Category - Mexico

Mexico Supreme Court rules pot use is constitutional right

Landmark decision legalizes recreational use for marijuana club members only; move likely to force legislative action.

Al Jazeera, By Alfonso Serrano, November 4

Smoking marijuana is a basic human right. That extraordinary argument swayed Mexico’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, when it ruled that a federal health law prohibiting cannabis cultivation and personal use violates the constitution — an unprecedented decision that may trigger similar court appeals and pressure the country’s congress to weigh widespread legalization of the drug.

In a landmark interpretation of drug laws widely blamed for violence that has claimed thousands of lives in Mexico, a panel of five judges ruled in favor of a nonprofit marijuana club — the Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Autoconsumption, or SMART — which argued that the health law violates the right to the “free development of one’s personality.” In essence, SMART lawyers successfully claimed that the constitution allows individuals the autonomy to experiment with the effects of cannabis despite the potential dangers the practice entails.

The 4-1 ruling followed an injunction filed by SMART against a 2013 ruling by Mexico’s health regulator that prohibited the organization from cultivating and consuming cannabis for recreational purposes.

“It’s a historic ruling because it centers the drug policy discussion on human rights, because it declares that prohibitions concerning personal use and cultivation are excessive,” said Lisa Sánchez, Latin America program manager for U.K.-based the nonprofit Transform Drug Policy Foundation. “This is a very important step. It not only gives us jurisprudence. It demonstrates an incoherence between the country’s most qualified jurists and congressional legislation. This should have an effect on Congress to reform [drug] policy as soon as possible.”

Mexicans to March to Commemorate Ayotzinapa and Tlatelolco 1968

This year marks the 47th anniversary of the government massacre of students in the Tlatelolco Plaza in Mexico City in 1968.

Telesurv, October 2

Thousands of Mexicans will march in the capital of Mexico City Friday to commemorate the anniversary of the 1968 massacre of students by the state in Tlatelolco Plaza, in the heart of the capital.

This year’s march will hold special significance as the march will again remember the 43 forcibly disappeared students from the Ayotzinapa teacher-training college and because the Mexico City police carried out unprecedented exercises simulating disturbances as if they expected violence to erupt this Friday.

Their disappearance, in the southern state of Guerrero on Sept. 26-27, 2014, happened as the students were gathering funds in order to participate in the commemoration of the 1968 massacre [Wikipedia] in Mexico City.

Student massacre demonstration turns violent in Mexico

Clashes have erupted between protesters and police in Mexico after thousands of people took to the streets of the capital to commemorate the 47th anniversary of a student massacre in the South American country.

PressTV, October 3

According to Mexican officials, the Friday demonstration in the capital Mexico City turned violent when about 300 “anarchists” lobbed stones and firebombs at the police guarding the National Palace, which is home to the country’s President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Officials said police responded by firing tear gas, and that the violence lasted for around one hour.

The organizers of the rallies called for restraint from both sides.

In a similar protest in the southern city of Oaxaca, 52 masked youths were arrested for offenses, including vandalizing shops and banks, according to local authorities.


This year’s rallies drew more than 15,000 people in the capital alone.

Twitter: #2DeOctubreNoSeOlvida (Do Not Forget October 2nd).

US News & World Report: Thousands march in Mexico City to mark 1-year anniversary of 43 students’ disappearance
BBC: Thousands march to remember Mexico’s missing students

With Little Fanfare, Mexican Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

New York Times, By Randcal C. Archibold * Pauline Villegas, June 14

Mexico City – His church turned him away, his family discouraged him from a public fight and the government of the state where he lives vowed it would never happen.

But it did. Hiram Gonzalez married his boyfriend, Severiano Chavez, last year in the northern state of Chihuahua, which, like most Mexican states, technically allows marriage only between a man and a woman.

Mr. Gonzalez and dozens of other gay couples in recent months have, however, found a powerful ally: Mexico’s Supreme Court.

In ruling after ruling, the court has said that state laws restricting marriage to heterosexuals are discriminatory. Though the decisions have been made to little public fanfare, they have had the effect of legalizing gay marriage in Mexico without enshrining it in law.

Six women murdered each day as femicide in Mexico nears a pandemic

The carnage isn’t just in border town Juárez, with the largest number of victims in province of Mexico state.

Al Jazeera, By Judith Matloff, January 4

Atizapan De Zaragoza, Mexico — José Diego Suárez Padilla has converted his home into a shrine to his daughter, Rosa Diana. Windows fashioned after her blue eyes stare out on the street. A painting of the girl in a white party dress covers a living room wall, overlooking an altar with offerings of chicken and chewing gum. The food has lain there so long that the red chili sauce has congealed.

Suárez Padilla explains to a visitor that he normally puts out fresh food but lately hasn’t had time. That’s because he’s busy all day consulting with lawyers and politicians to seek justice for her death.


According to the National Citizen Femicide Observatory, a coalition of 43 groups that document the crime, six women are assassinated every day.

Yet only 24 percent of the 3,892 femicides the group identified in 2012 and 2013 were investigated by authorities. And only 1.6 percent led to sentencing.

“Femicides are a pandemic in Mexico,” asserts Ana Güezmes, the local representative of United Nations Women, the agency devoted to gender issues.

Protests in Mexico Over Missing Students are Biggest in Years

GlobalPost, By Ioan Grillo, October 24

Mexico City — The fathers of the disappeared students took to the stage one by one. They spoke of their sons’ hopes of becoming teachers, of the last time they saw them, of their agony in going almost a month with no news after they vanished.

As one dad described his son’s dreams, he could not hold back his tears in front of the tens of thousands of protesters in Mexico City’s central square. As he wept, the protesters shouted in his support, “You are not alone!” and, “Justice!”

The demonstration on Wednesday night was one of dozens that have been taking place across Mexico in response to the disappearance of 43 trainee teachers and the shooting death of three more by police and drug cartel gunmen on Sept. 26.

Global Post: Governor of Mexican state where 43 students disappeared quits

Vatican Reverses Anti-Liberation Policies in Mexico

Religion Dispatches, By Ruth Chojnacki & Jennifer Scheper Hughes, June 24

Late last month Mexican Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel announced that after a 14 year church-ordered suspension of the rite, indigenous deacons would again be ordained in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas—where the local church serves a largely Maya population.

A rare reversal in church policy, resumption of deacon ordinations in Chiapas appears to signal an end to official ecclesiastical suppression of liberation theology and practice.

In a striking statement, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the current head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (the Vatican organization that once spearheaded the Vatican attack on liberation theology under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) recently placed liberation theology in context with the work of the “great Doctors of the Church like St. Augustine and St. Thomas.”

Cardinal Müller also edited a collection of essays on liberation theology—including one by its founder, Peruvian Gustavo Gutiérrez—published with a preface by Pope Francis and presented to the public this past February.

Pope Francis welcomed Gutiérrez to the Vatican during his stay in Rome for the presentation. In his first official teaching document, The Joy of the Gospel, Francis exhorts Catholics to “overcome suspicion” and embrace “a church with many faces.”

Still, until now, Francis had not rescinded the actions of two predecessors who censured liberationist theologians and dismantled institutions that promoted liberationist thinking and practice. But the Pope’s approval of Bishop Arizmendi’s plan to ordain 100 new indigenous deacons to serve the Maya populations of Chiapas is a game changer.

Also at RD: Jesus’ Language More Complicated Than Experts Claim

CONFIRMED: The DEA Struck A Deal With Mexico’s Most Notorious Drug Cartel

Business Insider, By Michael Kelley, January 13

An investigation by El Universal found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs while Sinaloa provided information on rival cartels.

Sinaloa, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, supplies 80% of the drugs entering the Chicago area and has a presence in cities across the U.S.

There have long been allegations that Guzman, considered to be “the world’s most powerful drug trafficker,” coordinates with American authorities.

But the El Universal investigation is the first to publish court documents that include corroborating testimony from a DEA agent and a Justice Department official.

Blow to NRA as court allows US to track gun sales in states on Mexican border

(The Guardian) – The National Rifle Association has suffered a rare setback in its crusade to block new gun regulations after a federal appeals court allowed the US government to go ahead with a plan to reduce the smuggling of semi-automatic weapons across the Mexican border.

The new rules, introduced by Barack Obama under his executive powers in July 2011, require gun dealers located in states abutting the border to report to federal officials any multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles such as AK-47s to individuals within a five-day period. The administration presented the requirement as a justified move to “detect and disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking networks” operating in Mexico.

The obligation to report such multiple sales would apply to all gun dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas in an attempt to cut off the supply of military-style weapons being smuggled into Mexico. The north of Mexico is being sapped by a virtual war between law enforcement and drug cartels.

U.S. role at a crossroads in Mexico’s intelligence war on the cartels

Washington Post, By Dana Priest, April 27

Mexico City — For the past seven years, Mexico and the United States have put aside their tension-filled history on security matters to forge an unparalleled alliance against Mexico’s drug cartels, one based on sharing sensitive intelligence, U.S. training and joint operational planning.

But now, much of that hard-earned cooperation may be in jeopardy.

The December inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto brought the nationalistic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) back to power after 13 years, and with it a whiff of resentment over the deep U.S. involvement in Mexico’s fight against narco-traffickers.

The new administration has shifted priorities away from the U.S.-backed strategy of arresting kingpins, which sparked an unprecedented level of violence among the cartels, and toward an emphasis on prevention and keeping Mexico’s streets safe and calm, Mexican authorities said.

Some U.S. officials fear the coming of an unofficial truce with cartel leaders. The Mexicans see it otherwise. “The objective of fighting organized crime is not in conflict with achieving peace,” said Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States.