At least a quarter of a million Mexicans marched through the capital and other cities on Sunday to protest authorities' failure to control lawlessness in one of the world's most crime-ridden nations. \nIn the biggest demonstration in Mexico in more than 10 years, protesters dressed in white filled Mexico City's main Zocalo Square, which holds more than 100,000 people, and packed surrounding avenues. \nMany carried banners urging the death penalty for kidnappers, rapists and murderers. \nEven crime-hardened Mexicans have been shocked by a recent wave of kidnappings. In one case last month, two brothers were abducted, shot dead and their bodies dumped in a garbage bin even though their parents had paid a US$600,000 ransom. \nThe bells of the city's cathedral rang out to greet marchers who sang Mexico's nation anthem in the square. \nIn Tijuana, near the US border, 15,000 people marched through to protest crime, and smaller protests took place in other Mexican cities, local media said. \nMexico United Against Crime, one of the march organizers, said anywhere between 350,000 and two million people took part in the protest. Local media put attendance at more than 250,000. \nFrom 1992 to 2002, Mexicans reported at least 15,000 kidnappings, second only to war-torn Colombia, according to the Inter-American Development Bank. \nMarch organizers said most violent crime goes unreported, partly because of police corruption and a sense that nothing will be done. \n"We are afraid. We can't go out onto the street and the police do absolutely nothing to protect us," said Yolanda Tellez, 62. \nA group of businessmen hired New York's crime-busting former mayor Rudolph Giuliani last year for US$4.3 million to help clean up Mexico City and police say tough new "zero tolerance" measures in the capital are working. \nBut kidnapping and assaults are still common and federal police last week arrested a group of elite policemen in Mexico City who abducted businessmen using false arrest warrants. \nThe march has pitted President Vicente Fox against political rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the mayor of Mexico City, who protesters accuse of being too soft on violent crime. \nConservative Fox said last week he was waging "the mother of all battles against crime" and urged Mexico City's leftist administration to do more. \nBut protesters were unimpressed by both Fox and city hall. \n"They have politicized the issue so much instead of doing something about crime," said Victor Manuel Rojas, riding a horse and carrying a flag with Mexico's patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe. \nThe event was billed as silent but protesters broke into chants of "Mexico, Mexico." \nThe murder of crusading journalist Francisco Ortiz Franco in Tijuana this week was a reminder that drug gangs flourish on the US-Mexican border despite a crackdown by Fox's government. \nPolice have also failed to make headway in solving the murders of more than 300 women in the last 10 years in the city of Ciudad Juarez, near the border with the US. Amnesty International has accused police in the city of gross negligence in failing to end the killings. \nIn Mexico City, marchers carried photographs of murder victims. \n"She was my cousin," said protester Eduardo Torres, clutching a framed picture of a young girl in a party dress. "They kidnapped her and killed her two months ago."
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete