On Tuesday, gunmen opened fire on two U.S. special agents near Mexico city, killing one and wounding the other, PBS NewsHour reports. Special agent Jaime Zapata was shot and killed driving a black SUV on a central Mexico highway. Agent Victor Avila was wounded and discharged from a hospital on Wednesday. It was unclear whether the agents were targeted specifically or not, although according to Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, new information suggests it was a sanctioned hit by the Zetas drug cartel and not a rogue incident, CNN reported. Reuters says Tuesday’s attack puts fresh pressure on Washington to take action in the rapidly advancing drug war. Read more on these increasingly limited options here.
The Director of Central Intelligence in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon was kidnapped and executed in the back of his government-issued armored SUV on Sunday night, Borderland Beat reported. Witnesses say they saw Homero Salcido Treviño kidnapped by alleged drug gang members who drove him to a central area of Monterrey and shot him five times before throwing a grenade into the director’s SUV.
Gunmen in Guadalajara opened fire and hurled a grenade into a crowded night club early Saturday, killing six people and injuring 37, the Associated Press reports. The attack came mere hours after a shootout between police and suspected gang members that left eight dead, including an innocent driver.
Early Saturday morning, the body of seven-year-old Antonio Rodrigo Jiménez Cortes was found in the Acapulco neighborhood where he lived, Borderland Beat reported. On his body was a handwritten note apparently directed at the boy’s mother that said, “This happened to me for stealing husbands and being a snitch.”
Increasing violence in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Acapulco continues to pale in comparison to Ciudad Juarez, “the most lethal place on earth,” according to PBS NewsHour. Read more here.
Despite copious negative PR regarding cartel violence in Mexico, spring break reservations from U.S. college students remain steady, the AP reports. Although violence in the most popular tourist areas is rare, Mexico’s tourism was dealt a heavy blow with the September attack on David Hartley and his wife on the Texas-Mexico border.
A Deputy U.S. Marshal and a fugitive alleged crack dealer were killed in a shoot-out in Elkins, West Virginia, on Wednesday, StoptheDrugWar.org reported. Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller was shot and killed when U.S. Marshals and state police announced themselves and entered the house of Charles Edward Smith to serve a federal warrant. Smith opened fire with a shotgun, fatally wounding Hotsinpiller before a marshal and trooper returned fire, killing Smith. Hotsinpiller is the first marshal killed by gunfire since 1992, and his and Smith’s deaths are the eighth and ninth in U.S. drug law enforcement this year.
Mexican drug gangs are using U.S. public land to cultivate millions of marijuana plants in California’s Redwood forests, the AP reports. Employing armed guards, trip wires, and smuggled immigrants on grow operations of up to tens of thousands of plants is not out of the ordinary for Mexican drug gangs hoping to yield more than 30 tons of pot a year.
Federal authorities seized nearly 300 guns bound for Mexico and a federal grand jury has indicted 17 defendants in five cases of illegally trafficking firearms, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke announced Thursday. Watch CNN‘s report here and read more about the iron river to Mexico here.
An Associated Press review found that more than half the states are not complying with a “post-Virginia Tech” law that requires them to share the names of mentally ill people with the national background-check system to prevent them from buying guns.
An Oregon driver was arrested after his pit-bull mix threw a sock stuffed with marijuana and hashish out the window as the driver was being pulled over. The driver said he was trying to hide the marijuana when his dog began playing tug-of-war with the sock, causing it to fly out of the window. Those pricey training lessons aren’t looking so bad now, are they?