Mexico
madres

Mothers of the disappeared march in Mexico

On Mexico’s Day of the Mother, thousands of mothers and other family members of the disappeared held a March for National Dignity in the capital, calling for action on their missing loved ones. The march, which filled the main avenues of Mexico City, was organized by a coalition of 60 regional collectives of survivors of the disappeared from around the country. In the days before the march, a group camped out at the National Palace, demanding a dialogue with President Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador. (Photo via Twitter)

Mexico
nuevo laredo

Mexico: gunfire, explosions rock Nuevo Laredo

Gunfire and explosions were reported from the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo following the arrest of a local gang leader by federal police and army troops. Juan Gerardo Trevi帽o, AKA聽“El Huevo” (The Egg), is said be leader of the Tropas del Infierno (Troops of Hell), paramilitary arm of the Cartel del Noreste (Northeast Cartel), an offshoot of the notorious Zetas. Facing charges both sides of the border, he was nonetheless turned over to US authorities, apparently because he is a US citizen. He was handed over at a border bridge in Tijuana, far to the west of Nuevo Laredo, presumably to avoid attempts to free him. In the outburst of violence that greeted his arrest in Nuevo Laredo, the city’s US consulate was hit with gunfire.聽Gang members also closed off streets with burning vehicles, attacked army outposts, and lobbed grenades at buildings. (Photo: social media via聽Laredo Morning Times)

Mexico
michoacan

Mexico: narco-massacre in militarized Michoac谩n

As many as 17 people were killed in a massacre in Mexico’s west-central state of Michoac谩n, with video of the grisly incident going viral on social media. The victims were lined up along the outer wall of a house and shot dead execution-style after armed men forced them out of a wake they were attending in the pueblo of San Jos茅 de Gracia. The perpetrators removed the bodies in trucks and took them to an unknown location. It appears to be the worst massacre in Mexico under the presidency of Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador, who came to office in 2018 pledging to de-escalate violence in the country. Michoac谩n, where the Jalisco New Generation Cartel is fighting regional rivals, has been particularly hard hit by recent violence. Contrary to his promises to eschew military solutions, L贸pez Obrador has responded by flooding the state with army troops. (Photo via聽RedMichoac谩n)

Mexico
Pemex

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
narco-fosa

Mexico approaches 100,000 ‘disappeared’

A year-end report by Mexico’s government registered a figure of 95,000 missing persons nationwide, with an estimated 52,000 unidentified bodies buried in mass graves. The report by the Comisi贸n Nacional de B煤squeda de Personas (National Missing Persons Search Commission) found that the great majority of the disappearances have taken place since 2007, when Mexico began a military crackdown on the drug cartels. Alejandro Encinas, the assistant interior secretary for human rights, said that there are 9,400 unidentified bodies in cold-storage rooms in the country, and pledged to form a National Center for Human Identification tasked with forensic work on these remains. He admitted to a “forensic crisis that has lead to a situation where we don’t have the ability to guarantee the identification of people and return [of remains] to their families.” (Photo via openDemocracy)

Mexico
machete

Paramilitary violence escalates in Chiapas

Tensions are fast mounting in Mexico’s conflicted southern state of Chiapas following a new outbreak of paramilitary violence. Protests have been held in the state capital Tuxtla Gutierrez over the past weeks to demand the return alive of 21 residents of the highland village of Pantelh贸, who were abducted in July amid raids by a self-proclaimed “self-defense force” in which houses and vehicles were also set on fire. The state prosecutor who was assigned to investigate the case was himself gunned down on a street in the highland city of San Crist贸bal de Las Casas. The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) issued a communiqu茅 warning that Chiapas is at “the brink of civil war.” (Photo: Chiapas Paralelo)

Planet Watch
Fikile Ntshangase

Record number of ecologists slain in 2020

A record number of environmental defenders were murdered last year, according to a report by advocacy group Global Witness. The report, “Last Line of Defense,” counts聽227 activists killed around the world in 2020鈥攖he highest number recorded for a second consecutive year. Many of the murders were linked to resource exploitation鈥攍ogging, mining, agribusiness, and hydroelectric dams. Since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the organization found on average of four activists have been killed each week. (Photo via Groundwork)

Mexico
torreon

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
SNITIS

AFL-CIO files labor suit against Mexico factory

The AFL-CIO and other trade unions announced that they have filed a complaint against Tridonex, a Mexican auto parts factory and subsidiary of Philadelphia-based Cardone Industries, located in the city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas state. This case will be one of the first to test the United States-Mexico-Canada Act (USMCA), which supersedes the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The complaint is brought under the new “rapid response” mechanism of the USMCA, allowing complaints of labor violations to be brought against individual factories. The complaint comes after Tridonex workers attempted to organize with an independent union, replacing the co-opted聽“protection union” at the plant. Over 600 workers were fired for their association with the new聽union. Susana Prieto Terrazas, the lawyer representing the Tridonex workers, was also arrested and jailed by the Tamaulipas governor on “trumped-up charges,” and only released after agreeing to leave the state of Tamaulipas. (Photo: Prensa Obrera)

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谩n Peninsula, on a trans-Atlantic voyage meant to symbolically reverse the Spanish聽conquest of Mexico 500 years ago. Sailing in a wooden vessel they built themselves, christened La Monta帽a, the delegation hopes to reach Madrid by Aug. 13, anniversary of the 1521 fall of Tenochtitl谩n, Mexico’s ancient capital, to the conquistador Hernan聽Cort茅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谩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.聽Nowhere is this pressure being felt more acutely than in Ciudad Ju谩rez, a Mexican city of around 1.5 million bordering El Paso, Texas. Shelters are overwhelmed and underfunded, and more arrive every day鈥攆rom both the north and south.聽(Photo:聽Lu铆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贸n Federal de Electricidad (CFE). The law is supported by President Andr茅s Manuel L贸pez Obrador, who wants to increase state control of the energy market. L贸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聽Ixtapaluca via Wikimedia Commons)