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Feds keep it all in "La Familia"

Vigilante justice spreads across Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — The five teenage boys slump against the wall of a dark house and eye the camcorder nervously. Suddenly, a fist enters the frame smacking one of the boys in the face. Then the barrel of an automatic rifle appears and the teenagers’ expressions turn to terror. “Why are you here?” shouts a voice. “For robbing,” one of the boys mumbles. “You see. You were little rats and now look at you,” replies the interrogator.

“Legalize it” lobby gains strength across Americas

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — After carefully packing light green Mexican marijuana into a homemade water pipe, university student Salvador Chavez drew a deep breath from the tube and blew the smoke out of the window of his modest family home. “I don’t care if the neighbors call the police on me. They can’t arrest me for this anymore,” he said behind lightly glazed eyes. “But then police here never cared much about a bit of marijuana anyway. Everything has just stayed the same really.”

"Lights" out in Mexico City

Top News: The surprising shut down of Mexico’s state-run Light and Power company, which provided electricity to 25 million in Mexico City and nearby states, dominated the Mexican headlines in the first half of October. President Felipe Calderon closed the company by decree on Oct.

US agents shoot at smugglers, closing border

Top News: The United States temporarily closed the busiest crossing on its southern border on Sept. 22 when agents shot at migrant smugglers who tried to speed through the border post in three vans packed with illegal migrants.

Mexico’s "business class" refugees

SAN ANTONIO — Hard work and acumen earned Pierre Oliver Gama Valdes fabulous affluence at 34. As a Mexican living in his country’s sprawling capital, however, neither his wit nor wealth could protect his family from criminal gangs’ extortionist threats. On the contrary, success made Gama a marked man, and left him in constant fear for his wife and two children.

Man hijacks plane with orange juice cartons

Top News: The story of the hijacking of a packed plane from Cancun briefly made headlines on Sept. 9. The first reports were particularly shocking with TV networks making wild claims that there were three terrorists on board with explosives tied to themselves. But after masked police raided the plane in Mexico City, it turned out to be one lone hijacker with a fake bomb made of orange juice cartons.

Cities of sisterly love

GUANAJUATO, Mexico — The recent influenza epidemic and ongoing drug violence may be keeping most Americans from visiting Mexico these days, but at least one group of Americans from a small city in southern Oregon will not be kept away. For 40 years residents of Ashland, Ore., have traveled to the city of Guanajuato in the heart of central Mexico — and this year would be no different.

Turkey is likely site for Iran talks

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said it’s “very likely” Turkey will be the site for a meeting between Iran and major powers, scheduled to take place Oct. 1. Iran on Monday agreed to sit down to talks with representatives of the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, the so-called "P5+1", meaning the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. (Europeans tend to call the grouping "3 + 3" for the three European members plus the U.S., Russia and China.)

Full Frame: Unusual cultures, uncommon places

A photographer documents endangered cultures and traditional ways of life.
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