Marcos stepping down demonstrates the strength of this autonomous community. On May 2, 2014, José Luis Solís López, better known as Galeano was murdered in the community of La Realidad in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Galeano was murdered by three gunshots after he, unarmed, was surrounded by paramilitary troops and refused to surrender. The attack took place on the eve of a meeting that the Zapatistas had planned to hold with other indigenous organizations and indigenous people of Mexico during which spokesperson Subcomandante Marcos had planned possibly to reappear after a public absence of nearly six years. During the attack, a number of people were injured, and a Zapatista school and health clinic in La Realidad, both of which were symbols of the movement’s autonomy, were destroyed. [more inside]
"The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal: A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust." [more inside]
Following a months-long investigation, the Department of Justice has announced the existence of a well-funded plot "conceived, sponsored and directed" by "high-ranking members of the Iranian government" to assassinate Saudi Arabian ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir on U.S. soil in conjunction with informants in Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas. The "Hollywood" plot, revealed in an afternoon press conference and described in a detailed 21-page complaint [PDF], is alleged to have involved an attack on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. One suspect, naturalized American citizen Arbab Arbabsiar, has been arrested, while co-conspirator and Quds Force member Gholam Shakuri remains at large. Iranian officials were quick to label the charges a "fabrication" intended to distract from America's economic troubles.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowed assault rifles to be smuggled into Mexico, so they could be tracked. The weapons were then used in a spree of murders, including that of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The operation was called "Fast and Furious". The Mexican government was apparently unaware of the operation, and is investigating. The ATF is going to have a review of whether their strategy supports "the goals of ATF to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico".
The Axis of Upheaval: A special report on the coming age of instability.
It's border-smuggling re-packaged as a tourist experience. According to the New York Times, this is "one of Mexico’s more bizarre tourist attractions: a make-believe trip illegally crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States." Perhaps your fully-paid border simulation will soon include being shot at...
Mexico's election: now being recounted, but some are saying it was stolen with our help. Many countries in Latin and South America have been moving to the left lately, following in the footsteps of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile. Argentina actually caught us messing with things during their election, too. Exit polls in Mexico (as in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004) showed a lead for the more leftist (relatively) candidate, and for those who scoff at using exit polls as evidence--in 2004, US Republican Senator Richard Lugar, in Kiev, cited the divergence of exit polls and official polls as solid evidence of “blatant fraud” in the vote count in Ukraine. As a result, the Bush Administration refused to recognize the Ukraine government’s official vote tally. So, honest election, or what?
The Mexican General Elections are held tomorrow, and the campaign has been extremely fierce and dirty. Long-time favorite center-leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, who had been running with an up to 10 percentage point lead earlier this spring, is down to a 2-3 percentage point lead in the last polls before the poll blackout started on the 23rd of June. His main opponent is Felipe Calderón, of the right-wing National Action Party, whose Vicente Fox, an ex-executive of the Coca-Cola company, is the current president. But attacks against López Obrador started several years ago, when he was the head of government in Mexico City, as right-wing interests and the upper classes saw his populist rhetoric and support from the huge lower classes as a threat to their privilege and way of life. They compare him to Castro, Chavez and Morales, while his politics may in reality be closer to those of Kirchner, Lula, Vázquez and Bachelet. López Obrador has accused Calderón of corruption and nepotism, while Calderón has declared López Obrador a danger to Mexico. Meanwhile, the US would much prefer a right-wing president in Mexico, and some track that to the right wing's willingness to privatize the national oil monopoly, and of course, most of Latin America has been turning left lately.
"The make him into something he wasn't." Today, on the 200th anniversary of his birth, a national holiday, Mexico both honors and reconsiders Benito Juarez (Wikipedia: Eng/Span): "Mexico's Lincoln," the nation's first indigenous president, who served two terms in the 1860s and 1870s. The capital city's airport, a border city of 1.1M, universities, and streets and monuments in just about every town are named after Juarez, widely considered a national hero. Politicians left and right invoke his name, especially this year as Mexico prepares to elect a new president in July. For many in the Latin American left, he's a regional icon in the vein of Simon Bolivar and Ernesto "Che" Guevara; Havana unveiled a bust (Span) of him last year. He's held up as a defender of the poor and the indigenous and an opponent to free trade. Today, however, some historians say he was neither. For those who read Spanish, a leading Mexican (right-of-center) newspaper, El Universal, also touches on the topic in "Juarez, a controversial icon."
Embracing Illegals: Companies are getting hooked on the buying power of 11 million undocumented immigrants - The Underground Labor Force Is Rising To The Surface [pdf]
today a fellow mexican will be executed in texas, for killing a cover agent 13 years ago… besides the mexican government, e.u. & u.n. are also calling for clemency; they argue that u.s. authorities denied him legal assistance from the consulate. right now, suárez medina only wants to die. the question is: isn't it better to die than be in prison all your life? i would prefer to be killed instead of living in jail more than 20 years. the sad about suárez medina case is that he has been in jail 13 years from now and anyway he is going to be killed! the texas government should have killed him immediately he was found guilty. “i prefer to die than spend the rest of my life here inside because here there is no life.” said suárez in an interview. in punishment standards i find worst to live in jail forever than being executed. what would be worst for you?
Utah politics you don't know whether to laugh or cry. From Paul Rolly's column in the Salt Lake Tribune "The Republican state convention delegate was discussing with a prominent Utah GOP elected officeholder the issue of immigration when the delegate whined that a fence should be constructed to span the entire USA-Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants. "What happens when they climb the fence?" asked the politician. "You electrify it," said the delegate. "Then they won't touch it." "But what if they touch it? You would let them die?" "It would be their choice," said the delegate. "What about a mother with a baby strapped to her back? You would let the mother and the baby die?" "It would be the mother's choice to kill that baby," said the delegate. "Then you're in favor of abortion?" asked the officeholder. Dead silence. "
Mexican government going to take care of unfinished business. President Fox made this a major campaign promise and it looks like it's going to be one he's going to keep. Sounds like shades of Argentina and Chile. The only difference between Mexico and those places is that the head hombre in Mexico doesn't feel he owes the ones who were in power back when the murders took place anything. Interesting to see how this develops.
In the desert on the U.S.-Mexico border, charity becomes political protest as humanitarian groups seek to put hundreds of gallons of water in the form of "watering stations" -- a few gallons of water and a blue flag -- on federal, military, private, and Indian lands.
Summit of the Americas A very complex set of issues that are being discussed in Canada, but for most of us, all we see presented is the police, the tear gassings, the forces gathered in protest. Here, a summary of the complex issues at stake and being discussed.
This isn’t exactly hot news, but there hasn’t been much MeFi discussion of the long-awaited defeat of the PRI in the Mexican elections.