Mexico tightens its southern border ‘to protect minors’ and to keep them from reaching US

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Mexico’s National Migration Institute, INM, says the aim is to protect migrant children who are “exploited by criminal networks” that tell migrants to bring their children to facilitate their entry into Mexico and the United States.

Mexico’s protection of minors is centered in stopping them from entering the country to prevent them from becoming “victims of human trafficking,” according to INM, which announced “various new measures,” including reinforced National Guard troops, drones, and militarized police will be deployed to monitor points of entry on its southern border.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Mexico: Thousands March One Year After Disappearance Of 43 Students – Photo Document

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MEXICO CITY — Thousands of people took to the streets Saturday to mark the anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero in a case involving corrupt police and high-ranking members of the army that continues to trouble Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Parents and relatives of the missing students led the march from an area close to the presidential residence of “Los Pinos,” carrying with them pictures of their loved ones and shouting slogans rejecting the official statement of their fate.

Days before the march, President Nieto held a meeting with the parents of the 43 missing students to hear their demands and show support for their cause.

“We are on the same side,” Peña declared.

Nevertheless, the Parents described the president’s attitude toward the case as “indifferent,” and while more than 10,000 people were marching through one of the main boulevards of Mexico City, Nieto was attending to the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

“Because alive they were taken, alive we want them back!” was the slogan of the march; Signs that read “Crime of the State,” “Get out Peña,” and “Peña, Murderer” were shown all along the march. Various Mexican personalities such as Elena Poniatowska, a Mexican journalist, author and activist, and Hipolito Mora, leader of self-defense groups in Guerrero, were also present, asking for justice.

The march proceeded peacefully except for one group 0f self-named “anarchists,” who launched a series of riots, ending in clashes with police but without causing much damage.

The march culminated at the historic Zocalo, a giant square in the heart of Mexico City, with a speech by the spokesman for the families, Felipe de la Cruz, in which he encouraged demonstrators to show their outrage over what happened in Ayotzinapa, Atenco and Tlatlaya, where state crimes have been committed and where impunity still reigns.

Text and Images by David Córdova
























Indignation In Mexico Over Killing Of Photojournalist 

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PUEBLA, México — A Mexican news photographer was among five people found dead in the middle-class neighborhood of Narvarte, Mexico City, July 31.

Rubén Espinosa, former member of Proceso and collaborator with the news agencies Cuartoscuro and AVC News was among five victims discovered by police beaten and shot in the head; a month ago, Espinosa claimed in interviews that he felt threatened by the governor of Veracruz state, Javier Duarte.

Veracruz is one of the most dangerous Mexican states for journalists, with a total of 13 killed under Duarte’s watch. Espinosa is the seventh journalist killed in Mexico this year. In total, 41 journalists have been killed since 2010 according to the journalism advocacy group Article 19.

The indignation of the country resulted in an almost immediate response, as hundreds of journalists, photographers, and activists gathered in the principal cities in Mexico such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Xalapa and Veracruz to demand Duarte resign. A major protest in Mexico City was held at the capital’s Angel of Independence monument, where many people holding signs and carrying masks with Espinosa’s face shouted for justice.

The 31-year-old photojournalist specialized in documenting social movements in Veracruz state. Many of his works were critical of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party with which Duarte and former president Enrique Peña Nieto are associated.

Nadia Vera, an activist killed alongside Espinosa, released a video days before the massacre. The clip, posted online, she said that if anything happened to her or her fellow activists, it would be the fault of Duarte and the state of Veracruz.

Following these events, the state of Veracruz and Duarte said little, and Mexicans in general do not expect much to come from the politician. The only statement to come from Duarte acknowledged that the murder happened in Mexico state and not in Veracruz, but said it was a matter for other branches of government to deal with.

More demonstrations and protests are scheduled for next week, and a photo exhibit will be on display in a gallery in Mexico City to commemorate the work of Espinosa.

This next series of pictures is from a demonstration held in Puebla city.

Text and Pictures by David A Córdova


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Mexican Day Of The Dead On Janitzio Island – Photo Document

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JANITZIO, Mexico — Hundreds of candles flickering, the smell of Cempasúchil flowers freshly collected and an ethereal mist fill the cemetery as Mexicans honor their deceased loved ones during the Day of the Dead on the small island of Janitzio.

The festival is one of Mexico’s most rooted traditions. It has been alive for over 4,000 years and is celebrated by millions throughout the country, attracting tourists from all over the world.

In Janitzio, in the state of Michoacan, a group of indigenous people called Purepechas exercise self rule over the island in the form of a cooperative, and each year they prepare themselves to honor their loved ones in the old-fashioned way. They receive thousands of tourists wanting to witness the folklore of the island. For the Purepecha people this represents a double-edged moral issue: On one hand the excessive flow of tourists prevents them from performing their rituals and honoring their deceased in peace, but on the other hand, tourists provide an important source of income to the local economy that cannot be ignored.

The celebration starts on October 31, when friends and family gather together to create a huge wreath of marigold flowers, fruits and sweets which will be taken to the cemetery on November 1. A feast in honor of the deceased is held in which the taste of traditional food delights the palate of those present; meanwhile, locals start preparations to receive the biggest flow of tourists the island will see all year — boats, life jackets, handcrafts, spectacles, everything must be ready for their arrival.

In the cemetery of Janitzio at 5 a.m. on the first of November, families of the deceased are carrying marigold flowers and offerings. This will be the only part of the day when they can enjoy their time with the dead in peace. A mass takes place at the cemetery and in the distance the first boatloads of tourists are slowly making their way to the island. A heavy mist can be seen from the cemetery, perhaps the announcement of the arrival of another kind of visitor — those who don’t belong to the living world.

Text and Images by David Córdova

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