News / Americas

Cancun Climate Conference Shielded from Mexico Violence

Multimedia

Greg Flakus

Participants at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico are complaining about long delays amid heavy security. Some environmental activists say they are being kept well away from conference sites, and when a group tried to stage a protest in front of the main conference hotel, security guards forced them to leave. But, there are good reasons for such measures in Mexico.

Mexico is trying to be a good host to people who have come to this conference from around the world. And Mexico wants them to leave with a good impression.

So Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa is upset by criticism of logistics at this event.

"I would like your understanding," she said. "I can assure you that we are going to do our best to accommodate you."

What led to the gripes is this - getting up and down the narrow highway that connects Cancun's hotel zone with the conference site can take a good part of the day.

Even moving from one part of the conference zone to another means going through security much like at an airport.

Sena Alouka from Togo says he and his African colleagues noticed a lot more guns on display than at previous conferences.

"For us, it is like you are seeing those old Zapata movies from the bush of Latin America," he said. "We see for the first time.. for us, it is really funny for us to see them heavily armed."

There is tight security at this conference here in Cancun, partly because Mexico is undergoing a wave of violence connected with the war on drugs that has claimed over 28,000 lives in the past few years.

Far from the conference halls, many parts of Mexico have come to resemble war zones, with open gun battles and car bombs.

Mexican federal police and soldiers have had notable successes in recent weeks, killing and capturing major drug traffickers.

But some parts of the country remain unstable.

Cancun has seen little violence and its beaches seem far removed from anything unpleasant.

Visitors from countries that have gone through their own waves of violence understand the precautions.

This woman from Peru says Mexico is doing what it must.

"It depends on the situation and they are being cautious and I can understand that," she said.

Whatever is happening in other parts of Mexico, the scene at this conference is peaceful.

And that's the way Mexican officials say they want it to be.

You May Like

Thousands of Ethiopian Israelis Rally Against Racism

PM Netanyahu says he will meet Damas Pakada, the Ethiopia-born Israeli soldier who was filmed being beaten by two policemen More

10 Migrants Drown, While 4,100 Rescued off Libyan Coast

All of those rescued are being ferried to Italian ports, with some arriving on Italy's southernmost island, Lampedusa, and others taken to Sicily and Calabria More

HRW: Saudis Using US Cluster Bombs in Yemen

Human Rights Watch says photographs, video and other evidence have emerged indicating cluster munitions have been used in 'recent weeks' in airstrikes in Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil Wari
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 03, 2015 1:12 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video 'Woman in Gold' Uses Artwork as Symbol of Cultural Identity

Simon Curtis’ legal drama, "Woman in Gold," is based on the true story of an American Jewish refugee from Austria who fights to reclaim a famous Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II. It's a haunting film that speaks to the hearts of millions who have sought to reclaim their past, stripped from them 70 years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Taviani Brothers' 'Wondrous Boccaccio' Offers Tales of Love, Humor

The Italian duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been making movies for half a century: "The Night of the Shooting Stars," "Padre Padrone," "Good Morning, Babylon." Now in their 80s, the brothers have turned to one of the treasures of Italian culture for their latest film. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Challenges Await Aid Organizations on the Ground in Nepal

A major earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday and killed thousands, injured thousands more and sent countless Nepalese outside to live in makeshift tent villages. The challenges to Nepal are enormous, with some reconstruction estimates at around $5 billion. Aid workers from around the world face challenges getting into Nepal, which likely makes for a difficult recovery. Arash Arabasadi has the story from Washington.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Ministry: Gunmen Open Fire on Mexican Army Helicopter, 3 Killed

Violence also flared up on Friday in Jalisco's capital, Guadalajara, second-largest city in Mexico, with vehicles set ablaze in and around the metropolitan area
More

Suspected Member of Guatemalan Family Drug Cartel Extradited to US

Elio Elixander Lorenzana Cordon, 43, arrived in the United States on Thursday and was arraigned on Friday
More

Photogallery Rallies Mark May Day Around the World

Workers are calling for higher pay, better working conditions during protest marches
More

Colombia's Former Spy Chief Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

Maria del Pilar Hurtado sentenced for spying on opposition lawmakers, judges, journalists in one of biggest scandals to mar government of ex-President Uribe
More

Argentine Families Expect Pope to Open Dictatorship Files

Files contain complaints to papal nuncio in Argentina and episcopate by families of those disappeared during 1976-83 military crackdown
More

Photogallery Chile's Calbuco Erupts Again With New Cloud of Ash

Volcano erupts for third time in eight days, winds pushing ash clouds southeast towards Argentina
More