19 Mar 2020

US, Canada are closing shared border to nonessential travel

On Wednesday, Canada and the US agreed to temporarily shut down the border between the two countries to all nonessential travel in order to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The flow of trade will remain intact, but citizens of either country cannot cross the border for family visits

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13 Feb 2020

A Cry for Help: Vigilantes Enlist Children to Fight Mexican Cartels

Mexico is currently facing an issue in which small indigenous villages are enlisting children to fight criminal gangs in the country’s ruthless cartel war. Over 30 children ranging in age from 6 to 15 are trining to become vigilantes and fight cartel forces that have taken over and terrorized these

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27 Jan 2020

Mexican Cartel Adaptation and Innovation

Adaptation and innovation is a core component of successful organization competition among states and their militaries, businesses and corporations—and as argued here, organized crime groups—especially transnational criminal organizations (TCOs).  In order to gain supremacy organizations often introduce new technologies to foster this innovation, yet not all innovation is technological.  Indeed, non-state actors are often incubators of novel practices and non-technological innovation to further their goals and often to survive.  This brief assessment looks at non-technological innovation potentials among Mexican TCOs (criminal cartels and gangs).

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03 Dec 2019

How the gunfights in north Mexico that left 22 dead unfolded

Residents of Villa Union were recovering from Thanksgiving festivities, many of whom had American relatives visiting for the holiday when dozens of pickup trucks crowded with armed men drove into the town. Hours-long gunbattles ensued in a military-style invasion conducted by the suspected cartel members. The aftermath included 22 dead,

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02 Dec 2019

19 Dead In Mexican Cartel Shootout Near U.S. Border

As tensions rise between the US and Mexico, 19 people were killed in a gunfight between alleged members of the Cartel and Mexican government employees on Saturday. The attack occurred in the small city of Villa Union, just an hour from the US border. Mexican authorities stated that they took

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06 Feb 2019

Experts: Capturing Cartel Leaders Increases Violence, Does Not Reduce Flow of Drugs

Since the 1990s, U.S. strategy in the war on drugs has included massive sting operations focused on the top leaders of cartels. The unintended consequences of these takedowns, argues some working in the sector, is that cartels fragment into smaller groups who then war with each other, perpetuating and even

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05 Feb 2019

El Chapo trial highlights how Mexico graft impedes drug war

El Chapo’s high profile case, as well as several other lower profile cases, are highlighting the impact and extent of corruption in Mexican politics and drug smuggling, risks that pose severe difficulties to both Mexican and U.S. drug enforcement efforts in the area. Some senior-level officials in the judicial, law

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28 Jan 2019

CBP: Cartels using large groups, sick migrants to distract Border Patrol

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has recently described a surge in drug trafficker’s use of immigrants at the border to distract U.S. officers to open up unprotected smuggling lanes. In one recent instance, a group of 247 immigrants from Central America arrived at the border and 50 of

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21 Jan 2019

Mexican oil pipeline erupts in deadly fireball amid attempts to steal fuel; at least 73 killed

The national problem of fuel theft was highlighted in Mexico over the weekend as at least 73 people died as the result of an explosion caused by illegal taps into a pipeline on Friday night. This kind of theft results in over $3 billion USD in losses and per year,

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08 Jan 2019

Pamex adjusts logistics to combat $3 billion/yr in stolen fuel; shortages occur across Mexico

In an effort to reduce gasoline theft, State oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pamex) has changed their distribution methods, resulting in shortages and long lines at refueling stations across 6 states. Fuel theft in the country had risen from around $500,000 USD per year in the early 2000s to around $3

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