Mexico: high court rules against electrical workers

Thousands of laid-off Mexico City electrical workers suffered a major setback on Jan. 30 when a panel of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) overturned a lower court decision supporting the workers' claim to jobs at the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). Lawyers for the workers' union, the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME), had argued that the workers were entitled to replacement jobs at the CFE because the decision by former president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (2006-2012) in October 2009 to close down their employer--the Central Light and Power Company (LFC), which serviced the Mexico City metropolitan area—was unjustified. The federal government owned LFC before its closing, and the government continues to own and operate the CFE.

Mexico: remaining Dec. 1 detainees freed

On the evening of Dec. 27, authorities in Mexico's Federal District (DF, Mexico City) released 13 men and one woman who had been in detention since Dec. 1 on charges of "attacks on the public peace" during protests that day against the inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. A total of 106 were arrested during the demonstrations, in which masked youths caused considerable property damage; 92 of the detainees were released within eight days, after human rights organizations and the DF's own Human Rights Commission (CDHDF) presented evidence that many were clearly not involved in the destruction.

Mexico: evidence mounts of police repression on Dec. 1 inaugural

On Dec. 9 Mexican authorities released 56 of the 69 people who had been in detention for more than a week on suspicion of "attacking public peace" during protests in Mexico City against the inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. A total of 106 were reportedly arrested on a day that included violent confrontations between police and protesters and widespread property destruction, but 28 were quickly released. Judge María del Carmen Mora Brito of the Federal District (DF) court system ordered the Dec. 9 releases after "analyzing videos, testimonies and expert witnesses' reports," the DF Superior Court of Justice (TSJDF) announced in a communiqué. (Europa Press, Dec. 10)

Mexico: Peña Nieto takes office as youths riot

Protests against Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto during his inauguration on Dec. 1 quickly turned into violent confrontations between police and demonstrators that disrupted much of downtown Mexico City. The protests were called by the National Convention Against the Imposition, a coalition of groups holding that Peña Nieto's election last July was manipulated, and #YoSoy132 ("I'm number 132"), a student movement that arose in the spring in response to the election campaign. But masked youths, many of them wearing black t-shirts with anarchist symbols, quickly became the center of attention at the Dec. 1 demonstration.

Army troops sent to patrol Mexico City suburb

As Mexico has aggressively militarized its "drug war" over the past years, the nation's capital has been an exception, with authorities reluctant to send soliders to patrol the seat of federal power—until now. Over 1,000 army troops have been mobilized to the streets of Nezahualcóyotl, a suburb of Mexico City, just south of the Federal District line in México state, which has seen a dramatic increase of violence in the past weeks. The México state Prosecutor General says 119 assassinations have been registered so far this year, mostly in Nezahualcóyotl. The decision to send in army troops—under a program dubbed "Operation Neza"—was apparently sparked by the Sept. 16 stabbing death of México state lawmaker Jaime Serrano Cedillo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Although subsequent reports have indicated he was killed by his wife in a domestic dispute, Serrano was the second PRI politician killed in as many days last week. On Sept. 15, Eduardo Castro Luque, newly elected to the Sonora state legislature, was shot full of nine bullets in front of his home in Ciudad Obregón. The twin slayings came when the country was on high alert for Independence Day celebrations, with extra troops deployed to conflicted states to head off terror attacks on the festivities. The PRI, a once-entrenched political machine, returns to power after 12 years in opposition, when president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto takes office in December. (LAT, AP, Sept. 21; WSJEl País, Spain, Sept. 20; EFE, AP, La Jornada, Sept. 15)

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