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.

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Mexico murders at over 101,000 in past 6 years, report says

November 28, 2012

Fox News Latino, 11/27/2012

A total of 101,199 murders were registered in Mexico during President Felipe Calderon’s six-year administration, with about 50 percent of the killings drug-related, a report released Tuesday by the Mexico Evalua think tank says.

Mexico Evalua used National Institute of Statistics and Geography, or INEGI, and National Public Safety System Executive Secretariat, or SESNSP, data in preparing the report.

The increase in homicides, according to the report, is related to organized crime, with the proportion of murders linked to “criminal rivalries” at just 30 percent before 2008.


Are Obama, Romney ignoring Mexico’s drug war? [op-ed]

November 1, 2012

Susana Seijas, op-ed, CNN News, 11/1/2012

“Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States,” is something I heard a lot growing up in Mexico in the 1980s. How that saying, first coined by President Porfirio Diaz around the turn of the 20th century, resonates today.

With the U.S. election next door, Mexico seems not only far from God, but forgotten. In the past six years, 60,000 people have died in drug-related violence. Some say the death toll could be as high as 100,000. Yet the violence here didn’t make it into the last U.S. presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

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Mexico’s New President Vows to Continue Fight Against Drug Gangs

July 5, 2012

The Wall Street Journal, 07/04/2012

Enrique Peña Nieto

Mexico’s president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, fresh off his weekend election victory, said Tuesday he plans to continue President Felipe Calderón’s fight against the country’s drug gangs, but outlined a long-term strategy to place more of the battle in the hands of civilians rather than the military.

He also said he saw Colombia, long the U.S.’s closest ally in the region, as offering valuable lessons in fighting organized crime.

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Mexico Mayor Slain Campaigning for President’s Kin

November 3, 2011

ABC News, 11/3/11

A mayor in Mexico’s western state of Michoacan was shot dead Wednesday night while campaigning for President Felipe Calderon’s sister in her run for the governorship.

Mayor Ricardo Guzman of La Piedad was passing out campaign material when an SUV drove by and a gunman opened fire, said Jonathan Arredondo, spokesman of the state Attorney General’s Office. The office initially said a man had pointed a gun at Guzman’s head and fired.

The 45-year-old mayor was campaigning for gubernatorial candidate Luisa Maria Calderon, who belongs to the National Action Party, or PAN, like her brother. She is a contender in the Nov. 13 state elections. Officials did not say whether the attack was drug related or orchestrated by political rivals.

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First ones on the catwalk (In Spanish)

November 2, 2011

Poder 360, November 2011

Durante los pasados 25 años, la búsqueda del ansiado palomeo de Washington ha convertido a la capital estadounidense en pasarela obligada de aspirantes presidenciales y jerarcas partidistas; el proceso electoral de 2012 no será diferente.

En menos de dos semanas en octubre, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), líder del Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (Morena), y Josefina Vázquez Mota, precandidata del PAN, visitaron aquella ciudad para hablar, ante nutridas audiencias, sobre el futuro de México y la relación bilateral.

“En los últimos 15 días, hemos tenido dos personajes políticos muy importantes –dijo Eric Olson, asesor senior del Instituto México del Woodrow Wilson Center–, vienen a Washington a presentar su visión de país y sus visiones sobre los retos que enfrenta México.Eso es muy importante porque mucha gente en Washington desconoce la realidad mexicana, conoce las playas y sabe de la violencia, pero no más.Los dos han presentado planes diferentes, pero positivos sobre los retos que enfrentan”.

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Clear and present danger (In Spanish)

November 2, 2011

Poder 360, November 2011

El gobernador de Texas, Rick Perry dice tener la solución para impedir que la narcoviolencia cruce la frontera: invadir México. En más de dos ocasiones en el pasado mes, el aspirante a la candidatura presidencial republicana se ha pronunciado por enviar tropas a México.

En un mitin de proselitismo en New Hampshire a principios de octubre, Perry comparó a nuestro país con Colombia donde, dijo, el gobierno aceptó el apoyo militar estadounidense para ultimar a capos de la droga. La violencia, manifestó, “podría requerir [la presencia de] nuestro ejército en México (…) para ejecutar a los carteles de la droga, mantenerlos fuera de nuestra frontera y destruir sus redes(…) creo que es importante que trabajemos con ellos [gobierno mexicano] para impedir que el país fracase”.

Una semana después, ante una audiencia de evangélicos en Washington, Perry escaló la retórica al afirmar que la inseguridad en México es producto de una “guerra librada por el narcoterrorismo” que presenta “un peligro claro y actual” para su país.

Desde 2009, como gobernador, Perry ha venido pidiendo que el presidente Barack Obama despliegue 1,000 efectivos de la Guardia Nacional a la frontera para impedir el “derrame” de la narcoviolencia. Insiste en contradecir investigaciones como la de Christopher Wilson, analista del Woodrow Wilson Center, que demuestra que la región fronteriza dista mucho de ser la zona peligrosa y fuera de control. Wilson sostiene que entre 2005 y 2010, la tasa de homicidios en el lado estadounidense de la franja, Texas incluido, bajó 24%.

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