- Juárez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz: U.S. drug policies need to change
- Official: Drug routes moved from Colombia to Mexico
- Drug conference continues today
- UTEP drug conference: New cartel methods widen drug war's toll
- War on Drugs conference: Legalize marijuana, participants say
In what could be viewed as a disturbing, watershed event, an American who was apparently involved in the drug trade was kidnapped on the US side and gruesomely murdered in Juarez, AP reports:
Four people were arrested and $5 million in U.S. and Mexican currency was seized during the raid Monday in the industrial city of Monterrey, according to an army statement. Soldiers, acting on an anonymous tip, also seized drugs, money counting machines, cell phones and five vehicles.
Monterrey and the surrounding state of Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas, have been a focus of the federal government's crackdown on police corruption.
The cash and seized items were displayed at military barracks north of the city, with dozens of white envelopes containing some of the cash arranged in rows on a table.
Envelopes at the front of the rows had yellow post-it notes with the names of police precincts in Monterrey and other municipal forces in Nuevo Leon state. One was labeled "press."
A body found with its severed arms crossed and placed on its chest in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was identified by authorities Wednesday as a Texas man kidnapped from his home.
Sergio Saucedo, 30, was kidnapped from his Horizon City house outside El Paso last Thursday. His mutilated body was found Tuesday in the Mexican border city across the Rio Grande, said El Paso County Sheriff's spokesman Jesse Tovar.
"It's apparent that the spillover has occurred," Tovar said of the drug violence plaguing Juarez and much of Mexico. ...
Saucedo's body was found dumped in the street late Tuesday with his severed arms placed on top of a cardboard sign on his chest, said Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for a regional prosecutor's office in Juarez. He said the killers stuffed plastic bags into Saucedo's mouth and taped his eyes.
The sign was immediately removed and authorities have not revealed what it said. Drug cartels often leave messages with victims they kill.
Ciudad Juarez is Mexico's deadliest city with more than 1,300 drug-related killings this year.
The Christian Science Monitor today offered up an interesting piece describing how many Latin American countries are increasingly breaking with US policy on the war on drugs and following their own path toward decriminalization.
Finally, as somebody who majored in economics in college I found interesting this analysis from the New York Times critiquing the use of the term "drug cartel." While the difference is purely semantic, it's certainly the case that these aren't "cartels" in the same economic sense as OPEC or other cartels whose aims are to control prices. These are criminal gangs, or perhaps "organized crime syndicates," but from a purely technical perspective, they're not "cartels." I'm not sure why such linguistic distinctions matter but I agree it's a non-precise use of the economic terminology.
UPDATE: See more coverage of the El Paso conference from Newspaper Tree.