Headlines from Mexico

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  1. Francisco Javier Hernandez Garcia, the alleged leader of Beltran Leyva cartel has been detained. Featured on the Mexican government’s list of 122 most-wanted drug traffickers, Hernandez Garcia was arrested with another man when they were found with weapons and suspected drugs in Sinaloa state.

    Read more: El Universal, Jornada, Milenio, Reuters México, Univision

  2. In the continuing case involving Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, this week actress Kate del Castillo is being pursued by Mexican authorities for her involvement with the former cartel leader. The Mexican Attorney General issued a subpoena in January for her to discuss her possible business relationship with El Chapo, and she did not respond.

    Read more: El Universal, Excelsior, Milenio, Jornada, CNN Expansión

  3. The Zika virus is rapidly spreading and Mexico is not being excluded. There are now 37 reports within the country, with four in Nuevo León, a state on the U.S. border, and 4 in the southern state of Oaxaca. The Secretary of Health reported that three of the total 37 cases were imported, one of these from Colombia, and the other 34 became sick while in Mexico.

    Read more: Excelsior, El Universal, CNN Expansión, Milenio

  4. The Congress of the Union met this week to begin the second ordinary period of the 63 legislature. They plan to discuss and vote on laws against corruption and promoting transparency, including reforms in regards to public security. Of the 500 federal delegates, 372 were present, as well as 76 of the 128 senators.

    Read more: Excelsior, Milenio, El Universal

  5. The Mexican peso fell today responding to an employment report released by the U.S. Additionally, the Mexican Stock Exchange also fell slightly after the publication of data from the U.S. showing low job creation.

    Read more: El Universal, CNN Expansión, El Financiero 

Murder Rate Climbs In Mexico, Even As The Government Celebrates El Chapo’s Recapture

1/21/2016 The Huffington Post

Intentional homicides in Mexico rose nearly 8 percent last year to 18,650, reversing a steady decline in the number of killings that authorities had trumpeted as evidence of improving security.

The data, released Wednesday by Mexico’s Secretariat of the Executive, seemed to validate those who have doubted the progress of security under President Enrique Peña Nieto, who this month has been celebrating the recapture of famed drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera.

“2015 was not a good year,” former Mexican intelligence official Alejandro Hope said Thursday during a conference at the Woodrow Wilson Center. “At the current rate, there will be more homicides under Peña Nieto than under [previous President Felipe] Calderón.”

Read more…

This article mentions the Mexico Institute’s event “Mexico Security Review 2016: Assessing the Outlook for the Rule of Law.” Watch the video of the event here.

Mexico Violence Linked to Youth Unemployment: Report

1/25/2016 InSight Crime

InSightLogo_main_24bitA new World Bank report states there is a correlation between homicide rates and the number of unemployed male youths during the apex of Mexico‘s drug war, a telling reminder that improving public security requires more than just criminal justice reform.

The recently released report (pdf) examines the risks facing Latin America’s “ninis,” a term used to describe youth who are neither in school nor active in the work force. Using data from Mexico‘s national employment surveys, the study concludes that there is no correlation between the amount of ninis and homicide rates from 1995-2013.

Read more…

[Video] U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Drug War

1/17/2016 Washington Journal, C-SPAN

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Duncan Wood talked to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal about the recapture of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and its implications for U.S.-Mexican cooperation in future anti-drug trafficking efforts.

Watch the Video.

Mexico Paves the Way for Marijuana Legalization

11/5/2015 Huffington Post Live

CW huffpostMexico’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that individuals have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for personal use. Is this pushback to years of strict U.S. drug policy imposed on Mexico? And what does it mean for the region’s war on drugs?

The Mexico Institute’s Deputy Director Christopher Wilson joined Huffington Post Live to discuss the Mexican Supreme Court’s ruling and its effect on the U.S.-Mexico relationship and the war on drugs. Other guests included Sylvia Longmire, Author of ‘Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars’ and ‘Border Insecurity’; Isaac Campos, History Professor, University of Cincinnati, Author of ‘Home Grown’; and Hannah Hetzer, Policy Manager of the Americas, Drug Policy Alliance.

Click here to watch the segment on Huffington Post Live.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Opens Door to Legalizing Marijuana Use

11/4/2015 The New York Times

The Mexican Supreme Court opened the door to legalizing marijuana on Wednesday, delivering a pointed challenge to the nation’s strict substance abuse laws and adding its weight to the growing debate in Latin America over the costs and consequences of the war against drugs.

The vote by the court’s criminal chamber declared that individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use. While the ruling does not strike down current drug laws, it lays the groundwork for a wave of legal actions that could ultimately rewrite them, proponents of legalization say.

The decision reflects a changing dynamic in Mexico, where for decades the American-backed war on drugs has produced much upheaval but few lasting victories. Today, the flow of drugs to the United States continues, along with the political corruption it fuels in Mexico. The country, dispirited by the ceaseless fight with traffickers, remains engulfed in violence.

Event This Thursday! Prayers for the Stolen, A Discussion of Violence against Women in Mexico

18007563WHEN: Thursday, October 8, 4:00-5:30pm

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

A New York Times Book Review’s Editors Choice, Prayers for the Stolen has brought to light the scale of abduction of young girls into sex slavery in Mexico. Clement will be reading from and discussing Prayers for the Stolen, the result of ten years of research, which included interviews with women of drug traffickers, girls and women in rural communities and prisoners in Mexico City’s Santa Martha jail. An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of the drug war, Prayers for the Stolen is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.

The Mexico Institute and Politics and Prose are pleased to invite you to a talk by author Jennifer Clement on the writing of her book Prayers for the Stolen.

Jennifer Clement is a leading chronicler of contemporary Mexico. Her work has been translated into 24 languages and has garnered international acclaim such as the New York Times Editor’s Choice, the NEA Fellowship for Literature, the UK’s Canongate Prize, France’s Gran Prix des Lectrices Lyceenes de ELLE, the PEN/Faulkner Prize shortlist, and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. Clement is a Santa Maddalena Fellow and member of Mexico’s prestigious “Sistema Nacional de Creadores”. As president of PEN Mexico, her work focused on the disappearance and killing of journalists.

Click here to RSVP.