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Latest news: 12-18-2009

Powerful drug lord killed by Mexican military 

Mexico - Ski-masked marines invited photographers into the shrapnel-ridden apartment to snap photos of the corpse late into Wednesday night. The graphic images of the bullet-ridden 51-year-old man, clothes hanging off and hands grasping religious beads, were soon plastered across the Internet alongside triumphant declarations from Mexican officials.

The marines had shot Arturo Beltrán Leyva, or "The Beard," one of the bloodiest and most powerful drug traffickers in Latin America, they said. This death, they claimed, marked a major victory in the war against the drug cartels that are wreaking havoc south of the Rio Grande.

Full story, TIME


Cartels recruiting border agents

San Diego, CA - At first, Luis F. Alarid seemed well on his way to becoming a customs agency success story. He had risen from a childhood of poverty and foster homes, some of them abusive, earned praise and commendations while serving in the Army and the Marines, including two tours in Iraq, and returned to Southern California to fulfill a goal of serving in law enforcement.

But, early last year, after just a few months as a customs inspector, he was waving in trucks from Mexico carrying loads of marijuana and illegal immigrants. He pocketed some $200,000 in cash that paid for, as far as the government could tell, a $15,000 motorcycle, flat-screen televisions, a laptop computer and more.

Full story, The New York Times

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