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Nathaniel Janowitz

Ciudad de México, Mexico
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About Nathaniel
Nathaniel Janowitz is a journalist/writer/photographer based in the Americas. He currently works for VICE and previously published with outlets like The New York Times, ESPN, BBC, High Times, Esquire, others.
English Spanish
Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop News Gathering
Business Finance Politics

Police Uncover Massive Smuggling Ring That Moved Guns from Europe to Cartels

06 Dec 2023  |  www.vice.com
Authorities uncovered a major cross-continental arms trafficking ring involving high-ranking security officials, moving tens of thousands of weapons from Europe to South American organized crime groups. The weapons were primarily sourced from Croatia, Turkey, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, facilitated by a Paraguay-based business called International Auto Supply. Thirteen people were arrested, including former directors of DIMABEL and Paraguay’s air force. The operation, dubbed Operation Dakovo, revealed that 43,000 weapons worth an estimated $242 million were smuggled and sold to Brazil’s largest gangs. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was also involved in the year-long investigation.

Beauty Pageant Director Accused of Using Contestants to Overthrow Government

04 Dec 2023  |  vice.com
Nicaraguan police seek to arrest Karen Celebertti, director of the Miss Nicaragua beauty pageant, for allegedly selecting anti-government contestants to undermine President Daniel Ortega's regime. This follows Sheynnis Palacios' Miss Universe win, which drew attention due to her participation in 2018 protests against Ortega's authoritarian government. Vice President Rosario Murillo criticized the opposition's use of Palacios' victory for political purposes. Celebertti, accused of conspiring with foreign agents, remains at large.

Fugitive “King of the South” Drug Lord's Associate Arrested in Uruguay

27 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
Sebastián Alberti Rossi, brother-in-law of the fugitive alleged drug trafficker Sebastián Marset, known as 'The King of the South', turned himself into Uruguayan authorities on murder charges. Marset has evaded capture from Paraguay to Dubai, with Interpol issuing a Red Notice for Rossi after a failed Bolivian police raid. Rossi, who previously escaped from a Uruguayan prison, will now serve the remainder of his sentence in maximum security. Marset, charged with running an international cocaine and money laundering ring and linked to the assassination of prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, remains at large, with authorities speculating he may be in Africa.

In the Mexican City That Believes It Is Protected by an Extraterrestrial Base

25 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
In the coastal cities of Madero and Tampico, Mexico, a local legend claims that extraterrestrials from a hidden underwater base named Amupac protect the region from deadly storms. This belief has become a significant cultural and economic driver, attracting tourists and fostering a unique local identity. The article explores various perspectives, including those of believers like Beatriz García and Juan Carlos Ramón López, who recount personal experiences and sightings of UFOs. It also highlights the skepticism of figures like Javier Francisco Álvarez, who attributes the region's weather patterns to natural causes. The legend has spurred local events like El Día OVNI Tamaulipas, organized by the Association d’investigation scientifique OVNI de Tamaulipas (AICOT), and has even influenced local businesses and street art. Despite differing opinions, the myth of extraterrestrial protection continues to shape the community's culture and tourism.

Haitian Crime Boss Jimmy Cherizier Wants Gang Members to Join the Government

10 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
Tensions in Haiti escalate as gangs, led by Jimmy Chérizier, control the fuel supply, causing severe shortages and unrest. Chérizier proposes a plan to stabilize the country by integrating gang members into the government, demanding amnesty and positions in the prime minister's cabinet. The U.N. Security Council considers sanctions against gang members, while the U.S. and Canada send support to bolster Haiti's police forces. The Haitian government seeks foreign troop deployment to address the crisis, amid widespread human rights violations by gangs.

The Mystery with the UFOs in a Small Town in Texas Still Hasn't Been Solved, 15 Years Ago

06 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
In January 2008, the town of Stephenville, Texas, known as the 'milk capital of the world,' became famous for a series of UFO sightings. The first episode of the new series 'Encounters' by VICE Studios and Netflix, titled 'Messengers,' features local residents recounting their experiences of strange objects in the sky. Witnesses described the objects as a celestial sphere and a flying Dorito. The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) investigated the incident, and radar data obtained by researcher Robert Powell seemed to confirm the accounts of witnesses Steve Allen and Lee Roy Gaitan. Initially, the local Naval Air Station denied any aircraft presence, but the US Air Force later admitted to conducting fighter jet exercises in the area, attributing the initial denial to a communication error. Some witnesses claimed government intimidation to silence them. The radar data confirmed an object without a transponder was present, which could not be identified as any known aircraft.

A Man Escaped Prison After Botched Penis Enlargement

06 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
Thanapat Mayod, a 37-year-old inmate in Pattaya, Thailand, escaped from a hospital after undergoing surgery for a severe infection caused by botched penis enlargement injections. His wife allegedly smuggled in pliers, which he used to cut through his ankle chains. Mayod was captured 28 hours later on the roof of a nearby building. Both he and his wife face additional charges for the escape.

The Unsolved Murder of One of Mexico’s Biggest Rappers Has Fans Searching for Justice

05 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
Thousands gathered in Guadalajara to mourn the death of Lefty SM, a popular Mexican rapper, who was murdered in his home. The event, held on Mexican Independence Day, saw fans and fellow artists rallying for justice. Despite initial reports suggesting a robbery, Lefty's wife believes it was a targeted attack. The police have made no arrests, and the investigation remains unresolved. Lefty SM, known for his patriotic performances and collaborations with major artists, was celebrated for his contributions to Mexican rap. The gathering emphasized peace and unity, reflecting Lefty's influence and the community's desire for justice.

'It Starts Bombing You in the Head': The Mystery of the Super Strong 'Creepy' Weed

04 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
The article explores the phenomenon of 'creepy' marijuana, a potent and often dangerous form of cannabis proliferating across Latin America. Underground Chilean rapper Wolf 707 and experts discuss the mysterious substance, its effects, and its origins in Colombia. Authorities in Chile, Costa Rica, and Brazil have made significant seizures of creepy marijuana, raising health concerns due to its high THC levels and potential adulteration with synthetic substances. The article also delves into the cultural impact of creepy, its presence in music, and the challenges faced by law enforcement and users in distinguishing it from other forms of cannabis. The rise of organized crime, including the influence of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, adds to the complexity of the issue. Despite the growing indoor cannabis market in Chile, the affordability and potency of creepy continue to make it popular, especially in low-income areas.

A UFO Sighting in 1994 Changed the Lives of Some Children. What if It Was a Lie?

01 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
In 1994, a UFO sighting at a rural school in Zimbabwe reportedly changed the lives of many children who claimed to have seen extraterrestrials. The event, which involved 62 children, became a significant topic in UFO research and media. Some, like Dallyn, later admitted to fabricating the story, while others, including Emma and Salma, maintained their experiences were real and impactful. Harvard psychologist John Mack supported the children's accounts, considering the sighting one of the most credible. The incident continues to evoke mixed reactions and remains a subject of debate and investigation.

A Former Beauty Queen Is Accused of Using Indigenous Women as Slaves

01 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
Lili Bustillos, a former Mexican beauty queen, has been arrested for allegedly exploiting and abusing Indigenous women from Puebla for over 15 years. The accusations, brought to light by the non-profit la Red de Formadoras Kualinemilis A.C., include testimonies of physical and psychological violence, forced labor without pay, and severe mistreatment. One victim, Teresa, was rescued in 2022 after enduring years of abuse. Despite being arrested, Bustillos was initially released on a technicality but was rearrested shortly after. The non-profit suggests there may be many more victims who have yet to come forward.

Someone Tried to Mail a Teddy Bear Stuffed With ‘Purple Drank’ in Mexico

01 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
A teddy bear in Mexico was found stuffed with the addictive substance 'lean', also known as purple drank. Discovered by Mexico’s National Guard in Culiacan, the bear contained 10 vials of the substance, which is a combination of cough syrup, jolly ranchers, and soda. The bear was destined for Tijuana. Lean, which originated in the U.S., has been popularized by musicians like DJ Screw and Three 6 Mafia but has led to several overdose deaths, including DJ Screw and Pimp C. The incident raises questions about whether the Sinaloa Cartel is moving into lean trafficking.

Mexico Just Destroyed 14 Homemade Narco Tanks

01 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
Mexican armed forces destroyed 14 homemade armored vehicles, known as 'monstruos,' built by local criminal gangs in Tamaulipas. These vehicles, equipped with armor and weaponry, were seized in various police investigations. The destruction took place in Reynosa, a city near the U.S. border. The practice of building such vehicles has become more common among criminal groups in Mexico, particularly in Tamaulipas, Michoacan, and Jalisco. The Gulf Cartel, Zetas cartel, Northeastern Cartel, Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and Sinaloa Cartel are among the groups involved.

15 Years Ago, UFO Sightings Rocked a Small Texas Town. The Mystery Remains.

29 Sep 2023  |  www.vice.com
In January 2008, the town of Stephenville, Texas, became known for a series of UFO sightings, now considered among the most credible in modern times. Witnesses described seeing bright, silent lights and fighter jets in pursuit. The Mutual UFO Network investigated, gathering numerous witness accounts. The U.S. military initially denied, then admitted to conducting training exercises in the area. Radar data obtained by UFO investigator Robert Powell corroborated the sightings, showing objects without transponders. The event is featured in the Netflix series 'Encounters'.

WTF Is Going On With 'Alien Corpses' Being Shown to Mexico's Congress?

13 Sep 2023  |  www.vice.com
Jaime Maussan, a well-known Latin American extraterrestrial investigator, presented two alleged alien corpses to Mexico's congress, claiming they were not human and around 1000 years old. The corpses, said to be discovered in Peru and studied at the Autonomous National University of Mexico, sparked skepticism due to Maussan's history of promoting dubious extraterrestrial claims. Experts have previously debunked similar cases as fakes or misidentified human remains. The event underscores the need for caution when considering such extraordinary claims, even as governments and organizations like NASA show increased interest in unidentified aerial phenomena.

How on Earth Did 'Extraterrestrial Corpses' End Up in Mexico's Parliament

12 Sep 2023  |  www.vice.com
In a public hearing in Mexico's lower house of parliament, Jaime Maussan presented two alleged extraterrestrial corpses, claiming they were not human and had been studied by the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The event, attended by international scientists and former military personnel, has sparked skepticism due to Maussan's history of promoting unverified extraterrestrial claims. The presentation has drawn comparisons to past UFO and extraterrestrial claims, often debunked or proven false. The article highlights the need for skepticism and verification in such extraordinary claims.

Mexico Shuts Down Pharmacies in Tulum and Cancun for Selling Dangerous Pills to Tourists

10 Aug 2023  |  vice.com
Numerous pharmacies in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum were shut down for selling counterfeit pills containing dangerous substances such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, and xylazine to tourists without prescriptions. The operation, named 'Operation Albatross,' was a response to citizen complaints and involved the Mexican Navy and the Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Health Risk. The crackdown followed investigations that linked the pharmacies to major criminal organizations and revealed a range of irregularities. The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning ahead of spring break due to the prevalence of counterfeit medication in Mexico.

‘Flying Aliens’ Harassing Village in Peru Are Actually Illegal Miners With Jetpacks, Cops Say

01 Aug 2023  |  www.vice.com
Mysterious attacks on an Indigenous community in rural Peru, initially attributed to 'aliens,' were found to be the work of illegal gold miners from Colombia and Brazil using jetpacks. The incidents began on July 11 and included an attempted kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl. Authorities, who have not made any arrests, believe the miners used advanced flying technology to terrorize the community. The investigation revealed significant illegal gold dredging activities in the region, with numerous operations and camps destroyed in 2023.

Paraguay: Girls Forced to Become Mothers

14 Jul 2023  |  elhilo.audio
In Paraguay, 470 girls aged 10 to 14 gave birth last year, and 40 were hospitalized for abortion, with most pregnancies resulting from familial rape. The Casa Rosa María in Asunción shelters pregnant girls and adolescents, promoting motherhood regardless of age. The country's conservative politics, influenced by the Church and anti-abortion movements, have led to prohibitions on gender education in schools and near-total abortion bans. Public policies for sexual education and prevention are lacking, and the state's absence and cultural issues contribute to a crisis of child and adolescent pregnancy. The Colorado party, which self-identifies as pro-life, continues to govern, reinforcing these conservative stances.

Someone Tried to Mail a Teddy Bear Stuffed With ‘Purple Drank’ in Mexico

05 Jul 2023  |  flipboard.com
A teddy bear in Mexico was found stuffed with 'lean', a highly addictive substance also known as 'purple drank' or 'sizzurp', which is a combination of cough syrup, candy, and soda. The substance first gained popularity in the Houston hip hop scene.

41 Dead, Most Burned to Death, in Gang Attack in Honduras Women’s Prison

21 Jun 2023  |  www.vice.com
A deadly riot at a women's prison in Tamara, Honduras, resulted in 41 deaths, with many victims burned to death. President Xiomara Castro attributed the violence to gangs Barrio 18 and MS-13, suggesting complicity from security authorities. The incident underscores the growing involvement of women in organized crime in Latin America. The Honduran prison system, plagued by gang control, faces severe challenges, with calls for drastic measures to address the lawlessness.

Flight Attendant Charged For Bomb Threat to Stop Her Ex’s Vacation

15 Jun 2023  |  flipboard.com
Daniela Carbone, 47, is charged with making a bomb threat to disrupt her ex-boyfriend's vacation to Miami with his new girlfriend. An audio message with a distorted voice claiming that three bombs were placed on a Miami flight was sent to an airline worker in Argentina on May 21.

Flight Attendant Charged For Bomb Threat to Stop Her Ex’s Vacation

13 Jun 2023  |  www.vice.com
Daniela Carbone, a 47-year-old flight attendant, was arrested and charged for calling in a bomb threat to stop her ex-boyfriend's vacation to Miami with his new girlfriend. The threat, which turned out to be a hoax, caused significant disruption and financial loss for Aerolíneas Argentinas. Carbone used her daughter's phone to send the threat and was arrested upon her return to Argentina. She has been fired from her job and faces up to six years in prison if found guilty.

An Italian Woman Was Murdered in a Daytime Hit At a Popular Mexican Restaurant

05 Jun 2023  |  www.vice.com
Three men have been arrested for the murder of Italian woman Ornella Saiu in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Saiu was shot on May 30 while working at an Italian restaurant. Authorities ruled out bribes or extortion as motives, indicating a direct attack. The incident is part of a broader surge in violence in Quintana Roo, linked to gang conflicts over local criminal economies. The community, including local officials and the Italian honorary consul, expressed deep sorrow over the tragedy. Efforts by state and federal governments to curb the violence have seen limited success.

Someone Tried to Smuggle 50 Bricks of Cocaine Marked with Swastikas into Europe

29 May 2023  |  vice.com
Peruvian police seized over 57 kilograms of cocaine marked with Nazi swastikas destined for Europe. The drugs, some bricks labeled with 'HITLER', were discovered by the anti-drug unit of the National Police in the port city of Paita, near the border with Ecuador, hidden in a container's ventilation system filled with asparagus on a Liberia-flagged ship. The container was on its way to Belgium. The cocaine's local production is unclear, and authorities have not disclosed who is responsible for labeling or if any arrests have been made. The ship had previously docked in Guayaquil, Ecuador, a major transshipment point for drugs and the epicenter of a brutal drug cartel war. The use of Nazi iconography and far-right ideology remains prevalent in parts of South America.

A Teen Girl Set Her Dorm On Fire After Her Phone Was Confiscated. 19 Children Died.

26 May 2023  |  www.vice.com
A 15-year-old girl in Guyana has been charged as an adult for the murder of 19 children after allegedly starting a fire in their dormitory as retaliation for having her cell phone confiscated. The fire at Mahdia Secondary School resulted in 14 children dying at the scene and five more in the hospital. The government has announced support programs and mental health initiatives for those affected. The accused girl faces a life sentence if found guilty.

Two Tourists Were Murdered in Oaxaca’s Once Peaceful Beach Area in a Week

17 May 2023  |  www.vice.com
A Canadian man, Victor Masson, was found shot to death in a car in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, marking the second tourist murder in the area in less than a week. Previously, three Argentine tourists were attacked with a machete in Laguna de Chacahua, resulting in the death of Benjamín Gamond. These incidents signal a shift in the safety of Oaxaca's Pacific coast, which was once considered safer than the southeastern Mayan Riviera, known for its internal drug market and cartel presence. The Mexican government has deployed soldiers to protect tourist areas, but few have been sent to Oaxaca.

El Mencho's Son Reconsiders Plea Deal After Family Lawyer Shows Up at Last Minute

14 Apr 2023  |  www.vice.com
Ruben Oseguera González, alias El Menchito and son of notorious drug lord El Mencho, reconsidered his plea deal after a new lawyer, Arturo Hernandez, was hired by his family. The plea deal, which was expected to involve cooperation with authorities, has been put on hold as El Menchito seeks a second opinion. The case highlights the ongoing legal battles faced by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and its leaders, with significant implications for both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement efforts. The CJNG remains a dominant and violent force in the Mexican underworld, with many of its members, including El Menchito's family, facing legal repercussions.

Video Shows Man Tied Up With Explosives and Left on a Street Corner

31 Mar 2023  |  vice.com
In Guayaquil, Ecuador, a security guard was forcibly strapped with dynamite by unknown assailants, leading to a standoff as police worked to remove and deactivate the explosives. The guard, employed at a jewelry store, was involved in an incident possibly connected to extortion attempts by local criminals. The police successfully detached the bomb and executed a controlled explosion. Guayaquil has seen a rise in violence and use of explosives by criminal groups, with 40 attacks involving explosives reported in 2023, and this being the first case of explosives attached to a person.

A Secret Shipyard Building Submarines for Drug Cartels Just Got Busted

29 Mar 2023  |  www.vice.com
Colombian authorities dismantled a drug trafficking organization specializing in constructing narco submarines used to smuggle cocaine and other substances. The operation led to the arrest of 12 individuals, including leaders identified as 'Pulga' and 'Iván,' and financier 'Bernardo.' The clandestine shipyards were located along the coasts of Cauca and Nariño, with the group based in Buenaventura. The use of narco submarines has been a longstanding method for drug trafficking, posing significant challenges and dangers. Authorities continue to focus on curbing this practice, with notable seizures and arrests in recent years.

Video Shows Americans Shot and Kidnapped in Mexico Border City

05 Mar 2023  |  www.vice.com
Four U.S. citizens were attacked and kidnapped in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, shortly after crossing the Texas border. Video footage showed the victims being loaded into a white pick-up truck, with some appearing motionless. The FBI, in collaboration with Mexican law enforcement, is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the victims' return and the arrest of the perpetrators. The incident occurred amid ongoing violence between rival factions of the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros, prompting local authorities to increase their presence and advise residents to stay indoors.

Mexico's Alcatraz Is Now an All-Inclusive Resort, So We Went There

22 Feb 2023  |  www.vice.com
The Islas Marias penal colony in Mexico, once known for its harsh conditions and notorious inmates, has been transformed into an all-inclusive resort and bioreserve. This initiative is one of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's controversial projects. The resort is operated by the navy and offers tours of the island's historical sites, including the abandoned prison and labor mines. The island, which was a UNESCO biosphere reserve even during its operation as a prison, now serves as a monument to leftist figures and reflects AMLO's political legacy. The success of the project hinges on its acceptance beyond AMLO's supporter base.

An American Allegedly Murdered His DJ Girlfriend in Colombia. Then He Tried to Flee.

31 Jan 2023  |  vice.com
Valentina Trespalacios, a 23-year-old Colombian DJ, was found dead in a suitcase in Bogota, leading to the arrest of John Poulos, a 35-year-old American citizen, in Panama as he tried to flee to Istanbul. Poulos, who had a relationship with Trespalacios, is the prime suspect in her murder, which Colombian authorities suggest was motivated by jealousy and obsession. Poulos is charged with femicide and tampering with evidence but has not accepted the charges. The case has drawn international attention, with Interpol issuing a red notice and Colombian authorities offering a reward for information leading to Poulos' capture.

Ex-Cop Accused in Disappearance of 43 Students Was Just Extradited to Mexico

23 Jan 2023  |  vice.com
Alejandro Tenescalco Mejía, an ex-cop implicated in the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in Iguala, Mexico, was extradited from the U.S. to Mexico. The case, involving allegations of government cover-ups and police collusion with the Guerreros Unidos cartel, has been unresolved since 2014. A truth commission declared an organized cover-up by authorities in 2022. The arrest of Tenescalco Mejía, who may have coordinated police actions on the night of the disappearances, could provide new insights into the case.

11 Gang Members Arrested for Failed Motorcycle Hit on Famous Mexican TV Anchor

12 Jan 2023  |  www.vice.com
Authorities arrested 11 individuals connected to the assassination attempt on prominent Mexican journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva. The suspects, part of a violent local gang, were apprehended following a coordinated raid. The attack, which involved two hitmen on a motorcycle, left Gómez Leyva unharmed but shocked the nation. Mexico City police chief Omar García Harfuch announced the arrests and ongoing investigations into the intellectual author and motive behind the crime. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador faced backlash for his previous verbal attacks on journalists, with many calling for an end to such rhetoric. Gómez Leyva expressed gratitude to the authorities but noted the mastermind behind the attack remains unidentified.

Inside the Christian Shelter Where No Girl Is Too Young to Have a Baby

15 Dec 2022  |  vice.com
In Paraguay, a country with strict anti-abortion laws and a high rate of child pregnancy, shelters like the Rosa Maria House provide a refuge for pregnant girls, some as young as 10, who are often victims of abuse. The shelter, which is supported by a local parish and donations, offers room, board, and classes to prepare the girls for motherhood. Critics argue that these shelters do not address the complexity of the girls' situations and that the government's failure to implement comprehensive care for abuse victims perpetuates the problem. The influence of religious and conservative groups on legislation is significant, with anti-abortion sentiment deeply rooted in society. Despite the challenges, grassroots movements are emerging to provide sexual education and support for the youth.

A Cop Was Just Found Guilty for the Death of Former Child Actor

14 Dec 2022  |  www.vice.com
Leopoldo Azuara de la Luz, a police officer involved in a car chase that led to the death of 22-year-old former child actor Octavio Ocaña, was found guilty of abuse of authority and aggravated homicide. The incident occurred in October 2021 near Mexico City, where Ocaña allegedly shot himself during the pursuit, according to initial police statements. However, video evidence contradicted this claim, showing police shooting at Ocaña's vehicle. The Mexico State police faced accusations of tampering with the crime scene. Azuara de la Luz's sentencing is set for December 19, while another officer involved remains at large. The case prompted the Ocaña family to successfully advocate for a new law penalizing the sharing of images of dead victims online.

How a Drug Smuggler Moved Cocaine Around the US and Sent $56 Million to Mexican Cartels

24 Nov 2022  |  www.vice.com
Luis Eduardo González García, a 61-year-old drug trafficker, has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for smuggling cocaine through a sophisticated network of warehouses and front companies in the U.S., sending an estimated $56 million back to Mexican cartels. González García used legitimate businesses to hide his operations, importing products like laundry detergent and furniture to conceal cocaine shipments. Despite his lawyers' portrayal of him as a remorseful family man, U.S. authorities presented evidence of his willingness to use violence and his deep involvement with notorious cartels, including the Beltran Leyva Organization and the Zetas Cartel. His co-conspirator, Martín Villegas Navarrete, provided information that led to González García's arrest, revealing a long history of drug trafficking activities.

Inside the Mexican City That Believes It’s Protected by Aliens

16 Nov 2022  |  vice.com
In the Mexican coastal cities of Madero and Tampico, a local legend claims that extraterrestrials from an underwater base called Amupac have protected the area from hurricanes for over 50 years. Despite skepticism from some, including meteorological experts, the belief in alien protectors persists, fueled by historical events and personal testimonies. The legend has become an economic driver, with alien-themed businesses and events like El Día OVNI Tamaulipas, which celebrates unidentified flying objects. The OVNI Scientific Investigation Association of Tamaulipas (AICOT) promotes the legend, and the state government is seeking to officially recognize the celebratory day. While some attribute the region's safety to natural factors or religious protection, the alien narrative has become a significant part of local culture.

Armed Robber Busted Mid-Dump After Fleeing Crime Scene

14 Nov 2022  |  www.vice.com
An armed robber named Sauro, 41, was arrested while using a toilet in a shopping center after robbing a bus in Mexico, stealing eight cell phones with a fake gun. Police tracked him using surveillance cameras and found him at the Las Americas shopping center in Metepec, Mexico State. Sauro had three active arrest warrants for firearms and robbery charges. The incident drew comparisons to the early 20th-century bandit 'The Tiger of Santa Julia,' who was caught under similar embarrassing circumstances.

Dog Stole a Human Head From a Crime Scene and Ran With It

31 Oct 2022  |  www.vice.com
In Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas, Mexico, a dog was filmed carrying a human head from a crime scene, an incident confirmed by the state attorney general's office. The head was found inside an ATM booth with notes linking the act to organized crime. Zacatecas, a state used by cartels for drug trafficking and training, has one of Mexico's highest homicide rates. This event reflects the brutal tactics of cartels, such as leaving human remains in public to intimidate, which have been common since the mid-2000s.

Jamaica Just Banned Music About Drugs and Crime on the Radio

14 Oct 2022  |  www.vice.com
Jamaica's broadcasting regulator has announced a ban on radio content that glorifies drugs and crime, aiming to protect the airwaves from harmful content. This move has sparked outrage among Jamaican musicians, who view it as a restriction on creative expression. The ban targets lyrics promoting illegal activities and has been met with skepticism regarding its effectiveness, given past failures of similar measures. Musicians like Romeich and Rvssian have publicly criticized the ban, while others like Skeng seem indifferent, relying on digital platforms like YouTube for their music's distribution.

Costa Rica Moves Closer to Legalizing Weed

07 Oct 2022  |  www.vice.com
Costa Rica's President Rodrigo Chaves signed a proposed law to legalize recreational marijuana, which is now with the legislative assembly for analysis and voting. Chaves argues that legalization would undermine criminal control over the weed market, enhance safety for consumers, and provide economic benefits through taxes and new jobs. The bill includes provisions for 'social clubs' and home cultivation of up to six plants. Opposition exists, with politician Fabricio Alvarado expressing concerns over social and security impacts. If passed, Costa Rica would join Uruguay and Canada in legalizing recreational cannabis at the federal level.

Same-Sex Marriage Is Finally Legal in Communist Cuba

25 Sep 2022  |  www.vice.com
Cuba legalized same-sex marriage and adoption following a referendum with 66.87% approval. The historic change is a departure from the island's past persecution of LGBTQ individuals. The new family code also includes rights for the elderly, women, children, and measures against gender violence. President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who supported the referendum, was seen applauding the results. LGBTQ rights advocate Mariela Castro, daughter of Raúl Castro, has been a prominent figure in promoting these rights. The LGBTQ community celebrated the change, signaling a significant shift in Cuban society.

Inside Mexico’s Mountain Magic Mushroom Paradise

20 Sep 2022  |  www.vice.com
San Jose del Pacifico, a small town in Mexico, has become a global center for magic mushroom tourism, attracting thousands of tourists annually. The town's economy has adapted to this influx, with many locals selling mushrooms to visitors. While mushrooms are technically illegal in Mexico, they are de facto legal in San Jose del Pacifico due to exemptions for indigenous practices. The town manages any issues internally without police intervention. Despite some local opposition, the mushroom trade continues to thrive, with the town maintaining a balance between traditional practices and commercialization.

Mexico Just Arrested an Army General in Connection With the Murder and Disappearance of 43 Students

15 Sep 2022  |  www.vice.com
Mexico arrested three army members, including General José Rodríguez Pérez, for their alleged roles in the 2014 disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College. This development supports beliefs of military involvement in the incident, which has caused national outrage and skepticism towards the former government's

CJNG Cartel Boss El Mencho’s Bitter Enemy Was Just Arrested in Mexico

06 Sep 2022  |  www.vice.com
Erick Valencia Salazar, co-founder of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and leader of the rival New Plaza Cartel, was arrested in Tapalpa, Jalisco, with weapons and drugs. The U.S. State Department has a $5 million bounty on him and seeks extradition. His criminal career began in 2003 with the Milenio Cartel, and after its dissolution, he co-founded the CJNG with Nemesio Oseguera. Valencia Salazar was previously arrested in 2012, leading to violent reactions in Guadalajara. Released in 2017, he allegedly led the New Plaza Cartel, which has been linked to torture houses and mass graves in a violent conflict with the CJNG. The recent arrest is seen as a victory for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who faced criticism for not capturing cartel bosses.

Famed Yoga School Was Allegedly a Cult That Recruited ‘Geishas’ for Sex Trafficking

12 Aug 2022  |  www.vice.com
Police in Argentina arrested 19 people, including the 84-year-old founder Juan Percowicz, in a raid on the Yoga School of Buenos Aires, alleging it to be a transnational criminal organization involved in sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and other crimes. The school, which operates in Argentina and several U.S. cities, allegedly recruited women into 'geisha' apprenticeships for sex acts with influential people. The organization is accused of operating as a pyramid scheme and exploiting members and patients for financial gain. Authorities seized significant assets and issued additional arrest warrants. Audio recordings implicate high-ranking members in organizing a sexual encounter with opera singer Plácido Domingo, who is not accused of any crime.

Grandma's Dying Wish Was a Giant Phallus on Her Grave

28 Jul 2022  |  www.vice.com
99-year-old Catarina Orduña Pérez's dying wish was for a giant phallus statue to be placed on her grave in Misantla, Mexico. Her family fulfilled her request with a 5.5-foot-tall, 600-pound monument as a symbol of her avant-garde spirit and to honor her life. The statue has received mixed reactions from the community, with some appreciating the gesture and others disapproving due to conservative values.

The Cocaine Queen of Honduras Was Just Extradited to the US

15 May 2022  |  www.vice.com
Herlinda Bobadilla, known as 'La Chinda' and the alleged matriarch of the Montes drug cartel, has been extradited to the U.S. from Honduras. Bobadilla, who allegedly ran a cocaine trafficking network with her sons, was captured in May 2022. The Montes cartel, with roots dating back to the 1980s, reportedly collaborated with Colombian and Mexican cartels to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. Bobadilla's extradition is part of the new Honduran government’s crackdown on narco-corruption, following the arrest and extradition of former president Juan Orlando Hernández and his brother Tony Hernández.

Basketball Persists in Mexico Amid the Pandemic

24 Sep 2020  |  www.nytimes.com
Antonio Álvarez, a power forward for the Astros de Jalisco, experienced his home debut in Guadalajara under strict isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with his family unable to attend in person. Despite the pandemic, the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional commenced a shortened season in early September, with basketball being a popular sport in Mexico, though not as much as soccer.

Ten years into Mexico’s drug war, the violence in Acapulco rages on

10 Nov 2016  |  www.vice.com
The article discusses the pervasive violence in Acapulco, Mexico, where local taxi driver Marino* has become accustomed to the daily horrors of cartel-related violence, including extortion and murder. The piece reflects on the ten-year war the Mexican government has waged against drug cartels, which has resulted in over 150,000 deaths and 28,000 disappearances, drawing a grim comparison to civilian deaths in Iraq. Despite the government's strategy to dismantle cartels by targeting their leaders and deploying security forces, Acapulco remains the country's homicide leader. The article recounts the city's transformation from a glamorous tourist destination to a battleground for cartel wars, particularly following the fragmentation of the Beltrán Leyva cartel. The government's recent initiatives and the capture of key cartel figures have done little to curb the violence, with locals calling for solutions that address the root causes, such as education and employment opportunities.

The Children of Ciudad Juárez Are Growing Up in a City That Doesn't Want to Remember Its Past

14 Jun 2016  |  www.vice.com
The article discusses the severe impact of the drug cartel wars in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, particularly on the city's children. It tells the story of David, a nine-year-old boy who witnessed his father's murder and suffers from nightmares indicative of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The city, once the world's most violent, is now facing the long-term consequences of its violent past. Experts like José Luis Flores and Dr. Kathleen O'Connor highlight the lack of attention to the mental health of children affected by the violence. The article also touches on the work of organizations like The Network for Children's Rights and OPI, which provide after-school programs to help children cope with the trauma. Despite a decrease in violence, the psychological scars remain, with children like David and Diana expressing constant fear and sadness due to their experiences.

What It's Like to Lead a Team of Zetas Cartel Hitmen in One of Mexico's Bloodiest States

02 Jun 2016  |  www.vice.com
The article is an interview with 'El Sangres', a commander of a cell of hitmen for the Zetas cartel in Veracruz, Mexico. El Sangres discusses the rise and fall of the Zetas' influence in Veracruz, attributing their decline to a turf war with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the current governor's betrayal. The Zetas, once dominant, are now losing ground due to the CJNG's growing power and the government's alleged collusion. The article also touches on the violence and kidnappings in Veracruz, including the case of Fernanda Rubí Salcedo, and the broader context of narcopolitics in Mexico. VICE News confirms El Sangres' identity and role within the Zetas. The article highlights the ongoing violence and the impact on families of victims, as well as the corruption and complicity of authorities in the drug war.

'Trump Emergency': Mexico Reacts to the Real Possibility of a Trump Presidency

05 May 2016  |  www.vice.com
The article discusses the negative perception of Donald Trump in Mexico, highlighting the disdain expressed by former Mexican presidents and the current leader, who have compared him to dictators and criticized his derogatory comments about Mexicans. Former President Vicente Fox issued an apology to Trump after previously insulting him and invited him to visit Mexico. The article also mentions Nuevo Leon Governor Jaime Rodriguez's comments on Trump's political strategy and the Mexican government's response to Trump's proposed policies, particularly regarding the border wall and remittances. Former Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda criticized the Mexican government's passive stance towards Trump and urged for a more active response. The article concludes with a mention of Trump's Cinco de Mayo tweet, which is unlikely to improve his image in Mexico.

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