Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Migration crisis has not ended but has been moved to Mexico, study shows

Monday, June 15th, 2015

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador, El Salvador, for June 11, 2015. See original here.]

The wave of migration that generated a humanitarian crisis last year on the southern border of the United States has not stopped but has moved to the south of Mexico, according to a study released last Thursday by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

In the first seven months of the 2015 fiscal year (from October, 2014, to April, 2015), Mexico has detained more Central American citizens than the United States itself, indicating that the country is acting as a retaining wall to the wave of migration, according to experts in that organization.

During that period, the United States detained 70,440 Central Americans as they were trying to enter the country, but Mexico arrested 92,889 under the same conditions, according to official data from the National Institute on Migration of Mexico and Customs and Border Protection of the United States. (more…)

Mexico: Anger and justice in Ayotzinapa

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

x ayotzinapa-march[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 14, 2015. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Tanalis Padilla

Four and a half months after the murders of three normal school students and the disappearance of 43 of their classmates, the Ayotzinapa students, the parents and a considerable portion of the national and international community are still in struggle. While the government tries to have the investigation over and done with and its apologists have tried to blame the students themselves for the violence of which they were the victims, the demonstrations for the disappeared still express anger and seek justice.

With a total of 100,000 dead and 20,000 disappeared since former President Felipe Calderón declared his war on drugs, it would seem that we have gotten used to (or worse yet accepted) the absurd level of violence his initiative, carried on by President Enrique Peña Nieto, has engendered. That is why it seemed obvious at first for the government to dismiss the attacks of September 26 and 27 as just another half a hundred victims. They have tried to portray it as a merely local matter, as fights between criminal gangs, like an exceptional case that has nothing to do with structural injustice, like anything except what it is: a state crime. (more…)

Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico: Families’ perseverance forces authorities to act

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
((La Jornada photo))

((La Jornada photo))

They have their own methods and tools for finding remains

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for January 24, 2015. See original here.]

by Arturo Cano

Iguala, Guerrero — The families of the other disappeared understand the pain of Ayotzinapa because they feel it in their own flesh. And in their short history of struggle, they also know that only their stubbornness has forced federal authorities to undertake a search that the tragedy of the normalistas made possible.

The Vergaras, who declare themselves to be “apolitical,” participated in a march on October 22. “Is there justice only for the massive disappearances?” asked one of the signs they carried. Four other families joined them there and a committee was born, thanks to which there is now a registry of 235 disappeared and the remains of 39 people have been found (without counting, of course, the 28 found in the first mass graves dug up by the state government, where two more bodies that the Guerrero experts hadn’t seen were later found.)

“They were going to skip La Laguna,” says the quiet voice of Mario Vergara, who, along with other family members, leads the very sad hunt for the other disappeared from Iguala. He is looking for his brother Tomás, who disappeared in 2008. (more…)

Mexico: Revolution and passive revolution

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

[Translations of two articles from La Jornada of Mexico City, the first, which has been abridged, from November 23, 2014, the second, a rebuttal of the first,  from November 30. See originals here and here.]

Enrique Semo: Mexico’s passive revolution

by Ericka Montaño Garfias

What we are living through in Mexico is what Antonio Gramsci called a “passive revolution,” the results of which have not yet been written. These are the words of historian Enrique Semo, who, together with researcher and anthropologist Néstor García Canclini, will receive this year the Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes in the field of history, social sciences and philosophy. That is the reason for this interview.

There are many things that history can teach us in the crisis the country is living through. “It offers us endless lessons, as long as it is understood that there are no two identical situations, that there are always differences, but in essence there are many lessons, and those who cannot accept them commit many errors,” Semo Calev stated.


Mexico: Who benefits from the massacre in Iguala?

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

In Guerrero more than in any other state in Mexico, the army rules more than the elected governor

[Translation of an article from Más por Más of Mexico City for October 13, 2014. See original here.]

by Diego Enrique Osorno

In the early ‘70s the Mexican government, under pressure from the United States, carried out an ostentatious operation to eradicate the production of illegal drugs in Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua, which for a while left United States consumers with no marijuana or opiates. Nevertheless, just as this was happening, drug baron Alberto Sicilia Falcón and a group of military chiefs brought to Guerrero, for the first time, the massive cultivation of marijuana and opium poppies. So Sicilia, the drug trafficker, benefited from the production and sale of drugs, filling the void in the market left by Operation Condor in the Golden Triangle, while the maneuver aided the generals in Guerrero in their dirty war against the movement led by teachers’ college professor and guerrilla Lucio Cabañas, since the campesinos growing marijuana and poppies with their consent were turning into informers and collaborators with the army.

This is the origin of the famous marijuana known as Acapulco Gold, which could be a brand of the Mexican army. Testimony, documents and analysis of this reality can be read in a chapter of the book El Cártel de Sinaloa: Una historia del uso político del narco (Grijalbo, 2009). (more…)

The double standard of the Mexican blue helmets

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

x pena nieto[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for September 24, 2014. See original here.]

by Jorge Carrasco Araizaga

Mexico City – The presidential announcement that the armed forces will participate in United Nations peace-keeping operations shatters the Mexican military’s traditional isolation in international questions. But basically it is a measure that contradicts the soldiers’ and marines’ activities inside the country.

If the army and the navy want to show the world that they are prepared to participate in humanitarian actions by joining the UN blue helmets, they would first have to demonstrate to Mexicans that they are capable of respecting human rights.

Just when the Mexican army is in the midst of a serious controversy over its probable responsibility for the summary execution of civilians in Tlatlaya, in the state of Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto has announced before the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that Mexican civilian and military personnel will take part in humanitarian missions when requested by the UN and when the intervention has the consent of the country affected. (more…)

Mexico: The effects of fracking for shale gas in Los Ramones, Nuevo León

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
((Don Alvaro Cortez Plata -- photo by Sanjuana Martínez))

((Don Alvaro Cortez Plata — photo by Sanjuana Martínez))

“The explosion, like a roar that comes from the earth, and everything shakes; I’ve never felt anything like it”

 [Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for March 16, 2014.  See original here.]

by Sanjuana Martínez

Los Ramones, Nuevo León, March 15 — Álvaro Cortez Plata does not know what fracking is, nor does he have any information on the so-called Plan Monterrey VI, much less does he know the name of the transnational that contracted with Pemex to extract shale gas from his village; but he has felt the earth shake a hundred times since last October, tremors that begin with a kind of roar, followed by a swaying like waves on the sea and, finally, a creaking sound that breaks walls, smashes glass and buckles floors.

“It is a roar that comes from the earth, an explosion; everything shakes, something I had never felt as long as I’ve lived,” says this 64-year-old campesino as he points out the cracks in his adobe house in this town at the epicenter of the earthquakes, 80 kilometers north of Monterrey.  His daughter, Argelia Sanjuanita, points out the damage inside the house. “Just last night and at eight this morning we felt more tremors. The people who live closer to the wells have more damage to their houses; some of them have collapsed.” (more…)

Mexico: The Buen Pastor Shelter, where injured travelers find support

Saturday, December 28th, 2013
((Juan Presentación Marroquín - La Jornada photo by Blanche Petrich))

((Juan Presentación Marroquín – La Jornada photo by Blanche Petrich))

Central Americans say Mexican government does not do enough to fight crimes against migrants

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for December 22, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

by Blanche Petrich

Tapachula, Chiapas, December 21 – Anita Zelaya, from El Salvador, walks with determination into the men’s dormitory at the Buen Pastor Shelter, a unique place in the country where sick or injured migrants are taken in. In a bed in the back lies a countryman of hers, Juan Presentación Marroquín. “How are you, hijo? We came to say hello and to see how we can help you.” The boy, with both his legs amputated at the hip, turns toward the wall in annoyance. “Or rather, you help me. Look, this is my son, who is missing. Do you recognize him?”

The possibility of being useful stirs Juan from his lethargy. Ana and Juan talk; it turns out they are from the same place, Soyapango. And, no, Juan has not seen Anita’s son, Rafael Rolín Zelaya, kidnapped by extortionists in 2002, anywhere on the train known as La Bestia, which he has ridden five times. But he hastens to tell his story. (more…)

Mexico: University forum examines Peña Nieto’s energy privatization and US national security

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for Novembr 12, 2013. See original here.]

By Elizabeth Velasco C.

Mexico City – The privatization of the Mexican energy sector serves the interests of the United States government, which, for national security reasons, requires an assured supply of oil, gas and water during the course of the first half of the 21st century, according to Josefina Morales and Carlos Fazio, professors at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and José Antonio Almazán, a representative of retirees of the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (Mexican Electrician’s Union), and Jesús Ramírez of the executive committee of the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA – Movement for National Regeneration).

The panelists concurred on the description of Enrique Peña Nieto’s energy reform as “the outcome of 30 years of neoliberal reforms imposed since Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign,” which have already brought to Mexico “a war of plunder of its strategic resources and the social gains bequeathed by the Mexican revolution.” (more…)

Mexico: Cyber espionage and the hypocrisy of the presidents

Monday, October 28th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for October 22, 2013. See original here.]

By Jenaro Villamil

Mexico City – United States interference in the country’s fundamental decisions was never a problem of state for Felipe Calderón. The PAN [Partido Acción Nacional] president opened to the North Americans the doorways, the archives, the intelligence files on energy matters, on national security and on big business in Mexico.

The problem for him was that others learned of Washington’s lack of esteem for his bold and failed “war on drugs.” Or that, in fact, they saw him as a weak and sham president and, therefore, more vulnerable to pressure from the empire.

Calderón became angry with ambassador Carlos Pascual when Wikileaks disclosed State Department cables in which the diplomat, perhaps the most astute in recent years, sent a hard-hitting file describing Calderón’s war as a failure, all the while smiling at the president in Los Pinos. (more…)

Mexico: Storms bring deepening of poverty to La Montaña

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for October 17, 2013. See original here.]

By Angélica Enciso L.

In La Montaña, Guerrero, the poorest region of the country, the disasters brought on by the storms in September have caused poverty in many communities to revert to the levels of 50 years ago or earlier.

People sleep outdoors on mats and under tarps held up by poles; they no longer have even their wooden houses and they flee to the agricultural fields of other states. The economy is stagnant and the corn crops have been lost, researchers Sergio Silva and Araceli Damián say.

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17), this is the scenario faced in the region of La Montaña, where Cochoapa el Grande is located, the poorest municipality in Mexico, according to the Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social. Instead of advances, the area has moved backwards, according to the experts. To be found there as well are the five municipalities with the lowest index of human development in Mexico, according to data that the United Nations Development Program will release in a few days.


The calvary of Central American migrants

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

The massacre at San Fernando leaves its mark on migrants’ route through Mexico

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for August 13, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

by Marcia San Juan

Mexico City – Between August 22 and 23, 2010, members of the Los Zetas cartel murdered 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, after they refused to become paid assassins. It was the first massacre of its type carried out in Mexico by organized crime but it was not the last or the only one and almost three years later, conditions for Central Americans crossing this country in hopes of reaching the United States remain the same, marked by extortion, harassment, rape, kidnapping and murder.

The news reached the pages of the leading Mexican newspapers on August 25, two days later, after a survivor of the killings managed to arrive at an army control post and give details of the massacre.

The undocumented migrants – 58 men and 14 women, coming from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador and Costa Rica – were traveling on a bus toward the United States when, as they reached San Fernando, in the north of the country, they were intercepted by members of Los Zetas, who proposed that they work for the cartel as paid killers, at a salary of about 1,000 dollars every two weeks. (more…)