Mexico Commemorates ’68 Massacre With Flag at Half-Staff

10/2/2018 – New York Times

Copyright: Martin D – Flag of Mexico/

MEXICO CITY — Authorities raised a giant, iconic Mexican flag to half-mast in Mexico City’s main square Tuesday in commemoration of the 1968 massacre of student protesters by army troops 50 years ago.


Students and surviving leaders of the 1968 student democracy movement attended the ceremonies marking the anniversary of an event that caused such revulsion it helped spur long-term political reforms. Today, the movement is credited with sparking Mexico’s democratic transition and its participants and martyrs are treated as heroes.

The lower house of Congress included the student movement on its Wall of Honor in golden letters, alongside the country’s foremost political and military heroes.

And President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has partly credited students for his July 1 election victory, pledged he would never use the army to repress social movements.

Read more…


Children’s Remains Found in Mexican Mass Graves

9/23/2018 – New York Times

barbed wire black and white blur close up
Photo by Kat Jayne on

MEXICO CITY — Tiny pants for a baby no older than 6 months and shiny pink sandals for a toddler are among the personal items that have turned up at mass graves in the Gulf state of Veracruz, driving home the brutality of rising violence in Mexico.

Mexican authorities have found remains of children along with adults in the clandestine burial pits, a person with knowledge of the investigation confirmed Sunday. Each item of clothing was either found near a body or cut free from remains. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the details publicly.

The National Commission of Missing Persons posted online hundreds of pictures of clothing Friday to give family members a tool to possibly identify missing loved ones. The images include polo shirts with logos still intact, socks, shoes, colorful boxer briefs and ladies’ panties. One T-shirt says “Live Free” above a picture of a young woman and flowers.

Photos also show multiple children’s items, such as little sweaters or T-shirts with images of Tinkerbell, Tweety Bird and Pokémon.

Read more…

Regulate: ex-world leaders’ solution to ‘failed’ drug war

Reuters – 9/24/2018

Ruth Driefuss and Michel Kazatchkine of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Source:

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – More governments should turn away from a repressive war on drugs that has “failed” and look to proven strategies to implement regulated markets for risky substances, a group of former presidents and leaders said in a report published Monday.

Since the group that includes 12 former heads of state began advocating for an end to drug prohibition in 2011, a growing number of countries and U.S. states have created medical or recreational markets for marijuana.

Now the group is looking at ways to smooth the way out of prohibition, recommending countries start regulating lower-potency drugs as well as reforms to international treaties that require prohibition and punishment.

“The international drug control system is clearly failing,” said Helen Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand. “The health … of nations is not advanced by the current approach to drug control.”

Read more…

Mexican president blames state, local police for crime surge

09/03/18 The Washington Post

A US cable claimed Televisa gave the Mexico State governor Enrique Peña Nieto wide coverageIn his final state of the union address Monday, outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto blamed surging violent crime in Mexico on the inability of state and local police to handle the smaller gangs that emerged following the capture of cartel leaders.

Pena Nieto, who leaves office with historically low approval ratings, sidestepped blame for poor economic growth and rising debt during his six-year term, and he warned Mexicans not to turn to a foreign policy of “indifference.”

His successor, left-leaning Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who takes office Dec. 1, has pledged to refrain from any kind of intervention in the affairs of other countries, in contrast to Pena Nieto, who has sought out solutions to Venezuela’s economic and political crisis. Non-intervention was a bedrock of Mexico’s foreign policy before 2000.

Read more…

Groups Call on Mexico to Continue Search for 43 Students

09/03/18 The New York Times

ayotzinapaMexican and international human rights groups on Monday told the families of 43 students missing since 2014 that they are not alone, just days after President Enrique Pena Nieto reaffirmed his belief in the government’s initial widely discredited investigation into the case.

Pena Nieto released a video last week in which he conceded that he would not be leaving a peaceful and safe country when his term ends later this year. But he said he remained convinced that the students from the teachers college in the southern state of Guerrero were killed by a drug gang and incinerated in a massive fire.

His assertion came nearly four years after the Sept. 26, 2014 incident in the town of Iguala. Since then, multiple reports by international investigators have criticized and discredited parts of the government’s original investigation.

Read more…

Mexico president defends missing students investigation

08/29/18 Washington Post

Rebecca Blackwell, File/Associated Press

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday again defended the widely criticized original investigation of the 2014 disappearance of 43 students, an apparent massacre that shook confidence in his government.

In a short video released via Twitter, Pena Nieto said he remained convinced that the students from the teachers college at Ayotzinapa were killed by a drug gang and incinerated in a massive fire.

The Sept. 26, 2014, incident in Iguala, Guerrero, knocked Pena Nieto’s administration off its axis after early success passing structural reforms, and it never appeared to regain balance as the country’s crime rate soared.

The case was especially damaging for public confidence in officials because local police allegedly turned the students over to the gang and later investigators found that an army base in the town had been closely monitoring the situation and at best did not intervene.

Read more…

20 Bodies Found in 2 Graves in Western Mexican State

08/09/18 New York Times

Photo: Associated Press

Twenty bodies have been found in two clandestine graves in separate locations in the cartel-plagued state in western Mexico, authorities said Thursday.

Jalisco state attorney general Raul Sanchez Jimenez said 10 bodies were found in Tlajomulco and 10 were found in the Santa Elena de la Cruz neighborhood of Guadalajara. He says they are two separate cases.

Sanchez said in a news conference Thursday that on the night of Aug. 5 local authorities reported a man had been shot near the Tlajomulco property and later died after seeking medical attention. Authorities identified him as the leader of the local cell of the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

Read more…