Video: Mexicans march for peace

Tens of thousands of people of all social classes and ages marched across Mexico Saturday (August 30th 2008) in protest against high crime levels and rising kidnappings.

Anger has boiled over in the weeks since the death of Fernando Marti, the 14-year-old son of a wealthy businessman, whose body was found after his family reportedly paid millions of dollars to kidnappers.

At least two Mexico City police officers were suspected of involvement, provoking more fury among residents weary of endemic corruption and apparent impunity.

The Calderon government has struggled to show results from its 21-month-old offensive against organized crime.

More than 2,600 people have died this year in drug-related violence, according to unofficial counts by Mexican news outlets. [Los Angeles Times]

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Mexico welcomes Merida, without human rights restrictions

President Calderon on Friday welcomed the U.S. Congress’ approval of the Merida Initiative a day earlier, an aid injection from the United States which is aimed at helping Mexico in its fight against  powerful drug cartels.

The bill has dropped a controversial requirement that Mexico meet certain human rights standards in order to receive the aid. Mexicans had objected to the human rights provision, saying that it amounted to outside meddling by the United States in Mexican affairs. But dropping the human rights requirements seems certain to anger numerous opposition groups to the aid package – see this La Plaza post on the issue. Continue reading

Latin America promotes but doesn’t respect human rights

Latin American countries such as Brazil and Mexico have been strong on promoting human rights internationally and in supporting the UN human rights machinery during 2007.

But unless the gap between their policies internationally and their performance at home is closed their credibility as human rights champions will be challenged, according to this week’s report from Amnesty International on human rights around the world.

You can access the report here and click on the links at the top for specific country reports. Continue reading

On the radio

BBC - Radio Five Live - Pods and Blogs_1207014269401You can hear me and my fellow Frontline Club bloggers Anita in Zimbabwe and Kyle talking about what we blog about.

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Podcast Notes: Emo’s attacked, Zimbabwe and AC Milan’s Tech.

Click here to listen to the podcast of the show in which I was interviewed about the persecution of Emos in Mexico. If you click on the link, an mp3 file will load.

Mexican Human Rights Commission to investigate attacks against emos

Mexico makes peace with EmosMexico’s National Human Rights Commission is to investigate all of the reported cases of aggression against the emo youth subculture in Mexico, following a spate of violence and hostility across the country directed at the group.

According to El Universal, the Commission called for tolerance yesterday and voiced concern that attacks against emos violate the right to freedom of expression, equality, freedom of expression and the right to association.

The move by the human rights body follow disturbances which have taken place both inside and outside Mexico City, in which emos have been violently targeted. A peace rally staged last week did little to diffuse tensions, which this weekend were apparent during a march for tolerance through the city.

‘Emos’ under attack in Mexico, City Gov tries to peacemake

Mar�a Meléndrez Parada, la JornadaThe Mexico City Government called a meeting today for the coming Tuesday between the city’s ‘urban tribes’ to try to put an end to the increasing violence and animosity against emos that is currently sweeping Mexico – see Daniel Hernandez’s blog here for an excellent synopisis of the current situation.

Since the first attack against the group of youths who identify themselves as ’emos’ happened in Queretero at the beginning of the month, animosity has been growing amongst those who resent the ’emo’ look and attitude. Continue reading

Mexican Human Rights Commission is ineffective, says report

Human Rights Watch released a damning report today, calling Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission ‘ineffective’ and ‘disappointing’.

‘When it comes to actually securing remedies and promoting reforms to improve Mexico’s dismal human rights record, the CNDH’s performance has been disappointing,’ reads the report, which also points out that the Commission’s failures hasn’t been due to a lack of funding. Continue reading