Mexico Under Siege: 2010

Since June 2008, Los Angeles Times reporters and photographers have chronicled, from both sides of the border, the savage struggle among Mexican drug cartels for control over the lucrative drug trade to the U.S. The conflict has left thousands dead, paralyzed whole cities with fear, and spawned a culture of corruption reaching the upper levels of the Mexican state.

Mexico prison riot leaves at least 23 dead

All the dead in the riot in a prison in the capital of the state of Durango are inmates. The fighting is said have been between members of rival drug-trafficking cartels.

Calderon visits Ciudad Juarez

In the traumatized border city, he talks of social programs aimed at boosting the fight against drug cartels.

Cal State system's ban on studying in Tijuana draws protest

California State University has banned university-sponsored activities and classes in Tijuana because of drug war violence. Students, faculty and Baja California officials say the policy is based on a distorted perception of Tijuana.

Cancun mayor's arrest adds to Mexico worries

The charges against Mayor Gregorio Sanchez, who is on leave to run for governor of the state of Quintana Roo, add new force to worries that organized crime groups have infiltrated Mexican politics at all levels and are undermining the country's fragile moves toward a real democracy.

Cartels smuggle U.S. drug money back to Mexico in cash, study finds

A new U.S.-Mexico government study estimates that $19 billion to $29 billion is shipped south, then laundered through cash purchases of land, luxury hotels, cars and other high-end items.

Shootout leaves 14 dead in Mexico tourist spot

Mexican news reports said the shooting broke out when troops went to search a suspected criminal hide-out in Taxco, a picturesque town of stone-paved streets and silver shops that draws thousands of visitors each year. All the dead were said to be gunmen.

Mexico official blames army in two child deaths

The military had said the two children were killed at Easter in Tamaulipas state after their van was caught in cross-fire between troops and drug gang gunmen. But the human rights official rejects that version of the incident.

Ex-police commander held in Michoacan ambush

Mexican officials say Miguel Ortiz Miranda, alias 'El Tyson,' directed operations in Morelia for the Michoacan-based La Familia, including assassinations, kidnappings and extortion.

Calderon calls on Mexicans to unite against criminal gangs

In the wake of the slaying of a gubernatorial candidate, Mexico's president urges citizens to join against 'a common enemy that today threatens to destroy not only our tranquility but our democratic institutions.'

Suspect held in U.S. consulate worker's killing in Ciudad Juarez

Mexico police say Jesus Ernesto Chavez, of the Aztecas gang in Ciudad Juarez, told them that Lesley A. Enriquez, 35, was shot to death along with her husband because his gang thought she was providing visas to rivals.

Narco ballads without a home

Police officials ban Los Tucanes de Tijuana from their hometown over accusations that their music celebrates drug bosses.

Mayor found dead three days after being kidnapped

Edelmiro Cavazos of Santiago was seized at his home near Monterrey on Sunday. He might have been targeted because of his efforts to purge corrupt local police, the state governor says.

Successful Tijuana security chief's job at risk

Julian Leyzaola has chased out major drug traffickers, purged his force of corrupt cops, and helped set the stage for the return of investment and tourism. But he may fall victim to partisan politics.

Mexico's crackdown on organized crime is working, Calderon says

In his annual state of the nation report, President Felipe Calderon notes the arrests or killings of drug kingpins and efforts to clean up police. He also touts job gains and other economic improvements.

Determined federal prosecutor targets the Tijuana cartel

U.S. Atty. Laura Duffy gets much of the credit for crippling it, and now she vows to shut it down for good.

Mexican mayor killed in a town threatened by drug traffickers

Gustavo Sanchez of Tancitaro in Michoacan state is found beaten to death with rocks, authorities say. He is the fifth mayor in Mexico killed in six weeks.

In Mexico, a dividing line on 'El Infierno'

Its citizens have made Luis Estrada's 'El Infierno' a blockbuster. But the film, which gives a bleak view of the country's raging drug war, has angered government officials.

Mexican president wants to do away with local police

President Felipe Calderon's reform would eliminate Mexico's 2,000 local police departments, seen as tainted by corruption from the drug war. The plan must still be approved by Congress and the states.