drug cartels - updates

Rappler's latest stories on drug cartels


Colombia, U.S. seize 7.5 tons of cocaine near Panama waters

Jul 02, 2020 - 12:54 PM

Colombia is the world's largest producer of cocaine and coca leaves from which the drug is made, according to the United Nations. The United States is the largest consumer.

ILLEGAL. File photo of a cocaine warehouse. Shutterstock.com

Gun battle over El Chapo legacy leaves 16 dead in Mexico

Jun 26, 2020 - 10:10 AM

Mike Vigil, formerly of the US Drug Enforcement Agency, says Guzman's 3 sons – known as the 'Chapitos,' or little Chapos – were engaged in a fight for control of the cartel

A poster with the face of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, reading "Wanted, Again", is displayed at a newsstand in one Mexico City's major bus terminals on July 13, 2015, a day after the government informed of the escape of the drug kingpin from a maximum-security prison. Mexican security forces scrambled Monday to save face and recapture "El Chapo" as authorities investigated whether guards helped him escape prison through a tunnel under his cell. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ

Son of powerful Mexican drug lord extradited to U.S.

Feb 21, 2020 - 5:21 PM

Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, known as 'El Menchito,' is extradited into US territory to face charges of conspiracy to smuggle drugs

Handout photograph released by the Mexican Interior Ministry of US-born Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez aka "El Menchito" in Mexico City on June 23, 2015. "El Menchito", son of the powerful Jalisco New Generation drug cartel's leader was arrested Tuesday in Zapopan, Jalisco State, armed with an assault rifle bearing his nickname and appearing to have had plastic surgery. AFP PHOTO / INTERIOR MINISTRY HO / Mexican Interior Ministry / AFP

Mexico shootout leaves at least 14 dead

Dec 01, 2019 - 3:37 PM

The shootout in Coahuila state near the US border is between suspected drug traffickers and police

Mexico admits freeing Chapo's son after 'badly planned' operation

Oct 18, 2019 - 8:43 PM

(UPDATED) Defense Minister Luis Sandoval says soldiers briefly arrested Ovidio Guzman but released him after being overpowered by cartel gunmen

CULIACAN. A truck burns in a street of Culiacan, state of Sinaloa, Mexico, on October 17, 2019. Heavily armed gunmen in four-by-four trucks fought an intense battle against Mexican security forces Thursday in the city of Culiacan, capital of jailed kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman's home state of Sinaloa. Photo by STR/AFP

Drug kingpin El Chapo sentenced to life in U.S. prison

Jul 17, 2019 - 10:47 PM

(UPDATED) A US court sentences Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to life in prison plus a symbolic 30 years, as well as ordering the former mob boss to pay back $12.6 billion of the proceeds of his crimes

EL CHAPO. This handout picture released by the Mexican Interior Ministry on January 19, 2017 shows Joaquin Guzman Loera aka "El Chapo" Guzman (C) escorted in Ciudad Juarez by the Mexican police as he is extradited to the United States. Handout file photo by the Interior Ministry of Mexico/AFP

Mexico breaks violence record in first quarter of 2019

Apr 22, 2019 - 10:42 AM

Mexico's Executive Secretariat of the Public Security National System says the 8,493 murders recorded from January to March represents a 9.6% rise on the same period in 2018

Forensic experts and investigators of the prosecution office work at the crime scene next to a man's corpse in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on April 20, 2019. Violence in Mexico, besieged by bloodthirsty drug cartels that also engage in fuel theft, extortion and kidnapping, reached a new record during the first quarter of 2019 with 8,493 murders, according to official figures released on the weekend of April 20-21. HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP

PH court convicts Mexican suspected to be member of Sinaloa drug cartel

Feb 13, 2019 - 1:03 PM

Horacio Herrera is sentenced to life imprisonment

GUILTY. Mexican national Horacio Herrera is found guilty of selling illegal drugs in the Philippines. Photo sourced by Rappler

Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' convicted by New York jury

Feb 13, 2019 - 8:17 AM

Joaquin Guzman, former boss of the Sinaloa cartel – famed for his brazen escapes from Mexican prisons – faces life in prison for smuggling tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the US

Massive drug bust exposes Mexico-Australia cartel ties

Feb 08, 2019 - 2:24 PM

The investigation appears to reveal cooperation between Mexican cartels and Australian biker gangs

DRUG BUST. This undated handout picture released by the Australian Federal Police on February 8, 2019 shows confiscated drugs hidden in two shipping containers carrying audio equipment bound for Australia, in California city. Handout photo by Australian Federal Police/AFP

'El Chapo' trial: A 3-month plunge into the bloody ways of the drug trade

Jan 27, 2019 - 10:35 AM

The trial has drawn a blood-soaked picture of the Sinaloa cartel, once led by Mexican drug boss Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman

EL CHAPO. Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City's airport on January 8, 2016 following his recapture. File photo by Alfredo Estrella/AFP

Ex-lover of Narcos boss: El Chapo turned me into drug smuggler

Jan 18, 2019 - 5:04 PM

A former mistress of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman testifies that the cartel leader lured her into a life as a drug trafficker

This Eastern District of New York (EDNY)undated evidence handout photo,submitted as evidence, and obtained January 17, 2019 shows Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López, 29, a Mexican former lover of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, who took the stand on the trial of the Mexican druglord as a government witness on January 17, 2019. A former mistress of Mexican crime boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman testified January 17, 2019 that the cartel leader lured her into a life as a drug trafficker, shifting hundreds of kilos of marijuana a time on planes. "Until today I was confused because I thought it was a romantic relationship," Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez, 29, told the New York City court where Guzman faces trafficking, firearms and money laundering charges.Sanchez, who was arrested in 2017 crossing from Mexico into San Diego and stands accused of conspiring to traffic cocaine, told the jury she met Guzman when she was 21.  HO / The Eastern District of New York / AFP

El Chapo's secret messages to his wife and lover revealed

Jan 10, 2019 - 7:10 PM

Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman spied on both his beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel, and the lover, Agustina Cabanillas Acosta, using a surveillance system installed in encrypted Blackberries he gave them

EL CHAPO'S WIFE. File photo of Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of the founder of the former Guadalajara Cartel Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, outside federal court in New York on April 17, 2018. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP

Colombian confesses to over 150 murders at El Chapo trial

Nov 30, 2018 - 4:28 PM

US government turncoat, Juan Carlos 'Chupeta' Ramirez, is allegedly one of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman's two main Colombian suppliers

JAILED. In this file photo, drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City's airport on January 8, 2016 following his recapture during an intense military operation in Los Mochis, in Sinaloa State. File photo by Alfredo Estrella/AFP

Truck with over 100 dead bodies causes uproar in Mexico

Sep 18, 2018 - 9:57 AM

(UPDATED) A refrigerated trailer – rented when morgues hit full capacity – was parked for two weeks at a warehouse in the outskirts of Guadalajara, until residents complain of the stench and the flies it attracted

GRAVES. Files photo of forensic personnel load onto a van the body of one of the ten bodies found in clandestine graves in Mexico which has been wracked with violence due to its drug war. AFP PHOTO/STR  STR / AFP

Mexican cartel leader's wife captured – government

May 28, 2018 - 7:27 AM

'This woman is a likely administrator of both economic and legal assets of this criminal organization. She had been sought on an organized crime warrant,' Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete says in a news conference

The week in photos: April 28-May 4, 2018

May 05, 2018 - 7:30 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

BIRTHDAY SUIT. A photo posted by TV host Troy Montero on his Instagram on May 2, 2018, shows him with long time partner Aubrey Miles enjoy the beach while posing naked in Coron, Palawan. Photo from Instagram.com/troymontero

Beauty queen wife of 'El Chapo' worries over his solitary confinement

Apr 18, 2018 - 10:20 PM

Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, 61, accused of running the Sinaloa crime syndicate of Mexico, one of the world's biggest drug empires, is scheduled to go on trial on September 5

EL CHAPO. Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of the founder of the former Guadalajara Cartel Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzman, outside federal court in New York on April 17, 2018. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP

Mexico warns of drug cartel interference in vote

Mar 17, 2018 - 9:10 AM

Mexican Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete says there were reckless attempts to pressure candidates to align themselves to a particular criminal group

INTERIOR MINISTER. Mexico Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete says there are reports that candidates are being pressured by drug cartels. File photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP

Mexico arrests Zetas drug cartel boss wanted in U.S.

Feb 10, 2018 - 8:40 AM

The Zetas are considered one of the most cruel criminal organizations in Mexico

Mexico drug cartels force-recruiting indigenous children – UN

Nov 18, 2017 - 9:48 AM

The UN's special rapporteur on indigenous rights, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, says she is 'particularly worried' about violence against minors after speaking with indigenous communities around Mexico

ON MEXICO DRUG CARTELS. The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz gestures during a press conference in Tegucigalpa on April 20, 2017. Photo by Orlando Sierra/AFP

Journalists bear invisible scars of Mexico's drug war

Jun 13, 2017 - 10:20 AM

Many Mexican crime reporters suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as they either bear daily witness to violence or experience it themselves

Journalists protest against violence during the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the murder of Mexican journalist Manuel Buendia at the Angel de la Independencia monument in Mexico City on 30 May, 2017.  Mexico ranks third in the world for the number of journalists killed, after Syria and Afghanistan, according to the media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF). / AFP PHOTO / ALFREDO ESTRELLA

Part 2: The Philippines as target market for illicit drugs

Dec 20, 2016 - 2:00 PM

A public health approach rather than a law enforcement one should form the basis for a response to drug use and dependence

BUST. Police seize P2-B worth of drugs at Subic port. File photo by AFP

Mexico quietly marks 10 years of drug war

Dec 10, 2016 - 8:36 PM

President Enrique Pena Nieto who inherited the drug war when he took office in December 2012 has promised his countrymen and women a Mexico in peace

A poster with the face of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, reading "Wanted, Again", is displayed at a newsstand in one Mexico City's major bus terminals on July 13, 2015. He has since been captured. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ

6 people found alive with severed hands in Mexico

Oct 18, 2016 - 1:12 PM

The victims were mutilated by a criminal group linked to drug trafficking

Mexico hunts for suspects who downed police chopper

Sep 08, 2016 - 10:13 AM

It is the second time since 2015 that a gang has downed a helicopter

CHOPPER DOWN. View of the police helicopter wreckage which was shot down, on the eve, during an operation to capture leaders of an unidentified criminal, on September 7, 2016 in Michoacan state, Mexico. Pedro Pardo/AFP

Mexico fears new cartel war after 'El Chapo' son abducted

Aug 18, 2016 - 9:49 AM

Police confirm that Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar – one of Guzman s sons from his first marriage – was abducted from an upscale bar in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta on August 15 along with 5 other men

Mexican police stand guard on street during security operation in Bahia de Banderas, Nayarit State, Mexico, on August 16, 2016. Hector Guerrero/AFP

'Narconomics': Lessons for the Philippines' war vs drugs

Jul 09, 2016 - 6:00 PM

Lowering the age of criminality in the Philippines should be reconsidered Throwing children in jail cells with hardened criminals may actually strengthen drug lords’ ability to recruit fresh talent – hardening youth who could have otherwise been saved from a life of crime and drugs

Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' undergoes jail transfer – official

May 08, 2016 - 6:21 AM

The authorities say they are moving Guzman to prevent any escape attempt during construction to strengthen his maximum security prison in Altiplano

EL CHAPO'S TRANSFER. Mexican federal agents stand guard on the road leading to the Federal Social Readaptation Center (Cefereso) Number 9 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, 07 May 2016. Photo by Alejandro Bringas/EPA

Offshore to online: How money was laundered in the past

Mar 19, 2016 - 5:00 PM

From investing to businesses to offshore bank accounts past high profile cases highlight the many ways people hide money obtained illegally

Saunas, aquariums, and bar found at Mexico prison

Feb 15, 2016 - 11:08 AM

Authorities seize contents of luxury cells at the prison where a deadly riot took place last week

epa05154458 Crowds wiat outside the prison of Topo Chico, in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, 11 February 2016. Scores of people died in a prison fire and riot. The riot reportedly was triggered by an attempted prison break by inmates belonging to the Los Zetas drug cartel, as one group of prisoners set a fire to distract the guards while other inmates tried to flee. EPA/MIGUEL SIERRA

Drug cartel ruled in Mexico prison hit by riot

Feb 13, 2016 - 9:38 AM

Officials acknowledge that the prisoners had their own self government at the facility where 100 guards monitored 3 800 convicts

RIOT. Inmates on a roof at the Topo Chico prison, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, February 11, 2016. A prison riot in Monterrey, Mexico, has left at least 49 people dead and a dozen injured, officials said February 11. Photo by Miguel Sierra/EPA

Mexican director Iñarritu defends Sean Penn's meeting with El Chapo

Jan 17, 2016 - 10:38 PM

The Mexican filmmaker says the Hollywood actor had every right to look for the Mexican drug lord

Sean Penn's Guzman article irks journalists in Mexico

Jan 15, 2016 - 11:48 AM

To call the encounter between actor Sean Penn and Chapo journalism is an insult to journalists in Mexico and beyond who paid the ultimate price seeking truth says Alfredo Corchado a Mexico born journalist

Sinaloa drug cartel suspect files motion for bail

Sep 03, 2015 - 3:29 PM

Mexican national Horacio Hernandez Herrera is allegedly the number 3 or 4 man in the drug cartel that operates in the US Australia Europe West Africa the Philippines and other Asian countries

SYNDICATE MEMBER? Horacio Hernandez Herrera denies he is part of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Graphics by Alyssa Arizabal

Mexico nabs Zetas drug cartel leader 'Z-42'

Mar 05, 2015 - 9:12 AM

The arrest of Omar Trevino deals a blow to the feared gang and giving the embattled government a second major arrest in a week

Omar Trevino Morales (C), known as "Z-42" and the leader of the Zetas drug cartel, is escorted by soldiers during a news conference about his arrest in Mexico City March 4, 2015. Henry Romero/Reuters

Sinaloa drug cartel suspect accuses cops of extortion

Jan 27, 2015 - 6:31 PM

Mexican Horacio Herera says cops arrested him after he refused to pay P7 million The justice department has asked anti narcotics agents to explain

POLICE HQ. The Philippine National Police on Thursday announced the arrest of 3 people allegedly connected to a Mexican drug cartel. File photo by Jay Directo/AFP

Mexico mayor accused of ordering attack on missing students – official

Oct 23, 2014 - 8:05 AM

Mexican authorities have searched in vain for any trace of the college students who disappeared on September 26 in a case that has sparked national and international outrage

Students from the University of Guadalajara participate during a demonstration in Guadalajara, Mexico, 22 October 2014, against the death of 23 year old student Ricardo de Jesús Esparza. The students also demonstrate against the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero last 26 September. EPA/Ulises Ruiz Basurto

Mexico gripped by mass grave, missing students

Oct 16, 2014 - 7:54 AM

While news that the aspiring teachers were not in the burial pits brought some relief officials still have no clue where the students could be – and they now have 28 new unknown victims on their hands

GONE BOYS. Pictures of missing students are posted on one of the tollbooths across the Chilpancingo-Acapulco highway, which were taken over by teachers and students during a protest on October 15, 2014 in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico. Yuri Cortez/AFP

Mexico arrests Juarez drug cartel leader

Oct 10, 2014 - 11:25 AM

The capture of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes gives President Enrique Pena Nieto another victory against major drug traffickers

Mexico shock as kidnapped lawmaker killed, burned

Sep 25, 2014 - 8:33 AM

Gabriel Gomez Michel s body was found inside the charred remains of his SUV alongside the burned corpse of his assistant after he was kidnapped Monday

Top Colombian drug hitman 'Popeye' freed

Aug 27, 2014 - 11:57 AM

John Jairo Velasquez Vasquez walks free from the Combita high security prison in central Colombia after completing 22 years of his 30 year sentence for murder

'POPEYE' FREED. A file photo of John Jairo Velasquez Vasquez, aka 'Popeye', former leader of sicarios of Pablo Escolar and confessed murderer of about 250 people, taken at Combita prison, January 18, 2013. Carlos Ortega-El Tiempo/AFP

Mexico captures leader of Tijuana cartel

Jun 25, 2014 - 8:30 AM

Local news reports say Fernando Sanchez Arellano was arrested at home while watching Monday s World Cup contest between Mexico and Croatia

Brazil police smash major drug cartel

May 24, 2014 - 8:30 AM

The cartel shipped drugs across the Americas and to Europe Africa the Middle East and Asia

Mexico confirms killing of 'dead' drug capo

Mar 10, 2014 - 11:05 AM

The previous Mexican government reported that Nazario Moreno was killed in December 2010 though his body was never located

DEAD DRUG CAPO. Once thought dead, Mexican drug lord Nazario Moreno Gonzalez was shot dead in a clash with authorities. File Photo by AFP

Mexican drug kingpin 'El Chapo' Guzman captured: US

Feb 23, 2014 - 1:35 AM

Joaquin El Chapo Guzman headed the Sinaloa drug cartel which has even reached the Philippines

NOW ARRESTED. This file photo dated July 10, 1993 shows drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera 'el Chapo Guzman' at the Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico, maximum security prison. File photo by Gerardo Magallon/AFP

Vigilantes enter Mexican drug cartel's key bastion

Feb 09, 2014 - 11:30 AM

Vigilante militias that have fought a drug cartel in western Mexico for a year entered a key gang bastion on Saturday

Immigration on alert for assassins sent by drug cartel

Jan 24, 2014 - 7:21 PM

Canadian authorities opted out of extradition so the Philippines can pursue its charges against the alleged drug ring members arrested in Taguig

NBI nabs alleged drug syndicate members in BGC

Jan 15, 2014 - 7:38 PM

Intelligence reports from the bureau say a big time syndicate with ties to a Mexican drug cartel has been operating the drug facility for 7 months now