Lawsuits, lies, and Colombian prisons: The downfall of two wildly successful tech entrepreneurs

Omar amanat

  • Prominent tech entrepreneurs Omar Amanat and Kaleil Isaza Tuzman were found guilty on numerous accounts of fraudulent charges in their dealings with former video management company KIT digital. 
  • Both Amanat and Tuzman have led successful but controversial entrepreneurial careers — and their guilty verdict marks a striking fall from prominence. 


For the past six weeks, a tangled case of complex fraud leveled against two prominent tech entrepreneurs unfolded in federal court. On December 26, the trial’s defendants, Omar Amanat and Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, were found guilty on numerous accounts of fraudulent charges, as originally reported by Bloomberg

For both Amanat and Tuzman, the conviction is a striking fall from power: The two defendants have made millions of dollars and led successful entrepreneurial careers that have all but unraveled over the course of the past year. 

The court case revealed a series of convoluted legal infractions performed by Amanat and Tuzman in their work with the presently insolvent video-technology company, KIT Digital, a former multi-million dollar leader in the cloud-based video management industry. 

According to Bloomberg, Tuzman, who served as the company’s CEO, and Amanat, who dealt in a series of company investments, covered up losses, inflated the value of shares, and defrauded investors. 

The pair are expected to serve a minimum of a decade in jail and their sentencing will be delivered in April 2018. 

Here’s a breakdown of Amanat and Tuzman’s descent:

Lavish wealth and lurid lawsuits

By the time he was 30 years old, Omar Amanat had sold off his brokerage firm, Tradespace, for $100 million. Amanat was already flush in wealth and had turned his interests towards philanthropy and film production, flaunting connections with A-list celebrities like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. He was known for his lavish lifestyle, an tendency for quoting the Persian poet Rumi, and appearing in designer garb alongside his wife, supermodel Helena Houdova, at high-profile events. omar amanat

But despite Amanat’s effortless exterior, a series of sensational controversies had begun to dog his career. 

In 2014, a multi-million-dollar real estate deal in Thailand collapsed amid a lurid lawsuit with Amanat and his business partner, the Russian oligarch Vladislav Doronin.

Two years later, Amanat’s name was once more featured prominently in the papers. He had leased his lavish Hampton home to a hedge-fund trader, Brett Barna, who allegedly trashed the $20 million estate in a widely publicized madcap party

The New York Times reported that  Amanat had threatened to sue Barna for $1 million and was hounding him for thousands of dollars in damages.  

But Amanat’s threats were short-lived. Days after he had threatened to sue, Amanat received a visit in his New Jersey home from the FBI, which charged Amanat with multiple counts of fraud.

Right now, Amanat awaits his sentencing in jail. 

On his personal website, he describes the trial’s outcome as an “injustice in America.”

The facts of this case will all be made plain to see shortly,” Amanat wrote. “You’ve only seen snippets. You’ve only seen what they want you to see.”

A successful dot-com millionaire serves time in a Colombian prison

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman is considered one of the preeminent figures of the dot-com boom. 

 A Harvard graduate, Tuzman worked as an analyst for five years on Wall Street, before launching his own company,, which is featured in the documentary ‘’

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman

Tuzman, who is considered an expert in the field of digital media, went on to join KIT Digital as the company’s chief executive.

Tuzman was charged with fraud for his involvement with KIT Digital in 2015. He was reportedly apprehended on a business trip in Bogotá, Colombia by Colombian officials, which had been sent to arrest Tuzman at the behest of the US government. Tuzman spent 10 months in “La Picota,” a notorious local prison.

Tuzman described his prison time to the New York Times as a harrowing ordeal: The former CEO claims he was abused, raped, and threatened at knifepoint by Colombian authorities. Multiple attempts on Tuzman’s behalf by his attorneys to the US Embassy were met to no avail. 

He was later extradited to the US where he faced trial alongside Amanat.

SEE ALSO: The father of virtual reality sounds off on the changing culture of Silicon Valley, the impending #MeToo backlash, and why he left Google for Microsoft

DON’T MISS: The 50 best-paying big companies, according to employees

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What those tiny rivets on your jeans are for

Source link

Las Vegas is bolstering security for New Year's Eve with snipers, the National Guard, and a hostage rescue team

las vegas strip

  • Las Vegas is bolstering its security measures for its New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Strip, which more than 300,000 people are expected to attend.
  • The heightened security comes in the wake of a deadly mass shooting three months ago, in which a gunman opened fire on concertgoers from a nearby hotel.
  • Las Vegas has received assistance from the Department of Homeland Security, including extra officers, snipers, a hostage rescue team, and helicopters.

Three months after a gunman rained bullets on a country music festival in Las Vegas, the city is preparing for more than 300,000 people to descend on the Strip to celebrate New Year’s Eve — and scores of local and federal officers will be there in the hopes of preventing another massacre.

For the first time in the city’s history, the Department of Homeland Security has given Las Vegas’s New Year’s Eve festivities its top special assessment rating, a designation that comes with extra resources like federal officers, intelligence, snipers, an FBI hostage rescue team, and helicopters with tactical security forces, The New York Times reported.

The October 1 massacre, which killed 58 and left hundreds injured, was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, and has served as a warning to large cities hosting major public events that could be seen as targets.

In an effort to combat that threat, cities like Las Vegas and New York have bolstered their security plans for New Year’s Eve, when celebrations are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of revelers.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, for instance, said it will deploy every single officer to work a shift between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“We need to be able to focus on multiple shooters, on one or more above the ground — we’ve got to multiply our forces,” Chief Chris Jones told The Times.

He added that more than 5,000 officers will be placed along the Strip, and nearly all of the four miles it comprises will be closed to traffic.

‘Out of an abundance of caution’

nypd times square new year's eveThe New York Police Department, too, is sending in rooftop observation teams and counter-snipers into buildings to spot or disarm any high-rise shooters taking aim at the crowds watching the ball drop in Times Square, The Times reported.

The NYPD, keenly aware of recent terrorist attacks in New York City, are sending out Labrador retrievers that can smell explosive particles on would-be suicide bombers, like the man who partially detonated a makeshift bomb in one of the city’s underground passageways earlier this month.

The NYPD is also placing sand trucks around Times Square to prevent vehicle attacks, like the one that killed eight people on Halloween after a driver plowed his rented pickup truck down a lower Manhattan bike path.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference Thursday there were no direct, credible threats to the city’s New Year’s Eve events, but the security measures were being tightened regardless.

“Out of an abundance of caution, however, you’ll see a stronger police presence out there than we’ve seen even in recent years,” O’Neill said.

SEE ALSO: The Bronx fire that killed 12 was apparently caused by a 3-year-old child playing with the burners on a stove

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A mother and daughter stopped speaking after Trump was elected — here’s their emotional first conversation after the long silence

Source link

Criminal Minds: [Spoiler] Is Shot, Then Gets a Shock — 2018 FIRST LOOK – TVLine

Despite all appearances, it is in fact no day at the beach for the BAU team in this first look at a 2018 episode of Criminal Minds.

PHOTOS Get 2018 First Looks From NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Scorpion, MacGyver and Many Other Shows

In the CBS drama’s first episode back from the holiday break, titled “Submerged” and airing Wednesday, Jan. 3, the BAU launches a search for an UnSub with a puzzling past when a series of backyard pool homicides are reported in California.

In the photos above and below, you can see that the investigation leads the team to a lakefront, where a series of surprises await them — including Agent Matt Simmons (played by Daniel Henney) getting shot, immediately after which he witnesses the UnSub committing… well, a devastating act.

In the same episode, Lou Diamond Phillips (Longmire) guest-stars as Sheriff Clifford.

Once again, Criminal Minds resumes Season 13 on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 10/9c.

Criminal Minds 2018

Want more scoop on Criminal Minds, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

New, grisly displays in a Mexican tourist hub underscore spiraling narco violence

Mexico Monterrey bridge sign narcomanta Zetas crime scene

  • Bodies were found hanging from bridges in Baja California Sur several days before Christmas, along with banners known as narcomantas.
  • Such displays were common during previous times of inter-cartel fighting, but it’s the first time one has appeared in Baja California Sur.
  • Violence has risen precipitously through Mexico over the past three years.

During the early-morning hours of December 20, the bodies of six men were found hanging from bridges in the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California Sur, a popular tourist hub where deadly violence has risen precipitously in recent years.

At about 4:30 a.m., two bodies were found hanging from a bridge near the international airport in the municipality of Los Cabos, at the southern end of the state. At about 5 a.m., two more bodies were found in Cabo San Lucas, hanging from a bridge over a highway connecting that city to San Jose del Cabo.

At about 6 a.m., another two bodies were found hanging from a highway bridge near the international airport in the capital, La Paz, which is north of Los Cabos.

Homicides in Baja California Baja California Sur

There has been a sharp increase in violence — much of it attributed to fighting among organized-crime groups — in Baja California Sur over the past three years.

The 650 homicide victims in the state from January to November of this year marked 223% and 284% increases over the same periods in 2016 and 2015.

But the December 20 incidents were reportedly the first time bodies had been found hung from bridges in the state.

‘A cleansing’

Narcomantas — public announcements by criminals that often accompany corpses — were left with the bodies.

They were attributed to the Guzmanes y Tegoripeños gang, and one reportedly said, in part: “This is what will happen to anyone who does not fall into line with us. It has been made more than clear that we hold all the power and that Baja north and south are ours.”

Several such signs have been attributed to the gang over the past two months, threatening government officials and boasting of “a cleansing” in the area.

A sign attributed to the group also appeared in the days after Baja California Sur’s human-rights ombudsman and his son were gunned down in late November.

The gang’s name appears to refer to Tegoripa, a small town in the Sinaloa state’s Badiraguato municipality, which is where the Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was born. Guzmán’s surname appears to be the basis for the other half of the gang’s name.

Bodies hung from bridges or other structures with narcomantas appeared frequently elsewhere in Mexico during the major cartel clashes of the 2000s and early 2010s.

Several such displays were found around Tijuana in late 2016, and a body was hung from a bridge in the nearby Nayarit state a few days before the incident in Baja California Sur, part of a wave of killings in the state thought to be related to organized crime. Narcomantas were found at the scene of several of those crimes, including at the bridge.

Tourist hubs like Los Cabos have long avoided the kind of bloodshed seen elsewhere in the country during the past decade of its drug war.

But those areas have seen increasing violence in recent months.

Amid the dizzying increase in homicides through Baja California, the Los Cabos municipality, home to Cabo San Lucas, has also seen a spike: from 49 homicide cases (which can contain more than one victim) through all of 2016 to 286 through the first 11 months of this year — a 483% increase.

Mexico Cancun soldiers mall shooting

As of the end of the summer, increasing violence in those places, which has largely taken place outside tourist areas, hadn’t appreciably affected tourist activity (though feelings of insecurity among residents have risen).

From June to August, Los Cabos saw a 6% increase in hotel occupancy compared with the previous year, and it saw a 17% increase in passenger arrivals during the first nine months of the year.

Nevertheless, violence in those tourist areas did prompt the US State Department to issue a travel warning for Baja California Sur at the end of August. Quintana Roo, home to Cancun and Playa del Carmen in the country’s southeast, was also included.

Many areas of Mexican have been listed for some time, but the August notice was the first time those two states had been included.

At the time, Mexican officials acknowledged there were areas of concern in the country, but they also said the timing of the notice could have been a sign of political maneuvers by Washington in relation to ongoing NAFTA talks.

SEE ALSO: Deadly violence in Mexico is at record levels, and new crime data adds to the ugly picture

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The wives of El Chapo’s henchmen reveal how they hid and spent $2 billion

Source link

The Demirtaş verdict and 'enemy criminal law' – Open Democracy

letter to Selahattin Demirtaş, MP and co-president of HDP, in pre-trial
detention since November 4, 2016.

lead Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is escorted by Turkish gendarmerie. He and nine other HDP MPs were arrested in November 2016,to international condemnation. Depo Photos/Press Association. All rights reserved.

Dear Selahattin Demirtaş,

As a criminal lawyer, to make an evaluation
of your verdict in your context is not easy. This despite the fact that you are
one of the most competent individuals to do this, while making people smile and
think at the same time. Isn’t the main or even the sole reason of your ongoing
detention since November 4, 2016, about the content and form of your possible
assessments in the parliament, party group meetings, rallies, on the radio and
television and thus your utmost
ability to wear out the current government?

The Constitutional Court General Assembly
(CCGA) rejected the objection against your detention on the basis of speeches
you made while you were an MP, an MP fulfilling his duty. It was stated that
this decision is a pilot judgment for the other MPs in a similar situation. This CCGA decision, when compared to the
contrary decisions given by the same court for two MPs in 2013 and 2014 in this
regard, shows that in Turkey, ‘enemy criminal law’ principles are being applied
side by side with citizen criminal law ones. The
decision of the CCGA once again demonstrates the registration and declaration
of this fact by the current state of emergency jurisdiction.

The main feature of ‘enemy criminal law’ is
that the criminal law in force focuses on the perpetrator rather than the act
or fault itself. Today, the criminal law in force is predicated on the
protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens to a certain extent.
On the other hand, ‘enemy criminal law’, which is applied to those who are not regarded
as full citizens, is now put into effect for an ever-expanding circle of
people. Dear Selahattin Demirtas, as a person who has been a human rights
lawyer for many years, this is a subject you know a lot better than I do: this ‘enemy
criminal law’.

You would have explained it better than I
ever could: but for this very reason, your voice and actions are constrained.
Günther Jakobs, a German professor of criminal law and philosophy of law,
introduced this concept for the first time in 1985. Then he developed it in
three stages. After the 2001 Twin Towers attack, in 2003, he finalized his
analysis, which has more or less become a part of the
“anti-terrorism” policy implemented in many states today. One of the
main features of ‘enemy criminal law’ is that the principle of presumption of
innocence does not apply to the defendant. 

Today, the criminal justices of the peace who
automatically rule the continuation of detention, act as the keystone of ‘enemy
criminal law’. This criminal law, which is applied to those who exhibit or can
exhibit hostility towards the State, corresponds to a generalization of the
state of exception, both in content and in procedure. It sets to work by
defining the opposition elements which disturb the government or challenge its
power, as the ‘enemy.’ It is the ‘internal enemy’ and therefore is even
deprived of the rights enjoyed by an external enemy. Today, in Turkey, the internal
enemy is composed of large masses of undesirable citizens who are either accused
of being “a member of a terrorist organization” or engaging “in
terrorist propaganda”.

Enemy criminal law, while promoting the
notion of raison d’état, is bringing
all the institutions of the state, primarily the judiciary, under the absolute
dominion of the ruling power. It is functioning as the criminal law of a
system, where all the people openly opposing a government with oligarchic
tendencies, are declared as the enemy. 
However, the government itself is the real enemy of the rule of law. First,
it is identifying the people as the internal enemy; then it is incriminating
them without any court decision, and finally, by making its suspects the legal
enemy, it is depriving them of all their citizenship rights.

Dear Selahattin Demirtaş, today a despotic
regime is in power. This regime not only incarcerates you but also defines your
statements in court as hostile and disturbing. But I still keep my faith that
you and the other citizens of Turkey like you, who have never deviated from
democracy and non-violent solutions, will manage to transform this despotic
regime that feeds off animosity.

I wish you, and the thousands like you, who
have been held as hostages by enemy criminal law, patience, and I hope the new year
will be brighter than the previous one for the sake of Turkish democracy.

This open letter was originally published
in Cumhuriyet, on December 23, 2017.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger sued for banning men from a comedy show

iliza shlesinger

  • Comedian Iliza Shlesinger is facing a lawsuit for hosting a women-only comedy show last month.
  • The attorney who filed the suit has a history of suing companies for gender discrimination on behalf of men. 
  • According to Variety, Shlesinger’s show may have violated a California law protecting “equal accommodations” in the state. 


Comedian Iliza Shlesinger is facing a lawsuit for hosting a women-only comedy event in California last month.

As Variety notes, the suit’s plaintiff, George St. George, bought a ticket to Shlesinger’s show at Largo at The Coronet on November 13, which was advertised as “Girls Night In with Iliza — No Boys Allowed.”

The suit contends that St. George and a male friend were initially told they could sit in the back row of the show, and were subsequently denied entry and offered refunds.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the attorney who filed the suit, Alfred Rava, has a history of suing companies for gender discrimination on behalf of men. In 2004, Rava orchestrated a class action lawsuit against the Oakland A’s baseball organization for giving away hats to women at a Mother’s Day game. 

“Simply put, it is against many California laws for a business to discriminate against patrons based on their sex or other personal characteristics, such as race or sexual orientation which should surprise no one,” Rava writes in the suit.

Rava goes on to argue that the women-only show “repudiated hundreds of years of women’s struggles to be viewed as being equal to men and is typical of old-fashioned sexism that might also advise a young woman that her best chance for a happy life is to ace her home economics class and learn how to make a queso dip from Velveeta to catch a good man.”

According to Variety, a 1985 California Supreme Court case ruled that “ladies night” discounts violate an “equal accommodations” law in the state, and violations are punishable by a $4,000 fine, plus attorneys’ fees. 

Shlesinger’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the suit below:

St. George v. Iliza Shlesinger by gmaddaus on Scribd

(function() var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); )();

SEE ALSO: Men are freaking out at Alamo Drafthouse for hosting ladies-only ‘Wonder Woman’ screenings

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here’s how Jay-Z and Beyoncé spend their $1.16 billion

Source link

Scoop: Coming Up on CRIMINAL MINDS on CBS – Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – Broadway World

Scoop: Coming Up on CRIMINAL MINDS on CBS - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 On the episode “Bad Moon on the Rise” – The BAU is called to New York when several casualties of a brutal nature are reported in Central Park, on CRIMINAL MINDS, Wednesday, Jan. 17 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again.

The Behavioral Analysis Unit’s most experienced agent is David Rossi, founding member of the BAU, who is essential in helping the team solve new cases.

Other members include Special Agent Emily Prentiss, the daughter of high-powered diplomats who returns to the team after being the head profiler at Interpol; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid, a classically misunderstood GENIUS whose social IQ is as low as his intellectual IQ is high; Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau, the team’s former unit liaison turned profiler, who juggles motherhood and marriage with the same skill as she solves cases; Penelope Garcia, the team’s indispensable computer wizard who helps research the cases with her unique charm; Dr. Tara Lewis, a forensic psychologist whose expertise is studying and interviewing serial killers after they’ve been captured to determine if they are able to stand trial; Luke Alvez, a former Army ranger and excellent tracker recruited to the BAU from the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force; and Special Agent Simmons who joins his colleagues in the BAU after consulting them when he was a member of the International Response Team. Simmons is an ex-Delta soldier with deft profiling skills and military special-ops expertise.

As the team evolves together, the BAU continues its dedication to using their expertise to pinpoint predators’ motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them.<

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Denton criminal defense attorney named to top 10 list – Denton Record Chronicle

The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys has named longtime Denton lawyer Tim Powers to its list of the nation’s top 10 best law firms. 

The institute is part of a three-year-old trade association that provides attorney-client conflict resolution and conducts annual impartial evaluations  to rate and rank various lawyers and law firms. 

Powers is the managing attorney of his law firm and an adjunct professor of criminal law and criminal procedure at the University of North Texas. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Black civil rights leaders say Trump judicial nominee is 'a product of the modern white supremacist machine'

Thomas Alvin Farr

  • Civil rights leaders are calling on the Senate to reject Thomas Farr, President Donald Trump’s nominee for a federal court in North Carolina.
  • William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, called Farr “a product of the modern white supremacist machine.”
  • Farr is the latest in a string of federal judicial nominees who progressives, and some Republicans, have argued are unfit to serve.

Civil rights leaders are calling on the Senate to reject President Donald Trump’s nominee to a federal court in North Carolina, arguing that Thomas Farr has long worked to promote racist policies and is “a product of the modern white supremacist machine.”

Farr, Trump’s pick for the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, began his career as counsel to former US Sen. Jesse Helms, a supporter of racial segregation who represented North Carolina for 30 years.

Over the last decade, Farr and his law firm colleagues have defended voting restrictions and identification laws that courts have struck down as deliberately discriminatory. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found in 2016 that North Carolina’s voter restriction laws targeted black communities “with almost surgical precision.”

Black civil rights leaders and progressive groups, including the Congressional Black Caucus, are calling on the Senate to reject Farr. In October, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved him in a party-line vote, and Farr is now up for confirmation by the full Senate.

Rev. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, wrote in a Tuesday New York Times op-ed that Farr, who he called the most “alarming” of all of Trump’s judicial nominees, would pose a direct threat to North Carolina’s black communities.

“African-Americans seeking to have their rights protected under federal law have much to fear if Mr. Farr takes the bench,” he wrote.

He went on, “Senators from both sides of the aisle must condemn the experience Mr. Farr brings with him. Having practiced white supremacy for decades, Mr. Farr is not likely to withdraw. Every senator who condemned the racism on display in Charlottesville must vote to prevent it from having power in the federal judiciary.”

Barber noted that about half of North Carolina’s black residents live in the area presided over by the Eastern District. And despite President Barack Obama’s efforts to seat two black female nominees on that court, the Eastern District has never had a black judge.

Both of North Carolina’s GOP senators, meanwhile, strongly support Farr’s nomination.

‘A grave disservice’

William Barber, II

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus tore into Farr’s record in a September letter to the Judicial Committee, pointing to his work on Helms’ 1990 Senate campaign, during which postcards were mailed to 100,000 black voters wrongly suggesting they were ineligible to vote and warning they could be arrested and prosecuted for fraud if they tried.

“It is no exaggeration to say that had the White House deliberately sought to identify an attorney in North Carolina with a more hostile record on African-American voting rights and workers’ rights than Thomas Farr, it could hardly have done so,” the Caucus members wrote.

Farr told the Senate during his September hearing that he only learned of the postcards after they were sent and that he was “appalled” by the strategy. But a former Department of Justice official who investigated the incident has directly contradicted Farr’s claim, arguing that he was “certainly involved in the scheme as it was being developed.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has accused Farr of lying to the Senate and called on him to withdraw his nomination. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to bring Farr back in for more questioning.

“Farr appears to have explicitly misled the Senate about his role in a scheme to intimidate Black North Carolinians and stop them from voting in the 1990 midterm elections,” the Legal Defense Fund wrote last month, arguing that Farr is neither sufficiently qualified nor competent to serve on the federal judiciary.

This comes after the American Bar Association determined that four of Trump’s judicial nominees are “not qualified” to serve on the federal bench. Those listed unqualified by the ABA did not include one nominee, Matthew Petersen, who withdrew himself from consideration earlier this month after a video clip of him struggling to prove basic knowledge of legal procedure went viral.

Petersen’s withdrawal was the third by a Trump judicial nominee in 10 days.

Trump, who is filling federal judicial vacancies at a rapid rate, and other GOP leaders have accused the ABA of having a liberal bias.

SEE ALSO: Controversial Trump judicial nominee used to be a ghost hunter and has a cult following for his horror novels

DON’T MISS: Black Alabamians carried Doug Jones to victory — and it should be a warning to Democrats for 2018

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A mother and daughter stopped speaking after Trump was elected — here’s their emotional first conversation after the long silence

Source link

Deadly violence in Mexico is at record levels, and new crime data adds to the ugly picture

Monterrey Mexico crime scene homicide soldiers

  • Violence in Mexico has reached record levels, eclipsing levels reached during the depths of inter-cartel warfare in 2011.
  • At the state level, violence has grown precipitously in some areas, driven in part by fragmentation of criminal groups.
  • Mexico’s governing party has pushed for deeper military involvement in crime-fighting.

With a month left in the year, 2017 has already seen record levels of deadly violence throughout Mexico.

The 2,595 homicide victims recorded across the country in November are second only to the 2,773 registered in October. All together, the numbers vault Mexico to 26,573 homicide victims through the first 11 months of the year — more than in any full year since the government began releasing that statistic in 2014.

The January-November total for homicide victims is a 27% increase over the same period last year, a 55% increase over that period in 2015, and a 67% increase over the first 11 months of 2014. (Mexico’s government has also been accused of manipulating crime data to lower the incidence of high-impact crimes like homicide.)

Homicide victims in Mexico 2015 to 2017

Mexican officials opened 2,212 homicide cases — which can contain more than one victim — in November. That’s an average of 73.7 cases each day, and 68% of those involved a firearm.

During the first 11 months of 2017, 23,101 homicide cases were opened — a 23% increase over the same period in 2016.

The total homicide cases for the first 11 months of this year already exceed the number recorded during all of 2011, which was most violent year on record since the government began releasing crime data in 1997.

The homicide rate over the first 11 months of this year, based on the number of cases opened, was 18.7 per 100,000 people, according to Animal Politico. That exceeds the previous high of 17.8 cases per 100,000, registered in 2011.

2017 is also the third consecutive year of increases in the homicide rate over the first 11 months of the year — a cumulative increase of 57%.

At the state level, the increased violence has also been widespread, with some areas seeing a greater intensification than others.

Twenty-eight of Mexico’s 32 states have seen an increase in homicides this year in comparison to last year, according to Animal Politico. (One of the four that haven’t is Michoacan, a traditional hotspot for drug-related crime.)

Mexico Ciudad Juarez homicide victim crime scene

Among the states that have seen increases, Baja California Sur, home to the Los Cabos tourist hub, saw the biggest year-to-year increase in homicide victims, rising 223%. Quintana Roo — the state on the opposite site of the country that is home to Cancun and Playa del Carmen — had a 108% increase in homicide victims.

Baja California, the border state where Tijuana is located, saw a 90% increase. Chihuahua, a border state prized by drug traffickers, had a 35% increase. As Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope noted on Twitter, Baja California had a smiliar number of homicide victims as Mexico state, despite having one-fifth the population.

Homicides in Mexico states 2015 to 2017

Colima, a Pacific coast state that has been the site of fighting between the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels, saw the number of homicide victims rise 35% between 2016 and 2017.

But Colima’s 2017 homicide numbers were 368% higher than those recorded in 2015, and the state now has Mexico’s highest homicide rate: 83 per 100,000 people.

The number of homicide victims rose 38% in Sinaloa, the site of a turf war between factions of the Sinaloa cartel earlier this year.

Nayarit, which borders Sinaloa to the south, saw a dizzying 610% increase, rising from 41 during the first 11 months of 2016 to 291 over that period this year.

Other data included in the government’s report, as well as new information included for the first time, sheds more light on the scope and intensify of criminal activity in Mexico this year.

While the total number of crimes reported in the country fell between October and November, the first 11 months of this year have already seen 13% more crimes than were reported all last year.

The total number of violent robberies rose 37.5%, while violent car robberies — car-jackings — have risen 41% during the first 11 months of the year. Of the 23,101 homicide cases opened in January through November this year, 66% of them involved a firearm — up from 61% during the same period last year.

The total number of assaults rose a little more than 12% during the first 11 months of the year, and within that category, assaults with a firearm rose just over 37%, from 5,575 in January through November 2016 to 7,651 during that same period this year.

Two other high-impact crimes, extortion and kidnapping, rose 10% and 3%, respectively, though those crimes often go unreported.

Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua Mexico crime scene homicide murder police

Crime data for November also comes with new categories meant to link the government’s numbers to those reported by the national statistical agency and close gaps between the two data sets, according to Animal Politico.

The new data includes 31 new crimes, such as femicide, domestic violence, human trafficking, street-level drug sales, and environmental crimes. It will also contain information on the age and sex of victims.

Among that newly included data, which covers the period from January 2015 to November this year, domestic violence and street-level drug sales were the two most committed crimes. There were 436,145 cases of the former over that period and 113,639 of the latter.

Over that period, there were also 1,525 reported cases of femicide, or homicides that specifically target women.

SEE ALSO: There’s a ‘double-edged sword’ hanging over Mexico’s decade-long war on drug cartels

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The wives of El Chapo’s henchmen reveal how they hid and spent $2 billion

Source link