Mexico news roundup: flash mobs, bottled water, drug murders

Published: Tuesday, July 17 2012 9:24 a.m. MDT

Monday’s news from south of the border produced several compelling storylines, including more than 200 arrests for flash mob violence as well as an in-depth look at Mexico’s unparalleled reliance on bottled water.

The Associated Press reported Mexico City authorities arrested 226 minors and young adults Monday after “what appeared to be one of Mexico’s first instances of flash mob violence. … As many as 600 angry youths who couldn’t get into (a reggae) concert went on a rampage at local subway stations, damaging turnstiles and streetlamps, robbing people and tossing fireworks in an area popular among foreign residents and tourists. A police car had its windshield smashed.” Ninety-one arrestees were released for lack of evidence, but the rest remained in police custody as of Tuesday morning.

Tuesday’s print edition of the New York Times included Elisabeth Malkin’s eye-opening feature story about Mexico’s multifaceted reliance on bottled water. “Drinking bottled water is one thing,” Malkin observed. “But bathing one’s baby in it? In Mexico, the world’s largest per capita consumer of bottled water, anything goes. … A study released last year by the Inter-American Development Bank found that Mexicans used about 127 gallons of bottled water per person a year, more than four times the bottled-water consumption in the United States and more than any country surveyed. … With the move toward bottled water, families sometimes spend as much as 10 percent of their incomes on water, double what the development bank estimates they should.”

AP also reported Monday outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s recent assertion that “homicides in Mexico have dropped 15 percent to 20 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period of 2011. … Calderón claimed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal last month that drug-related killings in Mexico had fallen by roughly 12 percent in the first five months of this year.” However, Calderón did not cite specific numbers regarding murder rates — which is no big surprise given the Mexican government stopped releasing murder statistics nine months ago.

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