U.S.-Mexico Border Sees Resurgence Of Central Americans Seeking Asylum

5/31/2016 NPR


Immigrants fleeing gang violence in Central America are again surging across the U.S.-Mexico border, approaching the numbers that created an immigration crisis in the summer of 2014. While the flow of immigrants slowed for much of last year, nothing the U.S. government does seems to deter the current wave of travelers.

Immigration officials opened controversial family detention camps in south Texas. They publicized immigration roundups earlier this year, with more to come. A big U.S. public relations campaign is under way in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, warning would-be immigrants they are not welcome. And recently, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson traveled to Central America to say it in person.

“I am here today to send a message that our borders in the United States are not open to irregular migration,” he said.

But that message isn’t getting through.

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Mexico: Women police officers made to undergo ‘degrading attractiveness inspection’ by seniors

4/10/2016 International Business Times

policemanMexican female police officers have lodged complaints after they were made to undergo “attractiveness inspections” by their male seniors. The requirement was expected of those applying to be part of a new all-female police unit in the tourist city of Querétaro.

According to Maricruz Ocampo, of Coincidir Mujeres – an NGO – two woman officers have complained to the state’s human rights commission regarding the checks, which they describe as being “degrading” and “a clear violation of our rights”.

The NGO shared the testimony of one of the officers in which she describes the ordeal: “Like cattle, we went through several ballots… The atmosphere was filled with rage, helplessness, frustration, sadness.”

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Clinton: ‘I think we have done a really good job securing the border’

3/18/16 CNN 

Hillary Clinton(CNN)Hillary Clinton said Thursday that she feels the United States has “done a really good job securing the border.”

Clinton, while fundraising in Tennessee and Georgia,called into a Phoenix radio show to discuss the state of the Democratic nomination fight and a number of issues that matter in Arizona, the next major state to vote.

“I think we’ve done a really good job securing the border,” Clinton said. “I think that those who say we haven’t are not paying attention to what was done the last 15 years under President Bush and President Obama.”

The comment widely contrasts with what Republicans have long said about the border.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has pledged to build a wall along the United States’ southern border and has knocked Obama and others for their handling of securing the border with Mexico.

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Mexico forced to militarize schools as drug cartels reach into classrooms

3/8/2016 Fusion

military by thraxilViolent crime is a familiar problem at CBTI 14, a public high school in Acapulco’s western suburbs.

Armed youths occasionally rob students of their cellphones as they climb the steep hill to school, and last year a teacher was forced out of his car at gunpoint in an apparent kidnapping attempt.

But things took a turn for the worse on Feb. 26, when two armed men in a car without a license plate approached the school gate and asked for the principal. Earlier that day the school had received an extortion call from someone claiming to be a member of a local cartel.

“They said that if we didn’t give them money they would come for us,” a school administrator told me in a hushed voice. “So we decided to cancel classes as a security measure…and to pressure the government to give us security.”

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Here’s where America’s heroin comes from

3/4/16 Business Insider 

Opium_poppy_seed_and_flower_at_Budhha_lodge_of_Chaurikharka,NepalHeroin consumed in the US comes mainly from Afghanistan and Mexico, members of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said in Mexico City on Wednesday, March 2.

INCB’s 2015 report also revealed that exporters of the vast amount of opium planted in Afghanistan have their eyes set on distribution in the US’s growing market,similar to heroin trafficked from Mexico.

“In different parts of the United States there has been a resurgence in the consumption of heroin, and Afghan heroin has an enormous production. They have more than 200,000 hectares dedicated to the production of heroin in Afghanistan,” Alejandro Mohar, a member of the INCB, told a news conference.

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In Mexico City, Comedians Punish Society’s Scofflaws With Humiliation

Mexico City - nunavut (Flickr)3/3/2016 New York Times

Acting on a tip from a disgruntled neighbor, two comedians dressed as drag queens confronted parking officers in broad daylight.

The pair wanted to know why the officers, who so ruthlessly enforced parking limits, had never so much as given a warning to the local fruit salesman, whose battered Ford Explorer sat illegally parked all day, everyday, in the upper-class neighborhood of Polanco.

“So apparently, this car is protected by the god of fruits,” yelled Arturo Hernández, the founder of the Supercívicos, an activist group of comedians whose mission is to embarrass the bad actors of Mexican society with punishing humor. “My, what healthy corruption we have going on here,” he said.

The comedians, who brought a camera crew with them, had every intention of making a scene. One of the officers laughed in response, until she was reminded that the video would be uploaded and watched by, at last count, nearly 200,000 people.

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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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