Mexico

'Huachicoleo': Oil theft in Mexico and around the world

January 28, 2019

The robbery of oil and gasoline—or huachicoleo, as it’s known in Mexico—has become an increasingly prominent issue in oil-producing countries around the world. In recent weeks, the matter has become a headlining topic in Mexico, where newly-inaugurated President Andrés Manuel López Obrador established controversial reforms to begin combating the crime networks that allow for fuel theft, causing widespread gasoline shortage throughout several states. In an incident related to fuel theft and this recent gasoline shortage, over 80 were killed on Friday, January 18 due to a pipeline explosion in the state of Hidalgo. In light of the President’s crackdown on fuel theft and this recent tragedy, it is imperative to understand what exactly huachicoleo is and why it’s such a big problem today.

How the U.S. immigration 'crisis' is affecting Mexico

January 24, 2019

Under the Donald Trump presidency, recent years have seen a substantial rise in the attention and emotion invested in the United States’ immigration debate. However, continuous criticisms of the country’s immigration system from both ends of the political spectrum fail to recognize the other countries that are being affected by the same migration patterns. Although all countries in Central America have been affected in some way by the recent waves of migration, Mexico is in the center—geographically and politically—of the movement, and is arguably more the subject of a ‘crisis’ of immigration than the United States.

Small turnout for Maduro's Second Inauguration: What countries still support Venezuela, and Why?

January 22, 2019

On Thursday, January 10 at 10:00 a.m., controversial leftist leader Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second 6-year term as President of Venezuela despite deteriorating economic and political conditions throughout the country. Although Maduro’s inauguration crowd was undeniably more sparse than in the past, a few leaders and foreign dignitaries made a point to make an appearance and show their support for the regime in spite of widespread international criticism.

Are narcocorridos the new gangsta rap?

January 14, 2019

About two decades ago, gangsta rap evolved from being an underground movement born on the East coast of the United States to a popular genre that swept the nation with the release of N.W.A.’s album “Straight Outta Compton.”  In addition to casting light on gangsta rap, the group moved the geographic center of the genre to the West coast, or more specifically, the inner-city of Los Angeles.

The future of Mexico with AMLO

January 3, 2019

At the start of this month, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, often referred to as AMLO, was sworn in as the latest president of Mexico and the first leftist leader to be elected since 2000.  He entered office with a relatively high approval rating of 56 percent, considering the 24 percent approval rating of his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, upon leaving office. Following his official ceremony, López Obrador took part in a traditional indigenous ceremony in Mexico City’s Zócalo square (BBC News 2018).

Could dark tourism bring a light to Latin American issues?

December 20, 2018

While the concept of tourism in areas of historic tragedies is far from being a modern phenomenon, it was only recently that the term dark tourism was created and regarded by academics.  Dark tourism was first written about by two men, John Lennon and Malcolm Foley, in their 2000 book that investigated “tourist interest in recent death, disaster, and atrocity.”  In 2011, Dom Joly published what would become one of the first reflections of such travel in his book called The Dark Tourist (Gilbert 2018).

'Robin Hood' Criminal Groups: Providing for the Community when the Government Cannot

November 7, 2018
Jesus Malverde, the proclaimed patron saint of narcos, is praised in Mexico as a Robin Hood figure. His legacy of committing crimes to provide for the poor has inspired many criminal groups to follow suit, earning them a similar reputation among the people.

Conventional perceptions of Latin America’s organized criminal groups tend to emphasize the greed and violence produced by these groups when, in reality, their existence is much more nuanced than this. Although most associate the presence of criminal groups with heightened levels of violence or drug use, these groups usually do much more than this, often providing certain services and resources to local communities.

Partisan divide deepens as caravan of Honduran immigrants nears U.S.-Mexico border

October 25, 2018

In recent weeks, immigration has once again risen to the forefront of the American political dialogue since President Donald Trump began to vocalize his objections to the latest ‘caravan’ of Honduran immigrants heading towards

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