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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Even With Obamacare, Many Latinos Still Seek Treatment In Mexico

May 5, 2014

latino-healthKaiser Health News, 5/5/14

Irma Montalvo signed up for a health plan through California’s new insurance exchange last month, getting coverage for the first time in eight years.

But when she needed treatment for a painful skin rash, Montalvo didn’t go to a doctor near her home in Chula Vista. Instead she drove to Mexico, about 16 miles south. Her doctor, Cecilia Espinoza, diagnosed her with shingles and prescribed medication to relieve pain and head off complications.

Montalvo, 64, said she comes to Tijuana in part because it costs just $15 to see the doctor. She can’t use her insurance for care outside California but it’s still cheaper because she doesn’t have to worry about a deductible. More important, she said, is that she feels comfortable with Espinoza.

“She listens to me,” said Montalvo, a U.S. citizen who was born in Mexico, said in Spanish. “I come here feeling really bad, and three days later I am better.” Mexican immigrants living in California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico have long sought health care in border cities like Tijuana, Mexicali and Nogales. The Affordable Care Act won’t change that, experts said, even though it has expanded coverage to millions of people, including many Latinos.

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Mexican Authorities Detain 300 Central American Migrants Near Southern Border

May 5, 2014

mexican immigrantLatin Times, 5/1/14

Animal Politico reports that around 300 undocumented Central American migrants were arrested on Wednesday during a joint operation carried out by Mexico’s immigration agency in tandem with federal and state police in the southern state of Tabasco, near the Guatemalan border. The migrants were part of at least a thousand others bound for the United States who found themselves stranded last week in Tabasco and Chiapas states. Personnel with the cargo train lines which migrants often use to hitchhike north had kept the group from climbing on because of a suit filed on April 1 by the state of Veracruz against two train companies. La Jornada writes that most of the detained group were from Honduras.

Kansas City Southern and Ferrosur, said the attorney general’s office of Veracruz in the suit, was putting the lives of migrant hitchhikers — who often number several hundred per day — in jeopardy by making unplanned stops so that bandits can board. The office accused the companies of “presumed responsibility for action or omission in unlawful acts and violations of human rights against migrants.” Advocates have long claimed that the cargo trains’ operators collaborate with the Zetas and the small-time bandits who work for them to collect “taxes” from riders on the lines collectively known as “La Bestia.”

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Mexico’s Peña Nieto defends telecom overhaul amid accusations of censorship

April 30, 2014

Enrique Pena NietoFox News Latino, 4/25/14

President Enrique Peña Nieto said last year’s telecommunications overhaul “is key to boosting the competitiveness” of Mexico’s economy, even as various sectors allege the package’s proposed enabling legislation – currently before the Senate – threatens freedom of expression.

During the award ceremony for the 2014 National Entrepreneur Prize, the president said high-quality telecommunications are a strategic input and businesses and entrepreneurs must have access to them at internationally competitive rates. His remarks came as a Mexican Senate committee is debating a package of enabling laws presented by Peña Nieto’s administration in March to accompany the overhaul, which amended Article 28 of the Mexican constitution.

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Mexico Honors a Colombian Writer Who Many Considered One of Their Own

April 22, 2014

Photo by Flickr user mansionwb

NY Times, 4/21/14

Every March, often with a yellow flower pinned to his lapel, Gabriel García Márquez stood on the stoop of his home here to greet well-wishers on his birthday.

He wrote his foremost work, “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” here in the mid-1960s after a flash of inspiration during a drive to the Pacific resort of Acapulco with his family.

And after Mr. García Márquez’s death on Thursday at his home, more than a few Mexican writers and admirers, who drank with him, danced with him and argued long into the night with him, laid claim to his soul despite his Colombian roots and works that found devotees far from Latin America.

“I always considered him a Mexican of Colombian origin,” said Homero Aridjis, one of Mexico’s most acclaimed poets, who met Mr. García Márquez in 1962, a year after he arrived. “Or a Colombian firmly rooted in Mexico.”

So it seemed fitting that the first public memorial service for Mr. García Márquez, who was 87, took place here on Monday, with thousands of people braving a hot sun — and later, rain — to file into the city’s most esteemed cultural hall, the Palace of Fine Arts, and pass his urn amid wreaths of yellow roses, his favorite.

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Autoridades trasladan a Apatzingán a integrantes de autodefensas detenidos

April 16, 2014

prisonCNN Mexico, 4/15/14

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública (SSP) de Michoacán trasladó este martes a 20 personas relacionadas con grupos de autodefensas al Centro de Readaptación Social (CERESO) de Apatzingán, procedentes de diferentes reclusorios del país.

En un comunicado, la dependencia estatal refirió que esta acción forma parte de los 11 puntos acordados el lunes entre autoridades y líderes de autodefensas de la región de Tierra Caliente, en la entidad michoacana.

Entre los acuerdos para darle una solución legal a la operación de los grupos de civiles armados en Michoacán, se estableció que a partir del 11 de mayo los integrantes de autodefensas que no se sujeten a los puntos pactados, podrán ser detenidos y consignados ante los tribunales.

Este martes, la SSP Michoacán detalló que las personas trasladadas desde diferentes centros federales de detención (en Veracruz, Estado de México y Tamaulipas) a Apatzingán, están recluidas junto con otras 35 personas relacionadas con grupos de autodefensa michoacanos.

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Mexico’s New Law to Combat Money Laundering to use “Kingpin” List

April 15, 2014

shutterstock_113478238AlJazeera, 4/15/14

Mexico has announced plans to fight money laundering by using “kingpin” lists like those issued by the United States, although unlike the public U.S. list, Mexico will make its registry confidential, a Mexican official said Monday. Alberto Elias Beltran, the official in charge of implementing a new money laundering law at the Finance Department, said the list will be made available only to authorities, anyone accused of money laundering and financial institutions.

“There could be a person who follows the procedure to be excluded from the list and we don’t want them to affect their reputation by making this list public,” Elias Beltran said. The criteria that will be used to put a person or a business on the list hasn’t yet been determined but the government hopes the first list will be ready by the end of April, he said.

Elias Beltran added that the list will be immediately sent to financial institutions that will have to “immediately suspend any operation or service being provided to those added to the list.” The law mainly bans those on the list from using Mexico’s financial system, including using current bank accounts or opening new ones, but it doesn’t currently provide for criminal charges against anyone, he said.

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