Stories written by Daniela Pastrana
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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.

Immigrants’ Fear Palpable in Arizona

Fear stalks the streets in the U.S. state of Arizona. Seven-year-old Matthew feels it when his mother crosses the line permitted by the guards of the Tent City - an extension of the Maricopa County Jail - to be photographed with a sign protesting the imprisonment of immigrants.

Drug War Threatens Democracy, Mexican Peace Caravan Warns in US

"The war on drugs is endangering the best thing that the United States has given the world: democracy,” Javier Sicilia, the Mexican poet who heads the movement of victims of the violence unleashed by the war on drugs in his country, said upon reaching the United States this week.

MEXICO: Whatever It Takes to Win the Poor Vote

"It's like the parties are competing with each other to see who spends the most money. In a state as poor as ours, that's indecent," Alex, a 30-year-old taxi driver in this city of the southern state of Chiapas, just 30 minutes from the Guatemalan border, told IPS.

Poet Javier Sicilia, carrying a white flag, at the end of the last caravan, in September 2011. Credit: Lucía Vergara /IPS

Mexican and U.S. Activists Join Forces Against Arms Smuggling

Another Caravan for Peace is being organised in Mexico, but this time it will travel through the United States and call for action against weapons smuggling, as part of a bi-national initiative aimed at attracting the attention of President Barack Obama.

No Celebration for Mothers of the Missing in Mexico

Emma Veleta and Toribio Muñoz were married 40 years ago and had seven children, four boys and three girls. They lived in the town of Anáhuac, 100 km from the capital of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. But on Jun. 19, 2011, as they were celebrating Father’s Day, tragedy struck.

Demonstrator holds up photo of Agnes Torres. Credit: Felixe/CC BY-SA 2.0

Institutionalised Homophobia Encourages Hate Crimes

Agnes Torres, a transsexual psychologist and gay rights activist, left her home in the central Mexican state of Puebla on her way to a party. The next day, her body was found in a gully, naked from the waist down. Her throat had been slit.

Verónica Galicia is among those in charge of La Voladora’s social network accounts. Credit: Daniela Pastrana/IPS

Community Station in Mexico Conquers Airwaves and Internet

It’s always cold in this city in Mexico’s Sierra Nevada mountains, more than 2,400 metres above sea level, at the foot of the Popocatépetl volcano.

MEXICO: Youth on the Front Lines of Protest Movement

"We need to be the ones to provide the answers to the questions of our times, because we are the main victims of the voracious policies of capitalism," says Alexis Jiménez, a 23-year-old ethnologist who has spent the last two months camping out in front of the Mexico City Stock Exchange.

MEXICO: No Protection for Activists

Gabriel Echeverría de Jesús, 20, and Jorge Alexis Herrera, 21, paid a high price for taking part in student protests in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero: they were killed when police tried to break up their roadblock.

MEXICO: Wixaritari Indians Fight Mining in Sacred Desert Site

Some 200 Wixáritari or Huichol men, women and children travelled 20 hours from western Mexico to the capital to defend their sacred ceremonial sites from silver mining.

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