In a brazen attempt reminiscent of a medieval siege, Mexican smugglers tried to use a hefty catapult to hurl drugs north over the U.S. Border, authorities said on Wednesday. The Mexican military seized 45 pounds of marijuana, a sports utility vehicle and a metal-framed catapult just south of the Arizona border near the small town of Naco last Friday, following a tip-off from the U.S. Border Patrol. Surveillance video taken by National Guard troops deployed to support the Border Patrol caught a group of men apparently attempting to pull down a metal beam and load or test the catapult, which was powered by powerful elastic and mounted on a trailer close to the metal border fence. "It looks like a medieval catapult that was used back in the day," Tucson sector Border Patrol spokesman David Jimarez told Reuters.
Tag Archives | Mexico
Susana Chavez, a human rights activist, was best known for her poetry and actions to help raise awareness of the violence towards women, especially in the border-city of Juarez. After years of activism, Chavez has fallen to the same violence she has fought against. Via Fox News Latino:
A poet and women’s rights activist was murdered in Ciudad Juarez, a gritty border metropolis that has become Mexico’s most violent city, officials and associates of the victim said.
Susana Chavez’s body was found last week, but it was not identified until Tuesday, prosecutors said.
Chavez’s left hand was chopped off and her body was dumped in a poor neighborhood in downtown Juarez, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.
Chavez organized protests to draw attention to crimes against women in the border city and participated in poetry readings that she dedicated to murdered women.
[Continues at Fox News Latino]
David Littlejohn reports on a new exhibition about the Olmecs, or “Rubber People,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for the Wall Street Journal:
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The name “Olmec” (or “rubber people”) was given to the oldest-known culture in the Americas almost 2,000 years after that culture had disappeared, and was accepted by scholars only in 1932. We have no idea what these people of what is now eastern Mexico, just inland from the Gulf at its southernmost point, called themselves. In fact, we know almost nothing about them, except that they seem to have endured from about 2,000 to 400 B.C.
What we do know, or think we know, comes almost entirely from the carved stone monuments and other artifacts that outlived them underground, because stone does not rot.
Teotihuacan, Mexico, “birthplace of the gods,” is famous for its massive pyramids and the Avenue of the Dead. Now its underground tunnels are revealing more of its secrets, thanks to robot explorers, as reported by AP:
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The first robotic exploration of a pre-Hispanic ruin in Mexico has revealed that a 2,000-year-old tunnel under a temple at the famed Teotihuacan ruins has a perfectly carved arch roof and appears stable enough to enter, archaeologists announced Wednesday.
Archaeologists lowered the remote-controlled, camera-equipped vehicle into the 12-foot-wide (4-meter) corridor and sent wheeling through it to see if it was safe for researchers to enter. The one-foot (30-cm) wide robot was called “Tlaloque 1″ after the Aztec rain god.
The grainy footage shot by the robot was presented Wednesday by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. It shows a narrow, open space left after the tunnel was intentionally closed off between A.D.
About 700 clowns attended the Fifteenth International Clown Convention in Mexico City last Wednesday, where attendees set a new record. After laughing for 15 minutes, the clowns could not break the "laughing world record" but were able to break the national record in Mexico. Clowns from the United States, Peru, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and other countries attended three days of meetings, which began on 18 October, participating in conferences, exhibitions and make up competitions.
This is insane. Liz Goodwin writes in Yahoo News’ The Upshot:
A town near drug cartel capital Juarez, Mexico, had just one applicant for police chief after a spate of killings of public officials in drug-related violence.
So now the new chief in Guadalupe, a town of 10,000 residents near the Texas border, is 20-year-old college criminology major Marisol Valles García.
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Public officials have increasingly become the targets of assassination as Mecxian cartels try to tighten their grasp on the country. Just this year, 11 Mexican mayors have been slain, including the former mayor of Guadalupe, who was killed in June. In the small town, “police officers and security agents have been killed, some of them beheaded,” according to the AFP.
Valles tells a local paper that she took the job to help the town’s people become less fearful. “Afraid? Everyone is afraid and it’s very natural. What motivates me here is that the project [to make the community safer] is very good and can do a lot for my town.
Delana at Web Urbanist reports on Mexico’s Island of Misfit Toys:
On a dark and creepy island in the canals of Xochimico near Mexico City sits what might be the world’s strangest and scariest tourist attraction ever. However, this sad island was never meant to be a stop on tourists’ holiday itineraries. The Island of the Dolls was dedicated to the lost soul of a poor little girl who met her fate too soon.
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The Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Munecas) sits in the canals south of Mexico City and is the current home of hundreds of terrifying, mutilated dolls. Their severed limbs, decapitated heads, and blank eyes adorn trees, fences and nearly every available surface. The dolls appear menacing even in the bright light of midday, but in the dark they are particularly haunting.
Not surprisingly, the island’s origins lie in tragedy. The story goes that the island’s only inhabitant, Don Julian Santana, found the body of a drowned child in the canal some 50 years ago.
You have to love the irony of this: right-wing conservatives in America tend towards the climate change denial camp and refuse to support measures to combat global warming, yet a new report suggests that if we don’t arrest the warming trend, there will be unprecedented mass migration from Mexico into the U.S. — another issue that drives this crowd crazy. Reported in the Los Angeles Times:
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Climbing temperatures are expected to raise sea levels and increase droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires.
Now, scientists are predicting another consequence of climate change: mass migration to the United States.
Between 1.4 million and 6.7 million Mexicans could migrate to the U.S. by 2080 as climate change reduces crop yields and agricultural production in Mexico, according to a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The number could amount to 10% of the current population of Mexicans ages 15 to 65.
Who are the Mexican drug cartels’ biggest allies north of the border? Major banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, who blatantly break U.S. anti-money-laundering laws by laundering hundreds of billions of dollars for the cartels, Bloomberg reports. That’s a pretty huge “stimulus package” our banks are getting from Mexican drug traffickers:
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Wachovia admitted it didn’t do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican-currency-exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That’s the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history — a sum equal to one-third of Mexico’s current gross domestic product.
“Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” says Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case.
“It’s the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy,” says Martin Woods, director of Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit in London from 2006 to 2009.
From CBS World News:
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A U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 15-year-old Mexican boy after a group trying to illegally enter Texas threw rocks at officers near downtown El Paso, U.S. authorities said Tuesday.
The shooting, which happened Monday evening beneath a railroad bridge linking the two nations, drew sharp criticism from Mexico, where the government said Tuesday that “the use of firearms to repel attacks with stones represents disproportionate use of force, particularly coming from authorities who have received specialized training.”
It was the second death of a Mexican at the hands of Border Patrol officers in less than two weeks, and the case threatened to swell into a full-blown international incident when U.S. and Mexican officials traded suggestions of misconduct.
Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua Attorney General’s office, said a spent 40-mm shell was found near the body – raising the question of whether the fatal shot was fired inside Mexico, although he did not explicitly make that suggestion.