Things That Matter

Mexican Government Said To Have Blocked The Investigation Of The 43 Missing Students

It’s been over a year since 43 students from Ayotzinapa, a rural town in Mexico, disappeared without a trace. Due to international pressure, the Mexican government invited foreign investigators to look into the event of September 2014. However, these investigators are leaving the country without solving the crime because they’ve been blocked from the government, they say.

“The conditions to conduct our work don’t exist,” said Claudia Paz y Paz, an investigator known for prosecuting a Guatemalan dictator for genocide. “And in Mexico, the proof is that the government opposed the extension of our mandate, isn’t it?”

The Mexican government says they have cooperated with the investigators giving them what they have requested, but the panel of investigators say otherwise.

Carlos Beristain, another expert on the case said, “it was clear in the government’s investigation and the official account that there was an intention to keep this case at a municipal level, in terms of responsibility, but we revealed the presence of state and federal agents at the crime scenes, and furthermore that their participation implied responsibility.” In other words, the investigation implicated the Mexican government.

Once this initial report came to light implicating a larger group of officials, the actions of the Mexican government changed from welcoming to total blockage. “There are sectors within the government that don’t want certain things to be questioned and therefore there is an attempt to reinforce the ‘historical truth,’ without taking into account the new elements we have uncovered,” Mr. Beristain told The New York Times. “These sectors within the government looked at us as a threat and this hardened their view towards us, which actually reinforces the impunity that stops things from changing in this country.” Interesting…

Even more shocking, instead of focusing their efforts on helping the investigation, Mexican media attacked the investigators of misusing funds and fabricating testimony to incarcerate military officials. Say what?! When asked to release a joint statement denouncing these accusations, the Mexican government declined and continued their investigation of the investigators.

“It is interesting that they would choose to investigate this patently baseless claim when there are thousands of families who are desperately seeking their loved ones without any assistance from the attorney general,” said James L. Cavallaro, president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Even though the investigators did release a report, the case is far from being solved, and only the remains of one student were found. The other 42 are still missing and the supposed scene of where the government says the bodies were incinerated is nowhere to be found.

Read more about this unsolved case and how deeply rooted it is here.

READ: A Year Has Passed Since the Ayotzinapa 43 Went Missing, and These People Are Still Marching the Streets of Mexico.

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Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

Things That Matter

Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the historic role of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico after a former Mexican army chief was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on drug charges at the request of the DEA.

The former Mexican Defense Minister was arrested by the DEA on drug charges.

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepedas was the secretary of National Defense in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. President Lopez Obrador claims that the arrest is proof of corruption from past governments.

President Lopez Obrador used the arrest to criticize the U.S. government and the DEA.

President Lopez Obrador, speaking at a press conference in Oaxaca, claimed that there is a double standard. While Cienfuegos Zepedas has been arrested by the DEA, the president claims U.S. officials have not been held accountable for trafficking arms into Mexico to track them to the cartels. According to the president, Mexican officials are being held at a higher and harsher standard than U.S. officials.

“Why is it that it’s just the people in Mexico who took part in these acts being accused or implicated, and (the DEA) aren’t criticizing themselves, reflecting on the meddling by all these agencies in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said at the press conference. “They came into the country with complete freedom, they did whatever they wanted.”

The former defense minister’s arrest sent shockwaves through Mexico.

Cienfuegos Zepedas was the first high-ranking Mexican military official to be arrested in the U.S. with drug-related corruption. He was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport and will be facing drug and money-laundering charges. It’s been less than a year since Genaro Garcia Luna was charged with taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

President Lopez Obrador wants to protect the military’s reputation.

Lopez Obrador also said he hopes that the armed forces aren’t blamed for this scandal and that Mexico must take care of institutions as important as the Secretary of National Defense. Mexico does not currently have an ongoing investigation of the retired general and will await the result of the U.S. investigation, according to the president of Mexico. 

Cienfuegos Zepedas is due to make a court appearance related to four charges in California on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

READ: This Is What Mexico’s AMLO Wants From The Pope For The Churches Crimes Against Indigenous Mexicans

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Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

Entertainment

Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

tecolotes_2_laredos / Instagram

Sports have a way of bringing people together. The experience of rooting for your team is a unifying feeling that transcends borders and culture. Showtime is exploring the importance of sports through the lens of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.

“Bad Hombres” is a documentary highlighting immigration under President Trump through baseball.

Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos are the only binational professional baseball team in the world. The team splits their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Director Andrew Glazer wanted to highlight the immigration issue through a sports lens to offer a different layer to the narrative.

“Most of the people trying to come into the U.S. are families and children trying to escape horrible violence in Central America,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That story has been told, so what I wanted to do was show people in a way that I thought would be relatable to what life is like on the border. What life is like on those two sides and how interconnected they are. The thing that struck me to be honest is that initially in Laredo, Texas was how pervasive Spanish is spoken.”

The documentary shows the struggles of the baseball team trying to make sense of the volatile U.S.-Mexico border relations.

The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos split time playing their home games between two stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. The Trump administration’s constant battle with Mexico and threats to close the border put the team’s season in jeopardy. A first look teaser shows team managers trying to coordinate the release of game tickets in time with the ever-changing immigration announcements from the Trump administration.

“Bad Hombres” speaks politics without directly addressing politics.

“Even though my film has an overarching political message, the players are not covertly or overtly political in any way,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They are baseball players and they are living their lives and a lot of them are trying to make it to the majors and some of them were in the majors and are now finishing their careers. There wasn’t a whole lot of political discussions.”

Glazer made sure to highlight the depths and complexities of the team members dealing with the political climate without politics.

“Inherently, what made the team fascinating is you had players from the U.S. who were Anglo-American players and Mexican American players who had a different perspective,” Glazer told DJ Sixsmith. “Then you had Mexican players and some Dominican players and Cuban and people from everywhere else. There were different languages and different perspectives. Seeing how that developed over time was pretty fascinating.”

“Bad Hombres” is streaming on Showtime.

READ: Veronica Alvarez Is The Coach For The Oakland A’s And Her Presence Is Giving Girls A Chance To Pursue Baseball

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