Unabated Violence Poses Challenge to Mexico’s New Anticrime Program

February 19, 2013

crime sceneThe New York Times, 2/18/2013

The new Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, campaigned on a promise to reduce the violence spawned by the drug trade and organized crime, and to shift the talk about his nation away from cartels and killings. But even as he rolled out a crime prevention program last week and declared it the government’s new priority, a rash of high-profile mayhem threatened to undercut his message and raise the pressure to more forcefully confront the lawlessness that bedeviled his predecessor.

The southwestern state of Guerrero, long prone to periodic eruptions of violence, has proved a challenge once again. Gang rapes of several women have occurred in and around the faded resort town of Acapulco, including an attack this month on a group from Spain that garnered worldwide headlines, and an ambush killed nine state police officers in a mountainous no-man’s land. Out of frustration that the state was not protecting them, rural towns in Guerrero have taken up arms to police themselves.

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Weekly News Summary: February 15

February 15, 2013

Coffee by Flikr user samrevel

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, the Peña Nieto administration unveiled its new strategy to combat organized crime, promising the creation of a 10,000-strong gendarmerie by year’s end, as well as $9.2 billion for social programs aimed at the country’s most violent towns and neighborhoods.  Mexico’s booming auto industry surpassed tourism and oil exports to become the nation’s main source of foreign exchange. The government’s efforts to transform the Mexican narrative of violence into one of prosperity and social development, however, continued to suffer setbacks following the rape of six Spanish tourists in Acapulco last week. Auto defensa vigilante groups in the state of Guerrero continued to hold over forty people accused of several crimes hostage. North of the border, talk of comprehensive immigration reform continued, with critics warning against conditioning reform efforts on the poorly defined notion of securing the border, which Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano added, has “never been stronger.”

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Mexico scrambles as violence threatens tourism zones

February 11, 2013

Mexico-beachLos Angeles Times, 2/9/2013

You might be hard-pressed to find the word “Mexico” in some of the advertising for tourist resorts in Mexico. Brands like “Riviera Maya” often eclipse the name of the country where those lush beaches are located. As deadly violence that has haunted Mexico for years threatens tourist zones, government officials and trade executives are scrambling for ways to minimize damage to an industry that is a top income-earner and employer.

The rapes last week of six Spanish women vacationing in Acapulco have heightened fear and called into question the government’s ability to control crime and attract foreign visitors. It didn’t help that about the same time, Mexico’s minister of tourism was in, of all places, Spain, attempting to promote tourism. “This is Mexico’s moment,” was her theme.

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¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día: 2/7/2013

February 7, 2013

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelEach day we will bring you an assortment of op-ed pieces from major Mexican dailies.

Reforma

Jorge G. Castañeda

A few days ago, Chile hosted CELAC’s (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) first meeting. The organization’s purpose is simple: to build a regional structure that includes Cuba and excludes the United States and Canada. Speaking as CELAC’s president pro tempore, Cuba’s Raúl Castro said he would fight drugs “by fire and sword,” and suggested Cuba’s death penalty has led to a drug-free Cuba. The Cuban dictatorship has indeed used “fire and sword” to fight drugs, but has also employed them to crack down on imaginary evils, like homosexuality and political opposition. Latin American democracies have already been down the “fire and sword” road, only to discover that it leads to death, violence, repression, and, contrary to Mr. Castro’s beliefs, the persistence of drug-related problems.

http://www.reforma.com/editoriales/nacional/688/1375446/

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Human Rights Court: Mexico responsible for rapes

October 4, 2010

Associated Press, 10/4/2010

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights condemned Mexico on Monday for failing to protect the rights of two indigenous women who were raped by soldiers in 2002.

In two separate rulings, the Costa Rica-based court said Mexico failed to guarantee the rights to personal integrity, dignity and legal protection of Valentina Rosendo and Ines Fernandez, both of southern Guerrero state.

Mexico must publicly acknowledge its responsibility and called for a civilian investigation into the crimes, rather than the military one, which resulted in no charges, according to the ruling. The government also must compensate both women and publish the court rulings in Spanish and the women’s indigenous language, Me’phaa.

The government said will follow the rulings, the Interior Department said in a statement.

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Forced Prostitution, Another Side of Immigration (in Spanish)

December 2, 2009

El Universal, 12/2/09

Nancy wants nothing to do with Mexico. She strives day and night trying to forget the nightmare that she lived crossing the more than 4,000 km that seperate Guatemala from the United States. Memories and traces of two and a half months of rape, torture, and beatings torment her. Those 75 days of hunger and thirst erased the glitter from her eyes and the illusions with which she left her country in early August last year. Yet her captor’s face appears in her dreams to remind her that if she denounces him, he will kill or somebody in her family.

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