Mexico
Squadron 421

Zapatistas launch symbolic ‘invasion’ of Spain

Seven indigenous Maya members of Mexico’s Zapatista movement set sail from Isla Mujeres, off the coast of the Yucat√°n Peninsula, on a trans-Atlantic voyage meant to symbolically reverse the Spanish¬†conquest of Mexico 500 years ago. Sailing in a wooden vessel they built themselves, christened La Monta√Īa, the delegation hopes to reach Madrid by Aug. 13, anniversary of the 1521 fall of Tenochtitl√°n, Mexico’s ancient capital, to the conquistador Hernan¬†Cort√©s. The delegation intends to land at Vigo, on Spain’s northern coast, and then continue to Madrid, beginning a tour of some 20 European countries. (Photo: Pie P√°gina)

Mexico
Juarez

Northern Mexico: aid efforts struggle to keep pace

Humanitarian response networks in northern Mexico are stretched thin between the growing number of people fleeing violence, poverty, and climate disasters in Central America, the continued expulsion of asylum-seekers and migrants who enter the United States irregularly, and the lingering effects of Trump-era migration policies.¬†Nowhere is this pressure being felt more acutely than in Ciudad Ju√°rez, a Mexican city of around 1.5 million bordering El Paso, Texas. Shelters are overwhelmed and underfunded, and more arrive every day‚ÄĒfrom both the north and south.¬†(Photo:¬†Lu√≠s Chaparro/The New Humanitarian)

Mexico
CFE

Mexico: court suspends new electricity law

A Mexican court issued a suspension of the new electricity law that aims to strengthen the state-run company, Comisi√≥n Federal de Electricidad (CFE). The law is supported by President Andr√©s Manuel L√≥pez Obrador, who wants to increase state control of the energy market. L√≥pez Obrador claimed that under the previous administration, the electricity market was skewed in favor of private operators. Grupo Bimbo, Walmart Inc and two unnamed companies filed challenges against the law. The US Chamber of Commerce expressed concern that the new law violates the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and may create a monopoly in the electricity sector. The injunction will be in place until the case is decided on its merits. The judge asserted that the injunction was necessary “to prevent economic damage to the electricity sector, to ensure competition, and to protect the environment.” (Photo of power lines in¬†Ixtapaluca via Wikimedia Commons)

Central America
Hurricane Eta

Villagers abandoned in Eta’s deadly aftermath

Some 150 are dead, with remote indigenous and campesino communities left stricken and without aid, a week after Hurricane Eta tore through Central America. Eta made landfall south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, as a Category 4 storm. Two g√ľiriseros, or artisanal gold-miners, were among the first killed, as a landslide inundated the mining camp of Tigre Norte in Bonanza municipality of Nicargua’s North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region. Far worse was follow in Guatemala, where officials have called off the search for dozens believed to have been buried when a mountainside collapsed, engulfing the hamlet of Queja. Ovidio Choc, mayor of San Cristobal Verapaz municipality, said the site of Queja will probably be declared a cemetery. Elsewhere in Guatemala’s Maya Highlands, villagers have had to mobilize their own rescue and recovery efforts, effectively abandoned by the government. (Map: National Hurricane Center)

Mexico
Oscar Eyraud Adams

Water protector slain in Baja California

Oscar Eyraud Adams, a community activist in the Mexican border town of Tecate, Baja California, was assassinated in an attack on his home by what local accounts described as an “armed commando.”¬†The following day, his brother-in-law was gunned down in a convenience store along the Tecate-Ensenada highway. Adams had been a prominent advocate for the Kumiai (also rendered Kumeyaay) indigenous people in their struggle for irrigation concessions for their remote communities in outlying rural areas of Tecate and Ensenada municipalities, which have been denied by the National Water Commission (ConAgua). Friends and supporters of Adams are blaming the assassinations on the “narco-state” and demanding that authorities investigate them as political crimes. (Photo:¬†@AguaParaTodxsMX)

Mexico
Bloque Negro

Mexico City: militant protest for reproductive rights

A march for abortion rights turned violent in Mexico City as a group of women wearing ski-masks and armed with hammers clashed with police. Members of the Bloque Negro feminist collective joined the protest after departing from the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), which they had been occupying for weeks and had turned into a shelter for victims of gender violence. With their path to the city’s historic center blocked by riot police, some threw Molotov cocktails¬†and charged the police lines. Some of the women also bared their breasts, even as they wore goggles and helmets. Authorities said 11 police were injured in the confrontation. The demonstration was part of a Day for Decriminalization of Abortion in Latin America & the Caribbean on the eve of International Safe Abortion Day. In Mexico, abortion is only legal in the Federal Distriact and southern state of Oaxaca during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In the rest of the country, it only permitted under limited circumstances, such as if a woman has been raped. (Photo via¬†Mexico News Daily)

Mexico
ocosingo

Mexico: Zapatista community attacked in Chiapas

A communal coffee warehouse in one of the rebel Zapatista base communities in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas was burned down in an attack by a rival campesino group that operates a paramilitary force in the area. The New Dawn of the Rainbow Commercial Center, maintained by small coffee cultivators loyal to the Zapatista rebel movement, was attacked by followers of the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers (ORCAO), according to a statement from the National Indigenous Congress. In response to the attack, a group of prominent Mexican cultural and intellectual figures, including popular singer Julieta Venegas, issued a¬†statement, protesting: “This new aggression is part of the intensification of the war of attrition in the state of Chiapas, characterized by an increase in violence by paramilitary groups and organized crime.” (Photo via EspoirChiapas)

Mexico
Yaqui

Mexico creates justice commission for Yaqui people

Mexican President Andr√©s Manuel L√≥pez Obrador¬†signed a decree that sets up a Justice Commission for the Yaqui People, seeking to resolve problems of land, water, health, education and infrastructure faced by the indigenous group. The decree was signed during a visit by L√≥pez Obrador to the Yaqui community of V√≠cam, in Sonora state. The decree seeks to redress a long history of oppression, massacres, slavery and land theft faced by the Yaqui. L√≥pez Obrador said that the Yaqui are Mexico’s most persecuted indigenous group, stating, “All the original inhabitants suffered robbery, but no people suffered as much as the Yaqui.” The president also said that he had agreed to modify the route of the planned Guaymas-El Oro gas pipeline that was supposed to run through Yaqui territory.¬†(Photo via Articulo 19)

Mexico
guardianacional

Mexico: narco-dystopia amid Trump-AMLO schmooze

Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador met with Trump at the White House to inaugurate the new trade treaty that replaces NAFTA. Embarrassingly, the meeting was punctuated by horrific new outbursts of narco-violence in Mexico. And the country’s promised cannabis legalization‚ÄĒmandated by the high court and looked to as a de-escalation of the dystopian drug war‚ÄĒis stalled by a paralyzed Congress. (Photo:¬†Secretar√≠a de Seguridad y Protecci√≥n Ciudadana)

Mexico
oaxaca

Mexico: comuneros massacred in Oaxaca

An attack by armed men on local comuneros in San Mateo del Mar, in Mexico’s southern Oaxaca state, left at least 15 dead, with several more wounded or reported as “disappeared.” The confrontation began when residents of the outlying community of Huazantl√°n del R√≠o attempted to gather for a public meeting and were blocked by gunmen. Some of the slain were bludgeoned to death, and several appear to have been burned, mutilated or tortured. Huazantl√°n residents claim¬†municipal police were backing up the gunmen in the attack, ostensibly because the gathering violated COVID-19 restrictions. Municipal authorities in turn accuse the Huazantl√°n residents of being involved in criminal gangs, and are calling on state authorities to investigate. (Image: FreeWorldMaps.net)

Mexico
guadalajara protest

Guadalajara protest over Mexico’s ‘George Floyd’

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets and clashed with riot police in Guadalajara one month after the killing of a construction worker at the hands of local law enforcement. The rally climaxed with the storming of the Jalisco state government palace, where protesters smashed down the front door and left graffiti on the exterior walls. Police cars were also set on fire. Bricklayer Giovanni L√≥pez, 30, was beaten to death by municipal police in the town of Ixtlahuac√°n de los Membrillos after being stopped for failure to wear a face-mask, in violation of mandatory measures to contain COVID-19. State authorities failed to act on the case for a month; it was only after the explosion of anger on the streets of Guadalajara that Jalisco’s Prosecutor General announced the arrest of¬†three police officers involved in the incident. (Photo: Notimex via¬†Yucatan Times)

Mexico
Ad√°n Vez Lira

Mining opponent assassinated in Veracruz, Mexico

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned the assassination of Mexican environmental activist Ad√°n Vez Lira, who was shot while riding his motorcyle in the municipality of Actopan, Veracruz. Vez Lira worked with the Veracruz Assembly for Environmental Defense Initiatives (LAVIDA) to oppose mining operations that threaten local water sources. Gold and silver exploitation by the Canadian-based Almaden Minerals and Candelaria Mining are encoraching on the borders of La Mancha Ecological Reserve and contaminating springs and wells in nearby villages. (Photo via: El Imparcial)