Army fires on Michoacán protesters, 12-year-old killed

7/21/15 El Daily Post

michoacanenglishAnother burst of violence involving military troops on Sunday claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy, yet another sad chapter in the Army’s growing list of bloody confrontations with civilians. A 6-year-old girl was among the four other victims of the shoot-out who were treated at a nearby hospital.

The incident occurred in the rural village of Ixtapilla near Michoacán’s Pacific Coast in the municipality of Aquila. The villagers had organized a protest after hearing of the arrest of regional community defense leader Semeí Verdía Zepeda by the Army while he ate breakfast at another pueblo nearby.

As soon as word of his arrest reached Ixtapilla, his supporters set up road blocks on the coastal highway hoping to prevent the Army from taking Verdía Zepeda to prison. Some media reported that several soldiers had been stopped and taken hostage, effectively, and then taken to Ixtapilla.

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Mexico set to free founder of Michoacan vigilante movement

7/3/15 Yahoo news

michoacanenglishMexican authorities say they are near to freeing Jose Manuel Mireles, a founder of the self-defense movement that rose up to fight an entrenched drug cartel in the western state of Michoacan.

The Attorney General’s office says it is withdrawing an appeal to a petition filed by Mireles’ lawyer to free him, essentially allowing his release.

Mireles, who became the face of the vigilante movement, has been held for a year after being arrested in an armored vehicle carrying weapons and drugs. His arrest came around the time that he refused to cooperate with the federal government’s conversion of self-defense groups to rural police.

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Mexico Temporarily Cancels Teacher Testing in Oaxaca, Michoacan

06/22/15 Telesur

oaxacaThe Mexican Secretariat for Public Education (SEP) announced Sunday it has suspended the teacher evaluations in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacan, saying “the necessary conditions” were not in place for the process to go ahead. The decision follows a series of protests and boycott threats by the teacher’s of the CNTE union, which staunchly opposes the proposed evaluation process. Authorities said the evaluations were conducted as planned in other states of Mexico like Chiapas and Guerrero, where dissident teachers also advised they would attempt to disrupt the process.

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Third political candidate killed ahead of Mexico’s midterm elections

6/3/15 The Guardian

Carillo is the second mayor from Michoacan to be killed this year

A Mexican congressional candidate was shot dead in a town bordering the capital on Tuesday, becoming the fourth politician to be slain ahead of Sunday’s midterm elections.

Miguel Angel Luna, a former mayor of Valle de Chalco in the state of Mexico south-east of Mexico City, was attacked by armed men at his campaign office, according to a statement from his Democratic Revolution party. Luna died shortly afterward at a hospital. An assistant was wounded.

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Mexico court frees vigilante leader involved in fatal firefight

03/09/15 Reuters 

hipolito_120314_fotos_01_2A judge in the violent Mexican state of Michoacan has ordered that a jailed vigilante leader involved in a firefight late last year that killed 10 people should be freed, a spokeswoman for the state judiciary said on Monday. Hipolito Mora and his followers clashed in mid-December with a band led by Luis Antonio Torres, alias “El Americano,” a former vigilante leader turned rural police commander. The shootout took place in La Ruana, a town about 150 miles (240 km) from Morelia, the state capital. Both men and 35 others were arrested in January and they have been behind bars ever since. Mora’s son was among the 10 killed in the shootout.

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Monarch Butterflies Rebound in Mexico, Numbers Still Low

By Mark Stevenson, 1/27/2015

monarch butterfly photoThe number of Monarch butterflies that reached wintering grounds in Mexico has rebounded 69 percent from last year’s lowest-on-record levels, but their numbers remain very low, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Last year, the Monarchs covered only 1.65 acres (0.67 hectares), the smallest area since record-keeping began in 1993.

This year, the butterflies rebounded, to cover 2.79 acres (1.13 hectares), according to a formal census by Mexican environmental authorities and scientists released Tuesday.

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Mexico Removes Security Envoy From Troubled Michoacan

ABC News, 1/22/2015

LimesThe federal security commissioner appointed a little over a year ago for the troubled western state of Michoacan confirmed Thursday that he is being withdrawn by Mexico’s government.

Security envoy Alfredo Castillo will be replaced by an army general, Felipe Gurrola, who will play a more limited role leading federal security forces in Michoacan, a largely agricultural state known for its limes and avocados but also social unrest and drug gang violence.

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