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Mexico activist slain — but by whom?

His shooting death underscores the heated debate over corruption and police abuse
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Unsolved murders are all-too commonplace in Mexico these days. Here, people mourn loved ones in Juarez. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Nepomuceno Moreno was a father trying to get by when he was gunned down in his van at an intersection in Hermosillo.

At 56 years old, he made a simple living, selling seafood on the sidewalk.

But when his 18-year-old son disappeared last year, Moreno became an anguished parent, searching for answers to their missing child. In Mexico, this has become increasingly common. The war on drugs in this country has taken tens of thousands of lives since it began in 2006. That doesn't include the missing.

Moreno, in his quest, became one of the public faces of the missing, joining up with anti-violence groups to call for justice. He publicly said that masked police had taken his son, rather than random gunmen. 

Corruption in the police force is well-known. It's one of the reasons that Mexico had deployed military forces in the form of US-trained marines to pursue the cartels. The hope is that they're less corruptible, more professional. Although, reports suggest the marines, too, have abused their power.

The general in this war, President Felipe Calderon, met with Moreno in October. 


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Calderon, they argue, is culpable in the violence, which has left more than 50,000 people dead in drug-related incidents since he declared war on the cartels in 2006. 

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MEXICO CITY — The drug war's pretty bad. But the whole mess can be cleared up in six months. At least, that's what a top presidential candidate says.  

Mexico: Moms search for missing kids

Violence here has left thousands of people dead. Then there are the missing.
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Photographs of some of the missing. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

A group of mothers from Central America have made it to Mexico after a trek in search of their missing children, according to this report by the Associated Press. 


Prostitutes and peacocks found in Mexican jail

A hundred plasma televisions, knives and alcohol were also reportedly among the find.

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A former general is set to win Guatemala's runoff election on Sunday
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Perez stumps for votes. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Former General Otto Perez Molina is expected to win Guatemala’s presidential runoff on Sunday on a platform that promises a tough stance on drug cartels.

The drug war has come to Guatemala, heightening insecurity and violence as powerful Mexican cartels vie for control of the country’s drug-smuggling routes. The vast majority of murders go unsolved in the country, and people want a return to stability.


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Calderon said it was cheaper to send them back rather than try them, and that the deportees then became involved with criminal gangs in Mexico.
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