Category Archives: Security & Law Enforcement

Indigenous Community Police Look Back, Look Forward

Twenty years ago, a revolution in policing and community justice broke out in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.  Fed up with constant robberies and sexual assaults, Indigenous communities in the Costa Rica and La Montana regions of Guerrero formed armed community police forces that grew into the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC). Taking…
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Sun, Sex, Slaughter and Social Disaster: Summer Vacation in Acapulco 2015

Bullets and bodies haven’t stopped Mexican tourists from visiting the traditional summer playground of Acapulco. Despite a cresting wave of violence in recent days, local authorities tagged the hotel occupancy rate at 69.8 percent on July 21, when summer vacation 2015 was in full gear. But since the beginning of the month, Acapulco’s streets have…
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Revised Deadly Force Policies Unveiled

In one of his first actions as the new commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), R. Gil Kerlikowske has unveiled a revised use of force handbook for field agents. The updated handbook is based on recommendations and reviews of use of force practices by CBP officers that were conducted by the Department of…
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The Fall of El Chapo

Less than three days after the summit of North American leaders, the government of Mexican  President Enrique Pena Nieto has its biggest plum to date: the capture of wanted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Contrary to speculation that the elusive Guzman was hiding in Central America or the outback of Mexico’s Sierra Madres, the…
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Mexico’s Armed Self-Defense Forces Surge

Questions, contradictory narratives and, above all, calls for calm energize the daily coverage and debate over the armed self-defense phenomenon sweeping parts of Mexico. For their part, corporate media outlets like Televisa play up the deployment of federal police and soldiers to the Tierra Caliente of Michoacan, one of the epi-centers of the movement, graphically…
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Who Killed the Capo?

Celebrating his 63rd birthday, “retired” Mexican drug trafficker Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was enjoying friends, family and the fun-loving company of the Mexican farandula, or entertainment set. Held at the Marbella Hotel in the popular international tourist destination of Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, a resort long promoted as an island of safety in a…
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Mexican Army, Self-Defense Forces Clash

Conflicts between the Mexican army and civilian self-defense organizations erupted this week in the Pacific coastal states of Guerrero and Michoacan. On Monday, August 5, more than 3,000 inhabitants of the Costa Chica region of Guerrero blockaded a rural highway and effectively prevented scores of  soldiers from leaving the zone. The confrontation flared after the…
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The Coconut Massacre

Mexico’s long bout of violence has introduced many new words into the popular vernacular. Among the linguistic additions is the word “youthcide,’ meaning the systematic, mass killing of young people. A recent slaughter in the southern state of Guerrero could be a textbook example of the ongoing loss of young lives from violence. On Friday,…
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Cyber-Mining in Mexico

Since the Spanish conquest, mining has figured prominently in the Mexican economy. While Canadian and other international investors continue extracting the riches of Mexico’s earth for the global market, other foreigners have seized on a 21st century form of mining as a new source of profit and power-data mining and trafficking. This week, Mexican media…
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Casinos Too Bad to Close

The Mexican state is trumped by the power of some casinos operating on the margin of the law. At least that’s the conclusion of two Mexican congressmen after hearing testimony from the Pena Nieto administration’s official in charge of regulating gaming. Members of the Chamber of Deputies’ Special Commission on Casinos shared their views with…
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