May 11, 2012

Week's Top Articles: May 4-11, 2012

Drug War News this was punctuated by the gruesome murders of journalists in Veracruz. Three photojournalists who covered the perilous crime beat in the violence-torn eastern Mexico state of Veracruz were found slain and dumped in plastic bags in a canal on Thursday, less than a week after a reporter for an investigative newsmagazine was beaten and strangled in her home in the same state. As might be expected, this recent wave of violence against the media is suppressing news in Mexico.

A group of 18 migrants-- an unfortunate wrong place, wrong time victim group in Mexico's battle against organized crime--
was freed from the Zetas Cartel in the northern state of Coahuila. Across the border in Texas, the Zetas suffered another blow as drug trafficker who worked with them was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Rule of Law and Human Rights News
offered a solemn but hopeful week of events, as Javier Sicilia readies the upcoming Movement for Peace and Justice with Dignity caravan through the United States and mothers of Mexico's disappeared marched on the capital. Students in Michoacan are also taking collective action as they demand the release of their imprisoned compatriots after university protests in Morelia.

Mexico Presidential Race News witnessed the first of two scheduled presidential debates in the run-up to the July election. The debate was seen as an important opportunity for leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and ruling party conservative candidate Josefina Vasquez Mota to cut into the commanding lead of the gaff-prone PRI candidate Enrique Pena Nieto. While both AMLO and Vasquez Mota badgered Pena Nieto throughout the debate with accusations of links to corruption and false promises, many debate observers cited little known fourth-placed candidate Gabriel Quadri de la Torre as the debate's winner; meaning that Pena Nieto escaped unscathed and still in control of a sizable lead in the polls.

Drug War News

3 Mexico journalists slain, dumped in bags in drug gang-plagued Veracruz
CBS News: Three photojournalists who covered the perilous crime beat in the violence-torn eastern Mexico state of Veracruz were found slain and dumped in plastic bags in a canal on Thursday, less than a week after a reporter for an investigative newsmagazine was beaten and strangled in her home in the same state. read more

Drug war slayings suppressing news in Mexico 
The Seattle Times: Four of reporters and photographers covering the perilous crime beat have been slain in less than a week in violence-torn Veracruz state, where two Mexican drug cartels are warring over control of smuggling routes and targeting sources of independent information. read more

Navy frees 18 migrants in Piedras Negras 
El Milenio: The Navy released 18 Central American migrants detained by Los Zetas in Piedras Negras, Coahuila. Their operation took place last Saturday and two members of the criminal group were arrested. The statement released by the federal agency does not specify the origin of the immigrants, although it was reported that they are of different nationalities. read more

Texas gun-trafficking suspect sentenced 
The Seattle Times: A judge has given a prison sentence to a fourth Texas man federal officials say was linked to a gun used in a U.S. agent's death in Mexico. Otilio Osorio was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and other charges relating to a gun-running network. His brother, Ranferi Osorio, received a 10-year prison term for running the network. read more

Mexican Poet Javier Sicilia Leads U.S. Peace Caravan to Expose Drug War’s Human Toll
Democracy Now!: One of Mexico’s best-known poets, Javier Sicilia, laid down his pen last year after his 24-year-old son was murdered by drug traffickers in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In his son’s memory, Sicilia created the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity to urge an end to the drug violence — violence that has left an estimated 60,000 dead, 10,000 disappeared, and more than 160,000 Mexicans displaced from their homes over the past six years. Watch interview here

Rule of Law News

Mothers March on Mexico City
New America Media: Mothers of women and men missing in Mexico embarked May 8 on a national march/caravan that will culminate in protests and meetings in the nation’s capital this week. Like last year’s caravans organized by poet Javier Sicilia and other relatives of violence victims, the mobilizations will remind Mexicans of the deep emotional wounds and unhealed psychological scars that devour families of forcibly disappeared persons. read more

Mexicans take search for loved ones in own hands
AFP: Mexico's drug war has produced thousands of unexplained disappearances, especially in northern border states where families of the missing search for loved ones with no help from the law. Victor Rodriguez was 28 years old when he disappeared in the northern state of Coahuila in 2009. Employed by a company that imports cars, Rodriguez was returning from a work trip with his boss and a friend."We knew they were leaving May 11 at 1:00 am and were to reach Tijuana the next day, but we have heard nothing from them to this day," said his mother, Adriana Moreno. read more

Students Take Over City University in Michoacán 
El Informador: Members of the Coordinating University Students in Struggle (CUL) took over Ciudad Universidad campus facilities and the preparatory high school at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH). The measure, which came after the issuing of a detention order for 10 students involved in the burning of official vehicles, affects more than 50,000 students currently in the final phase of the school year. read more

Mexico Presidential Race News

Mexico’s PRI, leading to retake presidency, vows not to return to old ways "The Institutional Revolutionary Party, known by its Spanish initials as the PRI, ruled Mexico for 71 consecutive years before it lost the presidency 12 years ago. Now, with its candidate the front-runner in the July 1 presidential election campaign, it’s trying to recast itself as no longer the corrupt, opaque and repressive machine that gripped Mexico for much of the 20th century in one-party more

This is a debate? Mexico's presidential face-off a scripted affair "The front-runner in Mexico's presidential race, Enrique Peña Nieto, might have movie star looks and a seemingly unbeatable lead ahead of the July 1 election, but he also has a knack for gaffes when straying from the script. So if anything is his to lose, it is the presidential debates, the first of which took place last night in Mexico City. read more

Mexican front-runner fends off debate attacks  
Atlanta Journal Constitution: The front-runner in Mexico's presidential race fended off rivals' attempts to paint him as a liar with corrupt backers, emerging from the first of two debates with analysts saying his large lead appeared safe. read more

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