July 16, 2014
07/16/14 Reforma: Sergio Aguayo – Translated by Mexico Voices
It is the war’s worst slaughter. In Coahuila in 2011 Los Zetas disappeared 400 people. The PRI [Party of the Institutional Revolution, Peña Nieto's party] state government investigated but, instead of reporting it, passed the information to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) of Marisela Morales and Felipe Calderón, who secretly buried it.
In the municipality of Allende, two young men from wealthy families and prestigious private universities–José Luis Garza Gaytán and Héctor Moreno Villanueva–worked for Los Zetas; one day they ran away to the United States with five million dollars [sic] and a notebook containing compromising information. Drug boss Zeta-40 spoke clearly: if the fugitives didn’t return the money and notebook, Los Zetas would kill their families. They didn’t respond, and the Zetas occupied Allende (March 2011); then, aided by police in the municipality governed by the PAN [National Action Party of President Calderón], they snatched [disappeared] about 300 men and women, elderly and children, relatives and employees; they took the opportunity to kill 100 of them.
June 27, 2014
06/26/14 Huffington Post
The Mexican state of Tamaulipas, birthplace of the country’s oldest criminal organization, the Gulf Cartel, is again awash in blood. Just across the Rio Grande from Texas and abutting the Gulf of Mexico, neither a change of presidents, seemingly endless battles within the cartel and with their former allies turned deadly enemies Los Zetas, years of high-profile killings and arrests of cartel leaders, or the United States’ own seemingly endless war on drugs have made a dent in the violence.
While some U.S. publications have myopically lauded the government of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto as “saving Mexico” since he took over from his predecessor Felipe Calderón’s militarized battle with the country’s narcos, the reality on the ground tells a different story.
December 6, 2013
Fox News, 12/5/2013
Lawyers for a former Mexican governor charged in the United States with money laundering and drug trafficking say the charges are based on false accusations by people trying to bargain with U.S. prosecutors.
Attorney Josel Androphy says witnesses against former Tamaulipas Gov. Tomas Yarrington gave false information to get leniency from the U.S. government. Androphy spoke Thursday in Mexico City along with three Mexican lawyers for Yarrington.
December 4, 2013
Fugitive drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero sent a letter to the Mexican government asking officials not to give in to the United States’ demand for his capture and extradition to try him for the 1985 killing of a U.S. federal agent.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam confirmed on Tuesday that he received the letter, which was also addressed to President Enrique Pena Nieto and the Interior Ministry. He said excerpts that appeared in the investigative magazine Proceso were correct, but would not elaborate further on its contents.
December 2, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 12/1/2013
To 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.
November 27, 2013
BBC News, 11/25/2013
To some it may seem extraordinary, but priests say the country is under attack by Satan, and that more exorcists are needed to fight him. This attack, they say, is showing itself in the gruesome drug-related violence, including human sacrifice, that has engulfed the country since 2006.
“We believe that behind all these big and structural evils there is a dark agent and his name is The Demon. That is why the Lord wants to have here a ministry of exorcism and liberation, for the fight against the Devil,” says Father Carlos Triana, a priest, and an exorcist, in Mexico City.
November 22, 2013
The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.
What the English language press had to say…
This week’s press had interesting reports on the Mexican economy. The New York Times published an article describing how dozens of foreign companies are investing and filling in new industrial parks along central Mexico. As a result, middle-class housing is popping up and new universities are waving in classes of students eager to study engineering, aeronautics and biotechnology, signaling a growing confidence in Mexico’s economic future and what many see as the imported meritocracy of international business. On a similar note, the Wall Street Journal noted that even though Latin America has been a laggard among developing markets this year, some advisers are convinced the resource-rich region is poised for a turnaround. But instead of investing once again in Brazil, portfolio managers are finding smaller markets in Mexico and Chile as better bets to tap into Latin America’s long-term growth. Finally, the Economist claimed that to implement and to boost sustaining growth, a bold energy reform is needed. Without it, Mexico’s moment may prove to become fleeting one.
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November 22, 2013
San Antonio Express, 11/21/2013
Mexico extradited an alleged former top member of the Zetas drug cartel Thursday to face narcotics trafficking and money laundering charges in Laredo, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent said.
Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office would not confirm or deny Thursday afternoon that Iván Velázquez Caballero, known by the nickname “El Taliban,” had been sent to the U.S. But Mike Vigil, the former chief of international operations for the DEA, said Velazquez is now in the country.
Velázquez is one of more than 30 people charged in a massive conspiracy indictment, alleging that, between 2000 and 2008, the Zetas smuggled large amounts of drugs into the U.S. and committed homicides in Texas as part of their narcotics trafficking operations.
November 22, 2013
Al Jazeera, 11/22/2013
Shaul Schwarz, an Israeli war photographer, holds a mirror up to Los Buknas de Culiacán and the wider tragicomedy that is Mexican drug culture in “Narco Cultura,” a cinema-verité documentary that opens in New York and Miami theaters on Friday.
Showing the binational relationship at the heart of the so-called Mexican drug war (Schwarz prefers to call it the “American-Mexican drug war”), his camera follows two men on opposite sides of the border.
November 22, 2013
USA Today, 11/21/13
Patiño is one of many Catholic priests who don’t discourage their parishioners from arming themselves to put an end to criminal groups accused of everything from running extortion rackets to kidnapping people for ransom to making methamphetamine.
The bishop blasted the security situation in an Oct. 15 open letter and assailed the Mexican government for leaving his parishioners at the mercy of criminals in his home state of Michoacán.