July 28, 2011: Mexico’s most violent city, Ciudad Juarez, suffered over 3,100 murders last year. That's 238 per 100,000 population. That's far higher than Baghdad during the height of the terrorism violence a few years ago. In New York City, the rate is 6.5. The most violent American city, Camden, New Jersey, has a rate of 40. Meanwhile, Ciudad Juarez has a new police chief, who cleaned up the violence in Tijuana, a city with the same population (1.3 million), and the same problem (out-of-control drug gang violence.)
July 25, 2011: Some 5,550 Mexicans requested political asylum in the U.S in 2010, 165 were granted. The number of requests is up about a third since 2007, when the Cartel War began. Many of the requests in 2010 were made by Mexicans who said they wished to escape the drug war violence.
July 24, 2011: Human trafficking, and the murders of several hundred Central American migrants, have embarrassed the government. In a major operation by federal police, over 1000 people involved in human trafficking (smuggling and sex slavery) operations were arrested. The operation focused on Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua state).
Federal police have arrested the senior commander of the Knights Templar faction of La Familia cartel. Federales captured Bulmar Salinas Munoz in Michoacan state. He is allegedly involved in 21 murders.
July 23, 2011 The Mexican Army killed six gunmen in a gun battle in the town of Ayotlan (Jalisco state, central Mexico). The gunmen are reportedly members of Los Zetas cartel. Army soldiers seized grenade launchers and seven assault rifles after the firefight.
July 22, 2011: The U.S. reported that two Mexican state policemen, who worked as diplomatic guards at the American consulate in Monterrey, were murdered while off duty. The policemen were in a vehicle driving down a street. The attack looks like a targeted execution by cartel gunmen.
July 21, 2011: Mexico’s Attorney General’s office reported that it has charged 111 of its own employees with corruption. Another 192 people have been fired because investigators concluded they were involved in mishandling official investigations (indicating they were bribed to mishandle the investigation so that charges would be dropped). The internal investigations are part of an effort by the government to stop corruption.
July 15, 2011: At the Cedes 2 prison in Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas state, Texas border), 59 prisoners escaped and another seven were killed. Mexican security officials have now begun investigating the warden and several guards for corruption. There have been several escapes from the prison in the last 20 months.
July 14, 2011: Mexican Army soldiers killed nine cartel gunmen in two firefights near the city of Monterrey. Mexican Army special forces were involved in one of the gunfights. Security officials reported that the special forces troops were involved in a firefight in an area used by the cartels as a training area.
The army reported that it has discovered what may be the biggest marijuana farm in Mexico, a 300 acre operation in Baja California. The place was disguised to look like a tomato farm. Soldiers reported black tarps covered the marijuana plants. The marijuana was irrigated by a drip irrigation system (a system favored in very dry climates). Some 250 soldiers are now occupying the farm and its immediate vicinity.
July 13, 2011: A long-term investigation by various U.S security agencies of the Sinaloa drug cartel has determined that since 2000 the cartel has developed a very resilient distribution network in the U.S. The cartel has working relationships with numerous gangs in the central U.S but especially in the western U.S. The reports on the Sinaloa cartel are more evidence that the major cartels are very sophisticated, well organized, and diplomatically savvy. The cartels have been smart in developing relationships with U.S gangs.
July 12, 2011: The Knights Templar faction of La Familia cartel is making a name for itself as a gang dealing in methamphetamines. The Knights Templar may be getting raw materials to make methamphetamine from Chinese sources, but that is speculation. It could be true. The Knights Templar are active in western Mexico and could have access to several seaports. Mexican drug gangs refer to methamphetamine makers as cristaleros (crystal being a street name for methamphetamines). These reports surface as U.S police departments report an increase in the availability of Mexican-made methamphetamine in the U.S.