Mexico

About 1 million Americans live in Mexico, and many of them do so illegally. But it’s much easier to navigate life in Mexico as an immigrant without proper documents than it is in the United States.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson explores this with two Americans living illegally in Mexico City, who have firsthand experience with the differences.

Editor’s Note: Here & Now agreed not to use our guests’ last names for this conversation.

You wouldn't expect a 73-year-old to be on the crime beat, but Maximino Rodriguez Palacios couldn't help himself, says Cuauhtemoc Morgan, editor of the Baja California news blog Colectivo Pericu.

"It was totally by chance," he tells NPR. "In November 2014, Max called me about a shooting near his home in La Paz. And then he sent me a story and photos about what happened. From that moment, he was our crime reporter."

When Javier Duarte stepped down from office last October, the former governor of Mexico's Veracruz state vowed to fight the mounting corruption allegations that unraveled his tenure.

"The circumstances created by false accusations ... force me to dedicate myself full-time to clear my name and that of my family," Duarte said on Oct. 13, according to The Yucatan Times, just one day after he ended his term six weeks early.

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA Today Sports via Reuters

US Soccer Federation chief Sunil Gulati, who announced the bid in New York with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts, insisted they had the full backing of President Donald Trump, despite the US leader's rocky relations with Mexico.

Gulati said 60 of the tournament's matches would be staged in the United States, with Canada and Mexico hosting 10 games each. The United States would host all knockout games from the quarterfinals onwards, he added.

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Mario Alberto Maciel Tinajero looks like a fairly healthy 68-year-old. He has a few extra pounds on his chest but he's relatively fit. Yet he's suffered for the last 20 years from what he calls a "terrible" condition: diabetes.

"I've never gotten used to this disease," he says. Maciel runs a stall in the Lagunilla market in downtown Mexico City. This market is famous for its custom-made quinceañera dresses and hand-tailored suits.

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Wikimedia

Oscar Cantu, director of the Ciudad Juárez-based newspaper Norte, wrote Sunday in an article titled "¡Adiós!" that Miroslava Breach's slaying last month led him to reflect on the dangers of practicing journalism in the region, where "high risk is the main ingredient."

Breach, 54, who wrote for the newspapers Norte and La Jornada, was found dead in her vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds to the head on March 23 in the city of Chihuahua, capital of the state of the same name.

Murder is on the rise in Mexico. Ten years after the government launched its war on drugs and sent the military to combat cartels, homicides are at levels not seen since the height of that offensive. The violence is widespread, but it remains most prevalent in a few hard-hit towns and cities.

Hugo del Angel says his city, Ecatepec, a sprawling, struggling suburb of nearly 2 million outside Mexico City, is definitely high on that list.

"It's probably one of the three most problematic in the whole country," he says.

Miroslava Breach was sitting in the car with one of her three children outside her home in Mexico when gunmen approached and shot her eight times. Her child was unharmed; the 54-year-old journalist was killed.

A note left beside her body explained the crime for which she'd been murdered: "For being a loud-mouth."

Breach died in the city of Chihuahua on March 23, the third journalist slain in Mexico last month alone. Her murder was also the last straw for the regional newspaper Norte, a publication covering the Mexican border city Juarez.

As President Trump moves to fulfill his campaign promise to deport millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally, they'll most likely include Mexicans whose children were born in the U.S.. Over half a million of these kids are already in Mexico.

Researchers call them "los invisibles", the invisible ones, because they often end up in an educational limbo of sorts. Most don't read or write in Spanish, so they're held back. Many get discouraged and stop going to school. In some cases schools even refuse to enroll them.

A Mexican state's top law enforcement official has been accused of conspiring to smuggle and sell heroin, cocaine and other drugs, after he was arrested by U.S. agents this week in San Diego. According to an arrest warrant, Nayarit state Attorney General Edgar Veytia used the name "Diablo" and other aliases.

U.S. prosecutors say they'll seek to compel Veytia to forfeit some $250 million if he's convicted.

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.

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