Mexico’s 24 most wanted traffickers
From the Associated Press
6:17 PM PDT, March 23, 2009
Mexico's Attorney General's Office on Monday published this list of most-wanted drug trafficking suspects and their top lieutenants, and offered rewards of up to $2.1 million for information leading to their capture.
Rewards of $30 million pesos ($2.1 million) were offered for information leading to the arrest of:
The Gulf-Zetas Cartel:
Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano
Joaquin Guzman Loera or Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera
Beltran Leyva Cartel
Arturo Beltran Leyva
Carrillo Fuentes Cartel
Vicente Carrillo Fuentes
"La Familia" Cartel
Nazario Moreno Gonzalez
Arellano Felix Cartel
Teodoro Garcia Simental
MEXICO UNDER SIEGE
Mexico offers $2-million rewards for top drug suspects
By Ken Ellingwood
March 24, 2009
Reporting from Mexico City -- Nab a drug lord, earn $2 million.
That's how much Mexican authorities offered Monday for information leading to the capture of the country's most wanted drug suspects.
The government offered rewards of 30 million pesos, about $2 million, each for 24 wanted figures, including Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman and Ismael Zambada, leaders of the main trafficking gang in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.
Authorities offered $1-million rewards for 13 lower-ranking suspects. The offers, involving six separate drug-trafficking organizations, were published in the federal government's official digest.
It is not the first time that Mexico has offered financial rewards for information leading to the arrest of individual drug figures. But Monday's offer was unusual because it included the country's top drug suspects on one list, organized by trafficking gang.
The offer came two days before Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to visit to discuss the drug war, which has killed more than 7,000 people across Mexico since January 2008. U.S. officials have expressed growing worry that serious violence could spill into the United States.
Monday's list reflects the changing landscape of Mexico's drug underworld. Prominent, for example, are the Zetas, who have gone from hit men to ranking figures in the powerful Gulf cartel. Suspected Zeta leader Heriberto Lazcano has gained clout since the 2003 arrest of Gulf boss Osiel Cardenas, who was extradited to the United States two years ago.
The listing also reflects a schism in the Sinaloa-based alliance led by Guzman, Mexico's most wanted suspect. A faction tied to the Beltran Leyva brothers is listed as a separate cartel. The split stoked violence in Sinaloa last year that killed more than 900 people.
A Michoacan-based trafficking group known as La Familia is also listed as a separate cartel for the first time, officials said.
Mexico's list underscores the shifting leadership of the Tijuana-based gang once led by the Arellano Felix brothers, now dead or behind bars. Only two suspects are listed: a onetime underling, Teodoro Garcia Simental, and his main rival for control, an Arellano nephew named Fernando Sanchez Arellano.
Arrest warrants have been issued against all 37 of the suspected bosses and lieutenants, the government said. U.S. authorities have offered separate $5-million rewards for the arrests of Guzman and Zambada. Guzman escaped from prison eight years ago.
The Mexican reward offer includes two leaders of the cartel based in Ciudad Juarez, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes and his nephew, Vicente Carrillo Leyva.
White House unveils anti-cartel effort for border
Mar. 24, 2009 07:49 AM
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration plans to send more agents and equipment to the southwestern border to fight Mexican drug cartels and keep violence from spilling over into the United States.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Deputy Attorney General David Ogden announced the plans Tuesday during a briefing at the White House.
Many of the moves being announced are a continuation or expansion of programs that already existed under the Bush administration.
Violent turf battles among the cartels have wracked Mexico in recent years, and led to a spate of kidnappings and home invasions in some U.S. cities.
Authorities said they will increase the number of immigrations and customs agents, drug agents and anti-gun trafficking agents operating along the border.
Prosecutors say they will make a greater effort to go after those smuggling guns and drug profits from the U.S. into Mexico.
Officials said President Barack Obama is particularly concerned about killings in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, and wants to prevent such violence from spilling over into the United States.
Among the moves the government is making:
-Doubling the border enforcement security teams that combine local, state, and federal officers.
-Adding 16 new Drug Enforcement Administration positions in the southwest region. DEA currently has more than 1,000 agents working in the southwest border region.
-Sending 100 more people form the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to the border in the next 45 days. A recent bill passed by Congress already provided money for the ATF to hire 37 new agents and support staff in the region to fight gun trafficking.
The administration is also highlighting $700 million that Congress has already approved to support Mexico's efforts to fight the cartels.