13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi and Cartel Land are two current films about vigilante actions. While they share common roots and concerns, both films end up worlds apart.
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Whether we are descended from majority who came here willfully and found a better life, or from the many who came here unwillingly and lived lives of destitution and terror, the fact remains: We are all transplants, all the descendants of immigrants who desired to have a flourishing life.
Ignoring the increasingly intertwined relation between human and drug trafficking is a privilege that the U.S and Mexico can no longer afford, not when this activity promises to rise alarmingly in the following years as drug cartels continue to gain power and impunity in Mexico.
MEXICO CITY -- A massive police and military manhunt is underway for "El Chapo"; his recapture would help restore some credibility to an embattled government. But Mexican authorities should realize by now that even successful police and military operations will not bring an end to the impunity that infects government institutions.
Much is said about the difficulties undocumented immigrants face due to the recent security measures taken in the Mexico-U.S border, but little attention is devoted to the role that Mexican drug cartels have played in reshaping the human smuggling dynamics in the last few years.
Watching the videos, you have the sense that what motivates these people to participate is not as calculating as that, but a more urgent human need. In the words of Diana, mother of Daniel who disappeared: "This is my way of honoring and remembering him, so that time does not erase his face."
Mexican drug cartels have outdone the State. Not only have these organizations become the greatest threat to the country's security and stability but they have also managed to steal its weapons, its intelligence, and its human capital.
Six months after Ayotzinapa, the haze of protest fever has cleared, and the long, difficult road to change has come into focus. The pragmatic questions Mexico must ask itself in order to arrive there are ugly. But--short of a revolution--this strategic approach is the only way for Mexico to generate change from below, giving voice at last to the many victims of its ongoing violence.
Latinos have been paying dearly, sometimes with their own lives, for American prohibition without having a seat at the policy making table.
The recent capture of La Tuta (Servando Gomez), the head of the Knights Templar drug cartel, reminds us that the lethal mix of religion and terrorism isn't peculiar to the Middle East.
When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto last met with President Obama he was riding a wave of legislative success and media adulation, but terrifying events in 2014 have changed all that.
So much continues to go unreported in Mexico's Narco-ravaged cities. This becomes especially jarring when you've been living in Boston for the better part of the last year. This is what a normal day looks like at home.
Colombians have mostly abandoned stories of drug lords and their escapades, of good guys against bad guys, and traded them for a more sober and conscious approach. They know that violence is not always an end in itself but the reflection of systemic problems. Without adjectives, without qualifications, Colombia is indeed not Mexico.
The mood in Mexico is so depressing that even Elena Poniatowska, the novelist-journalist who chronicled the 1968 massacre of students in Tlatelolco, feels a chill when she talks about the murder of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, who were found burned to death in a municipal trash dump. At 82, Poniatowska keeps on exposing social injustice in Mexico in memorable books like Here's to You, Jesusa, Nothing No One: The Voices of the Earthquake and thousands of journalistic articles in newspapers and magazines all over the world. This year, she won the prestigious Premio Cervantes, the equivalent of the Nobel for Spanish language writers.
When Iguala, Guerrero municipal police and masked men in unmarked black uniforms opened fire on unarmed students from the Ayotzinapa teachers college last September, killing six people and kidnapping 43 students, they lit the fuse of a national crisis.