Children’s Remains Found in Mexican Mass Graves

9/23/2018 – New York Times

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

MEXICO CITY — Tiny pants for a baby no older than 6 months and shiny pink sandals for a toddler are among the personal items that have turned up at mass graves in the Gulf state of Veracruz, driving home the brutality of rising violence in Mexico.

Mexican authorities have found remains of children along with adults in the clandestine burial pits, a person with knowledge of the investigation confirmed Sunday. Each item of clothing was either found near a body or cut free from remains. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the details publicly.

The National Commission of Missing Persons posted online hundreds of pictures of clothing Friday to give family members a tool to possibly identify missing loved ones. The images include polo shirts with logos still intact, socks, shoes, colorful boxer briefs and ladies’ panties. One T-shirt says “Live Free” above a picture of a young woman and flowers.

Photos also show multiple children’s items, such as little sweaters or T-shirts with images of Tinkerbell, Tweety Bird and Pokémon.

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Regulate: ex-world leaders’ solution to ‘failed’ drug war

Reuters – 9/24/2018

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Ruth Driefuss and Michel Kazatchkine of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Source: http://www.globalcommissionondrugpolicy.org.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – More governments should turn away from a repressive war on drugs that has “failed” and look to proven strategies to implement regulated markets for risky substances, a group of former presidents and leaders said in a report published Monday.

Since the group that includes 12 former heads of state began advocating for an end to drug prohibition in 2011, a growing number of countries and U.S. states have created medical or recreational markets for marijuana.

Now the group is looking at ways to smooth the way out of prohibition, recommending countries start regulating lower-potency drugs as well as reforms to international treaties that require prohibition and punishment.

“The international drug control system is clearly failing,” said Helen Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand. “The health … of nations is not advanced by the current approach to drug control.”

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Judge refuses to delay US trial of ‘El Chapo’

09/21/2018 – The Washington Post

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 (Eduardo Verdugo, File/Associated Press)

A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected a request to put off the trial of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Lawyers for Guzman told U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan at a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn that they needed more time to review evidence in the drug-trafficking case.

But the judge said he was sticking with a schedule that has jury selection beginning on Nov. 5. He had already agreed in July to delay the trial by two months.

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Rights Group Accuses Mexican Armed Forces of Unlawful Killings

09/20/2018 – The New York Times

federal police mexicoMexican troops and police committed two extrajudicial killings while confronting presumed fuel thieves in the central state of Puebla in May 2017, a Mexican human rights group said on Wednesday, adding to allegations of abuse against the military.

A report by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) said police and troops manipulated the scene by placing high-caliber firearms beside the two bodies. Eight other people died and 13 people, including four minors, were detained with excessive force, the report said.

Neither the defense ministry nor the Puebla police force responded to requests for comment. The state government declined to comment.

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Second Mexican Official Fired Over Scandal of Bodies Stored in Truck

09/20/2018 – The New York Times

barbed-wire-blur-close-up-300952Mexican authorities said on Wednesday they had fired the top prosecutor in Jalisco state, the second official to lose his job after the discovery of a container truck holding the bodies of hundreds of victims of the country’s drug war.

Authorities are struggling to manage the death toll in the western state, which is home to one of the country’s most powerful drug gangs and has already seen a record number of killings this year.

With morgues at capacity, a refrigerated semi-trailer truck filled with corpses was found in a warehouse on the outskirts of the state capital and, later, near a residential neighborhood, touching off an uproar.

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Mexico Fires Morgue Director in Corpse Scandal

09/18/2018 – The New York Times

barbed-wire-blur-close-up-300952.jpgThe governor of the western Mexico state of Jalisco has fired the director of the state morgue after a refrigerated truck carrying 157 unidentified bodies drew complaints from neighbors over the smell.

Jalisco Gov. Aristoteles Sandoval said he had ordered the ouster of the director of the Jalisco Forensics Institute for what he called “indolence and negligence.”

But the former director, Luis Octavio Cotero, told local media on Tuesday he had warned prosecutors two years ago that the state’s overflowing morgue couldn’t handle the number of bodies piling up amid Mexico’s rising wave of homicides.

 

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Mobile Morgue Angers Mexicans as Drug War Corpses Overwhelm Authorities

09/18/2018 – The New York Times

barbed-wire-blur-close-up-300952.jpgAuthorities in western Mexico swamped by mounting murders from the country’s drug war have resorted to storing dozens of corpses in a refrigerated container truck that in recent days has been parked in several towns, angering residents.

The semi-trailer truck was noticed last week in a warehouse of a suburb on the outskirts of Mexico’s second largest city Guadalajara, drawing the ire of the mayor of the borough, who said it was illegally parked. It then turned up, apparently abandoned, next to houses in a field further from the city, where neighbors complained it was emitting a powerful stench.

Following complaints, by Monday authorities had moved it to a warehouse near Jalisco state prosecutor’s office in Guadalajara, an official at the office said, declining to provide his name as he was not authorized to speak about the matter. The official said about 150 bodies were stored in the truck’s container.

 

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