• The most quoted words in the news were those of Janet Napolitano, United States Homeland Security Secretary, who, according to the El Paso Times, said in a speech at a local university that Mexican DTOs should “[Not] even think about bringing your violence…across this border.” Her defiant declarations come at a time when violence is increasing along Mexican northernmost states like Chihuahua, Tamaulipas and Baja California, all “plazas,” or trafficking corridors, in dispute for smuggling drugs into the U.S. and money and arms back into Mexico.
  • A little over a week after the Mexican criminal gang, the Familia Michoacana, announced it was “dissolving,” El Proceso says residents in Morelia and Apatzingan, the two principal cities in the state that the cartel is named after, are demanding the return of the group and the protection it provided (see photo above). Since its dissolution, there have been reports of a rise in crime in some municipalities. But authorities say the Familia is reeling, is responsible for the crime spree, and forces residents to support them on the streets so it appears they have more support than they really do.
  • In declarations to Mexican Congress, the Secretary of Public Security, Genaro Garcia Luna, said that internal consumption of illegal drugs has risen in the last two years, OEM of Mexico reports.
  • More than a month after the death of Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero, alias “Cuchillo,” the leader of the criminal group, the Popular Revolutionary Antiterrorist Army of Colombia (Ejército Revolucionario Popular Antiterrorista Colombiano – ERPAC), his relatives are locked in a legal battle with Colombian authorities over the property he left behind. According to Caracol, authorities say the property should go to the victims of the former cartel head, who was slain in a December 24 police operation.
  • After a months-long lobbying effort to eliminate coca leaf from the United Nations’ Vienna Convention Against Narcotics, Bolivian President Evo Morales has admitted defeat, La Razon newspaper says, and will no longer push for that goal. Instead, he will try to categorize the convention as illegal.

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