Drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ sentenced to life in US prison

Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years by a US federal judge.

The infamous crime boss was found guilty of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and other drugs into the United States as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel in February. 

Directly before Wednesday’s sentencing, El Chapo told the Brooklyn courtroom that his confinement in the US had amounted to “psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day.” He added that he had received an unfair trial and accused jurors of misconduct.

Also on rt.com Pushing a new line: Drug lord El Chapo’s wife launching a fashion brand bearing his name...

He was previously imprisoned in maximum-security prisons in Mexico but twice pulled off daring escapes. On one occasion, he broke free by digging a mile-long tunnel from his cell.

It has not yet been revealed where he will spend the rest of his life but the most likely option is the ADX Florence in Colorado, which is considered America’s most secure “Supermax” prison.

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Cuba Offers Full Guarantees to Investors, High-ranking Official Says

The Government of Cuba gives full guarantee to investors who bring their capital to Cuba, even grants certifications and attestations to offer them security and trust, a senior Cuban official said Wednesday.

Michel Bernal, Commercial Director of the Cuban Ministry of Tourism, who participates in his country's delegation to the tourism summit in Cancun, chaired by Minister Manuel Marrero, explained to the local press details on the issue.

'We are working to accelerate the opening procedures, providing facilities so that they can easily and quickly open their businesses, place their money and begin to recover their investments as soon as possible,' Bernal indicated.

He reiterates that the national legislation and the words of President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Minister Marrero have made it clear that there is total openness to foreign capital, interested in taking its projects to Cuba.

Bernal reminded that Cuba and Mexico are linked by a long history of respect and solidarity, which is why this friendship and work between both nations should be strengthened, also in the area of tourism.

The Cancun Sustainable Tourism Summit ends Wednesday and among the many issues discussed was that of cooperation and multi-destination projects, as well as that related to the sargasso that affects the coastline of Quintana Roo and several Caribbean countries.

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Archaeologists Determined to Uncover Hernan Cortes' Sunken Ship

“Cortes’ ships are very important for Mexican history; we are talking about some of the first ships that crossed the Mexican waters,” one archaeologist said.

A team of archaeologists is determined to find the sunken remains of Spanish Hernan Cortes’ ship which sank to the bottom of the bay of Villa Rica in Veracruz, Mexico in 1519.

RELATED: Ancient ‘Flayed Lord’ Temple Ruins Found in Mexico

According to Mexican archaeologist Roberto Junco, the conquistador’s boats could be just 15 meters below the bay’s floors.  However, the bay’s silty floor and the years of erosion have made past excursions difficult.

Still, in 2018, during an underwater archaeological dig, Junco assisted a team of scientists to excavate the remains of a 15-century anchor, “magnetic anomalies” which warranted further investigation and wood which was dated to be from 1417 to 1492. Although there are no markings which have linked these artifacts to Cortes and his crew, researchers remain hopeful.

“It is an anchor made in Spain in the 15 century, which was found buried in the sand and it is possible that they are fragments of these ships,” Mexican historian and author, Antonio Garcia de Leon, said.

According to archives, Cortes favored the Veracruz port and 40 years ago, a fisherman in Campeche found treasure just off the coast. In a desperate attempt for control, Cortes sank his fleet outside Yucatan before conquering the Aztec empire to keep his men from breaking ranks and focused on the goal to reach Tenochtitlan.

“Cortes’s ships are very important for the history of Mexico, we are talking about some of the first ships that crossed the Mexican waters,” Junco said, adding that fleet was essential to discovering the continent and mapping the coasts.

The newest dig will focus, first, in these areas and those of the “magnetic anomalies,” using “state-of-the-art equipment” combined with diving surveys. Due to the sediment’s luminosity and saline nature, the archaeological treasures are expected to have been preserved well under water — better than on land.

“If we find one (ship,) we will have a better idea of where the others are... If we find one, we find them all,” Junco stated.

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Mexican foreign minister says Mexico will meet with 19 countries over migration plan

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday that Mexico would meet with 19 countries in the coming weeks in an attempt to boost support for a plan to stem illegal migration toward the United States.

Tens of thousands of mostly Central American migrants have been crossing Mexico to reach its northern border with the United States, with an angered U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to impose tariffs on Mexico.

“We already have 19 countries we will meet in the next couple of weeks so that this plan and its actions will grow,” Ebrard said during the president’s regular morning news conference. “Now it is about developed countries participating.”

Ebrard said Mexico was investigating a network of human smugglers, including that of unaccompanied minors, which he said was on the rise, and the financing of these operations.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that Mexico would evaluate the results of the deal it had reached with the United States to stem migration north.

“We want a good relationship with President Trump,” Lopez Obrador reiterated, adding that, regardless of the often difficult and complex relationship, he had seen a willingness from Trump to come to an agreement.

Lopez Obrador met on Thursday with El Salvador’s new president, Nayib Bukele, in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, near the border with Guatemala, to launch a development plan aimed at stemming illegal migration.

Lopez Obrador said Mexico’s priority was to address the root causes of illegal migration: poverty, violence and a lack of democracy in the countries of origin.

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Clash of Trump... Now with Mexico

Once again the current President of the United States proceeds brutally dealing with other.

Now it was Mexico’s turn, to which Donald Trump threatened to impose additional tariffs to its exports if they don’t diminish the arrival to U.S. territory of very poor and hungry people.

After bilateral contacts, Trump spoke openly of a supposed "secret agreement” between both parts.

Something denied, also publicly by the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard.

Reports from the Spanish news agency EFE underlined on Wednesday that the official added: "everything that it was discussed was disclosed on Friday".

The same source also said that, Trump assured that his “secret agreement” with Mexico will be implemented "whenever he wants."

He therefore contradicted the announcement done by the Mexican government, and him saying: "The pact will go into effect after the U.S. Congress ratifies it."

Previously, the Mexican president, Manuel López Obrador, announced the deployment of 6,000 guards to brake immigration and avoid Trump’s tariffs.

EFE revealed that, just about he was leaving the White House bound to Iowa, Trump took out from his jacket a folded sheet of paper.

"This is the agreement everybody says I don't have. I will let Mexico to do the announcement [on its content] at the right time", he said.

Marcelo Ebrard, chancellor of the Aztec nation, reiterated this Monday his negative as for the existence of some commitment.

Yet, as if he hasn’t seen neither listened, Trump has continued repeating his version.

"This is a page of a very long and very good agreement between Mexico and the United States", highlighted the leader. On the other hand, Ebrard said that the Mexican Government doesn't want to make public the agreement yet because its content would "have to undergo [the approval of] its legislative body".

A graphic reporter for The Washington Post made an extended copy of such document.

In the copy could be read the final part that seemed signed by a North American official and another Mexican, where there were not great revelations.

Those paragraphs indicate that both countries attempt to "share the load regarding the prosecution of immigrants."

In turn they mention the Mexican Government's possibility to identify variants in their "laws and regulations."

It also confirms what their chancellor said in advance, to evaluate in the coming 45 days the breakthroughs in the control of the migratory flow.

While, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, informed in a hearing carried out in the Senate that last Tuesday he was on the phone with Ebrard and he assured that they will continue speaking "every day" to implement the agreement.

Another sign on how complex it is.

Ministry of Tourism Promotes Cuba Destination in Mexico

Tourism Advisor of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico, Xiomara Martinez, met this Thursday with about twenty tour operators to whom she explained a plan to market Cuban destinations.

The advertising program will begin on the 23rd in Veracruz, will continue in Puebla and Toluca, and will close on the 27th in Mexico City where it is estimated that more than 250 tour operators from all over the country will attend.

In these places there will be presentations of tourist destinations with the assistance of a Cuban delegation of tourism representing the Ministry, hotels, Palco Group among others, which will participate in these events as part of the program My Authentic Cuba.

There will be presented, the official said, the tourist attractions in the different specialties including congresses and legendary city destinations, everything as part of the celebrations for the 500 years of the foundation of Havana, which makes the offers more attractive.

The Mexican Association of Travel Agencies will be at the center of all scheduled events.

AMAV is an organization that works with the aiming to join and to represent the Mexican travel agencies in all its modalities, as well as other companies related to the tourist activity.

  • Published in Cuba

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019: Group A Preview

The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off with two North American and two Caribbean teams in Group A. Mexico is the clear favorite, but the other three teams should not be overlooked. Will Cuba and Martinique break through to the quarterfinal or will Canada finally deliver on their long-promised resurgence?

SCHEDULE

Saturday, June 15

Canada vs Martinique, 7:30 PM ET

Mexico vs Cuba, 10:00 PM ET

Wednesday, June 19

Cuba vs Martinique, 8:00 PM ET

Mexico vs Canada, 10:30 PM ET

Sunday, June 23

Canada vs Cuba, 6:00 PM ET

Martinique vs Mexico, 8:30 PM ET

Cuba

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 174/129

Odds of winning: Dark Horse

Cuba has enjoyed relative success at the Gold Cup, reaching the quarterfinal round three times (2003, 2013, and 2015). After not qualifying in 2017, the Leones del Caribe finished in sixth place in CONCACAF Nations League qualifying with impressive wins over the Dominican Republic and Grenada.

The last two Cuban Gold Cup squads were solely comprised of domestic players, making this year’s team a bit of an outlier; eight of the 23 players are on the rosters of clubs in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Panama. Cuba is led by young attacker Luis Paradela (Universidad SC) who has five goals in six international appearances, while maintaining a similar strike rate at the club level in Guatemala’s Liga Nacional. Sandy Sánchez (Don Bosco-Jarabacoa) will be the likely number one at goalkeeper, having earned 13 caps. Thirty-one-year-old midfielder-defender Yasmany López (Ciego de Ávila) provides a veteran presence on the squad with 29 caps.

Cuba plays Mexico in its first match, which gets the hardest test out of the way early. The defense has struggled to prevent dynamic dribblers from slaloming through their compact final third (particularly against Haiti), but most teams would find it difficult to stop El Tri’s attackers. Manager Raúl Mederos’ side will head into the second match confidently in control of their own destiny or harshly subdued on the heels of a demoralizing loss.

Martinique

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: Ineligible (Not a member of FIFA)/89

Odds of winning: Dark Horse

Les Matinino earned a spot in the Gold Cup by finishing CONCACAF Nations League qualifying in third place. The country’s best finish in six competition appearances is a 2002 quarterfinal showing. Martinique is not eligible to qualify for the World Cup, as they are not a member of FIFA, so the Gold Cup is essentially their biggest competition.

The bulk of the roster is comprised of players from the two dominant sides in the Martinique Championnat National (top division), Club Franciscain and Golden Lion FC, with an infusion of talent playing abroad. Defenders Jordy Delem (Seattle Sounders), Jean-Sylvain Babin (Sporting Gijón), and Samuel Camille (Tenerife) comprise a very serviceable defensive line. Domestic striker Kévin Parsemain has 34 goals in 51 caps, and will be expected to be the attacking linchpin; he finished as one of co-leading goal scorers at the 2017 Gold Cup with three tallies. There’s also the trio of players based in France – Wesley Jobello (Gazélec Ajaccio), Joris Marveaux (Gazélec Ajaccio), and Kévin Fortuné (Troyes) – who are still integrating into the squad, but could make an impact.

Martinique’s mission is to advance out of the group, which will likely require at least four points. If they’re able to secure a draw against Canada in the tournament’s opening match, it would set the tone for a brutal fight for second place.

Mexico

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 18/17

Odds of winning: Favorite

Mexico enters the tournament as the top seed, under the leadership of newly hired manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino. El Tri has won a record seven Gold Cup competitions, most recently triumphing in 2015, and routinely enjoys strong fan support with a decided home field advantage. The program – having once again failed to advance past the Round of 16 at the World Cup – is in a state of flux, caught between relying on the serviceable old guard and integrating young talent. This isn’t the strongest Mexican side, but the expectations have been and will always be winning the Gold Cup.

As one would expect, the roster is comprised of talented players from Liga MX and abroad. Experienced mainstay veterans will carry the side through the group stage; physical striker Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), captain Andrés Guardado (Real Betis), and Héctor Moreno (Real Sociedad) are included in the 23-player roster. However, Mexico was hit with the injury bug and will be without the services of dynamic attacker Hirving “Chucky” Lozano (PSV Eindhoven) and midfielder Marco Fabián (Philadelphia Union). Additionally, Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC), Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (West Ham), and Jesus Corona (Porto) are also skipping the tournament for various reasons. Martino is unperturbed,telling ESPN, “The important absences that we have... opened the door to see some young players that we wanted to see.”

Despite worries about the tenacity and fluidity of the attack, Mexico looks primed and ready for the Gold Cup. They defeated Venezuela, 3-1, and Ecuador, 3-2, in pre-tournament friendlies, with Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey), and Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul) looking ready to be serious contributors.

Canada

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 78/66

Odds of winning: In the Running

John Herdman’s squad stormed through Nations League qualifying with a 4-0 record, easily reaching the Gold Cup. Canada remains the only nation other than Mexico or the United States to capture the tournament, triumphing in 2000. While this is probably not their year to return to the winner’s circle, don’t be surprised if Les Rouges make a push for the semi-finals and springboard into a strong showing in World Cup qualifying.

Canada can rely on a few different players to score goals and won’t be locked into any specific playing style. Lucas Cavallini (Puebla), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), and 19-year-old talent Jonathan David (Gent) can keep pace with dynamic CONCACAF attacks, whether through possession or Route 1 counter attacking; if caught on the right day, Beşiktaş striker Cyle Larin can add target man abilities off the bench. The defensive group is less reliable and relatively inexperienced, with MLS defenders Doneil Henry and Mark-Anthony Kaye playing key roles. Goalkeeper is a mild question mark, with Waking the Red noting that number one Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade) will likely split time with the rapidly improving Max Crépeau (Vancouver Whitecaps).

This is a team that absolutely should advance, but Canada has a history of failing to meet expectations in a most dismal fashion. They have the benefit of playing Cuba in their third group play match, which could require three points. Avoiding Mexico in what could possibly be a must-win scenario is in every CONCACAF team’s best interest, so look for this side to pull off four-to-six points and advance from the group.

  • Published in Sports

Trump Threatens More Tariffs On Mexico Over Part Of Immigration Deal

Washington: President Donald Trump said on Monday the United States had signed another portion of an immigration and security deal with Mexico that would need to be ratified by Mexican lawmakers.

He did not provide details but threatened tariffs if Mexico's Congress did not approve the plan.

"We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years. It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico's legislative body," Trump tweeted.

"We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, tariffs will be reinstated."

Last month, Trump threatened 5% tariffs on Mexican goods. The duties would increase every month until they reached 25% in October, unless Mexico stopped illegal immigration across its border with Mexico.

On Friday, the tariffs were called off, after the United States and Mexico announced an agreement on immigration. The joint communique issued by the two countries provided few details.

Critics have said there have been no new major commitments to slow Central American migrants crossing into the United States.

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • Published in World
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