Washington Post – For much of their history, the United States and Mexico had a wary relationship and security cooperation was limited. But over the past two decades, as their economies have become more interdependent, the countries have developed an extraordinary level of collaboration in addressing terrorist threats and capturing dangerous criminals. Today, that partnership is at risk.
Yahoo Finance – The idyllic Pacific coast town of Acapulco in Mexico’s Guerrero state once welcomed Hollywood stars and honeymooners, but the city has suffered a wave of bloody violence in recent years, as cartels and criminal groups battle for control. Since 2012, Acapulco, which has been called “Guerrero’s Iraq,” has been the most violent city in Mexico, and among the most violent cities in the world, with homicide rates above 100 per 100,000 people each year.
Daily Caller – The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. $84 million to fix Black Hawk helicopters for Mexico. Sikorsky, which was acquired by Lockheed Martin in November 2015, is tasked with bringing them up to “full operational capability” by April 2019.
Reuters – Countries backing a major accord to regulate the international arms industry on Thursday failed to agree on a definitive format for reporting arms sales, kicking the issue down the road and disappointing advocates of arms control.
TeleSur-A number of human rights organizers and defenders say that forced disappearances are on the increase in Mexico. “Today we must say that (forced) disappearance occurs widely. In the past eight years we have documented more than 26,000 cases,” said Mario Patron of the Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights Center.
IANS/EFE – Nine people died in drug-related shootouts in Sinaloa on Wednesday. Six men were killed in Las Yacas, and three others were gunned down in Cacalotan in shootouts between rival drug cartels fighting for control of Sinaloa’s southern mountain region.
A candle has been burning for almost a year in the modest front room of the tiny two-bedroom apartment that Guadalupe Reyes shares with her husband, Bernardo, and their 10-year-old daughter, Tania.
Next to the candle is a picture of their older daughter, Mariana. Her 19th birthday was this month, but the family hasn’t seen her since she left their house in a working-class area of the Tecamac municipality, in the state of Mexico, nearly a year ago. She went that day, Sept. 17, to a photocopy shop no more than a 10-minute walk away. After she had been gone an hour, her parents launched a frantic search that continues to this day.
They reported Mariana’s disappearance the next morning, but authorities suggested she had probably run off with her boyfriend.
About 25,000 people have gone missing in Mexico since 2006, according to estimates by the government and human rights groups. Not clear is how many of them may have been victims of foul play, but some fear that many are dead because of the high levels of violence since federal crackdowns against drug cartels that began that year.
CTV -Mexican federal police have arrested a cell of the Gulf Cartel in the border state of Tamaulipas and freed 11 kidnap victims showing signs of severe malnutrition and torture. Ten people were detained, including the cell leader.
Reuters – A Mexican judge convicted and ordered a soldier jailed in connection with the disappearance of a civilian in a northern border state, a legal milestone in a country torn by an almost decade-old war between security forces and drug gangs.
NPR – A new study on the sex trade details the situation in Mexico, where researchers found that one in four sex workers in Tijuana and Juarez say they were forced into the sex trade as minors — under age 18 — and one in eight say they were 15 or younger.
BBC – Regional rights activists investigating the case of 43 missing students in Mexico say they have been unable to interview military personnel. They said soldiers who might have witnessed the students’ disappearance last September could only be questioned via a written questionnaire. The team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights chose not to do this.
AP – Mexican authorities did not notify families of 43 college students who disappeared after a clash with police that some of the young men’s clothing was discovered shortly after they went missing, a group of independent experts said.
The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts also reported that security videos containing visual evidence might have been destroyed.
The group said it will issue a final report on Sept. 6, but wants its investigative mandate extended beyond that date.
Heroin use has skyrocketed 63 percent in the United States, sparing few towns, and now the Obama administration is pushing to stop the flow of the drug across the U.S.-Mexico border.
In announcing a $13.4 million war on heroin Monday, the president’s drug czar said the administration will try to plug the holes in the border through which crime gangs pour drugs.
But only 10 percent of the budget will be used for that purpose, the rest send to the five biggest drug markets in the country.
Michael Botticelli, director of National Drug Control Policy, said $1.3 million will be spent on the border control effort. “These funds will be used to enhance investigative efforts against large-scale transnational criminal organizations, reduce the flow of dangerous drugs (including heroin and methamphetamine) across the border, and prevent drug use in border communities,” he said.
La Jornada -Writers and journalists have asked President Enrique Peña Nieto for an “immediate and effective clarification” of the murder of Ruben Espinosa and other reporters in Mexico as well as a “commitment” to “guarantee freedom of expression” in the country.
WSJ – Gunmen attacked a bar in Veracruz early Thursday, killing six people, including a former television reporter and a reputed gangland boss. Investigators say Juan Santos Cabrera, until recently a Televisa reporter was having drinks with an alleged boss of the violent Zetas gang at a downtown bar in the city of Orizaba when five assailants fired on their table.
AP – Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission is protesting an assault on one of its workers in Oaxaca. It says the captors beat, robbed and threatened to kill the man “if he continues to harm the people-trafficking business,” before letting him go.
When he felt authorities weren’t doing enough to protect his hometown, he organized more than 100 women to police the streets.
When 43 students went missing in a controversial case that drew global attention to Mexico’s struggles with violence and corruption, he led search parties trying to find them.
And when more families in his state came forward reporting that their loved ones had disappeared, he organized searches for them, too.
Saturday night, investigators in Mexico’s Guerrero state say Miguel Ángel Jiménez Blanco was found dead inside a taxi he owned, with two gunshot wounds. Authorities haven’t said whether there are any suspects in the slaying.
EFE – Some 5,000 young men are imprisoned in Mexico after being convicted of serious crimes, with 22 percent of them serving time for murder, a high number that obscures an even more painful reality. Many of these youths and teenagers fall in the trap of organized crime as a result of family troubles, poverty, dropping out of school or addictions, and they see themselves pushed to commit crimes that will brand them for life.