The headlines have been as stark as they were shocking: Mexico is the second one-deadliest us inside the world.

Mexico

According to an annual survey by using the International Institute for Strategic Studies (), Mexico in 2016 became greater violent than warfare zones which includes Afghanistan or Yemen, with a death toll, exceeded simplest by that of Syria.

The look at was extensively stated, or even Donald Trump – who has often used America’s southern neighbor as a political punching bag – retweeted a link to a CNN article on the document.

But the report landed with a thud in Mexico, in which the government has been looking to improve the united states’ worldwide image amid a decade of drug warfare violence.

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“Mexico is far from being one of the maximum violent international locations inside the world,” the foreign and interior ministries said in a testy joint assertion, which talked about that consistent with UN figures, the united states of America’s murder charge of 16.Four murders in keeping with one hundred,000 citizens become significantly lower than several different Latin American nations, including Brazil (25.2 murders according to 100,000 residents), Venezuela (53.7 murders in line with 100,000 citizens) and Honduras (ninety.Four murders according to a hundred,000 citizens).

Parts of Mexico have suffered terrible violence since the then president, Felipe Calderón, declared battle on prepared crime a decade in the past. That battle has claimed an estimated two hundred,000 lives and left extra than 30,000 missing.

But large swathes of the united states of America are unaffected by using drug violence, (tourism visits grew with the aid of a healthful nine% in 2016), and the notion that Mexico became corresponding to Syria – now in its sixth yr of war – infuriated Mexicans.

Many argue that the us of as violence is fueled via US call for unlawful drugs and the black marketplace in American firearms – neither of which might be probably to be stopped by means of a border wall inclusive of that proposed by Trump.

Trump’s obvious endorsement of the study only introduced to the irritated response in Mexico.

“I wish these morons are happy. Their idiotic report changed into already retweeted by means of @realDonald Trump,” tweeted Alejandro Hope, a Mexican security analyst.

Police officials and forensic employees work in the vicinity in which six corpses had been located on a road in Mochitlan, Guerrero State, Mexico.
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Police officials and forensic employees paintings at the location where six corpses had been observed on a road in Mochitlán, Guerrero State, Mexico. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
“Violence associated with prepared crime is a local phenomenon, which goes beyond the borders which Mexico shares with the US, Guatemala, and Belize,” the declaration stated. “The demanding situations Mexico confronts in this area can’t be isolated from the phenomena associated with different jurisdictions, together with hands trafficking and call for for tablets.”

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Mexico has killed or captured dozens of drug bosses – consisting of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who turned into extradited to the USA on the eve of Trump’s inauguration. Law enforcement methods have succeeded in breaking apart a few cartels, in turn unleashing similarly violence as new crime bosses squabble for manipulating.

According to the IISS, the bloodletting is similar to that of a civil war. “It is very rare for crook violence to attain a degree corresponding to armed battle. But this has come about in the Northern Triangle of Central America (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) and, mainly, Mexico,” the IISS record said.

“The first two months of 2017 were the maximum violent January and February on file, with 3,779 homicide cases registered through the authorities,” the file stated, including that the greater than 35,000 displaced people, country weak spot and corruption and accelerated militarization of gangs “illustrate how Mexico’s violence has reached a degree corresponding to armed conflicts”.

But analysts in Mexico cast doubt on the IISS technique and puzzled why the USA became singled out within the resulting insurance.

“I ought to ask myself if Brazil had declared struggle on organized crime – because Brazil has registered 50,000 homicides – could IISS encompass it in their study?” asked Jorge Kawas, a Mexican security analyst.

Tom Long, a professor at the University of Reading in the UK, said: “This is shoddy work and sensationalist promoting … Equating violence around drug trafficking to a civil battle is truly an uneven contrast.”

Latin American cities often occupy the lists of the arena’s maximum murderous municipalities – in conjunction with some US cities such as St. Louis, Baltimore and Detroit.

“Estimates are fuzzy, but possibly half of-of Mexican homicides aren’t associated with drug trafficking,” Long stated.

Why I Love Living in the Country

Country

Country living is not for everyone. It can mean extra work on weekends, and additional daily chores that does not come with living in the city.

Gardening is a good example. I plant a large garden that takes a lot of my spare time to weed and maintain. The result of this work is fresh vegetables that are far better than store bought. My garden is large enough that I have to can/freeze several packages of vegetables to consume throughout the winter. I deliver the rest to friends and neighbors for them to eat.

Typically, people who chose to live in the country have farm animals as well. Horses, chickens, pigs etc. These animals require daily maintenance and care. Cleaning pens can be a major chore, but adds remarkable nutrients to the garden. Also, country people tend to try and be self sufficient. Meaning, any chore like roofing a house, digging a ditch, building fences, are done by hand with help from friends and neighbors.

This brings me to why I love living in the country. Gardening is hard work, but in my case, it seems like relaxing work. Gardening relaxes me when I see my effort come to fruition. It really excites me to deliver fresh produce to the neighbors and get their feedback on it. It is a sense of job well done. At the end of a long hot day, relaxing in the shade with a cold drink makes it all worthwhile.

Helping friends and neighbors is also very satisfying. By lending a helping hand, large projects can get done quickly. Another sense of job well done as you relax in the shade in your favorite patio chair with your cold drink, knowing that the neighbor owes you a favor!

Country living is not always about extra work. It also means you are closer to nature and can easily spend the day fishing in your favorite trout lake. Bringing home fresh fish to grill also leaves me with a sense of job well done. You can also load the dogs for a long ride in the forest. My dogs love this part of their life. While I am out in the forest, one hobby I have is photographing wildlife. I don’t have the best camera, or am the best photographer, but it is very fun and useful. The website I manage has several photos of the forest animals that I have captured digitally. I constantly change these photos, so check in often to see the new ones.

Last, but certainly not least. Peace and Quiet. Sometimes our day is relaxing in the shade at home and not doing anything. We can sit on the porch for most of the day and not one vehicle goes by. No sirens, no loud mufflers, no noisy neighbors. Just relaxation. Oh, and throwing the ball to a couple of Labradors.

Ron is an avid outdoorsman and country living fan

Education and Artisanal Mezcal Production in Oaxaca, Mexico

Education

A characteristic of growth in the global wine industry for some decades is slowly creeping into artisanal mezcal production in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. That is, small producers are using their new-found disposable income to educate their children, with a view to increasing manufacture in a sustainable fashion while at the same time improving sales through tapping new markets.

Oaxaca is where most of Mexico’s mezcal, the typically high alcohol content agave-based spirit, is distilled. In the early years of this decade the state began to witness a dramatic increase in sales of mezcal, both in the domestic market and for export to the US and further abroad. Mezcal tourism was born. Visitors began to make a pilgrimage to primarily the state capital and its central valley production regions, coming to learn about artisanal production, to sample and buy for home consumption, to educate themselves and their staff with a view to attracting sales at bars and mezcalerías, and to consider a business plan for export to foreign and to non-Oaxacan Mexican markets.

Lidia Hernández and Baneza García are representative of this sweeping new trend in Oaxacan mezcal production, not because they are young women (in their early twenties), but because of education. In both cases their parents, integrally involved in family artisanal distillation dating back generations, did not progress beyond primary school. Ms. Hernández has recently completed law school at the state run university and Ms. García is in third year industrial engineering at a private college.