U.S. Lawsuit Over Photos at U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings Is Revived

08/14/18 New York Times

CBP_Border_Patrol_agent_reads_the_Miranda_rights_A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit by border policy activists challenging the constitutionality of a U.S. government policy requiring advance permission to take photos or shoot film at ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, ruled 3-0 that a lower court judge acted too hastily in dismissing Ray Askins’ and Christian Ramirez’s First Amendment claims against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection officials.

It faulted the judge for deciding in a “conclusory fashion” that the case should be dismissed because of the government’s “extremely compelling interest” in border security and general interest in protecting U.S. territorial sovereignty.

Read more…


Mexican judge says probe into 2014 killings inadequate: rights center

08/12/18 Reuters


A Mexican judge said the country’s attorney general has not “exhaustively, adequately and effectively” investigated the extrajudicial executions of 22 people allegedly committed by the military in 2014, a human rights organization said on Sunday.

The Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (Prodh) said the judge ordered the attorney general’s office to “carry out a series of proceedings to immediately clarify the case and establish responsibilities, including the chain of command involved in the illegal order to shoot” the victims.

“This lack of due diligence is one of the many forms taken by the unacceptable cover up of serious human rights violations in Mexico,” said Prodh, which represents a survivor of the shooting, Clara Gomez Gonzalez.

Read more…

U.S. border agent is not immune from lawsuit in cross-border killing of Mexican teen, court rules

08/08/18 Washington Post

Border fenceJosé Antonio Elena Rodríguez, 16, was walking along the border in his hometown of Nogales, Mexico, shortly before midnight in October 2012 when a U.S. Border Patrol agent began firing from the other side of the steel-beam fence. About 10 bullets struck the Mexican teenager in the back, killing him.

The border agent, Lonnie Swartz, said he was firing at a group of teenagers who were hurling rocks at law enforcement as drug smugglers tried crossing into Mexico. But Elena Rodríguez’s mother said the teenager was walking “peacefully” when he was killed. She sued the border agent, accusing him of violating her son’s constitutional rights.

Her lawsuit forced a federal appeals court to delve into a question that has previously left judges divided: Is a Mexican citizen killed on Mexican soil by a U.S. border agent protected by the U.S. Constitution?

Read more…

UN condemns Mexico over tortured reporter case and calls for action to keep journalists safe

08/03/18 The Guardian

la-fg-tijuana-journalists-violence-photos-005The UN human rights council has rebuked Mexico for failing to protect its journalists in a ruling on the case of a prominent reporter who was kidnapped and threatened with rape by police acting at the behest of a powerful politician and one of his business backers.

The ruling was the council’s first against Mexico, which has become one of the most murderous countries in the world for media workers.

The resolution found journalist Lydia Cacho was arbitrarily detained, subjected to torture and gender violence and had her right to free expression violated.

Read more…

OAS Condemns Human Rights Abuses in Nicaragua

07/18/18 The New York Times

nicaragua oasThe Organization of American States adopted a resolution Wednesday condemning human rights abuses committed by Nicaraguan police and armed pro-government civilians since protests against President Daniel Ortega began in mid-April.

The resolution, which was adopted 21-3 with seven abstentions, also criticized the harassment of Roman Catholic bishops.

Catholic officials who have been mediating stalled talks on finding a peaceful solution to the standoff and have criticized Ortega’s government over killings have suffered at least three recent attacks.

The OAS resolution by Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and the U.S. called on Ortega to support an electoral calendar agreed upon during the dialogue process.

Read more…

Women won big in Mexico’s elections — taking nearly half the legislature’s seats. Here’s why.

07/11/18 The Washington Post

Margarita_Zavala_De_CalderonWhile observers discuss leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in Mexico’s presidential election, complete with majorities in both chambers of congress and control of nearly half the governorships and state legislatures up for election, another historic earthquake has been overlooked: gender parity in congress.

When the new Mexican congress sits on Dec. 1, women will make up 49 percent of the lower house and 51 percent of the senate. Mexico will rank fourth in the world for women’s legislative representation. And it will be the only country with an elected senate that is majority female.

Across the board, Mexican women won big in the July 1 elections. The second most important political position in the country (mayor of Mexico City) also went to a woman. At the subnational level, women will make up 50 percent of most state legislatures.

Read more…

Mexico Police Commander Suspended After Journalist Bloodied

07/08/18 The New York Times

policeA Mexico City police commander has been suspended after an incident in which a newspaper photographer was allegedly roughed up by officers while reporting on street-level drug arrests.

The city police department says in a Sunday statement that the suspension is a “precautionary measure” following the pre-dawn encounter in the capital’s notoriously rough Doctores district.

It says a melee broke out “that resulted in injuries to people near the scene, among them a reporter.”

Read more…