Two Children, Others Killed In Mexico Gun Attack

BREAKING: 'Multiple Casualties' As Gunman Opens Fire At US Synagogue
File photo

 

At least eight people, including two children, died in a shooting in a region of central Mexico plagued by turf wars between rival drug cartels, authorities said Wednesday.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at homes in the municipality of Silao in Guanajuato state late Tuesday, according to the regional prosecutor’s office.

A one-year-old and a 16-year-old girl were among the dead, it said.

Guanajuato has become one of Mexico’s most violent states due to fighting between the Santa Rosa de Lima and Jalisco New Generation cartels.

The gangs are fighting over control of the lucrative drug trafficking and stolen fuel markets.

Two similar attacks left 11 people dead in Silao in mid-November.

Since 2006 when the government launched a controversial anti-drug military operation, Mexico has recorded more than 300,000 murders, according to official figures.

AFP

At Least 53 Migrants Killed In Mexico Road Accident


File photo:  Vehicles wait to cross into Mexico on the Good Neighbor International Bridge on Stanton Street along the US-Mexico border between Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, on December 9, 2021 in El Paso, Texas. Patrick T. FALLON / AFP

 

At least 53 migrants were killed Thursday in Mexico after the truck they were hiding in hit a retaining wall and overturned in the southern state of Chiapas, a major transit point for those trying to reach the United States.

Another 58 people also were hurt, three of them seriously, according to a preliminary report from the prosecutors in Chiapas, which borders Guatemala.

“So far, 53 people have died and three more are seriously injured,” the office said in a statement that also announced it was taking over the investigation of the incident.

The migrants were crammed into the truck, civil protection officials told reporters.

“According to the statements of the survivors, most of them are from Guatemala,” said Luis Manuel García, the Civil Protection director for Chiapas.

Officials said it appeared that the driver was speeding when he lost control of the vehicle on the highway connecting the city of Chiapa de Corzo with the state capital Tuxtla Gutierrez. He later fled the scene.

Local television images showed large numbers of ambulances, firefighters, and rescue workers gathered around the crashed vehicle, together with some confused and shocked migrants who were awaiting medical attention.

READ ALSO: US Senate Blocks Biden Vaccine Mandate

Bodies were wrapped in white sheets or other blankets.

State Governor Rutilio Escandon said the injured should get “prompt attention and assistance,” adding: “Law enforcement will determine who is responsible.”

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei pledged to provide any of his countrymen with consular assistance, including help in getting back home, in a message on Twitter.

His Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered his condolences on Twitter, calling the incident “very painful.”

The National Migration Institute, a department of the interior ministry, said in a statement that “humanitarian visitor cards” would be offered to survivors, in addition to humanitarian aid such as food and accommodation.

The INM will coordinate with local and federal authorities efforts “to provide consular assistance, identify bodies, cover funeral costs,” it said.

Finding A Way North 

Moving undocumented migrants hidden in trucks is the most common method used by human traffickers operating along the border from Guatemala into Mexico. They then head north to the US border.

Other migrants have opted to join the so-called caravans, in which people travel much of the long journey on foot, subject to extreme weather in many regions of Mexico and the threat of drug cartels and other organized crime syndicates.

The Mexican branch of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has called for “alternatives” and legal pathways for migration in order to “avoid tragedies like this one.”

And Mexican immigration authorities said the survivors could be offered temporary permits to remain in the country for “humanitarian reasons” along with food and housing aid.

The flow of undocumented migrants, who are fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries — mainly in Central America — has grown since President Joe Biden came to office with a promise to scrap the hardline border policies of his predecessor Donald Trump.

More than 190,000 migrants were detected by Mexican authorities between January and September, three times more than in 2020. Some 74,300 have been deported.

AFP

600 Migrants Traveling In Two Trailers Rescued In Mexico

 

Some 600 migrants from 12 countries were rescued in Mexico as they traveled crammed into two tractor-trailers, the country’s National Migration Institute said on Saturday.

The 145 women and 455 men, who hailed from not only Central America but also Africa and the Indian subcontinent, were found in the southeastern state of Veracruz, the institute said in a statement.

The vast majority were from Central America with 401 from Guatemala alone. Dozens were from Honduras and Nicaragua while a total of 37 were from Bangladesh, six were from Ghana, and one person was from India and Cameroon, the institute added.

The migrants were traveling “crammed” into the trailers of two trucks, said Tonatiuh Hernandez, the local head of the Human Rights Commission.

“There are children, minors, I saw pregnant women, sick people,” said Hernandez, adding that he had never seen “so many” migrants traveling together in such conditions.

An AFP video showed several hundred migrants, looking sullen and tired, crowded in a courtyard of the National Migration Institute as police in riot gear stood guard nearby.

After their names were read out by officials, migrants boarded a bus to be transported for further processing.

Child protections services have also been notified regarding families with children or minors traveling alone, according to Hernandez.

As the corridor between Central America and the United States, Mexico has seen vast numbers of migrants flow through its territory.

Two caravans of several hundred migrants are currently making their way through southern Mexico, aiming to acquire documents that allow them to transit through the country.

The flow of undocumented migrants has surged with the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, who has taken a more humane approach to the border crisis than his predecessor Donald Trump.

The United States has recorded 1.7 million people entering illegally from Mexico between October 2020 and September 2021, an all-time high for the period.

Mexico Captures Wife Of Powerful Drug Cartel Boss

The map of Mexico.

 

Authorities in Mexico have arrested the wife of a powerful drug-trafficking cartel boss, the country’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry described Monday’s capture of Rosalinda Gonzalez, wife of Jalisco New Generation leader Nemesio Oseguera, as “a signficant blow to the financial structure of the criminal organization in Jalisco state.”

Oseguera is one of the people most wanted by both Mexico and the United States.

READ ALSO: Man Arrested For Selling 130 Women In Afghanistan

Gonzalez, who was captured in the central Jalisco state, is believed to be the financial operator of the cartel, one of the most powerful and violent in Mexico.

She was previously captured in May 2018 and accused of money laundering but was freed this September after posting bail.

Now she is accused of several crimes including “the illicit financial operation of an organized criminal group,” the ministry said.

The arrest comes two days before Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador meets his US counterpart Joe Biden and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Washington — the first such trilateral North American Leaders’ Summit in five years.

Lopez Obrador and Biden are due a bilateral meeting too in which security and drug-trafficking are on the agenda.

The Jalisco New Generation cartel is known for launching brazen attacks against authorities.

In May 2015, the cartel shot down a military helicopter with a rocket launcher, killing eight soldiers and a police officer.

 

AFP

Hurricane Pamela Expected To Blast Into Mexico

View of Culiacan, state of Sinaloa, Mexico, before the arrival of Tropical Storm Pamela, on October 12, 2021. Tropical Storm Pamela was downgraded from a hurricane Tuesday, though the US National Hurricane Center warned the storm is likely to strengthen again as it approaches the Mexican Pacific coast. RASHIDE FRIAS / AFP

 

Tropical Storm Pamela is expected to slam into the western coast of Mexico as a hurricane early Wednesday morning, possibly bringing life-threatening surges and dangerous winds as it makes landfall, the US National Hurricane Center warned.

Overnight, Pamela was forecast to pass over the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula before accelerating towards the Pacific port city Mazatlan with tropical-storm-force winds estimated to start around 2 am (0800 GMT).

“Restrengthening is expected overnight, and Pamela is forecast to regain hurricane strength before it reaches the coast of west-central Mexico Wednesday morning,” the NHC said.

Pamela was centered about 170 miles (275 kilometers) west-southwest from Mazatlan as of the NHC’s latest warning at 0300 GMT Tuesday. It was moving northeast at about 12 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

The Miami-based center said there was a “significant” threat of flash flooding and mudslides as Pamela tracked into the Mexican states Sinaloa, Durango and Baja.

Storm surges could produce “significant” coastal flooding and “large and destructive waves,” the center added.

The remnants of the storm could drench portions of the US states of Texas and Oklahoma by late Wednesday and Thursday with the potential for “considerable flash and urban flooding impacts.”

Because of its location, Mexico is often hit by tropical storms and hurricanes on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

In August, Hurricane Nora made landfall in the Pacific state of Jalisco, killing a child and leaving one person missing.

Hurricane Grace left at least 11 dead on the eastern coast of Mexico’s mainland the same month.

In September, Hurricane Olaf made landfall on the Baja California peninsula, causing minor damage.

US Envoy To Haiti Resigns, Slams Migrant Deportations

Daniel Foote. Photo: Drew Angerer/AFP

 

 

The US special envoy to Haiti resigned Thursday two months after his appointment, denouncing the Biden administration’s deportation of Haitian migrants from the US-Mexico border back to their poverty-stricken homeland. 

“I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti,” State Department envoy Daniel Foote said in a scathing letter of resignation.

In the letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Foote described Haiti as a place where US diplomats “are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life.”

“Mired in poverty, hostage to the terror,” Foote wrote, the Haitian population “simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter, and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy.”

“More refugees will fuel further desperation and crime,” he wrote.

The resignation came after the administration of President Joe Biden began last weekend loading Haitian migrants who crossed into the country from Mexico onto aircraft and flying them back to haiti.

Many of the thousands who crossed the border actually travelled from South America, where some said they fled to years ago from the grinding poverty and violence of Haiti.

Thousands at the US border 

Well over 10,000 migrants, the largest part of them Haitian, flowed into the Texas border city of Del Rio in recent weeks seeking to remain in the United States.

Footage of the migrants, many of them families, massing under a highway bridge and moving back and forth to Mexico for food, have stunned America and sparked a fresh crisis over migrant policy.

Biden came under strong criticism after photographs and videos showed mounted Border Patrol officers using their horses to try and control the migrants, with some appearing to threaten migrants with their horses’ long reins.

That has led to calls from Biden’s own Democratic party to give the Haitians asylum rather than fly them back to Haiti.

On Wednesday Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was in talks with Brazil, Chile and other South American countries to send the migrants back to them.

Tens of thousands of Haitians fled to South America after the massive 2010 earthquake wreaked heavy damage across the Caribbean nation.

Foote said in his letter that Haiti needs more assistance and a democratically chosen government, after the July assassination of president Jovenel Moise.

“What our Haitian friends really want, and need, is the opportunity to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates but with genuine support for that course,” he said.

Mexican Teen Boxer Dies Of Injuries Suffered In Ring

File photo of a pair of boxing gloves.

 

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, an 18-year-old boxer from Mexico, died Thursday, five days after she was knocked out in a fight, promoter Yvon Michel said.

“It is with great sadness and torment that we learned, from a representative of her family, that Jeanette Zacarias Zapata passed away this afternoon at 3:45 p.m.,” a statement from Groupe Yvon Michel said.

Zapata took part in the GYM Gala International Boxing event Saturday in Montreal, losing to Marie Pier Houle in the fourth round of a welterweight match.

A left uppercut and right hook from Houle dazed Zapata in the fourth round.

READ ALSOMexico Sues US Gunmakers Over Arms Trafficking

Hurricane Grace Kills 8 Including Children In Mexico

She did not answer the bell for the fifth round of the scheduled six-round professional bout, and after she appeared to have a seizure she was stretchered out of the ring and taken to hospital.

“The entire team at Groupe Yvon Michel team is extremely distressed by this painful announcement,” the promoters said in their statement offering condolences to the fighter’s family and in particular her husband, Jovanni Martinez.

“Jovanni does not wish to comment,” the statement said.

Houle had posted a statement on her Facebook account Monday saying she was upset by the outcome of the bout.

“Boxing carries a lot of risks and dangers,” she said. “This is our job, our passion. Never, forever, intention to seriously hurt an opponent is part of my plans.”

AFP

Hurricane Grace Kills 8 Including Children In Mexico


A man walks in a flooded street due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Grace in Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, on August 21, 2021.  VICTORIA RAZO / AFP

 

Hurricane Grace killed at least eight people, including five children from the same family, as it tore through eastern Mexico Saturday, causing flooding, mudslides and damage to homes and businesses.

The storm made landfall in Mexico for a second time near Tecolutla in Veracruz state as a major Category Three storm with winds of 125 miles (200 kilometers) per hour.

It later fizzled out as it moved inland over the central highlands, but not before causing widespread damage.

In the Veracruz state capital, Xalapa, streets were turned into muddy brown rivers.

Seven people died there and one more in the city of Poza Rica, Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia told a news conference.

The victims included a mother and five of her children who were buried when a hillside collapsed on their small home.

“I heard a bang on the roof and I went out to look,” said their father Adan Moreno, who witnessed the tragedy.

“I heard the earth collapsing. The hill was swept away and they were all down there —  my wife and six children,” he told AFP, his voice breaking.

He dug through the mud with the help of relatives but only one child was pulled out alive.

His wife and five other children, including a two-week-old baby girl, did not survive.

READ ALSO: Mexico Sues US Gunmakers Over Arms Trafficking

 ‘It’s destroyed’ 


A man walks in a flooded street due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Grace in Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, on August 21, 2021. VICTORIA RAZO / AFP

 

The streets of Tecolutla, home to about 24,000 people, were littered with fallen trees, signs and roof panels.

Esteban Dominguez’s beachside restaurant was reduced to rubble.

“It was many years’ effort,” he said.

“Over there was my house, but it’s destroyed. I’m left with no roof or furniture,” he said.

Many homes in the region were left without electricity.

Grace dissipated as it churned inland, drenching Mexico City, but could develop into a new cyclone next week in the Pacific, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

The Mexican authorities remained on alert due to the threat of rivers overflowing and landslides, mainly in Veracruz.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

Nearly 8,000 civil defense members, soldiers, and electricity board workers had been put on standby ready to tackle the aftermath of the storm, he said on Friday night.

Authorities in Veracruz state said they had prepared 200 storm shelters and urged residents to hunker down in safe places.

They closed most highways in Veracruz, which are crossed by numerous rivers.

Fishermen affected

In preparation for the storm, workers along the coast boarded up windows to protect stores, fishermen brought their boats ashore and residents secured their homes after stocking up on canned food and water.

“We will spend many days without fishing — almost a week,” said Isabel Pastrana Vazquez, head of Veracruz’s federation of fisheries cooperatives.

“About 35,000 fishermen will be affected because we can’t go out,” he said.

In Casitas, a small tourist town on the coast, fisherman Domingo Hernandez said the roof had been ripped off his home.

“The whole sheet was blown off. I was there holding it,” he said, expressing relief that his boat was not damaged too.

The hurricane had already lashed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula earlier in the week, forcing thousands of tourists to hunker down in shelters but blowing through with no loss of life.

AFP

Mexico Sues US Gunmakers Over Arms Trafficking

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 23, 2018 a man holds a sign reading “No weapons” during the march for peace and against violence in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico. – Mexico filed a lawsuit against major US gunmakers in a court in Boston on August 4, 2021 over illegal cross-border arms flows that fuel violence, the government announced. “We are going to win the trial and we are going to drastically reduce illicit arms trafficking to Mexico,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference. (Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP)

 

 

Mexico filed a lawsuit against major US gunmakers in a Boston court on Wednesday over illegal cross-border arms flows that fuel rampant violence, the government announced.

“We are going to win the trial and we are going to drastically reduce illicit arms trafficking to Mexico,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference.

The companies named in the suit include Smith & Wesson, Beretta, Colt, Glock, Century Arms, Ruger and Barrett.

Together they manufacture more than two-thirds of the over half a million weapons that are illegally brought into Mexico each year, according to the Mexican authorities.

The flow of arms generates millions of dollars in profits each year for the American gun industry.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for the damage caused by the firms’ “negligent practices” as well as the implementation of adequate standards to “monitor and discipline” arms dealers, Ebrard said.

The Latin American country has seen more than 300,000 murders since 2006 when it deployed the military in the fight on drugs trafficking, most of them blamed on criminal gangs.

More than 17,000 murders in 2019 involved weapons illegally trafficked from the United States, according to the Mexican government.

France Thrashed By Mexico In Olympic Opener As Brazil Beat Germany

Mexico’s forward Alexis Vega (R) vies with France’s midfielder Teji Savanier during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s group A first round football match between Mexico and France at Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo on July 22, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

 

France’s bid for men’s Olympic football glory got off to a nightmare start with a 4-1 defeat by Mexico on Thursday, while Richarlison scored a hat-trick as reigning champions Brazil beat Germany in a six-goal thriller.

Sylvain Ripoll’s France are looking for a first Olympic medal since winning gold in 1984, but collapsed in the second half at Tokyo Stadium.

“We’re obviously disappointed with the result but also with the balance of our play,” said former Lorient boss Ripoll.

“To compete, we would’ve needed a big performance, but that wasn’t the case.”

Mexico took the lead less than two minutes after the break through Alexis Vega, before Sebastian Cordova doubled their advantage in the 55th minute.

The 35-year-old captain Andre-Pierre Gignac, whose last game for the French senior team was the Euro 2016 final loss to Portugal, pulled one back from the penalty spot with 21 minutes remaining.

But any thoughts of a comeback were quashed as Uriel Antuna and Eduardo Aguirre netted late on for 2012 champions Mexico.

France now face a tough task to get out of Group A with a top-two finish, ahead of games against Covid-hit South Africa on Sunday and hosts Japan on July 28.

“The first thing we now have to do is digest this disappointment,” added Ripoll. “We only have two days. There’s no time to waste.”

Japan saw off South Africa, who had two players test positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, 1-0 thanks to Takefusa Kubo’s second-half strike.

Brazil, who won gold for the first time when inspired by Neymar on home soil five years ago in Rio, downed Germany 4-2 in a dramatic match which saw forward Richarlison net a first-half hat-trick.

The Everton man scored three times inside the first half an hour, but Matheus Cunha missed a penalty and Germany then threatened an unlikely second-half comeback.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Nadiem Amiri pulled one back before the hour mark, and although Maximilian Arnold was sent off shortly afterwards, substitute Ragnar Ache cut the deficit to one goal with seven minutes of the 90 left.

But it was another Leverkusen player, Paulinho, who came off the bench and put the match to bed for Brazil in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Ivory Coast also picked up three points in Group D as AC Milan’s Franck Kessie netted the match-clinching goal in a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia.

– Spain held by Egypt –

Spain struggled in Sapporo, as a team featuring six players who reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals dominated possession but created few chances in a 0-0 draw with Egypt.

The closest they came to a goal was when Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, who recently spent two seasons on loan at Arsenal, crashed a first-half shot against the post.

Spain, winners on home soil in 1992, next take on Australia in three days’ time before their final Group C match with Argentina.

Australia took early control in the table, as goals from Lachlan Wales and Marco Tilio saw them beat 10-man Argentina 2-0.

New Zealand made a successful start in Group B as Burnley striker Chris Wood, one of the three over-age players in the squad, secured a 1-0 victory over South Korea in Kashima with his 72nd-minute winner.

It was their first-ever win in Olympic football, having managed just one draw in each of the 2008 and 2012 tournaments.

An own goal saw Romania edge out Honduras 1-0 in the group’s other game.

AFP

FIFA Sanctions Mexico For Homophobic Chant

Fifa, World Cup Draw

Mexico will play two home games in empty stadiums after they were sanctioned and fined by the FIFA disciplinary commission for homophobic chants, the Mexican football federation said Friday.

“We have received a sanction from FIFA for the shouts heard during the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games,” federation president Yon de Luisa told reporters.

The qualifiers were held in March at the Akron and Jalisco stadiums in Guadalajara in western Mexico.

READ ALSO: Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola Snub: Sports Stars Are ‘Reclaiming Their Voice’

The sanctions, which include a fine of around $65,000, are linked in particular to Mexico’s games against the Dominican Republic and the United States, De Luisa said.

He urged Mexican fans to cease all anti-gay slurs.

“We must stop this now,” he said.

“The effect can be devastating for the Mexican football industry. Let it be the last sanction that FIFA gives us.”

Mexico has been repeatedly sanctioned over the years for a homophobic slur shouted by fans at the opposing team’s keeper.

De Luisa said that if the chants continued Mexico was in danger of being disqualified from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and losing its role as joint host of the 2026 World Cup.

AFP

Mexico President Names New Finance, Central Bank Chiefs

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers a press conference about the results of Sunday’s midterm elections at the National Palace in Mexico City on June 7, 2021. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AE / AFP)

 

 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that he would nominate his finance minister to head the central bank, replacing him with an economic advisor.

The move came days after Lopez Obrador suffered a setback in midterm legislative elections in which his ruling party lost its absolute majority in the lower house of Congress.

Finance Minister Arturo Herrera “will be proposed as governor of the Bank of Mexico,” Lopez Obrador announced on social media, noting that the nomination must be approved by the Senate.

His replacement is Rogelio Ramirez de la O, an ally and economic consultant.

Lopez Obrador, who has vowed to overhaul Mexico’s “neoliberal” economic model, said the changes were aimed at maintaining the current economic policy in his remaining three years in office.

“It has given us very good results because despite the pandemic, the economic crisis has been overcome,” he said in a video message.

Lopez Obrador has kept a tight grip on the public purse strings during the pandemic, saying it would be imprudent to increase the national debt.

The president last month ruled out asking central bank chief Alejandro Diaz de Leon to stay on past the end of the year, saying he would be replaced by an economist with a “social dimension.”

Mexico’s economy, the second-largest in Latin America, plunged by 8.5 percent in 2020 in the worst slump in decades, although the government predicts growth of 6.5 percent this year.

Appearing alongside Lopez Obrador in the video, Ramirez de la O said that Mexico faced a “key moment” as it emerged from the pandemic and a global recession.

“We must all work together to ensure that the lessons learned during this pandemic are used to build a stronger economy that serves the entire country,” he said.