AFP: Organized crime recruits migrants in Mexico

Mexican drug cartels are trying to get migrants passing through from central America to join their ranks.

Mexican drug cartels are trying to get migrants passing through from central America to join their ranks.

AFP: Mexico market turns trash into vegetables

AFP: Mexico market turns trash into vegetables

July 6th 2013 — On a recent rainy Sunday morning in a Mexico City neighborhood, people lined up under their umbrellas with bags of empty milk cartons, plastic bottles and cardboard at their feet. The rain did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm for the Mercado de Trueque, or barter market, where recyclable materials are exchanged for […]

AFP: Mexico’s president-elect accused of ignoring women’s murders

Over the last few years, reported murders of women have shot up in parts of Mexico, dwarfing the number of cases in Ciudad Juarez - famous for femicide.

Over the last few years, reported murders of women have shot up in parts of Mexico, dwarfing the number of cases in Ciudad Juarez – famous for femicide.

AFP: Students march agains the PRI

AFP: Students march agains the PRI

June 10 2012 – Members of the Mexican youth movement #YoSoy132 marched across Mexico City Sunday, protesting against the country’s media duopoly and the PRI candidate in the upcoming presidential election, Enrique Pena Nieto. Produced, shot and edited for AFP by Deborah Bonello.

AFP: Mexicans say goodbye to Carlos Fuentes

AFP: Mexicans say goodbye to Carlos Fuentes

Hundreds of people filed past the coffin of Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes Wednesday in Mexico City’s Bellas Arts Museum. The writer died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon. Cientos de personas desfilaron este miércoles con emoción ante los restos mortales del escritor Carlos Fuentes. Sobre su ataúd depositaron libros, flores y mensajes de despedida.

AFP: Abortion divides Mexicans on Pope’s visit

AFP: Abortion divides Mexicans on Pope’s visit

  March 24 2011 – The Pope’s visit to Guanajuato this week will be celebrated by many, but definitely not by abortion campaigners. This Mexican state is the one of the strictest, banning abortion except in extreme cases of rape, and the courts don’t hesitate to jail women who dare to take matters into their […]

AFP: Cassez case throws spotlight on Mexico’s media trials

AFP: Cassez case throws spotlight on Mexico’s media trials

March 20 2012 – The staged arrest of French woman Florence Cassez in Mexico back in 2005 puts an uncomfortable spotlight on the practice of putting suspects in front of the media even before they go in front of a judge. For AFP by Deborah Bonello

AFP: El Paso gives refuge to Mexico’s human rights defenders

El Paso hosts a growing number of human rights activists seeking to escape persecution in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's most deadly city just across the border.

AFP: El Paso gives refuge to Mexico’s human rights defenders

El Paso hosts a growing number of human rights activists seeking to escape persecution in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most deadly city just across the border.

AFP: Hunger threatens indigenous Mexicans

AFP: Hunger threatens indigenous Mexicans

Jan 24 2012 – The Rarámuri, or Tarahumara, are going hungry. In the state of Chihuahua in Northern Mexico, where the indigenous tribe lives, drought and cold weather have made food scarce. The government and non-profits are handing out food, but handouts are only a short-term solution to the survival of the Tarahumara. Shot, produced […]

AFP: Activists under fire in Mexico

AFP: Activists under fire in Mexico

  Jan 22 2012 – Over the last few months at least three activists have been murdered in Mexico, and a fourth survived a serious attack. In the context of Mexico’s ongoing drug-related violence, some are being targeted for daring to campaign against criminals, others for challenging the actions of corrupt officials and state forces.

AFP: Angels take to Mexican streets to fight drug crime

AFP: Angels take to Mexican streets to fight drug crime

December 20 2011 – Angels are appearing on street corners and at crime scenes in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most violent city and the epicenter of the country’s drug-related violence. Not just for Christmas, the angels are youngsters dressing up to send their message that only God can save Juarez now. Shot, produced and edited for […]

AFP: Millions flock to give thanks to the Virgin de Guadalupe

AFP: Millions flock to give thanks to the Virgin de Guadalupe

As many as seven million Mexicans will make the pilgrimage to Mexico City’s Basilica de Guadalupe this year to pay their respects to the Virgin de Guadalupe, one of Mexico’s most revered holy figures. Pilgrims come from all over Mexico to arrive here around the dates of December 11th and 12th to give their thanks. […]

AFP: ‘Miss Bala’ reflects drug reality for women in Mexico

Movie 'Miss Bala' follows beauty queen Laura Guerrero in her violent downward spiral into the hands of organized crime.

AFP: ‘Miss Bala’ reflects drug reality for women in Mexico

Movie ‘Miss Bala’ follows beauty queen Laura Guerrero in her violent downward spiral into the hands of organized crime.

AFP: Mexicans honor drug war victims on Day of the Dead

AFP: Mexicans honor drug war victims on Day of the Dead

November 2 2011 – Day of the Dead in Mexico is usually a time for celebrating and remembering lost loved ones. But in the context of a brutal drug war that has cost 40,000 lives, the commemoration of the dead has taken on a more sombre tone this year. Below, other video edits from the […]

AFP: Journalists targeted by Mexican drug gangs

AFP: Journalists targeted by Mexican drug gangs

October 19 2011 – Latest dispatch for AFP from my recent trip to Veracruz. Journalism in Mexico is under fire. As drug-related violence grows, so does the danger for reporters trying to cover it, often forcing them to flee, bow to outside influences or face the consequences. In the city of Veracruz, journalists are feeling […]

AFP: Businesses relocate to safe Mexico City

AFP: Businesses relocate to safe Mexico City

October 14 2011 – Drug-related violence in many of Mexico’s states is driving businesses to set up shop in the relative safe haven of Mexico City. For AFP by Deborah Bonello. You can also see the video here on AFP’s YouTube channel in English and in Spanish.

AFP: Mexico’s old school dance takes a new step

AFP: Mexico’s old school dance takes a new step

October 7 2011 My latest video report for AFP, which you can also see here on their YouTube Channel. Danzon, a slow-moving, elegant swing, is popular with Mexico’s older generation. But now, younger people have begun stepping out on onto the the plazas that serve as dance floors, moving alongside their elders to its free-flowing […]

AFP: Violent crime, impunity stalk Guatemala

AFP: Violent crime, impunity stalk Guatemala

September 9 2011 – September 9 2011 – My final piece for AFP from my trip to Guatemala. Will be watching elections this weekend…. Fifteen years after the end of a vicious civil war, Guatemala is still beset by violence, only now it is organized crime and street gangs that are driving up death tolls […]

AFP: Guatemala fights to keep crime bosses out of elections

AFP: Guatemala fights to keep crime bosses out of elections

My latest for AFP from a recent trip to Guatemala. Guatemala is to hold a presidential election in September, and the issues confronting candidates are enormous. Extreme poverty, child malnutrition and corruption continue to be huge challenges. But narco-trafficking groups and organized crime are threatening to become the country’s new bosses. If you can’t watch […]

AFP: Crime no bar to big business in Mexico border town

AFP: Crime no bar to big business in Mexico border town

Multinational-run factories employing tens of thousands are doing brisk business in Ciudad Juarez, even as local businesses in the Mexican border town wither, devastated by the high murder rate and extortion by drug gangs.

AFP: Pastor paints his pain in violence-riddled Mexico

AFP: Pastor paints his pain in violence-riddled Mexico

Pastor Jose Galvan paints pictures depicting decapitated heads, blood and suffering — a disturbing canvas that he says expresses the suffering of his native Mexico in the throes of drug-fuelled violence. This video was made for AFP, and you can watch it here on their YouTube Channel.

AFP: Poet peace activist confronts Mexico’s Calderon

AFP: Poet peace activist confronts Mexico’s Calderon

Mexican poet turned peace activist Javier Sicilia meets President Felipe Calderon, who he has much criticized for the strong-arm military tactics against drug cartels that many blame for unleashing widespread violence. This video was produced for AFP. You can also see it here on AFP’s YouTube channel.

AFP: The dangers of reporting Ciudad Juarez

AFP: The dangers of reporting Ciudad Juarez

Daniel Dominguez, one of the hard-worked crime reporters on El Diario, the biggest newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, was kind enough to let me spend the day with him last week. Here’s the report I produced for AFP, which you can also see here on YouTube. The same video is also embedded below, in case of […]

AFP: Cross-border protest asks US to stop funding Mexico’s drug war

AFP: Cross-border protest asks US to stop funding Mexico’s drug war

    Mexico’s march for peace, led by Catholic poet Javier Sicilia, crossed over from Ciudad Juarez – the violent epicenter of the country’s drug war – into El Paso, Texas Saturday. They were joined by hundreds of Americans in their demands for a change in strategy from both the Mexican and US governments. This […]

AFP: Javier Sicilia and peace march welcomed warmly in Ciudad Juarez

AFP: Javier Sicilia and peace march welcomed warmly in Ciudad Juarez

Just to give you a taste of last night: Friday 10th 2011 – Mexican poet Javier Sicilia and his caravan of peace protestors received a warm welcome from thousands of people in Ciudad Juarez when they arrived Thursday evening. It was the final stop on a tour of some of the country’s states worst affected […]

AFP: Javier Sicilia: Mexico’s accidental hero

AFP: Javier Sicilia: Mexico’s accidental hero

June 6th 2011 – Since Javier Sicilia’s son was killed by gunmen in March, the left-leaning Catholic poet has become the voice for those left dead or grieving by drug-related violence in Mexico. Some 37,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon launched his assault against the country’s drug cartels and organized crime networks in […]