Sinaloa, one of Mexico’s most violent states, limits crime coverage

August 5, 2014

08/01/14 Los Angeles Times

censorshipIn one of Mexico’s most violent states, it is now illegal, essentially, for reporters to cover the violence.

New laws in Sinaloa, home to Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel and where kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman sheltered for years, bar journalists from fully reporting news about crime.

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In Mexico, lopsided death tolls draw suspicion

July 8, 2014

7/8/14 The Washington Post

crime sceneBullet marks and blood spatters on the walls inside a grain storage warehouse deep in the mountains of southern Mexico tell a grim story of death involving soldiers and alleged criminals. It may not be the same story officials tell, however.

Mexico’s Defense Department says soldiers were patrolling in one of the most violent, lawless corners of the country on June 30 when they came under fire from a warehouse where a gang of 21 men and one woman were hiding. One soldier was wounded, but all of the suspects were killed.

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How Safe Is Mexico? President Enrique Peña Nieto Says Violence Fell 25 Percent Last 4 Months, Public Disagrees

June 10, 2014

Latin Times, 06/09/14

youth with handgunMexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said at a forum in Madrid organized by several Spanish corporations and newspaper El País on Monday that although insecurity and violence remain serious problems in Mexico, especially the states of Michoacán, Tamaulipas and Guerrero, his government has made considerable progress on the issue. Between 2012 and 2013, Peña Nieto told the audience, violence and insecurity fell 12 percent, and 25 percent in the first four months of 2014. “They’re encouraging numbers,” he said before cautioning against early celebrations. “The issue hasn’t been resolved.”

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Mexico doubles prison sentences for kidnapping

June 4, 2014

BBC, 06/04/14

hands in handcuffsMexico has published new sentencing guidelines that will double prison sentences for kidnapping. The minimum prison term has risen from 20 to 40 years.

It will apply for all abductions, including those that last only a few hours or days, so-called “express kidnappings”. The maximum prison sentence will rise from 50 to 140 years for those who kill their victims.

Kidnappings committed by a public security official, such as a member of the police or military, will be punished with up to 100 years in prison. Kidnappers will also have to pay heavy fines.

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Crime still a widespread concern in Mexican cities, poll finds

January 10, 2014

new-york-cityThe Los Angeles Times, 01/09/2014

Nearly seven in 10 Mexican city dwellers believe that crime has rendered their cities unsafe, according to a new poll that underscores the ongoing challenge facing President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office more than a year ago promising to beat back the lawlessness that affects law-abiding Mexicans.

The December poll was released late Wednesday and is the second of its kind to be produced by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography. [Link in Spanish] It also found that 65% of city-dwelling adults had witnessed a robbery or assault in the last three months, and 39% had witnessed a drug deal. Moreover, 62% of respondents believed that conditions would remain the same or worsen in the coming year.

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After president’s first year, Mexico still a mess by many measures

December 2, 2013

Los Angeles Times, 12/1/2013

Enrique PeñaNieto 2To President Enrique Peña Nieto’s supporters, his first year in office has been a time of bold promises kept as he pursues an ambitious agenda of reforms designed, in the long term, to bring peace and economic growth to Mexico.

But in the short term, by many measures, his country remains a mess. Though he promised to focus on Mexico’s economic potential, Peña Nieto has presided over an economy that has hardly grown at all. Though he vowed to reduce the kind of violence that affects innocent citizens, his record has been mixed, with kidnappings and extortion rising nationwide even as the number of homicides drops.

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As Crime Drops, Americans Begin To Return To Mexico’s Baja

December 2, 2013

Fox Latino News, 11/30/2013

ocean waves and beachOnce centered on timeshares and rowdy bars largely frequented by Americans and Canadians, northern Baja California’s tourism industry is rebounding with the exploding fame of local chefs, the expansion of boutique hotels and a burgeoning art scene creating a buzz in travel magazines.

This year, foreigners made up more than 45 percent of all visitors, after dropping to a low of less than 25 percent when cartels unleashed unprecedented bloodshed, leaving beheaded bodies on Tijuana’s streets. Sport fishing licenses — which are almost exclusively sought by Americans — have increased more than 75 percent during that time, according to Baja California’s tourism department.

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