-20”, alleged leader of the Gulf Cartel, was arrested at 21:34 hours last evening and was delivered to the Deputy Attorney Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SEIDO) of PGR. Amid tight security, involving Mexican military vehicles and military personnel, the suspect was transferred from the International Airport in Mexico City, where he arrived from Tamaulipas, the building located at Avenida Paseo de la Reforma number 75.

Trevino Ramirez was captured Saturday during a raid by the Mexican army in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas.

The Department of Justice United States offered a reward of five million dollars to anyone who furnish information leading to his capture, since it is set by authorities in that country for various crimes. Ramirez Trevino is expected shortly to make a statement to the federal prosecutor, who will determine within the next few hours his legal status. SEIDO facilities were guarded by military personnel and the side of the Paseo de la Reforma was temporarily closed to traffic, because at that place are military vehicles.

 
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Posted by on 08/18/2013 in Crime!

 

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Those that vanished from Mexican Bar!

Mexico City sees its share of protests, but this one was unusual.

One woman wept. Other protesters shouted at the tops of their lungs, demanding answers. Still others showed pictures of their relatives to puzzled passersby.

The protesters who gathered Thursday are relatives of 11 party-goers who went missing more than a week ago from a bar in a posh Mexico City neighborhood known as “Zona Rosa,” or Pink Zone. The area has a vibrant night scene with bars, nightclubs and upscale restaurants on every street.

The protesters say their relatives were kidnapped on May 26 as they were partying at Heaven, an after-hours bar in the neighborhood. All 11 disappeared sometime between 10 a.m. and noon, they say.

The bar is only steps away from Paseo de la Reforma, an iconic avenue in central Mexico City. The emblematic Angel of Independence monument is nearby, as are the U.S. Embassy and the financial district.

Guadalupe Dominguez, a relative of one of the missing, said a witness told her the 11 people were kidnapped by armed men who showed up in SUVs, but authorities say there’s no evidence of such an incident.

“A young fellow who managed to escape was the one who told us about it, but we don’t really know anything else,” Dominguez said.

Most of those hanging out at the after-hours bar were in their 20s, except for Yersi Ortiz, who is 16. Maria Teresa Ramos, Ortiz’s grandmother, said relatives are mystified and want answers.

“This supposedly happened on Sunday in broad daylight. This couldn’t have happened during the day and only a few steps from Reforma Avenue without anybody noticing. There should be surveillance cameras that can show us exactly what happened,” Ramos said.

Maria del Carmen Zamudio, another relative at the protest, said the witness told them the young people were all suddenly told to leave.

“The (bar) owner apparently told them that there was going to be a police operation and turned the lights off. He told them to get out, and armed men in black SUVs were already waiting for them outside,” Zamudio said.

Police say there was no such operation. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said authorities are treating the incident as a missing-person case because so far there’s no evidence the young people were kidnapped.

“For now, we haven’t been able to confirm how this happened or the specific location where (these young people) were kidnapped. What we have is a missing persons report and the knowledge that they’re missing. We have to do something to find them,” Mancera said.

Mexico City District Attorney Rodolfo Rios Garza said security cameras at the bar were not working, but authorities are relying on city cameras installed in the neighborhood.

So far, Rios Garza said, their analysis of surveillance video from these cameras does not show any incidents of violence in or around the bar where the kidnapping supposedly took place.

Authorities searched the bar and found illegal drugs but no signs of forced entry or anything that would indicate the young people had been kidnapped, Rios Garza said.

More than 26,000 people have gone missing in Mexico over the past six years as violence surged and the country’s government cracked down on drug cartels, according to Mexico’s Interior Ministry. Authorities don’t have data about how many of the disappearances are connected with organized crime.

The 26,121 disappearances occurred during former President Felipe Calderon’s six-year administration, which ended on December 1 when Enrique Pena Nieto assumed the presidency.

The bar has been shut down while the investigation into the disappearances continues. The Mexican attorney general‘s office has also joined the investigation.

The bar where the young people were last seen is not far from another nightclub where Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of civil rights activist Malcolm X, was beaten to death on May 9. Shabazz, 28, was found just outside the bar by police at 3:30 a.m. one block south of Plaza Garibaldi.

Two bartenders were arrested in connection with Shabazz’s killing, according to the office of the Mexico City attorney general. Rios Garza said the men work at the bar, The Palace Club, where Shabazz and three people had drinks. An argument ensued when the staff said the bill was $1,200. Shabazz was beaten while another man was threatened and stripped of his belongings, Rios said.

CNN‘s Steve Almasy and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

 
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Posted by on 06/04/2013 in Crime Watch

 

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half ton of marijuana in the state of Hidalgo confiscated

Police say trailer carrying a hidden compartment of 177 packages were extracted in the state of Hidalgo

half ton of marijuana in the state of Hidalgo located in trailer truck

half ton of marijuana in the state of Hidalgo located in trailer truck

Elements of the Federal Police seized a trailer having a hidden compartment with more than half ton of marijuana in the state of Hidalgo.

After stopping a Truck attached to a double trailer, which circulated on the kilometer 24 +500 of Highway 45 MexicoCiudad Juarez, federal police detected in the area designated for the load inside measurements did not match those from outside the unit.

Therefore, a thorough inspection was made into the box, where boards were located with silicone covering a hidden compartment, the drivers name was Jesus Tellez David Barron, 42 and the truck was taken to the facilities of the Attorney General’s Office in Pachuca, Hidalgo.

There in the presence of Ministerial Agent 177 packages were found containing green grass with the characteristics of marijuana, which yielded a total weight of 1,589 lbs .

Therefore, the drugs, vehicle and Barron Téllez was who were read the “Charter of the Rights of Persons Assisting in Detention”, were made available to the Public Prosecutor of the Federation, which hosts the investigations.

 
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Posted by on 03/02/2013 in Crime!, Drugs

 

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CUERNAVACA, 10 people have been executed in Morelos

In the last 72 hours at least 10 people have been executed in Morelos , in an escalation of violence by criminal groups operating in the state, who have been shootings and executed people, despite the announcement of single command.

10 people have been executed in Morelos in the last 72 hours

10 people have been executed in Morelos in the last 72 hours

The last action of criminal groups took place in the town of Acatlipa, in the town of Temixco, where an armed group entered a house of Narciso Mendoza Street, located between the streets September 15th and Constitution, and opened fire .

According to information at the scene, one of the bodies was in the entrance to the house, while three others were found inside, but until now have not been identified nor the motive establish in this multiple homicide.

The Army and the Federal Police had to cordon off the area, due to the aggressiveness of relatives who repeatedly violated the perimeter guarding the crime scene and assaulted the experts who conducted the initial investigations.

The first two bodies were found in the town of encajuelados Tepoztlan, a narcomensaje and blow. In addition, victims were gagged.

That same Friday afternoon there had been a shooting practically outside the Municipal Police Command.

Another person appeared at the boundary between the suburbs of Yautepec and Cuautla, with wounds on his body, but because of their advanced state of decomposition has not been identified and is investigating the causes of his death.

Two more bodies appeared Sunday in a cane field planting called Las Iguanas, in the community of Santa Rosa 30, Tlaltizapán Township. Both bodies have not been identified, but one was male, while the other had mutilated his lower extremities from the pelvis.

Both showed burns one hundred percent of the body surface, due to the burning of the crop and subsequent findings. The first surveys had indicated that an estimated time of death of three to five days.

Finally, a woman with signs of strangulation appeared in a hotel located in Jojutla, Galileo, her body leaning against a bed.

 
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Posted by on 02/19/2013 in Crime Watch, Crime!

 

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