Cartel violence in Mexico forces people to flee their homes, leaving ghost towns behind

Source: USA Today

EL CAJÓN, Mexico —Two years ago, more than 100 people lived in this small village in Mexico’s western state of Michoacán. 

Now, there are only eight.

A local feast celebrating Saint Michael the Archangel, patron saint of the town, used to run for two days, with heaps of food and celebratory banda, regional Mexican music. There is no feast this year — only three men dressing up a statue of the saint between cleaning a church. 


Legalizing illegally-imported used cars ‘a gift to the mafia:’ automotive distributors


Source: Mexico News Daily

President López Obrador’s plan to regularize illegally imported cars will only reward the criminal groups that bring them into the country, according to the Mexican Association of Automotive Distributors (AMDA).

López Obrador announced Wednesday that an amnesty agreement to regularize such cars – the vast majority of which come from the United States – would be signed this Saturday. He said that registration would be low in cost, given that many of the owners of illegal vehicles have low incomes.


Priest estimates 22,000 people, abandoned by the state, have fled Michoacán

Source: Mexico News Daily

More than 22,000 people have fled violence in Michoacán since President López Obrador took office in late 2018, according to an activist Catholic priest.

“The Tierra Caliente of Michoacán is the territory of cartels and terrorism,” said Gregorio López, an Apatzingán-based priest and founder of El Buen Samaritano (The Good Samaritan), a civil society organization that operates shelters for displaced people.


Ayotzinapa: text messages indicate police handed over students to crime gang

Source: Mexico News Daily

At least 38 of 43 students who disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, seven years ago were handed over to a crime gang by municipal police, intercepted text messages indicate.

The federal Interior Ministry (SEGOB) released a document Friday that includes a transcript of a text conversation between Gildardo López Astudillo, who was allegedly the Guerreros Unidos plaza chief in Iguala at the time of the Ayotzinapa students’ disappearance, and Francisco Salgado Valladares, who was the deputy chief of the Iguala municipal police.


Acknowledging the Missing and Those Who Try to Find Them

Source: New York Times

Nearly 100,000 people have disappeared in Mexico since 1964, many of them victims of the country’s seemingly endless drug war. The grim phenomenon has left thousands of families searching, sometimes futilely, through deserts and other rural areas in hopes of locating the missing. And it has also resulted in countless unidentified bodies at morgues throughout the country.

Fred Ramos, a photographer based in Mexico City, followed mothers on their searches, and also found another unique way to illustrate the missing: He produced stark photographs of the clothing that dressed some of the unidentified bodies. 


22 foreigners abducted from Mexican hotel


Source: Al Jazeera

Police in northern Mexico have found 38 people, including 22 Haitians and Cubans, who were abducted from a hotel, authorities have said.

The chief prosecutor of the northern state of San Luis Potosi said the victims were found alive on a roadside late Tuesday, apparently abandoned by their captors.


Why is Mexico Suing U.S. Gunmakers


Source: The New York Times

For years, Mexico has been gripped by horrific violence as drug cartels battle each other and kill civilians. In the last 15 years alone, homicides have tripled.

The violence, the Mexican government says, is fueled, in part, by American guns, and the nation’s lax gun control laws.


‘Not normal’: Big flow of U.S. arms to Mexico ‘can’t be denied,’ author says


Source: NBC News

In the last four years, Ioan Grillo traveled thousands of kilometers in crossings that took him from Mexico to the United States, Germany, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Colombia, while following a trail of iron and blood. Beyond the multimillion-dollar figures and chilling statistics, the writer was looking for answers to an ethical dilemma.

Grillo asked an arms dealer in Bulgaria, “Are you worried that the weapons you sell, legally, may later fall into the hands of criminals or terrorists?” The man stared at him and said no.


Bodies of six men found hanging from a bridge in Mexico


Source: Reuters

The bodies of six men were found hanging off a bridge in the city of Zacatecas in north-central Mexico on Thursday, an official said, in a region where some of the country’s biggest drug cartels are fighting over lucrative trafficking routes.

The half-naked bodies were discovered in the early hours of the morning, said the source at the local prosecutor’s office, requesting anonymity as he was not allowed to speak publicly to the media. Mexican newspapers also reported the grisly find.


Mexico’s President Defends News Anchor After Cartel Threat


Source: The New York Times

MEXICO CITY — Known for his incessant criticism of the press, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico on Tuesday came out in support of a TV news anchor who was apparently threatened by the leader of a powerful drug cartel.

Mr. López Obrador’s unusual defense of a journalist came after a video circulated widely on social media in which a man claiming to be the leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel threatened to kill the anchor, Azucena Uresti of Milenio TV, because of her critical coverage.