First, from teleSUR, a call for action:
Mexican Rights Groups Call for UN Official on Disappearances
- Human rights organizations representing families of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students requested the implementation of a UN disappearances commissioner.
Human rights groups accompanying the families of the disappeared 43 Ayotzinapa students requested that the United Nation’s Commission Against Enforced Disappearances assign a special commissioner to investigate enforced disappearances in Mexico.
“We asked the committee to appoint or deliberate over the appointment of a commissioner for the country, that is someone for Mexico that will diagnose and attend to the situation of enforced disappearances in our country on a full-time basis,” Denise Gonzalez of the Pro Human Rights Center told a press conference Tuesday on the issue of enforced disappearances.
On Monday, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Sub-secretary, Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, admitted that the 43 missing students were victims of enforced disappearance.
teleSUR English covers another call:
Mexico: Activists demand Germany suspend police training, arms deals
Social organizations in Mexico turned in thousands of signatures on petitions to demand that Germany suspend bilateral police training and arms agreements with Mexico. Activists said the Mexican government was incapable of tackling the country’s chronic corruption and violence and that any arms sent to Mexico would end up in the hands of organized crime. They also called on the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to appoint a commissioner to provide follow-up to its recommendations on Mexico. Clayton Conn reports from Mexico Citry.
And from teleSUR, after more than 100,000 of them, Mexico takes a long-delayed move:
Mexico to Implement a Law on Forced Disappearances by June
- Mexico’s track record regarding forced disappearances has been in the international spotlight as a result of the case of the missing 43 students.
Mexican government authorities announced Wednesday that the government is committed to drafting and approving a law specific to forced disappearances. Mexico currently does not have such a law, despite the fact that the country has seen a surge in forced disappearances as a result of the war on drug cartels launched by the Mexican state in 2006.
“The Forced Disappearance General Law is an immediate goal,” said Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, the head of the Mexican government delegation that traveled this week to Geneva to participate in meetings with the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances.
The Committee on Enforced Disappearances criticized the Mexican government for failing to have reliable numbers on the numbers of disappearances, a fact a member of the Mexican delegation admitted is an issue and that the government would work to correct.
From the Guardian, hubris blowback:
Mexico’s president mocked following complaint that reporters didn’t applaud
- Hashtag #YaSeQueNoAplauden spawned in response to Enrique Peña Nieto’s jokey complaint that reporters greeted an announcement with silence
Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto has become the butt of a wave of social media ridicule following a jokey complaint about the silence with which reporters greeted his announcement of a government probe into allegations of corruption by his family and the finance minister.
Turning away from the microphone at the end of the announcement on Tuesday, Peña Nieto remarked “Ya se que no aplauden” or “I already knew they don’t clap.”
Within hours, #YaSeQueNoAplauden had become the top trending topic on Twitter in Mexico.
A video report for Al Jazeera’s AJ+:
Enrique Peña Nieto Gets No Applause Or Love At Latest Press Conference
President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto called a press conference to announce the creation of a government watchdog agency to look into his own corruption, but what everyone really remembers is what he said when he left the podium. Ya Se Que No Aplauden.
More from Latin Correspondent:
#YaSéQueNoAplauden, the latest mistake for Mexico’s embattled President Peña Nieto
Many watching wondered why Peña Nieto expected a round of applause — after all, press conferences are typically given to cynical members of the media, not adoring political supporters. Though Andrade has been appointed to head up an investigation into corruption allegations and potential conflicts of interest in awarding of government contracts, few in Mexico seem to believe that anything substantial will come of the probe.
This newest gaffe comes in the midst of a very difficult few months for Peña Nieto, who has faced accusations of corruption and rising calls for his resignation since the disappearance of the 43 students in September 2014. Things only got worse with the revelation of millions of dollars worth of contracts awarded and close ties with various construction companies, including the one that built a $7 million house belonging to Peña Nieto’s wife, television star Angélica Rivera, and another home belonging to the country’s finance secretary.
Predictably, Twitter and other social media channels in Mexico seized on the moment, just as they did with #YaMeCansé, which became a rallying cry for anti-government protesters in the wake of the student disappearances. Some used #YaSéQueNoAplauden to question exactly why the Mexican government seems to have such an issue understanding the concept of a live microphone or to mock the president’s concern about applause in the midst of such national turbulence, while others simply took advantage of the moment to show off some meme art.
One example, via Erik @Popochafuz, translates as “You, applaud me!” “Yes, boss”:
Finally, an excerpt from a Texas Monthly report on the impact of ongoing mayhem in one community:
Death and Twitter
A mysterious murder silences citizen journalists in Reynosa.
Chuy, who tweets under the handle @MrCruzStar, meets us at a mall a few miles up Boulevard Hidalgo, and the three of us make our way by taxi to his house. In the cab, it’s all small talk. His Twitter activities, after all, are secret. But once we arrive safely at his home, we discuss how he helps coordinate a network of three thousand or so Twitter users who report disturbances throughout the city using the hashtag #ReynosaFollow. On any given day or night, #ReynosaFollow collects dozens of posts warning of a shootout or a blockade or a column of armored vehicles. It’s essentially a 24-hour neighborhood watch for a city of nearly one million people, enabling citizens to know where they can—and can’t—travel safely. “If we didn’t have that information, the fear would make you stay at home,” Chuy says.
But just two months before, early on the morning of October 16, #ReynosaFollow became a vehicle for spreading fear rather than assuaging it. At 3:04 a.m., a tweet was posted from the account of a much-followed user known as Felina. “Friends and family, my name is María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, I am a doctor, today my life has come to an end,” it read, in Spanish. Two more tweets arrived over the next five minutes: “I have nothing else to say but do not make the same mistake as I did. You do not win anything. To the contrary I now realize that I found death in exchange for nothing. They are closer than you think.” The final tweet came at 3:11 a.m.: “Close your accounts, do not risk your families as I did with mine. I ask for forgiveness.” Embedded in that tweet were two photographs, one of a woman, presumably Fuentes, staring impassively into a camera, another of the same woman faceup on the ground, blood trickling from her nose, apparently executed.
In a matter of hours, Chuy noticed that accounts were disappearing by the dozen. “We lost reliable sources who self-censored out of fear,” he says. “Now, if something happens, we won’t have the same panorama we had before. We’ll be missing those eyes.”