Zeta Drug Cartel

Luis Antonio García Sepúlveda/Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

You may not have known him, but many thousands have relied on his reports for decades, covering drug cartels and organized crime. Award-winning reporter Javier Valdez was gunned down in the middle of the day in Sinaloa, Mexico, becoming at least the sixth journalist killed in that country since March.

Some fear that the attacks on journalists could lead to a de facto information blackout.

Claudia8Felixx/Twitter

From Texas Standard:

The names of some of Mexico’s most infamous drug lords are well-known: Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Rafael Caro Quintero. Besides their profession and location, they have one other thing in common – they are all men. But those following the evolution of cartels in the country are noticing a demographic shift.

Andrew Weber for KUT News

Austin is no longer a “sleepy college town,” according to Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Austin Police and the U.S. Attorney's office say as Austin grows, so does the risk of drug trafficking. Today, they announced two big busts – one involving a year-and-a-half investigation into a cartel-connected cocaine ring and another that yielded over 20 pounds of methamphetamine.

flickr.com/cefeida

Opening statements in a drug money laundering trial get underway in an Austin courtroom today. 

Among the men charged: Jose Trevino Morales. Federal prosecutors call Morales the brother of two top leaders of the Zeta drug cartel, and say he’s involved in a money-laundering scheme for the cartel: hiding millions of dollars in drug money in the horse racing business in Texas and other states.

"Top Zetas drug cartel leader Heriberto Lazcano has apparently been killed in a firefight with marines in the northern border state of Coahuila, the Mexican navy said late Monday."

While the exact number of dead seems to be in flux, there is no question that the last few days have been incredibly bloody across Mexico.