Vigilantes drill in southern Mexico with rifles, machetes


Source: AP

Another shadowy group of armed residents emerged in Mexico over the weekend, when a hundred or so vigilantes armed with rifles, shotguns and machetes staged a public drill in the southern state of Chiapas.

The group in the township of Pantelho was introduced over a loudspeaker as “The Machete,” and it claims to be fighting the incursion of drug cartels in the largely Indigenous mountain communities of Chiapas. Some of the drill was conducted in a Maya-family language.


Missing activist found dead in Mexico’s troubled Guerrero

small hut in a lush mountain clearing with fallen trees and lush vegetation
Photo by KML on

11/21/19 – AP News

By Peter Orsi

A human rights activist was found dead in the mountains of the troubled southern state of Guerrero more than a month after he disappeared, authorities and fellow activists said Wednesday.

Guerrero Attorney General Jorge Zuriel de los Santos Barrila said authorities confirmed around midday the discovery of the corpse of Arnulfo Cerón Soriano, who disappeared Oct. 11 from the city of Tlapan de Comonfort. The body was found along a road between the city and Igualita, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) away.

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Special Report: As Mexico oil sector sputters, crime and violence rattle industry towns

06/28/18 Reuters

oil-pump-jack-sunset-clouds-silhouette-162568.jpegUntil recently, Edgar Barrera enjoyed a life many Mexicans could only hope for.

In a few short years, the 36-year-old bookkeeper rose from handyman to white-collar worker at what seemed to be one of the most stable companies in Latin America: state-owned oil firm Pemex.

Thanks to Pemex, Barrera met his wife, vacationed on the Mayan Riviera and envisaged a rewarding career without leaving his hometown in Tabasco, a rural state at the southern hook of the Gulf of Mexico where more than half the population lives on less than roughly $92 a month.

Then everything changed.

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When is a fine a bribe?

3/29/16 BBC

Pesos by Flickr user AleiexNot long ago, my partner and I drove to the south of Mexico City – he was behind the wheel, I was the map-reading passenger. Shortly after we began our journey, our sat-nav surprisingly told us to go down what we thought was a bus lane.

We’d been in Mexico City long enough to know the most vital traffic rule – never go into one of these lanes, no matter what! So we didn’t. Instead, we just briefly, crossed over one. Admittedly we looked a little cautious, rather lost, but we thought we had avoided the problem.

We were wrong. Within seconds a patrol car was tailing us.

“Do you realise what you did? You travelled in a bus lane,” said the policewoman who had drawn up beside us. “Hello,” I replied. “I’m ever so sorry, we didn’t actually go in it, we just crossed over it.”

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The Mexican drug lord Chapo Guzman is in prison. But he might live by his own rules.

Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

08/31/14 The Washington Post,

The news last month in the Mexican magazine Proceso that Guzman had organized nearly 1,000 prisoners to hold a five-day hunger strike to protest the prison’s poor hygiene, medical care and food seemed curious. Not just that the world’s most fearsome drug lord was now apparently a human rights crusader but that he had the freedom of movement and communication inside the prison to pull it off. The prison, amid rolling farmland west of Mexico City, is tough to get inside, and the Mexican government denied requests to visit or speak with those who run it. Mexican officials confirmed that the mid-July hunger strike took place but denied that Guzman, or the other famous drug lord apparently involved, Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a.k.a. “La Barbie,” participated.


3 mayors in Mexico charged with links to drug cartel

youth with handgun09/02/14 CBS News

A Mexican federal official says three mayors in the western state of Michoacan have been charged with allegedly having links with a drug cartel. Federal chief of criminal investigations Tomas Zeron says the mayors of the towns of Huetamo, Lazaro Cardenas and Patzcuaro have been charged with links to the Michoacan-based Knights Templar drug cartel. Zeron said Monday the mayors Dalia Santana, of Huetamo; Arquimides Oseguera, of Lazaro Cardenas; and Salma Karrum, of Patzcuaro, were detained weeks ago and that a federal judge ordered they be charged with organized crime.

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Mexico Unveils New Police Force

08/25/14 The Wall Street Journal

federal police mexicoMexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto inaugurated a new unit of the federal police force—a scaled-down version of what was initially planned as a larger, independent gendarmerie—that aims to protect key parts of the economy, like mining operations and farms, from drug gangs.

The new 5,000-strong force, modeled after similar units in France, Spain, Chile and elsewhere, was a key element of Mr. Peña Nieto’s public security strategy during his 2012 presidential campaign. Having criticized former President Felipe Calderón’s use of the army and navy to take on drug gangs, Mr. Peña Nieto and his team envisioned a new 40,000-strong force, with recruits drawn largely from the military, which would answer to civilian authorities and allow the army to return to the barracks.

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Fighting crime in Mexico: The Feds ride out

08/23/14 The Economist

machine gunSET beside a lake two hours’ drive from Mexico City, Valle de Bravo brands itself a Pueblo Mágico (“Magical Town”). Normally it is a place where the capital’s wealthy residents come to sail, jet ski and show off their SUVs. Now its cobbled streets look as if they had been cursed. It is patrolled by soldiers, marines and federal police bristling with machineguns. Holidaymakers stay away.

Everyone is responding to a spate of kidnappings in the town and the surrounding pine-covered mountains that serves as a reminder of how vulnerable parts of Mexico remain to violent crime—even the playgrounds of the rich. That is an impression President Enrique Peña Nieto has spent more than 18 months trying to dispel in his drive to reform the economy and attract foreign investment. On the rare occasions when he discusses crime, he argues that his security strategy is making the country safer.

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Mexico launches new police force to guard commerce

08/22/14 The Washington Post

Latitudes Press.Mexican avocados, on their journey to guacamole bowls the world over, often first pass through cartel-controlled farmlands, where extortion can raise prices, drag down the economy and put farmers at risk.

The same goes for limes from Michoacan, sorghum from Tamaulipas, shrimp from Sinaloa.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday announced the inauguration of a new police unit intended to protect the production chain and take on other unorthodox assignments.

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Mexico: 14 Police on Trial for US SUV Shooting

08/20/14 ABC News

justice - gavelFourteen former federal police officers have gone on trial on charges of using excessive force in a 2012 shooting attack that wounded two CIA agents, Mexico’s national security commissioner said Wednesday.

Monte Alejandro Rubido said there was no evidence the police officers had acted on orders from an organized crime gang, saying the attack on the diplomatic vehicle was a case of mistaken identity.

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