“Church’s ambiguous role… InSight Crime… NYTimes on Pope’s visit to Mexico + a few for background

Below are a couple of articles on narco-donations to Mexican churches
and on the scandal of Father Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ,
Carlos Slim and other Mexican billionaires.

Pope Arrives in Mexico, Lamenting Drug Violence

Mexican Church Takes a Closer Look at Donors

A Priest’s Legacy Survives, and Divides, in Mexico

I recommend this article from InSight Crime on both the dangers faced
by priests and other clergy and religious activists in Mexico as well
as the complicity between some church leaders and criminal
organizations. I personally know of one evangelical pastor in Juarez
who suffered numerous extortion demands and the murder of a son. I
have heard of many other church people of different faiths being
threatened and extorted. molly

The Church’s Ambiguous Role in Mexico Drug Violence

‘El Sicario’ revela cómo funciona el crimen organizado en México–CNN Mexico

CNN Mexico features the documentary El Sicario 164 and the book,
Sicario: Autobiografia de un asesino a sueldo…
This is the Mexican edition of the sicario’s life story, edited by
myself and Charles Bowden. It is just out in Mexico, published by
Random House, Grijalbo.

 

STRATFOR: Meth in Mexico: A Turning Point in the Drug War?

Mexican authorities announced Feb. 8 the largest seizure of methamphetamine in Mexican history — and possibly the largest ever anywhere — on a ranch outside of Guadalajara. The total haul was 15 tons of pure methamphetamine along with a laboratory capable of producing all the methamphetamine seized. While authorities are not linking the methamphetamine to any specific criminal group, Guadalajara is a known stronghold of the Sinaloa Federation, and previous seizures there have been connected to the group.

Methamphetamine, a synthetic drug manufactured in personal labs for decades, is nothing new in Mexico or the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has led numerous crusades against the drug, increasing regulations on its ingredients to try to keep it from gaining a foothold in the United States. While the DEA’s efforts have succeeded in limiting production of the drug in the United States, consumption has risen steadily over the past two decades. The increasing DEA pressure on U.S. suppliers and the growing demand for methamphetamine have driven large-scale production of the drug outside the borders of the United States. Given Mexico’s proximity and the pervasiveness of organized criminal elements seeking new markets, it makes sense that methamphetamine would be produced on an industrial scale there. Indeed, Mexico has provided an environment for a scale of production far greater than anything ever seen in the United States.