January 29, 2009

Reporting the Mexico border

Angela Kocherga talks to Poynter about the dangers of reporting from Mexico, particularly around the border cities of Juárez where drug crime and killing are rife, How difficult is it for you, as a journalist, to do your job in Mexico? I assume journalists feel constantly threatened as they cover stories about killings and crime. […]

January 19, 2009

Can Obama sell cars in Mexico?

This car dealership in central Mexico City has a name that almost everyone will recognize. But don’t accuse the owners of trying to cash in on the popularity of soon-to-be-President Barack Obama. According to showroom staff, the dealership has been called Fiat Obama since 2006, long before Obama’s historic triumph. Why the name? “Obama” is […]

January 12, 2009

Video: Mexico’s pawn culture kicks in around the holidays

Ester Ruiz Ramirez, 56, stood in line for hours in downtown Mexico City yesterday to hock a ring and some earrings given to her by her children. “I need the money to pay for my grandchild’s school fees,” she said. Ruiz is one of an expected 800,000 people who will turn to el Nacional Monte […]

January 12, 2009

Mexico should pay attention to International Anti-Corruption Day

Mexicans might be encouraged to do a bit of soul-searching today by a United Nations campaign, which has declared December 9th International Anti-Corruption Day. Why should Mexico be particularly interested? Because, as we reported today, more than 5,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence so far this year – that’s more than double the […]

January 2, 2009

Mexican Safari

So I saw the new year in in fine style, sitting around a campfire on the beach in Baja. In theory I am helping to build an earthbag house. In reality I’ve been drinking margaritas and watery beer with a squirt of lime. Either way it’s a pretty cool place to unwind, read a few […]

December 8, 2008

Video: Mexico’s method for speedy snowman building

The giant ice rink in Mexico City’s Zocalo is back this year — all 9,843 square feet of it. Inaugurated at the end of November, the rink is part of Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard‘s “Invierno en la Capital” (Winter in the Capital) initiative.

December 5, 2008

Mexico hosts its first human rights film festival

Immigration, women’s rights, illegal detention and human trafficking are some of the themes that will be examined next week during Mexico’s first human rights film festival.

December 4, 2008

Mexican men ask for an end to violence against women

Posters such as the one here popped up on bus stops and billboards along my route to work across central Mexico City last week. They feature men well known in Mexico — journalists, sports personalities, actors and singers — asking that their fellow males stop beating up and abusing women.

December 4, 2008

Media advertising campaign targets violence against journalists

A television, radio and print advertising campaign called "What you don’t know can hurt you ("Te hace daño no saber" in Spanish)" is to launch here in Mexico in an attempt by press freedom groups to raise public awareness about violence against journalists and to demand more action from the government of President Felipe Calderon.

December 4, 2008

Mexico media campaign targets violence against journalists

Frontline blogger Deborah Bonello writes about a media campaign in Mexico aimed at raising public awareness about violence against journalists. Mexico is one of the most dangerous places to work as a journalist, Since 2000, 28 journalists have been killed in Mexico and eight have disappeared, according to Article 19, one of the organizations sponsoring […]

December 2, 2008

Spotlight on dog overpopulation and abuse in Mexico

Still on the doggy theme of last week here on La Plaza, a documentary screening in Mexico City over the weekend focused on how Mexico deals with the thousands of stray dogs roaming its streets. And no, it did not paint a pretty picture.

December 1, 2008

Kurimanzutto opens doors to new art gallery in Mexico City

The beautiful people were out in force on Saturday afternoon in Mexico City for the opening of the new Kurimanzutto contemporary art gallery in the San Miguel de Chapultepec neighborhood. Cool young Mexicans mixed with a manicured, international crowd; back-combed hair and skinny jeans mingled with manicured, slender women, over-sized glasses and fake gold handbags. […]

November 27, 2008

Video: Crimes against dogs in Mexico City

When thieves brandishing handguns broke into Ignacio Villanueva’s bulldog breeding kennels on the outskirts of Mexico City, it wasn’t the safe they were after but Cinderella, Titiana, Adelita and a handful of other dogs and puppies. A gang of robbers who forced their way into the home of Jesus Guerrero’s business partner went straight for […]

November 24, 2008

45 journalists killed in Mexico since 2000; rights body appeals for end to impunity

Mexico’s National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH is its Spanish acronym) appealed to authorities over the weekend to investigate thoroughly the recent killings of a number of journalists here, and to put an end to the impunity for those who murder members of the profession. Since 2000, 45 journalists have been killed in Mexico, according […]

November 24, 2008

Shooting the messengers in Mexico

Just over a week ago crime reporter Armando Rodriguez was shot dead in his driveway in the border town of Ciudad Juárez. Two other crime reporters have since received death threats including Jorge Luis Aguirre, the 51-year-old editor of the Juarez news Web site called La Polaka. Frontline blogger Deborah Bonello, in Mexico City, has […]

November 23, 2008

Video: A delicious sound above the din of Mexico City

The sound of street-sellers peddling their wares is a constant in Mexico City, and none more so than the seller of tamales – a traditional, Mexican corncake. I managed to catch one of my local tamale-sellers on camera. This video was made to accompany this Dispatch, written by Ken Ellingwood for the Los Angeles Times. […]

November 20, 2008

Journalist flees Ciudad Juarez to the U.S

Jorge Luis Aguirre, director of the news website “La Polaka,” has fled Mexico with his family to the United States after receiving death threats in his home city of Ciudad Juárez, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. His departure follows the killing of crime reporter Armando Rodríguez last week, who was shot to death […]

November 20, 2008

Media non-profit appeals for asylum for journalists escaping Mexico

Reporters Without Borders issued an appeal to the international community today to provide asylum for journalists fleeing Mexican cities such a Ciudad Juarez. The non-profit appealed especially to the United States and Canada to provide humanitarian assistance. Journalists in Mexico who cover organized crime are often risking their lives. The move from the global press-protection […]

November 17, 2008

Video: Guerrilla knitting hits Mexico

Magda Sayeg is tagging Mexico City and covering a bus in graffiti – only she’s using knitting, not spray cans, to do the job. The 34-year-old Texan, founder of the guerrilla knitting collective, faced her biggest challenge yet this week in Mexico City when she covered a whole bus in, well, knitting.

November 17, 2008

Newspaper offices in Northern Mexico attacked with grenades

Reports are surfacing this morning that the offices of the Culiacán newspaper El Debate were attacked with two grenades early Monday. The explosions, which shattered windows but caused no injuries, happened at around 1a.m when two youngsters wearing white shirts threw the grenades at the main entrance to the offices, reports La Jornada. The area […]

November 14, 2008

Journalists profile conservative activist

It turned out to be an unusual book launch. Scheduled to begin at 5pm yesterday afternoon in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, the authors Salvador Frausto and Témoris Grecko (both of them journalists) were to present their profile of Jorge Serrano Limón – Mexico’s most prominent Catholic fundamentalist and anti-abortion campaigner. But when we […]

November 14, 2008

Crime reporter shot to death in Ciudad Juarez

Veteran Mexican crime reporter Armando Rodríguez was shot to death yesterday morning while in his car in the border city of Ciudad Juárez. The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders have both condemned the killing. The CPJ reports: An unidentified assailant shot Rodríguez, 40, a reporter for the local daily “El Diario”, at […]

November 13, 2008

Guerrilla knitting attacks Mexico City

Magda Seyeg is a Texan artist who tags – but not with graffiti. She and her collective of guerrilla knitters – who you can touch base with at – place knitted stuff on door handles, park benches, statues, lamp posts and virtually anything else standing in the street. This week, Seyeg hit the streets […]

November 10, 2008

More than half of Mexicans surveyed suspect foul play in plane crash

As we reported last week, Mexicans don’t have much faith in the word of their government. The natural reaction of many here in Mexico following a plane crash last week that killed Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mouriño as well as former top anti-drug prosecutor Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos has been suspicion. Some statistical, rather than […]

November 6, 2008

Plane crash “an accident”, says Mexico government

The Mexico Government maintains that there is no sign of foul play surrounding the plane crash on Tuesday night here in Mexico City that killed interior minister Juan Camilo Mouriño, the former deputy chief Federal Prosecutor José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos and more than 14 others. The victims were honored this morning in an official ceremony. […]

November 5, 2008

Nov 4th: a night of highs and lows

I thought I knew what the big story was going to be last night as I headed out of the house to a small gathering of people at the apartment of a friend of mine. We, a bunch of Mexicans and foreigners (English, Irish, Puerto Rican, Australian, Italian and, ahem, Maltese) were planning to sit […]

November 3, 2008

Video: Day of the Dead in the cemetery

The Gutierrez Renteria family spent Nov. 1 in the Panteon Frances in central Mexico City, attending to the graves of their family members in recognition of Day of the Dead. This video was made for La Plaza, the Los Angeles Times blog about Latin America. Day of the Dead, 2008.

November 3, 2008

Only in Mexico: Funeral Advertising

This advertising campaign is currently running on buses, bus stops and billboards across Mexico City. The ads are promoting a funeral home, and was run in conjunction with Day of the Dead.

November 2, 2008

Dia de Los Muertos: Panteon France de la Piedad

Click here for more photos on Flickr.

October 31, 2008

In Photos: Dia de los Muertos in Mexico City’s Zocalo

This weekend Mexico celebrates one of its most popular festivals – Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Although that might sound rather morbid, the festival is actually a celebration of life. Mexicans build ofrendas in their homes and leave out food and drink for the returning spirits of their dead loved one. […]