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Archive for Mexico

Newsline: US offers $20,000 reward in Guadalajara consulate grenade attack

The United States government is offering a US $20,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or group responsible for a grenade attack on the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara the night before the inauguration of President López Obrador. A statement issued yesterday by the United States Embassy in Mexico said that “on November 30, 2018 at 10:48pm, an unidentified individual threw two grenades, which exploded on the United States Consulate compound in Guadalajara, Jalisco.” The person who threw the grenades was caught on film by surveillance cameras.



Newsline: Grenade attack at US Consulate in Mexico may have been cartel hit

Law enforcement authorities from both the United States and Mexico are investigating a grenade explosion targeting the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Friday evening. It is believed two grenades were thrown, with one exploding on consular grounds around 7.30 Friday evening. In a statement released Saturday, consular officials said they “were aware of a security incident that took place at the U.S. Consulate General” on Friday evening. “The consulate was closed at the time and there were no injuries,” the statement continued. “U.S. and Mexican authorities are investigating. We will provide further information (including about consular operations) as it becomes available.” While the investigation continues and there have been no culprits yet identified, the attack comes just a week after several videos were posted online showcasing an interrogation of a cartel “sicario”– otherwise known as a hitman — allegedly working for the dominant cartel in the area, Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). He claimed he had orders to attack U.S. embassies or consulates from its leader, Rubén Oseguera González, also known as “El Menchito.”


Newsline: 22 years in prison for US diplomat shooting

A 33-year-old Chino Hills man was sentenced Nov. 7 to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to a Jan. 6, 2017 non-fatal shooting of a U.S. diplomat in Guadalajara, Mexico, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. Zia Zafar, a former medical student, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person and a count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, officials announced. “Zia Zafar targeted a U.S. government employee and surveilled him before shooting him in the chest at close range,” said assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski. “The Department of Justice does everything in its power to prosecute anyone who targets U.S. officials at home or abroad.” Prosecutors said the vice consul was targeted and shot because he represented the United States. Mr. Zafar, who at the time of the shooting was in medical school and living in Guadalajara, was armed with a gun and wore a wig and sunglasses to disguise his appearance. He waited in a parking garage for the vice consul, who worked at the U.S. Consulate in the city, prosecutors said. Mr. Zafar followed the victim as he walked towards his vehicle.


Newsline: Ex-Medical Student Sentenced in US Diplomat’s Shooting

Prosecutors say a former medical student has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for the 2017 shooting of a U.S. diplomat. A news release from the U.S. Department of Justice said 33-year-old Zia Zafar of Chino Hills, California, was sentenced after previously pleading guilty in a federal court in Virginia to attempted murder of an internationally protected person and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. According to prosecutors, Zafar was living in Guadalajara, Mexico, in January 2017 when he followed vice consul Christopher Ashcraft from the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara. Authorities said as Ashcraft drove away from the consulate, Zafar fired a shot into the vehicle and hit the vice consul in his chest. Ashcraft survived, but the bullet remains lodged in his spinal column.


Newsline: Mexican consulate in San Bernardino caught in money fraud scandal

The chief deputy of the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino has been accused of giving more than 25,000 dollars to Caminemos Juntos USA-Mex, a non-profit whose reputation is questionable. This scandal comes after Proceso, a national magazine in Mexico, published a story that accused Salomon Rosas, the chief deputy at the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino, of embezzling Mexican federal funds intended to teach workshops to undocumented immigrants. In 2017, the Mexican government allocated $400,000 of federal funds to the consulate in San Bernardino, which was used to pay 14 local nonprofits and organizations. Rosas said he thinks the accusations are “defamatory and offensive.”

Mexican consulate in San Bernardino caught in money fraud scandal

Newsline: Man pleads guilty to shooting US diplomat in Mexico

A California man has pleaded guilty to shooting a U.S. diplomat in Mexico. Zia Zafar entered guilty pleas in a Virginia federal court Friday to attempted murder of an internationally protected person and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. The 33-year-old Zafar, of Chino Hills, California, admitted shooting and wounding a vice consul in Guadalajara on Jan. 6, 2017. Zafar is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 7. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for attempted murder and a mandatory minimum of 10 years on the firearm charge. The charges were filed in Virginia because Zafar was brought into the country in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Dulles International Airport is located.


Newsline: US ambassador to Mexico officially departs

The United States’s top diplomat to Mexico left Mexico City on Saturday for the last time in her official capacity, capping off a nearly two-year tenure in the post. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico announced Ambassador Roberta Jacobson’s departure from the Mexican capital, saying that she was flying back to the U.S. on a commercial plane. “I am sad to leave Mexico, but take with me a deep affection for this marvelous country and the Mexican people. I believe we have made great strides in our bilateral relationship,” Jacobson said in a statement. “I am not saying goodbye, but rather so long for now.”