Stories written by Daniela Pastrana
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Mexico Deputises Vigilantes in Cartel Wars

“In the long term, what benefit will regulation of the autodefensas [self-defence groups] bring us? Do you think I have an aptitude or professional vocation for police work?” asked Juan Carlos Trujillo, a peace activist in the Mexican state of Michoacán.

A Mexican State Armed to the Teeth

“The army decided to open fire on the people,” Estanislao Beltrán, a spokesman for the self-defence forces of Michoacán, said in a radio interview after the government’s attempt to disarm the vigilante groups in the state of Mexico, in which at least two people were killed.

The Hurricanes Didn’t Bring the Hunger

A month after Hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel caused the worst destruction from a natural catastrophe in Mexico in 30 years, another disaster has come to light: hunger in communities that are supposedly served by a rural food supply programme.

Schools in Mexico: Funding but not for Phys Ed or Desks

On his first day of fourth grade, Efraín found there were no desks or benches in the classroom in his Mexico City school. His parents had to help the teacher haul in furniture from other rooms so the children wouldn’t have to start the new school year sitting on the floor.

Q&A: “Media Concentration Is an Attack on Democracy”

"We have to understand that information, above all else, is a social service. If we lose sight of that dimension we begin to regulate it as merchandise, but the state has many other obligations, such as to guarantee freedom," said Frank La Rue.

Mexico’s Institutions Overwhelmed by Scale of Forced Disappearances

Mexican police officer Luis Ángel León Rodríguez disappeared along with six other officers and a civilian on Nov. 16, 2009, in the western Mexican state of Michoacán. Six days later, his mother, Araceli Rodríguez, began her ceaseless search.

Mexico’s Institutions Overwhelmed by Scale of Forced Disappearances

Mexican police officer Luis Ángel León Rodríguez disappeared along with six other officers and a civilian on Nov. 16, 2009, in the western Mexican state of Michoacán. Six days later, his mother, Araceli Rodríguez, began her ceaseless search.

Mexico’s Community Radio Stations Fight for Survival and Recognition

Radio Totopo was founded in February 2006 in the Pescadores neighbourhood, the oldest and poorest part of the city of Juchitán in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. But the authorities closed it down in late March, even though Congress is debating a constitutional reform that would recognise community radio stations.

Mexico, Strong on Human Rights Abroad, Not at Home

Mexico has been a prominent defender of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the battle being waged by some members of the Organisation of American States to curb its authority.

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Mexican Victims Get Law That “Should Not Have to Exist”

"We will not stop fighting until there is justice for our children," says Araceli Rodríguez, the mother of a young federal police agent in Mexico who disappeared along with seven other people in the western state of Michoacán on Nov. 16, 2009.

Prisons in Mexico on Verge of Collapse

Edgar Torres Castillo, 21, has spent two years in the prison of Gómez Palacio, in the Lagunera district between the northern Mexican states of Durango and Coahuila – an arid zone known as one of the most dangerous parts of the country.

A Memorial of White Scarves Protests Calderón’s Legacy

Each scarf represents a life cut short. Each stitch, a tear. Each thread, a cry of frustration about death and impunity.

Veracruz – a Black Hole in Mexico

Something smells rotten in the state of Veracruz. In Xalapa, the capital of this eastern Mexican state, known as the “Athens of Veracruz” because of its strong cultural tradition, fear is in the air.

People’s Tribunal Defends Native Villages from Dams

"What do we stand to lose because of the dam? We will lose everything!" said Maria Abigail Agredani, a member of the committee for this indigenous community in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, reporting the damage that will be caused by the hydroelectric complex being built nearby.

Low Wages, No Labour Rights the Norm in Mexico

Miguel* is one of millions of Mexicans scraping by on a meagre income – he earns 60 dollars a week working 11 hours a day in an electronic products store in the northern city of Mexicali.

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