A long chain of people is winding its way along the highways of Chiapas, the southernmost Mexican state. It is moving fast, despite the fact that one-third of its ranks are made up of children, and it has managed to avoid the multiple obstacles that the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and now Mexico, under pressure from the United States, have thrown up in a vain effort to stop it.
Ángel Santiago is a Mexican teenager who speaks one of the variations of the Zapotec language that exists in the state of Oaxaca, in the southwest of Mexico. Standing next to the presidential candidate who is the favorite for the July elections, he calls for an educational curriculum that "respects our culture and our languages."
In the airport of this Mexican city, on the border with the United States, customs agents warn that they will carry out a "random" inspection. But it's not so random. The only people who are stopped and checked have dark skin and kinky hair, and virtually do not speak a word of Spanish.
They work for years to bolster the economies of two countries. For one, the United States, they provide labour and taxes; for the other, Mexico, they send remittances that support tens of thousands of families and communities. Then they are deported, and neither government takes into account their special needs.
Each year, some three million undocumented immigrants enter the United States, half of them with the help of traffickers, as part of a nearly seven-billion- dollar business, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Mexican journalist Cecilio Pineda Brito covered drug trafficking issues in a region of the southern state of Guerrero where criminal groups are extremely powerful.
Juan de Dios is eight years old and is looking for his younger sister, Zoe Zuleica Torres Gómez, who went missing in December 2015, when she was only five years old, in the northeastern state of San Luis Potosí. He is the youngest searcher for clandestine graves in Mexico.
“Go and tell my dad that they’re holding me here,” Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez told his travelling companion on May 7 at the migration station in Chablé, in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco. It was the last time he was ever seen, and his parents have had no news of him since.
“This is a humanitarian crisis,” said Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, referring to the generalised violence in Mexico and in Honduras and other countries of Central America, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and is a product of transnational crime, but is invisible to the international community.
Mexico is the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists. In 2015 it accounted for one-third of all murders of reporters in the region, and four more journalists have been added to the list so far this year.
The soup kitchen of the San Gerardo parish in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero has become a memorial to horror. Long rows of photos have been hung on the walls of the large hall – the faces of dozens of people who were “disappeared”, abducted, extracted from their lives without a trace.
Nearly a year after the forced disappearance of 43 students in Mexico, the government’s investigation is back to the drawing board, after a group of independent experts refuted all of the official arguments.
Cerro del Águila, which two centuries ago was a refuge for independence fighters in Mexico, is now a stronghold of organised crime groups engaged in turf wars for control of the prosperous poppy trade and trafficking routes, which have left a string of ghost towns in their wake.
The images filled the front pages of Mexico’s newspapers: 61 half-dressed state policemen kneeling, with their hands tied, in the main square of the town of Tepatepec in the central state of Hidalgo, while local residents threatened to burn them alive.
In their language, Cocopah means “river people”. For over 500 years the members of this Amerindian group have lived along the lower Colorado River and delta in the Mexican states of Baja California and Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona.
The areas under the low bridges over a section of the canalised channel of the Tijuana River that runs along the border between Mexico and the United States have become enormous open-air toilets.
People in this town in the central Mexican state of Puebla found out the hard way that protesting can be deadly.
In early May, the Irapuato Migrants’ House, in the centre-west Mexican state of Guanajuato, took in a group of 152 Garifuna Afro-Caribbean people from Honduras. Sixty of them were children.
“I just want all this to be over,” Yakiri Rubí Rubio, a young Mexican woman facing trial for killing the man who raped her in December 2013, laments to IPS.
“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.
“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.