Tag Archive | "mexico"

Mexico: Drug Lord El Chapo Guzman Escapes Prison


Leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, escaped from a maximum-security prison in south-central Mexico on Saturday night.

Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka "el Chapo Guzman", is escorted by marines as he is presented to the press on February 22, 2014 in Mexico City. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella        (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín Guzman, is escorted by marines after his arrest 22nd February 2014 in Mexico City. (Photo credit: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Guzman, who reigns a multibillion-dollar global drug empire that supplies much of the cocaine, heroine, and marijuana sold on the streets of the US, is the first prisoner who managed to break free from the Altiplano federal prison. He escaped through a tunnel that began with a 50 by 50cm opening inside the shower in his cell, which connected to a vertical passageway running over 10m underground. The passageway, equipped with a ladder, led to a tunnel that was about 1.7m high and 70cm wide, stretching for over 1.5km and ending inside a half-built house.

“This represents, without a doubt, an affront to the Mexican state,” said President Enrique Peña Nieto. “But I am also confident that the institutions of the Mexican state, particularly those in charge of public safety, are at the level to recapture this criminal.”

However, this isn’t the first time that Mexico’s most notorious drug lord managed to break free. In 2001, he pulled off a less elaborate escape by hiding in a laundry cart. As a fugitive, he was considered the world’s most powerful drug lord until he was rearrested in Mexico in 2014 – it took authorities 13 years to catch him.

A US law enforcement official said Guzman’s escape illustrates “the strength of the cartel and his ability to pay people off,” as Mexican authorities are known to succumb to bribes, sometimes out of fear. “If this guy can get out of prison, it shows how deep the corruption is there,” the official said, as authorities believe it’s impossible to build a tunnel of that magnitude without inside help – the tunnel was equipped with lighting, ventilation, and even had a modified motorcycle on tracks.

“It’s estimated that he may have murdered or ordered the murders of more than 10,000 people,” said former assistant director of the FBI, Tom Fuentes, who described Guzman – and his cartel – as complete savages. “What they do, and how they do business, is based on complete terror. They kill journalists, politicians, police officers, correction officers. And then not just that person, but every member of their family.”

In January, the Obama Administration sent the Mexican government an extradition request for Guzmán, however, Mexico’s Attorney General Office refused.

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Mexico: Election Victory for Ruling Party Amid Violence & Protests


Exit polls suggest that ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) and its allies have held on to a majority in yesterday’s elections in Mexico.

(Photo from President Enrique Peña Nieto's Facebook 2015)

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto (Photo from President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Facebook)

Despite the fall in approval ratings due to corruption scandals, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s party is poised to gain 196 to 203 of the 500 seats in the lower chamber of Congress. Their allies, the Partido Verde, are predicted to win 41 to 48. The main opposition party, the Partido de Acción Nacional (PAN) is predicted to win between 105 and 116 seats. Smaller parties also made gains, making the political landscape increasingly multipolar. Final results will be announced on Wednesday.

On top of the 500 federal legislators, the country also chose nine state governors, around 900 mayors, and local legislators in 17 of the country’s 32 states.

However, the elections were marked with an increasing challenge to traditional parties. With the turnout estimated at around 48%, and null votes at around 5%, those supporting no party form the largest group in the country.

Tensions

There were calls for boycotts, most notably in Guerrero where the parents and friends of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa normal school continue their demands for the students to be found alive, and have called for Mexicans to not to vote until the case has been resolved.

In many places activists attempted to stop the elections from taking place. According to Mexican newspaper La Jornada, the installation or working of 603 voting stations was prevented, with the majority of the incidents registered in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, known for their revolutionary history. The newspaper also reported 145 cases of violence and 254 cases of destruction of theft of election materials.

One of the hotspots of protest against the elections was the town of Tixtla in Guerrero where 20% of the voting booths were burned by the protestors and consequently the election for municipal president was annulled.

Protests for 43 missing students in Mexico (Photo by Iván [protoplasmakid], creative commons)

Protests for 43 missing students in Mexico (Photo by Iván protoplasmakid)

In a separate incident, ten teachers from CETEG teachers union were detained by federal police for attempting to impede the electoral process in Tlapa de Comonfort. In response, CETEG proceeded to withhold federal police officers demanding the release of their colleagues. The operation by the federal police to rescue their members resulted in various injuries and the death of one of the teachers. The teachers are striking for more pay and to prevent Peña Nieto’s education reform. Like the relatives and friends of the disappeared students, they had called for a boycott.

Despite the clashes, president Peña Nieto assured in a message on national TV that the majority of Mexicans had shown their faith in the political system: “With the simple but important act of going to the box and depositing our vote in the ballot box, we reaffirm our desire to live in a country of rights and freedoms, democracy and pluralism.”

He went on to condemn the protests: “There were those who tried to affect these elections. In the previous days they even performed violent acts, seeking to discourage the population.”

Arguably the most talked about event of the day, however, was the first-ever victory for an independent candidate in a governor race. Jaime Rodriguez Calderón, 57, known by his nickname ‘El Bronco’, is estimated to have gained 45% of the vote in the wealthy northern state of Nuevo León, bordering Texas. Having become a symbol of the backlash against the main parties, the future governor stated that “Nuevo León will be the beginning of a second Mexican revolution”, while his nickname became the third most used hashtag in the country yesterday.

Jaime Rodriguez Calderon, Mexican elections (Photo by Estefania Acevedo, creative commons photo)

Jaime Rodriguez Calderón (Photo by Estefania Acevedo, creative commons)

Rodriguez Calderón became famous for confronting the Zetas drug cartel when mayor of Garcia, Nuevo León. With fewer resources than the established parties, his campaign was increasingly waged over social media.

“It is the awakening of Mexico. Nuevo León is the example of citizens asleep, let’s go a for a citizens’ government,” he tweeted last night. “If we all intend to do things well we can achieve it. Thanks to everyone who trusted and supported me,” he celebrated at the end of the election day.

Some people are sceptical as to Rodriguez Calderón’s capacity to bring about desired changes. They point out that he was part of the ruling PRI for 30 years and that his campaign has focused mainly on criticising the ruling elite while concrete policy proposals have been absent.

The challenges for those seeking to transform Mexico are significant. The case of the disappeared students has brought to light the widespread links between the political elite, police and the drug cartels and the corruption therein. Widespread violence is made worse by almost absolute impunity: of crimes committed in 2013, 93.8% remain unresolved, according to the government’s own statistics.

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (1)

‘We Want Them Alive’ – The Ayotzinapa Convoy in Buenos Aires


Mario González Hernández says he didn’t always agree with his son, César, when it came to politics. Unlike his father, 19-year-old César did not have much faith in the Mexican political system. His vocation to change things had led him to become a student at the Raúl Isidro Burgos rural school in Ayotzinapa, known for its revolutionary history. He had been a student for just 20 days when, on 26th September 2014, he disappeared along with 42 classmates after being attacked and taken away by police in Iguala, southern Mexico.

Eight months later, González Hernández led a protest at the Mexican embassy in Buenos Aires, part of a ‘convoy‘ around South America that has already taken them to Córdoba and Rosario, and will now continue to Uruguay and Brazil. He was joined by his partner Hilda Hernández Rivera; Hilda Legideño, the mother of disappeared student Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño (20); and a survivor of the Iguala attack, Francisco Sánchez Nava.

A survivor of the Iguala attack, Francisco Sánchez Nava, speaks in Buenos Aires (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Survivor of the Iguala attack, Francisco Sánchez Nava, speaks in Buenos Aires (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

The stated aim of the caravana is to “continue spreading the struggle in the search for truth and justice” about the events that took place in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The three-day stop in the Argentine capital included encounters with local human rights groups and social movements, press conferences and a radio appearance. On Monday, they also met in solidarity with indigenous communities currently camping to demand social justice in the centre of Buenos Aires.

Despite the morning drizzle, Tuesday’s event was well attended, and the group from Mexico voiced their demands in front of the heavily-guarded embassy in Belgrano. “We know that our sons are alive, and because of that we are here, spreading the word, in order to find our sons,” Hernández Rivera said. For her, the Mexican government is to blame: “It is the state that is hiding [the information about] where our sons are being kept. Because of that we hold the Mexican government into account. They always looked for them dead…We want them alive, because that is how they were when they were taken away.”

A Worsening Situation

On 26th September last year, a group of protesters on their way to a memorial of the Tlatelolco massacre were attacked by municipal police in the town of Iguala in the southern state of Guerrero. Six civilians, including three students of the rural school of Ayotzinapa, were killed, and a further 43 were taken away by the police. The government’s investigation concluded that the students had consequently been handed over to members of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, who proceeded to kill them and burn their bodies at a rubbish tip outside the nearby town of Cocula. Yet, the investigation has only linked the DNA found on the site to one of the missing students, Alexander Mora, 19. Meanwhile, the independent Argentine forensic expert team called up by the relatives of the victims has stated that the evidence at present is not sufficient to assert that all of the students had been buried in the waste.

According to a press release of the convoy, various testimonies and photographs show that the Mexican army and federal police participated in the September attack. Speaking to The Indy in Buenos Aires, survivor Sánchez Nava rejected the official narrative. “The government wants to wash its hands, saying that it was the narcos, that the Guerreros Unidos took part. But we know that they were in uniforms.” Relatives and friends of the disappeared also criticise the Mexican government for trying to avoid full investigations into the involvement of federal elements and for attempting to close the case prematurely.

The parents of the missing students reject the state's official version of what happened to their children. (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

The parents of the missing students reject the state’s official version of what happened to their children. (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

The campaigners view the case of Ayotzinapa as part of a much wider problem in the country. “Unfortunately Mexico is like this. In Mexico we have a criminal state, a narco-state,” Sánchez Nava protested. “There are not just 43 disappeared in Mexico. There are 30,000 disappeared.”

Indeed, Amnesty International’s 2014/2015 report on Mexico states that “impunity for human rights violations and ordinary crimes remained the norm.” Even official records estimate that more than 22,000 people have been abducted, forcibly disappeared, or are missing. According to Mexican newspaper La Jornada, the estimates of the toll in the on-going war on drugs are as high as 160,000 killed, 30,000 disappeared and 500,000 displaced in the last eight years. Amnesty argues that the search for missing people in Mexico is not effective and that there is a general failure on the part of federal and state prosecutors to adequately investigate complaints. It is telling that while searching for the missing Ayotzinapa students, 28 unidentified bodies were found in a mass grave.

Speaking with The Indy, González Hernández says that things have only gotten worse in Guerrero, despite the publicity the case has brought. “It is worse, because there are thousands of soldiers, thousands of gendarmes, there are riots, everything…and the dead are found everywhere.”

Sánchez Nava also argues that the situation has deteriorated. “If before there were 2,000 federal soldiers, there are now 6,000 in Guerrero, repressing society, suppressing the people.” He is disillusioned with how the mainstream media in Mexico has represented the events. “Televisa and TV Azteca [the biggest media outlets of Mexico] want you to see a beautiful Mexico, a happy Mexico…They always take it upon themselves to say that we are vandals, that we are criminals…But it is not like this; we are rural students, poor students, students who are looking for the best for our families and our future.”

‘Our Sons Are Alive’

Throughout the event, the travelling group expressed their gratitude to the multiple social movements and human rights organisations that had helped fund and organise the convoy. Local groups supported the call by the Ayotzinapa survivor and relatives to boycott the upcoming elections in Mexico. They asked Mexicans not to legitimize the political system, to not vote until the 43 students of Ayotzinapa are found alive.

On Tuesday afternoon, the convoy also led a march from the Obelisco to the Argentine Foreign Affairs Ministry. The heavy rain did not stop hundreds of people from participating, including Nora Cortiñas, founder of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo-Línea Fundadora, which for many was a symbolic and moving moment. For many Argentines, the events of Mexico have undoubtedly struck a chord due to memory of the 30,000 forcibly disappeared during the 1976-83 military dictatorship.

The relatives from Mexico were joined by Nora Cortiñas, of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

The relatives from Mexico were joined by Nora Cortiñas, of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

At the Ministry, the groups made their demands to the Argentine government. Among other things, they demanded that Argentina break relations with Mexico, a country they accuse of “clearly orchestrating human rights violations”. The movements say that there has been no reaction to a letter of demands that they had given to the Ministry in December. The march then continued to the symbolic Plaza de Mayo.

A short conference at the University of Buenos Aires with students of the faculty of philosophy and literature marked the end of the convoy’s passage through Buenos Aires. The parents and the survivor will continue to publicise their fight for justice and to find the missing students as the caravana heads to Uruguay and Brazil.

As González Hernández concluded in front of the embassy: “It has already been eight months without being able to embrace my son, to be able to kiss him, know how he is…We are tired of so much crime, so much blood…I am poor, but I am not stupid. Our sons are alive, and we are going to have to rescue them. And we will fight until we find them. We will go to the ends of the earth so that people will see what kind of rulers we have in Mexico.”

Posted in Analysis, News From Latin America, TOP STORYComments (1)

Mexico: Two Mummified Bodies Discovered Near Volcano Summit


The mummified bodies found on Mexico's highest peak (Photo: Hilario Aguilar Aguilar, via Ayuntamiento Chalchicomula de Sesma)

The mummified bodies found on Mexico’s highest peak (Photo: Hilario Aguilar Aguilar, via Ayuntamiento Chalchicomula de Sesma)

Authorities have confirmed the discovery of two mummified bodies buried in snow near the summit of the Pico de Orizaba volcano, Mexico highest peak.

The first of the frozen bodies was spotted last weekend at an altitude of nearly 5,300m by a climber who had slipped. A special expedition on Thursday confirmed the discovery, and after some digging found a second body in the same spot.

“It’s not one but two bodies,” Hilario Aguilar Aguilar, president of the local Alpine Club, told press after returning from the expedition. “We excavated, which released some gases, and then noticed another hand. After some more digging we realised that there were two people.”

The bodies are thought to belong to climbers who went missing after an avalanche more than 50 years ago.

Authorities are hoping to retrieve the remains early next week to begin running tests to determine the identity of the victims.

Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltépetl, is Mexico’s highest volcano, reaching 5,636m above sea level at the summit.

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Mexico: Argentine Experts, PGR Clash Over Missing Students Investigation


Federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam gave details about the case to press on Friday (Photo Omar Torres/AFP/Télam)

Federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam gave details about the case to press in January (Photo Omar Torres/AFP/Télam)

The Office of Mexico’s Prosecutor General (PGR) has criticised a team of Argentine forensic experts for “casting doubt” over its investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in September.

On 27th January, Prosecutor General Jesús Murillo Karam announced that the students had been “kidnapped, murdered, incinerated, and thrown into a river” near a rubbish dump outside the town of Cocula, in the state of Guerrero. Murillo Karam claimed that confessions from the alleged perpetrators and evidence gathered at the scene made this “the true story of the facts, which should be valid in all legal jurisdictions.”

However, The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) which has been conducting a parallel investigation into the case at the request of the missing students’ families and lawyers released a statement this weekend highlighting “problems” in the official PGR conclusions.

According to the EAAF, irregularities include the potential contamination of evidence from the rubbish tip outside Cocula, as well as photographic evidence that contradicts the official PGR claim that there had only ever been one fire at the site, the night the students disappeared.

The EAAF also noted numerous discrepancies in the genetic profiles taken from relatives of the students by both the EAAF and PGR and sent to a laboratory in Austria to cross-check with bone samples found at the alleged crime scene. And it added that they had found proof of human remains not belonging to the missing students at the site.

In its conclusions, the EAAF said that while the students may have suffered the fate as described by the PGR, the forensic evidence it has gathered so far did not provide scientific proof of this.

In response, the PGR released a statement yesterday criticising the EAAF for speculating on issues beyond its area of expertise. “It is unacceptable that, in the face of a mountain of evidence, forensics, confessions, testimonies, and inspections, they cast doubts that in this place around 40 people were executed and incinerated, something that has been corroborated by the material and scientific examinations carried out there by the Prosecutor General’s Office.”

However, relatives of the students said yesterday that the report by the EAAF confirmed their suspicions about the official version of events. “The report by our Argentine partners makes it clear to us that government’s ‘true story’ falls apart,” said Felipe de la Cruz, father of one of the missing students. “We are certain that we were right from the start not to trust the government’s version.”

So far, only one of the 43 students that went missing on 26th September has been identified, 19-year-old Alexander Mora.

Dozens of suspects have been arrested in relation to the crime, including members of the Guerreros Unidos criminal organisation, police officers from the towns of Iguala and Cocula,

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (1)

Mexico: Several Dead after Gas Explosion at Hospital


The explosion destroyed an entire side of the hospital (photo courtesy of Adrián Rubalcava twitter: @AdrianRubalcava)

The explosion destroyed an entire side of the hospital (photo courtesy of Adrián Rubalcava twitter: @AdrianRubalcava)

At least seven people have been killed and dozens more injured after a gas explosion at Cuajimalpa maternity hospital in Mexico City.

Four children were among the dead, said Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.

Adrián Rubalcava, the city official for the western suburb, confirmed that among the injured are 22 infants and children and 32 adults, most of them wounded as a result of flying glass. He has not ruled out that the death toll could rise.

The injured have already been transferred to other hospitals in the city, and all other patients are being evacuated.

Early reports indicated that the explosion, which occurred at 7.30am local time, happened when a hose that was supplying gas to the hospital’s kitchen from a truck sprung a leak. The explosion has destroyed one side of the hospital building, and the pipe, which was carrying thousands of litres of gas, was still in flames hours after the initial explosion.

 

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Mexico: Families of 43 Students Contest Prosecutor’s Claim


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Mexican authorities have affirmed that, officially, the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa were murdered and incinerated in Cocula. However, the parents of the students rejected this conclusion, and vowed to continue searching for their children until they obtain scientific evidence of their death.

In a press conference yesterday, General Prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam said that “it can be concluded that the students were detained, murdered, and incinerated in Cocula.” The arrest of Felipe Rodríguez Salgado (aka ‘El Cepillo’) on 15th January and his subsequent confession –consistent with that of the other suspects– was key for the authorities to reach this conclusion. According to the prosecutor, it was Rodríguez Salgado who led the operation, for which he could get a 140-year prison sentence.

Tomás Zerón, head of the Criminal Investigation Agency at the General Prosecutor’s Office, also explained that scientific evidence shows that there was a massive fire at the Cocula municipal rubbish dump, where the suspects confessed to having burnt the bodies of the victims.

“The finding of human bones in the rubbish dump and in the San Juan river confirms the versions and prove the presence of a large group of people who were killed in that place,” said Murillo Karam, who also stated there is no evidence linking the Mexican Army with the disappearance of the students.

The Prosecutor clarified that the case will not be closed until the remaining suspects are arrested.

The families of the students rejected the prosecutor’s statement and claimed “we will not let them close the investigation with just the declarations of the detainees.”

Vidulfo Rosales, the lawyer representing the families of the students, said: “We can’t let them close the case and tell us ‘there’s your dead’, but they won’t tell us where their bodies are, where there remains are.”

“Since it’s well known that Mexican prosecutors are specialists in fabricating crimes and since renowned scientists have expressed doubts about this hypothesis, the families will not accept these results until we get independent experts’ opinions,” said Rosales, who also considered that the prosecutor’s case is too heavily based on the suspects’ statements, which could have been obtained under duress.

Rosales accused the government of being in a hurry to close an investigation that is not conclusive, and which should also study accusations against the Army and against former Guerrero governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero and prosecutor Iñaki Blanco.

The 43 students from Ayotzinapa disappeared in the town of Iguala, Guerrero, on 26th September. The prosecutor accused former Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez and his wife, Ángeles Pineda Villa, of masterminding their kidnapping and murder, with help from the local police (from Iguala and Cocula) and criminal organisation Guerreros Unidos.

Journalist Found Dead

In another case involving local authorities in Mexico, journalist Moisés Sánchez Cerezo was found dead on the weekend in the state of Veracruz. DNA and fingerprint tests confirmed the identity of the body.

The murder of the journalist was allegedly ordered by the mayor of the town of Medellín de Bravo, Omar Cruz Reyes, on 2nd January, according to the prosecutor in charge of the case.

A former police officer, Clemente Noé Rodríguez Martínez, was arrested in connection with the murder. He confessed to having killed the journalist, together with other people. The prosecutor, Luis Angel Bravo, said on a press conference: “Noé Rodríguez also pointed out that the death of Moisés Sánchez was carried out by a direct order of the Medellín mayor’s driver in exchange for police protection so that his gang could sell drugs in the town without any problems.”

Bravo will request that mayor Cruz Reyes be stripped of his immunity so that charges can be brought against him.

According to Animal Político, 11 journalists have been killed in the state of Veracruz since 2010, under the administration of PRI governor Javier Duarte.

 

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Mexico: Demonstrators Try to Enter Barracks


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Dozens were injured when a group of protestors tried to enter an army barracks in the city of Iguala, Guerrero, yesterday.

According to witnesses, stones and molotov cocktails were thrown at military installations by the demonstrators, who included relatives of the 43 Mexican students who were disappeared in September. The army, equipped in anti-riot gear, quickly and violently suppressed the protests.

Relatives of the students want federal prosecutors to investigate possible ties between the armed forces and the disappearances, and wanted to gain access to the site, suspecting that some of the students – or their remains – may be inside.

The 43 students were disappeared in Iguala in September, and local police have since confessed to handing them over to the Guerreros Unidos cartel, who – according to the official hypothesis – killed the students and burnt their remains. The police were believed to have been working on behalf of then Iguala Mayor, José Luis Abarca, and his wife Ángeles Pineda. Abarca has since been arrested for his alleged role in the disappearances.

But only one of the students has been identified from the carbonised remains found near Iguala, and yesterday’s protest was the latest in a series of manifestations organised by the families of the students to demand truth and justice for the 43.

The protest in Iguala was mirrored by similar demonstrations against the armed forces in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Mexico City.

 

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Mexico: Forensic Team Identifies Body of Ayotzinapa Student


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

The Argentine Forensic Anthropology (EAAF) team working on the case of the 43 missing students in Mexico has identified the remains of 21-year-old Alexander Mora.

On a press conference on Saturday, Mexico’s General Prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam stated that the DNA tests carried out by the EAAF at a lab at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, confirmed that some of the bones found in a river last month were those of the student. The results were submitted to the prosecutor’s office on 4th December.

According to Murillo, “the positive DNA identification, together with the rest of the evidence and the declarations of the accused before the Federal Public Ministry, strengthens the historical reconstruction of what happened in Cocula” on the night of 26th September.

Murillo added that he will not “cease in his investigations” until all those responsible for the massacre have been found. Eighty people have already been arrested in connection with the case.

The families of the students carried out a massive protest on Saturday night in Mexico City, and stated they will continue to fight in order to find their loved ones.

“If those murderers think that with the fact that they matched one of our boys with the DNA, we’re going to stay here crying,” said Felipe de la Cruz, one of the parents, “we want to tell them that they’re wrong, that from today onwards this struggle will extend until we find the other 42 missing students, alive.”

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Mexico: Congress Approves Anti-Protest Measures


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protests, such as this march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City, could be criminalised under the changes (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

In the middle of nationwide protests surrounding the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero state in September, Mexico’s congress has approved constitutional changes that allow authorities to stop demonstrations.

Governing party PRI was joined by PAN, PVEN, and Panal in approving the changes on Tuesday. The modifications had been first drafted in April, but critics say they have been rushed through congress to allow authorities to crack down on the protests that are currently gripping the nation.

The changes to articles 11 and 73 of the constitution guarantee the universal right to movement, and give municipal, state, and federal authorities the right to emit laws which will impede street protests, and stop demonstrators from cutting streets for marches.

Opponents to the measure have said that such laws would criminalise the protests that are currently taking place over the student disappearance.

The protestors are demanding the president Enrique Peña Nieto resign over his government’s handling of the student disappearances, and also for the more general security situation that the country is facing.

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Follow us on Twitter
Visit us on Facebook
View us on YouTube

As a possible ‪Grexit‬ looms in the old continent, we revisit Marc Rogers' article comparing Greece's current situation to Argentina's own 2001-2 crisis.

    Directory Pick

Magdalena's Party in Palermo

Magdalena’s Party has daily 2 x 1 Happy Hour specials til midnight, and the "best onda".
Sign up to The Indy newsletter