May 8, 2012:
The Maryland National Guard's 29th Combat Aviation Brigade has been selected to provide helicopter aerial surveillance support for Customs and Border Protection operations in South Texas. The Guard unit will handle the operations for six months beginning June 1. The unit flies UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters. The UH-72 is a militarized version of the Eurocopter UH-145.
May 7, 2012: Security officials in Monterrey (Nuevo Leon state) arrested a woman who worked for Los Zetas cartel as a hired assassin. Maria Jimenez was a suspect in at least 20 murders, including a police officer. Most of her other alleged victims are connected to drug cartels. She confessed to committing several of the murders and said Los Zetas paid her $1,700 a month to be a hitman.
May 6, 2012: The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate, Enrique Pena Nieto, continues to be the front-runner in the presidential election. The election is scheduled for July 1. The PRI ran Mexico for 71 years, until the National Action Party (PAN) won the presidency in 2000.
May 5, 2012: The U.S. and Mexico are now operating a special police training facility in the state of Puebla. This National Police Training and Development Academy runs programs focusing on combating organized crime, primarily drug cartels. Federal, state, and local police will train at the facility. Funds provided by the US Merida Initiative paid for it all.
Five people were killed in a shootout in Mexico City. Police could not determine if the deaths were related to drug cartel violence.
May 4, 2012: The city of Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas state) reported one of the most gruesome mass murders yet in the Cartel War. Police have found 23 bodies left in and around the city. Nine of the bodies were found hanging from a bridge on the main highway between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey. Those nine bodies showed signs of torture. Another 14 decapitated bodies were found in an abandoned vehicle. Some of the dead were members of the Gulf cartel and Los Zetas took credit for the murders.
May 3, 2012: Police in Veracruz State found the cut-up bodies of three missing reporters. The bodies were stuffed into plastic bags and dumped in a canal.
May 2, 2012: A firefight between the army and drug cartel gunmen in Sinaloa state (Guasave) left 12 people dead (two of them soldiers). The gunmen were armed with automatic rifles and grenades when they ambushed an army patrol. The soldiers fought back and the gunmen retreated to a hotel as army and police reinforcements arrived.
May 1, 2012: Mexican investigators reported that weapons used in the 2010, killing of a lawyer have been tied to the U.S. Department of Justice’s controversial Operation Fast and Furious. The murdered lawyer was the brother of a senior government lawyer in Chihuahua State. The Mexican government eventually captured 16 weapons tied to the group who murdered the lawyer. Two of the weapons were traced to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) which were used in the Fast and Furious sting operation.
April 27, 2012: The U.S. government’s BATFE claimed that almost 70 percent of the weapons seized from Mexican criminals in Mexico over the past five years can be traced to the United States. BATFE claimed it traced 99,691 seized weapons and 68,161 were connected to the US.
April 23, 2012: Mexican officials indicated they will investigate allegations that Wal-Mart’s Mexican affiliate, Wal-Mart de Mexico (Walmex) paid bribes to be allowed to build stores in Mexico. The claim is that some $24 million was paid to speed up the approval process for Walmex to expand its operations. One reason Mexicans do much better economically in the U.S. is because of the relative lack of corruption up north. But in Mexico, you have to pay a lot of bribes to get a business started.
April 19, 2012: Security officials reported that police had seized a large weapons and ammunition shipment in Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua State). The shipment was discovered in the back of a trailer that had just entered Mexico from the United States. The trailer contained over 250,000 rounds of ammunition as well as several high-powered rifles. Police also raided a warehouse in the city and found a large stockpile of illegal drugs as well as military-type uniforms.