Mexican lawmakers are predicting legal cannabis by month’s end, and portraying it as a key to de-escalating the endemic narco-violence. But national headlines are full of nightmarish cartel violence—making all too clear how big the challenge will be. A cannabis industry in the hands of agribusiness, with the campesinos excluded and marginalized, is unlikely to bring peace to Mexico’s conflicted countryside. (Photo: La Opción de Chihuahua)
The State Human Rights Commission in Mexico’s west-central state of Michoacán is exhorting authorities to intensify their search for a campesino ecologist and advocate for protection of the world-famous monarch butterfly habitat, who has “disappeared.” Homero Gómez González went missing one day after he posted a video of himself on Twitter standing amid a swarm of butterflies at their wintering grounds in the Michoacán highlands. He has long served as administrator of Ejido El Rosario, an agrarian community of the Mazahua indigenous people in Ocampo municipality, which overlaps with the UNESCO-recognized Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve. The Michoacán prosecutor’s office says that 53 police officers from the municipalities of Ocampo and Angangueo have been detained in relation to the disappearance. Family members say Gómez González told authorities that he had received threats from local organized crime networks. (Photo: La Voz de Michoacán)
There is a discomforting sense that Mexico is perpetually on the eve of cannabis legalization, as the country’s Congress wins a six-month extension from the Supreme Court to pass a law freeing the herb. But foreign capital is already eyeing Mexico’s emergent legal cannabis sector—even amid a terrifying escalation in the bloody cartel wars. When authorities attempted to arrest the son of “Chapo” Guzmán in Culiacán, the troops were surrounded by Cartel gunmen riding in trucks mounted with big machine-guns, and even what appeared to be improvised armored vehicles. The younger Guzmán escaped, and the Sinaloa Cartel proved it has the firepower to effectively challenge the state—at least on its home turf. (Photo via The Drive)
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador—known by his initials AMLO—will be Mexico's next president, following his victory in the July 1 election. This marks the first time a Mexican presidential candidate of the left has had his victory honored. An obvious question is how AMLO will deal with Donald Trump—who attained office by demonizing Mexicans and pledging to build a wall on the border (and make Mexico pay for it). Last year, AMLO actually filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against Trump's proposed wall. But he also hired Trump's current crony Rudolph Giuliani as anti-crime czar when he was mayor of Mexico City in 2002. As populists and opponents of free-trade economics, there may be unlikely common ground between the two men. (Photo: El Txoro)
According to a report issued by Mexico's independent National Human Rights Commission, 22 civilians were executed during a May 2015 drug raid in Michoacán.
The Zapatista rebels in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas marked the anniversary of their 1994 New Years Day uprising by hosting a national activist gathering in their territory.
Mexican army troops fired on villagers who blocked roads when soldiers arrived to arrest the leader of a self-defense militia who refused orders to demobilize.
Mexico's ruling coalition kept its slim majority in elections marred by violence and assassination of candidates. Striking teachers attempted to disrupt the vote, calling it a farce.
Survivors are questioning official accounts of a shoot-out between Mexican federal forces and a narco gang that left over 40 dead in the Michoacán town of Tanhuato.
Mexico's drug cartels appear to have declared open season on any candidate for public office who will not toe their line in the run-up to June's midterm elections.
Maya indigenous peasants in Mexico's southern Chiapas state marched cross-country to oppose violence by narco gangs and the corruption of local authorities that protect them.
Mexican authoritie announced the capture of the country's most-wanted drug lord, Servando Gómez AKA "La Tuta"—boss of Michoacán's feared Knights Templar cartel.