Filled with artifacts, ancient Mexican tunnel may lead to royal tombs

October 30, 2014

10/29/14 Reuters

Teotihuacan by Flikr user Laura RushA sacred tunnel discovered in the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan is filled with thousands of ritual objects and may lead to royal tombs, the lead Mexican archaeologist on the project said on Wednesday. The entrance to the 1,800-year-old tunnel was first discovered in 2003, and its contents came to light thanks to excavations by remote-control robots and then human researchers, archeologist Sergio Gomez told reporters. The site is located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City. The ruins have long been shrouded in mystery because its inhabitants did not leave behind written records. The artifacts found inside the tunnel, located below the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, include finely carved stone sculptures, jewelry and shells.

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Negro? Prieto? Moreno? A Question of Identity for Black Mexicans

October 27, 2014

10/25/14 New York Times

120px-Flag_of_Mexico_(1)Candido Escuen, a 58-year-old papaya farmer, is not quite sure what word to use, but he knows he is not mestizo, or mixed white and native Indian, which is how most Mexicans describe themselves. “Prieto,” or dark, “is what a lot of people call me,” he said. This isolated village is named for an independence hero, thought to have had black ancestors, who helped abolish slavery in Mexico. It lies in the rugged hills of southwestern Mexico, among a smattering of towns and hamlets that have long embraced a heritage from African slaves who were brought here to work in mines and on sugar plantations in the 16th century. Just how many people are willing to share that pride may soon be put to the test as Mexico moves to do something it has not attempted in decades and never on its modern census: ask people if they consider themselves black.

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Zapatistas Today: These Photos Show Life in a Revolutionary Part of Mexico

September 23, 2014

09/22/14 Business Insider

Emiliano_Zapata5Twenty years ago, in direct protest against the then-recently signed North American Free Trade Agreement, a makeshift uprising of Mayan farmers seized a collection of cities and towns in Chiapas, in Mexico’s remote southeastern corner. They were demanding rights for Mexico’s indigenous people, who they thought had long been treated unfairly and would suffer even more under the landmark economic deal. Naming themselves the Zapatistas after Emiliano Zapata, a principal leader of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, they emerged as a populist left-wing movement that openly called for a new revolution in Mexico, one that would replace a government which they argued was completely out of touch with the needs of its people.

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Mexican Rebel Leader Subcomandante Marcos Retires, Changes Name

May 29, 2014

The Wall Street Journal, 5/29/14

Old revolutionaries apparently needn’t die these days in Mexico. They can just change their name and fade away. The man who, until it was announced in a statement Sunday, called himself Subcomandante Marcos, the nonindigenous leader of a Maya Indian rebellion that jolted Mexico two decades ago, now insists on being called Subcomandante Galeano. He also announced his retirement from his day job as rebel leader and spokesman.

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Amnesty International Demands Enrique Peña Nieto Guarantee Human Rights In Mexico

May 14, 2014

prison - open doorLatin Times, 5/13/14

Amnesty International (AI)has called on the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, to address the critical human rights situation in the country through a letter that the agency made ​​public today. The letter, which is copied to the heads of the Interior Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador of Mexico in United Kingdom, Diego Gomez Pickering, says that Amnesty International has documented repeatedly that Mexico is rooted in impunity due to the lack of government response to allegations of human rights violations.

According to the letter penned to Peña Nieto “A crucial step is the determination of his government to ensure that law enforcement and other public officials implicated in serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearances and torture are promptly brought to justice and that victims receive compensation. As you know, these results are the exception and not the norm, “the letter signed by versa Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.”

Amnesty International released a worldwide report on torture today and described the critical situation in Mexico where, “the government argues that torture is the exception rather than the norm, but in reality abuse by police and security forces is widespread and goes unpunished.

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Mothers of the missing stage protest in Mexico City

May 12, 2014

Grave photo credit Kelly DonlanGlobal Post, 5/11/14

Hundreds of mothers and other relatives of missing people participated in a march in Mexico City to remember the victims and pressure officials to find people who have disappeared in Mexico. The protesters, who carried banners with photos of the missing, started out Saturday from the Mothers Monument. The 3rd March for National Dignity ended at the Angel of Independence monument, where demonstrators read a declaration stating that relatives of the missing had nothing to celebrate on Mother’s Day and were brought together by “the same pain and demands for an immediate search for justice.”

“In light of the humanitarian emergency of disappearances in Mexico, tens of thousands of families domestically and abroad have been irreparably affected and we have come out to seek and investigate the fate or whereabouts of our sons and daughters,” organizers said. A total of 26,121 people were listed as missing in Mexico as of February 2013, the Government Secretariat said in a report.

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Cinco de Mayo: Obama uses holiday to push immigration reform

May 7, 2014

obama_nieto_featureThe Christian Science Monitor, 5/5/14

President Barack Obama is telling Latino lawmakers and Hispanic advocates that they should press House Republicans to act on a broad overhaul of immigration laws. Obama says, “Tell them to get on board.”

Obama was observing the Mexican national holiday of Cinco de Mayo, or fifth of May, in the White House on Monday. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are using the day’s celebration to pressure House Republicans to follow up on legislation that passed the Senate last year.

The Senate bill would expand border security and provide a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally. Earlier Monday, Biden said those immigrants shared American values. Biden says, “They may not be citizens, but they are Americans.”

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