Despite the ongoing and historic repression directed against them, Mexico’s indigenous communities push forward in defense of their lands, their cultures and their ecosystems. The year 2012 reminded the world of the relevance of the slogan that was popularized after that New Year’s Day nearly two decades ago when the Zapatista National Liberation Army burst into history: “Never a Mexico without Us!”
His name was José Antonio Elena Rodriguez. At 16, he was just finishing junior high and living with his grandmother on the Mexican side of the border city of Nogales. On October 13, 2012, José Antonio was hit by a hail of bullets coming from the U.S. side of the metal fence that lacerates Nogales. Some seven shots penetrated the boy’s body through the back and the head. He died instantly. The shots were fired by U.S. Border Patrol agents. The Border Patrol claims that the youth threw rocks at the unidentified agent or agents, who fired in return. The family reports that neither they nor their lawyer nor Mexican authorities have received information from the investigation on the U.S. side.
The negotiations between the government and the guerrilla forces are seen by a large part of the Colombian public as a good opportunity to seal a peace deal. Many believe that the hour has come and that the main actors in the conflict will not let this opportunity escape. The reality, however, is much more complicated.
It was 35 years ago when Amexco S.A. de C.V. began its infamous illegal dumping of lead-contaminated residues in Tijuana – 30,000 m3 of slag imported from California under what the Mexican government deemed the false pretext of car-battery recycling. By the time Mexico’s federal environmental prosecutor analyzed remediation options in 1996, the U.S. corporation Alco Pacifico Inc. had acquired the liability. Mexican law mandated the return of the hazardous waste to its country of origin.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) began peace negotiations with a surprise proposal in La Habana (Cuba) on November 19th. In Colombia some groups assert that peace depends upon the political will of the guerrillas, but what conditions exist for a successful process?
The three most threatened human rights on the planet today are the right to water, the right to a healthy environment, and the right to food. In Chihuahua these are ever-growing threats that have claimed two victims already. Ismael Osorio and Manuelita Solis, his wife, were murdered near Ciudad Cuauhtémoc on Oct. 23 while they defended these rights.
What happened in Curuguaty? That’s the question that has been lingering in the minds of many Paraguayans after the controversial death of Vidal Vega, the peasant leader who was a key witness to the investigations of the Curuguaty massacre. Vidal Vega, 48, leader of a landless peasant movement in Paraguay was shot four times on December 1 2012, by bullets from a 12-gauge shotgun and a 38-caliber revolver fired by two unidentified men who sped away on a motorcycle, according to an official report prepared at the police headquarters in the provincial capital of Curuguaty.