Mexico’s new president must address the epidemic of mass graves

From 2006 to 2016, almost 2,000 mass graves used by criminals to disappear people were discovered in Mexico, according to official records. This barbaric practice took place in 24 states, affecting 1 in 7 municipalities.

These are some of the results of a year-and-a-half-long investigation led by a group of journalists concerned about the systematic and widespread practice of disappearing people. During the past two administrations, 37,000 have gone missing.

Our investigation — which discovered 1,978 clandestine graves, the municipalities where they were located and the number of bodies and remains extracted — shows more than double the highest number of graves reported during the same period by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), a federal government agency.

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Trump administration official defends tear gas use at Mexico border

12/11/2018 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

By Yeganeh Ttorbati

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The firing of tear gas canisters by U.S. border agents toward migrants in Mexico near a border crossing last month followed regulations, a senior Trump administration official said in testimony to Congress on Tuesday.

On Nov. 25, U.S. border agents fired tear gas to disperse a group of migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border crossing separating Tijuana from San Diego when some rushed through fencing into the United States.

A day after the incident, Mexico’s foreign ministry presented a diplomatic note to the U.S. government calling for “a full investigation” into what it described as non-lethal weapons directed toward Mexican territory.

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Mexico’s supreme court orders domestic workers formalized

12/06/2018 – The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Supreme Court on Wednesday declared unconstitutional the optional nature of enrolling domestic workers in the social security system and given the government three years to build a system making it mandatory.

It would be a dramatic change for Mexico’s more than 2 million housekeepers, gardeners, cooks and drivers. The change would not only mean employers pay into the country’s social security system, but the workers would gain access to Mexico’s public health system.

A statement from the court said the current system results in discrimination, especially for women who represent nine of 10 domestic workers in Mexico.

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Mexico’s New President Forms Truth Commission for Missing Students

12/03/2018 – The New York Times

03-12-18-FOTO-12-FIRMA-DECRETO-PRESIDENCIAL-PARA-LA-VERDAD-EN-CASO-AYOTZINAPA.jpgMEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador signed a decree on Monday to set up a commission tasked with determining what happened to 43 missing and presumed killed trainee teachers kidnapped in 2014, a crime that continues to loom large in the country.

“This is a matter of state,” Lopez Obrador said at an event with parents of the missing on his first weekday in office, following his inauguration on Saturday. He also offered protection to witnesses so they could safely tell their stories.

“We are not going to wash our hands of this,” he said, promising that no obstacles will prevent the truth from being revealed.

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A Same-Sex Marriage Under Mexican Law, but Outside Mexico

11/28/2018 – The New York Times

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Megan MacInnes/NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs

By Vincent M. Mallozzi

Daniel Berezowsky and Jaime Chávez Alor were married Nov. 26 in New York. Diego Gómez Pickering, consul general of Mexico, officiated at his residence on the Upper East Side before about 25 family members and friends.

The marriage marks the first same-sex marriage outside Mexico under Mexican law, a milestone in marriage equality for L.G.B.T. Mexican immigrants living in New York and elsewhere, according to the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs.

Mr. Berezowsky (left), 32, is a human rights specialist and communications strategist at Shift, an organization in New York that seeks to resolve business and human rights issues.

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Mexico accepts housing migrants, seeks US development aid

TIJUANA, Mexico — As Mexico wrestles with what to do with more than 5,000 Central American migrants camped out at a sports complex in the border city of Tijuana, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government signaled Tuesday that it would be willing to house the migrants on Mexican soil while they apply for asylum in the United States — a key demand of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Mexico’s new foreign minister also called on the Trump administration to contribute to development projects to help create jobs in Central America to stem the flow of migrants from the impoverished region, suggesting an appropriate figure would start at $20 billion.

“We cannot determine at what pace people are interviewed” by U.S. officials as part of the asylum process, the incoming foreign relations secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, told a news conference in Mexico City. U.S. border inspectors are processing fewer than 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego, creating a backlog of thousands.

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Caravan migrants explore options after Tijuana border clash

11/27/2018 – The Washington Post

TIJUANA, Mexico — Many among the more than 5,000 Central American migrants in Tijuana were urgently exploring their options amid a growing feeling that they had little hope of making successful asylum bids in the United States or of crossing the border illegally.

Most were dispirited on Monday, a day after U.S. agents fired tear gas into Mexico to turn back some migrants who had breached the border. They saw the clash and official response as hurting their chances of reaching the U.S.

There was a steady line outside a shelter at a tent housing the International Organization for Migration, where officials were offering assistance for those who wanted to return to their home countries.

Officials also reported more interest from migrants wanting to start the process staying in Mexico. A job fair matching migrants with openings in Baja California saw a growing number of inquiries.

“What happened yesterday harms all of us,” Oscar Leonel Mina, a 22-year-old father from San Salvador, El Salvador, said about Sunday’s border clash.

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