Mar 1, 2015

'Flying in Face of History,' Texas Again Frustrates Undocumented

La Jornada (Translated by World Meets): Texas is again at the forefront in terms of measures taken against undocumented migrants. This time a federal judge in the state backed a Texas government challenge of executive orders issued by President Obama. The preliminary injunction suspends the orders, which would allow more than five million undocumented immigrants to live and work in the country.

Last week was just the latest ignominious episode restricting the rights of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States to live as individuals. The person responsible for that misfortune is Federal Judge Andrew Hanen, who has lived in Texas his entire life and was nominated by George W. Bush. Twenty six other states in which 2.3 million undocumented residents live have initiated similar procedures for constraining the provisions of the president. Read more.

Yes Indeed: Venezuela Coup Attempts are Aided by Washington

La Jornada (Translated by World Meets): On February 11 and 12 this year, Bolivarian security organs aborted a coup attempt nicknamed Operation Jericho which included armed attacks and air bombardment of a number of strategic points in Caracas. The principals involved were arrested, among them retired and active members of the military. Their statements and the investigation of events led, after several days, to the arrest and indictment of Antonio Ledezma, the Mayor of Caracas. [video fourth from top, right].

About a year ago Leopoldo López was also arrested, who shortly before was in Miami and issued a call to "speed the government's fall" and say "President Nicolás Maduro must leave office sooner rather than later … how can we wait six years? ... We cannot now assume an attitude that befits a democratic system." Read more. 

Feb 25, 2015

Murders, threats and duopoly: the state of press freedom in Mexico

The Guardian: On 2 January, journalist Moisés Sánchez was kidnapped by an armed group. Nine people with covered faces stormed into his house in Medellin de Bravo, a town in the wealthy eastern state of Veracruz. They searched and grabbed documents, and took Sánchez, along with his camera, laptop, mobile phone and tablet. The police took hours to come to the house. Sánchez was found dead 23 days later on the outskirts of the town.

Sánchez, editor of La Unión, is the eleventh journalist to be murdered in Veracruz since Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa took office on 1 December 2010. As well as murders, four media professionals have gone missing and there have been 132 attacks against the local press in the same period. Read more. 

Feb 24, 2015

These are the 2 classic ways Mexican cartels launder money

Business Insider: Mexico is home to several drug trafficking organizations (DTOs): the Sinaloa cartel, La Familia cartel, Knights Templar cartel, Juarez cartel, and others.

Generally, these organizations buy cocaine processed in South America and smuggle it into the United States to sell. After that, however, they need a way to get the money back to Mexico — and secretly. Read more. 

Feb 23, 2015

Life after El Chapo: kingpin's arrest spells new era in Mexican drug war

The Guardian: The fortune-teller smiled as she gazed out towards the distant peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range.

“The mountains are glowing red and it will be a good harvest,” she predicted. The forecast was not based on second sight, however, but on conversations with local farmers looking forward to a bumper crop of marijuana – and the cash bonanza it will bring. Read more. 

Theft Surge Prompts Pemex to Halt Gasoline Shipments by Pipe

Bloomberg: Petroleos Mexicanos is losing so much money to people pilfering from its pipelines that the state-owned oil producer has decided to remove the temptation.

Pemex will stop using pipelines to transport refined fuel that can be put directly into engines, the Mexico City-based company said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. Instead, Pemex will remove a key chemical and use pipelines to send the partially processed gasoline and diesel to storage terminals, where the fuel will undertake final processing. Read more. 

Feb 13, 2015

Son of Mexico cartel boss pleads guilty to U.S. smuggling charge

Reuters: The son of a former Mexico cartel boss faces up to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to trying to smuggle ammunition across the Texas border into Mexico, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Osiel Cardenas, Jr., is the son of Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, who headed the Gulf Cartel in Northeastern Mexico until he was sentenced to 25 years in prison after his arrest in 2003. Read more.