Mexican Deportees, Once Ignored Back Home, Now Find ‘Open Arms’

4/15/2017 New York Times

border-circa-1990-usa-mexico-borderMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president dashed to the airport to greet a planeload of deportees. The education minister rushed to the Texas border to meet Mexicans being kicked out of the United States. Mexico City’s labor secretary is urging companies to hire migrants who abruptly find themselves sent back home.

“Unlike what’s happening in the United States, this is your home,” the labor secretary, Amalia García, told deportees in the audience at a recent event for the city’s jobs programs.

For years, as the Obama administration sent back thousands of Mexicans each week — more than two million altogether — Mexico’s establishment barely reacted. All but invisible, the deportees were left to cope on their own with divided families, uncertain job prospects and the poverty that had pushed so many north in the first place.\

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Tales From the Border: 2 Weeks Along the US-Mexico Frontier

4/8/2017 New York Times

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By Toksave

TIJUANA, Mexico — The smells and sounds of Tijuana smack us as soon as we open the doors of our bug-splattered rental, a Jeep Renegade: food stalls selling roasted corn, churros and hot dogs; a near-empty bar blaring the oompa-oompas of norteno, Mexico’s answer to polka.

This is our last stop. We have just logged 3,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, crisscrossing back and forth across the world’s 10th-longest border 22 times over two weeks and blogging about the experience . We have traversed the terrain through which President Donald Trump would build a 30-foot-high wall; we have talked to anyone and everyone who was willing to open up to us.

We’ve seen a father and daughter speak through the bars of the border fence, and talked to an Arizona rancher who supports the wall but who has installed taps at every well on his desert property so migrants can drink. In Ciudad Juarez, we watched Mexican children throw rocks across the fence at railroad maintenance vehicles in the U.S. In Tijuana, we met a U.S. Army veteran who crossed the border, in her words, to “hide” from life for a few hours.

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Sex Assault Dismissal Causes Outrage in Mexico, Appeal Vowed

3/29/2017 New York Times

lawMEXICO CITY — Prosecutors in southern Mexico say they are appealing a court ruling that dismissed pederasty charges against a suspect because there was no proof he acted “with lascivious intent.”

The ruling shocked many in Mexico, where the case already had become emblematic of the impunity often enjoyed by wealthy males.

The 17-year-old victim testified she was dragged into a car between two young men, one of whom fondled her breasts and one introduced his fingers into her vagina.

The judge granted the youth an injunction to dismiss the case because “an incidental touching or fondling will not be considered sexual acts, if proof is not presented that it was done to satisfy a sexual desire.”

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Report: Blacks Make Up 1.2 Percent of Mexico’s Population

3/27/2018 New York Times

people waiting - out of focusMEXICO CITY — A Mexican census report said Monday that 1.38 million Mexicans identify themselves as having African ancestors, equal to about 1.2 percent of the country’s population.

For years Afro-Mexicans had been largely ignored in comparison with the country’s indigenous communities. As measured by speaking an indigenous language, indigenous peoples make up about 6.5 percent of the population.

Mexico’s national statistics institute said the study was based on a 2015 intermediate census in which respondents were asked to self-report their ethnicity and economic circumstances.

The Afro-Mexican population was concentrated largely in three southern states: Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Veracruz.

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Mexican town pays tribute to firework blast victims with pyrotechnic display

3/10/2017 The Guardian

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Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

A  few days before Christmas, something caused a firework to go off at the San Pablito pyrotechnics market on the northern outskirts of Mexico City. Within seconds, the blast had unleashed a powerful chain-reaction which tore through the market in a cascade of explosions and sent a towering plume of smoke over the town of Tultepec.

By the time the smoke had cleared, dozens had been killed, scores more were injured, and the market was reduced to a scorched ruin.

Two and a half months later, Tultepec is again echoing with explosions, but this time for the country’s National Pyrotechnics Fair, which culminates this weekend in a display of “musical pyrotechnics” and mass release of sky lanterns.

Officials describe it as both a tribute to the 42 victims of the disaster – and a way of keeping the local economy afloat.

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Trump’s taunts are stirring a level of nationalism Mexico hasn’t seen in years

2/25/2017 The Washington Post

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via Flickr – Steve Brown & John Verkleir

Confrontation with the United States is so central to Mexican history there’s an institution dedicated to the trauma. It’s called the Museum of Interventions.

Remember the Alamo? They do here — as the prelude to a string of defeats, invasions and territorial losses that left Mexico wounded and diminished, its national identity forged by grievance.

The museum is housed in a former convent where Mexican troops were overrun by U.S. soldiers in the 1847 Battle of Churubusco. And for most of the three decades since the museum opened, its faded battle flags seemed like the stuff of buried history, an anachronism in an age of galloping North American Free Trade Agreement integration.

But President Trump’s wall-building, great-again nationalism is reviving the old Mexican version, too. His characterization of tougher border enforcement and immigration raids as “a military operation” hit the nerve that runs through this legacy, undermining his aides’ trip to Mexico City this week and the message that relations with the United States remain strong.

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Thousands of Protesters Across Mexico March Against President Trump

2/13/2017 TIME

protest -- stroke -- resistanceMEXICO CITY — Thousands of protesters in more than a dozen Mexican cities took to the streets on Sunday to express their fierce opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump, portraying the new leader as a menace to both America and Mexico.

Waving Mexicans flags and hoisting anti-Trump signs in both Spanish and English, some vulgar, many protesters also heaped scorn on their own president, deriding Enrique Pena Nieto as a weak leader who has presided over rampant corruption and violence at home.

Trump and Pena Nieto have been locked in battle over their countries’ deep ties for months, even before Trump won the presidency with promises to get tougher on immigration and trade from Mexico.

Mexico fears Trump’s policies could send Latin America’s second biggest economy into crisis.

In a rare display of national unity, marchers and organizers came from across the country’s deeply polarized political factions, encouraged in part by a pro-march ad campaign by Televisa, the country’s dominant broadcaster.

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