• Mexico to up security in border city after blasts

    Following a series of explosions in downtown Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, the Mexican government is rushing reinforcements to the city; at the same time, thirty-five of the seventy-two bodies found in a mass grave on Saturday had been identified: sixteen Hondurans, thirteen Salvadorans, five Guatemalans, and a Brazilian; they were killed after refusing to cooperate with drug gangs

  • Drive-by full-body scanning

    Massachusetts-based American Science & Engineering is selling van-mounted backscatter X-ray detection system to law enforcement; these vans can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents

  • Police robot seeks out the bad guys

    Police units in California use DHS grants to buy a robot to go into dangerous places to look for bad guys; the $12,000, 25-pound robot is waterproof, equipped with a 360-degree camera and tracks for movement; it climbs stairs, runs on grass and gravel, and can right itself if it flips over

  • Rayguns to be used in L.A. prisons

    Officials at the Los Angeles County Jail have announced that the U.S. jails will deploy a new laser weapon to break up fights among jail inmates; the raygun, capable of producing a beam of up to 100 ft, will be positioned on the detention center’s ceiling and operated by using a computer monitor and a joystick

  • Businesses cope with Mexico security risks, pass costs to consumers

    Faced with the threat of smuggling attempts by criminal organizations in Mexico, foreign companies are simply doing more, spending more, and in the process charging consumers more to shore up security in a country where killings, kidnappings, and extortions have become a part of daily life

  • New illegal immigration frontier: the sea

    There is a new frontier for illegal immigrants entering the United States — a roughly 400-square-mile ocean expanse that stretches from a bullring on the shores of Tijuana, Mexico, to suburban Los Angeles; in growing numbers, migrants are gambling their lives at sea as land crossings become even more arduous and likely to end in arrest; while only a small fraction of border arrests are at sea; authorities say heightened enforcement on land, and a bigger fence are making the offshore route more attractive

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  • Money smuggling across border grows despite increased enforcement

    U.S. and Mexican law enforcement authorities only seize about 1 percent of cash from drug trafficking, despite increased efforts by both countries; stemming the flow of cash is vital to efforts by the United States and Mexico to take down drug cartels, as drug cartels depend on cash from wholesale drug sales to gangs in the United States

  • Mexico deploys Israeli UAVs in war on drug cartels

    Since December 2006, nearly 30,000 Mexicans have been killed in that country’s increasingly vicious drug war; the relentless flow of guns from the United States into Mexico has significantly strengthened the drug cartels, allowing them not only to withstand the efforts by the Mexican authorities to impose law and order, but in many cases to take the operational initiative, making large swaths of the country ungovernable; the Mexican government, for its part, is bolstering its own capabilities: last year it has secretly purchased surveillance UAVs from Israel to perform monitoring tasks in border areas and near strategic installations in the country

  • Skeletal scans could be newest screening technique

    The adult skeleton has 206 bones; size, shape, density, and joint structure make each skeleton slightly different; throw in an extra lumbar vertebrae or extra rib — which some people have — as well as previously broken bones, implants, screws, and other identifying characteristics, and the signatures become even more individual

  • Biggest mass graves linked to drug-related violence uncovered in Mexico

    Seventy-two bodies found in a mass grave on a ranch in northern Mexico; in recent months an increasing number of mass graves have been discovered; in June, police recovered fifty-five bodies from an abandoned mine near Taxco, in Guerrerro state

  • Hagerstown PD disappears from analog scanners

    Those wishing to listen in on Hagerstown Police Department calls will have to update their technology: the “patch” to the old 800 MHz frequency, which allowed simulcasting of calls on the old analog frequencies, was taken down last week

  • Mexican city is no longer safe for visitors, city's economic secretary says

    The secretary of economic development of the Mexican city of Reynosa says the city can no longer guarantee the safety of its visitors amid recent fighting between the military and drug smuggling groups; the city’s burgeoning medical industry is only working at 25 percent of its capacity; “With this impact (the violence) everything went down to half,” the official said

  • Drug cartels employ women assassins (sicarias) in broad killing campaign

    As the drug war in Mexico escalates, drug cartels have began to employ sicaria, or hit women; the women assassins, ranging in age from 18 to 30, work alongside men in cells of La Linea, as the Juárez drug cartel is known; cells are assigned to different jobs — such as halcones (lookouts), hit squads, and extortionists — and operate independently; the hit women are trained to use rifles and handguns and sometimes accompany their male counterparts; women in Juárez have been previously accused of being part of kidnapping rings, often assigned to keep watch on captives; women have also held roles as recruiters, transporters and leaders of drug-smuggling cells

  • Drug war fought with American weapons for the American market

    Mexico’s drug war is fought with American weapons for the American market; of the 75,000 guns seized, 80 percent came from the United States; they are used to fight over an estimated $40 billion drug business — virtually all for the United States; last Year, at least 2,600 were killed in Mexico’s drug war, and the country is on track to top 3,000 this year

  • Resurgence of violence in Ireland leads to questions about MI5 intelligence gathering

    The Police Federation of Northern Ireland has attributed 49 bomb incidents and 32 shooting incidents to dissident republicans since the beginning of the year; so far this year, on both sides of the border, there have been 155 arrests and 46 charges related to militant republican activities compared with 108 arrests and 17 charges in the whole of 2009; law enforcement authorities in Northern Ireland complain about an alleged lack of information from MI5 about increasingly active republican groups