Mexican state sees surge of violence with dead numbering ‘in the thousands’

11/17/2015  The Guardian

© Tomas Castelazo

A wave of violence has struck Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero, suggesting that the security situation has changed little since 43 teacher trainees were kidnapped and presumably killed in the region one year ago. At least 50 schools were forced to close ahead of a holiday weekend in the resort city of Acapulco, where teachers said criminals threatened to attack classes if they were not given a part of their pay packets.

Earlier this month, armed individuals attacked spectators at a clandestine cockfighting event, killing 12, including two children. In a separate incident, more than 100 members of a community police force, who have organized in indigenous towns rife with violence, were involved in a shootout with criminals, leaving three dead, according to media reports. Villagers later detained 200 soldiers sent to seize the community police members’ guns.

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EVENT TOMORROW! Follow-Up to the Investigations of the Disappearance of 43 Students in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico

the_week_that_was_from_latin_america_and_caribbean_40482081WHEN: TOMORROW, October 21, 2:00-3:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Board Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

In September 2014, a group of 43 students from a teachers college disappeared in the southern Mexican city of Iguala in the state of Guerrero. Their disappearance left Mexicans horrified and outraged, shocked the international community, and led to nationwide protests.

Through an agreement with the Mexican government and the families of the disappeared students, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights appointed a group of international experts to provide technical assistance to the Mexican government in its investigation of this case. In September 2015, the results of the six-month investigation became known to the public. The results have been controversial as some experts agreed with the investigation’s findings of major holes in the government’s case, while others criticized it for its shortcomings. The Mexican government responded to the report by stating that they would carry out a new investigation and a second opinion from other renowned experts to determine what happened the night the students were presumably killed.

Please join us for an event following up on the investigations of the disappearance and a discussion on the implications for U.S. cooperation with Mexico.


Under Secretary Roberto Campa
Under Secretary for Human Rights, Ministry of the Interior

Deputy Attorney General Eber Betanzos
Deputy Attorney General for Human Rights, Office of the Attorney General of the Republic

Under Secretary Miguel Ruiz Cabañas
Under Secretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

Book Event on Violence in Guerrero this upcoming Thursday!

WHEN: Oct 8th 4:00-5:30pm

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

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.

18007563A 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, particularly in Guerrero. 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

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.

Activism unjustly criminalized in Nestora Salgado case

9/1/15 The Seattle Globalist

Source: Vision of Humanity, Mexico Peace Index Report
Source: Vision of Humanity, Mexico Peace Index Report

In a month, we will commemorate the appalling disappearance of 43 student activistsfrom the rural teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa, Mexico. While the remains of only one student has supposedly been identified, search parties have discovered the clandestine graves of many others murdered in Guerrero, a state overwhelmed by violence and corruption.

A week ago we marked the second anniversary of another Guerrero tragedy. This one involves a Renton resident, in a narrative just as surreal. Nestora Salgado has dual citizenship; in 1991, she came to the Seattle area and juggled multiple jobs to provide for her three daughters and eventual grandchildren. When she achieved stability, Nestora then resolved to support her hometown of Olinalá. She would visit for a month or two each year, donating her time, food, toys. Her charisma and fearlessness led to a position of leadership in this mostly indigenous community.

Guerrero law and the Mexican Constitution guarantee the rights of indigenous communities to create their own justice and security institutions. Nestora became a leader of a community-policing group that legally forms part of state law enforcement.The group tried to protect their community from the staggering levels of narco violence in the area. By many accounts, they had great success weakening the traffickers’ grip on Olinalá.

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Police commander killed in troubled Mexico state

7/31/15 Yahoo News

gun - crime sceneGunmen fired more than 100 shots to kill a police commander Thursday in the capital of Mexico’s troubled southern state of Guerrero, while three other people died in another shootout. David Urquizo, the commander of the state investigative police unit, was ambushed by the armed group in the center of Chilpancingo, an official in the local prosecutor’s office told AFP. Urquizo had survived a previous assassination attempt a few months ago, the official said. Hours later, Urquizo’s unit killed three criminal suspects and wounded three others in a clash in the same city. Six other people were detained after the gunfight.

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Mexico search for missing students turns up 129 bodies

guerreroMEXICO CITY- The search for 43 missing college students in the southern state of Guerrero has turned up at least 60 clandestine graves and 129 bodies over the last 10 months, Mexico’s attorney general’s office says.

None of the remains has been connected to the youths who disappeared after a clash with police in the city of Iguala on Sept. 26, and authorities do not believe any will be. Prosecutors say the students were turned over to a drug gang that killed them and incinerated their bodies in a case that has put attention on the huge number of people who have gone missing in Guerrero and other Mexican states where drug violence is widespread.

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In Mexico, violence chokes both local business and Coke, Pepsi

07/20/15 Fortune

guerreroGuerrero is without doubt the most troubled state in Mexico, as police struggle to keep gangs from preying on both residents and employees of major multinationals. Nestled in a back table at a busy restaurant near the main plaza of Iguala, near Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, Andres, a middle-aged resident who lives on the outskirts of the city, watches the lunch crowd—businessmen in dress shirts, women in high heels and dresses. On the street, Federal Police pickups ferrying machine-gun toting officers rumble by, and a red Coca-Cola van makes pick-ups and drop-offs at a local convenience store.

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