Mexico: Jackpot


May 17, 2007: Since January 2007 there have been more than 900 execution-type murders in the country. With a death toll like this, the line between gang war and real war is indeed blurry. There are several wars going on simultaneously. First there is the "counter-insurgency war" the government is waging against drug cartels and smuggling gangs. There are also several "inter-gang wars" being fought between the cartels themselves. (Austin Bay)

May 16, 2007: Sonora state police found the bodies of four murdered Mexican policemen 65 kilometers south of the Arizona border. The policemen served in the town of Canaea. The policemen were kidnapped before they were murdered. These attacks are the latest in a series of attacks on military personnel and police in Mexico, as the drug gangs strike back.

May 11, 2007: Four armed bodyguards were slain in the city of Veracruz, Mexico. The bodyguards were protecting the children of the state governor. Mexican authorities said that they believe gang gunmen thought the car the guards were using belonged to a rival drug gang. Four other bodies were found outside of Nuevo Laredo. The dead men had been tortured before they were put to death. Mexican police said evidence at the scene indicated the crime was committed by the Gulf drug cartel.

May 6, 2007: Mexican agents seized over 200 million dollars in cash in a drug raid in March in Mexico City. This is believed to be the largest all-time seizure of cash by a law enforcement agency anywhere on the planet. US troops seized several multi-hundred million dollar caches in Iraq in 2003, but that was military action, not police. One unit of 3rd Infantry Division found 600 million dollars. The Mexican criminal investigation is still underway, but many Mexicans want the government to use the money for education programs and public welfare. There are not a lot of details about the raid, but Mexican authorities confirmed the raid involved illegal methamphetamines. The money was initially deposited in a government-run military bank then transferred to the Bank of America for "authentication" (ie, verification that the cash was real and not counterfeit). Most of the cash was in one hundred dollar bills.


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