1. To avoid crime, Venezuelans run together “Pereira still jogs at night. But she goes with friends, plenty of friends — as many as 300 of them, a huffing, heaving mass of people who chug in unison along darkened streets three nights a week.”
2. A Never-Ending Mission: Soldiers as Police in Mexico “In mid-May, the residents of La Ruana and other towns in Mexico’s western state of Michoacan lined roadsides to cheer the arrival of thousands of soldiers to their territory. ‘After three months of fighting, we can sleep peacefully in our homes,”‘enthused the leader of a group of townspeople who had formed a self-defense militia to defend against the violent drug trafficking organizations blatantly controlling the area.”
3. How Drug Cartels Conquered Mexico “Viridiana Rios and Michele Coscia of Harvard University created a program called MOGO that searches specialized blogs, local newspapers and Google News for references to the different cartels, their locations and their influence between 1999 and 2011.” Excellent maps showing the evolution of drug cartels in Mexico (I’m late to this news but I post it anyway because it’s really innovative and interesting).
4. A weeklong look at violence in the region by NPR. Here are some of the ones I found most interesting:
and lastly, the piece that really floored me:
4. The Most Dangerous Job in the World: How did 900 bus drivers end up dead in Guatemala City? “Over the next few years, some 40 Libertad drivers would be killed, and the company would pay more than $600,000 in extortion. And Libertad wasn’t the only company under threat. All over the city, cheap cell phones appeared in bus-company offices. Anonymous voices demanded money. In almost all cases, it was paid. And still the killings continued.”