Opium farmers in the state of Guerrero are starting to complain loudly about toxic fumigation, cartel violence, and poverty. The new activism comes amid tentative political moves towards legalization.
The residents of Santa María Sur, in the violence-torn state of Guerrero, fled their tiny village in the middle of the night when warring cartels demanded they join the fight. Today they are living in a scruffy hotel, with little hope of returning home.
The tortilla industry in the beleaguered state of Guerrero is under attack from local cartels that are kidnapping and killing business owners and workers, as well as using tortilla shops as drug distribution points and lookout posts.
By VICE News
VICE News has closely followed the case of 43 missing teaching students in Mexico's Guerrero state. To help readers unfamiliar with this story, here is what we know so far.
Almost nine months since the Ayotzinapa disappearances, parents said Thursday they knew of no missing young man who was a soldier. They called the army's statements a strategy at dividing them.
Mexico's largest dissident teachers union CNTE carried out attacks against electoral offices in five states. A strike in Oaxaca is affecting 1 million students, as federal officials bowed to a demand on education reform.
With the case of the 43 missing students still looming over the state, Guerrero officials now say another probably mass disappearance took place after unknown men entered a town to 'free' it from a drug gang.
Scores of families have fled their homes in Guerrero, becoming "internally displaced" in the violent conflict over the state's poppy trade. But officials say the midterm summer elections will still go on.
The state congress was in session on Monday to appoint a governor, while parents and fellow classmates of the missing 43 students demonstrated to mark seven months since the disappearances.
Aide Nava Gonzalez, 42, had been married to a previous mayor of Ahuacuotzingo — who was also killed on the same highway where she disappeared last Sunday. Elections are scheduled for June 7.
Cartel members interrogated by authorities claim dozens of people — more than authorities admit — were attacked and killed because the cartel believed a rival gang was attempting to enter Iguala.
Federal officers attempted to prevent the Ayotzinapa students from setting up for a solidarity concert on Sunday, sparking clashes that left 22 people injured, including two parents of the missing.
Guerrillas are active at the Ayotzinapa Normal School campus, students tell VICE News. But tactics have changed and maybe the lines have blurred since guerrilla warfare in Mexico in the 1960s and 70s.
The lives led by Ayotzinapa teaching students changed irrevocably after 43 of their peers were "disappeared" in September. These photos documents the reality of their day-to-day since then.
The mayor's wife is considered the "chief operator" of the Guerreros Unidos in Iguala, where local police attacked students and disappeared 43.
A massacre of civilians in Guerrero led to Angel Aguirre's first stint as the state's governor, and now another potential massacre has led to his downfall.
VICE News was present as yet another mass grave was uncovered near the Mexican town where 43 students vanished recently in a case that has stirred outrage across the country.
By Kayla Ruble
Protesters were demanding the resignation of the Guerrero state governor over the whereabouts of 43 students who have been missing since a confrontation with police.
A suspected massacre of teaching students by corrupt policemen seemingly re-confirmed a stubborn fact of life in Mexico: there is practically no rule of law in the country.
VICE News visited the leftist college in Guerrero attended by students who are believed to have been massacred and buried in mass graves by corrupt cops working for a local drug cartel.