November 6th, 2011
04:37 PM ET

Editor: Armed men attack Mexican newspaper office

Armed men burst into a newspaper office in eastern Mexico Sunday, warning staff before they set fire to the building, the newspaper's editor said.

No one was injured in the ensuing blaze, which damaged the inside and outside of El Bueno Tono ("The Good Tone") newspaper in Cordoba, Veracruz, editor Julio Fentanes told CNNMexico.

"They broke windows outside and inside the building," he said. "They came armed with all kinds of weapons, with pipes, with any number of things."

Workers hid in the back of the building during the early-morning incident, he said.

Veracruz state government spokesmen said a container with 10 liters of gasoline was found at the scene.

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Filed under: Crime • Mexico
November 1st, 2011
09:16 AM ET

Shallow quake hits off Mexican coast

An 6.5-magnitude earthquake 6.5 struck off Mexico's Pacific coast Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

The quake was shallow, at only 3.1 miles deep, the USGS reported.

It struck at 5:32 a.m. (8:32 a.m. ET) in the ocean, about 206 miles south of the resort town of Cabo San Lucas, and 260 miles west of another popular beach destination, Puerto Vallarta.

There is no tsunami threat, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Mexico
October 29th, 2011
07:22 PM ET

US Airways flight attendant found dead in Mexico City

A US Airways flight attendant was found dead in his hotel room in Mexico City, company spokeswoman Tina Swail said Saturday.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances of Nick Aaronson's death, she said.

Preliminary reports do not indicate a safety breach at the hotel, according to a statement from the Association of Flight Attendants Council 66.

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Filed under: Mexico
October 27th, 2011
08:39 AM ET

Hurricane Rina nears Cancun

Hurricane Rina neared some of Mexico's most popular beaches Thursday, sending residents fleeing inland.

The Category 1 hurricane was packing 75 mph winds Thursday morning, but forecasters said it could weaken into a tropical storm later in the day.

Rina is expected to skim the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday night and into Friday, forecasters said.

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Mexico • Weather • World
October 25th, 2011
08:36 AM ET

Category 2 Rina poised to hit Cancun, Yucatan

Worried travelers and those living on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula were waiting and watching Hurricane Rina on Tuesday after the storm intensified to a Category 2 and appeared poised to make a near-direct hit on the resort town of Cancun later this week.

Rina's maximum sustained winds were near 100 mph Tuesday morning, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center. "Additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or so and Rina could become a major hurricane by tonight or early Wednesday," forecasters said.

Forecast models show Rina strengthening into a major, or Category 3, hurricane before approaching the Yucatan. The projected path shows Rina back at Category 2 intensity when it takes aim at Cancun on Thursday.

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Filed under: Mexico • Tropical weather • Weather
October 24th, 2011
02:16 PM ET

Rina upgraded to hurricane as it nears Mexico, Cuba

[Updated at 2:16 p.m. ET] Rina has strengthened into a hurricane, according to reports from a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft.

A special advisory will be issued upgrading the storm to a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said Monday afternoon.

[Posted at 1:45 p.m. ET] The projected path of Tropical Storm Rina shifted course Monday, menacing Mexico with the possibility of strong winds and heavy rainfall.

Forecasters said Rina was expected to strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday and could make landfall in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula later this week. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving northwest at 6 mph.

Flood-soaked Central America also braced for more rain Monday as Tropical Storm Rina lumbered toward land.

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Filed under: Honduras • Mexico • Nicaragua • Tropical weather • Weather • World
October 15th, 2011
06:43 PM ET

Authorities: 20 killed, 12 injured in Mexican prison fight

Twenty inmates were killed and 12 injured during a fight Saturday at a prison in northeastern Mexico, officials said.

The fight at the prison in Matamoros, in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, started early in the morning, according to a statement from state's public security secretariat.

With the help of police, prison officials restored order, it read.

Efforts were being made to contact the inmates' families.

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Filed under: Mexico
October 14th, 2011
10:09 AM ET

Small villages devastated by Jova

Hurricane Jova was not as damaging as other storms have been, but for small Mexican villages, it was hardly benign.

Mexican villages who were in Jova's path face a prolonged recovery from the heavy rains and flooding that affected them this week.

The city of Manzanillo on Mexico's Pacific coast bore the brunt of Jova. It was especially hit hard by the fierce rains of the storm. By Friday, the cleanup process was underway and many of the rivers that flooded were receding, but smaller villages are not faring as well.

In the village of Chavarin, on the outskirts of Manzanillo, floodwaters still inundated farmland, homes, roads and highways.

The Mexican Red Cross early Thursday delivered food and sanitary supplies. Each family, provided a blue bracelet for the purpose of receiving aid, waited in a long line to receive two boxes from the aid trucks.

The situation was calm but somber as boxes were placed in the hands of each family in need. The Red Cross distributed aid to some 300 families in the village. The agency would similarly travel to other small villages in the vicinity to provide aid. In all, they had enough supplies for 2,800 families for two weeks.

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Filed under: Flooding • Hurricanes • Mexico • Weather
October 13th, 2011
03:25 PM ET

Mexican authorities: 7 killed in state prison riot, fire

[Updated at 4:54 p.m. ET] At least seven inmates were killed and 20 were injured Thursday in a prison riot in the Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon, authorities said.

Four of the inmates burned to death after inmates set mattresses on fire during the riot, which began around 8 a.m., firefighter Guillermo de Leon Delgado said.

It took firefighters nearly an hour to control the blaze, he said.

Three inmates died of stab wounds, state spokesman Jorge Domene told reporters.

The riot occurred in the Cadereyta prison, located in the Monterrey metropolitan area.

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Filed under: Mexico
Cartel leader accused in deadly casino attack arrested
Mexican Army soldiers stand with Carlos Oliva Castillo.
October 13th, 2011
01:08 PM ET

Cartel leader accused in deadly casino attack arrested

A top Zetas drug cartel leader - who allegedly ordered the attack and arson at a casino that killed 52 - has been captured, Mexican defense officials said Thursday.

Carlos Oliva Castillo, alias "La rana," or frog, was arrested Wednesday at a safehouse without a single shot being fired, the country's Ministry of Defense said.

Possibly the No. 3 man in the criminal organization, Oliva Castillo allegedly oversaw criminal operations for the cartel in three Mexican states. He was captured in Saltillo, Mexico.

Though he was arrested without incident, the cartel tried to distract troops by attacking security forces in different parts of the city, the defense ministry said.

The Zetas' rescue ploy failed.

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Filed under: Drug violence • Mexico
October 11th, 2011
08:51 AM ET

Jova's outer rainbands reach Mexican coast

Hurricane Jova closed in on Mexico's Pacific coast early Tuesday, a weakening but still powerful Category 3 storm, the National Hurricane Center said.

Jova was about 130 miles southwest of the resort town of Manzanillo at 8 a.m. ET, according to the hurricane center. It was moving north-northeast at about 6 mph, with 115 mph winds.

The outer bands of the hurricane were moving onshore Tuesday morning, the hurricane center said.

"Jova is expected to reach the coast of Mexico near major hurricane strength," the center said. The center of the hurricane will be near the Mexican coast by Tuesday afternoon or evening, it said.

A hurricane warning was in effect from Punta San Telmo north to Cabo Corrientes, near Puerto Vallarta, forecasters said. A tropical storm warning was in effect for Lazaro Cardenas to south of Punta San Telmo and north of Cabo Corrientes to El Roblito.

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Mexico • Weather
October 11th, 2011
12:52 AM ET

Hurricane Jova closes in on western Mexico

Hurricane Jova weakened slightly as the powerful Category 3 storm closed in on Mexico's Pacific coast, packing 120 mph winds.

"The center of the hurricane will be near the coast of Mexico in the hurricane warning area by Tuesday afternoon or evening,' the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Jova was about 155 miles southwest of the resort town of Manzanillo at 11 p.m. ET Monday, according to the center. It was moving north-northeast at about 7 mph.

Emergency officials opened shelters as Jova approached.

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Mexico • Tropical weather • Weather • World
October 10th, 2011
09:21 AM ET

Hurricane Jova packs 120 mph winds

Emergency officials scrambled to open shelters as Jova rapidly strengthened off Mexico's Pacific coast early Monday, becoming a major hurricane with 120 mph winds, forecasters said.

Mexican authorities described the storm as a "great danger" and warned that the hurricane could intensify before it makes landfall Tuesday.

The Category 3 storm was about 255 miles southwest of the resort town of Manzanillo at 8 a.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was moving east at about about 6 mph.

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Mexico • Weather
October 3rd, 2011
12:26 PM ET

Two decapitated heads found in Mexican capital

Two decapitated heads were found along a highway in Mexico City on Monday morning, the city prosecutor's office said.

The heads were found near the border dividing the city from neighboring Mexico state, the attorney general's office said.

Police were searching the area for bodies.

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Filed under: Mexico • World
September 27th, 2011
12:25 PM ET

'Zeta Killers' say they target Mexican drug cartel

A video purporting to be from a vigilante group whose goal is the eradication of the Zetas cartel from the state of Veracruz, Mexico, has surfaced on the Internet, but its credibility remains unproven.

Five masked men dressed in black appear on the video, sitting behind a long table. The spokesman explains that they are a group called the "Mata Zetas," or Zeta Killers. They describe themselves as an "extermination" force that works as the armed front "of the people and for the people."

The speaker says that the group's only goal is to kill members of the Zetas, a ruthless cartel whose area of influence includes the eastern state of Veracruz. Members of the Mata Zetas are prohibited from committing crimes such as extortion or kidnappings, according to the video.

The video was released via YouTube days after 35 bodies were found in two trucks during rush hour in the city of Boca del Rio.

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Filed under: Drug violence • Mexico
September 20th, 2011
02:46 PM ET

Widow sues for information on Falcon Lake killing

Almost a year has passed since Tiffany Hartley's husband was shot and killed while on a personal watercraft on Falcon Lake, which sits on the border and is shared between Texas and Mexico.

Now she has sued the State Department, Justice Department and FBI in an attempt to get answers about what happened that day and why no one has been brought to justice in the killing of David Hartley.

It is believed that he was shot by members of the Zetas drug cartel, but no one has been arrested or even named as a suspect in his death.

With the help of Judicial Watch, an organization dedicated to investigating corruption, Tiffany Hartley filed the three freedom of information act lawsuits Friday.

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Filed under: Drug violence • Mexico • Texas
Update: Mexican students who survived drug violence thrive in America
Alejandro Caballero crossed the U.S.-Mexico border each day to attend high school. Now, he has a full scholarship at Iowa's Simpson College.
September 13th, 2011
06:51 PM ET

Update: Mexican students who survived drug violence thrive in America

Alejandro Caballero attends college in Iowa, nearly 1,000 miles away from his home and family in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It's his third year studying marketing communications at Simpson College, but he's been going to school in the United States for nearly eight.

Caballero, 20, began crossing the border from Juarez to El Paso, Texas, for school when he was 13. His mother dropped him off every day at the border in Juarez and he made the trip alone to El Paso for six years.

The experience taught him a valuable lesson about responsibility and independence, one that got him through high school and has earned him a full college scholarship three years in a row.

"I would get that feeling of now, after 8 a.m., when mom drops me off at the border, I'm independent. I can do whatever I want. I can go to school or skip school," he said. "Obviously I never did skip school, but it gave me that feeling of being independent, of realizing that I could make my own decisions, and I could make the right ones or the wrong ones."

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Filed under: Education • Juarez • Mexico
Power outages reported in southern California, Arizona, Mexico
Power outages contributed to traffic jams in southern California on Thursday afternoon, including this one in Orange County.
September 8th, 2011
09:02 PM ET

Power outages reported in southern California, Arizona, Mexico

[Updated at 9:02 p.m. ET] Authorities were investigating a power blackout in parts of southern California, Arizona and Mexico on Thursday that left more than 1 million customers without power and caused widespread traffic jams.

San Diego Gas & Electric said all of its 1.4 million customers were without power. The problem appeared to have originated in Arizona, the utility said.

"This caused our line from AZ and from the north of our region to both trip off," the utility posted on its Twitter account.

Power outages in California stretched from San Clemente to the state's border with Mexico on Thursday, a San Diego County spokesman told CNN.

In Arizona, about 56,000 customers in Yuma, lost power, Arizona Power and Supply said. Parts of Mexico's Baja California and Sonora states were also without power, Mexican authorities said.

The cause of the blackout was unclear. The San Diego utility said greater power usage during hot weather could be responsible.

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Filed under: Arizona • California • Mexico
September 2nd, 2011
01:06 PM ET

Mexican fight against cartels will continue

Mexico will accelerate the purge of corrupt elements within its federal attorney general's office, President Felipe Calderon said Friday, as he reaffirmed his conviction to fight the country's drug cartels with all the nation's might.

The attorney general's office, or PGR, was already undergoing an unprecedented shake-up with the July announcement that more than 400 police officers and investigators had been dismissed or where in the process of being dismissed.

Calderon made the announcement during his annual state of the nation speech, as an example of the seriousness with which his administration is tackling corruption.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that only 45% of Mexicans believe that the government is making progress in its fight against the drug cartels. A full 29% say that the government is losing ground. At the same time, more outspoken critics of Calderon's strategy against the cartels have come forward, including poet Javier Sicilia, who led massive marches against the drug war.

But Calderon said he is sticking with his offensive.

"The only way to beat this cancer is for this strategy to persevere," the president said.

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Filed under: Drug violence • Mexico
August 30th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Deadly casino fire 'got out of control'

The suspects arrested in connection with a Mexico casino fire told investigators that civilians were not their target, but that the blaze "got out of control," killing 52 people and injuring others, including some of the alleged perpetrators, officials said Tuesday.

The governor and attorney general of Nuevo Leon state, which shares a border with Texas, revealed new details in the investigation into last week's fire before presenting the five suspects arrested so far to the media.

"The people were not the target, it was the casino," Nuevo Leon Attorney General Adrian de la Garza said. "It was a chaotic situation that got out of control."

The alleged arsonists shouted at patrons to leave the casino as they set it on fire, he said.

The five suspects are members of the Los Zetas drug cartel and carried out the attack because the owners of the casino had not complied with their extortion demands, officials said.

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Filed under: Drug violence • Mexico
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