US leans on Mexico to increase deportations

Mexico will step up efforts to deport asylum-seekers and migrants to their countries of origin in order to “depressurize” northern cities bordering the United States, the country’s National Migration Institute announced following a meeting with US officials. Texas border cities such as El Paso and Eagle Pass are scrambling to find shelter space as thousands now cross the border on a daily basis, overwhelming reception capacity. But thousands more聽still wait in northern Mexico,聽trying to make appointments using a government cell phone application to enter the US and lodge asylum claims. (Map: PCL)

North America
rio grande

Deaths linked to Texas-Mexico floating border barrier

Mexican authorities confirmed that they recovered two bodies from the Rio Grande near the border town of Piedras Negras, Coahuila state. Authorities recovered one of the bodies, a Mexican national, from buoys recently floated by Texas in an effort to impede border crossings from Mexico. The second body, that of a Honduran national, was recovered further upstream. The incidents have renewed attention on the floating barrier, which is now the subject of a lawsuit聽between the US Department of Justice聽and the state of Texas. (Map: Google)


Control of oil behind Mexico-Spain tensions

Mexico’s President Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador聽called for a “pause” in relations with Spain, in a speech that explicitly invoked the legacy of colonialism going back to the Conquest. But the speech was aimed principally at Spanish oil company Repsol, which had been favored during the presidential term of Felipe Calder贸n. Specifically, L贸pez Obrador questioned the granting of聽gas contracts in the Burgos Basin, in Mexico’s northeast. He charged that Repsol operated the fields less productively than the state company Pemex had. “In the end, less gas was extracted than Pemex extracted” before the contracts, he charged. Repsol is meanwhile under investigation by Spanish prosecutors on charges of graft related to the company’s efforts to fend聽off a take-over bid by Pemex.聽(Photo via Digital Journal)


Mexico: apology for 1911 massacre of Chinese

Mexico’s President Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador officiated over a ceremony in Torre贸n, Coahuila, where he issued an apology for the 1911 massacre of more than 300 members of the city’s Chinese community at the hands of revolutionary troops. The president said the objective of the apology was to ensure “that this never, ever happens again.” Also on hand was Coahuila Gov. Miguel 脕ngel Riquelme, who said racist ideas fueled “genocidal killings” during a “convulsive” period of Mexico’s history. Also attending the ceremony was Chinese Ambassador Zhu Qingqiao. (Photo of 1911 taking of Torre贸n via Wikipedia)


Mexico claims another blow against cartels

Mexico claimed the capture of Juárez Carel kingpin Vicente Carrillo Fuentes AKA "El Viceroy"—yet another take-down of a defeated rival of the hegemonic Sinaloa Cartel.

Central America

Central America: US returns migrants to danger

Border Patrol agents rush through interviews with Central Americans seeking to flee gangs and then send them home to the "threat of murder, rape and other violence."


Mexican cartel wars winding down?

Mexican authorities claimed another coup against the cartels with the arrest of Héctor Beltran Leyva, last remaining kingpin of the Beltran Leyva Organization.


Mexico: a new Pax Mafiosa?

Reports of a summit of cartel "capos" in Piedras Negras fuel speculation that President Enrique Peña Nieto seeks to rebuild the "Pax Mafiosa" of Mexico's old one-party state.


Mexico: mass graves unearthed in Coahuila

Authorities in the northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila announced that they have recovered at least 500 sets of human remains from mass graves along the Texas border.


Narco-coal: Zetas diversify portfolio

Authorities in Mexico's coal-producing northern state of Coahuila say that the notorios Zetas, bloodiest of the country's warring cartels, have taken over much of the mining industry.