Mexico environmental agency defends oversight of Goldcorp mine

08/28/16 Reuters

PROFEPA.jpgMexico’s environmental prosecutor said it had kept regular oversight of the country’s largest gold mine, days after a Reuters report on a prolonged leak of contaminated water there prompted activists to accuse the agency of failing its mandate.

Environmental prosecutor Profepa said that since 2013 it had completed five “administrative proceedings” on the Penasquito mine in Zacatecas state, which is owned by Canada’s Goldcorp Inc.

It did not say whether the proceedings were related to the leak.

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Mexico: 2 burned bodies found in congressman’s SUV

09/23/14 The Washington Post 

jaliscoTwo charred bodies were discovered Tuesday inside a burned-out vehicle in which a congressman and his driver were kidnapped at gunpoint the previous day, Mexican authorities said. Zacatecas state prosecutor Arturo Nahle said that although the vehicle was completely burned, the license plates left “no doubt” that it was the congressman’s SUV. He said DNA testing was being done on the remains to determine whether they belonged to Gabriel Gomez Michel, a member of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and his driver.

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Alternative Education in Presa de Maravillas-Zacatecas

Middle school students, teachers, and families from the modest town of Presa de Maravillas, Zacatecas show us that an alternative education system is possible, when teaching and learning are interest-driven

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Mexico’s 1st gay mayor elected in rough northern state known for machismo, drug violence

gay pride flagThe Washington Post, 7/18/2013

Mexico’s first openly gay elected mayor is set to take office in a rough part of Zacatecas state known for cowboy boots, embossed belts and drug gang shootouts. Benjamin Medrano, a 47-year-old singer and gay bar-owner, says he is proud to be openly gay and rights groups say his victory in the city of Fresnillo’s July 7 election marks a significant point in the fight for gay rights.

They add that it is too early yet to declare victory and Medrano, who takes office in September, acknowledges that he was the target of a malicious phone-calling campaign in which his political rivals “tried to smear me, as if being gay were a crime.” Zacatecas is a largely rural state with a reputation for cowboy hats and macho swagger, one of last places in Mexico that seemed likely to elect a gay mayor.

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In Mexican Villages, Few Are Left to Dream of U.S.

mexican immigrantThe New York Times, 4/2/2013

As Congress considers a sweeping overhaul of immigration, many lawmakers say they are deeply concerned that providing a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States would mean only more illegal immigration. They blame the amnesty that President Ronald Reagan approved in 1986 for the human wave that followed, and they fear a repeat if Congress rewards lawbreakers and creates an incentive for more immigrants to sneak across the border.

But past experience and current trends in both Mexico and the United States suggest that legalization would not lead to a sudden flood of illegal immigration on the scale of what occurred after 1986. Long-running surveys of migrants from Mexico found that work, not the potential to gain legal status, was the main cause of increased border crossings in the 1990s and 2000s. And as Mr. Saldivar points out, times have changed. The American economy is no longer flush with jobs. The border is more secure than ever. And in Mexico the birthrate has fallen precipitously, while the people who left years ago have already sent their immediate relatives across, or started American families of their own.

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Rumors of war within Mexico’s Los Zetas gang raise fear of new violence

Miami Herald, 8/22/2012

Mexico’s largest crime group, Los Zetas, appears to be splintering into two rival factions locked in occasional open warfare with each other, experts say.

The factions are tussling for control of the central states of Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi and are battling each other in parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.

What sparked the rift is unclear, but signs of the apparent split have come in public banners left at crime scenes, replete with accusations of betrayal and treason between factions led by the two top leaders, Heriberto Lazcano and Miguel Angel Trevino.

Mexican Government Granted Construction Contracts to Yarrington’s Money Launderer

El Universal, 5/25/2012

Businessman Fernando Alejandro Cano Martínez, identified by U.S. authorities as “money launderer” of alleged bribes that the Golfo Cartel gave to former governor of Tamaulipas, Tomás Yarrington, received contracts from the Mexican federal government of 834 million Mexican pesos to carry out construction projects in the country.

Out of the 19 contracts that Cano Martínez obtained from September 2006 through last April, stands out a project granted by the Secretary of Communications in Zacatecas with 281 million Mexican pesos to expand the Zacatecas-Saltillo highway.

Read article in today’s front page of El Universal here.