Lawyer for Mexico Drug Lord Demands Payment From US Networks

5/25/2016 ABC News

ElChapoA lawyer for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman said Wednesday that he will sue television networks if they air a new series on the imprisoned Mexican drug lord’s life without paying him.

Netflix and Univision announced on May 17 that they will co-produce the drama series “El Chapo,” set to air in 2017. The announcement used only the nickname “El Chapo,” and said the series is “based on the life story of one of the world’s most notorious criminals.”

Lawyer Andres Granados told The Associated Press the two networks have to pay for the right to use Guzman’s name and nickname, which can be translated as “Shorty.”

Granados said that at the right price, Guzman “could supply more information to make it a better project for them.”

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Corruption and car fumes clog up Mexico City

Financial Times 5/25/2016 

cars in trafficUnder Mexico City rules designed to reduce pollution, José’s 1994 Ford Explorer should stay off the road one day a week and every Saturday. Instead, he slips 500 pesos ($27) to a friendly mechanic, who in turn takes it to a friendly vehicle verification centre for its mandatory six-monthly emissions test. Problem solved.

“I think [the mechanics] pour a mixture of paint thinner and water into the tank to reduce the exhaust fumes,” says José matter-of-factly, although he asks to use this pseudonym rather than his real name. He reckons the mechanic keeps only 100 pesos, using the rest to pay test centre staff to turn a blind eye.

As bribes go it is cheap but, as José points out, this business is about volume. “It’s a generalised custom, really, especially if you have a car over 15 or 20 years old . . .  If your car is more than 10 years old, you always have to pay. I’d say 60 per cent of those that pass the verification paid 500 pesos at least.”

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Luis Álvarez, Leading Figure in Mexico’s National Action Party, Dies at 96

5/24/2016 The New York Times

Luis_H._AlvarezMEXICO CITY — Luis H. Álvarez, a leading figure in the conservative National Action Party in Mexico who dedicated his life to the fight for democracy there, died on May 18 at his home in León, Mexico. He was 96.

The cause was complications of pneumonia, his nephew Fernando Álvarez said.

Mr. Álvarez, who was originally a textile executive, was steadfast in his efforts to end the long rule of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI.

In 1958, he ran unsuccessfully for president against that party’s candidate, Adolfo López Mateos, in what seemed like a quixotic campaign.

Almost three decades later, with the ruling party still immovable, he rallied opposition in Chihuahua, his home state, to protest voting fraud, undertaking a long hunger strike that helped focus international attention on the Mexican opposition’s struggle for democracy.

But it was not until 2000, when the National Action Party, or PAN, won the presidency, that the PRI’s 71-year rule ended.

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Antonio Garza: Mexico’s best PR move is to stop violence and corruption

5/24/2016 The Dallas Morning News

MEXICO, Ciudad de México, 12AGOSTO10. En el centro de mando de la Policía Federal fueron presentados 12 personas detenidas en dos operativos distintos en la República Mexicana. Foto: Jesús Villaseca P/Latitudes Press.
Foto: Jesús Villaseca P/Latitudes Press.

After enduring months of hostile rhetoric in the U.S. primaries, Mexico has had enough. In a diplomatic and strategic shakeup, officials have announced a new strategy to polish the country’s image abroad. They shouldn’t have a hard time finding material, given our broad and fruitful bilateral relationship. But if Mexico really wants to change its image, it needs to start at home.

Americans’ concerns regarding Mexico began long before the current primary season. The recent incidents of bilateral bullying inflame emotions, especially when tied to sensitive domestic issues such as undocumented immigration or border security. Yet Americans’ pervasive perception of Mexico as corrupt, violent or overridden by cartels also stems in large part from the country’s very real challenges.

This means that if Mexico is serious about improving its image abroad, the first step is recognizing that the problem isn’t just one of public relations but also of content.

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Making a noise about machismo in Mexico

5/20/16 BBC

mexican women rights“Machismo has to die,” chanted protesters as they walked through the centre of Mexico City last month.

Thousands of people came out onto the streets to say enough was enough.

The macho culture is all pervasive in Mexico and many of those at the march think its emphasis on male pride is a contributing factor in the high rates of violence against women that Mexico is experiencing.

It is estimated that nine out of 10 women (link in Spanish) have been subjected to sexual violence, whether on the streets or at home.

‘Tired of the violence’

“I’m here because I’m tired of the violence against women in Mexico,” said Ana Carlota Velazquez, a student.

“I’m tired of living it and hearing it happen to my friends, in the streets, on public transport, in university and at work.”


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The immigrants still ‘California Dreamin’

5/18/16 BBC

CaliforniaA group of drunken men are loitering on the pavement outside Claudia’s block of flats in San Francisco. In the run-down lobby, visitors are greeted by a broken fridge.

The studio flat Claudia shares with her two young daughters though is tidy and homely.

Claudia fled from a violent partner and became homeless. She has been rehoused by a San Francisco charity but her problems are far from over.

‘Fearful for my children’

Claudia does not want to give me her full name because she is one of the more than 11 million undocumented migrants living in the US, and she is worried by the political rhetoric in the presidential race.

“What Donald Trump said shocked me very much because I’m Mexican,” she says.

“I’m fearful that my children would have to fend for themselves because he would want to deport me.”

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Hundreds rescued from drug rehab center in western Mexico

5/19/16 CNN

Jalisco_in_Mexico_(location_map_scheme).svg(CNN)Hundreds of children, women and men who had been living at an overcrowded drug rehabilitation shelter in western Mexico were rescued in a police operation carried out Tuesday night, according to authorities.

Police found 271 people at the shelter, called “Spiritual Awakening, Alcoholics and Drug Addicts of the West,” in the city of Tonalá in the western state of Jalisco. The alleged victims were living in what authorities described as “inhumane conditions.” Police found 68 women, 91 men and 112 minors crammed into the facility.
“We’re still in the process of completing the operation. We found very serious conditions of overcrowding. We also found that people were being fed in a subhuman and inappropriate way,” Jalisco State’s Attorney Jesús Eduardo Almaguer said in a statement.
Almaguer said his office was alerted to the problem after a complaint from a woman who says she was beaten and kept from leaving the facility until she paid 1,500 Mexican pesos (U.S. $81.83) after she went there to visit a patient.