Alternative Education in Presa de Maravillas-Zacatecas

September 9, 2013

Middle school students, teachers, and families from the modest town of Presa de Maravillas, Zacatecas show us that an alternative education system is possible, when teaching and learning are interest-driven

For more information about this project, visit our website: redesdetutoria.org or facebook page: facebook.com/redesdetutoriasc


Mexico’s 1st gay mayor elected in rough northern state known for machismo, drug violence

July 19, 2013

gay pride flagThe Washington Post, 7/18/2013

Mexico’s first openly gay elected mayor is set to take office in a rough part of Zacatecas state known for cowboy boots, embossed belts and drug gang shootouts. Benjamin Medrano, a 47-year-old singer and gay bar-owner, says he is proud to be openly gay and rights groups say his victory in the city of Fresnillo’s July 7 election marks a significant point in the fight for gay rights.

They add that it is too early yet to declare victory and Medrano, who takes office in September, acknowledges that he was the target of a malicious phone-calling campaign in which his political rivals “tried to smear me, as if being gay were a crime.” Zacatecas is a largely rural state with a reputation for cowboy hats and macho swagger, one of last places in Mexico that seemed likely to elect a gay mayor.

Read more…


In Mexican Villages, Few Are Left to Dream of U.S.

April 3, 2013

mexican immigrantThe New York Times, 4/2/2013

As Congress considers a sweeping overhaul of immigration, many lawmakers say they are deeply concerned that providing a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States would mean only more illegal immigration. They blame the amnesty that President Ronald Reagan approved in 1986 for the human wave that followed, and they fear a repeat if Congress rewards lawbreakers and creates an incentive for more immigrants to sneak across the border.

But past experience and current trends in both Mexico and the United States suggest that legalization would not lead to a sudden flood of illegal immigration on the scale of what occurred after 1986. Long-running surveys of migrants from Mexico found that work, not the potential to gain legal status, was the main cause of increased border crossings in the 1990s and 2000s. And as Mr. Saldivar points out, times have changed. The American economy is no longer flush with jobs. The border is more secure than ever. And in Mexico the birthrate has fallen precipitously, while the people who left years ago have already sent their immediate relatives across, or started American families of their own.

Read more…


Rumors of war within Mexico’s Los Zetas gang raise fear of new violence

August 22, 2012

Miami Herald, 8/22/2012

Mexico’s largest crime group, Los Zetas, appears to be splintering into two rival factions locked in occasional open warfare with each other, experts say.

The factions are tussling for control of the central states of Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi and are battling each other in parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.

What sparked the rift is unclear, but signs of the apparent split have come in public banners left at crime scenes, replete with accusations of betrayal and treason between factions led by the two top leaders, Heriberto Lazcano and Miguel Angel Trevino.

Read more…

Mexican Government Granted Construction Contracts to Yarrington’s Money Launderer

May 25, 2012

El Universal, 5/25/2012

Businessman Fernando Alejandro Cano Martínez, identified by U.S. authorities as “money launderer” of alleged bribes that the Golfo Cartel gave to former governor of Tamaulipas, Tomás Yarrington, received contracts from the Mexican federal government of 834 million Mexican pesos to carry out construction projects in the country.

Out of the 19 contracts that Cano Martínez obtained from September 2006 through last April, stands out a project granted by the Secretary of Communications in Zacatecas with 281 million Mexican pesos to expand the Zacatecas-Saltillo highway.

Read article in today’s front page of El Universal here.


A Helping of Mexican Culture (Between Meals)

August 25, 2010

New York Times, 8/24/2010

National parks, check. Ruins, check. Beaches, check. Mountains, check. Waterfalls, jungle cruise, homestays, check. Eating insects, check.

In my Latin American adventure, I’d covered a lot of ground. But with one week to go before I crossed into Texas, though, there was a gap: culture. Not culture as in, “Why do you guys have dinner so late around here? But culture as in, a jazz concert. An art gallery. A history museum.

Fortunately my next stop was Zacatecas. This colonial city north of Mexico City, where Pancho Villa and his rebel army scored a major victory over federal forces in 1914, now has an arts scene that suggests a population of more than its 120,000 residents. I decided to go after reviews started pouring in, from friends, strangers, Mexicans, Americans, e-mailers and Twitter followers. Their opinion was unanimous: Zacatecas is a regular stop for Mexican tourists that is virtually ignored by foreigners. They were right.

Read more…


Mexican official resigns after mass jailbreak

May 22, 2009

CNN, 5/22/2009

Nearly a week after dozens of inmates walked out of a prison in Zacatecas, the central Mexican state’s top security official has resigned, state-run media reported Friday.

Alejandro Rojas Chalico was the Zacatecas secretary of public security. State-run Notimex reported his resignation, citing the state administration.

Read more…


Guards let Mexico inmates escape

May 22, 2009

BBC, 5/22/2009

It was initially thought that guards at the prison in the northern state of Zacatecas had been overpowered.

The jail break, which occurred on Saturday, was captured on closed circuit television recordings.

Authorities have launched a hunt for the 53 escapees. Some have been linked to Mexico’s notorious drug cartels.

Fifty-one people suspected of involvement in the prison break have been ordered to be jailed, said Ricardo Najera, a spokesman for the attorney general.

Read more (also includes video footage) …


Mexico senator takes leave amid scandal

May 21, 2009

Los Angeles Times, 5/21/2009

Ricardo Monreal

Ricardo Monreal

The Mexican senator at the center of an ugly drug scandal temporarily stepped down Wednesday, saying he welcomed an investigation he expects will clear his name. Coming six weeks before national midterm elections, the allegations involving 14 1/2 tons of marijuana found on property belonging to the senator’s family have inflamed suspicions widely held by Mexicans that many politicians are in cahoots with powerful drug traffickers.

Sen. Ricardo Monreal of Zacatecas state has acknowledged that the property where the pot was found, in a pepper-drying warehouse, belongs to one of his brothers. But he claims the drug was planted by political rivals.

Amalia Garcia

Amalia Garcia

Monreal’s difficulties now are also part of a political feud between his family and that of Gov. Amalia Garcia, ultimately over control of Zacatecas and the lucrative business that goes with it, analysts say.

Monreal and Garcia have been trading insults and accusations after people in her government circulated a video highlighting the raid on the Monreal property. Monreal retaliated and said last weekend’s prison break in Zacatecas, in which 53 narco hit men and others escaped, shows that Garcia’s government is working with criminal syndicates.

Read more…


Mexico sees inside job in prison break

May 18, 2009

Los Angeles Times, 5/18/2009

It took just minutes. Not a shot was fired. And by Sunday, authorities were sure it was an inside job.

Suspected drug traffickers swept into the prison in Zacatecas state Saturday and freed 53 inmates. Many of the escapees were cartel gunmen.

State Gov. Amalia Garcia said the prison warden and two top guards had been arrested. An additional 40 guards were being questioned.

“It is clear to us that this was perfectly planned” and that guards were bought off, Garcia said.

Read more…


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