August 20, 2014
08/20/14 Huffington Post. By Indre Biskis
Monterrey, Mexico is a city split by a large river, but that is not the only divide. Deep economic and social gaps separate rich from poor, educated from uneducated, legal from illegal. The population was further split when a highway was constructed right through its city center, solidifying the already significant schism.
Monterrey, the capital of the Nuevo Leon region, is a business-industrial city with a population over 1 million. In 2005, it was ranked as the safest city in Latin America and Mexico. However, since 2008, the city started experiencing violence related to turf battles between warring drug cartels, degrading a city with great economic potential to one full of fear. Drug use and high murder rates continue to steal the lives of youth, tempting those who lack the skills for traditional jobs into much higher-paying, high-risk careers of narcotics and crime.
January 17, 2014
The Mail, 01/17/2014
A multi-billion-dollar high-speed train network linking America with Mexico moved a step closer as officials from both sides of the border thrashed out details.
The proposed 300 mile route would link San Antonio, Texas, to Monterrey, Mexico – slashing the current journey time from five hours by car to under two hours.
Advocates say the project, which would be the first high-speed train line in North America and is set to be completed by 2018, will provide huge economic boost to regions in both nations.
October 23, 2013
The Los Angeles Times, 10/23/2013
It is one of those small, hopeful signs that this traumatized city may be awakening from the nightmare of Mexico’s drug wars: Armando Alanis once again feels safe enough to stop off for a late-night nosh at Tacos Los Quiques, a beloved sidewalk food cart.
“We couldn’t have done this two years ago,” Alanis, a 44-year-old poet, said recently as he chowed down on tacosgringas in the dim glow of inner-city streetlights. “It would be wrong not to recognize what we have regained.”
September 27, 2013
The Washington Post, 9/26/2013
Four men were killed and five people seriously injured early Thursday at a bar outside the northern city of Monterrey when assailants burst in and opened fire on patrons, officials with the state government of Nuevo Leon said. The shooting in the Monterrey suburb of Santa Catarina comes a little more than three days after gunmen killed 10 people, including a young girl, at a party celebrating the victory of a baseball team near the border city of Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua.
The killings are sure to unnerve security officials in the two northern states, as well as their federal counterparts in Mexico City. Earlier this month, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cited Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon as success stories in his government’s effort to restore peace in the nation, noting that homicides had declined in those states by 37.2% and 46.5%, respectively, since he took office in December.
June 24, 2013
The New York Times, 6/22/2013
Rosa González cannot shake the memory of the state investigator who was too afraid of reprisals to take a full report, the police officer who shrugged when the ransom demand came, the months of agonizing doubt and, most of all, the final words from her daughter before she disappeared. “I am giving you a hug because I love you so much,” her mentally disabled daughter, Brizeida, 23, told Rosa hours before she was abducted with her 21-year-old cousin after a party more than two years ago.
In thousands upon thousands of cases, the story may well have ended there, adding to the vast number of Mexicans who have disappeared. Unlike those in other Latin American countries who were victims of repressive governments, many of Mexico’s disappeared are casualties of the organized-crime and drug violence that has convulsed this nation for years. But here in Nuevo León State, prosecutors, detectives, human rights workers and families are poring over cases together and in several instances cracking them, overcoming the thick walls of mistrust between civilians and the authorities to do the basic police work that is so often missing in this country, leaving countless crimes unsolved and unpunished.
June 20, 2013
The country’s capital has spent the past decade cleaning up its environmental act with a series of policies aimed at reducing air pollution. But few other Mexican cities were following its lead. Today, numerous metropolitan areas in Mexico — none as big as the sprawling Valley of Mexico, or as notorious for smog — have grown into the very same problem. Industrial, fast-growing cities like Monterrey, Guadalajara, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez now face serious air pollution problems, say analysts.
But unlike Mexico City, these smaller big cities neither have the monitoring capabilities to inform the public when the air gets dangerously contaminated nor the public policies in place to do something about curbing emissions. “It’s not just a problem for Mexico City anymore,” said Gabriela Alarcon, research director of urban development for the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO).
June 14, 2013
By Carlos Puig, The New York Times, 6/13/2013
Saturday was a beautiful day in Monterrey, northeastern Mexico, and in the Plaza Zaragoza, just a few meters from City Hall, it was a cheerful one, too. Standing at a clear plexiglass podium, a woman of about 40 is making a speech. Human participation alone, she says, “does not have the ability to reverse the darkness”; only the light from faith in God can. “Which is why we are gathered here today, and I, Alicia Margarita Arellanes Cervantes, give Monterrey, Nuevo León, to our Lord Jesus Christ, so that his kingdom of peace and blessings may be established.”
“I open the doors of this municipality to God as the ultimate authority,” she adds. “Lord Jesus Christ, welcome to Monterrey, the house that we have built. This is your home Lord Jesus, Lord of Monterrey.” The people in the square say amen, applaud and cheer. There is just one problem: Alicia Margarita Arellanes Cervantes may be the mayor of Monterrey, but clearly the city — Mexico’s third-largest and its wealthiest per capita — isn’t hers to give away.