U.S., Mexican officials to discuss asylum pact via @politico

05/16/2018 Politico

us mex flagPresident Donald Trump has criticized Mexico for not doing enough to stop the flow of Central American migrants toward the U.S. — but an asylum deal under discussion this week could change that.

Officials from the Trump administration and the Mexican government will meet Thursday and Friday to discuss a possible “safe third country” agreement, according to two sources, one from the Homeland Security Department and one from the Mexican government.

Under such a pact, migrants would be required to seek asylum in Mexico if they passed through that country en route to the U.S. The U.S. and Canada inked a similar deal in 2002.

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Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists. People are demanding action. via @NBCNews

05/15/2018 NBC News

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MEXICO CITY — Journalist Javier Valdez focused his award-winning reporting on the victims of violence in Mexico, including the orphans left behind by a failed war on drugs and the reporters who were assassinated for their muckracking work. On May 15, 2017, the co-founder of the independent newspaper Rio Doce was fatally shot down in broad daylight in Culiacan, Sinaloa, believed to be murdered by some of the same forces that he had denounced in his book Narcoperiodismo (Narcojournalism) released just a few months before.

A year after his death and ahead of the country’s presidential elections in July, Rio Doce co-founder Ismael Bojórquez and other independent media outlets and press freedom groups have organized a week of rallies and events to celebrate his life but also demand answers and action so that journalists like him are not killed with impunity.

The week of action’s main event is a march in Culiacán on Tuesday that ends at the Sinaloa State Attorney General’s office. Vigils and protests are also being held in Monterrey, Mexico City and other cities.

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Mexican mothers mark their day pining for missing children

05/10/2018 Reuters

Mothers of missing sons came out of a service of  Pedro Alberto Huesca, whose remains were found at one of the unmarked graves where skulls were found on a plot of land, in Palmas de Abajo, Veracruz, Mexico
Source: Reuters/Carlos Jasso

CHILAPA DE ALVAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) – Three years ago, Julieta Guzman kissed her only son on the forehead as he headed over to his girlfriend’s house, just a few blocks away in the town of Chilapa, where drug gangs fighting over heroin production have plunged into a vortex of violence.

The 21-year-old promised to come back later that afternoon to continue celebrating Mother’s Day, but he never returned. Guzman has not stopped looking for him.

In Mexico, Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 10 and it is a near-national holiday, where many businesses let employees leave at midday and restaurants overflow with families honoring their matriarchs.

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Extradition of accused Mexican traffickers raises victim hopes for justice

05/07/2018 Reuters

human trafficking by Flikr user Brett JordanBOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Mexican women and girls sent to the United States and forced to have sex with up to 40 men a day finally could see their accused traffickers punished after U.S. authorities cracked a largely family-run sex ring after nearly 20 years, officials said.

Four Mexicans, some related by marriage and blood, including brothers, accused of sexually exploiting women were extradited to the United States from Mexico over the past two weeks, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

They are charged with being part of an international sex trafficking ring that forced women and girls to work as prostitutes in brothels in Mexico and the United States, mainly in and around New York, from around 2000 to 2016.

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U.S. Lets a Few Members of a Migrant Caravan Apply for Asylum

04/30/2018 The New York Times

child_immigrant_cbp_border_gettySeveral members of the Latin American migrant caravan that has enraged President Trump were allowed to step onto United States territory to apply for asylum late Monday, ending a border standoff that had lasted more than a day and marking the beginning of the final chapter of the group’s monthlong odyssey.

Shortly after 7 p.m. local time, eight migrants who, like most of the caravan’s participants, said they were fleeing violence in their homeland, passed through the metal gate separating Tijuana from San Diego, entered the immigration checkpoint and began the process to petition for sanctuary, caravan organizers said.

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Case of Missing Civilians in Mexico Shines Light on Military’s Role in Drug War

04/30/2018 The New York Times

MEXICO CITY — On a cold night in December 2009, three relatives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua were taken away by a group of armed men in military uniforms and were never seen again.

Now the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights — is examining the disappearances of the three civilians — Nitza Paola Alvarado Espinoza, José Ángel Alvarado Herrera and Rocío Irene Alvarado Reyes — for the first time.

Their story is part of a case that the court — an independent judicial body with legal authority in Mexico — heard over two days, ending Friday. It involves accusations of human rights violations by the Mexican military during government operations that began more than a decade ago to combat drug trafficking and organized crime.

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Inter-American Court hears first case on Mexico military abuses

04/27/2018 Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Thursday began hearing the first case of alleged state-led human rights violations in Mexico to be brought since the country militarized its battle against violent drug cartels over a decade ago.

The case of Alvarado Espinoza et al vs Mexico will be held in San Jose, in Costa Rica, on Thursday and Friday. It is expected to shine a harsh light on Mexico’s military assault on warring drug gangs, which the government has recently sought to enshrine in law, despite criticism from rights groups.

In December 2009, three years after former President Felipe Calderon sent in the army to curb drug violence, a group of soldiers stormed two houses belonging to three members of the Alvarado family in the northern border state of Chihuahua, the family and rights groups say.

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