The week in Mexico: 12-27-09

Six shot: Prosecutors in the Mexican state of Chihuahua said they found the bullet-riddled bodies of six members of the same family – men between the ages of 45 and 55 – near a dirt road in a mountainous area Friday. No motive was given for the killing, but drug trafficking, illegal logging and drug cultivation are all common in the northern region.

Chihuahua state police said yesterday that two army battalions posted in the border city of Ciudad Juarez to fight drug-fueled violence would be rotated out, with fresh troops replacing them. The statement said such 60-day rotations are routine.

Journalist killed: A journalist was gunned down Tuesday as he left a holiday party in the Mexican Caribbean resort town of Tulum, human rights officials and an international media group said Friday, bringing to 12 the number of reporters killed this year in the country.

Alberto Velázquez of the newspaper Expresiones de Tulum had written articles critical of local officials, and his paper had received threats, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Velázquez founded the paper in June and worked as a lawyer, according to the Civic Association of Journalists of the Riviera Maya, a local press group. It said that Velázquez, as he was dying, reportedly accused allies of the mayor of Tulum of being responsible for his death. Tulum is a beach town about 80 miles south of Cancun.

Singer freed: Latin Grammy winner Ramón Ayala was released from jail for health reasons Wednesday, but authorities said he remains under investigation for alleged ties to a drug cartel.

Ayala, a Texas-based norteno singer, was arrested Dec. 11 when troops raided a lavish party hosted by the Beltran Leyva cartel outside the central mountain town of Tepoztlan. His lawyer has said Ayala and his band, the Bravos del Norte, were hired to play at the party and did not know his clients were drug traffickers.

Same-sex marriage legalized: Mexico City lawmakers on Monday made the city the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more rights, including allowing them to adopt children.

Four held in revenge attack: Four suspected members of a cartel-aligned hit squad were arrested in the slaying of the family of a Mexican marine hailed as a hero for dying in a raid that killed a top drug lord. They are believed to have indirect roles in the attack.

Gunmen from the Zeta gang killed the mother, two siblings and an aunt of marine Melquisedet Angulo early Tuesday, just hours after his memorial service.

Angulo was the only marine who died in a Dec. 16 raid that set off a two-hour firefight that killed drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva and six of his bodyguards.


Published in: on December 27, 2009 at 10:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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