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No reduction in Mexico kidnappings

Government crackdown isn’t stopping abductions
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A former presidential candidate became a high profile kidnap victim (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)

Mexico’s security forces have been unable to reduce the number of kidnappings for ransom across the country despite many arrests and deaths of gangsters, according to new government figures.

Between October 2010 and September 2011, there were 1,016 kidnappings for ransom, a report by the National Public Security System shows.

That figure is almost unchanged compared to the previous year when there were 1,017 such abductions reported.

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Mexico has 7 million lost youth

Survey exposes stunning number of “neither nors”
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Lost youth become drug cartel recruits (DAVID MONROY/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexico has a stunning 7.8 million young people who neither work nor study, according to a new government study. The so called “ni nis” or “neither nors” are believed to be a major cause of instability in Mexico, with the unemployed youth providing an army of potential recruits for drug cartels.
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NGOS to Washington: Cut military aid to Mexico

NGOs argue for less guns and more institution building
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Mexican troops fighting the war on the streets (Samuel Castillo/AFP/Getty Images)
A group of influential NGOs in Washington on Thursday called on the U.S. government to reduce military aid to Mexico and replace it with more help building Mexico’s institutions. Presenting a joint report, entitled “A Cautionary Tale,” the NGOs argued that the U.S. help to Mexico has been too centered in support of its army and marines. While the soldiers have been shooting down drug cartel capos and hit men across the country, they have also been accused of widespread human rights abuses, including torture, murder and forced disappearances.
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Mexico's not so green Green Party

Mexican green party gets ensnared in new scandal
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Mexico's "Nino Verde" or "Green Boy" (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)
While green parties around the world are known for alternative ethical politics in favor of the environment, Mexico's own green party has gained a rather different reputation. Following a new scandal over the lavish lifestyles of Mexican green party leaders, critics are accusing them of being political mercenaries with corrupt and cynical policies. The scandal centers around a luxury apartment complex in the center of the Caribbean resort of Cancun.
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Gangsters decapitate Mexican blogger

The fourth blogger is killed in Nuevo Laredo
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Two bloggers hanged from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo in September (Raul Llamas/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexican tweeters and bloggers were shaken anew on Wednesday when a decapitated body appeared by a statue next to a message that the victim was killed because of what he wrote on the Internet. Police found the corpse in Nuevo Laredo, a city on the border with Texas where the ultra violent Zetas cartel fight rivals over the lucrative drug trade.
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Mexico’s drug war gets political

Violence around Mexican gubernatorial election could be dangerous spark
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A cartel gunmen is shot dead by soldiers in Michoacan, Mexico (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
A wave of killings in the lead up to a gubernatorial election in the native state of Mexican President Felipe Calderon raise the specter of the relentless drug war becoming more political. Altogether there have been more than 20 murders during the campaigns for the Nov. 13 vote in Michoacan, in which the president’s own sister, Luisa Maria Calderon, is leading the race.
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Drug war shakes Los Cabos

Raw video shows Americans watching Cabo shoot out

Mexico’s Murder City Opera

Mexico’s most violent city is also one of its most cultured
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Residents of Juarez confront daily violence (Jesus Alcazar/AFP/Getty Images)
Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, has gained global notoriety as the most murderous city on the planet with a stunning 3,075 homicides last year. But this week, it has thankfully gained some media attention for a lighter side: opera.
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U.S. House to subpoena Attorney General for role in gun trafficking operation

The U.S. House plans to subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder as part of its probe into Operation Fast and Furious, a plan to let thousands of guns sold in the U.S. get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
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