Tag Archives: Mexico

24 Killed in 48 Hours in Mexican Town

Money seized during "Project Coronado&quo...

Money seized during "Project Coronado" by the DEA. Going in "La Familia Michoacana" article. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nine people were murdered in the western Mexican state of Michoacan amid an ongoing turf war between rival drug cartels, authorities said Thursday.

The bodies of seven people were found in the Pacific port city of Lazaro Cardenas, while the other two victims were dumped in Benito Juarez.

The latest deaths bring to twenty-four the number of men slain over forty-eight hours in Michoacan.

The Jalisco Nueva Generacion mob is responsible for the murders.

With more than 168 miles of Pacific coastline, Michoacan also has forests and mountain areas that give perfect cover for drug production and smuggling. Illegal drugs are smuggled from Central America into Michoacan and then later moved into the United States.

Via LAHT.

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Mexico Hit by 7.6-Magnitude Earthquake

Acapulco

Acapulco (Photo credit: Arturo de Albornoz)

The magnitude of an earthquake that struck about 115 miles east of Acapulco, Mexico, was revised down to 7.6.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in a Twitter post that there were no immediate reports of serious damage.

The epicenter was fifteen miles east of Ometepec, Guerrero. Its depth was eleven miles. Tourists and residents said they felt the earthquake in Acapulco.

The USGS earlier reported the magnitude of the quake at 7.9.

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Mexican President Asks U.S. to Stop Buying Mexican Guns

Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Presidente de México.

Image via Wikipedia

Mexico’s president called on U.S. officials to stop gun trafficking across the border, saying it would be the best thing Americans could do to stop drug violence.

“The criminals have become more and more vicious in their eagerness to spark fear and anxiety in society,” President Felipe Calderon said. “One of the main factors that allows criminals to strengthen themselves is the unlimited access to high-powered weapons, which are sold freely, and also indiscriminately, in the United States of America.”

Speaking in Ciudad Juarez, Pres. Calderon said an increase in violence in Mexico was connected with the 2004 end of the U.S. assault weapons ban.

The Mexican president has asked U.S. lawmakers to renew the ban on assault weapons before, most notably in a 2010 speech to the U.S. Congress.

The backdrop Thursday was different. Pres. Calderon stood in front of a new sign, constructed with tons of decommissioned arms. “NO MORE WEAPONS,” the sign said in English. Americans across the border are the intended audience, he said.

“From here, from Ciudad Juarez, on the border of Mexico and the United States, we say, ‘No more weapons. No more weapons to Mexico,’” he said.

Pres. Calderon praised President Barack Obama’s efforts to deal with the “very sensitive issue” of assault weapons, noting that his administration had done more than previous leaders to investigate and block illegal weapons trafficking to Mexico.

“They have taken positive steps, but we all know that unfortunately it is not enough, and we cannot stop here,” he said.

Out of 140,000 weapons Mexican authorities have seized since Pres. Calderon declared a crackdown on cartels, 84,000 were high-powered assault weapons.

More than 47,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, according to government statistics.

During his Thursday speech, Calderon looked toward the border and said he had a message for Americans:

We need your help to stop this violence. We need you to reduce your consumption of drugs and to dramatically reduce the flow of money to criminal organizations in Mexico. But beyond the topic of drugs, the best way that you, the American people, can help reduce the violence in Mexico is through legislation that has already been in force in the United States, blocking the inhumane weapons trafficking into our country.

Via CNN.

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Honduras Has Highest Homicide Rate in the World

Comparison of U.S. homicide rate with other se...

Image via Wikipedia

Honduras had the highest homicide rate in 2010.  Four of the top five countries on the list are in Central America: El Salvador, Jamaica, and Belize are also in the top five.

Homicide rates have risen all over Latin America.  In addition, Mexico saw a 65% increase since 2005.  Crackdowns on drug cartels in Mexico have pushed traffickers to these other parts of Central America.

In Honduras, there were 6,200 killings in a population of 7.7 million people.  For every 1,000 people in the country, 82.1 will become victims of homicide (for every 1,000 people in the United States, five will become victims of homicide).

Along with an increase in drug violence and organized crime, the accessibility of firearms is an issue.  According to The Washington Post, as many as three-quarters of all homicides involve a gun.

Of 468,000 people killed in 2010, 36% of homicides took place in Africa, 31% in the Americas, and 27% in Asia.  Europe and Oceania combined for less than 6% of all homicides, according to CNN.

While homicide rates have consistently dropped over the last 15 years in North America, Asia, and Europe, Central America and the Caribbean are both facing steady increases with no end in sight.

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Former Mexican President Sued for Part in 1997 Massacre

Ten anonymous plaintiffs are suing former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo for crimes against humanity, alleging that  Zedillo played a large part in a 1997 massacre of forty-five people in a small Mexican village.

Former President Ernesto Zedillo will be tried in the United States for international human rights violations.  (Image courtesy of Asia One News)

Former President Ernesto Zedillo will be tried in the United States for international human rights violations. (Image courtesy of Asia One News)

On December 22, 1997, in Acteal, Chiapas, a group of paramilitaries descended upon the town armed with assault rifles.  The paramilitaries, who were trained and armed by the Mexican military, killed forty-five men, women, and children as young as two months old.

Three years earlier, a group of Zapatista rebels sparked an uprising demanding more rights.  The paramilitaries were sent to kill Roman Catholics who sympathized with the Zapatista rebels.  The current lawsuit further questions Zedillo’s attempts to cover up of the massacre by telling the media that the deaths were due to local infighting.

The ten unnamed plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Hartford, Connecticut, where Mr. Zedillo now lives.  Under the Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act, United States federal courts have jurisdiction over the case, even though the crimes occurred in Mexico.  The plaintiffs are children and family members of the people killed in 1997.  The plaintiffs’ attorneys said the total damages sought are in the millions of dollars.

Mr. Zedillo maintains his innocence, citing his record of “pursuit for rule of law, respect to human rights, economic and social development in the poorest regions of Mexico and the achievement of full democracy in [his] country.”

Immediately after the killings in 1997, Zedillo issued a statement saying, “Those who participated in the planning and execution of this crime must receive the full rigor of the law . . . since nothing can justify the atrocity which they have committed,” as reported by Hispanically Speaking News.

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Rick Perry Suggests Predator Drones Guard Mexican Border

RQ-1A Predator

Image via Wikipedia

Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry has now raised the idea of using Predator drones to secure the country’s border with Mexico.

Perry noted that unarmed aircraft are already flown in the area daily as practice for Air Force pilots. He asked, “Why not be flying those missions and using that real-time information to help our law enforcement?” He then added, “Because if we will commit to that, I will suggest to you that we will be able to drive the drug cartels away from the border.”

Gov. Perry has suggested using predator drones to secure the border in the past. During an interview with Fox News last year, he said, “My question to this administration, how many Americans have to die on that border before you really understand we need boots on the ground, a law enforcement presence, National Guard troops, predator drones flying in the air, that technology that those pieces of equipment have to give real-time information to law enforcement, to the local police chiefs?”

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