Mexico: 7 Die In Mazatlán As Sinaloa Cartel Controls Tijuana

September 6, 2011 12:12 pm 0 comments

The port in Mazatlán, Mexico.

Seven people were killed in the northwestern Mexican port city of Mazatlán on Monday with some of the incidents tied to drug cartels operating within the region, a police spokesman said.

“A series of crimes occurred in different parts of the city,” the spokesman said. The first death occurred after a man opened fire on police officers in the popular tourist neighborhood of Villa Union.

Two separate incidents left another two people dead in neighborhoods on the city’s outskirts, while gunmen armed with AK-47 assault rifles killed a 35-year old man in an alleged drug hit. The bodies of two other men were found in an SUV north of the city and finally gunmen opened fire on two people traveling in another vehicle, killing the passenger.

Mazatlán is located in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, home to the drug cartel of the same name. The Sinaloa Cartel is headed by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who along with holding the title of the most wanted person by the F.B.I. and Interpol, is listed as one of the richest people in the world by Forbes Magazine.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has offered a reward of $5 million for him.

Guzmán was arrested in 1993 in Guatemala, but in 2001 pulled off a daring escape from a maximum-security prison in the western Mexican state of Jalisco.

While Mazatlán and other Mexican cities continue to deal with widespread violence from the country’s drug war, the border of city of Tijuana has reported a drop in the level of drug murders.

The massacres and dead bodies that plagued Tijuana a few years ago have slowed thanks in part to the Guzmán’s Sinaloa Cartel allegedly gaining control over the city and its lucrative drug smuggling corridors to the United States.

Tijuana, home to both trashy bars and brothels as well as renowned contemporary artists, has seen one of the most dramatic drops in violence in all of Mexico. To date this year the city has seen only 349 homicides, compared with the peak years of 820 in 2010 and 844 in 2008.

The Mexican government has claimed credit for the turn around in violence as in 2009 it sent droves of police and soldiers to the region in an attempt to dismantle the once-dominant Arellano Felix Cartel. However, some security experts see the gap filled by the Sinaloa Cartel after the demise of the Arellano Felix Cartel as the main reason for the drop in violent crime rates.

“The drugs continue flowing, without a doubt. What has diminished is violence between criminal groups,” Edgardo Buscaglia, a security expert at Mexico’s ITAM university told Reuters. “Organized crime continues, not only drug trafficking but extortion, kidnapping, human smuggling and gun running. But it’s under a consolidated group (Sinaloa).”

Mexican President Felipe Calderón recently boasted that the government’s effort to combat drug cartels was succeeding.

During his annual national report to Congress, Calderón said that he has strengthened the rule of law and fought against drug gangs like never before. The report states that 21 of Mexico’s 37 most wanted criminals have been killed or captured and that the government has confiscated $12.7 billion in assets from drug gangs.

The president, however, has been under fire since he declared war on the cartels shortly after taking office in 2006. Since then more than 40,000 people have died in drug related violence, with 15,270 people being killed last year alone.

Photo: DennisSylvesterHurd @ Flickr.

No Comments

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Caribbean Puerto Rico Today in Latin America Cocaine Bust in Puerto Rico Points to Island’s New Role in Drug Trafficking

    Cocaine Bust in Puerto Rico Points to Island’s New Role in Drug Trafficking

    Readers, Today in Latin America will be on hiatus until Dec. 1. Happy holidays! Top Story — Puerto Rican authorities on Tuesday announced the seizure of 500 kilograms of cocaine worth approximately $11.5 million, one of the largest drug busts this year. The seizure follows a series of significant drug hauls in the U.S. island territory, pointing to the region’s growing role in the importation of drugs into the United States. Eight people were arrested during the raid, according to […]

    Read more →
  • Central America El Salvador Mexico News Briefs North America As The World Looks To Mexico, News From Another Massacre Goes Unnoticed

    As The World Looks To Mexico, News From Another Massacre Goes Unnoticed

    The world has been focusing for almost two months on the disappearance and reported killing of 43 Mexican students by a drug gang — an act in which government forces played a major role. In the midst of the public outrage surrounding the students’ disappearance, news of another famous massacre by state forces in Central America passed unnoticed. “I am sorry,” the former Salvadoran ambassador to the U.S., Ernesto Rivas Gallont, wrote in a blog post published Oct. 31. He […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Colombia Today in Latin America FARC to Release First Captives, But Warns Over General’s Release

    FARC to Release First Captives, But Warns Over General’s Release

    Top Story — FARC rebels will release two hostages on Tuesday morning, according to a statement issued from Havana by delegates representing the guerrilla group. The release of Gen. Rubén Darío Alzate, the highest-ranking FARC captive in 50 years, is planned for Thursday. However, the statement from Havana warned that the general’s release may be cancelled, owing to the heavy military presence in the province where he is being held. Tuesday’s handover of Pvts. Paulo César Rivera and Jonathan Andrés […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Fugitive Police Official Captured Over Mexican Students’ Disappearance

    Fugitive Police Official Captured Over Mexican Students’ Disappearance

    Top Story — The former deputy police chief of Cocula, Guerrero, has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of 43 students from nearby Iguala, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office announced on Friday. César Nava González had been on the run since Sept. 26 — the night of the students’ disappearance — and was apprehended on Nov. 16. According to the attorney general’s office, Nava González went into hiding in Mexico City, and then in the city of Colima. He […]

    Read more →
  • North America Today in Latin America United States Sidestepping Congress, Obama Unveils Plan To Protect 5 Million From Deportation

    Sidestepping Congress, Obama Unveils Plan To Protect 5 Million From Deportation

    Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled a three-part executive order on immigration that would protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation, sidestepping a year of gridlock over immigration reform in the Republican-led House of Representatives. The president’s plan, presented in a fifteen-minute speech, would also expand border enforcement and facilitate legal immigration for skilled immigrants. Obama stressed that while the nearly five million undocumented immigrants affected would be allowed to register and legally seek […]

    Read more →
  • Central America Honduras Today in Latin America Missing Beauty Queen, Sister, Found Dead in Honduras

    Missing Beauty Queen, Sister, Found Dead in Honduras

    Top Story — The bodies of reigning Miss Honduras María José Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofía, 23, were found in a riverbank grave in an area west of the capital city, Tegucigalpa, police announced Wednesday. Since the sisters went missing on Nov. 13, their disappearance has become national news in the country with the world’s highest peacetime murder rate. Sofía Alvarado’s boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, has been arrested and is considered the main suspect in the killings. Aris Maldonado, an […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Colombia News Briefs North America Colombian Government and FARC Agree on Process to Free Kidnapped General

    Colombian Government and FARC Agree on Process to Free Kidnapped General

    An agreement has been reached between FARC rebels and the Colombia government on steps to release Gen. Rubén Darío Alzate, according to a statement released by the Cuban and Norwegian governments, which were involved in brokering the deal. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended two-year-old peace talks with the FARC in the wake of Alzate’s capture, insisting that the talks would not resume until Alzate was returned. Alzate, who is the the highest-ranking officer to be taken by the […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Peña Nieto Says Protesters Seek To Destabilize Mexico

    Peña Nieto Says Protesters Seek To Destabilize Mexico

    Top Story — Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday accused “violent movements” of taking advantage of anger over the September disappearance of 43 students to sow unrest as discontent over the issue shows no sign of abating. His remarks come as pressure builds over the missing students from the rural Ayotzinapa teacher training school in Guerrero state, who officials recently said corrupt local police arrested and turned over to a drug gang, which killed them and incinerated their bodies. […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Peru Today in Latin America Report Highlights Activist Murders in Peru Ahead of Lima Climate Talks

    Report Highlights Activist Murders in Peru Ahead of Lima Climate Talks

    Top Story — Just two weeks before the U.N. Climate Change Conference begins in Lima, Peru, nonprofit Global Witness has released a widely publicized report naming the country the fourth deadliest in the world to be an environmental or land activist. Since 2002, 57 activists have been killed in Peru, more than half of them in the last four years. Peru is facing international scrutiny due to the slow pace of an investigation into the Aug. 31 killing of four […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazil Arrests 27 in Petrobras Corruption Scandal

    Brazil Arrests 27 in Petrobras Corruption Scandal

    Top Story — Brazilian authorities on Friday arrested 27 people in connection with an investigation into a multibillion-dollar corruption scheme at the state-run oil company Petrobras. Among the 27 was the firm’s engineering director, the second senior executive to be arrested in connection with the scandal. Following the arrests, President Dilma Rousseff said that the “symbolic case” would change Brazilian society forever. Rousseff served as energy minister under her predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The investigation began when a […]

    Read more →