General News

Records: Feds Have A History Of Gun Walking Programs

Oct 26th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News


TUCSON, Ariz. — “Operation Fast and Furious” was not the first gun walking program taken up by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) bureau in Arizona. There was another secret federal program that allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico under the Bush Administration in 2006 and 2007. Read my story here at the Fronteras Desk.

The Drug War At Home: How Cartel Cash Moves Across the Border

May 26th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News


CULIACAN, SINALOA – The cartels make billions of dollars on the drug trade. But they have to work out complicated schemes to get those dollars they make from addicts in the U.S. back into Mexico and convert them into usable pesos.

It’s a lot of money. And money can overcome lots of challenges. Read my story here at the Fronteras Desk.

Mexico’s Hidden Drug War

May 3rd, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime


The following story was produced for the Fronteras Desk, public radio, Arizona. Click here for the audio version.

Long known as Arizona’s beach town, tourists and business owners in Rocky Point, Mexico, say a recent State Department’s travel warning about this place is unfair. Victims say otherwise. They say cartel violence in Mexico has quietly crept in and goes mostly unreported.

Last year the chief of police of this quiet resort town on the Sea of Cortez was gunned down. Since then, the stories of violence here are barely mentioned. Business owners and the town’s mayor prefer to keep it that way.

Sinaloa Cartel Challenges the U.S.

Apr 7th, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime, Politics


This story aired on KJZZ, public radio Arizona as part of the Fronteras Desk. For more stories, go to

An accused Mexican drug lord being held on charges in the U.S. has filed a unusual motion in federal court. He’s challenging the United States, saying he’d been working with its own federal agents in Mexico.

Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla is one of the most senior drug trafficking figures in U.S. custody. He’s accused of working for the Sinaloa Cartel, a powerful drug trafficking organization in Mexico. In fact, he’s the eldest son of one of its leaders. Zambada was arrested in Mexico City in 2009 and extradited to Illinois, accused of trafficking nearly $6 billion in cocaine. He’s contracted some of the highest profile criminal defense lawyers in the country.

Los Numeros de Phoenix

Mar 31st, 2011 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Politics


No, no, not those numeros. I’m talking about the official numeros de secuestros and home invasion rip-offs in Phoenix. The statistics seem to have turned into a hen-pecking party with allegations against the recently demoted former chief, Jack Harris for $2.4 million in federal funding.

Here’s the latest: an independent panel has been reviewing the police department’s statistics and found that of 358 reported kidnappings in 2008, only 222 met the criteria for kidnapping and 136 did not. My Fronteras Desk colleague does a nice job of summarizing the breakdown of the numbers.

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