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On SecurityDec 24, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican Secretary of Public Safety Genaro Garcia Luna, right, in Bogota, Colombia, on May 19, 2011.
The Business Impact of Corruption and Impunity in Mexico
The detention in the United States of Mexico's former secretary of public security highlights how corruption reaches to the highest levels of Mexico's government. Former Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna was arrested Dec. 10 in Grapevine, Texas. He has been charged in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York with three counts of cocaine trafficking conspiracy and one count of making false statements related to bribes he allegedly received from the Sinaloa cartel to help facilitate its smuggling operations. Garcia Luna held the national security post in Mexico during the administration of former President Felipe Calderon from 2006 to 2012. Before then, he headed Mexico's Federal Investigations Agency from 2001 to 2006.
Contributor PerspectivesOct 23, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
A passerby picks up a copy of Nicaragua's La Prensa in Managua on March 25, 2019. The newspaper printed its cover in cyan, instead of black, with the headline, 'We are running out of ink, but not of news. The Civic Alliance will not negotiate an amnesty.'
What Happens When You Kill the Messenger in Nicaragua
For many Nicaraguans, the maxim that today's oppressed becomes tomorrow's oppressor is ringing all too true. In December 2018, the United Nations' human rights chief, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, denounced the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega, urging Ortega to "immediately halt the persecution of human rights defenders, civil society organizations [and] journalists and news organizations that are critical of the government." Since Ortega returned to office in 2007, he and his allies have grown increasingly authoritarian, especially in the last couple of years. During this time, his administration has come to rely more on the security forces to suppress dissent, leading to hundreds of deaths in 2018. Directly in Ortega's sights has been the media, particularly print journalists who frequently criticize the administration. Ortega has labeled them enemies and accused them of publishing "fake news," while his family has also bought television stations and other media outlets to try
On SecurityJul 23, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka "el Chapo Guzman" (C), is presented to the press on Feb. 22, 2014 in Mexico City.
'El Chapo' Is Done, But Mexico's Cartel Wars Certainly Aren’t
And so the curtain falls on the career of a criminal mastermind. On July 17, Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera was sentenced to serve life plus 30 years in prison following a February conviction on 10 counts, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, drug trafficking and firearms charges. Shortly after the sentencing hearing, Guzman was sent to the U.S. administrative maximum (ADX) penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. Guzman has a long history of shenanigans in -- and escapes from -- Mexican penitentiaries, but the book is now officially closed on him. Guzman has never been incarcerated in a facility like the ADX in Florence, which is home to some of the most dangerous criminals and terrorists in the world, meaning he has zero chance of either continuing to run his criminal enterprise from the prison or escaping from it. The end to Guzman's illicit activities, however, does
AssessmentsJul 11, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican police take position outside a house during a search in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, Jalisco State, Mexico, on June 21, 2019.
Murder in Mexico in 2019: A Midyear Checkup
Mexican news outlet Milenio on July 1 published its unofficial count of murders in Mexico for the first half of 2019. Milenio counted 2,249 murders in June alone, the highest monthly number the news outlet has recorded since it began keeping its own tally in 2007. In fact, this is the first time that Milenio's numbers have ever surpassed 2,000 for any given month. According to Milenio, the four states with the highest murder counts in June were Jalisco with 206, Mexico with 202, Baja California with 181 and Guanajuato with 176. While these numbers are not official, they still serve as a good barometer by which to measure the state of the country's violence. As expected, Mexico appears well on its way to another record-setting year for murders. Based on the trends we outlined in our 2019 annual cartel forecast, the high levels of violence in Jalisco, Mexico State, Baja
AssessmentsMar 22, 2019 | 20:28 GMT
Soldiers in February 2012 in Monterrey, Mexico, at the scene of drug violence.
Mexican Cartel Poised to Launch an Offensive for Control of Monterrey
The Cartel del Noreste, the remnant of the Los Zetas cartel that controls the lucrative Nuevo Laredo smuggling plaza, has taken actions over the past week suggesting it is preparing a push to seize control of Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest metropolitan area and a major regional business hub. Such an offensive would likely meet resistance from the groups currently in the area and so would involve significant violence -- something businesses with interests in the area should prepare for.
On SecurityJun 26, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
Anti-government demonstrators carry homemade mortars, as they stand near a barricade in Masaya, Nicaragua, on June 5.
Nicaragua's Hard Road Ahead
Negotiations have broken down, and the violence shows no signs of abating. Church-brokered peace talks between the Nicaraguan government and the demonstrators broke down on June 18 amid Managua's continued use of force against the protest movement. After taking to the streets in April in response to proposed social security reforms, protesters have now upgraded their demands for the departure of President Daniel Ortega and his wife (and vice president), Rosario Murillo. Whether the protesters ramp up the pressure on Ortega or vice versa, security in Nicaragua is only likely to worsen -- something that should give companies operating in the country pause for thought.
On SecurityApr 17, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
The Federal Police of Mexico patrol near the Puente Grande prison in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco, from which Rafael Caro Quintero was freed on Aug. 9, 2013.
20 Million Reasons for a Cartel Leader in Hiding to Worry
During the wee hours of Aug. 9, 2013, Mexican drug kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero strode out the main entrance of the Puente Grande maximum-security prison. His well-dressed legal team accompanied him as he took in his first breath of air as a free man since 1985. A judge had ruled that he had been improperly tried in the kidnapping, torture and murder of an agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Caro Quintero had claimed that he left the drug business in 1984, but U.S. prosecutors said he had never stopped. On April 12, 2018, the reward for his capture was raised to $20 million, and he was added to the FBI's list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. The U.S. government is clearly paying a lot of attention to a drug kingpin who had been in prison for 28 years. So who is Rafael Caro Quintero and why does he
On SecurityMar 1, 2018 | 17:54 GMT
Reputed cartel leader Juan Manuel Rodriguez Garcia, not shown, was arrested in Tamaulipas, officials said.
One Man's Drive to Reshape Mexico's Cartel Wars
On Feb. 19, Mexican marines stormed a house in Matamoros and arrested Jose Alfredo Cardenas, aka "the Accountant," the leader of a powerful remnant of the Gulf cartel. As noted in our 2018 annual cartel forecast, Cardenas is the nephew of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who was a leader of the Gulf cartel when it was a strong and unified organization. He is perhaps best known for his role in the militarization of Mexico's cartels. In the past, I've written about how exceptional individuals can make a difference at the tactical level in terrorism, and the same thing is true of criminal organizations. Now it appears that Cardenas is trying to reshape organized crime in Mexico by asserting his family's claim to the throne and putting all the pieces of the Gulf cartel back together.
On SecurityAug 3, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are shown at a press conference at the office of the New York Attorney General.
Mexico's Cartels Find Another Game Changer in Fentanyl
The cocaine trade significantly affected the historical trajectory of Mexican organized crime, providing cartels with unprecedented quantities of cash that they then parlayed into power. Starting in the 1980s, Mexican criminal organizations began fighting over the immense profit pool produced by the cocaine trade, and this infighting has continued in one form or another to today. But cocaine was merely the first of several drugs that proved to be game changers for Mexican organized crime groups. The latest of them, fentanyl (and related synthetic opioids), is the most profitable yet, and is rapidly becoming the deadliest drug for users north of the border.
PodcastsJun 2, 2017 | 00:00 GMT
A team of Japanese players represent their country at the 2017 World Baseball Classic in 2017.
The Geopolitics of Baseball
We explore the geopolitics of baseball with Professors Tolga Ozyurtcu and Thomas Hunt from the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at The University of Texas at Austin.
Partner PerspectivesMay 3, 2017 | 19:26 GMT
Peru’s Lessons in the Art of Anti-Government Dissent
Art collectives and other activist groups in Peru have long been pioneers in developing innovative forms of protest featuring creative symbolism. March 22, International Fight for Water Day, saw 40 mud-covered protesters marching in slow, silent unison to the National Confederation of Private Business Institutions (CONFIEP). Blocking traffic and attracting press, security and at one stage armed police, Lima performance art group Rastro created an uncomfortable lunch break in the corporate heart of the city.
On SecurityFeb 2, 2017 | 08:01 GMT
Investigators work a crime scene in Cancun, Mexico, where a gunfight erupted on Jan. 17.
Mexico's Cartels Will Continue to Splinter in 2017
Stratfor has tracked Mexico's drug cartels for over a decade. For most of that time, our annual forecasts focused on the fortunes and prospects of each trafficking organization. But as Mexican organized crime groups have gradually fractured and fallen apart -- a process we refer to as balkanization -- we have had to refine the way we think about them. The cartels are no longer a handful of large groups carving out territory across Mexico, but a collection of many different smaller, regionally based networks. So, rather than exploring the outlook of every individual faction, we now take them as loose gatherings centered on certain core areas of operation: Tamaulipas, Tierra Caliente and Sinaloa.
AssessmentsMar 20, 2016 | 13:00 GMT
In Nicaragua, Economics Will Be the Left's Downfall
Political change comes slowly to Nicaragua. Nearly 27 years ago, the country's civil war ended with a truce. That war, which pitted the Contra movement, supported by the United States, against the Soviet-backed government of Nicaragua, concluded with a settlement in April 1990 to hold presidential elections every five years. Decades later, that commitment to regular political transition has not appreciably altered the underlying drivers or changed the key actors in Nicaraguan politics.
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