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Stories by Dudley Althaus

Even the 99 percent get kidnapped in Mexico

With ransoms set as low as $250, now more lower-class Mexicans can 'afford' an abduction. Although, sometimes they're killed anyway. "If there's anything democratic in Morelos, it's kidnapping," says Gerardo Becerra, 56, a businessman who is leading a citizens' anti-crime protest movement in Cuernavaca.... Read more»0

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Here's what Mexico is teaching Latin America about gay marriage

Mass same-sex marriages, presided over by the mayor? Yes, and then some.... Read more»0

Deep caverns & old mine shafts giving Mexico City a sinking feeling

A cavern 45 feet deep carved beneath the Mexican capital's busy streets highlights a long-lurking threat. City officials have discovered a yawning cavern just below the surface of a vital intersection, clawed out by gushing water from a busted storm drain.... Read more»0

With friends like these, can Mexico find justice?

President Enrique Peña Nieto's security team has had an on-and-off relationship with crime-vanquishing vigilantes in the western state of Michoacan. Things look to be off once again. Perhaps way off.... Read more»0

Mexico's gov't says this time it really killed 'craziest' kingpin

The last time Nazario Moreno was killed locals didn't believe it. But officials say this time the cartel boss really is dead, and that they have strong evidence to prove it.... Read more»0

Shorty's lessons: 5 things 'El Chapo' Guzman's arrest teaches us

Details, both juicy and mundane, are trickling out after Mexico nabbed its most wanted crime lord. Here's what we've learned, with a grain of salt, of course.... Read more»0

Even caged, Mexican kingpin El Chapo can bite

With cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman back behind bars, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto must decide what to do with his prize, as communities and gunmen the mega-gangster controlled brace for a bloody backlash.... Read more»0

How Mexico's west was won: It took a village, and plenty of AK-47s

The story of how vigilante militias took their western Mexican towns back from Knights Templar meth lords — for now. (with video)... Read more»0

Obama lunches in Mexico, business is served

NAFTA refreshments and the Trans-Pacific Partnership are on the menu when Obama meets Canada's Stephen Harper and Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto, while immigration and gang wars simmer.... Read more»0

Pulque: What Mexico's hipsters are drinking now

Long the province of peasants and poor townfolk, pulque — say "pool-kay" — the mildly sour, slightly slimy and gently fermented nectar of agave, has been reborn this century as a buzz of choice among young, forward-leaning and better-heeled urbanites. It's about $1.65 a pint, and a nearly hangover-proof means of getting hammered.... Read more»0

Mexico's gang-torn Hot Country about to boil over

Things are shifting quickly and bloodily in Mexico's western Michoacan state, as troops fight to disarm vigilante gangs intent on combating a dangerous drug cartel. A clash between soldiers and militiamen in one town Monday night ended with multiple deaths — reports vary on how many, but the government has confirmed two fatalities. That's apparently hardened the militia leaders' resolve to continue fighting.... Read more»0

This map could mean militia mayhem for Mexico

Hell seems ever more liable to bust loose in western Mexico’s Michoacan state, with heavily armed civilians squaring off against feared meth-producing gangsters who’ve had the run of rural hamlets and towns for years. The self-defense militias, at least some of them accused of connivance with criminal rivals of the local Knights Templar gang, have been working to encircle the Templar-dominated city of Apatzingan since last summer.... Read more»1

Drilling down on Mexico's energy reforms

State legislators across Mexico this week sealed a deal that will end the government’s 75-year-old energy monopoly, enabling Mexican and foreign enterprises to vie for a slice of the country’s oil, gas and electricity production. This is big, the stuff of history.... Read more»0

Mexico says cobalt-60 finally secured, villagers doubtful

Mexico’s energy authorities say specialists finally have recovered a capsule of cobalt-60 from a cornfield near the Mexican capital, presumably ending a nine-day saga that began when thieves hijacked a truck carrying the highly radioactive metal.... Read more»0

Understatement of the year in Mexico: 'The situation got out of control'

Police have arrested two men and seek a third for the weekend stabbing-murders of eight members of an extended family in Ciudad Juarez, an attack that spread fear in the Mexican border city that was once a world murder capital.... Read more»0

Another day, another mass grave uncovered in Mexico

Investigators this week have been pulling bodies from two clandestine mass graves in western Mexico, underscoring ongoing gangland wars whose details have themselves been buried under pressure from criminals and officials alike.... Read more»0

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