Log in
Headlines ~
Charred body of a married woman found in her house
Riyadh executes three Sri Lankans, an Egyptian
Hat-Trick National Level Award winning Bahrain based Non-Resident Kannadiga
CPIM protest against water problem in Jappinamogaru
Osama's son Hamza asks jihadists to attack US, allies
Same-sex marriage bill introduced to Australian Parliament
Intercaste couple goes missing: Hindu outfits demand investigation
Raveena alleges misbehaviour during I-Day celebrations in LA
Morgan Freeman's granddaughter stabbed to death in Manhattan
First batch of Hajj pigrims departs from Mangaluru International airport

Punch on the face: Mexico fire coach Miguel Herrera

Mexico City: Miguel Herrera, Mexico's national soccer team coach, was fired on Tuesday, a day after he allegedly punched a reporter who had criticised his team's performance in the recent Copa America and Gold Cup tournaments.

"After evaluating the situation and listening to everyone that makes up this family, I've made the decision to remove Miguel Herrera from his post," Decio de Maria, president of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), told a news conference as he announced Herrera's termination.

"As far as what Miguel and I discussed, the only thing I can say is that it was very tough for Miguel," he said.

Christian Martinoli, a sports reporter for Mexico's TV Azteca, said on Monday that Herrera threatened him then hit him in the neck at Philadelphia's airport as the Mexican team were heading home after a 3-1 victory against Jamaica to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

De Maria said Herrera had apologised about the airport incident, but speaking on local radio, he added: "You can't respond to aggression with aggression."

A new coach would be named before September, de Maria said.

TV Azteca's Martinoli had strongly criticized Herrera during the team's group stage exit from the 2015 Copa America in Chile.

TV Azteca's parent company, Grupo Salinas, had called on the FMF to launch an immediate investigation into the incident.

The row followed a separate controversy last month. During elections shortly before the Copa America, Herrera had tweeted his support for Mexico's Green Party, prompting the FMF to say it would fine him for a breach of ethics.

Herrera came into the job near the end of 2013 after Mexico had sacked three previous coaches as the team nearly failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Scraping through the CONCACAF qualifiers in fourth place, Mexico needed a playoff victory over Oceania group winners New Zealand to secure their berth.

During his tenure as coach, Herrera led the Mexican squad to 19 victories, 11 ties and 7 losses.

Nicknamed "El Piojo," or "The Louse" in Spanish, Herrera's animated, energetic persona made him a star in Mexico, but his team performed poorly in Chile as an invitee to the Copa America, the South American championship, failing to win a single game.

That was a blow for Mexico, which had inherited a squad with a number of promising young players from the under-23 side that in 2012 won Olympic gold in London.

Mexico will now be looking for a new head coach ahead of an Oct. 9 playoff against the United States for CONCACAF's berth at the Confederations Cup in 2017 followed by the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup, both of which will be hosted by Russia.

Among the potential successors to Herrera are Mexican league coaches Gustavo Matosas of Atlas and Pedro Caixinha of Santos Laguna, former national coach Victor Manuel Vucetich and Marcelo Bielsa, head of French team Olympique de Marseille.
  • Published in Football

Playing Santa: Mexican drug lord Guzman is a benevolent bandit back in his state

Mexico: The lush Mexican mountain stronghold of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is dotted with hamlets where poor farmers live in humble homes, scrape by on crops and lionize the fugitive drug kingpin.

One week after Guzman escaped prison again, his legend has grown in his home region in northwestern Sinaloa state, where he is revered as a benevolent bandit despite his drug cartel's murderous record.

US authorities have intelligence suggesting Guzman is already in the region, the safest place for him because of the support he enjoys, an American security official told AFP. In Badiraguato, the municipality that encompasses villages where some of Mexico's most infamous drug lords were born, residents hope Guzman will revive the economy.

They say the Sinaloa drug cartel boss employed farmers, sent food to nursing homes and gave toys to children at Christmas before his February 2014 capture. "People are happy because he helps a lot," said Gerardo Avila, 22, eating a watermelon under scorching heat in front of his small clothing shop near Badiraguato's town hall.

"He gives money. He creates jobs. He helps more than presidents," Avila said. What kind of jobs? "Working on the hills, cutting trees." Erica, a 40-year-old with a candy cart in front of the church, said people believe Guzman has been good to the community.

When Guzman is out of prison, "people work, there's movement, but up there," said Erica, lifting her chin toward the mountains. But Guzman's business, of course, is not logging. Farmers grow marijuana and opium poppies high on the hills.

"It has been a necessary evil," said Enrique Amarillas, 50, head of a local civic association, complaining that the "government has not created the conditions to combat poverty." Mayor Mario Valenzuela estimated that more than 50 percent of farmers grow drugs.

"Unfortunately opium poppies, marijuana are still produced in Badiraguato. But I insist, it's not the only economic activity," Valenzuela told AFP. "They produce marijuana to survive," he said. "The business is for people like Chapo Guzman, those who distribute."

Chapo's mom

While Badiraguato boasts an elaborate arch welcoming visitors, paved roads and a wooden suspension bridge over a river, its surrounding villages are less fortunate. The municipality is the second poorest among 18 in the state, with one-fifth of its population of 32,600 living in extreme poverty, according to government figures.

Badiraguato's domain includes hamlets perched between thick forests. They lack running water and are only accessible with all-terrain vehicles. One village is La Tuna, where Guzman was born in 1957 and his 86-year-old mother lives in a large house built by her son.

"She's 100 percent dedicated to her ranch and her apostolical faith. People respect her, not because she's the mother of Chapo Guzman, but because she earns it," Valenzuela said. The region produced other veteran drug capos, including Rafael Caro Quintero.

Caro Quintero was freed over a legal technicality in 2013 after serving 28 years of a 40-year sentence for the murder of a US undercover agent in 1985. Badiraguato's mayor said marines swarmed villages last year and last month in failed attempts to rearrest him.

Another capo, "Don Neto" Fonseca, built a marble tomb with four columns resembling a Greek pantheon on top of a hill for the day he dies. He is languishing in prison. Below the mausoleum, villagers live in small homes, raising chickens and shopping in a subsidized food store.

"There are no criminals here. Just work. No wealth," said Martin Medina, 44, sitting on a porch alongside four other farmers, as chickens clucked nearby. The US security official said Guzman is believed to be somewhere in the Golden Triangle, a remote drug-running region that includes the states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua.

"It's his stomping grounds, people love him there," the official said on condition of anonymity. The official said the best chance of catching Guzman would be for federal forces to flood the area. While Badiraguato's mayor said there were more troops in town, no major movements of federal forces or checkpoints were seen on long stretches of winding roads and dirt paths when an AFP reporter visited the region on Friday.
  • Published in World

11 burned headless bodies found in Mexico

Mexico: In a horrific incident, the police found 11 headless bodies of young men in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. The bodies were found on the road between Chilapa de Alvarez and Ayahualulco on Thursday.

The bodies were bruned and dumped in the road after a shootout between gangs on Wednesday night, Guerrero Attorney General's Office spokesmen told Efe. According to a report published in IANS, the two gangs, Los Rojos and Los Ardillos, have been fighting for control of the illegal drug trade and other criminal activities in a section of Guerrero.

Around a month ago, two clandestine graves containing 13 bodies were found in Chilapa de Alvarez.

On September 26, 43 students were detained by police in Iguala, a city in Guerrero, and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, which allegedly killed and burned them to cover their tracks.Former Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez has been linked to the disappearance of the 43 education students.

Abarca was arrested on organised crime, kidnapping and murder charges. The politician and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, were arrested by the Federal Police Nov 4 in Mexico City.Pineda is being held in preventive detention so prosecutors can gather more evidence in the case.The couple fled from their house September 30, four days after Iguala municipal police officers opened fire on students from a rural teachers college.

Six people died, 25 were wounded and 43 students disappeared in the incident.The search for the missing students has turned up numerous clandestine graves in the state. The students' disappearance sparked protests across Mexico.


  • Published in World

Mexican students torch cars after 43 feared massacred

Mexico: Furious protesters burned several vehicles and threw firebombs at a southern Mexican state's headquarters after authorities indicated that gang hitmen had slaughtered 43 missing students.

More than 300 students, many wearing masks, descended on the Guerrero government headquarters in Chilpancingo, threw rocks at its windows and burned around 10 vehicles, including trucks and a federal police vehicle.

"We are asking the same thing as usual. We want to see our comrades alive," a masked student told AFP yesterday.

The case has repulsed Mexico since gang-linked police attacked busloads of students in the Guerrero city of Iguala on September 26, in a night of violence that left six people dead and the 43 missing.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said Friday that three Guerreros Unidos gang members confessed to receiving the students from the police, killing them and incinerating their bodies.

But parents of the missing and fellow students at their teacher-training college near Chilpancingo refuse to believe the authorities until they get DNA results from independent Argentine forensic experts.


  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed