“He’s proud of the audacity and perseverance it took to bring down the cartel, and he knows he helped prevent murders and kidnappings. But when he looks back, he doesn’t see the clear-cut triumph portrayed in press releases. Instead, he and other agents who worked the case say the experience left them disillusioned.” In the war on drugs, even victories can feel like defeats. Pro Publica and The Atlantic with a familiar (if often untold) tale. A major drug bust that may have led to something worse: Devils, Deals and the DEA.

+ LA Times: “Gisela Mota was sworn into office as mayor of the small city of Temixco in the state of Morelos on New Year’s Day, after promising to help free the small town from the grip of organized crime. Less than 24 hours later, the 33-year-old politician was dead.”

+ If you’re interested in this topic, I just read an excellent novel that traces the human cost of the never-ending war: The Cartel, by Don Winslow.