Category Archives: Mexico

In pictures: Mexico vigilantes battle cartels

In pictures: Mexico vigilantes battle cartels

In Mexico, a country home to powerful drug cartels, groups of armed vigilantes known as ‘fuerzas autodefensas’, or self-defence groups, have formed in the past year. In recent weeks, they have even taken over communities in the state of Michoacan; in one case surrounding a city thought to be a key stronghold for the Knights Templar cartel and taking over nearby towns after violent street clashes.

In these newly occupied towns the citizen militia have disarmed and detained local police, claiming that both police and government forces are corrupt and in league with the cartels. 

Mexico’s drug war has wreaked havoc on the country, bringing staggering levels of crime and violence. These civilians, armed with AK-47s, have been fighting back in what they see as a bid to liberate the country.”

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Mexican Congress Votes to Open Oil Industry to Private Companies

World

Mexico’s Congress passed a major piece of energy legislation Thursday that will open the country’s currently state-monopolized oil industry to private investment.

Mexico’s lower house voted to pass the bill after hours of rancorous debate. It now has to be approved by 17 of the country’s 31 state legislatures and signed by President Peña Nieto. The measure is a key piece of Nieto’s reform package, the Associated Press reports.

If it becomes law, the measure will permit the government to grant contracts and license to conduct oil and gas drilling operations to private companies, something currently banned under the country’s constitution. State-owned Petróleos Mexicanos, better known as Pemex, has had a monopoly on the industry for the last 75 years, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mexico is one of the largest oil producers in the world. By 2025, it hopes to raise output from 2.5 million barrels a…

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Human rights a third class passenger on Mexico’s train

Global Public Square

By Javier Zúñiga, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Javier Zúñiga is a special adviser for Amnesty International. The views expressed are his own.

When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto came to power a year ago, he was the new face of the old Partido Revolucionario Institucional, the political machinery that dominated the country for more than 70 years. With his carefully built image of a dynamic young professional, Peña Nieto started his term in office by launching multiple reform initiatives, covering numerous aspects of daily life in the country. He claims that his policies will put Mexico on a promising train to modernity and prosperity. But a year on, what has he really achieved?

One of Peña Nieto’s early commitments was to end the cycle of human rights violations and violence that so characterised former President Felipe Calderon’s administration. Sadly, he has not delivered on that promise: On…

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Noam Chomsky: America’s infrastructure is broken

Noam Chomsky: America’s infrastructure is broken

“They were General Motors, Standard Oil of California and, I think, Firestone Rubber. The origins of suburbia reveal an attempt to take over a fairly efficient mass-transportation system in parts of California—the electric railways in Los Angeles and the like—and destroy them so as to shift energy use to fossil fuels and increase consumer demand for rubber, automobiles and trucks and so on. [29] It was a literal conspiracy. It went to court. The courts fined the corporations $5000, or something like that, probably equivalent to the cost of their victory dinner.[30]

But what happened in California started a process that then expanded—and in many ways. It included the interstate highway system. That was presented as part of the defense against the Russians. It was launched under the Interstate Defense Highway Act of 1956, and was intended to facilitate the movement of people and goods, troops and arms, and, allegedly, to prevent overpopulation in specific areas that could become the focus of nuclear attack. [31] The slogan of defense is the standard way of inducing the taxpayer to pay the cost of the next stage of the hi-tech economy of course.[32] That’s true whether it be computers, the Internet or, as in this case, a car-based transportation system.[33]

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Mexico’s forgotten black history

Mexico’s forgotten black history

“Even though there were periods in which the African diaspora in Mexico greatly outnumbered Spanish colonialists, the modern narrative of Mexico is of a people and history shaped by the blending of two cultures – one European and one indigenous. Any mention of Mexico’s ‘third root’ is usually confined to a few scholars or various darker skinned communities in Mexico where African diaspora (many times alongside indigenous communities) were able to hold on to traditions and community.”

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