Mexico launches probe after rebel group declares ‘war’

December 3, 2013

hands - fistAl Jazeera English, 12/3/2013

Mexico is probing the alleged creation of a rebel group in the troubled southern state of Guerrero that is calling on people to take up arms against the government, the office of Mexico’s Attorney General said Monday.

Hooded men carrying rifles and handguns went before reporters Sunday in an undisclosed location in Guerrero and announced the creation of a group they called the Revolutionary Armed Forces-People’s Liberation, Mexican media reported.

A statement issued by the group called President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government repressive, criticizing education reforms as well as a planned energy reform bill the group said would surrender Mexico’s oil wealth to foreigners.

“There is no day like today to declare war,” said a statement read by one of the supposed group’s leader. The alleged rebel group also accused the government of killing environmental activists, student and rural leaders and other community activists, and demanded the release of detained leaders of self-defense groups in Guerrero.

A spokesman for the Mexican attorney general’s office said a probe will be launched to confirm the group’s existence and to assess its size and reach.

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Peasant Leader Slain in Southern Mexico

November 12, 2013

guerreroThe Latin America Herald Tribune, 11/12/2013

Mexican police found a grassroots leader and his wife fatally shot inside their home in the southern state of Guerrero.

Neighbors of Luis Olivares Enriquez and Ana Lilia Gatica called police after hearing shots Sunday morning. The crime took place in Coyuca de Benitez, near the Pacific resort city of Acapulco.

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Raymond Weakens to Tropical Storm Near Mexico

October 23, 2013

The Cliffs of La Quebrada in Acapulco

The New York Times, 10/23/2013

Raymond weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm Wednesday and began moving away from Mexico’s Pacific coast, granting relief to a region devastated by storms last month.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Raymond’s maximum sustained winds decreased to near 65 mph (100 kph) with additional weakening possible over the next few days. At its peak, the storm was a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph (205 kph) that threatened to collide with the Mexican coast.

Some Mexicans Evacuate as Hurricane Looms Offshore

October 22, 2013

hurricaneThe New York Times, 10/22/2013

Authorities moved hundreds of people from isolated mountain communities and low-lying shore areas as a strong Hurricane Raymond loomed off Mexico’s already storm-battered southern Pacific coast.

Guerrero state Gov. Angel Aguirre urged people to stay off the streets, roads and highways Tuesday because of potentially dangerous rains from the Category 3 storm that meandered offshore.

Mexico’s Female Vigilante Squads

October 7, 2013

The Daily Beast, 10/5/2013

protest -- stroke -- resistanceXaltianguis is in the Southern Mexican state of Guererro, a region home to illegal poppy and marijuana cultivation and plagued by violence. It is also located less than an hour away from Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities. Like so many towns throughout Mexico, Xaltianguis—once a quiet farming town—has been at the mercy of organized crime for years, and by 2010 it had transformed into a mecca for murder, kidnapping and extortion. Yet this past summer, a group of ordinary women banded together for an extraordinary purpose: to make the town safer than it has been in years.

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After return to Mexico, she fights crime, runs afoul of law

September 26, 2013

prisonThe Los Angeles Times, 9/25/2013

Nestoria Salgado led a town rebellion against crooks in Guerrero state, only to land in federal prison after making an arrest that some say overstepped boundaries.

Today, Salgado sits in a Mexican penitentiary, far from her home and her people, accused of kidnapping and guilty, certainly, of having run afoul of a clash of cultures, politics and generations-old clan rivalries.

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The Village Warriors of Guerrero

September 24, 2013

Migrant California vineyardAl Jazeera America, 9/22/2013

There on the cement town plaza, villagers led the two presumed extortionists over to government police. A band of farmers with old hunting rifles and machetes made sure the pair didn’t get away

Across Mexico, civilians like those in Ayutla de los libres are taking the law into their own hands, fed up with the terror sown by organized narcotics groups. Peasants are riding shotgun in pick-up trucks. They chase SUVs with tinted windows, and lock the occupants in dank rooms.  It’s estimated nearly half of Mexico’s 31 states have seen some form of citizen militias, from up toward the border with the U.S., and down to the Pacific coast.

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68 believed buried in Mexico mudslide; storm death toll rises to 97

September 20, 2013

The Los Angeles Times, 9/19/2013 

Photo by Flickr User Maitri

Rescue teams were searching Thursday for an estimated 68 people believed buried in a mudslide after multiple storms battered large swaths of Mexico, killing nearly 100 people nationwide and leaving thousands stranded or homeless.

While much attention was focused on tourists caught in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, grimmer reports emerged from villages in that hard-hit region of Guerrero state, which were largely cut off from aid and may have suffered large-scale devastation.

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58 More Missing After Massive Mexico Storm

September 19, 2013

hurricaneThe New York Times, 9/19/2013

Mexico’s government said 58 people were missing after a massive landslide smashed through a tiny coffee-growing village deep in the country’s southern mountains, where fresh waves of rain threatened more danger for rescue workers trying to evacuate the last residents from the isolated hamlet on Thursday.

The same storm that devastated Acapulco and surrounding areas over the weekend regenerated into Hurricane Manuel and was swirling into the Pacific coast again, this time further north, just offshore from the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan.

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What Does A Recent Mass-Kidnapping / Murder Mean For Mexico City’s Longstanding Fight Against Crime?

August 27, 2013

hands in handcuffsForbes, 8/26/2013

In 2011 and 2012 as organized crime-related violence claimed thousands of lives in states such as Guerrero, Jalisco, and Tamaulipas, Mexico City remained a relative oasis from violent crime, reporting a murder rate roughly on par with New York City’s.

But, a series of violent incidents have occurred in 2013. In addition to the mass kidnapping in May there have been a number of other disturbing organized crime-style assassinations. While cartel battlegrounds in Acapulco and the surrounding state of Guerrero continue to be hotspots of organized crime-related violence. There has also been a notable increase in violence in and around Mexico City. Mexico State, for instance, the state surrounding Mexico City, reported 1,217 homicides between December 2012 and July 2013. During this time period, Mexico City reported 525 homicides, second only to Acapulco in terms of total murders reported.

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