Mexico

Authorities in Mexico say they have found more than 250 bodies in what may be the largest mass grave site in the country. It's located in a dusty abandoned lot just outside the port city of Veracruz.

Authorities were led to the graves by a group of mothers who've spent months digging there in search of their loved ones.

Of the 252 bodies found in the mass grave, only two have been identified: Pedro Huesca, a young state investigator, and his personal secretary.

Along a barren dirt road, Border Patrol agents spot a mother and son, carrying nothing as they walk along the river's edge. The sun beats down on them as the patrol car pulls up.

"Where are you from?" Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Marlene Castro asks the mother. "How much did you pay to get here?"

The cellphone video is vivid. A Border Patrol agent aims his gun at an unarmed 15-year-old some 60 feet away, across the border with Mexico, and shoots him dead.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case testing whether the family of the dead boy can sue the agent for damages in the U.S.

Between 2005 and 2013, there were 42 such cross-border shootings, a dramatic increase over earlier times.

President Trump spoke by phone to President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico for an hour on Friday, according to statements by both leaders.

Peña Nieto was scheduled to visit the White House on Jan. 31. But on Wednesday Trump signed an order to move forward with a wall along the Mexican border and insisted that Mexico would eventually pay the bill.

On Thursday, Peña Nieto canceled his planned visit to the U.S. without giving a reason.

Trump just signed an executive order to start building a wall at the border

Jan 25, 2017
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Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters 

US President Donald Trump took a first step toward fulfilling his pledge to "build a wall" on the Mexican border Wednesday, signing two immigration-related decrees.

Trump visited the Department of Homeland Security to approve an order to begin work to "build a large physical barrier on the southern border," according to the White House.

Trump also signed measures to "create more detention space for illegal immigrants along the southern border," according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer.

Donald Trump this, Rex Tillerson that. Russia, Russia, Russia. It's been a week of heavy news about US politics and America's relationship with the world.

Let's catch up now on some news that's been bumped off the front page by all that's going on in Washington.

Let's start with Peru

Quietly, a court in Peru has recognized a same-sex marriage.

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Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Since Donald Trump's election, Mexico's economy has been reeling.

The latest blow is a hike in the price of gasoline.

From her base in Mexico City, reporter Karla Zabludovsky has been writing about it for BuzzFeed News.

She told us the streets there erupted in protests this week in response to spiking gas prices.

And she filed this report on the latest for BuzzFeed:

Erica Abad glides down the ancient canals of Xochimilco, a borough of Mexico City, on her gondola-like boat. Her cousin, Efren Lopez, steers their boat — called a chalupa — by pushing against the canal floor with a long wooden pole, while Abad flips a sizzling quesadilla on a steel griddle fitted into the boat. When a group of people on a nearby barge signal to them to order some quesadillas, Lopez navigates the boat toward them. And Abad places a few more quesadillas on the griddle for their customers.

Updated 5 a.m. ET, Dec. 21

An explosion Tuesday at a fireworks market about 45 miles outside Mexico City killed at least 31 people and injured at least 72, according to Mexican authorities. Another 48 people are reported to be missing.

A video of the blast that rocked the open-air San Pablito market on the northern outskirts of Mexico's capital city showed fireworks shooting in every direction and smoke billowing into the sky.

Marco Ugarte / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

You’ve heard of the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, right?

Don’t worry, neither have most Americans – even though what TAA does should have been front and center in the presidential campaign. More important than Hillary’s crafty emails. More significant than Donald’s creepy libido. Sorry, the President-elect’s creepy libido.

Secretaria de Seguridad Publica de Tamaulipas

In June, Mexican freelance reporter Zamira Esther Bautista was gunned down by a group of hit men at her home in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico.

Her killing has yet to be solved; no one has been arrested.

It was the most recent murder of a journalist in Mexico – the eighth there this year. Across Latin America, 23 journalists have been murdered.

That’s a big reason media rights groups this month are urging the U.N. to create a special representative for journalists’ protection.

Marco Ugarte / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Why in the name of Moctezuma did Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto invite Republican presidential nominee – and sophomoric Mexico basher – Donald Trump to a south-of-the-border pow-wow today?

Hours before he is slated to make a major policy speech on immigration Wednesday in Phoenix, Donald Trump is making a bold move — he will be meeting with Mexico's president.

He tweeted the news late Tuesday night:

"I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Peña Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow."

Juan Gabriel, a singular superstar who transcended borders and the trappings of gender with meticulously crafted pop songs and a flamboyant showmanship that earned the nickname the "divo of Juarez," has died, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner.

Juan Gabriel was 66 years old and he was found at a residence in San Monica with no apparent foul play.

Mexican President Enrique Peña-Nieto tweeted his condolences calling him one of the country's "greatest musical icons."

Six men were abducted from an upscale restaurant in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta on Monday — including the son of imprisoned drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, officials say.

The kidnapping was a brazen crime, one that might signal a major drug cartel rivalry, NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

"Jalisco state's attorney general confirmed that 29-year-old Jesus Alfredo Guzmán, a son of Chapo Guzmán, was one of six men abducted by armed assailants in Puerto Vallarta," Carrie says.

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