Several news stories in Mexico and the U.S. that are worth looking at today.
-In the U.S., Latinos gathered this past Friday to hold a candlelight vigil for Joaquin Luna, an 18-year-old honor student from Mission, Texas. Luna committed suicide the day after Thanksgiving, and letters he left behind suggest he was worried about the passage of the DREAM Act and his status as a child brought into the U.S. illegally.
-I commented yesterday that, while early reports on the attempted murder of Norma Andrade claimed it was a failed robbery, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a more politically-motivated hit. Apparently, I’m not alone in my thinking: “sources close to the activist said that Andrade was the victim of an attempted homicide carried out by members of a Juarez-based drug cartel.”
-Five masked men murdered popular radio personality Hugo Cesar Muruato in Chihuahua city this weekend. Muruato regularly played narcocorridos, ballads that recount the lives of Mexican drug lords, on his radio program. Violence against singers who perform narcocorridos has been on the rise in recent years, as they are targeted either for being tied to a rival’s gang or for speaking out against the drug violence.
-Drug warfare between rival gangs has led to the Mexican state of Guadalajara becoming the latest battlefield between powerful Mexican cartels. While Americans (and American media) continuously treat the U.S.-Mexico border as the area with the greatest levels of drug-related violence and gang warfare, recent studies suggest the greatest levels of narco-violence are taking place in central-western and southern Mexico.
-One problem that is ravaging Northern Mexico is the worst drought on record in the region’s history.
-On drugs and the ties between Mexico and the U.S., a new report claims that the Drug Enforcement Administration has been laundering millions of dollars from drug cartels in an attempt to track how they operate. While I appreciate the importance of understanding the intricacies of complex organizations’ operations, this seems more than a little problematic at least in the short-term efforts to combat the drug trade (though it seems better than directly selling weapons to cartels, recently forcing the Department of Justice to send e-mails to Congress regarding the failed Operation Fast and Furious).
-Archaeologists in the Yucatán made a rare discovery this week, uncovering the bodies of Mayans dating back 2000 years in the state capital of Mérida.
-For all of the talk of Mexicans entering the United States, there isn’t much discussion of migration in the other direction, but apparently, 2 million Americans have moved to Mexico in their retirement.
-Finally, here’s a fun little list of the best- and worst-run states in the U.S. Number 50 isn’t terribly surprising, but as an ex-resident of New Mexico, I’m not surprised at its ranking at 41, either.