VOA – About 100 journalists and free-speech supporters demonstrated Saturday to protest the killing of a Mexican reporter gunned down in the northern state of Chihuahua on Thursday. Miroslava Breach was the third journalist to be killed this month in one of the most dangerous countries for media workers. Those present held up signs with slogans like “Killing reporters doesn’t kill the truth.”
LAT -Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach spent her final days documenting murders. On Thursday, Breach became a victim of the growing violence in Mexico that she chronicled so thoroughly. The 54-year-old mother of three was killed as she left her home in the capital city of Chihuahua — the third journalist slain in Mexico this month.
AP – A group of 29 inmates have tunneled their way out of a prison in the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas. One of the inmates shot to death a passing motorist in an apparent carjacking. Twelve of the 29 have been recaptured.
Houston Chronicle – Guns aren’t so easy to get in Mexico, but in the United States, it’s a whole different story. That’s why, federal prosecutors say, organizations like the Gulf Cartel and other drug selling operations turn to buyers in America to help them assemble arsenals they otherwise wouldn’t be able to accumulate.
CTV – Mexican authorities say the remains of three people have been found in the Pacific resort city of Cabo San Lucas. The Baja California Sur state prosecutor’s office reports that the remains of two men and a woman were discovered late Sunday inside two ice chests left on a sidewalk.
CBS – An attacker shot a journalist to death Sunday in Veracruz, adding to the toll in a region plagued by drug gang violence and allegations of government corruption. Journalist Ricardo Monlui is at least the 11th journalist to be slain in just over six years in Veracruz state, but the first since former Gov. Javier Duarte quit last year and vanished in the face of corruption charges.
NYT – A mass grave discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz contained more than 250 human skulls, most likely the victims of criminal drug cartels. Veracruz, on Mexico’s Gulf coast, has been the epicenter of battles among the country’s drug gangs. The remains found at the site indicated that the victims might have been killed years ago.
National Geographic – The southern border of the U.S. is a hot zone for wildlife smuggling, and while President Trump has vowed to stop illegal immigration from Mexico, it’s unclear what he intends to do to thwart the flow of illicit wildlife.
Gangland-style murders are a daily event in Culiacán, the capital of Mexico’s Sinaloa state, where businesses close early, schools suspend classes and people must take precautions to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.
The extradition of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the United States in January was supposed to curb the violent drug wars raging south of the border. Instead, rival factions of Guzmán’s organization have ignited a new deadly turf war for control of the drug lord’s rudderless empire.
“It is a nightmare but one we have lived many times before,” said Rosita Méndez, a mother of two young children who lives in Culiacán.
Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos acknowledged at a recent news conference that Guzmán’s criminal organization “is fighting an internal struggle for control of the organization due to the absence of its leader.”
A rival faction within the cartel headed by a former lieutenant of El Chapo, former state police official Dámaso López, aka “El Licenciado” or “the Graduate,” is believed to have killed Guzmán’s sister and wounded his two adult sons in a shootout in western Mexico earlier in February.
“It appears that we are seeing a generational transition from El Chapo to his sons,” said Alejandro Hope, an independent security expert in Mexico City. “It is the greatest such power shift within the organization for many years, and all hell is breaking loose.”
LAT – A top U.S. drug official made a strong case Thursday for continued cooperation with Mexico on fighting drug-trafficking, saying successful law enforcement already has created a virtual wall. In a subtle dig at the Trump administration, William Brownfield, the State department’s senior diplomat involved in drug policy, said that despite a crisis drug epidemic, the United States and Mexico were in a better position than ever to combat it.
Reuters – Eleven bodies were found near a tourist area in the Mexican state of Veracruz on Wednesday, a day after the government said it would send federal police to calm one of the most violent regions of the country.
Channel NewsAisa – Mexican prosecutors said they were investigating the robbery of more than 1.4 metric tons of silver from the “El Pilon” mine in Jalisco in which robbers walked into the mine and stole 57 bars of silver estimated at a value of more than $800,000.
NYT – The “disappearance” of 43 students shocked Mexico and much of the world. Earlier, the Peña Nieto administration took steps to mitigate criticism at home and from abroad over its inept handling of the case by allowing that international team, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, to investigate. Now it seems that the government doesn’t care about international criticism of its new hard line, or maybe it anticipates that there isn’t going to be much.
Insight Crime -Mexico’s violence-induced forced displacement crisis is only beginning. Almost a third of the country’s municipalities have fewer inhabitants than they did before homicides became widespread across the country.
During the course of the last decade, population rates began to decrease in 691 Mexican municipalities, 28 percent of the country’s total.
Although the municipalities affected are scattered all across the country, most of them are found in three major regions located in the areas most affected by the conflict between different criminal organizations: first, the northwest and west controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel; secondly, the northeast, controlled by the Zetas; and third, the southeast, in the states dominated by the Familia Michoacana and the Knights Templar.
AP – Altars to the Virgin of Guadalupe are ubiquitous at businesses across Mexico. Now federal police say one has been used in a gasoline smuggling racket in the central state of Puebla.
BBC – Official figures from Mexico show that the number of homicides was higher by a third in January compared to the same month of 2016. Authorities believe the spike in violence is linked to the extradition of the drug lord, Joaquin Guzman, known as “El Chapo.”
NPR – Mexican authorities apologized to three indigenous women who were unlawfully jailed for three years on trumped-up charges. The women say there are thousands of innocent people in Mexico’s jails.
Fox News -A prominent Mexican journalist is reporting that the sons of Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman say they were attacked and wounded by a rival drug gang figure.
Daily Beast – Donald Trump keeps talking about the threat from the U.S.-Mexico border. But he may be looking in the wrong direction. FBI reports reviewed by The Daily Beast reveal that far more suspected terrorists try to enter the country from the northern border with Canada than from the south.
Fox News – Officials in the western Mexican state of Sinaloa say five suspects and one marine have died in an early morning clash. Heavily armed men traveling in several vehicles attacked marines on patrol in Culiacan. The gunfight occurred around 3:40 a.m.