On the same day this week that President Obama announced a measure that could give legal protection to 5 million undocumented immigrants, massive protests raged across Mexico against the impunity and corruption that led to the horrific massacre of 43 students. From Mexico City, Sergio Sarmiento, Elena Poniatowska and Homero Aridjis chronicle the events and ponder what's next. Anthropologist Claudio Lomnitz examines the causes behind Mexico's corrosive impunity.
Meanwhile, as Xin Chunying writes from Beijing, China is also seeking to establish the rule of law through steadily boosting the role of the National People's Congress. While stifling dissent, China's President Xi is taking on both "tigers and flies" in his no-holds-barred assault from the top down on corruption.
Can China's effort succeed without active public engagement? Can Mexico learn from China and move from angry protest to systemic change? (continued)
I was impressed by the degree of anger, by the overwhelming dissatisfaction with the way things are now, by the unanimity of the clamor for change. I felt that a breaking point will soon be reached.
The government is now afraid to use public force to prevent demonstrators from blockading roads and streets, stealing buses and trucks, ransacking supermarkets and torching government buildings. President Peña Nieto has claimed that his patience has limits, but so far the Ayotzinapa movement appears to have forced him into a corner.
There is a deep history behind Mexico's current horrors of crime and impunity that only Mexicans can deal with. A weak state, the informal economy and lack of accountability because of a low tax base all play key roles -- but U.S. drug and gun policies are also responsible.
The impunity enjoyed by some has tarnished the police, prosecutors and politicians as a whole, whether honest or dishonest. To prevent another Iguala -- or another Villas de Salvárcar or another San Fernando -- Mexican leaders must show that rule of law prevails, especially for those required to uphold it.
In the political arena in China at this moment, "the rule of law" is the most fashionable topic. The Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China which was held from Oct. 20 to 23 adopted the decision on major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law in China. For the first time, the ruling party of China dedicated an entire plenary session to such a topic.
While no human rights treaty is more widely ratified than the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and while governments are required to report on their compliance on children's rights once every five years, little is done in practice to end the violation of children's rights. It is time for an International Children's Court.
The numbers are alarming. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner in London recently said that five British citizens are joining ISIS every week, swelling the ranks of European Muslims believed to number in the thousands.
I struggle with the fact that some of my best friends in the world are forced to defecate outside. They belong to the latest generation of poverty-stricken Indians, enduring the indignity of not having a toilet. My friends represent just a handful of the 650 million Indians living without toilets.
The truth is that we must hold both sides accountable for the extremists in their midst and for the violence that they commit. And the best tribute we could pay to the poor, innocent people who have been killed is a recommitment to genuine peace and justice, rather than a strategy based on, to quote Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "a heavy hand".
Can we talk about a "Palestinian state" that is capable of being recognized? Or is it rather an artifice destined to become a new failed state in a region where there are already too many? Will it become another state where the most extreme ideologies would be funded and legitimized? A new site for soldiers to travel to on international missions?
I arrived in Liberia two weeks ago, and have yet to touch another human being. For months health care workers have been practicing a "no touch" policy on medical provision.
Around 400 million Indians still do not have access to electricity. With electrification and development, our emissions are certainly set to rise. It would be disastrous for India if the National Democratic Alliance government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi surrenders to the demands of developed nations to cut down emissions.
Islamic State's actions have nothing to do with improving the lives of Muslims, but with killing Muslims and non-Muslims. Its goal is domination, not liberation.
The richest Americans hold more of the nation's wealth than they have in almost a century. What do they spend it on? As you might expect, personal jets, giant yachts, works of art, and luxury penthouses. And also on politics.
The contest for UN secretary-general is about neither vision nor the best resume, language skills, administrative ability, or even personal charisma. It is a political decision, made principally by the Permanent 5 members of the Security Council. The result is that the "least unacceptable" candidate gets the job.
As soon as the Tunisian elections results were announced with Nidaa Tounes overtaking Ennahdha party, celebrations of the "Islamists'" defeat at the hands of the "secularists" got underway across the media in France and many other western capitals.
Baathists like those have not only simply 'joined' with Islamist groups like IS to reinforce their insurgency. They actively set them up. The group's original name ISIS or ISIL, meaning 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,' refers to the Sunni majority area across Iraq and Syria, which they now control.
The leadership in Beijing does not share skepticism about the human role in climate change beloved of some important constituencies in the U.S., Australia and the EU. It has been able to unify decision makers within the vast bureaucratic machine domestically. This is at least one area where the top-down, centralized structures of the People's Republic prove helpful in significantly redirecting policy.