For those on the list far from the borderland, the news of the rains and floods has probably not been much reported. We have had days of rain now and we are thankful for it always in the desert. BUT, the lack of infrastructure and adequate roads, housing and flood control makes any rain events into disasters in Juarez. Yesterday there were terrible photo of floods all over the rural communities in the Juarez Valley… In Juarez there are hundreds of families who have been flooded out of their homes. Many of the outlying neighborhoods are built on floodplains, so when we do get the rare rains that we are having now, the water rushes down from the hills and these neighborhoods flood. Sometimes it is a slow rise of water, but in many cases, the water rushes down from bare hillsides in torrents. Today one of the lead stories in El Diario is of a primary school in an older central neighborhood that completely collapsed after the walls were weakened by rising flood waters. The article lists 14 other schools that have been severely damaged. Another article posted below has the headline: THE WORKS NEVER DONE… Basically, all those flood control plans never paid for and never carried out… The city and state politicians blame the federal government. No one seems to question the huge salaries of any of these officials nor the corruption that fills pockets and leaves poor people completely unprotected in their homes. If they had homes. molly
Cal State Northridge, journalism professor, José Luis Benavides, interviews journalist and author Charles Bowden, April 22, 2013.
Over the last twenty years Bowden has authored several books on the violence occurring on the border between the United States and Mexico, focusing on Ciudad Juárez. Benavides and Bowden discuss the factors that led to his decision to start writing about the atrocities that Mexico’s powerful and, well-connected, elite carry out against the poor citizens of the country. At the forefront of his decision were the local street photographers that he encountered during a murder story he was investigating in Juárez in 1995. Bowden continues to tell the true story of why such an overwhelming amount of violence exists in Juárez.
After writing a piece about the exceptional work of the Juárez photographers, he discusses the origins of his friendship and collaborative working relationship with Juárez photographer, Julián Cardona. Bowden and Cardona have collaborated on several books. In “Juárez: Laboratory of our Future” Bowden shares how “American generated poverty in factories owned by American companies that pay slave wages,” are not enough for Mexican citizens, working in maquiladoras (foreign owned factories along the US/Mex. border), to survive. The book “Exodus/Éxodo” documents the emigration of Mexican citizens.
A study from the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) has found that Juarez now has nearly 500,000 residents living in poverty or extreme poverty.
I have been less than systematic in reporting deaths from homicide in Ciudad Juarez and I also find myself relying on (and doubting) these new reports from the Mexican government. Several people I trust who live in Mexico have responded to me privately that they believe the government is purposefully under-reporting homicide numbers. So, the evidence we have from the press is sporadic and partial, as are my efforts to find this evidence and share it with the list. I was away from the computer most of the day yesterday as I sat for hours in a waiting room at the ICE Detention Center in El Paso, waiting to testify about the violence in Juarez and in Mexico generally as background information in an asylum case.
Bloody morning in Guerrero… From Proceso Online…5 people were killed in the capital of Chipancingo despite (or because of?) the fact that some 3000 federal agents had been sent to the city to keep order during a demonstration by members of the Movimiento Popular de Guerrero. Also, in Acapulco, another two people were killed.
When I got home last night, I saw an article in El Diario (from El Universal) of confrontations in Michoacan that left at least 17 people dead. The Guardian also reported these killings, contrasting the events with the government’s announcement of a 14% decrease in killings since the same period last year (Dec-March)…
And in Juarez yesterday there were 2 separate killings reported and today, two men were shot in an electrical shop and another person injured.
A lot of people have been killed in Juarez during Saturday and Sunday… Follows are the stories I’ve found more or less in reverse chronological order. The first story in the list reports that an armed group executed 3 men in the Granjas de Chapultepec neighborhood. Two men were killed immediately in the drive-by shooting. Another man was injured and died later. Witnessed report that it took 40 minutes for ambulances to arrive. This multiple homicide occurred at about 6 pm.
Yes, just what we have been waiting for! Economic Flat-Earth-Society guru Thomas Friedman says Mexico is ALL RIGHT! No mention of 125,000 murdered people and 27,000+ more missing in the past 6 years… Why mention it when the outcome and outlooks (according to Friedman) are so rosy? I would love to know what PR bill-of-goods Mr. Friedman is buying and who is selling it. I hope there will be an investigative report soon on the Mexican government’s rebranding campaign and how it is being run. I have no doubt that it is growing bigger and is getting more and more success every day as business reporters and columnists swallow the happy pills. Thanks to Ed for sending this one…
In Juarez, Federal and state officials are said to have bulldozed the house of Karla Jocabeth Castaneda, mother of 13 yr old Cinthia Jocabeth Castañeda who has been missing since 2008. Karla participated in the recent march of mothers of missing women from Juarez to Chihuahua, calling on the government to do more to solve the cases of their disappeared children. This latest action by the police is seen as an attempt to intimidate the mother and activist. Here is an article about the march to Chihuahua featuring statements by Karla Castaneda… At El Diario is a photograph of the destruction of Karla’s house. molly
I think it is interesting that this NYTimes article mentions only General Garcia Ochoa and that the DEA suspicions of him stem from reports of events back in 1997. That was the same year that another top Mexican General and “drug czar,” Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, was discovered to be working directly for the Carrillo-Fuentes (Juarez) Cartel. In fact, the NY Times has many stories on General Guitierrez Rebollo at this link.
It seems quite a missing piece in today’s article that the name of General Gutierrez Rebollo is not mentioned at all… But the article is well worth the time. Just leaves me with more questions than answers. Considering recent killings in Coahuila, we might wonder what General Garcia Ochoa was really up to there… molly
Reforma reports that there have been 72 homicides in the state of Mexico in the first 24 days of 2013… Here is a summary from Animal Politico. Estado de Mexico is the home state of President Pena Nieto–he was governor there before winning the presidency. In Juarez yesterday, two men were executed in a street shooting but the paper reports the sicarios were arrested later. It was also reported that one of the guns used in the attack had belonged to a municipal policeman killed in October 2011.