Mexico proposes raising limit on marijuana for personal use

4/22/16 CBS news

marijuanaMEXICO CITY — Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Thursday he will ask Congress to raise the limit on decriminalized marijuana for personal use to 28 grams, or about one ounce.

Previously, only possession of five grams, or less than a fifth of an ounce, were exempted from prosecution.

“This means that consumption would no longer be criminalized,” Pena Nieto said. Possession of larger amounts would be punishable under drug trafficking laws.

“We Mexicans know all too well the range and the defects of prohibitionist and punitive policies, and of the so-called war on drugs that has prevailed for 40 years,” Pena Nieto said. “Our country has suffered, as few have, the ill effects of organized crime tied to drug trafficking.”

“Fortunately, a new consensus is gradually emerging worldwide in favor of reforming drug policies,” he said. “A growing number of countries are strenuously combating criminals, but instead of criminalizing consumers, they offer them alternatives and opportunities.”

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No evidence of Mexico’s 43 missing students’ remains in rubbish, lab finds

4/9/2016 The Guardian

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Laboratory tests showed no evidence that Mexico’s missing 43 students were among the remains recovered from a rubbish tip, where the Mexican government insists the teacher trainees’ bodies were burned in an all-night inferno and the ashes tossed in an adjacent river.

The results, released to reporters late Friday night, dealt further discredit to the official investigation, which the attorney general at the time called “the historic truth”. The report comes after the Mexican government defended its original inquiry from accusations that it undermined the work of international investigators, who considered the fire theory implausible and scientifically impossible.

“These results do not scientifically support the attorney general’s office theory,” said Mario Patrón, director of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre, which was worked with the students’ families and the international investigations into the case.

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International Experts Say Mexico Is Blocking Efforts to Find Out the Fate of the 43 Students

4/6/2016 Vice News

Oaxaca por AyotzinapaInternational experts reviewing one of Mexico’s most notorious crimes have accused parts of the Mexican government and its sympathizers of trying to block advances in the investigation and orchestrating a smear campaign against them.

The five members of an experts’ committee convened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to keep an eye on the government’s investigation into the kidnapping of 43 students in September 2014, made the allegations at a press conference on Wednesday.

“There are sectors who want to block the investigation, center all the discussion on the garbage dump, break up the file, ignore different lines of inquiry, and even try to close the case,” the experts said in a statement that they read out at the conference. “We have alerted Mexico’s highest authorities of the necessary structural changes, including a change of mentalities.”

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El Chapo asks for speedier extradition to U.S. from Mexico

el chapo3/2/2016 CNN

Drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman not only wants to be extradited from Mexico to the United States — he wants to go sooner rather than later.

The defense team for the notorious criminal, and two-time prison escapee, has asked to speed up the process to get him out of Mexican custody and into the hands of U.S. authorities, a senior Mexican law enforcement official told CNN on Wednesday.

While it’s not clear where Guzman might end up in the United States (he faces a litany of charges in various cities, like Chicago and New York), the Mexican official predicted he’ll be there within the next two to three months.

The same source had said in January that the process would take between six months and a year.

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Five murdered youth in Mexico confused for cartel members

3/1/16 Reuters 

2000px-Veracruz_en_México.svgFive young Mexicans killed last month by gang members with ties to local police were murdered after being mistaken for a rival cartel, a top security official said Tuesday, another possible case of corrupt law enforcement in league with organized crime.

The individuals were killed in a particularly violent zone of Veracruz state known as Tierra Blanca, their remains dumped into a local river, deputy interior minister Roberto Campa said in an interview with broadcaster Televisa.

“(The five young people) were burnt and then afterwards their remains were pulverized, certainly at a sugar mill, and they were then dumped into a small river,” said Campa.

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Experts decry limited access in missing Mexico students probe

Oaxaca por Ayotzinapa2/21/2016 Financial Times

Independent experts investigating the abduction of 43 Mexican students by police and their apparent murder by a drug gang say their work is being obstructed by leaked misinformation and a refusal to grant access to key testimonies.

The five legal and medical experts, appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, last September upturned what the government had billed as the “historic truth” about the grisly affair — that the 43 had been burnt on a rubbish dump — citing scientific proof that such an outcome was impossible.

Now, with just over two months to go until the end of their mandate on April 30, the experts slammed a smear campaign against some of their members aired in the press and a litany of other obstacles, but declined to say who was responsible.

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Mexico’s oil industry now has an organized crime problem

energy - oil_rig2/6/2016 Business Insider

Mexican oil prices fell after a brief rally earlier this week, slipping to $24.47 a barrel on Tuesday and prolonging the slide of one of the country’s most lucrative exports.

In addition to the continuing downstream pain — or the brutally low prices oil is being sold for on the market — Mexico’s oil industry is dealing with a severe theft problem preventing an increasing amount of its production from ever getting to market.

Pipeline theft in Mexico rose 52% in 2015 according to an Associated Press report, a spike that comes after a 43.7% annual increase recorded in 2014.

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