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.
DW – A human rights activist has been killed in northern Mexico, only two weeks after another activist from the Tarahumara indigenous group was killed. Amnesty International and the EU have lamented the deaths.
AP – Mexico’s government says homicides rose by 22 percent in 2016. It’s the highest rate of increase since the height of the drug war. Official statistics show that Mexico had 20,789 homicides in 2016, compared to 17,034 in 2015. Some states saw murders rise by dizzying levels. Homicides in Colima more than tripled, and in Veracruz, they more than doubled.
UPI – Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense said it arrested two lieutenants who attempted to sell 11 AK-47s and three AR-15s to members of the Los Zetas Cartel for about $5,000.
Business Insider – Spiraling violence in Mexico has largely been driven by the shifting dynamics of the drug trade, as large organizations break apart and new groups fight for territory and market share. While levels of violence are high in many places, perhaps nowhere has the rise been as dramatic as in Colima, a small state tucked in the middle of Mexico’s Pacific coast, between Michoacan and Jalisco states.
AP – Prosecutors said Sunday that 56 sets of human remains have been identified in a jumble of bone fragments found at a burial pit in Mexico’s northern border state of Nuevo Leon. Some of the remains matched existing profiles belonging to people who had been reported missing since 2010.
Associated Press / Mercury News
Two consecutive days of shooting attacks that left a total of nine dead have put two of the jewels of Mexico’s Caribbean coast on edge and spurred a warning to tourists by the U.S. government.
As investigators worked Tuesday at the scene of a shooting the previous day that caused five deaths in the nearby beach town of Playa del Carmen, the region was stunned when gunmen assaulted the Quintana Roo state prosecutors’ offices in Cancun, and four people were killed.
Authorities attributed both incidents to organized crime, but made no comment on whether they might be linked.
The governor pleaded for calm, saying the federal government was sending more security forces to help local and state authorities. “Cancun residents and our visitors can go about their lives,” he said in a televised address.
TeleSur – Isidro Baldenegro Lopez, an Indigenous environmental activist who fought against deforestation in Mexico, was assassinated last weekend. Baldenegro, the 2005 recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for North America, was found dead outside a relative’s house in Chihuahua. Witnesses claim the murder suspects are linked with known assassins of other Indigenous environmental activists in the region.
LAT – Mexican authorities have arrested a man suspected of shooting a U.S. official in the western state of Guadalajara. The suspect, Zafar Zia, 31, is a U.S. citizen. Mexican and U.S. State Department officials have not said why Zia was in the country or why he may have targeted Christopher Ashcraft, a State Department employee who worked out of the American Consulate in Guadalajara.
AP – Western Mexico’s plague of violence continued with the discovery of six decapitated heads in one state and the killing of seven people in another. Six heads were found on Christmas Day in Jiquilpan. Meanwhile state security officials in Guerrero said gunmen entered a house and shot seven people dead in the municipality of Atoyac de Alvarez.
Fox News – The head of a United Nations delegation investigating torture in Mexico says diverse definitions of the practice continue creating loopholes that lead to impunity. In a Thursday statement from the U.N. Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture, delegation leader Felipe Villavicencio urged Mexico to pass a proposed general law on torture. The legislation passed the Mexican Senate in April, but awaits a vote in the lower chamber.
Fox News – The U.S. Border Patrol says over $3 million has been seized after it was found on Tuesday inside two cars in Escondido, California. It’s the largest cash seizure ever made by the Border Patrol in San Diego County.
The Guardian – Over the space of three nights in November 2011, at least 50 women disappeared in similar circumstances from Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz state, which had been convulsed by cartel violence and political volatility. Most were in their 20s and came from modest families. Some were single mothers, some full-time sex workers, others were students and wannabe beauty queens.
According to documents from the official investigation seen by the Guardian, many of them worked as high-class escorts or hostesses contracted for political events – as well as more exclusive parties attended by government officials and leaders of the feared Zetas drug cartel.
Their fate remains unknown, but they are believed to have been forcibly disappeared because they knew too much about corrupt relationships between Mexican politicians and cartel bosses.
Al Jazeera – Over the past decade Mexico has been beset by violence, as the state has battled drug cartels and criminal gangs for control of the streets. But critics say this endemic conflict has created a culture of impunity in law enforcement, with even ordinary citizens now routinely subjected to human rights abuses. So what lies behind Mexico’s troubled relationship with justice?
AP – Mexican prosecutors say they have rescued 15 children who were forced to work as vendors or beggars in the Baja California resort of Cabo San Lucas. The Attorney General’s Office said that it arrested nine women who exploited the children and made money off them. It was unclear if the women were related to the children.
InSight Crime – The cyber theft of personal and business data in Mexico is reportedly increasing, illustrating the limited power that government institutions possess to counter the rapidly evolving and sizable cyber crime industry in the country. Mexico has become a haven for the black market of stolen personal data of all kinds, reported Crónica. And the potential profits are considerable.
AP – Mexican police and marines have killed 14 presumed criminal gang members in a shootout in the troubled Gulf coast state of Veracruz. Veracruz is a strategic smuggling corridor and has been a hotspot of Mexico’s drug cartel violence in recent years.
InSight Crime – This week marks ten years since Mexico’s government embarked on a militarized campaign against the country’s criminal organizations, but while many criminal leaders have been captured or killed, a decade of confrontation has failed to substantially improve the nation’s security situation.