Mexico’s first union for guest workers fights abuses

CSMonitor – Roughly 50 workers who had for years traveled to the US on low-skill work visas teamed up to gain legal recognition from the Mexican government. Now they can air complaints and demand solutions to issues like recruitment fraud, labor abuse, trafficking, and other violations.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2015/1228/Mexico-s-first-union-for-guest-workers-fights-abuses-at-home-and-in-US

A Christmas economy thrives all year in the mountains of Mexico

A woman painted Christmas ornaments at a workshop in Tlalpujahua, Mexico. Though high season is October to December, production of the handmade ornaments takes place all year. (Rodrigo Cruz/ The New York Times)
A woman painted Christmas ornaments at a workshop in Tlalpujahua, Mexico. Though high season is October to December, production of the handmade ornaments takes place all year. (Rodrigo Cruz/ The New York Times)

By Azam Ahmed / New York Times

In the land of the forever Christmas, there are no elves, no reindeer and no snow. And the creepy wooden Santa that sits outside one of the stores confronts shoppers with a gigantic beard and not an ounce of cheer.

The small village of Tlalpujahua, embedded in the lush mountains of Michoacán, is no North Pole. Yet it celebrates Christmas every day of the year all the same, as a production center of handmade ornaments for the Mexican, American and Canadian markets.

Despite the absence of a traditional Christmas setting, Tlalpujahua, a former mining town, does not lack for charm. The narrow cobblestone streets sweep up sharp slopes to an airy plaza, where a 300-year-old church with a pink bell tower dominates the tiled rooftops and the surrounding landscape. Stores are tiny and tidy, stacked side by side, and the village’s entrance is graced with a giant Christmas tree that stays up all year.

Tourists come from across Mexico and the world to shop and get a firsthand look at the craftsmanship, which renders everything from traditional Christmas balls to trumpets, candy canes and pieces of fruit.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/world/americas/a-christmas-economy-thrives-all-year-in-the-mountains-of-mexico.html

Indigenous massacre remains unpunished

TeleSur – Eighteen years ago, gunmen crept down into the center of the impoverished village of Acteal and killed 45 innocent people including 21 women and 15 children. Hundreds of indigenous people held a demonstration Wednesday in the small village of Acteal in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, to mark the anniversary.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Indigenous-Massacre-Remains-Unpunished-in-Mexico-20151223-0011.html

Mexico approves reparations for family of Ayotzinapa student

Relatives of the 43 Ayotzinapa students and supporters lead a demonstration that took place on Sept.r 26, 2015 in Mexico City to commemorate one year since their disappearance. (AFP)
Relatives of the 43 Ayotzinapa students and supporters lead a demonstration that took place on Sept.r 26, 2015 in Mexico City to commemorate one year since their disappearance. (AFP)

TeleSur

Mexico has approved the first comprehensive plan for reparations to one of the families of the victims of the Ayotzinapa case, the infamous attack on Sept. 26, 2014 when police opened fire on protesters and arrested 43 students who were later disappeared.

The Executive Committee for Victims Assistance (CEAV) approved the reparations for the family of David Joshua Garcia Evangelista, a soccer player who was killed during the incident last year in Iguala, Guerrero. The young man was one of six people killed that night when police opened fire on protesters and students.

“The reparation is an obligation that is on the General Law on Victims and this is an achievement of civil society,” said Rochín del Rincón, president of the committee.

The compensation, which was unanimously approved by the committee, includes measures such as the allocation to the family of a permanent legal adviser to track the case, psychological care programs, education scholarships and economic compensation.

According to a statement released by CEAV, the committee is still studying and processing other cases related to the victims of what occurred in Iguala.

However, no particular mention was made of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa training school who were disappeared that evening. Families and supporters of the students continue to push the government for clear answers as to what happened.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mexico-Approves-Reparations-for-Family-of-Ayotzinapa-Student-20151223-0005.html