Billionaire Slim’s Workers Stage Walkout in Support of Students

November 20, 2014

11/20/14 Bloomberg 

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP - Getty Images

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP – Getty Images

Employees of billionaire Carlos Slim’s telephone company plan to join relatives of 43 missing college students to protest the government’s response to the mass disappearance in Iguala, Mexico. The union at America Movil SAB (AMXL)’s Telmex landline unit will hold a 24-hour walkout and called on members to join demonstrators in Mexico City’s central square, union chief Francisco Hernandez said. The marches are scheduled for this afternoon. “We can’t turn our gaze away and pretend this doesn’t concern us,” Hernandez said in a video message to Telmex employees yesterday. “We have to look for solutions not just for the disappeared young people so that this tragedy never happens again, but also to lead this country on a path to have justice, to eradicate impunity and corruption.”

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Take Mexico off the ‘safe list,’ immigration protesters urge

November 20, 2014

11/19/14 Leader Post

canada mexicoRaul Gatica Bautista fled Mexico for Canada in 2005 with a bullet wound in his stomach and scarring on his face, grim testaments to the abuse the indigenous rights activist says he suffered at the hands of the Mexican police. Canada accepted him as a refugee then, but Gatica Bautista says this country would turn him away today because of changes last year that placed Mexico on a list of 42 countries deemed safe by the federal government. Asylum seekers from these countries have fewer appeal options and are deported faster than refugee claimants from other countries. On Wednesday, Gatica-Bautista and groups of protesters in several cities called on the federal government to take Mexico off the so-called “safe list,” citing the recent disappearance and possible massacre of 43 teaching students in rural Mexico and the ongoing persecution of indigenous rights activists. The group No One is Illegal has launched a similar petition.

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Mexico at breaking point as anti-government anger escalates

November 20, 2014

11/19/14 The Guardian 

AFP

AFP

Mexico is facing an escalating political crisis amid growing fury over a mansion built for the presidential family and the disappearance and probable massacre of 43 student teachers. The two apparently unrelated issues have fed the widespread perception that unbridled political corruption is the underlying cause of the country’s many problems – ranging from stunted economic growth to a breakdown of law and order that has left parts of the country at the mercy of murderous drug cartels. “The drama of Mexico is about impunity,” said leading political commentator Jesús Silva-Herzog. “This is not about the popularity or unpopularity of the president, that is irrelevant. It is about credibility and trust and, at its root, it is about legitimacy.”

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BMW says its Takata inflator work moving from Mexico to Germany

November 20, 2014

11/19/14 Reuters

Washauto06_bmw_325_AudeVivereTakata plans to shift production of BMW air bag inflators from Mexico to Germany, the automaker said on Wednesday in a filing with U.S. safety regulators who have been probing questions about the quality of manufacturing at the plant. Automakers that use the Takata inflators, including Toyota Motor Corp, warned that it was not feasible to switch to other suppliers to meet demand for replacement parts. The Takata inflators are at risk of blowing up with too much force and spraying occupants with metal shrapnel. Germany’s BMW said in a filing posted online by U.S. safety regulators that it is supporting efforts by Takata to shift inflator production from its plant in Monclova, Mexico, to another Takata plant in Freiberg, Germany. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Takata inflators linked to at least five deaths.

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Vetting Failed to Cull Mexican Cops Accused in Student Kidnappings

November 18, 2014

11/18/14 Bloomberg

federal police mexicoThe Mexican police who are accused of kidnapping 43 students in Guerrero state two months ago and handing them to a drug gang didn’t dodge the government’s vetting process. Most of the officers involved had cleared it. In Sonora, a state prison chief remains on the job three years after he failed his background check. And in Jalisco, a mayor said he wants to re-test officers found unfit to serve — because he can’t afford the severance payments if he fired them. The cases, across Mexico, shed light on how corruption in law enforcement has continued to fester under President Enrique Pena Nieto as he focused on economic improvements and an international image makeover for the country.

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Mexico’s Holy Warrior Against the Cartels

November 18, 2014

11/18/14 The Daily Beast 

roadside crossIf you want to know about the Mexican priest Padre Gregorio López, first of all you need to know that his parish is located in the small city of Apatzingán, at the heart of a region in southern Mexico known as a fiefdom of the Knights Templar drug cartel. Then you need to know that he considers it his religious obligation to drive the cartel out of the city and out of the state of Michoacán. The lengths to which the padre is willing to go to achieve that end have carried his reputation far beyond the rough-and-tumble region known as Tierra Caliente, so named for an average annual temperature that rounds down to 95 degrees. Land theft, the extortion of farmers, and the rise in kidnappings and murders were grievances left to simmer for years in the countryside.

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Protests rage over missing students in Mexico ahead of national strike

November 18, 2014

11/17/14 Aljazeera 

MIGUEL TOVAR / LATINCONTENT / GETTY

MIGUEL TOVAR / LATINCONTENT / GETTY

Protests over the disappearance of 43 missing students raged across Mexico and the United States over the weekend. Activists blamed a government they say has ties to organized crime and called for people in Mexico and the U.S. to support a Mexico-wide strike on Thursday. Coinciding with the Nov. 20 strike, protest marches will be held in Mexico City, as well as dozens of cities across the U.S. including New York City and Los Angeles. “We want to warn that these acts of protest will not be silenced while the civil and human rights of our Mexican brothers continue to be violated and trampled on by a government that has colluded with organized crime and to those who blamed the crimes committed by the state on [cartels] — thereby evading their own responsibility in the state sponsored genocide that has been committed with total impunity,” #YoSoy123NY, the New York chapter of a Mexican social movement that opposes Mexico’s current government, said in a statement handed out at a protest in New York City on Sunday.

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