Waiting for a man to die

Outside the American Embassy last night, August 5th 2008

Photo: An empty bench outside the American Embassy on Tuesday. There was no candlelit vigil for Medellin in a city still on shock from other violent crime. Deborah Bonello / MexicoReporter.com

On Tuesday, I waited for a man to die. Even though several people die every minute of every day, I’ve never known the name of the person that I knew was going to die; neither have I ever known so closely when they were going to die and how. But yesterday I knew.

The man’s name was Jose Ernesto Medellin, and now he is dead. On Tuesday, he was due to die at 6pm at the hands of the Texan government for the brutal rape and murder of two teenage girls in 1993.

Jose Ernesto Medellin from Mexico Mexican, and the United States Embassy had predicted protests in a case that had attracted international attention and condemnation. The Mexican Government, the International Criminal Court at the Hague as well as other major players such as Ban Ki-Moon of the United Nations had all tried to step in to stop the execution, claiming the United States had violated the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to inform the arrested Mexican nationals of their right to seek help from the Mexican Consulate. Their pleas didn’t work.

So I left the confines of the office to head down to the embassy try to catch some of the expected protests on film around the hour of Medellin’s execution. Continue reading

North of the border

MexicoReporter.com is heading north of the border for two weeks on a research and training trip.

We’ll be in Los Angeles for some of the time, and then San Diego and La Frontera for the rest.

I’m hoping to file for you FROM the border, where we’ll be heading down to hook up with the Los Angeles Time’s border reporter, Richard Marosi and then Tijuana to El Colegio de la Frontera Norte.

We’re also hoping to make the acquaintance of BorderReporter.com in the flesh.

Watch this space.

California reclaimed by Mexico? That’s the Absolut truth

Your humble correspondent was tickled to see this poster advertising campaign running across Mexico City this week.

Absolut

Absolut’s global advertising agency TBWA, and in this case their Mexican branch TERAN\TBWA, came up with an excellent, geographically specific angle.

The agency makes a play on Mexico’s ambiguous, love/hate relationship with its northern neighbour the United States. A map of the top half of the Americas is displayed, only in this version California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and other northern states remain part of Mexican territory, as it was before Mexico lost out to the US in the Mexican-American war.

Given Mexico’s national sense of pride and the often cited fact that California, as we know it now, once belonged to the Mexicans, the campaign will be warmly and no doubt humorously received south of La Frontera.

MexicoReporter assumes that Absolut is unlikely to run this campaign north of the border, but what if it does?……

Ethical living? Stop taking cocaine

There is a great Leader in this Sunday’s Observer which makes a point I’ve often debated – how cocaine takers in Britain and the US, which provide the demand for the illegal drug industries in Latin America, tend not to think too hard about the impact their weekend drug habits might be having on other people.

If they did, given the trend for ethical shopping that is sweeping the Western World, demand would surely drop.

Continue reading

Violence against journalists surged this week

The developments in the Lydia Cacho case and her revelations yesterday come in a week when violence against journalists surged again. Last year four reporters were murdered and three disappeared, and 2008 is promising to be as equally violent for members of the profession. Continue reading

Massacre memorial – but why now?

Tlatelolco Memorial Exhibition at Centro Cultural Universitario (CCUT)There is something odd about entering a modern, brilliantly choreographed and beautifully presented exhibition created in memory of one of the darkest episodes in a country’s modern history. Odd because the tragedy of Tlatelolco, depicted in such rich and excellently executed multi-media form here at at Mexico City’s Centro Cultural Universitario, has yet to be seriously investigated by the Mexican administration even after nearly forty years, and remains a painful scar for those that survived that terrible night and the families of those that didn’t.

But yet here it is – in all its horrific detail – for anyone to come to learn, to understand and to practically witness the damage done that night. Continue reading

MexicoReporter in the news for multi-media journalism…

blogs_mexicoPress Gazette featured MexicoReporter.com in this week’s issue as one of the most innovative blogs on the internet! Thanks to Graham Holliday, my associate at the Frontline Club.

Click here for the story