A Mexican journalist’s life hangs in the balance

12/11/2017 The Washington Post

Excluding countries at war, few places are as dangerous for journalists as Mexico, where 73 members of the profession have been killed since 2010, including at least 11 this year. Drug cartels and organized crime, as well as corrupt government security forces, have played a role in the carnage, which has forced some journalists into hiding and others to flee the country. Impunity is the rule; few of the murders are solved.

Among those who fear for their lives is Emilio Gutierrez, who, with his then-teenage son, crossed into the United States in 2008 after writing critical stories about abuses committed against civilians by the Mexican army in prosecuting its war on drugs in Chihuahua, then Mexico’s most violent state. Mr. Gutierrez’s hurried departure was prompted by the news, conveyed to him by a friend with contacts in the security forces, that a military officer had ordered him killed.

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Guerrero Becomes Mexico’s Most Violent State

12/5/2017 Prensa Latina

Guerrero has become the most violent state in Mexico and records more than 9,700 malicious homicides in four years and 10 months, particularly by criminal groups.

According to the National System of Public Security, the entity has not been capable of stopping violence since 2013, date in which clashes between organized crime organizations began.

The report highlights that states with a larger population are below Guerrero in terms of violence rates, including Mexico City, Jalisco, Chihuahua and the State of Mexico.

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Fury as Mexico presidential candidate pitches amnesty for drug cartel kingpins

12/4/2017 The Guardian

A leading Mexican presidential candidate has been accused of wanting to explore a deal with the devil in an attempt to bring peace to the country.

Speaking in the violence-wracked southern state of Guerrero this weekend, Andrés Manuel López Obrador floated the idea of an amnesty for drug cartel kingpins, saying he wanted a dialogue on the drug war that has cost the country an estimated 200,000 lives over the last decade.

“If it is necessary … we will talk about granting amnesty so long as the victims and their families are willing,” he said.

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U.N. rights team warns Mexico of ‘crisis’ in journalists’ safety

12/4/2017 Reuters

The United Nations said on Monday the Mexican government is struggling to keep journalists safe and prosecute their oppressors, after officials toured regions of the country that are among the most dangerous in the world for reporters.

Mexican federal prosecutors have yet to secure any convictions for crimes against reporters due to ineffective probes and scant resources, said the U.N.’s special rapporteur for freedom of expression, David Kaye, and his counterpart from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Edison Lanza.

They released a preliminary report describing a “profound crisis of safety” after a week-long tour of Mexico City and the violent states of Veracruz, Guerrero, Tamaulipas and Sinaloa, and plan to release detailed recommendations in the spring.

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Mexican businesses call for better security after Televisa boss murdered

11/21/2017 Global Times

Mexican businessmen called on the government to revise its security strategy on Monday after the murder of Adolfo Lagos, corporate vice-president of telecommunications at Televisa, on Sunday.

“It is urgent to halt the incidence of crimes as this can affect growth and investments,” stated Coparmex, Mexico’s largest business association, in a statement.

This was prompted after Lagos was shot dead on Sunday by robbers trying to steal his bicycle as the man cycled along a highway near Mexico City.

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Zetas-Gulf Cartel Conflict Continues to Rock Mexico’s Northeast

11/14/2017 InSight Crime

The ongoing decline of the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas has left northeastern Mexico without a single dominant criminal force. But the crime groups’ longstanding rivalry has continued to see blood spilled in the key trafficking region.

On the surface, the state of play in Mexico’s northeast is as it has been for most of the past decade: Both the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas maintain tight control over different parts of Tamaulipas — the crucial border state that birthed both groups — but neither is strong enough to defeat the other.

Government forces, particularly the marines, have maintained a degree of consistent pressure on crime groups operating in Tamaulipas.

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Mexico Still Struggling to Combat Money Laundering: Reports

11/6/2017 InSight Crime

Several recent government reports show that Mexico continues to struggle with combating money laundering, a longstanding problem exacerbated by a lack of political will and an overemphasis on militarized responses to crime.

A classified Mexican government report accessed by Reuters highlights the seriousness of the problem of illicit financial flows in Mexico.

According to the report, which is set to be submitted to an international anti-money laundering body known as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and has not yet been made public, “the view is that the risk represented by illicit funds susceptible to money laundering in Mexico generated within the jurisdiction is HIGH.”

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