One of Mexico’s most wanted criminals, the “Tornado Commander”, who is accused of running an all-powerful drug cartel, was drunk and enjoying a game of football on the street outside his safe house in Guadalajara when federal agents swooped.
Ivan Cazarin Molina, alias Víctor Hugo Delgado Renteria, is the suspected second-in-command of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organisations.
Police believe he controlled the cartel’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations in the Guadalajara area. They are also investigating his “probable participation” in the downing of a military helicopter on 1 May.
“The arrest of Ivan Cazarin Molina is the result of six months of intelligence, desk and field work,” Mexico’s federal police announced. “He’s linked to at least seven outstanding investigations into federal crimes including drug trafficking and homicides.”
When Mexican authorities violently intercepted a convoy of buses carrying students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college in Guerrero state last week it inevitably evoked memories of that infamous night last year when 43 of their classmates disappeared at the hands of local police officers.
Six people were killed when the police began firing on the students’ buses and other vehicles outside the town of Iguala on September 26, 2014, while the missing 43 are believed to have been massacred shortly afterwards. The surviving students have clashed frequently with the authorities since then as they demand the safe return of their classmates, but the confrontation on November 11 was arguably the worst since that fateful night.
It unfolded in almost identical fashion, with the students commandeering means of transport to ensure they could attend a demonstration, only for police to chase, intercept and then repress them.
This time there were no deaths but eight students were hospitalized and at least 12 more were injured after police beat them and fired tear gas into their vehicles. Another 13 were arrested for allegedly stealing gasoline from a pipeline in Guerrero, although they were released just hours later…
McDonalds has strongly denied allegations that a customer was served a rat’s head in their burger at a branch in central Mexico on Sunday.
The attorney general’s office in the State of Mexico closed down the branch in the town of Tlalnepantla de Baz that night after receiving a complaint from the customer who claimed to have been sold the rodent meat.
Photos circulating on social networks appear to show the whiskered rat head splattered in ketchup beside a half eaten burger.
The news quickly made global headlines, leading McDonalds to go on the offensive…
Police in Mexico are on the lookout for two tigers that escaped from a ranch in the western state of Michoacán on Sunday afternoon.
Backed by local zookeepers, police officers have been patrolling the surrounding area in car and on foot in a bid to capture the felines that are considered a risk to the population.
It is unclear who the owners are or whether they had the appropriate permits to keep the animals.
Such incidents are a regular occurrence in Mexico, where ownership of big cats is not uncommon.
Just two days earlier, another tiger escaped from a hotel where it was kept as an attraction in the neighboring state of Guerrero.
In September, authorities in Jalisco state captured yet another tiger that had escaped from a gated community in the city of Guadalajara…
When the violence in Mexico’s tequila-producing region was nearing its peak, distillery owner Felipe Camarena awoke one night at his home in the town of Arandas to the sound of machine gun fire. It continued sporadically through the rest of the night.
“It was awful,” the distiller said, insisting he saw 15 bodies carried away as he peered through his bedroom window, though the local press later reported only two deaths. “I thought, ‘Is this a war or what?'”
Around the time of that incident in 2011, tequila producers in the highlands of Jalisco state in western Mexico faced a wave of threats, attempted kidnappings and extortion, Camarena told VICE News. He said criminal gangs would also charge them a quota for importing agave — the spiky blue cactus-like plant from which tequila is made — from neighboring Michoacán.
The violence, that was primarily blamed on the Zetas drug cartel, has faded in the last couple of years as the organization has lost influence in the region and the country after its main leaders were captured or killed by government forces, and it lost several key turf battles to rivals. But the shadow of organized crime still hangs over the emblematic industry in signs that smaller distillers are being pulled into networks laundering criminal profits for groups such as the New Generation Jalisco Cartel…
Mexico escaped with minimal loss of life as Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded, slammed into its Pacific coastline last Friday night.
Although there were initially no reports of any casualties, EFE stated on Sunday that two people were killed by a falling tree in the town of Tapalpa in the western state of Jalisco on Friday night.
The victims, who had been camping in the forest, were named as Andrea Fabiola Aldrete, 45, from Argentina, and María del Carmen San Miguel, 61, from Coahuila in northern Mexico.
That afternoon another four people were killed in a traffic accident on the highway between Guadalajara and Colima city, the respective state capitals of Jalisco and Colima.
The local authorities did not attribute that crash directly to Patricia but it did happen in an area ravaged by strong winds and 25 hours of rain that may have contributed to the accident…
I went on The World with Marco Werman on BBC World Service/PRI radio yesterday to discuss the impact of Hurricane Patricia. Click here to listen (skip forward to six minutes in).
Hurricane Patricia battered the west coast of Mexico on Friday night with torrential rains and winds of 165mph, but without causing any major damage or loss of life.
Around 50,000 people were evacuated and electricity supplies were suspended in preparation for the Category 5 hurricane, amid fears of catastrophic destruction in towns along the country’s Pacific coast.
But Patricia rapidly weakened over land as it collided with the Sierra Madre mountain range. On Saturday morning it was downgraded to a tropical storm as winds dropped to 50mph.
As people prepared for the worst, homes and shop fronts were barricaded, airports closed and thousands evacuated from the popular beach resort of Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco. The town escaped any major damage.
“We had pretty steady, fairly heavy rain most of the night, but not a tremendous amount of wind, and there’s really been no damage,” Paul Crist, owner of the Mercurio Hotel one block off the beach in Vallarta, told the Guardian. “We were very, very lucky…