We begin with our Ayotzinapa proest image, this time via Noticias Ayotzinapa, and marking the days and months since the students were disappeared:
Next, teleSUR covers a notable arrest in Guerrero:
Leader of the Acapulco Drug Cartel Arrested in Mexico
- Various news reports say the drug trafficker is the cousin of the former Guerrero governor, who resigned due to the Ayotzinapa case.
The Mexican Ministry of the Interior confirmed Wednesday that Federal Police officers arrested the leader of the so-called Independent Acapulco Cartel (CIDA). Victor Aguirre Garzon, who is said to be the cousin of the former governor of the violent state of Guerrero, Angel Aguirre, who resigned due to the case of the 43 Ayotzinapa students.
The CIDA is one of the drug gangs that is warring to control the sale and traffic of narcotics in Guerrero and the neighboring state of Morelos, which are under the control of the Beltran Leyva brothers and the United Warriors or Guerreros Unidos. It was members of the Guerreros Unidos allegedly received the 43 Ayotzinapa students from local police on the night of Sept. 26 before supposedly burned them to unidentifiable ashes ashes.
According to unnamed sources by newspaper Excelsior, Aguirre Garzon is a former federal police agent, “who is pointed out by the Sinaloa cartel to be the sole provider of drugs to inmates in the Acapulco state penitentiary with the complacency of state officials.”
Borderland Beat covers a related development:
G.U. turncoats: ‘Sierra Unida’ group cleans up Iguala Plaza for ‘Los Rojos’
- Sierra Cartel challenging the weaken cartel Guerreros Unidos for the all important Iguala territory
Media interest in the case of the missing normalistas of Guerrero has diminished.
The worldwide audience once hungry of any detail of the shocking case may assume that the situation in Iguala, Guerrero has improved after the events of last September 26th and 27th.
After all, the malevolent mayor Jose Abarca and his wife are imprisoned. Same goes for the municipal police, who acted on orders from the mayor’s office, to kidnap and kill the normalistas group.
And the leadership of the Guerreros Unidos Cartel are either dead or incarcerated.
Federal forces have taken over policing of Iguala, one would hope security of the city would be exponentially better.
But according to the people of Iguala, that is far from the reality. In fact things are worse. Violence has exploded, and according to residents, the federal Gendarmerie is not doing much to control the situation.
For example; In separate incidents, four members of a family, and a taxi driver were killed last two days of February and first week of March recorded in the city of Iguala where the Federal Police Gendarmerie Division took over security after the slaughter and disappearance of the 43 missing normalistas Ayotzinapa.
From Reuters, a murder in Guerrero:
Mexican mayoral candidate decapitated in violent Guerrero state
A 42-year-old woman running for mayor in a violent southwestern Mexican state that sparked the biggest crisis of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration has been kidnapped and decapitated.
State prosecutors said on Wednesday the body of Aide Nava was found in northern Guerrero, where 43 trainee teachers were abducted and almost certainly massacred last year, sparking an international outcry over criminal violence in Mexico.
A spokesman for the prosecutors said Nava, a candidate from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), was kidnapped on Tuesday in the town of Ahuacuotzingo, the municipality she hoped to become mayor of in June elections.
And The News.mx adds some context:
Opium turns Iguala violent
- Mexican gangs export nearly half of heroin in US
To the residents of Iguala, violence was part of life in before local police allegedly disappeared 43 college students in September, and it remains so now.
The violence continues because Iguala’s most lucrative business still thrives: the opium trade. The city sits on a flat plain halfway between Mexico City and Acapulco in the state of Guerrero, surrounded by steep mountains where farmers milk fields of poppies for opium paste. Rural highways radiate out of mountain valleys toward Iguala, funneling the opium through a key crossroad on the journey north to the United States.
According to one federal case in the United States, heroin dealers on the streets of Chicago have numbers in their cellphones with the Iguala area code.
“Iguala is the route and that hasn’t changed, nor will it,” said Marina Hernandez de la Garza, a city councilwoman. “The bad guys haven’t left. They’re parked here.”
While Latin Correspondent covers another Guerrero development:
Coca Cola plant reopens in Guerrero, Mexico
Mexico’s largest Coca Cola bottler has reopened a distribution plant that it had closed in the southern state of Guerrero after protesters seized trucks, merchandise and company employees.
Coca Cola Femsa said in a statement that distribution was resuming from the facility in Chilpancingo, the state capital.
Two company employees were briefly seized in February by protesters demanding the release of colleagues detained for robbing merchandise from Coca Cola trucks. The anti-government protesters and the employees were quickly released.
From Fox News Latino, a political vigilante/vigilante politician:
Fresh from prison, Mexican vigilante leader Hipólito Mora mulls running for congress
Hipólito Mora, one of the founding members of the “autodefensa” citizen militia group that rose up in the southwestern Mexican state of Michoacán during 2014 to battle cartel gunmen, is ready to start a new chapter in his life.
Mora, an unassuming middle-aged man who wears frameless glasses and usually trims his grey-specked beard into a neat goatee, rose to prominence after convincing a group of his neighbors to take up arms against the notorious Knights Templar cartel that seized control of a wide swath of Michoacán during the administration of former Mexican president, Felipe Calderón.
He battled Templar gunmen, and also “autodefensa” allies, whom he viewed to be compromised by connections to organized crime groups. In a strange on-again, off-again relationship with Mexico’s government, he’s been jailed twice after gunfights between his followers and gunmen loyal to Luis Antonio Torres, a fighter who goes by the nickname “The American.”
Latin Correspondent covers a launch:
Mexico media launch MexicoLeaks platform to combat corruption
A group of Mexican media outlets and civil society groups have launched MexicoLeaks, a digital platform to receive information leaks that could lead to corruption investigations.
Representatives of the effort said Tuesday that those wanting to leak information can do so anonymously. Information and tips will be investigated and confirmed before anything is published.
The effort includes two civil society organizations and six media outlets, including Mexico’s weekly magazine Proceso, the website Animal Político and the investigative unit of journalist Carmen Aristegui.
From BuzzFeed News, hints of smoke and mirrors:
Mexico’s Huge Justice Reforms Are Scrambling To Cross The Finish Line
President Enrique Peña Nieto’s much-hyped reforms depend on a key judicial overhaul. Now, experts are worried that the slowly-moving overhaul will not stand the test of time, or culture.
An overhaul of the judicial system, passed in 2008 and slated to be completed by June 2016, aims to increase transparency in judicial investigations and make courtroom proceedings public and speedy. Oral trials, like the one in the unfinished justice building in Durango, are the backbone of the new system.
Passed under former President Felipe Calderón, the revamp is doing away with the partial inquisitorial system, in which a judge both investigates the facts and renders a decision, in favor of an adversarial one, where both parties in a trial must gather evidence and argue their case before a neutral judge.
The revamp is also instituting a system of alternative justice, which offers accusers and the accused an opportunity to mediate and negotiate a solution before having to take their cases to court. In theory, this will reduce jail populations and ensure that judges can focus on the most contentious cases.
But with only 15 months left before the deadline, implementation remains piecemeal. Only four states are operating under the new system completely. Twenty-five states have managed to partially put the changes into place — others not at all. Courthouses are under construction and thousands of people involved in the judicial process — police, investigators, lawyers, prosecutors, and judges — are yet to receive formal training.
From the Latin American Herald Tribune, rushed to judgment:
Medina Mora Voted to Mexico High Court, Steps down as U.S. Ambassador
Eduardo Medina Mora, who has been voted by lawmakers to Mexico’s Supreme Court, has submitted his resignation as ambassador to the United States, the Foreign Relations Secretariat said.
The secretariat notified the U.S. State Department that Alejandro Estivill Castro, deputy head of mission at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, will take over as charge d’affaires until a new ambassador is designated and confirmed.
Medina Mora, who submitted his resignation to President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday, “contributed to maintaining excellent ties of friendship and cooperation between Mexico and the United States,” the secretariat said.
And some background, via teleSUR English:
Mexico: New Supreme Court Justice linked to police repression
Mexico’s Senate voted on Tuesday to approve the nomination of a major human rights violator to the Supreme Court, according to human rights groups. Eduardo Medina Mora, nominated by President Enrique Peña Nieto to fill a vacant space, has frequently been accused of orchestrating violent police operations against public protests in 2006 and initiating a drug war strategy that has left up to 100,000 people dead. His tenure as Supreme Court Justice will last 15 years. Clayton Conn reports from Mexico City for teleSUR.