Mexico is world’s deadliest spot for environmental activists

Source: AP News

09/29/2022

VICAM, Mexico — Mexico has become the deadliest place in the world for environmental and land defense activists, according to a global survey released Wednesday, and the Yaqui Indigenous people of northern Mexico are still mourning the killing of water-defense leader Tomás Rojo found dead in June 2021.

The murder of Indigenous land defenders often conjures up images of Amazon activists killed deep in the jungle — and Colombia and Brazil still account for many of the deaths. But according to a report by the nongovernmental group Global Witness, Mexico saw 54 activists killed in 2021, compared to 33 in Colombia and 26 in Brazil. The group recorded the deaths of 200 activists worldwide in 2021.

Latin America accounted for more than two-thirds of those slayings — often of the bravest and most well-respected people in their communities.

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Why Is Mexico’s Security Strategy Failing?

Source: Forbes

9/27/2022

During the administration of President Andres Manuel López Obrador, Mexico has struggled with historically high levels of homicides. On September 22, 2022 during a morning press conference López Obrador faced off with journalist Jorge Ramos over his government’s track record of dealing with violence. Ramos held up a placard showing that AMLO’s government has overseen more murders than any other administration in modern Mexican history. López Obrador chose to deny and deflect. “I don’t agree with you,” he countered. López Obrador continues to remind voters about the violence Mexico experienced during the presidency of Felipe Calderon (2006-2012.) He does not mention, however, that his own government has overseen a significantly higher level of violence. According to data from Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the country recorded 42,676 murders during the first three years of Calderon’s government, a time when Mexico was considered to be “at war” with its drug cartels. Under López Obrador, the government has promoted the slogan “hugs not bullets” and also embraced a massive expansion of Calderon’s militarized security strategy. What has not disappeared, however, is the violence. Mexico has recorded 109,059 murders between 2019 and the end of 2021, during the first half of López Obrador’s sexenio. In order to discuss the issue of violent crime in Mexico, I reached out to Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

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The Empire of Los Chapitos

A postcard from Culiacán

Source: Ioan Grillo Substack, Narco Politics

We run into the punteros by the tollbooth on the road from Mazatlán into Sinaloa’s colorful state capital of Culiacán. They are operating so brazenly they have even put up a tarp to shield themselves from the punishing sun. An older guy with a baseball cap and mustache stands under the tarp with his open palm above his belt buckle in the pistol-packing pose. A younger guy with a mop of black hair buzzes over to us on his motorbike and asks what we are up to. 

Punteros is a term you hear more in Sinaloa, the cradle of Mexican drug trafficking, than in other states. It is often used in place of halcones, the lookouts for the cartels, but the punteros of Culiacán are a little different. Halcones in other Mexican cities usually adopt a low profile as they keep their eyes open for anything that moves and report it up the chain by cellphone or radio. The punteros in Culiacán can be more overt, so marking the territory, or el punto. They usually have motorbikes and are often armed. And they frequently sell drugs at their point as well as providing eyes.

We are filming a shot of the highway with a drone, which is grabbing their attention. When the puntero comes over, I explain we are making a documentary series which is just about music and he looks over the shoulder of the cameraman at the images from the sky. Our local producer gives the puntero a fist bump and asks what he is selling. The puntero flashes bags of weed and wraps of cocaine and asks if we want to buy. 

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Convoy de vacunación queda en medio de ataque armado; muere un policía en NL

Fuente: El Universal

9/20/2022

Un convoy de vacunación que se dirigía al puente Colombia, quedó en medio de un ataque armado contra elementos de Fuerza Civil Nuevo León, mismo que dejó un saldo de un policía muerto, dos lesionados y dos detenidos.

De acuerdo con información de Fuerza Civil de Nuevo León, sus elementos sufrieron un ataque con armas de fuego por parte de integrantes del crimen organizado, cuando realizaban un operativo especial en el municipio de Anáhuac, al norte de la entidad.

Posteriormente fue detenido un presunto agresor, a quien se le aseguró un arma.

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3rd volunteer grave search activist killed in Mexico

Source: AP News

9/1/2022

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Yet another mother searching for her disappeared son has been killed in northern Mexico, becoming the third volunteer search activist killed in Mexico since 2021.

Rubén Rocha Moya, the governor of the northern state of Sinaloa, identified the dead woman Wednesday as Rosario Rodríguez Barraza.

“I deeply regret the killing of Rosario Rodríguez Barraza, a tireless fighter, like many other women in Sinaloa who are looking for their loved ones,” Rocha Moya wrote in his social media accounts.

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US tourists beware: Popular Mexico getaway plagued by drug cartel intimidation and violence

08/25/2022

Source: Courier Journal

TULUM, México – With its turquoise waters, white sand and ancient ruins, this city has become an increasingly popular spot for tourists seeking a getaway along the Caribbean coastline.

Its raves, nightclubs and exclusive resorts and restaurants offer a more tranquil getaway than Cancun, its more well-known neighbor 81 miles to the north.

But the increasing threats of violence pervading Mexico have made their way here, as well as the surrounding state of Quintana Roo. U.S. State Department officials issued a warning Aug. 17 of a heightened risk of violence to Americans traveling there.

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Journalist found dead near U.S. border in Mexico, the 14th media worker killed in the country this year

Source: CBS News

8/17/2022

An independent journalist found dead in northern Mexico was killed by a blow to the head, authorities said Tuesday, reporting the latest in 14 slayings of Mexican reporters and media workers so far this year, the deadliest in recent memory for the profession.

Prosecutors in the border state of Sonora announced earlier that the body of Juan Arjón López had been found in the border city of San Luis Rio Colorado. They said the journalist, who had been reported missing Aug. 9, was identified from the tattoos on his body.

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Strengthen rule of law, end impunity the way to stop violence: advocacy group

Source: Mexico News Daily

08/17/2022

Strengthening the rule of law and ending impunity is crucial to combatting violence in Mexico, according to a senior official with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

In an interview with the El Universal newspaper, the research and advocacy organization’s vice president for programs, Maureen Meyer, said militarized security strategies have failed and that the current government needs to rethink its non-confrontational “hugs, not bullets” approach to combatting violence.

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earthquake

Mexico’s week of drug violence shakes administration

08/16/2022

Source: ABC News

Days of widespread drug cartel arson and shootings in four states last week have left Mexicans asking why the drug cartels exploded and what do they want. The attacks killed 11 people, including a young boy and four radio station employees who were randomly shot on the streets of the border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, on Thursday.

The federal government deployed soldiers and National Guard troops to calm residents’ fears, but the outbursts of violence raised questions about President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s approach of putting all responsibility for security in the hands of the military rather than civilian police forces.

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Los golpes del narco contra la población chocan con la política de seguridad de López Obrador

14/08/2022

Fuente: El País

Ni el drama de la mina, ni la economía, ni la educación, ni la sanidad, ni la política energética. Nada parece hacer mella en la consideración social que goza el presidente del Gobierno, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, que esa semana volvió a exhibir encuestas internacionales que le sitúan arriba de la clasificación entre los mandatarios mejor valorados del mundo. México tiene una característica, sin embargo, que también le coloca en las primeras posiciones globales, pero no es para jactarse de ello: la enorme violencia que asola el territorio, con alrededor de 30.000 muertes al año.

Y eso sí mantiene en vilo al gobernante y tiene incendiadas las redes sociales. La inseguridad que estos días ha vivido la población, con negocios y transporte público y privado incendiados en varios Estados, motines carcelarios y balazos a discreción que han dejado hasta 11 muertos en Ciudad Juárez, sí es algo que preocupa en un país anestesiado en torno a una idea: la violencia es entre delincuentes.

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