InSight Crime – In contrast to other illicit drugs such as marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine, the amount of cocaine seized by Mexico’s army skyrocketed during the first half of 2015. The quantity of cocaine confiscated during the first six months of 2015 — almost 2,800 kilos — is a more than 340 percent increase from the same period last year.
By Jason McGahan / The Daily Beast
La Narvarte, a leafy neighborhood in Mexico City’s fashionable south end, is an unlikely place for a multiple homicide. And so, late Friday night, a neighbor out for a walk who saw the police cordon on the corner of Luz Saviñón and Zempoala assumed the blockage was for a film crew shooting a Mexican telenovela.
The police presence was concentrated in front of the tall yellow apartment building at No. 1909 Luz Saviñón. Crime-scene inspectors scoured the fourth-floor apartment whose balcony, dense with potted flowers, overlooks the street.
Three females who lived in apartment No. 401, a male visitor, and a female domestic employee had been bound, beaten, and each shot once in the head with a coup de grâce. A fourth roommate, a 24 year-old female named Esbeidy, whose last name the police are withholding, was the first to find the bodies.
The male visitor to the apartment was identified as Rubén Espinosa Becerril, 31, a news photographer for the national magazine Proceso.
Espinosa, as many in the Mexico City press corps knew, had fled the eastern state of Veracruz eight weeks prior. He had been living in self-imposed exile in the capital, after having received death threats that he said came from the state government in Veracruz.
Initially, Espinosa’s higher profile dwarfed the news coverage of the four female victims, whose identities the prosecutor withheld, citing a federal protocol for femicides—or murders targeting women. Gradually, however, the names of the women began circulating on social media.
AP – A suspect was in custody Wednesday in connection with the killings of a Mexican photojournalist and four women in Mexico City, its top prosecutor, Rodolfo Ríos Garza, said.
USAToday – The federal government’s new chief drug enforcement officer said Wednesday that he suspects that Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is still in Mexico following his dramatic escape last month from a prison west of Mexico City.
CNN – Clues that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was plotting a prison break were seemingly all around, but Mexican officials chose not to act, according to a leading investigative reporter.
AP – After fleeing to the capital, Veracruz journalist Ruben Espinosa felt he was still being followed. Even if his murder turns out not to be related to Espinosa’s work, his killing has reverberated widely in journalism and human rights circles, reminding them there is no refuge in Mexico, one of the world’s most dangerous countries for practicing journalism.
AP – Prosecutors released a surveillance video Tuesday showing suspects calmly leaving an apartment building where five people were found tortured and shot to death, including a photojournalist who had taken refuge in the capital after feeling threatened in the Mexican state he covered.
NYT – A crowd of several thousand people gathered Sunday in Mexico City to denounce the death of a Mexican photographer killed early Saturday morning, the seventh journalist killed in Mexico this year.
The bodies of Ruben Espinosa, who worked for the prominent magazine Proceso, and four other people were found bound and tortured in an apartment in the Narvarte neighborhood of Mexico City.
El Dario – The theft of mobile phones is one of the most common crimes committed in Mexico, generating profits of around 6 billion pesos ($371 million) annually, according to the National Association of Telecommunications (ANATEL).
BBC – Security forces in Mexico have discovered an underground tunnel aimed at connecting to the United States. The unfinished tunnel in Tijuana is believed to have been built by the Sinaloa cartel with the aim of smuggling drugs into the US.
Univision – Ruben Espinosa, a Veracruz photojournalist, was found dead in Mexico City, to which he had fled because of harassment in Veracruz. He was tortured before he was killed.
El Economista – The legal defense team of fugitive drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman filed and won an injunction in federal court to prevent any extradition to the United States if caught.
Notimex – There has been a 470 percent increases in calls by citizens to complain of criminal actions that has enabled seizures and arrests of members of organized crime.
AP – Men armed with rifles killed a police commander Thursday in the capital of the restive southern Mexico state of Guerrero, and officers pursuing the suspected attackers killed three people about two hours later.
El Dario – The bodies of seven men were found on a Ferris wheel in the Zacatecas town of Calera. They are believed to be part of a group of people that went missing in early July.
Activists on Wednesday hailed the Mexican federal government’s first-ever “gender alert,” declared for a central state in response to a high incidence of killings and disappearances of women.
The Interior Department alert covers 11 municipalities in the State of Mexico, outside the capital, and cites “systematic violence against women” and “an atmosphere of impunity and permissiveness” toward such crimes.
According to the report, more than 1,700 women were slain in the state between 2005 and 2014, and at least 4,281 women and girls disappeared. Most of the missing reappeared alive, but 1,554 have never been heard from again. The state has a population of over 15 million.
“This is something historic that will set precedents for this mechanism to be more agile, and for guarantees for women’s life and access to justice,” said Maria de la Luz Estrada of the National Citizens’ Observatory on Femicide. “Now there has been a commitment. There is no turning back.”
AP – The bodies of six men and two teenage boys were found stabbed to death in the mountains of Chihuahua. The bodies had been dumped into a deep gully in the township of Guadalupe y Calvo.
El Universal – About 25 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, but are manufactured in other countries, while in the case of Latin America the figure stands at 59 percent, concluded a report of the Office of Latin America in Washington (WOLA ) and the Violence Policy Center.
Medecins sans Frontieres – Acapulco on the coast of Guerrero is considered to be the third most violent city in the world, after San Pedro Sula in Honduras and Caracas in Venezuela. In the first six months of 2015, 524 violent deaths by homicide were recorded in the city and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
El Universal -Mexican officials met with U.S. officials and those from countries such as Colombia and Guatemala that belong to the American Police Community (Ameripol), the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the European Police Office (Europol) in an effort to capture Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, who escaped a maximum security prison on July 11.