6 Dead in Clash Between Mexican Vigilante Groups

December 17, 2014

11/16/2014 The Washington Post

m16 gun closeupA clash between two rival “self-defense” groups in the western state of Michoacan on Tuesday left six people dead, including the son of one of the group’s founders, officials and militia members said.

Alfredo Castillo, the federal government’s security commissioner for Michoacan, told Grupo Formula radio that the groups fought at a barricade at the entrance to the community of La Ruana. He said it appeared that four from one side had been killed and two from the other.

“La Ruana is the only place where we have two leaders with influence,” Castillo said.

Read more…


As Outrage over Iguala Continues, Mexican President Calls for Police Reform

December 16, 2014

12/13/2014 Fronteras Radio

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

Mexico’s president wants to change his country’s constitution to replace local police with state police. He also wants legal authority to take over municipal governments infiltrated by organized crime.

But ongoing protests and recent polls suggest Mexicans aren’t convinced the change will make a difference.

The move follows disgust in Mexico over a long delay by the federal government to investigate the murders of 43 college students….

Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President of the Wilson Center and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute, is quoted, stating “What Iguala has reminded Mexicans is that there are some really major parts of the foundations of the rule of law in the country that are still very weak.”

Read more…


Mexican Judge Frees 2 Witnesses to Army Killings

December 16, 2014

12/15/2014 The Washington Post

justice - gavelA federal judge dismissed criminal charges on Monday against two women who witnessed the June 30 army killing of suspected drug gang members in southern Mexico.

The judge in Mexico state ordered their immediate release after federal prosecutors failed to bring charges. The women had been held in a prison in western Nayarit state for more than five months for allegedly possessing weapons.

The two survived the mass slaying of the 22 suspected gang members and were jailed in violation of their human rights, after they were tortured and sexually threatened into backing the army’s version of the incident, according to Raul Plascencia, the former president of the National Commission on Human Rights who oversaw the commission’s investigation into the slayings.

Read more…


Mexico Faces Growing Gap Between Political Class and Calls for Change

December 16, 2014

12/12/2014 The New York Times

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

As the Nobel Peace Prize was being awarded in Oslo this week, a young man dashed on stage, unfurled a Mexican flag streaked with red paint and begged for help for his country because more than 40 college students have been missing for months after clashing with the police.

At the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony in Las Vegas last month, the big winners, Calle 13, shouted solidarity with the victims as they performed. At home, mass marches have regularly filled Mexican streets with angry calls for the government to act against corruption and crime.

But is the country’s political class listening?

Read more…


Plan Tamaulipas: A New Security Strategy for a Troubled State

December 11, 2014

By Christopher Wilson and Eugenio Weigend

photoEscudo_TAMPS_iti_Tula_STULA_Itinerario_CerrodelaCruz_HEADER_950x434[1]_0Recognizing that the situation in Tamaulipas had reached crisis level, in May, 2014, Mexico’s top security officials met with their state level counterparts in Tamaulipas to unveil a new security strategy. At the heart of the conflict between the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, Tamaulipas suffers from high rates of violent crime, including the nation’s highest for kidnapping, large-scale cases of migrant abuse and extremely weak state and local level law enforcement institutions and governance. By sending significant additional resources to Tamaulipas, the federal government made a strong and much needed commitment to support efforts to restore public security in the state. This short report analyzes the new strategy, describes the challenging local context, and offers a few recommendations that could serve to strengthen the effort.

Read the publication here.


Human Rights Crisis in Mexico Demands Stronger Response from Mexican Government

December 10, 2014

12/9/2014 Washington Office on Latin America

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP - Getty Images

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP – Getty Images

On December 6, students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero announced that the remains of Alexander Mora Venancio had been identified. Alexander, along with 42 other students, disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero on September 26, 2014 at the hands of municipal police who were working on behalf of the local mayor, and who then handed the students over to a criminal group. The identification of Alexander’s remains came after over two months of an investigation into the students’ whereabouts; during this time numerous mass graves were discovered in the area. The whereabouts of the other 42 students remain unknown. This tragic case and the inability of the Mexican government to provide their families and Mexican society with prompt and clear information about the students’ whereabouts have unleashed a wave of massive protests in the country.

Read More…


Mexico’s Rule of Law Crisis

November 18, 2014

11/16/14 Wall Street Journal 

gun - crime sceneWhat do the September disappearance of 43 university students from the custody of local police in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, and new allegations of federal corruption in the awarding of public infrastructure contracts have in common? Answer: They both show that Mexico still has a huge problem enforcing the rule of law. The two developments have sparked a political crisis that could sink Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) President Enrique Peña Nieto ’s ambitious reform agenda if he doesn’t take quick and decisive action to restore confidence. Until now the president has been able to ignore Mexico’s legendary lawlessness. He has been riding an international wave of excitement around the opening of the energy sector, with few questions asked. But unless he wants to make common cause with the hard left—which thinks it has him on the ropes because of the missing students—he needs to admit his mistakes, purge his cabinet and make the rule of law job No. 1.

Read More… 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,774 other followers