May 9, 2011

MRTV: Thousands of Mexicans march against drug violence, demand justice for dead

    May 8th 2011 – Thousands of protesters marched to Mexico City’s Zocalo Sunday demanding an end to the violence generated by President Felipe Calderon’s ‘war’ against drug cartels.

April 15, 2011

This week on Frontlne blogs: from whistleblowers to Midan Tahrir

For a round up of the special Frontline Club/ New Statesman whistleblowers event on Saturday 9 April, take a look at Ryan Gallagher’s posts: Whistleblowers make the world a safer place debate Report: Whistleblowers make the world a safer place debate Report: Whistleblowers make the world a safer place debate (II) You can listen to […]

April 11, 2011

Mexican journalists get survival tips for covering drug-related violence

Mexico’s people desperately need quality journalism if they’re to understand what’s going on in this huge terrain. It’s my guess that as general elections approach in 2012, the suppression of reporters is only going to get worse.

March 25, 2011

MRTV: The future of foreign reporting?

Frontline has asked me to blog about my work here in Mexico, as well as the process of setting up, making a living, trying not to get into too much trouble, and attempting to make ends meet.
So here’s the deal.

October 15, 2009

Mexican activist fights for the rights of migrants as town is split

Central American migrants have long passed through Tultitlán on their way north to the United States because the trains on which the migrants ride north pass nearby. The mayor of Tultitlán says the number of migrants arriving has increased over recent months and wants them deported, but local activist Paty Camarena continues to fight for […]

September 25, 2009

Filmmakers document consequences of U.S. immigration raid

Back in May 2008, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials rounded up 389 undocumented workers in the Agriprocessors Inc. kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. The raid was the largest in U.S history. Two weeks later, filmmakers Jennifer Szymaszek and Greg Brosnan started filming "In the Shadow of the Raid," a documentary film showing at […]

September 24, 2009

Majority of Mexicans think life would be better in the U.S., survey finds

Most Mexicans think their lives would be better in the United States, and one in three said they’d move to the U.S. if they could, according to the latest findings on Mexican attitudes from the Pew Global Attitudes Project. Half of those who said they’d migrate north of the border said they would do so without […]

September 14, 2009

Video: Heavy rains in Mexico can’t beat the drought

Although Mexico is currently in the grip of the worst drought it has suffered since World War Two, houses flooded and streets turned into lakes this week when torrential rainfall lashed down on Mexico City and the neighboring State of Mexico. Speaking to El Universal, Ramón Aguirre, director of Mexico City’s water system, said that […]

September 7, 2009

Video: Mexico’s drought leaves city dwellers and countryside high and dry

Crops are wilting in the countryside, and the capital’s water shortage has turned dire as Mexico grapples with its worst drought in more than half a century. See the Los Angeles Times report here. Video by Deborah Bonello.

September 3, 2009

Video: ‘I’ve never been afraid’: Director, recently slain, talks about filming El Salvador’s gangs

  Photographer and filmmaker Christian Poveda was shot dead in El Salvador Sept. 2, 2009. He spent more than 16 months, every day, with the mara gangs of San Salvador to make the 2009 documentary “La Vida Loca.” This is footage from an interview conducted by the Los Angeles Times’ Deborah Bonello with Poveda a […]

August 19, 2009

Mexico City fans practice Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ moves

Mexico City’s Michael Jackson fans got together Tuesday morning to practice the recently deceased singer’s famous "Thriller" dance in front of the Palacio de Bellas Artes downtown. Led by Mexican Jackson impersonator "Héctor Jackson" (pictured) and choreographer Adolfo Chávez, the group was preparing for an Aug. 29 event in which an estimated 11,000 people in Mexico […]

August 14, 2009

Mexico City mural makeover

To some, the graffiti that covers miles of walls and public spaces across Mexico City is a thing of beauty and something to be encouraged and celebrated. To others, such as the local government’s Youth Institute, it’s an ugly nuisance. A government project mobilized more than 1,000 youngsters earlier this month to clean up and […]

August 13, 2009

Mexico beats U.S in soccer showdown

A T-shirt for sale outside Mexico City’s Stadium Azteca yesterday afternoon, during a World Cup qualifying match between the U.S and Mexico, which Mexico won 2:1. "Toma" means "take", or in this instance, "take this". More photos here on Flickr.

August 7, 2009

On the road with Mexico’s young military

At the end of last month, my partner Ulises and I were lucky enough to hit the road for a week’s break here in Mexico, and headed down to Tulum on the Caribbean. I was a loooooooong drive that, in retrospect, we won’t do again unless we have more time. President Felipe Calderon’s military campaign […]

August 7, 2009

Mexican day laborers are ‘Los Bastardos’ in fictional work

At first glance, “Los Bastardos” seems a surprising film for a Mexican director to make. The second movie from Amat Escalante, 30, is a disturbing fictional tale about 24 hours in the lives of two undocumented Mexican day laborers in Los Angeles. The documentary style of Escalante’s storytelling, which uses two non-actors in the main […]

August 6, 2009

Mexican image of Brazil wins World Press Photo prize

Mexican photographer Carlos Cazalis was one of the winners in this year’s World Press Photo contest. The photographer was given first prize in the Contemporary Issues section for this image he took in São Paulo, Brazil, last year. The photo shows a man sleeping, wrapped in a blanket against the cold, outside São Paulo’s elite […]

August 4, 2009

Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma spotlights Mexico

The Dart Center, a Columbia University project for journalists who cover violence, got in touch with me after I published a video report on survival training for journalists in Mexico earlier this year. The Dart Center’s reason for being is laid out on its site: The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of […]

July 17, 2009

Mexico suspends diplomatic visa exemption for Canadians

Mexico’s foreign secretary has announced the suspension of a visa exemption for Canadian diplomats and officials working in Mexico the country. The decision comes in response to the announcement late Monday by the Canadian government that it was introducing a new visa for Mexican nationals wanting to travel to Canada. Canadian officials and diplomats will now […]

July 16, 2009

Video: Canadian Embassy besieged by Mexicans

The Canadian Embassy in Mexico City’s posh Polanco neighbourhood has been descended upon by thousands of Mexicans since the Canadian government announced on Monday that Mexican nationals now need a visa to travel to Canada. Since Tuesday, Mexicans from Mexico City and states outside of the Federal District (another name for the capital) have been […]

July 16, 2009

Canada to require visas for Mexicans following surge in refugee claims

Mexican nationals will now need a visa to travel to Canada, that country’s minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, announced Monday. Canada decided to stiffen the requirements due to what officials said has been a surge in claims for refugee status by Mexicans.   In a news release, Canadian immigration officials said that for the first […]

July 16, 2009

Wives left behind in Mexico by migrants suffer ‘poorer mental health’

Mexican women left behind by husbands who migrate to the United States in search of work were one of the focuses of the documentary "Los Que Se Quedan," or "Those Who Remain," by Carlos Hagerman and Juan Carlos Rulfo, which we’ve mentioned a number of times here on La Plaza. In response to those posts, […]

July 2, 2009

Money from Mexican migrants to Mexico continues to fall

The money that Mexicans living abroad send home to their families here in Mexico fell again in May, in what the Associated Press calls the biggest monthly decline on record. "Money sent home by Mexicans working abroad fell by 19.9 percent in May, the biggest monthly decline on record as the U.S. recession slashed jobs. […]

June 30, 2009

Foreign ramifications of local drug wars

In a world in which the production of everything from clothes to coffee has become globalized and is outsourced to every corner of the globe, why should cocaine be any different? Although the problem of the illegal drug trade is a huge one, it is based on the principals of demand and supply.

June 30, 2009

Video: “Tracing Aleida” director on making the film and Mexico’s “dirty war”

We mentioned the documentary “Tracing Aleida” back in May, which follows a woman’s search for her brother, from whom she was separated during Mexico’s “dirty war”. Since then, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Christiane Burkhard, who filmed and directed the documentary, in her Mexico City home. The interview was for the Los […]

June 22, 2009

Narco wars season starts this week

The Frontline Club starts the Narco Wars season on the War on Drugs on June 23rd. The season is packed with films, discussions and events focussed on the topic of drugs from Colombia to Afghanistan and into South East Asia. Here’s what’s coming up, – June 23 – Photojournalist Jason P. Howe talks drugs in […]

June 18, 2009

Jumex Collection owner says architectural choice not `malinchismo’

You might remember last week we reported that the contemporary art collection, Coleccion Jumex, had appointed a British architectural firm, David Chipperfield Architects, to build its hot new gallery space closer to the Mexico City action. At the time of writing the dispatch, we were also curious to know why owner Eugenio Lopez Alonso, heir […]

June 16, 2009

How Cafe Tacuba sprained my ankle

This is probably the least exciting location from which I have filed a dispatch. My sofa, in my third-floor apartment, my snowball-like foot propped up on a couple of cushions as I look out onto the cloudy Mexico City panorama this morning. What happened? Well, it’s all Cafe Tacuba’s fault really. I interviewed two of […]

June 12, 2009

The Narco Wars season is coming

The Frontline Club starts the Narco Wars season on the War on Drugs on June 23rd. The season is packed with films, discussions and events focussed on the topic of drugs from Colombia to Afghanistan and into South East Asia. Here’s what’s coming up, – June 23 – Photojournalist Jason P. Howe talks drugs in […]

June 3, 2009

Picture perfect this morning – Chapultepec lake

I was walking through Chapultepec park this morning on my usual route to the office and I had my stills camera with me for the first time in a while – I’ve been focusing more on video recently. The clouds were picture perfect, the lake’s almost too-green waters still as glass. Clouds reflected in one […]

June 1, 2009

Mexico City museums ask for help after influenza

Visits to some of Mexico City’s museums have fallen by as much as 90% since the outbreak of the H1N1 virus last month that prompted a near shutdown of numerous facilities, according to reports in the local media. Owners of some of the privately owned museums in the capital are seeking financial help from the government  and […]