News and Analysis

Mexico News and Analysis: March 26 - April 1, 2012

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
2 - PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON
3 - OBAMA’S CONFLICTING IMMIGRATION POLICIES
4 - CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM EXPANDS ROLE OF CATHOLIC CHURCH
5 - HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION CONDEMNS STUDENT MURDERS

On March 22, Francisco Santiz Lopez reached the front gate of the Chiapas prison where he had spent the past three months, charged with a murder he couldn’t have possibly committed.  Just as he was about to walk out the door a free man, prison officials pulled him back, fabricating a new set of charges.  According to the Junta of Good Government in Oventic, “The fabrication of charges against our companero comes directly from Los Pinos [Mexico’s equivalent of the White House], in an effort to destroy the resistance of the Zapatista communities.  They are trying to impede at all costs the construction of autonomy among the indigenous population.  It is part of a plan of low intensity warfare against our communities in resistance.”

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Mexico News and Analysis: March 5-25, 2012

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/
2 - BIDEN VISITS MEXICO
3 - CARLOS SLIM RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD
4 - RATZINGER VISITS MEXICO
5 - FRENCH CONVICT MAY WIN NEW TRIAL
6 - POLITICAL PARTIES IGNORE GENDER JUSTICE LAW

The Junta of Good Government in Oventic demands the immediate release of Francisco Santiz Lopez, a Zapatista support base, and Lorenzo Lopez Giron, both held in prison since last December.

2 - BIDEN VISITS MEXICO

Vice President Joe Biden, on a hurried two-day visit to Mexico and Central America, tried to tamp down growing calls for decriminalization of drugs in the US. Biden’s message? That won’t be happening, despite the growing impact of drug-trafficking in the region and the inability of southern neighbors to deal with cartels via military force. Biden tried to send a mixed message, intended for both Latin American and US audiences: “It’s worth discussing, but there is no possibility the Obama-Biden administration will change its policy.”

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Mexico News and Analysis: February 20 - March 4, 2012

1 - WAR ON DRUGS “NOT A FAILURE?”
2 - TOURIST OFFICIALS REFRAME SAFETY FOR VISITORS
3 - G20 MEETING IN MEXICO CITY

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano tread this week where politicians have failed for years - trying to prove a positive with a negative.  By characterizing President Felipe Calderon’s war on drugs as “not a failure,” Napolitano highlighted what everyone in Mexico already knows - the policy is a resounding failure.  The comments followed Napolitano’s meeting with Interior Minister Alejandro Poire.  In public remarks, Napolitano fed a campaign theme trumpeted recently by Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) concerning Chapo Guzman, Mexico’s most powerful drug lord and one of the world’s richest people.  While Guzman remains at large after escaping from a high security federal prison under a previous PAN administration, Napolitano implied it’s only a matter of time before he’s caught.  Some political observers are predicting a capture in April or May, leading up to the July 1 presidential elections. 

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Mexico News and Analysis: February 6-19, 2012

1 - STATE DEPARTMENT REISSUES TRAVEL ADVISORY
2 - BILLBOARD CALLS FOR END OF U.S. WEAPONS IN MEXICO
3 - ANONYMOUS STRIKES AGAIN
4 - U.S. INFLUENCING MEXICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
5 - CATHOLIC CHURCH JOINS ELECTION BATTLES
6 - FAMILY OF FORMER CHIAPAS GOVERNOR IN HOT WATER  

In anticipation of Spring Breakers travelling south, the State Department reissued a travel advisory that includes 14 Mexican states, mainly along the US border.  Travel updates have become an annual event in anticipation of thousands of US students vacationing in Mexico in March.  In addition to border states, the latest advisory includes parts of Aguascalientes, Guerrero and Nayarit.  About 50,000 people have been killed over the past five years in drug-related violence, with US citizens accounting for about 400 deaths.  Despite the drug-related violence, Mexico attracted a record number of tourists last year as 22.7 million foreign visitors arrived by air.  These figures do not include the millions of US tourists who travel by land.  Visitors from the US travelling by air declined by 3%, possibly due to increased airline prices since the demise of Mexicana Airline, but Brazil, Russia, China and Peru registered sizable increases over 2010.  Tourism is Mexico's fifth largest source of foreign currency, following migrant remittances, illegal drug sales (mainly to the US market), petroleum exports and maquiladora production.

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Mexico News and Analysis: January 16-29, 2012

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN - http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/
2 - PRI AND GORDILLO SPLIT
3 - BORDER PATROL INCREASING PENALTIES FOR UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS
4 - NAFTA TRIBUNAL TO HEAR SME CASE
5 - HACKERS SHUT DOWN GOVERNMENT WEB SITES
6 - NAZAR HARO DEAD

-The Union of Campesinos in Defense of the Land, Water and Ejido Coahuila denounce forced dislocations from their lands and waters.
-The Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center denounces government repression directed against the National Network against High Electricity Tariffs in Veracruz.
-The Fray Bartolome Human Rights Center denounces repression against Zapatista support bases by groups affiliated with the PRI in Tenejapa, Chiapas.

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Mexico News and Analysis: January 2-12, 2012

1 - ZEDILLO CLAIMS IMMUNITY
2 - MEXICO CITY ELITE BEATS PARKING ATTENDANT
3 - HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION DOCUMENTS OFFICIAL VIOLATIONS
4 - MEXICO CITY BOONDOGGLE WASTES MILLIONS
5 - CALDERON VETOES EMERGENCY AGRICULTURE FUNDS
6 - PRIVATE DONATIONS FOR A LOST CAUSE, BUT BLACK BEARS HAPPY   

Ernesto Zedillo claimed immunity from prosecution for the 1997 murder of 45 people in Acteal, Chiapas, in court documents filed Friday.  A lawsuit filed last year in Connecticut accuses the former Mexican president of crimes against humanity for allowing paramilitary groups to carry out the massacre, then cover up the killings.  Zedillo currently lives in New Haven, CT, where he teaches at Yale University, his alma mater.   Ten mysterious, unnamed plaintiffs claiming to be from Acteal are demanding US$50 million in damages.  The Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center in Chiapas, which represents the Acteal families, has no knowledge of the suit or of the corporate Miami law firm that is bringing the case. 

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Mexico News and Analysis: Dec 26 - Jan 1, 2012

1 - POVERTY INCREASING
2 - ENRIQUE KRAUZE ON THE REAL MEXICO
3 - POPE TO VISIT MEXICO
4 - MICHOACAN ELECTION ANULLED

More than half of Mexico's population now lives below the official poverty line, in large part because the economy is so tightly linked to the United States. About one-third of Mexico's production is exported, with 90% headed to the US. Mexico boasts the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, worth about US$74 billion, or about 7% of the annual GNP, while 58 million Mexicans live on less than US$150 per month. Economic growth under Felipe Calderon has averaged 2.2% annually, about half the overall rate for the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean. Despite the dismal figures, Calderon continues to bank on his expensive and largely ineffective "war on drugs" as the foundation of his political program.

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NEWS AND ANALYSIS: DECEMBER 19-25, 2011

1 - OBAMA CUTS NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS ALONG BORDER
2 - VERACRUZ POLICE FORCE FIRED

1 - OBAMA CUTS NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS ALONG BORDER

The Obama administration will cut most of the National Guard troops working along the US-Mexico border, following an article criticizing the deployment published two weeks earlier by the Washington Post.  The Post found the Guard troops to be largely a publicity effort that wasted taxpayer money and pandered to Republican Party demands for more border security in the midst of a presidential campaign.  Obama will reduce the National Guard deployment in January from the current 1,200 troops to 300, saving about US$60 million annually.  The remaining troops will focus on aerial surveillance missions.  Military border deployments began under the Bush administration in 2006 and were extended by Obama, with a total cost of US$1.35 billion.

 

2 - VERACRUZ POLICE FORCE FIRED

The entire police force in Veracruz, Mexico's busiest harbor, was fired on Wednesday and replaced temporarily by 2,400 Navy troops.  More than 800 officers and 300 administrators, many either willingly or forcibly aligned with the powerful Zeta cartel, lost their jobs.  Governor Javier Duarte and recently appointed Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire made the announcement.  New police officers will have to pass federally mandated exams, including drug testing, a lie detector test, and financial reviews.  The testing program is relatively new, and it is unclear if it has been successful in cleaning up police departments where it has been implemented.

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Mexico News and Analysis: Dec 12-18, 2011

1 - POLICE KILL TWO STUDENTS IN GUERRERO
2 - RACIST ARIZONA SHERIFF UNDER INVESTIGATION
3 - FEDERAL AUTHORITIES ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR RAPE BY ARMY TROOPS
4 - US SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON STATE IMMIGRATION LAWS
5 - US SECURITY AGENCIES HIRE FORMER MEXICAN OFFICIALS
6 - MSN PROGRAMS: Contact msn [at] mexicosolidarity [dot] org or (773) 583 7728   

1 - POLICE KILL TWO STUDENTS IN GUERRERO

Police killed two students from a teacher's college in Guerrero on Monday, part of a group of 500 students protesting efforts by the federal government to close the normal school system.  Unarmed students blocked a major highway near Chilpancingo demanding a meeting with Governor Angel Aguirre and the re-opening of the Raul Isidro Burgo normal school in Ayotzinga, a town about 90 miles from Chilpancingo.  Protestors complained the governor had canceled four previously scheduled meetings.  Blocking highways is a common protest tactic in Mexico.  Federal, state and ministerial police working with army troops and armed paramilitaries used tear gas and live ammunition to clear the highway, killing Gabriel Echeverria and Jorge Herrera.  

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Mexico News and Analysis: December 5-11, 2011

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN (http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/)
2 - MARCOS RELEASES FOURTH LETTER TO LUIS VILLORO
3 - MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES BY 21 CENTS A DAY
4 - IMPUNITY AND FAILURE IN CALDERON'S "WAR ON DRUGS"
5 - U.S. BATTERY EXPORTS DAMAGE MEXICAN ENVIRONMENT
6 - PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER EXHIBITS "BRAIN FREEZE"

Residents of Santa Maria Ostula, an autonomous community that established its own police force in the midst of threats from drug traffickers and the army, denounced the kidnapping of J. Trinidad de la Cruz.  (De la Cruz was murdered shortly after the community released their denouncement.)

The ejido San Sebastian Bachejon denounced the Chiapas state government for intervening in community affairs on the side of corrupt local officials.  Members of the ejido re-assumed control last week of a toll booth leading to an eco-tourism facility and established by the community several years ago.

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