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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Timeline, Chronology for the Mexican Drug Trade (narcotics, narcos, drug lords)

  Opiates in Mexico in 19th century.

-during the 19th century, marijuana cocaine and other opiates are available over the counter for medical use.
-poppy cultivation for the manufacture of heroin is carried on in NW Mexico, in Sinaloa.

-by the time of the 1910 revolution, drugs are prohibited or controlled across the border in the US while they are freely available in Mexico, creating conditions for the drug traffic.

Limited Drug and Migrant traffick in early 20th Century.

1926- poppy cultivation is prohibited.
1938 (circa)--marijuana, opium and the cultivation, production and sale of other drugs is healthy throughout Mexico, much of it under the protection of state governors and military authorities.
1942- Mexico sends 300,000 labourers to help the US war effort, beginning a tradition of migrant Mexan labour passing into the the southern US, sending money home and providing cheap labour for the US.

The PRI and Emergence of Sinaloa NW Narcotics Region.
1947- scandal erupts as the governor of Sinaloa is implicated in alleged drug trafficking.
-drug trafficking in  Mexico is protected by patronage and cronyism in the PRI which has permanent control over the entire country. Sinaloa remains the most prominent centre of drug trafficking- most of the transport being done by plane throughout northwestern Mexico. Authorities try and fail to shut it down.

Mexican Drug Trade Surges 1960s-1980s
1960s- the marijuana and opium trade from Sinaloa and Chihuahua into the United States grows exponentially.
mid-1970s- Mexican military launches Operation Condor, an unprecedented  but unsuccessful attempt to wipe out the drug traffic.

-Pedro Diaz Parada begins his career as head of the Oaxaca drug cartel by planting marijuana in his native Oaxaca.
-illegal Mexican migrants flocking to California and other border states.

Murder of DEA agent and the 'Buffalo' plantation.

1984- American DEA agent Enrique Camarena and Mexican pilot Afredo Zavala discover the immense 12 square kilometre marijuana plantation, 'The Buffalo' in the state of Chihuahua.
1985--Feb 7- American DEA agent Enrique Camarena and Mexican pilot Afredo Zavala are kidnapped by drug traffickers in Guadalajara, now an international hub of the drug trade. Their bodies are found a month later.

Columbian Medellin and Cali Cartels Engage Mexican Traffickers.
-Columbian drug Lord Pablo Escobar switches to Mexico for drug transit (Mexico already had its own traffickign netowrks in place) after US law enforcement tightens up on Florida and the Caribbean.
1985- Pedro Diaz Parada, the head of the Oaxaca cartel of Oaxaca and Chiapas in southern Mexico, is arrested and sentenced to 33 years.
-Columbian drug lords begin paying Mexican traffickers in kind rather than cash- often 30 tlo 50% of the cocaine shipped, thus laying the foundations for the Mexican drug traffick.
-1980s- the Familia Michoacan drug Cartel is founded as a vigilante group to bring law and order to Michoacan state and to aid the poor.
1987- Pedro Diaz Parada of the Oaxaca Cartel escapes from prison.
-Antonio Eziquiel Cardenas, begins drug trafficking career with Gulf Cartel, headed by his brother Oziel Cardenas.

Arrest of Sinaloa Cartel Boss triggers never-ending drug war.

1989- the arrest of Mexico's biggest drug lord, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo of the Sinaloa gang, touches off the drug war which has never really ended, as rival cartels fought one another to obtain his place and his networks. Drug cartels begin strategically to use the police as well as corrupt police officials against one another and what often amounts to a three way battle between police and rival cartels.

1992- Pedro Diaz Parada of the Oaxaca Cartel, sentenced in 1985 and escaping jail in 1987, escapes a second time.

Mexican Cartels take over from Colombia.

1990s- with the demise of the Medellin and Cali drug cartels, the trafficking of drugs between South and Central America thrives in Mexico, but the government takes little decicive action.

-the Familia Michoacan becomes the paramilitary arm of the Gulf Cartel, intended to control the drug trade in Michoacan.

-Guero, Palma and "Chapo" Guzman step into the shoes of imprisoned Felix Gallardo as heads of the Sinaloa cartel.

 -the Gulf cartel of Tamaulipas emerges as oe of Mexico's major drug gangs, hiring a an armed mercenary group, Los Zetas.

1997- the Arellano-Felix or Tijuana Cartel in Tijuana starts a war to control the border drug trade in Tijuana and Jalisco.

-Mexico experiences a brief lull in the drug wars.

Drug Wars Increase with Demise of PRI.

2000 December - Vicente Fox is sworn in as president.

-with the PRI out of power, the pervasive government party's 70 year quiet toleration and sweet-heart deals with drug trasffickers is at an end. Fox brings in an area of independent government opposition to the drug cartels

-Fox sends troop detachments to Nuevo Laredo and Tamaulipas on the US border to fight drug cartels.
2003- Oaxaca Cartel joins with the Tijuana Cartel.

Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels fighting for top place.

2003- March- arrest of Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cardenas leaves Sinaloa cartel, under the leadership of Mexico's wealthiest and most wanted drug baron, Joaquin "el Chapo" Guzman, to challenge the Gulf cartel's control of the Southwest Texas Drug Corridor.

2005 January - Six prison officers are murdered and top-security jails are put on high alert amid escalating tension between the authorities and drug gangs.

Jan-Aug- the Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels engage in their own battle killing 100 in Nuevo Laredo alone.

-violence increases as the cartels struggle to establish themselves in the state of Michoacan.

2006- Mexico has been criticised by the UN and rights groups over the unsolved murders of more than 300 women over 12 years in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.

US President Bush commissions Border Fence
2006 October - US President George W Bush signs legislation to build 1,125km (700 miles) of fencing along the US-Mexico border. Mexico condemns plans for the barrier, which is intended to curb illegal immigration.

Rise of Los Zetas.

-Los Zetas, corrupt military commandos and formerly the mercenary army of the Gulf Cartel, rise to acceptance as the Gulf Cartel's partners. Meanwhile, the Familia Michoacan, trained with the Zetas, forms its own cartel, turning to rivalry against the Zetas and the Baltran y Leyva cartels.

-the Michoacan cartel developes strong partnerships with the Sinaloa and Tijuana cartels, making the Michoacan one of the strongest in Mexico.

-Los Negros, the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel is formed to resist Los Zetas.

Surge in Mexican War on Drugs

2006 December - A new federal police force is created to tackle drugs cartels; thousands of troops are deployed in the western state of Michoacan as part of a major anti-drug trafficking drive.

-Mexican drug Cartels have become the major supppliers of cannabis, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to the United States and in Mexico are beginning to control regions and municipalities by force and by intervention in state elections.

Dec 11 President-Elect Calderon intervenes directly in the drug war by sending 6,500 troops to Michoacan, directly west of Mexico City, this inaugurating Mexico's government militaty offensive on the cartels.

2007-January-  Pedro Diaz Parada, the head of the Oaxaca cartel of Oaxaca and Chiapas in southern Mexico, is arrested by Federal police a third time, having been arrested before, in 1985 and 1990.

-beginning of a long-running battle between the Juarez and Sinaloa Cartels for a major drug route leading into the US through the border town of Ciudad Juarez.

2008- April General  Sergio Aponte, in charge of anti-drug operations in Baja California, alleges that the cartels there are assisted by police corruption, bribery and intimidation.

Increase of Deadly Gang Wars in Border Towns.

-El Chapo Guzman, chief of tthe Sinaloa Cartel launches an offensive to expel the Juarez Cartel from Ciudad Jarez. Between then and fall, 2010, 7,000 will die in Juarez and environs due to the drug war.

April 26- a pitched battle between the Sinaloa and Tijuana drug cartels in Tijuana, Baja Califirnia leaves 17 dead. Gang wars in boirder towns are now threatenign border towns on the American side.

-Tijuana cartel, once powerful, is in decline due to arrests of much of its leadership and is entering a partnership with the Gulf Cartel. 

August 2008- 12 decapitated bodies bearing dragon tattoos found in Yucatan. The heads are never found. 

-the Beltran Leyva cartel leaves it alliance with the Sinaloa cartel to join Las Zetas.

-September, drug cartel grenade attacks leave 8 dead in Morelia.

-Drug-related violence rises sharply in 2008 and 2009

2009- March- Calderon calls 5,000 more federal troops into Ciudad Juarez.

-the US Department of Homeland Security considers the us of National Guard troops to protect US border towns. Texas and Arizona call for National Guard protection.

Barbarism of the Michoacan Cartel.

-July 11- the Familia Michoacan attacks serveral police stations in Morela in an attempt to free one of their members, Rueda Medina.

-July 14- The Familia Michoacan cartel, which operates a parallel government in the state of Michoacan, tortures and kills 12 police agents, leaving their bodies along road sides. 

-Oct 22- the US launches Project Coronado, seizing tons of weapons and drugs and arresting 303 individuals working for the Michoacan Cartel inside the United States.

 -December- Arturo Beltran, head of Beltran Leyva cartel surrounded and killed by a team of Government Navy commandos, chosen presumably for its lack of corruption.

Zeta Cartel and the Drug Wars of the NE border.

2010- January 31- drug traffickers attack a birthday party in Ciudad Jarez killing 16.

-government launnches a social investment program in Ciudad Juarez and the border region to fight the problem of drug trafficking.

2010- February 1- prisoners hired as gunmen are let out of prison in a secret deal between the warden and a cartel, proceeding to kill 10 in a bar in Coahuila.

February- the Michoacana Familia Cartel joins the Gulf Cartel against the Beltran Leyva and Los Zetas cartels in a war in the border region of Tamaulipas.

March 28- gunmen kill 10 at a roadblock in the state of Durango.

-the Gulf Cartel and the Los Zetas Cartel have a falling out and engage in gun battles across the state of Tamaulipas, wreaking havic in the state's  border towns.

-Antonio Eziquiel Cardenas of the Gulf cartel is in charge of drug trafficking and financial operations in Matamoros and the Matamoros-Brownsville, Texas, drug corridor.

May- Sinaloa Cartel alleged to have infiltrated the Mexican army and government in a bid to wipe out the other cartels.

May- allegations surface that elements of the police and military are in the pay of the Sinaloa cartel. The low arrest rate for Sinaloa members may be evidence of protection from within the government.

June 11- 19 are murdered at a Ciudad Juarez drug rehabilitation centre.

July 30- Ignacio Coronal Villareal, one of the Sinialoa cartel bosses, is killed in a shootout with Mexican military at his home in Guadalajara. Four other Sinaloa bosses remain.

- 45,000 government troops are engaged in the war on drugs.

Aug- Edgar Valdez, lord of Beltran Leyva cartel arrested.

-Beltran Leyva cartel splits into warring factions.

Aug, 25- 27 migrants found murdered by Los Zetas cartel in Timaulipas near NE border.

September 30- 18 Acapulco tourists disappear, later found in mass grave.

Oct. 15- Gunmen attack a party in Ciudad Juarez killing seven.

Nov. 24- Beltran Leyva cartel dismantled with arrest of gang boss Carlos Montemayor.

2011- Jan. 8- 15 decapitated bodies and heads turn up in supermarket plaza in Acapulco with Chaco Gizman's calling card.
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