Tag Archives: Mexico

Ciudad Juarez Cans 300 Police Officers, Desperate for More

The border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is going through an unprecedented police crisis. In recent months, drug gangs have ratcheted up their battles against the police, resulting in the deaths of several honest officers. The other honest ones, fearing for their lives, resigned, leaving only those crooked enough to have nothing to fear from the drug gangs. This past weekend, the city weeded out some 334 cops for having probable ties to drug gangs. Another 175 who have admitted to personal drug use will be allowed to remain. The city is recruiting new officers all over the country and hopes to restore order soon. In the meanwhile, the army has been patrolling the streets as part of President Calderon’s crackdown on organized crime.

Protesters, Police Clash at Mexican Maya site

The tiny ruins at Chinkultik are located not far from the Mexican border with Guatemala, and are mostly visited by ruins buffs headed north from Guatemela to Palenque. Although archaeologists consider Chinkultik important, it is not anywhere near as spectacular as Tikal, Chichen Itza or the other major Mayan sites. This week, however, they’ve become the focus of international attention. On September 7, local Indian groups forcefully took over the site, kicking out park officials. They claimed that the entry fees were too high (and therefore driving off tourists from the region) and that an insufficient percent of the proceeds were going to local projects. They took over the ticket booth, lowered the fees, and allowed archaeologists to remain and work. Late last week, local police removed the navites, and things got ugly. Four or six (reports differ) locals were killed, and numerous others were injured. An investigation is proceeding, but visitors to Chiapas may want to head directly to Palenque to get their ruins fix for the time being.

Hurricane Ike Trashes Cuba; Texas Could be Next

Hurricane Ike, the latest in a hurricane season that looks like it’s going to be a whopper, has finally left Cuba after days of slowly moving across the island, unleashing devastating rains and causing serious wind, water and flood damage. Most affected was the city of Havana, whose elegant but fragile centuries-old architecture suffered severe damage.  Cuba had already been hit by Hurrican Gustav on August 30. Ike had already dealt a glancing blow to Haiti, which has still been smarting from Tropical Storm Hannah last week. Ike’s curent trajectory has it heading to Texas or Northern Mexico within the next few days.