Jul 13, 2012

Week's Top Articles on Mexico: July 6 – 12, 2012

Post-election news:
As the official recount was drawing to a close, tens of thousands of protestors marched on Saturday to protest Enrique Pena Nieto and the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE). Lopez Obrador and his party have formally filed a petition contesting the election, which can be revoked until September 6. Based on how the 2006 election were resolved, Mexicans are not optimistic. The PAN and PRD, two of the major parties, have worked together to investigate voting irregularities. After the elections, it has become clear that the pre-election poll predictions were inaccurate. Enrique Pena Nieto, the president-elect, elaborated his political strategy for the drug war, targeting lower-level criminals and reducing violence. In Congress the PRI will not have an absolute majority.

Human Rights issues:
Central Americans in Mexico: While the number of Mexicans making the journey to the United States is decreasing, it is increasing for Central Americans, leaving violence behind, but running risks of being victims of organized crime. Human rights defender, Father Solalinde, has returned to Mexico to his shelter Brothers on the Road after leaving the country because of death threats. Central American migrants are being used by drug cartels in a form of human trafficking, he said. More than 2,000 Central Americans have been stranded in Mexico after a train derailed in June 17th and the city of Coatzacoalcos has been struggling to handle the emergency.

Violence against women: Amnesty International reports on the growing violence and discrimination against women in Mexico. Despite laws and institutions, there is a lack of investigations and justice, thus low prosecution rates and police who are not held accountable. Pena Nieto has a poor track record on gender-based violence, thus not giving much hope for the country. Death and violence against women in Ciudad Juarez continue, and some say are worse.

Indigenous rights: Mining contracts have taken over 75% of the lands of the Wikiruta people, reflecting one of the many social-environmental rural and urban conflicts in Mexico. This community has been very openly resistant to these contracts, unlike other communities that have been less visible. On Sunday, two indigenous members of Cherán in Michoacan were kidnapped and killed. Community members protested outside the local congress to demand security and protection from organized crime.

Violence against journalists: On Tuesday, two northern Mexican newspapers, El Norte and El Manana, were attacked by gunfire and grenades. The violence is assumed to be caused by criminal groups, and El Manana, while condemning attacks that limited the country’s freedoms, repeated that it would cease to cover violence among criminal groups.

On a related issue, the Mexican Congress has demanded that the president enact a victims’ rights law after his rejection of the law last week. On Thursday, The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a report criticizing the use of the military in Mexico to combat drug violence and has recommended spending for judicial and police reform to prevent corruption and human rights violations.

Post-Election News:
Irregularities reveal Mexico's election far from fair
The Guardian: With Peña Nieto's election marred by media bias and voter fraud, Mexico's ailing economy is hobbled by democratic deficit. The media rewrites history every day, and in so doing, it often impedes our understanding of the present. Mexico's presidential election of a week ago is a case in point. Press reports tell us that Felipe Calderón, the outgoing president from the PAN (National Action party), "won the 2006 election by a narrow margin". Read more.

La Jornada: Los sondeos, falso reflejo de la realidad electoral. Read more.
Americas Program Original Translation: Polls, a false reflection of the electoral reality

Human Rights News: 
Central Americans flood north through Mexico to US
AP: TULTITLAN, Mexico -- Deported from the United States after years working construction in New Jersey, Hector Augusto Lopez decided to rebuild his life in his hometown in eastern Honduras. Read more.
CNN MexicoLos migrantes se han convertido en botín, dice el sacerdote Solalinde Read more.
Americas Program Original Translation: Migrants have become spoils, said the priest Solalinde

La Jornada: Tumultos de migrantes provocan cierre de albergue en Veracruz. Read more.
Americas Program Original Translation: Migrant riots provoke the closing of Veracruz migrant shelter

Mexico failing to stem femicide - Amnesty
Trust Law: Bogota – Killings of women are spreading across Mexico, and the government must do more to protect women from growing violence and discrimination, rights group Amnesty International said on Thursday. Read more

El Universal: Wirikuta, en pie de lucha por santuarios. Read more.
Americas Program Original Translation: Wirikuta, ready to fight for their sanctuaries

La Jornada: Torturan y matan a comuneros de Cherán; dejan cuerpos en Zacapu. Read more
Americas Program Original Translation: Villagers of Cherán tortured and killed; bodies left in Zacapu
Attacks on Mexico Papers Underline Peril to Journalists
NY Times: MEXICO CITY — Two newspapers in northern Mexico have come under attack by gunfire and grenades this week, in what both called an effort to silence reporting on criminal groups. Read more.

US Senate report challenges Mexico’s reliance on military to fight drug violence
AP: WASHINGTON — Mexico’s reliance on the military to combat widespread drug violence and crime has been largely ineffective and has led to increases in human rights violations, according to a congressional report released Thursday. Read more.

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