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January 31, 2015

Gas explosion flattens Mexico City maternity hospital

Gas explosion flattens Mexico City maternity hospital

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mexico
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An explosion on Thursday morning destroyed a state maternity hospital in Mexico City, Mexico. A nurse and two babies are dead.

Cquote1.svg I feel grateful to have another chance to keep living, to keep working as a nurse Cquote2.svg

—Ivonne Lugo Durantes, injured survvor

Initially reports placed the fatalities at seven. Local officials including Mexico City Health Secretary Armando Ahued and Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera have since revised the figure downwards. Over 70 people including 20 infants are wounded. Around 100 people were in the building at the time.

The explosion occurred as a truck was resupplying the hospital’s gas tanks, and a leak developed in the supply hose. Driver Julio César Martínez and assistants Carlos Chavez and Salvador Alatorre have been arrested. Chavez and Alatorre spent around fifteen minutes attempting to stem the leak, to no avail. All three are amongst the injured.

Firefighters and federal police entered the ruins to recover trapped survivors. Victims’ relatives, and other bystanders, gathered at police cordons around the scene. “I am still a little bit in shock. It was a nightmare,” said nurse Ivonne Lugo Durantes.

Durantes was rescued after ten minutes trapped beneath debris. She has first degree burns but is “grateful to have another chance to keep living, to keep working as a nurse.” She witnessed other staff rescuing babies amid a conflagration.

New father Jose Eduardo told reporters his wife ran barefoot with their baby to escape. Eduardo said some escaped nude. Witnesses around the hospital reported a strong smell of gas, a large explosion, and flying debris. Ambulances and helicopters were used to evacuate casualties.

President Enrique Pena Nieto and Pope Francis both took to Twitter to express support for the victims.



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May 9, 2012

Mexico and world react to murdered journalists

Mexico and world react to murdered journalists

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

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UN Secretary General leads a moment of silence on World Press Freedom Day 2012.
Image: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

The United Nations honored the 74 journalists killed since 2011.
Video: United Nations, UNTV.

This past weekend, over 100 journalists in Mexico City protested around a statue where a mock note said in translation, “Government Journalist Killer” in reaction to deaths in Veracruz. Recent journalist killings have also provoked international condemnation.

Earlier Javier Duarte de Ochoa, governor of Veracruz, said Friday he would create a state-led organization to protect journalists after recent violence against journalists, including the discovery of dead photojournalists.

Journalists around the nation and the government of Veracruz are reacting to the dismembered bodies of four Mexicans, three of them photojournalists, who were found in a canal in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, on Thursday, which happened to coincide with World Press Freedom Day, which is held on May 3 every year.

Two of the photographers worked for Notiver and later VeracruzNews. They were identified as Gabriel Huge and Guillermo Luna. The body of Luna’s girlfriend Irasema Becerra was also found. The other photographer, Esteban Rodríguez, had worked as a videographer for TV Azteca before working for Diario AZ.

The Committee to Protect Journalists released the following statement in condemning the death of the three photographers: “We are deeply troubled by reports of these murders that, coming as they do on World Press Freedom Day underscore the ongoing crisis in Mexico. Veracruz has seen a wave of lethal anti-press violence that is sowing widespread fear and self-censorship. Mexican authorities must act now to end the deadly cycle of impunity in crimes against the press.”

Irina Bokova, who is the director-general of UNESCO, said, “That these gruesome crimes have been committed on the eve of World Press Freedom Day – a day on which we honour the vital role played by journalists in upholding democratic values, protecting citizens’ rights to be informed and calling those in power to account – makes the situation all the more intolerable…I condemn these three murders in the strongest possible terms and urge the Mexican authorities to act quickly and decisively to find those responsible. Impunity is not an option.”

On the Saturday before the deaths, the body of Proceso journalist Regina Martinez was found in her Xalapa apartment. Martinez had been investigating other journalists who had been killed in the state of Veracruz. The three bodies of photographers and Regina Martinez bring to eight the number of journalists killed in Veracruz in the past year and a half.

Four journalists died in Veracruz in 2011. The long-time crime journalist for Notiver, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, better known by his pseudonym Milo Vera, was killed along with his wife and son. López’s son Miseal López Solana was a crime photographer at Notiver who often worked with his father. About one month after their death, the body of their colleague and friend at Notiver Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz was found decaptitated with a note at the crime scene. She was investigating the López’s murder at the time. Earlier in 2011, Noel López Olguín of the La Verdad de Jáltipan was murdered.

In March 2012, the Mexican Congress approved a Constitutional amendment to make it a federal offense to attack a journalist and that would need six more states to sign on before it would become the law. Over the last ten years, the toll of the Mexican Drug War has been high on journalists as more than 80 have been killed and another fourteen are missing, according to Reporters Without Borders. Almost 50,000 people have died during Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s drug war.

The drug cartel known as the Zetas are active in Veracruz. However, a cartel that is closely allied with the Sinaloa cartel headed by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and is based out of Jalisco is at war with the Zetas over territory. Both of the competing cartels have been pressuring journalists in Veracruz to cover only its side of the story.

Mike O’Connor, a spokesperson for CPJ on Mexico, said, “It’s hard to imagine what else reporters can do to stay safe there.”

In other news on World Press Freedom Day, UNESCO presented Azerbaijan journalist Eynulla Fatullayev with its Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize at a conference on press freedom in Tunisia. He spent four years in prison for his journalism.

In New York, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon led a moment of silence to honor the 74 journalists who died since 2011, of which fourteen have already died this year. This figure does not include the most recent discovery of Mexican journalists.



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December 22, 2009

Mexico City legalises gay marriages

Mexico City legalises gay marriages – Wikinews, the free news source

Mexico City legalises gay marriages

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mexico
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Mexico City, Mexico
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Lawmakers in the municipality of Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, became the first to approve gay marriage in Latin America yesterday, despite opposition from conservative groups and the Catholic Church.

“It was approved overall by 39 votes in favor and twenty against, with five abstentions,” said a spokesman for David Razu, the bill’s chief sponsor. Razu proposed the bill to allow same-sex couples to have the same access as heterosexual married couples to social security and other benefits.

Some cities in countries in Latin America, such as Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador permit homosexual civil unions, Uruguay permits civil unions throughout the country as well as adoption, and last month a court in Argentina blocked a bill proposing gay marriage; the country’s Supreme Court has yet to make the final ruling.

Spokesman Oscar Oliver said that the next step for the capital’s lawmakers was to use a measure in the bill intended to permit adoption for same-sex married couples.



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September 19, 2009

At least two killed by gunman in Mexico City subway

At least two killed by gunman in Mexico City subway

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mexico
Other stories from Mexico
  • 31 January 2015: Gas explosion flattens Mexico City maternity hospital
  • 27 June 2014: Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals
  • 25 June 2014: Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at world championships
  • 28 February 2014: Researcher discovers 39 new cockroach species, increasing genus Arenivaga fivefold
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Entrance to the Balderas subway station

According to police reports, at least two people were killed and five more wounded on Friday after a gunman opened fire at a subway station in Mexico City, Mexico.

Witness reports say that two men were shouting slogans against the government in the Balderas station. One of them started drawing graffiti on a wall, and opened fire when a police officer tried to restrain him.

The police officer and a passerby who tried to stop the gunman were both killed.

Only one person was arrested after the incident, the El Universal newspaper reported. He was later identified as Luis Felipe Hernandez Castillo, 38.

Manuel Mondragon, the police chief, pledged to increase police presence in the subway system following the attack.



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September 9, 2009

Suspect arrested after hijacking Mexican airliner

Suspect arrested after hijacking Mexican airliner

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

File photo of an Aeroméxico, Boeing 737.
Image: Makaristos.

The Mexican government has said that an Aeroméxico Boeing-737, flight 576 from Cancun, was hijacked and landed safely at Mexico City International Airport in Mexico City.

The plane was traveling from Cancun to Mexico City. The situation ended without incident and all passengers and crew on board the aircraft were able to leave safely. All hijackers were arrested after Mexican security forces boarded the plane.

The incident began just after 1:30 p.m. (CDT) one man took control of the plane and demanded to speak to Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s president. The hijacker said that if his demand was not met, he would blow up the plane. Earlier reports had stated there were explosives on board the aircraft, but none were found. Five people were initially detained without incident.

A short time later, four of the detained men were released without being charged. Authorities identified the sole hijacker as Jose Mar Flores, 44, who is being described as an alcoholic, drug addicted, religious fanatic. He claims he was on a mission to warn Mexico that an earthquake was going to strike the country. Flores said that the significance of the date, 9/9/09, the reverse of 666, was the reason why he hijacked the plane. Reports say he was carrying a box that he described as a bomb and would detonate it if his demand to speak to Calderon about the quake was not met.

104 people were on board the plane, but all passengers and crew aboard the aircraft have left it safely. The airport remained open while the plane was dealt with on an emergency runway.

Calderon was inside the airport’s presidential hanger waiting to depart when the plane landed. His flight was canceled.



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November 15, 2008

Turbulence likely cause of Mexico jet crash that killed ministers

Turbulence likely cause of Mexico jet crash that killed ministers

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

This image from a NASA test clearly shows how even small aircraft can produce powerful turbulence

Wake turbulence from a larger aircraft is believed to be the cause of a crash of a Mexican government Learjet 45 into rush-hour traffic in Mexico City earlier this month. All nine on board, including Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino, and five on the ground were killed.

As well as Mourino, anti-drug advisor Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos died in the wreck, leading to speculation of murder. There have been rumours the jet may have been sabotaged or bombed, but both of these have been ruled out, as have mechanical failure.

To try to prevent conspiracy theories, there has been unusual openness to the press over the accident. The investigation is being led by Mexico, who have been joined by teams from Britain and the United States.

Instead, the readout from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) coupled with the knowledge that the aircraft had come in too close behind another suggest the likely cause to be an encounter with wake turbulence – dangerously unstable air left behind by an aircraft as it passes through an area. The Learjet came within 4.15 nautical miles of a Boeing 767-300 on the same approach towards Mexico City International Airport, whereas for safety there should have been around 5 nautical miles of separation between the two.

It has also been revealed that air traffic control instructed the accident aircraft’s flight crew to slow down to keep back from the airliner, but that this had not happened. The pilots may have lacked adequate training, as they are reported to have experienced difficulties and unfamiliarity with the plane’s controls. The CVR transcript reveals that the pilots were aware they had hit severe turbulence immediately prior to the crash.

“Wow, check out this turbulence!” pilot Martin Oliva exclaimed to co-pilot Alvaro Sanchez. Apparently panic-stricken, he then asks “Alvaro, what should we do, Alvaro?” and is told “Give it [control of the aircraft] to me, give it to me, give it to me!” Sanchez then says simply “God.”

It was to be his last word. The plane became uncontrollable and crashed down at a forty-two degree angle, killing all on board.

The investigation continues.



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November 9, 2008

Bomb ruled out in Mexico plane crash that killed twelve

Bomb ruled out in Mexico plane crash that killed twelve

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mexico
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  • 31 January 2015: Gas explosion flattens Mexico City maternity hospital
  • 27 June 2014: Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals
  • 25 June 2014: Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at world championships
  • 28 February 2014: Researcher discovers 39 new cockroach species, increasing genus Arenivaga fivefold
  • 9 October 2013: Wikinews interviews President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians
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A bomb has been ruled out in the crash of a government-owned Learjet L45 in Mexico City, Mexico on Friday, killing all nine on board and five on the ground. There have been rumours that the crash was deliberate as two prominent politicians, interior minister Juan Camilo Mourino and leading anti-drug advisor Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos were aboard.

A file photo of a similar aircraft in the UK

Investigators have also confirmed both engines were still functioning upon impact and that there was no fire, structural failure or evidence of malfunction prior to impact, suggesting a loss of control may be to blame. The aircraft should have been headed East towards Mexico City International Airport, but was instead travelling roughly Northbound when the crash occurred.

It is unknown why this occurred, but the investigation, which includes a team from the United States led by the National Transportation Safety Board, is looking at the possibility turbulence from another aircraft caused the plane to become uncontrollable. It was travelling at 300 mph (500 kph) when it struck cars moving through the city.

Investigation head Gilberto Lopez said of the findings “this clearly proves what we had believed, that there was an abrupt loss of control,” while Transportation Secretary Luis Téllez said they “strengthen the hypothesis that this was an accident.”



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June 26, 2008

Mexican police official, bodyguard shot dead at restaurant

Mexican police official, bodyguard shot dead at restaurant

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mexico
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Gunmen today opened fire in a Mexico City restaurant, killing a top police official in charge of monitoring the country’s illegal drug trade, as well as one of his bodyguards, Mexican officials said. The attack is the latest waged against authorities attempting to fight Mexico’s powerful drug cartels.

Security officials in Mexico City say the attack occurred as Igor Labastida Calderón, commander of the federal police’s Traffic and Contraband division, was eating lunch with one of his bodyguards, Jose Maria Ochoa. According to Minerva Amado, spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, two unknown subjects got out of a black vehicle, entered the restaurant, and opened fire on Labastida Calderón.

Reports differ on who else was injured in the attack. Amado said two other bodyguards were injured and hospitalized, while Mexico City newspaper El Universal reports that three civilians were injured.

The motive for the attack remains unclear. No arrests have been made so far, as police continue to search for the assailants. Federal police have refused to comment.

President Felipe Calderón has sent over 20,000 troops throughout Mexico in an attempt to take back areas controlled by the country’s drug cartels. Since Calderón took office in December 2006, more than 4,000 people have been killed by these drug cartels, allegedly including federal police chief Édgar Millán Gómez, whose May death was attributed to the Sinaloa Cartel.



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September 10, 2007

Blasts in Mexico rips gas and oil pipelines

Filed under: Archived,Disasters and accidents,Mexico,Mexico City — admin @ 5:00 am

Blasts in Mexico rips gas and oil pipelines

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Vicente Fox Quezada, Ex-President of Mexico (2000-2006) wearing a Petroleos Mexicanos helmet while he was still president Petroleos Mexicanos (file photo)

Oil and gas pipelines in Mexico were attacked in six different places Monday, forcing the evacuation of approximately 12,000 residents. The six blasts were to reported to have happened at about 2:00 a.m on Monday morning.

The company who owns the pipelines, Petroleos Mexicanos, shut down all lines after the attack.

No deaths as a result of the explosions were reported, however; the blasts were blamed for the death of two 70 year old women who died from heart attacks.

Mexican officials have called the blasts “premeditated” and at least one rebel group (most notably EPR) has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

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April 24, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: April 24, 2007

Wikinews Shorts: April 24, 2007 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: April 24, 2007

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A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, April 24, 2007.

74 killed in raid on oil field in Ethiopia

Location of Ethiopia

65 Ethiopians and 9 Chinese were killed in their sleep Tuesday in a predawn raid on an oil field in Abole, a small town in southeast Ethiopia’s Somali state. Seven Chinese were kidnapped.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack on the field which is run by a Chinese firm.

At a news conference, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said: “Such an outrage, the cold-blooded murder of people who were building roads and engaged in other development activities, is a measure of the level of barbarity involved.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Liu Jianchao, condemned the attack, which he said involved more than 200 gunmen.

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Armed wing of Hamas declares end of truce

Location of Palestinian Territories

In response to weekend raids by Israel, the armed wing of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, declared and end to a 5-month old truce and fired rockets into Israel. The rockets caused some damage, but no injuries were reported.

The Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) urged calm. “The government is interested to keep the ceasefire and the calm and we are trying, through consultation and discussion with the Palestinian factions, to take a position in order to protect our people,” PA spokesperson Ghazi Hamad said.

PA President, Mahmoud Abbas who is a member of Fatah, said: “The violation of the truce is an exceptional event that will not last.”

The Defense Minister of Israel, Amir Peretz warned against further attacks, but so far Israel has not made an armed response.

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Mexico City legalizes abortion

Location of México

México City, the capital of the world’s second-largest Catholic country, Mexico, voted today to legalize abortion.

City lawmakers passed legislation that legalizes abortion during the first three months of pregnancy. Hitherto, abortions were only legal in cases of rape, if the woman’s life is in danger, or if there are signs of severe defects in the fetus.

The legislation passed in the face of pressure from Mexican bishops who spoke out against the law. Opinion polls indicated that Mexico City residents were fairly evenly split on the issue.

Sponsors of the bill argued that the deaths of some 1,500 women during illegal abortions over the last ten years showed the need to legalize it.

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