News briefing – Week of 24 July

  • The Brazilian armed forces deployed 10.000 troops in Rio de Janeiro and planned a number of operations against gangs involved in criminal activities. Violence has been on the rise in the city of Rio for over a year, 90 police officers having been killed since the beginning of the year.
  • According to the Britain’s National Crime Agency, a European branch of Mexican Sinaloa cartel has formed an alliance with a Romanian criminal group in order to smuggle large amounts of cocaine into the UK using heavy goods vehicles. The Sinaloa cartel has allegedly been active in Europe since 2011, adopting a franchise model to establish routes for the drug trade bound to European local markets.
  • Damaso Lopez Serrano, the son of one of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s main henchmen and a competitor for control of the Sinaloa cartel, turned himself into US authorities, crossing the border from Mexicali in Mexico’s Baja California state to Calexico in California. The Lopezes became one faction in a fight to assume control of the Sinaloa cartel, a fight that has intensified since Guzman’s extradition in January this year.
  • A new crime-fighting entity is under establishment in Trinidad and Tobago. With a mandate similar to that of the now-defunct Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT), the entity aims at countering the galloping crime rate in the country. The Government is also looking at amending le­gislation which will ensure the new unit operates within the confines of the law, with the assistance of Defence Force personnel.