Josefina Reyes began her career as a human rights organizer the way thousands of women across the globe do: defending her family and her community. The middle-aged mother staged a hunger strike to demand the safe return of her son after Mexican soldiers abducted him from their home. She lost another son to drug-war violence that has taken over the Valle de Juarez, where her family lives. Josefina spoke out against the violence and against abuses committed by the army and police. On Jan. 5, 2010, Josefina Reyes was shot to death.
The presidential meeting this week between Mexico’s Felipe Calderon and Barack Obama looked from the outside like a hastily arranged exercise in damage control. But while most analysts emphasized the tensions between the neighboring nations going into the meeting, the real crisis behind the visit was the failure of what the two leaders most strongly agree on: the war on drugs south of the border.
On February 6, journalist Carmen Aristegui was abruptly fired from her job as anchor of the morning radio show for MVS Noticias. Aristegui issued an official statement denouncing pressure from the president’s office. Although she was reinstated, the incident revived national debate over political interference with freedom of expression.
The advent of progressive governments in South America in the last decade gave environmentalists the hope that this would be the beginning of a truly sustainable economic development. But post-neoliberal “progresismo” has brought new complications in the environmental front, according to numerous activists and experts.
February’s freezing fury has left a path of crumpled crops, pummeled harvests and dashed dreams in the countryside of northern Mexico. Hardest hit was the northwestern state of Sinaloa, known as the”Bread Basket of Mexico,” where about 750,000 acres of corn crops were reported destroyed after unusually cold temperatures blanketed the north of the country in January and early February.
International cartels use their control over the global food supply to make huge profits. There are six major corporations that control the purchase and sale of agricultural products: Cargill, Kraft, Bunge & Born, ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), Nestlé and General Mills. Food prices are set at exchanges in Chicago, New York and London.