Mexico Nabs Cop Allegedly Involved in Disappearance of Students

May 8, 2015

Reuters, 5/8/2015

handcuffsMexican police arrested one of the senior police officers accused of involvement in the disappearance of a group of 43 student teachers last year, the country’s interior ministry said on Thursday.

Francisco Salgado, 41, was the deputy head of the police in the southwestern city of Iguala, where 43 student teachers went missing in September last year. The government says the group was detained by corrupt police officers who handed them over to a local drug gang that killed them and then incinerated their bodies.

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Migrants on Activist Pilgrimage Dodge Police, Gangs Across Mexico

May 1, 2015

Latin Dispatch News, 4/30/2015

Photo by Levi Vonk

Photo by Levi Vonk

Ciudad Tecún Umán is sweltering. All of the town’s households and its handful of ramshackle cantinas still use wood-burning stoves, their sweaty attendants braving the compounded afternoon heat. The smoke trails out into the few dusty streets, unpaved, potholed and barely stretching to the edge of the Rio Suchiate, which divides Tecún Umán and the rest of Guatemala from Mexico.

It was at the river that on March 24 a small group of migrants’ rights organizers launched the Viacrucis Migrante, an activist pilgrimage centered around Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the religious Mexican ritual of the “viacrucis,” in which worshipers reenact Jesus’ last steps before his crucifixion. Now in its fifth year, the Viacrucis Migrante serves as a platform for activists to highlight their grievances, as well as to give migrants direct access to reporters and scholars traveling with them.

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400 Children rescued from slave-like conditions over past year in Mexico

April 17, 2015

Fox News Latino, 4/16/2015

farm workersA total of 400 minors have been rescued from slave-like conditions at Mexican farms over the past year, according to Labor Secretary Alfonso Navarrete, who said authorities need to strike at the root of the problem.

In an interview published Thursday by Mexico City daily El Universal, the minister said that 2.5 million children work in some capacity in Mexico but that that figure has been reduced by 500,000 over the past two years.

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NEW PUBLICATION: Reflections on Mexico’s Southern Border

April 1, 2015

By Duncan Wood, Christopher Wilson, Eric L. Olson, Brenda Elisa Valdés Corona, and Ernesto Rodríguez Chávez

April 1, 2015

Puente Dr. Rodolfo Robles Ciudad Hidalgo Chiapas - Tecún Umán Guatemala  DSC_0914 Ernesto (2)In early March, 2015, a small group of researchers from the Washington-based Wilson Center and from Mexico’s Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas traveled to the southwestern section of the Mexico-Guatemala border to observe developments in migration, various types of illicit trafficking, trade, and border management. While there, we met with a wide range of government and non-governmental actors. We crossed the border and visited the official and irregular installations at Ciudad Hidalgo-Tecún Umán and Talisman-El Carmen. We met with officials from Mexico’s SRE (Foreign Ministry), SEMAR (Navy/Marines), the Interior Ministry’s Coordinación para la Atención Integral de la Migración en la Frontera Sur, and INM (National Immigration Institute); including a visit to the migrant holding center Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI in Tapachula. We were able to dialogue with a range of Chiapas state officials in charge of law enforcement and economic development in the border region. We visited two migrant shelters run by Scalabrini priests, one on each side of the border, and held meetings with NGO representatives and academics working on issues of human rights protection in relation to migrants, migrant workers, sex workers and victims of human trafficking. Finally, we met with Guatemala’s interagency border security task force, Fuerza de Tarea Interinstitucional Tecun Uman, including personnel from several Guatemalan government agencies.

In this brief publication, each of the five researchers participating in the visit presents a short reflection based on several of these encounters.

Click here to read the publication. 


Mexico Rights Commission to Probe Abuses Against Farm Workers

March 27, 2015

Fox News Latino, 3/25/2015

Migrant California vineyardMexico’s National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, announced an investigation into alleged abuses against farm workers by both employers and authorities in the Baja California peninsula.

Personnel traveled to the San Quintin farm in Baja California state to interview laborers who last week reported being mistreated by municipal, state and federal police officers during an ongoing strike to protest poor working conditions, the CNDH said.

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Mexico Supreme Court Frees Man After 23 Years in Jail

March 20, 2015

BBC News, 3/19/2015

handcuffsThe Mexican Supreme Court has ordered the release of Alfonso Martin del Campo Dodd, a Mexican-American who was jailed in 1992 for the murder of his sister and brother-in-law.

The court ruled that Mr Martin del Campo’s confession had been extracted under torture and that there was no other evidence against him.

Mr Martin del Campo said police had placed a plastic bag over his head to make him confess to the double murder.

He is expected to be freed shortly.

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UPCOMING EVENT! U.S.-Mexico Relations, Security and Human Rights

March 10, 2015

mexico-usa-flag-montageWHEN: Tuesday, March 17, 4:30-6:00pm

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC

Click here to RSVP.

Mexico has experienced an intense security crisis, organized crime wave and an explosion in violent crime. In the past, scholars, analysts, and media commentators have overlooked the central role of U.S. policy towards Mexico, instead framing the discussion in terms of a battle over territory and political control between drug trafficking organizations and the state.

While drawing on contemporary debates, this event will go beyond these often limited discussions about the causes and factors which have culminated in Mexico’s most violent period since the Revolution. In particular, it will consider the role of U.S. policy, including the extent to which Mexico’s struggle against organized crime and bilateral policy have affected the security situation, and will explore potential solutions to the crisis in an attempt to foster a new debate about the role of the United States in Mexico.

Chair:
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Keynote Speaker:
Mónica Serrano, Professor, International Relations, El Colegio de México

Discussants:
Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Benjamin T. Smith, Associate Professor, Latin American History, University of Warwick

Mariclaire Acosta, Director, Freedom House, Mexico

For more information, click here.


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