How the hunt for ‘Lady Iguala’ has become a test case for Mexico’s president

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 The Telegraph

It was just after 9pm, and, as the ranchera band played in the plaza, beneath the stars Maria de los Angeles Pineda and her husband were dancing. The day, for Mrs Pineda, had been a triumph. She had organised a gathering in the Mexican town of Iguala, where her husband was mayor, to set out her priorities for her social work foundation. It was well attended – her husband’s security chief had made sure of that, urging people to come – and was widely seen as the launch of her campaign to be elected mayor next year. But in the midst of the celebrations came news she did not want to hear: a group of 80 students, from a highly politicised Left-wing teacher training college, who hated her husband’s rule, were approaching the town and thought to be moving towards the plaza.

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Op-Ed: How our drug and gun habits tie in with the 43 missing Mexican students

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 Los Angeles Times 

Weapons seized from Mexican cartels last November

Weapons seized from Mexican Cartels.

So what of the missing college students? Searchers have found six mass graves but so far none of the bodies has been identified as any of the missing students. Think about that. Six mass graves of the slaughtered, and they still haven’t found the rightmass grave. That’s an unconscionable level of violence, one for which the United States bears some responsibility even though the killings happened more than 1,000 miles south of the border. Why? According to recent news reports, a key outlet for the Guerrero Unidos gang’s drug trafficking is Chicago. And as a study last year through the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute found, a large number of the guns with which Mexico’s drug wars are being waged were trafficked in from the U.S.

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Op-Ed: Mexican drug cartels are worse than ISIL

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 Aljazeera

candlesThe horrific rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the world’s attention. Many Western commentators have characterized ISIL’s crimes as unique, no longer practiced anywhere else in the civilized world. They argue that the group’s barbarism is intrinsically Islamic, a product of the aggressive and archaicworldview that dominates the Muslim world. The ignorance of these claims is stunning. While there other organized groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, none have engendered the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes? For example, even as the U.S. media and policymakers radically inflate ISIL’s threat to the Middle East and United States, most Americans appear to be unaware of the scale of the atrocities committed by Mexican drug cartels and the threat they pose to the United States.

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Mexico offers reward for info on missing students

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 The Washington Post 

justice - lawThe Mexican government announced rewards Monday of 1.5 million pesos ($111,000) for information on 43 students from a rural teachers’ college who have been missing since Sept. 26. The government ran full-page ads in Mexican newspapers with pictures of the 43 young men. The government also offered 1.5 million pesos for information on those who had abducted or killed the students. The government says it still does not know what happened to the students of the radical teachers’ college, after they were rounded up by local police and allegedly handed over to gunmen from a drug cartel.

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Drug Violence Crimping Economic Growth, Mexican Central Banker Says

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 Bloomberg 

mexico law enforcementMexican central bank Governor Agustin Carstens said drug-related violence is damping growth, hours after federal police took over security in 13 towns following the alleged massacre of students in Guerrero state. “There is no doubt that violence has been a negative factor,” Carstens, 56, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Mexico City office. “This is a problem that Mexico has been tackling for the last few years. It’s a deeply-rooted problem.” Carstens cited a central bank analyst survey published Oct. 3 that showed public security problems as the top obstacle to Mexico’s economic expansion, followed by fiscal policy, weak domestic demand and international financial instability.

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Prospera pone a México a la vanguardia del combate a la pobreza en AL

October 20, 2014

10/19/14 Impact.Mx

SecretariadedesarolosocialCon Prospera México se coloca a la vanguardia de América Latina en el diseño de estrategias de combate a la pobreza, reconocieron autoridades de los bancos Mundial (BM), Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) y expertos del Woodrow Wilson Center y de la Brookings Institución. La Secretaría de Desarrollo Social (Sedesol) informó en un comunicado que durante la visita de su titular, Rosario Robles Berlanga, a esas instituciones, el director ejecutivo para México del BID, Juan Bosco Martí, destacó los beneficios del programa. Aseguró que Prospera tuvo excelente recibimiento de los expertos del BID, porque “no solamente tiene los elementos para trabajar en reducir la pobreza, sino los mecanismos para permitir a las personas insertarse en el mercado laboral y crear su propia riqueza”. El jefe de la División de Protección Social y Salud del BID, Ferdinando Regalia, recibió muy bien la explicación de Robles Berlanga sobre la inclusión productiva de las mujeres y la generación de empleos.

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Powerful Photos Capture the Student Protests Barely Anyone Is Talking About

October 20, 2014

10/16/14 World.Mic

Duncan Wood

While the world has focused its attention on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, there’s another student movement gaining steam on the other side of the world. The unfolding protests gripping Mexico began in the small town of Iguala, in the southwest region of Guerrero state, where the disappearance of 43 student teachers on the night of Sept. 26 has sparked outrage amid allegations of collaboration between local police and organized crime. “Iguala is just one example of the level of decay in state and municipal security institutions,” Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., told the Washington Post.

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