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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Teaching Just Wasn’t Right for Him, Head of Mexican Drug Cartel Says

A video report from Britain’s Channel 4 News featuring an interview with the head of Mexico’s Knights Templar drug cartel.

In an interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News broadcast last week, Servando Gómez, the head of Mexico’s feared Knights Templar drug cartel, reflected on his transition from schoolteacher to organized crime boss. Teaching, he said, was “an honest job, but for me, with my hyperactive nature and aspirations, it wasn’t satisfying.”

The interview with Mr. Gómez, who goes by the nickname La Tuta, was recorded at an undisclosed location in the western state of Michoacán. The cartel leader, who likes to describe himself as the defender of the local population, remains entrenched there, despite the efforts of federal troops and local vigilante groups.

As my colleague Randal Archibold reported last month, the Knights Templar’s “main source of income has been trafficking methamphetamine to the United States,” but the cartel has also branched out into other fields. According to a source who spoke to Channel 4 News, the cartel makes tens or hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the lucrative trade of illegally mined iron ore.

In recent days, another of the cartel’s leaders, Enrique Plancarte, has been in the spotlight in Mexico, in large part because of the outlandish social media presence of his daughter, Melissa, an aspiring singer.

A BBC News report on the social media presence of a Mexican drug cartel leader’s daughter.

As BBC News explained this week, Ms. Plancarte made headlines in Mexico after she shared an Instagram self-portrait of herself wearing a minidress adorned with Knights Templar symbols and released a music video that was shot in the former Michoacán Palace of Justice, now a museum under state control.

California Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse in YouTube Video is Arrested

Woman confronts a former teacher with allegations of sexual abuse and then posts the recorded telephone conversation on YouTube.

A former California teacher and school administrator is expected to be arraigned Thursday on 16 felony charges of sexual assault after a former student confronted her over the telephone and then posted a video recording of the conversation on YouTube, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office in Riverside, Calif.

In the YouTube video, Andrea Michelle Cardosa, 40, admitted to abusing the former student, now 28 years old, starting when the victim was 12 and a student at Chemawa Middle School in Riverside, as the Lede previously reported.

Prosecutors said another former student, now 18 years old, told police after she saw the video that she was also a victim of abuse by Ms. Cardosa. The video, posted two weeks ago and viewed more than 1.2 million times, is titled, a “A Call to My Childhood Rapist Teacher.”

Ms. Cardosa, who abruptly resigned from her position as a vice principal at Alhambra High School after the video was posted, was arrested at her family’s home in Perris late Monday by members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The Riverside District Attorney’s Office said Ms. Cardosa has been charged with five counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child under the age of 14; five counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14; six counts of lewd acts on a child 14 or 15 years of age while the defendant is at least 10 years older than the victim.

Officials said that Riverside police detectives began their investigation into the allegations against Ms Cardosa after Jamie Carrillo, of Victorville, Calif., posted the video online. Within days, police said, another former student brought more accusations of sexual abuse by Ms. Cardosa to police.

Although the first alleged sexual assault against Ms. Carrillo took place in 1997, California does not have a statute of limitations for sexual assault on a child, unlike most other states.

Officials said the five aggravated sexual assault on a child counts carry potential life sentences should Ms. Cardosa be convicted.

Rights Group Releases Video of LGBT Attacks in Russia

Human Rights Watch video feature on attacks on LGBT people in Russia. The film contains obscenity and graphic images that may be disturbing to some viewers.