Category: Breaking News

Mexico police under gun attack in Acapulco

(BBC NEWS) — Police officers came under attack in a two-hour gunfight in the Mexican city of Acapulco, officials say.

Several gunmen attacked a hotel where officers stay, in the tourist area Las Playas on Sunday evening.

Dozens of people had to shelter in shops while shooting continued, until after 23:00 local time (04:00 GMT).

One suspected gunman was killed when police returned fire. Officers then chased other gunmen through the streets before securing the area.

At the same time, a separate group of gunmen attacked a federal police base in the city.

Mexico’s federal authorities have called an emergency meeting with the local authorities to discuss the incident.

Guerrero state Governor Hector Astudillo Flores told Imagen radio that the gang members were taking revenge for the arrest of their leader, last Friday.

Freddy del Valle Berdel, known as “The Donkey,” is the presumed leader of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel in Acapulco.

“We have information that this is a retaliation for his detention. It was the federal police who arrested him and the attack was against federal police officers,” said Mr Astudillo.

Some universities in Acapulco have cancelled classes for Monday but local media (link in Spanish) report that according to education authorities, schools will still be open.

The US department of state has warned American consular staff not to travel to Acapulco, saying that Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico in 2015.

Tens of thousands of people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico in the past decade.

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Mexico’s president urges expats: Stop Trump bid by following Jewish example of unity

(JTA) — President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico called on Mexicans in the United States to follow the Jewish community’s example and unite to defend their interests in an urgent effort to defeat Donald Trump.

The call was announced by the newly appointed Mexican ambassador to the United States, Carlos Manuel Sada, during an interview last week with the Noticanarias news portal, and made headlines in the Latin American Jewish press.

Unity among the 35 million Mexicans and their descendants in the United States — including 6 million residents, as many undocumented workers and another 23 million U.S.-born descendants — is urgent, Sada added, due to the rise of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“Trump’s latest speech after his victory in New York mentioned Mexico again, which makes us vulnerable, certainly because we haven’t had a systematic strategy, which is part of a new strategy we are launching,” Sada said. “We’ll find models for promotion, dissemination and communication.”

All 58 Mexican consulates in the U.S. will join the effort in a special public relations campaign aimed at strengthening Mexico’s image and responding to distorted, biased attacks during the electoral period in America, he added.

Last month, Pena Nieto compared Trump’s rhetoric to that of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and said it has hurt U.S.-Mexico relations.

Trump has sparked outrage in Mexico with his campaign pledge to build a wall along the southern U.S. border to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs, and to make Mexico pay for the construction. He also accused Mexico of sending rapists and drug runners across the border, and vowed to increase fees on some Mexican visas and all border crossing cards to help make Mexico pay for the proposed wall.

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Experts: Mexico stonewalled investigation into killing of 43 students

(BUSINESS INSIDER) — A panel of international experts on Sunday accused Mexico’s government of failing to fully cooperate with their probe into the fate of 43 trainee teachers apparently massacred in 2014, the most notorious human rights case in Mexico in recent years.

The independent panel of experts said the government’s stonewalling stopped them from reaching the truth as they wrap up their work and prepare to leave Mexico.

The attorney general’s office, they said, did not let them re-interview detainees accused of the crime or obtain other information in a timely fashion. Prosecutors, meanwhile, did not pursue investigative angles that the experts had suggested.

“The delays in obtaining evidence that could be used to figure out possible lines of investigation translates into a decision (to allow) impunity,” the report by the experts, commissioned by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), said.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said the office would probably comment after the experts concluded a news conference.

The grisly case underscored the deep impunity that reigns in many hyper violent parts of Mexico, and tarnished President Enrique Pena Nieto’s reputation.

Mexico’s government says that corrupt police handed the students over to drug gang henchmen in late 2014, who then incinerated them at a garbage dump in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero.

The experts say that the government’s fire theory is scientifically impossible given the heat needed to reduce human remains to ash.

The remains of just one of the 43 has been identified from a charred bone fragment.

IACHR has said it will not renew the experts’ term because the government was opposed to an extension.

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