Mexico Places $2M Bounty on Heads of Drug Lords

Wanted: the 24 men who have turned Mexico into one of the most unstable and violent countries in the world.

Personal details of the two dozen leaders of Mexico’s major drug cartels — along with a promised reward of $2 million apiece for information resulting in arrests — were published Monday by the Mexican Government.

An additional $1 million apiece was offered for information leading to the capture of the drug lords’ 13 top lieutenants.

Some of the men on the list, such as JoaquÍn Guzman and Ismael Zamabada, are already targeted by $5 million reward offers from the U.S. Government.

Endemic corruption within Mexico’s political class and law enforcement organizations has made direct action against the cartel chiefs highly risky for anyone who dares take part in it. Widespread despair within Mexico over a drugs war that has left 8,000 dead over two years, coupled with a determination by the new Obama Administration to launch a surge against the cartels, appears to have prompted action.

The wanted list — published by the attorney general's office — revealed that amid intense pressure from the military, Mexico’s two major drug gangs, the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels, have splintered into six factions including former subsidiary groups such as the Pacific cartel and La Familia. Its publication comes before visits to Mexico City by various Cabinet members of the Obama Administration, including Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, and Eric Holder, the attorney general.

Violence from the drugs war has been spilling over into the US: Phoenix, Arizona, has reported 700 kidnappings over the past two years, mostly related to human smugglers trying to extort money from their clients.

Click here to read more on this story from The Times of London.