Saturday, December 27, 2014

Today's headlines: Bring 'em home

“Number of deportees took off in 2014” is El Universal’s leading headline. You're in Mexico, the United States or anywhere else, and you read that head translated into English, you assume it’s about deportations from the United States, don’t you? But it refers to deportations from Mexico, and only of Central Americans. Through mid-December, Mexico deported 107,199 Central Americans who sneaked into the country, most on their way to the United States border. That’s up from 77,395 last year. El Universal, citing statistics from Guatemalan migration authorities, says that figure is likely to surpass deportations from the U.S., which has expelled 104,688 to Central America over the same period. In an editorial, the paper calls for cooperative action among all the nations affected by the  flow of underage migrants, which peaked last summer.

Reforma leads with the Catholic Church reaction to the murder of Gregorio López Gorostieta, the Guerrero priest who was kidnapped last Sunday and found dead on Christmas Day. El Universal gives it No.2 placement: “Church calls for a halt in Guerrero violence.” The statement from the Conference of Mexican Bishops (CEM) reads in part: “Echoing the feelings of so many Mexicans, we repeat: Enough! We want no more blood. No more deaths. No more disappearances.”  No clues or suspects have yet been reported, but El Universal points out that “Goyito,” 39, was not the first recent sacerdotal victim in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero. In September the priest José Ascención Acuña was killed in the town of San Miguel Totolopan, and back in 2008 another was murdered just across the border in the State of Mexico. Neither case was solved, but organized crime is suspected in both, perhaps in the former case through mistaken identity. The current investigation will be carried out by the Guerrero state Attorney General’s Office, a busy agency that just got busier. The assassination of a priest is no small matter in Mexico.

Milenio and Excelsior both lead with stories related to crime in the state of Guerrero (we might as well get used to it; this emphasis isn't going to change until election season, and maybe not then). The heads are similar. Here’s Milenio’s: “Biggest crime-prevention expenditure goes to Guerrero.” The stories are based on the new 2015 budget for the National Program for Crime Prevention, a special fund to supplement the regular law enforcement budget. It just appeared in the official gazette (Diario Oficial), publication in which formally enacts any legislation. The total amount budgeted is 2.6 billion pesos, up 88.2 million pesos, or 3.46%, from 2014. Guerrero, as the headline indicates, will receive the biggest chunk of any state — 207.1 million pesos. That money will be distributed to six zones, most of which are now familiar to much of the world: Acapulco (which gets the most), the capital Chilpancingo, Zihuatanejo, Iguala, Coyuca and Chilapa.

La Jornada goes with coverage of Friday’s Mexico City march marking the three-month anniversary of the tragic events in Iguala. It turned out to consist mostly of family members and friends and close associates of the rural teachers college  (or normal school) victims. Some 5,000 marched, according to Jornada, 3,000 according to El Universal (quoting protest participants) and 1,200 according to the city government. That last figure is not much more than the 1,000 police officers assigned. The take-home message is in the headline: “Election boycott if the normalistas don’t appear.” That threat came from a number of parents who spoke at the rally. Their lawyers had already submitted a formal request to postpone the elections in Guerrero, scheduled for June of 2015. Others spoke ominously about protest marches not being sufficiently effective. The “tone,” they said, needs to be raised. They didn't elaborate, but it's a safe bet they're not talking about organizing conferences or sponsoring pancake breakfasts. The parents continue to profess their belief that the 42 who are still missing (the remains of one of the 43 have been identified) are alive and held by authorities.

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